Category Archives: Gluten-Free

Breakfast Gluten-Free

Almond Butter and Flax Seed Granola

If we were to play word association with the word “granola,” I guarantee one of the first words to be thrown around would be “healthy.” But the sad reality is, that just ain’t true. So many packages of granola and even homemade versions are so loaded with sugar and other junk, that those poor little oats go from wholesome and nutritious to just plain unhealthy.

IMG_0236

I will refrain from giving you too much of a nutrition lesson. But in short, for this very reason, I have never been a big granola eater.

I typically top my greek yogurt with fresh fruit and chia seeds, but I am getting kinda sick of that combination. I have been craving texture.

IMG_0246

So after buying three large tubs of oats today (we eat A LOT of oats in this house), I set out to make a healthier granola that I could  bring into my snack rotation.

IMG_0266

I was browsing through my cabinets for flavor inspiration and my eyes spotted the almond butter. I tried to move on because my taste buds CONSTANTLY tell my brain to grab the precious AB. But I couldn’t ignore it this time — I knew that little nut butter would be a delicious addition to my granola.

 

IMG_0282

And (as always) I was right.

Adding the almond butter was a fantastic way to give the granola lots of flavor without pouring in more and more sugar.

IMG_0291Unfortunately, only half of this recipe made it into ziploc baggies for storage. I um….had to keep taste testing it…because I wasn’t sure if it was just delicious or hella freaking delicious…

Self control. I know. I’m working on it…

 

Almond Butter and Flax Seed Granola Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 Tablespoon Flax Seed (not ground)
  • 2 Tablespoons Almond Butter (I used unsalted, if yours is salted omit salt below)
  • 1.5 Tablespoons raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray lightly with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine the oats and flax seeds. Set aside.
  2. In a small microwavable below, combine the almond butter and honey. Microwave for 30 seconds until almost melted. Stir in the vanilla. Quickly, add the almond butter mixture to the oats so that it is easy to stir. Add the cinnamon and a pinch of salt to taste. Stir ingredients well so oats are fully covered by the almond butter mixture.
  3. Spread the oats on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir the oats on the tray. Return to oven for an additional 8-10 minutes until the oats are toasted and slightly brown. Remove the tray from the oven and set aside to cool. Once the granola is completely cool store in an air-tight container or ziploc bag.
 

 

Gluten-Free Snacks

Spiced Roasted Almonds

Spiced Roasted Almonds Recipe

I hate how quickly retailers try to make us forget summer. The stores were filled with Halloween decorations weeks ago and soon they will be shoving those out to make room for the holiday decorations. Before we know it, all we will see is red and pink for Valentine’s Day. Can we SLOW IT DOWN PEOPLE?

Here in LA it is still summer weather (well, that’s nothing new) and I would like to hold onto that for a little while longer.

That being said, I will make no arguments about starting to incorporate fall flavors back into my diet. It is times like this that I DO wish I was back on the East coast. What I would do for a freshly baked cider doughnut from Honey Pot Farms right now. Mmmmmhmmmmm.

Spiced Roasted Almonds Recipe

One of my favorite holiday treats are spiced nuts. The truth is, however, that most of the ones you’ll buy in the store or the amazing ones from street vendors (you know are LOADED with sugar. This isn’t really a terrible thing. I mean, hey, they taste delicious, right?

But….they could be healthier.

Spiced Roasted Almonds Recipe

So, I bring you my version.

Spiced Roasted Almonds Recipe

There is no butter or oil added here. I am really tryin’ to help you out people, but trust me, you won’t even taste the difference.

Spiced Roasted Almonds Recipe

These suckers will have you hooked. They are a great snack if you’re on the go. I have a baggie filled with them in my desk drawer at work.

Spiced Roasted Almonds Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I also think they would be a great homemade gift for the holidays. The recipe can easily be doubled to make a big batch to share (or keep them all to yourself…I won’t tell).

Spiced Roasted Almonds Recipe

The end result is a slightly sweet, spiced and toasty almond. Now be careful not to eat them all in one go…

 

Spiced Roasted Almonds
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1.5 - 2 cups raw almonds (do not use salted)
  • 2 Tablespoons raw honey (agave may be okay here)
  • ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • scant ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • Sea Salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray the parchment paper with cooking spray. Spread the almonds on the baking sheet. Toast in the upper rack of the oven for 10 minutes.
  2. While the almonds are in the oven mix together the nutmeg through the pepper in a small bowl. When the almonds are done toasting, remove the baking sheet from the oven and pour the honey over the almonds (do this right on the baking sheet). Use a spoon or spatula to coat the almonds well on all sides. Then sprinkle the spice mixture over the almonds and mix again to thoroughly coat. Take a big pinch of sea salt and sprinkle over the almonds.
  3. Return the almonds to the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and right away use a spatula to remove the almonds from the parchment paper to a plate or container to cool (or else your almonds will be glued to the parchment paper - you've been warned). You will notice that a lot of the honey and spice mixture will be stuck to your spatula and on the parchment paper - this is fine. There is plenty on the almonds already, I assure you.
  4. Let cool for 20 minutes and then store in air tight jars or plastic bags.
 

Gluten-Free Side Dishes Vegan

Carrots with Raisins and Toasted Walnuts

Holy cow, I could eat the whole batch of these carrots. I really could.

Carrots with Raisins and Toasted Walnuts Recipe

There would be nothing wrong with that. It’s a perfectly healthy side dish. And if I did I would have super duper vision, right? Or something like that.

You have to use your food processor to shred these carrots. Now, I know pulling out that food processor is a big pain. We all complain about it (even if we have a dishwasher). But you better do it, because grating these carrots by hand will be a nightmare. I know from experience when I made Emily’s Carrot Cake back in college. All I had was a 6-inch hand grater and I believe it took me about 45 minutes, two very cramped wrists, and a whole lot of determination (and love for Em) to grate those carrots. Use the food processor, people.

Carrots with Raisins and Toasted Walnuts Recipe

The end result is a slightly sweet side dish that makes a delicious accompaniment to poultry, tofu, and meatless meals. This carrot salad is also great for potlucks or picnics because it can be served straight from the fridge or at room temperature.

Carrots with Raisins and Toasted Walnuts Recipe

Feel free to make this ahead of time – I think it is even better the next day!

 

Carrots with Raisins and Toasted Walnuts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and grated
  • ½ cup walnuts, toasted* (I used prechopped, but walnut halves are fine)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • juice from 1 lemon (about 2 Tablespoons)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 3-4 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1.5 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey or maple syrup
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Stir all ingredients in a large bowl. Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Remove, taste, and season with salt and pepper as desired. (DO NOT season with salt and pepper before putting the carrot mixture in the fridge, as the flavors really come together during the 20 minute period). The carrots can either be served right away or left in the fridge and served at a later point.
Notes
*To toast the walnuts, heat a medium pan to high heat. Add the walnuts and STIR CONSTANTLY until they begin to brown -- once the walnuts start browning they can burn very quickly so be careful not to burn them. Once they are toasted (you will smell them), remove from the pan onto a plate to cool.
 

Breakfast Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes

I am finally unpacked and ready to rock ‘n roll in my new kitchen. This kitchen is a dream. All of the appliances are new and there is beautiful granite countertop with plenty of space for prep work.  The natural light is amazing and it leads onto a little deck where we finally have room for a grill! Oh the possibilities.

This past Saturday was my birthday and my birthday morning started off on a sweet note with these amazing buckwheat pancakes.

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes Recipe

Have you cooked with buckwheat before? It is a wonderful flour with a unique taste. Despite it’s name, buckwheat is not actually wheat (so for those of you avoiding gluten — it’s safe!) Soba noodles are also made from buckwheat. It has lots of fiber and protein, so these pancakes stay with you much longer than ones made from simple white flour.

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes Recipe

I added fresh bananas into the batter to sweeten up these buckwheat pancakes a bit.

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes Recipe

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes Recipe

And I served them with real maple syrup, of course. Now I talk a lot about how fantastic the produce is here year-round in California, but one thing that I REALLY miss about the East Coast is real maple syrup. Vermont Maple Syrup. Maine Maple Syrup. Yuuuuummy!

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes Recipe

This recipe makes about 8-10 pancakes and serves two very hungry people.

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes Recipe

Or it just serves one if you’re the birthday girl. You should never have to share on your birthday.

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes Recipe

I am loving buckwheat these days. Next time I may try to make these with blueberries instead. And I may sub in almond milk for the buttermilk. If you adapt them in any way, let me know how they turn out!

 

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour (I found mine at Whole Foods)
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large banana (optional)
  • Maple Syrup
  • Butter or Cooking Spray for the skillet
Instructions
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix the buckwheat flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Measure out the buttermilk in a liquid measuring cup. Whisk in the egg and vanilla. Once well combined, slowly pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix together to form the batter (some small lumps are fine here).
  3. Preheat a non-stick skillet or griddle to medium-low heat. Add the cooking spray or butter to the pan. Scoop slightly less than a ¼ cup of batter at a time and pour onto the skillet. Cook until bubbles begin to form on top of the pancake and the edges appear less wet than the center, then flip to the other side and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes and each side is golden brown.
  4. Optional: Preheat oven to 250 degrees and place the pancakes on a baking tray in the oven to keep warm until you are ready to serve them.
  5. Serve with real maple syrup and extra bananas.
Notes
* To make buttermilk, pour 1 Tablespoon white distilled vinegar in a liquid measuring cup. Then, pour milk (I used skim, but reduced-fat is fine as well) into the measuring cup exactly to the 1 cup line. Stir and set aside for 10 minutes. Then use as you would use buttermilk.
 

 

 

 

Cookies Desserts Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free Almond Butter Cookies

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am obsessed with Peanut Butter. Now, we need not delve into the details of this obsession because it is safe to say you would be completely disgusted by the amount of Peanut Butter I can comsume in one sitting.

I like any kind of Peanut Butter. Natural, Crunchy, Smooth, and sadly even the kinds with High-Fructose Corn Syrup (yes, Skippy, I will always love you).

Gluten-Free Almond Butter Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

This past summer, I decided to branch out and try Almond Butter as a healthier alternative. Now I am just as obsessed with AB as I was with PB.

I eat with it everything. Bananas, toast, smoothies, pancakes, eeeeeevvvvvverrrrrryyyyyyything. But, I will only eat one kind. The “grind your own” from Whole Foods. It is delicious, perfect, and totally overpriced. But WHO CARES. It’s THAT good.

Gluten-Free Almond Butter Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

Now, I bring you Almond Butter cookies. They are Gluten-Free. No flour. Nada. Just a whole lot of Almond Butter goodness.

Gluten-Free Almond Butter Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

And plenty of dark chocolate chips for good measure.

Gluten-Free Almond Butter Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

Oh, and did I mention there is no butter or oil? Yeah, they’re low-fat, too.

BOOYAAAAAH!

Gluten-Free Almond Butter Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

Healthy, nutty, chewy, chocolatey, yummy.

You know you want to take a bite.

 

Gluten-Free Almond Butter Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup almond butter (I prefer the fresh stuff from Whole Foods, but any will do)
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon agave nectar (honey or maple syrup are fine, too)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup slivered roasted almonds (optional)
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips (or a good bar of dark chocolate, chopped)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the almond butter and brown sugar. Add the egg, baking soda, agave, vanilla, and salt and mix well. Then add the almonds and dark chocolate.
  3. Using a Tablespoon, scoop out small scoops of dough and roll in your hands to form a ball. Place the balls on the baking sheet, making sure to allow at least 1 in. of space between the cookies (they spread a lot in the oven). Bake 9-10 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. Then, using a spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Gluten-Free Vegetarian Meals

Sweet and Sour Tofu Stir Fry

Sweet and Sour Tofu Stir Fry Recipe

I can’t believe I am blogging about tofu. For the longest time I swore that it was the strangest, blandest food. I mean, C’MON, what is up with that consistency?

This summer when I began looking for good alternatives to the carnivorous meals I know so well, I decided to rethink tofu. All my veggie friends love it — but I figured that’s because they didn’t know any better (sorry, guys).

But, I gotta say, now that I know how to cook it correctly, it really isn’t so bad. Actually, it’s kind of great.

I get this tofu from TJ’s:

Lots of protein!

I’ve learned that if you marinate tofu long enough or cook it in the right sauce, it really can be a great substitute for chicken.

The inspiration for this recipe was from this tiny Vegan Thai restaurant close to me. They have a delicious Sweet and Sour Tofu that I love because it is not overly sweet like Sweet and Sour can be sometimes

For this recipe I cook the tofu in a skillet, but you can also bake it in the oven if you prefer a crispier texture.

Sweet and Sour Tofu Stir Fry Recipe

The end result is delicious, light, and healthy.

Sweet and Sour Tofu Stir Fry Recipe

Sweet and Sour Tofu Stir Fry
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 Tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 Tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 14-16oz. package extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into ½-inch cubes (I also recommend wrapping the tofu in a paper towel to remove all excess water before cutting it)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 large bell peppers (color of your choice)
  • ¾ cup onion, chopped into 1 in. chunks
  • 1.5 cups fresh pineapple, cut into 1 in. cubes (fresh pineapple really makes a big difference here…and if you have any juice leftover from when you cut the pineapple, add it to the sauce)
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the rice-wine vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, and brown sugar (and any leftover pineapple juice). Place the cut tofu in a large bowl and toss with 3 Tablespoons of the sauce. Let the tofu marinate for half an hour.
  2. While the tofu is marinating, add the cornstarch to the remaining sauce. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Using a slotted spoon, add the tofu to the skillet. Add the remaining marinade to the reserved sauce. Cook the tofu, flipping occasionally, until golden brown for about 10 minutes. (For a crispier texture, place the tofu on a baking sheet and cook in the oven at 350 degrees for about 7 minutes on each side). Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.
  4. Add the remaining oil to the pan change the heat to medium. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for about 30 seconds. Then add the bell peppers and the onion, stirring often, for 5-7 minutes. Pour in the reserved sauce and cook until thickened (about 30 seconds). Add the pineapple and tofu and cook until heated through (about 2 minutes).
  5. Serve over brown rice.

Gluten-Free Side Dishes Vegan

Spinach with Raisins and Nuts

I am going to eat a lot on Thanksgiving. And I mean, A LOT.

Thanksgiving at my house is wild. There is so much preparation and strategy involved.  The table is always set for 25+. For one week leading up to the big day all ingredients are stored in 3 refrigerators throughout the house.  2 ovens are on nonstop for 24 hours. My dad is the mastermind / master chef behind it all. He creates the expansive menu and delegates tasks in the kitchen. If you even go near the kitchen you better be prepared to be handed an apron, a knife and start chopping.

In the end somehow it all gets done: a 26 pound turkey. Gravy. Potato Rolls. Cornbread stuffing. Chicken Sauage Stuffing. Mushroom Stuffing. Cranberry Sauce. Sweet Potato Casserole. Green Beans. Brussel Sprouts. Pumpkin pies. Pecan Pies. Apple Crisp.

And leftovers. Oof.

I can’t wait.

So I should probably eat well this week, right? Maybe I should eat some vegetables. How about some spinach? That’s healthy.

But, I don’t want to eat it raw. I don’t like eating any vegetable raw. I need them cooked. I need to add flavor, spice, sugar, SOMETHING to make them taste less….earthy.

So what can we do with this bag of raw spinach to make us LOVE it?…to make it taste so good we will forget about pumpkin pie and cornbread for the time being.

Spinach with Raisins and Nuts Recipe

This is what we are gunna do: saute it, chop it, add some spices and vinegar, and throw in some raisins and toasted nuts for a nice crunch.

Now we have ourselves something totally healthy disguised as something delicious and flavorful. I ate this whole recipe as a lunch yesterday (I swear it was filling), but you can share it and have it as a side with any meat or vegetarian meal.

Now, this definitely means I can have an extra slice of pecan pie, right?

 

Spinach with Raisins and Nuts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 3 oz. fresh spinach
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons raisins
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon pine nuts, toasted*
  • ⅛ cup almonds, toasted*
  • pinch salt
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet oven medium-low heat. Add one tablespoon of olive oil. Add the spinach and saute until it is wilted and bright green.
  2. Remove the spinach from the skillet. Allow to cool, then squeeze out excess water and chop.
  3. Add the other tablespoon of oil to the skillet (again over medium-low heat). Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and raisins. Cook 4 minutes, stirring often so the garlic does not burn. Next, add the spinach and salt and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Then add the vinegar and nuts to the mixture and stir until all ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Serve immediately. Add additional salt and pepper if desired.
Notes
* To toast the nuts, heat an oven to 350 degrees. Lay the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 4 minutes. Remove to check their status and stir. Return to oven for an additional few minutes if necessary (check often as they may burn quickly). The pine nuts will cook faster than the almonds so you may want to do this in two batches. Feel free to change it up - any combination of nuts will be great!
 

 

Page 5 of 512345