Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarian’

“Thanksgiving Stuffing” Slow Cooker Rice Casserole

The slow cooker rice casserole is my new go-to meal option. Seriously, changed my life…not only is it just insanely easy, but it’s the best way I’ve come up with like, ever, to use up my random assortments of leftovers. I have yet to find anything that doesn’t marry up with rice.

Thanksgiving Stuffing Rice Casserole from The Not So Desperate Housewife

What’s even better is the texture is nothing short of, well, stuffing. And if you’re a stuffing hoarder like me this is pretty much the best thing since Stove Top.

Thanksgiving Stuffing Rice Casserole : The Not So Desperate Housewife

I could eat nothing but stuffing for the rest of my life and be totally happy. It’s the epitome of carby, sweet, savory, salty, warm, comforting goodness. But this casserole? It’s like I transported through time to the Thanksgiving table. And it’s about a thousand times easier to make. And yes, I know stuffing is super easy to make anyway. Think about that one…

Thanksgiving Stuffing Rice Casserole :: The Not So Desperate Housewife

I wish there was a way to take a picture of this that didn’t make it look like a pile of something nasty because it’s so effing good I can’t even stand it. I mean, it’s a literal mash up of a million things so I honestly don’t know what to do unless I dressed up the dish with a sash and crown and just called it America’s Sweetheart. Maybe that would get the point across? Maybe I just need more sleep.

This recipe is extremely customizeable…note how pretty much every ingredient has something else that could fill in. Honestly, feel free to use whatever you’ve got on hand. The basic formula that works the best for me is just 2 cups of dry rice, 4 cups of liquid (like stock) and a can (1 1/2 cups) of coconut milk to add some richness. On top of it all…anything goes. So go nuts! (Add nuts!!)

"Thanksgiving Stuffing" Slow Cooker Rice Casserole
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 c dry white rice
  • 4 c liquid (I used about 3 c of chicken stock and 1 c water)
  • 1½ c coconut milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1-2 c shredded cooked turkey (chicken also works)
  • 1 box sliced mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 c cubed butternut squash or sweet potato
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 c fresh cranberries
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 T dried sage
  • 1 T dried rosemary
  • 1 T dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Toss everything in the slow cooker.
  2. Give it a quick stir to combine.
  3. Cook on High for 4 hours or on Low for 6 hours. Stir once or twice to make sure everything gets distributed evenly.
  4. Can be left longer if needed, but be aware that the longer it cooks, the softer the rice will be (I actually like it that way!)

 

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Cowboy Cookies

I don’t know what it is, but something about oats and chocolate gets me every time. Probably because, you know, it’s chocolate that’s totally diet food as long as the oats are there. Add in a bunch of other stuff…and somehow they get even better. Weird.

Cowboy Cookies : The Not So Desperate Housewife

When I was a kid these were easily my favorite cookies. Only like, a million years later did I actually find out that “Cowboy Cookies” were actually a thing. Or maybe you’ve always known them as “Trail Mix Cookies”? (Wouldn’t those have to have M&Ms?)

Food is a little anticlimactic like that…no matter how creative you think you are, it’s been done. Good news, though, is you can type any list of random ingredients into Google and the word “recipe” and boom…dinner. That’s how I found this. (But seriously, try it…crazy, right?)

Adapted from Namaste Foods’ recipe. Sub coconut oil for butter for dairy free and cut the nuts for nut free!

Cowboy Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: +/- 12 cookies
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ c Namaste Foods all purpose gluten free flour (or other gluten free all purpose blend)
  • ½ c butter, softened
  • ½ c brown sugar
  • ¼ c white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ t vanilla
  • ½ t baking soda
  • 1½ c gluten free oats
  • ½ c chocolate chips
  • ½ c coconut
  • ½ c pecans, chopped (or nuts of choice)
  • handful of raisins
Instructions
  1. Cream the butter with the brown and white sugars.
  2. Beat in the egg until you have a light colored, fluffy mixture.
  3. Beat in the vanilla and baking soda.
  4. Beat in the flour and oats, a little at a time to make it more manageable.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips, coconut, nuts, and raisins.
  6. Scoop out golf-ball sized hunk of dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  7. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned.

 

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Single Serve Pumpkin Mini-Loaf

The air has taken on the crisp coolness of mid-Atlantic Fall, so obviously it’s time for baking. With pumpkin. Gluten free and dairy free because that’s how I roll. Mostly.

Pumpkin Bread Mini Loaf : The Not So Desperate Housewife

But you know there’s those times when you just want a slice or two, and then the rest of the loaf stands neglected…I’m not one for waste, so I find it easier to make a mini loaf and call it a day. I mean, it’s fresh and hot out of the oven every single time, so a total win. Besides, theses little babies are just so gosh darn cute!

Pumpkin Bread Mini Loaf via The Not So Desperate Housewife

Added bonus–I don’t have to turn on my giant gas oven (that I’m secretly afraid is going to explode every time I turn it on…it’s an antique). The toaster oven works beautifully. I do still line the pans with a strip of parchment paper since gluten free baked goods have a penchant for sticking. My favorite GF all purpose flour to use for this is Bob’s Red Mill GF AP, but I’ve also used my Namaste Foods brand with success.

Single Serve Pumpkin Mini-Loaf
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 mini loaf
 
Ingredients
  • ½ c + 1½ T GF all purpose flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
  • ½ t baking soda
  • ¼ t salt
  • ½ t pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ c applesauce
  • 5 T pumpkin
  • ¼ t vanilla
  • 1 T water
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth. No such thing as overmixing here so make sure the batter is nice and fluffy.
  2. Pour into a parchment lined mini loaf pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

 

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Buttery Gluten Free Banana Bread (plus a little GF baking lesson)

So freaking obsessed with Glen Templeton right now…I mean, the remake Let Her Go? I seriously cry in my car so much these days. I just thought you should know that. And when I cry, obviously, baking and sweets are generally involved.

Buttery Gluten Free Banana Bread : The Not So Desperate Housewife

Except it’s made with bananas. Which are fruit. So this is basically diet food.

OK. I harp on this a lot but when baking gluten free goodies of any kind, flour choice is critical. I used Namaste Foods All Purpose here, and feel free to use another GF all purpose or “one-for-one,” just be warned that results may vary. There is no such thing as a one-for-one gluten free flour, you guys. I love this article on the matter and highly suggest following recipes as written. If they mention an “all purpose blend,” figure out which one was used in the original. Side story…I totally wrecked a banana bread recipe from Taste of Home earlier in the day using Bob’s Red Mill’s new “1-for-1.” One of these days I’ll learn.

Buttery Banana Bread : The Not So Desperate Housewife

When you do have all your ingredients on hand, make sure they’re room temperature. I’m not 100% sure why this works, but I’ve had good luck with it. That means letting your eggs, milk, or whatever else may have been in the fridge sit on the counter for a little bit. I’m also told that you shouldn’t overmix (same rule of thumb for a lot of recipes with wheat flour), but then again I’ve also been told that it doesn’t matter since, well, there’s no gluten protein to overwork. Jury’s still out on that one. I generally mix my batters until they look good to go, but I’ve definitely let my yeast breads sit in the mixer for a while and they came out beautifully. I just…don’t know.

Cast Iron Loaf Pan : The Not So Desperate Housewife

Oh! I would definitely recommend using a cast iron baking pan as well. Cast iron anything is pretty rockin’…both for the environment and for your body, but it also distributes heat amazingly well and lasts forever. I got mine for like $20 on Amazon. I do, still, line my pans with parchment paper since I’m so paranoid about sticking…with GF stuff it’s kind’ve a crap shoot.

So, yeah, those are my two cents on gluten free baking, at least as it pertains to banana bread. My husband told me this was the best gluten free baked goodie I’ve ever made, so I’m proud of that…too bad the recipe isn’t really mine ;-)

The texture of this banana bread is a bit denser than some more cake-like banana breads I’ve had in the past. It’s super rich, though, thanks to the butter. If you want to lighten it up, I’d try using a liquid oil (like avocado oil or another heat stable one that’s liquid at room temp) and maybe even using a tablespoon or two less flour than this recipe calls for. As with anything, don’t make too many drastic changes at once unless you’re prepared for a disaster, but then again, I’ve gone hog wild on a few things in my time that turned out great. You’re welcome for my unfettered wisdom.

Buttery Gluten Free Banana Bread :: The Not So Desperate Housewife

Recipe adapted from Namaste Foods.

Buttery GF Banana Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 loaf
 
Ingredients
  • 2 c Namaste Foods Perfect GF Flour Blend (or other all purpose GF flour, with caution!)
  • 1 t baking soda
  • ¼ t salt
  • ½ c (1 stick) butter, melted
  • ¾ c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • ½ t vanilla
  • ½ t apple pie spice (or cinnamon)
  • ½ c walnuts, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. whisk together the butter, sugar, and bananas.
  4. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and apple pie spice.
  5. Stir in the dry ingredients with the wet, being careful not to overmix.
  6. Fold in the walnuts.
  7. Spread the batter evenly in an 8x5 inch loaf pan lined with parchment. The batter will be very thick, almost like a dough, so use a wet spatula to work it into the corners!
  8. Bake for 70-75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

 

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Decadent Gluten Free, Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nothing in my little rambler here in Charlottesville is less than 60 years old. This is why everything that comes out of my ’50s-era gas oven without being either a) totally uncooked, or b) not totally scorched is a gift. So, Universe, I must once again bow to you in thanks.

Decadent Gluten Free Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies : The Not So Desperate Housewife

Gluten free baking has come leaps and bounds from where it was even a couple of years ago. What once would have been a pile of dry, crumbly, flavorless pieces of cardboard can now be just as good (I think, even better) than their glutinous counterparts that cause me and so many others a great deal of (totally awkward and socially crippling) pain.

The one key is to know your flour blend. I’ve been using Namaste Foods ever since my mom got me a 5 pound bag from Costco “just to try out.” It claims cup-for-cup usage, but I honestly don’t believe any blend is truly the perfect substitute…you have to be willing to experiment a bit and totally put the manufacturer’s own recipes to work. I adapted this recipe from a chocolate chip cookie recipe on the Namaste Foods site while planning a dinner party for my husband’s learning group (everyone gets smarter with cookies, right?). I made a few subs (wanted a dairy-free version and used palm sugar to take advantage of its awesome, rich flavor) and voila! They came out beautifully. I got 30 cookies from this recipe (the original claimed 5 dozen…umyeahnoway) and with 7 people…well, you do the math ;-)

If you do want to sub out another GF flour blend, while I can’t verify the ratios, Namaste AP blend is just sweet brown rice flour (the majority of the mix), tapioca starch, arrowroot flour, sorghum flour, and xanthan gum. I’d say anything with a similar ingredient mix would work well, so just have a quick check and make sure you aren’t using a bean-flour blend (i.e. Bob’s Red Mill GF AP flour, which I also love to death but is mostly garbanzo).

Decadent Gluten Free Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies :: The Not So Desperate Housewife

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3 dozen
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups Namaste Perfect Flour Blend
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 c coconut oil
  • ¾ c sugar
  • ¾ c palm sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cream the coconut oil with the sugar and palm sugar. Beat in the vanilla and eggs, one at a time until fluffy.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients (except the chocolate chips) and add to the coconut oil/sugar mixture.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on the pan for 2-3 minutes, then carefully transfer to a cooling rack.
  7. Yields 2-3 dozen, depending on cookie size. I made 30.

**Adapted from Namaste Foods

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Browned Butter Peanut Butter and Jelly Skillet Cookie

Gah!! Those are a lot of my favorite things in the same headline.

Brown Butter and PBJ Skillet Cookie : The Not So Desperate Housewife

Sometimes the rigors of moving to a new town, starting a new job, and adjusting to a new life as the devoted and supportive wife of a business student requires a little sweetness. And, I mean, the coming of Fall and all of the accompanying baked goods will only make it better. But let’s talk about my giant cookie.

Brown Butter and PBJ Skillet Cookie :: Not So Desperate Housewife

Did it really need to be one big-ass cookie? Was a skillet entirely necessary? Eh. Take it or leave it, but something about a piping hot chocolate chip cookie, dripping with PB and J, hot from the oven in rustic cookware brought an appropriate level of decadence to my holiday weekend.

*Inspired by this recipe (although I used local grass fed butter…natch)

**Here’s how I brown my butter

Browned Butter Peanut Butter and Jelly Skillet Cookie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • ½ c butter
  • 2 c almond meal
  • 1 c walnuts
  • 1 t baking soda
  • ½ t salt
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ c maple syrup
  • 2 c chocolate chips
  • ¼ c palm sugar
  • ¼ c jelly
  • ¼ c sunflower seed butter (or any nut butter)
Instructions
  1. First, brown your butter. See link in the post for how to do this.
  2. Grid the walnuts into a fine meal using a food processor.
  3. Combine all ingredients except for jelly and sunflower seed butter.
  4. Press the cookie dough into a greased cast-iron pan.
  5. In separate microwave-safe dishes, nuke the jelly and sunflower seed butter for about 15-20 seconds each (you want em runny). Pour over the cookie.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Saturday Morning Banana Pancakes

When you work Saturdays, you need to make sure your morning has a little extra oomph to get you going.

Saturday Morning Banana Pancakes : The Not So Desperate Housewife

 

These are kind of the lovechild of my favorite big-ass pancake recipe and my old favorite banana pancakes…super quick to throw together and really, really flavorful and moist. Since the main complaint following a lot of Paleo pancake recipes is the dryness, I’d say this is a huge win.

Saturday Moring Banana Pancakes :: The Not So Desperate Housewife

As I mentioned in my original pancake post…there’s an art to making a good pancake when you’re not using grain-based flours. Make sure to use plenty of butter or coconut oil to fry them in since sticking is the number one destroyer of a good breakfast. Also, and I cannot stress this enough…be patient! They need at least 2-3 minutes over medium heat before they’re flip-able. Wait to see bubbles, and then keep an eye out for the edges to cook a bit. But trust me when I tell you it’s worth the wait!

The Not So Desperate Housewife : Saturday Morning Banana Pancakes

Saturday Morning Banana Pancakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-2
 
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 T coconut flour
  • 2 T non-dairy milk
  • ½ t baking soda
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • ½ t apple cider vinegar
  • splash of vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Beat the eggs with the banana, milk, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  2. Add the coconut flour and whisk until the batter thickens.
  3. Add the vinegar, mixing well, and let batter stand for a minute while the griddle heats up.
  4. Fry in butter or coconut oil (my personal fave) over medium heat for about 2-3 minute per side. *Be Patient!!*
  5. Serve!

 

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Mocha Cappuccino Chia Pudding

Yeah, I know. I’m going crazzzzy with all this chia pudding.

Mocha Cappuccino Chia Pudding ::The Not So Desperate Housewife

But seriously, what was wrong with me? This is the perfect breakfast. Just mix it all up, toss in the fridge. Boom. Nice cool breakfast option for hella hot days all nice and ready after I stumble out of bed.

Mocha Cappuccino Chia Pudding :::The Not So Desperate Housewife

So this recipe also has sort of a secret ingredient. I use it in pretty much everything. Probably the greatest grocery discovery I ever made.

Mocha Cappuccino Chia Pudding : The Not So Desperate Housewife

Apple pie spice is sorta like pumpkin pie spice but much, much lighter. Maybe because apple pie is a much more summery dessert? I’m freaking out over Fresh Market’s blend, though…it’s got a few extra ingredients that others generally don’t, like lemon peel and fenugreek. Baller.

Mocha Cappuccino Chia Pudding
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-2
 
Ingredients
  • ⅔ c almond milk
  • ½ c brewed coffee
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 T cacao powder
  • 1 t apple pie spice
  • pinch salt
  • 1 t vanilla
  • ¼ c chia seeds
  • sweetener of choice (I don't use any)
  • cacao nibs, for topping
Instructions
  1. Here's the trick to getting this stuff to gel without clumping--mix the coffee and almond milk together and pop int he microwave for just a minute or so, to warm it up.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, mixing well.
  3. Transfer to whatever bowls or containers you'd like.
  4. Refrigerate over night.
  5. Top with cacao nibs and enjoy!

 

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Overnight Bulletproof Chia Pudding

I have been long averse to jumping on the chia pudding bandwagon. Maybe I had a bad experience? I feel like I probably did, since I couldn’t even hear the word “chia” without thinking of gritty, gelatinous goop.

Bulletproof Chia Pudding :: The Not So Desperate Housewife

Well, you guys, when you’re moving and your AC goes out (along with power in half the building) because the ampage in your new house simply cannot handle running the washer and dryer at the same time, you start looking for breakfast options that are, you know, cold. Never mind how the heck I ended up with a baggie of chia seeds in the fridge, but there they were, and gosh darn it if this mess didn’t come out spectacularly. I even ate it out of a little mason jar, since apparently that’s what cultured grown-ups do. Does it count if it was my complementary margarita glass from Joe’s Crab Shack?

Overnight Bulletproof Chia Pudding
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-2
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c hot coffee
  • ½ c almond milk
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 T grass fed butter or ghee (can also be another T of coconut oil)
  • 1 T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • ½ mashed banana (optional)
  • ¼ c chia seeds
Instructions
  1. In a blender, combine all ingredients except the chia seeds.
  2. Add the chia seeds to a mason jar or bowl.
  3. Pour the bulletproof coffee mixture over the chia seeds.
  4. Refrigerate overnight.

Bulletproof Chia Pudding : The Not So Desperate Housewife

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Cucumber Salad with Yogurt Dill Dressing

Cucumber Salad w Yogurt and Dill

What with being unemployed and all and not exactly having a place to live until August 1, hubs and I are spending a few weeks with my parents. The older we all get, I’m starting to have more and more respect for how my folks have handled life after the last kid left home 8 years ago. Dad has been 100% retired for most of it and has steadily accumulated projects and community stuff to stay busy whenever he isn’t out on the motorcycle. Motorcycle rallies–the kind with checkpoints and landmarks to find within a 24-72 hour time limit over some region of the country–are pretty much his purpose in life. Mom still works as a nurse but has managed to keep the 3, 12-hour shifts a week for over a decade. I can only hope I’ll be so lucky. She’s been a gardener her whole life but when kids came along and life got busy we didn’t have much besides the flower beds and a few vegetable patches, but the garden beds have multiplied in the last few years to include everything from cucumbers and squashes, corn, beans, herbs, winter veggies, and, to my surprise when I came home last week, collards and kale (“everyone at work was talking about how much they love this stuff called ‘kale’ so I went and got a pack of seeds…). With my dad as a handy helper (he does the garden building and vegetable eating part) and a really commendable renewed devotion to personal health on their part, we can always count on fresh produce at home. So, obviously that brings me to today’s recipe. With the exception of the yogurt, everything here has been freshly grown and that’s pretty darn cool if you ask me.

Since summer is, you know, hot and all, I’ve been doing a *lot* of salads and cold veggies with dinner instead of the typical warm side dishes. Saves time, that’s for sure–one of my husband’s favorite things to toss on a plate next to the main event is a sliced heirloom tomato with salt and a drizzle of melted butter (speaking of which, grilled tomato and butter sandwiches are the bomb and I could probably eat them every day forever).

I got a little…fancy…with last night’s salad, as you can see. The dill was calling my name, I couldn’t resist. I’ve got fantasies of doing this again with some smoked salmon later this week. Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s dying just thinking about it….?

Cucumber Salad with Yogurt Dill Dressing
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup (packed) fresh dill, minced
  • 3-4 large cucumbers, sliced and diced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • about 2 cups of cherry or grape tomatoes
  • ¼ c apple cider vinegar
Instructions
  1. Toss all the veggies and the dill in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk together the yogurt and vinegar, then pour over the veggies.
  3. Mix until well combined.
  4. Cover and let everything marinate for at least an hour before serving.

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