Homemade Bolognese Sauce

Gluten free gnocchi with homemade bolognese saucePasta has always been one of my favorite things to eat. In college, it was my go-to meal for late nights and even now it is a quick meal to prepare. I love heavier sauces and given the time of year, bolognese is one of my favorites! It’s easy to prepare but not something I want to do after working a long shift so I tend to make a pretty large batch. It freezes well so you can easily double to recipe (or triple!) and end up with a stash on hand in your freezer! I use this recipe a lot, especially with my arancini di riso (Italian rice balls- yum!) To make it easier on myself, I use my favorite gluten free sausage instead of regular ground pork. It’s already seasoned. Just make sure if you are using sausage that it is gluten free because some of the casings/fillings have gluten!

  • 1 large onion
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 6 tbsp tomato paste
  • 8oz tomato sauce
  • ½ tbsp sugar
  • ½ cup water
  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat
  2. Sauté onions and garlic until soft
  3. Add pork and ground beef and heat until brown throughout
  4. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, and sugar
  5. Add ½ cup water
  6. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes

Enjoy!

xoxo

Gluten Free Gnocchi

Gluten free gnocchi with homemade bolognese sauceGnocchi is a pretty great substitute for pasta when you’re looking for something a little heavier. Gnocchi are usually potato based, but flour is added to help bind so you need to make sure that you gnocchi is gluten free if you are going to pick up some at your local grocery store. They are pretty fun to make and you can easily have your kids help you out as well!  When I make a batch I usually freeze some for later. For a sauce we usually try some extra virgin olive oil and minced garlic, but my favorite it enjoying it with Bolognese sauce! Delicious!

  • 3 pounds russet potatoes
  • 2 cups gluten free flour (rice flour works great)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 egg
  1. Roast potatoes until soft (you can boil them but I like the taste of roasted potatoes more, plus boiled potatoes take on too much water)
  2. Allow to cool slightly
  3. Peel potatoes
  4. Mash potatoes with a ricer (I don’t have one, I just mash the heck out of them and sometimes use my handheld mixer to help)
  5. Add flour, salt, and pepper to potatoes and mix thoroughly
  6. Add egg and knead dough being careful to not over do it!
  7. Divide dough into 4 to make it easier to work with
  8. Generously flour a board
  9. Roll dough into long ropes (estimate the thickness of your index finger)
  10. Slice into ½ inch inch pillows
  11. Use the prongs of a fork to make ridges in pillows
  12. Bring a large pot of water to a boil
  13. Working in batches, add a few handfuls gnocchi and cook until most have floated to top, 2 minutes
  14. With a slotted spoon, remove gnocchi as they finish and transfer immediately to your sauce.

***Note if you wait for them to finish at the same time you will end up with mushy gnocchi! Do not overcook them!

Enjoy!

xoxo

PS- if that’s way too much work for you, here is a list of some already made options that are pretty yummy!

DeLallo Gluten Free Potato Gnocchi

Conte’s Gluten Free Gnocchi

Parmesan Spaghetti Squash

I know this recipe is a little late given that it is well into fall and just about wintertime, but I found two spaghetti squash in the corner of my kitchen this morning and decided to whip some up for dinner! Spaghetti squash is a great healthy substitute for pasta- regardless if you are gluten free or not! This recipe is super easy and if you wanna impress you friends, you can easily serve it on a bed of arugula and even add a few cherry tomatoes cut in half! If cheese isn’t quite your thing, you can cook the squash as directed and then add your favorite pasta sauce instead! It works great with a meat sauce or even a marinara!

  • 1 large spaghetti squash (approx 5 pounds)
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 gloves of garlic, chopped (or you can cheat and use 2 tsp minced garlic. I always have a jar on hand!)
  • 4 tbsp butter (or extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk  (if you want to make it creamy, but I usually skip this one)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise
  3. Scrape seeds out with a spoon
  4. Place cut side down on a baking dish with 1/2inch-1 inch water
  5. Cover with foil
  6. Bake for 30 minutes
  7. Remove from oven and turn squash cut side up. Cover again and bake for 15 more minutes. You may need to bake longer if your squash is thick. You should be able to pierce squash with a fork
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly so you can handle touching the squash
  9. Use a fork to scrape the sides to make “noodles.” At this point they should feel pretty al dente
  10. Heat butter in a pan on the stove top
  11. Add garlic and simmer for 1-2 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
  12. Add spaghetti squash to pan and cook thoroughly
  13. Add grated parmesan cheese and cook for 5 minutes
  14. If you want to make your pasta a bit creamy, you can add the milk and cheese together.

Enjoy!

xoxo

Baked Parmesan Potato Chips

Baked parmesan potato chipsA healthier version of potato chips? And delicious? Thats pretty hard to beat! This is one of my go-to snack recipes. Its pretty easy to turn a potato into a yummy treat. Completely gluten free, savory, and filling. That’s a pretty sweet combination.

  • 1 large potato
  • 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 cup grated parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Cut potato into 1/8″ slices. A mandolin is the easiest way to do this. I use mine pretty frequently so if it is not part of your kitchen, you should consider investing in one!
  3. Place potato slices, oil, salt, pepper, and cheese in a sealed container and shake shake shake!
  4. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  5. Place potato slices on sheet being careful to not overlap slices
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until slightly browned
  7. Turn chips over and cook for 5 additional minutes
  8. Allow chips to cool before storing in an airtight container
  9. Chips will keep for 2-3 days but they are so yummy I’ve never had any left over!
  10. If you decide to you do not want parmesan chips skip the parmesan cheese and bake as above, or take some chipotle seasoning and sprinkle over chips on the cookie sheets.

Enjoy!

xoxo

Gluten free lotions

I had a few mixed emotions when deciding what to do when it came to beauty products. For myself, I’m okay with not being 100% gluten free with certain things, including lotions. I know you have to EAT gluten for it to cause a problem and I certainly do not eat lotion. Or do I? I’m pretty sure that it doesn’t seem very tasty, but there are other ways one can consume lotion. Generally not an issue for adults, but as a pediatrician, it’s something I try to caution my families about.  Kids are always putting things in their mouths. They bite their nails. They suck their thumbs. So… they kinda eat their lotion too.  So while I’m not super strict with myself, I do caution those with kids.  I do have a few products that I love that are not necessarily gluten free. I love Eucerin products, but they cannot guarantee my safety. My solution is that my unending love of aquaphor can continue- on my legs, arms, feet, and torso, but NOT on my hands.  My hands are gluten free zones most of the time.

Here’s my list of go to products for lotions/creams that are gluten free:

I know this is a pretty short list, but I didn’t want to overwhelm you. Yes there are plenty of gluten free options out there, these are just some of my favorite. They work great and they are pretty easy to find. You don’t need a Whole Foods near you! Target carries most of these brands too!

xoxo

Jalapeno Tacos

20131113-094912.jpgTacos are one of my favorite things to eat. Not only are they delicious, but they are pretty easy to make (or have delivered)! The shell is the only part that can sometimes give celiacs a little scare. Flour tortillas are obviously not an option, but the corn tortillas are usually pretty safe! Just make sure they are not warmed up on the same spot they just heated flour tortillas without wiping it down! My favorite local joint heats up flour on one side of the grill and corn on the other so I never have to worry about it! However, this yummy recipe takes the worry out of the equation by completely eliminating tortillas and replacing them with jalapeno peppers! Now if spice isn’t your thing, you can easily substitute green pepper. For me, jalapenos are the perfect size to increase my veggie to meat ratio. More veggies without sacrificing taste? Score!

  •  12-15 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 pound ground turkey (If turkey isn’t for you- try 1/2 pound ground turkey, 1/2 pound lean ground beef)
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2½ tbsp taco seasoning
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup cotija cheese
  • ½ cup chopped lettuce
  • fresh cilantro
  • crushed tortilla chips
  • fresh limes
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚
  2. Heat oil in large skillet
  3. Add turkey and taco seasoning and cook approximately 15-20 minutes
  4. Slice jalapenos lengthwise and remove seeds
  5. Add heaping tablespoon of meat to each jalapeno half. You may need to add more or less meat depending on the size of your peppers.
  6. Place peppers in baking dish to keep from tipping over while baking
  7. Bake for 20 minutes
  8. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped cherry tomatoes, cotija cheese, lettuce and fresh cilantro.
  9. You may also garnish with crushed tortilla chips for an extra crunch and fresh lime juice if you desire!

Enjoy!

xoxo

PS- if you make this for your family to enjoy and your kids aren’t fans of peppers, you can mix up all the other ingredients and have them use tortilla chips to eat their meat/veggies!

Taco Seasoning

Taco seasoningTaco seasoning is one of those staples in my pantry. I used to grab the premixed packages at the grocery store, but they are not always gluten free! To be safe, I make my own with gluten free spices. I always keep some on hand to add to other recipes as well!  I usually double the recipe and put it in a shaker that is accessible while I’m cooking. I have found that the best way to NOT feel like I’m on a diet is to use spices to crank up the flavor.

  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Instructions: Mix it up. Yeah. You’re done.

Enjoy!

xoxo

Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies

ImageGingerbread cookies and holidays are pretty synonymous. You can use this recipe to make gingerbread men but I prefer to “cheat” on this one. Making small 1 inch balls and flattening them with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar is way easier, and the extra sugar on top gives a nice sweet layer! Just be prepared to want to dig into them right away- they smell amazing while they are cooking!  In fact, I’m pretty sure that it is impossible not fall into the holiday spirit while these are baking! They are one of my favorite recipes to make and I’m not even a huge gingerbread fan! But they smell so good!

  • 3 cups gluten free flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 2½ tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degreesIn a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended
  2. In a large bowl beat butter, brown sugar, and egg until well blended
  3. Add molasses and vanilla and mix until well blended
  4. Gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth. Dough will be pretty heavy and thick. Don’t worry! You did it right!
  5. Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic and chill for about 1 hour. This allow the dough to harden slightly to allow you to roll the dough to be cut with your favorite cookie cutterImage
  6. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  7. Add a small amount of sugar to a flat bottomed dish
  8. Dampen the bottom of a glass and then dip in sugar before using glass to flatten cookies to ¼ inch thickness
  9. Make sure cookies are spaced at least 2 inches apart to avoid touching when baking
  10. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are golden
  11. Allow cookies to cool slightly before removing from sheet and allow to completely cool on rack.

Enjoy!

xoxo

Gluten Free Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

ImageThanksgiving is quickly approaching, though I’m not sure how it got here so soon this year! One of my mom’s favorite treats this time of year are my oatmeal cranberry cookies. I missed enjoying them when I first started living gluten free, but I managed to make a few changes to the recipe and found great oats to use and again, my favorite flour to use for holiday baking. Now, if you didn’t already realize that oats can be a problem on a gluten free diet then listen up. Generally speaking- oats are gluten free. The problem comes in their production at the factory- lots of cross contamination! In fact, a story in the Chicago SunTimes a few years ago showed that the gluten levels can be over 900ppm! Gluten free food is generally considered to be under 20ppm so thats pretty insane! There are a few gluten free options on there for oats so feel free to use other brands as well- but just make sure that they are not instant oats since those will not work well in this recipe and you will end up with a crunchy blob instead of a soft yummy oatmeal cookie!

  • 1 ½ cups gluten free flour (Namaste perfect blend)
  • 3 cups gluten free old fashioned rolled oats (my favorite gluten free brand is Bob’s Red Mill
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, and baking soda
  3. In a separate large bowl, blend together butter and sugars until light and fluffy then beat in eggs and vanilla
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients until well combined
  5. Stir in cranberries
  6. Drop dough in approximately 1 inch balls 4 inches apart on baking sheets. You can make it really easy by using a cookie dough scoop
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden
  8. Allow cookies to cool slightly in order to set, then transfer to a wire rack to allow them to cool completely

Enjoy!

xoxo

Pumpkin Gingersnap Cookies

20131104-095936.jpgGoodbye Halloween! Hello Thanksgiving! Time to make the transition to the next holiday! Now, I am definitely one of those people that absolutely loves this time of year. However, if I am to be perfectly honest, I may love it a little too much and struggled to NOT pull out the Christmas decorations while looking for my Thanksgiving centerpieces. I nearly justified putting up a Christmas tree as long as I didn’t put the ornaments on. Yeah. I’m one of those. You would think I was six instead of thirty-something! So this recipe is a perfect reflection of my holiday dilema! Christmas gingersnap cookies combined with yummy fall pumpkin? Ah-maze-ing!

  • ½ cup of pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup of maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup of butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar, plus more to roll your cookies in
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups gluten free flour (again I used Namaste Perfect Blend)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and 1 cup sugar together until smooth.
  3. Add the pumpkin, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla extract to the large bowl and mix until well combined.
  4. Add dry ingredients to large bowl slowly and mix until combined.
  5. Chill dough for 1 hour. If you skip this step your cookies may not be soft and fluffy!
  6. Peheat oven to 350° F.
  7. Place small amount of sugar in a small bowl.
  8. Roll tablespoon-sized balls of dough in sugar until well coated and place on prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
  9. Bake for 10–12 minutes, or until cookies look cracked and set at the edges.
  10. Allow the cookies to cool for a 2-3 minutes after removing them from the oven, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. They will be soft when you remove them from the oven, but if you allow them to cool before transferring them to the wire rack will alow them to set and firm up just a bit!

Enjoy!

xoxo