Gluten Free Dairy Free Corn Dog Bites

It’s football Armageddon here in Mississippi today.  The Bulldogs are taking on the Aggies and the Rebels are going head to head with Alabama.  All four are undefeated.  It’s TENSE.  This means marathon game watching all day and requires appropriate game time sustenance.  This is a bit harder now that cheese dip has been taken off the menu (because, dude, nothing says football like chips and rotel).  But I didn’t give up!  I had half a pack of uncured beef hot dogs from Kroger’s Simple Truth line, so I decided to whip out my mini muffin pan and try my hand at corn dog bites.  Since they disappeared in about five minutes, I’m gonna call this a win.  Makes 24 corn dog bites.  #HailState  #HottyToddy
Game day noshies! GF /DF  corn dog bites
Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup melted Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (soured with 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose gluten free flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 hot dogs cut into 6 pieces each

 

Directions:

 

  1. Spray mini muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a glass measuring cup, measure almond milk and add the vinegar and let sit a bit.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, melt Earth Balance in microwave. Add sugar and use a spatula or wooden spoon, to mix into Earth Balance. Add eggs.
  4. Then add baking soda, mix together.
  5. Add almond milk/baking soda to the Earth Balance/sugar/egg mixture and mix just until combined.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir until well mixed.
  7. Fill muffin tin cups with 1 Tbsp of batter per cup.
  8. Press a bite sized piece of hot dog into each muffin cup.
  9. Bake at 375º for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with crumbs only and muffin top doesn’t sink in if pressed with fingertip.
  10. Cool in pan for 2-3 minutes. Remove muffins from pan to cool on a cooling rack until ready to serve. So, you know, 2 minutes to keep from burning your mouth.

 

 

Gluten Free Dairy Free Corn Dog Bites
 
It's football Armageddon here in Mississippi today.  The Bulldogs are taking on the Aggies and the Rebels are going head to head with Alabama.  All four are undefeated.  It's TENSE.  This means marathon game watching all day and requires appropriate game time sustenance.  This is a bit harder now that cheese dip has been taken off the menu (because, dude, nothing says football like chips and rotel).  But I didn't give up!  I had half a pack of uncured beef hot dogs from Kroger's Simple Truth line, so I decided to whip out my mini muffin pan and try my hand at corn dog bites.  Since they disappeared in about five minutes, I'm gonna call this a win.  Makes 24 corn dog bites.  #HailState  #HottyToddy
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Gluten and Dairy Free
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup melted Earth Balance
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup almond milk (soured with ½ tsp apple cider vinegar)
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup all-purpose gluten free flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 hot dogs cut into 6 pieces each
Instructions
  1. Spray mini muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a glass measuring cup, measure almond milk and add the vinegar and let sit a bit.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, melt Earth Balance in microwave. Add sugar and use a spatula or wooden spoon, to mix into Earth Balance. Add eggs.
  4. Then add baking soda, mix together.
  5. Add almond milk/baking soda to the Earth Balance/sugar/egg mixture and mix just until combined.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir until well mixed.
  7. Fill muffin tin cups with 1 Tbsp of batter per cup.
  8. Press a bite sized piece of hot dog into each muffin cup.
  9. Bake at 375º for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with crumbs only and muffin top doesn't sink in if pressed with fingertip.
  10. Cool in pan for 2-3 minutes. Remove muffins from pan to cool on a cooling rack until ready to serve. So, you know, 2 minutes to keep from burning your mouth.

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Sausage Balls

It’s officially football season.  No Southern party or gathering is complete without sausage balls.  The original kind that pop up in every Southern household in the country involves Bisquick and good cheddar cheese, which makes them a no go for those of us with food allergies.  I had already successfully made these gluten free in the past with an easy substitution of gluten free baking mix (Pamela’s is best–step away from the brand name Gluten Free Bisquick–that stuff is nasty), so for yesterday’s opening season party, I determined to try to make them dairy free and see how our guests responded (Beware–if you come to eat in MY kitchen, you’re liable to be a guinea pig!).  I made the simple substitution of Daiya cheddar shreds and the end results were MARVELOUS.  While they were hot, the interiors were actually really creamy with the Daiya (which normal sausage balls aren’t).  The whole batch disappeared between the 4 of us in rapid order.  Everybody declared them a win.  #PartyFoodAchievementUnlocked

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound turkey breakfast sausage, room temp
  • 1 8 oz. package Daiya cheddar shreds
  • 2 cups Pamela’s gluten free baking mix
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (omit if you can actually find spicy turkey breakfast sausage)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large stand mixer with paddle attachment, dump in the sausage and cayenne pepper.  Mix until well blended.
  3. Add in the Daiya shreds and mix until combined.
  4. One cup at a time, add in the Pamela’s baking mix and stir until well combined.
  5. On prepared baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat, roll mixture into balls (about 1 to 1.5 inches diameter).  I got  maybe 30 out of this batch.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.

 

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Sausage Balls
 
It's officially football season.  No Southern party or gathering is complete without sausage balls.  The original kind that pop up in every Southern household in the country involves Bisquick and good cheddar cheese, which makes them a no go for those of us with food allergies.  I had already successfully made these gluten free in the past with an easy substitution of gluten free baking mix (Pamela's is best--step away from the brand name Gluten Free Bisquick--that stuff is nasty), so for yesterday's opening season party, I determined to try to make them dairy free and see how our guests responded (Beware--if you come to eat in MY kitchen, you're liable to be a guinea pig!).  I made the simple substitution of Daiya cheddar shreds and the end results were MARVELOUS.  While they were hot, the interiors were actually really creamy with the Daiya (which normal sausage balls aren't).  The whole batch disappeared between the 4 of us in rapid order.  Everybody declared them a win.  #PartyFoodAchievementUnlocked
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Gluten and Dairy Free
Ingredients
  • 1 pound turkey breakfast sausage, room temp
  • 1 8 oz. package Daiya cheddar shreds
  • 2 cups Pamela's gluten free baking mix
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper (omit if you can actually find spicy turkey breakfast sausage)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large stand mixer with paddle attachment, dump in the sausage and cayenne pepper.  Mix until well blended.
  3. Add in the Daiya shreds and mix until combined.
  4. One cup at a time, add in the Pamela's baking mix and stir until well combined.
  5. On prepared baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat, roll mixture into balls (about 1 to 1.5 inches diameter).  I got  maybe 30 out of this batch.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.

Mix It Up Monday: Spicy Kale Chips

I’ve been hearing about kale the last couple of years as some kind of nutritional power house.  But it’s a green and other than basic spinach, I’m not really a fan of greens.  Given I’m southern, this probably breaks a law somewhere, but whatever.  Sometime earlier this year, I saw kale chips mentioned on one of my Food Network programs and I thought, “Huh.  Weird.”  Because who ever heard of making chips out of something green?   Then I kept hearing about them in one form or another, so I determined that I should try them.  I prowled around the interwebs and came across this recipe for spicy kale chips from White on Rice Couple and gave it a go.

All I can say is…WOW.  With the sea salt, these shockingly actually tasted like potato chips, and I loved the spicy kick from the red pepper flakes.  I inhaled an entire pan’s worth (approximately half a bunch of kale) in one sitting.  They were light, satisfying, and so surprising.  I saved one for hubby to try when he got home.  He wouldn’t touch it, so I popped it into my mouth and learned that these do not fair well too far from the oven.  The bitter really came out after it had been sitting a while.  But straight out after a 14 minute bake they were wonderful.  Cook’s Note: I used my Misto so that they weren’t soggy from the olive oil.

spicy kale chips

Chicken Empanadas and Mexican Chicken Spaghetti

So there’s nothing traditional about these empanadas.   In fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever had actual empanadas.  But when I got my new set of dough presses (which I bought for making dumplings), I knew I had to do something to try them out.  Empanadas seemed just the thing.  These make for a great appetizer.  Which is good, because they’re crack and you won’t be able to stop with just two (we aren’t going to talk about how many I had for breakfast).   And since I was totally making this up as I went, I wound up with WAAAAAY too much filling, so I ended up using the remainder, mixing it with some spaghetti for another dinner.  Delicious.  The empanadas are not gluten free, but it’s on my list to make them so.

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken thighs boneless
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1 roasted red pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/2 cup 2% fiesta blend cheese
  • 8 oz neufchatel cheese
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 package Sazon
  • 1 package refrigerated pie crust (2 circles)
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Directions:

1. Heat the oil over medium high heat.

2. Add the chicken and saute until no longer pink.

3. Add all the spices and veggies except the beans and saute for 5-10 minutes.

4. Add the sauteed mixture to the beans, neufchatel cheese, and fiesta blend cheese and stir until well combined.

5. Pop in the fridge to cool while you work with the dough.

6. Unroll the ready made pie crusts.

7. Using a 3″ dough press (or some other jar top or something that will give you a 3 inch round) cut out rounds of dough.

8. Squish together the remaining bits and roll them out and keep cutting until you’ve used all the dough.

9. Lay a round into the dough press and put in a spoonful of filling.

10. Press the empanada closed.

11. If you don’t have a dough press, just put the spoonfull in the middle and fold over, pinching closed with the tines of a fork.

12. Repeat with remaining rounds. I got 14 out of a package of 2 pie crusts.

13. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

14. Now, you will notice you have a huge bowl of filling left. While your empanadas are cooking (or later if you want to), cook up 6-8 ounces of spaghetti and mix with the filling. Put into a casserole dish. Top with more Fiesta blend cheese.

15. once the empanadas are OUT of the oven, pop the casserole dish in and you’ve got some Mexican chicken spaghetti for another meal.

 

 

Chicken Empanadas and Mexican Chicken Spaghetti
 
So there's nothing traditional about these empanadas.   In fact, I don't know that I've ever had actual empanadas.  But when I got my new set of dough presses (which I bought for making dumplings), I knew I had to do something to try them out.  Empanadas seemed just the thing.  These make for a great appetizer.  Which is good, because they're crack and you won't be able to stop with just two (we aren't going to talk about how many I had for breakfast).   And since I was totally making this up as I went, I wound up with WAAAAAY too much filling, so I ended up using the remainder, mixing it with some spaghetti for another dinner.  Delicious.  The empanadas are not gluten free, but it's on my list to make them so.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
Ingredients
  • 4 chicken thighs boneless
  • 1 onion chopped
  • ½ cup black beans
  • 1 roasted red pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
  • ½ cup 2% fiesta blend cheese
  • 8 oz neufchatel cheese
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • ¼ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 package Sazon
  • 1 package refrigerated pie crust (2 circles)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil over medium high heat.
  2. Add the chicken and saute until no longer pink.
  3. Add all the spices and veggies except the beans and saute for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add the sauteed mixture to the beans, neufchatel cheese, and fiesta blend cheese and stir until well combined.
  5. Pop in the fridge to cool while you work with the dough.
  6. Unroll the ready made pie crusts.
  7. Using a 3" dough press (or some other jar top or something that will give you a 3 inch round) cut out rounds of dough.
  8. Squish together the remaining bits and roll them out and keep cutting until you've used all the dough.
  9. Lay a round into the dough press and put in a spoonful of filling.
  10. Press the empanada closed.
  11. If you don't have a dough press, just put the spoonfull in the middle and fold over, pinching closed with the tines of a fork.
  12. Repeat with remaining rounds. I got 14 out of a package of 2 pie crusts.
  13. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  14. Now, you will notice you have a huge bowl of filling left. While your empanadas are cooking (or later if you want to), cook up 6-8 ounces of spaghetti and mix with the filling. Put into a casserole dish. Top with more Fiesta blend cheese.
  15. once the empanadas are OUT of the oven, pop the casserole dish in and you've got some Mexican chicken spaghetti for another meal.

Pulled Pork Quesedillas with Queso Fresco and Mango Salsa

Continuing with my challenge to reinvent pulled pork for more than just sandwiches, I went for a Mexican flare with quesedillas.  This was actually my first experience using queso fresco, which I’d picked up with the intention of trying to duplicate the corn in Nacho Libre.  The mild flavor was a lovely compliment to the pork and peppers, and the sweet tang of the salsa was the perfect finishing touch.

Ingredients:

  • pulled pork
  • 2 8 inch tortillas per quesedilla (for gluten free folks, La Tortilla Factory makes a very nice gf option)
  • 1 ounce of queso fresco per quesedilla
  • 1/4 cup roasted red peppers per quesedilla
  • mango salsa
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Turn your oven to warm.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Spray with cooking spray.
  4. Lay in one tortilla.
  5. Sprinkle the queso over the top.
  6. Add the pork and peppers.
  7. Top with the other tortilla.
  8. Cook until the bottom is toasted, then carefully flip to toast the other side (I find a REEEEEEALLY wide spatula helps with this).
  9. If you’re cooking more than one quesedilla, shift the first one to a cookie sheet in the oven.
  10. Repeat.
  11. When ready to serve, use a pizza cutter to slice the quesedillas into wedges.
  12. Serve with mango salsa.

 

 

Pulled Pork Quesedillas with Queso Fresco and Mango Salsa
 
Continuing with my challenge to reinvent pulled pork for more than just sandwiches, I went for a Mexican flare with quesedillas.  This was actually my first experience using queso fresco, which I'd picked up with the intention of trying to duplicate the corn in Nacho Libre.  The mild flavor was a lovely compliment to the pork and peppers, and the sweet tang of the salsa was the perfect finishing touch.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Gluten free
Ingredients
  • pulled pork
  • 2 8 inch tortillas per quesedilla (for gluten free folks, La Tortilla Factory makes a very nice gf option)
  • 1 ounce of queso fresco per quesedilla
  • ¼ cup roasted red peppers per quesedilla
  • mango salsa
  • cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Turn your oven to warm.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Spray with cooking spray.
  4. Lay in one tortilla.
  5. Sprinkle the queso over the top.
  6. Add the pork and peppers.
  7. Top with the other tortilla.
  8. Cook until the bottom is toasted, then carefully flip to toast the other side (I find a REEEEEEALLY wide spatula helps with this).
  9. If you're cooking more than one quesedilla, shift the first one to a cookie sheet in the oven.
  10. Repeat.
  11. When ready to serve, use a pizza cutter to slice the quesedillas into wedges.
  12. Serve with mango salsa.

Cheeseburger Meatballs

One of my goals for the new year is to get hubs on a higher protein diet.  He has not had good luck with salads being portable and staying good and fresh and most of the ready made options are either expensive as all get out or not gluten free.  So I had the idea that I could make a variety of meatballs with dipping sauces.  He loves burgers, loves A1, so my first attempt is a cheeseburger meatball with A1 for a dipping sauce.  The beauty of meatballs over an actual burger is that it’s compact, travels well, reheats easily (since it’s a smaller chunk), and you can HIDE STUFF IN IT, like carrots to marginally up the veggie content.  This works with kids too (you see, I shall be well prepared when I have them).  Servings: 5 (4 meatballs apiece) at 304 calories and 19 grams of fat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 2/3 cup grated carrot
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (gluten free if that’s what you need)
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup fiesta blend cheese

Directions:

1. Grate your carrots.

2. Mix the carrots, garlic, salt, pepper, egg, beef, and cheese until well combined.

3. Add breadcrumbs 1/4 cup at a time until mixture reaches a good consistency (not too moist that it falls apart but not too dry either).

4. Form into balls (I got about 20 out of mine).

5. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

6. Bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 15-20 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 170 degrees.

Printable version.

Sausage Balls

No southern party or get together is ever complete without the inclusion of sausage balls.  These meatball size bundles of meaty, cheesy deliciousness are nothing in the realm of healthy and they have the same addictive properties as crack.  I dare you to eat just one.  Hubby loves them as a portable weekday breakfast that he can just nuke when he gets to work.  Isn’t he lucky?  Some people do not care for sausage balls.  It is my theory that a) these people are not southern and b) they had sausage balls made with too much Bisquick.  The Bisquick is NOT the star of the show here, people.  It’s a binding agent.  The spicy sausage and sharp cheddar take center stage for a marriage of flavors that, when done properly, make angels sing.  Makes 30 sausage balls.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound spicy pork breakfast sausage (yes, spicy…you need the heat when mixed with all the other ingredients) (for gluten free, eaters READ YOUR LABELS–it is HARD to find sausage with no MSG)
  • 8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar
  • 2 cups Bisquick (for gluten free eaters, use 2 cups of this baking mix)

Directions:

  1. Allow the sausage and cheese to come to room temperature.  I promise, it’s worth the wait.  They’ll mix a lot better.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prep your baking sheets with parchment paper (easier clean up).
  3. Now you can do this with your hands, but I prefer to use my stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
  4. Dump in the sausage and the cheese and mix on lowest speed until combined.
  5. Add the Bisquick and continue to mix on lowest speed until combined.  It might be a little crumbly.  This is fine.
  6. Scoop out enough of the sausage mixture to make balls about 1 inch across.  Press and roll together with your hands and set on your baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
  7. Continue until all mixture is used.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes or the hot center will burn your mouth.  :speaks from the voice of experience:
  10. These freeze beautifully (although if you manage not to eat them all on the first day, you have way more self control than we do) or keep in the fridge for about a week.

Printable version.

Frito Chili Pie

Leftover chili is not something that happens often in our house.  Most batches, no matter which kind we make, give us four servings.  Dinner one night, reruns the next.  But sometimes hubs will be hungry enough for 2 bowls the first night, leaving that one random serving to do something with.  And that, my friends, means Frito chili pie.  We prefer Scoops rather than the little Fritos because they don’t get soggy beneath the chili.  It makes a marvelous lunch or snack for two.

Ingredients:

  • Frito’s Scoops
  • 1 cup fiesta blend cheese
  • 2 cups of leftover chili
  • sour cream

Directions:

  1. In a pie plate or oven safe bowl, layer Frito’s Scoops.
  2. Layer over with chili.
  3. Add some of the cheese.
  4. Add more chips, more chili, more cheese.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted (about 10 minutes).
  6. Top with sour cream.

Printable version.

Creamy Salsa Dip

Hubs turned to me this weekend, “Honey, I want some dip.”  We’d just had a cookout at his parents the night before, so I didn’t have room for more cheating, which knocked out the typical options of rotel dip or cream cheese sausage dip.  We needed something a little bit healthier that didn’t actually require a lot of any one thing because we were down to just a very little bit of a lot of different things.  When all else fails, mix everything together.  The end result was tasty and healthy, at only 225 calories and 10 grams of fat per 10 serving (makes 2 servings).


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup salsa
  • 4 oz fat free cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 2/3 cup fiesta blend cheese
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp cilantro

Directions:

1. In a small saucepan over medium low heat, combine the salsa and the cream cheese.
2. Stir until cheese is melted.
3. Add the sour cream, chili powder, and cilantro.
4. Stir until well combined.
5. Split between two oven safe bowls or ramekins (you’re going for individual servings).
6. Top each one with 1/3 cup of the fiesta blend cheese.
7. Bake at 350 degrees or until cheese is melted (about 5 minutes).

Printable version.

Oven Fried Eggplant

I’ve been away.  Bad food blogger.  But I’ve been finishing up my latest book, knocking out revisions and getting it ready to go out the door, and sadly, food blogging is what typically slides because I’m back to old favorites rather than creating new recipes.  But one of the things I did try was a new preparation for eggplant.

My husband’s grandmother makes the best fried eggplant.  Like, I could sit there and eat a plateful of nothing else.  But of course it’s not what you call GOOD for you.  I have a recipe for zucchini fries that I really love and I once tried adapting it to eggplant with soggy results.  Then I saw an episode of–I’m ashamed to say I don’t know what–on the Food Network where I found that you’re supposed to salt and press it for a while to get the excess moisture out.  Ah ha!  So I tried it again.  And this time, success!  I served it up with some marinara sauce as a marvelous appetizer.  Serves 2.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Japanese eggplant (you could certainly do this with regular eggplant, I just happen to prefer the Japanese) cut into medallions, a bit less than a quarter inch thick.
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1-1.5 cups breadcrumbs (if you’re doing the gluten free thing, use gluten free breadcrumbs…I made mine from this sandwich bread)
  • pinch paprika
  • pinch garlic powder
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 1/2 tsp parsley

Directions:

  1. Slice your eggplant and lay out on a cookie sheet.
  2. Sprinkle with salt and cover with another cookie sheet.  Press down with a couple of cans.
  3. Let it hang out for half an hour.
  4. Remove the cookie sheet and blot the excess moisture with paper towels.
  5. Flip the eggplant and repeat.
  6. Mix the breadcrumbs and all the spices until well combined.
  7. Once the eggplant is suitably dried out, dip it in the egg, then coat it in the breadcrumbs.
  8. Place on a wire rack over a cookie sheet.
  9. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Printable version.