tropical.gluten-free.granola

After making pumpkin spice granola and apple spiced granola all fall and winter, it was time to mix things up — this tropical gluten-free granola is sending us straight into warm weather mode.

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THE INGREDIENTS

3 cups truly, certified, absolutely purity protocol grown gluten-free oats from GF Harvest

2 ½ cups nuts & seeds of your choice (I used chopped almonds, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, but wouldn’t macadamia nuts be lovely? You can use ANYthing you’d like!) 

1 heaping cup mix of dried pineapple, mango, and banana, chopped (I buy all three at Trader Joe’s)

½ -¾ cup shredded unsweetened coconut (or use sweetened if you’re feeling extra sweet)

½ cup coconut oil (also can use olive oil or oil of your choosing) 

½ sweetener of choice (honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, date sugar, sugar sugar)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons maca powder (optional)

1-2 tablespoons chia seeds (optional)

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THE MAKING

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, (the really gluten-free ones from GF Harvest) nuts, seeds, optional maca powder & chia seeds.
  3. Heat small sauce pan over med-low heat with oil and sweetener. Stir to melt coconut oil and dissolve sweetener, if you do not use liquid sweetener. Then add vanilla and pinch of salt.
  4. Remove from heat and pour over dry oat mixture, stir to coat.
  5. Pour contents of bowl onto prepared baking sheet and spread out evenly.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, remove and stir, return to oven for 10-15 minutes longer. When the granola aroma starts to fill the kitchen, that’s when you want to take it out — I have been making the mistake of baking it longer and longer, trying to get it crispy and crunchy like the store-bought granola, but instead have ended up with dark, burnt tasting granola. It will start to become golden brown and smell amazing, THAT’S when to take it out.
  7. While still hot, stir in dried fruit and coconut.
  8. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet, then funnel it into a large glass storage container and enjoy for breakfast with greek yogurt and fresh pineapple & bananas.

As with ANY granola recipe, you can make this one your own. Add more or less dried fruit, go crazy for coconut, put a little orange juice into the oil/sweetener mixture. Make it yours then fill me in on how you adapted it!

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THE DO GOOD

As you read earlier this week in my post, we are on a mission to help our farmer friends at GF Harvest. My lovely friend Johnna got things rolling and we took it from there! Although we’ve made light of it with cheers of “SAVE FORREST!” and hashtags like #plantForrestplant, (good one, Al!) it’s no joke that they need our help. We can NOT let big name companies continue to mass produce mainstream oats via mechanical sorting (that are making some people sick) that are running smaller, family owned, actually-doing-the-right-thing-with-their-oats companies like GF Harvest out of business! We have the opportunity to speak up with our truly gluten-free oat dollars by choosing to purchase safe oats from a family who actually cares about the celiac community and has for years — their slogan is, “our celiac family serving yours.” We deserve safe oats. They deserve our business.

GO BUY YOUR OATS! (the awesome starter package deal ends today, April 15th, 2016)

 

GF Harvest did not ask for the help of our community, but we offered it, and in turn, they are offering the starter package deal (with free gift while supplies last!) for you this week. I am not being compensated in any way and have placed my order already! 

 

pizza totchos (tater tots + nachos!)

Some nights, especially when the outside temp is 9 degrees, you just want to cozy up with some comfort food.

If you’ve never had totchos, you are in for a real treat.

It seems that less people are taking the time to actually read blogs these days, so for those who clicked over and want *just* the recipe and you’d like it right now…enJOY!

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PIZZA TOTCHOS

½ bag tater tots (we used Ore Ida mini tots, always be sure they are labeled GF)

¾ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

¼ cup asiago cheese, shaved

½ cup pepperoni slices (Boar’s Head is labeled GF and so tasty, just slice it up!)

¼ cup green olives, chopped

⅛ cup onion, diced

½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced

canned jalapeño pepper slices

1 teaspoon Penzeys pizza seasoning 

½ cup pizza sauce for dipping, in oven safe ramekin

Bake tater tots according to the package directions; this may differ slightly depending on brand and style of tots, any will do!  When they are about 80% cooked, remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle with pizza seasoning, then top with cheeses and all other toppings. Place ramekin dish of pizza sauce on pan and return to oven for remaining cook time or until cheese is melted and tots get crispy and pizza sauce is heated.

Plate up, dip into sauce, enJOY!

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Sarah’s Notes: ANY pizza toppings you would use on a regular pizza would work to top these totchos, we just used up what we had around the house. (those are the best meals in my opinion!) Same goes for the cheeses, we had some extra asiago to use up, but you could also use shaved parmesan, or just extra mozzarella.

Let me know if you try them out and what toppings YOU use!

 

 

cheesy vegetable soup

Today’s Tuesday To Do list is short and sweet because we’re living it up “Pura Vida!” style in Costa Rica: MAKE THIS SOUP!


It’s cheesy. It’s vegetables. It’s all yours.


CHEESY VEGETABLE SOUP

1 large package frozen vegetable medley

1 medium onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1-2 cups stock (chicken or veggie)

1 can condensed milk

cheese(s) of choice, shredded

sriracha or other hot sauce

butter or olive oil

salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Add 1-2 tablespoons butter to Dutch oven or large pot (I call mine “big blue!”) over medium-high heat.
  2. Add diced onion and stir occasionally while onions soften.
  3. When onions just start to brown, add garlic and stir into onions.
  4. Dump bag of frozen veggies in and one cup of stock. (you may want to add more depending on size of bag — I used a jumbo bag and just added more liquid. You can also wait until veggies have cooked to decide if you want/need the second cup of stock.)
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook until veggies are softened, but not mushy.
  6. Remove from heat. Either use an immersion blender (worth the buy!) to partially blend soup, leaving chunks of veggies OR allow soup to cool a bit then blend in batches until you’ve done about half of the soup and return to chunky veggie mix.
  7. Pour condensed milk into pot and stir — remember you don’t have to use the entire can. It all depends on how thick you like your soup. You can’t really mess this one up!
  8. Add CHEESE. I just grab a few different kinds (cheddar, pepperjack, etc.) and add a handful at a time until it’s as cheeeeeeesy as I’d like it. You can also skip the cheese, up to you.
  9. Season to your liking with salt & pepper, add a little sriracha or other hot sauce, a few drops of lemon juice if you’d like (this really brightens it up!) and top with ANYthing you can think of: bacon, green onions, croutons.
  10. EnJOY.

Sarah’s Notes

  • Use regular milk if you do not have condensed milk — although I have not made it with alternative milks, you could substitute your milk of choice as well.
  • The cheese is up to you, I like to use a couple handfuls, but I’ve also made it with a couple slices of cheddar when I was low, and that worked too.
  • If you don’t have stock, you can use boullion as well, just prepare with water.
  • ANY veggie combo works, but I like the one with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and squash.
  • You can purée part of it like I do and leave some veggies whole for texture, or purée all of it for a smooth, creamy soup. (or purée none!)
  • As with all my recipes, use this as a guide — you may like your soup thicker so you choose to use a bit less stock and/or milk. After you make it a few times, you’ll figure out just how you like it!

Tuesday/Wednesday To Do List: GLUTEN-FREE CHRISTMAS COOKIES

This week’s to do list is super simple. And it’s all about the cookies.

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Our annual holiday party and gluten-free cookie exchange is TONIGHT and we wanted to share all of the cookies on our list with YOU… just click the links for the recipes so you can add them to your to do list!

Snowflakes/Crinkles

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Thumbprints (a family favorite, Mr. CITC asks for them every year!)

gluten free thumbprint cookies

Scotcheroos

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies (no flour!)

Mint Chocolate Cookies (be sure to use gluten-free flour, it’s not GF as written)

Butterfinger BonBons

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies (be sure to use gluten-free flour, it’s not GF as written)

Pumpkin Spice RumChata Rum Balls  (sub GF graham crackers for wafers)

Snickerdoodles  (just sub in Cup4Cup or other GF flour)

Butter Pecan Caramel Cookies

Soft Batch Apple Cider Gingersnap Cookies

And Miss Jessie, a new GFF to our group added her own recipe for Mini Spiced Raw Vegan “Cheesecakes,” inspired by THIS recipe.

And…a BONUS cookie from last year’s cookie exchange that folks were still talking about this year: Lemon Head Cookies!

Don’t you wish you were joining us?

I haven’t dug into this beauty yet, but there are plenty of cookies to try out from Elizabeth Barbone’s new book!

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A special thanks to:

Cheryl’s cookies

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Wausome Wafers Cheese Crisps 

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THANK YOU for sending sweet & savory treats for our event!

  • Please, please, please and pretty please CHECK THE LABELS on your favorite baking ingredients and candies EVERY single time… companies change their information often and it is best to double, triple, quadruple check (and remind your families to do the same if they are cooking/baking for you!) to be sure they are still safe.

 

  • I often use family recipes and just swap in Cup4Cup gluten-free flour mix — it is worth the money for me to have my recipes turn out every time! (and I may or may not have stocked up this year with the 25lb bag!!!)

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EnJOY your cookies. Tell me what YOU end up baking — I’ll be sipping cocktails in the sun or zip lining through the rainforest in COSTA RICA starting this weekend until the week of Christmas. (our baking and shopping are DONE!)

PURA VIDA!

xoxo

 

As much as I wish I were getting paid big bucks to add these links to my page, I’m not. They are not affiliate links. I’m just sharing to share.

Friday FRYday!

Let’s talk fries.

Gluten-free fries.

Baked, gluten-free fries.

Baked, gluten-free, real food fries.

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Don’t let the load of toppings fool you, most if it is vegetables! (and that sour cream looking stuff is plain Greek yogurt)

 

INGREDIENTS

2 large potatoes (we used jumbo potatoes from my mama’s garden, but any large potato will do — plan on one potato for each person)

Olive oil (or oil of choice)

Salt & Pepper (and any other seasonings)

Toppings of choice: cheese, tomatoes, onions, chives, bell peppers, ground meat or chicken, Greek yogurt or sour cream, bacon or pancetta pieces, (pre-cooked) jalapeños, banana peppers, salsa, guacamole, hot sauces, bbq sauce, honey mustard, really ANYthing you can think of!

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INSTRUCTIONS

  • Pre-heat oven to convect bake at 425 degrees. If you don’t have a convection setting, you can just bake them at 450 degrees.
  • Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up, or use a stone baking sheet — it may take two baking sheets depending on how big your potatoes are. You want them spread out with room to “breathe.”
  • Fill a large bowl halfway full of cold water, set near your cutting board.
  • Cut potatoes lengthwise into long strips. Try to make them all similar in size to help with even cook time.
  • As you cut the potatoes, drop them into the bowl of cold water. (add more water if needed)

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  • Drain water from potatoes and dry using a thin towel or paper towel.
  • Return dried potatoes to the large bowl and coat with olive oil, salt & pepper, and any other seasoning you might like — we’ve added garlic powder and also Penzey’s Northwoods seasoning. Stir to coat all the fries evenly.
  • Spread potatoes out on baking sheet(s) and bake 30-45 minutes — timing will vary depending on the size and thickness of your potatoes and how crispy you’d like them. Turn fries halfway through.
  • While fries are baking, prep your toppings and make a “loaded baked fries bar” by putting them all in small bowls.
  • When fries are nearly done, you can add shredded cheese and return to oven for melty cheese, or you can also add it right when you remove from the oven and it will melt on its own — this works great for your dairy-free friends.
  • Top fries with your choice of goods and enJOY!

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MONSTER BARS

Each time I head home to Minnesota, my mamasita goes out of her way to have gluten-free treats waiting.

This time was no exception — and she outdid herself by taking a family favorite cookie recipe (Grandma G’s Monster Cookies) and made them into bars.

Easier. Less work. More time to sip coffee together. (or White Russians with coffee cubes)

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Make them with your mama. Surprise your honey with them. Take some to a neighbor as a random act of kindness.

And speaking of kindness… can we cut the food judging already? Whether you live free from gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, nuts, corn, or any other intolerance or preference (vegan, paleo, no food dyes, etc) can we just let that be? Can we pretty please lay off the negative comments on bloggers’ pages and sites judging their (FREE!) recipes and photos? Eat how you eat for you and your family right now at this moment in time and let that be enough. Let others do the same. Fight the urge to start typing a comment before you stop to think, “this isn’t how I choose to eat, but how would I feel if MY mama made me a special treat and random strangers felt the need to criticize it?” If you still feel like typing that comment? Just don’t. Be kind.

And make these bars for breakfast, dessert, or any time that makes you happy. Add less sugar or more chocolate — I won’t judge. 😉

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MONSTER BARS

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar (coconut sugar will work too)
1/2 cup brown sugar (experiment with less sugar if you’d like)
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup M&M’s (mini, regular, peanut, peanut butter, any!)
3 eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 1/2 cups certified gluten free oats

Preheat oven to 325°.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl to combine. Spread into jelly roll pan or large baking sheet with edges.

Bake at 325° for 15-20 mins. (you can use other pans as well, just adjust baking time and don’t let them get too crispy!)

Cool.

Cut.

Eat.

EnJOY!

 

*These goodies are linked up to Gluten Free Wednesdays — check out ALL of the awesome recipes each week!

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