Sunday, July 29, 2012

GF Blueberry Toaster Pastry

These Toaster Pastries are designed after Pop Tarts, but these ones are Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Healthier, and Homemade!
What could be better then homemade delicious breakfast pastries that you can feel good about eating giving to your kids! ;)
Of course you can make any flavor toaster pastry you would like, and you can frost them and add sprinkles on top as well, but I made unfrosted (because I didn't want to add sugar) Blueberry Toaster Pastries because it is still July, and July is Blueberry Month! :)

I got the basic recipe from the blog Learning How to Cook...Gluten Free but if you know me, you know that I can not stick to a recipe, and I just have to change it... In this case I only changed it a little bit, but I am going to post my recipe anyway.

Gluten Free, Sugar Free Blueberry Toaster Pastries
Makes about 6

For Pastry Dough
  • 1 1/2 Cups (Bob's Red Mill) All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Flour
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Cup (I Can't Believe It's Not Butter) Olive Oil Spread/Margarine 
  • 3 Tbsp Cold Water
For Filling
  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Wild Blueberries (Unsweetened)
  • 3 Tbsp (Polander) Blueberry All Fruit Spreadable Fruit with Fiber 
  • 1 Tbsp Cornstarch mixed with 1 Tbsp Cold Water
  1. Mix Flour and Salt Together in a bowl.
  2. Cut Butter Spread into the flour until it's all mixed and crumbly.
  3. Add cold water and form into a dough.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
In the mean time start making the filling!
  1. In a saucepan combine the frozen blueberries and the blueberry fruit spread.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat and mash the blueberries with a fork.
  3. After the sauce thickens, add the cornstarch/water mixture and stir well. Let the sauce thicken even more before pouring it into a bowl and setting it aside to cool.

I wish I made more of the filling because it is sooo tasty, and it would be great on top of waffles or pancakes!
Next you should prepare the serface you will roll the dough on. I used parchment paper so it would be easy clean up!
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 Degrees F
  2. (GF) Flour the surface and the rolling pin you will be working on.
  3. Place Dough on top of the floured surface and flour the top so it doesn't stick.
 4. Roll it out into a large even rectangle.
 I was not able to make it a large even rectangle in my tiny workspace...
 5. Take a pizza cutter or a knife and cut it into even rectangles about the size of pop tarts.
6. Place half of the rectangles onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and spoon about 1 Tbsp of the filling into the center, being careful not to get too close to the edges of the dough.
7. Cover the filling with the other half of the dough rectangles and crimp the edges closed with a fork.
8. Bake for about 10 minutes or until slightly browned on the edges and the dough is firm and cooked through.
9. Let cool slightly before enjoying. If there are any leftover you can reheat them in a toaster oven (or even try a toaster) for about 10-20 seconds. They reheat quickly, so be careful not to burn yourself.
 Here are the Nutrition Facts for one of my GF/SF Blueberry Toaster Pastry,and below are the Nutrition Facts for 1 unfrosted Blueberry Pop Tart...
The top nutrition facts are for 1 homemade GF/SF Blueberry Toaster Pastry. The Bottom Facts are 1 unfrosted Blueberry Pop Tart.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Gluten Free Cheese Crust Pizza

This delicious pizza was made using gluten free cheese bread (the same bread mix from the Piggy Cheesy Breads).
I love this bread mix, and I don't know where it has been all my life. Wow, these pizzas came out amazingly delicious and they were sooo easy to make.
I made 4 pizzas. 3 individual size pizzas and one slightly larger one to share.
The crust is super easy to make, Just make the cheese bread dough like the box says, then instead of making little round bread balls, split the dough and flatten them out into the desired size/shape pizza you want. The dough won't shrink back after you stretch it out on your pan like regular pizza dough. Pinch/Shape the edges to make a nice crust to hold onto. Bake the crusts for 22-25 minutes and remove from the oven. Top with whatever sauce and toppings you want and put back in the oven or broil until cheese melts.
 Here is the larger sized Cheese Pizza (About the size of 1 1/2-2 individual size pizzas put together). To make a quick Sweet Pizza Sauce I mixed together tomato paste, garlic powder, Italian Herbs, and Cracked Pepper. I topped it with a sprinkle of Grated Parmesan Cheese and Fat Free Shredded Mozzarella Cheese.
 The one is my Fiance's Pizza. No Sauce, instead I sprayed on a little oil and sprinkles it with herbs, garlic powder, and cracked pepper. Then I added some Mushrooms, Grated Parmesan Cheese and Fat Free Mozzarella Cheese.
 This one is mine, I have half with the sauce and cheese, and half without sauce. I wanted to try both. I also added less cheese to mine because I am not a huge dairy lover.
This one is my mother-in-law's pizza. It had the sauce as well as extra cheese.

If you have any leftovers (and I doubt that you will) re-heat them in a toaster oven to get the crust back to it's original chewyness. The cheese bread is not very chewy/cheesy when it get's cold, so heating it in the toaster oven will bring back the desired taste and texture without making it soggy like a microwave might. You could also toss it back under the broiler for a few minutes if you don't have a toaster oven.

Green Tea Ice Cream (Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free)

My fiance and I got an Ice Cream Maker for our Bridal Shower, and the first thing I made was (Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free) Green Tea Ice Cream! YUM!!!
I'm going to share this recipe with you because I think it is amazing, and who wants to look all over the place for green tea ice cream when they can make it in their own home? And make it healthier?
 YUM! This recipe makes about 6 (1/2 Cup) servings at 100 Calories Each

The day before you make your ice cream, put your freezer bowl from your ice cream maker into the freezer. Then make the ice cream base and let cool in the refrigerator overnight.

  • 1/3 Cup Agave Nectar (taste the ice cream base to see if you want it sweeter)
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 1/2 Cups Unsweetened Almond Milk (can use other milk substitute if desired)
  • 1/2 Cup Canned Unsweetened Coconut Milk (Refrigerated overnight to thicken)
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tbsp Matcha (Green Tea Powder)
  1. Put all ingredients into your blender and blend until fully combined.
  2. Taste to see if it is sweet enough, add more agave or honey if desired.
  3. Pour blended mixture into a covered container and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Follow your ice cream maker's instructions to make ice cream (Mine took about 20 minutes to make a soft serve ice cream that looked like this...
5. If you want soft serve ice cream you can eat it now, but if you want hard ice cream scoop into a covered container and freeze until it is a scoop-able consistency.

I ate a little bit of it right away, and I froze the rest to eat the next day. YUMMY! I can't wait to make more healthier and delicious Ice Creams using my Ice Cream Maker.

Nutrition Facts:
Serving Size: about 1/2 Cup
Calories: 100
Total Fat: 1.3g
Saturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol: 0g
Sodium: 102mg
Carbohydrates: 19.4g
Dietary Fiber: 6g
Sugar: 17.5g (All Natural)
Protein: 5.1g
Vitamin A: 4%
Vitamin C: 5%
Calcium: 8%
Iron: 6%

Pan Fried Onigiri Bento

I had leftover rice and vegetables from my Vegetarian Bibimbap Bento, so I decided to make a bento today using the leftovers and making Onigiri.
This is pan fried onigiri, not Toasted Onigiri (Yaki Onigiri) because I took some of the leftover rice and shaped it into onigiri, then I pan fried each side with a little bit of non stick spry. (Yaki Onigiri is toasted in a hot pan and brushed with soy sauce, so I called this pan fried onigiri instead). The outside of the onigiri became toasted and crispy, while the inside became warm and fluffy. YUM! I actually made another pan friend onigiri after eating this because it was soooo good!

YUMMY!!!! I wish I could eat pan fried onigiri every day! I should really try making a pan fried onigiri with a filling inside as well.
 Here is the bottom tier of my bento:
  • Spinach
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Shredded Carrot
  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Zucchini
These vegetables were already sauteed, and I just had to reheat them and place them nicely into the bento box. I used chopsticks to make it look neater.
 Here is the top tier of my bento:
  • Pan Fried Onigiri
  • Small Tomato
  • Lettuce Leaf
 And I added a tiny bottle of Gluten Free Low Sodium Soy Sauce!
Here it is all packed up and ready for me to eat! And eat I did! YUM!

Vegetarian Bibimbap Bento

I went to Hmart with my fiance the other day and I had Bibimbap for lunch. It's usually served with beef and a fried egg on top, but I asked for it without, and let me tell you, this delicious dish does not need the beef at all, the rice and the vegetables are delicious, filling and satisfying on their own.
Bibimbap is a signature Korean dish. The word literally means "mixed meal" or "mixed rice". Bibimbap is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with sautéed and seasoned vegetables and chili pepper paste. A raw or fried egg and sliced meat (usually beef) are common additions. The ingredients are stirred together thoroughly just before eating. It can be served either cold or hot.
Anyway, I was still in the mood for Bibim Bap, so I made it for dinner last night. I made mine Vegan and Gluten Free, and I made my fiance a vegetarian version with the egg and a meat substitute.
This was my Vegan, Gluten Free, Bibimbap
This is my fiance's Vegetarian Bibimbap with fried egg and meat substitute.

My Bento had:
  • Steamed White Rice (I made in my rice cooker)
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Zucchini
  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Spinach
I sauteed the vegetables in a mixture of gluten free soy sauce, sesame oil, minced garlic, ground ginger, cracked pepper, sesame seeds, and rice wine. I did not have the chili pepper paste, nor did I really want it. I like the dish without it. 
My fiance had the same thing along with:
  • Morningstar Farms Meatless Crumbles
  • Fried Egg Sunny Side Up
The egg is slightly undercooked because you are supposed to mix it into the hot vegetables and rice and let the heat finish cooking it. I usually love the egg, but this time I felt like having just vegetables and rice. YUM!

The sauce wasn't exactly the same as Bibimbap, it was my own invention, but there are recipes for Bibimbap online if you want it to be authentic. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bento Friends Roll Ups Bento

Last night I was feeling down after coming home from a not so great doctor appointment. I wasn't in the mood to do anything but sit on the sofa and feel sorry for myself, but I had to eat something so on my search for some easy to make food I started pulling out things to eat, and got the idea to make a bento.
I was going to pass up on making the bento, but I'm glad I didn't.
Here's what I put together.
It may not be my prettiest bento, and it may not be the cleanest looking, but it made me feel better making it, and it tasted sooo yummy as well.
  • 1/4 Cup 6 Bean Salad (Leftover from our Bridal Shower)
  • 1 Tsp Whole Grain Mustard (To dip the roll ups in)
  • 1 Sm-Med Black Plum
  • 2 Cherries
  • 1 Cherry Tomato
  • Roll Ups (Chicken Hot Dog, Udi's Fiber/Flax Bread warmed and flattened, Lettuce)
To make the roll ups I cooked the hot dog and set it aside. I warmed the bread in the toaster oven then I cut off the crust and rolled it flat with a rolling pin. I rolled the hot dog in the bread and then wrapped that in the lettuce leaves. I sliced it into fourths and put my favorite Bento food picks into each roll up.

I'm glad I decided to make the bento meal even though I wasn't feeling up to it, because it got my mind off of things and put me in a better mood. Plus eating the yummy bento afterwards put a smile on my face.
Does Bento make you Happy?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Spicy Dip Bento

I was chopping some vegetables for a bridal shower tomorrow, and it made me hungry for some of the fresh and delicious veggies. So I sliced a few and put them aside for a bento dinner.
 Look at those delicious veggies! And I made a spicy dip to go along with it. YUM!
  • Celery Sticks
  • Baby Carrots
  • Yellow Pepper Strips
  • Cherry Tomato
  • Spicy Dip in a Yellow Pepper Bowl (Recipe below)
  • Mini Watermelons (Recipe Here)
  • Crunchmaster Multigrain Crackers
To make the dip you need:
  • 2 Tbsp Medium-Hot Chunky Salsa (You can have it more mild if you prefer)
  • 2 Tsp Cream Cheese (I used Tofutti Vegan 'cream cheese')
  • 1 Tsp Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 Tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 Tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 Tsp Cracked Pepper
*Adjust the spice levels to what you like.
  1. Put cream cheese and salsa into a bowl and mix well breaking up and chunks of cream cheese.
  2. Add spices and mix, tasting as you go to see how much spice you want.
  3. Pour into a pepper bowl or a regular bowl and serve with veggies, crackers, chips, or pretzels. Alternately you could use it as a spread for a sandwich or to top a hamburger. This could also be used as a dressing for Taco Salad if you replaced the cream cheese with sour cream or ranch dressing.

Red Berry Parfait/Mousse

This easy recipe was designed to use the leftovers from the Mini Watermelons I made, But it tastes soo good I am going to write a whole new recipe for this Red Berry Mousse/Parfait.
Can be made Sugar Free/Dairy Free/Gluten Free/Soy Free/Nut Free!

The ingredients are the same for both the Mousse and the Parfait, the only difference is the mousse is made by blending the ingredients together while the parfait is made by layering them.

  • 1 package Red Gelatin (Red Raspberry or Strawberry would be good, but it could also be made with whatever flavor gelatin you like) [I used Sugar Free Raspberry Royal Gelatin]
  • 1 Cup Boiling Water
  • 1 Cup Chopped Strawberries [I used sliced frozen strawberries that I chopped and let thaw]
  • 3/4 Cup Cold Water
  • Choice of frozen Whipped Topping slightly thawed [I used 100% Natural Truwhip]

  1. Put contents of gelatin package into a bowl or covered container. Pour boiling water over gelatin and mix until gelatin is completely dissolved.
  2. Pour mixture into your blender along with the strawberries and cold water, and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour mixture back into bowl (you want it to be frothy!) and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour. 
  4. Stir/whip the mixture and place back in the refrigerator for another hour.
  5. Repeat step 4, then after that hour is up the mixture should be ready. You can also put it in the refrigerator overnight and just stir/whip it again when you are ready to make the parfait or mousse.
  6. To make the Parfait take a nice cup or dessert bowl and alternate layers of the gelatine with layers of the whipped topping. The topping should have a ice cream like consistency.
  7. To make the Mousse put a few scoops of the whipped topping into the bowl of gelatine and stir/whip to mix. Add more whipped topping if desired.
The Mousse should have a light and airy quality, while the whipped topping for the Parfait should have an ice cream like consistency

YUM! Which one will you choose?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Mini Watermelons

This recipe is a great idea to make for a summer cookout or a picnic, and you are sure to get a ton of compliments on it.
Who wouldn't want to feel like a Giant eating a mini watermelon?

What you'll need:
  • 1 box Red Gelatine (I used sugar free Raspberry Jello)
  • 4-5 Limes (I got small ones but it would work with medium or large limes as well)
  • 1 Cup Strawberries (Chopped)
  • 1-2 tsp Black Seeds (I used Organic Poppy Seeds, but you could also use Chia, Black Sesame, or Flax seeds)
  • 1 Cup Boiling Water
  • 3/4 Cup Cold Water
  • Blender
  • Sharp Pairing Knife
  • Serrated Spoon/Grapefruit Spoon
  • Bowl
  1. Slice your limes in half lengthwise, and scrape out the insides with your serrated spoon. This is the part that take the longest time. Discard the lime insides (Save the juice for some other recipe).
  2. Place lime skin halves into a container large enough to hold them all so they can be filled with the gelatine mixture later.
  3. Pour package of  red gelatine into a bowl and add boiling water. Stir to dissolve completely.
  4. Puree strawberries with the cold water in your blender. Pour into the gelatine and mix well.
  5. Refrigerate jello mixture for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until it starts to thicken.
  6. Spoon gelatine into the lime shells and place back into the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Overnight is better. You will most likely have leftover gelatine, spoon it into a bowl and let it firm in the refrigerator for a yummy snack later on. (Check out the Red Berry Parfait/Mousse I made with the leftovers)
  7. When gelatine is firm, carefully slice the limes into wedges.
  8. Sprinkles seeds over wedges to add the appearance of watermelon seeds.
  9. Serve chilled.
Tip: These can be made with alcohol for adults!

 Here are a few of the limes waiting for me to slice them into wedges.
 Here are the wedges I already sliced.
 All ready for the seeds. They already look really cool! You can use whatever flavors and colors you want. You could make lemon gelatine in lemon peel wedges, or lime gelatine in lime peel. Or orange in orange peels. You could also make funky colored slices with different colors of gelatine.
I sprinkled the poppy seeds over the top, but you could also place the seeds on individually for a more polished look.
Don't they look like tiny watermelon wedges? This is a great idea for kids and adults alike. I think most anyone would be excited about these!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Healthy Breakfast Bento

Have you ever wondered what makes up a healthy breakfast? Or why certain foods are good for Breakfast?
Well this Healthy Breakfast Bento is made up of all the parts of a complete and delicious breakfast that is a great start to your day.

  • Almond Milk 
Having Milk or a (fortified) Milk Substitute is great for breakfast because it has Calcium, Protein, and B Vitamins. Calcium is essential to keep your bones strong and healthy whatever your age and a serving of milk on a bowl of cereal can give you up to one third of your daily calcium requirement.
Other great choices are low fat yogurt, low fat cheese, low fat cottage cheese, and low fat cream cheese.
  •  Blueberries & Cherries
Fruits and Vegetables are important to eat throughout the day, but starting your day off with some fruits like Blueberries and Cherries will give you a huge boost of Vitamins and Antioxidants. This can help you start the day off feeling great. Whole fruits are also low in calories and have filling fiber that helps you feel full and satisfied.
  • Brown Rice Krispies (Gluten Free)
Having a Vitamin fortified cereal is a great idea because it's an easy and quick breakfast that tastes great and has lots of the daily vitamins you need. Why not start your day off right by eating a cereal made with whole grains and is low in sugar. Breakfast should include starchy food as this provides us with energy, B vitamins, iron and fiber. Breakfast cereals, porridge, bread, rolls, English muffins, scones, malt loaf, fruit bread, currant buns and bagels are all good sources of energy that will help you kick-start your metabolism and they’re all low in fat too.
  •   Chia Seeds  
Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds are a great way to add a boost of Fiber to your day, and they are also a good source of healthy Omega 3's. Fiber is great for making you feel full and keeping you satisfied, and it also helps jump start your bowls, moving along all the stuff that's leftover from the day before.

  •  Organic Mighty Mix (Organic Fruit & Nut trail mix from NatureBox)

Nuts are a great source of Protein, and they have Heart Healthy Fats as well, Some nuts are a good source of Iron as well, but if you have a fortified cereal you will be getting iron there as well. Keeping your portion small will help keep calories down. The dried fruits (without added sugars) are filled with healthy Fiber and Vitamins.

Other Healthy Breakfasts with all the vitamins, fiber, protein, and calcium are:
  • Oatmeal with Fruits, Nut Butter, and Milk
  • Greek Yogurt with Fruit, and (low sugar, high fiber) Granola
  • Omelet with Egg Beaters, (low fat) Cheese, and mixed Vegetables
  • Whole Grain Bread (high fiber) with Nut Butter, All fruit Spread and a glass of Milk
  • Whole Grain Bagel (high fiber) with low fat Vegetable Cream Cheese and an Apple
  • Whole Grain Waffles (high fiber) with Fruit and (low fat low sugar) Whipped Cream
  • Breakfast Sandwich with Whole Grain Toast (high fiber), Egg Beaters, (low fat) Turkey Bacon, (low fat) Cheese, and Spinach