GFCF Chocolate Chip Veggie Muffins

Wow! I feel so ashamed at how long I’ve been neglecting my still baby of a blog! Things have just been so crazy around here lately I just haven’t had a lot of time to myself to sit a write something. We finally got a referral to take Noah for his evaluation in Cincinnati, OH. We are hoping to get a diagnosis so when he starts preschool come fall he will have all the therapy and assistance he needs to be successful. So we will be doing a bit of travel to and from those appointments but nothing we can’t handle! I never stopped baking and testing new recipes, in fact I have several new ones to blog on my camera (which is inconveniently missing at the moment). Things should be calming down a bit over the summer (I hope!) so I my plan is to devote more time to getting on here and blogging about more recipes.

Even tho I don’t have the faintest idea where my camera is I do have one quick muffin recipe to share, just excuse my crappy phone picture! 😀

Chocolate Chip Veggie Muffins (GFCF)

1 cup GF flour mix ( I used Bob’s Red Mill All-purpose GF mix)

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 eggs

1/2 canola oil

1 cup light brown sugar (packed)

1 cup grated carrot (loosely packed)

1/2 cup grated zucchini (loosely packed)

1/2 cup vegan or dairy free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F and line a muffin pan with paper liners. In a bowl whisk together the flour mix, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a different bowl , whisk together the eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla until the mixture is smooth. Using a spatula or large spoon mix in the carrot, zucchini, and chocolate chips. Stir in the flour mixture to the wet mixture until just combined. Pour or spoon the batter into the muffin cups until they are about 2/3 full. Bake for about 25 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway through. The muffins should be springy to the touch and a tooth pick inserted in the center should come out clean.

Enjoy! The boys absolutely loved these, We only had 5 left by the end of the day when we made them. 🙂


Simple Crock Pot Jambalaya (GF/CF)

I do not have a single Cajun bone in my body, but this spicy, filling meal has always been a favorite in our family. Maybe my jambalaya isn’t ‘authentic’ but it sure does taste delicious, and my carnivore-istic children sure enjoy it too!

This recipe can be modified to your liking to add more vegetables, different meat, or real garlic and onion in place of the powders very easily. Noah is just very texture sensitive so I try not to add to many textures to one dish or he won’t even try it.

Crock Pot Jambalaya

1lb bone-less, skin-less chicken breasts, diced to 1 inch cubes

1lb smoked turkey sausage ( check ingredients for milk or wheat additives if making this GFCF), sliced to preference (we do about 1/2 inch thick)

1 can diced tomatoes, with liquid

1 cup chicken broth

1 Tbs onion powder

1 Tbs oregano

3 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped (or 2 tsp dried)

2 tsp garlic powder (or 3 tsp minced garlic)

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp Cajun seasoning

12 oz uncooked rice

Mix ALL of the ingredients together in your crock pot (I usually do meat, seasonings, then tomatoes and broths so all the seasonings mix pretty well without much stirring).

Cook for 7-8 hours on the low setting, or 3-4 hours on high.

 Cook your rice towards the end of the jambalaya’s cooking time (we use a rice cooker, it is one of my favorite kitchen appliances!). If you want it mixed in just add it to the crock pot and allow it to set for 15 minutes before serving. My guys prefer it separate (weirdos), so I serve the rice in a serving bowl and they have as much or little as they want with their jambalaya.


Chicken Tenders With Pecan ‘Breading’

Chicken tenders are a classic toddler food staple. Noah would eat anything that even just resembles a chicken tender or nugget. We have always made our own chicken tenders and chicken nuggets because the store-bought kind gross me out a little (especially after watching a few episodes of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and his bit about commercial chicken nuggets). Unfortunately, Noah hates store-bought GF bread crumb coating and I’m not about to make my own out of his GF sandwich bread (a precious commodity in this house). I remembered making tilapia fish sticks with a walnut crumb coating from the food blog and thought that this might be just the thing for Noah’s chicken nuggets! I decided to go with pecans because I was a little addicted to chicken pecan salad when I was pregnant with both boys and I happened to have a couple of bags of them already because we put them in banana bread.

Pecan Breaded Chicken Tenders

1.5-2 cups pecan pieces (or whole, it won’t matter for the recipe but pieces are usually cheaper)

1-1.5lbs chicken tender cuts

About 1/2 cup cornstarch for dusting the chicken

2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the pecans in your food processor (a blender can do an okay job) and pulse until the nuts have a crumb-y consistency (do not over do it or the natural oils will start mashing the crumbs together like a nut butter). Season the nut crumb mixture with salt, pepper, or any other spices you wish.

Place the cornstarch, eggs, and nut mixture into three separate containers or shallow plates. First you will dust a chicken tender in the cornstarch, then dredge it in the egg, and finally roll it in the nut crumb mixture. Place finished chicken tenders on the baking sheets.

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, flip the tenders over and continue baking for another 8 minutes or until done. Serve with favorite side dish (peas and/or sweet potato fries are our usual)

I’m sorry of the lack of photos! My battery was dead on my camera and I didn’t realize it until it was too late.

Levi enjoying his chicken tender lunch with some roasted parsnip and applesauce. 🙂

Oven Roasted Chicken and Veggies!

We had a quick, and easy meal today. Noah loves loves loves chicken breasts so we can never go wrong with oven roasted chicken! Next week I’ll have to post about how we (read: Dylan) cooks whole chicken, it is delicious! This is a good alternative for those of us who don’t like working with meat on bones (guilty!).

Oven Roasted Chicken and Veggies

1-1.5lbs bone-less, skin-less chicken breasts.

1 1/2 cup chicken broth

5 carrots

2 parsnips

3-4 red potatoes

1 tsp sea salt (plus more for sprinkling the chicken if desired)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 Tbs oregano

2 tsp onion powder

3 cloves garlic, smashed

Fresh rosemary or thyme (at least 3 sprigs)

Olive oil to brush the chicken with

Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

Peel carrots and parsnips, cut into half-inch thick pieces. Wash potatoes with warm water and dice into inch sized pieces (we like the skins and leave them on, the best nutrients are in the skins!). Place the veggies in a roasting pan. Add the smashed garlic cloves and sprigs of rosemary/thyme to the pan. Then sprinkle the veggies with oregano, salt, and onion powder. Pour chicken broth overtop of everything in the pan.

Nestle your chicken breasts breast side down on top of the veggies. Sprinkle with pepper and salt. Cover the pan with aluminum foil.

Bake in the oven for 30mins to allow the veggies to steam and cook properly, after 30mins remove the foil. Flip the chicken breasts over, brush with olive oil, and sprinkle more black pepper. Continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes uncovered to brown the chicken a little (this option can be skipped if you wish. It just won’t be ‘roasted’, but it will still be yummy! Just bake for a total of 40-45mins in a foil covered pan, be sure to check the chicken breasts and flip if necessary about halfway through).

Viola! Dinner is served. 🙂

I was very proud of Noah. Not only did he eat all his chicken, he ate a few bites of parsnip too! 😀

GFCF Strawberry Cake

It has been quite awhile since I last posted! Levi’s 1st birthday party was this past weekend and since I was making cakes, cupcakes, and his smash cake in stages I wanted to save posting until I was entirely finished with the process, decorating and all. This strawberry cake I made for Levi’s smash cake. My original intent was to make a smaller cake then normal for his smash cake and use part of the batter to make a couple cupcakes for Noah at the party (since the guest cake was not GFCF), but there didn’t end up being quite enough batter so I did something different for Noah. It worked nicely for Levi’s smash cake (which was a bundt turned into The Very Hungry Caterpillar) because it was made with less refined sugar and fats, and non-dairy milk, his stomach rarely encounters ingredients found in ‘regular’ cakes. This recipe was originally from the Cooking For Isaiah cook book but I changed a few things about the recipe to fit the ingredients I wanted to use (almost half the ingredients with tweaks to make them work). I am just going to post the recipe with my changes but you can find the original on page 208 of her cook book. 🙂

Strawberry Cake

1 1/2 Cup Bob’s Red Mill GF flour mix

2 tsp xanthan gum

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

3/4 cup fresh strawberry puree

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup rice milk (room temp)

2 tsp beet or pomegranate juice (for color/optional)

1/2 cup coconut oil (room temperature solid)

1 cup evaporated cane juice

2 eggs (room temp)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour (I used earth balance and gf flour mix)a bundt pan, or line a cupcake tray with liners.

In a small bowl whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt until combined. In another bowl mix together the strawberry puree, milk, vanilla, and natural juice dye (if using).

In a large bowl (I used my stand mixer) beat the coconut oil for about 30-45 seconds. Add in the evaporated cane juice and beat for about 2 minutes, it should look like this picture below:

On a medium speed setting beat in eggs one at a time until combined.  Next add in the strawberry mixture and the flour mixture alternately, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, until just combined. Pour the batter into your prepared bundt pan or cup cake cups. Bake until the cake is springy to touch or toothpick comes out clean (about 35 minutes for a bundt or 20 minutes for cupcakes).

Below is the frosing recipe I used for the smash cake and, later, Noah’s cupcakes. It is not all that healthy or free of refined sugar haha! You only turn 1-year-old once. 😉

GFCF Frosting 

(makes enough for one cake or one batch cupcakes)

1/2 cup all vegetable shortening (I used Spectrum Organic)

2 cups sifted confectioners sugar

2-3 Tbs rice milk

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp sea salt to cut sweetness if desired

Im a mixing bowl beat together all ingredients until fluffy. Pipe or spread over your cake/cupcakes. You can add dye if you wish for fun colors. I added small amounts of Wilton’s gel dyes to the frosting. Most of the time we avoid dyes as they can affect Noah’s behavior, I just made sure I chose I dye free of red40 for his cupcakes (red gives him the most noticeable behavior change, blues and greens not so much changes).

To make Levi’s caterpillar I cut the bundt into segments and ‘glued’ them back together in a different order with frosting. I shaved the ends to round them off into a more caterpillar shape.

Next I mixed the colors of frosting I needed to transform the cake into The Very Hungry Caterpillar.


The next day I added face accents with small pieces of painted fondant left from making the guest cake.

Noah kept poking the eyes so they were a bit funny looking by the time we got to the party and I took a pic. There are purple antenna too, they are hard to see from this angle.

Of course some cake smashing pictures:


I tried a sliver of the smash cake later on, the cake was very moist and flavorful! Yum!

Stayed tuned this week for three more cake recipes! (I am going to post the recipes I used for the guest cakes for anyone who finds they sometimes need a yummy recipe for company that are not on GFCF diets 🙂 )

GF Vegan Bagels

Mmm bagels. I think bagels are one of my favorite breakfast indulgences, a hearty whole wheat bagel warmed in the toaster with some fresh preserves and a bit of cream cheese, now that is food heaven. Noah seems to have inherited the bagel love. He goes through phases where he asks for them everyday, sometimes twice a day so naturally this was one of the first recipes I tried to pin down and replicate for him. This batch I made for this new blog post is, I think, my 6th batch of GF, vegan bagels since we started his GF diet at the end of January this year. Noah loves this recipe, he always asks for one of the bagels right when they come out of the oven all warm, and fresh, and delicious. We had a huge snow last night so after taking the boys out to see their first (and probably only) snow of the season we came back in and got to work on making some bagels for a yummy brunch. This is not my most aesthetically pleasing batch of bagels (kids causing distractions = imperfection), but we focus more on quality of taste and ingredients over appearances in this house anyway. 🙂

Gluten Free Vegan Bagels

2 1/2 cup gluten-free flour mixture (I used Pamela’s this time because I was out of garbanzo-fava flour for the mixture I will list below. Both work well but will have some subtle taste differences)

1/4 cup ground flax seeds (optional, I like the added fiber boost it gives Noah)

3 Tbs dry soy milk powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 1/2 Tbs evaporated cane juice (plus 2 tsp more for boiling water)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 packet active dry yeast (or about 2 1/2 tsp from a jar)

2 1/2 Tbs earth balance, melted and allowed to cool

1 egg (room temp)

2 egg whites (room temp), plus 1 egg white for an egg wash

1/2 cup warm water, plus 1 tsp for egg wash

*GF Flour Mix

2 cups brown rice flour

1 cup potato starch

1 cup tapioca flour

3/4 cup garbanzo-fava bean flour

1/4 corn starch

2 Tbs xanthan gum

Mix together and store in an airtight container*

Preheat oven to 200 degrees, once it reaches the correct temperature turn it off.

In a medium-sized bowl (I used my kitchen aid stand mixer), mix together flour, milk powder, salt, 1 1/2 Tbs ECJ, cinnamon, and yeast.

Add in butter, eggs, and two egg white mixing until combined. Next add the warm water and beat on medium high for about 3 minutes.

Remove the dough (it will be sticky so coat your hands with some oil to prevent sticking to your hands, I use canola or coconut oil) and separate into 8 balls. Roll each ball into a rope and connect the ends to form a circle, make sure the ends are sealed securely. Lightly grease a baking sheet with canola or coconut oil. Place the bagels on the sheet, spacing evenly. Place a sheet of parchment paper on top of the bagels. Set the baking sheet in the oven (remember it should be off by now!) and allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes. The bagels will not double in bulk. After your timer goes off remove the baking sheet from the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Fill a large sauce pan with about 3 inches of water and add the 2 tsp of ECJ. Bring the water to boil. Place 4 bagels in the boiling water and boil for 1 minute, turning them over after 30 seconds. Cover a baking sheet with parchment (to prevent sticking and over browning on the bottoms) and spray it lightly with oil. Remove the bagels from the water using a slotted spoon and place on the parchment covered baking sheet. Repeat for the remaining 4 bagels. (note: I was out of parchment so I just used an oiled air bake baking sheet we have, if you do not have an air bake sheet please use the parchment!!).

In a small bowl, whisk the remaining egg white with 1 tsp water until frothy. Brush egg wash over top of the bagels. Top with cinnamon sugar, sesame seeds, or any other topping if desired.

Bake the bagels for 20 minutes. Completely cool and store them in an air tight container for 5-7 days. ( I freeze any that I don’t think will be consumed in that time frame).

These bagels have a lovely soft, chewy consistency. The boys absolutely love having them for breakfast (or lunch, or dinner, or snack..). Noah has already devoured 2 today!

Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Pork (GF/CF)

I’ve been neglecting this blog the past couple days, I am so sorry! We’ve just had such a busy busy week around here and with the nice weather we’ve tried to be outside as much as possible too! I’m actually sitting here typing this while we wait for an impending bad storm to show up (it is anticipated to be tornadic and has even attracted storm chasers from across the country! yikes! This is not normal for Ky in March!). So, while everyone in this part of the state waits for this monster storm to show up I figured I’d do something productive with my spare time. 🙂

Because we’ve been so busy most of the meals I made this week were super simple to throw together. This pulled pork only needs 3 ingredients to make, and since it uses the crock pot you can just set it and forget about it until dinner time! This recipe is also very easy to increase if you have a larger number of people in your family or you want leftovers.

3 Ingredient Pulled Pork

1 (2-3 pound) pork tenderloin (or butt or shoulder, whatever you like)

1 bottle Virgil’s Root Beer (or other root beer that is gf/free of caramel color)

1 bottle GF BBQ Sauce

Place your pork in the crock pot, pour your bottle of root beer over top of the pork. Set the crock pot to low and cook for 5-6 hours or until done. You can also cook on high for about 3-4 hours. Low and slow is the way to go if you ask me, it just makes the pork so much more tender and juicy. That is it! That is all you have to do! Shred it, add sauce, and serve on GF/CF buns with the sides of your choice. 🙂

The first time I told Dylan I was going to use root beer (thanks for the idea pinterest!) to make pulled pork he was very skeptical but now that he has had it (a couple of times actually) it is the only way he wants me to make it from now on (when it isn’t grilling season that is). The boys enjoy it too. 🙂