Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Gluten-Free Snacking... Oven Baked Kale

 This weekend we were warming up the house with every kind of baking we could think of! Ignoring the frigid outside temperature, unless it was your turn to take out the dog.  But those trips were quick for even our new rescue pup was keeping close to the kitchen and the warm oven.
After baking a few sweet treats we were in the mood for something different.
Instead of reaching for a bag of chips we grabbed the kale from the crisper and made my daughter's favorite... Oven-roasted kale crisps.
Satisfying the craving for savory, crispy - and salty while getting a mega dose of vitamins, minerals and fiber.  Given how easy they are to make - it is truly a win-win situation.
The most time consuming part is the washing (and drying) of the kale leaves.  You want to be sure to dry them thoroughly so they will crisp well.  Then break off the big stem bits and rip the leaves into a few pieces each. We usually use curly kale but you can try any type of kale leaf.

Toss the leaves in a bowl with olive oil, salt, garlic powder and pepper before laying them out on a baking pan.  
Oven bake at 350 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes or until crispy (but don't let them burn)
The kale gets crisp and airy baked this way.  My 10 year old just gobbles them up!
There are lots of variations of seasonings for all tastes.
A delicious, fun way to get in a serving of greens. The crisps can also be crumbled on top of your salad.


If you enjoy my art you can find more in my Etsy shop Erin Go Paint.  Or check out my daily illustrations on Instagram

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Gluten Free Apricot Chicken review

I am constantly in search of gluten-free dinner recipes - simple and flavorful are my biggest qualifiers. And on day that I am on the run - a crockpot meal will seal the deal!

The other day I felt I covered half the state of NJ and ended the marathon with a nighttime drive back from my daughter's basketball game in a combination of heavy rain, flooding, snow, sleet and fog! 

The light at the end of the stressful tunnel was Apricot Chicken waiting for us - hot, tender, flavorful and ready upon arrival!  

I found Stephanie O'Dea's Apricot Chicken recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking.  The apricot sauce was easy to make and started with a jar of Apricot Preserves... I used Polaner All-Fruit (clearly labeled gluten-free).
The only change I made to the recipe was the addition of 5 cloves of garlic, minced.  (We are a garlic loving family).
The aroma that met us when we dragged in wet, tired, cold was truly delightful.

The chicken with it's sweet and savory sauce were poured on piles of steamy rice - a huge success! It will be part of the regular dinner rotation going forward.

If you enjoy my art you can find more in my Etsy shop Erin Go Paint.  Or check out my daily illustrations on Instagram

Monday, November 14, 2016

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Toast

No cookies, no breads, no pizza, no cake. Yep, that's where I am right now.

I have given up all baked goods, even the safest, cleanest Gluten-free flours and baked goods. It seems my body isn't happy even with the binding agents, and I feel just so much better when I say, "No, thanks" and do without.  It was the dang ice cream with the added 'gums' that tipped me off.

The most evident sign that avoiding gums is working, is the sudden re-growth of my fingernails - my fingernails are always the key. 
Most days it really doesn't bother me (yesterday I baked brownies and really had no desire to indulge). To me how I feel is everything, and far outweighs giving up baked goods and the like. If I feel great and energized - I have no need for those foods. 
I did say most, though. Occasionally I crave something that resembles bread, or a crust, or a cracker.

Lucky for me there are amazing recipe developers out there (truly they are magicians!) coming up with muffins, pizza crusts, pizza crust, cookies, etc., that don't require flours or gum binding agents. They are my heros!
This weekend I tried the Cauliflower toast from The Delish website... oooh wee! 

LOVED it - and so did my daughter. Not quite sure I would call it toast, resembled more of a potato pancake. But, I would be quite happy to stack a burger on one, or the lovely combo of guacamole and a fried egg.  I had mine with a tomato and basil salad drizzled with olive oil.  It was divine!

illustration from Simply Gluten-Free Illustrated Workbook

So if you are in the mood for something different, and can embrace your inner messy (grating cauliflower goes everywhere!) I highly recommend giving it a try. Enjoy the gluten-free goodness!

If you enjoy my art you can find more in my Etsy shop Erin Go Paint.  Or check out my daily illustrations on Instagram

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Power and Versatility of Bananas, Naturally Gluten-Free

I love bananas and they have always been my fruit of choice, my snack on the go, nature's multi-vitamin, and my favorite yogurt add-in. I love that they are naturally protected from cross-contamination.  To me the perfect banana is ripe but right before the brown spots start appearing on the skin.  If they are too soft they start to lose their appeal, but become perfect for use in recipes.

Banana Pancakes. These babies have opened up my breakfast world again. I can't get enough of them, and I make sure I always have bananas in the house in various stages of riping. Who knew you could make pancakes from JUST bananas and eggs. Genius!  There are lots of recipes out there, but basically it is 1 egg to 1 ripe mashed banana. Just keep the pancakes small, and flip carefully - they are very delicate.

Banana ice cream. One ingredient. Bananas. Yes, that's all you need to make this guilt free creamy frozen treat.  You will need to cut up ripe bananas and freeze in advance. Definitely worth trying. This recipe is from The Kitchn

Banana Bread
I haven't tried this recipe from Civilized Caveman Cooking yet.. but it is on my list to bake some up soon!

Banana Muffins
Handy for on the go snacking!
You can read up on the
benefits of eating bananas while enjoying one of these delicious treats!

You can see my more of my work in my Etsy shop Erin Go Paint. Or check out my daily illustrations on Instagram

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Gravy

As a child I was always so excited to see the good china come out for the Holidays - especially when we were old enough, and deemed responsible enough, to handle the gravy boat.  The gravy boat always stood out as the coolest and most fascinating piece on the heavily laden table. They still fascinate me - the unlimited variety of shapes and curves, spouts, handles and accompanying spoons. So much fun.

 Well Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and all my good intentions of being ready in advance - this year, are once again slipping from my grasp.  (At least I am consistent)

Luckily there are some things are more of a 'day of' kind of thing, like gravy making. To me Thanksgiving isn't complete without mashed potatoes and gravy, a truly mouth-watering combination. I use Simply Gluten-Free's gravy recipe making my assignment for the Nov/Dec issue that much more fun!  

Working on that assignment inspired my gravy boats illustration. 

I am looking forward to Thanksgiving, seeing the gravy boats come out - and getting to pour a generous amount - as I continue to deem myself grown, and responsible enough to handle the iconic boat!

You can see my more of my work in my Etsy shop Erin Go Paint. Or check out my daily illustrations on  Instagram

Friday, October 7, 2016

An Indoor Herb Garden - Fresh Herbs with Dinner


I am terrible with plants. I love them but they are pretty much in the process of dying while in my care.
The bad-with-plants expression is quite often referred to as 'A Black Thumb', but I prefer to call it a RED thumb.  Red being the opposite of green, seems a more accurate description.
Red like - STOP, before you kill that poor unsuspecting plant! 

But, though I truly stink at it, I can't help but keep trying. I love having fresh herbs and flowers around.  The aroma and the beauty are unmatched. As for cooking with fresh over dry - there is no comparison in flavor.

Now as we say
goodbye to summer I have been possessed  to get an indoor herb garden set up. We have been in our house over a year I have identified the best spot for them to soak up the shining sun!  The ledge has been cleared, the area set, and I started with two plants from the kitchen window sill to pre-populate the spot. A basil plant and gerbera daisy.

Yesterday I added rosemary and cilantro. The smell of the rosemary in the living room is amazing. Looking forward to adding more to the garden and more fresh herbs to my cooking.

You can see my more of my work in my Etsy shop Erin Go Paint. Or check out my recent 100 Day Project on Instagram

Monday, October 3, 2016

Butter Coffee


There is butter.
There is coffee.
Both lovely in their own way. And in their own right.

I would have never thought to put them together. But after stumbling upon this odd and intriguing combination I had to try it. 
Basically replacing the milk with butter. Grass fed organic butter to be exact.  I decided to give it a try.

I love coffee with coconut oil. And I have been known to give my morning java a hit of chili powder to warm things up on a bitter cold January morning.
But butter... I am really not sure I like it.

It does soften the coffee so it is not quite like drinking it black.  It still has a bitter edge that I am not sure I would get used to. 
Or care to get used to - though it did inspire a fun sketch and colorful illustration - and anything that inspires my daily sketch is a win!

What I did learn from this experiment are the benefits of grass fed organic butter, which we will use from now on, whether it is in coffee - or on GF toast.

You can see my more of my work in my Etsy shop Erin Go Paint. Or check out my recent 100 Day Project on Instagram