Crockpot Italian Meatloaf

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photo of crockpot Italian meatloaf

crockpot Italian meatloaf

This recipe is very forgiving in terms of allergens. You can omit or substitute several things and still have it come out incredibly well. Possible adaptions are listed below in the ingredients list.

Please note that my crockpot is from 1994, so it doesn’t cook as fast as more modern ones. You may need to shorten the cooking times to work with your crockpot.

Crockpot Italian Meatloaf

  • 2 pounds extra lean organic or grass-fed beef
  • 1.5 cups bread or cracker crumbs (use gluten free crumbs for a GF recipe)
  • 1 organic egg (omit for egg free option)
  • 3/4 cup organic pasta sauce of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons organic minced dried onion
  • 1 teaspoon organic garlic powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon organic ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon organic Italian seasoning
  • another 3/4 cup organic pasta sauce
  • 3 slices or 3 ounces (give or take) organic mozzarella or 3/4 cup organic parmesan cheese (omit for dairy free option)

In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients except the last two. Using your hands is easiest. Form the mixture into a large ball and then place in the bottom of the crockpot. Gently flatten the ball to the bottom of the crockpot though not all the way to the edges of the pot; do not tightly compact the loaf. Spread the remaining 3/4 cup organic pasta over the top. Put the lid on the crockpot.

Plug in and turn on. Cook for 2.5-3 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low.

About 15 minutes (high) or 30 minute (low) before being done, sprinkle the cheese (if using) across the top of the meatloaf. Cover again and let finish cooking.

To serve, cut into wedges. Tastes great when served with leafy greens, a salad, or steamed broccoli.

©2019 NaturallyElizabeth.com

GFDF Peach Cupcakes

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These are somewhere in between a cupcake and a muffin. The original recipe had a frosting on them, but they really don’t need it. Pictures of the gluten version are found here.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Peach Cupcakes

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • 2/3 c organic tapioca starch
  • 2/3 c sorghum flour
  • 2/3 c almond flour
  • ½ c organic white rice flour
  • 1 t xanthan gum
  • 2 t baking powder
  • ½ t sea salt
  • 1/2 c organic rice milk
  • 1 T organic pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ c organic palm shortening
  • 1.5 c organic evaporated cane juice (sugar)
  • 4 large organic eggs
  • 4 medium-large organic peaches, peeled, pitted, and finely chopped (~2 cups) (nectarines, plums, apricots, or any stone fruit will work)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together all of the dry ingredients (tapioca starch, sorghum flour, almond flour, white rice flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, sea salt).  Set aside.
  2. Stir vanilla extract into the rice milk in a liquid measuring cup.
  3. In another bowl, beat palm shortening and evaporated cane juice with a mixer on medium speed.  Add eggs, one at a time. Beat in flour mixture in three additions, alternating twice with milk mixture.
  4. Line a standard muffin tin with baking cups. This recipe will not work right without the baking cups! Fill each with 3 layers: 1 tablespoon batter, 1 tablespoon chopped peaches, and an additional 1 tablespoon batter. Bake until edges begin to turn golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool in tin.

Makes about 18-20 cupcakes.

Dairy Free Peach Cupcakes

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a freshly baked dairy free peach cupcake

a freshly baked dairy free peach cupcake

These are somewhere in between a muffin and a cupcake. The original recipe had a frosting on them, but they really don’t need it.

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups organic all purpose flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • ½ t sea salt
  • 2/3 c organic rice milk
  • 2 t organic pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ c organic palm shortening
  • 1.5 c organic evaporated cane juice
  • 4 large organic eggs
  • 4 medium-large organic peaches, peeled, pitted, and finely chopped (~1.5 cups) (nectarines, plums, apricots, or any stone fruit will work)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together all of the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sea salt).  Set aside.
  2. Stir vanilla extract into the rice milk in a liquid measuring cup.
  3. In another bowl, beat palm shortening and evaporated cane juice with a mixer on medium speed.  Add eggs, one at a time. Beat in flour mixture in three additions, alternating twice with milk mixture.
  4. Line a standard muffin tin with baking cups. This recipe will not work right without paper baking cups! Fill each with 3 layers: 1 tablespoon batter, 1 tablespoon chopped peaches, and an additional 1 tablespoon batter. Bake until edges begin to turn golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool in tin.

Makes about 18-20 cupcakes.

picture of dairy free peach cupcakes

dairy free peach cupcakes

Gluten Free Meatballs

Gluten Free MeatballsMy father mentioned to me that my extended family was having homemade meatballs and spaghetti for Christmas Eve dinner a few weeks ago. I immediately started craving spaghetti and meatballs. I wanted a baked recipe so I found this one and adapted to work with my food sensitivities. We’ve now made it several times, and it’s delicious. My kids who eat gluten can’t tell these meatballs are gluten-free.

To make this recipe dairy free, omit the parmesan cheese. To make this recipe soy free, omit the Worcestershire sauce.

Gluten Free Meatballs

  • 2 pounds lean organic ground beef (I use 90 or 95%)
  • 1/2 cup organic parmesan cheese, grated (omit for dairy free option)
  • 1 box (4.5 oz) gluten free cracked black pepper crackers (I used Simple Mills brand)
  • 1 teaspoon dried organic garlic powder
  • 4 teaspoons dried organic Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed organic red pepper flakes
  • 4 tablespoons gluten free organic Worcestershire sauce (I used Wa Ja Shan brand) (omit for soy free option)
  • 2 large organic eggs
  • olive oil for pans

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Oil two 9 x 13 pans with olive oil.
In a food processor using an S blade, crush and combine crackers with parmesan cheese and seasonings.
Whisk eggs together in a small bowl.
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly until ingredients are evenly distributed.
Shape into 1.5 inch balls. Making sure they are all about the same size for even cooking.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. For extra crispiness, add another 10 minutes.
Serve with the pasta sauce of your choice and gluten free pasta, or you can use pasta sauce and gluten free buns for meatball sandwiches.
©2019 NaturallyElizabeth.com

Something Soured the Apple of my Eye Pie

Something Soured the Apple of My Eye Pie by NaturallyElizabeth.comI recently entered a pie baking contest to win tickets to see Waitress. I won second place. Pies were supposed to have a theme that related to the musical. Here is the spiel I gave about my pie:

I have walked a very different path in life than Jenna, but I very much relate to her use of baking to help her process her emotional issues. I was previously homebound with major health issues for six years, and baking was one of the ways I released stress on my good health days. I tend to bake using seasonal ingredients because they are more flavorful and affordable. Since we are in apple season, I immediately thought of one of my favorite pies that I have created which is a variation on a French crumb apple pie. However, I wanted to do something more with the recipe to fit with the theme of this contest. I was thinking about phrases with “apple” in them, and the phrase “apple of my eye” popped into my head. Like Jenna, many of us have had loves whom we thought were the apple of our eye. We believed that they were amazing and perfect, and then the relationship goes sour. Fortunately not all of us go through the abuse that Jenna went through with Earl after her relationship went bad once she had married him. That made me think of what I could add to the pie to make it more sour. Since it’s also cranberry season, I decided to turn it into a cranberry apple pie and name it the, “Something Soured the Apple of My Eye Pie.”

This can be easily made gluten free by substituting the gluten free flour mixture of your choice in place of the all-purpose flour. It can be made vegan and dairy free by substituting coconut oil, shortening or margarine for the butter.

Something Soured the Apple of My Eye Pie by NaturallyElizabeth.com

Something Soured the Apple of my Eye Pie

Makes one 10” pie

Crust
1.5 c organic all-purpose flour
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 c organic unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/4-1/2 cup cold water
Extra flour for rolling out crust

Filling
6 cups of peeled, cored, and thinly sliced organic apples (about 6 large apples or 9 small). I used equal amounts of Granny Smith, Gala, and Fuji.
12 oz (one bag) organic cranberries, fresh or frozen (defrosted and drained), chopped coarsely
1/2 c organic light brown sugar, packed
1/3 c organic cornstarch
1/2 t sea salt
1 t organic cinnamon
1 t organic nutmeg

Crumb Topping
1 c organic all-purpose flour
1/2 c organic light brown sugar, packed
1/2 c (one stick) organic unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 c organic shredded coconut

Directions

Prepare the apples and cranberries. Add the rest of the filling ingredients to the fruit in an oven-proof bowl and mix well. Place in the oven at 425F while it preheats to get the fruit softening a bit.

Mix together the dry ingredients for the crust. Cut the butter in with a fork. Add water until the dough is moistened enough to stay together but isn’t goopy. Roll the dough out and put in a 10” pie pan, crimping the edges. Set aside.

Mix together all of the ingredients for the crumb topping. I find it easiest to mix with my hands. It will be a bit on the dry side. Set aside.

Pull the filling out of the oven. Being careful of the hot bowl, pour the filling into the pie crust. Top with the crumb topping.

Place the pie on a cookie sheet (to help with any spillovers) and cover with foil. Bake at 425F for about 40-50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes to brown the crumb topping. If the fruit juices are not bubbling up on the sides at this point, re-cover with foil and put it back in the oven in 5 minute increments until it is bubbling and juicy.

©2019 NaturallyElizabeth.com

Gluten Free Latkes

While we aren’t Jewish, my family loves latkes. We enjoy them so much that we bought a potato ricer which is essential to getting crispy latkes. We also use a Cuisinart to shred potatoes because it makes life much easier. We sometimes double the recipe; leftovers aren’t as good as fresh, but if you warm them up in a toaster oven or oven rather than a microwave, they’re still pretty good.

Latkes are a lot of work, so we save them for special events like Christmas and Easter. My argument is that Jesus was Jewish, so we’re just celebrating his heritage. Granted, Jesus probably never ate a potato in his entire life, but still, it’s the thought that counts.

gluten free latkes

gluten free latkes

Gluten Free Latkes

Yield About 2 dozen
Time 60 minutes

4 large Russet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and rinsed
1 large white or yellow onion, minced
3 large eggs
1/3 cup millet flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup brown rice flour
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Safflower, canola or other oil, for frying

Using a food processor with a coarse grating disc, grate the potatoes.

Using a potato ricer, squeeze the grated potatoes over the sink to release all liquids. Do the same with the minced onions. Put drained potatoes and onions in a large bowl with a dry towel to help absorb any other liquid.

Remove the towel, and place the onions and potatoes into the bowl. Add the eggs, millet flour, rice flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder and pepper, and mix until it is well-blended.

In a medium pan over medium heat, pour in about 1/4 inch of the oil. Once the oil is hot (a drop of batter placed in the pan should sizzle), use a slotted spoon to drop 3” very loose balls of the mixture into the oil, cooking in batches. When the edges of the latkes are brown and crispy, about 3-5 minutes, flip. Cook until the second side is deeply browned, about another 3-5 minutes. Transfer the latkes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more oil to the pan as necessary.

©2019 NaturallyElizabeth.com

 

New Year’s Soup

When I first moved to Texas, I had never heard of the New Year’s tradition of eating black-eyed peas and collard greens for good luck. I thought it was rather bizarre since I wasn’t a fan of either of those things. Since then, I’ve learned to love both.

As with all soups, this one is forgiving. There are several options you can make to change it up if you want.

  1. Instead of ham, if you have leftover cooked turkey or chicken, you could use those instead. You’ll need to add some extra salt to taste as the ham is naturally salty.
  2. If you don’t have a hambone, just skip it. It adds some extra flavor, but it’s not essential.
  3. You can use any kind of greens you want, have available or are on sale. Collard greens, mustard greens, lacinto kale, dinosaur kale, rainbow chard, or swiss chard all work.
  4. If you want, use a jalapeno, habanero, or other spicy pepper instead of the cayenne pepper. Or if you prefer your food milder in taste, skip all of the above.
  5. If you can’t find fresh black-eyed peas, you can soak dried ones overnight and then add to the soup. If you use canned or frozen, you will not need to cook this for very long at all (5-10 minutes).
New Year's Soup

Black-Eyed Peas, Ham, and Greens soup

New Year’s Soup

A few tablespoons of olive or canola oil
1 yellow or white organic onion, diced
1 organic bell pepper (I used 1/3 orange, 1/3 green, 1/3 yellow), diced
8 cups organic chicken broth (I used Pacific brand)
12 oz fresh black-eyed peas, pre-soaked
1 ham bone (optional)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried organic marjoram
1 teaspoon dried organic thyme
1/2 teaspoon organic black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1/2 teaspoon dried ground mustard (not prepared)
1 pound fully cooked ham, diced
1 bunch collard greens, stalks and leaves separated

Slice the stalks to the collard greens the way you would with celery for a soup. Shred the collard green leaves into bite sized pieces. In a large soup pot, sauté the onion, bell pepper and sliced collard green stalks together over medium in oil. Once the onion mixture is cooked all the way, add the broth, ham bone, black-eyed peas, garlic and spices. Cook until the beans are soft, about 45-60 minutes. Towards the end, stir in the ham to warm it up. Remove from heat and remove the ham bone. Add the collard green leaves to help cool the soup to an edible temperature and cook the greens.

Makes about 12 cups of soup.

©2018 NaturallyElizabeth.com

 

GFDF Lemon Raspberry Muffins

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Gluten Free Dairy Free Lemon Raspberry Muffins

GFDF Lemon Raspberry Muffins

This recipe was inspired by Tastes Better from Scratch.

We made these recently for my son’s birthday party. I don’t think any of the guests even knew they were gluten free. They were incredibly tasty!

Ingredients
1/2 cup organic tapioca starch
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup organic brown rice flour
1/2 cup organic sorghum flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup organic evaporated cane juice (aka sugar)
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 organic eggs, lightly beaten
7/8 cup rice milk (or other milk substitute of your choice)
1 Tbsp organic lemon juice
1 Tbsp grated organic lemon zest (this was about 4 small lemons)
1/2 cup organic canola oil
2 cups fresh organic raspberries

For the glaze (optional)
3/4 cup organic powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp fresh organic lemon juice

Instructions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix together the beaten eggs, 1T lemon juice, rice milk, canola oil, and sugar on one bowl. In another bowl, combined together tapioca starch, almond meal, brown rice flour, sorghum flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and lemon zest. Slowly add the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring as you do. Gently fold in the raspberries.

Grease a muffin tin well with additional canola oil or spray. Fill 15-16 muffin cups about 3/4 full; these muffins will not rise too much. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 18 minutes or until the top is gently browned. The inside may still be a bit moist because of the raspberries, so a toothpick test is a bit difficult on them.

Allow to cool about 15 minutes before removing from the pan carefully, using a knife to separate from the top. You may lose a few crumbs in the bottom of the pan, but those are free of calories and meant for the cook. You should allow the muffins to cool fully before glazing, if desired.

For the glaze (optional):
In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice until it reaches the consistency you want. Delicately drip the glaze over the muffins in an artistic fashion. Try not to eat them all at once!

©2018 NaturallyElizabeth.com

Gluten Free Dairy Free Lemon Raspberry Muffins

GFDF Lemon Raspberry Muffins

Kielbasa, Lentil and Kale Soup

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kielbasa soup

Apologies for the cell phone picture!

1 yellow or white organic onion, diced
1 pound all-natural smoked sausage (kielbasa), diced (we use jalapeno to add kick)
1 organic bell pepper (I used 1/2 red, 1/2 green), diced
8 cups organic chicken broth (I used Pacific brand)
1.5 cups dried organic red lentils
1 teaspoon dried organic marjoram
1 teaspoon dried organic thyme
1/2 teaspoon organic black pepper
8 ounces (1/2 bag) frozen 365 organic blue curled kale

In a large soup pot, sautee the onion and sausage together over medium. (The sausage is usually greasy enough that you don’t need to add oil, but if you use low-fat sausage, you might need to.). When the onions are partially translucent, add in the bell pepper. Once the onions are cooked all the way, add the broth, lentils, marjoram and thyme. Cook until the lentils are soft, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and add the frozen kale to help cool the soup to an edible temperature and warm the kale. Makes about 12 cups of soup.

©2018 NaturallyElizabeth.com

 

 

GFDF Blueberry Pecan Crumble Pie

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One of the things that I unfortunately had to remove from my diet in January was egg.  IgG sensitivity testing showed that I was reacting to both chicken and duck eggs, and given the foods I was reacting to, that made sense.  I’ve had problems with eggs before, but not when I was gluten sensitive.  This is creating a whole new cooking and baking challenge for me.

For my birthday this year, I decided to go for a pie in part because I haven’t done a lot of eggless GFDF baking yet and partially because Whole Foods had organic blueberries on sale for $1.99 a pint last Friday.  We had plenty of blueberries left for a pie.

This recipe is based on another GF blueberry pie recipe I had, but the idea of a pecan crumble came into my head while I was standing in the kitchen this morning.  It tastes fantastic.  I highly recommend it.  To make the pecan meal, my daughter ground up a bunch of pecan pieces in a coffee bean grinder that I normally use for grinding flax and other seeds.  The meal isn’t perfectly smooth, but it works well for this purpose.

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GFDF Blueberry Pecan Crumble Pie

Makes one 9 inch pie

Crust:
5 tablespoons organic brown rice flour
5 tablespoons sorghum flour
5 tablespoons almond meal
5 tablespoons organic tapioca starch
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup organic palm shortening
About 1/4 cup water

Crumb Topping:
6 tablespoons organic brown sugar
3/4 cup organic pecan meal*
1 teaspoon organic cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
5 tablespoons organic palm shortening

Filling:
2/3 cup organic sugar
1/4 cup organic cornstarch
Zest of one medium organic lemon
Juice of one medium organic lemon
5 cups fresh organic blueberries, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

To make the crust, stir together the flours, starch, xanthan gum, salt, and cream of tartar.  Cut the palm shortening into the flour mix.  Slowly add the water to the flour mixture until the dough is formed but a bit crumby. You may not need all the water or you may need more depending on the day.  Press the crust into a 9” pie pan.

In the same emptied bowl, cut in the shortening into the rest of the crumb topping ingredients.  You will get a moist crumbly mixture.  Set aside.
Mix together the blueberries, lemon juice, lemon zest, cornstarch, and sugar.  Pour into the pie crust.  Top with the crumb topping.

Put the pie on a cookie sheet as it will very likely bubble over while baking.  Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Uncover and continue baking for an additional 20-30 minutes until the crumb topping is browned and the blueberry filling is bubbling.

*Use a coffee bean grinder or other grinding machine to make a course flour out of organic pecans.

©NaturallyElizabeth.com