Crustless Quiche GF/LF/NF/DF/PF

Our family is a big proponent of breakfast foods for any meal. I love to make all kinds of egg dishes but this is by far my favorite. Creating a filling crustless quiche took a bit as my first attempts, although tasty, were much smaller than this recipe. The big difference is the increase in the number of eggs. That brings about the increased size of the quiche. The cheese on the bottom forms a nice, crust-like layer. I know many people think the crust is the best part, but I find I don’t miss it with this recipe. Enjoy!

You can use any filling with the basic components. These 2 are our family favorites.

Quiche basics
• 8 eggs
• 1 C almond milk
• 2 C shredded cheese of your choice

Broccoli Quiche
• 1 pkg. frozen chopped broccoli
• garlic powder
• Penzey’s Parisienne herbs
• salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Defrost broccoli in the microwave, drain well and let cool. For this quiche, I used cheddar cheese. In greased deep dish pie pan, spread the cheese on the bottom, then layer the broccoli. Sprinkle seasonings on the broccoli. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until fully beaten. Add the almond milk and stir well. Gently pour the egg mixture over the broccoli. Bake until the egg is set and toothpick comes out clean (45 – 60 min). Let quiche sit for 5 minutes before cutting.

Crabmeat Quiche
• 8 to 12 oz. clawmeat depending on preference ( I use Phillips from the refrigerated section)
• 3 cloves garlic, smashed but whole
• 1/2 C chopped leeks
• 1/4 C butter (Fleischman’s unsalted or Earth Balance)
• Penzey’s Italian herbs
• salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375. In greased deep dish pie pan, spread the cheese on the bottom. For this quiche, I used a combination of mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. In a sauté pan, melt the butter in medium heat. Add the leeks and smashed garlic. Let them soften in the butter. Add the crabmeat and stir until thoroughly heated and coated in the butter. Take mixture off the heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until fully beaten. Add the almond milk and stir well. Once the crabmeat mixture has come to room temperature, remove the smashed garlic. Evenly spread the crab on the shredded cheese layer. Sprinkle the herbs, salt and pepper on the crab. Gently pour the egg mixture over the crab. Sprinkle a handful of shredded parmesan on top. Bake until the egg is set and toothpick comes out clean. Let quiche sit for 5 minutes before cutting.

20130112-112550.jpgCrabmeat quiche

20130112-112638.jpgBroccoli quiche

Pistachio Marzipan Tea Cookies – GF/DF/PF/SF/VG

Wow!  Fall is almost here!  The kids are back in school and homework has started again.  Summer flew by!  We did get to take a summer vacation this year.  We headed back to New England to visit with family and friends that we don’t get to see too often!  We had an amazing trip!  The weather was great, the lobster was divine but most of all, we had some wonderful time with our family and friends.  Although, we didn’t get to see everyone we had hoped.

Towards the end of our trip, we stopped at this Italian bakery that I grew up going to, Gerardo’s Italian Bakery.  The bakery had moved down the street and more than tripled its space.  I couldn’t believe all the changes but the goodies were still just as traditional and fabulous (according to my non gluten-free husband).  The down side was walking into an amazing bakery like this and knowing you cannot eat any of it!  As I walked around the bakery, I saw a small marketplace section of dry goods imported from Italy.  I was amazed at how many gluten-free choices there were, including some pastas.  Then Sophia squealed ‘Look, they have gluten-free cupcakes!’.  Much to my surprise, this bakery had a separate case of gluten-free items…too many to try!  They offered chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, fudgy brownies, macaroons, and several varieties of almond paste cookies.  Sophia opted for a cupcake as I opted for 2 different almond cookies; pistachio and pinenut/chocolate dipped.  Sophia was beyond thrilled with her cupcake and I was smitten with the pistachio cookie (hence this recipe).  I am still tweaking the recipe to get it to match but in the meantime, this recipe was well received by my mom and Sophia (as well as the rest of the family).  I chose a tea cookie size for manageability as the Gerardo’s version was quite large (not that I was complaining)!  I had the opportunity to speak to the owner and thanked him for offering gluten-free options.  He noted that although it is more expensive, he has found that he does have a customer base.  He continues to try new recipes and hopes to keep the prices reasonable.  It is businesses like this that make me smile!  Thank you Gerardo! (p.s. We took a brownie home and mmmmmm, wow.)

Gerardo’s Italian Bakeries

Pistachio Marzipan Tea Cookies

  • 30g Extra Fine Marzipan
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/2 C almond flour
  • 1t almond extract
  • 2T Amaretto
  • 1/3 C finely chopped shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 C rough chopped pistachios, for topping

Soften marzipan. Put in medium bowl and mix with an electric mixer. Add egg whites, almond extract and Amaretto. Mix. Add almond flour. Mix. Hand-stir in finely chopped pistachios. Put batter in a frosting decorating bag for easy dispensing. Having the pistachios finely chopped makes this a bit easier. (lesson learned) Cut parchment paper to fit your cookie sheets. Dispense cookie batter on the parchment lined cookie sheets. Top with rough chopped pistachios. Bake @375 until desired consistency (some like them doughy, some more firm).  These cookies are quite moist so use quickly or refrigerate.

Pistachio Marzipan Tea Cookies

Italian Meatballs – GF/DF/NF/SF

Until now, I have been the only official gluten-free member of my household, even though my family happily eats my GF creations.  Recently, we have converted my daughter to gluten-free, after discussing with her doctor, to see if it could help her.  We’re pretty sure she isn’t celiac as she has no signs of growth issues.  More so, she is the opposite…being 4’10″ at only 9 1/2 yrs old.  She grows like the weeds in my yard – fast and furious no matter what the conditions!  :)  My daughter has been diagnosed with several learning disabilities in addition to ADHD.  So, we are giving this a shot to see if going GF makes a difference for her in any way.  That being said, she is still only 9 and I didn’t want it to impact her healthy appetite.  The good thing is that there are so many tasty GF foods out there now.  She loves spaghetti and Bionaturae’s is delicious!  What’s a more classic dinner than spaghetti and meatballs?

Italian Meatballs (about 2 dozen)

  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 3/4 C Italian GF bread crumbs (Gillian’s or Smart Grain)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 T garlic powder
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 3 T dried italian herbs
  • 1 T each salt/pepper

Put all ingredients in a big mixing bowl.  The best way to mix is using your hands.  Make sure the ingredients are completely blended together.  Take about a tablespoon of the meat mixture, roll between your palms to make a ball.  Set aside.  Continue making the meatballs until all the meat mix is gone.  I like to use a large electric skillet so I can cook all the meatballs at once.  Put the skillet on about 300 degrees F.  Sear both sides of the meatballs (about 8 minutes each side).  Add enough of your favorite marinara sauce to almost cover the meatballs.  Put the lid on and let them simmer until the meatballs are cooked.  Since the meatballs are simmering in the sauce, they don’t dry out!  Serve with your favorite pasta!

Penne with a Vodka Cream Sauce – GF/EF/NF/VG

I know I haven’t posted in some time now.  Between the craziness of my job and the kids homework, I feel like I haven’t had any free time!  I have several recipes queued up ready to go, so keep your eyes out!

Since I created this vodka cream sauce, my husband won’t eat plain marinara any more.  I have spoiled him!  This recipe can be made with jar sauce or homemade sauce, your choice.  During the week, I don’t have time to make my own sauce so I do the quick version by doctoring up jar sauce.  Honestly, the final product tastes just about as good.  :)  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Penne with Vodka Cream Sauce

  • 1 package Bionaturae GF penne
  • 1 -24 oz. jar marinara (I prefer Bertolli)
  • 8 oz. Bel Gioioso mascarpone
  • 1/2 C vodka
  • garlic powder
  • italian herbs
  • salt/pepper
  • Bel Gioioso grated parmesan

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  While the pasta is cooking, empty the marinara into a deep sauce pan.  Gently heat the sauce on medium heat.  Once it starts to bubble, add the vodka and stir.  Next, add the mascarpone and let it start to melt.  Gently stir until the mascarpone is completely melted into the marinara.  Season with garlic powder, italian herbs, salt and pepper to taste.  I usually end up adding about 2 teaspoons of the garlic powder and 2 tablespoons of the italian herbs, but this is my preference.  Serve sauce on top of the penne in a nice pasta dish, topped with some fresh parmesan.  Enjoy!

Penne with Vodka Cream Sauce

Peanut Butter Sweet Potato ‘Cookies’ for Dogs – GF/DF/SF

This blog has now gone to the dogs!  Our beautiful German Shepherd, Holly, was a Christmas present for the family this year (hence the name)!  When we got Holly, her foster mom suggested feeding her food that was grain free or had limited ingredients.  As I started doing some research and talking with our vet, I learned that dogs can have food allergies just like people, which can cause skin and stomach sensitivities.  We are still working on finding the right food for her.  In the meantime, I thought I would try out some homemade dog treats that were allergy free!

You’ll notice I used coconut flour and milk.  I have been doing a lot of reading and experimenting with coconut products as they are shown to have huge health benefits in addition to baking more similar to traditional glutenous flours.  It is also one of the least allergenic foods on the market.

Let’s just say, these treats are dog approved!  She is VERY motivated to listen when I am holding one of these treats!  :)

Peanut Butter Sweet Potato Dog treats

  • 1 jar (16 0z.) natural peanut butter (chunky or plain) – make sure there is no sugar
  • 1 can (15 oz.) organic sweet potato
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C coconut milk
  • 1/4 C coconut flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put the peanut butter and sweet potato in a food processor and mix well.  Add eggs, coconut milk and continue to blend.  Sift the coconut flour into the food processor and mix.  The batter will thick and sticky.  Scoop onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  I used a small teaspoon size scooper – the smaller the better as far as treats go.  Put them in the oven.  Check them after 10-15 minutes.  Once there is a slight firmness to them, take a fork and gently press then down in 2 directions to make them look like peanut butter cookies.  Continue to cook them until they are quite firm but not burnt.  Take them out and let them cool.  The cookies stay somewhat soft.  Don’t store them in an airtight container as they will get even softer.  Feel free to freeze some for later as this recipe makes nearly 3 dozen.

Mumma’s Pletta – GF/DF/SF/NF/VG

Pletta is a traditional Swedish crepe-like pancake.  My grandmother, Mumma as I called her, always made these for us.  When she made them, it wasn’t for a special holiday or occasion.  It was ‘just because’.  In our family, we have made it a Christmas Day brunch tradition.  My mom (aka Bunky), would come visit us for Christmas.  After all the presents were opened, we would have some downtime while the kids played with their new stuff.  Then it was time for brunch.  Bunky has always been the Pletta master in this house but this week I finally made an attempt myself!  All our other trials with gluten-free flours came out ok…just ok.  This time, I tried the King Arthur gluten-free flour 1:1.  I was quite pleased with the results!  Now that Bunky is local, we have made it ‘just because’ but we will still keep the Christmas Day tradition!  We serve them with butter and syrup or more traditionally with lingonberry preserves!  Enjoy!

Pletta – makes 50-60 pancakes

Mix all ingredients until there are no lumps.  Heat the pletta pan.  If it isn’t old and seasoned, put a little oil in the pan for the first batch.  Since the batter is so thin, I put it in a condiment dispenser.  It worked great!  It made getting it into the pletta pan easy and no mess!

condiment dispenser

Stack of pletta


Pletta in pan

It’s Getting Chili – GF/DF/EF/NF/V

I know it has been a while since my last post.  This fall has been quite busy for us!  With the start of school (and homework) for the kids, spare time seems to be lost.  However, the most exciting news is that my mom has just moved about 10 minutes away.  We are thrilled to finally have her nearby!  Not only does she get lots more grandkid time, between my kids and my brother’s kids (just a train ride away), she gets to be another voice on what recipes get blogged here!  :)

With the arrival of fall and football, I saw it fit to cook up a huge pot of chili!  This is always a crowd favorite with a dash of sour cream and a side of cornbread.

Vegan Chili

  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can white cannellini beans
  • 1 jar salsa (16 oz.)
  • 5 oz. Bob’s Red Mill TVP (vegetable protein) – half a bag
  • 1 t Penzey’s Forward powder
  • 1 t Penzey’s China Cinnamon
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 t ancho chili powder
  • 3 t Penzey’s Chili 9000 powder

In a 6 qt dutch oven, add the beans (with the water from the can), TVP and salsa.  Bring to a gentle boil and then simmer.  While simmering, stir in the brown sugar and spices.  Let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring periodically.  Adjust spices according to taste.  While the chili is simmering, I like to whip up some of Bob’s Red Mill’s cornbread.  My husband likes this better than any other cornbread he has had because it is nice and moist.  Once the chili is done, serve it up with a dollop of sour cream and a side of cornbread or however you and your guests like it.  My mom likes hers with sour cream, shredded cheddar and some crushed crackers on top.  The kids like tortilla chips to dip into it.

Note: Left-over chili is good for making nachos!  :)

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