Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies {Egg-free}

Now that my blog has a little more activity, I am re-posting a recipe each month that has gotten less activity than I would have expected.  This recipe is great sweet treat for families with egg allergies!

I posted the recipe for Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies (EF) about a year ago.  These cookies are an all time favorite at my house.  I think the blended oats is what makes them so good!  Blending the oats into a powder gives it the texture of a regular chocolate chip cookie and the taste of an oatmeal cookie.  They are best with the chocolate chips and nuts.  In this picture, I have omitted the nuts to accommodate discriminating mouths at my house.

 Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies (EF) - Please link to my original post here.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala is on of my favorite dishes.  I really love mushrooms and chicken so what isn't to like?  My friend made this recipe for us one night and I thought it was really good.  She found it online on the Betty Crocker website.  I finally got around to making it myself.

Mine did not turn out as good as hers.  I think the reason was that I tried to double the recipe.  Putting that much chicken in my skillet didn't give it enough time to brown nicely.  I think that is also why my chicken didn't get as nice and golden as hers.  Mine was still good, just not as good as hers.  So, next time I will just make four servings or get a bigger skillet!

Serve with Quick Pesto Pasta (EF, GF) or Mashed Potatoes (EF, DF, GF).  Enjoy!  If you like this recipe, you may also like Baked Chicken Parmesan (EF).

Chicken Marsala - I pretty much made this as written, so please click to link to the recipe.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Quick Pesto Pasta

Do you need a quick pasta side dish?  I used to buy this really good quick mix pasta side dish that they stopped selling at my local grocery stores.  After failing to find a suitable replacement, I came up with this quick side dish.  I am making the Parmesan cheese optional.  You can decide, if you want it in or not.  For me, if I am serving it with Baked Chicken Parmesan (EF) I will include the cheese.  But if I am serving with something like Chicken Marsala (posting soon), then I will leave it out.  The picture below does not have cheese in it.  But then my husband and kids added it to theirs.  So, maybe I should always just keep it in!

If you like this recipe, you may also like Chicken Pesto Pasta (EF, GF).

Quick Pesto Pasta  

1 16 oz box pasta (can use gluten-free)
1/4 c milk
1/4 c pesto (I used Classico Basil Pesto.)
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Cook pasta according to the package instructions.  Drain well.  Return to warm cooking pot but off of the burner.  Stir milk and pesto into hot pasta, until fully incorporated and milk slightly absorbs.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted. 
Serves 8

Gluten-free notes:  This dish can easily be made gluten-free.  Just replace the pasta with your favorite gluten-free variety.  According to the Heinz website (Heinz owns Classico), Classico Basil Pesto sold in the United States is gluten-free!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Breaded Steak Fingers {Egg-free, Dairy-free}

On of my husband's favorite pre-allergy foods was chicken fried steak.  It is off limits now because the steak is almost always dipped in an egg batter prior to frying it.  It certainly wasn't a healthy food choice but he did love it as an occasional treat when we dined out at a place that served it.

I pretty much never make fried foods at home.  I figure if you are going to eat that unhealthy, you might as well eat out, right?  So, I never really attempted to make the traditional version when he could have it.  Now that he can't have it, I decided to come up with an egg-free substitute to satisfy his cravings.  Not only does he love these, they are baked rather than fried so a little bit better for you than the egg-dipped deep-fried variety.

I made steak fingers because they are a little more versatile.  The kids like to dip them in ketchup but the hubby likes to cut them up and eat them with a fork full of mashed potatoes.  You can keep the steaks whole but you may have to adjust the cooking time a little bit.

If you like this recipe, you may also like Baked Chicken Strips (EF, DF) or Smothered Steak {Slow-cooker} (EF).

Breaded Steak Fingers

2 pounds cube steak
1 stick margarine or non-dairy margarine
1 1/3 c bread crumbs*
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1 t seasoned salt
1 t freshly ground black pepper
1 t paprika

Preheat oven to 350o.  In a shallow dish, combine bread crumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, pepper and paprika.  In a separate shallow bowl, melt the margarine.  Cut each piece of steak into one inch strips.  Dip each strip of steak in margarine, turning to coat.  Then place the steak in bread crumbs, turning to coat.  Place on baking sheet, lightly sprayed with cooking spray.  (I lined mine with foil.)  Cook at 350o for about 20 minutes.  Serves 6-8

* Be sure to check the bread crumb label to make sure they are egg-free and/or dairy-free, according to your dietary requirements.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mashed Potatoes

My family loves mashed potatoes.  They are a such a great allergy-friendly side that you can adjust to fit almost any diet!  For Christmas, both my husband (egg allergy) and brother-in-law (gluten allergy) are usually together.  This is one of our go to sides for Christmas dinner!  They both love mashed potatoes and we can make them without having to make any adjustments for either of them.  Now if you have a dairy allergy present, you do have to make sure to use dairy-free margarine and some kind of non-dairy milk substitute or broth.

Mashed potatoes go great with these dishes:   Smothered Steak {slow-cooker} (EF), Teriyaki Chicken (EF, DF, GF) and Herb Turkey Breast {slow-cooker} (EF, DF, GF).

Mashed Potatoes

3 pounds red potatoes
2 quarts cool water
1 stick margarine*
¾ c milk or non-dairy substitute*
1 t salt
1 t freshly ground black pepper
Peel most of the skin from the potatoes, leaving some.  I like the way having a little peel tastes but it also let’s everyone know the mashed potatoes are made from real, fresh potatoes!   Cut up the potatoes into about 1 inch cubes, place in a large pot or small stock pot.  Cover potatoes will cool or room temperature water.  Bring potatoes to a boil.  Boil for about 25 minutes or until potatoes pierce easily with a fork.  Remove pot from heat and drain potatoes.  Return drained potatoes to pot but off of the heat.  Add margarine, milk, salt and pepper to the potatoes.  Mash with a potato masher or an electric hand mixer until smooth.  Serve mashed potatoes warm.
Serves 9-12

*  I vary on these two ingredients.  For special occasions, especially if we are entertaining guests, I use cream and real butter.  Mmmm.  Those aren’t the healthiest options.  So, I don’t use them every time I make mashed potatoes.  Sometimes, I even use skim milk.  Note:  You may have to adjust the liquid, depending on what you are using.  If you are using cream, you may need a little more to get the desired consistency.  If you are using skim milk, you may need a little less.  For my dairy-free friends, you can also use chicken or vegetable broth in place of the milk or a non-dairy substitute of your choice.  But I would stay away from the sweeter non-dairy milks for this recipe.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread {Egg-free, Dairy-free}

Last month, I posted a recipe for Banana Nut Bread (EF, DF) that I really liked.  I had some ripe bananas to use up this week and some friends were coming over.  So, I decided to make it again but this time with chocolate chips in place of the pecans.  One of my friends doesn't care for nuts.  Who doesn't like a little chocolate with just about anything?  It turned out really good and everyone liked it!  If you use dairy-free chocolate chips, you can still keep it egg-free and dairy-free!

If you like this recipe, you may also like Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies (EF, DF).

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Adapted from Taste of Home Banana Bread Recipe

2/3 c sugar
1/3 cup shortening
2 c flour
2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 t vanilla
1 c mashed ripe bananas, about two medium
½ c chocolate chips (dairy-free can be used)

Beat sugar and shortening for about 5 minutes until combined.  Slowly mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix in bananas and vanilla.  The batter will be thick.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Spoon into a greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350° for about 45 minutes or until bread tests done with a toothpick. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cake Pops {Egg-free}

I am so excited about this post!  Sometimes it feels like certain fun foods are just off limits to people with food allergies.  I love it when I can figure out how to make something like cake pops work for everyone in our family!  I starting thinking . . .  why couldn't I start with our favorite egg-free cupcake and  go from there?

Because these cupcakes are a little more moist than the ones made with egg, you don't need to mix in as much icing as most recipes suggest.  They turned out really good and no one would ever know they don't have egg in them.  They have an almost truffle like texture that is a something between cake and candy.  My kids thought they were pretty awesome.  My husband was excited to try an increasingly popular treat that has pretty much been off-limits for him until now.  I made these using a yellow cake mix and white chocolate candy melts (with sprinkles in the candy) for a very vanilla flavor.  I want to try them again with chocolate!

Cake Pops {Egg-free}  
Method inspired by blog posts from Veronica's Cornucopia, Love from the Oven and Homemaker Chic

½ c prepared frosting
2 10-12 oz packages Candy Melts*
3 T vegetable shortening

Crumble up prepared, cooled cupcakes in a large bowl with your hands.  Also with your hands, mix in ½ cup of prepared icing until fully incorporated and cake starts to form into a large ball.  With a cookie dough scoop, spoon up batter and roll into a ball with your hands.  Place on a cookie sheet.  (I put parchment paper on my cookie sheet.)  Continue making cake balls until all cake mixture is used up.   Refrigerate cake balls for at least one or up to overnight.  

Melt candy melts in a double boiler with 1 T shortening.  Dip sticks in melted candy and push into the slightly flattened side of the cake ball.  (The side that was on the pan in the refrigerator will be slightly flattened.)  Place cake pop back on the cookie sheet with sticks facing up to allow candy to harden so the stick will stay in place.  Add an additional tablespoon of shortening to melted candy to thin it out slightly before dipping the cake pops.  Dip each pop into melted candy until the all of the cake ball surface is coated.  Lightly tap on the side of the pan to remove excess candy.  Decorate with sprinkles, if desired and stick into a piece of styrofoam or cake pop stand to until candy coating has hardened.  

*I used two packages of candy melts to make sure I had plenty of candy to dip into.  One would probably be enough to coat all of the pops, but you would have to be really careful when dipping and maybe use a smaller container so you don’t have to scrap the sides with the cake pop.

Makes about 2 dozen cake pops

I bought a cake pop stand to to put them in until the candy was hardened.  I would recommend it!

I had to sample one before I packaged them up!  Yummy!

 The nice thing about cake pops is that once the candy hardens, they are easy to transport and seem to stay moist for a while.  I used these small clear treat bags and simply tied with blue curling ribbon.  Once they were wrapped up, I was able to just put them in a little bag.  

Dairy-free notes:  These cake pops do contain dairy.  If anyone knows of a good dairy-free candy coating, I may attempt to make an egg-free, dairy-free version.  I know a lot of kids are allergic to both and this would be a fun treat for kids with food allergies!