Honey-Balsamic Brussels Sprouts With Peanuts.
This sweet and salty Brussels sprouts dish was thrown together from random ingredients I had in my cupboard and fridge. Somehow, the flavors really work together! The honey and balsamic balance out the bitterness of the sprouts and the peanuts add a nice, salty crunch. So good!
Serves ~6 as a side dish.
- 4 cups trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/3 cup crushed peanuts
- salt/black pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil on medium-high heat in a large pan and once heated, add in the Brussels sprouts. Cook for about ten minutes, stirring often, allowing the sprouts to cook through and get crispy on the outside. Once they have lightly browned, reduce the heat and add in the balsamic vinegar, honey and peanuts. Stir to combine all of the ingredients and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Banana Cake with Vanilla-Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting.
I’ve started to experiment with baking a bit recently to try to enhance my skills, but they’re still definitely a work in progress! I made this cake for a dinner party recently and despite the enormous mess I created in the kitchen, it turned out really yummy. Not to mention, it’s actually fairly “healthy” as far as cakes go which is always a plus. It was a big hit at the party so I’ll definitely be making this again.
- 2 packages Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free vanilla cake mix
- 4 ripe bananas, sliced
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 16 oz whipped cream cheese
- 1/4 cup light butter (I used Earth Balance spread)
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup skim milk (or rice milk/almond milk)
Begin by making the cake batter. In your mixer, add the sliced bananas and mix on medium speed to allow them to mush together. Then add the eggs, vanilla, water and canola oil. Once combined, slowly add in the dry cake mix. Then add the chocolate chops and cinnamon. Once all mixed together, put the batter into two greased identical sized round cake pans with equal amounts of batter in each pan. Bake on 325 for about 40 minutes or until the cake is firm and lightly browned.
While the cake is baking, add the whipped cream cheese in the mixer with the light butter, vanilla and skim milk. Once mixed, slowly add in the powdered sugar and then add in the cinnamon.
When the cake is done baking allow it to cool. You will stack the two cakes, so you’ll want to take one of the cakes and cut off the top to create a flat top for the bottom layer. After you cut the top off, then you can frost the bottom layer. Frost generously on the top of the cake and then stack the other cake on top of it. Then you can frost the entire cake and top with some chocolate chips.
Gluten-Free Spicy Eggplant & Green Bean Stir Fry.
The Charlotte Regional Farmer’s Market is one of my favorite places I’ve found in Charlotte. They have the greatest selection of fresh (and inexpensive!) vegetables. I picked up some gorgeous Japanese eggplant there so wanted to make an Asian inspired stir fry with them. This creation has a lot of delicious flavor but is still a light and healthy dish. I served it with some rice noodles but you could also serve it with brown rice or top it off with some meat, too.
- 3 Japanese eggplant, halved and sliced
- 2 cups green beans, trimmed and cut in half
- 1/3 cup green onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup Tamari
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp chopped garlic
- 1 tbsp chopped ginger
- 1 tbsp Sriracha
- dash of hot red pepper flakes
Heat the olive oil on medium heat and add the chopped garlic. Once heated, add in the green beans and eggplant and cook for 10 minutes or so, stirring often. Once the vegetables begin to soften, add in the Tamari and the sesame oil. If the vegetables start to stick to the pan at all, add a splash of water. Cook for about 7-10 more minutes and then add the ginger, Sriracha, green onion and red pepper flakes and stir well in the pan to combine. Serve with your choice of side.
Gluten-Free Buffalo Chicken Bites.
I don’t know about you, but I sure do love Buffalo wings. Unfortunately, they’re not the healthiest of foods, so I decided to make a reduced guilt version. These buffalo chicken bites are made using chicken breast, gluten-free breading and are lightly pan-fried rather than deep-fried to create a crunchy texture. Serve them up with some celery and blue cheese dressing and you feel like you’re eating the real thing!
Serves 5-7 as an appetizer.
- 3 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 cup pure corn starch (ensure this is gluten-free if you require it)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup wing sauce (ensure this is gluten-free is you require it)
- 1 handful chopped green onion
- 6-8 tbsp canola oil
- sea salt (to taste)
- blue cheese dressing & celery for serving
Put the chicken breast pieces in a large Ziplock bag and pour in the corn starch. Shake around to ensure the chicken is coated evenly. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Heat 2 tbsp of canola in a non-stick pan on medium-high heat. While the oil is heating, dip the chicken in the egg and then transfer it directly into the hot pan. Cook the chicken on each side for about 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Repeat this process until all of the chicken is browned. Place the chicken into a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray and season with a dash of sea salt.
Bake the chicken in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, flipping the pieces halfway through. When the chicken is done cooking, toss with the wing sauce and green onion so the pieces are evenly coated. Serve with celery and blue cheese dressing.
Thai Beef Salad With Cucumber, Tomato & Onion With Ginger-Lime Dressing.
Thai Beef salads are one of my favorite dishes to order when I go out to Thai restaurants, so I was excited to finally make this for myself at home. This salad has tons of texture and flavor – it’s crunchy, tangy, sweet and savory. It’s full of bright flavor and makes a great, light meal.
- 3/4 lb flat iron or flank steak, grilled and sliced
- 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced
- 1 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1/4 cup peanuts, crushed
- 6 basil leaves, chopped
- 2 tbsp Tamari
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1 tsp sriracha sauce
- dash of hot red pepper flakes
Begin by making the dressing. Combine the Tamari, lime juice, sesame oil, ginger, sriracha and hot red pepper flakes and whisk well. In a large mixing bowl, add the lettuce, cucumber, onions, tomatoes, peanuts, basil and room temperature beef. Pour the dressing over top and toss to combine.