Slow Cooker Corn-beef

For St. Patty’s Day or year around and nothing can be more traditional then corn beef and cabbage. It is a very easy dish to make in a slow cooker.

Ingredients:

2-3 pound corn beef (packaged with seasoning pack)

5 Carrots

1/2 Head Cabbage

1 Large Onion

About 3 Cups Water

Start by cutting carrots and onions into large chunks. Place in the slow corner. Rinse off the whole corn-beef and place on-top of carrots and onions. Add content of spice packet. Pour in water to just cover the top of the meat. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on low of  6 hours. An hour before serve place cabbage in a pot with half the liquid from the cabbage. Cook cabbage for about 30 min until soft. When you are ready to serve slice meat against the grain and serve with cabbage, carrots, onions and some mustard.

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DineWise

I try to make really easy and quick recipes for people to follow but I am constantly asked for grab-n-go meal options. Being gluten free is almost impossible to find a quick bite or even a frozen meal to turn to in a rush. I was asked to review a new line of frozen products and I am happy to report that they are good!

The line is called DineWise and they offer a wide range of meal options from weight loss, low sodium, diabetic and a few more options. They recently added a gluten free option to the menu with breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Each meal in one complete package that is microwaves and over safe. No need for dishes or anything else which is something very new in the gluten free world. Portions are all good and every meal was satisfying. The option range from ethnic dishes to comfort foods. Here is the list of GF options:

  1. Mac & Cheese
  2. Penne with Tomato Cream Sauce
  3. Cornmeal Crusted Talapia
  4. Meat Loaf with Gravy and Potatoes
  5. French Toast
  6. Chicken Tikka w/Rice
  7. Oatmeal with Peach Compote

I listed them in order starting with what I liked the best. I have to admit I was very surprised by the Mac & Cheese and Penne. Did not think it was possible to have a gluten free frozen pasta that can be re-heated and tun out really good! My boyfriend was a huge fan of the mac &cheese and he never likes any gluten free pasta options. It really came out like creamy souther mac.  The talapia also stood out for its huge portion, very crispy coating and zesty great flavor all around. I added some fruit to the french toast for a quick breakfast and was really happy with that.

The meals are easy to prepare either in the microwave or oven. I found that for the best result I would microwave for a minute or so and then placed it in the oven for 15 minutes. This took a bit longer but made a huge difference although the microwave worked fine. I love to cook so I do not keep frozen food around much but I must admit I was really nice to have a quick and easy option when I was in a rush or got home late.

You can order DineWise meals online at http://www.dinewise.com . Good prices and a bunch of bundle packages. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

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Raw Fruit Bar

I am always coming up with new and improved granola bar recipes. Grab-n-go snacks are what keep me going all day. I find my self stoping at WAWA all the time looking for a bag that is low in sugar, high in protein, no junk and gluten free. Now that I have been getting into cross fit I am really understanding the benefits of eating paleo. I came up with a bar that is easy to do, made of all the good stuff and easy to play with.

Ingredients:

15 Prunes

15 Dates

10 Figs

50 Hazel Nuts

1/2 Cup Sunflower Seeds

1/3 Cup Coco Powder

In a food processor place the hazel nuts and sunflower seeds. Blend into a nut meal. Place nuts in a large bowl. Now add the prunes, dates and figs to the food processor and blend until it starts to form a ball. Place the fruit in the bowl with the nuts and mix by hand well. Slowly add the coco powder and knead it in to the mix. Place the mix into a square tim pan and push evenly to fill the dish. I used an empty mason jar to help roll it to all edges. Slice and enjoy.

Makes 8 – 205 cal – 3.5g protien

 

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Sun Butter Cookie

Everyone loves my no flour peanut butter cookies. I bring them to every party I do. Working at a bakery I have become very aware of the high number of nut allergies. I decided to try and make a cookie recipe that has no flour and no nuts. An easy solution when you are in need of a gluten free treat.

Ingredients:

1 Cup Sunflower Butter

1 Egg

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Salt

1 Cup Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla

1 tsp Cinnamon

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Roll the dough into about 14 one inch balls. Place each ball on a foiled cookie sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Watch them, they can burn really fast.

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Gluten Free Paradise

Arenas Del Mar- Celiac Week, Fall 2014

Beachfront and Rainforest Resort

I love to travel and find new and exotic places.  I feel that it’s important to share the places that I find that are gluten-free friendly.  Recently, Arenas Del Mar (based in Costa Rica) approached me to assist them in their mission in transforming their resort into a luxury gluten-free vacation destination.

The program director has a daughter recently diagnosed with Celiac disease. Since her diagnosis, traveling has became a challenge for her.  As a result, her father embarked on a journey to show people that a luxury vacation in an exotic country can be made safe and enjoyable for anyone with a dietary restriction.  He wishes to transform his resort to accommodate anyone living on a gluten free diet.

Avoiding consuming gluten when traveling can be very challenging.  To suffice for the lack of gluten-free food, it’s common to spend a lot of money on granola bars, trail mix and other items that can be eaten when gluten-free food is unattainable.  It’s hard when you want to go on a vacation to relax, but you find yourself constantly worrying about what is safe to eat and drink.

Arenas Del Mar has decided to host a few special weeks at the resort that will be entirely gluten-free.  In order to accommodate this, the resort will ensure all food and beverages and even the soaps and cosmetics provided in the rooms, bathrooms and spa

contain no traces of gluten.  They have invited guests that share the commonality of living with celiac disease and other gluten sensitivity issues to visit the resort during these week.  This time will undoubtedly serve as a wonderful place to share experiences and learn from each other.

In May, I will be traveling down to the resort to write a full review about Arenas Del Mar.  Iwill spend time examining the kitchen and advising the staff of the obvious and not-so-obvious means in which gluten appears in the kitchen.  I will be charged with the responsibility to help the staff prepare a kitchen that is sanitized sufficiently and contains no contamination.

Arenas Del Mar is situated in paradise on the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica.  It is a boutique, luxurious, and lush 38-room hotel that is awe inspiring.  See it for yourself at:  www.ArenasDelMar.com.

  • The readers of Travel and Leisure magazine voted it the top family hotel in Central and South America in 2013.
  • The wedding planning website TheKnot.com listed it as one of the 50 most exotic honeymoon resorts in the world in 2013.
  • The Government of Costa Rica has annually awarded it 5 Stars for luxury and 5 Leaves for sustainability, the only hotel to win both awards.
  • The hotel has just been certified as being Carbon Neutral.

Situated in Manuel Antonio, it’s at the other end of a gorgeous tropical beach just minutes from Costa Rica’s most famous national park.  Wildlife abounds on the property, birds (157 species have been counted so far!), sloths, monkeys, frogs, iguanas….the list goes on!  I am counting down the seconds before I encounter the massages in the spa and margaritas under a palm tree on our own private beach.

Arenas del Mar is a bi-level hotel.  Half of the property is located on a 150-foot cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean while the other half is on a private beach. Views to the Northwest remind you of Big Sur and views to the Southeast are overlook a beautiful, curved, and long tropical beach that is ideal for walking.  The views, along with a cocktail at sunset, are listed in the famous book 1,000 Places to See Before You Die.

A Week for the Celiac Community

In support of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), Arenas Del Mar will host two weeks for the Celiac Community this year.  Both restaurants at Arenas Del Mar will go 100% gluten-free for their guests’ safety and comfort.

The first week, beginning September 13th 2014, will feature guest chef Monica Glass, who herself has celiac disease, accompanied by Chef Nicole Petrongolo. Monica has worked as a pastry chef at the acclaimed seafood restaurant Le Bernardin in New York City, 10 Arts in Philadelphia and now Clio in Boston.

The second week, beginning November 8th 2014, will feature Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook, the owners and chefs of the highly rated Zahav in Philadelphia. This restaurant was named best restaurant in Philadelphia by Philadelphia Magazine.

All the kitchen staff at Arenas Del Mar will also have completed the NFCA’s Great Kitchens training program which is accredited by the American Culinary Foundation.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit the NFCA.

For further details please contact: www.ArenasDelMar.com

or

Jeremy Allen, Program Director and hotel Partner by e-mail at AllenAllen@aol.com  or phone 610-407-9371.

If you plan to book, please let them know you found them from my blog to get the best rates.  Stay tuned for my full review in May!

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Cilantro Chutney

Chutney makes for an incredible dipping sauce for any meal. Full of flavor that pops. Chutney recipes can be creative. This one is easy to whip up in a crunch.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Cups Fresh Cilantro

1 Clove Garlic

1 inch cube ginger grated

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbs honey

1 small thai chili or half a jalapeño

Juice of 1 lime

2 Tbs Water

Place everything in a small food processor and blend until a paste forms. Feel free to keep out chili if you want to keep it mild.

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Sloppy Joe Pie

I had a pound of ground meat and wanted to do something different. I played around with a few ideas and I was craving my famous sloppy joes recipe. This was a great spin, easy to make and an fun kid fav.

Ingredients:

Filling-
1 lb ground meat. ( I like lean beef but you can use anything)
1 Onion Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic Chopped
16 oz Crushed Tomato
2 Tbs Bbq Sauce
1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbs Mustard
1 Tbs Honey
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper

Topping
1 Cup Corn Meal
1/2 Tapioca Flour
3 Egg
1/4 Cup Almond Milk
2 Tbs Honey
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Balsamic
1 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Tbs Butter (room temp)

Start with the filling by sautéing onions and garlic in a large well greased pan. Once brown add ground meat, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until mean is almost full cooked. Add tomato, honey, mustard and Worcestershire. Cook for another ten minutes until liquid starts to reduce. While the meat cooks, move to the topping. In a large bowl mix together the corn meal, tapioca, salt and baking soda. Once mixed add the remaining wet ingredients. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes.
Once meat is done pour as an even layer into a square casserole dish. Then pour the topping on top slowly and evenly. Topping will seem a bit fluid but it will come together.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes until top is golden and firm.

Enjoy!

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Polenta Waffle

I love coming up with a savory twist on a classic. I must have 50 waffle recipes but this one quickly became a fav. Plus now I can have a heathy waffle for dinner.

Ingredient:
1/4 cup instant polenta
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
Pinch fresh cracked pepper
1/3 cup almond milk

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add on egg and mix well. Now add half the milk, combine and let stand for a few minutes. Then add remaining milk and again let stand. Mix well and pour into hot waffle iron for 4 minutes. Enjoy with any toppings. Try something savory like avocado and salsa.

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