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Naked Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake
Copyright 2013 by R.A. Robbins

That got your attention didn’t it?

Since this is Friday the 13th I thought maybe we could all use a little pick-me-up.

Most people celebrate special occasions with cake.  At our house cake is a reason for celebration all its own.   And why not?  Especially when you health it up a bit.

All cakes at our house are naked — without frosting.  What did you think I meant?

I know carrot cake traditionally has a cream cheese icing.  But a rich, moist, dense cake like carrot cake really doesn’t need it.   Leave off the icing and you can really taste the full flavor of the cake.

Here’s my recipe — give it a try and let me know what you think.

Naked Carrot Cake

Gluten Free Carrot Cake
©©

 

Serves: 12

 

Prep Time: 30 minutes.

 

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Ingredients

1 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup agave nectar

1/2 cup powdered stevia sweetener
3 Tablespoons flax seed meal dissolved in 6 Tablespoons hot water (or 3 eggs or any equivalent combination of the eggs and flax
1 cup buckwheat flour
2 cups of your favorite gluten free flour blend
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 cups shredded carrots
1 can crushed pineapple with juice (mom’s recipe calls for a small can but I use a large one)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 can raisins (if you don’t like raisins, leave them out)
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine all ingredients. Mix until well blended.
3. Pour into prepared 9 x 13 pan.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 – 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
5. I think this cake is best served plain and needs no icing.  However if you must have icing there are plenty of recipes available online.

Gluten Free Monster cookies — A Holiday Extra

Monster Cookies
Copyright 2017

Just a little holiday recipe that I know is many people’s favorite.  I did play around with it a bit.  Please stay with me following the recipe for my notes made as I was making these.

Monster Cookies

1/2 c. softened margarine (I use an olive oil spread)

1/2 cup agave nectar

1/2 cup powdered stevia sweetener (not the baking blend)

2 Tablespoons molasses

1 1/2 cup peanut butter (I use natural peanut butter — just peanuts and a little salt)

3 eggs

2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 1/2 cup gluten free tolled oats

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup M & M’s candies (I used red and green)

Directions:

  1. Combine first four ingredients.
  2. Add eggs and mix well.
  3. Add oats and mix to combine.
  4. Add chocolate chips and candies.
  5. Scoop by rounded Tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet sprayed with pan spray.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees until bottoms are browned.  I don’t go by time.

Now for my notes:

  1. This would be an extremely sweet cookie made by the original recipe with 1 c. white sugar, 1 c. brown sugar and regular peanut butter with lots of sugar added to it.
  2.  I used 1/2 cup agave, 1/2 cup powdered stevia sweetener (not baking blend and 2 Tablespoons molasses (for a little of the brown sugar flavor.  They were still plenty sweet.  May cut sugar back even more next time.
  3. I used olive oil margarine spread instead of butter or regular margarine.  I would normally use applesauce and may try that next time.
  4. Natural peanut butter works fine even though all the recipes I found online said it wouldn’t.  Natural peanut butter should only contain peanuts and maybe a little salt — no sugar, high fructose corn syrup or preservatives.
  5. I used real eggs due to the other ingredients and the binding function of the eggs.
  6. Made these a bit bigger than normal for me.  I used 1 Tablespoon (serving spoon) per cookie — not the 1/2 cup some recipes called for.  So these are not a huge cookie made my way.
Monster Cookies
Copyright 2017 by R.A. Robbins

6. I did not place extra candies on top since I thought these already had enough.  I did try to scoop them so a few candies showed on top since that’s what makes these cookies so pretty.

7, My cookies do not usually spread out because I usually don’t use fat or actual sugar.  Since I did use the margarine, these did spread a little but not a lot.  I usually flatten my cookies a bit and shape them to be round before placing on baking sheet.

8.  Next time I might cut back or chocolate chips or candy or leave chips out.

9. Carefully life corner of 1 cookie to check for browning  Cool on pan as cookies are fragile when hot.

This is not a healthy recipe — there is no way around that with all the chocolate chips and candy.  By cutting the sugar and using natural peanut butter you can make it a bit better.  You could also use dried fruit and nuts or trail mix (the kind without candy) instead of the chocolate.

Made my way this made 3 1/2 dozen average size cookies — not the huge number of cookies or the huge cookies some recipes mention.

This was a holiday treat I made because it was something my mom made.  We are always gluten free  — we do not cheat, ever.  But we do enjoy our sweets and I do allow a little wiggle room there.  This is not something we would eat regularly, but it was a nice holiday treat.

A Spring Recipe – Deviled Eggs

When I think of spring and summer something that always comes to mind is deviled eggs.  They are always a part of my Easter table as well as picnic food throughout the summer.

The other day I was talking to a friend about an upcoming potluck in our little community.  I said, “We might end up with six plates of deviled eggs.”  She laughed and then I said, “But I think everybody has their own special recipe so that might be okay.”  And we continued to talk about how many different ways there are to devil an egg.

At my house the filling is moist (I use an olive oil based mayo), tart (we add vinegar) and bright yellow (lots of mustard).  Our garnish of choice is paprika sprinkled over the top.  Your preference might be sliced olive, pickle or something else.

Here is my basic recipe, but I go by color and taste rather than exact measurement so feel free to adjust to suit your own tastes.

Deviled Eggs

Ingredients:

6 eggs

1 t. vinegar (more or less)

1 t. prepared mustard (more or less)

2 T. mayo or salad dressing (more or less)

Directions:

1.  Hard boil eggs using your preferred method.  Cool and peel.

2.  Cut eggs in half the long way.

3.  Carefully scoop our the yolks using a spoon and put in a small bowl.

4.  Arrange whites on your serving plate.  If you have a deviled egg plate, use it.

6.  Mash yolks and add vinegar, mustard and mayo to taste.  Continue mashing and stirring until yolks are very smooth.

7.  To put the yolks mixture back in the whites you can use a small spoon.  When I worked in a restaurant I learned to use a pastry bag for this and love that method.  If you don’t have a pastry bag you can use a plastic sandwich bag with one corner cut off on the diagonal.  This is much easier, quicker and less messy than the spoon method.

Makes 12 deviled eggs.  I like to use the whole dozen and make 24.

 

Chocolate Chip Trail Mix Cookies

Copyright 2016 by R.A. Robbins
Copyright 2016 by R.A. Robbins

Who doesn’t love cookies?  Cookies turn even an ordinary day into a celebration.  This is my regular chocolate chip cookie recipe jazzed up a bit.  Just in time for holiday cookie exchanges, this recipe is gluten free, egg free and reduced fat.  Don’t be fooled by the ingredients in this recipe.  These taste so good, if you don’t tell them, people without food restrictions will never guess anything is missing.

 

Chocolate Chip Trail Mix Cookies

2 Tablespoons flax seed meal mixed with 6 Tablespoons hot water (this will replace the eggs)

1 cup unsweetened applesauce (instead of butter)

3/4 cup agave nectar (instead of white and brown sugar)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Flour

1 cup brown rice flour

1/4 cup buckwheat flour (don’t worry buckwheat isn’t even a distant relative of wheat)

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup cranberry almond trail mix

1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut.

  1.  Combine flax seed meal and hot water.  Stir and let sit until thick (consistency of egg whites).
  2.  Combine flax seed mixture, applesauce, agave and vanilla in large bowl.  Mix well.
  3. Add flours and baking soda.  Stir to blend in flours.
  4. Add chocolate chips, trail mix and coconut.  Stir till well mixed.
  5. Spoon by tablespoons onto baking sheet.  Press out a little with back of spoon dipped in water if you want a flatter cookie (these won’t spread out like cookies with butter and sugar.)
  6. Bake in 350 degree over until bottoms of cookies are browned.
  7. Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool.

Foe more recipes, including this one check out:

Sugar and Spice Link Party

Mom’s Easy Potato Soup

Copyright 2013 by R.A. Robbins
Copyright 2013 by R.A. Robbins

When I was putting together the list of soup recipes for yesterday’s post I couldn’t find my mom’s potato soup.  Surely I had shared that here.  Well apparently not. So here it is.

My mom like to make this on Sunday afternoon and we would have a bowl before going back to church for evening service.  Keep in mind we never measured our ingredients for this soup.  We just used what we had on hand.  Now let’s make that soup.

 
1. First gather your ingredients. You will need 1 medium potato for each serving of soup, 1 small onion, 2 ribs of celery and milk or your favorite substitute (I use almond milk).

Copyright 2013 by R.A. Robbins
Copyright 2013 by R.A. Robbins

2. Make sure your kitchen helper is ready. Isn’t she cute?

kitty-helper2
3. Next chop your ingredients. I do not peel my potatoes but you can if you want. Cut potatoes into bite sized pieces, slice the celery and chop the onion.

4.  Cover potatoes, onion and celery with water in a saucepan or soup pot.

Copyright 2013 by R.A. Robbins
Copyright 2013 by R.A. Robbins

5. Cook on top of stove until potatoes are soft but not mushy. Do not drain.


6. To water already in the pot, add 2 Tablespoons butter or margarine (my mother used a whole stick, but she used reduced fat milk — go figure) and as much milk as you think looks right. I just eyeball it.


7. Give the soup a stir to see if it looks good to you. My mom made her potato soup rather thin, but you can make it thicker by adding less milk. Cook on low until heated through.

Copyright 2013 by R.A. Robbins
Copyright 2013 by R.A. Robbins

Season to taste with pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash. I like to garnish with a little sliced scallion.


Now you have a basic tater soup, but that’s only the beginning. Bob’s mom liked to add ham and cheese to hers. This basic soup also makes a good base for chowder. I like to make chicken corn chowder by adding cubed chicken, sliced mushrooms and a can of cream corn. You may thicken your chowder with a little corn starch dissolved in water if you wish.

 

 

It’s National Ice Cream Month!

Carrot Cake Fruit Cream Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins
Carrot Cake Fruit Cream
Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins

July is National Ice Cream Month by Presidential Proclamation 5219, signed by then President Reagan on July 9, 1984.  But did you know that today, July 17 is also National Ice Cream Day?  Ice cream is certainly one way I enjoy my journey through life.

Let’s think about ways we can celebrate ice cream.

  1. Try a new flavor.
  2. Give homemade a try.  There are many different ways and recipes to make homemade ice cream.  It is fun.  Homemade tastes better than store-bought.  Try it.
  3. Create a new recipe either for ice cream or using ice cream as an ingredient.
  4. Do you know the history of ice cream?
  5. Make kick the can ice cream with the kids.
  6. Love chocolate sauce?  Try my Dark Chocolate Sauce.
  7. Can’s eat dairy?  No problem!  There are non-dairy options made with alternative milks (such as alm0nd, rice or coconut).  Some are even made with frozen fruit such as bananas.  Try my Carrot Cake Fruit Cream.
  8. Set up a sundae bar.  Let the kids help.  Don’t forget to include healthy toppings such as fresh fruit and berries.
  9. Get social with your ice cream.  I’m not talking about social media here, invite people over for homemade ice cream or a sundae party.  Get the neighbors involved and have a block party.  It often seems that food divides us, but I believe it can still bring us together.
  10. Finally, be sure to check out the new recipes in my e-book Frozen Fun. We have added a section on smoothies.  Of course we still have the regular ice cream  and fruit cream recipes.   Frozen Fun is available from the Amazon Kindle Store or Espirational Books.

We’re celebrating with a little peach fruit cream I whipped up in the Ninja.  How are you celebrating?

This post has been added to:

Sugar and Spice Link Party

Carrot Raisin Breakfast Mini-Muffins

 Photo copyright 2012 R.A. Robbins

Photo copyright 2012 R.A. Robbins

These healthy little gluten free, low fat muffins will satisfy a sweet tooth while also providing a healthy dose of fiber and protein.

Ingredients:
1 T. flax seed meal plus 3 T. hot water (or 1 egg)
¾ c. milk (I use almond milk)
½ c. unsweetened applesauce
1/3 c. agave nectar ( or 2/3 c. sugar)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 c. raisins
½ c. chopped walnuts (optional)
1 c. buckwheat flour
1 c. sorghum flour
1 T. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Combine flax seed and hot water. Mix well and let stand for 20 minutes. The mixture should reach the consistency of egg whites.
3. Combine milk, applesauce. Flax seed/water mixture and agave nectar in large bowl.
4. Add carrots, raisins and walnuts. Stir well.
5. Stir in flours, baking powder and cinnamon.
6. Stir just until all ingredients are combined. Do not over mix.
7. Spoon mixture into the cups of a mini-muffin pan. The cups will be full.
8. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes or until done.
9. Remove from oven. Cool.
Makes 24 mini muffins.

Rogene Robbins is the author of The Gluten Free Good Life and other books available at Espirational Books  and Amazon.com’s Kindle Store Please visit her My Gluten Free Life Page to get better acquainted with her.

This recipe is linked to:

Allergy Free Wednesday at Tessa the Domestic Diva

Gluten Free Wednesdays at the Gluten Free Homemaker

Tasty Tuesday at the New Mrs. Adventures

Melt in Your Mouth Monday at Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms

Gluten Free Fridays at Vegetarian Mama

Pizza Pie Day

I know I didn’t get this on the holiday list for February.  How could I miss it?  I think I should start checking the Food Holiday list from The Nibble more often.

Let’s just say I love Pizza.  So do I have a gluten free pizza recipe?  Of course!  This is not my healthiest recipe by any means, but after all it’s  PIZZA!

Cheeseburger Pizza

Cheeseburger Pizza Copyright 2014 by R.A. Robbins
Cheeseburger Pizza
Copyright 2014 by R.A. Robbins

Crust Ingredients:
2 3/4 c. all purpose gluten free flour
1 T. sugar
1 package quick rise yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees, a few drops on your wrist should feel warm but not hot)
2 T. olive oil

Toppings:
1/2 c. barbecue sauce (read label first)
1 lb. hamburger (or soy crumbles if preferred)
2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 c. shredded lettuce
1/4 c. chopped red onion (or more to taste)
Hamburger dill pickles to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine flour sugar and yeast in a bowl.

Add water and oil and stir to combine ingredients. This will form a dough, it will not be a batter.

Put dough in a 15 inch pizza pan sprayed with pan spray. With damp hands push the dough out to fill the pan. Smooth the top of the dough.

I take one finger dipped in water and draw a slight indentation around the dough about 1/2 to 1 inch in from the outside of the dough. This will help form your crust.

Let dough rise in a warm place in the pan for 30 minutes or until double.

While crust is rising cook your hamburger in a skillet until browned with no pink left.

When crust has doubled bake for 5 minutes.

Remove from oven. Smooth barbecue sauce over top of crust. Add cooked hamburger and cheese.

Return to oven and bake for an additional 15 – 20 minutes.

Remove from oven. Add lettuce, onions, tomatoes and don’t forget the pickles. Serve and enjoy your cheeseburger.

More down home family style recipes from Rogene Robbins may be found in her Kindle book The Gluten Free Good Life.

This recipe is shared at the following link-ups.  If you are looking for gluten free recipes check them out.

Allergy Free Wednesdays

Gluten Free Wednesdays

A Savory Pumpkin Side Dish

Who doesn’t love pumpkin pie?  I know I do, but I also enjoy savory pumpkin dishes, like my Pumpkin Quinoa Pilaf with Bacon.

Copyright 2013 by RA Robbins
Copyright 2013 by RA Robbins

 

Pumpkin Quinoa Pilaf with Bacon

Ingredients:

6 strips turkey bacon diced check the label for gf turkey bacon — I use Jennie-O

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

2 cups pumpkin puree

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon lemon pepper

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Directions:

1. Brown turkey bacon.

2. Remove bacon from skillet and drain on paper towels. Reserve for later.

3. Add 1 Tablespoon oil to skillet. Add quinoa and cook, stirring until lightly browned.

4. Add water and bring to a boil.

5. Reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until just a little liquid is left on the quinoa.

6. Add pumpkin, nutmeg, pepper and cinnamon.

7. Reserving 1 Tablespoon of bacon for garnish add rest of bacon to quinoa. Stir.

8. Return pan to stove, cover and allow remaining liquid to be absorbed.

9. Pour pilaf into serving dish and garnish with remaining bacon.

Serves 6.

Like this recipe?  Find more of my holiday recipes in Have Yourself a Healthy Little Holiday available at Espirational Books.

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Thanksgiving Recipes: Gluten Free Recipe Fix

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Create Link Inspire

Gluten Free Wednesdays

What’s Cooking Wednesday

 

 

A Cold Smoothie for a Hot Day

Choco-nana peanut butter smoothie
Image copyright 2012 by R.A. Robbins

Smoothies have replaced ice cream for us.  To make one of our favorites I combine:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons flax seed meal
  • 2 Tablespoons natural peanut butter (optional)
  • 1 Stevia packet (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Process in blender adding enough ice cubes to make it as thick as you like.  This will make two large servings.  Enjoy!

Now it’s your turn.  What’s your favorite smoothie flavor?