Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Chicken Nuggets two-ways...

You can never have enough chicken nuggets in our house!  
They are a real treat to make for the kids (and adults) when you are craving something bad.  When my youngest daughter first developed her food allergies this is definitely the one food that separated her from the other kids.  I was determined in the beginning to make or find a recipe that could replace the kind we use to buy.  When it comes to a recipe like this, food allergies are a blessing, since the more "whole ingredients" you use the better it taste!   My chicken nugget recipes are probably the most requested meals I get from my daughters friends.  They have no idea that they are allergy free and really could care less as long as I make them!
  I do have many chicken nugget recipes, but this one is the quickest since it doesn't involve a batter to pre-make.  This particular recipe can be done two ways, one with coconut on the outside and one without the coconut.  We love either one, so it usually just depends if I have the coconut in my pantry or not!  You can make them nugget size or tender size.  These are very quick to make and can be reheated in the oven for leftovers the next day.  

gf/df/soy free/egg free

Chicken Nuggets:

5  Chicken Tender Breast (thawed if frozen) or Nugget size (cut into pieces)

1/4 Cup  Brown Rice Flour
1/4 Cup  Coconut Flour
1/4 Cup  Corn Starch (or Potato Starch)
1/4 tsp.  Xantham Gum
1 tsp.  Baking Powder
1/2 tsp.  Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp.  Sea Salt

1 Cup  Coconut Milk (or Milk of choice)
1 tsp.  Lemon Juice

2 Cups  Coconut (grated) Unsweetened or Sweetened -whichever you prefer

Canola Oil for frying

In one small bowl, add brown rice flour, coconut flour, corn starch, xantham gum, baking powder, garlic powder and sea salt.  Mix together until blended and no lumps, set aside.  In another small bowl, add coconut milk and lemon juice and stir together.  Let sit about 5 minutes to create a "buttermilk".  In one last bowl add grated coconut, set aside.  Dredge chicken nugget into flour mixture to cover completely.  Next dip into "buttermilk" mixture and then dredge into grated coconut, pressing firmly onto chicken.  Set aside on plate and finish the rest.  
In large pan, I use a cast iron skillet, add canola oil so it fills up to about 1/2 inch from bottom.  Heat up over medium heat.  Once oil is heated add coated chicken, two at a time, into pan.  Cook about 3 minutes per side.  Drain onto paper towel.  Repeat until all chicken is done.  Serve hot and enjoy!

*If choosing to not use grated coconut.  After first dredging into flour mixture, then dipping into "buttermilk" repeat process two more time.  You will create a nice coating onto the chicken.  Then cook in heated oil as stated.  

*Note:  If using sweetened coconut, keep in mind the sugar on the coconut will burn quicker than unsweetened, so you may have to adjust your oil heat accordingly.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

Cornbread Muffins Three-Ways!

Cornbread Muffins three ways.  I couldn't decide on which one to do, so I tried all three.  The first is your basic Cornbread muffin.  A great go-to with a slightly sweet Cornbread flavor.  The second flavor is Jalapeno Cheddar.  The jalapenos add the perfect amount of heat without being to overpowering and the "cheese" mellows any heat out.  The third flavor is Orange Cranberry. A hint of orange with the tartness of the cranberries.  So good.  And to top each one, I made a bowl of Honey-Butter which went perfect with any of the flavors.   Each one has their own distinct flavor, even though they come from the same basic batter.  

We really loved all three flavors and picking just one would have been a tough choice after tasting all three.  These muffins have a slight sweetness to them because of the maple syrup which goes so well with the Masa flour.  You could certainly use Cornmeal if that is what you have in your cupboard.  If you do, make sure you use less liquid, as Masa flour is a bit "heavier" when used in baking.  

I made these for a family event to go with my Mom's delicious chili, which makes for the perfect food pairing!  You will feel no need to tell anyone they are gluten free, refined sugar free or vegan for that fact!   I piled these on a huge platter with the bowl of Honey-Butter and let everyone pick and choose.

GF/Vegan/Refined sugar free

Cornbread Muffins:
Oven 350 degrees
Muffin tin lined with 12 paper liners

This is the basic Cornbread Muffin recipe.  I added the variations at the end.

1 Cup  Masa Four
1/2 Cup  Brown Rice Flour
1/4 Cup  White Rice Flour
1/4 Cup  Potato Starch
1 tsp  Xantham Gum
1 TB  Baking Powder
1/2 tsp  Sea Salt
1/8 Cup plus 1/4 Cup  Canola Oil
1/8 Cup plus 1/4 Cup  Pure Maple Syrup
1 Cup  Rice Milk (or milk of choice)
1/2 - 1 Cup  Water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners, set aside.
In a large mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, add all ingredients, starting with just 1/2 cup of the water.  Mix on low until ingredients are incorporated and if still too thick add in the other 1/2 cup of water.  Mix on medium until well blended, 1-2 minutes.  Drop batter into liners with a large spoon.  Bake at 350 degrees for 17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when tested.

Add Ins:


1/4 Cup  Jalapeno Peppers, chopped  ( I used a jarred kind, but fresh would be even better!)
3/4 Cup  Daiya Shredded Cheddar Cheese (or shredded Cheddar Cheese of choice, substitute or not)

After mixing basic cornbread muffin batter on medium speed, remove mixing bowl and mix in by hand the jalapenos and cheddar.  Drop batter into liners with large spoon.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when tested.


1/2 Cup  Orange Juice
1 Cup  Dried Cranberries

Substitute 1/2 cup of the Rice milk listed in the ingredient list for the 1/2 cup of orange juice.  Mix as instructed and then remove mixing bowl and stir in by hand the dried cranberries.  Drop batter into liners with large spoon.  Bake at 350 degrees for 17 minutes.

Honey Butter:

3/4 Cup  Butter Substitute ( I use Earth Balance Soy Free) or Butter of choice
1/4- 1/2 Cup  Honey (to taste)

Mix both ingredients into a bowl until combined.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Chocolate Donuts

Chocolate donuts anyone!  
What's better than a freshly made chocolate donut?  How about one made gluten free and vegan!  And the donut itself, is refined sugar free!  These delicious bites are simple to prepare and have a rich chocolate flavor when you pair it with coconut sugar.  I love using coconut sugar in as many recipes as I can when substituting for refined white sugar.  It has a rich maple flavor and doesn't give off a overly sweet taste when baking.  I topped them with a chocolate coconut oil glaze.  One of my favorites, and with the mini-donuts, you can pour extra glaze in the center and it will firm up once refrigerated and become really fudgie!  Those are the ones my youngest always picks out to eat first!  Smart girl.  I ended up topping half with coconut and half without.  The toppings are endless for donuts so pick your favorite and add on!  

Gluten Free/Soy Free/Vegan

Chocolate Donuts:
Oven: 350 degrees
Donut pan(s), large or mini

1/3 Cup  Brown Rice Flour
1/3 Cup  White Rice Flour (I use sweet)
1/4 Cup  Potato Starch
1/4 Cup  Tapioca Starch
1/2 tsp  Xantham Gum
1/4 Cup  Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
2 tsp  Baking Powder
1/2 Cup  Organic Coconut Sugar
1/4 tsp  Sea Salt
1/2 Cup Rice Milk (unsweetened)
1 tsp  Lemon Juice
1 1/2 tsp  Egg Replacer mixed with 2 TB water
1/2 Cup  Canola Oil (or oil of choice)
1/2 tsp  Pure Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In small bowl mix rice milk and lemon juice together and set aside.  In another small bowl mix your egg replacer and 2 TB of water and set aside to thicken.  In large mixing bowl with paddle attachment, add brown rice flour, white rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, xantham gum, cocoa powder, coconut sugar and sea salt.  Mix on low until well combined and coconut sugar lumps are completely broken up.  Next add rice milk mixture, egg replacer mixture, canola oil and vanilla extract.  Mix on low until combined.  Using a pastry bag or heavy zip lock bag, fill with donut batter and squeeze desired amount into donut pan.  This amount of batter will fill two pans of 6 large or 2 pans of 12 minis with 3/4 full of batter in each donut form.  I did one each.  Bake large donuts for 8-10 minutes and mini donuts for 6 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely and remove from pan.

Chocolate Glaze:

1/2 Cup  Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
1 TB  Coconut Oil

Combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil into a microwave safe bowl and microwave 30 seconds.  Stir and keep adding 10 seconds until melted.  Stirring in between each added time.  Drizzle on top of completely cooled donuts.  The glaze will set up, but I always refrigerate mine immediately to quicken the wait time....Enjoy!

A little chocolate and a little coconut!........................how about sprinkles or nuts or dried fruit?!  So many options, just pick your favorite and "top" away!