Gluten Free Buffalo Chicken Dip

Gluten Free Buffalo Chicken Dip

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Happy Super Bowl Sunday!! Although my team isn’t playing in the Super Bowl this year, it is still fun to go to football parties and watch the game. I am more excited for the commercials and the half time show.

This quick buffalo chicken dip is a crowd favorite and sure to please at any party.

What You Need:

2 large chicken breasts, halved

salt and pepper

red pepper

coconut spray

1/2 cup to 1 cup of buffalo sauce (I love Franks Red Hot)

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1 package of light or half fat cream cheese, room temperature

1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (save 1/2 cup for top)

What To Do:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and spray a baking pan with coconut spray.  Season the chicken breasts with the salt, pepper, and red pepper mixture.  I didn’t included a measurement because everyone likes different combinations of spices.  Cook for about 20-25 minutes, depending on how thick your chicken is.

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Let the chicken cool and when it has cooled off, shred the chicken breast in a bowl, add in the hot sauce and Greek yogurt.  Mix until incorporated.

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Mix in the cream cheese and cheddar cheese.

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Spray a baking pan with the coconut oil spray and put in the dip.  Spread the rest of the cheddar cheese on top and bake for 20ish minutes -you want the top to be melted and bubbly.

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enjoy xo

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Quick and Easy Taco Dip

Easy Taco Layer Dip

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This is a quick and easy dish to make and bring to a party or for when you have a fiesta at your place. Our Thanksgiving tradition is to have a Mexican Fiesta the day after Thanksgiving. I make my famous fresh margaritas and this year I made this taco layer dip.

I am not going to lie when I said that this Thanksgiving was such a mix of emotions. We were missing two very important people at our table and I didn’t even want to celebrate. This is the first holiday without my mom and recently my uncle also unexpectedly passed away. Our family has been through so much these past two years, so many tragedies and too many deaths. Thankfully, I have the support of my family and friends but it is hard to understand how I am feeling because everyone feels different when a death occurs. I am thankful for my friends and family, my ever-changing health, my dog, my students and coworkers, the support of my lovegfree life community, and being able to share my story along with the struggles that I am facing. Take a minute and reflect on what you are thankful for. Even when it seems like your world is crashing down, there is always something to be thankful for.

What You Need:

Gluten Free Refried Beans

Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt

Gluten Free Taco Seasoning (or you can go back to my taco recipe for a homemade version of my own Taco Seasoning)

Guacamole

Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Tomatoes, diced

Olives, sliced

Lettuce

Tortilla Chips

What To Do:

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In a large baking dish, put down a layer of refried beans.

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Mix together the sour cream/Greek yogurt with the taco seasoning.

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Put the mixture on top of the refried beans and layer on the guacamole and cheddar cheese.

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On top of that, sprinkle the tomatoes, olives, and lettuce.

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Serve the dish cold with tortilla chips and with a delicious fresh strawberry margarita!

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Enjoy xoxo

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Gluten Free S’mores Stuffed Cookies

Gluten Free S’mores Stuffed Cookies

Who doesn’t love s’mores? S’mores remind me of sitting around a fire, holding a marshmallow over the flame, and enjoying the company of good friends. Why can’t we have that all the time, anytime in fact?

I am privileged to be apart of Schär’s Gluten Free #SmoreSchar campaign (link to free sample and coupon at the bottom). I was able to develop a recipe for Schär using their s’mores kit. I had so many ideas and it took me a while to think about what I wanted to make. What I really wanted was a warm, comforting s’more that I could make in my house (besides microwaving them lol). I made a basic graham cracker crust, stuffed the inside with marshmallows and chocolate, and topped them with roasted marshmallows. Oh My Goodness were these good! They were warm and gooey, perfect amount of crumble in the graham cracker crust, and just plain delicious!

 

What You Need:

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Schär Gluten Free Honey Graham Crackers, 1 1/2 cups crushed

3 tablespoons of Vegan Butter, melted

2 teaspoons Coconut Sugar

Herseys Chocolate Bar, broken into chunks (leave one piece for later)

Mini Marshmallows

Salt

Coconut Spray

What To Do:

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In a bowl, pour your crushed graham crackers and mix with your melted vegan butter, coconut sugar, and a pinch of salt.  You want the mixture to be crumbly but firm enough to mold. If your mixture is too wet, you can add more crushed graham crackers or a little bit a gluten free baking flour. Separate 1/2 cup of your mixture for later.

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In a muffin/cupcake tin (6 cup holders), spray your cups with coconut spray so your cookie crust won’t stick. Take one cup of your graham cracker mixture and put into the cups evenly. Take your hands and press into the cups to pack them. Place in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

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When the cookie/crust mixture comes out, fill the cups with mini marshmallows and the chocolate chunks. With the chocolate, make sure you evenly split the chocolate into all six cups. Take the rest of your graham cracker mixture and place evenly on top. Use your hands again to pack down the cups. Bake in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.

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Take out the pan and add a generous amount of marshmallows on top. You don’t want them to spill over the sides or your cookies might get stuck. Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes. Be careful and watch them! You want a nice toast to the marshmallows on top. You don’t want to burn them, except if that is how you like your marshmallows in your s’mores.

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Let cool for about 10 minutes (try your hardest not to eat them) and carefully with a knife, loosen around the cookie. I used a fork to help lift them out.

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Oh my goodness, these were delicious!

What I love about Schär’s and you know I wouldn’t promote any company if I didn’t believe in them or their products, is that they are committed to serving the gluten-free community and lifestyle. The products are made in a dedicated gluten free facility. They are backed by over 30 years of experience and have many professionals of different facets working together to provide the best gluten free food.

Schärs is offering a free sample of their Honeygrams AND $1 off coupon! You can’t go wrong. Head to www.smoreschar.com!

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted Veggies

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As the weather begins to cool down, my favorite way to make seasonal vegetables is to roast them. There is something that is so comforting about eating a bowl of warm, roasted veggies. I am constantly changing up the different veggies in this dish so feel free to experiment!

 

What You Need:

Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed

Zucchini, sliced

Carrots (I used baby carrots but you could use either type)

Sweet Potato, cubed

Two small Red Potatoes, cubed

Herbed Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

 

What To Do:

Line a baking pan with foil and sprinkle on herbed olive oil. This amount of veggies took up two baking pans. Toss the veggies in the oil and sprinkle on salt and pepper. Toss them again a couple of times until they are evenly coated.

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Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, take out the pans, and flip the veggies. Bake for another 20 minutes until the vegetables are golden brown.

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I like to pair my roasted vegetables with my homemade honey mustard dressing. See the recipe under dressings or clink the link above! Enjoy!

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Mediterranean Cucumber Salad

Mediterranean Cucumber Salad

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I love Greek food! It is probably one of my favorite cuisines and easily adaptable to gluten free cooking. My grandma recently told us (within the past few years) that we are part Greek, so let us enjoy some great food!

This cucumber and tomato salad is quick to make.

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What you need:

Cucumber diced (I used ½ very large English Cucumber)

Two Tomatoes diced (I used vine tomatoes)

Feta Cheese (1/4 block, broken up with a fork)

Garlic Vinaigrette (I got this at a local supermarket)

Salt and Pepper

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What to do:

  1. Dice cucumbers and tomatoes.
  2. Salt and pepper to your liking (Remember the feta is kind of salty, so you might not need as much salt. You can always add more, not take any away).
  3. Add feta and drizzle on some garlic vinaigrette.

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Tomatoes are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients. Vitamin A, C, folic acid, beta-carotene, and lycopene are just a few of the important health benefits we receive when eating tomatoes. Choline is a super important nutrient found in tomatoes. Studies have proven that choline helps reduce chronic inflammation! When you have Celiac Disease or Inflammatory Disease (or both), you struggle with chronic inflammation. It is important to make sure your diet is rich with anti-inflammatory foods and incorporating tomatoes is an easy way to help support decreasing chronic inflammation.

How are you going to incorporate tomatoes into your lifestyle?

xoxo Jenn

Watermelon Bowl

Watermelon Bowl

How cute is this watermelon bowl? I went to a cookout this Labor Day Weekend and wondered what to bring. Cookouts or BBQ’s are sometimes a scary place to be when you have Celiac Disease and food allergies. You don’t know what food is going to be there, will you be able to eat anything, or are things cross-contaminated?

To make this cute watermelon bowl, get a watermelon and cut the top off. Don’t cut through the middle because you want your bowl to be filled with the cut watermelon pieces. Since I did not have a melon baller (which you could use to get those cute balls of watermelon), I took a knife and cut around the edges in the inside. With a large spoon, I scooped the watermelon out and cut it into chunks. I put the watermelon chunks back into the watermelon bowl.

This was a big hit at the cookout! You could also make a fruit salad with different types of fruits and use the watermelon bowl to hold it.

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful Labor Day Weekend! xoxo

Kale Chips

Kale Chips

Kale Chips

Kale is such a versatile vegetable. It can transform many dishes and is great in juice or smoothies. Kale is one of the most nutrient dense vegetables around. It is full of vitamins like vitamin A, K, C, B6, Iron, Calcium, Potassium, and Magnesium to name a few. It is also loaded with antioxidants, which help counteract damage, by free radicals. Kale is delicious both raw and cooked. I made two variations with the Kale Chips, Plain Kale Chips and Garlic Parmesan Kale Chips.

What you need for the Kale Chips:

1 Bunch of Kale

1 Tablespoon of Herbed (or regular) Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

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What to do:

Wash your Kale thoroughly! Kale is a root bound vegetable and it can get dirt stuck in between the leaves. I like to use a fruit and vegetable wash. I pour a little bit into a big bowl and fill it with water. Take each leaf and dunk it into the mixture. Then lay it out on paper towels to dry.

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  1. Take a sharp knife and cut the inside stalk out. You only want to use the leafy part.

2. Tear into pieces and place into a large bowl. You need enough room to mix all the ingredients in.

3. Add olive oil and massage the Kale. Yes, you heard right. You need to massage the Kale. Massaging the Kale helps break down the tough, bitter fibers in the Kale. It helps it become less bitter and softer. The olive oil is also great for your hands!

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4. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper. This is to your taste. I love pepper so I used 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of pepper.

5. Mix again and put on a baking sheet with parchment paper.

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6. Cook at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. If you like your Kale to be even crunchier, add another 5 minutes.

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For the Garlic Parmesan Kale Chips, you will need:

1 Bunch of Kale

1 Tablespoon of Herbed (or regular) Olive Oil

2 large cloves of garlic, crushed

¼ shredded Parmesan Cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste

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4. Follow the steps above (1-4) and add the garlic and parmesan cheese with the salt and pepper.

5. Mix again and put on a baking sheet with parchment paper.

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6. Cook at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. This one needed a little extra time to be crispy.  This is my favorite variation of Kale Chips so far!

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It is hard to eat all the Kale Chips in one day (not impossible, but hard), so, wrap a left over dish with parchment paper and put in the Kale Chips. If they are a little soggy the next day, you could quickly reheat them in the oven again.

I hope everyone enjoys making Kale Chips. If you make any of my recipes, please let me know! You can either tag them on Instagram @lovegfreelife or email me at lovegfreelife@gmail.com! Happy cooking!

Xoxo

Jenn