Category Archives: Gluten Free

Italian Meatballs with Ricotta and Basil

Italian Meatballs with Ricotta and Basil,  super easy freezer meal!

I haven’t really talked much about menu planning on the blog. Which is kind of crazy because I am so all about it. I have shared my love of lists with you before, so you can only imagine how detailed I get with the menu planning. I am curious, do you do it? Do you plan everything out to a T? Do you prep meals before or do you just wing it?

Italian Meatballs

This is a photo I shared on Facebook a few months ago. The caption read, “This, plus everything in my oven is what it takes to feed us for one week. That sweet man will eat me out of house and home.” That still holds true. The amount of food that it takes to feed us three meals+snacks for 7 days is astounding.

For a long time, most of the way through college and after we graduated I had most of our meals prepped ahead of time. During the week I went to class, then straight to work at a retail position, closed the store, came home for dinner then homework, then did it all again. There was no time for cooking. But If I had something like a casserole ready to go I could get Mr. Maebell to pop it in the oven and we were good to go. So, while our meals may not have been that creative it kept us fed.

Italian Meatballs with Ricotta and Basil,  super easy freezer meal!

One of my favorite things to make ahead of time was Italian Meatballs. They were fairly inexpensive, quick to make, they froze well and on recipe made about 60 smallish meatballs. I would just pull a handful out of the freezer and set them in my smallest crock pot with some marinara and come home to a big pot of perfect piping hot meatballs and marinara. These are of course perfect with pasta, but we also love them on pizza, or as a meatball sub.

Italian Meatballs with Ricotta and Basil,  super easy freezer meal!

I was actually hesitant to even share this with you because it is so darn easy. I don’t add breadcrumbs or anything like that. These are just pure and simple meatballs. Meat, spices, herbs, and ricotta to keep them nice and moist. It is something you can throw together in a matter of minutes and it makes busy nights so much easier.

Italian Meatballs with Ricotta and Basil,  super easy freezer meal!

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Italian Meatballs with Ricotta and Basil
Recipe type: Dinner, Freezer Meal
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10+
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground italian sausage
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup packed chopped fresh basil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Mix all of the ingredients well. This is easiest with a stand mixer, but will also work well if you use your hands.
  3. Roll mixture into small tablespoon sized balls and place on a large greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until browned.
  5. This makes approximately 60 small meatballs. They can be stored in the freezer.

 

 

Black and Blue Crisp with Oatmeal Pecan Topping

Black and Blueberry Crisp with Oatmeal Pecan Topping

As you can tell by my teeny tiny dessert section on this blog, we don’t do a lot of desserts around here. Don’t get me wrong, we eat plenty of sweets, like granola bars, sweet breads, or fancy granolas. We just don’t do very many traditional desserts. The main reason is lack of self control. There are only two of us and we know no limits. So, in order for my skinny jeans to continue to fit, we just forgo them.

Black and Blueberry Crisp with Oatmeal Pecan Topping

Or at least we did…until these blackberries kept staring at me. They were just begging to be made into a fancy, warm, ooey, gooey, sweet, sticky fruit crisp with a perfect crunchy topping. So, one Sunday afternoon I decided to make it happen. The result? A-mazing. Seriously. So good. So good, in fact, that I ate it…ate almost all of it.

Oops.

Black and Blueberry Crisp with Oatmeal Pecan Topping

Don’t judge.

But once I put the ice cream on it for the photos what was I supposed to do?! It would be irresponsible to let food go to waste. Right?

See, I told you, total lack of self control.

There was a very small portion left for Mr. Maebell when he got home. He inhaled  it and requested that I please make more.

No problem. No problem at all!

Black and Blueberry Crisp with Oatmeal Pecan Topping

5.0 from 3 reviews
Black and Blueberry Crisp with Oatmeal Pecan Topping
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • For the Filling
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1½ cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • For the Topping
  • ½ cup old fashioned oats (I used gluten free oats)
  • ¼ cup flour (I used gluten free flour)
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the berries, sugar, and corn starch until berries are completely covered.
  3. Grab a large cast iron skillet or deep dish pie pan and spray with cooking oil.
  4. Pour berries into pan.
  5. Wipe your mixing bowl clean and combine the oats, flour, pecans and brown sugar well. Then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or use your hands to blend in the butter. It should be combined well and the mixture will be crumbly.
  6. Pour the oatmeal topping over your berries, making sure to distribute it evenly.
  7. Bake 20 minutes and serve warm with ice cream.

 

Three Cheese Basil Biscuits

Three Cheese Basil Biscuits, perfectly light and fluffy, you would never guess they are gluten free!

It is kind of a pet peeve of mine when I hear other people talk about a gluten free lifestyle as a fad. I feel like I am always coming across news articles that talk about people jumping on the gluten free bandwagon. Or when someone who isn’t really familiar with our situation will say “Well gluten free isn’t even healthy” or something silly like that.

Let me just kind of put it in perspective, for some people they choose to avoid it because they feel better without it. Some people avoid it because they have to. Both reasons are valid enough for me. But if Mr. Maebell didn’t have celiac, there is no way we would do this. I would order Pizza Hut right now, or crack open a can of cinnamon rolls. Seriously, I am so not kidding. And I can totally guarantee you he would be drinking a beer he doesn’t have to struggle to swallow. We do it because I kinda sorta really like him, and I want to keep him healthy.

Three Cheese Basil Biscuits, perfectly light and fluffy, you would never guess they are gluten free!

Fortunately, we do have to deal with it and I think in a lot of ways it has saved us from making unhealthy choices. I do feel like we have really found a nice balance. I feel like a large portion of our diet is healthy, but another portion is indulgent. Which, in my opinion, is exactly how it should be. Everything in moderation. Thankfully for me, some of the indulgent foods come in the form of bread. We have some sweet breads like this, this, and this little gem, some fantastic buttermilk biscuits, and these Three Cheese Basil Biscuits.

Holy cow. I have no words.

Three Cheese Basil Biscuits, perfectly light and fluffy, you would never guess they are gluten free!

So. Good.

These little guys are packed with ricotta cheese, goat cheese, and fresh basil leaves, and then topped with freshly shaved Parmesan. They baked up into these massive, beautiful, fluffy biscuits that were perfect. Better yet, there isn’t a speck of gluten in them.

So just in case you know someone who is gluten free invite them over and bake up these biscuits. They are a game changer.

Three Cheese Basil Biscuits, perfectly light and fluffy, you would never guess they are gluten free!

Three Cheese Basil Biscuits, perfectly light and fluffy, you would never guess they are gluten free!

Three Cheese Basil Biscuits, perfectly light and fluffy, you would never guess they are gluten free!

Three Cheese Basil Biscuits, perfectly light and fluffy, you would never guess they are gluten free!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Three Cheese Basil Biscuits
Recipe type: Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • For the Biscuits
  • 2 cups Bisquick (I used GF Bisquick)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup ricotta
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 ounces of goat cheese
  • ⅛ cup freshly chopped basil
  • For the Topping
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup parmesan
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt until blended.
  3. Using a fork, pastry blender, or stand mixer cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is incorporated well. The mixture will be course and crumbly.
  4. Add in the ricotta, beaten eggs and slowly add in milk as you stir.
  5. When the dough seems well incorporated lightly fold in the basil and the goat cheese.
  6. The dough should be soft and slightly fluffy.
  7. Flip dough onto floured work surface. Use a biscuit cutter or the top of a mason jar to cut out biscuits. Place biscuits in a greased cast iron skillet or other oven proof dish. Just be sure to place biscuits close together.
  8. Melt the remaining one tablespoon of butter and combine it with the minced garlic. Lightly brush or spoon the garlic butter over the biscuits.
  9. Top with Parmesan cheese.
  10. Bake 15 minutes until fluffy and golden brown. Garnish with additional basil if desired.

 

 

 

Balsamic Vinegar Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Skewers

We grill a lot. Which is weird because I have a food blog and only like one real “grillin” recipe. There is a really simple explanation.

Balsamic Vinegar Chicken and Zucchini Skewers, super simple and healthy!

I cannot operate our grill.

It is a charcoal smoker/grill and I just don’t get it. There is some sort of science behind lighting a charcoal grill and it makes no sense to me. The placement of the coals, the air flow…I know all of those things matter, but I don’t know why. After about year five, Mr. Maebell stopped trying to teach me and just accepted the fact that the grill is just his territory.

Do you see me complaining? Nope.

Balsamic Vinegar Chicken and Zucchini Skewers, super simple and healthy!

The only time it is inconvenient is when I want to grill something for the blog, and he isn’t around. Which has been the case lately. Fortunately, we had the same night off and I put him to work. I actually had no idea what I was making when I started this meal. I had chicken and zucchini so I just kind of rolled with it. I marinated all of the ingredients in a mixture of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, a little dijon and a handful of spices. I put the chicken and zucchini on skewers, grilled them, and topped with crumbled feta and freshly chopped basil.

Balsamic Vinegar Chicken and Zucchini Skewers, super simple and healthy!
It was fantastic! It had a ton of flavor, it was super easy, and made a quick healthy meal. Usually, when I make kabobs I use different meats and lots of different veggies. This was a less fussy version with simple well chosen ingredients.

Balsamic Vinegar Chicken and Zucchini Skewers, super simple and healthy!

Sometimes less is more!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Balsamic Vinegar Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Skewers
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound chicken breast, cut into small chunks
  • 2 medium sized zucchini, cut into small chunks
Instructions
  1. In a measuring cup or bowl mix the first nine ingredients (balsamic vinegar-salt). Make sure your marinade is well combined.
  2. Place your cut up chicken breast into a plastic bag and pour in half of the marinade.
  3. Place the zucchini pieces into a plastic bag and pour in the second half of the marinade.
  4. Let your meat and veggies marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Heat your grill to 400 degrees.
  6. (If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 20 minutes before assembling your kabobs.)
  7. Assemble your skewers, alternating chicken and zucchini.
  8. Grill for 5-6 minutes on each side.
  9. Garnish with freshly chopped basil and crumbled feta cheese.

 

Cake Batter Bars

Cake Batter Bars, a super simple, sweet, sticky treat! And it happens to be gluten free!

I am not spontaneous. Like, not at all…well, maybe when it comes to home improvement projects. But other than that, I am definitely not spontaneous. A couple weeks ago, Mr. Maebell had the idea to go for some frozen yogurt at about 9pm. When he told me I just looked at him. I actually thought it was a joke. I am such an old person. I am in bed by like 9:30 every single night. I have been like this my whole life. As a kid, a teen, and as an adult. I am the only kid I know that never had a specified curfew. My parents never had to wonder when I would be home because my bedtime was pretty much set in stone.

I like to sleep! What can I say?!

Cake Batter Bars, a super simple, sweet, sticky treat! And it happens to be gluten free!

We did get froyo that night. I changed out of my pajamas, we loaded the dogs in the car, and drove across town to get the frozen yogurt. So we walk in and there are tons of flavors and these massive dispensers of topping choices and a big bar of fresh fruit, chocolate, nuts, syrup and whipped cream.

I am standing there trying to decide what I want and he grabs a cup, walks right up to the vanilla dispenser and fills his cup all the way up. Then he makes a B line for the register and then turns to look for me.

Vanilla? Are you freaking kidding me?! You drag me out of the house at night, make me change clothes, and drive all the way across town for a cup of vanilla?!?!

Cake Batter Bars, a super simple, sweet, sticky treat! And it happens to be gluten free!

I couldn’t believe it. Now, I know some of the foods were off limits because they weren’t gluten free, but still he had a TON of choices. I asked him why he didn’t put anything on it and he said, “Why would I?”

Good Lord.

I choose mine (coffee and dark chocolate, is anyone surmised by that?) grabbed a couple toppings and we left. My sad little cup of chocolate coffee and his uninspired cup of vanilla. But after we left all I could think about was the cake batter flavor that I had passed up. Days passed and I couldn’t get it out of my head. Cake batter, cake batter, cake batter…it is all I wanted.

Cake Batter Bars, a super simple, sweet, sticky treat! And it happens to be gluten free!

Luckily, the Vanilla Chex cereal already tastes similar to cake batter, so I just kind of ran with it. The result are these super sweet, sticky, fantastic cereal bars that taste just like cake batter! And a big bonus, no weird ingredients! They include cereal, butter, marshmallows, vanilla, and of course, sprinkles.

Cake Batter Bars, only five simple ingredients!

So,  just in case all of this cake batter talk has you craving it, too. Know you’re only five ingredients away from these sweet treats!

Cake Batter Bars, only 5 ingredients and gluten free!

 

Cake Batter Bars
Recipe type: Sweets
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8+
 
Ingredients
  • 5 cups Vanilla Chex
  • 5 cups of marshmallows
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-2 teaspoons sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Heat a medium size sauce pan to medium low heat, add butter and let it slowly melt. When butter is mostly melted add in the marshmallows and stir them regularly.
  2. When the butter and marshmallows are totally melted add the vanilla extract.
  3. Grab a 9x13 pan (for thin bars, if you want thick bars use an 8x8 pan) and line with wax paper, lightly spray with cooking oil and set aside.
  4. Add the cereal to the marshmallow mixture, stir well, and spread into the pan then top with sprinkles.
  5. Place in the fridge and let the bars firm up.
  6. When you are ready to cut turn them out onto a cutting board, removing the wax paper and cut into squares.
  7. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

Bacon, Ham, and Egg Wrap with Honey Dijon Sauce

Sometimes when I ask Mr. Maebell what he wants for dinner he looks at me with pleading eyes and says, “please..just something simple.”

Ham, Bacon, and Egg Wrap with Honey Dijon Sauce

I have said before that spouses of food bloggers will someday need a support group. I totally stand by that. Sometimes I get caught up in an idea and go a little overboard. The dinner might be good, but it is a little much. Or the other side of that is that I get an idea, spend a lot of time on it, and then decide it is terrible and we eat cereal for dinner. That also happens a lot.

So, when he politely asks me to chill the heck out with the meals I don’t really blame him. That is kind of what happened the night that I made this wrap. Luckily, it ended up being a no fuss meal that was actually pretty darn impressive. I combined a lot of basic staples together to make a really filling wrap. Some deli ham, a couple slices of cooked bacon, an egg, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, and of course a nice little sauce to top it all off.

Ham, Bacon, and Egg Wrap with Honey Dijon Sauce

This has quickly become one of our favorites. It can be thrown together in under 20 minutes and is sure to please even your pickiest eater!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Bacon, Ham, and Egg Wrap with Honey Dijon Sauce
Recipe type: Wrap
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 4 slices of ham
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 slices of swiss cheese
  • 4 lettuce leafs
  • 4 slices of tomato
  • 2 large tortilla wraps (I used Udi's gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon mayo
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
Instructions
  1. Heat a skillet on medium to medium low heat and cook the bacon until crisp, approximately 4 minutes on each side. Remove bacon from skillet and place on paper towels.
  2. Wipe the skillet clean and return to heat. Place each tortilla in the skillet for bout 30 seconds, or until lightly browned. Place each tortilla on a plate. Top with 2 teaspoons of the honey dijon, two slices of ham, one slice of cooked bacon, one slice of cheese, two leaves, two tomato slices, and set aside.
  3. Spray the skillet with cooking spray and carefully pour a beaten egg into the skillet. When the egg is set, flip, and let it cook an additional 20 seconds. Remove from heat and place on wrap.
  4. Carefully roll your wrap and slice down the center.

 

Blueberry Lemonade

Easy Blueberry Lemonade

My summer has had painfully little pool time and absolutely no beach time. I haven’t had a sunburn all summer. A weekend or two ago I had two missions, get some serious tan lines and make some killer lemonade.

Let me just tell you, mission accomplished.

I sported my wide brim sun hat and my Audrey Hepburn sunglasses for two days straight. I didn’t get anything accomplished except a tan. And of course, this lemonade.

Easy Blueberry Lemonade

At first I planned to make regular old lemonade. Why mess with something so perfect? But leave it to me to trash up a classic. I ended up making a blueberry syrup infused with lemon zest, added it to freshly squeezed lemon juice and ice cold water. The result? A super refreshing summertime drink.

Easy Blueberry Lemonade

If you glance at the directions they may seem like this is complicated. It really isn’t. It just has a couple different steps. You start by juicing about a half dozen lemons. Then combine water, blueberries, sugar, and lemon zest in a small skillet. Let the blueberry mixture simmer until your blueberries fall apart. Let your blueberry syrup cool and pour it in your blender and blend until everything is a smooth consistency. At this point you can start adding the lemon juice, blueberry syrup and water together. Or you can strain the blueberry syrup through a small mesh strainer (this is what I did) either option will work great!

Easy Blueberry Lemonade

So next time you’re planning to spend a day pool side whip up a pitcher of this fresh Blueberry Lemonade. You won’t be sorry!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Blueberry Lemonade
Recipe type: Drink
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups blueberries (divided)
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup sugar*
  • Zest from 2 lemons
  • Additional water (see directions)
Instructions
  1. In a small sauce pan combine the water, sugar, 1 cup of blueberries, and the lemon zest over medium to medium high heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let cook until the blueberries begin to fall apart. (I let this simmer about 10 minutes)
  2. Remove mixture from heat and let cool
  3. When the blueberry syrup is cool pour into a blender and blend approximately 30 seconds. At this point you can strain the blueberry mixture with a fine mesh strainer if you wish.
  4. Juice the lemons until you have ¾ cup of juice, being sure to remove any seeds.
  5. Grab a one gallon container. Pour in the lemon juice, blueberry syrup and fill the pitcher the rest of the way with water and ice.
  6. Add the reserved one cup of blueberries.
  7. *If you like really sweet lemonade increase to 1 cup.