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Category Archives: Side Dishes

Easy side dishes to serve with gluten-free meals.

Gluten-free Nacho Chips

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Gluten-free Nacho Chips

I know there are a lot of gluten-free options for nacho chips out there, but I’ve never been satisfied with the quality of the ingredients used: mainly a lot of corn and vegetable oils. So, I started thinking of ways I could make my own super healthy nacho chips. Here’s what I came up with! (it makes about 60 chips)

Fiesta!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup millet flour
  • 1/4 cup amaranth flour
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • Butter for the pan
  • Red palm oil for frying
  • Salt to taste

It’s pretty quick and easy to make, but it’s a three-step process. Batter, cooking, frying. So first things first, the batter. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl (potato starch to pinch of salt, on the list). Add an egg and mix some more. Slowly add the water, while mixing at the same time. The batter should feel like pancakes: smooth, no lumps and not too liquid. Add the lime juice and the chopped cilantro. Mix well.

In a pan over medium heat, melt a little butter (half a Tablespoon) so the batter doesn’t stick. Pour about a fifth of the batter in the pan and cook it like a pancake: two minutes, flip, one minute and done. Cut the “pancake” in small triangle and set aside. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

They still need to get fried, but it’s starting to look good!

Red palm oil gives the nacho chips a perfect color.

And now, on to the last step! Heat up red palm oil in a fryer to 370F. Fry until nice and crisp, around 5 minutes. I had to make three different batches because my fryer is pretty small, but it was worth it. When they’re ready to be taken out, be careful not to burn yourself. Remove the excess oil with a paper towel.

Sprinkle salt on top to taste. Eat with salsa, guacamole or sour cream – or better, with all three!

I also like to use these chips to bake nachos with refried beans, ground beef, jalapenos and cheddar cheese. Hmmm!

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Gluten-free Crab Rangoons

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Gluten-free Crab Rangoons

Whenever I went out for Chinese food, crab rangoons were my favorite treat. I’m not going to lie, I’ve been missing this particular appetizer a lot. But, when I found rice paper in my pantry,  it occurred to me that I might be able to use it to make my own crab rangoons. And guess what, it works. And here’s how! (this recipe makes 20-25)

Rice paper at its best!

Ingredients for the crab rangoons

  • 8 oz soft cream cheese
  • 12 oz cooked crab meat
  • 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar*
  • 1 Tablespoon green onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 20-25 sheets of rice paper
  • Red palm oil for frying

*Use powdered sugar with tapioca starch instead of corn starch like the 365 Organic brand sold at Whole Foods.

Ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce

  • 5 oz pineapple juice
  • 2 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon tapioca starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

The sauce is very easy to prepare. Just mix all the ingredients together in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until thickened (about 4-5 minutes). Keep it refrigerated in an air tight container until ready to serve.

And now for the crab rangoons. First, mix the filling in a large bowl (cream cheese to minced garlic, on the list). The next few steps go quickly, so make sure you have oil ready for frying. I use red palm oil at 370F.

Take a sheet of rice paper and let it soak in a bath of hot (not boiling) water for 30 seconds. Take it out and remove excess water. Put about a Tablespoon of the crab mixture in the middle of the rice paper.

This will not get folded like a normal crab rangoon. Rice paper is very thin and it’s important that it’s not ever single folded, or it won’t hold the mixture. So, roll the rice paper into a cylinder with the crab mixture in the middle, fold one end over and one end under. That way, it’s folded the thickest way possible.

Fry about 5-7 minutes, but only a few rangoons at a time so they don’t stick. Scoop out and serve with sweet and sour sauce. It tastes pretty close to the crab rangoons we all love. Enjoy your treat!

Gluten-free Sandwich Wraps

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Gluten-free Sandwich Wraps

I miss sandwiches. I can still have them of course; I do make gluten-free bread from time to time. But what if I don’t have time to make bread and I crave a delicious turkey melt? Well, there is a very easy and tasty alternative: sandwich wraps. It is a very versatile recipe; you can use wraps for sandwiches, quesadillas, fajitas etc. Here’s what you need (it yields 4 large wraps, so adjust quantities to your needs):

Easy lunch!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/4 cup millet flour
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup water

Mix all the dry ingredients together.

Stir in the melted butter and egg. Slowly add water and mix well. Make sure there is no lump and that the mixture is smooth.

10 minute sandwich alternative!

Next, just cook them like you would pancakes. Put about a teaspoon of butter in a large pan on medium heat, add a quarter of the mixture and cook until it doesn’t stick. Flip it and cook the other side.

And that’s it. For my sandwich wraps, I used: cheddar cheese, bacon, ham, lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream. I rolled them up and cut them in cute little bite size. How will you eat them?

Spicy Chicken Wings

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Spicy Chicken Wings

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any new recipes, but with the Superbowl next weekend, I figured it would be a good time to try out some nice finger food recipes. And let’s be honest… is there anything better than good old simple spicy chicken wings? Not for me! I found a great recipe, gluten-freed it and changed a few things to suit my taste. Here is my version:

It makes a great dinner with a side salad or a delicious appetizer on its own.

Ingredients

  • Around 12 chicken wings
  • 1/2 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup Sirracha sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Tabasco sauce

This recipe is extremely simple but it does take 2 hours from start to finish, so plan ahead!

The secret to delicious crispy chicken wings is to make sure the skin is dry. If it’s not, the wings will be soggy. So the first step is to dry the wings with paper towel. Don’t skip it!

When that’s done, grab a plastic container and quickly mix the white rice flour and seasonings. Put a few wings in the container, seal it, and shake it around. It’s an easy way to coat all your wings evenly.

Then, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread good oil (or melted butter) on the bottom, to make sure it doesn’t stick. Place the wings on it and refrigerate an hour.

The spicier, the better!

Preheat oven to 400F.

Now, make the sauce. It’s really simple. Just mix together the melted butter, sirracha and tabasco sauce. You can add more or less of either, depending on your taste. I like my wings really spicy! Next, just dip the wings in the sauce and put them back on the baking sheet.

Bake for 45 minutes total. I flip the wings around 25 minutes in, to make sure they bake evenly.

And there you have it. Spicy, crispy, finger licking good – and gluten-free – chicken wings! It only really takes 15 minutes of prep time! The only drawback to this recipe is that chicken wings tend to be pricy. My solution: if you catch them on sale, freeze a bunch for later!

Gluten-Free Falafels

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Gluten-Free Falafels

I remember the first time I tried making falafels… it turned out to be a disaster. The smoke alarm went off, I had all the windows opened, all the fans were on, I was trying to clear a spot of fresh air by the smoke detector with a towel: it wasn’t a fun experience. But, I’ve improved a lot since then and I’ve decided it was time for me to confront my nemesis. And guess what? I won! Here’s what you’ll need:

 

I had mine with cucumber dipping sauce and french fries. Yum!

Ingredients

  • 1 can (15oz) chickpeas or 1 1/3 cup raw chickpeas
  • 1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 3 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dry cilantro
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Oil for frying

If you use raw chickpeas like I did, it’s important to soak them for 24 hours. I cooked mine for 2 hours in 3.5 cups of water. Just bring the water to a boil, cover and simmer until the chickpeas are tender. If too much water evaporates, you can add more hot water to your saucepan.

You also need to have bread crumbs ready. Depending on how thick you slice your bread, it should be 2-3 slices. I made fresh gluten-free bread a while ago and in preparation for this recipe, I cut a few slices in tiny pieces and froze them. To make bread crumbs, just pulse the bread pieces in the food processor and put aside.

Simple! Three ingredient bowls: mix together.

Sautee the garlic and onion in butter until translucent and place them in a food processor. Add the chickpeas and fresh parsley (I actually had to use dry parsley, but I guarantee it’ll be better fresh). Pulse a few times. You want the consistency to be thick and pasty. If you pulse too much, it’ll be too thin. Place the mixture in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Beat the egg in a small bowl and add the remaining spices, lemon juice, baking soda and olive oil. Set aside.

Now, it’s time to mix everything together. First, add the egg mixture to the chickpeas and combine well. Then, add the bread crumbs, which will serve as a binding agent.

I was able to make 20 falafels with all my ingredients.

If you’ve ever made meatballs before, you know what to do next! Just form small-sized balls with the mixture and set aside.

Heat up oil (I used red palm oil) to 375F in a deep fryer and let the falafels cook about 4 minutes or until they are a rich golden color. And that’s it! Falafels may have kicked my butt a few years ago, but today, I won.

Serve with fresh cucumber sauce for an amazing combination of flavors.

Bacon Wrapped Apsaragus

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Bacon Wrapped Apsaragus

This is one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever tried. I’m usually not a big fan of asparagus but hey, wrap anything in bacon and it’s gonna be pretty tasty. Plus, it takes 10 minutes to make, you need very few ingredients and it’s a great side dish to almost any meals.

Asparagus come out tender and the bacon is perfectly crispy.

Ingredients

  • A bunch of asparagus (about 1.5 lb per bunch at the store)
  • 5 slices of bacon
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Lightly coat the asparagus in olive oil, then separate them in 5 equal bunches. Wrap each bunch in bacon and place them on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and pepper to taste. Cook in the preheated oven 10 to 12 minutes.

Serve right away, as an appetizer or side dish with your meal. I promise you, this is gonna be 10 minutes well spent!

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