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Honey Walnut Shrimp

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Honey Walnut Shrimp

Within days of discovering this recipe, I had to try it for myself. I love shrimp, I love honey, I love walnuts. Plus, it’s all naturally gluten-free! I subbed in a couple of ingredients though; I don’t like using mayonnaise as it is filled with polyunsaturated fats. Here’s what I did:

 

Never cooked shrimp before? Not a problem! This recipe is very simple!

Never cooked shrimp before? Not a problem! This recipe is very simple!

Ingredients for the shrimp:

  • 1 pound raw shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • Red palm oil (for frying)

Ingredients for the dressing:

  • 1 Tablespoon condensed milk
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 5 Tablespoon plain greek yogurt
You can make candied walnuts for a quick snack, too!

You can make candied walnuts for a quick snack, too!

Ingredients for the candied walnuts:

  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Once the shrimp are cleaned, peeled and deveined, pat them dry with paper towel. In a large bowl or plastic container, beat the egg white (very briefly: no peaks, just bubbles). Add salt and mix the shrimp in. Let marinate 30 minutes.

Making candied walnuts is very simple. In a small saucepan, boil the water. Add sugar and stir until fully dissolved and slightly thickened. Add the walnut halves and lower the heat to medium. Stir until the mixture is caramel colored. Set it to dry on a sheet of parchment paper (try to leave space between the walnuts so they don’t stick).

Red palm oil is the healthiest for deep frying.

Red palm oil is the healthiest for deep frying.

For the dressing, mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside in the fridge until ready to serve.

When the shrimp have marinated long enough, remove them to a new bowl but leave the extra egg white and liquid behind. Coat them in the potato/tapioca starch mixtures.

Almost there!

Almost there!

In small batches, fry in a deep fryer at 375F for around 3 minutes, until they are perfectly golden.

Let the extra oil drain on a paper towel. Once dry, put the shrimp in a large mixing bowl and add half the dressing. Toss. Add the candied walnuts and more dressing, to taste.

I served mine with steamed brocoli and rice pilaf. It was delicious!

Gluten-Free Oreo Cookies

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Gluten-Free Oreo Cookies

Who doesn’t love oreos? Chocolaty goodness with a delicious creamy sweet filling, dipped in milk. It’s a great snack and guess what, you can easily make a gluten-free version at home in 20 minutes (prep time). After experimenting for many months, I’m finally completely satisfied with my recipe. Aside from sugar, which is alright in moderation, you can eat these cookies completely guilt-free! Here’s what you need:

 

Just like the real thing, but better!

Just like the real thing, but better!

Ingredients for the cookie:

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar*
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup amaranth flour
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • White rice flour for rolling

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar*

*I put an asterisk next to powdered sugar because I prefer using powdered sugar made with tapioca starch instead of corn starch, like Organic 365, which you can find at your local Whole Foods.

It doesn't look like much, but once rolled out, you'll get lots of cookies!

It doesn’t look like much, but once rolled out, you’ll get lots of cookies!

The dough is easy to make. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add vanilla extract. Slowly add the cocoa powder, salt, starch and flour. It’s going to get really thick. Just knead it with your hands. Wrap it up in floured (white rice flour is what I use for sprinkling and rolling) wax paper and cool it in the freezer for 10 minutes, or in the fridge for an hour.

The dough is a lot easier to work with than I expected.

The dough is a lot easier to work with than I expected.

Next, preheat the oven to 350F. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet and set aside. On a clean work surface, sprinkle white rice flour and start flattening the dough with a rolling pin to about 1/8 inch. Using a cookie cutter, get as many cookies as you can! It should yield around 30 cookies but you’ll have to reroll the dough a few times. No wasting allowed!

Bake 7 to 8 minutes. After they have cooled at least 15 minutes, use a spatula to get the cookies off the wax paper and on a plate.

The last step is to make the frosting.

Simply cream the butter and powdered sugar and add vanilla extract. Using a knife, spread a generous amount of frosting on a cookie and sandwich it with another.

Enjoy the healthiest oreo cookies ever!

Gluten-free Salmon Croquettes

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Gluten-free Salmon Croquettes

This delicious seafood entrée is my first new recipe in a long time. I am just getting back on my feet after extensive ankle surgery, and I wanted to make a meal with very little prep time, without sacrificing taste. Salmon croquettes turned out to be the perfect dish. They’re not only gluten-free, they are completely grain-free and all the ingredients are easy to find and inexpensive.

Fried to perfection!

Fried to perfection!

Ingredients

  • 1 15 oz can salmon
  • 2 medium-sized potatoes
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Red palm oil for frying

First, peel, boil and mash the potatoes (do not add butter or milk). Refrigerate for at least an hour. This is the key to a perfect texture; the mashed potatoes need to be cold.

Open the can of salmon and drain most of the liquid (keep the bones!) In a large bowl, gently mix in all the ingredients with a fork. Shape the mixture into small croquettes. Note that you can make them larger if you want to use them as patties instead.

Deep fry in red palm oil (or another good oil you have access to) at 370F for 2-3 minutes. I was able to fry about 6 at a time and had a total of 20 croquettes.

I look forward to making this dish again, especially because I only had to be on my feet 10 minutes!

Gluten-free Carrot Muffins

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Gluten-free Carrot Muffins

Okay… I just have to share this recipe with the world, because it’s the best muffins I’ve ever had. Ever! It’s gluten-free of course, carrot muffins, with icing INSIDE the muffins! I didn’t even know it was possible, so credit to The Delicious Life for educating me. Here’s what you’ll need:

 

Icing inside. Genius! And SO easy.

Ingredients for the batter

  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup amaranth flour
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon guar gum
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs (3 whites, 2 yolks)
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Ingredients for the frosting

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar*
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

* Powdered sugar is made with cornstarch. There are a few brands, like 365 Organic, that make it with tapioca starch instead and that’s what I use.

Preheat oven to 350F.

The recipe is pretty straight forward. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl (potato starch to sugar, on the list). Add three eggs – well… 3 egg whites, 2 egg yolks; keep the extra egg yolk for the icing. Add a stick of melted butter and mix well, until the batter is a perfect consistency.

Add the carrots and the raisins. Note that for the raisins to be perfect, they need to be rehydrated in warm water for ten minutes before mixing them in the batter.

And this is how you put icing inside a muffin.

Pour the batter evenly in a muffin tray. I like using muffin tins; it’s really easy to clean up.

For the frosting, mix all the ingredients in a food processor. Plop about half a Tablespoon of the frosting into the center of the batter for each muffin. The batter will bake over the frosting because of the difference in density. Genius!

Bake about 25 minutes, or until perfectly golden.

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!

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!

Raspberry Popsicles

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Raspberry Popsicles

I found some fresh raspberries on sale at the grocery store and I decided to turn them into refreshing popsicles to deal with the hot summer days ahead! Note that you need popsicle molds, but they’re $10 at the grocery store. It’s worth it. This recipe yields 2 cups and makes 8 regular-size popsicles.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar

This recipe is extremely simple. Pulse the raspberries in a food processor. You need 1 1/4 cup of raspberry juice.

Depending on their size, you might need a little bit more than 1 1/2 cup of fresh raspberries to yield this amount.

Add water and sugar and pulse some more.

When I made mine, I decided to keep the seeds, because I thought it would add flavor and texture. It turns out, all it really does is get stuck in your teeth. So I suggest straining the juice mixture before pouring it in the popsicle molds. I hope this little trick helps!

Freeze overnight and enjoy the next day.

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