Spicy Beef Lettuce Wraps #SundaySupper

Spicy Beef Lettuce Wraps - healthy and gluten free

I have devoured movies over the holidays.  With all the TV shows on hiatus after their fall or winter finales (what is that about by the way???), there was nothing on TV.

While maybe I should have filled that time doing more productive things, I watched movies.  Lots of them.  Sure I read more than normal, played some games on my phone to keep the brain in tip top shape, and wrote.  Lots and lots of writing.  But I’m finding myself more movie obsessed than ever.

Spicy Beef Lettuce Wraps

I have always loved movies from the VHS tapes I reportedly watched over and over again as a kid to the movies that now seemingly appear magically on the TV after pressing a few buttons.

We have all the movie channels, use OnDemand so frequently it’s scary, and have Netflix and Amazon Video ready and waiting at all times.  With Oscar season ramping up, I’m waiting for the movies to slowly pop up, begging me to watch them.

The problem is we watch a lot of bad movies.  More than we should.  More than should be made.  When I’m struggling to get anyone to give a damn about my scripts, it’s frustrating to find tons of crappy movies.  We try to watch clips, which sometimes are so laughably bad we stop, promising to never watch that movie.  Others lure us in just enough and then demonstrate that the best scenes were in said clip.

Spicy Beef Lettuce Wraps

Spicy Beef Lettuce Wraps

During this TV show hiatus, I was on the hunt for great or at least good movies to watch.  Oscar winners and nominees.  Blockbusters that topped the box office.  Little indies that might have not hit my radar.

And we watched pretty many good movies.  There were some odd ones (I’m looking at you Mulholland Drive) and some that could have been better (hi Sully) but some were downright good movies that I would watch again (hey Pete’s Dragon and Southpaw).

Spicy Beef Lettuce Wraps

I’m about out of ideas now.  So before we get to the recipe, I want to know: what are your favorite movies?  My remote is ready and waiting!

Now, onto these Spicy Beef Lettuce Wraps.  This is how I eat most nights.  Lots of vegetables and lean protein, maybe some fruit thrown in for balance and a bit of oil and vinegar.  It’s healthy and gluten free and flavorful and satisfying.

Lettuce wraps have become one of my go to meals because they are so versatile.  The lettuce is a must, but from there I add whatever fruits and vegetables sound good and I have on hand.  The protein is also super flexible; I’ve used everything from ground beef to salmon to steak to eggs.

Life is better with great movies and lettuce wraps!

Spicy Beef Lettuce Wraps

Spicy Beef Lettuce Wraps #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

2 pounds ground beef
1/3 cup olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 head Bibb lettuce
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
4 stalks celery, sliced
3 clementines, segmented
¼ cup apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. When hot add about 1 tablespoon of the olive oil followed by the meat. Cook, stirring frequently, until fully cooked and browned.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the cumin, chili powder, coriander, turmeric, red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon of the black pepper. Add to the meat and stir to combine. Cook about 2 more minutes until incorporated.
  3. Combine the remaining oil and pepper with the vinegar in a small bowl for a dipping sauce.
  4. Serve immediately with lettuce, onion, fennel, celery, and clementines.
  5. Leftover beef may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave for about 1 minute until hot.
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Thanks to Sarah from Chef Next Door for hosting this week’s event!  Don’t forget to check out all the other Sunday Supper dishes!

APPETIZERS, SOUPS, AND SALADS

LEAN GROUND BEEF RECIPES

MAINS

SANDWICHES AND WRAPS

STEAKS

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

Don’t drink your calories.  That’s kind of one of my mottos.  My aunt said she thought about it the other day when tempted to order a fancy drink at a coffee shop.

I used to drink my calories like a champion.  Gatorade, orange juice, milkshakes, Frappuccinos, soda.  And my body paid for it.  I stopped pretty much cold turkey and reaped the rewards.  Plus I didn’t really miss any of those things.

Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

But every once in awhile rules are meant to be broken.  Especially around the holidays (and when you need a super easy blog post 🙂 ).  I made Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate and it is kind of the best thing since sliced bread or at least regular hot chocolate.  Because what’s better than peanut butter and marshmallow melted into drinkable heaven?

It is rich and rather sweet, so I swapped it for dessert instead of dessert and caloric drink like old me would have and really you definitely do not need dessert after this, nor do you need a large portion.

Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

It’s easy to make, gluten free, and perfect for these super chilly winter days.  I’m thinking this is a must for Christmas morning present opening.

Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

Super warm and comforting, it is extra creamy from the marshmallow fluff melted right into the beverage.  the peanut butter flavor is prominent with a hint of vanilla.  My favorite might just be the topping of more fluff and peanut butter.  I loved to get the topping and the beverage all in one drink.

You will absolutely love the peanut butter and marshmallow drink!

Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 4 drinks

Ingredients

4 cups milk (I used almond, use what you love!)
¾ cup white chocolate chips
1/3 cup marshmallow fluff, plus more for serving
¼ cup creamy peanut butter, melted, plus more for serving
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

Instructions

  1. In a small sauce pan, stir together milk, white chocolate chips, marshmallow fluff, and peanut butter that has been melted in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
  2. Place over medium heat, and cook, stirring frequently, until everything has melted together and the mixture is steaming hot. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla bean paste.
  3. Divide evenly among mugs. Tip: if your mugs are microwave safe, warm them for about 1 minute before filling with hot chocolate.
  4. Top each mug with a dollop of fluff and a drizzle of melted peanut butter. Serve immediately.
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Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark #SundaySupper

Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark

I like to challenge myself.  I mean clearly since I’ve chosen to be a writer and try to break into Hollywood.  Now that’s a challenge.

But sometimes I like challenges that I feel like I am much more able to accomplish.  Things that are under my control.  It keeps my brain and my body going to be challenged and it’s a very rewarding feeling to complete a challenge no matter how big or small.

Potato Chips and Pretzels

Like upping the speed or resistance on the elliptical or trying a new workout DVD.  Sure, there are moments when I think I won’t be able to finish, but then I do, and I feel ah-mazing!  I pushed through something I thought I might not be able to, and that shows me how strong I really am.

Then there are the batters I whip up by hand.  Unless I absolutely positively have to bring out the hand or stand mixer, it is by sheer force of will that I beat butter and sugar into shape.  I even whipped cream by hand recently.  There were definitely a few moments when it seemed unlikely the soupy cream would turn into fluffy, luscious whipped cream but it did and it was amazing.  What’s next?  Egg whites???

Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark

I have even challenged myself to write a screenplay in 30 days and done it.  I probably couldn’t write a novel in the same time span, but a screenplay is a bit easier for me to write.  Now selling it in 30 days, that is another story.

Do you like to challenge yourself?  How do you challenge yourself?

Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark

It is definitely a challenge not to eat all of this Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark because it is crazy addictively good.  And it’s so easy to make and gluten free since I used gluten free pretzels which are definitely as good as the real thing.

The goo of the toffee.  The crunch of the pretzels and potato chips.  The snap of the chocolate.  The pop of color from the sprinkles.  This is the ultimate snack or dessert.  It is perfect to whip up as a last minute gift or party treat because it makes a bunch.  This is one challenge you have to take on!

Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark

Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark

Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

3 cups pretzels (gluten free, if necessary)
3 cups plain potato chips
1 ¼ cups packed dark brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (not the fake stuff)
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
12 ounces white chocolate chips
12 ounces dark chocolate or carob chips
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, divided
Brightly colored sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Spread pretzels and chips on foil.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring sugars, syrup, and butter to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Boil for 2 minutes while stirring. Immediately and carefully pour over pretzels and chips on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
  3. After the tray comes out of the oven, allow to cool briefly while you melt the chocolate. Place white chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of shortening in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until fully melted. Set aside while you repeat the process with the dark chocolate or carob chips and the remaining tablespoon of shortening.
  4. Swirl both white and carob/dark chocolate on the pretzel and potato chip base, ensuring to leave streaks of both chocolates. Sprinkle with sprinkles of your choice and allow to set for at least two hours at room temperature. Break into pieces and serve. Toffee bark may be stored in an air tight container for up to 1 week.

Notes

Additional cooling time is necessary

Recipe adapted from The Cookies and Cups Cookbook via Brown Eyed Baker

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes! Thanks to Caroline from Caroline’s Cooking for hosting!

APPETIZERS

BEVERAGES

DESSERTS

FINGER FOODS

MAINS

 

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Hearty Healthy Beef Stew + Giveaway!

Hearty Healthy Beef Stew

In the winter I kind of hibernate like the chipmunks who inhabit the yard in nicer weather.  If you read my blog regularly you know I hate winter and want to move to California, which is a symbol of so many things just out of reach in my life, but for now, it’s really all about the weather.

See all was fine and well when the last day in November was sixty and sunny, but now we’ve had our first snowfall/storm/blizzard/severe weather alert day/impending doom, and I can’t deal.  Wake me when it’s spring.

The problem with this used to be that leaving the house meant so shopping or new things or worst of all food.  However, this is no longer a problem.  Me indulging my lack of desire to leave the house when the snow won’t stop might be a problem, but ladies and gentlemen, food now arrives on the porch thanks to the nice delivery men and ButcherBox.

ButcherBox

I had heard about ButcherBox and when they offered me a sample box to check out, I jumped at the chance.  If you are unfamiliar with ButcherBox, it is a monthly subscription program that sends meat, beef, chicken, pork, or a combination, to your door.  It arrives frozen on dry ice in a super nice box and cooler.

The beef is grass fed and grass finished, the chicken is organic, and the pork is heritage breed.  The meat is antibiotic and hormone free and never taken from feedlots.  This is awesome because it is super important to eat high quality proteins and know where your food is coming from.

I was a bit nervous the meat would be thawed when it arrived, but my fears were assuaged instantly when I found all the pieces to be individually wrapped and literally hard as a rock.  I requested a beef and pork box because I do not eat chicken.  I found a pound of bacon, four gorgeous bone in pork chops, two pounds of ground beef, sirloin tips, sirloin steaks, and thinly sliced beef.

ButcherBox

I will be honest, I was a bit disappointed to not receive some strips or ribeyes instead of the sirloin, but I was excited to check out the box and push myself to try some new recipes.  I made taco lettuce wraps with some of the ground beef, seared and roasted two of the pork chops and made this crazy good Hearty Healthy Beef Stew.

While the box might be pricey to some at $129, there is a ton of meat there, 8-10 pounds, enough for 15-20 meals.  My freezer is still stocked.  Plus, I spend a lot of money on food typically and this actually is a pretty good deal for my tastes and spending habits.

Hearty Healthy Beef Stew

This may be controversial to some, but I don’t thaw my meat before cooking it.  This, to me, gives the final product a close to fresh flavor.  I do this with steaks, ground beef, fish – all proteins I stash in the freezer.  In fact, most of the time I can’t tell the difference between fresh and frozen because of the lack of thawing.  I recommend trying this method.  Cooking clearly takes a bit longer, but with planning, it is doable and worth it.

This stew is one of my new favorite dishes.  I haven’t had beef stew in probably a couple decades.  It was never my favorite, but using high quality ingredients and adding a bit of spice made this a comforting dish that we can all feel good about eating.

I used the sirloin tips and steaks and paired them with mild spices and hearty vegetables for a rich stew, thanks to proper browning, that is craveworthy.  Be sure to check out this stew and ButcherBox.  It is definitely something I will be ordering again in the future.

Hearty Healthy Beef Stew

And the kind people at ButcherBox were kind enough to offer one lucky reader a box of their choice to try! I’m so excited for you!

To enter the giveaway, answer the question: What is your favorite meaty dish?

To earn additional entries:

Like Pies and Plots on Facebook

Follow Pies and Plots on Twitter

Follow Pies and Plots on Pinterest

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For each additional entry, leave an entirely separate comment telling me you have followed me.  Each comment is one entry.

This giveaway is open to US residents only.  The giveaway ends Monday, December 20, 2016, at 11:59 ET.  I will choose the winner via random.org.  Good luck!

Hearty Healthy Beef Stew

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

2 ½ pounds beef (I used frozen sirloin tips and sirloin steaks)
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 bunches carrots, peeled and chopped into ¼ inch thick rounds
3 medium or 2 large onions, cut into large dice
1 large fennel bulb, sliced
2 cups kale leaves
Cloves from 1 head of garlic, peeled
4 cups low sodium organic beef stock
2 cups water

Instructions

  1. Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat. Once the pot is hot, add the oil. Add the beef to the pot. Allow to brown on one side, before flipping and allowing to brown on the other side. Add the red pepper, turmeric, coriander, chili powder, and black pepper.
  2. Once the meat is mostly brown, add 1 bunch of carrots and half of the onion. Sauté the vegetables for a few moments with the meat before adding enough stock to almost, but not quite, cover the meat. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and place a lid on the pot, leaving it cracked slightly.
  3. Cook for 1 hour, stirring periodically, and adding more liquid if necessary. After the hour, add the remaining carrots and onion, along with the fennel and garlic. Recover and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Pull the large pieces of meat out of the pot and slice them in ¼ to ½ inch thick slices. Return to the pot, add the water and kale and cook until heated through, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately. Stew may be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen in airtight containers for up to three months. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top until steaming hot.

Notes

I used frozen meat. If you use fresh, the cooking time will be significantly different.

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Eggnog Pudding Parfaits #SundaySupper

Eggnog Pudding Parfaits

The holidays can be a lot of pressure.  Decorate the house perfectly … more specifically better than your neighbors.  Buy the best gifts that don’t end up being returned or hated … and gift cards don’t count.  Host parties … that people remember year after year for all their awesomeness.  Cook and bake … picture perfect recipes that make it seem like you should be on Top Chef.

Oh and keep up with all the other things you do on a normal basis.

Eggnog Pudding Parfaits

It’s all a lot.  Too much.  I don’t know about you, but I am not Supergirl and I cannot do all of these things, at least not well, all at the same time.

Plus, those things, they are so not what the holidays are about.  Like not even a little.

The holidays are about being thankful and enjoying life.  They are about taking extra time with your loved ones, and no the computer for online shopping definitely doesn’t count.

Eggnog Pudding Parfaits

Don’t get me wrong, I am so looking forward to opening gifts on Christmas morning.  And I love our Christmas tree.  But I just don’t need everything to be the biggest and best, I don’t need everything to be perfect, which is good, because it’s never going to be.

For me in some ways the holidays are just other days that fall into place among the normal Thursday and Saturdays of the year.  I think this is a good thing because it means I try to take time most of those days to be extra thankful, bake a fun treat for a friend, give Mom and extra tight hug, or plug in the Christmas tree we leave up year round.  Why should we save those things for one or two days a year?

Eggnog Pudding Parfaits

We do save to save eggnog treats, like these Eggnog Pudding Parfaits because nog is only around at the holidays.  Eggnog isn’t exactly my thing, so I picked up some Califa Farms Almondmilk Nog and am kind of obsessed with it.  I’ve been putting it in my morning oatmeal and it’s kind of life changing.

So is the homemade eggnog pudding that is the star of these parfaits.  Pudding is one of my favorite homemade treats because it is easy to make and never too heavy.  The kick of bourbon really rounds out the flavor of this creamy pudding.

Because I wanted to make something extra special, I layered the pudding with homemade cranberry sauce and whipped cream, plus a dash of cinnamon.  I will happily devour this parfait any time of year.

Eggnog Pudding Parfaits

Eggnog Pudding Parfaits #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 ¼ cups eggnog
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
Cranberry sauce, for serving
Cinnamon, for serving

Instructions

  1. Make the pudding. In a medium sauce pan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in the eggnog and egg yolks. Place over medium heat and cook, whisking continuously until mixture comes to a boil and thickens to pudding consistency. Remove from the heat and whisk in the bourbon. Pour into a heat proof bowl and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours.
  2. When ready to assemble, make the whipped cream. In a large bowl, whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer will work. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar.
  3. Layer eggnog pudding, whipped cream, and cranberry sauce in your serving vessels. Top with a pinch of cinnamon and serve.
  4. Components of parfaits may be made 1 day ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator.

Notes

Pudding recipe adapted from Pillsbury

Additional chilling time is necessary

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Don’t forget to check out this week’s Sunday Supper dishes!  Thanks to Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for hosting!

Baked Goods

Beverages

Breakfast and Breakfast Pastries

Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Skinny Spinach Artichoke Dip

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #YogurtInspiration #CollectiveBias #HolidayEntertaining

Skinny Spinach Artichoke Dip

When you’re looking at a menu do you ever spot a dish that sounds good and like it should be healthy, but you know it’s not?

It happens to me all the time.  Think about the salads loaded with bacon and cheese and creamy dressing.  The veggie burgers on the biggest bun ever, slathered with sauce and cheese.  The fish tacos, breaded and deep fried on double tortillas.  Spinach artichoke dip with more cheese than vegetables and enough chips to feed a family of four for a week.

Skinny Spinach Artichoke Dip

Really though something called spinach artichoke dip should be both delicious and healthy, so I made a version that is just that.

Skinny Spinach Artichoke Dip doesn’t skip any of the things we all love about that classic restaurant appetizer, but it is also something to feel good about eating and serving your guests this holiday season.  I promise it will be a huge hit and no one will know that it’s healthy.

Shopping at Meijer

One of the secret ingredients is Dannon Oikos 0% Plain Greek Yogurt.  I have eaten more than my fair share of yogurt in my life, but I hadn’t tried plain until now because it sounded so, well, plain.  But I was sooooo wrong.  This yogurt is incredible.  Not only does it add body and creaminess to this dip, but it is great in a variety of ways.  The other night I dolloped some on tacos and could not tell the difference between the Oikos and sour cream.  Except for the fact that I can feel so much better about eating the Oikos with no fat and 22 grams of protein per serving.

I love that is has balanced nutrition and quality ingredients.  Plus it is non-GMO and fuels every day health.  I really can’t imagine not having the plain Oikos in my refrigerator now because it is easy to use in recipes and inspires me to keep trying new recipes.

Skinny Spinach Artichoke Dip

Skinny Spinach Artichoke Dip

The other heroes in the dip are frozen spinach and artichoke hearts, along with light cream cheese and skim shredded mozzarella.  We’re saving calories at every turn without sacrificing an ounce of flavor.  Plus, you can totally make and bake this dip ahead of time and reheat it for your party.

It is great served with cut up vegetables for dipper plus a few crackers and chips because life is all about balance and a couple chips are totally a worthy indulgence.

Be sure to head to Meijer and pick up some Oikos to make this dip and so much more.

Skinny Spinach Artichoke Dip

Skinny Spinach Artichoke Dip

Skinny Spinach Artichoke Dip

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup Dannon Oikos 0% Plain Greek Yogurt
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and very well drained
1 9-ounce box frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, very well drained, and coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces light cream cheese
8 ounces shredded skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Carrots, cucumber slices, radishes, cauliflower florets, celery stalks, crackers, and chips for serving.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together yogurt, spinach, artichoke hearts, garlic, cream cheese, all of the mozzarella except ¼ cup, salt and pepper. Be sure to blend this mixture very well.
  2. Place the mixture into one large or two smaller oven safe ramekins. Smooth the top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for about 40 minutes, until golden brown on top and steaming hot in the center. Check a couple times in the process to ensure the top is not browning too quickly. If it is, cover loosely with foil.
  3. Serve immediately with the vegetables, crackers, and chips. Dip may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave for a couple minutes or a 350 degree F oven for 20-30 minutes.
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Spicy Balsamic Roasted Vegetables #SundaySupper

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables - vegan and gluten free

I cook most nights.  We’re talking like 29 out of 30.  In the summer it’s very slightly less, but still, that is a lot of meals to cook.  Eating out can be fun, but I really like the food I make.  It’s fresher, healthier, and I can control the quality of ingredients and what goes into my food.  That’s a big deal to me.

But I like to keep things fresh, change things up, and sometimes I can’t get to the grocery store to load up on fish or meat, which are super perishable.  While I try to stock up once a week to keep the refrigerator and freezer full, it’s still constantly challenging to not fall into a rut and to plan ahead.

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables - vegan and gluten free

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables - vegan and gluten free

While I do try to eat protein most nights of the week because it is obviously super important in our diets and I freely admit I do not eat near enough, meatless meals are great.  They allow me to prepare dinner quickly when I don’t have or want meat of fish or in the rare instance the meat or fish doesn’t turn out.

So this Sunday Supper’s theme might be holiday side dishes, but I often turn side dishes into a meal.  My secret?  Eggs.  Eggs can turn anything into a meal, are sooooo easy to make, and can be made in a variety of different ways for totally different experiences.

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables - vegan and gluten free

These Spicy Balsamic Roasted Vegetables are perfect for a side dish for any meal.  They are easy to prepare and super flavorful.  I love to get them super brown for all those complex, caramelized flavors to come out.  Plus, the vegetables you use are totally up to you.  I used onions, carrots, Brussels sprouts, and fennel, but potatoes, parsnips, beets, mushrooms, and more would be totally great.

The flavoring on the vegetables is simple and classic: olive oil, salt and pepper, red pepper, and balsamic.  You get the sweet, salty, spicy thing going and no one can turn that down.

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables with a soft boiled egg

More often than serving these as a strict side dish, I pair them with an egg or two, soft boiled is probably my favorite, and make a simple dinner.  This dish is that versatile and is something I have been making for years.  I hope you love it as much as I do!

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables with a soft boiled egg

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables #SundaySupper

Serving Size: 4-6

Ingredients

2 large sweet onions, peeled and cut into thick wedges
1 bunch carrots, peeled, washed, and cut into matchsticks
1 large bulb fennel, cleaned and cut into large pieces
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed of outer leaves
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place onions, carrots, and fennel on a large nonstick baking sheet. Coat with oil, pepper, salt, and red pepper flakes. Roast for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  2. Add the Brussels sprouts and balsamic to the sheet with the other vegetables and roast for about an additional 20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until vegetables are tender and caramelized. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave about 1 minute.
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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!  Thank you to Caroline from Caroline’s Cooking for hosting!

Fruity Side Dishes

Other Side Dishes

Potato Side Dishes

Vegetable Side Dishes

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Coconut Macaroon Pizza #SundaySupper

Coconut Macaroon Pizza

I loved pizza as a kid.  Probably as much as any other kid.  It’s comforting and easy to eat and can be delivered on a whim.  It was served at birthday parties and as part of our school’s Book It program.  We ate it at the mall and at home.  Pizza.  Who doesn’t like pizza.

While, in most cases me.  Your confused now, as you should be.  See, I don’t like tomato sauce.  At all.  I can’t eat anything with tomato sauce on it.  Pasta.  Pizza.  Mozzarella sticks.  Nothing.

Coconut Macaroon Pizza

Coconut Macaroon Pizza

So I required special pizzas made with no sauce (I was onto the white pizza trend before it was a trend) or in certain circumstances calzones, which almost never have sauce on, or rather in, them.

I haven’t had pizza in a long time, though I have had a craving for it, and there are plenty of awesome pizza places popping up everywhere.  While I could have crossed homemade pizza off my cooking bucket list, I took a different route this pizza themed Sunday Supper.

Coconut Macaroon Pizza

I made dessert pizza.  Coconut Macaroon Pizza.  I wasn’t sure how this would turn out, but upon one bite I realized it was pretty much everything and blows savory pizza out of the water.

It all starts with a giant coconut macaroon base.  Who doesn’t love coconut macaroons?  Okay, people who don’t like coconut, but for the rest of us, this is an awesome start.  Then I topped it with apricot jam and popped it back into the oven to get all caramelized.  Some homemade hot fudge, dried cherries and toasted pecans round everything out.

Coconut Macaroon Pizza

I was surprised at how awesome the apricot and fudge worked together- this awesome sweet, tart, bitter combo that is only enhanced by the chewy cherries, crunchy pecans and coconut macaroon that goes from crispy to chewy as you work your way from crust to center.

Plus, this just happens to be gluten free and totally serves a crowd.  The next party you have, this needs to be on the menu.

Coconut Macaroon Pizza

Coconut Macaroon Pizza #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 16 servings

Ingredients

3 ½ cups shredded unsweetened coconut
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 large egg whites
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup hot fudge, homemade or store bought
1 cup apricot jam
½ cup toasted pecans
½ cup dried cherries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together coconut, sugar, egg whites, and vanilla. Pour onto the baking sheet and form into a disc about ¾ inch thick, pressing it down slightly. Bake for 12 minutes.
  3. Spread apricot jam in a thin layer on the pizza and return to the oven for about 5 minutes, until just starting to caramelize. Drizzle with warm hot fudge and sprinkle with pecans and cherries.
  4. Serve warm or cool completely on pan. Cookie may be store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen in pieces, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about 1 hour or in the microwave 30-60 seconds.
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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!  Thanks to Colleen of The Red Headed Baker for hosting!

Appetizers

Breakfast

Condiments

Desserts

Mains

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Flourless Almond and Peanut Butter Cookies + Giveaway!

Flourless Almond and Peanut Butter Cookies + Giveaway!

Guys, it’s time for a fun giveaway, but first let’s talk cookies.  Like some of the best cookies I’ve ever made.  Cookies that prove in a lot of cases more is better.

In these cookies, my favorite Flourless Almond Butter Cookies meet my favorite Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies to make giant super cookies.  Yeah, super cookies.  They’re a thing now.

Flourless Almond and Peanut Butter Cookies + Giveaway!

Flourless Almond and Peanut Butter Cookies + Giveaway!

First, these cookies are a breeze to make.  No creaming or pulling out the stand mixer and dirtying a million dishes.  No chilling in the refrigerator waiting impatiently for the dough to be ready to be baked.  Measure, mix, scoop, bake.  I may have made these in the morning and ate them hot from the oven.  #sorrynotsorry #cookiesforbreakfast

Now let’s talk about why the combination of these two cookies that are totally craveable on their own makes them even better.  The almond butter cookies bake up flat and relatively crunchy while the peanut butter cookies puff and are super moist and rich.  Together, they make wonderful cookie babies.  That just happen to be gluten free!

Flourless Almond and Peanut Butter Cookies + Giveaway!

On the bottom is the crunchy almond cookie which bakes around the gooey peanut butter cookie.  Eat one before the other, eat them together, melt marshmallows on top.  Whatever you do, just make these cookies.

Flourless Almond and Peanut Butter Cookies + Giveaway!

Now back to that super awesome giveaway.  My friends at Peanut Butter and Company are going to give one lucky reader 1 jar of Old Fashioned Smooth Peanut Butter and 1 jar of Bestie Almond Butter.  You will just love them.  Use them to make the cookies, awesome PBJs, or spread them on a banana or apple.

To enter the giveaway, answer the question: What’s your favorite cookie?

To earn additional entries:

Like Pies and Plots on Facebook

Follow Pies and Plots on Twitter

Follow Pies and Plots on Pinterest

Follow Pies and Plots on Instagram

Follow Pies and Plots on Bloglovin’

For each entry you must leave an entirely separate comment on the blog.  Each comment counts for 1 entry.

This giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on October 26, 2016 at 11:59 pm ET.

Good luck!

Flourless Almond and Peanut Butter Cookies + Giveaway!

Flourless Almond and Peanut Butter Cookies + Giveaway!

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 15 Cookies

Ingredients

Almond Cookies
1 cup creamy almond butter
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup chocolate or carob chips
Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup creamy peanut butter
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup Reese’s Pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Make the almond cookies. In a medium bowl, stir together almond butter, sugar, baking soda, vanilla, egg, and chocolate or carob chips. Set aside.
  3. Make the peanut butter cookies. In a medium bowl, stir together peanut butter, sugar, baking soda, vanilla, egg, and Reese’s Pieces.
  4. Take about 2 tablespoons of the almond butter mixture and about 2 tablespoons of the peanut butter mixture and smoosh them together. Place on the baking sheet with the almond butter cookie down and repeat with all the dough.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown and mostly set. Serve warm or cool completely on the tray. Cookies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in zipper bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave about 1 minute.
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The BEST Gluten Free Blueberry Pancakes

 

The BEST Gluten Free Blueberry Pancakes

Update October 5, 2016:  I made these pancakes and paired them with peach maple syrup to update the post with better photos.  They are great with plain maple syrup as well, but to make the peach syrup, saute three peaches in a pot with 1 tablespoon coconut oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Add 2/3 cup maple syrup and heat until warm.  I hope you enjoy these pancakes as much as I do!

I’ve been keeping a secret from you. I mean other than the fact that I’m clearly seasonally challenged. I mean, first Peach and Plum Pie and now Blueberry Pancakes. You’d think it’s July, not – gasp – October! But my real secret is that I do a lot of gluten free baking.

The BEST Gluten Free Blueberry Pancakes

The BEST Gluten Free Blueberry Pancakes

In fact, many of the recipes you see here are gluten free. I just don’t tell you. Let me be clear, I do not have Celiac Disease and I am not gluten free one hundred percent of the time. I simply find a gluten free diet most of the time makes my body happiest. In addition, so many people are looking for amazing gluten free recipes these days, and I would like to help them out.

When I do gluten free baking, I always use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour. I’ve tried other brands and the flavor and texture just don’t suit my palate. It even smells like all-purpose flour. When I use it, no one ever knows the difference. Ever!

Sometimes I even like the gluten free version of baked goods better than that made with traditional flour. Like in Blackberry Pie Bars and Blueberry Buckle. It even works in pie crust.  I bake a lot for some friends that are gluten free and they have remarked that the treats are some of the best they have ever had!

The BEST Gluten Free Blueberry Pancakes

 

I’m not being paid to say this. I wish I was. Hey, Bob’s Red Mill, are you listenin??? I just love this flour in the things I make – like these Blueberry Pancakes. I’ve eaten more than my fair share of pancakes and these are definitely the best blueberry pancakes I’ve had. They’re probably the best pancakes I’ve ever had . . . and they’re gluten free!

What makes these pancakes so amazing is how thick and fluffy they cook up. Because they are so thick, you’ll need some patience to cook them low and slow, so they cook all the way through without burning, but it’s sooooo worth it.

The BEST Gluten Free Blueberry Pancakes

The heavenly cake-like texture helps them truly live up to their name – they are cakes cooked in a skillet. The burst of blueberries really makes them sing. Because blueberries are going out of season (nooooooooo!), feel free to use ones that have been frozen, thawed, and drained well. Now all you need is some pure maple syrup!

The Best Gluten Free Blueberry Pancakes

 

The BEST Gluten Free Blueberry Pancakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1 ½ cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus additional for cooking

1 1/3 cups unsweetened almond or coconut milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups blueberries, preferably fresh, but frozen, thawed, and drained will work

Instructions

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until a batter is formed. A few lumps is okay. Fold in the blueberries.

Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-low heat. I used my stainless steel skillet (which I use for everything), but a non-stick or cast iron skillet is recommended. Add a little vegetable oil and scoop about ¼ cup portions of the batter into the skillet. Cook until a couple bubbles appear around the edges, about 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes over and cook for about an additional 1 ½ minutes, until the pancakes are golden brown on both sides. You may need to flip a couple additional times. Use your judgment based on how they’re cooking. Insert a toothpick in the center of each pancake to check for doneness. The toothpick should come out clean or with just a few crumbs.

Store pancakes on aluminum foil in the oven while you repeat the process with the rest of the batter. Pancakes are best served immediately, but may be frozen, individually wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in zipper bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave for 30 seconds or in the toaster. Serve with warm maple syrup

Notes

Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay

http://piesandplots.net/the-best-gluten-free-blueberry-pancakes/

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