Category Archives: Appetizer

Gluten Free Goat Cheese & Herb Stuffed Mushrooms

Gluten Free Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Now that all those cinco de mayo shenanigans are out of everyone’s systems, let’s talk about more important things, like our mothers. I love my mom (hi mom!). She’s one of the few people that religiously reads my blog and she always makes sure to point out when I misspell something. It’s Mother’s Day in the US this upcoming weekend and I have a wonderful weekend of wine tasting and brunch planned for my mama. This week I thought I would share some easy and delicious recipes that would be perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch or any other brunch events you have on the horizon.

This is the simplest appetizer in the world and it’s pretty tasty to boot! You really don’t need all that many ingredients either. Some biggish mushrooms, goat cheese, garlic, herbs, breadcrumbs and a food processor (or a strong mixing arm) and you are good to go. I used fresh parsley, because my parsley plants are out of control at the moment, but you can definitely substitute in any fresh herbs that strike your fancy (basil would probably be really delicious). If you aren’t using a food processor, I would recommend letting the goat cheese soften a fair bit before trying to mix it. I would also make sure to finely chop all your garlic and herbs too.

I recently discovered some new to me gluten free breadcrumbs from The Fresh Market. The Fresh Market just opened a new store in my town and it is wonderful! My aunt on the east coast has raved about TFM for years and I definitely see why! Their own TFM brand gluten free breadcrumbs are great. They are almost like panko. I have had great success with them in meatballs and burgers. I recently tried them as coating/breading with baked chicken and with these mushrooms and have been really happy with the results! If you have a TFM near you, I recommend picking up some breadcrumbs!

Gluten Free Goat Cheese & Herb Stuffed Mushrooms

Recipe from Martha Stewart.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs(I used TFM gluten free breadcrumbs)
  • 2 large garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 5 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 12 large mushrooms, wiped clean, stems and gills removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a food processor, pulse bread and garlic until fine crumbs form; set 3 tablespoons aside.
  3. Add the goat cheese, parsley, red-pepper flakes and lemon juice to food processor. Season with salt and pepper, and pulse filling until combined.
  4. Spoon filling into each mushroom, and roll filled side in reserved breadcrumbs. Place on prepared baking sheet; bake until mushrooms are tender and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.clarecooksblog.com/2014/05/gluten-free-goat-cheese-herb-stuffed-mushrooms/

Smoky Black Bean Dip

Smoky Black Bean Dip Here’s a quick and easy dip that’s perfect for any of your last minute cinco de mayo needs! All you need is a food processor and a few ingredients that are probably already in your pantry. This dip is easy to make and easy to serve, plus there’s not absolutely no cooking involved, which makes it a perfect summertime dip. I recommend serving it with tortilla chips and veggies, but you could use it with nachos or on quesadillas as well.

I felt that three chipotles was the perfect amount for this dip. It gave it a nice smoky, spicy taste, but it wasn’t spicy to the point that you couldn’t eat the dip. You notice the spice, but it’s subtle. I thought the dip was delicious when I made it, but it tasted even the better the next day. If you have the time, I would really recommend trying to stick it in the fridge for a few hours and let the flavors mingle.

Smoky Black Bean Dip

Ingredients

  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 5 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro (mainly leaves, a few stems are okay)
  • 2-4 limes, juiced
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek, you can use sour cream too)
  • 2-4 chipotle chiles in adobo (depending on your heat preference), coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients except salt & pepper, and process until smooth. Taste for seasoning, add salt & pepper to taste, and if you prefer a thinner dip, continue processing, adding lime juice 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  2. Garnish with 2 Tbsp. of chopped cilantro (if desired) before serving.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.clarecooksblog.com/2014/05/smoky-black-bean-dip/

Roasted Garlic Guacamole

Roasted Garlic Guacamole

 

 

 

It took me nearly a quarter century to realize that avocados weren’t absolutely vile, disgusting and gross. Up until the time I was about 24, I would act like a three year old anytime an avocado came near my food. If avocado or guacamole touched anything, I refused to eat it. Luckily I have since learned the error of my ways and have grown to love guacamole (I’m still working on plain avocado (it’s totally a texture thing)). This is an ever so slight twist on my favorite guacamole recipe and I have to say it’s pretty amazing.

This guacamole recipe is not for the faint of heart. If you don’t love garlic, you should just skip this one, but if you’re like me and insist on adding inappropriate amounts of garlic to everything, this will be the perfect guacamole for you! Roasting garlic might seem like a bit of a hassle to do, but really it couldn’t be easier! And trust me, it’s definitely worth it. The extra flavor it brings to the guac is out of this world.

Roasted Garlic Guacamole

Ingredients

  • 2 whole garlic bulbs
  • 3 large avocados
  • 2-4 limes
  • 1/2 large red or white onion, diced
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced (include seeds if you want heat!)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste (be generous)

Instructions

    To Roast Garlic:
  1. Heat oven to 400. With a sharp knife, chop off top 1/4 to 1/3 of garlic head, so that the bulbs are exposed. Place in small oven safe dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil and roast in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.
  2. For the Guacamole:
  3. Cut avocados in half, remove pit and scoop out flesh into large bowl. Squeeze in lime juice. Remove all the garlic cloves from bulbs and add to bowl. Mash together (you can use a wooden spoon, fork, potato masher, etc.).
  4. Add cilantro, onion, tomato, jalapeño, and salt and pepper. Mix together until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Feel free to add more lime juice or salt and pepper to taste.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.clarecooksblog.com/2014/05/roasted-garlic-guacamole/

 

 

Gluten Free Barbecue Chicken Taquitos with Avocado Ranch Dip

Gluten Free Barbecue Chicken Taquitos with Avocado Ranch Dip

This recipe is a combination of things I was craving and things I needed to use up. If you have some leftover chicken and tortillas (both are pretty standard leftovers around my kitchen), this is the perfect recipe to use them all up. I really like to make a batch of shredded barbecue chicken to use throughout the week (this is my favorite recipe, but you could easily combine any leftover chicken with bbq sauce). It’s perfect to add to salads or as your meal’s main protein, but I wanted to try something a little different and these taquitos seemed like an easy way to do just that. I was able to get 24 taquitos out of the barbecue chicken recipe I mentioned above (I could have made a couple more but I had already put away the tortillas and cheese), which is a whole lot of taquitos. After a couple dinners and lunches, I froze the leftovers, which defrosted easily in the microwave and I crisped them up again with a few minutes in the oven.

I always bake my taquitos because I just don’t have the patience to fry things. Plus, baking them healthier, you don’t have to stand over a hot pot of oil and it’s less of a mess to clean up, which are all big pluses in my book. I put about two tablespoons of chicken and a sample sprinkling of cheese in each tortilla. I was able to roll them tight enough that they stayed shut when I placed them seam side down on the baking sheet. If you want more filling or are having trouble getting them to stay closed, wooden toothpicks will easily solve that problem.I like my taquitos (and just about everything else) on the crispier side, so while the ends might look a bit burnt, it was really just a combination of caramelized barbecue sauce and cheese.

Gluten Free Barbecue Chicken Taquitos with Avocado Ranch Dip

Ingredients

    For the Taquitos
  • Leftover chicken (I recommend {this barbecue chicken recipe|http://www.thekitchn.com/dinner-recipe-barbecue-pulled-chicken-in-the-oven-or-slow-cooker-recipes-from-the-kitchn-168003])
  • Your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 24 corn tortillas
  • For the Avocado Ranch Dip
  • 2 ripe avocados, pitted and cubed
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (plus extra for garnish)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons ranch dressing powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

    For the Taquitos
  1. Heat oven to 400. Line two large baking sheets with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
  2. Combine chicken and barbecue sauce.
  3. Wrap 12 tortillas in a damp paper towel. Place in microwave and zap for 30 seconds. Flip over and microwave for another 30 seconds. Remove from microwave.
  4. Add around two tablespoons of chicken to one side (almost to the very edge) of a corn tortilla and sprinkle with cheese. Tightly roll the side with the chicken toward the other side of the tortilla and place seam side down on the baking sheet (use wooden toothpicks if they won't stay together). Repeat until all tortillas are filled and then begin again with the next 12 tortillas until all are filled and rolled.
  5. Place baking sheets in oven and cook 20-25 minutes, or until slightly browned and crispy.
  6. Serve immediately. For your leftovers, I recommend that you let them cool completely and place into large freezer bags and freeze for future dinners and snacks.
  7. For the Avocado Ranch Dip
  8. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add more juice if needed to thin out dip. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro if desired.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.clarecooksblog.com/2014/04/gluten-free-barbecue-chicken-taquitos-with-avocado-ranch-dip/

Gluten Free Green Chile & Mushroom Goat Cheese Queso

Chile & Mushroom Goat Cheese Queso

Last weekend I popped up to San Francisco for a quick visit with friends and my blog and computer decided they wanted a vacation too. Technical problems seem to be resolved for the most part, so let’s get back to it. Cinco de mayo is rapidly approaching and since I like any excuse to eat Mexican food, I plan on taking full advantage of the fact this week. Most of these recipes aren’t super traditional or exactly authentic, but they are delicious enough for any fiesta.

This queso is super tasty. I added some of my favorite spring ingredients (mushrooms, leeks and spinach) and they really added a lot of flavor to the queso. They mushrooms added a great earthy flavor, which worked really well with the tangy goat cheese. The chiles add just a little bit of spiciness. I served my queso with tortilla chips, but it would also go well with veggies, crackers or bread.

My oven, like all the other machines in my life, has also been a bit temperamental lately (had to get the igniter replaced… again…), which has changed my oven’s personality somewhat. It seems to be cooking a bit lower or slower (I’m still trying to figure it out).  After 25 minutes the queso was definitely bubbly and ready to serve, but there was absolutely no color to the top of it, which made it look like a blob of boring, white cheese. It’s not a requirement, but I like a little bit of a brown crust on my baked dips. It took me at least 35 minutes to get any type of color to the dip and as you can see in the picture it still came out a bit splotchy. Despite my odd requirements for baked dip coloration, the end product was delicious.

Gluten Free Green Chile & Mushroom Goat Cheese Queso

Adapted from Whole Foods.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound mixed mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 6 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cup sliced baby spinach leaves
  • 1 large leek, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 (10 ounce) can green chiles, diced (chop finely if using whole chiles)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks and onion cook until softened and starting to brown, about 10-15 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms have released their liquid and are dry and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add chopped spinach and cook until just beginning to wilt, about 1 minute. Spread leeks, mushrooms, spinach over the bottom of a small ovenproof casserole or gratin dish. In a large bowl, combine goat cheese, Jack cheese, and chiles and mix until combined. Spread cheese mixture evenly over mushrooms and bake until bubbling, about 25-35 minutes. Serve hot.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.clarecooksblog.com/2014/04/gluten-free-green-chile-mushroom-goat-cheese-queso/

Creamy Jalapeño Ranch Dip

Jalapeño Ranch Dip

So apparently this March Madness business is finally coming to an end this weekend. Finally. I used to care about sports, but now I am more or less completely apathetic (with one exception). I think this is partially due to the false advertising of surrounding professional and college athletics in America. “March” Madness. We are now a week into April. Stop encroaching on a perfectly innocent month NCAA. However, I will consent to watching sporting events mainly because they allow for drinking at otherwise inappropriate hours of the day and snack foods, both of which I am a fan of.

Creamy ranch, a little kick from the jalapeños, tangy lime. It’s pretty much perfect  the perfect dip in my book. I used mild jalapeños and mild green salsa, and while I did increase the amounts from the recipe I based my dip on, I didn’t find the jalapeño flavor or spiciness to be overwhelming at all. If you are a little more hesitant about spicy, you might want to cut back on the jalapeños and salsa and add to taste.

Creamy Jalapeño Ranch Dip

Recipe adapted from Capturing Joy.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup tomatillo salsa (or any green salsa)
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 5 Tablespoons ranch powder (or 1.5 packets)
  • 1/2 cup pickled jalapeños
  • 2 limes, juiced

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until desired consistency is reached (I left mine a little chunky). Add more lime juice if dip is too thick
  2. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
  3. Serve with tortilla chips and veggies and enjoy!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.clarecooksblog.com/2014/04/creamy-jalapeno-ranch-dip/

Super easy, super delicious gluten-free Super Bowl snacks!

If you live in the US, you probably know this upcoming weekend is Super Bowl weekend. My favorite team isn’t in the big game, so as long as Peyton Manning doesn’t win, I really don’t care what happens.

To be completely honest, the two best parts of the Super Bowl are the commercials and the snacks. Since my mother is great, she made sure to weed out the commercials  I don’t need to watch and made sure to send me the one commercial guaranteed to make me cry like a baby at inappropriate times and now I officially have almost no interest in the game.

I am however, heavily invested in snacks and all related activities. Here are some of my favorites…

Greek Yogurt Chipotle Ranch Dip

Greek Yogurt Chipotle Ranch Dip

Oh, poor little neglected blog, how I have missed you! Last semester was so crazy and so interesting (microbiology!) that I barely had time to procrastinate and since most of my blogging is born out of procrastination, things just kind of stopped around here. Luckily, I have a much easier course load this semester and I have already been accepted to nursing school (yay!), so hopefully things will start looking a little more normal around here…

I made this dip at the beginning of football season to go with some football watching. It was an instant hit in my (play)book and since the season is now only one game away from being over, I guess I better share it before it’s too late (I’m not even going to apologize for those horrible football puns).

Chipotle and ranch are probably two of my favorite flavors. Combining them resulted in what I think is the world’s best dip. This dip is the perfect combination of slightly spicy, tangy and absolutely delicious. I served the dip with some veggies and kettle chips, but I think it would be a great dipping sauce for chicken wings if they are your thing.

Greek Yogurt Chipotle Ranch Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups plain Greek yogurt (I used Fage 0%)
  • 1/4 high-quality mayonnaise (I recommend Hollywood Safflower Mayo)
  • 3 Tablespoons dry ranch dressing mix
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped and some reserved for garnish
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1+ canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced (add more if you like it spicy!)

Instructions

  1. In a medium sized bowl, mix together yogurt, mayonnaise, ranch mix, almost all the green onions, cilantro, garlic, lime juice and chipotle. Mix until well blended. Refrigerate until needed. Serve with veggies or potato chips.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.clarecooksblog.com/2014/01/greek-yogurt-chipotle-ranch-dip/