gluten-free sundried tomato and goat cheese quiche

On Easter morning, we traditionally make a quiche the night before, as an easy brunch entrée that is ready to be eaten after we get home from church. This was our first Easter since I went gluten-free, and I tried a new recipe and though I would share it here. While searching for gluten-free quiche recipes, I stumbled upon a recipe that used hashed-brown potatoes as the crust.  I tried this using a store-bough pack of hash browns and it worked out really well.   This recipe is suitable for a standard pie dish.  I used a larger casserole dish, so I doubled the recipe.
Photo Apr 08, 12 01 51 AM

  • 1 package shredded hash brownsimage
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced and sautéed until brown
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 cup of goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatos
  • 1 packed cup of fresh, raw spinach, stems removed
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp basil
  • ¼ tsp oregano

For the potato crust: Use olive oil to oil the pie plate, and stir about 1 tbsp of olive oil into about 1 cup of THAWED shredded potatoes. Press the grated potatoes into a thin layer on the pie plate. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes at 425 degrees.
For the quiche:  Sautee the onions until clear and slightly browned.  Beat eggs and seasonings together. Mix in veggies and cheese and pour into crust. Bake for 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 425 degrees. Then turn the oven down to 350 degrees for an additional 30 to 45 minutes.
This quiche was a hit.  I’ll admit, it tasted much better right out of the oven than it did the next morning, but it was still gobbled up on Easter morning.  Now, I’d like to figure out how to make a slightly lower-calorie version of this that I could make on weekends and have on hand for a quick protein breakfast throughout the week.

how to make crispy kale chips (a gluten-free, dairy-free recipe for healthy, crunchy snacks)

IMG_1022 Last week our neighbor gave us a huge bunch of kale, and Jafta immediately begged me to make some kale chips.  He is in love with this veggie-based savory snack, so I was happy to oblige. March 2012 215 My neighbor’s kale variety is called dinosaur kale.  Personally, I’m more a fan of the curly kale variety . . . I find it less bitter and a bit more sweet.  But for kale chips, any kind will do. IMG_1028 Step one – remove the kale from the stalk. IMG_1030 Step 2: destem the kale.  This step isn’t mandatory – I just prefer the light, crispy texture of the leaf.  To destem, simply cut the large part of the stem out of the middle.  It’s so easy even a child can do it.  Really. IMG_1029 Jafta was so excited to be using a “grown-up” knife for the first time.  He cut and destemmed that entire bunch of kale, stopping occasionally to thank me sincerely for giving him that privilege.  IMG_1027 Once the kale is destemmed and cut into bite-size pieces, you want to wash it well AND THEN DRY IT.  That last step is crucial to avoid soggy kale.  I use a salad spinner and blot the kale with paper towels, and if it’s a warm day I’ll set it in the sun for a half hour to make sure it’s dry. IMG_1025 Once dry, the hard part is over.  Spread a single layer of kale onto a cookie sheet lined with Silpat Non-Stick Silicone If you don’t have Silpat, you can oil the pan or cook on wax paper.  (But really, why don’t you have Silpat?  Such a worthy investment that makes baking so much easier.)  Spray each kale piece lightly with olive oil.  You can use an Oval Oil Sprayer Bottle,.or Pam has an organic olive oil spray found in grocery stores. This should be a very light spray – too much and you risk them being soggy.  Flip, and spray again.  EVER SO LIGHTLY salt the kale.  It will really shrink as it cooks so it’s easy to oversalt.  I prefer using garlic salt.  If you want, you can also sprinkle it with grated parmesan or nutrional yeast. Pop it into an oven preheated to 350.  It’s hard to give an exact time because it depends on the size of the kale pieces, so check at 5 minutes and then every 2 minutes thereafter.  You’ll know it’s done when the kale feels papery to the touch. IMG_1022 Confession: my kids ate that entire stalk of kale chips in one sitting.  They really are that good.  IMG_1023 Just a tip, though.  If you send some to school with your kids, you might want to label the baggie so it’s not mistaken for something illegal. Getting kale chips right can take some trial and error.  If it doesn’t work out the first time, keep trying.  It’s a delicate vegetable and getting the oil and salt and cook time perfectly balanced can take some experience, but it will be worth it for the salty, crunchy, guilt-free taste!

banana almond oatmeal milkshake (gluten-free, dairy-free)

Is it a smoothie?  Or a milkshake?  I’m not quite sure, but this is my go-to breakfast most mornings.  It’s quick and easy, and the oatmeal makes it surprisingly filling.  At just under 200 calories, it’s a great low-fat, vegan breakfast option.

banana oatmeal smoothie

You’re gonna need:

  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Cup Almond Milk
  • 2 TBSP Oatmeal
  • 1 Cup Ice
  • 1 TSP Stevia (optional)

I use unsweetened Almond Breeze and McCann’s, but if you have celiac you will want an oatmeal that is certified gluten-free.  (McCann’s may have traces of gluten, but certifies that it’s under 5%.)


To handle uncooked oatmeal, you’ll need a high-powered blender like the Blendtec or Vitamix,  Otherwise, you can soak the oatmeal overnight to make it softer.



Wanna kick it up a notch?  Add in some peanut butter and cocoa powder for a chocolaty treat.  Beware, though. You may need to make enough to share


smoothie test kitchen: three recipes for easy green smoothies

I’ve been sharing some of the ways we have practically made the move to accommodate a gluten-free, dairy-free (GFDF) diet in our house, and smoothies are a big part of it.  I love smoothies because it is such an easy way to sneak veggies by my kids.  Spinach in the smoothie.  I swear . . . it’s like magic.  They never notice.  It’s also an easy way to get flax seed in.  Because my pickiest eater is not about to eat a fish-oil supplement.  But a sweet, slushie drink?  That she will do. IMG_0574   Last year, a couple of our readers at Mama Manifesto asked us to post some smoothie recipes beyond the typical OJ/strawberry/banana routine. I made my kitchen became a smoothie testing lab, and I’m pulling the results out of the vault.  It’s such an easy way to get picky eaters an extra serving of fruits and veggies. IMG_0223 For most of my smoothies, I start with a base of orange juice, plain kefir, ground flax seeds, and spinach. I tell you, THEY NEVER NOTICE.  The kefir adds a nice tart kick, and is full of healthy probiotics. Plain yogurt works well, too, and almond is a great creamy substitution for dairy allergies. If your kids are used to sweeter smoothies from sweetened yogurt (which is full of sugar), you could try adding some agave nectar. And about that spinach.  Start with a pinch, and increase every day. If the color is an issue, hide the smoothie in a straw-top sports cup.  But if you use dark berries, the green color will be masked. A note about blenders: high-power blenders like the Blendtec or the Vitamix are really pricy, but for the way we eat it has been a really worthy investment.  Our regular blender had a hard time really blending the greens, and left the smoothies a bit chunky.  If you are blending whole foods a couple times a week, springing for a really good blender might be worth it for you. Last year we sprang for the Blendtec and we really do use it multiple times a day. green smoothies Tropical Green Machine (Jafta’s favorite, gluten-free and dairy-free)
1/2 cup frozen mango
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1/2 cup OJ
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup kale
1 tbsp flax seed
agave to taste

Berry Blast with Spinach (India’s favorite)
1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup kefir
1 cup spinach
1 tbsp flax seed
agave to taste Orange Dream (my favorite)
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup OJ
1/2 cup kefir
1 tbsp flax seed
agave to taste If you try the spinach, you will have to let me know how it works out! Any other ideas for superfoods I can slip into a smoothie?

how to make overnight crockpot oatmeal (and how to get your kids to eat it)

Last week I posted a few gluten-free, dairy-free breakfast ideas, and I thought I would share how I make oatmeal in the crockpot (and a little trick for getting my kids to eat it).  I am not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination, so I am all about finding ways to prepare breakfast in advance.  I love doing oatmeal in the crockpot because I can put it on before I go to bed, and it’s perfect in the morning. Photo Feb 02, 8 53 09 AM First things first, let’s talk slow-cookers.  If you only have a large crockpot, you are going to have to cook up quite a bit of oatmeal to keep it from turning into a layer of burnt oat.  My recommendation, if you are a fan of oatmeal and think you will make it a couple times a week, is to invest in a smaller crockpot.  They are usually under $20 (this one is similar to mine and just $16), and they overnight oats much easier. Now let’s talk oats.  For overnight oats, YOU WILL NEED TO BUY “STEEL-CUT’ OATS.  These are sometimes called Irish Oats, and they are whole grain groats (the inner portion of the oat kernel) which have been cut into pieces. They take longer to cook than rolled oats, and in my opinion have a creamier consistency.  I usually buy McCANN’S Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal because a 4-pack on Amazon ships for free.  For people on GFDF diets, McCann’s determines their oats to be less than 0.05% gluten-free.  For people like myself, that works, but for those with severe allergies of celiac, I believe there are certified gluten-free oats that would be more appropriate. When cooking oats in the crockpot, you want a 1:4 ratio of oats to water.  If you have a small 1.5 qt slow cooker, you can add 1 cup of oats and then fill it to the top with water. I recommend adding a little cooking spray to the crockpot first, for easier cleanup.  Set the crockpot to LOW just as you go to bed, and they should be perfectly cooked once you wake up. Photo Feb 02, 8 52 41 AM Alright, now for the secret for getting kids to eat it.  Initially, my kids turned up their noses at the beige mush, but then I offered to put sprinkles on top, and suddently they were very enthusiastic.  I use Truvia to sweeten the oats (the sugar dispenser pictured above measures out a teaspon of truvia or sugar with the push of a button, and is a great way to let kids sweeten their own food without dumping).  After stirring in the sweetener, I use a little decorative sugar as “sprinkles”.  I found some dye-free colored sugar on Amazon: this India Tree pink decorating sugar is dyed with beets and it comes in several other colors, too.   The colors are really vibrant and it really takers very little sugar for a big visual impact. IMG_5778IMG_5779IMG_5780 My kids love their “striped oatmeal” and I loved that I can just dump it into their bowls in the morning without standing over the stove. Do you have any other ideas for prepping breakfast in advance?