Category Archives: Gluten, Dairy. and Yeast Free Recipes

My recipes are simple and good! Life is more than the kitchen, even with this gluten-free, dairy-free and yeast-free lifestyle!

Yippie! Time to make Homemade Strawberry Freezer Jam!

Ahhh! Spring begins the delightful toil of putting up food storage for the year. Last year we had so much Strawberry Freezer jam that I didn’t make any.

During the winter we made a dent in it (we shared a bunch with some friends – so we didn’t actually eat that much, lol) , so this year I got to make 19 1/2 pints of Strawberry Freezer Jam.

I started making the less sugar version about 4-5 years ago and prefer it to the more sugary version I had eaten until then.

Fresh Strawberry Freezer Jam

When the berries go on sale (usually 4 pounds for $6), I buy 20 pounds just for jam. Since I use less sugar, the recipe calls for more berries.  The berries this year were perfect!! Don’t they look good?? 🙂

Now that the jam is done, I bought some more berries to wash and clean. I will slice them and place in freezer bags for smoothies all year long. We eat smoothies a lot in the summer as “ice cream” or just for part of our lunch.  This is a great way to stretch our budget and still have “fresh” fruits and veggies all year.

Sometimes I surprise the kiddos and make a vanilla sheet cake and we have our version of a Strawberry Shortcake dessert.

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Canning Meat Makes Sense!!

Home-canned chicken

Home-canned chicken

A couple of years ago, my sister mentioned that her Relief Society was having a class on canning meat.  I was interested and a little leery about it being safe.  Like our ancestors didn’t do it, right?  So I decided to try it with chicken and beef and have continued with the practice.

I love it.

I know the ingredients (store canned meat uses fillers and starches), I know my recipes, I know that the meat will still be good even if the power goes out (unlike my frozen foods), and it tastes great.

I love saving money and I LOVE the convenience of having it ready when I need it quickly.

 I use it to make enchiladas, BBQ meat, chicken salad, soups, and casseroles.

This week I decided I needed to get on the ball and get our supplies back up.

I canned 19 pints of chicken breast and 4 pints of beef.

Home-Canned Beef

Home-Canned Beef

I used trim cuts of beef, but there is still fat sitting at the top.  I simply open the jar, throw away the fat, drain the meat juices (save it for soup base) and use the meat in my recipes.

Applesauce Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten, Dairy, Yeast Free)

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Applesauce Chocolate Chip Cookies

¾ cup shortening

2 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 cups applesauce

4 scant cups Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Baking Mix

2 tsp xanthan gum

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

½ tsp ground cloves

2 cups raisins

2 cups nuts

2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Cream shortening and sugar.  Add eggs, beat.  Add applesauce, mix well.  Add dry ingredients and beat.  Stir in raisins, nuts and chocolate chips.  Bake on greased cookie sheets for 15 minutes.

All New Square Foot Gardening – I’ve got the fever!

I am really excited to plan the garden and get started this year!  Last year was really difficult for me – our new house doesn’t open out on the back yard since it is on a hill so I couldn’t see the garden like I could at the old house and we were in the middle of a serious drought.

I finished reading the book called “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature Deficit Disorder”, in early February.  It was so inspiring to me!  As you know I am adamant that we allow our children lots of time in nature, but this book talked about and provided details and “professional” knowledge to prove what I have already seen in my children! You can read about it here.

Anyway, one night after reading that book, I laid awake for a couple of hours planning how to include everything that I want in our yard – a place for a few chickens, several fruit trees, a very productive garden that allows me to can food, a place to include some bird and small animal inviting habitats – while reserving a place for my kiddos to run around to play and act out their imaginary story lines.  We don’t have a lot of space, but I figured it out by deciding that the garden could move to the front yard.  We don’t spend much time out front – but I can see it from the living room which means that I can easily take care of it in small snatches of time. 😉

When my parents moved, I requested that I get to read their book called “Square Foot Gardening” – a huge tome of information that would take me a long time to read.  I wanted to use that because it taught companion planting and how to get more in the garden for a bountiful harvest.  One day, though, I was looking for something on Amazon and saw the “All-New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space” by the same author, Mel Bartholomew.  It was colorful, it was smaller, and the book was only about $12 or so. I admit that I bought it because I figured I would actually be able to read  it.

What I didn’t anticipate was how much I enjoyed it and how much I didn’t want to put it down.  It became my reading for a week – everything else went on the back-burner.  In the new method developed after 30 years of experience with the first SFG, Mr. Bartholomew developed a method that ANYONE can do – children, older people, disabled persons, and anyone who desires to have a chance to garden.  He shares how to make the beds, the grids, how to plan, plant, and harvest.  He shares plant information, their preferences and problems, and even a couple of recipes.  It is ORGANIC gardening, no chemicals required – and teaches how to make your own compost.  He teaches how to have a SFG in an apartment, in town, on a balcony, a step or set of steps.  It truly is for EVERYONE.  What I loved is the explanation of how to INEXPENSIVELY increase the space of your garden by building up a support instead of taking all the ground.  He even raises pumpkins and watermelons on support trellis’.

Here is a YouTube video of Mel explaining Square Foot Gardening.

Here’s a link to his SFG website.

You can get the book from Walmart or Amazon.  It’s worth the read.

By using this method, I can increase my garden productivity by 50% with significantly less work.  I can place the garden in the front and create my nature retreat in my back yard.

It’s the best of both worlds.

Roasted “French Fries”

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This is one of my “go to’ recipes when the kids want “junk food” for dinner.  It is simple, clean-up is a breeze, and it is a much healthier option to fast-food.  Did I mention that the kiddos love them?

Roasted French Fries

 Preheat oven to 425. Select your potatoes. Wash and clean them thoroughly.  You can make as many or as few as you want.  That’s why there is no set amount given.

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Slice into wedges or desired shape.  Place in a gallon size Ziploc bag.  Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil (you want to use olive for the flavor) over the potatoes. Close bag and shake vigorously to coat all wedges.

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Spread over lightly sprayed cookie sheet and bake about 25 minutes or until done.  You can stir if you feel the need – I usually don’t.

Serve warm with ketchup. 🙂  We typically eat things such as  grilled chicken or hamburgers (wrapped in lettuce leaves) with this. 

~~~You can also use sweet potatoes in this recipe.  YUM!~~~

Homemade Taco Seasoning (GF/DF/YF)

Since we can no longer buy our taco seasoning packets from the store due to allergies and sensitivities, I adapted the recipe I found in the Make a Mix cookbook.  It looks just like the store stuff, tastes wonderful, and is cheaper to make than the store packages.  Here is my go-to recipe:

Sheila’s Taco Seasoning Mix (Gluten, Dairy, & Yeast Free)

Small Batch                                               Large Batch

¼ cup dried minced onion                    1 cup dried minced onion

2 tbsp salt                                            ½ cup salt

2 tbsp chili powder                               ½ cup chili powder

1 tbsp cornstarch*                               ¼ cup cornstarch*

1 tbsp crushed dried red pepper          ¼ cup dried red pepper

1 tbsp dried minced garlic                     ¼ cup minced garlic

1 tbsp dried cumin                                ¼ cup cumin

1 ½ tsp dried oregano                          2 tbsp dried oregano

*Substitute arrowroot powder if needed for the cornstarch.

To mix:

Measure and place all ingredients in medium sized bowl.

Use a wire whisk and mix thoroughly.

Place in airtight container and label it (see photo above).   Can store on shelf for up to six months.  *Makes 6 recipes of taco meat.  Add more cumin, pepper, or chili powder for more zest.  Shake container to remix ingredients before measuring into recipes.

Taco Meat

1 lb. lean ground beef or turkey

2 tbsp (slightly rounded) taco seasoning mix

½ cup water

Brown meat, drain excess grease.  Sprinkle seasoning mix over the meat, stir in water.  Bring to a near boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Recipes to use with this meat:

Tacos, Burritos, Taco Salad, Taco Taters, Mexican Lasagna, Loaded Nachos, Mexican Omelet, Taco Soup