Oh my goodness. These are amazing. Quick warning, you should probably make a double batch of these because they are not going to be around for long. I mean, cheese and bacon, what’s not to love? Nothing obviously.
Whether you are having friends over to watch football or hosting a fancy dinner party, these little bites are sure to be a hit. I highly recommend letting these get nice and brown and crispy (soggy bacon is just nasty). I served mine with Dijon mustard just to add a little extra something. Totally not necessary, but definitely a tasty addition. I’m a saucy person, so I like having dipping sauces on the side of just about everything. I think a smokey barbecue sauce would also be really tasty.
Halloumi & Bacon Rolls
1 block halloumi
10 rashers of center cut bacon
Heat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and place a baking rack on top of the tinfoil.
Cut the halloumi into 20 sticks. stretch each rasher of bacon with the back of a knife, then cut in half.
Roll the bacon around the halloumi in a spiral and arrange on the baking rack. Bake for 15-20 mins or until the pancetta is brown and crispy.
These are the tastiest little bites I’ve had in a while. Tomatoes are in their prime at the moment and I suggest you make these as soon as you can! Every single bite was a little bit sweet, a little bit salty, a little bit spicy, and a whole lot of delicious.
I have been attempting to make these nearly all summer, but seemed to encounter a Goldilocks dilemma every single time. Definitely make sure you get actual cherry tomatoes. I made the mistake of buying a Costco sized box of grape tomatoes, twice, and they are just too small. Then I tried Campari tomatoes and they are just too big, but finally I actually found cherry tomatoes! And they are just right. I used the small end of a melon baller to ‘pit’ the tomatoes and it was the easiest thing ever.
You can use just about any hot sauce you want. I personally used chipotle Tabasco for just about everything and it was absolutely perfect for these. I am sure your personal favorite will work just fine. I think sriracha or a Mexican hot sauce, like Cholula or Tapitio, would be great as well.
BLT Tomato Bites (Gluten Free)
2 pints cherry tomatoes (about 32)
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and broken into big pieces
1/2 cup mayonnaise or plain Greek yogurt (I used half and half of each)
2 teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce (I recommend Chipotle Tabasco)
1 cup finely chopped romaine lettuce leaves from the heart
Cut off the stem ends of the tomatoes and discard. Using a paring knife or the small end of a melon baller, remove the seeds and discard; place the tomatoes cut side down on paper towels to drain.
Stir together the mayonnaise/yogurt and chipotle and spoon into a resealable bag. Cut off the tip of one corner.
Place the tomatoes cut side up on a platter and press some romaine inside each tomato; sprinkle with salt. Pipe some chipotle mayo over the romaine and top with bacon.
I love coming up with new ways to eat my favorite sandwiches in gluten free ways. A good BLT (I guess these are technically BLATs) are pretty amazing sandwiches and these spring rolls do not disappoint despite the lack of bread. The lime-sriracha dipping sauce is also pretty delicious. It’s creamy, spicy and tangy and really worked well the rest of the BLT ingredients.
These rolls are also super, super filling. I had originally planned on using these as an appetizer, but they were so tasty and filling, they ended up being the perfect (almost) no cook meal. I would recommend serving these as soon as possible after making them, but if you have to they will keep pretty well for up to three hours after assembly.
1-5 teaspoons Sriracha or garlic chili sauce (depending on you spice preference)
For the Spring Rolls:
8 8-inch rice paper (spring roll) wrappers
2 cups baby lettuce/spring mix
2 large tomatoes, cut into thin slices
8 slices crispy, cooked center-cut bacon
1 avocado, pitted and cubed
For the Dipping Sauce:
Combine the mayo, yogurt, lime, and sriracha in a small bowl. Whisk it together and set aside.
For the Spring Rolls:
Make an assembly line with the bacon, tomato avocado and lettuce. (These spring rolls are best when served immediately, but can be served up to 3 hours later)
Fill a large pan with hot water and add one rice paper round. Allow it to sit in the water until it softens, about 15-30 seconds. (If your rice paper has a pattern on it, it will be ready to remove when the pattern disappears.)
Stack shredded or baby lettuce leaves on the lower third of the rice paper. Add tomatoes then a strip of bacon.
Fold the bottom of the rice paper up over the lettuce, tomato and bacon. Fold in the sides, then roll up. Repeat with remaining ingredients. If one of the wrappers rips, carefully overlap the two edges then continue to assemble the roll.
A few weeks ago I was up visiting my best friends and her husband and pugs in San Francisco. They have the cutest farmers’ market right around the corner from them on the weekends and we took a visit before I had to head home. One of the stalls (Hummus Heaven) was selling absolutely delicious hummus and pita chips. They also had some incredible dips and spreads. I fell in love with the tomato basil spread. It was light, tangy, garlicky and fresh. It was delicious with pita chips, but I also used it for dipping veggies, crackers and as a sandwich spread. All wining combinations.
Since I (tragically) have no clue when my next visit to San Francisco will be, I decided I needed to attempt to recreate it. I will say that the original was a little more creamy (almost mayo/aioli like), but I wasn’t really in the mood to keep adding oil or mayo to get mine to the same consistency. I thought that some greek yogurt might take it more in that direction, but it didn’t. It did help it make it more like a dip or sandwich spread, which was perfect for me. I did save a little of the original to do a side by side taste test and that my version is just as good as the original, if not a little bit better.
Tomato Basil Spread
4+ cloves garlic
6 ounce can tomato paste
freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon oregano, dried
10-15 basil leaves, roughly torn
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup greek yogurt, plain
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine until desired consistency is reached (I did mine so it was very smooth).
Summer seems to be flying by and I feel like the end of it, is unfortunately in sight. This week I want to share recipes that feature some of my favorite summer produce so everyone can get as much tasty enjoyment out of the month or so we have left.
Oven roasted tomatoes became one of my favorite things this summer and if I can keep some around long enough (most are consumed via fork straight from pan), this is one of my favorite ways to eat them. I know turning on the oven in the middle of summer is something only crazy person would do, but just trust me, it’s worth it. Plus, you are turning on the oven so low, you won’t be able to notice any big temperature change. I promise!
I cannot even begin to describe how incredibly delicious these tomatoes are. I used cherry tomatoes in this particular instance, but I’ve used just about every tomato imaginable and they are all just as amazing. I served these with softened goat cheese and gluten-free focaccia, but the possibilities are endless. I’ve used them on salads, in a caprese salad, the top of soups, crackers and, as I already mentioned, my favorite method with a fork straight from the pan.
One minor note, if you are using larger tomatoes: cut the tomatoes in half first, remove the stem (if desired) and place them cut side down on the pan when you go to roast them.
Slow Roasted Tomatoes with Goat Cheese & Gluten Free Focaccia
around 1-1.5 pounds cherry tomatoes
2 Tablespoons olive oil
8-10 sprigs fresh thyme
4-5 sprigs fresh rosemary
4-8 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
Heat oven to 225F.
Pour the olive oil into a shallow baking dish or pan and add the garlic, thyme, rosemary, and salt and pepper.
Toss the tomatoes with the oil and seasonings in the dish.
Bake for two hours, or until the tomatoes are completely softened and wilted, and start to wrinkle. Depending on the tomatoes, they may take longer to cook.
I have a tendency to buy things in bulk. It’s next to impossible to say no to three pounds of baby spinach at Costco for under 4 bucks. The only downside is three pounds of baby spinach is a lot of baby spinach. So in another effort to clean out the fridge, I have attempted to add spinach to everything. This isn’t a recipe so much as it is an idea of flavor combinations and the possibilities are really endless.
I really love this dressing, especially when paired with the sweet mandarins. It was a great combination. I also found this salad to be surprisingly filling. It made for a great lunch. I think the addition of grilled chicken or shrimp would easily make it into a wonderful dinner. If I was to make this salad again, I think adding crumbled feta and dried cranberries would be delicious. Strawberries, granny smith apples, or pecans would also be good substitutes (or additions too).
Mandarin, Almond & Spinach Salad with Gluten Free Asian Vinaigrette
For the Salad:
2 large handfuls spinach, washed
1 mandarin orange (or clementine), peeled and broken into segments
1 small red onion, thinly cut into circles
2 green onions, chopped
2 Tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
For the Asian Vinaigrette:
3-5 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon low-sodium gluten free Tamari or soy sauce
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
freshly ground pepper to taste
For the Salad:
Place spinach on plate. Top with orange segments, as many onions as desired and almonds. Top with vinaigrette.
Serve and enjoy!
For the Asian Vinaigrette:
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until throughly mixed. Use immediately. Will keep for 1 week in fridge.
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.
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
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
In a food processor, pulse bread and garlic until fine crumbs form; set 3 tablespoons aside.
Add the goat cheese, parsley, red-pepper flakes and lemon juice to food processor. Season with salt and pepper, and pulse filling until combined.
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.
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
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 (leaves & stems)
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
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.
Garnish with 2 Tbsp. of chopped cilantro (if desired) before serving.
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
2 whole garlic bulbs
3 large avocados
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)
To Roast Garlic:
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.
For the Guacamole:
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.).
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.
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
Heat oven to 400. Line two large baking sheets with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
Combine chicken and barbecue sauce.
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.
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.
Place baking sheets in oven and cook 20-25 minutes, or until slightly browned and crispy.
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.
For the Avocado Ranch Dip
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.