Gluten Free Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Gluten Free Sour Cream Coffee Cake | Pinky's Pantry
I keep trying to create gluten free recipes for my daughter, Spunky. It’s not always easy though. Especially with baked goods. You usually have to use 2 or 3 different non-wheat flours, and add specialty ingredients like xanthan gum, guar gum, gelatin, or agar-agar. And some things just don’t turn out right when you try to convert them using commercial gluten free flours.

That’s why I was so happy to discover Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour at my local grocery store. My sour cream coffee cake turned out great with it! It really took the guesswork out of converting an old family favorite into a gluten free recipe. I decided to research and learned that there are other brands of cup-for-cup flour replacements out there like King Arthur Flour’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour, or Cup4Cup Gluten Free Multipurpose Flour, but since Bob’s Red Mill is what my local grocery store carries, that’s what I used for this recipe. I’ll have to experiment and test the other brands someday. If you have a favorite cup-for-cup gluten free replacement flour, feel free to try it out with this recipe and then let me know how it turned out.

GLUTEN FREE SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE

  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream

Streusel

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-inch tube pan or angel food cake pan.
  2. Mix streusel ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In another bowl, stir flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
  4. With an electric mixer, cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Beat in flour mixture alternately with sour cream.
  7. Spread half the batter in the pan, then sprinkle half the streusel over it. Top with the rest of the batter, and finish with the remaining streusel.
  8. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  9. Cool cake in pan for 10-15 minutes, then loosen from sides of pan with a knife.
  10. Remove cake from pan and place topping side up on a serving plate.

NOTES:

  • You can substitute buttermilk or yogurt in place of the sour cream in this recipe.
  • This cake can be made in a 9×13-inch rectangular baking pan. If you prefer to use a 9×13-inch pan, I would just pour all the batter into the pan and then sprinkle all the streusel on top. It’s a pain to make the layers, though it can certainly be done. Just bear in mind that you’ll have to spread the batter really thinly if you want layers.

Santa Fe Chopped Salad with Cilantro Citrus Vinaigrette

Santa Fe Chopped Salad | Pinky's Pantry
This is a healthy and delicious salad. The dressing has very little oil which makes it less fattening than other dressings, albeit rather thin. If you want a thicker, creamier dressing, try adding a half cup of plain greek yogurt.

Sometimes I add crumbled bacon to this salad which makes it really yummy. After all, everything is better with bacon, right? For a heartier, more filling salad, you could toss in some chopped grilled chicken.

This salad makes a great accompaniment to barbecued meat or chicken. It’s delicious alongside a pot of pulled pork or a smoked beef brisket. And it’s perfect to take to a potluck or a picnic.
Santa Fe Chopped Salad | Pinky's Pantry

SANTA FE CHOPPED SALAD

  • 1 large head romaine lettuce or 2 romaine hearts, washed and roughly chopped
  • 2 small (2.25 oz.) cans sliced black olives, drained
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can (15.25 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1½ cups loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup tortilla strips
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • half of a small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  1. Place chopped lettuce in a bowl.
  2. Arrange remaining ingredients in rows on top of lettuce.
  3. Just before serving, drizzle with Cilantro Citrus Vinaigrette.
  4. Toss and serve.

Cilantro Citrus Vinaigrette | Pinky's Pantry

CILANTRO CITRUS VINAIGRETTE

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, loosely packed
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • juice from 2 limes (about 3½ – 4 Tbsp.)
  • 2 Tbsp. honey or agave nectar
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ⅛ tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil (can substitute canola oil)
  1. Place cilantro, orange juice, lime juice, honey, cumin, salt and pepper in bowl of food processor or blender and pulse until well-combined.
  2. Then gradually stream in the oil while processing until oil is completely incorporated. Dressing is thin and light.

Low-Carb Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini Lasagna | Pinky's Pantry
My daughter, Spunky, recently went in for some allergy testing at her doctor’s office. The good news is she doesn’t have Celiac Disease, however she does have gluten sensitivity and is allergic to shellfish, wheat, corn, soy, and their by-products, which makes it difficult to find things for her to eat. Seems like there’s wheat, corn, or soy in everything these days! Because of this, I’ve been on the lookout for healthy recipes to try and ingredient substitutions I can make for her.

This recipe is a delicious, healthy take on lasagna that’s lower in carbs and gluten-free because it has no pasta. The lasagna noodles are replaced by thinly sliced zucchini. The recipe seems like it has a lot of ingredients but once you get everything you need prepped, it comes together very easily. The fam loves it and they don’t miss the pasta noodles at all! Best of all, Spunky can eat it! Serve this with a salad and you’ve got one satisfying, healthy meal.

Oh, one other thing, you could prepare the “meat” sauce up to 5 days in advance and just keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to make your lasagna. Doing that speeds up the prep time which is a big help to a harried cook on a busy week night.

LOW-CARB ZUCCHINI LASAGNA

  • 5-6 medium zucchini (depending on how big they are)
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 1½ lbs. lean ground turkey (can substitute extra lean ground beef)
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (approx. 24-oz.) jar spaghetti or marinara sauce (I like Prego Heart Smart)
  • 2 tbsp. dried Italian seasoning (can substitute dried oregano)
  • 1 (15-oz.) tub part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 (8-oz.) tub lowfat cottage cheese
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp. fresh basil, minced (can use dried)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Slice zucchini lengthwise into ⅛-inch thick slices. If you have a mandolin, use it! It makes it much easier to get nice, even slices.
  2. Place sliced zucchini in a colander, sprinkle with a little salt, tossing it together, then set aside over an empty bowl for at least 20 minutes or more. Zucchini contains a lot of water and salting it removes some of the water.
  3. While the zucchini is draining, heat olive oil in a medium saucepot.
  4. Sauté garlic and onions until onions begin to turn translucent.
  5. Add ground turkey and sauté until turkey is cooked through.
  6. Add diced tomatoes, Prego sauce, and Italian seasoning, stirring together well.
  7. Let sauce simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. While sauce is simmering, rinse zucchini quickly in cold water to remove the salt, then gently squeeze dry between 3 or 4 layers of paper towels.
  9. Spread zucchini on extra paper towels to blot out any excess moisture.
  10. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  11. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, basil and egg.
  12. On the bottom of a 9×13 pyrex baking dish, spread one-third of the meat sauce.
  13. Arrange zucchini slices on top of sauce and top with one-half of ricotta mixture.
  14. Do a second layer of one-third meat sauce, zucchini slices, and remaining half of ricotta mixture.
  15. Do a third layer with remaining meat sauce, then zucchini slices, but instead of ricotta mixture, top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
  16. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until mixture starts to bubble around the edges and cheese melts and begins to brown in spots.
  17. Remove from oven and let stand 10-20 minutes before cutting.

Healthy Chorizo con Papas (Mexican Chorizo with Potatoes)

Chorizo con Papas | Pinky's PantryThe 2012 issue of Saveur 100 magazine has a recipe for chorizo con papas featuring fresh homemade chorizo. I wanted to fix a big breakfast for the family this morning and thought Chorizo con Papas would fit the bill perfectly, but I needed it to be a little healthier and a whole lot quicker to prepare. This is my healthy, quick-and-easy version. I use vegetarian soy chorizo in place of regular pork chorizo. Also, I par-boil the potatoes which removes some of the starch from them. I do fry them in a little oil, but we all need a bit of fat in our diets and if you choose a heart-healthy fat like olive or canola oil, it’ll be just fine.

My friend, Pooh, introduced me to soy chorizo. It’s a great substitute for pork chorizo when you’re trying to cut down on your fat intake. Reynaldo’s brand has a good spicy flavor without being overly hot which leaves it open for you to adjust the heat of the dish to your liking. Trader Joe’s makes a good soy chorizo, too. With zero cholesterol, soy chorizo is a heart-healthy and delicious substitute for the real thing. As an added bonus, it’s readily available at most local grocery stores and is quite reasonably priced.

If you want, you could add tabasco sauce or some other hot sauce to this dish to make it spicier. When I serve this for breakfast, I top each serving with a fried egg and add a couple of slices of Buttered Seasoned Toast. A little sour cream on the side and you’re ready to dig in!

HEALTHY CHORIZO CON PAPAS (MEXICAN CHORIZO WITH POTATOES)

  • 1 pkg. (12 ozs.) vegetarian soy chorizo
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾” cubes
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 pasilla pepper, cut into large dice
  • canola or olive oil for frying
  1. Boil cubed potatoes till partially cooked, about 7 minutes.
  2. Drain very well.
  3. Heat a little oil in a large skillet and fry potatoes until golden brown and crispy on all sides.
  4. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
  5. In same skillet, heat a little more oil and sauté onion and pasilla pepper until onion begins to turn translucent. Transfer to plate with potatoes.
  6. Remove soy chorizo from casing and add to skillet.
  7. Cook about 4 to 5 minutes, breaking up any large chunks with the back of a spoon.
  8. Add potatoes, onions, and peppers back into skillet with chorizo and stir until well combined.
  9. Top each serving with a fried egg and place buttered seasoned toast on the side.

NOTE:   For those of you who might want to try making your own fresh chorizo for this dish, I’m posting Saveur’s fresh chorizo recipe here.

Saveur’s Fresh Chorizo Recipe:

12 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed
8 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed
1 cup finely chopped cilantro
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. paprika
2 tbsp. kosher salt
1½ tbsp. dried orégano, preferably Mexican
1 tbsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 lb. ground pork
8 oz. pork fatback, chilled and minced

Heat both chiles in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat; cook, turning, until toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer chiles to a bowl and cover with 4 cups boiling water; let sit until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain chiles, reserving ¾ cup soaking liquid, and transfer to a blender along with reserved soaking liquid, cilantro, vinegar, paprika, salt, oregano, pepper, cumin, coriander, and garlic; purée until smooth. Transfer purée to a bowl and add pork and fatback; mix until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Creamy Cauliflower Mash

Creamy Cauliflower Mash | Pinky's PantryI’d heard so much about using cauliflower to replace the potatoes in mashed potatoes. Low in carbs and high in vitamins, mashed cauliflower is much healthier for you than traditional mashed potatoes which are usually loaded with butter and cream. I decided to give it a try a couple of years ago, but to my utter disappointment, my family was far from impressed. They preferred starchy, fattening potatoes to the healthy, nutritious cauliflower. Ungrateful wretches!

Well I decided to try it again with a few changes to the way I made it last time, and everyone liked it this time around! Amazing what a little tweaking can do. This time I added some reduced-fat cream cheese to make it a little richer and creamier. I also added a minced garlic clove to the cauliflower while it was hot so it would cook a bit in the heat and add some good flavor. It was a success! My daughter, T-Rizzle, didn’t even realize that the mash wasn’t made from potatoes!Creamy Cauliflower Mash | Pinky's Pantry

CREAMY CAULIFLOWER MASH

  • 1 large head cauliflower (or 2 small ones)
  • 2 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp. lite margarine
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. chicken bullion granules
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped green onions for garnish (optional)
  1. Cut cauliflower into pieces.
  2. Boil in a little water until tender.
  3. Drain very well.
  4. Place drained cauliflower into a blender or food processor.
  5. Add cream cheese, margarine, garlic and chicken bullion, and puree until smooth.
    I actually put the drained cauliflower back into the pot with the rest of the ingredients and used my immersion blender to puree it. Do whatever is easiest for you.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper and continue to puree for another minute or so.
  7. Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with chopped green onions, if desired.

Crispy Kale Chips

Crispy Kale Chips | Pinky's Pantry
I was watching Food TV the other day and saw Melissa d’Arabian make kale chips. I had never heard of kale chips before but it sounded good and she made it look so easy. How strange to think that a green leafy vegetable would actually crisp up when baked instead of breaking down and turning to mush. This I had to see for myself!

Kale has always been a very popular vegetable in Europe but has only lately started making headlines in the United States. Now you see it on almost every restaurant menu. It’s a good thing because kale is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals, and has been touted for its cancer protection and cholesterol lowering capabilities. Its leaves are thick and hearty, and stand up well to most styles of cooking. Kale chips make a wonderful, healthy alternative to potato chips for snacking.

Oh — and baking really did crisp the leaves right up! I must admit to some misgivings as I had never baked kale leaves before but instead of getting soft and wilting like I was afraid they would, they turned light and crispy with a mild earthy flavor. You’ve got to try this recipe. Besides being super easy, it was absolutely delicious! I may never eat potato chips again!
Crispy Kale Chips | Pinky's Pantry

CRISPY KALE CHIPS

  • 1 head kale
  • 2 tbsps. olive oil
  • sea salt, for sprinkling
  1. Preheat oven to 275ºF.
  2. Wash and dry kale very well.
  3. Remove the ribs from the kale and cut leaves into 1½-inch pieces.
  4. Lay kale pieces on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil.
  5. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Be carerful! It’s very easy to over-salt the kale chips so go lightly on the salt in this step. You can always add more, but you can’t take away.

Low-Fat Sugar-Free Yellow Cake with Fresh Strawberry Filling

Low-Fat Sugar-Free Cake | Pinky's Pantry This “miracle” cake recipe has been around for a while. It’s low in fat and incredibly easy to prepare. All it takes is two ingredients – cake mix and diet soda. You can choose any flavor of cake mix you like and combine it with any flavor of soda. You could do chocolate cake and coke, spice cake and orange soda, lemon cake and 7-Up, yellow cake and cream soda, chocolate cake and Dr. Pepper, white cake and Sprite, the possibilities are endless!

The cake turns out light and fluffy, though depending on which cake mix or soda you use, it can get a little gummy. It could also be prone to cracking on top though this is easily covered up with frosting. I decided to try making a cake that was not only low-fat but sugar -free as well so I used a Pillsbury Sugar-Free cake mix. The cake turned out great and everyone loved it!

I made the cake pictured for my daughter’s birthday. I should note that the reason the cake is so big and tall is because I baked two cakes instead of splitting one cake in half. Hey, since it’s low-fat AND sugar-free, that means we get to eat twice as much. Don’t you agree?

Sugar-Free Cake with Strawberry Filling | Pinky's Pantry

LOW-FAT SUGAR-FREE YELLOW CAKE WITH FRESH STRAWBERRY FILLING

Cake:

  • 1 box sugar-free Pillsbury yellow cake mix
  • 1 can (12 ozs.) diet 7-Up
  1. Preheat oven to 325º F and spray a 9×13 baking pan with Pam.
  2. With electric mixer on medium speed, beat cake mix and 7-Up for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour into prepared baking pan.
  4. Bake 34-38 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  5. While cake is baking, prepare filling.

Filling:

  • 2 pints fresh strawberries
  • 2 tbsp. Splenda No-Calorie Sweetener
  1. Hull, wash and slice strawberries.
  2. Toss in a bowl with Splenda and set aside.

Assembly and Frosting:

  • 1 16-oz. tub sugar-free Cool Whip
  1. Allow cake to cool completely, then split in half lengthwise.
  2. Place one cake half on serving plate and spread top with Cool Whip.
  3. Spoon strawberries over Cool Whip and then top with second half of cake.
  4. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining Cool Whip.

Egg Muffins

Egg Muffins | Pinky's Pantry
No. 1 decided he was going to try the South Beach diet. In an effort to help him, I decided to make him a South Beach friendly breakfast. I found a recipe for these little mini frittatas on a site called Kalyn’s Kitchen and decided to give them a try. They turned out pretty good! They’re easy to do and make a great grab-and-go breakfast when you’re in a hurry. They make perfect little snacks, too. You can make them with egg substitute like I did, or use real eggs or even egg whites. You can also add a variety of meats and vegetables. It’s a very versatile recipe and the muffins are really tasty. When you’re pressed for time and rushing to get ready for work on a busy morning, it sure is a big help to be able to reach into the fridge and grab a couple of these for breakfast!

EGG MUFFINS

(Makes 12 muffins)

  • 1 carton egg substitute (you can use real eggs, beaten, if you prefer)
  • salt, to taste
  • 1-2 cups grated low fat cheese (sharp cheddar or a blend of cheddar/Jack cheese, use less cheese if using meat)
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • Optional meats:  diced Canadian bacon, turkey bacon, lean ham, or crumbled cooked turkey sausage
  • Optional vegetables:  chopped red pepper, blanched broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, etc. (using veggies will reduce the fat content)
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.
  3. In the bottom of the muffin cups layer diced meat, if using, vegetables, if using, cheese and green onions. Fill the muffin cups about 2/3 full, leaving room to pour a little egg around the other ingredients.
  4. Pour egg substitute into each muffin cup until it is 3/4 full.
  5. Sprinkle with a little salt and stir slightly with a fork.
  6. Bake 25 minutes or until muffins have risen and are slightly browned and set.

NOTE:  Egg Muffins will keep for more than a week in the refrigerator without freezing. The muffins can be frozen and reheated in the microwave, but freezing makes them release water when they’re microwaved so it’s better if you can just keep them refrigerated.

Weight Watchers Lime Panna Cotta

Weight Watchers Panna Cotta | Pinky's PantryMy family loves creamy, rich Panna Cotta, but let’s face it – it’s not exactly the lowest calorie dessert out there. However, I do have the Weight Watchers PointsPlus Cookbook sitting on my bookshelf, and browsing through it I was more than pleased to discover that it contained a recipe for a low-fat Panna Cotta! I decided to give it a try and was pleasantly surprised. Of course, there’s nothing like the flavor of a full-cream Panna Cotta, but when you’re trying to cut down on the calories, this really was a good substitute.

LIME PANNA COTTA WITH BERRY COMPOTE

  • 1-1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup fat-free half-and-half
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. grated lime zest
  • pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/3 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 tbsp. water
  1. Spray four 6-oz. custard cups or ramekins with nonstick spray.
  2. Sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup of the half-and-half in small bowl. Let stand until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine remaining 1/2 cup half-and-half, 1/3 cup of the sugar, the lime zest, and salt in medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook, whisking, until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high, bring just to boil, and remove saucepan from heat. Whisk in gelatin mixture, cover, and let stand 10 minutes. Pour through fine sieve set over medium bowl.
  4. Whisk buttermilk and vanilla into strained mixture. Divide mixture evenly among prepared custard cups. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled and set, at least 4 hours or up to 1 day.
  5. To make sauce, combine 1/2 cup of the raspberries, the blueberries, remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, and the water in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to boil and cook, stirring often, until blueberries pop and sauce begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1/2 cup raspberries. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  6. To serve, run thin-bladed knife around edge of each custard cup; then dip cups into bowl of hot water, holding them there about 15 seconds. Immediately invert cups onto plate. Top each with 2 tablespoons of the sauce.

ONE SERVING (1 custard with 2 tablespoons sauce) = 4 POINTS

NOTE:  I followed the Panna Cotta recipe as is, but I didn’t have any raspberries or blueberries so instead of making the Berry Sauce, I made an Apricot Sauce to go with it by first draining a can of Lite Apricot Halves, and then pureeing the fruit with an immersion blender. Stir in a little squeeze of lemon juice and you’re good to go. If you want it sweeter, just add some Splenda to taste.