Grandma’s Gluten Free Turkey Stuffing

Christmas is just around the corner. Literally. I can’t believe it. I’ve been running around the last couple of days like crazy trying to get my last minute stuff done. I don’t know why, but this year I’ve been behind since the beginning of December. Perhaps it’s hubby’s fault. Yeah, it’s his fault! (I’m just kidding honey!) He’s been away for work and back and now he’s away again. This whole thing of him being gone for a 4 or 5 days at a time is a little difficult to manage at times. But, I’m doing my best. And, it seems around Christmas time there is just extra stuff to do. Like holiday shopping and wrapping. Not to mention, kids’ Christmas concerts, parties and gatherings. Oh yeah, and let us not forget, decorating, cleaning house and oh yeah, baking?!?! I always ask myself why do I put so much pressure on myself to get everything done? Seriously, who’s going to know if I don’t? Just me. Right? Just me. Why is it that women just want things perfect for large holiday gatherings? Seriously, why do we always put so much pressure on ourselves? I know that every woman around me is the same. Always wanting things to be perfect, but in reality, who’s gonna know the difference? I know that I just want my little family to be together for the holidays, not to have a perfectly decorated house, a meal made to perfection or anything else. I just want to be together. So, whatever gets done, gets done I guess and whatever doesn’t, well, that’s okay too. I will be hosting Christmas dinner this year and I know that even though the days leading up to Christmas are super busy, I will make a point to carve out some time to spend with my family.

With all that being said, here’s one recipe that I will be sure to include on my Christmas dinner menu. Stuffing. What’s better than turkey? How about the stuffing inside of the turkey? For me, turkey stuffing is my favourite part of any turkey. I hate to admit this, but I could probably sit down and just eat a plate of stuffing. Okay, gross … I know, right? But for me, a turkey without stuffing is just plain wrong. I’ve only cooked a turkey without stuffing once in my life and it’s something that I vowed I would never do again. It was just plain, plain. I swear the turkey meat was even flavourless without it. Being gluten free can be a challenge over the holidays, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to give up any of the good stuff over the holidays, you just have to maybe put a little more thought and effort into preparing some of your favourite dishes. For us, converting this turkey stuffing to gluten free, dairy free and soy free was an absolute must. There wasn’t an option. This recipe comes from my Mom. Like I’ve said in previous posts, my Mom was an amazing cook growing up. In fact, she still is. Anytime I get invited over to her house for dinner, I always accept. No questions asked. My kiddies love Grandma’s cooking as well. I have seen her make this recipe countless times growing up and even to this day, she still gets out this old tattered piece of paper to make it. Of course, now that she’s gluten free as well, there have been a few substitutions. But, that same delicious, moist stuffing remains unchanged. It is the best part of any turkey meal. Add this to your holiday menu and let me know how it turned out for you!

Grandma’s Gluten Free Turkey Stuffing 

2 cups potato, cooked, mashed and cooled ( I like to cook my potatoes the night before and store them in the fridge until ready to use)

1 cup gluten free bread crumbs (I use my Glorious Gluten Free Bread and lightly toast them in the oven)

1/4 cup  bacon, cut into small pieces (ensure whatever brand you use, it’s gluten free)

2 tsp chopped yellow onion

1/4 cup Earth Balance Soy Free Spread

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp ground sage

1 egg

1 lb ground turkey (or ground beef)

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Once your ingredients are well mixed in your bowl you can begin stuffing your turkey. Ensure you close up your turkey well so the stuffing stays inside your turkey while cooking. Cook your turkey according to package directions on your turkey. Baste your turkey while it’s roasting to ensure that the stuffing remains moist inside the cavity. Serve and enjoy with your holiday meal!

Love,

Jenny

Grandma's Gluten Free Turkey Stuffing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Jenny Beaulieu:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups potato, cooked, mashed and cooled ( I like to cook my potatoes the night before and store them in the fridge until ready to use)
  • 1 cup gluten free bread crumbs (I use my Glorious Gluten Free Bread and lightly toast them in the oven)
  • ¼ cup bacon, cut into small pieces (ensure whatever brand you use, it's gluten free)
  • 2 tsp chopped yellow onion
  • ¼ cup Earth Balance Soy Free Spread
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground sage
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lb ground turkey (or ground beef)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Once your ingredients are well mixed in your bowl you can begin stuffing your turkey. Ensure you close up your turkey well so the stuffing stays inside your turkey while cooking. Cook your turkey according to package directions on your turkey. Baste your turkey while it's roasting to ensure that the stuffing remains moist inside the cavity. Serve and enjoy with your holiday meal!

Jenny’s Gluten, Dairy & Soy Free Chocolate Chunk Cookies

We’re already a week into December and I’m still trying to get things done. The first order of business should be to get my shopping done, but sadly I keep procrastinating. In past years, I’d be at least 70% done by now, but this year I am having a hard time getting started. I do about 80% of my shopping online, which should make me want to do it even earlier, considering shipping time and costs and all. Hubby and I have agreed to take a new approach to Christmas this year. We’ve decided to get back to what Christmas really means and to not go overboard on Christmas gifts for our children. It’s an easy thing to do, going overboard. So, this year I found something on Pinterest (yes, I totally love Pinterest!) that would help me to really narrow down my gift giving – not like I don’t love giving to my children, but Christmas has become so commercialized and I want them to understand what it’s supposed to be about. I had them fill out a letter saying what they want, what they need, what they’ll wear and what they’ll read. A little difficult for a four year old, but I helped her out quite a bit. The boy loved doing it and it was really a challenge for him to come up for a couple of things that he really wants instead of listing off a thousand toys that would be just forgotten about anyway. Our kids are blessed to have toys, games and books already, and we’re trying to teach them that there are children out there that don’t have those things, let alone food, clothing and shelter. It’s tough for a child to understand all the complicated aspects of life, but we’re trying to teach them this lesson. So instead of going over the top with our kids we will be giving less to our own kids and then giving to those less fortunate.  As the old saying goes It’s far better to give than to receive. So, hopefully at the end of this Christmas season our kids will understand to be grateful for the things they have instead of always wanting and asking for more. And, as adults it’s just as important for us to remember that as well. That being said, I’m sure that my shopping will come together in good time and I’ll still have plenty of time to just enjoy the season with family and friends. But, really, let’s be honest I’d better hurry up!

Christmas is my favourite time of year and every year I spend hours baking up some gluten, dairy and soy free goodies for my family and friends to share. I hope to be able to share a few of my favourites with you in future posts, but today’s recipe is great year round. What kid or adult out there doesn’t love a soft chocolate chip cookie? My kids love these cookies. What I love about them is that they are the perfect texture, they freeze easily and no one can tell the difference from cookies made with wheat flour. And, to top it all off, they are easy to make. So give these cookies a whirl … your gluten free kid or kid at heart will love them, I promise!

Jenny’s Gluten, Dairy & Soy Free Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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Preheat your oven to 350 F. In a medium mixing bowl combine the following and set aside:

2 1/4 cups Jenny’s All Purpose Gluten Free Flour*

1/2 cup tapioca starch

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

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In the bowl of your mixer cream the following: (don’t over mix!)

1 cup Earth Balance Soy Free Spread

1 cup brown sugar, packed

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Next add to your creamed Earth Balance and brown sugar:

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

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Mix until just combined. Add your dry ingredients to your mixer slowly. Mix on low speed until just incorporated.

Fold in 1 bag Enjoy Life Mega Chunks

Enjoy Life Foods Semi-sweet Mega Chunks, 12-count (Grocery)


New From: CDN$ 65.88 In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

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Using your hands, roll small cookie balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet (don’t press them down, leave them as balls!). Bake at 350 F for 10 -12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

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Serve and enjoy! These cookies will keep a few days on the counter in an airtight container or freeze them once their cooled and defrost as needed!

Love,

Jenny

Jenny’s All Purpose Gluten Free Flour

1 cup brown rice flour

1 cup tapioca starch

1/2 sorghum flour

Jenny’s Gluten, Dairy & Soy Free Chocolate Chunk Cookies
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Jenny Beaulieu:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 2 dozen

Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups Jenny’s All Purpose Gluten Free Flour*
  • ½ cup tapioca starch
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup Earth Balance Soy Free Spread
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 bag Enjoy Life Mega Chunks

Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. In a medium mixing bowl combine Jenny’s All Purpose Gluten Free Flour, tapioca starch, xanthin gum, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer cream the Earth Balance Soy Free Spread and brown sugar. Don’t over mix!
  3. To the creamed Earth Balance and brown sugar add the eggs and vanilla. Mix until just incorporated.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, using your mixer. Mix on low speed.
  5. Fold in the Enjoy Life Mega Chunks using a spatula.
  6. Using your hands, roll small cookie balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet (don’t press them down, leave them as balls!).
  7. Bake at 350 F for 10 -12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
  8. Serve and enjoy! These cookies will keep a few days on the counter in an airtight container or freeze them once their cooled and defrost as needed!

Jenny’s Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets

Ok so Christmas is coming … isn’t it? This month I’ve been busy with a lot of different things. I’ve been playing around in the kitchen and trying new recipes out. My kids love it when I do that. They are the best taste testers because they are always honest with me. I know that if they don’t keep asking for more, I have to change things up and make it better. So, in a way they are my best critics. And really, they are the reason that I do what I do. I can see how how gluten, dairy and soy affect them and it breaks my heart to see it. We don’t have anaphylactic allergies to any foods. And, some people would say that if your throat doesn’t close or you don’t get huge hives, you’re not really allergic to something. I beg to differ. When the boy has gluten or dairy he is completely different. Not to mention all the physical issues he has. Firstly, he has terrible stomach problems. Diarrhea and cramping are often severe in him and seeing him in pain is not an option. And, lets not forget about the runny nose, chronic cough and ear aches. Yeah, all that from a little milk or gluten. And, don’t even get me started on how it affects his personality. He is completely different. Completely. It’s hard to explain it, but he becomes very irrational, emotional, aggressive and obsessive at times. I was trying to introduce a new food to him a couple of weeks ago and I was quickly reminded of what he was like 4 years ago. So, first the stomach issues started and the behavioural quickly followed. It was an interesting 3 days of school that week. First his teacher approached me about his inappropriate behaviour during a school assembly. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking … he’s 6 Jenny, what 6 year old doesn’t misbehave every once in a while? Yeah, okay, I’ll give him that one. But then two other times I found him crying for me to stay at school with him when he has never done that, even in Kindergarten. He was also very aggressive towards the girl and defiant at home.  And, after 3 days he was completely back to normal. It was a reminder to me of what life would be like now if I hadn’t taken gluten, dairy or soy out of their diets. Life would be different. Very different. Not to mention, how would I feel had I not taken gluten, dairy and soy from my own diet? I would be at my wits end. I know that where I am in my life now would not be possible without being gluten, dairy and soy free. As an adult, joining my kids on this journey has been incredible. I have seen so many positives in myself that I know I can never go back. I don’t think that I ever really understood what it was like to wake up each morning and feel good. I woke up most mornings pre-gluten free …. angry. Tired. Exhausted. And, now that I am out of that, I know what I should feel like every day. I feel energized. In control. Happy. Incredibly happy. I have taken control of my life. And, whether it’s Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity or intolerance, it doesn’t really matter in the long run to us. For right now, I know that gluten, dairy and soy aren’t good for us. Call it whatever you like, allergy or intolerance, either way it’s not something we can have. Period.

So this week’s recipe is fun. My kids love this recipe. And, striving to have fun, affordable, delicious recipes just like any other family is important. There aren’t a lot of options when it comes to gluten free, dairy free and soy free chicken nuggets. These are delicious. And, easy to prepare. The kids love them because, well, they’re awesome, and what kid doesn’t love food they can eat with their fingers! I still remember being pre-gluten free and eating those not-so-good-for-you chicken nuggets from a drive thru … you know which ones I’m talking about, right? Well, this recipe for chicken nuggets is much better than those not-so-good-for-you chicken nuggets … you know exactly what they are made of and they’re baked not deep fried. What’s not to like or um, love? So, make these and decide for yourself! And, let me know your thoughts! Find me on Twitter, Facebook or post your comment below!

Jenny’s Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets

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Defrost 6 medium chicken breasts and set aside.

Combine the following in a large Ziplock bag:

2/3 cup corn meal

1/3 cup Jenny’s All Purpose Flour*

1/2 tsp paprika

1/8 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp celery salt

1/8 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp mustard powder

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1 dash roasted garlic granules

Cut chicken breasts into 1 – 1 1/2″ cubes. Shake them in the flour/spice mixture until well coated. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Drizzle each piece with canola oil. Then sprinkle each piece with the leftover flour/spice mixture.

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(Okay, I know they don’t look pretty, but trust me they’ll taste amazing! Besides, what raw chicken looks pretty? Just saying!)

Cook at 450 F for about 22 – 24 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time. Remove from oven and serve with your favourite dipping sauce, just be sure it’s gluten free!

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Enjoy! Whether you have kids or are a kid at heart, you’ll be impressed with these simple, yet delicious chicken nuggets.

Love,

Jenny

PS If you prefer to have a a less “zippy” chicken nugget, leave out the cayenne pepper … or just reduce it. For us, this recipe was perfect, not to spicy, but if you have picky eaters in your home, you might want to adjust it!

Jenny’s All Purpose Gluten Free Flour

1 cup brown rice flour

1 cup tapioca starch

1/2 cup sorghum flour

Jenny's Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Jenny Beaulieu:
Cuisine: Main Dish
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup corn meal
  • ⅓ cup Jenny's All Purpose Flour*
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ⅛ tsp cumin
  • ⅛ tsp celery salt
  • ⅛ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 dash roasted garlic granules
  • Canola oil
Instructions
  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a large Ziplock bag.
  2. Cut chicken breasts into 1 - 1½" cubes. Shake them in the flour/spice mixture until well coated. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Drizzle each piece with canola oil. Then sprinkle each piece with the leftover flour/spice mixture.
  3. Cook at 450 F for about 22 - 24 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time. Remove from oven and serve with your favourite dipping sauce, just be sure it's gluten free!

What’s in a name?

Some of you out there may be asking … what’s with the name? I always find it interesting to know how someone picks a name for something that is so near and dear to them. I’m passionate about this blog. I love being able to share my story with people and to know that maybe, just maybe, I’ve helped someone who is struggling, just like I was. You see, I struggled for a long time when I was first told our family had to go gluten free, dairy free and soy free. I wanted to cry, and so I did. And, after I was done, I thought, I can do this. I’m intelligent, strong and depending on who you talk to, stubborn. I like a good challenge and so instead of seeing this as a set back, I saw it as a challenge. I always said, life gave me lemons and I need to figure out how to make my lemonade. So, for me, this blog has been my lemonade. I don’t claim to know everything about being gluten free, dairy free and soy free, but I have learned a lot in the past 4 years and I hope that sharing what I know will allow someone … a child, an adult, or an entire family to experience what it feels like to be healthy. To wake up everyday and feel great. I often say that I feel better now at 34 than I did when I was 24. I’ve learned a lot on this journey and picking the name of this blog, my lemonade, was no easy task. I thought about it for quite some time and when I thought I had come up with something good, I’d change it. But, I always came back to Happy Cakes. It was my initial gut feeling. But, it wasn’t me who came up with it. It was my beautiful daughter. You see, when we first found out about our allergies/intolerances, I picked one recipe and I modified it. And I modified it again and again and again. Until I was happy that in my mind I had created gluten free, dairy free, soy free perfection. And, do you know what that recipe was? It was a recipe for chocolate cake. Yup. Not really a healthy, first recipe to convert. But, that was mine. What was most important to me was to keep the boy and the girl from feeling different. And, since birthdays are so important in our family, I wanted to make sure that they had an amazing, scrumptious, gluten free, dairy free, soy free cake for their special day. And, so that’s what I did. I created a recipe that everyone loved. Not just us. And, what’s funny is that when the girl was less then 2 years old, and learning to talk, she could say “appy cake” for my gluten free, dairy free, soy free cupcakes that I thought were perfection. And, that’s what my cupcakes were known as in our family ... little happy cakes. I thought it was perfect. These little cupcakes and cakes that I had spent hours perfecting made her so happy. For both the boy and the girl, our little happy cakes made them feel special. And, so when I was deciding on a name for this blog, there were other choices, but I always came back to Jenny’s Happy Cakes. My little happy cakes made us happy. I took my lemons and made my lemonade and that made me so happy. And, now, I hope to help others take their lemons and make lemonade. You see, whatever you feel as you start your own gluten free, dairy free, or soy free journey, guaranteed I felt it at some point. It’s not easy, but I hope that by stopping by here you learn something that you can apply to your own life. So you can find, your own little Happy Cake, just as we have.

Love,

Jenny

Jenny’s Gluten Free Shake and Bake Chicken

So last week was a whirlwind. Seriously, I had something going on each day. The girl turned 4 last Tuesday. We had a celebration for her later in the week when hubby was able to be home. She was super excited for her birthday this year. I’ve always heard people say “I’ve got a 4 year old going on 14.” I always thought to myself what does that really mean? Now I understand. Completely. She has definitely come into her own this last year and has her own personality. Sometimes she has the most interesting personality … and that’s how I now understand what all those other parents were saying! Little girls can be so dramatic at times. But, dramatic or not, the party was a success. She was able to pick her favourite meal for dinner. Well, actually, not quite. When I first asked her what she wanted for dinner her reply was lobsters! Yeah, feeding everyone lobsters was not an option! So, the second most favourite meal she could come up with was tacos.  She got her wish and it was a success. Along with the birthday party and cake, I made one dozen gluten free, dairy free, soy free cupcakes for the girl’s preschool class, two dozen gluten free, dairy free, soy free mini cupcakes for the boy’s Grade 1 class and oh yeah, it was Halloween in there too! Halloween was a complete success. The boy dressed up as a triceratops (thank you Grandma for the awesome costume!) and the girl went as Cinderella. They Trick or Treated their hearts out and had no problems setting their Halloween bags outside for the Switch Witch before they went to bed. By the time the weekend came this Momma was seriously worn out! But, it was totally worth it. Both the boy and the girl were so excited to be able to bring something that they could have to share with their friends. Seeing the smiles on their faces while they were trucking into their classrooms was so worth it. As an adult, I know what it’s like to feel left out and it’s not fun. Like I’ve said 1000 times before, I never want my kids to feel different. So, I’m committed to doing everything and anything to make that happen.

This week has been somewhat quieter. I haven’t had to bake cupcakes or cakes … yet. The recipe I’m sharing with you this week is absolutely great. Hubby used to love Shake N Bake. Well, actually so did I! But, that was long ago, prior to going gluten free. For me, the best part about Shake N Bake chicken was the crispy outer coating. This recipe is quick and easy to prepare and is so delicious! Even hubby says it’s pretty close to the real deal. I like to think it’s even better … I don’t have to worry about being sick afterwords! I peel off the skin from my chicken pieces for all my other recipes, but for this one I leave it on. It will create a nice crispy outside. My kids and hubby love this recipe. The boy, like his Dad can’t get enough of it and I barely have any leftovers when I make this. Give this recipe a whirl and let me know what you think! Find me on Facebook, Twitter or post your comments below!

Jenny’s Gluten Free Shake and Bake Chicken

Combine the following in a large Ziploc bag:

1/4 cup corn meal

1 cup Jenny’s All Purpose Gluten Free Flour*

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Place chicken pieces in your Ziploc bag and shake to coat each piece. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Drizzle each piece of chicken with canola oil or olive oil.

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Bake at 375 F until chicken is cooked thoroughly or the internal temperature reaches  at least 165 F. (Cooking time will vary depending on what type of chicken you use). I always err on the side of caution when it comes to chicken and make sure its well done. I like it when it just falls off the bone ….

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And there you have it! Serve with your favourite side dish and don’t forget to make extra if you have hungry little munchkins like I do!

Love,

Jenny

Gluten Free Shake and Bake Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Jenny Beaulieu:
Recipe type: Main
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup corn meal
  • 1 cup Jenny's All Purpose Gluten Free Flour*
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large Ziploc bag.
  2. Place chicken pieces in your Ziploc bag and shake to coat each piece. Place
  3. on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle each piece of chicken with canola oil or olive oil.
  5. Bake at 375 F until chicken is cooked thoroughly or the internal temperature reaches at least 165 F. (Cooking time will vary depending on what type of chicken you use). I always err on the side of caution when it comes to chicken and make sure its well done. I like it when it just falls off the bone ....

Jenny’s All Purpose Gluten Free Flour

1 cup brown rice flour

1 cup tapioca starch

1/2 cup sorghum flour