Dr. Praeger’s

I was recently asked to try out part of the Dr. Praeger’s line of frozen products. Information from My Magazine Sharing Network states:

“Dr. Praeger’s is a family-owned, natural products company founded by heart surgeons more than 20 years ago. All products are made from sensibly sourced ingredients that can be enjoyed by all ages and cater to a variety of lifestyles. You’ll find everything from veggie burgers to cakes, littles, puffs, hash browns, seafood and ready-to-heat bowls.

Look on the packaging for Non-GMO Project Verification, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Kosher, Vegan and Marine Stewardship Council Certified Sustainable seafood logos.”

My Magazine Sharing Network offered me some coupons including a free item. Of course, we had to try them out!

While not the easiest things to find in the spread out freezer section of my local grocery, find them we did. Making our selections wasn’t easy with all the tempting varieties, but we settle on three: Fish Bites (for me), Buffalo Fish Bites (for my partner), and Four Potato Hash Browns (for both of us). Each of the boxes seemed a bit small, but we found out quickly that the portion sizes were larger in our stomachs than they looked to our eyes.

We followed the directions as indicated, finding them to be simple and quick.  Then we started tossing ideas back and forth to come up with some fun ways to serve up the goodies.

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My partner’s rather large taco, topped with the hashbrowns. No hot sauce needed. Flour tortilla, Romaine lettuce, sour cream, and Colby Jack cheese.

 

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My own plate.  A “burger” of hash browns filled with Colby Jack cheese, sour cream, fish bites, and served with more fish bites, kosher pickle and Romaine lettuce. Delicious!

The Fish Bites surprised me by including jalapeno, but they were not hot. They were flavorful, crispy, and had a good balance of meat and breading for their size. They’ll make great fish tacos, would be good tumbled with other like sized seafood bites, and may be eaten with or without any sort of sauce.

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The Buffalo Fish Bites were much warmer, being spicy but maintaining a fairly low heat.  They offered a good baseline buffalo flavor that might be added to for those who like their buffalo sauce to be hotter. They made a very tasty taco, and could be presented as a lighter alternative to traditional wings.

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The Four Potato Hash Browns were a delightful surprise. They include red, gold, purple and sweet potatoes shredded and formed into lovely round patties. They have a sweetness natural to the potatoes, and crisp up on the outside very nicely when baked.

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Any of these combinations would have been great with other additions such as avocado,  diced tomato and/or onion, yogurt in place of sour cream,  or salsa. Let your imagination take you away!

We plan on picking up a few other Dr. Praeger’s products in the future and seeing what we can do with those. I’m excited at the prospect.

— Ann Cathey

 

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2 Ingredient Pancakes?

Can this be for real? Apparently it is. The “two-ingredient pancakes” recipe has been bouncing around the internet for a while, and I finally decided to try it. It fits into my dietary requirements, and I wanted to find out if it fit my palate as well.

Apparently, it did. These pancakes are super quick and simple to whip up, and are tasty enough that they don’t need any other ingredients – not even syrup!

Ingredients:
dsc_02101 banana
2 eggs

For a larger batch:
dsc_02112 bananas
3 eggs

 

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Whole peeled banana and second banana mashed with a fork.

Mash your banana(s) in a mixing bowl. *Add any spice(s) at this time and mix well.

 

 

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Well mashed bananas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crack eggs into a separate bowl and whisk until yolk are broken and the mixture is slightly frothy.

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Add eggs to mashed banana(s) and mix thoroughly.

 

 

Heat griddle to 300F, and butter lightly.

 

Spoon batter onto hot griddle, allowing each puddle of batter to spread to about 4″ across.

 

Cook on first side until firm enough to flip, about a minute and a half. Cook on second side for same amount of time. 2-3″ pancakes may only take one minute on each side.

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Turn pancakes carefully onto a plate as they can be quite delicate.

Butter them up and chow down!

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*A dash of cinnamon adds another dimension to this recipe. I imagine that a tiny dash of things like nutmeg, cocoa powder, white pepper, ginger, and even cardamom will give each batch something special. You can also use protien powder or peanut butter powder, but do so sparingly so as not to foul the liquidity of the mix. I plan on a lot of experimentation in the future.

If you are so inclined, you may add a bit of baking soda for fluffier pancakes.

As there is no wheat or other flour in this recipe there is little to hold them together before they start cooking. Be sure to keep them small so they maintain their integrity. You may need to experiment a bit (like I did) to figure out just how to handle them on the griddle.

If you want to add nuts or chocolate chips, make sure they are chopped small and only add them after the batter is spooned onto the griddle, and before the flip.

When the recipe says “serve hot” beleive it. The banana sweetness is definitely in the forefront while they are hot. The egginess, in both flavor and texture, become predominant as the pancakes are allowed to cool. Be sure to have your add-ons, such as butter, syrup, yogurt, or sliced fruit, ready to go!

Using this batter in a crepe pan should also result in super thin, delicate crepes that may be rolled around your favorite ingredients. As mentioned above, this recipe results in tender, delicately textured pancakes.

Because of the ingredients, or lack thereof, these pancakes are paleo, gluten-free, dairy free, grain free, and have no added sugar.

Enjoy!

— Ann Cathey

Simple Almond Flour Waffles

This tuly simple waffle recipe is great for folks on gluten free diets and can be made Paleo in a pinch. It’s also super tasty for folks who simply enjoy waffles!

I admit I found it on the internet and decided to give it a try. The ingredients listed below are what I actually use at home.

Simple Almond Flour Waffles 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Yield: 4-6 waffles

 

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Almond flour is creamier in color than wheat flour and has a coarser texture.

Ingredients 
1-1/2 cups almond flour
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
¼ cup milk
1 tablespoon honey
oil for brushing waffle iron (if needed)

 

 

 

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Hot waffle iron treated with olive oil spray.

Preheat a waffle iron to medium. Spray or brush with oil if needed just before adding batter.

 

 

 

 

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Push dry ingredients more to the sides, creating a ‘well’. This will allow wet ingredients to be mixed in more readily.

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Note the difference in color and texture of each of the dry ingredients. Arrowroot is white (left), baking soda is a brighter white (far right), and the salt is a greyer white (left side of right-hand photo. These small differences can help you keep track of added ingredients.

dsc_0953Add eggs, milk and honey to bowl and mix until well blended. The mixture will come out similar to cookie dough, though not as visually smooth due to the almond flour.dsc_0954

 

 

 

 

 

dsc_0956Drop approximately 1/2-3/4 cup batter into the waffle iron and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.

 

 

Serve hot with butter and/or syrup as desired.

 

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Large waffle still on the griddle (left), and a smaller waffle on a salad plate (right).

To make these waffles Paleo friendly, use pure honey or maple syrup (not the stuff that’s full of preservatives or cut with high fructose corn syrup) and a non-dairy milk product. Also be sure to use a fine ground sea salt.

If you prefer not to use honey, an equal amount of molasses, maple or another syrup may be used instead.

While arrowroot is easy for me to find locally, you may substitute an equal amount of tapioca starch or coconut flour.

“Oh, holy low carb, Batman!”
– Me, excited about being able to eat waffles again.

This recipe came out right the first time for us. Tasty, fluffy, though obviously with the
slightly grainy texture of almond flour. Even after they have cooled off, they were delicious
and went outstandingly well with fried chicken tenders.

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Chicken and Waffles!

— Ann Cathey

Pillsbury has Gluten-Free Products!

Realizing that gluten free does not mean carb free, I still keep my eyes out for products that might serve well on both dietary lists: the gluten free and the diabetic.

A few months ago I stumbled upon a gluten free product that actually managed to lower the carb count for some foods I adore. Pillsbury offers a line of gluten free doughs for cookies and pie crusts. They are in the refrigerated section of the grocery, near the other cookie, pastry, and biscuit offerings.

Pillsbury has been kind enough to share some recipes that make use of these products. I recently stumbled across one that sounds quite tasty, and I plan to try it out.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cups
Ingredients:
1 container Pillsbury TM Gluten Free refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough

24 miniature chocolate-covered peanut butter cup candies, preferably also gluten free, unwrapped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F.

Place mini paper baking cups in each of 24 mini muffin cups. Spray paper baking cups with cooking spray.

Place 1 level measuring tablespoonful of cookie dough in each paper baking cup.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until dark golden brown. Immediately press one peanut butter candy into the center of each cookie cup.

Cool 10 minutes. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.

Bon appetite!

–Ann Cathey