GFCF Kale Chips??? Say What?

May 2, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Posted in GFCF, Recipes | 4 Comments
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By Shannon Penrod

Recently I got some fabulous Pumpkin Chips at Whole Foods Market.  The faintly resemble potato chips, but they are sweeter and have fewer calories.  I mentioned them to someone at work and the fact that there were lots of other chips displayed as well, carrot, pineapple, and even jack fruit.  She mentioned kale chips and how fabulous they are.  I  had never heard of such a thing.  She assured me they were great, but expensive.  Saying expensive is a relative thing.  Don’t you agree?  I thought the pumpkin chips were expensive at $4.99 for a small bag, so I was thinking the kale chips were about the same.  Not even close. $14.99 for a bag of kale chips.  Now that’s expensive.

So I set out on a quest to make them myself.  There were a lot of recipes on line, but many of them had things my family doesn’t eat.  Yeast extract….um no thanks.  Eventually I just decided to wing it.  I made 3 separate batches.  The first batch I wisked olive oil lemon juice and salt in a big bowl and thoroughly coated a batch of curly leaf kale.  Then I baked them on parchment paper in 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  They were really tangy, a little too tangy.

The next batch I tried just drizzling a little olive oil over the tops and sprinkling salt.  Those were pretty good.  The last batch I did flat leaf kale and I put nothing on them.  I cooked them too long so the got too charred.  I think 5-8 minutes is all they need.  In the future I plan on doing the flat leaf and just drizzling a little olive oil and a little lemon over them – maybe some garlic powder.  Ummmm tasty!

GFCF Pumpkin Pie with no Sugar

October 26, 2010 at 4:36 am | Posted in GFCF, Recipes, YUM | 2 Comments
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By Shannon Penrod

Jem’s been asking for pumkin pie so I whipped up this little number the other day and it was tasty.  The secret ingredient?  Tapioca…not as bitter as agar agar but gummy enough to hold it together like a traditional pie.  I cooked my tapioca in water because my child is very “sugar” sensitive.  If yours is not as sensitive you can cook the tapioca in a fruit juice and have an even sweeter pie.



1 1/2 C. GFCF Cookie and Cake mix (I used The Cravings Place – available at Whole Foods Market)

1 over ripe banana

1/4 C Canola oil

In a food processor puree the over ripe banana.  Add the cookie mix a little at a time.  Add canola oil one tablespoon at a time until the mix looks like moist granulated sugar.  Dump the mix into an ungreased pie pan and press it down into the pan to form a crust. Prick the crust with a fork in several places and then set aside.


1 small can of pure pumpkin (preferabbly organic)

1 over ripe banana

1 small jar of pear baby food (preferabbly organic – I used Earth’s Best)

2 TBS of Oragnic Tapioca (small crystals)

1 Cup of water

1/2 Carrot Juice

GF Pumkin Pie Spice (or a combination of Cinnamon, Nutmeg and ginger)

Place the tapioca and water in a heavy saucepan and heat slowly while stirring.  Mixture is done when the tapioca is completely clear.  Mix all of the filling ingredients well and pour into the uncooked pie shell.

Bake at 325 degrees until the crust browns nicely but is not burned.  Jem prefers his pie hot.  I think it’s better cold.  Either way it is a good sugar-free GFCF pumpkin pie!

Shannon Penrod is the host of Everyday Autism Miracles a talk radio show about everything positive happening in the field of Autism.  Everyday Autism Miracles airs every Friday at 2pm Eastern Time and 11am Pacific Time on Toginet Radio  The toll free call in number is 877.864.4869   Free podcasts of the show are available on the show page and on iTunes.

GFCF Pumpkin Cookies with No Sugar

October 15, 2010 at 12:46 am | Posted in Birthday Parties, GFCF, Mixes, Recipes, Yeast | Leave a comment
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By Shannon Penrod

‘Tis the season to bake scary treats for little goblins who want to share in the festivities but don’t want the fall out of gluten, casein, soy or SUGAR!  This is my newest treat.  I can’t say that the recipe is perfected yet, but this is a pretty good cookie considering the restrictions.  I started with a cake/cookie mix from The Craving’s Place.  This is the same mix I used for Jem’s birthday cake back in June.  The mix comes unsweetened giving you options based on your kid’s needs.  If your kid tolerates sugar, go for it!  I chose to sweeten Jem’s cookies with Earth’s Best pear baby food and carrot juice which added to the pureed pumpkin make these tasty but incredibly healthy, not to mention a lovely pumpkin color.


1 Cup of The Cravings Place Unsweetened Cake/Cookie mix

1 4 oz. jar of Earth’s Best Pear Baby Food

1/2 Cup of pureed pumpkin

Approximately 1/4 cup of Carrot juice added slowly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the pumpkin and pears together.  Add the mix in slowly.  One tablespoon at a time add the carrot juice until all of the ingredients are moist but it is the equivalent of a paste.  Spoon on to a cookie sheet, press down with a fork and bake at 350 for about 6 minutes. Because these cookies have virtually no fat in them it is best to cook them on parchment paper to avoid sticking to the pan. Cookies should be firm to the touch but not hard.  Allow them to cool before removing from the cookie sheet.  This recipe makes about one dozen small cookies.  Please be advised that the cookie mix does contain corn ingredients.

These make a great lunch box treat and are wonderful to take along to Halloween parties so while the rest of the kids are stuffing their faces your child gets a treat too.

Shannon Penrod is the host of Everyday Autism Miracles on Toginet Radio.  She is also the author of The Autism Miracle in my Kitchen and three children’s books with her son Jem, who is seven years old and recovering from Autism.

GFCF Turkey Meatloaf With Hidden Veggies

March 12, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Posted in GFCF, Recipes, YUM | Leave a comment
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Don’t hate me because my child eats vegetables, I have a husband that considers vegetables toxic waste.  I remember him explaining to me when were dating that pickle relish counted as a vegetable, and he only used that sparingly.  So I have my work cut out for me.  Whenever I find a recipe that is GFCF (and my other son’s restrictions) and my husband will eat it – it is nothing short of a miracle. When it also has a full serving of veggies in it and both my husband and my son love it – then it’s time to celebrate!  I ought to call this meatloaf recipe CELEBRATION MEATLOAF!  It’s fairly easy to make, they both love it, it’s economical and it’s healthy.  DING! DING! DING!  We have a winner!


1 1/2 lbs. of Ground Turkey

1 C. Carrots

2 C. Broccoli

1 C. Cooked Brown Rice

1 C. Water

I like to do things the easy way – so I put 1/2 instant brown rice, 1 cup of baby carrots and 2 cups of frozen broccoli into a bowl with the water and I steam them in the microwave until the carrots are fork tender.  You could steam the veggies in a steamer and cook the brown rice from scratch – I don’t have that kind of patience.

Take the steamed veggies, rice and water and puree them in a blender of food processor until they are liquified – it should look like pea soup, thick and green.  You may need to add more water.  You could leave it chunkier if you wanted, but it is my experience that my fussy eater (my husband) won’t eat it then.

Put the ground turkey into a baking dish that has a lid.  Add the liquified veggies and rice to the meat slowly and stir in.  The first time you make the meatloaf you might want to only add half of the veggie mixture and freeze the other half for the next meatloaf (get their taste buds adjusted before you hit them with the full veggie onslaught).

Smooth the meatloaf down into the pan and cover.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for one hour.  Make sure that meat is cooked in the middle before serving.   It should make a nice tight meatloaf that can be sliced. If not cook slightly longer and next time reduce the amount of water you add.

You can use other veggies to make this meatloaf but this combo seems to work best for my family, my husband swears he can’t taste the veggies!

This is a picture of what I served Jem for dinner the other night.  Two pieces of meatloaf, 1/2 of a brown rice tortilla with red pepper humus, fresh cucumbers and some slice beats.  It ends up being about 4 servings of vegetables with a good lean protein, some complex carbs, lots of fiber and very little fat!  Best of all, he ate the whole thing and asked for more meatloaf!  My husband ate his meatloaf on a toasted bagel with barbeque sauce and was equally happy. I had the pleasure of knowing that he got his veggies too.

GFCF Chicken Nuggets -Egg Free!

February 14, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Posted in GFCF, YUM | 2 Comments
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Okay – you have decided to go GFCF – But what do you feed your kid? Never fear – This recipe will be a staple, even my husband loves them!
There are 2 different versions one with egg one without – today the egg free!

Egg Free, GFCF Chicken Nuggets

Canola Oil – for frying
Boneless Chicken or Turkey sliced 1/2 thick or less – cut them big or small to make strips or nuggets.
Namaste Sugar Free Pizza Crust mix
Salt to taste

Make sure the meat is fairly uniform in thickness, rinse and pat dry. Cut the meat into strips or chunks (whichever your child prefers), put about 3/4 of a cup of the pizza dough mix into a quart sized zip lock bag. Place some of the meat into the bag and close securely. Shake the bag until the meat is completely coated. I have my child do this and we sing “Shake your Turkey” to the KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Shake, Shake, Shake” tune. He loves it.

Heat some canola oil in the heaviest pan you own. Make sure that you keep the heat at medium so you don’t set off the smoke alarm like I do! Place the coated meat into the pan once the oil is hot. There should only be enough oil to cook one side. Let them cook while you shake another batch. Turn the  meat when the top side is almost completely white and the bottom side is crispy brown. Only flip once. When both sides are done let them drain on a clean white dish towel and add salt to taste. The first time you might want to crack one open just to make sure the inside is done – if it isn’t you need to reduce your heat and cook longer. Serve after they have cooled slightly.

If you drain them sufficiently they travel well – I take them to birthday parties and on car trips with a cold pack. You can microwave them to heat them up – 20 seconds does the job.

We make chicken nuggets often but we also make turkey nuggets  – I buy Trader Joe’s sliced turkey cutlets and cut them into strips – it takes seconds to get them in the pan. We buy the Namaste Sugar Free Pizza Dough mix at Whole Food’s Market and Lassen’s Health Foods. The Pizza Crust Mix is a staple in our kitchen we use it for everything from pizza crust to pretzels.- It is a God send!

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