Gluten Free Snack Bites

Gluten Free Snack Bites

It may not seem like it yet, in fact, as I look out my window I still see snow, frost and a cloudy sky, but hiking, camping and the general need to be outdoors will soon be upon us. I’m hopeful anyway!! With the need to be frolicking in the wilderness or simply at the skateboard park, nutritious pack along snacks are a must.  Gluten Free Snacks Bites are very tasty with bits of chewy fruit, nuts and coconut.  They’re exactly what you need to help fuel your activities. 

Made with quinoa, oats, nut butter, nuts and dried fruit they’re a great snack to pack along, whether it’s in a lunch box or backpack.  Don’t be fooled by the quinoa!  Trust me, you won’t even know it’s there. Plus, the quinoa adds more protein and nutrition to help keep you going.

So even though I still have to wait for the weather to improve, I can still enjoy these tasty two-bite snacks with my morning coffee. In my opinion, it’s all about being able to adapt.  Enjoy!

Gluten Free Snack Bites
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    48 snack bites 40 minutes
    Cook Time
    12 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    48 snack bites 40 minutes
    Cook Time
    12 minutes
    Gluten Free Snack Bites
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      48 snack bites 40 minutes
      Cook Time
      12 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      48 snack bites 40 minutes
      Cook Time
      12 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: snack bites
      Instructions
      1. In a medium size pot over low/medium heat stir together nut butter, brown sugar, butter, honey and coconut oil until smooth and melted.
      2. Remove from heat and allow to cool enough that you can put your hand on the bottom of the pot ( a good time to cook the quinoa according to package directions)
      3. Preheat oven to 350℉ and spray mini muffin tins lightly with non-stick spray.
      4. Add egg and vanilla, stir to combine. Mix in all remaining ingredients stirring until just combined.
      5. Scoop batter into prepared tins using a 1-ounce cookie scoop which is about 1 1/2 tbsp.
      6. Bake for 12 minutes and remove, allowing to cool for 5- 10 minutes in the pan prior to removing to a cooling rack.
      7. Snack bites will keep in a sealed container for 3-4 days and up to 1 month in the freezer.
      Recipe Notes

      -You can make your own oat flour by pulsing oatmeal in a spice grinder.  It takes about 1 1/4 - 1 1/3 cups of oatmeal to yield 1 1/4 cups of oat flour.

      -You don't need to chop the raisins, but I happen to like them a bit smaller as the snack bites are small and that way they don't overwhelm any bite.

      -I've made this recipe with both almond butter and peanut butter.  Both are wonderful, it's a matter of preference.  The photos show the recipe made with almond butter.

      -If you have only one 24 count mini muffin pan as I do, you can keep unused batter covered and chilled for up to two days and bake when ready.

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      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
      Mushroom and Arugula Quinoa Bowls

      Mushroom and Arugula Quinoa Bowls

      Even though I’m not a vegetarian, that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a meatless meal on regular occasion. In fact, I think it’s very important to eat legumes and plant-based proteins for a good overall balance of one’s diet.  My thoughts on the matter also play nicely with the new Canada Food Guide, so I see it as a win-win. But eating a meatless meal doesn’t have to be complicated, and that’s why I love these Mushroom and Arugula Quinoa Bowls.

      Why do I love quinoa?

      It’s neutral in taste and can take on a wide variety of flavours.

      Quick and easy to prepare with no special equipment or longer soaking periods required.

      Great as a main dish or side dish and is gluten-free.

      It contains plant-based protein and essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. This is important because essential amino acids are the ones that the body cannot produce on its own and must get from food. 

      Not only a source of protein but fibre, magnesium, manganese and folate to name only a few. 

      It has a pleasant texture and holds up well on its own or in combination with other foods.

      If you love quinoa too or simply want to find out for yourself what all the fuss is about, here are a couple of other great recipes that include this amazing food. 

      Quinoa Spinach Egg Cups

      Spinach and Quinoa Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

      Mushroom and Arugula Quinoa Bowls sit on a wooden board surrounded by fresh thyme, lemon half, mushrooms and linen napkin.
      Mushroom and Arugula Quinoa Bowls
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        2 people 20 minutes
        Cook Time
        12 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        2 people 20 minutes
        Cook Time
        12 minutes
        Mushroom and Arugula Quinoa Bowls sit on a wooden board surrounded by fresh thyme, lemon half, mushrooms and linen napkin.
        Mushroom and Arugula Quinoa Bowls
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          2 people 20 minutes
          Cook Time
          12 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          2 people 20 minutes
          Cook Time
          12 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: people
          Instructions
          1. Heat broth to a simmer in a small pot. Stir in quinoa, reduce heat to a steady simmer, cover and cook for about 18 minutes (I find cooking quinoa in broth takes a few minutes longer than just water). Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
          2. In a small bowl whisk together 1 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, half of the thyme, salt and pepper. Set aside.
          3. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil. Once hot, add mushrooms and cook on medium highfor 3-4 minutes until starting to turn golden. Stir and continue to cook for about 2 minutes. Add garlic, shallots and half of the thyme. Cook, stirring often until garlic and shallots have softened, another 2-3 minutes.
          4. Fluff quinoa with a fork and add to mushrooms, stirring to combine. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
          5. Add arugula and sauté for 1-2 minutes until starting to soften and wilt. Remove from heat and stir in dressing. Divide into 2 bowls and top with grated parmesan cheese and toasted nuts.
          Recipe Notes

          I used pine nuts here, but cashews are also wonderful.  To quickly toast nuts, heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add nuts and toss or stir occasionally until golden.

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          Affiliate Disclosure

          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
          Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower

          Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower

          Cauliflower is boring!

          But it doesn’t have to be with a good roasting and the addition of a vibrant Gremolata.  Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower is anything but boring with its caramelized edges, fresh garlic, parsley and a good dose of lemon zest.  The Gremolata is a game changer for plain, boring cauliflower, transforming it into a flavourful and zesty side dish.

          What is Gremolata?

          Gremolata is an Italian condiment/accompaniment that is made with Italian flat leaf parsley, lemon zest, fresh garlic, olive oil and salt. It’s vibrant and fresh with a slight bitter note from the parsley and flavour punch from the garlic. If you have parsley, lemon and garlic, you’ve got a simple sauce that will spruce up so many things. It’s a classic accompaniment for the Italian dish Ossobuco but also great with fish, lamb and of course vegetables. 

          Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            5-6 people 20 minutes
            Cook Time
            30 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            5-6 people 20 minutes
            Cook Time
            30 minutes
            Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              5-6 people 20 minutes
              Cook Time
              30 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              5-6 people 20 minutes
              Cook Time
              30 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              1. Preheat oven to 400℉
              2. In a large bowl stir together parsley, lemon zest, garlic, salt and 3 tbsp of olive oil. Set aside.
              3. Remove outer leaves from cauliflower and cut the head into quarters. Easily core the cauliflower by cutting it out of each quarter, allowing any remaining leaves and stem to come away with it.
              4. Break or cut the cauliflower into large bite-size pieces. Toss cauliflower with remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil and a few grinds of a pepper mill. Spread out evenly on a large baking tray.
              5. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning once, allowing the bottom edges to become golden and caramelized.
              6. Remove from oven and add to the bowl of Gremolata along with the parmesan cheese. Toss to coat evenly and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
              Recipe Notes

              -make as a vegan option by omitting the parmesan cheese or using your favourite alternative cheese.

              Affiliate Disclosure

              I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
              Almond Milk Chai Latte

              Almond Milk Chai Latte

              Does your heart or head rule winter?

              For those of you being in the upper northern hemisphere like myself know all too well about bitter cold winds, endless shovelling and icy roads.  This same blistery cold also brings beautiful hoar frost, sparkling snow, ice skating and snowmen.  I guess it’s all about perspective!

              Let your heart rule!

              Warm and comforting, Almond Milk Chai Latte appeals to the heart with its frothy top, myriad of warming spices and fragrant aroma.  It’s a simple way to forget the shortness of the days, snow removal and frostbite.

              It’s easier than you think…

              Chai is black tea infused with spices like cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, clove and ginger.  Some include star anise or fennel seeds, nutmeg and allspice. Each having their own unique flare.  I like mine with a little less clove but with a hint of sweetness.  The wonderful thing about making your own chai concentrate is you can make just how you like it. 

              Making your own chai mix is quick and easy.  It’s a matter of simply simmering desired spices and steeping them with black tea.  The concentrate can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to a week.  The concentrate merely needs to be warmed and mixed with your favourite milk or milk alternative for a warming cup anytime the mood strikes. Getting that perfect frothy top is easy too with the help an Amazon Milk Frother Enjoy! 

              Be sure to try the warming and boozy Blueberry Tea if you’re looking for something a little stronger to warm you up.

              Almond Milk Chai Latte
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                4 8 oz servings 15 minutes
                Cook Time
                20 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                4 8 oz servings 15 minutes
                Cook Time
                20 minutes
                Almond Milk Chai Latte
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  4 8 oz servings 15 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  20 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  4 8 oz servings 15 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  20 minutes
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: 8 oz servings
                  Instructions
                  1. Crush cardamom using the bottom of a small pot or metal measuring cup. Remove seeds and discard shells. Continue to crush cardamom seeds along with peppercorns, cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick and nutmeg until well broken down. It will take 10-12 good crushes to break down the whole spices. Bring 2 cups of water to a simmer in a small pot (preferably with a pouring spout) Add crushed spices along with ground ginger. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
                  2. Remove from heat and stir in loose black tea. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Will yield approximately 2 cups of chai mix.
                  3. Warm and froth almond milk. Pour 1/2 cup hot chai concentrate into a mug and top with 1/2 cup of almond milk and a spoonful or two of froth. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon if desired and serve immediately.
                  Recipe Notes

                  -2% milk can be used if desired.

                  -you can grind the whole spices using an electric spice grinder as well, however, crushing by hand works just fine.

                  -almond milk or milk can be frothed using an emersion blender, by shaking, commercial frother, espresso machine frother or a mini hand-held electric whisk. You can find these items in My Amazon Store under "The Extras"

                  -the chai concentrate will keep in a sealed container for up to a week in the fridge.

                  Affiliate Disclosure

                  I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
                  Red Curry Coconut Shrimp

                  Red Curry Coconut Shrimp

                  Looking for quick, easy and delicious? 

                  Red Curry Coconut Shrimp is a quick and easy one pot dish that’s perfect for any night of the week.  One pot dishes are some of my favourites and the tastiest too!  

                  Red Curry Coconut Shrimp hits all the right points to make it on regular rotation. Tender shrimp cook quickly and get nestled into a super easy creamy coconut curry sauce.  A toss in of snow peas adds nutrients, colour, texture and flavour to make this the perfect weeknight meal. 

                  One of the reasons I love shrimp during the week is because they thaw very quickly and this is helpful when you’ve forgotten to take something out to thaw.  Simply place your frozen shrimp in a bowl and cover with cool water.  If they’re not quite thawed by the time you have everything else assembled, simply drain and refill the bowl with cool water.  They will thaw in only a few more minutes. 

                  I like to serve this dish over Coconut Rice that’s fragrant, sticky and delicious.  It’s a great pairing with the creamy coconut sauce and slightly crunchy snow peas. Enjoy!

                  Red Curry Coconut Shrimp
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings
                    3-4 people
                    Servings
                    3-4 people
                    Red Curry Coconut Shrimp
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings
                      3-4 people
                      Servings
                      3-4 people
                      Ingredients
                      Servings: people
                      Instructions
                      1. Slice green onions, separating the white and reserving the green for garnish. Whisk together coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce, and brown sugar.
                      2. Heat oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add whites of green onion and garlic. Sauté for one minute and add shrimp in a single layer. Cook shrimp 2 minutes per side and remove from pan.
                      3. Add coconut milk mixture to the pan and bring to a full simmer. Add snow peas and stir to coat. Allow to simmer uncovered about 4 minutes over medium/high heat. Stir once or twice until snow peas are just tender and the sauce has reduced to a syrupy consistency.
                      4. Toss shrimp back into the pan and stir to coat with sauce and warm throughout for about 1 minute. Season lightly with salt.
                      5. Serve immediately over rice and garnish with reserved sliced green onions, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

                      Affiliate Disclosure

                      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
                      Rustic Potato and Sausage Soup

                      Rustic Potato and Sausage Soup

                      The new year is upon us…

                      Many of us are thinking of eating healthier, and I’m a firm believer that eating well and eating foods you enjoy should go hand in hand. Rustic Potato and Sausage Soup is guilt-free comfort food that’s loaded with kale and vegetables.  It’s a homey soup that’s warming and hearty with a rich tomato laced chicken broth, tender baby potatoes, Italian sausage and vegetables. Paprika, garlic, and fresh herbs give added depth of flavour to this rustic, chunky soup. 

                      Healthy potatoes, rich in potassium and vitamin C add fibre with their skins and a rustic earthiness.  Tender kale, also rich in nutrients, gently clings to all it surrounds for a wonderful spoonful.  It’s the best of both worlds, being hearty and comforting while still being healthy, satisfying, and full of flavour.  So even if eating better is not on your resolution list this year, you’ll still want a big bowl of this satisfying soup.  Enjoy!

                      Author:  Compelled to Cook

                      Rustic Potato and Sausage Soup
                      Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      8 cups 20 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      35-40 minutes
                      Servings Prep Time
                      8 cups 20 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      35-40 minutes
                      Rustic Potato and Sausage Soup
                      Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      8 cups 20 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      35-40 minutes
                      Servings Prep Time
                      8 cups 20 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      35-40 minutes
                      Ingredients
                      Servings: cups
                      Instructions
                      1. Over medium heat add 1 tbsp of olive to a large pot or dutch oven. Add sausage links and cook until golden and no longer pink, turning often about 15 minutes.
                      2. Remove cooked sausage to a paper towel-lined dish to absorb any excess fat. To the same pot add remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrots and garlic, sauté for 4-5 minutes until starting to soften and have sweat off some of their moisture.
                      3. Pour in chicken broth and tomatoes crushed with your hands. Add potatoes, bay leaf, oregano, parsley, and both paprikas. Cover and simmer on low for about 10 minutes until potatoes are almost tender. While soup is cooking, chop kale and cooked sausage into bite-size pieces.
                      4. Add kale and sausage to the pot and continue to cook partially covered for about 5 minutes until kale is cooked but still has some colour and bite. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately with crusty bread if desired.

                      Affiliate Disclosure

                      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com