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
              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!

              Author:  Compelled to Cook

              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.

                  Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes

                  Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes

                  Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes…oh my!

                  One of my quick and easy weeknight meals consists of broiled fish with a creamy caper paste.  It takes mere minutes to cook and is tender, moist and full of flavour.  I decided to use this same paste on smashed baby potatoes for an easy side dish that’s super delicious and pairs well with roasted meats and fish. 

                  Capers are the unripened flowers buds of Capparis spinosa or Capparis inermis and are generally dried and pickled.  Here’s a handy link from The Spruce Eats that tells you a little more about the amazing caper. 

                  You won’t be disappointed!

                  Roasted mini potatoes get a gentle smash and topped with a creamy caper paste made with capers, lemon, dill, mayonnaise, and parmesan cheese.  Crispy little potato disks with fluffy centres are the perfect base for the briny capers, fresh dill and creamy mayo.  

                  If you’re not familiar with capers, they’re a handy pantry item to have kicking around.  They’re pungent and briny and not all that good on their own, but combine them with cream, butter or lemon and you have a flavour explosion. They add a salty depth of flavour that enhances sauces, dressing, salads, and more. Enjoy!

                  Author: Compelled to Cook

                  Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    3-4 people 15 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    30-35 minutes
                    Servings Prep Time
                    3-4 people 15 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    30-35 minutes
                    Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      3-4 people 15 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      30-35 minutes
                      Servings Prep Time
                      3-4 people 15 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      30-35 minutes
                      Ingredients
                      Servings: people
                      Instructions
                      1. Preheat oven to 350℉. In a medium bowl toss together potatoes, olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
                      2. Spread out evenly on a baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes, turning once, until just tender.
                      3. While potatoes are baking, combine together mayonnaise, parmesan, capers, dill, lemon juice and pepper.
                      4. Remove potatoes from oven and gently flatten each with a flat surfaced utensil (I use a metal potato masher) to a third of its original height.
                      5. Set oven rack to 7" from broiler and turn oven to broil. Spread 1 tbsp of paste onto each potato. Broil for 2-3 minutes until golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and serve immediately, garnishing with fresh dill if desired.