Infamous Pumpkin Pie

Since learning about my dairy allergy and gluten intolerance earlier in the year, I worried how I would handle the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas often produce some of the best food-centered celebrations, but most of my favorite recipes contained wheat, butter, or cheese.

On a whim, I decided to do a little research to see if I could make a quick and easy pumpkin pie for a work luncheon. I found several items that met my requirements, and it produced a pie that took under 15 minutes to make! The best part? It was devoured by my coworkers! To my surprise, no one cared that it was gluten free and dairy free. (Some folks are apprehensive to try gluten free/dairy free foods because they’re afraid the taste is compromised.) In this case, apparently the subtleness of the ingredients enhanced the flavor and the pie was a hit!

So I’m sure you’re asking, “Jenn… just what is in this pie?” Well, I’m getting ready to tell you, but I first wanted to disclose that I was not paid to endorse any of the following brands. These just happen to be the brands that are found in my local grocery store.

Ingredients:
Mi-Del Gluten Free Graham Style Pie Crust
Organic Pumpkin (15oz can)
Jell-o Pumpkin Spice Instant Pudding & Pie Filling (3.4 oz)
So Delicious Dairy Free CoCo Whip Coconut Whipped Topping (8-9oz container)
*Kinnikinnick Foods Gluten Free S’moreables
*Pumpkin Pie Spice

Note – You will want to thaw the frozen whipped topping in the refrigerator at least 4 hours before preparing this pie.

Instructions:
Open the pie crust and set it aside.
Open the can of pumpkin and pour it into a mixing bowl.
Open the packet of pudding and add it to the pumpkin. Stir together well.
Open the whipped topping and add to the pumpkin mixture. Fold together until everything is fully incorporated.
Add the mixture to the pie crust. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until ready to serve.
*Garnish with S’moreables (I grated some over the top of the pie) and spice.

That is it!! It seems too simple, doesn’t it? But it is completely fool proof! There is just enough spice in the pudding to compliment the pumpkin flavor, but the hint of coconut from the whipped topping gives the pie a little something extra.

I have had many requests to make this pie again, that I have now deemed it “infamous”! haha Since the Pumpkin Spice pudding is a seasonal product, I made a few of the pies with Sugar Free Fat Free Vanilla pudding as a substitution. I then added in approximately 2 teaspoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice to the mixture. The results were the same as if I had used the Pumpkin Spice pudding.

I hope that you will give this gluten free/dairy free pumpkin pie alternative a try. If you do, please comment below! I’d love to hear from you. Enjoy!

[Photos to come.]

Hashbrown Scramble

If you’re looking for a quick, tasty breakfast that will leave you feeling full, you should try this simple, healthy recipe!

What you’ll need:

Hungry Jack® Premium Hashbrown Potatoes
Egg Beaters®
Large Green Pepper
Large Vidalia Onion
Fat Free Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Directions:

1)      Prepare Hungry Jack® Premium Hashbrown Potatoes as directed.
2)      Chopped Green Pepper/Onion and add to pan.
3)      Add Egg Beaters®
4)      Top with ¼ Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

*This meal is fat free, gluten free, low carb, low cholesterol, and low calorie …but it tastes unbelievably good!

Spaghetti Squash

The first time I purchased a spaghetti squash, it came with a little sticker complete with cooking directions.  The directions said to bake the squash at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. It seemed like the longest preparation time ever. I was reluctant to purchase the squash again because of it. However, the squash had such a unique consistency and a delicious flavor that I decided to try it again.

Years later, I have perfected a fast, healthy recipe for anyone who loves food with Italian flare!

Ingredients:
spaghetti squash
zucchini
tomato
extra virgin olive oil
garlic
Italian seasonings
nutritional yeast

First, split the spaghetti squash in half using a large knife. Depending on the density of the squash, it may be a little difficult. Take your time and be careful. Once the squash is in half, spoon out the seeds and pulp. Place the squash halves face down on a plate and microwave for 8 – 10 minutes.

While the squash is cooking, cube zucchini and tomato. Set tomato aside.

In a saucepan, add just enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Add garlic cloves (these can be chopped if you prefer) and let cook for a minute. Then add the zucchini to the pan. Sprinkle with Italian seasonings.

Usually by the time my squash has cooked and slightly cooled, the zucchini is tender. With a fork, begin running in a stem-to-end direction to separate the strands of your spaghetti squash. You will immediately see the resemblance to spaghetti noodles. Remove as much of the squash as you can and place it into a bowl.

Add cooked zucchini and fresh tomatoes, and toss. You may want to add more Italian seasoning at this point, depending on your taste. Top with nutritional yeast.

A small-to-medium spaghetti squash usually makes two servings.

There you have it; a tasty Italian meal in under 30 minutes!

Zucchini Noodle Lasagna

So you finally get to take a vacation and when you return your garden is loaded with veggies. Some, like your zucchini, have grown out of control. So what do you do with giant zucchini? I like to make zucchini noodles. I have a nifty mandolin that I can use to make wide noodles for lasagna or sometimes I make fettuccine noodles, but this is a how-to on the lasagna, so we will start with those.

Wash zucchini and cut off the ends. Be very careful using the mandolin slicer because it is generally very sharp. As I am very accident prone I have had very bad luck with this particular appliance in the past. Slide the zucchini length wise until you have used the whole zucchini. I flip the zucchini over about half way through and slice from the other side. One large zucchini makes enough noodles for a whole pan.

I have various recipes that I use for lasagna but this particular one includes:
Zucchini Noodles
1lb Ground Turkey
Pesto / Tomato Sauce
2 Small Cans Mushrooms or 1 carton fresh
Medium Diced Onion
Ricotta
Shredded Cheese
Minced Garlic
Salt, Pepper, Adobo Seasoning, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Oregano

Directions:
Brown turkey with diced onion and garlic. Season with all of the seasonings listed above or seasonings of your choice. After meat is brown add mushrooms and 2-3 cups of the Pesto/Tomato sauce and mix well. Sauté until the mushrooms are cooked through.

Cover the bottom of a baking dish with the zucchini noodles. Just layer this lasagna the way you would any traditional noodle lasagna. Zucchini layer, meat & pesto layer, ricotta layer. I only do one layer of ricotta and I sprinkle pepper and adobo seasoning on the ricotta. Then start with another layer of zucchini and meat & pesto sauce. You can put shredded cheese on each layer if you like, but I just put it on the top.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes at 350 degrees. Enjoy!