Recipes: Gluten Free Friday Night “Junk” Food

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Friday nights around our house are quite different than what they used to be. There’s no mad dash home to get ready for a crazy evening out. There’s no false eyelashes being applied and no sequins, heels or lipstick to be found! There’s immediate cocktail mixing, couch crashing and Netflix watching, anchored on each side by a dog and one on the lap! And in all honesty, this homebody truly loves these Fridays!

Since Friday evening begins and ends with great laziness, the same goes for dinner. I detest cooking on a Friday. This usually results in an evening of leftovers or pizza delivery. I love pizza; it’s my favorite food. However having a gluten intolerance, I know I am in for a world of pain if we go the pizza route. Enter these delicious gluten free alternatives! Now I know I said I detest cooking, but throwing together this meal of pizza pizzadillas and garlic breadsticks was easy peasy. And the meal was super delicious, better than delivery I promise! Easy, gluten free and healthy- what more could you ask for?

Cheesy, Garlic “Bread Sticks” (I adapted the meal from this recipe.)

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If you’ve ever been lucky enough to enjoy Gumby’s Pokey Stix (they were a college delicacy at Penn State), I can tell you these “bread sticks” are a wonderful alternative! And hell, if you want to dip them in ranch, go for it. You’re saving calories for sure on the sticks! Note: I always start the bread sticks first, as prep work and cooking take longer.  I’ve included the cheese amounts from the original recipe, but feel free to use less, more or dairy free cheese!

Ingredients:

For the Base:
1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower (I look for a smaller head of cauliflower and use this – close to one cup)
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
splash of olive oil

For the Topping:
2 tbsp softened butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Method:

– Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

– Chop the cauliflower into chunks and steam until soft enough for a fork to go through, about 7-8 minutes.

– Place in a ricer, grater, blender or food processor – whatever you have. I used a food processor and pulsed the cauliflower until it had a “riced” appearance.

– Prepare your pan or cooking stone. If using a cooking stone, drizzle some olive oil on the stone and top with parchment paper. If using a pan, cover with a layer of parchment paper.

– In a bowl stir together the cauliflower, cheeses, oregano and garlic powder. Transfer mixture to the stone or pan and begin patting out the cauliflower mixture into a rectangle. It should be about 1/2 inch thick. Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

– When finished, remove from oven and top with the mixture of butter and garlic powder. I used a baking brush to brush the butter mixture over the cauliflower. Top with cheese and place back into the over. At this point, I let the cheese melt for about 5 minutes and then place the oven on a Low Broil to turn the cheese a little brown and crispy!

– Slice into bread sticks and serve with a side or ranch or pizza sauce.

Pizza Pizzadillas  (I adapted the meal from this recipe.)

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Ingredients:

4 Brown Rice Tortillas
Turkey Pepperoni
Pizza Sauce (I prefer “the Don”, Don Pepino. It’s very low in sugar.)
Mozzarella Cheese
Toppings: Olives, peppers, extra meat – Really whatever you are in the mood for that evening!

Method:

The great thing about this recipe is that you can make it what you want. The below are the exact steps I took in preparation.

– I decided to use a griddle for cooking, but you can use a skillet as well. If using a skillet, coat the skillet with your choice of oil – olive, coconut, cooking spray and heat on medium.

– On a plate, lay your tortilla flat and begin layering your sauce, meat and cheese. I used extra pepperoni and added a bit of Parmesan cheese in with the Mozzarella. Fill in the middle, leaving the very outer edges of the tortilla without sauce, meat or cheese.

– When ready, fold your tortilla in half and begin cooking – a few minutes on each side until the tortilla reaches your desired level of doneness and the cheese has melted. I prefer mine a bit brown and crunchy, so I cooked mine a few minutes longer on each side.

– When finished, remove from your griddle or skillet and use a pizza cutter to slice in half. Add your toppings on the side or on top of your pizzadillas!

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The two recipes complement each other very well! See you can eat your pizza AND bread sticks too and not feel like a glutton afterwards! If you try the recipes out, let me know if your pizza and bread stick craving was satisfied.

 

 

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