Italian Sausage Cauliflower Casserole- Gluten Free

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Italian Sausage Cauliflower Casserole

My new Italian Sausage Cauliflower Casserole is a much healthier version of a 1960′s style casserole.

In addition to cauliflower and Italian sausage, I used an organic gluten free cream of mushroom soup (I used Health Valley brand), lots of fresh sliced mushrooms, fresh grape tomatoes, black olives and grated mozzarella and parmesan-reggiano cheeses.  I don’t usually cook with cheese, but I wanted this casserole to be more traditional in that sense.  I only used a total of 1 and 1/4 cups of grated mozzarella and just a little bit of the reggiano.

Italian Sausage Cauliflower Casserole

 

I honestly had avoided even looking at casserole recipes until now.  The amount of cheese, sour cream and cream cheese in those old style recipes (which are still all over Pinterest!) just made me cringe.  On top of that, many recipes used packaged ingredients for convenience, which most of us now know is not a good thing.

Frank is the one who inspired me to research casserole recipes and come up with my own healthy version.  He remembered eating casseroles when he was young, so when I asked him what he might want me to cook, that was one of his suggestions.  He doesn’t have issues with gluten and he also has a quick metabolism, so I made his version with regular pasta instead of cauliflower.  This recipe should make 6-8 servings, whether you make it with cauliflower or pasta.

 

Italian Sausage Pasta Casserole

 

 

Italian Sausage Pasta Casserole

I didn’t try to freeze these casseroles, but I would think they would freeze really well.

Cauliflower is one of my favorite ingredients to use when I want to make a recipe more healthy.  It can easily stand in for pasta or potatoes in many different types of recipes.

Here are some of my previously posted cauliflower recipes:

 

Cauliflower “Pasta” Salad With Italian Sausage

 

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Cauliflower “Potato” Salad

 

Cauliflower "Potato" Salad

Cauliflower Chopped Salad

 

Cauliflower Chopped Salad

Smoky Cauliflower Soup With Kale

 

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Artichoke And Cauliflower Soup

 

Artichoke and Cauliflower Soup

I shared this recipe with The Hearth and Soul Hop at 21st Century Housewife, Gluten Free Wednesdays at The Gluten Free Housewife, Real Food Wednesday at Kelly The Kitchen Kop, Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade, Foodie Friday at Simple Living and Eating

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We Are Eating Organic Now! (we learned what GMO really is)

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I am going to confess something to you- I have a really hard time doing more than a couple of things at once.  If you are a subscriber of this blog, you probably have already figured that out!  That’s why you haven’t seen any new blog posts from me until now.

The photo above is my Artichoke Heart and Olive Dip.  It is super healthy and easy to make!

I have not been baking much because we haven’t wanted to eat a lot of sugar and also because I am realizing more and more that my body just doesn’t digest carbs very well.  Every time I bake (and sample) something fun, I seem to gain a pound or two and then that goes away within a week or so of not eating carbs again.

I am a little touchy about gaining weight after gaining and losing steroid weight when I had chemo last year.  I also gained weight when I was taking Tamoxifen.  I had to quit taking that last October because I had way too many side effects.  I tried it for 5 months and things were getting worse, not better.

I am just now feeling back to my normal self like I was before my breast cancer treatment.  One of the side effects that I got from the Tamoxifen was muscle cramps in my lower legs and feet when I did any amount of exercise on my elliptical.  That just stopped happening a few weeks ago, even though I quit the Tamoxifen last October.  I am just thankful that I am getting back to normal.  Oh, and I couldn’t wear any kind of shoes other than tennis shoes while that was going on either.  I just wore heels again for the first time a few days ago and it made me feel like celebrating!

Frank and I switched to eating mostly organic food at the beginning of August.  Neither of us had ever researched to find out what GMO really was, or what went on in the commercial meat industry.

We went organic the day after we started our research.

Here is an excerpt  from an article in the mercola.com newsletter dated October 6, 2013:

“Genetically engineered foods, as well as conventional crops that are heavily sprayed with glyphosate (the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup), have lower nutrient density than organic foods. They also contain high amounts of pesticides with documented harmful health effects, along with novel, highly allergenic, proteins.”

Another good reason to go organic is you might be able to lose weight easier.  I was having a hard time losing the last few pounds after chemo and Tamoxifen and then we went organic.  I didn’t do anything else different, but suddenly the weight started coming off easier.  Here is a paragraph from an article that was published online way back on December 3, 2008 in the examiner.com.  This article was written by Sarah Dussault.

  Blaming the obesity epidemic on overeating and inactivity has yet to solve any problems. But now, research is pointing to the expanded production and consumption of genetically modified foods as the culprit for the current weight problem in America.

You may now be asking, what chemicals may be causing people to gain weight?  Pesticides, growth hormones, artificial flavoring, herbicides, and any other man made chemical that we ingest are possible to blame.  A few names you may be familiar with are Olestra, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Aspartame, Saccharine, MSG, to name a few.  These foods have already been linked to cause cancer, now they are being blamed for obesity throughout various studies.”

I went through my pantry and donated a lot of things to the food bank so it wouldn’t be wasted, then we went shopping.  Ouch!  The first couple of shopping trips are pretty expensive because you are restocking all of your basic items that you would not usually be out of all at once.

My Virgo list making tendencies kicked in and I started keeping track of prices of items that we bought regularly at different stores.   If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, then they might have the best prices on a lot of different organic foods.  You need to make sure that the package says either ‘USDA Organic’ or ‘Non GMO Project Verified’.  Beware of the term “natural” when it is used on any kind of packaging.  It sounds like it would be healthier, but it is meaningless.  Natural is not a term that is regulated by the FDA, so it means something different to each company that uses it on their label.  Mostly it is just used to fool the public into thinking that particular food is healthier.

If you want to learn more about GMO, I have a Pinterest board on the subject and I have found a lot of interesting articles to pin to it- including the ones referenced above.

Frank and I are still learning more every day about what foods are healthy to eat.  Just today I found out that McCormick Garlic Powder is made in China!  I don’t think we want to be consuming that after all of the problems with dog treats that are made in China!  The garlic powder says on the label that it is packaged in the USA, so if a consumer isn’t reading carefully, they would just see USA and think everything was ok.

I want to focus on sharing healthy and economical recipes on this blog that are mostly organic.  I am not going to make myself crazy by demanding that every single thing I eat be organic, but as much as possible.

I am also still spending a lot of time making and promoting my jewelry, so I will be sharing that with you too.  I will be having a drawing giveaway of my jewelry soon, so keep watching for that!

If you are new to Andreas Kitchen, you might want to subscribe so you  get updated whenever I post a new post.

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Gluten Free Banana Cake

 

 

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This Banana Cake recipe is gluten free, but it can be made using “regular” flour if you don’t have an issue with gluten.

My previously posted recipes for Coconut Cake,  Flourless Chocolate Cake and Pumpkin Cake are versions of the same recipe which is really easy to make.  Most of the cake ingredients are mixed in your blender and then you just fold 4 beaten egg whites into the batter and bake it.

 

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The texture of this cake is close to that of pumpkin pie.  It has very little flour and mostly “wet” ingredients, including 4 eggs so that’s what makes it work.  When the cake is baking it rises to the top of a round cake pan but then as it cools, it sinks back down in the pan.

As soon as it is done sinking, probably 15 minutes or so, run a knife around the inside of the pan so the cake does not stick to the sides when you remove it.  To remove the cake from the pan, place a plate face down over the top of the cake pan and gently flip the whole thing over.  The cake will come out on the plate but it will be upside down.  Remove the parchment circle from the cake and place another plate on top of the cake (the bottom) and flip it gently again.  Now it’s ready to serve!  This cake tastes great warm or chilled from the refrigerator.

 

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I used coconut palm sugar in this cake instead of either white or brown sugar, but I think that either of those would work fine too.    I have been trying to use coconut palm sugar as much as I can because it is much lower on the glycemic scale than regular sugar.  The taste of coconut palm sugar is a little different from brown sugar, so I use it mainly when there is enough flavor in the recipe that it will blend in.

 

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I’m sorry about the imperfect top of the cake- you have to transfer the cake between a couple of plates to get it out of the pan and it stuck.  We covered our slices of cake with a little bit of whipped cream and completely forgot about the way the top looked!

This is a healthy recipe that you can feel good about making for your family because it has  1/2 cup of  coconut sugar which equates to the glycemic amount of 1/4 of a cup of regular sugar.

 

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I borrowed the original concept  for this recipe from Elana of Elana’s Pantry.  Elana comes up with beautifully simple recipes that taste great and are very good for you.  If you cook gluten free, you should check out Elana’s blog, you will be happy for the introduction!

I shared this recipe with Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, The Hearth and Soul Hop at 21st Century Housewife, Fat Tuesday at Real Food Forager, Gluten Free Wednesdays at Gluten Free Homemaker, Real Food Wednesday at Kelly The Kitchen Kop, Allergy Free Wednesdays at The Tasty Alternative, Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet, Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade, Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm

 

 

 

 

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies- GF Or Not!

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