I’ve been a fan of Lundberg Family Farms rice products for years. However, I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve never tried their rice cakes! That is until now when they challenged me and a few other bloggers to create unique recipes using their new rice cake flavors, Kettle Corn, Hemp-a-Licious and Sweet Chili, which they sent me along with a few jars of Justin’s Honey Almond Butter.
Why a freezer pie?
Since eating a rice cake shouldn’t be boring – especially with all the flavors that Lundberg makes – I thought I’d go a bit out of the box and make a summer time dessert with their Kettle Corn Rice Cakes. I often use leftover rice to make gluten free quiche crusts. Taking that method one step further, I decided to use the rice cakes to create a crust, like crushed graham crackers are used in freezer pies. Freezer pies? Indeed, since warm weather is the perfect time for freezer pies as they’re cool, require no baking, and very little stove top cooking. Plus, making one with the honey almond butter would be delicious! (My son, Nathan, agrees and gave my freezer pie two thumbs up!)
This freezer pie recipe also gave me the chance to use a couple of special kitchen gadgets that I love. First, I used a Beka Cookware Bain Marie to melt the chocolate instead of a double broiler. I love the bain marie since it’s almost impossible to burn anything and you don’t run the risk of getting water in your chocolate. Second, I used my Blendtec Blender’s Twister Jar to make most of this recipe, but you could use a food processor instead.
Finally, I tried to use as many organic ingredients in my freezer pie recipe as possible, since Lundberg Rice Cakes and many of the ingredients in the Justin’s almond butter are organic.
And did I mention that this dessert is totally gluten free?
Chocolate & Almond Freezer Pie
The combination of coconut milk and honey almond butter creates a freezer pie with the consistency of ice cream. However, between the almond butter and dark chocolate, this is NOT a light dessert. Serve each person a small piece along with some blueberries for a delicious summer treat.
For the Lundberg Rice Cake crust:
- 1 1/2 cups finely ground Lundberg Kettle Corn Rice Cakes
- 6 tablespoons organic vegan buttery spread, like Earth’s Best – at room temperature
- 1/3 cup organic sugar, like Wholesome Sweeteners Fair Trade Organic Sugar
For the chocolate coating and drizzle:
- 2 bars (7 ounces) Green & Black's Dark 85% Cocoa Content Organic Chocolate – melted
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Spectrum Naturals Organic All Vegetable Shortening
For the pie filling:
- 1 cup Justin’s Honey Almond Butter
- 1 (13.5 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk, like Native Forest Organic Classic Coconut Milk
- 1/3 cup organic sugar, like Wholesome Sweeteners Fair Trade Organic Sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
To make the pie crust:
- Place rice cakes (about half a package) into a food processor and grind them into fine crumbs.
- Add the vegan buttery spread and sugar and pulse until combined. Firmly and evenly press the mixture into a pie plate.
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and combine with the shortening and melt. You can do this in a double boiler, in a bain marie, or carefully over low heat in a sauce pan in medium heat-proof bowl, stirring constantly.
- Dip a pastry spoon into the melted chocolate and give the pie crust a thin coat by using the pastry brush to paint on the chocolate. Work quickly and try not to loosen the rice cake crust.
- Chill the crust in the freezer for 15 minutes.
To make the pie filling:
- Place the almond butter, coconut milk, sugar, and salt into a large mixing bowl and using a hand mixer, beat until completely blended. If you have a Blendtec or similar blender, you can also combine the ingredients in the blender using the sauce setting.
- Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and pour the pie filling into the shell. Gently tap the pie plate on the counter to release any air bubbles.
- Place the pie back into the freezer for 1 hour or until set.
- Remove pie from freezer. Prepare the chocolate drizzle by remelting the remaining chocolate, if needed.
- Take a spoon, dip into the melted chocolate, and drizzle chocolate over the pie in a decorative manner.
- Place the pie back into the freezer for 30 more minutes.
- Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving. Slice carefully and enjoy!
- Serving size: 1 slice
This month’s Secret Recipe Club recipe is shepherd’s pie from Shelby at The Life & Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch. Shepherd's pie is classic British pub food that’s usually made with ground lamb. However, you can make it with other ground meats (Shelby and I used venison) or even make a vegetarian version, called a Shepherdess’ Pie, with soy crumbles.
Shelby’s version of shepherd's pie uses instant gravy mix. However, since I’m gluten free, I chose to make the gravy using the method found in The Joy of Cooking. However, instead of flour, I used rice starch to thicken the gravy.
Also, feel free to use fresh, frozen or canned vegetables in your shepherd's pie. I used canned since that’s what I had on hand (and what I'm trying to get rid of before we move to Boston). I also eliminated any added salt as there was plenty of sodium in the beef broth and the steak and Worcestershire sauces.
Gluten Free Shepherd’s Pie
- 2 pounds red potatoes
- 3 tablespoons buttery spread, divided
- 1 1/2 pounds ground meat (lamb, venison, turkey or beef)
- 3 tablespoons rice or corn starch
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can sliced carrots
- 1 (15 ounce) can peas
- 1/2 cup onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can beef stock, divided
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons steak sauce
- Wash potatoes and cut into large chunks. (If you’re not using red potatoes, you’ll need to peel them, too.) Place in a pot of water, bring to a boil and cook until tender.
- Drain potatoes reserving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. Mash potatoes with liquid and butter until fluffy. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Brown ground meat with onions. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons rice starch with 3 tablespoons of beef broth until thoroughly mixed.
- In a skillet on medium high heat add garlic, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce and vegetables. Bring to a simmer and add the rice starch and broth mixture. Stir until the broth thickens.
- Add the browned ground meat and onion mixture to the pan. Mix and keep at a simmer. Add any beef broth you have leftover and cook until thickened. Remove from heat.
- Pour vegetable and meat mixture into a baking dish. Carefully spoon mashed potato over mixture. Using the tines of a fork, score the mashed potatoes, if you like.
- Place small chunks of the buttery spread on the mashed potatoes. Then place baking dish on a cookie sheet as the gravy may bubble over.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees until mashed potatoes are golden.
- Remove shepherd's pie from oven and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Calories: 349
- Calories from Fat: 85
- Total Fat: 9.5g
- Saturated fat: 4.1g
- Unsaturated fat: 0g
- Sodium: 362mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 37.0g
- Sugar: 7.6g
- Fiber: 6.2g
- Protein: 28.7g
- Cholesterol: 83mg
More from the Secret Recipe Club!
For those lovers of everything vintage, Jam Handy! is your type of cooking blog. Written by Kirkkitsch, a 30-something blogger out of Arlington, Texas, Jam Handy! is a gold mine of old recipes, magazine ads, and vintage cookbooks. Kirk faithfully scans the ads and cookbooks and documents the year. I really appreciate the effort and his sense of kitschy style. (See his CafePress store, Seul Boy for the best in vintage graphics on cards, mugs, etc. Can you say Christmas presents?)
Pumpkin Cream Pie (1981)
- 1 package (6-serving size) Jell-O instant pudding and pie filling, vanilla flavor
- 1 can (16 oz.) pumpkin
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
- 1 container (4 oz.) Cool Whip non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
- 1 prepared 9-inch graham cracker crumb crust
*Or use 1/4 teaspoon each nutmeg and ginger and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
- Combine pie filling mix, pumpkin, milk and spices in bowl. Mix slowly with electric mixer or rotary beater just until blended, about 1 minute.
- Fold in whipped topping.
- Spoon into crust. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight; let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes before cutting. Garnish with additional whipped topping, if desired.
You see it’s just like this recipe for Weight Watcher’s Pumpkin Mouse that my Weight Watchers leader gave me a couple of years ago. It’s a lifesaver when everyone else is stuffing their faces on pie and you’re feeling sorry for yourself. It satisfies your sweet tooth and your need for something creamy, too. And best of all, it’s only 1.5 points for one cup of mousse.
- 2 small packages of instant sugar-free vanilla pudding
- 2 cups of no-fat (skim) milk
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
- 15 ounce can of pumpkin
- 8 ounces of fat-free Cool Whip
- Make pudding first.
- Fold in ingredients.
- Chill and serve!
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Quiche is probably the most simple and frugal dish around. I like to use this all-purpose recipe adapted from The Tightwad Gazette III: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle by Amy Dacyczyn.
Gluten free rice crust
I started making this gluten-free crust for my mother-in-law. Now I make it all the time because it's so simple to do:
Take 1½ ounces of a grated hard cheese (like cheddar, Swiss or Monterey Jack), 1 egg, and 2 cups of just-cooked rice or reheated rice. (This works best if the rice is hot so the cheese melts somewhat.) Mix together, pat into a 9-inch pie plate with a spatula or back of a soup spoon, and prebake at 425 for 15 minutes. Don't use a non-stick spray on the pan since it makes it harder to form the crust.
Use 3 whole eggs. If you want to lower the fat, try 1 egg and 4 egg whites.
Use a 1 cup of a hard grated cheese like cheddar, Swiss, Monterey Jack or a combination. Low-fat cheeses are fine to use, but don't use no-fat or soy cheeses as they don't properly melt.
Time Saver! Buy your cheese already grated. Costco has large bags of grated cheddar that are cheaper per ounce than block cheese. And you don't have to deal with the fuss and mess of grating all of it. No need to worry about using it up before it goes bad. Divide larger bag's contents into sandwich bags and freeze. Defrost in the refrigerator when needed.
Use 1 cup of milk, whole, 2%, 1% or skim all work well. Evaporated milk, watered down yogurt, or powdered milk with half the water will do in a pinch. You can also use half-and-half and cream.
Use 2 cups of a combination of meats and veggies. Meat should be precooked. Good combinations are ham and mushrooms, bacon with broccoli and mushrooms, turkey and tomatoes, imitation crab and onions, etc. Experiment!
I don't add salt to the quiche if I'm using a salty meat such as bacon or ham. If you want, add 1 teaspoon of salt (maximum - try less), ¼ teaspoon of pepper, and a dash of nutmeg. Dill is a great seasoning to use with seafood and poultry.
To make the quiche
Prepare the crust in a 9-inch plate. Place on a cookie sheet as the quiche may leak during cooking.
Grate cheese (if necessary) and prepare the filling ingredients (cook, chop, measure, etc.). Beat eggs, milk and seasonings together until just combined. Spread filling ingredients in crust, top with grated cheese, and cover with egg/milk mixture. Slide cookie sheet into oven being careful not to spill.
Bake for 10 minutes in a preheated 425 degree oven. Then turn down the oven to 350 and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.