I wasn't quite sure what to call this jerky? Gluten-Free Beef Jerky? Low-FODMAP Beef Jerky? Easy Paleo Beef Jerky? Refined Sugar-Free Beef Jerky? Tasty Beef Jerky (now there's a winner)? Because all the names fit. I settled on "Easy Soy-Free Beef Jerky" because I think that's what makes this recipe a standout.
Most jerky you buy contains soy sauce—some use tamari (which is gluten-free soy sauce), some do not (so read those labels). This particular recipe uses coconut aminos, a slightly less salty coconut-derived replacement for soy sauce.
After much trial and error I have come to learn that the making of jerky is an art. The subtlest of alterations to a recipe can have a profound effect on the final taste. What I really like about this coconut amino-based jerky recipe is that no one ingredient is overpowering, and there's a perfect balance of sweet and salt.
I've been making big batches (3-4 pounds of meat at a time) because having a high-protein snack at the ready keeps me from scarfing my way through a bag of corn chips—and I'm never at a loss for what to pack the kids for a school snack.
When making jerky, choose a very lean cut of meat. Fat (even dried fat) will go rancid—that's why I refrigerate my jerky for added insurance (I'm kind of paranoid that way). Top round steak, flank steak and rump roast are the best cuts for making jerky. About half the time I will use bison.
Finally, a tip for slicing meat: freeze meat for a short time, but not until it is frozen solid. This makes it easier to make those thin slices. To make jerky that the kids can chew, I cut slices ACROSS the grain about 1/8" thick. If you prefer gnawing on your dried meat, slice WITH the grain into 1/4" by 5" strips.
Easy Soy-Free Beef Jerky Recipe
2.5 pounds very lean beef, bison or wild game trimmed of all fat (see Notes)
1/2 cup coconut aminos (like this one)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 tablespoons gluten-free liquid smoke (like this one)
2 tablespoons salt
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- Combine coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, sugar, liquid smoke, salt and ginger in a large glass container with tight-fitting lid or in a large zip-top bag.
- Close and shake until most of the sugar and salt has dissolved. Set aside.
- Slice meat (see notes).
- Add meat to the brine, seal, toss and refrigerate for 6-8 hours, turning once or twice.
- Preheat dehydrator at its highest setting (my Excalibur's is 165˚F).
- Drain off brine, discard slices of ginger and arrange strips of meat on dehydrator trays.
- Place trays in dehydrator and dehydrate 4-6 hours at your dehydrator's highest setting (my Excalibur's is 165˚F).
- How do you know when jerky is done? Test a strip for dryness by letting it cool to room temperature then slightly bend the jerky. The meat should crack, not break, when bent. It should be firm, but flexible. If it snaps it was dehydrated too long. It will still taste fine, it just may be a little crispy. If it doesn't crack, dehydrate until it does. After a batch or two you will get the hang of it.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoy within a week or two.
Round steak, flank steak, or rump roast are the best cuts of meat for making jerky. For easy-to-chew jerky, slice meat against the grain, into approximately 1" wide by 4" long by 1/8" thick strips. If you prefer gnawing on your dried meat, slice WITH the grain into 1/4" by 5" strips.
Some of the Best Copycat Recipes Online.
Do you love the challenge of recreating your favorite restaurant recipes at home? When I get a craving for, say, Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi Soup or authentic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad, I make AllFreeCopycatRecipes.com my first stop. With the help of some very talented home cooks and bloggers, I find the inspiration I need to make my own gluten-free and dairy-free versions of restaurant classics.
This week AllFreeCopycatRecipes.com released their Top 100 Copycat Recipes for 2014. All I can say is that I'm glad for the upcoming Christmas break and time to try a handful of them. The IKEA Swedish Meatballs and the Chic-fil-A Chicken Nuggets are sure to be attempted. My kids would be so excited if I could master those (in a more healthful and allergen-free way, of course).
I always learn something in the process.
Converting recipes to gluten-free and dairy-free doesn't always work, but I always learn something in the process—and some of them actually do turn out! My most popular copycat recipes include Outback Steakhouse Wedge Salad (pictured in the collage above), Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana (Zuppa di Italiano), and Penzey's Italian Sausage Seasoning. If you try them, I hope you enjoy them!
Next up? That Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup.
I have the picture shot and ready, now just to find that scrap piece of paper I hastily jotted the recipe down on! Hate it when that happens.
Anyway, I just wanted to share this list of AllFreeCopycatRecipes.com with you. Most of the recipes are far from being allergen-free, but they provide a good foundation and inspiration for those who like to play in the kitchen and make magic happen.
Hi! This is Jill, Lexie's sister from Hawaii. I've been visiting Lexie for the last week, helping out with the boys, and of course eating some fabulous food.
One of our experiments this week was a dehydrated snack we're calling Veggie Jims. These nori power wraps are available at many natural food stores and sell for $1-2 each—we thought we could make them for a lot less! They are simply a tasty seed paste wrapped up in a nori sheet for easy transport on the go.
Shaped like Slim Jims, these meatless power wrap snacks are one of the "oldest" vegan snack foods around. We are calling ours Veggie Jims—and are they ever packed with flavor! Our paleo friends love them, too.
After doing some research I found out that these power wraps are one of the "oldest" vegan snack foods around. I was surprised that I'd never heard of them! I found them while picking up some airplane snacks at my health food store on Maui. Lex and I both thought that they were super tasty and wanted to try making them ourselves. Flavorings for these are endless, we went for the classic Slim Jim flavor demonstrated by Matt and Angela here in this video. The cayenne gives these in awesome kick!
Veggie Jims (like slim jims but meatless)
Makes About 36 Veggie Jims
About 12 NORI SHEETS, cut into thirds lengthwise
12 ounces raw SUNFLOWER SEEDS
8 ounces raw PUMPKIN SEEDS
1 cup WATER (more as needed)
2 red BELL PEPPERS
1 tablespoon raw grated BEET*
4 minced GARLIC CLOVES
6 tablespoons fresh LEMON JUICE
1 teaspoon SALT
2 teaspoons ONION POWDER
1/4-1/2 teaspoon CAYENNE PEPPER (or to taste)
*Optional. We added the beet for color. It did make the filling a lovely spam color which you will see in the photos. After being dehydrated though it went back to a brown color.
- Whirl seeds in a high-powered blender or food processor to a fine meal. Remove and set aside.
- Add remaining ingredients (except for nori sheets) and blend/process until smooth.
- Add the seed mixture back in and blend/process to a smooth, spreadable, paste-like consistency (add a tablespoon of water at a time as needed to aid in blending/processing).
- Avoid over salting so they don't end up too salty after being dehydrated.
- Transfer to a large zip top bag, squish paste down into one corner, and snip off the corner to pipe out a 1/4 to 1/2-inch thickness.
- Lay a strip of nori (shiny side down) onto a sheet of parchment. This was the only tricky, slightly time consuming part. Lightly spritz (we used a spray bottle) the nori sheet with water. Then pipe the filling down the center of the nori sheet. Take your time and try to ensure an even filling.
- Roll nori around filling and seal edges with another spritz of water if needed.
- Arrange Veggie Jims on dehydrator trays and dehydrate over night or until firm and dried out—about like a Slim Jim meat stick. They are super yummy warm out of the dehydrator!
- Store in an airtight container.
In the photo below the paste looks pretty gross (that's the pink from the beet). We promise, no pink slime or spam was involved in the making of these vegan snacks. Oh and we got over-ambitious in the "piping it on" shot. Just aim for 1/4-1/2 inch strip of paste.
Feel free to experiment with flavorings. Ones I have seen are Italian (sundried tomatoes, oregano, marjoram and sage) and Japanese (ginger, miso, wasabi). You can also wrap different shapes with the nori, like triangles.
Enjoy and let us know what you think! We'd love to know.
You'll have to forgive me. This recipe is launching forth before it has reached absolute perfection. But with Thanksgiving just four days away (FOUR DAYS!), I had no choice. Like you, I was desperate for gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free French fried onions to top my green bean casserole with. I mean, really, what's green bean casserole without French fried onions!?
"I was desperate for a gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free French fried onion
Now, I'm not saying this recipe doesn't deliver—because it surely does. What I AM sayin' is that the perfectionist in me wanted to toy with it one more time to see if I could achieve the lovely, golden, deep fried color that French's delivers. But time is of the essence!
These come out super crunchy and onion-y, but not super golden. If anyone wants to take over from here and achieve "golden," have at it and let me know your secret. I am thinking a tablespoon or two of potato flour (not starch) added to the coating? Potato flour browns up much better than rice flour—but too much and it becomes a gummy mess.
ANYWAY, here you go and Happy Thanksgiving (to all of you stateside). Thank you for faithfully visiting my kitchen over the years. YOU are the gluten-free French fried onions on my green bean casserole!
Gluten-Free French Fried Onions
2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Oil for frying
1 very large onion
1 cup superfine rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca starch
2 teaspoons salt, possibly more to taste after cooking
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons granulated onion
1/4 teaspoon pepper
- In a medium bowl combine milk and lemon juice and set aside to curdle (this replaces buttermilk).
- Peel, halve and slice onion into thin rings. Spot chop the longer onion strings into 1-2" pieces.
- Add onions to milk mixture and soak for 15-30 minutes (this tames the onions a bit).
- Heat about 2 inches of deep frying oil to approximately 325˚F-ish in a medium saucepan.
- In another medium bowl combine rice flour, tapioca starch, salt, sugar, granulated onion and pepper.
- Drain milk from onions and discard.
- Working in small batches, toss onions to coat in flour mixture. If you have one, transfer onions to a mesh strainer to gently shake off excess flour.
- Add to hot oil and fry until onions begin to brown, but not burn!
- Using a slotted spoon transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
- If you like yours saltier (like my husband does), sprinkle with a little more salt
- Repeat with remaining onions.
- Store in an airtight container and use within a few days.
Put on your scarf and snow bibs. It's cold outside! It didn't get above 9˚F today and it's heading to -11˚ tonight here in Colorado. On days like this I wonder how many searches for "soup recipes" Google is getting! I found one for a tasty looking minestrone, but the kids nixed that one (sigh). The majority vote was for this allergy-friendly Chicken Noodle Soup. I love it because it's fast and easy. Using the meat from a rotisserie chicken saves me time, too. And don't let the addition of the pureed zucchini scare you—it is very neutral in flavor and adds a bit of fiber and creaminess. If you like the recipe, you will find it—are more like it—in my cookbook Everyday Classics: 68 Tasty & Essential Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free and Soy-Free Recipes.
Gluten-Free Allergy-Friendly Chicken Noodle Soup
1 tablespoon cooking oil (I use avocado)
1 cup peeled and chopped zucchini
1/4 medium onion, chopped
4 cups water, divided
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup diced carrots
1/4 cup diced celery
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1 bay leaf
Pinch ground turmeric, optional for color
2 cups uncooked gluten-free pasta or 1 cup uncooked rice
3 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken
- In large pot, sauté zucchini and onion in oil over medium heat until tender.
- Transfer zucchini mixture to the container of a blender along with 2 cups water. Cover and purée.
- Add purée back to pot along with remaining 2 cups water, chicken broth, carrots, celery, granulated onion, salt, poultry seasoning, white pepper, hot sauce, bay leaf, turmeric, and uncooked pasta.
- Bring to a boil and reduce to a low simmer. Cover and cook just until pasta is al dente or rice is tender—taking care not to overcook.
- Add chicken and stir to combine. Heat through and salt to taste.