Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pesto chicken

This delicious meal is a holdover from a few years ago when my husband was put on the Southbeach Diet to fix his blood chemistry. Not surprisingly, since the Southbeach Diet is based on less carbs, completely eliminating carbs for the first two weeks, a lot of those meals work just fine for gluten-free folks.

One of the best parts is that there are only 3 ingredients. You can't get much easier than that! Without further ado, here's the tasty Pesto Chicken:
Mozzarella cheese

Spread a few tablespoons of pesto on the bottom of the pan, then add chicken and spread more pesto on top of the chicken. For about a pound or a pound and a half of chicken I usually use about half a jar of pesto. It doesn't take much. Cover with tin foil and cook at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Add mozzarella cheese and cook uncovered until cheese melts, another 5-10 minutes. Serve over rice and enjoy!
Linking up with Gluten-free Wednesdays.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 25, 2011

Italian Crockpot Chicken

potatoes, cubed or in wedges
baby carrots
1/2 C. Italian dressing
2 T. Italian seasoning
1/2 C. Parmesan or romano cheese

Throw everything into the crock pot (potatoes and carrots on the bottom), and cook on low for about 6-8 hours. And enjoy. I love how fast and easy this is to prepare.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Broccoli cheese soup

Here's a yummy, easy soup that's nice and quick. We had it on one of those "We need to eat in 15 minutes, what do I fix?!" days. Of course, that only works if you have potato flakes, or leftover mashed potatoes, otherwise it might be a little longer.

olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 bag frozen chopped broccoli
2 C. chicken broth
1 1/2 C. mashed potatoes (or more if you feel like it)
2 C. milk
1 1/2 C. shredded cheese
salt and pepper to taste
In a soup pot, saute onion in oil until translucent, then add broccoli and broth. Cook until broccoli is tender, then add mashed potatoes, mixing well. Heat for 5 minutes, then add milk and heat a little longer. Add cheese, stir, add salt and pepper, and enjoy!
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sausage and pepper penne

This recipe was originally in Parents magazine:

1 lb. uncooked Italian turkey sausage links
1 C. chopped onion (about 1/2 onion)
1 16 oz. bag frozen pepper strips
1 C. water
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 T. dried basil
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. garlic powder (I also use some garlic salt)
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
penne pasta

I actually found a bag of frozen pepper and onion strips, so I didn't do onion separately. For the sausage, I usually don't get uncooked sausage. We like the big Turkey Sausage and Kielbasa things that Foster Farms, and now Kroger make. And they're gluten-free. So I get that, use about 2/3 of it here and eat the rest as snacks. I also add a can of tomato sauce to make it more saucy.

Cook pasta according to instructions. In a separate pan, cook sausage until brown on all sides. Stir in onion; saute for 1 minute. Add everything else, cover, bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer about 10 minutes. Remove sausages, slice (I usually just cut at the beginning, but that's with pre-cooked sausages), return to pan and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes or until liquid is slightly thickened. Toss sausage mixture with pasta and serve. Enjoy!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 18, 2011

Chipotle chili and cornbread

I always love a good crockpot recipe. As long as I remember early enough in the day to actually start it. I almost never can cook on low--if the recipe calls for low I half the time and put it on high, just because the earliest I ever remember to think about it is around lunch time. 

Here's a real good chili recipe I got from a Campbells Soup recipe book (of course we can no longer use Campbell's Soup because none is gluten-free, but at least the recipe book still is good for something). 
Chipotle Chili
1 jar (16 oz.) salsa
1 C. water
2 T. chili powder (I use less--more like 2 teaspoons)
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 lbs. Beef for stew, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 can red kidney beans, drained (or 2 cans, or 1 kidney, 1 pinto beans)
Shredded cheese (optional)
Sour cream (optional)
Mix salsa, water, chili powder, onion, beef and beans in slow-cooker. Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours, or on high 4-5 hours. Serve with cheese and sour cream, if desired.

Of course, nothing goes with chili better than cornbread. I found this AWESOME recipe at Gluten free Mommy. It is quick and easy and soft and fluffy and not too sweet, but sweet enough. It's just so tasty! Probably better than most regular gluten-ous cornbreads I've had.
1 cup white rice flour
3/4 cup stone-ground cornmeal
2 to 3 Tablespoons of sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 Tablespoon butter
2 beaten eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt) together in a med. bowl and set aside.
Melt the one tablespoon of butter in a 10 inch cast-iron skillet or 8/9 inch round baking pan in the oven. This takes about three minutes. Swirl the butter around the pan coating the bottom and sides.
In a small bowl, combine the eggs, milk, and 1/4 cup butter. Add this mixture all at once to the flour mixture and stir until just moistened. Pour batter into the hot skillet or baking pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Salsa chicken

This is one of my favorite easy meals. With only 5 or 6 ingredients, you can't go wrong.

Salsa chicken
red bell pepper

First, chop the onion and bell pepper, then saute in oil for a few minutes.
Add the chicken and cook until mostly done, then add the salsa and let it simmer for a little while (10 minutes, maybe?). Add cheese and let it melt.
Serve it over rice for a tasty meal.
Buen provecho!
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Last week I was really wanting some granola, so I decided to try this recipe. It smelled so good. Until it stayed in the oven a little too long and came out burnt. I guess when the recipe says 25-30 minutes, that's what it means. Wierd.
Anyway, I tried it again the next day and it turned out delicioso!

I adjusted the recipe a little, just based on what I had and what we like.
3+ cups GF rolled oats
1 cup crushed GF corn flakes
2/3 cup slivered almonds
I really like using pecans in granola, unfortunately I used all our pecans on the burnt batch. :(
1/3+ cup flax seed meal
2 teaspoons +/- cinnamon
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
2/3 cup pure maple syrup (we used Eggo syrup--not exactly pure maple, but good enough for me)
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon GF vanilla extract
  1. Preheat your oven to 325F
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Melt the butter in a large bowl or glass measuring cup in the microwave.
  4. Add the maple syrup and brown sugar to the melted butter. Return to the microwave for 20 seconds or so to help the brown sugar melt. Add the vanilla extract. Stir together well and set aside.
  5. Combine the dry ingredients (oats, pepitas, almonds, flax seed meal and cinnamon) in a large bowl.
  6. Pour the maple syrup mixture over the dry ingredients. Mix together to coat everything evenly.
  7. Pour the mixture on to the parchment lined cooking sheet.
  8. Bake for a total of 25-30 minutes, stirring every 8 – 10 minutes to avoid burning. Bake until toasted brown.
  9. Allow to cool before storing in an airtight container.
 Sometimes in making granola I'll use honey instead of syrup. Or part of each. Sometimes I like to substitute applesauce in for some of the honey or syrup or even for the butter. Applesauce is generally a good (and healthy) substitute for the oil/fat in most baking recipes. 

For granola my rule of thumb is anything goes. If you like sunflower seeds, throw some in. If you don't like almonds, leave them out. If you like your granola crunchy, keep it in for 30 minutes. If you prefer a little softer, take it out at 15 or 20 minutes. You can always throw dried fruit like raisins or apple chips in after it's cooled down, if you like that. I think this recipe is so tasty mainly because of the cinnamon and vanilla. Mmmmmmm!

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chicken enchiladas

In the past I've used Cream of-- soups a lot in my cooking. When Jake had to go lactose free before being diagnosed as they tried to figure out what was wrong, that threw out all those soups and I had to figure out new ways to work those recipes. We found this enchilada recipe that was pretty good, but not quite as quick and easy as my enchiladas using Cream of Chicken. Of course once he was okayed for lactose we still had the gluten keeping us away from those soups. Until, joy of joys, I found Cream of Chicken, Cream of Mushroom, and Cream of Celery soup that was gluten-free at Sunflower Market. Yahoo!
I could once again make so many of my favorite, EASY, recipes.

Including enchiladas:
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can diced green chilies
canned chicken (or cooked and shredded chicken)
sour cream
corn tortillas
shredded cheese

Mix in a skillet the soup, chilies, chicken, and a few dollops of sour cream. Simmer. While simmering dip about 10-12 tortillas in the mixture to warm and soften.
Spoon some of the mixture (maybe 1/4 cup?) into a tortilla, add a small handful of cheese, then wrap it and place in a pan seam-side down.
Once the pan is full pour the rest of the mixture over the top of the tortillas. I actually had enough of the filling left that I could have made another small 8x8 pan of maybe 5 more, but I was feeling lazy, so I just poured it all over the top.
Sprinkle cheese all over the top and cover with tinfoil. At this point you can either stick it in the oven to cook, or stick it in the freezer for another day. When I am feeling particularly motivated I'll make two pans full, freeze one and cook one. Or if a friend just had a baby or surgery or something, I usually make two pans, one for them, one for us. Cook at 350 for about 20 minutes, or however long it takes for the cheese to melt. If frozen it usually takes about 40 minutes for all the cheese to melt.
Serve with lettuce, sour cream and salsa.
This is my dad's signature recipe and is SOOOO tasty. Nowadays he sometimes just layers the tortillas, filling mixture and cheese like a casserole instead of taking the time to make individual enchiladas, and actually it works great and tastes just the same, just saves you a few extra minutes. Enjoy!
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Because nothing says summer like standing in 110 degree heat next to a 400 degree grill, we included shishkabobs on our menu this past 4th of July weekend. I guess it's better than heating up the kitchen by turning on the oven.
Last summer I got my hubby a grill for Father's Day. We don't use it a ton, but good enough. And we can justify it as an emergency preparedness purchase, right? If the gas and electricity go out, at least we have our grill to cook on. :) Anyway, shishkabobs are one of our favorite meals for the grill. And they're relatively easy, except for the skewering part which can get tedious if you have a lot of people to cook for.
We did chicken and shrimp kabobs. I threw the meat in a marinade for about half an hour, which was not enough time to soak up the flavor as well as it should, but I was short on time--4+ hours would have been better. For our marinade I just used the Kraft Red Roasted Pepper something-or-other Dressing (I don't exactly remember the name). We like Kraft dressings because Kraft will always spell out gluten ingredients, and not hide them in "natural flavors" or "spices" or anything like that. We've also used some Lawry's marinades, which have all been really tasty (but be sure to check, because not all Lawry's is GF). While the meat was marinating, I cut up an onion and various colors of bell peppers. Some people like cherry tomatoes and pineapple and mushrooms, and probably some other wierd stuff on their kabobs. More power to them. We're plain folk. Not that cherry tomatoes are wierd. We may have had some if we had had some. (Does that sentence even make sense?) Really, I just went with what I could find in the fridge and garden.
Make sure you soak the skewers in water for a good hour or more--it's supposed to keep them from turning into charcoal (but mine always do anyway). We eat the kabobs over rice, sometimes adding some dressing to the rice for a little kick. 
Hope everyone had a fun, safe 4th of July! We got rain!!! So the fireworks didn't burn down the town. :)
Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 4, 2011


In our pre-GF days I used to grind our wheat and make our bread most of the time. I'd make 5 loaves in a batch and it would last 5-8 weeks. We're not huge bread eaters here, luckily (I know some families who go through almost a loaf per person per week). Upon Jacob's diagnosis we had to decide how to go about the bread thing. We tried some of the $6 for a mini-loaf of cardboard that they call GF bread at the store, and soon after started trying out various bread recipes and mixes. We have since found one (Udi's bread) that is decent, but it's still hard for me to bring myself to pay $6 for half a regular loaf. So I make our bread. One day in the future when I have school lunches to make I'm sure I'll give in and buy wheat bread to save myself from baking so much stinkin' bread, but for now we don't go through bread fast enough, and besides, for now that saves us from the hassle of having two separate peanut butter jars, jam jars, Miracle Whip jars, etc. to avoid cross contamination.

Anyway, since with GF baking you have to use several different kinds of flour, I've got my staple flours that I always have on hand:
brown rice flour (I grind that myself)
tapioca flour or corn starch
potato starch
soy flour
almond flour
I also occasionally have other flours, like oat flour, coconut flour, masa flour, or sorghum flour, depending on recipes I want to try.

I ended up giving my wheat grinder to my parents (in case they ever need it to use all the food storage they have, but have no way of grinding), since there's no way to clean all the wheat out of it. So I got a new grinder out of this deal. I use it mostly to grind rice to make rice flour. I've also used it for quinoa, and popcorn to make corn meal (I've tried a couple different corn meals from the store, but they've been cross contaminated every time, tested with this, so I just grind my own now). In looking into food storage options I read that the GF flours do not store well for long term (though starches do fine), and it's better to store the whole grain, then grind it. So one of these days I'll pursue that and get some soybeans or some other stuff...

Anyway, in the meantime, I make bread. Unfortunately GF bread is harder to make fluffy, and the dough is rather gummy, so I can't make my big 5 loaf batches that I used to do, because my bosch can't handle it. Two small (8 x 4 ½ in) loaves fit barely, so I stick with that. The smaller loaf pans work well, too, because even with a regular 9 x 5 pan, the dough won't rise as much as you're used to, so it looks squished. With the smaller pans it looks a bit more proportional.
I tried many recipes and store-bought mixes. This is the best I've found. It's actually edible without toasting it (a rarity for GF bread). And with the soy and brown rice and almond flour, it's actually pretty nutritious.
I got the original recipe here, then adapted it just a little based on what I usually have on hand in my kitchen.
For two 8 x 4 ½ loaves:
1 ½ C. GF flour mix
1 ½ C. brown rice flour 
½ C. soy flour
½ C. tapioca flour 
¼ C. almond flour
¼ C. potato starch                (or 4 ½ cups total GF flour)  
4 ½ T. heaping tablespoons ground flax seeds 
¾ C. instant non-fat milk -or- dry milk substitute  
1 ½ T. xanthan gum  
1 ½ t. unflavored gelatin  
1 ½ T. Sure Jell 
 ¾ t. teaspoon salt 
3 T. egg powder (or if using real eggs, do 3 eggs in the wet ingredients)

Leavening/Proofing Ingredients:
4 t. active dry yeast 
3 t. brown sugar/honey 
½ C. minus 2T. warm water (110 degrees) (if using real eggs, just ¼ C. here)

Wet Ingredients:
2 C. warm water (110 degrees)
(3 eggs, room temperature, beaten, if not using egg powder)
3 egg whites, whisked
6 T. olive oil (or vegetable oil or smart balance margarine, melted)
1 ½ t. apple cider vinegar

Mix all dry ingredients in stand mixer. Proof yeast and let stand until bubbling. Mix wet ingredients in separate bowl. Add yeast mixture and wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix for 8-10 minutes. The dough should begin to be a little more stringy, but mostly resembling a very thick, sticky cake dough. 
Heat oven to 200 degrees, and turn off immediately. Spray loaf pans with cooking spray and divide dough evenly into pans. Smooth tops with a wet spatula. Spray 2 sheets of plastic wrap with cooking spray and cover each pan gently, sprayed side down. Place covered loaves in oven to rise for 45 minutes to an hour.
Heat oven to 350 degrees then cook for 30-35 minutes. Crust should be light brown and thermometer inserted should read 190 for a finished loaf. Let loaf cool completely before cutting. 

As a side note, for the GF flour mix, I usually do:
3 parts brown rice flour
3 parts corn starch (sometimes tapioca flour instead)
2 parts soy flour
1 part almond flour (though I do sometimes use masa flour)
Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 1, 2011

Patriotic Rice Krispy Treats

My 3-year-old wanted to make cookies today, but I wasn't quite up for it. First of all, I'm a bit lazy and it seemed like too much work. B. It's 110 degrees outside and turning on the oven doesn't sound like the best idea. And III. I'm not much into cookies. I'll one or two if someone else makes them, but even BGF (Before our Gluten-Free days) if I ever did make cookies half the batch would sit uneaten for days or maybe even weeks. And the GF cookies I've made always turn out kind of dry and crumbly, so I'm pretty sure a batch would claim it's spot on our counter, mostly uneaten for days on end.
So, since cookies were out, I suggested rice krispy treats, which were readily accepted (microwave=no heating up of the kitchen:). And with it being the 4th of July this weekend, we whipped out the food coloring to add to the marshmallows, and came up with a tasty, patriotic treat.
Apparently Rice Krispies is coming out (or has come out in some parts of the country already, I guess) with a gluten-free version of their cereal. Hooray for doing away with that dang malt flavoring! Until we see them on the shelves, though, we make our rice krispy treats with Rice Chex. They taste just the same and it's an easy substitution.

Happy 4th of July to all!!! May you enjoy fireworks, and avoid the fires. (Lets hope the fireworks don't start a bunch of new fires now that they're just getting all of the fires here in Arizona under control.)
Posted by Picasa