Asparagus

Asparagus is wonderful, and sometimes it is on sale for a wonderful price.  This batch came in at 98 cents a pound!  My favorite way to cook asparagus is on the stove top.  I cut of just a little bit of the bottom (no more than 3/4 inch)- just until the woody part is gone.  Then I put it in a skillet, lightly drizzle it with olive oil and then I put it on medium heat and stir until the color changes to bright green.  Then I use the edge of a spatula to press on one of the spears.  If it gives a little, then it is done!  Sprinkle a little salt on it and serve!  I usually use a steak knife to cut it just because it makes it so much more pleasant.  Enjoy!

Find the chicken sandwich recipe here.

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Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

It is pretty hard to find protein in liquid form if you can’t eat dairy.  When I recently had oral surgery, I survived the first day on guacamole, soy yogurt, and applesauce.  I wanted to eat peanut butter but all I had on hand was chunky peanut butter.  A quick google search inspired this recipe.  The first time I made it, it was wonderful and I couldn’t wait to make it again.  The second time I made it, I added too much ice, so it was a little watery.  I plan to make it again soon and put even less ice in it!

 

Ingredients:

1/4 c. crunchy peanut butter (Skippy Natural)

3/4 c. crushed ice or 1 c. ice cubes

1 c. non-dairy milk (cashew milk was very nice)

1 banana, broken into 4 chunks

1 tsp to 1 T. honey

 

Directions:

Place all ingredients in the blender, starting with the milk.  Blend until smooth and all ice chunks are gone.  Pour into a glass and serve!  This made about 1.5 glasses of smoothie.

 

Adapted from original recipe:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/221261/peanut-butter-banana-smoothie

Quick Sweet Potato Mash

I have a habit of buying potatoes and then letting them sit around for a really long time.  I know I should use them quicker, but sometimes they seem like they take forever to make and that effort seems wasted if it’s just on one potato.  When I recently had oral surgery, I was on a soft food diet for several days.  I quickly tired of guacamole, yogurt, and applesauce.  That’s when I saw my poor lonely sweet potato sitting on the counter.  I figured I could make a mash in the microwave pretty easily.  This is the result!

 

Ingredients:

1 large sweet potato, washed and pierced with a fork all over

3-4 T. non-dairy butter (SmartBalance)

1 T. non-dairy milk (cashew milk)

 

Directions:
Wash sweet potato and pierce it with a fork all over.  Microwave on one side for 3 minutes.  Turn over and microwave for another 3 minutes or until you can easily pierce all the way through the potato with a fork.  Carefully peel with a fork or knife, scraping excess potato off of the skin and onto your plate.  Mash with a fork.  Add in 3-4 T. butter to hot potato and mash in.  Add 1 T. cashew milk to make it fluffier (you may need more or less depending on the size of your potato).

This works well as a quick side for one or two people or as a snack.

Oven fries

I love steak fries.  The thin ones just don’t cut it for me.  Here is a simple recipe for oven fries.

Ingredients:

1-2 large Russet potatoes or 4-5 golden potatoes

4-5 T olive oil*

1 tsp salt*

1/2 tsp pepper*

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Wash potatoes well being sure to remove any dirt.  Do not peel.  Slice potatoes into thick strips.  Mix olive oil with salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Dip potato strips into oil mixture and place on an aluminum-lined baking sheet.  Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes or until you can pierce easily with a fork.  You could turn them part way through but I never do.

*Measurements are approximate.  I do it by how it looks, but this should be pretty close.

 

Rolls

Gluten free rolls?  Yes!  I served these to guests one time and no rolls survived the night.  These are really easy!  Buy Pamela’s Bread Mix and follow the egg free bread recipe using flax eggs, except instead of putting it in a bread pan, put the dough in an oiled muffin tin.  Allow to rise for an hour as the recipe says and then bake at 350 for 20-23 minutes or until the tops are browned and they sound kind of hollow when you thump them.  Allow to rest in the muffin tin for about 5 minutes and then use a knife to loosen the edges.  I gently pulled them out and they regained their shape quickly.

I used them as bread for my Chick-Fil-A copycat recipe.  You can also bake the bread in spring-form bun pans and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Happy sandwich making!

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Copycat Chick-Fil-A Chicken

I love Chick-Fil-A.  They have many gluten free options.  Unfortunately, none of their fried chicken is currently gluten free.  Therefore, we have to resort to more labor-intensive means to meet our craving for Chick-Fil-A fried chicken.

This is based on a copycat recipe I used while overseas.  I wrote it on a notecard and now have no idea what the source was.  I was wondering if I could adapt it to meet dietary restrictions.  The answer is yes!

Ingredients:

1 Ener-G egg

1 cup non-dairy milk

1.5 to 2 pounds chicken tenders (skinless, boneless)

1 c. Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour

2 1/2 tsp to 1 T. salt

2 1/2 tsp powdered sugar

1/2 tsp pepper

oil for frying

 

Directions:

Make Ener-G egg.  Combine with milk.  Soak raw chicken in egg/milk mixture for at least an hour.  Mix flour, salt, sugar, and pepper.  After chicken has soaked, coat it with the flour mixture and press the mixture on.  Let air dry a few minutes, and then quickly dip the chicken in the milk mixture (one piece at a time) and quickly remove and coat in flour a second time.  Do this until you run out of flour.  It’s ok if they don’t all get coated twice- it just adds extra flavor and crunch :-).

Heat oil in a frying pan (about 1/2 inch deep).  When it seems hot, drop in one drop of water and stand back.  If it pops, then the oil is hot enough.  Put chicken in the hot oil and allow to cook on one side for about 7-8 minutes or until the outer sides of the top side are starting to look white.  Carefully turn the pieces over and allow to cook for another 5-7 minutes.  When you think it is done, take out the thickest piece of meat and cut into it to make sure it is done (no pink, it looks like it would be easy to shred, etc.)  Remove each piece of chicken and allow oil to run off it into the pan.  Place on a plate, oily side up so it won’t get soggy on the plate.  After removing all of the cooked chicken, cook your second round of chicken until all the chicken is cooked.

 

To serve, I made Pamela’s Bread Mix bread and added pickles to my sandwich to make it authentic.  My husband added a tomato to his to make it more colorful.  Unfortunately we didn’t have any lettuce around, so we put asparagus on the plate to make it colorful.

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Cauliflower and Potato Indian Curry

Sometimes I buy produce because it’s a good deal and then I get it home and it just sits there.  Does this ever happen to you?  That’s why I typically buy frozen veggies, but sometimes the sale price is just too good to pass up.  Usually the problem is that I didn’t have a plan when I bought it.  The upside is that this habit has led to me finding several new recipes.  In this case, the cauliflower was a good price as well as the potatoes.  After they sat around for about a week I decided it was time to make something happen with them.  This is the result.  It has been labeled a keeper by my husband and me. 🙂  The best part?  It is naturally everything free!

 

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef

2 T. coconut oil

1 onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 cans of diced tomatoes with juice, or fresh tomatoes, diced

1 c. water

1 can (14-oz) coconut milk

1 T. molasses

1 cinnamon stick

3 T. curry powder

2 T. ground coriander

 

1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets

1 large baking potato, unpeeled, diced into 1/2 inch cubes

1-2 tsp salt or more

1/2 tsp pepper

 

Directions:

Brown the ground beef.  Melt coconut oil in a large skillet (I used a wok).  Add onions and garlic and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add 2 cans of tomatoes with their juices and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes.  Add 1 c. water and can of coconut milk and stir.  Stir in molasses, cinnamon stick, curry powder, and coriander.  Allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Add chopped cauliflower and potatoes and cooked ground beef.  Bring to a boil and stir occasionally until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork (at least 15-20 minutes).  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve over rice.

 

I made the original recipe a long time ago, but this time I adapted it for the ingredients I had on hand.  Here is the original:

http://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/166485/coconut-curry-lentil-stew-served-over-quinoa

Gluten Free Vegan Hot Dog Bun or Pita Bread

I had a really hard time getting a good picture of this.  It was dark outside so the lighting was good.  The bread worked really nicely as a wrap, but it wouldn’t stay around the hot dog without me holding it.  Plus, hot dogs just aren’t very photogenic.  Nevertheless, I am posting this recipe because it is the first everything free hot dog “bun” that I’ve ever had that didn’t disintegrate in my hand.  It worked really well hot out of the oven and then the next day it wrapped well after I briefly microwaved it.  The advantages to this recipe include it’s brevity, its ease, and its versatility.  I imagine you could use it as you would pita bread or flatbread- as a panini, pizza crust, pita, sandwich bread, bratwurst wrap, etc.  Also, in case you don’t know, there are tons of hot dogs out there that are gluten free.  This happens to be a Ball Park Frank.

Ingredients:

1 c. brown rice flour

1/2 c. corn starch

2 T. sugar

2 tsp xanthan gum (put the full amount in)

1/8 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

 

3/4 c. water

1 tsp cider vinegar

2 T. oil (I used canola)

2 eggs (I used 2 flax eggs)

White or brown rice flour for dusting

 

Directions:

Make the two flax eggs (2 T. ground golden flax seed and 6 T. water).  Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl and stir well, eliminating any clumps.  Add all the wet ingredients including the flax eggs and stir well.  Use oil to grease two 8×8 pans.  Dust them well with white or brown rice flour.

Divide the batter between the two pans and use a wet spatula to spread it out until smooth on top.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 15 minutes or until the bread starts to separate from the side of the pan and the top springs back to touch.

You may be able to substitute tapioca starch or potato starch for the cornstarch, but I haven’t tried that yet.

 

Original recipe:

http://2beglutenfree.com/gluten-free-recipes/gluten-free-flat-bread/

 

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This is how it looked when it was finished baking.

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Chicken Fajitas

Last night we had company over and shared this meal with them.  Their little daughter kept requesting the chicken. There really is chicken in this fajita.  I was in a hurry while taking the photo and realized later it wasn’t really visible.

I remember my mom making this and everyone in the family enjoying it.  The marinade itself is easy and you can add as many sides as you want.  You can half everything in the recipe if you only want to use 1 1/2 pounds of chicken.

 

Marinade Ingredients:

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 tsp cornstarch

juice of 2 limes or 6 T. bottled juice

4 T. vinegar

2 T. water

4 T. oil (I used canola)

3 pounds chicken

 

Optional toppings:

Red and Green Peppers and onions (recipe included), Black beans, Rice, Salsa, Lettuce/spinach, Cheese or a substitute cheese, Cilantro, Tomatoes, Guacamole

Tortillas or chips

 

Directions:

Cut chicken into thin strips.  Mix all ingredients in the marinade and pour over chicken.  Marinade for at least 15 minutes, but I marinated it for about 7 hours.

While chicken is marinating, prepare other toppings.

Slice one onions, one red pepper and one green pepper and saute them on the stovetop in 2-3 T. oil.  (I used 2 onions, 4 red peppers, and 2 green peppers because we had several people over for dinner and I wanted to have plenty.)

While those are cooking, cook chicken in a separate covered pan with marinade until chicken is cooked thoroughly (white all the way through- about 20-25 minutes).

 

Notes:  I put the rice in the rice cooker ahead of time and had the beans in the crockpot all day.  About an hour before serving, I added a dash of garlic powder, 1-2 tsp salt, and a handful of chopped cilantro to the beans and allowed it to continue cooking.

To make preparation faster in the evening, I chopped the spinach and vegetables and such in the morning so that all I had to do at the end was toss the onion/pepper mixture and the chicken mixture into their pans and cook them.

I toasted the corn tortillas in a pan for a few minutes to make them pliable.

 

Grilled Skewers

What to do with a lonely red pepper that you bought intending to use it in tacos but you forgot?  Buy lots of other colorful companions with it and make kabobs!  My siblings were coming over for dinner and I couldn’t think of what to make, but then I ran across this recipe.  It has been labeled a keeper by all three guys eating it.  You can mix and match the veggies as you please.  I intended to add tomatoes and mushrooms, but I ran out of room in my marinade bag, so I made a chicken salad with them instead!

 

Ingredients:

8-12 skewers, soaked in water for at least 2 hours

2-3 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes (omit for vegetarian option)

1 red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 zucchini, sliced in coins

1 onion, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 orange bell pepper, cut into 2-inch pieces

Marinade:

1/4 c. canola oil

1/3 c. honey

1/3 c. soy sauce (I used Kikkoman’s gluten free soy sauce)

2 minced cloves of garlic

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

 

Directions:

Begin soaking your skewers in water.  Cut all vegetables and chicken.  Combine marinade in small bowl and stir well.  Pour into a gall0n-sized bag.  Add cut vegetables and chicken.  Seal bag and turn several times until all pieces are coated with marinade.  Store in refrigerator 2-8 hours (I put the bag in a bowl to prevent leaks), turning several times to marinate all pieces.

Heat grill to medium heat.  Put vegetables and chicken on the soaked skewers.  Grill for 12-15 minutes.  At the very end we turned the heat up a little higher to give it that charred taste.  Make sure chicken is cooked (we cut a piece to see if it looked cooked).  If not, return it to the grill and continue cooking until it is cooked.  No salmonella, please!

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IMG_5155Original recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/8626/yummy-honey-chicken-kabobs/