Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Citrus-y Chicken Tacos


During my eternal quest for yummy but EASY dinners that my kids will eat, I ran across an interesting recipe for chicken tacos at AllRecipes.com.  The original recipe calls for lemonade and Worcestershire sauce; I couldn't quite get my head around Worcestershire sauce with chicken, so I changed it up a bit by substituting more traditional taco flavors (cumin, Old Bay seasoning, and McCormick taco seasoning).  I also used lemon juice, white wine, and agave nectar in place of the lemonade.

The citrus flavors make these tacos truly special; my husband asks for them quite often now, and both kids love them too!  Note: if you omit the cheese and sour cream, this recipe can be casein free.  I posted this first on my other blog: My Experiment in Gluten Free Living.

Ingredients:

1/2 onion, chopped (or 2 T dried onion flakes)
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1-2 tsp garlic powder)
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken, cut up (can substitute cooked or canned chicken)
2 T olive oil
3 T lemon juice
1-2 T lime juice
1-2 T agave nectar or honey (adjust amount to taste)
3/4 - 1 C white wine or water
salt, pepper to taste
2 tsp cumin
1 T taco seasoning (McCormick is gluten free)
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning

Directions:

Saute onion in olive oil until translucent, then add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds longer.  Add the chicken and saute until cooked through (3 or 4 minutes on med-high).  If using previously cooked chicken and dried onion flakes, you should skip this and just add your ingredients to the next step, below.

Add lemon and lime juices, agave or honey, wine or water, cumin, salt, pepper, and the taco and Old Bay seasonings.  Feel free to increase or reduce seasonings as you see fit. 

Reduce heat to medium and stir frequently until liquid has evaporated. Serve in taco shells with your favorite condiments (shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, diced tomato, guacamole or sliced avocado, salsa, sour cream,  etc).

P.S. Instead of pre-made taco shells I usually buy regular corn tortillas and saute them very briefly in oil on high heat (a few seconds each side), then I blot the excess oil very well with paper towels and fold into a taco shell shape.  We prefer these softer shells to the store-bought variety.

White Bean and Ground Turkey Chili


With the advent of cold weather, I've been experimenting with warm comforting foods like chili, and was pleasantly surprised when I tried a recipe for White Bean and Chicken Chili by Giada de Laurentiis.  The fennel seed gives such a wonderful flavor to this chili, and when topped with a bit of Parmesan cheese, it's fabulous!  It's also a very healthy chili, lower in fat due to the ground turkey and higher in nutrition because of the spinach.

NOTE: If you omit the Parmesan cheese, this recipe is casein free.  I posted this first on my other blog: My Experiment in Gluten Free Living.

I modified it slightly to suit our taste and to make it gluten free; here is my version:

Ingredients

2 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds ground turkey or chicken
1 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning
2 T ground cumin
1 T fennel seeds
1 T dried oregano
1 T chili powder
1/2 T Old Bay Seasoning
3 T sweet rice flour, or other gluten free flour (even Pamela's Baking Mix should work)
2 (15-ounce cans) cannellini or other white beans, drained
1 bag pre-washed baby spinach, torn into bite-sized pieces
4 - 5 C low-sodium gluten free chicken stock
Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ground turkey, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, fennel seeds, oregano, chili powder, and Old Bay. Cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Stir the sweet rice flour into the meat mixture. Add the beans, spinach, and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cover with lid tilted to allow steam to escape and simmer for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced by about half and the chili has thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle the chili into serving bowls. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. This is a great meal, especially served with gluten free corn bread on a cold winter's night!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Grain-Free Casein-Free Banana Berry Bundt Cake!

Well, some of you have seen this recipe before....it's nearly identical to my Banana Blueberry Muffin recipe.  But I wanted to do something a little different this time, so I baked the muffin batter in a Bundt cake pan.  My family loved the way it turned out: moist and tender, with a texture similar to pound cake, and bursting with berries!

Ingredients:

2 large (or 3 small) very ripe bananas, about 1 1/2 - 2 cups mashed
1/4 C melted coconut oil or grapeseed oil
3/4 C agave nectar
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 eggs
3/4 C coconut flour
1 C plus 3 T almond flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 rounded C blueberries, blackberries, boysenberries, or raspberries, or a mixture (if fresh, dry them well after washing)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease muffin pans generously with shortening (I use Spectrum).

In a large bowl mash the bananas and beat until smooth; add the eggs, agave, vanilla, and oil and beat with a hand-held mixer or stand mixer until smooth and "emulsified" (meaning there should not be a skim of oil on top, but the oil should be completely incorporated). In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Dump the dry ingredients into the banana mixture; mix together thoroughly, scraping down the sides of the bowl frequently. Fold in the berries, or you can simply layer the berries in the Bundt pan alternately with the batter if you wish.

Spoon muffin batter into a greased Bundt cake pan. Bake at 350 for approximately 40 - 50 minutes, depending on your oven, until deep golden brown on top.  You may test the cake the same way you test a pumpkin pie: insert a table knife and if it comes out clean it's done.  My cake took 50 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove it to wire racks to finish cooling.

Enjoy!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Triple-Coconut Berry-Pear Crumble (grain free)

"Triple" because I use coconut flour, coconut nectar, and coconut oil!  I've recently discovered coconut nectar, which is made from coconut sap.  It's interesting because it is very low in fructose, unlike agave nectar, plus it can actually aid digestion.  Coconut nectar is expensive, but I rarely use that much at one time, so it's worth it.

Ingredients

Topping:

1 C almond flour
1/2 C coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
pinch or two of nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 C of coconut nectar (or 1/4 C agave nectar)
1/3 C melted coconut oil (or melted butter)

Filling:

4 medium-large pears, peeled and sliced (OR 2 pears and 2 medium apples, THINLY sliced)
1 1/2 - 2 C fresh or frozen berries (I used fresh blueberries and raspberries)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
2 tsp arrowroot (or cornstarch if not concerned about grains)
2-3 T coconut nectar (or agave)

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and lightly oil the bottom of an 8 or 9 inch pie plate.

Mix together the dry ingredients for the topping, then add the coconut oil and coconut nectar.  Blend well; it should be stiff and somewhat crumbly, of course.

Toss the fruit together with the other ingredients for the filling.  Sprinkle a small amount of the crumble topping on the the bottom of the pie plate, then spread the filling in the pan.  Use your fingers to crumble the remaining topping over the fruit filling.

Bake at 325 F for 30 - 40 minutes.  After approximately 30 minutes test with a sharp knife, skewer or toothpick; if the pear (and/or apple) slices are very tender, and the topping is a deep golden brown, remove from oven.  Serve warm as is, or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.

This is a VERY nutritious grain free dessert, so I don't mind my kids asking for more!  If you use the coconut oil rather than butter, it is casein free too.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Crockpot Indian Butter Chicken, aka Chicken Makhani


This recipe is from the Crockpot Lady, Stephanie....the original recipe is here. Stephanie actually got it from a fellow blogger, Kindra, and modified it to suit herself. Kindra's recipe is here.

Crockpot Chicken Makhani


Ingredients

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (can be frozen)
1 med onion, sliced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 stick butter, cut into chunks
15 cardamom pods (sewn together or tied in cheesecloth)
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 T garam masala
approx 1 inch grated fresh ginger root
1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz)
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
2 T lemon or lime juice
1 C plain yogurt
1 tsp salt (more or less to taste)

NOTE: If you don't have cardamom pods, you can use 1/2 tsp ground cardamom, maybe a bit more. You can always add salt, more spices, to taste. Always feel free to modify it to suit your own taste buds!

Directions

Use a 5 quart or larger crockpot. You can either sew together the cardamom pods using a needle and thread or you can tie them in a little cheese cloth bundle instead, if you have cheesecloth in the house. Put some sliced onion in the bottom of the crockpot, then place chicken on top. Scatter rest of onion and garlic over chicken. Combine dry spices, grated ginger, tomato paste, lemon or lime juice, and coconut milk in a medium sized bowl and pour the resulting mixture over the chicken and vegetables in the pot. Drop chunks of butter randomly over the top.


Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 (I doubled the recipe and cooked it on high for 2 and low for 4). The chicken will shred easily when fully cooked.

Stir in the plain yogurt 15 minutes before serving.


Discard cardamom pods. Salt to taste, serve with white or brown basmati rice. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Best Baked Beans in the WORLD!

I cannot take credit for these incredible baked beans; I found this recipe posted on the Pioneer Woman's blog. Actually, Ree didn't come up with this one either....she got it from an online friend named Pam Anderson (no, not THAT Pam Anderson!).

These beans are truly to die for!! You've got to try this recipe!

Quick Southern-Style Baked Beans

Serves up to 18

Ingredients:

8 slices bacon, halved
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 medium green pepper, diced
3 large cans (28 ounces each) pork and beans
3/4 cup barbecue sauce (I use my own gf bbq sauce)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup distilled or cider vinegar
2 teaspoons dry mustard or 2 tablespoons Dijon

NOTE: Pure distilled vinegar is gluten free, malt vinegar is not. Flavored and seasoned vinegars may contain gluten, most typically in the form of malt, so ingredient lists should be carefully read. If wheat protein is contained in vinegar, the label will say so. The single word “vinegar” on a food label implies cider/apple vinegar and is gluten free. (from diet.com).

Directions:

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Fry bacon in large, deep saute pan skillet until bacon has partially cooked and released about 1/4 cup drippings. Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels. Add onions and peppers to drippings in pan and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add beans and remaining ingredients bring to a simmer. (If skillet is not large enough, add beans and heat to a simmer then transfer to a large bowl and stir in remaining ingredients). Pour flavored beans into a greased 13-by 9-inch (or similar size) ovenproof pan. Top with bacon, then bake until beans are bubbly and sauce is the consistency of pancake syrup, about 2 hours. Let stand to thicken slightly and serve.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Twice-Baked Beef-Stuffed Potatoes

This was inspired by a post on the Dutch Girl's (Kay's) blog....it's a great way to use leftover chili, or stews, or any sort of meat dish that might work as a filling.

Ingredients:

Potatoes (russets), well scrubbed and baked
butter
cream or milk
salt
pepper
grated cheddar cheese (optional)

Pre-cooked meat fillings:

Fillings can be as simple as chili, or beef or chicken stew.
Or season cooked ground beef with taco seasoning, or curry powder and ketchup, as Kay does, or any seasoning that strikes your fancy!
Even meatballs and marinara sauce!
The sky (and your imagination) is the limit!

Directions:

Cut hot baked potatoes in half, and scoop out the insides, leaving a shell approximately 1/4 inch thick. Mash the potato insides with a little butter and milk or cream, and add a handful or two of shredded cheddar cheese (or other type of cheese) to the mixture. Salt and pepper to taste, of course. Fill the potato shells about 2/3 full of heated meat filling of your choice, then top with mashed potato cheese topping. Return to the oven to bake for 15 or 20 minutes, until heated through and the tops begin to brown a bit.

Enjoy!