Sunday, April 26, 2009

Creamy Tuscan Chicken

Found this recipe on the back of a package of chicken (probably Foster Farms):


4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 C white wine
1 C sliced mushrooms
1 C heavy cream
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C Parmesan cheese, grated
1 C (packed) fresh baby spinach leaves
1 C fresh basil (rough chopped)


Salt and pepper chicken breasts, then saute in olive oil over medium high heat about 8 minutes per side; set aside.

Add white wine to hot pan; reduce it by half, then add mushrooms and saute 4 - 5 minutes. Add cream, garlic, and Parmesan; bring to a simmer. Add spinach and basil and cook on low until spinach is tender. Add chicken and simmer about 5 more minutes until done (chicken should be 165 degrees F internally).

Vietnamese "Meatballs"

I was taught this recipe many years ago by a Vietnamese friend; I call them Vietnamese Meatballs because I can't remember the Vietnamese name, LOL!


1 lb ground beef
1 cup finely grated jicama
1-2 cloves minced garlic
3-4 green onions, finely chopped
1 egg
salt & pepper

1 package Vietnamese rice paper (find in Asian grocery store - NOTE: this recipe assumes that you have the large sheets of rice paper, which are circular and at least 12 inches in diameter)

Dipping Sauce:
1 cup gf soy sauce or tamari sauce
2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves minced garlic
2-3 Tbsp sugar (add more to taste)

Large well-washed leaves of romaine lettuce, torn in half with center removed.

Vegetable oil


Mix together all ingredients in filling, make small meatballs 1 - 1.5 inches in diameter. Cut the rice paper into fourths, and wet with water front and back (only do a few pieces at a time!). You have to lay the pieces of rice paper out separately on a hard flat surface so that they won't stick to while they soften (a few minutes).

Wrap meatballs in softened rice paper and fry (medium-high heat) in oil until deep golden brown on both sides. Meatballs should be small enough to cook through in a few minutes on each side, to avoid burning rice paper, and oil should be at least 1.5 - 2 inches deep in the pan (a deep fryer would work well, too). Fry only a few pieces at a time, to minimize risk of sticking together. Drain well on paper towels. Serve warm; to eat, wrap each meatball in a narrow strip of romaine lettuce and dip in sauce.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mujadrah (Lentils and Rice with Onions)

Yummy Middle-Eastern recipe based on one I found on (there are many versions on the Internet, just type "lentils and rice" into Google):


6 tablespoons olive oil
2 large white onions, sliced into rings
4 minced garlic cloves
1 1/3 cups uncooked green lentils
3/4 cup uncooked long-grain white rice (you can use brown rice, but it takes more time and liquid)
salt and pepper to taste
1 - 2 tsp cumin
1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream (optional)

Suggestions for variations on the basic flavor: substitute chicken stock for some of the water, add ginger and/or cinnamon or curry powder, add other veggies (e.g. canned diced or crushed tomatoes), add raisins plus a bit of sugar for a sweet version.


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, and turn down the heat to low, cook them slowly until caramelized, about 20 - 30 minutes (this makes them very sweet). Just before the onions are done, add the minced garlic and saute for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside. Place lentils in a medium saucepan with just enough lightly salted water (and/or chicken stock) to cover them. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer about 15 minutes.

Stir rice and enough water to cover into the saucepan with the lentils. Season with salt, pepper and cumin. Cover saucepan, and continue to simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until rice and lentils are tender. Mix half the onion/garlic mixure into the lentils and rice. Top with yogurt or sour cream and remaining onions to serve. For casein free diets, just top with onions!

Salmon Croquettes

This recipe may be found in several different places on the Internet, but I love the version on Mennonite Girls Can Cook:


14 - 16 oz of canned salmon, drained
1/2 c. gluten free bread crumbs (NOTE: you can use other things, including cooked gluten-free oatmeal or leftover gluten-free stuffing or even mashed potatoes)
2 diced green onions
1 T. fresh dill
2 T. lemon juice
1 egg
2 T. mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste.
1 c. grated cheese (optional)


Mix together well and form into patties. Brown in a non-stick saute pan with about one tablespoon olive oil. About 3-4 minutes per side. This recipe is casein free if (a) your breadcrumbs are casein free, and (b) you don't add the cheese.

Edit (10/20/09): For a grain free version, use grain free crumbs; for example, crumble almond or coconut flour biscuits up to make the crumbs.

Crockpot Garlic Chicken

Yet another great recipe from Stephanie, the Gluten-free Crockpot Lady:


3-4 pounds chicken pieces
1 large onion, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
20-40 garlic cloves, peeled, but intact


Place onion slices on the bottom of the stoneware insert of your Crockpot. In a large mixing bowl, toss chicken parts with olive oil, salt, paprika, pepper, and all of the garlic cloves. Pour into Crockpot, on top of the onion.

NOTE: if you use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, add 1 cup of white wine or apple juice.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-6. The longer you cook chicken-on-the-bone, the more tender it will be. If you use drumsticks, the ones on the side will brown and may stick to the sides of the crock, burning a bit. If this bothers you, you can rearrange them with tongs an hour before serving.

P.S. I made this recently and started it around 6am; I fully intended to shut it off after 8 hours or so but was unable to. It ended up cooking on Low for more than 12 hours! And it was WONDERFUL! The liquid and the onions and garlic cloves turned a deep golden brown (caramelized) color...the veggies were so soft they basically disintegrated into the liquid. The chicken was incredibly tender, as usual. I thickened the liquid with cornstarch to make a sauce and served the chicken in the sauce over mashed potatoes.....YUM!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Liz's Gluten Free Microwave "Buns"

I got this recipe from the gluten free forum on; Liz (aka lonewolf) posted it. I know it sounds weird, but trust me, these rolls are FANTASTIC!


1 large egg
2 Tbs. brown rice flour or sorghum flour
1 Tbs. almond meal
1 Tbs. golden flax meal
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. sugar (or one packet Splenda)
1/2 tsp. cocoa powder
shake of salt


Spray a custard dish (or any baking dish that will yield a hamburger bun sized "loaf") with non-stick spray. Crack egg into dish and stir with a fork until it's well mixed. Add all other ingredients and stir well. Cook in microwave on high for 90 seconds. You may have to loosen around the edges with a butter knife. The result is dense but reminds me a little of whole wheat bread. It is fairly low carb, especially made with sorghum flour.

NOTE: best dish to cook in is a 6-inch cereal bowl or soup mug with fairly straight sides. If you mix up about 8 servings worth or more of the mix in a Ziploc bag, you can make this quickly with one egg and 1/4 C of bun mix per bun. Makes a good sandwich roll!

Sandra's "Juicy Lucy" Cheeseburger

This is another great idea from Sandra, who saw this burger featured on a TV show and promptly made her own version:


1 - 1 1/2 lb ground beef (no leaner than 80%)
onion flakes
garlic powder
black pepper
4 slices American cheese (NOT cheddar, it has to be American or you won't have the melty delicious gooey mess - note: I've used Swiss, too, which was really good!)
4 gluten free buns
Your favorite condiments and toppings


In a big bowl, combine the beef, salt, garlic, black pepper and onion flakes. (NOTE: instead of the seasonings listed I used 2/3 package of Lipton Onion Soup mix with the ground beef.) Divide into equal 8 portions. Shape each portion into a thin hamburger patty.

Take each slice of cheese and cut into four pieces, stack all four slices in the middle of each of four of the patties. Top with another thin patty and crimp the edges tightly to seal. Cook 3 to 4 minutes on the first side. You'll notice that burger will puff up, that's fine.

Turn the burger over and then gently poke the top with a toothpick or wooden skewer, so the steam can escape.

Cook another 3 to 4 minutes. Serve on a gluten free bun with your favorite condiments.