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  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.


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


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).  Those who are sensitive to casein should avoid cheese and sour cream, of course.

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.  A lower calorie taco shell may be had by taking a stack of 6 or 8, wrapping them in paper towels and microwaving for 45 seconds to one minute. 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:


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


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 (no cheese if you're casein free!). This is a great meal, especially served with gluten free corn bread on a cold winter's night!