Monthly Archives: March, 2013

Asparagus Risotto

This was definitely the star dish of our meal!  I made this along with a whole roasted chicken I made in the oven.  I have this weird obsession with trying to roast whole chickens and yet they never really turn out as good as I hope they will. I think get worried about it being undercooked so much that I end up checking it too often and it dries out and is over cooked…  something to work on.

But, I digress… Thank goodness we had this risotto for our meal as it was the better tasting portion!  Three of the four of us loved it – check out the husband rating today… it was a first!  🙂  It was a bit putsy to make but so worth it!

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Asparagus Risotto

Recipe adapted from http://laurasglutenfreepantry.com/2011/11/asparagus-risotto.html

1 tsp Celtic sea salt
2 tsp parsley
1 tsp (generous) Italian seasoning
Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp butter
2 c aborrio rice
4 c chicken broth
2 c water
1 Onion chopped
1 Asparagus bunch steamed and puréed
3 cloves garlic minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
5 oz. grated Parmesan cheese

Steam asparagus until tender. (The easiest way to do so quickly is to place the asparagus in a Pyrex pie pan, add about 2 Tbsp. water, cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave about 4 minutes.) Allow asparagus to cool a bit and then purée in a food processor or blender. I kept out about 1/4 c. of the asparagus to cut in small pieces to add into the risotto.

In a large pot, heat olive oil and add onion. Sauté until onion is translucent. Add garlic, risotto, and asparagus purée. Stir for about 1 minute and then add 1 c. chicken broth. Stir occasionally watching closely until broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth one cup at a time allowing it to be fully absorbed before adding more. After it is all absorbed, add water, seasonings, and cut pieces of asparagus. Continue cooking and stirring occasionally until rice is tender. Add cheese and butter. Serve!

Husband Rating: After trying a bite of this, my husband told me that if he could make love to a food, this would be it. He never gave me a numerical value to that review but I will take it as a high rating! 😉

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Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins, using Almond Flour

I love muffins and figured that g/f muffins can’t be too hard to make, right?  These muffins had a great flavor and were eaten very fast!  However, I wasn’t super pleased with the texture of them – they really crumbled quickly.  They were moist but fell apart… so, they need a little tweaking.  I will follow up with updates as I try them again.  For now, these are an easy starting point for me.

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Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins, using Almond Flour

Recipe from Almond Flour – The Ultimate Collection by Jonathan Doue, M.D.  (a free e-book on amazon if you are interested!)

2 c. Almond meal/flour
3 Tbsp. sugar in the raw
1 heaping tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. Heavy cream
1/2 c. Butter, melted
4 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 c. Frozen or fresh blueberries

In one bowl, combine dry ingredients. On another, combine wet (minus the blueberries). Mix the two together. Add the blueberries and gently fold in.

Prepare muffin pan with 12 liners. Scoop batter into muffin liners. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let sit in muffin pan for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

Strawberry and Banana Baked Oatmeal

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Going gluten-free has really messed up my breakfast routine… All I ever used to eat for breakfast was cereal topped with berries, Greek yogurt, and chia seeds. It was a healthy breakfast but now I can’t eat the cereals I was eating before. I like eggs but really don’t want it every day so I am excited when I find a new breakfast option. And as a bonus, my boys liked it. They don’t typically like regular oatmeal. I think that next time I will add a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds to it. I will probably need to increase the liquids (probably additional almond milk or applesauce) as the chia seeds will soak up a lot of it. I will let you know how it turns out. As is though, this was a hit around these parts!!

Strawberry and Banana Baked Oatmeal

Recipe was adapted from something I saw on Facebook so I don’t have a reference for where the recipe originally came from.

2 c. g/f rolled oats
1/3 c. Sugar in the raw
1 1/2 c. Unsweetened almond milk
2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4 c plain Greek yogurt
2 bananas
2-4 strawberries
1/2 c unsweetened apple sauce
Instructions:
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, combine the wet ingredients. (Do not include the strawberries and bananas yet.)

Preheat the over to 375 degrees. Prepare a 8 in. circlular pan by greasing with coconut oil.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients.

In the bottom of the pan, spread a layer of thinly sliced bananas. Pour oat mixture over the bananas. Top with remaining banana and thinly sliced strawberries.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Slice like a pie and serve hot.

Food for Thought: I think this would easily freeze.  I plan to try it the next time I make it.  I will probably make two and freeze one before baking so that it is ready to pull out and cook up.  I will let you know how works when I try it!

Roasted Chicken Breasts with Olives and Cauliflower

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This was a new recipe to try and it was so delicious! And, it is sugar free so I plan to use it again when I start my sugar detox in a few weeks. it was hearty and flavorful and satisfying!

Roasted Chicken Breasts with Olives and Cauliflower

Recipe adapted from  http://www.elanaspantry.com/chicken-with-cauliflower-and-olives/

4 chicken breasts
1 head cauliflower
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. Celtic sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 c. Kalamata olives, pitted
1/3 c. Pine nuts

Rinse chicken breasts and pay dry. In the bottom of a baking dish, spread out thyme sprigs and place chicken on top. Spread cauliflower over and around the chicken.
In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients (minus the pine nuts) and stir well. Pour over the chicken and cauliflower. Sprinkle the pine nuts on top. Cover and let sit for at least an hour.
Bake for 45-55 minutes at 400 degrees or until chicken is cooked through. Cover with foil about halfway through to make sure cauliflower doesn’t get too browned.

Gluten Free Meatballs

(Forgive any typos or formatting errors… our computer is once again getting fixed for the third time for the same problem!!! I am ready to ask for a new one!)

I love meatballs and spaghetti so going gluten free I had to rethink one of my favorite meals. First, I needed a g/f replacement for those darn breadcrumbs in meatballs. I haven’t yet made any g/f bread or seen g/f breadcrumbs in the store but after some research found several options for what to use instead. I did a combination of coconut flour and flaxseed meal but some other ideas I saw included g/f rolled oats, chia seed meal, or saving the crumbs from the bottom of a box of Chex cereal and using those crumbs.

Gluten Free Meatballs

The other challenge with spaghetti was what to use for the noodles. I could do some g/f pasta but instead decided to try spaghetti squash for the first time.  I roasted the squash in the oven until tender and easy to pull apart to “noodles”.

The results of my experiment? Everyone liked the meatballs (which I serve with a  tomato basil marinara – store bought) and I was the only one to like the spaghetti squash base. I thought it was great but not so much for the men in my life… Next time I will have to try g/f pasta!

Gluten Free Meatballs

1 1/2 lb ground beef
1tsp oregano
2 tsp parsley
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1/4 c. Flaxseed meal
1/4 c. Coconut flour
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
1/2 c milk
1 egg lightly beaten

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Roll into two inch balls. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes on a cooking sheet (or until cooked through). Serve with marinara sauce on g/f pasta or cooked spaghetti squash.
Husband Rating: 5 out of 10
Food For Thought: These would be great for the freezer. Cook them up and freeze in a freezer bag until you are ready to eat. Simply heat up in a skillet over medium high heat and then add sauce.

Parsnip and Carrot “Fries”

Now that I have gone gluten-free, I am realizing that my side dishes are where I need to put more thought.  It was easy to depend on having some sort of carb (pasta, bread, etc.) on the side and then just cook up some veggies from the freezer.  But, now without the carb side, I feel like I need to round out our meals a little more with flavoring the veggies.  (BTW, you can do quinoa or brown rice for whole grain sides on a g/f diet, but I am trying to simply reduce our overall consumption of carbs at dinner.)

These “fries” were great for encouraging the kids to try.  I guess it really is all in the name and presentation!  🙂

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Parsnip and Carrot “Fries”

Recipe adapted from http://www.sugarfreemom.com/recipes/roasted-carrots-parsnip-fries/

1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks

1 lb. parsnips, peeled and cut into matchsticks

1-2 Tbsp. olive oil

sea salt/pepper to taste

In large bowl, toss carrots, parsnips, and olive oil.

Spread evenly in a single layer on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes until tender and slightly browned on the edges.

Serve hot.

Husband Rating:

Food for Thought:  This would be tasty also tossed with either garlic or thyme.

Cumin Chicken with Black Beans

Dinner tonight reminded me of one of my favorite summer dishes – Black Bean and Corn Salsa.  This had almost all of the same ingredients in a hot version.  An easy dinner, minimal prep, and tasty.  The recipe for a great weeknight meal!

Cumin Chicken and Black Beans

Cumin Chicken with Black Beans

Recipe adapted from http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/cumin-chicken-black-beans-10000000633289/index.html

4 boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts
2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 of a large red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 of a jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
3 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 c. frozen corn
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
salt/pepper to taste

Optional: avocados, gluten-free tortilla chips

Instructions:

Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.  Combine cumin and cayenne and sprinkle evenly over the chicken.  Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken and cook until no longer pink in the middle.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Add remaining amount of olive oil and heat.  Add onion and jalapeno and cook for 2-3 minutes until just starting to turn tender.  Add corn and black beans and cook until hot.  Return chicken to the pan along with the tomatoes. Remove from heat.  Toss with cilantro, green onions, red wine vinegar, and lime juice.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with avocados and g/f tortilla chips.

Husband Rating: 6 out of 10

Food for Thought: A great addition to this meal would be some quinoa if you are looking for a whole grain.  I would make it according to package directions and toss it in with the cilantro, lime juice, etc.

What Wilfords’ Are Eating 3/14-3/24

We have had a couple of crazy weeks here with LOTS of illness running through the house – strep throat, more strep throat, colds, pneumonia…  So, I am trying to get my feet back on the ground and am actually going to be able to grocery shop tomorrow!  Yay!  So, in the thrill of having fresh foods, I have written out our menu for the next week and a half.  Love to be feeling back to normal again.  Here’s what we will be eating:

Thursday (today): Chicken Stir Fry

Friday: Cumin Chicken with Black Beans*

Saturday:  Turkey Meatloaf with Sweet Potato Fries and green beans

Sunday: Leftovers

Monday: Thai Chicken Salad

Tuesday:  Chicken with Cauliflower and Olives*

Wednesday: Potato Chowder*

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Homemade Pizza (using a new g/f pizza recipe)*

Saturday: Whole Roasted Chicken with Asparagus Risotto*

Sunday: Pub Stew

Chicken Stir Fry

I got a whole bunch of g/f recipes from a friend (Angie K.) and have been looking for ones to try.  I didn’t have all of the original ingredients this recipe called for so made up a few of my own.  The resulting concoction was delicious and quite easy.  As far as my sons, one ate only the chicken from this dish and the other ate only the rice noodles… but hey, I am happy they ate something!  🙂  Tis the life of a mom of preschoolers!  I liked it a lot and am looking forward to the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Chicken Stir Fry

Chicken Stir Fry

Marinade:
1 Tbsp. GF soy sauce
1 Tbsp. cornstarch or tapioca starch
1 Tbsp. apple juice or cooking sherry
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh ginger root, grated
1/2 tsp. salt

Sauce:
3/4 c water
1 TBSP GF soy sauce
1 TBSP cornstarch or tapioca starch
1/2 tsp. honey

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 c. shelled edamame
2 Tbsp. sesame oil, divided
8 oz. rice noodles
1/4 – 1/4 c. unsalted roasted peanuts

Instructions:
In a large bowl, combine marinade ingredients. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and put into marinade. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Follow package directions to cook rice noodles.

In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots and edamame and cook for 4-5 minutes or until carrots are just tender. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Add remaining sesame oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink through. Stir frequently as the marinade seemed to stick to the pan. Return vegetables to pan. Add the nuts and sauce and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir frequently heating through until sauce begins to thicken. Toss noodles with chicken mixture and remove from heat and serve.

Husband Rating: 5 out of 10

Sausage and Tomato Topped Polenta

This was a delicious meal that everyone found something in it to like.  I made it a few weeks ago but thought I would finally get around to posting it.  When we made this, I had not yet started my gluten-free adventure but I have learned that polenta can be gluten-free.  I don’t know if the tubes of premade polenta come that way but if they don’t, you can buy the mix and make it yourself.  I know Bob’s Red Mill brand has one that is g/f. It was a nice twist on an Italian inspired meal without having to have pasta.  Yum!

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Sausage and Tomato Topped Polenta

1 tube polenta (check to make sure it is g/f)
1 lb. Italian chicken sausage links, sliced
1 can canellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. fresh minced garlic
1/2 c. chopped kale (stems removed)
1 small onion, diced
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
sea salt, to taste
1/4 c.fresh basil,chopped

Instructions:

Slice polenta into 1/2 inch thick slices. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Place on a cookie sheet.

In an oven preheated to 450 degrees, bake polenta for 20-25 minutes, turning once halfway through. Bake until lightly golden.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, use remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Heat over medium high heat and add onions and sausage. Cook until onions are tender and sausage is cooked through. Add tomatoes, beans, garlic, and kale. Cook until hot through. Season with salt to taste and toss with basil.

Serve 3-4 slices of polenta to each person topped with a scoop of the sausage mixture.

Husband Rating: 6 out of 10

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