Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pad Thai

I found some gluten free Pad Thai noodles at my local health food store and decided to give them a try!  They were delicious!  I used a Jasmine Red Rice noodle, but you could use any gluten free Pad Thai noodle.    I think I'm going to be trying several variations of this recipe!  That's what is so cool about this recipe; you can change it up.  You can add chicken or shrimp and make it more of a main dish, or you can also try adding other vegetables or sauces!  This dish was quick to put together.  I recommend having everything ready to go before you begin.  If you're serving this as a main dish it probably serves about 4.

8 oz Jasmine Red Rice Pad Thai Noodles
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
1 medium onion, shredded
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
3 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce or Tamari Sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Bring 8 cups water to a boil and add noodles.  Boil for 4 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water until cool.  In a large sauce pan heat canola oil.  Add cabbage, carrots, onion and ginger.  Cook on medium high heat until vegetables are tender.  Add soy sauce, sesame oil and chili garlic sauce.  Stir until heated through.  Add noodles and cilantro.  Cook for a few minutes until noodles are heated through. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Rocky Road Cookies

These cookies are so yummy I can't even explain how much I love them!  They are rich and chewy chocolate goodness!  Then you add the marshmallows, roasted nuts, and chocolate icing!  Wow!  I love the chocolate cookie so much that I can't wait to try different versions of it too!  I adapted this recipe from  Plan a little ahead when you make these, because they do need to refrigerate for an hour, and cool for 30 minutes.

Note:  These cookies are great with just marshmallows and chocolate icing if there are nut allergies in your family.

1/2 cup butter
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups featherlight flour
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups mini marshmallows

Chocolate Icing
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the cookies, begin by melting the butter and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, using 50% power.  Once melted, set aside to cool slightly.  

In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients:  flour, xanthan gum, cocoa, baking powder and salt. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla on low speed until combined.  Add the cooled chocolate mixture and blend until combined.  While mixing, add the flour mixture slowly and blend until just combined.  Cover and refrigerate about 1 hour.  If making the dough a day ahead, let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before shaping.

While dough is in the refrigerator, toast the walnuts.  Place chopped walnuts in a skillet and heat on medium heat until warm and fragrant.

To bake cookies, preheat oven to 325º.  On a greased cookie sheet place tablespoon size balls of dough about 2 inches apart.  Bake for about 10 minutes.

When cookies are done, remove from oven and press 3 or 4 marshmallows into each cookie.  Put the cookies back in the oven and bake another minute or two until marshmallows puff up.  Cool for a few minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.

Prepare chocolate icing by combining all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk together until smooth.

Assemble the cookies by placing the cooling rack with the cookies over a baking sheet.  Drizzle a bit of icing over the marshmallows, then place a few chopped walnuts on top.  Do it quickly before the icing sets up, so the nuts stick to the icing/cookie.  Once each cookie has marshmallows, icing and nuts, drizzle a second layer of icing over the nuts.  Allow icing to set up about 30 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sweet Pulled Pork

Who doesn't love Cafe Rio, right?  Well this is a great gluten free sweet pulled pork recipe that those of us with Celiac Disease can safely eat!  Yea!  I love doing the homemade Cafe Rio buffet for my family!  Here's the link where you can find the rest of the recipes.  I have learned that if you're going to shred pork you need to use a pork butt roast because it shreds easily.   

6 - 7 lb pork butt roast
3 cans caffeine free Coke (NOT diet)
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 cup water
1 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, separated
1 10 oz can Old El Paso red enchilada sauce (mild or medium)
1 can diced green chili's

Put the roast in a large bowl.  Pour in 2 cans Coke.  Sprinkle 3/4 cup brown sugar on top.  Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight or for several hours.

Drain marinade and place pork in a crock pot.  Pour in a 1/2 can of Coke and 1/4 cup water.  Sprinkle with garlic salt.  Cook on high for 8 hours.  Remove pork from crock pot, drain liquid and shred the pork.  Put the shredded pork back into the crock pot.

In a blender, combine the following ingredients:  the other 1/2 can of Coke, green chili's, enchilada sauce and 1 cup brown sugar.  Blend well and pour over the shredded pork.  Stir together and cook on low for about 1 hour, or until it's heated through and the flavor of the sauce is infused into the pork.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Black Beans and Rice with Garden Salsa

Can I just say I love this dish!  You know how certain foods and smells are tied into memories and people?  Well whenever I make these beans I think of my Grandma Carlson.  Oh how I wish I could talk to her again.  I'd tell her all about my gluten free discoveries and ask her a million questions.  I was diagnosed after she passed away.  She was an incredible cook!  These beans remind me of her because she loved to cook beans - and she was good at it!  This black bean recipe is hers. 

Another memory from this dish is spending a week in Breckenridge Colorado with my husband's brother's family.  We had such a great time together.  One night my sister-in-law made some beans, put them on rice and then added the salsa on top.  I was a little skeptical at first, but oh how I loved the combination of the flavors!  I also think of them every time I add the salsa on top.  Genius!

Okay, so just a note.  You don't have to use meat in the beans, but you can.  I especially love putting a leftover ham bone in the pot to cook with the beans all day!  By the end of the day it falls off the bone and adds an amazing flavor!

Black Beans

1 lb black beans

The night before you plan to serve them, place beans (rinsed and picked through) in a large pot and add 5-6 cups water.  Cover and soak beans overnight.

Your beans will need to cook the next day for about 6 hours, so plan accordingly.  (I usually start cooking them about noon.)  
The next day, pour out the water and add new water, about 6 cups.  
Then add:
3 large stalks celery, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper - wash, but do not remove the stem, or beans may be too hot
ham, sausage, or bacon (if desired)

Bring to a boil.  Turn down the heat and simmer approximately 6 hours until the beans are soft. You'll need to add several more cups of water during the cooking process.  Just before serving, remove the jalapeno and add 1-2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper.  (Grandma said do not add salt sooner, or it will harden the beans.  You are okay to add pieces of ham or sausage though.)

Serve over rice, and top with Garden Salsa.

Garden Salsa

1 yellow pepper, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons vinegar
Combine all ingredients and stir.  

Friday, June 6, 2014

Chocolate Mint Cookies

These cookies remind me of Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies!  Yum!  They have a little crunch to them and the subtle mint flavor!  They are a breeze to mix up and are a great go-to cookie when you need something quick!

1 box Betty Crocker Gluten Free devils food cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Andes Mints

Preheat oven to 350º.  Mix ingredients in a bowl with a spoon until combined.  Put about 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl.  Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in the sugar.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 8 minutes at 350º.  When they come out of the oven place an Andes Mint on each cookie and let it melt for a minute or two.  Then, using a spoon spread the chocolate all over the top of the cookie.  Remove from cookie sheet onto wire rack and let it cool.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Broccoli Salad

This salad is great because it uses fresh broccoli, and it appeals to kids because it also has bacon.  It's quick to put together and it's great to make ahead of time.  In fact you don't want to eat it right after you put it together.  You want to let the dressing merry with the salad.  I've seen similar recipes, but I like this dressing better than others that have more sugar or Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise.  

Mix and let stand:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup vinegar
1/3 cup sugar

2 bunches broccoli, wash and cut off flowerets
1/2 cup red onion
1/2 lb bacon cooked and crumbled
1 cup Cheddar Cheese, grated

Mix together and let stand and hour or more.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Crockpot Soft Tacos

One of my quick go-to-recipes is Taco's.  I wanted something quick, but that could make ahead and cook in the crockpot for a few hours, so I came up with this recipe.  It's great!  I made it at 4 pm, stuck it in the crockpot, ran to my son's basketball game and it was ready to eat when we got home!

I was going to use refried beans but I didn't have any in my pantry, so I just used kidney beans and mashed them up.  Use whatever you've got!  It's a little bit spicy, but wasn't too spicy for most of my kids (2 year old was the exception.)  If you want to make it really mild, just substitute a can of diced tomatoes for the can of diced tomatoes and green chilis.

I've found that corn tortillas are delicious if they are heated in a pan on the stove.  I'm not a fan of cold or microwaved corn tortillas - yuck!  Anyway, heat up the tortilla's and assemble your taco with your favorite toppings!  We love it topped with our favorite Guacamole recipe!

1 lb hamburger
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can tomato sauce
1 can tomatoes with green chili's
1/4 cup or 1 package taco seasoning  (I prefer McCormick)

Corn tortillas
slice olives

Brown hamburger and season with salt and pepper.  While cooking the meat, drain and rinse kidney beans and put in crockpot.  Smash kidney beans with a potato masher.  Add the following ingredients to the beans in the crockpot:  cooked hamburger, drained & rinsed black beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with green chili's and taco seasoning.  Stir together.  Cook on low for 2 - 3 hours.  Serve with your favorite taco toppings!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Chicken Tikka Masala

I don't know about you, but dinner time at our house is always the busiest!  Talk about craziness!  There's scouts, baseball practice, basketball games, Young Men activities at our church, meetings at the school, not to mention trying to keep the boys on task with homework and chores!  The crockpot has become a tried and true friend!

When I found this recipe from the Table for Two blog I was excited to try it!  It's nice because there's not a lot of prep and it tastes like you've spent hours in the kitchen1  It's also great to find an Indian crockpot recipe!

I used chicken tenders and just left them whole.  If you use chicken breasts, cut them into 1 1/2 inch cubes.  It is a little spicy, but not too much.  If you like it mild just add a dash of cayenne pepper or leave it out completely.  This makes a huge batch!

20 - 24 chicken tenders or 5 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed (about 3 lbs)
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1 (29 oz) can of tomato puree
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons garam masala
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Chopped parsley or cilantro (optional)

Place chicken in the crockpot.  In a large bowl mix all ingredients from onion down through the cayenne pepper.  Pour on top of the chicken.  Place the bay leaves on top.  Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours.  I used frozen chicken tenders and cooked it on high for 1 hour and low for 7 hours.  When it's done take out the bay leaves.  Whisk the cream and cornstarch in a small bowl then stir into the chicken mixture.  Let it cook for 20 more minutes to thicken.

Serve over rice.  You can top it with parsley or cilantro.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup

Every time I walk into the restaurant Cafe Zupas my heart skips a beat wishing I could try the Cauliflower soup.  I settle for the gluten free Tuscan Bean & Vegetable, which is very good, but oh how I wish they were all gluten free.  I've been on the hunt for Cauliflower soup recipe and have tried a few that were not so good, but I've finally found one that is delish!  This recipe is adapted from the Chef in Training blog and you can find the original recipe here.  My family likes a little texture in our soup, so I don't blend it toward the end.  That's why you can see a little celery in the photo.  The directions for both ways are listed below.

You can find my recipe for the breadsticks here.

3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/4 cup featherlight flour, or another all-purpose GF flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pint half and half
1/2 cup milk
3 1/2 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded

In a large saucepan add butter, onion and celery and saute for about 10 minutes, until very soft.  Add flour and stir until flour is heated about a minute.  Slowly add half and half, milk, water and bouillon cubes, stirring constantly.  Add chopped cauliflower and heat to a boil, stirring often.  Reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is tender.

Here is where you make a choice; texture or smooth?

     Texture:  If you like a little texture in your soup, whisk the soup to break the cauliflower into  
                    smaller pieces.

     Smooth:  If you like the soup smooth, place soup into a blender and blend.  Then return soup to the
                    saucepan and heat until hot, stirring occasionally.

Remove saucepan from heat and stir in mustard and cheese until melted and smooth.  Top with shredded cheese for garnish.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Kung Pao Chicken

This recipe is awesome!  It satisfies my cravings for Chinese food!  Some homemade Chinese food recipes seem complicated and time consuming, but this one is not.  I've adapted this recipe from Blog Chef.  You can find the original recipe here.

I'm more of a mild girl than a spicy one.  I was hesitant with the red pepper flakes wondering if it would be too spicy for all of my kids, but it was just about right.  It was spicy, but not crazy spicy.  My kids all loved it.  If you're a super mild person you could add a little less.

This recipe will serve about 6.  Note to self:  When I make this again I'm going to need more chicken to feed my family.  I'll add another 6 tenders, or use chicken breasts.  I'll probably keep everything else the same, but use 1/2 cup peanuts instead.

12 - 13 chicken tenders (cut into 1" pieces)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 green onions, chopped (use all of it!)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup GF soy sauce
4 teaspoons sugar
1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts

Prepare chicken by cutting it into 1 inch pieces, and place in a bowl.   Make sure it is fresh, or completely defrosted.  Add cornstarch to chicken and toss to coat.

Heat sesame oil in a large saute pan or wok over medium heat.  Add chicken and stir-fry 5 - 7 minutes or until no longer pink inside.  Remove chicken from pan.

While chicken is cooking, in another small bowl make the sauce by combining rice vinegar, soy sauce and sugar.  Mix well.  (I like to use La Choy Lite soy sauce.)

Add green onions, garlic, red pepper flakes and powdered ginger to the pan and stir fry for 15 seconds.  Add the sauce and stir together.  Return the chicken to the pan and coat with the sauce.  Stir in roasted peanuts.  Heat thoroughly.  Top with additional green onions if desired and serve over rice.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Copycat P. F. Changs Lettuce Wraps

One of my favorite things at P. F. Changs is their lettuce wraps!  This recipe is quick and easy to make and it tastes just like it!  To save time I sometimes use already prepared fresh garlic and ginger.  The brand of Chili Garlic Sauce I use is Lee Kum Kee.  Walmart doesn't carry it, but I found it at Smiths Marketplace.  The original recipe calls for 1/2 can of water chestnuts, but if you like a little more crunch you can add the whole can.  Also, if you like it hotter, add more chili garlic sauce.  I've doubled this recipe and it works great!  

1 lb ground chicken breast
1/2 medium onion, minced
salt & pepper
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 inch nob fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 1/2 tablespoons GF soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
dash of fresh pepper
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 - 1, 8-ounce can water chestnuts
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
iceberg lettuce

Cook chicken & onion in a skillet, stirring often to break up the meat.  Season with salt and pepper.  When chicken is nearly done add in minced garlic and ginger and cook until chicken is no longer pink.

Meanwhile, combine sesame oil, soy sauce, water, peanut butter, honey, rice vinegar, chili garlic sauce and pepper in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 20 seconds and stir until smooth.  Pour into skillet and stir to combine.

Add green onion and water chestnuts into the skillet then cook for 1- 2 minutes until the onions are soft and the water chestnuts are heated through.  Serve with iceberg lettuce leaves.