Monday, July 29, 2013

Meal Plan Monday

Meal PlanThis week I've got some of my own recipes, some favorite recipes I've tried in the past and a couple new recipes to keep it interesting.  I took it very easy last week since Hubs was away on a business trip, so I'm eager to get back in the kitchen!

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Friday, July 26, 2013

Gluten-Free Friday: BBQ Chicken, Corn & Caramelized Onion Pizza

One of my favorite traditions with Hubs is Pizza Friday.  We used to have it every single week, we loved having a super-easy dinner to kick off the weekend.  It doesn't happen every week anymore since gluten-free pizza is a bit more expensive, but I still try to work it in at least once or twice a month.

Normally we just stick to cheese pizza - it's easy, and both of us actually prefer plain cheese.  I always figured it was a good way to get in a meatless night, too.  But if I go for toppings, I opt for either my childhood favorite, ham and pineapple, or BBQ chicken pizza.  

Since I was trying to use up some leftover chicken and corn on the cob I had in the fridge, I went for the BBQ.  I also added some caramelized onions (well, half caramelized - I got impatient after an hour and decided they were close enough) and topped it with fresh basil for a little extra kick of flavor.  It was so delicious!  The corn was my favorite part - it added a nice texture and a little hint of sweetness that went perfectly with the rest of the flavors.

07262013 - 1

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 Udi's Gluten-Free frozen pizza crust
  • 2 tbsp barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • 2 tbsp corn
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • A few leaves fresh basil, cut into ribbons

Directions

Heat a medium skillet over low heat and add the sliced onions.  Cook, stirring every 15-20 minutes, until caramelized.  

Top the pizza crust with the barbecue sauce, then add the cheese and toppings.  Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes for a frozen crust, 7 for a defrosted crust.

Top with the basil ribbons, slice, and serve.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ginger Garlic Chicken Stir Fry

Hubs and I have both been making a significant effort to eat better.  We're generally healthy eaters, cook dinner pretty much every night, and never skip out on vegetables (except sometimes on Pizza Friday!).  But now we are also focusing on consistently eating less fat, sugar and simple carbs.  So when I planned a stir fry meal, I knew I couldn't go with my fallback sweet and sour chicken with white rice - delicious as it may be, it's got everything we are trying to avoid.  

Instead, I made up a recipe for a new, healthier version with more veggies, less sauce, and served it up with brown rice.  I was really happy with the results, and knew I had to share this recipe for anyone else who is looking to serve up something a little better for you but still really tasty!

07242013 - 1

Makes 3-4 servings

Ingredients

For the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce (I use San-J Organic Tamari)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp ginger juice (or 1/2 tbsp freshly grated ginger)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • splash sriracha sauce, more if you like it spicy

For the stirfry:

  • 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped into bite-size chunks
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • 1 cup green beans, chopped
  • Vegetable oil, for stir frying
  • Brown rice, for serving

Directions

Whisk together the sauce ingredients, set aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat.  Add a small drizzle of vegetable oil, about a tablespoon.  Add the chicken pieces and cook until golden, then set aside on a plate.  Add another tablespoon of vegetable oil to the skillet and add the onions first.  Let them cook until slightly softened, then add the pepper.  Cook together for another 3-4 minutes, then add the zucchini and green beans.  

While those veggies are cooking, microwave the broccoli and carrots for 2 minutes (I find that it's hard to get the texture I like from just stir frying these tougher veggies, so a quick trip in the microwave in my Orka silicone steamer does the trick).  Add the cooked broccoli and carrots to the skillet along with the reserved chicken and the sauce.  Stir it all together and let it cook for about 3 minutes to thicken up the sauce.

Serve over brown rice.

This recipe was a total home run, it was super satisfying, and I loved the colors and flavors from the wide variety of veggies.  The sauce was just enough to provide a nice coating and kick of flavor without a ton of calories or fat.  I will be making this one again and again!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Meal Plan Monday

Meal PlanWe did our shopping very last minute this weekend, so decided to stick to known recipes and take it easy.  I had a lot of fun last week, but I'm trying to stay out of the kitchen as much as possible this week!

Monday

  • Baked Chicken Breasts
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Broccoli

Tuesday

  • Chicken Sausage
  • Yellow Rice
  • Green Beans

Wednesday

  • Leftovers

Thursday

Friday

  • Baked Salmon
  • Brown Rice
  • Green Beans

Saturday

  • Grilled London Broil
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Broccoli

Sunday

  • Chicken Stirfry with Broccoli, Green Beans, Onions & Peppers
  • Brown Rice

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Raleigh/Durham's Gluten-Free Expo - August 17, 2013

I hope everyone enjoyed reading my recipe reviews from Pam's cookbook, Family Approved Gluten Free Recipes!  I certainly enjoyed making and eating them :)  Every single one was easy to prepare and came out really well, I was very impressed.  Here's a link recap in case you missed any:





Now, on to the giveaway - the winner is Marsha Anema, congratulations!  Please check your email for a message from me.  Thanks to everyone who entered!

To get your very own copy of the Family Approved Gluten Free Recipes cookbook, you can find it on Amazon, or you can buy a copy while meeting the lovely Pam in person at the Raleigh/Durham Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event, being held this year on August 17 at the Durham Convention Center (they must have needed a bigger venue after last year's turnout in downtown Raleigh).



I am unfortunately not going to be there this year, thanks to my recent move to sunny South Florida it's no longer the easy trip it once would've been.  But I went to last year's expo, and it was an absolute blast.   I have never been around that many gluten-free people in my life, it was so awesome getting to meet and chat with everyone.  Not to mention the endless samples were mind boggling (and delicious)!  And it's more than just food - you'll find all kinds of gluten-free products, from books and magazines to laundry supplies.

I highly recommend checking out the expo if you are in the area - you'll get to meet a lot of great gluten-free people, try some new products, and even score some coupons.  Pam from I'm a Celiac is going to have a table there selling both her new cookbook and these awesome "Gluten Makes Me Sick" t-shirts (that I really wish she would also sell online so I could snag one too!).  There will also be big-name companies, like Udi's, Glutino, Rudi's, and Bone Suckin' Sauce, as well as a bunch of lesser-known companies getting the word out on their offerings.

Here's the lowdown on the event details:

August 17, 2013
10 AM - 4 PM
301 West Morgan Street 
Durham, NC 27701
ADMISSION
$10 per adult
Children under 13 are FREE to enter
College Students get $3 off admission at the door only w/ Student ID

Parking FREE on streets of Durham during weekends

Be sure to check out Pam's blog post for her expert advice on getting the most out of these expos - great tips!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Recipe Review: Mexican Shepherd's Pie from I'm a Celiac

So my original plan had been to do the Stuffed Pepper Casserole from Pam's cookbook, Family Approved Gluten Free Recipes.  Then I got home yesterday evening and realized we had run out of bell peppers.  Whoops.  Fortunately, I just happened to have what we needed for the Mexican's Shepherd Pie, so that issue was easily solved! 

Hubs got me into shepherd's pie awhile back, and I serve it every now and again when I get motivated to do something special.  But I've never had it with anything other than plain white mashed potatoes.  The idea of using Mexican flavors and cornbread was totally new to me, and I was definitely intrigued.  Bonus that the cornbread topping was way easier to do than mashed potatoes!

I didn't have any canned tomatoes or corn, but I did have leftover grilled corn, and some grape tomatoes that I chopped up.

                                       

The meat mixture came together very quickly - was just like making tacos.  

                                     

While the meat was cooking, I quickly put together the cornbread batter - I had a bag of the Pamela's cornbread & muffin mix, which made too much, but I just used half the batter to make some corn muffins and stuck those in the freezer.  Two for one!

                                         
The meat went in my casserole dish and I poured the other half of the cornbread on top, then scattered a small handful of cheese on top.  


After a quick trip in the oven to cook the cornbread, it was ready to serve.  

                                  

It cut up nicely, and the texture of the cornbread really worked well with the ground beef and veggies.  I loved the Mexican flavors - a very successful new take on a traditional classic!  It also microwaved up really nicely for lunch today, I was very pleasantly surprised that the cornbread did not get soggy.

                         

This casserole recipe and many more can be found in Pam's cookbook - don't forget to enter my giveaway, the last day is tomorrow!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Recipe Review: Veggie Mac N Cheese from I'm a Celiac

This Veggie Mac and Cheese from the Family Approved Gluten Free Recipes cookbook was a dish I had seen many times on I'm a Celiac's Instagram feed and always wished I was the one eating it.  I make the boxed gluten-free Annie's mac and cheese every few weeks and love it, and I finally went the extra step this time thanks to the recipe - it was so worth it!

Summer squash is cheap and bountiful at the moment, and really make for a colorful addition.

After prepping the mac and cheese, I just had to stir it all together and top with more cheese!  I used Sargento 4 State Cheddar, which is by far our favorite shredded cheddar cheese.
After 35 minutes in the oven, I had this golden perfection.  The recipe is time consuming, but only in that you have to start it well in advance.  It's still easy because you don't have to babysit it while it cooks!
The veggies really bulked it up - it ended up being about half veggies and half pasta, so one box is going to last a lot longer.  The veggies held up well and weren't mushy at all, and I really enjoyed the flavor combination and the added texture from the crispy cheese and noodles on top.  Only thing we noticed was that there was a fair amount of liquid in the bottom of the dish when we served it - not sure if it was liquid from the veggies, since squash and zucchini both have a lot of water content, or the extra milk that the recipe had me stir in with the veggies before combining with the mac and cheese - I also may have added too much, since I was just eyeballing everything.  No big deal, though, we just switched out for a slotted serving spoon.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway to win Pam's cookbook!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Recipe Review: Baked Mozzarella Sticks from I'm a Celiac

I was really excited to try these Baked Gluten-Free Mozzarella Sticks from Pam's Family Approved Gluten Free Recipes cookbook - I was always a sucker for ooey-gooey fried cheese sticks at restaurants and I haven't had them in several years!  

The recipe is very simple and quick to put together, although be prepared that it does take some time since there is down time in the freezer - necessary step to make sure they don't melt all over the place!  I used Frigo Light String Cheese sticks and Tall Papa Gluten-Free Italian breadcrumbs (which I actually learned about through Pam's blog!).  I cut the cheese sticks into three pieces before freezing to make them bite size.

After they were frozen, it only took a few minutes to run them through the breading station.



After they were breaded and frozen again for a short period, I popped them in the toaster oven and they were done in just 6 minutes, with one flip halfway through.  


They got a little extra melty because I got distracted at the end with my dinner prep so they were in there for an extra minute - so watch them carefully!  They still were easy to pick up and dip though.  They were really tasty, and a great healthier alternative to the cheese sticks I used to enjoy.  They're not exactly the same, but then again they are not deep fried, which obviously makes a difference in terms of crispiness.  I really liked that these were less greasy though, and I definitely felt a lot better about eating them.

Best part about this recipe is that you can prep them in advance and just store them in the freezer to pull out for a very quick appetizer or snack.  I only baked up a few since we were about to eat dinner, so I have another small portion waiting in the freezer for the next time I have a cheese stick craving!

Want Pam's cookbook?  Be sure to enter the giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Recipe Review: Greek Yogurt Pancakes from I'm a Celiac

The first recipe I tried this week from Pam's cookbook, Family Approved Gluten Free Recipes, was her Greek Yogurt Pancakes.  As a bonus, it worked better with Hubs' new request for higher-protein meals while still allowing for my favorite Sunday indulgence of a hot pancake breakfast!



It couldn't have been easier - basically she's worked it out to substitute some of the milk for Greek yogurt in a regular pancake mix recipe.  I ended up using plain nonfat Chobani Greek yogurt, since in my recent efforts to cut back on sugar I've stopped buying the flavored varieties, but I do think that this recipe would be absolutely fantastic with a flavored yogurt, especially the blueberry or apple cinnamon.  Also working with what I had on hand I used Pamela's pancake mix instead of Bisquick, and unsweetened almond milk instead of regular milk.  I used the same exact measurements from the recipe though.

They cooked up just like regular pancakes, and came out perfectly golden with just a hint of crisp on the exterior, exactly how I like them.  They were a little thicker than regular pancakes, and not quite as bread-like.  I liked the richer texture better, and even using plain yogurt and unsweetened almond milk, they weren't lacking in flavor.  I love that the nonfat Greek yogurt provided extra protein, and by skipping the tablespoon of melted butter I usually add to pancake batter it also helped me save on the fat content.  Two thumbs up for the first recipe!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway to win Pam's awesome cookbook below, ending on Saturday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 15, 2013

Meal Plan Monday & A Giveaway!

Last week really reinvigorated me with all the new recipes - and I've got another exciting week ahead with new recipes from I'm a Celiac's new cookbook, Family Approved Gluten Free Recipes, ending in a giveaway of the cookbook!  You can enter below, and the giveaway will run until Saturday at midnight.  I'll announce the winner on Sunday.  I'm going to review the recipes I've made from her book throughout the week, too, so you can get a little preview of what you can expect from the book.

Another difference you may notice in our meal plans - Hubs and I are both trying to work on eating healthier, with better-quality carbs, less sugar and more protein.  Simple swaps for the most part, and adjusted portion sizes with more lean meats and veggies.  I'm still going to make a starch for each meal, we're just going to eat less of it!

Monday

  • Baked Mozzarella Sticks Appetizer from Pam's cookbook
  • Baked Chicken Breasts
  • Veggie Mac & Cheese from Pam's cookbook
  • Broccoli
  • Tuesday

  • Baked Salmon with Tropical Fruit Salsa
  • Brown Rice
  • Green Beans
  • Wednesday

  • Chicken Stirfry with Broccoli, Green Beans, Onions & Peppers
  • Brown Rice
  • Thursday

  • Stuffed Pepper Casserole from Pam's cookbook
  • Green Salad
  • Friday

  • Pan-Seared Barramundi with Tropical Fruit Salsa
  • Brown Rice
  • Green Beans
  • Saturday

  • Dinner Out with friends - going to a concert!
  • Sunday

  • Grilled Pork Chops
  • Broccoli
  • Baked Sweet Potatoes


  • a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Sunday, July 14, 2013

    New Recipe Roundup

    It is so easy to fall into a rhythm of making things that you know, so you can shop and cook on autopilot.  Not that our go-to meals aren't good, but they're very basic - grilled meats, microwave-steamed veggies, and simple starches like potatoes or rice.  I try to make things a bit more interesting with seasonings or sauces sometimes, but nothing too complicated.  I find that when I go to some extra effort, though, it really livens up the week - I get excited about making dinner, and discussing the pros and cons of a recipe while we eat.  So this week I finally got motivated, went through my Evernote recipes folder, and picked out four new recipes to try.

    Brown-Sugar Glazed Salmon with Green Beans and Shallots, Real Simple Magazine

    07142013 - 1

    This one had a lot of promise, but I was a little bit disappointed.  It was fairly easy to put together, especially the salmon glaze, which was just brown sugar and balsamic vinegar.  I was intrigued when I first mixed it up, it made a gorgeous-looking syrup and I thought it would be perfect on the salmon.  It was good, but it was very one-note, just sweet. Perhaps because my balsamic vinegar is aged and therefore pretty sweet?  Not sure, but I think it would benefit from the addition of some more salt or acid, like GF soy sauce or rice vinegar.  The green beans, on the other hand, came out really nice - the shallots and garlic made the kitchen smell amazing, and it really spiffed up boring veggies.  It's one I'll repeat, but with some tweaks.

    Cashew Pineapple Fried Rice with Chicken, How Sweet It is blog

    07142013 - 3

    I make a lot of food from Jessica's blog, How Sweet It is.  Her tastes are really similar to mine, and her food photography makes me salivate.  I regularly wish I could join her table!  This one was another win, with amazing flavor and color.  My favorite part of it was the extra step to brown up the pineapple chunks - normally when I add pineapple to stirfry I just toss it in at the end to warm through, but caramelizing it is definitely the way to go.  And the cashews in the recipe were amazing, they provided the perfect crunch.  I added chicken to make it a complete meal on its own, and I ended up adding in some steamed broccoli because I didn't have scallions and wanted something green.  I mess it up a bit though - I undercooked the brown rice very slightly, so the extra step of crisping the rice resulted in some hard, chewy grains.  Hubs' take was that if we use brown, we should skip the crisping step, but definitely crisp it up if we go white.  My take is that I should cook the rice properly next time!  

    Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan and Herbs, Martha Stewart

    07142013 - 2

    I spotted spaghetti squash at a good price on a recent shopping trip, and decided to try to do something a little more interesting with it than my usual salt and butter.  This doesn't go much above and beyond in terms of effort, but it was a huge payoff in flavor.  Instead of roasting the squash whole, we cut it in half and scooped out the seeds, drizzled it with a touch of olive oil, then put it face down on a small baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  After 45 minutes at 375 in my toaster oven, I had perfect squash, and it was way easier to handle than roasting whole and trying to cut it in half hot (plus took half the time).  We sauteed some shallots and garlic in butter, then tossed in the shredded squash and topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  I didn't have the fresh herbs on hand, so I had to use a dried blend, but it still came out great!

    Cheddar Turkey Burgers with Mashed Avocado, Real Simple Magazine

    07142013 - 4

    When I saw this in a recent issue of Real Simple, I immediately clipped it.  I've actually never had avocado on a burger, and I just happened to have some ground turkey and Udi's gluten-free hamburger buns in the freezer, so I put it on the menu plan for this weekend.  Unfortunately, this one was the big dud of the week.  Not in terms of flavor - the burgers tasted absolutely fantastic, and I loved the avocado mash, it added great flavor and a buttery texture to the burger.  The issue was with the cooking process.  The patties pretty much glued themselves to the grill, and poor Hubs ended up coming in with one intact patty, one mostly intact patty, and a few extra small pieces that had been the third patty.  The rest we lost to the inside of the grill.  We're not sure what it was that caused the issue, since he used grill cooking spray and it wasn't fat free turkey breast, but we're thinking maybe it was the cheese mixed into the patty.  I will make these again, but will do them in a  nonstick skillet next time!

    Friday, July 12, 2013

    Gluten-Free Friday: Annie's GF Snickerdoodle Bunnies

    Annie's might not have many gluten-free options, but I'm sure the moms out there with GF kids are big fans!  I may not be a mom, but that doesn't mean that I don't enjoy kid food every now and again.  I totally love their gluten-free mac and cheese, which is easy, cheesy and wonderfully comforting.  I didn't realize that Annie's had other options though until I recently spotted Snickerdoodle Bunnies on the shelf at Target!

    07120213 - 1

    As a kid, I was obsessed with Teddy Grahams.  All the flavors were great, but I especially loved the cinnamon ones.  They were just so tasty, and looked like cute little bears, so it was even more fun to eat them.  Like Goldfish, though, Teddies became a thing of my past.  These Annie's treats may not be shaped like bears, but they are definitely a very reasonable substitute.

    07120213 - 2

    The first thing that hit me when I opened the box was the delicious smell - the aroma reminds me of walking into an ice cream shop, sugary sweet and absolutely delectable.  They are crispy and sweet, with just the right touch of cinnamon, definitely reminiscent of a snickerdoodle cookie.  They are made with both rice and corn flour, so they have a nice hearty texture.  I wouldn't call them healthy (they are cookies after all) but they are delicious and great for the occasional treat.  

    They are even fairly reasonably priced at Target - full price for a box is $3.59, and when I bought them they were on sale for just $2.25.  Not too bad!

    Monday, July 8, 2013

    Meal Plan Monday

    Meal PlanSo I finally got myself motivated enough to put some new recipes on the menu this week - I've been in such a cooking slump lately, hoping to get some creative juices flowing and get some new ideas for blog posts!  Still put in enough of the old familiar though so I hopefully won't get frustrated or overwhelmed.

    Next week I will have even more new recipes on the menu from I'm a Celiac's new cookbook, Family Approved Gluten Free Recipes!  

    Monday

    • Baked BBQ Chicken Legs
    • Roasted Butternut Squash
    • Broccoli

    Tuesday

    Wednesday

    Thursday

    Friday

    Saturday

    Sunday

    • Grilled Pork Chops
    • Broccoli
    • Baked Sweet Potatoes

    Tuesday, July 2, 2013

    Meal Plan Monday

    Meal PlanI know, it's not Monday!  I wrote this yesterday but was unable to post it due to some storms we had in the area that knocked out our Internet service.  Welcome to South Florida Smile

    This week I went shopping before working out my meal plan, so I stuck with things I knew exactly how to make.  The best part about old familiar favorites is I know we'll have a yummy week!

    Monday

    Tuesday

    • Grilled Pork Chops
    • Broccoli
    • Baked Sweet Potatoes

    Wednesday

    • Pasta with Turkey Meat Sauce
    • Green Salad

    Thursday

    • Grilling out with friends for the 4th!

    Friday

    Saturday

    • Grilled Steak
    • Roasted Potatoes
    • Broccoli

    Sunday

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...