Friday, June 29, 2007

Chicken and Egg Pie

Okay, I admit this isn't the most health-friendly dish I've made, but it sure tastes good. Moist chicken casserole topped with crisp, salty potato chips. Simple to assemble and bake-- however, it was sort of a hassle to cook up 3 of the main ingredients beforehand. I'd suggest cooking up the chicken, rice and eggs the day before, or using 'leftover' rice and chicken. Serve hot or cold, it's still yummy.
Adapted from a "Gooseberry Patch" Summer? Cookbook.

Serves 3
45 + 40 minutes
Preheat oven: 375 F
-large pot for chicken/egg/rice
-9" round cake pan -OR- 8 x 8 square pan
-large-holed grater

2 large hardboiled eggs
1/2 c. cooked long grain white rice
1 to 2 large pre-cooked chicken breast (-OR- chicken thighs)

1 medium red potato, grated
2 celery stalks
2 carrots, peeled
1 medium white onion

1/2 of a (14 oz) can Swanson Natural Goodness chicken broth (-OR- reserve 1 cup of the liquid used to cook up the chicken; seasoned with onion, garlic and parsley)
1/2 c. GF mayonnaise*
[Juice of 1 small lemon-- optional]
1 c. crushed potato chips*
*Both Kraft and Hellman's mayo is GF; wavy Lays potato chips are GF

Precooking (day before?-- I used the same large pot for each item to cut down on dirty dishes):
1. Place whole raw eggs carefully into the large pot. Submerge eggs totally in cold water. Add a bit of salt (amount doesn't really matter).
2. Bring the eggs to a rolling boil over high heat. Immediately turn down the heat to medium and continue simmering eggs for 10 minutes. Carefully pour out hot water, and replace with cold tap water. Keep rinsing (soaking?) hard-boiled eggs in cold water until they are cool enough to touch, bag, and place in the fridge.
3. Cook up enough rice to yield 1/2 cup cooked rice in same, rinsed out, pot. Just follow the directions and water amount directly from the package (should be something like 1/2 c. uncooked rice and 1/3 c. water). Stir cooked rice and store in the fridge.
4. Rinse out your handy pot. Place washed raw chicken breasts into the pot and cover with water. Bring water to a rolling boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling chicken for 15 minutes, or until no longer pink in the middle.
5. Pour out water **you MAY WANT TO KEEP 1 cup of this broth for the dish instead of using the canned broth. If that's the case, season broth with onion powder, garlic powder and parsley,
then refrigerate**. Cut boiled chicken into bite-sized pieces; store in the fridge.
To assemble and cook:
-Preheat oven to 375 F-

6. Scrub red potato; don't bother peeling it. Coarsely grate potato over a bowl of cold water; let it soak. Slice washed celery stalks into smallish 1/4th inch pieces. Peel carrots and likewise slice into smallish pieces. Chop up white onion. Set all aside.
7. Take out round or square baking pan. Pour 1/2 of the canned chicken broth into the pan (-OR- 1 cup 'homemade' broth). Measure out 1/2 cup of GF mayonnaise and drop into the broth; stir well till lumps disappear.
8. Drain grated red potato and place all veggies (potato, chopped celery, carrot and onion) into the 9" cake pan along with the chicken broth/mayo. Add in lemon juice if you desire. Mix well.
9. Remove the cooked eggs, chicken pieces and rice from the fridge. Peel the hardboiled eggs and cut into small pieces (yolk and all). Place chopped egg, chicken pieces and rice into the baking pan-- mix well.
10. Crush up several , ~1 cup crushed, handfuls of potato chips (I used thicker Wavy Lays). Top chicken-egg mixture with crushed chip pieces. Place casserole into the pre-heated oven. Bake for 40 minutes-- the chips should be golden-brown and sauce bubbling when done. Serve hot or chill in the fridge (flavor is enhanced after chilling, but chips loose all of their 'crunch'). Enjoy for lunch.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Simple Shell Alfredo

Another fast and super easy 1-person meal. This is more of a mock-Alfredo, since true Alfredo sauce contains butter and heavy cream. The good news is this still tastes good even without all the fat. I made this with zucchini, but broccoli would be a good substitute.

Serves 1
20 minutes
-medium saucepan
Quick and simple

1/2 of a medium zucchini (-OR- a small head of broccoli)
1/2 c. uncooked Tinkyada small shell brown rice pasta
1/4 to 1/2 c. mozzarella cheese-- I used Galaxy Nutritional Foods Moz. Rice Shreds for a LF option
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. parsley flakes

1. In small saucepan, pour in the shells and enough water to cover pasta by about 1/2 inch. Cut zucchini into 1/2 inch thick slices, then quarter each slice. Set aside near range.
2. Bring shells to a rolling boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Turn heat down to medium-high and let the pasta simmer for another 5 minutes.
3. At the 5 minute mark, add in the zucchini quarters. Cook the pasta and zucchini until both are tender (about another 5 minutes).
4. Carefully pour out most all of the excess cooking water from the saucepan-- the trick is to keep a little bit of water to make the sauce. Place pan back on the range to boil off the water pooled at the bottom of the pan (there will be some still caught in the shells). Turn off heat before the pasta begins to stick to the bottom of the pan.
5. Quickly sprinkle mozzarella cheese over pasta and zucchini while still hot. Stir to melt the cheese and evenly coat (add it bit more water if need be). Season with lots of garlic powder, onion powder and parsley flakes. Eat warm, while cheese is still melted.. use GF bread crumbs as a topping if you have 'em.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Thai Fried Rice

I feel cheeky for posting another fried rice recipe, since I already have one here. I've been trying to capture more of an Asian taste with my fried rice and I think I've found the missing ingredient: fish sauce. A few drops of Thai Kitchen's Fish Sauce (GF) and a squeeze of fresh lime juice really makes this fried rice tasty. I'll also describe a better way to soften the white rice so you can cook it all on the same day. Plus, this is cooked over HIGH heat, so the veggies and rice are 'crispier'.
So.. new and improved Fried Rice:

Serves 2
20 + 15 minutes
-large pot (without lid) for rice
-large saucepan or wok-- needs to be non-stick/well seasoned for HIGH heat
Quick and simple


3/4 c. uncooked white long grain rice

1 + 2 tbsp. peanut oil (-or- sesame oil).. HIGH heat oil

8 baby carrots, pre-peeled (-or 2- 'regular' carrots)
1/2 of a medium zucchini
1/2 of a medium yellow zucchini
1 medium white onion
1 cup sugar snap peas (-or- snow peas)
1 egg
1 tbsp. garlic powder
juice of one small lime
1 tsp. Thai Kitchen Fish sauce
2 tsp. soy sauce*

*LaChoy soy sauce is GF; I used Eden Organic Tamari Soy Sauce


1. Pour uncooked rice into a large pot. Add enough water into the pot such that it rises about 1/2 inch above the rice. Begin cooking rice over high heat. Once it comes to a rolling boil, turn heat down to medium-low, but continue to simmer-- lid off (we want this rice to be dry and undercooked). Sir occasionally, watching the water level.

2. When water completely boils off (should take around 10 to 15 minutes, once you turn the heat down), quickly remove pot from heat and stir well. Rice should be slightly tender, but not at all mushy. Add in 1 tbsp. of peanut oil.. this keeps the grains from clumping (important!). Mix well and place rice aside to cool.
3. Wash carrots (peel if need be) and carefully cut into 2 inch long matchsticks. Place carrots aside. Cut zucchini and yellow zucchini into 1/2 inch slices; half each slice. Coarsely chop up white onion. Bunch zucchini and onion together besides range (but not with the carrots). Wash snap peas and remove ends of the pods. Place peas alone beside the range.
-Also make sure the lime, fish sauce and soy sauce are right next to the range.-
4. Heat 2 tbsp. oil up into large saucepan or wok over HIGH heat-- must make sure veggies are cut and dried, or else things will burn!! Wait a minute for the oil to heat up (almost to the point of smoking), then throw in the carrot-- be careful, oil might splatter/spit. Stir carrot around in wok for a 1 minute.
5. Add in both zucchini and yellow zucchini. Keep stirring veggies around constantly for another minute. Add in the onion. Cook for an additional 1 minute, then add in the snap peas. Stir the entire combination for an additional 2-3 minutes... carefully taste a snap pea and zucchini to make sure they are crisp-tender.
6. Push veggies aside, making room, and break egg over the wok. Quickly scramble the egg and cook for a 1 minute. Stir cooked egg around till well mixed with the veggies.
7. Turn heat down to medium-high. Season all generously with garlic powder. Add in the oiled rice-- keep stirring! Squeeze lime over rice and veggies. Dash with fish sauce and sprinkle with soy sauce. Stir-fry rice until it's tan and tender (no more than 2-3 minutes). Remove from heat; serve warm.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Black-Eyed Peas and Brown Rice

Mild rice dish, full of black-eyed peas and veggies with a hint of spicy cheese sauce. These was wonderful rolled up in a tortilla and eaten as a wrap. I really like the squash/black-eyed peas combination.
Loosely adapted from a Williams-Sonoma recipe.

Serves 2 (4 in a wrap)
35 minutes
-large saucepan
Quick and simple

3/4 c. uncooked long grain brown rice
1 (14 oz) can Swanson Natural Goodness chicken broth -OR- veggie broth
3/4 c. frozen uncooked black-eyed peas,* thawed
1/2 of a medium spaghetti squash (just the neck part will do)

2-3 cloves garlic
2 celery stalks
1/2 of a medium red bell pepper
1 medium white onion
Dash of red pepper flakes (to taste)
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
*Any brand should work.. be sure to wash these well, though.

-Defrost, rinse and drain black-eyed peas.-
1. Measure out uncooked brown rice and pour into a large saucepan along with the full can of broth. Begin cooking over high heat. Once broth comes to a rapid boil, add in defrosted black-eyed peas; stir and reduce heat to medium-high.
2. While rice and peas are simmering, cut up veggies. Peel the neck of the spaghetti squash and cut slices into 1 inch cubes-- should have about 3/4th cup of cubed squash. Set squash aside near range. Peel and dice the garlic. Cut the celery into thin slices. Coarsely cup bell pepper into 1/4th inch squares. Coarsely cut up the white onion.
3. By this time, the rice and peas should have cooked for about 5 minutes. Add in the cubed spaghetti squash and simmer for another 5 minutes. Also throw in the diced garlic and season with spicy red pepper flakes.
4. Carefully add in the rest of the veggies: celery, bell pepper, and onion. Stir well; cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes (25 to 30 minutes total simmering for peas and rice). Veggies are done when both black-eyed peas and black rice are tender.
5. Remove from heat. White still hot, push veggies and rice to the side and tilt saucepan slightly to pool the remaining broth (add in 1 to 2 tbsp. of water -or milk- if low on liquid). Sprinkle mozzarella cheese into the pooled broth and stir well-- cheese should promptly melt and form a thick sauce. Mix well to coat rice and veggies with sauce. If not spicy enough, add in more Cayenne pepper. Serve warm as a rice bowl or rolled up in a GF wrap along with lettuce shreds and more cheese.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Candied Yams

Another recipe from my mother-- she'd make this sweet vegetable side dish for thanksgiving. I can't have heavy cream, so I substitute in a little some vanilla extract instead of the dairy. The cream makes a smoother, richer coating, but just the brown sugar and butter tasted fine as a caramel glaze.

Serves 4
50 minutes
-large pot
-large saucepan

3 large yams (sweet potato)
3 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
heavy cream (soy or dairy) -OR- 1 tsp. vanilla extract + 1 tsp. water

1. Scrub yams; don't bother peeling them. Place in large pot and add water until yams are fully submerged.

2. Bring pot of yams to a rolling boil (high heat). Let the yams cook for a good 25 to 30 minutes, but don't overcook. They are done when a knife can be easily inserted into the potato.
3. Let the yams cool, then "peel" them-- the skin should easily scrape right off. Cut into 1/2 inch thick slices. I prefer to half each slice (greater surface area), but you can leave them big.
4. Place butter into large saucepan. Turn on low heat and push the butter around till fully melted. Stir in 1/2 cup brown sugar and cream-- don't let the butter scald. Use vanilla extract and a little bit of water (or soy cream) if dairy intolerant Continue heating butter/sugar over low heat until thick and bubbling.
5. Add in yam slices. Stir to coat with sugar/butter. Continue cooking over low heat for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Serve warm alongside turkey or place in the fridge for later (I prefer these chilled!)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tex-Mex Lasagna

This was GREAT! One of those dishes where you can add and subtract ingredients. I went 'all out' (extra 5 minutes) and made up my own refried beans, but if you were in a hurry, go ahead and use the canned version. Could use a square 9 x 9 pan and extra layers of tortillas, but I opted for a 9" pie pan (since the tortillas were round). Any tortillas would do, rice, corn.. I tried 'new' dark teff tortillas and liked them. Be sure to keep the first step, with the tortillas in the oil.
Adapted from "Simply Recipes".

Serves 4
10 + 30 + 5 + 15 minutes (1 hour total)
preheat 400 F
-large saucepan
-9 inch round pie/cake pan
-small pot

4 large corn or rice or teff tortillas
2 tbsp. peanut oil (or olive oil)

1 medium white onion
½ of a red bell pepper
½ of a green bell pepper
1 fresh tomato
[Handful of fresh cilantro; optional]

¼ lb. ground beef
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. ground cumin

Refried Beans
**skip this if using a can of pre-made refried beans
1 can drained Bush pinto beans
1 tsp. peanut oil
1 tsp. water
Garlic and onion powder

½ c. cheddar cheese
½ c. mozzarella cheese

1. Defrost your tortillas and place your pie/square baking pan besides the range. Heat up 2 tbsp. of oil, over medium heat, in the large saucepan. Drop one tortilla at a time into the hot oil. Allow the tortilla to soak up a little oil on both sides (flip; no more than a minute on each side). Remove softened tortilla and place in the baking dish. Repeat for remaining 3 tortillas. Let them all sit in the baking dish.
--At this time, be sure to pre-heat your oven.--
2. Cut up vegetables: Coarsely chop the white onion. Wash and core both the red and green bell peppers. Coarsely chop up the bell peppers and set aside with onion. Coarsely dice up the tomato (don't bother to peel it). Wash and cut the fresh cilantro, if you have it on hand. Keep the tomatoes and cilantro separate from the onion/bell peppers.
3. Rinse off the ground beef. Place beef into the empty large saucepan used previously for the tortillas. Cook beef over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the outside of the meat is no longer pink.
4. Add in the onions and bell peppers. Cook the meat and veggies for another 10 minutes. Add in a generous amount of chili powder and cumin. When the beef is cooked and the onion pieces are translucent, stir in the tomatoes and cilantro. Cook tomatoes for an additional 3 minutes-- don't let them break apart. Remove pan from heat when tomatoes are heated through.
Refried Beans
5. Open and drain can of pinto beans. Place beans into the small pot and mash with the back of a large spoon as best you can (mine still had bits of pinto beans). If you want totally creamy refried beans, use a potato masher. Begin heating beans over medium-low heat. Stir in the oil and the little bit of water. Season with whatever you want-- I used garlic and onion powder, but feel free to add chilies or cilantro. Heat through until beans are nice and spreadable ~5 minutes. Remove from heat.
6. Remove top two tortillas from the baking dish (I used 2 tortillas per layer). Spread half of the refried beans evenly over the bottom layer of tortillas. Spoon half the meat/veggie mixture over the beans. Sprinkle generously with half of the cheddar and mozzarella cheese.
7. Place the last two tortillas on top of the cheese. Spread with beans, meat and top with a bunch of cheese.
8. Slide the dish into the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes-- just want the cheese layer to melt and flavors to blend. Remove from the oven, serve hot; top with sour cream or avocado and serve alongside Spanish rice.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Mandarin Orange Chicken

Slightly sweet, but good. The lemon and Cayenne pepper flakes add a mild tang to this dish. Mild and delicate fruit flavor tinged with lemon.

Serves 2
30 minutes
-large saucepan
-small pot for rice

1 cup cooked white long-grain rice

1 tsp. diced ginger
3 garlic cloves
1 to 2 chicken breasts
¼ c. sorghum flour
1 tbsp. sesame -or- peanut oil
¾ c. mandarin orange light syrup (buy a ~12 oz. can of mandarin oranges and reserve liquid)
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. honey
Juice of 1 medium lemon
Dash of red pepper flakes
1 medium head of broccoli
1 medium white onion
½ c. mandarin oranges

-Start cooking white rice as indicated on the package in a small pot.-
1. Wash, peel and finely dice up the fresh ginger and garlic. Place small pieces into the large saucepan.
2. Rinse off chicken and cut into bite-sized pieces. Place into saucepan with garlic and ginger. Shake sorghum (or other GF flour) over cut chicken chunks. Toss pieces in pan until the moist meat is fully coated with flour. Drizzle preferred Asian oil over the battered chicken. Gently mix.
3. Cook chicken and garlic-ginger over medium-high heat for 5-8 minutes, or until chicken coating starts to toast and garlic-ginger sizzles in the oil.
4. Turn the heat down to medium. Open up can of mandarin oranges.. a 12 oz can will do... and collect about 3/4 c. mandarin orange juice. Pour juice into saucepan with chicken. Add soy sauce, honey and the juice of 1 fresh lemon. Shake red pepper flakes over the chicken. Mix well. 5. Cut up broccoli into bit-sized chunks. Coarsely chop up white onion. Add both veggies to the simmering saucepan.
6. Cook chicken, sauce and veggies for 10 minutes, uncovered. When the sauce thickens, taste to see if you want more pepper, then remove from the heat.
7. Once the sauce is no longer boiling, gently stir in the mandarin oranges; be careful not to break up the fruit too badly. Serve warm over freshly steamed white rice.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Cherry Crisp

Fresh cherries = good. Pitts = bad. It took me a good 40 minutes to de-pit these cherries by hand, but it was worth it. Really no-hassle once the pits are removed. Old fashioned crisp.. this 'oatmeal' topping is crumbly and crunchy, not cobbler. Add in more white sugar if you wish, I liked this dessert slightly on the tart side.

Serves 4
40 + 15 + 55 minutes (total 1 hr 50 minutes)
preheat 375 F
- 9 x 9 inch pan
-medium bowl

2 c. cherries, pitted-- could use thawed and drained frozen cherries and cut 40 minutes off of the preparation time
½ c. white sugar
1 ½ tbsp. cornstarch
Crisp topping:
¾ c. brown rice flour
½ tsp. xanthan gum
¼ c. brown sugar
½ c. crushed Enjoy Life Very Berry granola cereal
Pinch of salt
1/3 c. butter, cut into batter

1. Find yourself some pitted cherries. That means defrosting a bag of frozen, pitted cherries -OR- using fresh cherries and taking the pits out by hand. I used a paring knife and cut into each cherry, removing the pit.
2. Place the DRAINED, pitted cherries into the 9 x 9 inch pan, spreading evenly. Sprinkle fruit with 1/2 c. white sugar. Also sprinkle with cornstarch. Toss/stir to evenly coat the cherries. Make sure the fruit is evenly distributed in the pan; fruit layer should be at least 1 inch thick.
-Preheat oven to 375 F-
3. Pour brown rice flour into a medium bowl. Add in the xanthan gum and stir well. Add in the brown sugar. Mix again.
4. Place Very Berry granola cereal into a heavy duty sandwich baggie and smash with something hard (I use a nice hammer) until the granola resembles small oatmeal chunks. Add smashed granola bits into the medium bowl with the rice flour mixture.
5. Cut butter into flour/cereal mixture (make sure it's room temperature); cut small bits of butter at a time. The topping should look like coarse, crumbly, cornmeal when completed. Mix well.
6. Spoon crumbly butter topping over the fruit in the 9 x 9 inch pan. Distribute evenly. Place pan into the oven and bake for 55 minutes at 375 F. Crisp is done when fruit juices are dark red and bubbling and topping is crispy and browned. Enjoy hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Italian Pizza

I like pizzas without greasy meat. Pepperoni-oil lakes are just plain gross, so whenever I make pizza, it's normally with chicken. The 'sauce' is actually sliced tomatoes sauteed in garlic infused olive oil; this makes for a light pizza without overpowering red sauce. Loaded with Italian herbs, fresh veggies and topped with cheese... find yourself a good GF pizza crust and enjoy.

Serves 3-4
preheat 450 F
40 + 20 minutes
-9" round cake pan or medium cookie sheet for pizza
-large saucepan

1 medium yeast-based GF pizza crust (I used half of a Gluten-Free Pantry Pizza/French bread mix); needs eggs, sugar, apple cider vinegar, oil

2 medium Roma tomatoes
4-6 cloves garlic
2 + 1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium chicken breast
6 asparagus stalks
1/2 of a medium zucchini
1/2 of a medium yellow zucchini
1 small white onion
2 tbsp. basil leaves
1 tbsp. oregano leaves
salt and pepper

Cheddar cheese, for topping
Mozzarella cheese, for topping

1. Mix up pizza crust as directed on package (use 110 F 'warm' water for yeast-- it actually feels kinda hot). Spread raw dough evenly into round pan or onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Leave to rise in warm oven (lowest possible setting) for 40 minutes; pizza dough should be doubled in thickness.
--Cook chicken and Saute veggies while pizza is rising.
2. Cut Roma tomatoes into large 1/2 inch slices, as if making for a sandwich; peel them if you wish, I didn't and it was fine. Peel and dice garlic cloves. Place tomatoes and garlic into a large saucepan. Let sit while you cut up the other veggies to bide time.
3. Cut asparagus stalks into 1.5 inch pieces. Slice in half if too thick. Cut zucchini and yellow zucchini into 1/2 inch slices; half each slice. Cut onion into thin strips. Place veggies beside the range, keeping the asparagus separate.
4. Begin cooking up the tomato slices and garlic with 2 tbsp. olive oil inside the saucepan over medium heat. Saute for 2-3 minutes, or until tomatoes just start to get tender, but not falling apart.
5. Spread tomato/garlic/oil mixture over rising dough. Don't press down, but evenly spread evenly. Place pizza back in the oven, if 40 minutes has not passed.
6. Turn back to the 'topping': Cut washed chicken breast into bite-sized pieces. Place raw chicken chunks into the large saucepan (now empty of tomatoes); don't bother to rinse it out. Cook chicken over medium-high heat until the pieces are no longer pink in the middle ~ 5 minutes.
7. Turn down the burner to medium. Add in the asparagus, pouring in more olive if needed. Cook for another 5 minutes, then add in rest of veggies (zucchini, yellow zucchini and onion). Sprinkle toppings with plenty of basil and oregano. Saute zucchini/onion for an additional 10 minutes. Total cooking time for topping (including chicken) is about 20 minutes. Remove veggies and chicken from the range and tend to the crust.
8. By this time, your pizza should have risen enough. Turn oven up to 450 F. Look on package/pizza dough recipe for total cooking time. Place crust+tomatoes into the oven and bake 'untopped' for the first 10 minutes.
9. Pull half-cooked crust out of oven. Sprinkle tomatoes with a layer of cheddar cheese, then pile on the sauteed veggies and chicken. Top with a generous amount of mozzarella cheese. Place loaded pizza back into the oven for the remaining baking time. Crust should be tan with bubbling cheese. Serve hot.