Sunday, January 30, 2011

BBQ Chicken - Crockpot Style

I'm sure this dinner is not new to you, but it is quick, easy, and yummy.  Whenever I make this, I always make enough for two meals.  If we have it over rice the 1st night, the next night I make BBQ Chicken Salad, or BBQ Pizza, or BBQ Chicken sandwiches. I have also used pork with great results.
There really isn't a specific recipe, but this is what I usually do.

BBQ Chicken in the Crockpot
4-6 Chicken breasts
1 16 oz. bottle of BBQ Sauce(we like Bulls Eye- it is gluten free & has no HFCS)
2-3 T. agave/honey(a big squirt will do)
I like to spray my crockpot with cooking spray to prevent burning/sticking.  Anyway, layer the chicken and BBQ sauce, squirt some sweetness on top and turn it on low.  Cook for about 8 hours.  I'm sure High will also do, probably only 4 hours.  Shred and serve over rice, or chunk and use however your heart desires.
*I don't like to throw in my chicken breasts frozen because the extra water can really water the sauce down.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Caramel Popcorn

gluten free, soy free, dairy free
For those of you with additional allergies like dairy and soy, you probably thought you would never have a great caramel popcorn again - you were wrong.  This is a staple at our house.  This popcorn goes camping, on vacations, to parties, and is a must for movie night.  It is so simple, soft and divine.  You have to try it!  It works great with butter, Earthbalance nondairy butter, and the soyfree Earthbalance spread.  I usually use air popped popcorn, however, on vacation I take along some microwave popcorn and that works great too!  The key to this recipe is to cook it on low, that way it keeps it nice and soft.

Caramel Corn

¾ c. marshmallows
½ c. butter
½ c. brown sugar
2-3 quarts popcorn
Stir on low until completely blended and melted.  Add popcorn and stir until well coated.  Put on wax paper and let cool.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cowboy Caviar

This week I got together with some friends for lunch and I made this.  It was a huge hit.  It is fresh, filling, healthy, yummy, and quick and easy to make.  There are different versions out there of bean salsas, but this one you have got to try.
Cowboy Caviar
6 roma tomatoes, diced                       1 bunch cilantro
1 can black beans                                2 cloves garlic
1 can black eyed peas                          2/3 c. red onion
1 can shoepeg corn, I use frozen because I think it tastes better

¼ c. EVOO
¼ c. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. cumin
¾ tsp. salt
juice of 2-3 limes
Mix together and refrigerate 2-3 hours.  Best with Fritos!

Scoop up and enjoy!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Chicken Pasta Salad

Some of you might have had this great pasta salad in your gluten filled days because there are a lot of versions out there.    It is usually a great summer salad, but we needed variety and this really hit the spot!

Chicken Pasta Salad
1 pkg. Tinkyada pasta(I usually use the fusiliini, but use what you like)
Cook according to pkg. directions, rinse and set aside. I usually don't use all the pasta, just add how much you want.
2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
4-6 gr. Onions, diced
1 ½ c. red grapes, cut in half
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 can pineapple tidbits, drained
1 ½ c. diced celery
Mix everything together and add sauce, I use two different sauces, both work great. Salt and pepper to taste, cover and refrigerate. This is a great meal but the pasta starts going hard after 24 hours, so only make what you can eat for dinner and lunch the next day.  You really don’t have to follow the directions, just use the list of ingredients and put in what you like! 
1:  Brianna’s poppy seed dressing    or 2: 1/2 c. mayo + 1/2 c. Kraft coleslaw dressing 

 Gluten free pasta seems to soak up more sauce/dressing than other pasta, you might have to add more dressing after it sits for a while.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Homemade Granola Bars

Having 5 kids and needing snacks as we run out the door, these granola bars do the trick.  They travel on vacations, up mountains, in lunchboxes, diaper bags and anywhere we go.  I know there are a lot of  "healthy" granola bar recipes out there, but I need a granola bar that tastes good, and one that my kids (and me) will eat.  I am the picky one and you won't see a lot of nuts and stuff in my recipes.  The recipe is versatile and you however, may add all your healthy nuts and seeds to your hearts content.

Granola Bars
2 c. GF oats
2 c. rice/corn chex(or any cereal you like)
1/2 c. rice krispies (make sure they are gf)
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. flax meal, or 2 T. chia seeds
In a ziploc bag, crush the chex with a rolling pin.  Add them to a large mixing bowl along with the oats, rice krispies, chocolate chips and seeds.  In a small saucepan combine brown sugar and honey and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Stir in peanut butter and vanilla; blend until smooth.
Pour over cereal mixture; mix well and press(I mean really press firmly) into a 13" x 9" pan(lightly spray with non-stick spray)  Cool(a few hours),then cut into bars.  I end up getting 16 bars out of one pan.  I then cut some foil, wrap them up, and store in a Ziploc bag.  I usually double this recipe and mass produce.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Chicken & Black Bean Stir-fry

This is a very healthy stir-fry that is free of most allergens!  Have fun adding additional spices or vegetables.  I am not the best with measurements as you will see in my recipes.  I cook by portions for my family.  I decide how much meat each person needs, then I add the amount of vegetables(this depends on which ones I like best or have on hand!)  You really can't mess this recipe up because the sauce is basically salsa, so add as much as your heart desires and season accordingly.
Chicken and Black Bean Stir-Fry
1-2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
½ c. rice flour(I use brown)
oregano, pepper & salt
1-2 T. olive oil
In a small bowl mix flour and spices together, add chicken and stir to coat.  In a large skillet heat olive oil and stir-fry chicken until cooked through.
Remove the chicken and place on a separate plate, then add the following ingredients to the pan.  Stir-fry for 3-4 min.
2 colored  peppers, sliced
1 small onion(red, yellow, or white), chopped
Add:   1 can drained black beans
          1 c. frozen corn
          2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
Stir-fry for an additional 2 min.
Add:   1 c. salsa                          ½ c. cilantro
          1 chopped tomato             the cooked chicken
Stir and cook 1 more minute.   
Salt and pepper to taste(it will need a bunch).  Feel free to add additional spices when cooking.  I usually add some extra oregano or Italian spices.  Serve over rice(We love the short grain brown rice).

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dinner Rolls

I think making gluten free bread will always be a work in progress, but this is my latest attempt/revision and it worked out great.  I have a good white bread recipe, but it isn't the healthiest so I don't make it all the time.  I was determined to make a healthy dinner roll to go with our winter soups and our summer salads.  With a lot less starch, lots of whole grains and some flax, these rolls are yummy and healthy.  Who knows, maybe I'll change it again, but for now we are all happy.

1 T. active yeast                                 1 tsp. salt
1 T. sugar                                            1 egg
1 cup warm water                               3 T. shortening
½ c. potato starch                               ½ tsp. cider vinegar
½ c. millet flour                                    2 ½ tsp. xanthan gum
½ c. sorghum flour                               ¼ c. corn flour
¼ c. teff flour                                       2 T.  flax meal

Combine yeast, sugar and water and let stand.  Mix remaining ingredients in mixer, then add yeast mixture, and beat for 2 minutes.  Drop into 12 greased muffin cups.  Cover with foil and let rise until dough doubles in size, bake at 375 for 20 min.  

*If you don't have flax or don't like it, just leave it out.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Orange Chicken & a Multi-grain Pilaf

We eat a lot of chicken and rice at our house, and we BBQ all year round.  This just happened to be dinner the other night (plus a vegie), so I thought I'd pass it along.  All my kids will even eat both of these.  I cook the multi-grain pilaf in a rice cooker, but it will also work on the stove.  We grilled the chicken, but you can also cook it in the oven.

Orange Chicken Marinade
½ c. orange juice
1/3 c. honey/agave
¼ c. lemon juice
¼ c. soy sauce(make sure it is gf)
2 T. fresh ginger
2 T. chopped garlic
½ t. pepper
¼ t. salt
Mix together and place in Ziploc bag with chicken breasts.  Marinate several hours or over night.  Grill.
I always pound my chicken breasts until they are fairly thin and then cut them in half.  When you do this and marinate for several hours your chicken will be extra yummy and full of flavor!  If you are going to bake them, just place the chicken in baking dish, pour a little marinade over the top and bake at 350 for 25-35 min. or until chicken is done.

Multi-Grain Pilaf

2 T. oil
¾ c. white basmati rice(or any white rice will do)
¾ c. quinoa(rinsed and drained)
3 c. chicken broth(I always use Costco's Organic Better than Bouillon + required water and then I add some extra bouillon for some great flavor)
½ c. dried cranberries
¾ c. pine nuts
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, heat oil and add rice and quinoa – toast.  Add broth and bring to boil.  Reduce to low and simmer 15-20min or until liquid is absorbed.  Add cranberries and nuts, fluff and serve.
**I always cook mine in my rice cooker.  I toast the grains, then according to my rice cooker's amounts, I do a cup of rice and a cup quinoa and add the required amount of broth.  It will cook as white rice.  then fluff and add remaining ingredients.   It turns out perfect every time.