Friday, September 30, 2011

Back from Wyoming and Happy to be in the Kitchen!

Evan and I are back from a trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It was amazing; the most beautiful place I've ever seen. We ate breakfast and lunch in, and dinner out every night. With eating out every night, by day 6, we were excited to get home and eat our own home cooked food. It is hard to eat at restaurants with a wheat allergy. You are never completely sure what people are cooking with and we usually like my food better anyway. This dinner is a perfect example of why we love home cooking... simple, fresh, good food. Last night we had dirty "rice" with roasted acorn squash. I will share the squash recipe. Tonight we had trout with roasted golden potatoes and brussel sprout salad. It was delicious!

Brussel Sprout Salad
Serves: 4
1 lb brussel sprouts
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/8 cup sliced green onion (approx 1 stalk)
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp honey
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chop off stalk ends of brussel sprouts. Peel away leaves of brussel sprout individually. This is time consuming, but worth it! You will get to a point where the leaves peel away to reveal a tiny core and you can throw that out. Place leaves in a large pot of boiling water. Cook 2 minutes. Place leaves in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Place leaves in a colander to drain. Take a large pot or skillet and heat over medium heat. Add pecans and lightly toast- approx 3-5 minutes. Remove pecans to a large bowl. Place sprout leaves, cranberries and onions in pan and heat thoroughly. While they are heating combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Place all ingredients in large bowl with pecans. Toss and serve.

Baked Trout
Serves: 4
1 lb fresh trout fillet
seasoning of choice
1 lemon

Spray a cookie/baking sheet with cooking spray. Place fish skin side down on pan. Sprinkle fish with desired seasoning. I like salt and pepper; Evan put some 3 Beer Rub on his. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes or until easily flaked with a fork. Squeeze a little fresh lemon over fish.

Roasted Golden Potatoes
Serves: 4
2 lb yukon gold potatoes
freshly ground black pepper
seasoning salt
Wash potatoes. Leave skin on. Chop potatoes into 1/2- 1 inch pieces. Place on a baking sheet. Toss potatoes with 2 Tbs olive oil. Spread potatoes into a single layer. Sprinkle with pepper and seasoning salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and toss. Cook another 20 minutes.

Roasted Acorn Squash
Serves: 4
2 acorn squash
olive oil
Cut squash in half. Scoop out seeds. Place on a baking sheet, skin side down. Sprinkle with olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees for one hours or until flesh is tender. I like to sprinkle mine with a little cinnamon!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Stir Fry with Quinoa and Peanut Sauce

Tonight's dinner was better than this picture:) After this awesome dinner, we went to the camera store and bought a lens to take close up pictures. I am excited to have better pictures for the blog! Now, back to dinner. It was great!!! I love stir fries because they can be different each time you make it by changing the meat, veggies or sauce. I used to serve my stir fries over brown rice but recently switched to quinoa because it is healthier and I like the taste better. The peanut sauce was wonderful. The next time I will make a double batch of the sauce and there will definitely be a next time!

Servings: 4
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 lb grass fed flank steak, cut into small strips (make sure to cut against the grain of the meat so the        meat will be tender when you cook it)
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/4 cup grated organic carrot, I used the pregrated you can buy at the store
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 small head purple cabbage cut into strips
Peanut Sauce:
1 Tbs natural organic peanut butter
1 Tbs gluten free soy sauce
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4- 1/2 tsp rice vinegar

Place quinoa and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with fork.
Salt and Pepper flank steak. Heat large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tsp coconut oil to pan. Cook steak strips 1 minute per side. Remove from pan.
Add 1 tsp coconut oil to the same pan. Add all the vegetables. Cook 10 minutes until veggies are tender but still a little raw/crunchy.
Mix peanut sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Add mixture to skillet with veggies. Add back beef. Stir. Cook 1-2 minutes.
Serve quinoa with vegetable beef mixture on top.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Butternut Squash Chili and Cornmuffins

As Evan said while he was eating dinner tonight, "You are in a soup mood." It is true! The slightly cooler weather and my love of the crock pot has controlled my cooking tonight. I love chili and decided to try to make one with butternut squash. It was delicious! The great thing about this soup is you can just throw in whatever you have in your refrigerator and want to try. I love cornbread so much I decided to make cornbread muffins to go with the chili. I used Gluten Free Bisquik. If you have not tried it yet, you need to. It makes awesome pancakes; a wonderful treat for a girl with a wheat allergy! I will definitely be making this dinner again this fall.... If only I can remember to write down the recipe!

Servings: 6-8 large bowls/dinner servings
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 large or two small onions, diced
2 bell peppers of any color, diced
2 14 oz cans no salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 14 oz can no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14 oz can no salt added kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 small can corn, undrained
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
organic, low sodium vegetable broth

Add all ingredients through spices into the crock pot. Add broth until ingredients are almost covered, about 2 cups. Stir. Cook on low for 8 hours.

servings: 10 muffins
1 cup gluten free bisquik mix
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
3/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup melted butter, allowed to cool to room temperature

Mix bisquik, cornmeal and baking soda in a small bowl.
Mix eggs, milk and butter in a medium bowl.
Add dry ingredients to wet. Stir.
Using a small cookie scoop, scoop dough into a nonstick muffin tin (do not spray tin if it is a nonstick pan) until cups are 3/4 full.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. I like to eat mine with blackberry jam- just like my mamma :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mexican Chicken and "Rice"

I have found another blog I love: She cooks healthy, gluten free recipes. Tonight I made her Mexican Chicken and "Rice." I did change her recipe a little and am going to share my revised version with you tonight. You will learn that I change almost every recipe I find to suit our tastes. This was a wonderful dish with lots of flavor... and you will never know it is not really rice!

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 large head cauliflower
4oz can diced green chiles
cumin, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, sea salt and ground pepper to taste
1 tomato, diced
1 avocado, diced and tossed with lime juice

Heat large skillet over medium heat. Spray pan with cooking spray. Cook chicken and then remove from pan to a plate.
Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to pan. Add onion, peppers and celery. Cook 10 minutes until tender. While vegetables cook, remove cauliflower from stem and place florets in a food processor. Pulse until cauliflower resembles grains of rice. Add cauliflower to the vegetables in the pan. Add green chiles and spices. Cook 10 minutes. If the mixture starts to stick to the pan, you can add a little water to the pan. Toss in chicken.
Serve in bowls topped with fresh tomato and avocado. Evan also added a little salsa to his bowl.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cashew Dip

I have to thank my friend Sam Shriner for telling me about soaking cashews for dips. She shared me with a delicious dip of soaked cashews, red pepper, garlic and sea salt that i just had to make for myself. When she said red pepper, I instantly thought of the vegetable. Now that I made the dip myself I realize she meant the spice, but I think my misunderstanding has led to a delicious new dip for vegetables!! Although in this picture the dip looks more orange, it is a beautiful red color, and tastes as good as it looks. Thanks Sam!

1 organic red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup raw, unsalted cashews that have been soaked in water at least 3 hours and drained
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. If you need to, you can add water a teaspoon at a time to help smooth out dip. Taste dip and add more seasoning if desired. Serve with fresh chopped vegetables such as carrots, bell pepper, cucumber, celery, radish and broccoli.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Vegetable Soup and Gluten Free Cornbread

It was less than 80 degrees on thursday and I was home for the day. So, it was the perfect day to make the first pot of soup of the season. I wanted something i could put in the crock pot and leave all day. I also always love a dish with tons of vegetables. The decision: vegetable soup. And what is a warm bowl of soup without a big slice of cornbread? Whenever we decided we were hungry, supper was ready! This recipe makes a lot of soup. My soup bowls are huge, at least three cups, and this recipe made 7-8 bowls. The soup had lots of flavor and was very filling. I do not know how many of you have experience with gluten free bread, but my little experience is that it is usually too crumbly and lacking in flavor. This cornbread is awesome! It is moist, holds together like regular bread and is full of flavor. I hope you enjoy these first recipes!

2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 lb organic carrots (4-5), washed and chopped, it is not necessary to peel them
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 stalks organic celery, chopped, include leaves if you want!
3 garlic cloves, minced, if you buy the preminced this is about 1 1/2 tsp
2 organic yams, washed and chopped, do not peel
2 cups frozen organic broccoli florets
2 cups frozen organic peas
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
42 oz organic, low sodium vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 14oz can no salt added diced tomatoes, undrained

Place all ingredients in crock pot, stir, and cook on low 8 hours. Remove bay leaves prior to eating.

1 cup gluten free all purpose flour mix, i used the brand The Gluten Free Pantry
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 Tbs local honey
2 eggs
1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup melted organic butter, allowed to come to room temperature

Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl (flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt).
Mix wet ingredients in a separate large bowl (honey, eggs, milk, butter).
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Stir. Pour into an 8x8 pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Awesome served plain, with honey or a little fresh butter.