Monday, December 15, 2014

Gluten-free chili!

I've been wanting to make Chili for awhile. 
This weekend seemed an opportune time. Nice, chilly (get it?)  weather and Sunday night football. Since I made this on a whim I had to use the ingredients in my pantry:

1 pound ground beef
1 can white beans (rinsed)
1 can diced hunt tomatoes
1 can black beans (rinsed)
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 clove garlic (diced)
1 small pickled jalapeno (diced)
1/2 small green bell pepper (diced)
garlic powder
red chili flakes
1 Tbsp Taco-Seasoning

shredded cheddar garnish (optional)

I began by browning my ground beef in a dutch oven, seasoned with garlic powder, and taco seasoning. Then added in my diced bell pepper and fresh garlic, before the meat finished cooking completely. I then added tomatoes, jalapenos, and both kinds of beans. I seasoned everything with salt, pepper, chili flakes. finally I added the chicken stock, brought it to a boil and reduced to a simmer. I covered it and let the broth reduce while I made some corn muffins using Pamela's Cornbread mix

It came out better than I could've imagined, and way easier to make than I would have thought. Hope you try it!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Daily Gluten-free Menu--best pizza crust ever

It has come to my attention how neglected my blog has been this year. I've been so busy getting back on track with my education, and fawning over my amazing nephew, helping with his 4th birthday this summer. 

Being busy and living a gluten-free life is a bit challenging as it takes planning and dedication. Those of us with Celiac do not have the luxury of grabbing fast food on the way home. I wanted to do an experiment where I documented my average meals through the week.

Here's what my breakfasts tend to look like:

Ore Ida tater tots are a staple. There are always some in my freezer.
PB&J on Udi's with raisins and coffee

 Biscuits and gravy made with 1-2-3 biscuit mix. I season and brown ground beef & make a quick dairy free gravy with Almond milk, Chicken Stock, salt, pepper, garlic, thyme and thicken with instant mashed potatoe flakes.

Bacon, egg, tots, Udi's toast


 Turkey Sandwich on Udi's multigrain

Leftover Pizza. Recipe at the end. I couldn't wait to share it.

This lunch was something I threw together because we needed groceries. It's a hot dog I grilled outside and a quick broccoli mac and cheese with corn pasta. I made the sauce with a couple of Go Veggie mozzarella slices, almond milk, butter, and salt, pepper, garlic powder. It was actually tasty.
 This was a lunch I forced myself to eat when I was really under the weather. Another turkey sandwich on Udi's and a bowl of Progresso Chicken & Rice soup.

Rather tasty burger on Udi's bun & Ore Ida crinkle fries

 Pasta with homemade ground beef red sauce, steamed carrots and corn. Plus a side of garlic toast.
 Roast Chicken, steamed carrots, green beans, and my easy broccoli rice
 This is my new favorite pizza. I'm obsessed. I adapted a couple of recipes & I am in love.

Pizza Crust Recipe:

What you need:

2 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
3/4 cup warm water
1 egg
1 Tbsp canola oil (olive oil or vegetable are ok)
1 1/2 cups GF all purpose flour 
1/2 tsp salt 
1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp parsley or Italian seasoning blend


1.) add yeast and sugar to the warm water and let stand for at least 5 minutes.

2.) mix egg and oil in a large bowl. Preheat oven to 425' Fahrenheit.

3.) Add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix and add the now frothy yeast/ water mixture.

4.) Spread onto parchment covered (or greased) cookie sheet or pizza pan. 

5.) Bake for five minutes.

6.) Remove from oven, add toppings and bake for another 8-10 minutes.

This crust is heaven. It's a little chewy, a little crispy, a lot delicious. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chicken Pot Pie: Gluten-free & Dairy Free

        Baking is an art. When you see a fresh baked croissant it is breath-taking. For me, Gluten-free baking is like trying to recreate some beautiful painting on a post it with crayons. You aren't going to get the same effect. There are some people who can magically use seven different types of flour, starches and gums to create something pretty great. But I am not one of them. So I turn to my trusty Glutino Bread Mix. I mix according to package directions, sometimes adding a touch of garlic powder. Let that dough rise and spread it on my lovely pot pie filling.

1 box Glutino Gluten-free Pantry 'My Favorite Sandwich' Mix
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
6-8 medium russet potatoes cubed
1 rotisserie chicken cut into small pieces
3 cups chicken broth (plus a little extra)
4 stalks of celery diced
Garlic powder
Pepper Italian Seasoning
1/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes *

1.) Prep work: Dice celery, defrost veggies(I use a microwave steamer), Then peel and dice the potatoes.
2.) Boil water, add the potatoes to the water. Add salt.
3.) Cook potatoes, 4-7 minutes. Drain the potatoes when cooked but not too tender.

4.) In another pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil, season it. About 1/2 teaspoon of salt & pepper. 2-4 tablespoons of garlic powder and a 1/2-1 teaspoon of Italian season. Taste! Adjust if you feel like it needs more flavor add a little more Italian seasoning or salt.

5.) Slowly incorporate instant potato flakes to the Chicken broth, this is going to thicken your sauce and add the "creamy" factor for your pie filling.

*You may need more or less potato flakes

(My photo looks a little dry, but it wasn't.)

6.) Spray your baking dish and add the chicken, potatoes and veggies. Season with a little pepper and garlic powder.

7.) Pour your chicken broth over and stir to combine.

8.) If it looks dry, I recommend adding a little chicken broth. Depending on the size of your potatoes & amount of chicken (Supermarket rotisserie chickens sometimes are huge & other times look like Cornish game hens). 

9.) Finally spread your bread dough evenly over your pot pie. If you have extra dough, great opportunity to make some drop rolls on a separate baking sheet.

10.) 375 preheated oven for 18-30 minutes or until slightly golden brown & Enjoy!

This usually makes two 11 X 8 sized chicken pot pies.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Easy, delicious and tummy warming in a way that only chicken soup can.

Serves 5-6 adults

3 or 4 medium Zucchini / Squash
5 stalks of celery
4 whole carrots
1/4 cup frozen corn
5 or 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 cup chicken broth
garlic powder
red pepper flakes

I boil the chicken in water and chicken broth for 1 hour and 30 minutes, I then add my diced celery. I let the celery cook for about 20 minutes and then add my diced carrots and crescent shaped zucchini and squash. You really can add whatever vegetables you like or have on hand. I season the liquid with garlic powder, salt and pepper and red pepper flakes depending on how spicy I want it.
Taste! So important to make sure the broth has enough flavor, since it will be giving all your veggies flavor. I might put 4 or 5 tablespoons of garlic, don't be shy. The more flavor, the better! Let it simmer until the carrots and zucchini are tender and add the corn in the last minutes.

I serve mine with warm gluten-free corn tortillas or quesadillas with pepperjack cheese over rice.

garnish with lime wedges or avocado chunks.

There's nothing like home-made soup.

Recipe for Mexican Rice:
1 cup of rice
1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
Vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups of water
Salt, 1 teaspoon
Pepper, 1 teaspoon 
Garlic powder, 1 teaspoon
Chicken bouillon, 1 tablespoon

Heat oil in a shallow sauce pan that has a lid, add rice and brown the rice on high or medium heat. Once the rice starts to brown, turn off the stove. Add tomato sauce, water and spices, turn stove back on and bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Cover for fifteen minutes. DO NOT OPEN the lid until the time is up. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Gluten-Free Copy Cat Double Decker tacos

        While I love my new life of being healthy and eating only home-cooked meals. (I have Celiac and haven't eaten out in 2 years). I miss fast food. I admit it. Not just the convenience, but it's the forbidden fruit. I know I can't have it, so I crave it sometimes. (Anyone who has been on a diet knows this). 

        Here's my GF version of a double decker taco.

What you need:
Refried beans
Dairy-free cheese 

Recipe for Ground Beef:
1 pound ground beefDiced green bell pepper
Garlic Powder 
Red pepper flakes
Taco Sauce

Brown the Ground beef in a shallow skillet, no need to add oil if you use a 80/20 blend. Season well with garlic powder, salt & pepper. Add red pepper flakes and gluten-free taco sauce to taste. When the meat is mostly browned, you can add the diced bell pepper.

Optional Toppings:
Avocado slices
Jalapeno slices
Shredded cheese

I defrost my flour tortilla in the microwave for 10 seconds or so, I then heat the tortilla on my cast iron comal griddle to cook it through. Spread with beans & cheese and then add your crunchy taco shell. Fill with meat and the toppings you like and it's better than any drive thru.

*Udi's Gluten-free flour tortillas are what makes this so delicious, I know there might be other brands of tortilla but this is the best I've tried.

Serve with Rice

Recipe for Mexican Rice:
1 cup of rice
1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
Vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups of water
Salt, 1 teaspoon
Pepper, 1 teaspoon 
Garlic powder, 1 teaspoon
Chicken bouillon, 1 tablespoon

Heat oil in a shallow sauce pan that has a lid, add rice and brown the rice on high or medium heat. Once the rice starts to brown, turn off the stove. Add tomato sauce, water and spices, turn stove back on and bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Cover for fifteen minutes. DO NOT OPEN the lid until the time is up. 
Perfect Mexican rice, my mom's recipe and probably my all-time favorite side-dish.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Gluten-free Orange Chicken

Yes, it is possible. And Yes, it is delicious. 

        I gave up gluten & eating out almost two years ago & my goal was to recreate Chinese food. I looked at a lot of different recipes and kind of adapted it to suit my taste and allergy needs. I toned down the sweetness by adding fresh minced garlic & red pepper flakes. That's the beauty of cooking at home. If you love Kung Pao chicken but it's a little on the spicy side you can adjust the heat for your taste when you make it yourself.


Boneless skinless chicken (breast or thighs)
Instant Mashed Potatoes
Vegetable or Olive oil
Orange juice
Gluten free Soy sauce (San-J Organic Gluten-Free Tamari)
Orange marmalade 
Minced garlic
Red Pepper Flakes
Garlic powder 

1.) I cut up all the chicken into quarter size pieces, some thinner than others so they get very crispy. I season them with salt, pepper & garlic powder. I then toss them in a freezer size ziploc bag with some instant potato flakes. (This works as an amazing crust & it's gluten-free)

2.) Heat my pan with enough oil to coat the bottom, the small pieces work well with a shallow fry. 

3.) After all the chicken is golden brown, I place them on paper towels & drain the oil from the pan. I add 3/4 cup of orange juice for every 2 chicken breast.

4.)About a teaspoon of minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper flakes, 1/4 cup soy sauce & a teaspoon of orange marmalade. Let this simmer & add a teaspoon of potato flakes to thicken the sauce. 

5.)Add in the chicken & some bell peppers to serve over white rice with veggies.

I was so happy with how this turned out. I no longer feel deprived & I highly recommend it to anyone who would like to try to make takeout at home.

Monday, June 3, 2013

My Gluten-Free Product Awards

        Trying new gluten-free products is scary. You never want it to taste gluten-free because those of us with food allergies just want to feel normal. These are my recommendations of gluten-free products I have personally tried & loved.


        I have tried quite a few pancake mixes and most have tasted like gluten-free pancakes. Not really what you want, especially when you are spending three times as much as you would on non-gluten free pancake mix.

My favorites have been Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix &  Bisquick Gluten-Free.

   *If you do try a different brand and it's not great, you can always add applesauce or a mashed banana to improve the flavor. I've even added a teaspoon of GF vanilla extract or pumpkin pie spice. It makes a big difference.

Frozen Dinners

        Since most frozen dinners, gluten-free or not aren't very tasty.I have only tried a handful of frozen gluten-free entrees because they are expensive and a really big gamble with odds being that they won't taste good. 
The winner: Glutino Chicken pizza with BBQ sauce. I'm not traditionally a fan of BBQ chicken pizzas but this one was surprisingly really tasty.


        Udi's Gluten-free takes the award for best bagel. Their whole grain & cinnamon raisin were so delicious I literally checked the bag a few times to ensure that they were in fact Gluten-Free.

   *I use a toaster oven to defrost my bagels/bread. I've found that this is the best method. Once on the toaster oven to defrost it & twice to toast it. I've used the bagels for a cheeseburger and it held up great to all my toppings. Better than a regular hamburger bun.


        Most plain wavy chips or tortilla chips will say gluten-free on them. I've found that Lays Stax have a few flavored potato chips that are gluten-free but Glutino BBQ chips have been my favorite. I almost ate the entire bag. They had the perfect amount of flavor and were not salty or greasy.


        Finally the last award, was something I have tried to make myself and tried another brand. I had no hope for gluten-free flour tortillas & then there were Udi's Gluten-free Tortillas. They taste even more like home-made flour tortillas than regular store-bought ones. I have nothing but positive things to say about them.