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.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Easy Rice & Broccoli

        This is one of my favorite go-to side dish recipes. We have all made a box of 'Rice-A-Roni' in our lives. Easy 15 minute side dish recipe to have in your pantry. Now it's surprising, but making a savory gluten-free rice side dish from scratch is just as easy. Plus you can add any kind of veggies you like.

1 cup of uncooked white rice
3 cups of water
4 tablespoons or 1 bouillon cube* (Chicken, beef or vegetable flavor)
2 tablespoons of garlic powder
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup frozen veggies (Broccoli, green beans, spinach)

Heat oil in a pan that has a lid
Add rice
Stir & brown the rice,
Then add the water and seasonings
Taste the broth to make sure it has enough flavor
Then add the vegetables of your choice
I used Broccoli and French Style green beans, the vegetables get so tender and full of flavor you don't even notice you are eating them. Perfect for those picky eaters.
Bring to boil, cover & reduce to a simmer. 
Set your timer for 15 minutes. DO NOT OPEN until the time is up.

Easy side dish with ingredients you can always have on hand & no added preservatives or weird ingredients that you might get from a box mix. Just as easy, twice as delicious.
(Pictured with Rotisserie chicken from the supermarket, steamed baby carrots & corn) 

Try it once & you will be sold.

*Make sure the bouillon you use is gluten-free. I've also made this recipe with organic gluten-free beef broth instead of water with equally as flavorful results.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

gluten-free spicy chicken sandwich

        I used to love stopping at a drive-thru and grabbing a spicy chicken sandwich on my way home from school. I haven't had one in about two years. I forgot about them when I started making gluten-free versions of my favorite foods.

Ore-Ida makes gluten-free frozen french fries, but I made some steak fries from good ole Russet Potatoes, tossed in oil, salt, pepper & garlic powder. Baked in a 400 degree oven for 20-35 minutes depending on how thin you cut your potatoes and how hot your oven gets.

For my spicy chicken I used
Tapatio hot sauce
Rice Chex cereal
Instant mashed potato flakes
Salt, pepper & garlic powder

I marinated the uncooked chicken tenders in hot sauce & water. I like using the tenders because they are small and easy because you don't have to clean them or cut them into more manageable pieces.

I crushed the cereal and mixed it with potato flakes and seasonings in a large ziploc bag. One by one I added a piece of chicken to the bag to shake and coat with my "breading".

In a parchment lined baking dish, I placed the breaded chicken & put in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway through. When the chicken is golden-brown, remove from oven.

Lettuce, tomato, mayo on my gluten-free roll, I had the best chicken sandwich of my life.