Sunday, February 27, 2011

Italian Wedding Soup {gluten free}

What's not to like about a bowl of steaming, flavorful, cheesy broth with tasty meatballs? My family loved it, the kids too. It's rich without being heavy. I added collard greens, which stand up very well in this soup. Check out the recipe to see how I made the meatballs gluten free. Serve this with some crusty bread and a fresh green salad and you've got dinner...and...lunch the next day!

Recipe: (serves 8)
for the Meatballs:
1 small onion, minced
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/4 cup Egg Beater's (or 1 egg)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plain gluten free oats (or 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
~1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey

For the soup:
10 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 bunch collard greens, stems removed, greens chopped or 5-6 handfuls fresh spinach leaves
2 large eggs
2 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish
Salt and pepper

1. Bring broth to a simmer in a big soup pot.

2. In a medium bowl mix together Ground turkey, onion, Italian Seasoning, Egg Beater's, garlic, salt, cheese and oats. Add a twist of fresh ground pepper and stir to combine. Form the meat mixture into small bite-sized meatballs {I used a small 2 tablespoon sized kitchen scoop (#60 size) for quick work of it}, place on a baking sheet or other large surface and set aside.

3. Gently drop meatballs into the simmering broth one at a time. Add the chopped collard greens and continue to simmer until the meatballs are cooked through and the greens are tender, ~8-10 minutes.
4. In another bowl mix the whole eggs and Parmesan with a whisk. Reduce heat under soup so you don't scramble the egg then pour the egg & cheese mixture into the soup pot through a slotted spoon, stirring constantly for a couple minutes until the soup thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can also add some white beans, etc. for variation.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve hot with some crusty bread {we had Pamela's gluten free bread made in the bread machine=delish} and a crisp green salad. here for the recipe!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Baked Zucchini Sticks, Bacon-Wrapped Chicken & Buttermilk Potatoes

I saw a post that my sister put on her blog of some baked zucchini she and her hubby made, it looked yummy!  I made this version to be gluten free.  The zucchini sticks came out so tasty with a crunchy, crispy crust.  We all agreed they would be delicious dipped in some marinara sauce!  We served ours up next to these bacon-wrapped chicken tenders and some {thrown together} zippy, garlicy, buttermilk potatoes.

Baked Zucchini Sticks Recipe {Gluten Free}
Ingredients: (serves 4)
cooking spray
3/4 cups brown rice flour
3 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4-5 medium zucchini cut into equal size sticks
1/4 cup Egg Beater's (or use one whole egg)

1. Preheat oven to 475'F.
Pour Egg Beater's into a shallow bowl or 8x8 glass baking dish, set aside
3. Combine rice flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper in another shallow bowl.   Dip zucchini in Egg mixture then dip into flour mixture using tongs to handle, and spread them out the baking sheet.  Spray the zucchini lightly with cooking spray.
4. Bake for about 18-20 minutes, turning half way through with tongs, until crispy and tender.  Serve hot with warm marinara sauce for dipping.

Buttermilk Mashed Potato Recipe (serves 4)
1 - 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes
1/4-1/2 cup Low fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper

1. Bring large pot of water to a boil.  Wash potatoes, chuck them into quarters and add to boiling water.  Boil about 10-12 minutes or until tender {so the tip of a knife pierces easily}.
2. Drain out water and return potatoes to same warm pot.  Add butter, buttermilk, garlic powder, a dash of salt and a few twists of the pepper grinder.  Mashed well with a potato masher {I like them chunky and we leave the skins on for flavor and fiber}.
3. Season with more salt and pepper to taste, add more buttermilk as needed to achieve desired consistency {a splash of chicken broth is good too} and serve hot.

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Tenders Recipe (serves 4)
Click here for main recipe

We used half as much bacon.  Note: My chicken was done {165'F internal temp} long before the bacon was rendered so I actually popped just the bacon in the microwave for about 1 minute them wrapped it back around the chicken. here for the recipe!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Roasted Chicken {in the Crock Pot}

My friend suggested this recipe to me last week.  It's very easy and worked out great!  I bought a small {5 pound} whole roasting chicken and dropped it in the Crock Pot.  Not only did it fill the house with wonderful aromas all afternoon, but it was tender, fall-off-the-bone delicious for dinner tonight!   We served it up with our Roasted Rosemary Potatoes and some Sautéed Broccolini. You can also use this tender chicken as a filling for other recipes such as enchiladas, tacos, casseroles, etc. Enjoy!

Recipe: Chicken in the crock pot (serves 4)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 roasting chicken, about 5 pounds, for a medium Crock Pot
*you can increase this recipe by 1 1/2 times if you are cooking a larger bird, but remember that you'll need a larger Crock Pot, at least a 6 quart
1 medium onion, chopped

1. Mix all the spices in a bowl. Clean your roasting chicken and pat dry with a paper towel. Rub the spices on the bird, all over.
2. Layer the chopped onion in bottom of crock pot, lay chicken on top of onions. Cook on low 4-6 hours

Chicken all done and ready to eat!
 We strained the broth from the Crock Pot and used it to make a little pan gravy by whisking in about 1 tablespoon of potato flour {gluten free} or you could use all purpose flour for about 2-3 minutes until thickened.
My friend also suggested this great tip for the leftover bits; "I then took the broth that was in the crock pot, added the bones from the chicken, then covered it in water, added some oregano, parsley, bay leaves, onions, carrots, and celery and cooked it over night. It made an INCREDIBLE broth!"

Recipe: Sautéed Broccolini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch broccolini
1/2 lemon, zested
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions: Add olive oil to a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the broccolini, pinch of salt, lemon zest and garlic. Saute until al dente but still bright green. Add the lemon juice and pepper at the end and stir to combine before serving. here for the recipe!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Saffron Risotto with Garlic-Thyme Chicken and Grilled Asparagus

My hubby set out to make this delicious risotto as a pre-Valentine's Day treat for me!  How sweet.  Not much is more romantic to me than my hubby creating a thoughtful homemade meal, and risotto no less.  It was fantastic!  See it's amazing color?  That's from the saffron infused broth he added.  The best was the finish of Pecorino Romano cheese melted in at the end.  Definitely a tasty and indulgent treat of a dinner.  We had it along side some flavorful garlic-thyme chicken and some fresh grilled asparagus.  What are you cooking for your sweetheart?

Saffron Risotto Recipe: (serves 6)
* 1 small onion, minced
* 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* 4 cups Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
* 2 cups water
* 1/4 teaspoon Saffron
* 2 1/4 cups Arborio Rice (or Italian Risotto Rice)
* 3 ounces grated Pecorino Romano Cheese (or Parmesan cheese)
* freshly ground black pepper

1. Pour chicken broth and water into a pot and warm over medium heat. Add the saffron and allow it to infuse into the warm broth. In a large flat bottom saute pan over medium high heat add the olive oil and onion, saute until tender (~3 minutes). Add the rice and stir until coated.
2. Keeping the mixture at a simmer, add 2 cups of the chicken broth; stir continuously {don't leave the kitchen}. As the broth is absorbed, add another 1 cup of the saffron infused broth and continue stirring. Gently shake the pan between stirs to allow the rice to settle.

3. As the liquid is absorbed add more broth, 1 cup at a time. The rice is done when it's al dente, or firm to the bite but tender ~30-35 minutes. Stir in the Pecorino Romano cheese and black pepper, season to taste and serve immediately.
*recipe adapted from the Delallo Rice box

Garlic-Thyme Chicken (Serves 4)
* 1 Tablespoon olive oil
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
* 1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
* salt and pepper
* 4 chicken breasts (pounded to equal thickness)

1. for your marinade: Whisk together olive oil, minced garlic, white-wine vinegar, thyme leaves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the chicken and spoon marinade over it to coat. Let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes or up to 30 minutes.
2. Remove chicken from dish and cook on a hot grill until cooked through (to an internal temperature of 160-165'F), about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set chicken aside on a plate, you can cover it to keep it warm.

Grilled Asparagus Recipe: (serves 4)
* one bunch of asparagus
* salt, pepper, olive oil

1. Wash asparagus, snap off tough end of stems. Coat lightly in olive oil, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and grill, rotating often, about 10 minutes until al dente or the tip of a knife pierces easily. Serve hot. here for the recipe!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Teriyaki Chicken with Stir Fried Brown Rice

This is a tasty and slightly healthier version of a take out dinner.  It's a MYOTO meal.  I haven't done one these in awhile, it's a Rachael Ray acronym that stands for Make Your Own Take Out.  It's fun to recreate your favorite take out meals at home and be able to control what's in them.  See the category link on the right for some other tasty {MYOTO} recipes.  We had this rice along side some teriyaki chicken and a fresh green salad.  I marinated the chicken for about 10 minutes in this homemade sauce then threw it on the grill pan and because I used chicken breast tenders, they were ready in no time.  Instead of going out tonight...stay in and enjoy!

Recipe: Stir-Fried Brown Rice (Serves 6)
* 2 cups uncooked long-grain brown rice
* 3‑1/2 cups water
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
* 2 eggs, lightly beaten
* 1 medium yellow onion, sliced thinly
* 2 medium carrots, diced
* 1 cup frozen green peas
* 1 to 2 tablespoons Reduced Sodium Tamari or soy sauce *there are Gluten Free varieties available*
* 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
* Fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

1. Bring 3 1/2 cups of water to a boil, add 2 cups brown rice, reduce heat to low and simmer 40-45 minutes until tender and all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 10 minutes. {This is slightly less water than most packages recommend, that's so that your rice turns out slightly drier, while still be cooked completely, to make toastier fried rice, yum}
2. Heat wok over medium heat about 30 seconds or until hot. Drizzle 1 tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil into wok and heat 15 seconds. Add onions and carrots; stir-fry over medium-high heat about 3 minutes or until tender, remove and set aside.
3. Add eggs to wok and cook 1 minute or just until set on bottom. Turn eggs over and stir to scramble until cooked but not dry. Remove eggs to bowl; set aside.
4. Add cooked rice, peas, Tamari (or soy sauce) 1-2 tablespoons to taste and sesame oil; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in eggs, carrots and onions and cook until heated through, stirring often. Transfer to warm serving dish. Garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately.

Recipe: Teriyaki Sauce {Gluten Free}
* 1/4 cup Low Sodium Tamari (or soy sauce) *there are Gluten Free varieties available*
* 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
* 2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
* 2 Tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
* 1/2 teaspoon ginger (fresh or powder)
* 2 cloves garlic (minced)
Mix well and enjoy

This makes a great marinade. I like to reserve a small amount {that hasn't touched the raw chicken} to use at the table as a sauce. For teriyaki chicken; marinate meat for ~10 minutes in teriyaki sauce then place on a grill over medium high heat until chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 160'F, remove to a plate, the meat will continue cooking to 165'F after you pull it off the grill. Serve hot with Stir-Fried Brown Rice.
This teriyaki sauce also works great for pork, vegetable kabobs, beef and tofu. here for the recipe!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Lentil Vegetable Soup

This is a tasty and hearty soup.  Many thanks to my mother-in-law, who was visiting for the day, for making this for all of us while I was at work, it was tasty! This soup is even better the next day and freezes well. We had some crusty bread and green salad with ours. Enjoy!

Recipe: (Serves 6-8)
olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 celery stalks, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups lentils
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups water, plus more if needed
6 small (golf ball sized) Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed (or other small potato)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1. Sauté onions, carrots, celery and garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot, about 5 minutes.
2. Mix in salt, lentils, thyme, bay leaf, pepper, broth, water and potatoes and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, 15-20 minutes longer. Add the vinegar. Discard the bay leaf and season to taste as needed. You can always add alittle extra water or broth to achieve the consistency you want. Serve hot. This soup freezes well so consider making a double batch for a quick reheat meal next week. here for the recipe!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Buttermilk Mashed Celery Root, Rutabaga & Potato

I found this recipe in my Eating well in Season cookbook and was inspired to try something new.  Two new things actually.  I have never cooked celery root or rutabaga before tonight.  I was intrigued by the challenge and thought the recipe sounded pretty good, and it was!   The fam liked it too.  It was a nice blend of the familiar potato with a twist of something different with a little celery taste to it.  yum.  We had ours with my turkey meatloaf and some sautéed zucchini and mushrooms.

 a Ruta-what?  Here's what they look like...I know alittle odd right?

wash them, peel them, chunk them up and steam em

mash em up

Recipe: Mashed Roots with Buttermilk & Chives (serves 4-6)
2 pounds celery root, peeled 

1 pound rutabaga, peeled 
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes
3-4 whole garlic cloves, peeled

2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
green onions, diced for garnish

1. Cube up root vegetables into fairly evenly sized cubes.  Steam root vegetables and garlic in a large pot using a steam basket over a few inches of simmering water, cover and steam about 15-20 minutes until tender.  Drain water and place vegetables back into the warm pot.

2. Using a potato masher, mash up vegetables gradually adding buttermilk and butter, add salt, pepper and nutmeg, stir to combine, they'll be a little lumpy. Serve warm garnished with green onions. here for the recipe!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Slow Cooker Beef Stew {Gluten Free}

This is a hearty beef stew, perfect for a cold winter evening. It's a crock pot recipe so you can fix it and forget it as the crock does all the work. By cooking this meat low and slow you can really transform an inexpensive cut of meat into something delightfully tender and delicious. This recipe uses potato starch flour as a gluten free alternative, you can always use all purpose flour instead, the potato starch flour was delicious and thickened the broth amazingly well. This stew is great the next day too, just store in an airtight container in the fridge and reheat on the stove top. Enjoy!

Recipe: (serves 4)
* 1 Tablespoon olive oil
* 1 small onion, diced
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 1/2-2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
* 1/4 cup potato starch flour *gluten free* (or you may use all-purpose flour)
* 1 (8 ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
* 3 large carrots, roughly chopped
* 3 to 4 celery stalks, roughly chopped
* 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, in chunks
* 1 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1 (14-ounce) can stewed tomatoes with their juices
* 2 tablespoons tomato paste
* 2 cups Low-Sodium beef broth
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper


1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, onions, garlic and sauté about 1 minute. Add the meat and brown, turning frequently for no more than 2 minutes.

2. Sprinkle the meat with the potato starch flour and turn to coat, remove from the skillet and place into the crock pot.

3. Add all the remaining ingredients (mushrooms, carrots, celery, potatoes, thyme, tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, salt and pepper), to the crock pot and give it a good stir. Place the lid on and cook 4 hours on high or 6-8 on low. Season to taste, serve hot with crusty bread and a fresh green salad. here for the recipe!

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