Sunday, July 26, 2015

chicken soup for when your tummy is crummy

Let's say you eat a taco from a place you've eaten before with no problem. You get it on a corn tortilla and even while you're chowing down you notice it's not sitting quite right in your stomach. Then the thought crosses your mind that it's probably not 100% free from cross-contamination but you take the chance because you're hungry and you've already eaten half of it.

Most of the time that situation happens without any consequences. The discomfort passes without incident and you chalk it up to hunger or a miniscule amount of gluten.

Then there are those times that you regret it and you can't believe how stupid you are for taking that chance. You could have stopped eating when you noticed the discomfort. You could have avoided the situation altogether by not ordering gluten-questionable food. You could have reminded yourself that hunger is much more preferable to being glutened.

Yesterday was one of those times. One of those times that I'm thankful for zofran and pepto bismol and heating pads and understanding husbands.

After a glutening, even one followed by drugs and tons of water, sometimes it takes a few days for things to get back to normal. Even simple things like cereal are hard to digest.

Which is why today I made a simple chicken soup. Chicken soup is inherently comforting. It's easy on the tummy but substantial enough to call it a meal and keep you going.

My mother in law made a big pot of this soup when my husband broke his wrist. I loved it and was surprised at how ridiculously easy it was.

"I got glutened" Chicken Soup

In a big pot, combine:

chopped carrots
chopped celery
chopped onion
chicken breasts or thighs

Add enough water to cover the contents.
Bring to a boil and then simmer until the chicken is cooked. I let mine go for about an hour.
Remove and shred the chicken, then add it back in.
If you'd like, add rice and simmer until it's cooked. If you'd like a brothier soup, stir in more water. It's a very forgiving recipe.
Add salt to taste.

Start by eating just the broth, then add in chicken and vegetables when you can handle it. Then remind yourself that taking a chance with gluten is never worth it.

This week it's hot and here's the menu

Did I mention it's hot?

I've been avoiding cooking on the stovetop and I sure as hell have vetoed turning on the oven. I wish I could say we've been eating more salads and vegetables, but... meh.

To avoid heating up the house in the evening, we've been eating out, cooking simple, quick meals that require the least stove time, breaking out the crock pot, and grilling. I might figure out a way to cook quesadillas on the grill. I'm thinking in the cast-iron pan.

Monday- Black bean and zucchini quesadillas
Tuesday- Grilled burgers with beans
Wednesday- Grilled sausage with veggie mac & cheese
Thursday- Grilled kabobs with baked sweet potatoes
Friday- Grilled fish

Sunday, July 19, 2015

This week's menu

It's hot. My sweet little toaster oven is getting some lovin' lately, for last week's pot pies and enchiladas, and this week because hubs insisted on requesting baked chicken with broccoli for dinner. Not grilled, even though I got him a super cool meat-brander this weekend. He is less interested in branding meat and more interested in pretending to brand my boobs. Which I predicted.

Still cramming the last of the kale into everything I can. I even made kale artichoke dip. I am determined.

Monday- Paninis- maybe I can get Chris to grill these ;o)
Tuesday- Grilled sausage with veggie mac and cheese
Wednesday- Honey sesame pork
Thursday- Baked chicken with rice and broccoli
Friday- Grilled fish

Sunday, July 12, 2015

This week's menu

This week's theme: KALE. I bought a giant bag last week for 2 bucks and I've eaten kale all week, even given some away, and barely put a dent in it. So kale is going into everything this week.

Anyone want some kale?

Monday- Vegetable Soup (with kale, sweet potato, maybe quinoa)
Tuesday- Chicken pot pies
Wednesday- Grilled sausage with veggie mac and cheese
Thursday- Creamy chicken enchiladas
Friday- Grilled fish (or shrimp kabobs if I can find some for a good price)

Friday, July 10, 2015


The carrot. A simple, cheap, often overlooked vegetable.

gluten free carrots

Sometimes I get fancy and cut them at an angle, and sometimes I sweeten them with a bit of brown sugar. Honestly I rarely add sugar, but sometimes they taste better with a bit of glaze, especially when paired with a really salty dish or one with contrasting flavors.

Glazed Carrots

Combine in a saucepan:

3 carrots, peeled* and sliced
1/2 c. water
dash of salt
1/2 T. brown sugar (optional)

gluten free carrots

Bring to a boil and cover, simmering, until they are tender. The time varies. I do this last while preparing dinner, and I let it go for as long as it takes for the rest of dinner to cook. Sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes 20. It's all good and a very forgiving recipe.

*I am generally not the type of gal who peels her carrots, but in this case if you don't peel them, the skins get all tough and brown and yucky. Peel the carrots.

gluten free carrots

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Turkey Meatballs

... or meatloaf, or burger patties. I've made this recipe all different ways, following the same recipe but cooking it differently to fit my needs. These were supposed to be mini meatloafs today, but it was too darn hot to crank up the oven. Stovetop meatballs it is!

I love adding shredded veggies to these. Any way I can sneak in extra vegetables is an automatic win in my book.

Turkey Meatballs [or Meatloaf or Burgers]

1 pound ground turkey
2 eggs
2 handfuls of GF chex cereal, crushed.
1 shredded carrot or zucchini
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c. GF BBQ sauce (I'm obsessed with Sweet Baby Ray's)

Mix all of the above in a bowl with your hands. Yes, your hands. Get in there and smoosh it up.

Form into patties, meatballs, or place into greased muffin tins for mini meatloaf.

Cook in a pan over medium meat or place in an oven at 350 until a meat thermometer comes out reading 170. I always use a meat thermometer with these because I haven't developed the eye for telling when ground turkey is done.

Top with extra bbq sauce because like I said, I'm obsessed.

This week's menu

Firmly into summer, are you surprised to see bbq and salads? Frankly, the only reason we're not doing it more is because of my wonky work schedule. When I'm done with night shifts, (I think next week should be the end) I'm going to be relying heavily on the grill to avoid heating up the house with the darn oven. Good thing I've got a trusty little toaster oven that can get most jobs done just fine.

Monday- Grilled deer sausage, beans, broccoli (per hubs request)
Tuesday- Mini Chicken Pot Pies
Wednesday- Artichoke and Chickpea Salads
Thursday- Chris has dinner with family but I'm working late, so leftovers!
Friday- Fish baked with olives and lemon with glazed carrots

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Patriotic dipped strawberries

July 4th is not complete without patriotic food. America likes to celebrate with food and explosives. No surprise there.

This year is no exception. I've seen this idea for Red White and Blue Strawberries on Pinterest before, and it's really easy. The hardest part is the prep. If everything is prepped right, the process goes pretty smooth.

Patriotic Dipped Strawberries

Step 1: Wash the strawberries and lay them out to dry.

Step 2: Create an assembly line:
-Put a pot of water on the stove to simmer and place a bowl over it. Add in white chocolate chips so they melt while you prepare the other equipment. (Double-check to make sure the GF status. Some may be manufactured on shared gluteny lines.)
-Prepare a cutting board or other portable flat surface by placing a sheet of waxed paper on it.
-Fill a bowl with blue sugar. Make your own by adding blue food coloring to sugar and shaking in a jar or plastic bag.

Step 3: Dip. Dip.
-Dip the dried strawberries into the chocolate. If they're a little damp, dry with a paper towel before dipping or the chocolate won't stick. Leave a little red showing at the top.
-Dip the end of the strawberry into the sugar to make a blue "stripe."
-Lay on the waxed paper to set.

Step 4: Place the cutting board/wax paper in the refrigerator to let the chocolate harden, and serve!

Step 5: Optional- Take advantage of the fact that you have melted chocolate and dip anything else you can find. Other fruit, GF pretzels, etc.  No sense in wasting it!

While you celebrate today, eating your patriotic strawberries and trying not to get sunburned, remember, always: