Saturday, December 31, 2016

This week's menu

 Second breakfasts: Waffles, boiled eggs, fruit + yogurt

Sunday- Black eyed peas with cornbread, roasted cabbage
Monday- Shrimp tacos
Tuesday- Chicken nuggets and roasted potato
Wednesday- Turkey wraps
Thursday- Veggie soup
Friday- Salmon with salads

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

roasted brussels sprouts and sweet potato salad

For the past 3 years or so, I've been living without a decent oven. Besides being a bit of an eyesore, the oven in our house heated unevenly and the temperature fluctuated. Plus it was too small to fit my pans.
*cue sad music*

I managed to make do with a pretty badass little toaster oven, but things like frozen pizzas and anything larger than 6 inches were impossible.

However, recently I purchased a new, gorgeous, modern, DOUBLE oven. I can make a turkey and a cheesecake at the same time, nbd.
*cue angels singing*

What's the first thing I did? I roasted some brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. They turned out absolutely beautiful. Then I used them to trick out my salad.

[How to roast them? Cut into smallish pieces, then coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread out on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, giving them a bit of a stir/shake every 10-15 minutes.]

I forsee a bit of a salad series on the horizon, since this former salad-hater is actually digging salads lately. They're an easy way to get veggies, and my body needs them after this particularly pudgy holiday season. Plus I started to like them more when I realized I could do more than the standard 'lettuce-cucumber-tomato' routine.

My salad motto is: More substance. Less lettuce. I can add Mexican rice if I want and call it a burrito bowl. Nice.

This salad includes:

Iceberg lettuce chunks
Shredded carrot
Cubed squash
Roasted brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes
A dollup of a chickpea + olive oil puree
Balsamic vinegar dressing


Sunday, December 11, 2016

One pan Salmon and Roasted cauliflower

gluten free salmon roasted cauliflower

Ready for an easy one-pan dinner?

Grab some salmon. Put it on a pan. Next to it, place thawed (or fresh) cauliflower. (I prefer frozen cauliflower over fresh because it doesn't smell like farts.)
Moving on.
Top the whole shebang with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, fresh parsley, and freshly squeezed lime juice.
Sprinkle parmesan over the cauliflower only.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, until the salmon reaches 145 degrees.
(Serve a wedge salad while it cooks.)

Serve with a wedge of lime.

Easy. Peasy. Noms.


I've totally been avoiding dinner prep and grocery shopping by cooking various soups for the past week or so. Hey, soup is quick, weather-appropriate, and uses up freezer and pantry staples so there's no hassle.

But having a menu makes things a lot easier, especially when things get busy, so here it is. Plus it's pushing 70 degrees here today, so soups are less easy to pass off. Ugh. I hate this weather.

Second breakfasts:
GF Chex mix, waffles with peanut butter

Sunday- Salmon + roasted cauliflower
Monday- Honey sesame chicken
Tuesday- Spaghetti
Wednesday- Shrimp tacos
Thursday- Chili (Except it turned into girls night)
Friday- Stir Friday

Have a nice, productive week.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Sauteed asian salad

Oh, God. I need vegetables. I need a deep cleanse. I need to walk 5,000 miles.

This year a very indulgent trip to Texas wine country (to celebrate my sister's quarter quell birthday) took the off-ramp smoothly right into Thanksgiving, and I embraced every fat second of it.

After steadily guzzling great wine and grazing on rich foods for a few days, I feel like I'm on the verge of gout or heart disease. A bit of an exaggeration, but the truth is I feel fat and bloated and not great.

So today my body is begging for vegetables, fish oil capsules, and lots of water. I haven't exactly been to the grocery store lately, so after a bit of black Friday shopping (purely to get steps), I stuck my head in the fridge. I shifted aside the gravy-laden leftovers and searched for the vegetables that languished in the crisper while I noshed on cakes and buttery mashed potatoes and honey glazed ham. (Mmm, ham.)

I give you this big ass bowl of vegetable love. It's beautiful.

sauteed cabbage asian salad gluten free

I highly encourage a loose interpretation of this recipe. Use up your sad veggies! Everything gets new life after a deep sautee with garlic. Even limp celery.

Sauteed Asian Salad

Olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 T. water chestnuts, chopped (from a can)
1/8 wedge of red cabbage, chopped
a sprinkle of sesame seeds
1/8 wedge of iceberg lettuce, chopped

Sautee everything but the lettuce in olive oil.

sauteed cabbage asian salad gluten free

Put the sauteed veggies on top of the lettuce. Top with a bit of sriracha sauce, a sprinkle of GF soy sauce, and a big squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Start to feel like a human being again. Let go of the Jabba mentality. Do your best to maintain until the next wave of holiday gluttony hits.

[Namaste, bitch.]

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


gluten free menu

This week's menu goes up after fumes from refinishing my kitchen cabinets have taken over my brain. Plus wine. Excuse any typos.

Second Breakfasts- boiled eggs, cottage cheese with fruit

Tuesday- HEB Meal Simple- I lovveee these and a lot of them are gluten free. So easy, I just have to pick a side. I ended up with some sort of basil beef feta pinwheel.
Wednesday- Burbon chicken and salads
Thursday- Black bean enchiladas
Friday- Salmon (another HEB Meal Simple)
Saturday- Oh WAIT. That's our 4th wedding anniversary! I'm not cooking!
Sunday- Tuna melts and tomato soup

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Chicken Sweet Potato Kabobs

Ok so I tried this recipe on a whim because I'm tired of the same old chicken. And it was really good!

The spice rub is spot on and the glaze complements it perfectly. It caramelized a little bit on the sweet potatoes and made them taste like candied yams. It's got a bit of a spicy kick, which worked really well. I'd use the spice rub again, and I'd make this recipe again. Even for company.

 gluten free sweet potato chicken kabobs

I did modify the recipe a bit, so I re-posted it with my changes.

Chicken Sweet Potato Kabobs

The basics:

2 large sweet potatoes
2 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 medium red onion, cut into 1½-inch chunks and layers separated
8 (12-inch) bamboo skewers

Spice Rub:

2 t. garlic salt
2 t. chili powder
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1 t. cumin
1 t. paprika
¼ t. crushed red pepper

1/3 c. honey
2 t. balsamic vinegar


Soak the bamboo skewers in water.

Clean the sweet potatoes and pierce with a fork. Microwave on the baked potato setting.

Mix the spice rub in a bowl. Mix the glaze in a separate bowl. Set aside.

When the potatoes are done, let them cool for a minute while you chop the onion.

Peel the potatoes and cut into cubes. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour a bit of olive oil in a medium bowl. Throw the chicken chunks in the bowl and top with the spice rub. Mix with your hands. You're going to have to get your hands all chickeny anyway when you make the skewer.

Make kabobs by alternating chicken, sweet potato, and onion. Place on a cookie sheet and pour the glaze on top.

I don't know how to work the grill. So I set my oven to 350-400ish* and cooked for appx 30 minutes until the chicken read >165 degrees with the meat thermometer. Served with broccoli and cauliflower.

gluten free sweet potato chicken kabobs

*My oven is 30 years old and doesn't maintain temperature, so that's the best I can do. I'm literally ordering a new oven tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


gluten free menu

Howdy. Today's my weekend, so I spent it shopping at H&M, drinking cocktails, and doing laundry. After this I'll take a nap, watch some tv, and get started on dinner.

2nd Breakfast- Breakfast tacos that I made last week and froze. Easy peasy.

Wednesday- Pizza and salad
Thursday- Chicken and sweet potato kabobs
Friday- Black bean enchiladas
Saturday- Italian pasta soup
Sunday- Tuna melts
Monday- Someone else is cooking.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Chicken, ham, swiss rollups

gluten free chicken cordon blue

Ready for noms that look impressive but are really easy?

I loosely followed this recipe for Chicken, ham, and swiss roll ups from Cooking Light, but obviously omitted the bread crumbs and used chopped pecans instead.

Served with roasted cabbage.

P.S. This might make a fun appetizer; wrapping the ham and cheese around chicken strips or nuggets.

Sunday, October 30, 2016


Hey, Happy Halloween week! This is coming from a chick who did absolutely nothing to celebrate Halloween this weekend like a lame-o. Except buy candy for trick or treaters, which will be left on the porch with a cute little sign because I'm working Halloween night. Here's hoping the citizens of this little town behave themselves so I don't have to issue any emergency blood.

It's going to be a weird week, working two late shifts (I see you, shift diff) and hubs will be gone for a few days. I will probably take full advantage of that and plan some kind of ladies night at my house. Nachos can feed a crowd, right??

Mom sent me home with a couple of magazines this weekend (YAY), so many of this week's meals are from Cooking Light. I may have to get a subscription because it's super easy to convert things to be GF and there are about 10 sticky flags sticking out of the November issue.

So here's the menu this week.

2nd Breakfast- Breakfast tacos- egg and salsa. NOT from the cafeteria- it's too easy to make them at home and not spend $4 on breakfast every day.

Monday- Broccoli beef baked potato
Tuesday- Chicken, ham, swiss rollups with roasted cabbage
Wednesday- Salmon + cauliflower (I swear we will eventually eat this)
Thursday- Veggie loaded pizza (adding peppers, onion, tomato, broccoli, etc to a cheese pizza madre so awesomely bought for me)
Friday- Nachos

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Second Breakfasts-
Cafeteria eggs and bacon. Don't judge.
Almonds, granola bars

Monday- Appetizers during Scentsy party: Sausage Pineapple bites and Cream Cheese Ham Pinwheels, veggie platter
Tuesday- Beef Stir Fry, using veggie platter leftovers
Wednesday- BBQ chicken atop baked sweet potatoes
Thursday- Chili
Friday- Salmon + cauliflower*

*Salmon and cauliflower has been on the menu all month because I hadn't gotten around to making it.
We usually end up getting sushi, 5 Guys, or some other expensive, delicious, easy meal.
Hey, life's short.

Sunday, October 16, 2016


Second breakfast- Nature Valley granola bars, hard boiled eggs

Sunday- Chicken Soup
Monday- Spaghetti squash chow mein
Tuesday- Crock pot beef
Wednesday- Salmon + cauliflower
Thursday- Tacos

Monday, October 10, 2016


gluten free menu

This week's menu TRIES to be higher protein and lower carb. Because fitness.

Second Breakfast- hardboiled eggs, greek yogurt with fruit and granola, Nature Valley Granola Bars

Sunday- Leftover bbq
Monday- Crock Pot Chicken + green beans
Tuesday- Chili
Wednesday- Meatloaf + mashed potatoes
Thursday- Sandwiches (I'm going to a charity dinner for work)
Friday- Salmon + cauliflower

Thursday, October 6, 2016

crock pot salmon

A few nights ago I was wandering around Pinterest when I came across this recipe.
You know I love my crock pot recipes. Salmon in a crock pot?? Heck yeah! *PIN*

Fast forward to tonight when I got home from work absolutely over it and suggested we go out to dinner. Then hubs excitedly chose 5 Guys. Cajun french fries, while delicious, don't exactly fit into my recent healthy mindset. UGH. Plus there was plenty of food in the fridge, so I decided I'd have to cook.

Then I remembered the salmon fillets in the freezer. I hadn't thawed any, but that's what the crock pot is for. Salmon cooks quickly enough.

I followed the recipe loosely, because I used what I had on hand.

Into the crock pot I tossed:

2 4 oz (frozen) salmon fillets
1 c. water
1/4 c. red wine
1 lemon, sliced
1/4 c. chopped chives
1/4 c. chopped parsley
1 bay leaf
coarsely ground salt and pepper

Set it on high for about an hour while I sat on the couch, ate some chocolate, and took a nap.

Sides were super easy. Green beans and sauteed sweet potatoes. I added a bit of the liquid from the crock pot to deglaze the pan.

Hubs declared everything delicious. I was satisfied.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


gluten free menu

All right. I'm back in town and had a blast letting other people cook for me and drive me around.
Back to reality. Fortunately hubs did a tiny bit of grocery shopping while I was gone, so the kitchen wasn't a total wasteland when I arrived home. In fact, there were meat roll ups waiting for me!

Since I arrived back in town late last night, I had today off work. Rather than be productive, I took the opportunity to sleep in, read a book, laze around, and generally be a bum. That means we ordered sushi for dinner. I'll go to the grocery store tomorrow... after the dentist. Merh.

Second breakfasts:
Greek yogurt + honey, fruit, nuts

Thursday- Vegetable soup + cornbread
Friday- Tuna salad + edamame
Spaghetti + broccoli. If I can find spaghetti squash at a reasonable price, I'll use that instead of noodles.
Sunday- Black bean enchiladas (with leftover spaghetti squash hidden inside)
Salmon + cauliflower

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Quinoa Veggie Salad

When I made this for dinner tonight, I didn't plan on posting the recipe. I didn't think it would be that good. Hubs even remarked about the lack of meat as he served himself a helping. I'm TRYING to keep us healthy and fit. Especially because I basically had vodka and tator tots for dinner last night.
It's all about balance...

I expected this to be mediocre.
It's Tuesday, I'm tired. My feet hurt. I'm not in the mood for shenanigans. I don't want to make an elaborate gourmet dinner.
You know what I really wanted? Chicken nuggets and tator tots warming in the toaster oven while I sat on the couch with my feet up and a glass of wine. But like I said, healthy. And I should probably limit that behavior.

As it turns out, this dish was actually really good.
I didn't want it, but when I started eating I realized this is what my body needed and it was delicious.
It's fine for us as a meatless meal, but in the future I'd make it for a potluck or something.

gluten free quinoa veggie

Made with quinoa, edamame, and black beans, this meatless dish has enough protein to satisfy... I think. The real test is after I eat the leftovers at work tomorrow, throw myself back into the lab gauntlet, and see if I get hungry by 3pm.

Basically though, it's fine for a weeknight dinner.

The idea is to throw a bunch of veggies together in a bowl with quinoa and beans, then toss with lime juice. For the specifics of this dish, read on:

Quinoa Veggie Salad

Start quinoa on the stovetop.

Saute red onion, chopped carrot, frozen shelled edamame, chopped kale, and a can of rinsed black beans. Season with salt, pepper, ground thyme, and garlic powder.

In a bowl, mix slivered almonds, chopped cucumber, and the juice of two limes. Add the sauteed ingredients and the cooked quinoa, still hot. Mix to distribute.

Be surprised at how the flavors jive, and be humbled by the power of fresh lime juice.

Sunday, September 18, 2016


gluten free menu

I had a lot of fun this weekend. Saturday included lunch with long-lost friends, a bit of shopping, a few minutes of nephew and sister time, and a night full of bbq and good company.

I got a bit of me time wandering around Target this afternoon, finding everything on my list, most of it on sale!

Wishing I had another day before the work week starts again. I feel like I've been moving nonstop.
Maybe I can grab a nap before dinner.

Here are this week's eats:

Second breakfasts:
waffles + peanut butter
cottage cheese + blueberries + almonds

Monday- Honey lime chicken with edamame rice- This was eh. Make this instead.
Quinoa veggie salad
Beef something-or-other. Probably in the crock pot.
Tuna salad + carrot chips
Salmon + broccoli

Saturday I'm checking out Calvin's first T-ball game, being forced to participate in a 5k, then making an appearance at a birthday party.

Sunday I'm headed to New York for another training! Yay hotels and happy hour receptions and free vending machines!

And when I get back, I have another dentist appointment to look forward to. Mugh.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

No bake pumpkin cheesecake

Sooo. I didn't take a picture of this until it was almost gone. It was that good. And so easy.

This recipe happened because I wanted cheesecake. I wanted pumpkin. I didn't want to turn on the oven. So I grabbed what I had: a can of pumpkin, a bar of cream cheese, and a package of pudding mix.

Hey-yo! Delicious.

gluten free no bake pumpkin cheesecake

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

In the stand mixer, combine:
1 can of pumpkin
1 block of cream cheese
1 T. pumpkin pie spice

In the meantime, prepare the crust by mixing:
1 c. GF flour
1/4 c. melted butter
and pressing it into an 8-inch pan.

When the filling is all mixed, slowly whip in 1 package of unprepared pudding mix (GF). Get it nice and fluffy. Pour it into the pan and refrigerate overnight.

See? Easy. And the kitchen doesn't get any hotter.

Dirty quinoa

gluten free dirty quinoa

A twist on dirty rice-- this dish mixes sausage, bell pepper, onion, kale, and quinoa. Pretty tasty. Hubs went back for seconds.

Dirty Quinoa

1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 red onion
1 c. kale
1/2 pkg GF sausage

Put a deep skillet on medium-high heat. Heat up the sausage until browned. Drain as much grease as you can. Sautee the onion, kale, and bell pepper in the remaining grease.

Stir in:
1 c. quinoa
2 c. water
1/4 t. ground thyme

Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes, until the quinoa is cooked. Season with salt and pepper.

gluten free dirty quinoa

Sunday, September 4, 2016


Currently: Enjoying the long weekend. The Sunday blues are postponed! I originally asked to work the holiday weekend, but my boss insisted that I take it off. Smart lady.

The plan is to get the normal Sunday chores done today, so that tomorrow I'm free to do whatever I want, (any old time.) This rainy weather is not exactly motivating, but at least the laundry's getting done.

I'm working NEXT weekend so the schedule gets a bit wonky and I end up with two weekdays off this week. I'll take it!

Second breakfasts:
Hummus and carrots
Muffins with peanut butter

Monday- Chicken tacos
Tuesday- Sweet potato chili
Wednesday- Salmon + green beans
Thursday- Dirty quinoa
Friday- Tuna salad on cucumber slices
Saturday- Paninis?

Sunday, August 28, 2016


gluten free menu

All right, y'all. I'd rather curl back up into bed with a good book than toss in another load of laundry and go to the grocery store. But, that's life.

Here's what we're eating this week. A lot of repeats from last week. How does that happen? Did we not eat? I know we had leftovers one day, but the rest eludes me. The good thing is, it makes it easier to plan this week's menu.

Second breakfasts:
Granola bars, trail mix, apple slices, and cheese
Waffles and peanut butter. I've been digging this lately because it keeps me full for hours. I even got one of my coworkers hooked.

Sunday- Chicken crust pizza. Curious to see how this turns out.
Monday- Black bean veggie quesadillas
TuesdaySpaghetti (with hidden shredded carrots) and broccoli
Wednesday- Beef Stew
Thursday- Sausage with pineapple and rice
Friday- Salmon kabobs + edamame

Friday, August 26, 2016

Stir Friday

Let me tell you how much I did not want to cook dinner tonight.

I simply wasn't going to eat. Maybe grab a snack, but dinner was not on my radar. I'm tired.

My day started with a train blocking two intersections that made me late for work, and ended with me staying late to make up the time, only to stay even later to validate a new shipment of pregnancy tests. I didn't want to get a call this weekend because we ran out.

The couch sounded way better than standing in the kitchen making dinner.

Buttt there's this thing called a husband who got pretty hungry and asked for dinner like 3 times.

Thankfully, I'm pretty good at scrap meals. Because I hadn't even thawed the fish for the planned dinner tonight.

I happened to wash and cut some veggies earlier in the week, so they were super easy to toss in the pan for a quick, healthy dinner. Hashtag StirFriday.

Way better than not eating.

gluten free stir fry


Start a pot of rice.

Heat up some sesame and olive oil on medium/high heat. Toss in sliced steak. Brown on each side.
Throw in veggies: I had cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, green beans, and kale.
Sprinkle on some GF soy sauce, fresh grated ginger, and chopped green onions.
Turn the heat to medium/low. Put the lid on and let the veggies steam for a few minutes, until the meat is cooked and the rice is done.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Easy peasy. Sit back down on the couch and enjoy dinner.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Can you tell I got a new dry erase marker? It's like every dry erase marker dried out all at once today. So I picked up a pack at the grocery store. Now the menu looks like it's yelling at me.

Anyway, I'm back on the menu scene. Traveling really disrupts the food flow, and when I got home yesterday there was literally like one egg in the house. So I used part of my day off today to meander the grocery store. A hundred-some-odd dollars later, there are veggies and fruits and yogurt and the pantry is all stocked up again.

Here's what we're eating this week:

Second breakfasts:
Granola bars & trail mix left over from traveling snacks, plus apple slices

Wednesday- (Veggie loaded) tuna mac
Thursday- Spaghetti (with hidden shredded carrots) and broccoli
Friday- Salmon kabobs + roasted cauliflower. I swear I'll get around to making these kabobs.
Saturday- Chicken crust pizza (Neat concept, or gross? I guess I'll find out)
Sunday- Black bean veggie quesadillas

Have a lovely rest of the week, y'all.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

xanthan gum woes

Oh, the unique challenge of opening a new bag of xanthan gum. No matter how careful I am, everything gets a nice fine coating of... slippery.

Which is why I always transfer it to a container. It seems to contain (see what I did there?) the mess a bit better than repeatedly opening the bag.

Fortunately a bag lasts for years, so it's a rare challenge.

[Yes, I found xanthan gum for 50% off years ago and bought all the bags. It expired in 2012, but it's been in the freezer since I bought it, and works just fine!]

P.S. Isn't it odd that before Celiac-ness, I had no idea what xanthan gum was, nor did I care.
Now not only can I spell it, I know what it's for and it's a staple in my kitchen, even if it is only used in small amounts. Life sure is funny.

Sunday, August 7, 2016


gluten free menu
2nd Breakfasts:
GF waffles with peanut butter
Egg, potato and bean breakfast tacos

Monday- Burgers + beans (Or, more likely it'll be a sandwich because it's too hot to make burgers)
Tuesday- Pizza quesadillas
Wednesday- Chicken and squash with broccoli quinoa
Thursday- Salmon kabobs + salad

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Refried beans

I love beans. This is nothing new.

One day, a few weeks ago, I was working the weekend. Hungover, I trudged to the cafeteria to grab some food. Randomly, they were serving refried beans with breakfast. Weird, but right up my alley.

I got a scoop with some bacon and eggs, and after that my life was changed. Refried beans with breakfast is GENIUS. I was full well until lunchtime. Plus it cured any hangover I might have had.

Since then, I've been keeping my eyes open for beans at the cafeteria, but it must have been a random thing where they were trying to get rid of leftovers because I haven't seen them again.

Being the bean fiend that I am, I asked my hispanic coworker how to make refried beans. Figuring she'd be the best resource. She said all it takes is bacon grease and pinto beans. And yes, pinto beans soaked and cooked from scratch are delicious, but she also frequently makes them using canned pinto beans. Because nobody has time for that.

With that in mind, and some bacon grease on hand, I tried to make refried beans.

And it was a success. This bean-loving girl wished she made a double batch.

Refried Beans

bacon grease
1 can of pinto beans, not drained

Combine the two ingredients. Start mashing the pinto beans with the back of a spoon.

Get impatient. Transfer to a blender and blend for a few seconds with some water.
Put back into skillet.

Heat until the beans thicken up into refried beans consistency.

Taste. Add salt and maybe a bit of cumin or garlic powder to taste. The texture will continue to thicken, how quickly depends on how much water was added.

Mm. Refried bean goodness.

I'm going to make some more and bring it to work so my bean-loving (and alcohol-loving) coworker and I can enjoy a killer hangover-curing breakfast-- whether or not the cafeteria is serving refried beans with breakfast that day.

Loaded potato slices

gluten free loaded potato nachos

Loaded baked potato... in an appetizer setting.

These were made on somewhat of a whim, so I was out of sour cream (drat!), but they really need it. Put sour cream on these babies.

Loaded potato slices

1 potato, washed
shredded cheddar cheese
chives, chopped (scissors work best)
sour cream
salt and pepper

Slice the potato into rounds. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, turning halfway.

In the meantime, fry up the bacon. I like to cut it with scissors. Save the bacon grease in the skillet for refried beans, since you're already halfway there.

Let the bacon bits drain on paper towels.

Once the potato rounds are done, top with shredded cheese, chives, and bacon. Return to oven to broil until the cheese is melted. Top with sour cream (and maybe some refried beans...)

Nom. Because these are delicious.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Easy crock pot chicken

This is the easiest crock pot chicken recipe. I almost feel silly calling it a recipe.

I make it when I'm stumped for dinner ideas because of two reasons:

1. I always have the three ingredients around.
2. It turns out surprisingly great every time. So good that I'd make it for company. Really. I think I even made this for a special homecoming dinner for hubby once.

Toss into the crock pot (with a life-changing liner):

Cook on low until you come home from work. Serve over rice with the vegetable of your choice.

*A note about the soup: It didn't always used to be gluten free, and some of the non-gf cans are still around. Find a can that says GLUTEN FREE right on it. Then buy 5 to have in the pantry.

You're welcome for this super easy wonderful crock pot chicken recipe.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

This week's menu

Crap. I didn't realize that picture was blurry until just now. Too bad, I'm not taking another one.

This week is a regular work week. Holy Moley, I needed this weekend to rest.

The lab gods made last week pretty hectic. I wonder what they will decide for this week? At least I have some yummy meals planned to enjoy for lunch-- IF I can get out of the lab to take a lunch!

P.S. It's still hot outside. Too hot.

2nd Breakfasts-
Cottage cheese with strawberries and sliced almonds
Peanut butter on GF toast

Sunday- Thai Peanut Noodles. Because I'm still obsessing over that sauce.
Monday- Crock pot chicken + rice + broccoli
Tuesday- Burgers + beans + potato wedges
Wednesday- Big salads
Thursday- Black bean enchiladas- made in the toaster oven
Friday- Salmon kabobs + salad

Have a lovely week.

Thai Peanut Noodles

gluten free thai peanut noodles

Why, yes. I AM obsessed with this peanut sauce.

Since I discovered it, I've had it on salad, with spring rolls, with takeout sushi, and now I'm eating it with noodles. It's THAT good.

Thai Peanut Noodles

Gather ingredients:
1 batch peanut sauce (made with peanut butter instead of cashew butter)
cooked and still hot GF spaghetti noodles
chives, chopped
frozen peas
red pepper flakes
Optional: chopped leftover chicken breast

Mix it all together in the still-hot spaghetti noodle pot, and dig in.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

This week's menu

What do we have here? Another menu.

It dawned on me that I've been neglecting to post a very important part of my weekly menu: 2nd breakfast. I always eat a snack around 10am when I take my break at work.

I eat a small bowl of cereal before I leave the house, but a few hours later I always need something more. And yes, I usually plan these second breakfasts along with these dinners.

So! Let's welcome 2nd breakfasts into the weekly menu.

2nd Breakfasts: Peanut butter and granola on Udi's GF bread

Wednesday- Leftover soup + salad, if I can get to it before it gets too slimy
Thursday- Buffalo chicken and broccoli bowls
Friday- Burgers + beans + potato wedges
Saturday- Grilled fish tacos + avocado corn salsa
Sunday- Crock pot chicken + rice + broccoli

not salad dressing

I've been trying to eat more vegetables this year. So far I've actually done a great job- I eat WAY more vegetables on a regular basis than I ever have.

While there are many vegetables out there, eating more veggies pretty much = eating more salads. However boring salads can be, they're the easiest way to ingest more veggies. They're a necessary evil.

One day we ran out of salad dressing.

Oh, me! Oh, my!

However will I eat my salad?

Good thing I had hummus to the rescue.

It turns out, a dollup of hummus is even better than salad dressing. It can be thinned out with water to a dressing consistency, or simply plopped into the salad as-is. It tastes better and has more protein aka I'm not as hungry an hour later.

Try it.

P.S. More ways to eat veggies

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

freezer dump soup

It's hot.
Did I mention it's hot?
Because it's hot.

And I don't want to cook hot things. But salads and sandwiches get old.

Enter stage left: The crock pot. And the big freezer cleanout.

Dinner is served.

gluten free soup

This is my freezer dump soup. The recipe changes, because it consists of cleaning out the fridge and freezer and dumping anything soup-worthy into the crock pot.

And it's usually delicious.

The secret to delicious freezer-dump soup is to heavily sautee all the things you can before dumping them in the crock pot. That char gives the soup and extra depth that really makes a difference.

This particular soup starts with sauteed corn, green peppers, and onion.

It got tossed into the crock pot with chicken broth, a forgotten carrot, peas, some wine, and a freezer burned chicken breast.

It turned out wonderful. I had 2 bowls.

I usually serve with a nice big scoop of rice or quinoa to round things out.

gluten free soup

Saturday, July 23, 2016

This "week's" eats

My "weeks" always get a bit weird when I work weekends. That's why this "week" starts on a Saturday. Also it's too effing hot to cook over the stove. So salads, sandwiches, and crock pots are my friends right now.

Saturday- Sandwiches
Sunday- Tuna salad on salad
Monday- Crock pot soup (freezer cleanout = dump all the things in the soup!)
Tuesday- Buffalo chicken and broccoli bowls

Friday, July 22, 2016

Spring Rolls, again

When life hands you a fantastic peanut sauce recipe, you make spring rolls.

In addition to the more detailed tutorial in the link above, here is a fantastic picture of how to fold the rice paper wrapper.

Spring rolls are great for using up sad veggies. Which is exactly what I did.

These particular spring rolls included lettuce, shredded carrot, rice vermicelli, chicken, cucumber, and edamame. Oh, and just a little bit of peanut sauce.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Thai salad dressing

Let's talk about Minimalist Baker's Thai salad dressing. Why? Because it's really freaking good.

I didn't make the salad in the link above, just the dressing. Then I poured it over my regularish salad and took a bite and then I got up and poured more on top. Delish.

I used peanut butter instead of cashew butter, lemon juice because I ran out of limes, and did not add the optional ingredients.

It's kind of like the peanut sauce that is served with Spring Rolls. But better because it's gluten free and I can actually eat it. I'm definitely making Spring Rolls this weekend just so I can dip them in that sauce.

Make it.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

This week's menu

Monday- Big Salads. Because I have a huge tub of salad greens in the fridge and the mission, as always, is to finish it before everything gets slimy. This particular big salad uses up any available sad fridge veggies, plus quinoa, peppers, and edamame.
TuesdayChili + salads. I'm making a big batch of chili because we're having a party at work on Wednesday and I'm tasked with bringing chili frito pie. Easy peasy.
WednesdayVegetable soup + sandwich. And salad. Light dinner because I'm doing yoga at 730. Kind of late to be working out, but maybe I'm just old and 730 is not really that late.
ThursdayThai Salad, then happpy hour! Or maybe vice versa. I really want to try that dressing.
 Friday- Leftovers, or whatever. I have the day off so I'll be going to the grocery store and making a new menu. PLUS I've been challenged with making Chrissy Teigan's Dutch Baby in a gluten free version so I know what I'll have for breakfast!

Other news: I did join the gym at work and I've actually gone twice. Motivated to keep going. It's super convenient that it's literally right at work.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Mexican rice

A long time ago, my uncle was married to a woman who made LEGENDARY Mexican rice. Every special occasion, every get-together, we begged her to make it. I don't care if we were making Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas ham, that rice was next to it on the table, nestled amongst the cranberries and stuffing. And it was the first dish to be gobbled up.

She gave us the recipe, but when we made it, it wasn't the same. As it happened, circumstances led to her no longer being in the family, and we mourned her rice.

Fast forward to a few years ago when Chris had a friend and his wife come stay with us for a weekend. We fired up the bbq pit and the wife decided to make "her famous" rice for the meal. Remembering the pattern of mexican rice at meals that did not demand mexican rice, I was intrigued.

She gathered ingredients from the pantry, and I noticed they looked familiar. My heart skipped a beat.

As she made the rice, I discovered the crucial missing step from the recipe that the former aunt had given out. It was like a sparkling secret developing on my stove top.

Elated, I waited for the rice to finish cooking and sure enough, it was the amazing fabled rice we enjoyed as kids. A single tear fell from my eye. I finally had it.

And now I'm going to share it with you.

Gather ingredients:

2 cloves minced garlic
1T. olive oil
1t. chicken bullion- make sure it's GF
1c. rice
2c. water
1 4oz can tomato sauce

Sautee the rice and garlic in oil.
^^THIS IS THE SECRET STEP!! If you don't do this, you'll simply end up with regular tomato-y rice.

Dont be shy. Get all the rice nice and browned. This gives you that perfect texture in the final product.

Finish cooking like regular rice: Stir in the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed.

Feast on legendary rice. In this case, I added it to Burrito Bowls.