Sunday, December 17, 2017

21 seasoned pork chops

Hey, gf folks who still pop in now and again to see what I've been up to!

Lately, I've been content to eat a salad for dinner. Call it a combination of being busy and traveling, plus I've only got myself to feed and I've found it's not worth the trouble to cook every night.

Today, though, I was hungry and wanting something warm and nourishing. Hello, crock pot!

Super easy to pop some frozen boneless pork chops in the crock pot, with a generous dose of Trader Joe's 21 seasoning blend, juice from a lemon, a sprig of fresh thyme, and some chopped red onion.

Paired with roasted sweet potato and brussels sprouts... on top of greens because you can never force enough veggies down your throat.


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Carrot bread cake ish

Hey, I made something and didn't put pumpkin in it!

Dorie Greenspan's carrot cake recipe in the October issue of Better Homes and Gardens caught my eye, so I bookmarked the page and shredded some carrots and then life got in the way. Then I won an adorable new loaf pan at bingo and suddenly I had to make carrot cake. But I made it in a loaf pan so it has to be called carrot bread?

Either way, the house smells fantastic and I have a treat to enjoy this rainy Sunday.

Obviously I adapted the recipe to be gluten free and I cut back on the sugar. Other than that, I followed it. Which I hardly ever do. So here it is!

Carrot Cake (bread)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix in Bowl #1:
1/2 c. almond flour
1/2 c. GF flour blend
1 tsp. each: baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix in Bowl #2:
1 1/2 cups grated carrot (the kitchen aid attachment is AWESOME for this)
1/2 c. coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 c. shredded coconut
1/2 c. craisins, soaked in hot water 5 minutes and drained

Beat in the kitchen aid:
1/2 c. brown sugar, loosely packed
1/2 c. light olive oil

Mix in:
2 eggs

Then mix in the contents of Bowl #1.
Then mix in the contents of Bowl #2.

Grease the loaf pan and pour in the batter. Bake at 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

I declined  to add frosting, and it was great. However the first link above had a recipe for cream cheese frosting which I'm sure is divine.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Peanut butter (pumpkin choco chip) cookies

The pumpkin mania continues!

Why add pumpkin to a perfectly good cookie recipe? Because 'tis the season.
I have to say, I'm a peanut butter cookie nut and somewhat of a purist, but I'm really digging the addition of pumpkin to these cookies.

Heating the pumpkin puree to lower the moisture content makes these cookies work as cookies; they're soft but don't have a cakey consistency. The bottoms and tops crisp up like cookies should, and they hold their shape. The chocolate just adds joy to an already delightful cookie.

Peanut butter (pumpkin choco-chip) cookies

1 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. brown sugar, loosely packed
1 egg
1/4 c. pumpkin puree, heated 1 min in the microwave and cooled
1/4 c. GF Flour mix
1/4 c. almond flour
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice*
1/4 c. mini chocolate chips

Preheat: Oven to 350 degrees.
Mix: Peanut butter and brown sugar.
Mix in: Egg and pumpkin.
Mix in: The rest of the ingredients.

Form little cookie dough balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Smash slightly with a fork.The dough will be really soft and a little oily at this point because it's mostly peanut butter, but don't despair!
Bake for 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a cooking rack and try not to eat a million of them!

*[Pumpkin pie spice:]
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground ginger
1/4 t.ground nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cloves

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Pumpkin Bread

It's pumpkin (spice) season! Yeah!

My little basic heart is so happy when it arrives every year. I fully support putting pumpkin into everything right now. Breakfast, sweet, savory, it doesn't matter really.

I was not looking for a pumpkin bread recipe, but this one from Minimalist Baker fell into my lap serendipitously, and of course I suddenly needed pumpkin bread.

Of course I can't follow a recipe as it's written to save my life, so I tweaked it to fit my needs.

And oh, it's gorgeous. It's pumpkiny. It's spice-y. It's that perfect spot between being moist but not soggy, and doesn't crumble. It's not too sweet and it's particularly delightful with a generous smear of butter.

gluten free pumpkin bread
Pumpkin Bread

2 eggs
1/4 c. light olive oil
1/2 c. maple syrup
1 c. pumpkin puree
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 t. salt
2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
2 t. pumpkin pie spice*
1/2 c. GF oats
1/2 c. almond flour
1 c. GF flour

Preheat oven to 350.
In a bowl or stand mixer, mix the wet ingredients. In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Mix the two together.
Pour into a greased loaf pan and top with chopped nuts. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

*[Pumpkin pie spice:]
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground ginger
1/4 t.ground nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cloves

Sunday, August 20, 2017

cornmeal pancakes

Sundays are for waffles.

(Actually, lately our waffle tradition has... waffled. Probably for the better. Waffles are not exactly waistline friendly fare.)

Which is why it was odd that this morning I woke up wanting pancakes. The pancake gods must have whispered sweet pancakey nothings into my ear while I slept.

Who am I to deny the dreamland pancake gods?

For a pancake that had a more rustic, stick to your ribsy effect, I opted to add some cornmeal. It was a good decision. The edges were a little crispy and the whole pancake experience was upgraded.

Cornmeal Pancakes

1/2 c. GF flour mix
1/2 c. GF cornmeal
1 t. baking powder
1/8 t. salt
2 T. oil (I use extra light olive oil)
1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4 c. water or milk

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine the wet ingredients in another bowl. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients well with a whisk.

Preheat a griddle/ pan until water droplets dance around a few seconds before disappearing.

Ladle in about 1/3 cup of the batter and let it cook until you start seeing bubbles in the middle and the sides are set. Flip, and cook for a few minutes until the center is done.

This will make about 4 pancakes, or 2 sets of short-stacks.

Especially good with a light drizzle of real maple syrup.

Friday, August 18, 2017

salads and roasted stuff

Checking in amid my never-ending crusade to consume more veggies! While I generally still don't count salads as my favorite thing to eat, they're still the best way to get in veggies. And whether I like it or not, my body likes salads.

I admit a nice, crisp salad can be refreshing, but they get old fast. Toss some roasted veggies on that nice, crisp salad? I have to say it's a nice change of pace. I know it's overdone, but it really helps break up the salad monotony. Toss on a dollup of hummus and some extra virgin olive oil, and there's no need for salad dressing.

My new (favorite) way to eat veggies.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Checking in

Hey, there. I'm still here. Really!

Big life changes lately. New fancy job. Attempts to improve health. All good things.

New job changes have involved a lot of travel*. Hence the lack of weekly menu around here. Impressively, hubs has taken to cooking-- some pretty tasty stuff. Between us both, we've been digging those one-pan meals. Toss everything on the pan and put it in the oven. Boom. Dinner.

*Gluten free travel tends to involve a lot of salads. Occasional local GF finds will mix up the salad cycle, but it's usually back to salads in order to preserve tummy tranquility.

Once I get into the swing of things, I'd like to start documenting these cool GF restaurants and logging some travel tips.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

This week's menu

gluten free menu

All right, back to menu planning.

After eating a bowl of cereal for breakfast my entire life, I've inexplicably switched to having a piece of peanut butter toast. Actually, there is a good explanation: I can eat it on the way to work, skipping the rushed shoving of cereal into my mouth before I leave the house, and it keeps me full longer.

I'm feeling uninspired this week, so we're having a bunch of standby meals that are easy to make and use on-hand ingredients. Like beans and canned tuna and the chicken in the back of the freezer.

Second breakfasts: Fruit and yogurt

Sunday- Black bean tacos
Monday- Tuna melts
Tuesday- Baked chicken + glazed carrots
Wednesday- Vegetable soup
Thursday- Pulled chicken sandwiches
Friday- Salmon + sweet potato + broccoli

Have a lovely week.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Olive chicken with Almonds

I didn't plan on posting this recipe, but DAMN it turned out good.

Over the years I've noticed that I dislike following recipes. I DO love taking neat ideas and creating my own thing based on what I've got on hand. It usually turns out great. I credit that to my mother. Thank goodness I've inherited that trait.

This dish was inspired by this recipe from Good Housekeeping. Love that magazine. It involves chicken, olives, and almonds. What a neat combination.

But did I go searching for pitted Castelvetrano olives? Hell, no.
And did I use up a sad zucchini and wrinkly grape tomatoes? You bet I did.
And it was a delicious, tangy dish that totally jived.

gluten free olive chicken

Olive Chicken with Almonds

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss into an oven safe dish:

1 clove of chopped garlic
1 stalk of chopped chive
1/4 c. olives (regular old olives with the pimento inside)
1/2 c. slightly smashed almonds

Top with:

2 chicken thighs
1 shredded zucchini (put on top of the chicken to keep it moist)
a drizzle of olive oil
a few halved grape tomatoes
salt and pepper

Bake, covered, for about 30 minutes or until the meat thermometer reads 175. (I love the meat thermometer.)

Serve over GF noodles with green beans.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Creamy Bacon Thyme Chicken

gluten free bacon mushroom chicken

Hey, this is a good dish. Bacony, oniony, creamy... what more could you want? I was inspired by this recipe.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sautee:

A few strips of chopped bacon (I used turkey bacon. Full disclosure, it's not as good as real bacon but it's not terrible in this recipe)
1/2 red onion, chopped

After the bacon is browned and the onions are translucent, push the bacony onion mixture to the edges of the pan and add 2 chicken breasts. Brown on each side for a few minutes. Sprinkle with ground thyme. Add a small amount of water to the pan (about 1/3 cup) so the chicken doesn't get dry. Put it in the oven for 15 minutes, then flip the chicken breasts and cook for another 15 minutes.

Remove the chicken breasts from the pan once they're done and wrap in foil. Put them in the (turned off) oven to keep warm.

At this point, put a pot of water on to boil, if you're pairing this with pasta.

Put the skillet back over medium high heat and add about 5 chopped mushrooms. Cook those down until they look happy with the bacon and onion.

Sprinkle on 1/3 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese. Stir in 1/3 c. plain greek yogurt and a splash of milk. Add in some frozen peas, if you so desire. The end result should be a nice, creamy sauce.

Nestle the chicken into the saucy goodness, and serve over GF pasta.

This week's menu

Second breakfasts: Frittata

Sunday- Chicken pineapple fried rice
Monday- Black bean tacos
Tuesday- Pizza
Wednesday- Tuna Salad
Thursday- Vegetable soup
Friday- Spaghetti + broccoli

I usually do most of the cooking around here. Starting Thursday, I'll be recovering from a procedure and hubs is in charge of meals for a while. He's got some culinary skills, but I tried to pick easy recipes.

He'll most likely wind up taking creative control and I'm sure we'll end up with something gourmet.

Have a lovely week!