Author Archive

postheadericon CSA Veggies and Chicken

We are now part of a CSA, an Eastern Seaboard CSA that gives us fresh (and mostly organic) veggies from farmers on the East Coast of the USA before the Farm Direct Coop starts up for the late Spring/Summer. The price for organic produce is much better through a CSA, and the food has been amazing – and seeing how much my girls like eating rainbow chard sautéed with garlic and olive oil is priceless!

Stirring after simmering

This is a 1-pot meal that can use up a good amount of fresh produce, and a great way of getting chard into people who might be leery of eating any dark leafy green that isn’t spinach. They don’t really have to know it’s chard!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and top 8 allergen free recipe. This recipe is Faux Fast Food, and can be made in under 45 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 TBS olive oil

  • 1-2 TBS butter/margarine
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 3-4 lbs boneless/skinless chicken
  • 6-8 oz baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 2 small-medium zucchini
  • 2 small-medium summer squash
  • 1/4 cup apple juice or cooking wine
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes (this is tricky to find corn-free, but a few brands don’t contain citric acid/ascorbic acid)
  • 1 bunch swiss, red, or rainbow chard
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, stemmed and roughly chopped

Method:

Ready to eat!

Start by doing all the prep work with the veggies and the chicken. There’s a lot of chopping for this recipe, and you don’t want to end up overcooking something because you need more time to chop!

Mince the onion and garlic, and set aside. Chop the chicken thighs into cubes about 2 inches long. Rinse and slice the mushrooms, and set aside. Slice the zucchini and summer squash in half length-wise, and cut into half-moons. If the zucchini/summer squash is quite wide, you may wish to cut them into quarter-moons.

To prepare the chard, first break off the bottom stem, then rip the chard in half. Use a salad spinner (I love the OXO Salad Spinner, myself) to rinse the chard, then dry and roughly chop the greens. You want to have pieces that are about the size you’d use for lettuce in a salad.

Simmering Chicken with CSA veggies

Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat, and warm the butter/margarine and olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic, and sauté. When the onion and garlic are tender, add the chicken. Stir with tongs (I use the Oxo Good Grips 12″ Tongs), until chicken begins to brown.

Add the mushrooms, salt, and dried herbs to the chicken mixture, and keep stirring with tongs. When the mushrooms start to soften and the chicken is looking browner, add the zucchini and summer squash. Stir well to combine, then cover and let simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Open only once or twice to stir. The steam will help the chicken and veggies finish cooking.

Drain the “juice” that has accumulated in the pan. Next, deglaze the pan with about a little apple juice or wine. Stir again with tongs, then add the crushed tomatoes. Stir to combine, and let simmer for another 5 minutes with the cover on.

Adding the green leafies

Finally, add the chopped fresh parsley and the chopped chard to the pan. Stir, cover, and let simmer for a final 5 minutes. The heat and steam will wilt the greens, and they will be perfectly cooked with little to no additional work.

Stir and serve. I like mine plain and with a salad on the side, but my daughters liked theirs with some Tinkyada Brown Rice Penne Pasta. Eat it up, yum!

postheadericon Mackenzie’s Chicken Roulades with Chives

One afternoon my daughters wanted to cook dinner for the family. The younger two wanted to make desserts, so my youngest made GF GrapeNut pudding, my middle daughter made a fudge pie from the Joy of Cooking, and my oldest decided to make the main course, with a side of pasta.

After much searching for the perfect recipe to make for dinner, Mackenzie found a Chicken and Chive Roulade recipe in the wonderful Silver Spoon cookbook. We made some adaptations to add a bit more flavor and to make it gluten-free, as well as creating more detailed directions.

This recipe is not dairy-free This is a delicious gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, and shellfish free recipe. This recipe is Faux Fast Food, and can be made in under 45 minutes.

Dinner, made and served by the girls

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts

  • 1/4 cup butter and 2 TBS butter, separated
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh chives (they’ve popped up in the garden already this spring!)
  • 8 tsp cream cheese with chives
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup gf flour
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 TBS olive oil

Method:

Chicken ready to be pounded

Have a large skillet with a cover ready, as this cooks on top of the stove. You will also need 8 toothpicks.

Cut each chicken breast in half length-wise. Lay between two sheets of wax paper and pound each one with a meat mallet to approximately 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick.

Divide the 1/4 cup butter into 8 equal pieces. Lay out every piece of pounded chicken breast on a piece of wax paper or a cookie sheet. On each place 1 piece of butter, 1/8th of the chives, and 1 tsp chive cream cheese.

Roll each piece of chicken length-wise, and secure with a toothpick.

In a bowl, combine flour, parmesan, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper.

Dust each roulade with the flour mix, and then dredge the bottom of each piece of chicken with the flour mixture as well.

Melt the remaining butter and the olive oil in the large skillet over medium-high heat. Place each piece of chicken in the skillet. Cook until browned (about 2 minutes), then flip. Cook each side for 2 minutes, until browned on all sides.

Sprinkle the chicken with any leftover chives when serving. Serve with pasta (Mackenzie tossed her pasta with butter and parmesan), quinoa, or potatoes and a roasted vegetable (we had roasted broccoli and asparagus).

postheadericon GF GrapeNut Pudding / GrapeNut Custard

My stepfather’s mom made GrapeNut pudding all the time – for every occasion. It wasn’t my favorite dessert, but it has so many nice memories attached to it. After we went gluten and dairy free (and therefore couldn’t eat Grape-Nuts Cereal), I figured we could never eat it again. When Gram passed away recently, I wanted to make a version of it for my stepfather in Gram’s memory, so I tweaked it.

I love to munch on the Bakery on Main Gluten Free Granola, and had found the (gluten, dairy, and nut-free) Enjoy Life Cinnamon Crunch Granola to be a bit too dry to be eaten plain. The Bakery on Main Gluten Free Granola is too chunky to cook with, but the Enjoy Life Cinnamon Crunch Granola is absolutely perfect to use in place of Grape-Nuts Cereal for GrapeNut pudding! Yum!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, and vegetarian recipe.

Not-quite-extensive testing with my stepfather, my family, and some of my stepfather’s coworkers indicated that this recipe leads to great results – and people never knew it was gluten-free!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Enjoy Life Cinnamon Crunch Granola

  • 4 cups milk (or milk substitute – I would suggest coconut milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Optional toppings: ice cream, whipped cream, or whipped topping

Method:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the granola with the milk/milk substitute. Bring up just to the boiling point, stirring regularly, then remove from the heat.

While the granola and milk are cooking, combine eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon in a medium sized bowl. Whisk together well.

Pour the egg mixture into the milk/granola mixture slowly, stirring constantly. If you add too much at a time you’ll end up with cooked eggs, not a custard!

Once the custard is combined, pour into a 9×9 oven-proof pan, and put into the oven.

Bake at 350 for 45min to 1 hour, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serve warm, with ice cream or whipped cream/whipped topping. (Whole Foods and other natural food stores now sell canned soy-based whipped cream next to the dairy whipped cream)

Yum! Enjoy this warm custard with your family, and make your own memories!

postheadericon Impossibly Easy Apple Pie

Just one slice

My family has been loving the Impossible Quiche Pie variations, and while I was Googling for more ideas, I found an apple pie variation. My oldest and youngest daughters love almost any dessert, but my middle daughter loves apple pie and chocolate only. It was lovely to find an easy workaround for the hassle of making gluten-free apple pie! As a bonus, it tasted delicious!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and vegetarian recipe.

After Baking

Ingredients:

  • 3 large apples, peeled and sliced

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • several grates fresh, or 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup gf biscuit mix – we like Bob’s Red Mill Biscuit mix or Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix
    • 1/2 cup all purpose gf flour mix (or 1/4 cup rice or sorghum flour & 1/4 cup tapioca or corn starch)

    • 1/8 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk or milk substitute (cow, coconut, or soy work the best, rice is a bit too thin)
  • 1 tablespoon margarine or butter, melted, or oil (Fleishmann’s unsalted is dairy & gluten free, Earth Balance has a dairy, soy, & gluten-free tub)
  • 2 eggs (these are necessary, don’t try to substitute)

Topping Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup gf flour or baking mix

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3-4 TBS cold margarine, butter, or shortening (for shortening, we like Spectrum)
  • 1/2 tsp allspice

Method:
Oil a 9″ pie pan with deep sides, and preheat oven to 350.

Peel and slice apples, and set in a medium-sized bowl. Add cinnamon and nutmeg, stir, and let sit.

Before Baking

In another medium-sized bowl, whisk together the biscuit mix, sugar, eggs, milk/milk substitute, and melted margarine/butter.

In a third bowl, combine the dry topping ingredients. Cut the fat into small pieces, and cut into the flour mixture into it using a pastry blender or two knives. Mix together until it becomes crumbly, as you would with a fruit crisp topping.

Pour the apples into the pie pan, and cover with the egg mixture. Sprinkle topping on top.

Disappearing

Slide into the oven, and bake for 30-45 minutes, until it becomes browned. Touch the top of the pie to make sure it’s firm and set.

Let cool and serve, with or without whipped topping or ice cream. Don’t expect there to be many leftovers!

postheadericon Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Spinach

Plated stuffed chicken

This is the first recipe to include dairy on this blog. My daughters passed a dairy challenge at the end of August, and our diet has started to include dairy. While most of the recipes on this site will still be dairy-free, an occasional recipe that includes dairy will appear, like this one.

One day when I was trying to come up with something new to make for dinner, I had an idea to make a stuffing for the chicken. This turned out to be beautiful as well as delicious, and easy.

This is a delicious gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and low-carb recipe. This meal can be on the table in 45 minutes, making this a faux fast food recipe.

Ingredients:

Ready to bake
  • 6 boneless/skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 8oz block cream cheese (you could sub soy cream cheese to make this dairy-free)
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs (home-made or premade – Amazon has several types of GF breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 or 1 tsp Italian-style seasoning – I like Trader Joe’s “21 Seasoning Salute” myself (if the breadcrumbs are pre-seasoned, use the smaller amount)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup, packed, raw baby spinach or kale
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 and oil a 9×13 pan.

Pounded chicken breasts

Separate the chicken breasts, then pound them flat one at a time. I have found it is best to place the chicken breast on a cutting board, place a layer of wax paper of plastic wrap on top, then use a mallet to pound the chicken flat. When pounding, you just want to get them flatter and thinner so they will roll well, don’t worry about making them perfectly thin.

Stuffed Chicken Breast Filling

In a food processor combine cream cheese, gluten-free breadcrumbs, seasoning, garlic, and spinach. Pulse until the mixture is well combined and evenly green.

Optionally, sprinkle a few spinach leaves on the bottom of the oiled pan, place the chicken rolls on top of that.

Spoon about 1/6th of the cream cheese mixture onto the middle of the chicken breast, then roll the chicken around it. Place the stuffed chicken breast in the pan, seam-side down. Repeat until all the chicken breasts are stuffed.

Rolling the chicken

Drizzle olive oil over the top of the chicken, then sprinkle a bit of kosher salt. A couple shakes of Italian seasoning on top looks nice, too.

Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve with a roasted vegetable, some roasted potatoes, and then quickly sauté spinach in garlic & olive oil.

Plate with the chicken sliced into rounds on top of the spinach – a perfect, yet easy, meal for a dinner party!

postheadericon Gluten-Free Gingerbread house

Gluten-Free Gingerbread house

This year was our first year making a gluten-free gingerbread house. It’s one of those things I had always intended to do, but never quite gotten around to doing.

This year we had a collaborative effort – I made the gluten-free gingerbread cookie batter, my mother cut out pieces according to a template and made the frosting “glue”, then my three daughters decorated.

My daughters are now able to have dairy, which meant we had more variety available for our decorations, but there are a lot of gluten-free and dairy-free candies that make great decorations – gumdrops, sour watermelons, and mints were some of the favorites here. Candy canes would’ve been a good addition, too.

Munch, munch, munch

The best part, though, is that the gluten-free gingerbread cookie recipe makes delicious cookies, so after we smashed the house for the New Year, we all dove in and started munching on the pieces of house. Yum!

postheadericon Portuguese Linguiça and Kale Soup

I recently made my Kale and Black Bean soup, and my step-father got very excited – apparently it tasted almost the way his father’s Linguiça and Kale soup had tasted. So, I listened to his suggestions, and ended up with this soup. I recently served this to several relatives at a family party, and they all loved it!

Carb-less Linguiça and Kale Soup

Enjoy this hearty soup on a cold day, it will warm you up. It warms my heart along with my body – I see my family awash in memories, and my girls gobble it up. This is definitely approved by adults and kids!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, low-carb, and top 8 allergen free. While the soup can simmer for a while, this can also be ready within 45 minutes, a faux fast food!

Ingredients:

Portuguese Linguiça and Kale soup simmering
  • 1-2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, sliced into circles (note: 4 baby carrots equals 1 carrot)
  • 1 lb linguiça (double check this – most brands include milk, but there are a few which are milk-free)
  • 1 large bunch kale, rinsed, stemmed, and ripped into bite size chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups dry fava beans, rinsed, soaked, and cooked OR 2 14 oz cans kidney or black beans, drained (fava beans are the most authentic, but not as easily available)
  • 3 quarts liquid – 1 quart broth, 2 quarts water works well
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp Tony Chacheres Cajun seasoning to taste, or 2 tsp Italian seasoning mix + 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 white potatoes, cubed [optional]
  • 1/2 lb elbow rice pasta (we like Tinkyada Brown Rice Elbows or the Trader Joe’s rice pasta [also optional]

Method
Chop the onions, carrots, and garlic, and set aside. Slice the linguica in half length-wise, then slice in half again length-wise. Slice into quarter-moons about 1/2 inch thick.

Bring olive oil up to medium heat in a large soup pot. Sauté the onion, carrots and garlic until tender. When the veggies start to get tender, add the linguiça. Let cook for a few minutes, until the linguiça starts to brown.

Linguiça and Kale soup over pasta

While the linguiça is cooking, prepare the kale. Rinse, peel from the hard stems, and rip into bite-sized chunks. Add to the soup pot and stir with tongs, it will cook down pretty quickly. Once the kale has cooked down a bit, add the beans, seasonings, and broth/water.

Turn heat up to high, and bring soup to a boil. Turn the heat down and let simmer for at least 10 minutes. If you want to add the optional potatoes or rice pasta, add them when the soup begins to simmer. Cook potatoes for 15 minutes, or pasta for amount of time suggested on the packaging.

Good to the last drop

Serve alone or with a salad and rolls. Smile as you watch your family enjoy every last drop!

postheadericon Sausage-Stuffed Chicken with Apples

For those who avoid pork, or who would prefer to eat chicken, this is an adaptation of my Sausage stuffed pork with apples recipe.

This is incredibly easy, delicious, and can be on the table in 45 minutes. Serve with some quinoa, rice, or roasted potatoes and pair with roasted vegetables and/or a salad.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and top 8 allergen free recipe.

Ingredients:

Sausage-stuffed chicken with apples
  • 2 lbs boneless/skinless chicken thighs

  • 1 lb chicken and apple sausage (uncooked is preferred)
  • 2 pinches kosher or sea salt
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp Tony Chacheres Cajun seasoning or another seasoning that has a touch of cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil, for the bottom of the pan

Method:
Preheat oven to 350F. Oil a 9×13 or 9×11 baking pan (I line mine with Reynolds Release, which makes it much easier to clean up).

Delicious dinner

Lay a chicken thigh in the pan, skinned side down. Squeeze part of the apple sausage from the casing onto the middle of the chicken thigh. Roll chicken around sausage, and set in pan. Repeat until you have used up all the chicken and sausage.

Sprinkle the top of chicken rolls with a smidge of Tony Chacheres.

Core the apple and slice it into thin slices. Lay the apples on top of the rolled chicken. Sprinkle a pinch of kosher salt on top, then slide into the oven.

Bake for 30-45 minutes, until chicken and sausage are cooked thoroughly.

postheadericon Pan-Fried Salmon and Capers

This is one of my favorite ways to cook fish! I usually find fish somewhat intimidating, but this recipe is easy, delicious, and almost fool-proof. This was inspired by an early episode of Good Eats and Alton Brown’s recipe. I highly recommend picking up his newest book – Good Eats: The Early Years, even if you haven’t watched the show. It’s filled with a lot of great information, plus, he’s covered substituting for allergies on the show and he quite nice and friendly at booksignings.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, shellfish free, and corn free recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large or two small salmon fillets – with the skin on. We figure on about 1/3lb of fish per person, and I have made this with 8 oz of fish and also 2 lbs. The bigger issue is to make sure you have only 1 or 2 fillets to flip.

  • 1 tsp Sea Salt or Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free flour for dredging – amaranth, buckwheat, sorghum all work well
  • 2 TBS cooking oil – olive or canola oil
  • 2 TBS margarine (I like Earth Balance for this, but if you are dairy and soy free, using a little extra oil works well)
  • 1 TBS capers
  • 1/2 – 1 lemon, juiced

Method:
Warm oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

In a cake pan or large, shallow bowl combine salt, pepper, and flour. Lightly dredge fish in flour and shake off excess.

When pan is good and hot, add 1 tablespoon margarine (or a bit more olive oil) to the oil. As soon as it is melted, place fish in the pan, skin side down. For the first 10-15 seconds, shake the pan back and forth so the fish doesn’t stick to the pan. Cook until golden crust forms on the skin – about 2-3 minutes.

Carefully flip the fish away from you and wiggle the pan again for the first few seconds. Cook until the meat turns golden brown and delicious. Remove from the heat and slide the fish onto a warm plate.

Pour out the oil, add the 1 TBS reserved margarine (or oil). When the margarine has melted, add the capers and fry them quickly. After about one minute, take the pan off the heat, add the lemon juice to pan and mix together. Pour the caper and lemon sauce over the fish and serve.

This is great and quick meal served with some quinoa or rice and then a roasted vegetable or salad. Yum!

postheadericon Gluten-Free French Toast

French toast with maple syrup

The girls love French Toast, but it’s my mother who usually makes it. This past weekend my parents were gone for the day, so they sent me on a hunt for a good recipe. After much Googling, I ended up with this recipe which was inspired by Alton Brown’s recipe – because if Alton made it, you can’t go wrong! I tweaked it for our taste buds, allergies, and for my own cooking preferences.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and vegetarian recipe.  Be sure to check the allergy notes at the bottom of the recipe.

Ingredients:

French toast on the griddle
  • 1 cup milk or milk substitute (soy, rice, almond, hemp…)
  • 3 large eggs (eggs are integral to this recipe, so I don’t recommend using an egg substitute)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 9-12 slices gluten-free bread1
  • 4 TBS oil or margarine2

Method:

French Toast soaking liquid

Preheat oven to 250. Set a lasagna pan or similar 9×13 pan near the stove.

In a deep pie dish, combine the milk substitute, eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk gently, so the milk/egg mixture doesn’t spill.

Heat your griddle or skillet to medium heat. Add about 1 TBS oil or margarine to pan and swirl around so it coats the pan.

Dip bread into mixture, allow to soak for about 1 minute on each side. Pick up a piece of bread and gently shake the excess egg mixture into the pie pan.

Go soak your bread!

Lay 2-3 slices of bread in the griddle/skillet, depending on the size of the bread and your pan. Cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes for each side. When browned, remove from griddle and gently put in the lasagna pan, then slide the pan into the oven.

Continue with the next set of bread slices, until all of the french toast has been made.

Serve to many cheers and soon-to-be-empty plates! This tastes great with maple syrup, or perhaps a bit of confectioner’s sugar sprinkled on top.

Allergy Notes:
1 Our favorite bread recipe is perfect for this, as is our sweet bread recipe, but any gluten-free bread will work. The Kinnikinnik loaf pictured was perfect, because it tasted a bit dry when eaten plain. Our favoite purchased bread is Ener-G Brown Rice Bread, which tastes especially wonderful when toasted.
2 We usually use Earth Balance Organic margarine tubs, which are Kosher and dairy-free. However, that margarine includes soy protein. Fleishmann’s Unsalted is also Kosher and dairy-free, but only uses soy oil – no soy protein. Alternatively, to make the recipe safe for the corn or soy-free,  you can use canola or another cooking oil to coat the griddle.

Look at our lunches!
Foods we have made
Recipe Categories