Archive for the ‘faux fast food’ Category

postheadericon Sausage, Rice, and Black Bean stovetop casserole

This recipe is based on a similar oven-baked casserole. The original is wonderful. But if you are short on time, it is lovely to have a delicious, warm dinner ready in about 30 minutes!

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.

Black Bean and Sausage stovetop casserole

Ingredients:

  • Splash canola or other cooking oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced/pressed
  • 1 1/3 lb raw Italian sausages, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup basmati or jasmine rice
  • 1 can corn (omit if you cannot tolerate corn)
  • 2 15oz can(s) black beans (drained)
  • 2 cups water
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes (or petite diced)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 2 pinches kosher or sea salt

Method
In a large soup pot, warm enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Sauté until they become tender.

Add sausage slices, and continue to cook, stirring frequently. Continue cooking until they become browned.

Pour rice into the pot, stirring so the rice absorbs some of the flavors from the sausages and onion/garlic.

Add all other ingredients, stirring. Turn heat up to a boil, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.

When it boils, turn heat down to low, and cover. Set timer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally while it is cooking.

Serve on plates or in bowls with some steamed veggies or a salad.

postheadericon Under $10 meals – Beef Stir fry

Stir Fry dinner

Sometimes money is tight for everyone, and if you are following a gluten-free or allergy-safe diet, food can get really expensive! This is especially true if you end up buying prepared foods, but it’s also true for others who cook every meal. I take joy in the canned products we can eat – beans, water chestnuts, tomatoes, etc. A few little shortcuts make meals a lot easier. This is my kick-off recipe in my “Under $10″ category. Yummy, quick, and not expensive. Enjoy!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, and South Beach friendly recipe (without the rice).

This is one of my favorite “Under $10 for 5 people” meals. This is a big hit here, especially the rice. My youngest daughter calls the bean sprouts noodles!

Beef Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 lb beef. Don’t buy “Stir Fry Beef”, buy a lean, boneless cut (London Broil works well) and slice it yourself.
  • 1 medium sized onion, diced
  • 1 knuckle sized piece of ginger, skin removed and minced or grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • splash canola (or other cooking oil)
  • 2 cans pre-sliced water-chestnuts
  • 1 large can bean sprouts
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
  • GF soy sauce (La Choy, Braggs Amino Acids, or Wheat-Free Tamari work well)
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked jasmine or other rice

Method

Slice the beef into thin strips (1/8 – 1/4 inch) about 2 inches long. Set aside.

Start cooking the rice, according to package directions.

Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and ginger, and sauté until tender.

Add beef, and stir quickly. OXO Good Grips Tongs are a great way to move the food around easily.

When the meat starts to brown, add the broccoli. Shake some soy sauce over the meat and veggies (just enough to add flavor, people can always add more at the table).

When the broccoli starts to turn dark green, add the drained water chestnuts and drained bean sprouts.

Quickly stir it all together, until it is all hot. Bring to the table with rice and extra soy sauce. Yum!

Follow the “Read More” for the money breakdown – Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon Warming Italian Vegetable and Chick Pea Stew

This hearty soup was inspired by a few things – my husband bought about 3 times the amount of ground beef that I normally buy, I had some odd amounts of vegetables around, and I was very chilly and wanted a warm soup with a new flavor. This cooks reasonably quickly and is a full meal in a bowl – a lot of bang for your buck!

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, top 8 allergen free, and South Beach phase 2 safe recipe.

Soup's on!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5-2 lbs ground meat
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots (or 8 baby carrots) cut into rounds
  • 1/2 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 TBS olive or canola oil to coat bottom of pan
  • 2+ tsp basil
  • 2+ tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • pinch kosher or sea salt
  • couple grinds fresh pepper
  • 1 splash wine (optional)
  • 1 summer or zucchini squash, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach, or about 5oz frozen spinach
  • 1 28oz can diced Tomatoes
  • 1 14oz can chick peas (about 2 cups)
  • 4-6 cups water or broth

Method:
Warm the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, carrot, and bell pepper. Sauté until it becomes tender.

Add ground meat to the vegetables and stir intermittently until the meat is browned. While the meat and vegetables are cooking, add salt, pepper, and other spices.

When the meat is browned, drain off some of the fat and add a splash of wine to deglaze the pan. Add all the ingredients except the water, and stir.

Add 4 cups water, then 1 cup at a time until it looks soupy – the exact amount of water will vary. Bring to a boil.

Simmer for about 15 minutes, check seasoning, then serve.

My whole family loved this, and one of my girls asked for extra broth!

postheadericon Spinach, Sausage, and Spuds

Each week I make up a menu, and then a grocery list from it, and then cook from it, crossing things off as they are made. This works out great, unless I manage to lose the menu after shopping. I couldn’t remember what I had planned to cook, but the potatoes and sausage were calling to me, and this is what we ended up with. Very yummy, and reasonably easy. It took a little more than 30 minutes, but still qualifies as quick eats to me. I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of it, though – that’ll have to wait until next time!

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:

  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs uncooked sausage
  • 4 medium size white potatoes
  • 5 oz frozen chopped spinach (1/3 of a 16 oz bag – the blocks are impossible to work with, splurge on the bags!)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • splash cooking oil
  • 1 batch dairy-free White Sauce
  • a few shakes Tony Chacheres Cajun seasoning

Method:
Preheat oven to 400.

In a medium-large skillet, heat oil to medium heat. Add onions. Cut sausage into about 1/2″ thick rounds, and add to the onions. Stir, and continue cooking until sausage is browned on all sides.

While the sausage and onions are cooking, make the White Sauce.

Poke the potatoes a couple times with a fork, and then put them in the microwave for 4 minutes. This will give them a head start on cooking so that they need less time in the oven to cook through.

Cut the potatoes into chunks, and add to a 9×13 pan. Add sausages and onion. Mix together gently, and add in the frozen spinach. Pour white sauce over everything, and gently mix until everything is coated in sauce and the food is well distributed in the pan.

Sprinkle a little Tony Chacheres Cajun seasoning over the top.

Bake for 20 minutes in the oven and put some veggies in to roast at the same time.

Yum! There weren’t many leftovers here for my husband’s lunch!

postheadericon Roasted Brussels Sprouts

These are surprisingly delicious – sweet and mouthwatering. You won’t believe how fast brussels sprouts disappear if you roast them!

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, top 8 allergen free, and South Beach safe recipe.

Great dinner plate

Ingredients
1-2 lbs brussels sprouts
kosher salt
olive oil

Method:
Preheat oven to 400

Rinse brussels sprouts, and cut the ends off, and then make an X in the bottoms.

Lightly oil a baking sheet, then toss the brussels sprouts with the olive oil and add a little kosher salt.

Roast for 10 min, then shake. Cook another 10 minutes, and eat. Make sure you sneak a few of the crispy leaves before someone else snags them!

Once you’ve wowed your family with these, don’t forget other roasted vegetables!

postheadericon Garlic Lime Chicken

or Garlic Lemon chicken, depending on which type of citrus fruit/juice you have around the house.
Garlic shake seasoning
Garlic Shake Seasoning
Mix together the following spices in an empty spice jar to shake on the chicken: (you will have plenty left over for the next few times you make this)

  • 1 TBS salt

  • several grinds black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp Tony Chachere’s Cajun seasoning (or you could increase the cayenne)
  • 2 TBS garlic powder or dehydrated roasted garlic
  • 1 TBS dried minced onion
  • 1 TBS thyme

shake until completely mixed

Garlic Lime/Lemon chicken
Ingredients

  • Garlic Shake Seasoning

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2-3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 3-4 TBS olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (can sub water if needed)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (can sub lemon juice if needed)

Method
Cut the chicken into 1-2 inch pieces.

In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and chicken. Shake the Garlic Shake Seasoning on top of the chicken, and stir so the Shake has hit both sides of the chicken.

Cook over medium to medium-high heat until the chicken is browned and no longer pink in the middle (about 10 minutes). Remove chicken from pan, and cover to keep warm.

Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth & lime juice. Stir over medium heat and get the yummy browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring until the sauce has reduced. Add the chicken back into the pan and stir to coat.

Serve with rice or without. We really like this with the Garlic Pan-fried Squash.

postheadericon Mexican Chicken and Bean Bake

The other day I discovered Something in Season – a gluten-free blog that also focuses on low-sugar and healthy eating. While we share several approaches (coconut milk = good!), the author is cooking for a smaller family, without fibromyalgia & arthritis, and in an area of the country that has fresh produce at all times. I am extremely impressed with his work, and look forward to trying his recipes.

Ironically, the same day I discovered his blog, I created this – my first gluten-free, dairy-free, blah blah blah free meal without a single fresh ingredient. Truly a low point in my cooking life. I had forgotten to defrost anything and I was exhausted and in a lot of pain. It turned out quite yummy, and I debated about posting the recipe. However, not every night is a night you can make everything from scratch from ingredients you got at the farmer’s market that day (or picked from your garden). So if ever you need a quick, hearty, delicious meal from your cupboard (which won’t make you sick), here we go…

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, and top 8 allergen free. This isn’t South Beach-friendly because of the corn (though you could easily leave it out), and is not corn-free because of the corn and because there is corn in almost everything canned.

Mexican chicken & bean bake

Ingredients:

  • 4 14oz cans beans, or 2 28oz cans – we mixed black beans & pintos

  • 4 cans (about 6-7oz each) canned chicken, drained (Valley Fresh brand is just chicken & water)
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14oz can corn kernels
  • 1 TBS chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dehydrated garlic
  • 1 tsp dehydrated minced onion

Method
Preheat oven to 350.

Drain & rinse beans, drain chicken, drain corn. Do NOT drain tomatoes.

Dump everything into a 9×13 baking dish. Mix it together.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until everything is heated through. Serve with whatever frozen vegetable is available (we used lima beans) and some tortilla chips.

postheadericon Pepper Steak Pasta or Steak Bomb Spaghetti

(Title varies depending on where you grew up. I’m sure there’s another name possible from another region, too)

This dinner was inspired by my teenage love for (what we called) pepper steak subs – beef cooked with peppers, onions, mushrooms, with some tomato in there too. My husband grew up in Texas calling them a Steak Bomb. I didn’t really want to make sub rolls, and we had pasta, so I figured it was worth a try. It was definitely a success – there wasn’t enough left to photograph it at the end! As a bonus, this meal was ready within 30 minutes of starting. Yippee for Faux Fast Food! ;)

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, top 8 allergen free, and South Beach phase 2 safe recipe. (It could be safe for Phase 1 if you served it in a lettuce wrap instead of over pasta)

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, diced or cut into strips (your choice – my kids won’t eat it in strips)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 TBS cooking oil
  • 1.5 – 2 lbs beef – this worked great with stew meat, but would also work fine with another cut of beef sliced into strips or cubes.
  • 1 10 oz package of sliced mushrooms (we prefer baby bellas)
  • 1 medium/large bell pepper, sliced into strips or diced depending on your preference
  • 1 28oz can diced or petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Basil
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Thyme
  • (or substitute 2-3 tsp Italian Seasoning for the above)
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1 splash of the wine open in your fridge (optional)
  • 1 lb pasta (we like Tinkyada brown rice best)

Method:
Start a large pot of salted water over high heat for the pasta. When the water boils, add pasta and cook according to package instructions (Tinkyada pasta has a long cooking time – usually 15 minutes).

Meanwhile, bring the oil to medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic. Let cook for a minute, then bring the heat to medium-high and add the beef.

Once the beef has started to brown, add the bell pepper, mushrooms, spices, and salt. Stir regularly until the veggies start to get tender.

Deglaze the pan with a splash of wine (optional). Add the tomatoes, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook at a simmer until the pasta is ready, stirring enough that nothing sticks to the bottom.

When the pasta is drained, toss the pasta and sauce together, and serve. Yum!

postheadericon Meatball Soup

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, top 8 allergen free, and South Beach phase 2 safe recipe.

This recipe is delicious, and can be ready very quickly or simmer for a while. This was one of the first soups my kids enjoyed!

Ingredients

  • 2 LB ground “meatball mix” (or ground turkey, or your favorite ground meat)
  • 1 TBSP Italian seasoning, plus a little dried oregano & basil
  • 1/2 TSP garlic powder or dehydrated roasted garlic
  • 1-2 CUP chopped carrots
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2+ cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 TBSP olive oil (or less, depending on the meat you are using)
  • 3-4 CUPS cooked brown rice (more if preferred)
  • 2 quarts vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups crushed tomato (from a can)
  • pinch or two kosher salt
  • a few shakes of oregano/basil/parsley to taste

Method
Mix meat with spices. Roll into thumbnail-sized balls. Add oil to skillet and sauté meatballs in pan until pink is gone and they are light brown in color. Remove meatballs, leaving juice in pan. Addcarrots, onion, garlic, celery to juice and sauté until tender.

Heat broth in a stockpot. Add rice, meatballs, veggies and juice. Stir. Add crushed tomatoes and season. Heat until hot through. Add additional broth/water and seasonings as needed for desired thickness and taste. Letting this simmer for a bit is wonderful, and lets the flavors really mix, but it tastes great as soon as it’s hot, too.

The meatballs are great for later (frozen, whatever) – this size is great for kids.

postheadericon Go Go Red Sauce Sausage Spaghetti

Rachel (not Ray)'s 30 minute meal

My menu for the week included a sausage lasagna – a new adaptation of my Creamy Lasagna. My plan was to make it with sausage slices & peppers & spinach, then cover it with my white sauce (for faux cheese). However, I ran out of both time and energy, and instead came up with this meal, which was delicious and had everyone eating happily and heartily! We all worked together to create a name for the dinner, and “Go Go Red Sauce Sausage Spaghetti” was the winner. Other ideas for recipe names from the family were: Rachel (not Ray)’s 30 minute meal; Quick Yummy Dinner from Mommy; Half a Bag marinara; Pasta with peppers, sauce with sausage; and Good Dinner. I like any meal that leaves the girls saying, “This is the best dinner ever, Mama! I’d eat this every day!”

This meal can take as little as 30 minutes. If you have extra time to simmer the sauce, I’m sure it will taste even better, but it tastes great as a thrown-together sauce, too. I made this to make sure we had leftovers through the weekend. It served a (hungry) family of 5 with plenty of leftovers. It could easily be halved, if you didn’t need that much food. But why not make extra, then freeze it for days when you don’t have leftovers?

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, top 8 allergen free, and South Beach phase 1, 2, & 3 safe recipe.

Simmering Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pasta (a thick noodle will handle this heavy sauce better – Tinkyada Brown Rice Penne is perfect. We love the Tinkyada pastas). If you are following the South Beach Diet, use spaghetti squash for phase 1, and any whole grain (including brown rice) pasta for phase 2 or 3.

  • 1 TBS cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 2.5 lbs (ish – 2 packages) Sweet Italian Turkey Sausages
  • 1/2 bag frozen sliced bell peppers (or 1 bell pepper, sliced)
  • 1/2 bag frozen chopped spinach (or 1 small bag baby spinach)
  • 1 splash wine (optional)
  • 2 28oz cans crushed tomatoes

Method
Start the water for boiling the pasta. When it reaches a boil, add pasta and cook according to package directions – Tinkyada pastas usually require 15 minutes of cooking time. If using spaghetti squash, bake at 350 for 45 minutes (which means more than a 30 minute meal).

While the water comes to a boil, find a large, deep skillet or other large pot. Heat the oil to medium-high, and begin to sauté the onion & garlic. Add spices while sautéing. If you add spices during the sauté phase, they will release more flavor. Yum.

Slice the uncooked sausages, and add to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage pieces are browned and cooked through. Add a splash of wine to deglaze the pan (optional).

Add the canned tomatoes and the other vegetables. Stir, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer until pasta is ready.

Drain pasta, then either mix together and serve or (if you have fussy children around who want plain noodles too) serve sauce on top of noodles on individual plates.

A salad or simply a plate of crudités pairs well with this meal. Enjoy!

Variation:
This would taste great with other vegetables sautéed in with the onion and garlic – mushrooms, for example. Improvise!

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