I needed something relatively quick and easy for dinner one night. So, I dug through my pantry and fridge looking for ingredients I had on hand. Then I recalled a picture I had come across last week. So I ended up making baked potatoes stuffed with eggs. If for some reason you have leftover baked potatoes–this would be a great way to use them up. I didn’t so I pricked holes in my potatoes and stuck them in the microwave for 10 minutes. All together these took about 30 minutes from start to finish. I tried to come up with come cute name for these…but I’ve got nothing.
Egg Stuffed Baked Potatoes
- 4 baked potatoes (I used russet potatoes)
- 4 tablespoons shredded cheese
- 4 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled (or bacon bits)
- 4 eggs
- 2 green onions, chopped
- salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut a thin layer off of the top of your potatoes.
- Scoop out the potatoes, then season the potato shell.
- Add a tablespoon of cheese and one whole egg to each potato.
- Season the egg to taste.
- Sprinkle the bacon and green onion over the eggs.
- Bake the potatoes for 20-25 minutes. You’re just looking for the whites to set.
- Serve immediately.
Several years ago my family went on vacation to North Carolina. While there we went and visited the Biltmore. It is a gorgeous house and the grounds are beautiful. By the time we finished touring the house it was almost 9 o’clock at night and we were all starving. With an hour and a half drive back to our lodgings, we looked for the first restaurant we could find–which happened to be a TGI Fridays. Now, I don’t remember what anyone in the family ate for dinner that night, except for my mother. Why do I remember what she ordered? From the first bite of her dinner, my mother was in love with her food. The mmmms and aaaaaaaaahs and ooohhhs were quite attention grabbing. My sister-in-law teasingly asked mom if her dinner was good and we all had a good laugh. We still crack jokes about that meal, all these years later. TGI Fridays hasn’t had lemon chicken scallopini on the menu for years. However, that doesn’t stop my mom talking about how good it was.
Since then, it has become a tradition that I make Lemon Chicken Scallopini for her birthday. I made this gluten free, by using rice flour and gluten free pasta. And in case you’re wondering, this is not in any way, shape or form a diet friendly meal!
I’m not sure the picture does it justice.
Lemon Chicken Scallopini
- 2 large chicken breasts, butterflied
- rice flour (seasoned with salt and pepper)
- 4 pieces bacon (or if you want to pay more, pancetta)
- 8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 gloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1 lemon, juiced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 oz spaghetti, cooked to package directions
- 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Using scissors, cut the bacon into pieces and cook in the skillet until crispy.
- While the bacon is cooking coat the chicken breasts in the seasoned rice flour.
- Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate and add the chicken breasts to the skillet. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until the chicken is nice and browned.
- Remove the chicken to a plate and add the onion and mushrooms to the skillet. Saute for a minute or two, until the mushrooms are cooked through and the onions are tender, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the garlic, capers, and white wine. Allow to simmer for 3 minutes. Then stir in the cream and lemon juice. Add the chicken back into the skillet and allow to cook for 3 more minutes.
- Give the sauce one last taste test and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
- Serve over spaghetti or alongside mashed potatoes if preferred.
- Garnish with bacon and flat leaf parsley if desired.
*This is enough to feed four people.
Because of my issues with tomatoes, making pasta isn’t just an issue of swapping out the noodles for a gluten free variety. Because I can’t just pull out a jar of Ragu, it has led to a lot experimentation over the years. When you want to eat pasta and you’re watching your weight, tomato sauce tends to be the go to. But, I’ve recently found that wine is fairly low in calories (I know, I’m a little slow). With this information in hand, I developed this recipe that has become a favorite in my house. I use Farmo-corn and rice penne for this dish. Farmo is by far the best gluten free pasta I’ve found. The first time I tried it I was amazed at how similar to regular pasta it was-both in taste and consistency.
Spicy Cauliflower and Salmon Pasta
- 1 head of Cauliflower, cut into florets
- 8 oz penne (or pasta of your choice)
- Salmon fillets (about 12 oz)
- 3 tablespoons capers
- 20 medium black olives, cut in half
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 4 garlic gloves, minced
- 1/4 cup Pino Grigio or white wine of your choice
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Toss cauliflower florets with salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and spread evenly on a baking sheet.
3. Put salmon in greased baking dish add salt and pepper, and a dash of red pepper flakes.
4. Put both salmon and cauliflower in the oven for 20 minutes. 5. While salmon and cauliflower are baking, bring water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.6.Heat a separate skillet to medium heat. Add 1 tablespoons olive oil and the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.7.Add olives and drained capers, and 1/4 cup white wine. Reduce heat to a simmer and add salt, pepper and a pinch of chili flakes. Keep on heat until pasta, salmon and cauliflower are done cooking.
8. When salmon is finished cooking flake it with a fork into bite size pieces.
11. Combine the cooked pasta, cauliflower, flaked salmon, and wine sauce. Serve immediately.
This makes 4 servings, and is pretty healthy at 459 calories per serving.
*There are quite a few steps to this dish, but I have found that I can get it all done in the 20 minutes that the salmon and cauliflower bake.
In my family we love Chinese food. And there is a really good Chinese take out place just a couple blocks from our house…but as with most take out, it isn’t gluten-free. General Tso’s Chicken is a family favorite so as usual I searched Google for a recipe. The one I went with looked good and I needed to make a trip to an Asian grocery store anyway (rice flour, tapioca starch and potato starch are way cheaper there). In addition to the chicken we had fried rice and spring rolls (if anyone is interested in either of these recipes let me know). Even though this was more work than I wanted for Chinese food (Isn’t Chinese food supposed to be for nights you just want to pick something up?), it was definitely tasty. So, while I won’t be going to the effort to make this on a regular basis, I will be keeping it on hand for special occasions.
General Tso’s Chicken (Gluten Free)
- 1lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1” chunks)
- 5 dried red chili peppers + cayenne pepper
- 3 scallions (sliced)
- 3 eggs (beaten)
- ½ cup cornstarch
- oil (for frying)
- 5 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 6 tablespoons Wheat Free Tamari
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- In a large mixing bowl combine cornstarch and beaten eggs. Mix well to create a batter. Add chicken bits and coat thoroughly.
- To make the sauce: in a small bowl combine rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and cornstarch. Mix well and set aside.
- Heat deep fryer or wok to 375 degrees and deep fried chicken bits in batches. Drain on paper towels.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil to your wok (I just used a big skillet). Add dried chili peppers to your wok and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add chicken bits to the wok and stir fry for a couple minutes.
- Add sauce mixture to the wok and cook, stirring until the sauce becomes thickened and bubbly. Taste the chicken, if not spicy enough add a pinch of cayenne pepper. Garnish with scallions and serve.
I love stuffed peppers. But almost every stuffed pepper recipe I’ve ever seen calls for tomatoes in some form or another. They also usually take an hour or more to bake, which is longer than I want to wait. One day the thought struck me that I could take the typical ingredients of a Greek salad–minus the tomatoes of course–mix in some brown rice and stuff the peppers with the mixture. It took some finagling, but I’ve come up with a recipe that I really love.
Greek Salad Stuffed Peppers
- 4 bell peppers, cut in half and seeded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 8 oz-fresh spinach
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (or just used the jarred stuff)
- 1 cup roasted red pepper, chopped (I use the jarred deli strips.)
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 tablespoons Greek salad dressing
- 2 cups brown rice, cooked
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place bell pepper halves in a 9×13 cut side up and lightly salt, bake for 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, in a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and saute the onion until translucent.
- Add the spinach and garlic to the skillet, turn the spinach frequently, cooking until the spinach is wilted.
- Once the spinach has wilted remove from heat and mix in the remaining ingredients. Taste mixture and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Fill the pepper halves with spinach and rice mixture and return to oven.
- Bake for another 20 minutes or until filling is heated through.
- Serve immediately.
Here is a picture of the filling by itself…it would make a good side dish without the pepper.
When I was little we lived in Germany for several years. My family still loves German food, and luckily the city we live in has a great German restaurant. However, they don’t have any gluten-free options and they don’t make one of our favorite German dishes…kaiser-spaetzle (German mac and cheese).
This was a dish I decided to give a try when my mom was laid up after having surgery. I don’t know how food could get any more comforting than fresh spaetzle, caramelized onions and gooey cheese, so as is my custom, I went to Google and looked up recipes for gluten-free spaetzle. There are several out there, but the one I ended up using was most similar to the authentic recipes I’ve seen (thank you very much Rebecca). With all of the ingredients assembled and the recipe in hand, I got to work (along with my neighbor’s teenage daughter who likes to help me experiment). We even used the spaetzle press that my parents brought back from Germany and had never used! We also tried out a German coleslaw recipe to go along with the pasta. Everything turned out so well, you could hear the moans of appreciation as everyone dug in.
I took several pictures of both the process and the finished product, so I’ll include those.
- 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour mix (I used Bette Hagman’s Gourmet Blend)
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- 5 eggs
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup water
- salt, to taste (I actually forgot to add any salt, and it turned out fine)
- 8 oz Swiss cheese, shredded (traditionally this recipe used emmenthaler, but it is a bit to expensive for me)
- 4 white or yellow onions, sliced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Heat a large skillet to medium heat, and add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add onion and caramelize, stirring occasionally. This should take about 30 minutes.
- While onions are caramelizing, put a large pot of water on to boil. This will need to be salted once boiling.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix together the gluten-free flour and xanthan gum. Then add eggs and combine. Next add the water, starting with 1/4 cup. The dough should be a little stringing, where you can pull on it. (It was really dry where I live, so we ended up using slightly more than half a cup of water.) If you accidentally add too much water, add another 1/2 cup flour and 1 more egg.
- At this point there are several methods you can use to make the spaetzle. You can use the cutting board and knife method (as detailed in the original recipe), you can push the dough through a colander with small holes, or you can use a spaetzle press(or potato ricer). With the spaetzle press you put about a quarter of the dough into the press, put it over the boiling,salted water and push all the dough through. When the noodles float (which was almost immediately) they are ready to remove from the water. Repeat, which ever method use, until all dough is used.
- Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Then heat a skillet to medium heat, (I used the one in which I caramelized the onions) and add 1 tablespoon butter. Add half the spaetzle and toss until coated. Pour the spaetzle into the 9×13 and distribute evenly. Top with half of the Swiss cheese and caramelized onions. Add another tablespoon of butter to the skillet, toss remaining spaetzle until coated and layer into the baking dish. Top with the rest of the cheese and onions.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Serve hot.
The German slaw was really good too! I used a bag of coleslaw mix (green cabbage and carrots), shredded half of a small head of red cabbage and mixed that in. Many of the reviews for the recipe said to only use 1/4 cup oil, so I went with that. I also topped the slaw with bacon(that’s what our favorite German restaurant does).
All through my childhood, it was understood that dinner included some kind of meat, poultry or fish. A meatless dinner was frankly, a foreign concept to me. In junior high I became friends with a girl who was a vegetarian and after a disturbing (to me at least) science lab, I decided she might be on to something. By the time I reached high school, I was the one doing all of the cooking in my family…which meant they ate what I put in front of them. Now, I wasn’t one of those people who tried to turn my family into vegetarians, but I did introduce them to meatless meals. I gave up being a vegetarian years ago when I visited a country, where turning down food is a great offense. Through that experience I learned that a vegetarian lifestyle wasn’t going to work for me. However, here at home, I still like to have my meatless meals.
This particular dish I found on The New York Times website a few years ago (sorry I can’t find the original link). It isn’t very often that I find a recipe that I don’t feel the need to change in some way…this is one of those few. And of course, it’s gluten-free.
Roasted Sweet Potato Salad With Black Beans and Chili Dressing
- 4 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 large onion, preferably red, chopped
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh hot chili, like jalapeño
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- Juice of 2 limes
- 2 cups cooked black beans, drained (canned are fine)
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put sweet potatoes and onions on a large baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil, toss to coat and spread out in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, turning occasionally, until potatoes begin to brown on corners and are just tender inside, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven; keep on pan until ready to mix with dressing.
- Put chilies in a blender or mini food processor along with garlic, lime juice, remaining olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Process until blended.
- Put warm vegetables in a large bowl with beans and bell pepper; toss with dressing and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature, or refrigerate for up to a day.
While the cooking and baking posts on this blog are testament to the fact that I am willing to put a good bit of work into the food we eat, there are times when I’m just not really up for it. On days like that, I go for something comforting and simple. Now, I am aware that simple is a relative term. If you are used to food preparation being freezer to microwave, this will be a little more work than you are used to…but I have faith that even cooking novices can make this dish. Easy cheesy broccoli and rice is one of my most frequent go to recipes when I want something simple…and the way I make my cheese sauce is not only simple, but gluten-free.
Easy Cheesy Broccoli and Rice
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked rice (I use basmati rice, but you could use instant rice and increase the amount to 2 cups.)
- 1 bag frozen broccoli (this is easy right, so I go with the microwave steamer bag)
- 1-12 oz can fat-free evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I use sharp)
- Cook the rice according to package directions.
- While rice is cooking steam broccoli in microwave according to package directions.
- Combine rice and broccoli in a large bowl.
- Return pot in which you cooked the rice to medium heat. Combine evaporated milk, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper and garlic powder in pot.
- When the milk is just starting to bubble remove it from heat. Whisk cheese into milk one cup at a time, until smooth.
- Combine cheese sauce with broccoli and rice.
This only takes about 25 minutes to make. In the spirit of keeping things simple we normally serve it with baked salmon fillets that have been marinated in buffalo wing sauce.
If you’re like me, you really miss going out for a sandwich. Not some puny ham and cheese sandwich that you throw together at home because that’s what you have ingredients on hand to make. But a really good sandwich with crunchy vegetables, yummy meat, good quality cheese and bread. There are times I drive by a sandwich shop (there’s a Jimmy Johns right next to my usual grocery store) and wish I could go in. It’s amazing the things that I took for granted when I could eat them.
These stuffed peppers may not be a sandwich, but served along with a side of oven fries, I didn’t even miss the bread.
- 4 green bell peppers
- 1 tbps olive oil
- 1 white or yellow onion, sliced
- 1 pint cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 8 oz roast beef, chopped (I just use gluten-free lunch meat)
- 8 slices provolone
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut the tops off of the peppers and clean out the seeds. Place the peppers right side up in a baking dish and lightly salt and pepper the inside of the peppers. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the peppers just start to soften.
- While the peppers are baking, heat a medium size skillet to medium heat.
- Chop the pepper tops, discarding the stems.
- Coat the bottom of the skillet with olive oil and add the chopped pepper tops, onion and mushrooms, stirring occasionally. Continue to cook until the onions are translucent and only slightly crunchy. Add the roast beef and continue to cook until heated through. Salt and pepper mixture to taste
- When the peppers are softened, place half a slice of cheese in the bottom of each one, then fill the peppers about halfway with the beef and vegetable mixture. Top the mixture with a half slice of cheese then layer on the rest of the meat. Top each pepper with a slice of provolone and return the peppers to the oven.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes.
*When I made these along with the oven fries, the total bake time for the fries matched up with the peppers perfectly.
Coughing, sniffing and drinking lots of tea have been my state of existence for the last several days. So when it was time to go to the store and stock up for the week, I went in search of recipes that would be soothing on a sore throat. There were lots of standard suggestions to be found, namely, chicken noodle soup. But I came across one recipe that really stuck out as something unique and appealing.
As good as this soup both looked and sounded, I couldn’t escape the fact that one of the primary ingredients was tomatoes. In the past I’ve substituted roasted red peppers in recipes, but only for something that called for a small amount of tomato. To do so in this recipe had me a little nervous, but I needn’t have been. In addition to the tomato/red pepper swap, I made a few other tweaks to the recipe to better suit my personal tastes.
Roasted Red Pepper Tortilla-less Soup
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 head garlic, cloves finely chopped
- 1 large poblano pepper, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 oz jar roasted red peppers
- 1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained
- 1 3/4 cup chicken broth
- salt to taste
- cilantro, chopped
- Drain the roasted red peppers and puree in a food processor until the are the consistency of crushed tomatoes. Set aside.
- Heat a pot to medium heat, add the olive oil and onion. Saute until the onions are translusent–a couple of minutes.
- Add the garlic and poblano pepper. Saute for another few minutes, until the pepper starts to soften.
- Pour in the pureed roasted red peppers, chicken stock and garbanzo beans. Stir everything together and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for about 5 minutes. Add salt to taste.
- Ladle into bowls and top with chopped cilantro, avocado and a squeeze of lime juice.
Next time I make this, I might even add some tortillas. 😉
We got about 4 decent bowls of soup out of this. If you’re really hungry, it might only be enough for two people.