Tuna Zucchini Cakes

tuna zucchini cakesThese can be an served for lunch, as a snack, an appetizer, or for a light dinner. I love the combination of tuna and fresh vegetables. I’ve used spices that don’t overwhelm, but add just a bit of flavor. So I made them for dinner and served them with a fresh salad for a lighter and fun meal. I used a gluten free panko for the breading, but any gluten free breadcrumbs will work for the recipe, I just prefer the panko myself.

tunacakesIngredients:
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 a white onion, finely diced
1 cup gluten free panko, divided
8 oz tuna in water
1 cup shredded zucchini
2 large eggs
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

tunacakes2In a skillet over medium low heat, use 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook the diced onions until soft. While they’re starting to cook, in a large bowl start mixing together 1/2 cup of the panko (set aside the other half cup) the zucchini, the eggs, and all the spices and tuna. add in the onions after they’ve softened and then cooled enough to handle.

Turn up the heat to medium and add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet. make the mixture into 6-8 patties, and flatten them out a bit. Roll them in the panko that was set aside and then place in the skillet. cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown and they’re cooked throughout the middle. Makes 6-8 tuna cakes. Enjoy!

Cobb Dip

Cobb DipSince I’ve always been a fan of Cobb salad, and I wanted to make a healthier snack for us on Mother’s day, I made this delicious dip. We always have some kind of chips and dip – and I did put out a guacamole as well, but this stole the show. It’s quite flexible as well, if you want to add something or omit something, it’s forgiving. You could easily add some olives or onions if you like them, or leave out the avocado.

Ingredients:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1- 1/2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 cup corn, grilled or cooked – then cooled
1 large tomato, diced
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup bacon, crumbled
1 avocado, pitted and diced

cobbsalad2In a medium bowl mix together the cream cheese, sour cream and all the spices. When combined, take a 9″ pie pan and spread the mixture on the bottom. Then place the chopped romaine lettuce on top. Place the rest of the toppings over the romaine lettuce. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips, or other gluten free snacks. Enjoy!

*Using either grilled corn, or frozen corn and cooking and draining, and cooling it will both work. Full fat or reduced fat sour cream and cream cheese are fine as well.

Caprese Quinoa Salad

capraisequinoasalad22This salad is great for enjoying outside during the warmer months and is fast and easy to prepare. The quinoa can be prepared a day or two ahead of time even. Fresh basil and cherry tomatoes along with a bit of rice wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil make this a light and fresh salad. I’ve served this as both a main dish, and as a side dish – it can compliment a lot of dishes well, and it makes for great leftovers for your next day’s lunch!

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Ingredients:
3 cups cooked quinoa to package directions (1 cup dry)
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
8 oz fresh mozzarella pearls (or cut into 1/2″ pieces)
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

capraisequinoasalad3In a large bowl place the cooked quinoa with the rice wine vinegar and olive oil, stirring until the quinoa is coated. Add in the tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil, then add a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together well. Serve chilled. Serves 4 as a main dish 6-8 as a side dish.

Chicken and Mushrooms over Rice

Chicken and MushroomsThis is more of a comfort food dish – full of boneless chicken, baby bella mushrooms, some delicious spices, with a nice creamy sauce that I’ve served over a bit of rice. I love baby bella mushrooms, they taste so great in dishes like this – but you can substitute in any mushrooms that you enjoy.

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Ingredients:
1 pound skinless, boneless, chicken thighs
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound sliced baby bella mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chicken broth (I use low sodium)
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesean cheese
1/2 cup cream

*Cooked rice to package directions or other gluten free grain of choice for serving over.

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In a small bowl combine the sweet rice flour, salt, pepper, and paprika. Dredge each piece of chicken on through the flour mix on both sides until lightly covered.

In a large skillet over medium high heat cook the chicken in the olive oil and butter. for 6-7 minutes on each side, until it’s becoming a golden brown.

Reduce the heat to medium and either remove the chicken from the pan or move the chicken to one side of the pan. Add the mushrooms and garlic. Sautee for about 2 minutes, then add in the chicken broth and rosemary. Free free to give a little bit of salt and pepper here again if you like. Add the chicken back to the pan or spread it evenly across the pan if you’ve left it in. Allow the chicken and mushrooms to simmer in the broth for about 10 minutes. If the chicken pieces aren’t fully covered you may want to flip them after 5 minutes.

Move a bit of the chicken and mushrooms to the side once again, and add in the cream and cheese. Carefully stir in well – and then move the chicken back to allow it to soak in the delicious cream and cheese. Allow to just heat the cream at this point – a couple of minutes will do.

Serve hot, over top rice in a bowl or another favorite gluten free grain. Makes 4 larger servings. Enjoy! Makes great leftovers for lunch the next day too.

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Slow Cooker Chicken Thai Soup

Chicken Thai SoupSince I love to use the slow cooker so much, I wanted to make another delicious soup. This one is a mild Thai style soup, however you can easily make it hot and spicy if you prefer. It’s full of vegetables and a delicious coconut milk base – and quite easy to put together. I served a bit of rice on the bottom of the bowls, and with a side salad it made for a filling meal. This is another meal that reheats perfectly the next day (which is always a plus for me!).

chickenthaisoup2Ingredients:
1 13 oz can coconut milk
3 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons red curry paste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce (most are gluten free, double check)
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound chicken breasts, cut into 1″ pieces
1/2 white onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 cup peas
juice of 1 lime
3-4 tablespoons fresh cilantro

cooked rice for serving

*note if the peas are frozen, place them in the fridge to thaw while the soup is cooking

chickenthaisoup3Place the coconut milk, chicken stock, red curry paste, brown sugar, fish sauce, ginger, and garlic into the slow cooker and whisk it gently together until blended. Then add the chicken, onions, peppers, and carrots. Turn the slow cooker on low and allow to cook for 5 – 5 1/2 hours. About a 1/2 before serving add the peas (adding them at the start is going to turn them into mush, so I add them when I start cooking the rice) Right before serving add the lime juice and top off with cilantro. Serve over hot rice. Makes a great main dish for 4, or side for 6-8. Enjoy!

Southwest Chicken Skillet Tacos

fajita1I wanted to keep these tacos simple. 1 pan – not much to clean up. I wanted them healthy, but still with some cheese and delicious flavors and toppings, and of course they’re still gluten free with using some some gluten free soft tortillas. Fresh bell peppers with chicken and black beans are quite delicious and filling – and I topped it off with a bit of fresh salsa. This also reheated perfectly, and made a great lunch the next day. I love leftovers.

fajita3Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound (about 2 chicken breasts) cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch of salt
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 14 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
Monterey Jack cheese
gluten free tortillas

additional toppings: salsa, sour cream, fresh cilantro

fajita2In a large skillet over medium heat start the onions and garlic in the olive oil. Allow to cook for 4-5 minutes and soften, then add the chicken and all the spices. Once the chicken has fully cooked, drain any excess liquid – then add the bell pepper, beans, Cook for a few minutes, then lower the heat to low. Top off with a handful of cheese and cover the pan with a lid until the cheese has melted. Place into tortillas, top with any additional toppings of choice and enjoy.

Vanilla Chia Pudding

Vanilla Chia PuddingThis makes a for a delicious and healthy snack or breakfast.It’s so easy, and I can put it together in a few minutes. My favorite is to top it off with a handful of fresh blueberries, but any other fresh fruit or even a handful of nuts tastes great on top. That also makes this very flexible and makes it a perfect breakfast on the go, something I can make the day before and tuck into my bag with me for work.

Ingredients:
3/4 cup milk (almond/dairy/any type is fine)
3 1/2 – 4 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon maple syrup

additional fruit or nut toppings

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In a glass jar or other container that seals place the milk, chia, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. (I like mine a little thinner so I use about 3 1/2 tablespoons, for thicker use 4.) Place the lid on tight, give a good shake, and place into the fridge overnight for for 6-8 hours. Top with fruit or nuts in the morning and enjoy!. Makes 1 serving.

Crockpot Butter Chicken

crockpotbutterchickenI love butter chicken, so I’ve made it a bit healthier – and put it in the crockpot, so it’s really easy to make and fills the house with a delightful aroma. This to me is one of the best comfort foods.

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Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 14.5 oz can coconut milk
1 6 oz can tomato paste
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

cooked rice, or other gluten free grain, for serving

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In a skillet over medium low heat cook the onions and garlic in the olive oil with the curry powder until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes, then place into the crockpot.

Next add the tomato paste and coconut milk into the crockpot along with the rest of the spices and stir until lightly mixed. Add the chicken, and stir in well. Allow to cook on low heat for 4.5-5 hours. Serve along with rice or other grain of choice. Enjoy!

Vegetarian Rice Skillet

veggieskilletThis dish is so simple and delicious. Cheesy and just enough spice to give it a little bit of heat and lots of flavor. Packed full of black beans, corn, and green chilies, with just enough of the enchilada sauce to hold it together. You can top it off with a little bit of sour cream even if you like. This reheats perfectly for lunches the next day, and everyone will enjoy it.

veggieskillet2

Ingredients:
1 cup uncooked rice (cooked to package directions)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
1 4 oz can mild green chilies, diced
1 14 oz can mild enchilada sauce (make sure is gluten free)
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cumin
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cook your rice first, then set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, then add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the black beans, corn, chilies, turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir well then add the rice and enchilada sauce. Allow the sauce to coat all the vegetables and rice.

Next sprinkle the cheese over the top of the skillet. Reduce the heat to low. Cover the skillet and allow the cheese to fully melt. Serve hot. Enjoy!

Baked Potato Casserole

potatoesThis potato dish is a fantastic dish that will go great with pretty much anything. It’s easy to make and everyone will enjoy it. This works as both a main dish or a side dish, and is quite flexible. I’ve kept the ingredients simple, fresh, and delicious – which is perfect for any meal.

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Ingredients:
4-5 large russet potatoes, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 1/2 cups broccoli, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

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Preheat the oven to 350. Wash and cut the potatoes and place into a 9×13 pan, along with the broccoli. Sprinkle the salt, pepper and rosemary on top – then drizzle the olive oil on top. Stir to evenly coat the vegetables. Sprinkle the cheese over top. Over with tinfoil and place into the oven for 55 minutes – 1 hour. Serve hot.