Meatballs with Mushroom and Onion Cream Sauce

Meatballs with Onions and MushroomsEven in the summer heat I crave some good old fashioned comfort food, so I gave in and made these delicious meatballs and served them with some garlic mashed potatoes. I’ve worked on making the dish a bit lighter and healthier, replacing the heavy cream with sour cream, and the meatballs are a mix of pork and beef. They go great served over any gluten free grain of choice, mashed cauliflower, or mashed potatoes.

meatballs3Ingredients:
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 medium white onion, diced (other half is used below)
1/4 cup gluten free bread crumbs
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon Worcestershire (double check it’s g/f)
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 1/2 cups fresh sliced button mushrooms
1/2 white onion, sliced
1 cup beef broth
1/3 cup sour cream (reduced fat is fine)
1/2 cup water
1-2 tablespoons cornstarch

mashed potatoes or grain of choice

meatballs2In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix together the beef, pork, diced onion, breadcrumbs, garlic, egg, parsley, salt, and pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce. (Using your hands is probably best.) Roll the meat mix into 16 evenly sized balls.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, place the olive oil and let it warm. Place the meatballs in the pan 5-6 at a time, or whatever comfortably fits, and brown the sides. Repeat till all are browned (they won’t be cooked through.) Remove all the meatballs from the pan and place the water, sour cream, and beef broth in the pan – then whisk together. Add cornstarch as needed to thicken. Place the meatballs into the sauce along with the onions and mushrooms. Bring to a low boil, cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes – until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve with gluten free grain or alone as is. Serves 4. Enjoy!

Greek Chicken

greek chickenThis is a simple but delicious way to serve up some chicken. It works great for all of the chicken pieces since you want to serve it with the marinade. The marinade is enough for two pounds of chicken, even though I only cooked one pound this time, and makes great leftovers.

greekchicken3Ingredients:
2 pounds chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, wings)
1/2 cup pited and sliced kalamata olives
1/2 cup large pimento stuffed Spanish olives
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons oregano
1 tablespoon parsley

1 cup feta cheese, optional

greekchicken2In a large baking dish lay the chicken pieces and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika. In a large bowl mix together everything else. Carefully pour the marinade over the chicken and allow to marinate for 6 hours (overnight is best).

Preheat the oven to 425F. Place a sheet of tinfoil over the pan and place into the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and cook another 15 minutes, until the chicken juices run clear from the chicken. Serve with some of the delicious olives and tomatoes, I served a side of mashed potatoes along with it. Sprinkle with feta if you choose (I’ve made both with and without and do like the feta!). Enjoy!

BLT Chopped Salad with Cucumber and Avocado

Chopped BLT SaladAnother delicious salad for the hot summer days. There’s a lot of crunch with the romaine and cucumbers and a light vinaigrette. Cherry tomatoes always make me smile and I’m pulling lots of them from the garden right now. I used to sit in the garden as a kid, picking and eating all of the cherry tomatoes.

bltsalad1Ingredients:
8 cups romaine lettuce, rinsed and chopped
6 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, chopped
1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small lime, juiced
1/4 teaspoon lime zest
salt and pepper, to taste

bltsalad2In a large bowl combine all of the vegetables. After cooking the bacon (I personally bake mine), pat with paper towels and crumble when cool enough to handle. In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, salt, pepper, lime juice and zest. Add to the salad and toss to evenly coat. Feta cheese also goes great on top. Serves 4 larger salads. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Blueberry and Coconut Milk Pancakes

Blueberry and Coconut Milk PancakesI make pancakes for breakfast maybe once a month – and the days I have them I enjoy every bite. Often I end up eating leftovers from dinner the night before, or I make a smoothie with whatever fresh fruits and vegetables I have available. Pancakes were the breakfast I looked forward to most as a child, which was often holidays and good times with my family. My family was happy to see pancakes when they woke up today and I’m glad I was able to start their day with a smile.

coconutpancakes2Ingredients:
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 14 oz can coconut milk (full fat or light both work)
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 cup fresh blueberries

coconutpancakes1In a large mixing bowl mix together the dry ingredients and the add in the egg, vanilla, coconut oil, and coconut milk. Whisk until combined. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and allow it to get hot. Scoop the pancake batter into the skillet, making 2-3 pancakes at a time. Allow the tops to bubble just a bit and the bottoms will be lightly browned when they are ready to flip. Makes 12-13 medium sized pancakes. Top with blueberries and any other toppings of choice. Enjoy!

Quinoa with Roasted Red Pepper Chili

quinoa and roasted pepper chiliI’d been craving a good bowl of chili lately and wanted to make good use of all the delicious red bell peppers around. There’s just a little bit of heat to the dish, and it’s vegetarian. It doesn’t take long to prepare, and everyone here loved it.

quinoachili1Ingredients:
2 red bell peppers
1 medium jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 large white onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
salt and pepper, to taste
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can canneloni beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes (fire roasted if available)
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water

quinoachili2Set the broiler to high and place a sheet of tin foil over a baking pan. Slice the red peppers into halves, best as you can removing seeds and the membranes. Lay the peppers, skin side up on the tin foil and place into the oven for about 10 minutes – until they are blackened. Let them cool for 10 minutes, then peel and chop.

In a large pot over medium heat, place the olive oil, onions, jalapeno and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes then add the cumin, chili powder, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Next add the roasted peppers, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, quinoa, and beans. Bring to a bowl, then reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 20-25 minutes until the quinoa is fully cooked.

Serves 4 large bowls. Feel free to top off with some shredded cheese, sour cream, or sliced avocado. Enjoy!

Asparagus and Brussel Sprout Caesar Salad

asparagus and brussels caesar saladIt’s been quite hot here the past few days and not wanting to warm up the kitchen, I’ve been making more salads. This salad features sliced brussel sprouts, and chopped asparagus that came fresh from the garden. Slicing the brussel sprouts and presenting in a salad like this got pickier eaters who would normally scoff at them to try them, and the dish went over well. I love good Caesar dressing, and I laughed when I told the family there really is anchovy in it and saw their facial expressions.

caesar2

Ingredients:
1/2 pound asparagus, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
1 pound brussel sprouts, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup mayonnaise
5 anchovy fillets, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper, to taste

caesar3Bring a medium sized pot of water to a low boil. Add the cut asparagus and cook for 4-5 minutes. Drain the water and place the asparagus in an ice bath, then add it to the cut brussels in a large bowl. In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, mayonnaise, anchovies, lemon, mustard, worcestershire, salt and pepper. Mix together well and then stir the cheese in. Place the dressing into the large bowl with the asparagus and brussels and toss until coated. Serves 4 as a meal, 6 as a side. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Key Lime Cheesecake Bars

gluten free key lime cheesecake barsI haven’t made a cheesecake in awhile, and as much as I wanted the cheesecake – I wanted it to be more portable and snack sized, without the hassle of a plate or fork. You can wrap these up and carry them on a picnic, or great for a smaller potluck. Who doesn’t love cheesecake?

cheesecake4Ingredients:
8 oz gluten free graham crackers
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup key lime juice
3 tablespoons lemon juice
zest from 2 small key limes

cheesecake2Preheat the oven to 325F. Using a food processor grind up the graham crackers and mix in the cinnamon and cloves. Mix the graham crackers with the melted butter. Using a 9×9 baking pan, line it with parchment paper (this makes for MUCH easier cutting later) and place the graham cracker mix into the pan. Smooth out until it makes a flat layer and use a small rolling pan, can, or glass – roll until it’s firm. Bake for 10 minutes until it’s golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the cream cheese and eggs until smooth. Add in the sugar, key lime juice and zest, and lemon juice and mix until combined. Pour onto the graham base and place into the oven for 30-35 minutes – the center will still just slightly jiggle. Remove from the oven and allow to sit out and cool completely before placing into the fridge. Allow to cool in the fridge for 2.5-3 hours. Pull the parchment paper out and using a pizza cutter, cut into 12 bars.

cheesecake1Makes 12 bars. Enjoy!

Baked Beef Chimichangas

baked beef chimichangaI love a good chimichanga, however they are generally fried, quite high in calories, and hard to get gluten free. This recipe gives me a great chimichanga that I know is gluten free, full of healthier ingredients – and topped off with fresh guacamole. The leftovers reheat quite well too, which made a great lunch the day after.

beefchimichanga2Ingredients:
6 large gluten free tortillas (I used Udi’s Plain)
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 a white onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
sea salt
1 cup tomato sauce
4 oz diced green chilies
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
olive oil

guacamole for topping

beefchimichanga2

Preheat the oven to 400f. Wrap the tortillas in tin foil and place them in the oven for 7-10 minutes to soften when it’s ready. In a large skillet over medium heat cook the onions, garlic and beef until the beef is cooked. Add the chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, bit of salt, and tomato sauce and mix together. Next add in the black beans and green chilies and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Finally add the shredded cheese and stir occasionally until the cheese has melted into the beef and beans fully.

beefchimichanga3Lay the tortillas on a flat surface with enough space for you to work. Fill each one with about 1/2 a cup (plus just a tad more) of the beef and bean mixture. Carefully fold up the top and bottom first and fold in, then wrap the sides and lay seam down on a baking sheet. Do this for all 6 tortillas, then brush with a bit of olive oil on top. Place into the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes, just enough for the tortillas to brown.

beefchimichanga1Remove from the oven and top with guacamole and serve immediately. Serves 6 with sides. Other great toppings would be fresh salsa, sour cream, cheese, or mole sauce. Enjoy!

 

 

Asparagus Casserole

asparagus casseroleHow happy I am when asparagus is in season. There are so many things that can be done with it from steaming, to grilling to casseroles like this. The gruyere and parmesan cheese together really compliment the asparagus and gives it a rich flavor.

asparaguscassIngredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds asparagus trimmed and cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 medium purple onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons dried basil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup gruyere cheese, grated
1 and 1/2 cup gluten free bread crumbs
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons butter, melted

asparaguscass2

Preheat the oven to 375F. In a skillet over medium heat add the olive oil, onions, and garlic. Cook until the onions are softened and add the asparagus. Cook until tender. Place into a 9×9 casserole dish and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.

In a small bowl whisk together the eggs and add the heavy cream, basil, and cheeses. Pour on top of the asparagus. In another bowl melt the butter then mix in the bread crumbs and paprika. Sprinkle over top the cheese mixture in the pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the bread crumbs are starting to brown. Serve hot. Serves 4. Enjoy!

FENNEL & SHALLOT GRATIN

I tried this for dinner tonight and thought it was wonderful! I’ve tried several recipes from here and have enjoyed them all.

CHEESY BISCUIT

IMG_1205

We used to make a version of this using plenty of butter and lashings of cream.  Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious, but for me at least, too rich to eat more than once in a blue moon.  I’ve been wanting for a while now to try a pared-down version, using less dairy.  Well, I finally got around to it, and I think it was great – steaming the fennel before it goes in the oven guarantees that each piece cooks down to succulent, juicy perfection.  The shallots add little bursts of sweetness and the parmesan crust adds just enough contrast in texture and taste (I kept the cheese pretty minimal – I bet it would be good with even more…)

I add fennel seeds because I love aniseedy flavours and tend to find myself trying to boost, rather than subdue them.  Cooking fennel like this turns the volume down on that…

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