Tikka Masala with Cauliflower

curry3This meal is vegan and gluten free. If you’re looking for a way to either reduce meat or dairy consumption – this is perfect. It’s packed full of flavor and the cauliflower gives it texture. You can make it quite spicy – I kept it on the mild side since I’m the only one in the family that likes really spicy food.

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Ingredients:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 16 oz can tomato sauce
1 16 oz can full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, packed loose
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small pieces

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In a large skillet over medium heat, drizzle the oil and place the onions and garlic. Allow to cook for a couple of minutes. Then add in all the spices and mix together well, coating the onions. Cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring constantly. Place the onions and spices in a blender with about a half cup of tomato sauce, enough to give them some liquid.

Blend together until smooth, and carefully slow back into the pan. Add the rest of the tomato sauce and the coconut milk. Sprinkle the cilantro in the pan and stir until everything is mixed.

Add the cauliflower into the pan, and reduce the heat to low -high. Cover the pan and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

curry4To make hotter, adding both diced jalapenos to the onions, and increasing the cayenne will work well.

Chicken, Mushrooms, Red Peppers and Tomatoes with a Cream Sauce

Yum. This is a great fall time dinner. It’s warm, comforting, and it’s pretty dang healthy. I love creamy sauces, this went great over rice. I’ve also eaten it without. The roasted red peppers and tomatoes give it a nice flavor, and I could eat mushrooms everyday. I had almost wished I had doubled up on them, but as much as my family likes them, it’s me who craves them.

This dish is not difficult to put together. Most of the time, I can’t sit and watch the pans so closely, so I prefer meals that I can allow to cook for a bit while I am cleaning up. I do find cooking relaxing, I just don’t always have the time.

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Ingredients:
1 large red pepper, sliced
1 large tomato, seeded and cut into slices
2 tablespoons butter
4 chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley

Preheat the oven to 375F. Place a piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Cut the tomato and red pepper. Lay them skin side up on the baking pan, and bake for about 20 minutes, until starting to blacken.

While they roast in the oven, take the butter and put it in a larger skillet. Put the heat on medium, and when the butter has melted, add the chicken. Salt and pepper the side that is up, and sear. Once the bottom side is done, flip them over and salt and pepper the side that is already cooked. Sear the other side until it’s a light brown. If the chicken hasn’t fully cooked, this is ok, it will finish cooking later.

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Remove the chicken from the pan and add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes until they soften up, then add the chicken stock. Add the heavy cream to the pan, along with the Parmesan cheese. Stir together well to mix. Place the chicken breasts back into the skillet, and add the tomatoes and peppers when they are done roasting. Sprinkle a bit of dried parsley into the pan. Add a bit more salt and pepper, if desired. Turn the heat to medium low, and allow everything to cook together for about 10 minutes.

Makes 4 servings. Goes great alone, or over rice or quinoa.

Beef with Cabbage (1 pan meal)

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This is a meal that is easy to make, easy to clean up. It’s healthy and not heavy on the carbs. It reheats well, which is just another bonus. It reminds me in a way of almost a deconstructed egg roll. It’s warm and fills your stomach.

Ingredients:
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 white onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 lb ground beef
1/2 head fresh green cabbage, sliced
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
1 16 oz can tomato sauce
salt and pepper, to taste

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Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the onions, turmeric and beef. While the beef cooks, cut the cabbage into large strips. Add the cabbage and both cans of the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Add a bit of salt and pepper. Cook on medium low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

*I like to add a bit of cayenne pepper as well, depends on who is over for dinner. I like spicier food, where my family often wants mild.

Fresh Mushroom Soup for Two

I love soups! They make me think of fall, the beautiful leaves, and the cooler weather. It’s not exactly cool here, but I got these lovely Crimini mushrooms at the farmer’s market. I’m a huge mushroom fan, when I make pork chops and steak, I love a big pile of sauteed mushrooms on top. They’re almost better than the main course for me! Anyways, the soup takes about a half hour to make. Since I bought a pound of mushrooms, I can make another batch of this. Cooking for two people can be tough. As much as I like leftovers, I can’t always eat all of them and need something fresh.

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Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 large white onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons white rice flour (pretty much any gf flour will work)
2 cups diced mushrooms (Crimini or Baby bella will work the best)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste

Over medium high heat melt the butter in a pot. Add the onions and garlic and allow the onions to soften. Add the flour and stir it in well with the onion and garlic. Next, add the mushrooms and allow them to soften. Stir in the broth, heavy cream, and some salt and pepper. Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat to medium low. Allow it to cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

*The vegetable broth can be replaced with a chicken broth, or even water.

*The heavy cream can be replaced with milk, but I would suggest adding a bit more flour to thicken up the soup.

This will make 2 larger bowls, or 4 small bowls. You can easily multiply the recipe to make more.

Good Morning Egg Bake

Breakfast on the weekend can be a real mess. Sometimes I’m wanting to sleep in, sometimes I’m rushing to the farmer’s market. Other times, I’m working. Besides being easy to put together, it’s a great way to clean out your fridge of any veggies that need to get used up, or you have too small a quantity to use elsewhere. Either way, I like eggs. I’ll also say that even though I do love cooking – I don’t always like to buy ingredients for one dish. If you are missing something, use something else!

eggbake3Ingredients:
8 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
pinch of cayenne pepper

1/4 cup diced ham
1 cup spinach, chopped
1/2 cup broccoli, diced
1/4 cup red pepper, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar

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Preheat the oven to 375F. Mix together the eggs, milk and spices, and pour into a baking pan, or pie pan. Pour the eggs in, then add all the cut vegetables and meat. Top with cheese and a bit more pepper. Bake for about 30-35 minutes. Serve hot, makes 4 servings.

Bacon and Cheese Dip

I went away for the weekend and wanted to take along a few great snacks. This dip was one of them. I served it with some good corn tortilla chips. It’s not a heavy dip, and you get hints of all the great flavors in each bite. I made this portion size for two people to snack on over a weekend, however you can easily double the recipe.

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Ingredients:
6 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon paprika
a pinch of cayenne pepper
3-4 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
2 green onions, chopped

Start by cooking your bacon. Once it is cooling off, place the sour cream and mayonnaise in a bowl and stir together. Add in the paprika and cayenne, and stir. Finally add the bacon, cheddar cheese, and parsley. Top off with the green onions.

Easy and delicious!

Over the weekend I also served this watermelon and pomegranate salad. It’s fresh, fun, and anywhere I bring it, the bowl ends up empty! Outings are so much more fun when there is delicious gluten free food available. Just bring plenty to share!

I Tried It. Baking your Hard Boiled Eggs

When I was on Facebook the other day I saw a video in my feed from the Food Network. They were showing how to cook your hard boiled eggs in the oven. I cook my bacon in the oven (less mess, no splatter), so I figured I’d give this a try. I rarely post anything that isn’t a recipe, but I found this interesting.

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I make hard boiled eggs a couple times a month. I have days where I am in such a rush that I don’t have time for much of a breakfast, or I want them for a salad. They’re fairly portable, and then I won’t have a growling tummy or the cravings for junk food.

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So what did I think about baking the eggs? Well you cook them at 350F for 30 minutes in a cupcake pan, instead of the 12-ish minutes in boiling water. If you’re my mom, you let the water boil over. I put the oven timer, placed the muffin tin in, and went about my business while they did theirs. They tasted the same, as I had to test one with a bit of pepper right away. I thought it worked out well. Have you ever tried it?

Chicken stuffed with Prosciutto, Spinach and Cheese

We’ve had to change how we eat a bit here at home. Not only do we have to be careful with the gluten, my mother is diabetic, so we watch the carbs. Tonight I made this flavorful chicken along with a salad. This made 4 servings, and I’ll have leftovers for my lunch tomorrow. The actual prep does not take long, and I was able to do other things around the house while it was in the oven.

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Ingredients:
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 slices prosciutto
1/4 cup cream cheese (whipped works best for spreading)
1 handful fresh spinach with ends cut off
dried basil (sprinkle on top of the cheese)
salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Heat a skillet on medium high heat with the olive oil while you prepare the chicken, and preheat the oven to 350F.

Flatten out the chicken breasts with a meat mallet. 1/4 inch works well. Lay the prosciutto on top (I had to cut the pieces in half.) Spread the cream cheese on top of the chicken breasts and prosciutto, and sprinkle the basil on top. Lay out the fresh spinach on top of that. Carefully roll them from one end to the other. I use toothpicks to hold them together.  Sprinkle some salt and pepper on them.

stuffedchicken3Place the chicken rolls in the hot pan with the oil and brown them on the top and bottom. Brown the seam side first. If you need to adjust the toothpicks, feel free. This will just take a couple of minutes. Then, if you have a oven safe pan, you can place it right in the oven. Otherwise you will need to transfer them to a baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until they are fully cooked. Remove from the oven, remove the toothpicks and serve.

stuffedchicken2Serve hot, and enjoy!

 

Gluten Free Coffee Brownies

coffeebrownies1 I’ve been refining my cooking skills a bit lately, and not only cooking gluten free, but making my food friendly for a family member who is a type 2 diabetic. Since we generally ate pretty healthy, there weren’t a lot of major changes going on, but there’s been a lot of education, and me playing around in the kitchen to make things that taste great and that everyone can eat. I’m not a short order cook.

Treats have been a harder thing for me to tackle, Gluten free baking is it’s own beast and measurements need to be precise. My stomach is very finicky about a lot of the diabetic approved sugar substitutes, and in the end, a treat needs to taste like a treat.

This turned out very good. My picky stomach was happy, the Diabetic enjoyed it and blood sugar was happy. Ingredients:
For the brownies:
1 1/2 cup almond flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1-2 tablespoons stevia (this is optional depending on how sweet you want it)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled

For the frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup strong coffee, cooled
3-4 tablespoons powdered (confectioner’s) sugar

coffeebrownies3Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13 pan, and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, stevia if desired, salt, and cocoa power, and baking powder. Melt the unsweetened chocolate and butter together in a small pan on the stove, stirring occasionally until completely melted. Add to the flour, then add in the coffee, vanilla, and eggs. Mix until fully combined, then carefully pour into your greased pan.

Bake for 27-30 minutes, which will give them a more cake-like texture. If you prefer them more soft and fudgey, cook them a bit less. (This would work and can always skip the frosting, they are delicious on their own.)

For the frosting beat the butter and the confectioner’s sugar together until combined and slowly add in the coffee. Keep mixing as you add the coffee, and let it soak in.

Frost when the brownies have cooled off, and enjoy having a delicious treat!

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!