GF Cooking: Sriracha Chicken Thighs & Ginger Vegetables

Happy New Year, WordPress!

I took a very long vacation, but I’m back to share some great recipes, product reviews, and my journey with Celiac with you! Thank you to all who began following my blog during my hiatus! 🙂

There will be some changes coming up, but for now I just wanted to let me clarify that this blog is no longer “just” gluten-free, but also Paleo. Like many Celiacs, I had more than one food trigger, so from now on, the recipes I will feature (desserts, too!) will be Paleo, but can be modified to suit your individual needs!

With that being said, let’s get started!


Sriracha Chicken Thighs and Ginger Vegetables

SrirachaChickenThighsUncooked

If you love heat, you’ll love these chicken thighs!

Today I received a message asking if I could suggest some good GF chicken recipes, because the author said that she was bored eating chicken the same way all of the time. Sometimes when we switch over to GF or Paleo, we have a belief that eating healthy means the same bland meats and vegetables over and over, and this couldn’t be further from the truth! There are many ways to spice up our healthy eating, and chicken, in my opinion, is the most versatile meat to experiment with. It’s very hard to mess up chicken! So this recipe is for my anonymous author! Enjoy!
Ingredients:

  • 1.5 tsp Sriracha Sauce (or more, if you like more heat!)
  • 1 tsp Organic Maple Syrup
  • Olive oil
  • ground ginger
  • chicken thighs (or breasts)
  • spinach
  • butternut squash (you can use any vegetables for this!)
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the Sriracha, maple syrup, and about 1 tsp of olive oil.
  3. Grease the dish you are cooking with and lay the chicken flat.
  4. Sprinkle some ginger, salt, and pepper on top of the chicken, then brush on the Sriracha mixture.
  5. Wash your spinach, pat dry, and place in the dish, but not directly on top of the chicken. Spinach decreases in size as it cooks, so don’t worry about crowding the pan. Add the squash.
  6. On the vegetables, sprinkle ginger and pepper. Paprika would be good here, too, if desired.
  7. Then, sprinkle a little olive oil over the vegetables.
  8. Pop into the oven and cook for 35-40 minutes!
  9. EAT!

SrirachaChickenThighsCooked

This recipe is great because the ginger and Sriracha compliment each other very well, and it’s great if you love spice! It’s also very easy to prepare, and I love that you can throw it in the oven and get other things done in the process. It’s cold outside right now, but this is an AWESOME recipe for the grill! I paired my concoction with quinoa! Yum yum yum.

Not bad for the first recipe of the new year, huh? 🙂

Til next time…

Note: I am not a doctor! Any recommendations on this blog are based on my own experiences with Celiac and Paleo! Do not eat any recommended foods without first checking with your own dietary needs!

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GF Cooking: Beef Tips with Brown Gravy [Poll on New Features!]

**At the end of this recipe, please read the possible upcoming features to my blog and vote in the poll or leave a comment! I’d love to hear your feedback! :)**

Beef Tips with Brown Gravy

BeefTipNoGravy

Beef Tips browning with garlic cloves and onion! Yum!

This recipe is very short and “semi-homemade,” meaning that I used a gravy mix to help me create delicious magic (hey, we’re busy people, okay?), but that just means that this recipe is open to various interpretations! You can add any spices or veggies you like, and if you have a little more time to make a gravy from scratch, even better! 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 or 1.5 lbs beef tips
  • .5 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • thyme, to taste
  • olive oil or coconut oil
  • GF gravy mix (I used Simply Organic and got great results!)

Directions:

  1. Heat a large pan to medium heat and coat with the oil of choice.
  2. Place the beef tips, garlic cloves, and onions into the pan. It will take about 10 or so minutes to brown the meat and cook the vegetables thoroughly.
  3. Use your discretion when it comes to making the gravy. I began to make mine 5 minutes into the browning of the beef, and they finished around the same time.
  4. When the gravy is done, turn the meat pan down to low and pour the gravy in. Stir and let simmer for a few minutes.
  5. Take off heat, then enjoy!
BeefTipGravy

Simply Organic’s brown gravy mix is delicious! This is a great quick and easy meal!

I was running low on veggies since me and my husband are heading over to Germany soon for vacation (EEEEE!!!!) and we want to keep our fridge a little sparse so we don’t waste food, so I used the rest of the frozen fries I opened from the Panko Shrimp night! This dish would be great with mashed potatoes, though, or really any hearty vegetable you enjoy! It’s a quick and easy meal for those days you are starving but don’t have a lot of time to spare. This whole meal took about 15-20 minutes, and that includes prep time!

As for the gravy itself, I was pleasantly surprised how tasty it was, considering I had never tried a GF gravy, or Simply Organic as a brand before. My husband (who is not Celiac but eats GF happily at home) thought it was delicious too, and that made me very happy. 🙂

Until next time…

 

New Features?

Before I officially end this post, I wanted to introduce a few new ideas I have been tossing around! My blog has been steadily gaining followers, which is great! I have been thinking about creating a Facebook page for recipe ideas, instant pictures, cooking blog recommendations, and other GF sites that I like and read so that every one of my readers can have access to them as well. Of course this is just in infancy stages of thinking, but I think as I get more readers, it would be a great way to reach out and spread more awareness about Celiac and the GF lifestyle.

Also, I have been considering delving into pet care! More specifically, dog care, but I can include other pets if this is a popular subject. More and more dog owners are getting away from feeding their pets grain-based foods, and I think considering the GF lifestyle, this is an interesting trend worth looking into. People care and pet care, all connected to grains!

If you are interested in seeing either of these things implemented into my blog, PLEASE vote or leave a comment on this post! I will make a decision by the end of the year, but I would love to hear from you! Thank you for reading; I appreciate the support!

Note: I am not a doctor! Any recommendations on this blog are based on my experiences with Celiac and gluten-sensitivities only and may not reflect your experiences. Eat any recommended foods with caution, based on your own dietary needs!

 

 

GF Cooking: Baked Panko Shrimp

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving with a lot of awesome food! I know I had a lot of cranberry sauce…maybe too much?

Nah. 😉

Monday was a pretty gloomy day where I’m at, and I wasn’t sure what to make for dinner. My head was hurting…I had work and a lot of graduate school deadlines due…I was NOT looking forward to making dinner! But when I stopped by my local grocery store, I saw some gluten-free bread crumbs, and I thought about the shrimp I had at home…and it all made sense! Baked panko shrimp!

Baked Panko Shrimp

PreOvenPanko

Pre-Oven Panko Shrimp!

 

Some people find breading intimidating: don’t! It just takes practice, but a great fool-proof breading is bread crumbs. They stick to surfaces easily, brown beautifully, and have a nice crunch!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag medium or large uncooked shrimp, washed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1.5 C GF bread crumbs
  • paprika, to taste (if you like spicy! You can use any spice you like!)
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • olive oil
  • cookie sheet
PreBreadingPanko

My setup! I highly recommend these GF breadcrumbs. DELICIOUS!

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 F.
  2. Mix your spices with the bread crumbs; set aside
  3. In another bowl, crack the egg; set aside
  4. Drizzle oil on your cookie sheet and set aside
  5. After you have washed your shrimp, begin to dip the shrimp one or two at a time into the egg, then into the breadcrumbs, coating evenly.
  6. Place the shrimp on the pan. There’s not a certain distance they have to be apart, but they make sure they don’t touch!
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
  8. Let cool for a few minutes, then enjoy

 

FinishedPanko

Comfort food at its finest!

 

I figured I would complete the comfort food trend, so I paired my Panko Shrimp with Annie’s Gluten-Free White Cheddar Mac-n-Cheese, and Alexia’s Natural Fries! I made some spicy ketchup, and my husband and I were in heaven! 🙂 If you miss eating fried shrimp at Red Lobster, these are a great substitute!

Until next time…

Note: I am not a doctor! Any recommendations on this blog are based on my experiences with Celiac and gluten-sensitivity only, and may not reflect your experiences! Eat any recommended foods with caution, based on your own dietary needs.

 

 

GF Thanksgiving Dessert Special: Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! 🙂

If you are new to the gluten-free lifestyle, it may hit you hard and fast how difficult holidays can be. You may find that some of your favorite dishes contain a ton of gluten! For me, as this is the first major holiday I’m celebrating GF, these realizations certainly dawned on me! What about my favorite rolls? What about desserts?! What about…pie?

My husband and family have done a great job in preparing delicious, GF dishes so that I can enjoy Thanksgiving with everyone else, but there was a dessert missing for me. Apple pie is traditionally my favorite, but I didn’t have energy to try and bake one since the end of the semester for Grad school is approaching, and I’m busy! I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, until I stumbled upon this great gluten, dairy, and egg free recipe on making a chocolate chip cookie pie! I’m not sure who the credit this recipe to, since I found it on Pinterest, but whoever you are…thank you!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

ChocolateChipPieUncooked

Chocolate Chip Chickpea Pie…ready to go into the oven!

Here is the interesting thing about this recipe: the base is chickpeas (Or Garbanzo beans). Yes. Chickpeas.

I was ALWAYS leery about beans in dessert recipes. Black bean brownies? REALLY? It just sounded gross to me. But being desperate for a Thanksgiving dessert, I decided to bite the bullet….and I’m glad I did!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) drained and rinsed
  • 1 C quick oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill!)
  • 1/4 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 Tbsp canola or coconut oil (I used canola)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (It is SO important to use REAL vanilla extract in baking! Don’t use imitation or you will be cheating yourself. It’s worth the extra bucks!)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder (I’m really fond of Clabber Girl)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 C brown sugar
  • 1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. In a food processor, thoroughly incorporate all of the ingredients, except the chocolate chips. (This step is extremely important! Make sure you grind the chickpeas well so that they are smooth and you’re not dealing with bean chunks! If you don’t have a food processor, you can smash the peas yourself and let the mixer do the rest.)
  3. After the other ingredients are mixed, add the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour mixture into a greased 9in pie or cake pan.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  6. When finished, let cool for at least 10 minutes.
ChocolateChipPieCooked

And there you have a beautiful Chocolate Chip Pie, ready for Thanksgiving! 🙂

I was very pleased with how this pie turned out: chickpeas or not, this was incredibly delicious and decadent! I could not taste the peas at all, since the brown sugar and chocolate helped sweeten the concoction! I tried to get a picture of a clean slice, but my pie behaved more like cobbler when I tried to get some out, even after cooling for at least 15 minutes. But that’s okay; it didn’t affect the taste at all! Now I’ll be able to enjoy ALL of Thanksgiving dinner. 🙂
If you’re afraid of trying beans in your desserts, this is a great “beginner” recipe to get your feet wet. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

From me to you, have a great and wonderful Thanksgiving! Remember, there is always something in your life to be thankful for!

Until next time…

Note: I am not a doctor! Any recommendations on this blog are based on my experiences with Celiac and gluten-sensitivity only, and may not reflect your experiences. Eat any recommended food with caution, based on your own dietary needs!

GF Product Review: Augason Farms Chocolate Chip Brownie Mix

Happy Saturday!

I have to admit; sometimes weekends make me really lazy. It’s hard to get motivated to cook! But of course, chocolate cravings are really enough to pull me out of a baking slump. And what better way to pull yourself out of a baking slump AND satisfy those chocolate cravings than preparing some soft, warm brownies?

Before Celiac, I would frequently bake “from scratch”: cakes, biscuits, cookies…you name it, I would make it! However, I’ve learned that baking gluten-free from scratch doesn’t always seem as cut-and-dry as “regular” baking. To be honest, the amount of different flours you need intimidates me! I’m slowing getting my feet wet with from scratch GF baking, but until then, I’m sticking with some mixes and giving them a shot. So today, I am reviewing a chocolate chip brownie mix my father bought in bulk for me:

Augason Farms Chocolate Chip Brownie Mix

AugasonFarmsBrownieMix

This mix is not only easy to prepare, but bakes easily too.

Seeing as this was my first time baking GF brownies at all, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Fortunately, Augason Farms makes it easy on the baker: the directions aren’t much different from “regular” brownies. An egg, some vegetable oil, water, and mix, and you’re on your way! However, I did notice some differences in my baking experience with GF batter vs. Gluten batter. The most important difference being:

  • THIS BATTER IS EXTREMELY THICK.

In traditional batters, you can simply pour the mixture into a greased pan. I’m not sure if this is just the company’s product or a trait of most GF brownie mixtures, but I had to spoon the batter into my pan (I used a small cake pan to bake these). Then, it took time to get it to spread evenly throughout the pan, at least 5 minutes. I suggest greasing not only the pan, but your spoon as well, because it will stick as you’re trying to spread it around!

The baking time on the can said 20-30 minutes, so I baked mine for 25 minutes, and they were cooked perfectly:

AugasonFarmBrownie

Chewy & Warm!

As far as taste goes, I think it depends on your preference. They are not as sweet as traditional brownies, despite the chocolate chips that are also within the mix. I prefer super sweet brownies with a glass of milk, so I was a little disappointed. My husband, however, thought they were perfect because he doesn’t like foods as sweet as I do.  They are quite good, though, even if you do prefer a super sweet brownie like me, so don’t be discouraged! Also, it is impossible to tell these are GF, which is great, considering the odd taste some products have.

 Consistency was perfect; no odd chunks that some GF products have,  and the thickness was about the same as a gluten brownie. Despite greasing the pan, the brownies were a bit hard to get out of the pan, though. Partly because they stuck a little, and because they are so chewy, it was hard to lift a clean piece. This of course does not affect the taste!

Conclusion:

This GF brownie will not disappoint you when are looking to curb a chocolate craving. Augason Farms did a great job of creating a product that makes those living a gluten-free life feel like they are not sacrificing taste for health. Easy to prepare and easy to bake also make this a nice “go-to” mix when you don’t feel like baking from scratch, or aren’t much of a baker in the first place. I do wish they were a little sweeter, and it was time consuming to spread the batter, so I’m going to give this product 4 out of 5 stars (****).

These were husband-approved, so really, why not give these a try? Maybe there’s a holiday party coming up? 🙂

Until next time…

Note: I am not a doctor! The reviews on this blog are based on my own experiences with Celiac and gluten-sensitivity, and may not reflect your experiences. Eat any recommended foods with caution, based on your dietary needs!

GF Cooking: Spicy Chicken Fajitas

I took a much needed break to spend some time with my husband, but I’m back! 🙂

If there’s one thing I really, really love, it’s fajitas. Beef, chicken, shrimp…any kind, honestly, and I will eat it! It can be a little tricky sometimes ordering them at a restaurant if you’re gluten-intolerant or Celiac and aren’t sure what exactly is being put into the dish, though. They taste great, but what about the spices? Do they have any fillers? Talk about anxiety! So, since my husband and I love them and we also like some spice, I came up with this quick-to-prepare recipe! If you don’t like your fajitas hot, feel free to reduce the peppers!

Spicy Chicken Fajitas

IMG_0929

Fajitas are surprising easy and quick to make at home, and are a healthier option! (Pardon my thumb!)

Ingredients:

  • 3 large chicken breasts, cut into strips [This was enough for 2 people, you may need more!]
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with habaneros [Rotel should be fine!]
  • 2 fresh jalapenos, chopped
  • 1 red chipotle pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium-large onion, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers [I used a red and yellow for some color!]
  • Olive oil
  • Paprika, to taste
  • Onion powder, to taste
  • Oregano, to taste
  • Cumin, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F.
  2. In a glass dish, lay the chicken strips out
  3. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil [I used about 1/3 C, but you might need more or less, your preference!] , cumin, oregano, paprika, and onion powder together. Then drizzle over the chicken. Be sure to coat them well!IMG_0925
  4. Layer your peppers and onions over the chicken…
  5. Then pour the can of diced tomatoes and habaneros over everything. It’s more than likely a small can, so it won’t cover the whole dish, but that’s okay. You don’t have to worry about draining it, either!IMG_0926
  6. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the juices in the chicken run clear! You may need to stir the veggies a little so make sure the top onions get cooked, but other than that you don’t need to touch the meat!
  7. Put into your favorite corn or GF tortilla, and enjoy!
IMG_0930

Some sour cream on my corn tortilla and it’s ready to eat! 🙂

I was so happy with the flavor of these fajitas! I wasn’t sure if my spice mix would turn out tasting similar to the restaurant’s or not, but it was very close! The peppers were just hot enough that the dish was spicy, but more so in a flavorful way, not to the point where you couldn’t eat it. We ate the whole dish, and husband said he definitely approved! I think this will become a staple at our house! 🙂

Until next time…

Note: I am not a doctor! Any recommendations on this blog are based on my experiences with Celiac and gluten-intolerance only, and may not reflect your experiences. Eat any recommended foods with caution, based on your dietary needs!

GF Cooking: Crispy Chicken Tenders & French Fries

Before I begin this post, I want to say a big THANK YOU to Becca Brinkmann over at For the Love of Coffee! She had a giveaway for Gluten-Free Boxes, which are stuffed with GF goodies and snacks, and I was fortunate enough to win a Gluten-Free Box Mini! I’m very excited to receive my box, especially since my husband comes back from deployment THIS COMING WEEK (YAY!), and these GF goodies can help us learn more about Celiac and gluten-sensitive options and the dietary adjustments we need to make as a couple in our home. Also, Becca has some great articles on living GF and other special topics—check out her blog and the great things going on over there! 🙂

+++++++

This week has been a complete blur. It has been full of graduate midterms, one final, work, preparing for my wonderful husband to be home…I also had the misfortune of being “glutened,” so I haven’t been feeling my best the past few days. But today, after I took my last midterm, I told myself that I was going to make some comfort food for being awesome. And what better comfort food to make on a cold, cloudy October day than crispy chicken tenders and French fries?

Crispy Chicken Tenders & French Fries

IMG_0888

You don’t have to have a fryer to make delicious tenders!

I adapted a recipe from my favorite GF cookbook in the whole-wide world, “The Healthy Gluten-Free Life.” In that recipe, it required potato chips, but I veered away from that. A great lady I follow here on WordPress has a great recipe, too, for chicken tenders that I haven’t tried yet, but I’d check out her version as well and show her some love! And some really delicious other recipes, too! Thank Heavens- The Gluten-Free Lifesaver’s tenders recipe is here!

Ingredients for the Chicken Tenders:

  • 4 C GF Rice Krispies [You can use GF potato chips, corn flakes, etc. and the result is the same :)]
  • 1/2 C coconut oil, melted
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb chicken tenders [I used skinless chicken tenders by Smart Chicken, but you can also cut up some chicken breasts into strips as well, or use this on chicken thighs!]
  • If you’re like me and like some spice, I suggest some red pepper flakes to taste, too!
  • Glass pan

Ingredients for the French Fries:

  • 1-3 large potatoes [I cooked for two people and one big potato made enough fries for both of us! Use your discretion.]
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 Tblsp olive oil [You may need a little more, depending on the size of your pan]
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Oregano [Optional]
  • Cookie sheet
  • Nonstick cooking spray

I prepared the French fries first, because potatoes can take a long time to bake, even as thin fries, and let them cook for a little bit before putting the chicken in, so the directions will follow this thought process.


Directions for the French Fries:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F.
  2. Wash the potatoes, then you can either cut them into thin strips or if you have a fry cutter, I would definitely recommend using it! If you cut them too thick, they will take a long time to cook.
  3. Spray the cookie sheet, and then place the fries spaced out from each other.
  4. Season the fries with the salt, pepper, and oregano (or whatever spice you like).
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, then take some time to flip the fries so both sides can get some lovin’. 🙂
  6. Then cook the fries for another 15-20 minutes depending on your oven, and they should be ready to go!

Directions for the Tenders:

When the fries are spending the first little bit in the oven, I take the opportunity to prepare the chicken!

  1. Make sure the chicken has been rinsed and patted dry very well before beginning, and don’t forget to spray your glass dish with nonstick spray!
  2. Measure out the GF Krispies and either put them in a large bowl or a plastic baggie, whichever is more convenient for you!
  3. Melt the coconut oil. It should only takes two sets of 10 seconds for it to be completely clear.
  4. Dip the tenders in the coconut oil one at a time, then roll them in the Krispies until they are coated to your liking.
  5. Place them in the glass dish, then season with the salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes!
  6. When the first 20 minutes for the French fries has almost passed, put the chicken into the oven and let them bake for about 20-30 minutes. I would flip them about 10 minutes or so; that way both sides can brown.
  7. You’ll be able to tell that the chicken is done because the juices in the pan are clear and the chicken has a nice brown coating to it! 🙂

Paired with homemade honey mustard, this was scrumptious!

It was interesting using coconut oil as a coating agent for these tenders, but honestly it made the chicken fall apart because it was so tender. I never thought I would use Krispies for a “breading,” but it was great, and I would use them again! My fries were the way *I* like them: not too crunchy but not too soft either. It can be tricky making French fries with the oven, but every time I do it, I get better! 🙂

Until next time…!

Note: I am not a doctor! Any recommendations on this blog are based on my own experiences with Celiac and gluten-sensitivity and may not reflect your experiences. Eat any recommended foods with caution, based on your own dietary needs!