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Category Archives: PGF

Buffalo Ranch Turkey Burgers

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I kid you not, I have been trying to get a good picture of these burgers for a year now. There’s something about taking a picture of a burger without a bun that makes it non-photogenic. In the gluten free world, burgers without buns are just a reality, photogenic or not. I managed to get few good photos of these Pizza Burgers, but they had fancy toppings to make them look good. Dousing a burger in hot sauce isn’t exactly food styling. I’ve finally given up on the idea of getting a good photo of these burgers. I could wait until I somehow managed the perfect photo, but I’d rather just post the recipe already!

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By now I’m sure you know that I love grilling in the summer. I make turkey burgers often. They are a quick and tasty homemade meal, what’s not to love? Burgers are a blank slate for so many flavors. Think the creativity of the Red Robin menu + homemade, real ingredients. Steve loves these Sweet Thai Chili Burgers, but these Buffalo Ranch Burgers are my favorite. I often split a pound of lean ground turkey in half and make us each a few burgers of our flavor choice.

I promise you that this one “secret ingredient” will make your turkey burgers moist and juicy. Lean turkey + caramelized onions creates nearly an identical burgers to much fattier ground beef. Really, it’s hardly a secret and hardly difficult to add caramelized onions to your turkey burgers. It does take a bit of time, but most of that is inactive; just occasional stirring. I just caramelize the onions on the stove top while I prepare the rest of the burger ingredients.

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For the ranch flavor in these burgers I use dried ranch seasoning mix. If you’re using the store bought ranch mix in the packets you’ll want to make sure that you find a gluten free variety. The Hidden Valley ranch packets will all list if they are gluten free on the package. Just look under the ingredient label. If it’s gluten free it will say “gluten free” right there! Lately, I’ve been using homemade ranch seasoning mix with great success. This recipe from Gimme Some Oven has given me good results. In my last batch, I left out the onion flakes and dried chives (I didn’t have either in my pantry) and still had great results!

I use Frank’s Red Hot Sauce for the buffalo flavor. The sauce gets added while the burgers are cooking, and then I give it a drizzle before serving. If you drench the burgers in hot sauce it will be difficult to taste the ranch flavor. With that warning in mind, add as much hot sauce as you’d like!

Buffalo-Ranch-Burgers-Grill

Cheese is optional. I’ve had these burgers with and without cheese, and find them to be delicious and satisfying either way. Sometimes I simply don’t want to mess with trying to perfectly top the burgers with cheese, but there’s also something about melted cheese that takes any hamburger to a new level!

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Buffalo Ranch Turkey Burgers

Ingredients (makes 4 -6 hamburgers)
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 small/medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs dry ranch dressing mix
  • 1 – 2 Tbs milk (water also works)
  • 1/4 c Frank’s Red Hot, divided (feel free use more or less, to taste)
  • 1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Hamburger buns (optional)
Directions
  1. Add the olive oil to a small skillet and turn heat to medium. When the oil is warm, add the onion to the skillet and stir to coat with oil (If you happen to have used a large-ish onion and the oil doesn’t seem to be coating everything, just drizzle in a bit more oil). Continue cooking the onion, stirring frequently, until it softens and turns light brown in color. This takes any where from 10 – 20 minutes, depending on how much onion is in the pan, different stovetops, etc. When the onion is cooked, move it to a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the ground turkey, ranch dressing mix, and milk to the mixing bowl and combine all the ingredients together.
  3. Divide the mixture into 4 to 6 even sections, and form each section into a patty (I prefer 6 smaller patties, but make whatever size you’d like).
  4. Put each of the hamburger patties onto a grill, over medium/high, direct heat. Grill for about 12 – 15 minutes.  About halfway through the cooking time flip the burgers and drizzle each with about 2 tsp of the hot sauce (it’s okay to approximate here, you can even just shake it on from the bottle). Continue to let the burgers cook for the remainder of the cooking time, or until the internal temperature of each hamburger reaches 165° F.
  5. If adding cheese, when the burgers have cooked through, sprinkle about 1 Tbs of cheddar cheese onto the top of each patty and leave them on the grill for another minute or two, to let the cheese melt.
  6. To serve, top each hamburger with approximately another 2 tsp of the hot sauce. Place on a hamburger bun if desired. If serving GF and regular hamburgers, be sure to make ALL GF burgers before making any burgers using wheat buns, to avoid cross contamination.
 Serve this with
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PGF: Spicy Meat Sauce

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A spicy tomato sauce that is ready to eat in under 20 minutes! Serve with GF pasta, wheat pasta, or spiralized vegetable noodles!

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I have a lot of fond memories of making this pasta sauce with my sister. As children we both enjoyed cooking but just could not manage to do it together. It always ended up with the two of us in a huge fight, stomping off to our rooms. For years we just avoided being in the kitchen together! Once we hit college age we managed to put our bad cooking experiences behind us and started working together in the kitchen. We developed a groove. I did all the work with raw meat and Lauren was in charge of all of the stirring. I often did cutting, she did measuring. Once we knew what we each liked and wanted to do in the kitchen working together was much easier! {Funny, as I type this I realize how similar this is to marriage. Figuring out HOW to work together is key!}

This spicy meat sauce was a favorite recipe for us to make together. I would add things to the pan and Lauren would stir it up. We had our jobs and it all worked out!

Spicy-Meat-Sauce-Gluten-Free-Pasta

What flavors inspired our meat sauce? Anything and everything spicy! Crushed red pepper flakes, chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic . . . basically everything spicy that we could find in the cupboard. We’d shake in some spices, taste test, adjust seasonings, taste test, adjust seasonings, taste test . .. . you get the idea.

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Everyone we served the Spicy Meat Sauce to loved it! When I found out I had celiac disease, this was a familiar meal that was easily modified to meet my needs. I prepared the meat sauce as usual, but replaced regular pasta with gluten free pasta.

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In 10 years, this Spicy Meat Sauce recipe hasn’t changed, but what I’ve served it over has. Before getting my celiac diagnosis 8 years ago I was crazy about pasta! Now, things are different. Often, I prepare this sauce with a pot of GF pasta and a pot of wheat pasta to make the meal Portionally Gluten Free (PGF). Gluten free spaghetti is expensive, but regular pasta is less than a dollar a box! That way I get to eat something safe for me, and my husband can chow down on pasta and sauce without breaking the bank. Making a PGF pasta dinner is surprisingly easy. I boil two pots of water. The GF pasta gets cooked in one pot and the wheat pasta in the other. I use separate stirring spoons for each pan. When the pasta is done cooking, drain and plate the GF pasta, followed by the wheat pasta (I highly recommend sing separate strainers for wheat and GF pasta. Read more about PGF specifics here).

Lately, I’ve been trying out this sauce with vegetable noodles. As a somewhat new spiralizer owner I’ve been making every veggie I can think of into noodles. Served with zucchini noodles, the meal becomes surprisingly analogous to the taste of regular pasta and sauce. Sweet potatoes noodles are a fun compliment for this spicy sauce. Add a little feta cheese for some saltiness and you’ll be in healthy pasta heaven!

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PGF: Spicy Meat Sauce

Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 20 oz plain tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 tsp mexican seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 3 shakes cayenne pepper
Directions
  1. Put the beef/turkey in a non stick skillet (or regular skillet, with an added 1 tbs olive oil) over medium high heat. Brown the meat, breaking it into small chunks using a spoon/fork/spatula as it cooks.
  2. When most of the meat is brown, add the onions and garlic. Continue cooking until no pink remains.
  3. Add the tomato sauce and spices and stir.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for a few minutes up to 15 or 20 minutes.
  5. Serve with pasta (gluten free, or whatever works for your diet) or vegetable noodles. For a PGF meal, prepare gluten free and wheat pasta in separate pots using separate stirring utensils and strainers. Serve the GF pasta, topped with sauce before serving the wheat pasta topped with sauce.
Serve this with

Pizza Burgers

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This isn’t the first fancy burger recipe I’ve posted, and it certainly won’t be the last. I just love making hamburgers more interesting! Made with lean ground turkey and just a tablespoon of cheese per serving, this is a healthier (and more unique) way to enjoy the traditional flavors of pizza!

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The idea for these Pizza Burgers came from a dish at my college cafeteria, also called (no surprise here) Pizza Burgers. There was always a hamburger/hot dog station in the cafeteria, but once a week or so they’d have Pizza Burgers on the menu. There wasn’t much special about these burgers. The cafeteria worker would take a regular cheese burger, put in on a bun, and dump some tomato sauce on before adding the top half of the bun. It must have been a student favorite, because the Pizza Burgers were on the menu at least one a week!

My Pizza Burgers are a bit different. I had the idea to recreate this college cafeteria recipe because I really wanted a healthier way to enjoy pizza. There are tons of healthier pizza alternatives out there! Cauliflower crusts, zucchini crusts, and plenty of pizzas full of veggies, but making any pizza crust takes work. Even cooking lovers and food bloggers sometimes get tired of being in the kitchen! A turkey burger comes together much more quickly than a pizza crust!

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To make the burgers, I seasoned ground turkey with some traditional Italian/pizza flavors – garlic powder, crushed red pepper flakes, and some Penzey’s Frozen Pizza Seasoning. Just a little bit of seasoning goes a long way! The burgers had a gentle herb-y flavor, enough to notice, but not overpowering. To keep turkey burgers moist I always use caramelized onions in my hamburger mixes. The onion adds flavor and keeps the burger from getting dried out. Towards the end of the grilling time, I add a bit of mozzarella cheese to the top of each of the burgers, and to really finish out the pizza flavor I top each finished burger with tomato sauce. I can’t claim something with melted cheese is 100% healthy, but with just a tablespoon of cheese for each serving, this absolutely counts as enjoying something in moderation.

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Feel free to add any of your favorite pizza toppings to these Pizza Burgers. I add some chopped turkey pepperoni to mine. I served these burgers with sauteed kale. I’m sure with all the flavors and toppings you won’t miss the hamburger bun, but serving Pizza Burgers with hamburger buns is also an option. This meal is easily made portionally gluten free by having both GF and wheat hamburger buns available. Just be sure to serve ALL of your GF burgers before even getting out the wheat buns (click here for additional PGF precautions)!

Pizza-Burgers-Sauce

Pizza Burgers

Makes 4 -6 burgers.
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp Penzey’s Frozen Pizza Seasoning (or any Italian herb seasoning you have on hand)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 c shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 – 1/2 c tomato sauce (any flavor/variety you like, just check the ingredient label to make sure it is gluten free)
  • optional: any other traditional pizza toppings
Directions
  1. Add the olive oil to a small skillet and turn heat to medium. When the oil is warm, add the onion to the skillet and stir to coat with oil. Continue cooking the onion, stirring frequently, until it softens and turns light brown in color. This takes any where from 10 – 20 minutes, depending on how much onion is in the pan, different stovetops, etc. When the onion is cooked, move it to a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the ground turkey, pizza seasoning, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper flakes to the mixing bowl and combine all the ingredients together.
  3. Divide the mixture into 4 to 6 even sections, and form each section into a patty (I prefer 6 smaller patties, but make whatever size you’d like).
  4. Put each of the hamburger patties onto a grill, over medium/high, direct heat. Grill for about 12 – 15 minutes, or as long as it takes for the internal temperature of each hamburger to reaches 165° F.
  5. When the burgers have cooked through, sprinkle a bit of the mozzarella onto the top of each patty and leave them on the grill for another minute or two, to let the cheese melt.
  6. To serve, to each hamburger with 1 to 2 tablespoons on tomato sauce, and any additional toppings. Place on a hamburger bun if desired. If serving GF and regular hamburgers, be sure to make ALL GF burgers before making any burgers using wheat buns, to avoid cross contamination.

P.S. This post is linked to the Gluten Free Carnival at Gluten Free Homemaker. Check it out here!

PGF: Chipotle & Avocado Chicken Burgers

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This is not your normal hamburger. These chicken patties are lightly seasoned with zesty spices and stuffed with cool avocado. You will enjoy them with or without a hamburger bun!

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I think I have a “thing” with hamburgers. I’ve eaten a lot of burgers in my day – hamburgers, cheeseburgers, turkey burgers. Almost every week I announce that dinner tonight is “burgers”. But I never, ever make an ordinary burger. I just can’t do it. There are so many good flavors out there that make an ordinary burger into something amazing!

Last summer I shared my Sweet Thai Chili Burgers, which are pretty unique in terms of flavored hamburgers. These Chipotle & Avocado Chicken Burgers are much milder. If you’re not crazy about over the top flavors or want a gentle introduction into the world of flavored burgers these would be a great choice.

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If you glance down at the ingredient list you may notice a few strange things. If you don’t have any chipotle chili powder you may want to consider getting some. It’s similar to regular chili powder, but a bit stronger and has a smoky taste. I get mine in the Hispanic section of the grocery store for less than $2 a jar! Of course, you could sub in any other chili powder you have on hand, resulting in only a slightly different flavor. The last ingredient on the list is shredded zucchini. I know, I know, it sounds crazy weird, but the zucchini will help give the burgers body. To prepare the zucchini you’ll want to shred it – I use a box grater. Take the shredded zucchini and put it in a cheesecloth or thin towel and wring out the liquid. You’ll want to measure the 1/3 cup once you’ve done all the preparations with the zucchini. If you’re adverse to zucchini or don’t want the extra work you can sub in breadcrumbs. I promise though, nothing about this burger taste like zucchini! Avocado is definitely a strange ingredient in burgers, but it actually handles the grilling quite well.

I generally eat these burgers plain, but there’s nothing like a good GF hamburger bun now and again. It’s easy to turn this into a portionally gluten free meal, just serve with regular and gluten free hamburger buns! Avoiding cross contamination is easy – just serve the GF hamburgers first, before you even get out the wheat hamburger buns. Make some corn on the cob, lay out some burger toppings, and you’ll have a simple, gluten free, summer meal!

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Chipotle & Avocado Chicken Burgers

This recipe makes 4 chicken burgers, but is easily modified to make a double batch, or even slider sized burgers.
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. ground chicken breast
  • 1 small avocado, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/3 c shredded zucchini, with liquid squeezed out.
Directions
  1. In a mixining bowl, combine all ingredients except the avocado.
  2. Once the spices are thoroughly mixed into the chicken gently stir in the avocado.
  3. Form the mixture into 4  patties using your hands.
  4. Grill over medium high heat for about 5-7 minutes on each side. Make sure the burgers reach a temperature of 165° F.
  5. Serve plain, or with hamburger buns.

PGF: Grilled Fajitas

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Guys, it is officially grilling season! One of my first grilled meals of the year were these fajitas.

Grilled-Fajitas

I know lots of people around the US are just getting used to the sun light again after an endless winter, but not the case in the south. Actually, if you ask a native of this area they will tell you the horrors of the temperature getting into the 30s! And snow, yes snow, and THREE WHOLE TIMES! I guess after spending most of my life in the northeast winter doesn’t phase me.

Here’s what does get to me though: when the temperature is in the 100s. You mean I’ll be too hot in pants? And sweating no matter what I wear? It’s May and I have to have the air conditioning on? We have air conditioning?!?! People who have lived in the south for a while though, this is nothing to them. They are really happy it’s finally warming up!

To each his own, I suppose.

And, truthfully, I do hope to adapt to the higher temperatures. It’s no fun to feel nauseous every time I step outside.

So, summer and high temperatures means that the grill is my primary cooking tool. No sense in heating up the house with the oven when the air conditioner is on full blast. I’m sure these grilled fajitas are just the first in a long line of grill recipes coming your way this summer.

Grilled-FajitasThese 6 ingredients fajitas are really yummy and very simple thanks to a very special ingredient, Wegman’s Fajita Marinade. For those of you who don’t know, Wegmans is not a product, but it is the best grocery store on earth! You think I’m exaggerating, but I am not. This place has been supporting GF products and labeling for at least 10 years – that’s far before most other chain stores jumped on the bandwagon. Their store brand products are usually better quality, and cheaper, than the name brand! If you want something in your pantry, Wegmans has it. When you get to the check out there are at least 20 lines, so it’s unlikely you’ll have to wait long. Unlike my local Harris Teeter, those lines are actually open. Imagine that. Anyway, if you are lucky enough to live somewhere with a Wegmans (sadly, I do not) then you know exactly what I’m talking about (and probably have your own raving reviews to share).  The rest of you are probably quite confused about my strong allegiance to a grocery store.

All that to say that Wegman’s has a line of marinades including a fajita marinade. It turns making a really flavorful meal very simple. I cut  the chicken into small cubes (actually Steve did it, because of my finger injury), dumped some marinade on it and refrigerated overnight. Viola! The next day we skewered the chicken with some onions and green peppers, put it on the grill for a few minutes, and had a delicious, healthy dinner without turning on a single kitchen appliance! Pretty cool when it’s 90° F. Pun intended.

Grilled Fajitas

We ate a few fajitas each at dinner time. Steve had never had the magic Wegman’s Fajita Marinade before, and he was loving the flavor. I think he was eating fajitas and plain meat/onions/peppers.

This is how a professional geek eats a fajita.

This is how a professional geek eats a fajita.

We snacked on the fajitas for the rest of the evening, and it turns out they were pretty good cold, too! If you’re wanting to make Grilled Fajitas but don’t have a Wegmans nearby here’s my suggestion: just use any brand fajita marinade. Really, anything with a Mexican-ish flavor scheme will work with fajitas. It may not be quite as delicious, but almost anything marinaded overnight has a wonderfully strong flavor the next day!

Now, this post is getting really long so I’m just going to get on with the recipe. I hope I didn’t talk your ear off!

Grilled Fajitas

Grilled Fajitas

Ingredients
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 c Wegmans Fajita Marinade
  • corn tortillas (you can easily make this recipe PGF by letting anyone with a gluten intolerance use flour tortillas)
  • shredded mexican blend cheese (or use any cheese variety you like)
  • Any other topping you would enjoy – tomato, avocado, etc.

Directions

  1. Cut the chicken into 1 to 2 inch cubes. Put the cubed chicken in a bowl and stir in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next day, cut the onion and green pepper into pieces about the same size as you made the chicken cubes.
  3. Get the chicken out of the refrigerator and make your skewers, alternating chicken, vegetable, chicken, vegetable, etc. Discard any extra marinade.
  4. Grill the skewers for 4 to 5 minutes on each size, over medium-high direct heat. Before removing from the grill make sure that the chicken has reached a temperature of 165° F.
  5. Slide the meat off of the skewers and spread a few pieces of each meat/vegetable onto the center of a corn tortilla. Top with cheese. Repeat with any flour tortillas. Be sure to keep the corn and flour tortillas separate!

PGF: Pesto Chicken & Lemon Kale Sandwiches

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Pesto Chicken & Lemon Kale sandwiches make a quick and healthy meal. These warm, toasted sandwiches can be made with GF or wheat bread. Perfect for a group of people who have differing dietary needs. The lemon and pesto combination is irresistable. Whether you are eating GF or not you will love this sandwich!

I really enjoy eating soup. There’s nothing else like a tomato soup and grilled cheese, and any time I feel sick with anything I make Avgolemono Soup. I have a whole pinterest board just for soups I want to try!

Soup is a cold weather food. The last thing you want to do on a hot day is eat a big bowl of steaming soup. Hot days are the majority here, so as summer approaches I’ve been trying to get my fill of soups.

A few weeks ago, when the temperature starting getting into the 70s, I kind of freaked out about all the soup recipes I wanted to try and hadn’t had the chance yet! There was one soup in particular that I was anxious to try so I planned to make it that very night. I needed something a little more substantial to go with the soup so I invented these sandwiches out of ingredients from my refrigerator.

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The soup, sadly, wasn’t that great but the sandwiches were awesome! The lemon flavored kale and pesto go together strikingly well. As someone who usually eats all of my foods separated I was honestly a little worried, but the sandwich was 100% enjoyable. The tastes and textures all blended together perfectly. Even the GF bread was perfect. It browned and crisped up so much better than the sandwiches I made on wheat bread for Steve.

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Before actually putting together these sandwiches you’ll need to cook some chicken and saute some kale. It sounds like a lot of work for a sandwich, I know. First, I will tell you that it’s worth it! I’ll do a little extra work for a healthy, delicious meal that everyone in the family likes! Second, these two steps take about 20 minutes total and can be done ahead of time. These sandwiches are a great use of leftovers if you happen to have some extra cooked chicken laying around!

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Pesto Chicken & Lemon Kale Sandwiches

Steps 1 – 3 can be done ahead of time. Store the cooked chicken and kale in the refrigerator until ready to use.
 
Ingredients
  • 8 slices of bread (GF, wheat, or combination of both)
  • 8 tsp pesto
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 bunch kale, roughly chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
Directions
  1. Fill a saucepan with water. Bring to a boil and add the chicken breast. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 12-15 minutes.
  2. While the chicken in cooking, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the kale and saute for about 5 minutes. The kale will turn to a brighter green color and then soften and wilt. Add the lemon juice to the pan and cook, continuing to stir, until there is no more liquid remaining on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat.
  3. When the chicken has finished cooking shred it using two fork (or cut into bite sized pieces).
  4. Heat a skillet (the same one you cooked the kale in is fine) over medium heat. Prepare the GF bread by spreading a tsp of pesto sauce on one side of each piece of bread. Spray the other side of the bread with cooking spray, and place that side of the bread down on the baking pan. Put about 1/4 of the chicken on one slice of bread, topped with 1 tbs of cheese. On the other slice, spread out some of the lemon kale and top with another tbs of mozzarella.
  5. Cover the skillet with a lid and let cook until the cheese is mostly melted. Remove the two bread slices from the skillet and carefully put them together. Press down on the top of the sandwiches with a spatula to help keep the sandwich together.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with the reaming bread. Be sure to cook all of the GF sandwiches before cooking any sandwiches using wheat bread.

PGF: Macaroni & Broccoli

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Macaroni & Broccoli is a quick, healthy pasta dinner. It can be difficult to make a quick GF dinner, and even more tricky if you’re trying to make that meal healthy, too. Since the base of the dish is pasta and there are no strong flavors this healthy, gluten free dinner will please picky eaters, too.

Really, this is so simple to make that it hardly needs a recipe. I set two pots of water on the stove over high heat. While the water is coming to a boil I chop some broccoli florets and garlic. When the water is boiling I add some brown rice pasta to one pot, some regular pasta to the other and steam the broccoli. If I’m not feeling lazy I may saute the garlic in a little oil, but it’s not a necessary step.

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It goes without saying that you NEED to be careful when cooking GF pasta and wheat pasta side by side. Use two separate pots and get out two separate stirring spoons. I like to keep my GF pasta, pot, and stirring utensil on one side of the stove and the wheat-laden food on the other side. Package up any leftover pasta right when you are done with it to avoid any cross contamination! I time the pasta cooking times so that the GF pasta will be done first. I drain it, put in on the table, and then drain the wheat pasta when the GF portion is totally out of the way. If you take these simple precautions to avoid cross contamination your meal will be safe! (Of course, you could also make this meal entirely with GF pasta, or even entirely with wheat pasta if you don’t have a gluten intolerance).

Once the pasta is cooked I stir some broccoli and garlic in to each pot and dinner is ready! Super easy and dinner will be on the table in under 30 minutes! For a fuller meal, serve with a salad and some grilled chicken. You’ll still have a quick, simple dinner!

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PGF: Macaroni & Broccoli

See post for additional tips on safely cooking GF and wheat pasta simultaneously.
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c GF pasta
  • 2 c wheat pasta
  • 1 large or 2 small heads of broccoli
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbc olive oil
Directions
  1. Fill two saucepans with water and heat over high heat.
  2. While waiting for the water to boil, cut the broccoli into small florets and mince the garlic.
  3. Place the broccoli florets in a steamer basket. Fill another sauce pan with an inch or two of water and put the steamer basket in the pan. Heat to boiling, and then reduce the heat to low and let the broccoli simmer for about 8 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat. (See this post for step-by-step instructions on steaming broccoli).
  4. In a small bowl, mix the minced garlic with the olive oil. If you’d like, you can saute the garlic and oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, until the garlic has softened, but this step is not required.
  5. When the pasta water is boiling, add the GF pasta to one pan and the regular pasta to another. Stir each, being sure to use separate stirring utensils. Cook each pasta according to package directions and then drain, starting with the GF pasta.
  6. Return the pasta to their respective pots. Add about 1/3 of the broccoli and 1/3 of the garlic/oil mixture to the GF pasta. Stir until the oil has coated the pasta.
  7. Add the remaining broccoli and garlic/oil to the regular pasta and stir to coat the pasta with the oil.

Spicy Tomato Chicken Noodle Soup

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Over the past couple of weeks us folks in the south have been hit with a couple of very rare snowstorms. As a former northerner I’m not phased, and it’s actually exciting to see the snow again. Snow is uncommon here so there are no snow plows or salt trucks. Schools are closed and everyone gets sent home from work. It gets so hot and humid here in the summer, so I’m trying to live up this cold weather while I have the opportunity. I’m doing lots of awesome, and less awesome stuff, like drinking hot chocolate, eating lots of soup, and wearing fleece. Hence the chicken noodle soup. In a month or two it will be so hot I won’t be able to bear the idea of heating the house anymore and do all of my cooking on the grill. I’ve gotta eat soup now while I can!

Spicy Tomato Chicken Noodle Soup

When my sister, Lauren, found this recipe a long time ago it was just a regular chicken soup with some tomato soup added at the end. Lauren and I have a history of making everything spicy, and that’s exactly what we did with this recipe. We had a few go-to spice blends that we added to everything. One of us would stir and the other would shake in various amounts of these spices. Then we would taste, evaluate the flavor, and adjust accordingly. I love cooking this way, but it’s not exactly conducive to writing out a recipe. I finally took some time to measure out the spices that I use.

Spicy Tomato Chicken Noodle Soup 2

This recipe was an easy favorite to modify for a gluten free diet once I was diagnosed with celiac. Rather than using regular pasta, I subbed in GF pasta or even rice. To make this a portionally gluten free recipe separate the finished soup into two saucepans. Add GF noodles to one pan and wheat noodles into the other. Just be sure to boil the pasta in two separate pots and use two sets of utensils for preparing both pasta varieties!

This is not your ordinary chicken noodle soup. It has a good amount of tomato flavor and good kick of spice. This will warm you up inside and out. The chicken is cooked in broth and seasoning to amp up the flavor. Don’t let the large ingredients list and long set of directions scare you off. Over the course of the hour and a half it takes to prepare this soup you’ll only be actively involved for about 20 – 30 minutes.

Spicy Tomato Chicken Noodle Soup 3

P.S. If you’re curious about that foccacia bread in the photos check back on Monday for the recipe!

Spicy Tomato Chicken Noodle Soup

See post above for directions on how to make this meal portionally gluten free. If you’re not a fan of spicy soups leave out the crushed red pepper flakes and the cayenne pepper.
 
Ingredients
  • 6c water
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbs parsley flakes
  • 3/4 tsp onion powder
  • 3 tsp chicken bouillon ( I use Better than Bouillon)
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 c plain tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbs chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbs mexican seasoning (I have a McCormick Mexican seasoning, but any mexicany flavored seasoning will do)
  • 2 shakes cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 c cooked GF pasta or rice (see post above for PGF directions)
Directions
  1. Put the water in a large saucepan and add the garlic and onion powder, parsley flakes and bouillon. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the spices. cut each of the chicken breasts in half, add the the pot, and let simmer for 1 hour.
  2. Towards the end of the 1 hour of simmering, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once warm, add the onions and garlic and cook until softened, stirring frequently to keep the garlic from burning.
  3. Once the chicken has simmered for an hour remove it from the pan and shred or chop into bite sized pieces.
  4. Add the chicken into the pan, as well as the cooked onion/garlic. Add the tomato sauce, chili powder, red pepper flakes, Mexican seasoning, and cayenne pepper. Stir well.
  5. Add the cooked pasta or rice into the pot and let simmer for couple of minutes before serving.

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken

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This effortless, two ingredient buffalo chicken is easy to prepare whether you are cooking for 2 or 20!

Buffalo Chicken 5

This buffalo chicken is frequently cooking in my house. I’ve been making it since before I started this blog! Crockpot buffalo chicken recipes are rampant all over Pinterest and the internet in general, so I had no intention of posting my recipe and adding yet another version to the mix. Plus, my version is hardly a recipe. With only two ingredients and no exact measurements it hardly seems worth it’s own post.

Ultimately, I decided to post this for the sake of continuity. I have tons of recipes that I use this chicken in (like these buffalo chicken egg muffins). I honestly figured it would be easier for me as the recipe writer and you, as the readers, to have a buffalo chicken recipe right on this site to refer back if a recipe calls for buffalo chicken.

Although I do use this chicken as an ingredient in many recipes, it also makes excellent sandwiches. Just like any crockpot meal, let it cook all day and you’ll come home to a hot, ready to eat meal – just get out some bread and lettuce). This is also a super easy meal to make for a crowd. Whether you are cooking for 2 or 20 the prep time and cook time are exactly the same. New Years Party food, anyone?!

Buffalo Chicken 6

Speaking of prep and cooking, here’s how I make this amazingly delicious and moist chicken.

Buffalo Chicken 1

First, I trim any fat off the chicken and place in the the crock pot.

Buffalo Chicken 2

Next, pour in the hot sauce. You’ll want to pour it in until the chicken is just about covered.

Buffalo Chicken 3

Put the lid on the crockpot and cook for about 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low. I’ve found that the cook time varies depending on the thickness of the chicken (i.e. thick chicken breasts take longer to cook than thinner chicken cutlets). If you’re able, stir a few times during the cooking process – if not, no big deal.

When the chicken is done, shred it with a fork. You will know it is done because it will shred effortlessly when you stick a fork into a piece of chicken.

Buffalo Chicken 4

When you’ve shredded the chicken let it cook for about 10 – 15 more minutes until it has absorbed more of the liquid. If it looks a little dry, or you like really spicy food, you can add more hot sauce at this point.

Once the chicken has absorbed more sauce it’s time to eat or use in your recipe!

Buffalo Chicken 7

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken

Ingredients
  • Boneless skinless chicken (breasts or tenderloins)
  •  Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • GF & wheat bread for sandwiches (optional)
Directions
  1. Trim any excess fat off of the chicken.
  2. Place chicken in the crockpot. Pour hot sauce over the chicken until it is covered (see photo above).
  3. Cook 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
  4. Shred chicken with a fork and then cook for 10-15 more minutes to absorb more liquid.
  5. Serve with bread, lettuce, and condiments for sandwiches or use in a recipe.

PGF: Pasta with Sausage & Spinach

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This 20 minute, 7 ingredient dinner is perfect for a busy day. Pick a sweet or spicy sausage to fit the flavor to your own tastes.

Pasta w Sausage and Spinach

This dinner was birthed out of Christmas chaotic-ness. It was about 7pm and I’d spent all of my cooking energy on cookies. I’d meant to go grocery shopping but ran out of time. I checked for leftovers, but there weren’t any in the refrigerator. My next thought was to make pasta and sauce, but I didn’t even have any pasta sauce in the house! So I scrounged through the near empty refrigerator, found a bag of spinach and some uncooked ground sausage that was nearing the expiration date and got to cooking.

In the time it took to cook pasta I actually ended up with a really delicious dinner. I took a few bites, and was pleasantly surprised, so I snapped a few photos before I devoured the entire plate.

Pasta w Sausage and Spinach 2

This is a PGF (portionally gluten free) recipe. Reflective of how I cook at home, I’ve written this recipe to make half a batch with GF pasta and half a batch of wheat pasta. The recipe calls for 1 pound of pasta total and that pound can be split up in whatever combination of GF/wheat suits your situation.  Like I said, I usually do half and half, but there are lots of options. If you have just one person out of a family of 4 or 5, make just 1/4 of a pound of GF pasta and up the wheat pasta to 3/4 (or vice versa). You can make a full pound of GF pasta, a full pound of wheat pasta, etc, etc.

Pasta w Sausage and Spinach 3

When you’ve finished cooking the pasta it’s time to stir in the sausage and spinach. Don’t worry about measuring out the exact right proportions of spinach and sausage to match the two batches of pasta. Just eyeball it or do a rough measurement; this is not the type of recipe that requires an exact measurement!

Pasta w Sausage and Spinach 4

Pasta with Sausage & Spinach

Although this recipe is written to split half and half between GF and wheat you can easily vary the amount of either type of pasta. See the post above for more info on doing that.
 
Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound GF pasta
  • 1/2 pound wheat pasta
  • 1 pound ground sausage
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, cut into thin slices
  • 3 cups chopped spinach
  • 1/4 c shredded asiago cheese (may use parmesan)
Directions
  1. Fill 2 pots with water and bring to a boil. When water is boiling add the GF pasta to one pot and the wheat pasta to the other. Cook each pasta for time listed on the package. If/when you stir the pasta, be sure to use a separate spoon for each pot. Drain pasta when it has finished cooking (I drain the GF pasta in a colander and the wheat pasta using the lid of the pan it was cooked in to avoid contamination) and return to the pot.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic and sautee for 3 or 4 minutes, until the onion is soft.
  3. Add the sausage into the skillet and brown, breaking up into small bits.
  4. To the GF pasta, stir in half of the sausage, half of the spinach, and half of the cheese. Add the other half of the sausage, spinach, and cheese to the wheat pasta.
  5. When serving, be sure to use two separate spoons.
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