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Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash

A creamy, health-ified buffalo chicken mixture served on top of roasted spaghetti squash. A great, nutritious way to enjoy buffalo chicken for dinner!

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For the past ten minutes I’ve been killing time on the internet, trying to figure out how to adequately express that this is just the best meal ever. I mean, I’m a food blogger, ideally everything I post should be perfect and delicious. Will anyone really believe me if I say this is the best food you’ll ever eat?

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And then I thought I could convince you by telling you how often we eat Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash (like, once a week) and how much time I spent trying to take photographs that would show just how mouthwatering it is (3 photoshoots).

I remembered that part of what is so great about this dinner (heck, I’d eat it for breakfast) is that it is healthy, guilt free, and made with good-for-you ingredients. Maybe that is the biggest selling point?!

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As with any food though, flavor matters! Made with the best hot sauce ever, Frank’s Red Hot (or use whatever your favorite is, no hard feelings!) this is as spicy as any buffalo chicken flavored item out there, with a kick of ranch flavor. The creamy buffalo sauce will cover the chicken and spaghetti squash so each mouthful is full of buffalo taste. If you’ve been reading this blog much you know I’m not a huge fan of leftovers and repeat meals, but I ALWAYS want these leftovers the next day!

I hope by now you’re convinced that this may in fact be the best meal ever. Please, try it for yourself, and let me know!

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Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or 5 chicken tenderloins (this amount does not need to be exact. Also, feel free to skip step 3 and add any cooked cubed or shredded chicken you have on hand)
  • 1 c plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (if using a wing sauce, increase to 2/3 c), or more/less to taste
  • 2 T dry ranch seasoning (use a homemade version or make sure the variety you choose is GF)
  • 1 c shredded cheddar cheese (and, honestly, this is delicious without cheese)
  • 2 small spaghetti squashes
  • sliced green onions, for garnish
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. While the oven is preheating cut the spaghetti squashes in half. I use a long serrated knife, start in the middle, and take my time working my way around the squash. Scoop the seeds out of the squash and discard. Place the squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet (I always put mine of a silpat mat) and bake for 30 – 50 minutes. Different size squashes need different cooking times. I always start checking mine for done-ness at the 30 min mark.
  3. While the squash is cooking, trim any fat off of the chicken. Place it in a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium high and keep a low boil until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 – 15 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken pieces. Remove the cooked chicken from the pan and let cool on a plate. Once it has cooled a bit, use two forks to shred it.
  4. Add the greek yogurt and hot sauce to a small sauce pan. Heat over medium heat. When the greek yogurt has “melted” add the ranch seasoning and stir to combine. Stir in the shredded chicken  and remove from the heat.
  5. When the spaghetti squash is cooked use a fork to scrap the “spaghetti” strands off the walls of the squash. Top each squash half (filled with the spaghetti squash strands) with 1/4 of the buffalo chicken mixture and sprinkle each with 1/4 c cheese.
  6. Place the spaghetti squash back in the oven and cook for another 5 – 10 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
  7. Garnish with sliced green onions and enjoy!
Serve this with
  • I serve this as a complete meal. If you’re looking to add something to the meal, a salad, corn on the cob, or a roasted vegetable would be great choices!
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Crispy Parmesan Chicken

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There’s no breading in this crispy baked chicken! Perfectly moist on the inside, crunchy on outside, all without any gluten or grains!

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Sometimes experimental cooking goes well, other times it goes poorly. This chicken is an example of experimental cooking success. In fact, it turned out far better than expected! I never intended this chicken to be a food blog recipe, or even especially good. If this chicken had turned out mediocre I would have, sadly, been totally okay with that. I just wanted a quick and easy protein to go with dinner.

Well, this is quick and easy AND delicious. The chicken takes all of 5 minutes (if that) to prep. It comes out of the oven with a crisp, golden crust. The chicken is moist and juicy on the inside, with a strong parmesan flavor.

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My super, not-so-secret ingredient in this recipe is almond meal. Sure, you can use bread crumbs to make a crispy coating for chicken, but it’s not always that simple when you are on a gluten free diet. Store bought gluten free bread crumbs are expensive, and making homemade GF bread crumbs isn’t exactly quick and easy.

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You might be thinking “but almond meal is also expensive”! It’s true! That’s why I make my own. I get raw almonds in bulk, and grind them up for a few seconds in my blender. This almond meal doesn’t have the same perfectly consistent texture as the store bought kind, but it’s good enough for almost every need I have. It also ends up being cheaper per pound than gluten free bread crumbs (at least the varieties I can find locally). By using almond meal instead of bread crumbs you’re also making the dish healthier – adding protein and cutting some carbs! It’s a great grain free alternative to breaded chicken.

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The other part of the crispy coating is parmesan cheese. Another money saving idea here – check the price of parmesan wedges at your local grocery store. I’ve found the normal price for a 1 lb wedge of parmesan is less, per pound, than a jar of the brand name, pre-grated cheese. With a grater, it will only take a couple minutes to shred the entire wedge. Freshly grated parmesan beats the pre-grated parmesan in flavor hands down! That’s part of what makes this chicken taste so good – a little bit of fresh parmesan goes a long way!

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 Crispy Parmesan Chicken

Ingredients
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 5-6 chicken tenders
  • 1/4 c almond meal
  • 1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
  • cooking spray
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven (or toaster oven) to 375° F.
  2. Combine the almond meal and parmesan cheese in a shallow bowl.
  3. Trim the chicken of any excess fat.
  4. Spray each piece of chicken with cooking spray, then lay it in the bowl with the almond meal and parmesan mixture. Press each side of the chicken down, to get the coating to stick. Place the coated chicken on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken.
  5. Press any extra parmesan coating that is in the bowl onto the tops of the chicken pieces.
  6. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes. Thin chicken tenders will need less time to cook through than a thick chicken breast. When the chicken is done the outside will be golden and crispy, and the internal temperature should reach 165° F.
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)!

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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!

Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese

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A classic comfort food, macaroni & cheese, turned healthier! No fancy ingredients or long procedures; ready to eat in under 20 minutes!

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Guys, I had so much fun working on this recipe! Mac & Cheese is one of my favorite foods. I may or may not have a stash of Annie’s and Trader’s Joes GF boxed mac and cheese hidden in my cabinets. It’s just there in case I’m too sick to cook, need a last minute meal, or just have a craving for comfort food. Sometimes I’m just in a mac & cheese mood and want something creamy and cheesy. I do love a good bowl of macaroni and cheese.

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I rarely, rarely, eat mac & cheese though, despite how delicious it is. It’s unhealthy! And I’m all about giving my body fuel, not empty calories. I’m just not one of those people who can justify eating a big bowl of mac & cheese by saying “oh, it’s full of calcium”. It’s gotta be decently healthy for me to call it healthy!

With no butter, no cream, no wheat or gluten, less than a tablespoon of oil, and a whopping 1/4 c of cheese (a totally appropriate serving size for cheese) this is not full of bad stuff! Since the noodles are made from sweet potato you’re not only avoiding the normal bad stuff in mac & cheese, but adding good things! Sweet potatoes are good carbs, high in fiber and antioxidants, and a good source of a number of other vitamins and minerals. I’ll be eating mac & cheese a lot more, now that I have a way to get in some nutrients while I eat it!

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FYI you don’t need a fancy spiralizer to make this sweet potato noodles. If you have one, it will make quick work of turning a sweet potato into pasta, but there are other options. Prior to getting fancy vegetable noodle making equipment I made sweet potato noodles with a regular vegetable peeler, similar to these carrot noodles. The noodles weren’t pretty, but they worked! Other options are a julienne peeler or a mandolin with a julienne setting. You could even cut the sweet potato noodles by hand!

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The key to making the healthier cheese sauce is to dry out the GF flour. It seems strange, stirring a saucepan with only flour in it, but just go with it. When you see the flour turn a tan color it’s time to add the milk. From there it cooks up like a normal sauce. Just whisk out any lumps and then stir in the cheese. Add the sweet potato to the sauce and your mac & cheese it done!

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Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese

This recipe makes 1 serving, ideal for a quick healthy lunch or dinner for one, but can easily be multiplied to feed more than one person.
 
Ingredients 
  • 1 medium sized sweet potato, peeled (I pick one in the 8-12 oz range, depending on what sauce to sweet potato ratio I want)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbs gluten free  all purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 3/4 c milk (I use almond milk)
  • 1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tbs nutritional yeast (optional)
Directions
  1. Make the sweet potato noodles using a mandolin, spiralizer, julienne peeler. You could also cut the sweet potato into thin, noodle-like strips by hand.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is warm, add the sweet potato. Cook the sweet potato, stirring frequently, until the “noodles” have softened. I takes about 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the noodles. Set the cooked noodles aside.
  3. Add the flour to a small saucepan and turn the burner onto medium. Stir the flour continuously. Watch closely for the color of the flour to change. The flour will darken in color and resemble sand. It goes from white to sandy quickly, so don’t look away for long! When you see this color change, add the milk and whisk to get out any lumps.
  4. Add the cheese and the nutritional yeast, and stir until melted.
  5. When the sauce is smooth, stir the cooked sweet potato into the cheese sauce. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  6. Serve warm. This mac & cheese is best fresh.

Chicken Chilaquiles Casserole

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A fun, naturally GF dinner with a Mexican flare. Easily made to suit your tastes with any salsa flavor you like!

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My introduction to chilaquiles was when we were in Mexico on our honeymoon. We were at one of those all inclusive resorts so there was food everywhere. Everywhere! You could go up to a bar while in the pool and order food or drink.

Yeah, there was also alcohol everywhere. And we are not really into drinking much. Actually, we don’t drink at all. Neither of us really likes the taste of alcohol in the first place, and being celiac my options are limited. I may have a glass of wine here or there. Sounds so weird, but it’s true. Two adults who legitimately dislike alcoholic beverages.

We tried a variety of drinks in Mexico, wanting to have fun and make the most of all you can eat and drink atmosphere, but we just didn’t like anything. So, we had to make up for our lack of drinking alcohol with eating food. Some nights we had two dinners. I was getting fancy coffees a few times a day. It was great.

There was a huge room service menu, and one of the breakfast options was “chilaquiles”. I had no idea what it was. We ordered it, along with a bunch of other things (after all, it was all already paid for), and the next morning this plate that looked kind of like nachos arrived with our breakfast. The chilaquiles were good! Lots of flavors, some crunch, and a bit of spice. Honestly, I’m not sure why it is a breakfast dish, but I was a fan.

So, when a Chicken Chilaquiles Recipe and a Homemade Tortilla Chip recipe appeared within days of each other, I just had to try it all out! Savoring the last “cool” (if 80s counts as cool) days before summer hits, I turned this into a casserole to get in some final uses of my oven before it’s too hot to even think of turning on. Gotta love casseroles!

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Rather than using store bought, fried tortillas chips I made my own using this guide from the Kitchn. It was so simple. I got out a few tortillas, sprayed them with olive oil (using a misto), sprinkled with salt, cut into wedges, and baked at 350° F for 15 minutes. My chips took a little longer than the guide said. Just check yours frequently so you can take them out when the reach that perfect level of crispness, and not when they are burnt! The tortillas chips turned out great and it took a lot of willpower to not eat them all before they went into the casserole.

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I always tend to have some leftover shredded chicken around, so this was a great way to use that up. Any other meat or bean would be good in this casserole. If you’d put it on a taco or burrito, then you can throw it in this casserole! I’d honestly meant to throw in some additional diced tomatoes and then totally forgot! It was good anyway. Just have fun with this – make it to suit your tastes!

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Chicken Chilaquiles Casserole

Recipe Inspiration from The Mother Huddle and the Kitchn.
Serves 3 -4 (and the leftovers are good, too!)
 
Ingredients
  • 8 corn tortillas, made into chips (or total of 64 GF corn tortillas chips)
  • 10 oz shredded chicken (from about 2 small or 1 large chicken breast, approximate amount is fine)
  • 12 oz black beans
  • 1 c salsa
  • 1/2 c chicken broth
  • 3 Tbs plain greek yogurt
  • 3/4 c shredded cheese (I used colby jack, choose any variety you like).
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a saucepan, stir together the salsa and chicken broth.
  3. Add the chicken and black beans and bring to simmer. Add the greek yogurt and stir to combine.
  4. Prepare a baking dish (I used a 10 x 6 glass baking dish) by spraying it with cooking spray (I use misto). Put a layer of chips on the bottom of the pan, then spread half of the chicken mixture on top of it.
  5. Repeat the layers, leaving a handful of chips remaining.
  6. Top with cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  7. Serve with remaining chips, or place them on the top of the baked casserole for an extra crunch.

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.

Healthier than the Box Cheeseburger Macaroni (GF)

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Christmas season is in full swing now and I feel like I should be posting a cookie recipe, not a dinner. I’m sure I will be doing plenty of cookie baking and sharing in the coming weeks (including my eBook with cookie recipes), but, in this hectic and busy time of year we need to eat more than cookies! This skillet dinner is warm, comforting, and ready in under in 30 minutes.

Hamburger Helper was the first meal I ever cooked on my own. My Mom has always loved the stroganoff variety so that was a frequent and favorite dinner in our household. Since it was a fairly simple dinner I would often be the one responsible for mixing up the sauce or making the ground beef, and eventually making the entire meal. I suppose all cooks have to to start somewhere!

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Although Hamburger Helper was a totally viable dinner option in my childhood it is not now! When I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in my 20s it immediately became a forbidden food. Still, sometimes I crave it, even though I know it is both full of gluten and not exactly healthy.

Enter this recipe. It is delicious. It will take you the same amount of time to cook as the boxed variety. The ingredient list is short and includes more whole foods and less processed foods. Adults and kids will love it. And best of all, you don’t have to feel a bit guilty about eating this or serving it to your family!

Healthier than the Box GF Cheeseburger Macaroni

 
Ingredients
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 lb elbow shaped GF brown rice pasta
  • 2 c water
  • 1 1/4 c tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 c shredded cheddar cheese (this makes it very cheesy, feel free to use less)
Directions
  1. Add the chopped onion and ground turkey to a large skillet. Cook over medium high heat until the turkey is browned, breaking it into small bits as it cooks.
  2. Stir in the water, tomato sauce, mustard powder, onion powder, and garlic powder. When combined, stir in the pasta and bring to a boil.
  3. Cover and simmer (reduce heat to a medium/low) for 15 minutes, or until pasta is done.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese.  Serve with steamed vegetables or a salad.

Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes

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Give your leftover Thanksgiving mashed potatoes a new twist with these potato cakes. They taste so good you may just be wishing you had ended up with more leftover mashed potatoes!

Does anyone else out there hate leftovers? I love making and eating good food, but there’s something about eating a reheated version the next day for lunch that I don’t enjoy. Some things are just best fresh and are never as good leftover. For me, part of my hatred of leftovers is eating the same thing two or more days in a row. It seems so boring.

When there are leftovers, and lots of them, I try to jazz them up. It turns out that you can turn almost anything into a quesadilla. Or top a pizza with it.

Today’s leftover recipe is just in time for Thanksgiving leftovers. I’ve noticed that, at least in our family, there are always Thanksgiving leftovers. And not just an extra plate or so, there is like a weeks worth of Thanksgiving food. As much as I love mashed potatoes I have no interest in eating them, with the same turkey and the same stuffing, for a week straight. Especially after the gravy has run out.

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Enter these potato cakes. Rather than being flavored by butter and gravy these little potato patties have green onions, cheese, and maybe even some bacon bits added in. Cook ’em up for a few minutes in a frying pan and you have quick snack, side, or even lunch. And don’t forget the ranch dressing for dipping!

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Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes

Ingredients
  • 2 c mashed potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 all purpose GF flour (a rice flour or nut flour would work here, too)
  • 1/2 c green onions
  • 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 c cooked, chopped bacon, or bacon bits
Directions
  1. In a medium bowl stir all of the ingredients together.
  2. Form patties out of the mixture, about the size of the palm of your hand. You will end up with about 10 patties.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. When the skillet it hot, spray with cooking spray and then place 4 or 5 patties in the pan(however many will fit in your pan still leaving you room to flip them).
  4. Cook about 3 minutes, or until the underside is golden brown. To check done-ness, just pick up one of the patties with a spatula and peek underneath. Cook for another few minutes on the second side. Remove this first batch of potato cakes from the pan and cook in batches until all have been cooked.
  5. Serve hot or cold with ranch dressing for dipping.

Egg & Sausage Breakfast Crepes

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Since I’ve posted two recipes for making crepes on this blog it’s about time for today’s post, which is a recipe for a crepe filling!

These breakfast crepes are loaded with scrambled eggs, chicken sausage, and cheddar cheese. It’s just like those breakfast sandwiches that are usually served on a bagel or English muffin, but instead it’s all wrapped up inside a warm gluten free crepe.

When I make breakfast crepes I almost always make the actual crepes ahead of time (It’s actually quite convenient to have a few crepes in the refrigerator ready to turn into a quick breakfast or lunch). If you have your crepes already made you can make this breakfast in just a few minutes more than it takes to make scrambled eggs! I scramble up some eggs, get my premade crepes and fully cooked chicken sausage out of the fridge, and then just heat each crepe individually in the frying pan. Add some cheddar cheese, which melts to hold everything together, and the crepe is done!

By the way, the filling for this crepe is totally customizable. I like to use a spicy cajun sausage, but a mild breakfast sausage or some leftover bacon would also be delicious. The cheddar cheese could easily be substituted with anything that melts easily; mozzarella or colby jack would both be wonderful. Also, the options for adding veggies are endless: onions, spinach, bell peppers, green onions, just to name a few!

Egg & Sausage Breakfast Crepes

 
Ingredients
Directions
  1. Cut the sausage and any vegetables you are using into bite sized pieces.
  2. In a nonstick skillet, scramble the eggs over medium heat.
  3. Empty the cooked eggs out of the skillet and lay a crepe down flat in the same skillet. If the skillet is mess from the eggs, you can use a clean one, too. You’ll want to turn the heat down just a hair. The skillet should be warm enough to heat up the crepe and filling, but not so hot that it burns the outside of the crepe. With my stove, this falls right under medium.
  4. When the crepe has heated up, add the toppings in a line down the center, ending with the cheese. Fold each side over the center.
  5. Allow the crepe to cook until the cheese is soft and melting.
  6. Repeated this process with the remaining five crepes.

Chicken, Broccoli & Quinoa Casserole

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I love casseroles, but (at least for me) they are always a guilty pleasure type of meal. Usually casseroles are so creamy, cheesy, and delicious, but also so unhealthy. My favorite GF casserole is seriously irresistible, but it doesn’t really have much nutritional value. This casserole is like magic. It tastes so bad, but is really so good!

The major components in this casserole are whole foods: just some pan seared chicken, quinoa, and steamed broccoli. Sounds boring, but then it’s all topped with a creamy cheesy topping. And, get this, rather than just dumping on some sour cream or cream cheese, this sauce is made from scratch from milk and parmesan. All together = yum!

Obviously, we thoroughly enjoyed this casserole because at the end of the meal this was all that was left:

There’s a got bit of prep work involved in this casserole because everything is fully cooked before it is combined and put in the oven. This makes for a great make ahead of freezer meal. My instructions here are for prep immediately followed by baking. If you do prepare this ahead of time, or freeze it, just increase the bake time until the casserole is heated through. If you have questions about the cooking process let me know and I’ll help you out!

Happy healthy eating! And happy beginning of October!

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Chicken, Broccoli & Quinoa Casserole

 
Ingredients
  • 3/4c dry quinoa
  • 1 1/4c water
  • 2 small heads of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 3 large chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbs salted butter
  • 2 small shallots, minced
  • 1 Tbs all purpose GF flour
  • 3/4c milk (I’ve used almond milk and skim milk)
  • 3/4c chicken stock
  • 3/4c shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4c basil, finely chopped
Cooking Directions

Quinoa & Broccoli

  1. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. When the water, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook until the water is absorbed, about 12 minutes.
  2. While quinoa is cooking, steam the broccoli florets. (My steaming method: Fill a large saucepan with about an inch of water. Place a steamer basket in the pan and fill it with the broccoli. Cover, and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling (which will happen in just a couple of minutes), reduce heat to a simmer. When broccoli is soft, after about 5 minutes, depending on how large the florets are, remove from heat and drain it).
  3. Roughly chop the cooked broccoli and combine with the cooked quinoa

Chicken

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces to the pan.
  2. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until cooked through.

Cheese Sauce

  1. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the shallots to the melted butter and cook for a few minutes, until shallots have softened.
  2. Stir the flour into the butter/shallot mix.
  3. Very slowly, add the milk and chicken stock into the pan while stirring. Start with just a tablespoon of liquid at a time, making sure it is entirely absorbed before you add more. As the mixture looks more liquid-y than solid you can add more and more liquid.
  4. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. It probably take between 5 and 10 minutes. When the mixture is thickened, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese, garlic powder, and basil

Bake Casserole

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F
  2. Place chicken in the bottom of a large casserole dish (or use several smaller dishes – great for freezing). Top with quinoa and broccoli, and finally with the cheese sauce.
  3. Cook for about 10 minutes to let everything heat through (or longer, if baking from refrigerator or oven. In this case, put the baking dish in the oven while it is preheating, also).
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