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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!

Gluten Free Overnight Oatmeal Pancakes with Nutella Swirl

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Don’t get thrown off by the long title! These pancakes are mixed the night before and could hardly be simpler to make. In the morning just swirl in some nutella and cook!

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It’s been about a month since I posted a recipe, and I’ve been busy in that time, but I’ve still been spending lots of time in the kitchen! Lately, I’ve really been enjoying making pancakes. I find it to be a nice, slow, calming start to the morning. I like watching for the bubbles to appear on the cooking pancakes, then pop. It gives me so much satisfaction to smoothly and perfectly flip each pancake, and then cook them to be perfectly golden brown.

My go to pancake recipe are Grain Free Banana Pancakes. They are quick and easy and loved by all who have eaten them. I hate getting into food ruts, so I throw in a new pancake recipe here and there. When I saw these Overnight Oatmeal Cinnamon Pancakes on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe I was about ready to go whip up a batch right then! Cinnamon and Oatmeal in pancakes? Plus Nutella?! Yum!

After a few batches I modified the recipe a bit to better suit GF ingredients. I loved spreading nutella on the pancakes before eating them, and then had the idea that warm, melty nutella inside the pancakes would probably be delicious, too! It was.

GF-Overnight-Oatmeal-Pancakes-with-Nutella-Swirl-Jar

The best part about this breakfast, though, is that you mix the batter the night before. The oatmeal softens in the refrigerator overnight. There’s no measuring, cracking eggs, or making a mess of the countertop first thing in the morning. Just get out the batter, heat a skillet, and cook!

Thanks to Mel from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe for the great recipe! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

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Gluten Free Overnight Oatmeal Pancakes with Nutella Swirl

Original Recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.

If using regular oats instead of quick oats, quickly run an immersion blender through the batter in the morning (before adding the nutella).

Ingredients
  • 1 c gluten free quick oats (see note above for using regular oats)
  • 1/4 c + 2 T all purpose gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 1 egg (I’ve successfully used a flax egg, also)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c almond milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 2 Tbs  – 1/4 c nutella (choose how much based on your sweet tooth!)
Directions
  1. The night before you plan to make the pancakes combine all ingredients except the nutella in a bowl. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. In the morning, take the batter out of the refrigerator. Measure out the nutella and add it to the batter in small spoonfuls. Stir gently with a fork or knife. The idea is the spread the nutella out in the batter without totally mixing it in. You want to be able to see ribbons of nutella in the batter.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. When it is warm, spray with cooking spray. Drop the batter into the skillet with a 1/4 c measuring cup (or make smaller pancakes, if you like). Let the pancakes cook for a few minutes on the first side. Watch for the air bubbles to appear. When most of the bubbles have popped and the edges of the pancakes are set flip the pancake.
  4. Cook for another minute or two on the second side. Check to make sure the second side is cooked through before removing from the skillet. Serve hot.

 

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.

Pesto-Chicken-Lemon-Kale-Sandwiches-2

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.

Pesto-Chicken-Lemon-Kale-Sandwiches-3

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!

Pesto-Chicken-Lemon-Kale-Sandwiches-Words

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.

Grain Free Banana Pancakes

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These pancakes have totally changed breakfasts around here.

Banana Pancakes 1

I found a banana pancake recipe on Gluten Free Fix months ago, and tried it right away. I think it was actually lunch that very day I first saw the recipe. Can you say delicious? Yes, yes, I can. These were soft and slightly sweet. I’d whipped up the batter in a matter of minutes and the pancakes cooked up so easily. The pancakes stayed together, and if you’ve been GF for very long you know how remarkable that can be!

Banana Pancakes 2

Now, my husband eats most anything, but I knew it was going to be a sell to get him to eat the banana pancakes. Enter, modifications!

First, I used some of the crunchy, cheap, store brand peanut butter. It’s totally different from the organic, all-natural stuff (aka there’s sugar in it), and the crunch gives the pancakes a unique texture.

Second, I added chocolate chips. I hate to be one of those “everything is better with chocolate” people, but in this case it is true. A small handful of chocolate chips helps to detract from the strong banana flavor, adds a little more to the texture, and just in general makes the pancakes more fun.

Banana Pancakes 3

We now eat these pancakes multiple times a week, and have gotten our families hooked on them, too (Hi, Mom)! Now its your turn! You won’t be disappointed!

Banana Pancakes 4

Grain Free Banana Pancakes

To customize your batch size use any multiple of 1 banana, 1 egg, and 1/4c peanut butter. The cooking directions remain the same for any batch size.
 
Ingredients
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4c crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/4c smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 c chocolate chips
Directions
  1. Mash the bananas. If they are not ripe enough to easily mash simply slice the bananas, microwave for 30-45 seconds, and then mash.
  2. Crack the eggs into the bowl, add both types of peanut butter and stir with a fork until everything is combined. This may take a few minutes as the peanut butter will be sticky. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Heat a non stick skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is warm, scoop pancakes into the pan using  large spoonfuls of batter. You may spread/flatter the batter with the spoon.
  4. Let the pancakes cook for a few minutes, until the sides are set and tops are partially set. Carefully flip each pancake and cook for a few more minutes on the other side, until it is golden brown.
  5. Remove pancakes from the skillet and repeat with any remaining batter.
  6. Serve hot or make these ahead of time and reheat in the microwave for a snack or breakfast on the go!

PGF: Green Chili Enchiladas

Mmmmmmmm, these enchiladas are sooooo good!

Green Chili Enchiladas

Ingredients wise, they are so full of flavor. Coming from green chilis and spices, the flavor is totally guilt-free. The rest of the creamy filling is made up of shredded chicken and greek yogurt. Much healthier than the usual cream cheese or sour cream enchilada filling. I promise, you will not notice the difference! I think you’ll find the green chili flavor will fit a wide variety of palates, too. It’s not overly spicy or strong, but still delicious!

This is an easy dinner to prepare, and really doesn’t take too much hands on cooking time. It also takes almost no extra effort to make one pan with GF corn tortillas and another pan with flour tortillas. I think you’ll find that even if you make the recipe entirely with corn tortillas, even non-GF eaters will totally enjoy this meal. The GF corn tortilla version will work with homemade corn tortillas or store bought!

Green Chili Enchiladas

GF corn enchiladas on the left, flour enchiladas on the right.

Another thing I love about these enchiladas (and really, all enchiladas!) is that they can be prepared ahead of time and then baked when you’re ready to eat. I’ll often make these earlier in the day, store them in the refrigerator, and then bake them when it is dinner time. It makes for a very stress free dinner time, especially at the end of a long day. Although I haven’t done it, I’m sure these would freeze well, too!

By the way, I’ve been using a canned green chili sauce. It’s very good, but I always prefer to make things from scratch, if possible! Does anyone have a good recipe for green chili sauce? I’d love to try it if you are willing to share 🙂

Green Chili Enchiladas

 

Green Chili Enchiladas

 
Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 4 oz. can of diced green chilis
  • 1/2c plain greek yogurt
  • 2 1/2 Tbs lime juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 3/4c shredded cheese (I used a mexican blend)
  • 2 14 oz. cans green chili sauce
  • corn and/or flour tortillas (I used 6 small corn tortillas, and 4 burrito sized flour tortillas)
  • olive oil spray or cooking spray
  • coarse sea salt
  • cilantro, for garnish
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl combine shredded chicken, diced green chilis, yogurt, lime juice, galic powder, chili powder, cumin, and cheese.
  3. Get out two glass baking dishes and spray each with your cooking spray.
  4. Starting with the corn tortillas, put about 2 Tbs of the chicken mixture at one edge of the tortilla, roll it up, and place it in the baking dish. (Tip: microwave three corn tortillas at a time in between two pieces of damp paper towel for 25 seconds. This will soften them up so you can roll them up without getting any cracks in the tortilla).
  5. Follow the same procedure with the flour tortillas. Depending on the size you are using you may need more chicken mixture per tortillas than from the corn tortillas.
  6. Spray the tops of the enchiladas with olive oil/cooking spray, and sprinkle with salt.
  7. Put both dishes in the oven, with the corn enchiladas on the top rack to prevent cross contaminator. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven temporarily to pour the green chili sauce evenly over the enchiladas. Put back in the oven for about 5 minutes, until the sauce is heated.
  8. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro, if desired. Make sure you get out separate serving utensils for the corn and flour enchiladas!
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