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Chicken in Balsamic Browned Butter Sauce

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Although the name makes it sound complicated, this chicken dish comes together in under half an hour. Another bonus is that it is a one pan meal, making the clean up quick, too. I tend to choose to make this on busy weeknight days when I want something more elegant than … sandwiches. Or quesadillas made out of whatever leftovers I have in the fridge.

What is more elegant that crispy, buttery, edibile sage leaves? This chicken and sauce are a great pairing, but the sage leaves – they are AMAZING. I almost feel like the rest of the dish would just not be worth eating without the sage leaves. They’re really, really good. And this is coming from a girl who doesn’t like butter. I have yet to find another great recipe to use these buttery sage leaves in so whenever I’m craving them this is what gets made!

I often serve this with homemade spinach pasta. I like how the green pasta and green sage leaves look together. I mix the pasta dough and cut it prior to making the chicken, even the day before. The chicken and sauce is fairly hands on, so throwing some pasta in a pot is an easy way to bulk up the meal without increasing the effort very much. Some steamed veggies or a salad go great with this, too. With those browned butter sage leaves this obviously isn’t the most healthful meal, but it is not horrible in moderation and with the right sides you can end up with a quick, delicious, well balanced meal!

P.S. The sauce is reeeaaallly good mixed on pasta too, not just chicken!

Chicken in Balsamic Browned Butter Sauce

  • 3 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 4 Tbs salted butter
  • 2 Tbs sage leaves (whole)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4c hot water
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat a non stick skillet over medium high heat. When the skillet is warm spray it with cooking spray and add half the chicken, spreading it out evenly in one layer. Cook for 2-3 without any stirring, then flip the chicken and cook on the other side another 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove the cooked chicken from the skillet and set it aside on a plate. Repeat with remaining uncooked chicken.
  2. In the same skillet, reduce the heat to medium low, and add the butter.
  3. When the butter is melted add the sage leaves. Let them cook until crisp (just a few minutes), then remove them from the pan and lay them out in a single layer.
  4. Add the minced shallot next, and cook, stirring, until the shallots are soft. When the shallots are soft add the balsamic vinegar and then the water. If you are making this with pasta, just scoop out some of the pasta water and add it to the pan.
  5. Finally, add the chicken back into the skillet stir until the chicken pieces are coated with the sauce. Serve topped with the crispy sage leaves.

3 Ingredient Vanilla Overnight Oatmeal

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I hate cold. Just ask any person who knows me. Not only do I hate cold, but I reeeeaaallllyyyy like hot. If it weren’t so expensive, I’d jack the heat up to 80°F all winter long. A more practical solution for keeping warm has been to wear leggings under my jeans. People usually look at me a little strangely when they see the second pair of pants poking out from under my jeans.

I digress.

Another thing I really like steaming hot is my food. I tell you all of this because, somehow, this oatmeal is the exception. It’s now my go-to rushed morning breakfast and it is perfect when eaten cold, just out of the refrigerator. I even tried heating it up once, thinking something along the lines of “If this oatmeal is so good cold imagine how amazing it would be warm”, but it just wasn’t the same warm. How weird is that?! I guess some things are just made to be eaten cold, like ice cream and overnight oatmeal.

If you do want to heat this up, just be careful not to curdle the yogurt. Then it goes from being less good to just nasty.

I’ve talked about oats before, and I really suggest getting some Trader Joe’s oats if you can. Their normal, regular oats are gluten free! How great is that?! I love this because oats are naturally gluten free so I like to support companies that treat oats just as oats and don’t combine in any extra stuff. My nearest Trader Joes is an hour and a half away though, so if my stockpile runs out and I don’t have time for the trip I get Bob’s Red Mill Oats, which are available locally for me. I noticed no difference in quality between the two brands of oats, just the price point.

The recipe below calls for 1/4c of oats, which is smaller than what I consider a normal serving size of oats. I cut the amount of oats down because I found that the bulkiness of the yogurt fills me up faster. Adjusting for larger/small servings is really easy though. The basic recipe is just to mix equal amounts of oatmeal, vanilla yogurt, and milk. Easy! There are two optional ingredients; ground flax and vanilla extract. I like to add the flax for some extra fiber and the vanilla extract adds another layer of flavor. Like I said, both the extra vanilla and the flax are totally optional. The simple three ingredient version makes a very pleasant breakfast. Oh, and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top of these oats is delicious, too!

3 Ingredient Vanilla Overnight Oatmeal

  • 1/4 c GF oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill or Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/4 c vanilla flavored yogurt (I’ve been using Activia Greek)
  • 1/4 c milk of choice
  • optional: 2 tsp ground flax
  • optional: 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Cooking Directions

  1. In a jar, or other container with a lid, mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  2. Place in the refrigerator overnight. Your oatmeal will be ready to eat in the morning!

Magic Dragon Noodles

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I saw these Dragon Noodles on Budget Bytes and so wanted to eat them. Quick and spicy noodles? I’m in! Chances are that if you are reading this blog you know that GF noodles just don’t always cut it. Sometimes you can sub them into a recipe and no one is the wiser (like casseroles), but other times the results are undesirable. Mushy, overcooked noodles that are all stuck together – anyone else have that happen to them?

IMG_4413 copyEnter Miracle Noodle! Have you heard of these? They are GF, don’t need to be cooked like regular noodles, and have zero calories. These aren’t a great substitute for noodles all around, but they are awesome for stir-fry like dishes. The noodles will heat up right in the frying pan along with any sauce, meat, and veggies you want to add.

That’s part of why I call these noodles “magic”. You literally just open up the package and heat them up on the stove or in the microwave. Then there’s the whole calorie-less noodles thing. It’s easy to rationalize the butter and eggs that go into the sauce when you know you have saved so many calories! Finally, this is just so quick and easy to prepare! When you get a tasty, low calorie meal in under 10 minutes I would say that is pretty darn magical!

IMG_4436 copyThe sauce on these noodles is super spicy! If you enjoy hot and spicy foods then you will love this. If you’re not so keen on that then cut down on the sriracha and you’ll enjoy this much more.

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Magic Dragon Noodles

Recipe Inspiration: Dragon Noodles on Budget Bytes
  • 1 package of Miracle Noodles
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs soy sauce (or Bragg’s Amino Acid)
  • 1 Tbs sriracha
  • 3 Tbs chopped green onions
Cooking Directions
  1. In a small bowl combine brown sugar, soy sauce, and sriracha.
  2. Melt butter in a medium sized skillet over medium heat.
  3. When butter is melted add the egg and scramble.
  4. Once the egg is cooked add the noodles and sauce to the skillet and stir to combine.
  5. Top with green onions before serving.

Gourmet Turkey Burgers: Sweet Thai Burgers

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I thought food blogging would be easy. Creative cooking is one of my talents. I figured I’d just snap a few photos before each meal and then post them online with the recipe. Yeah, it’s not that simple. The recipe development comes naturally to me but the photography, not so much.

Lets take these burgers for example, which I have tried to photograph now on two occasions. Luckily, they are really good, so we haven’t minded having them a few weeks in a row.

The first round of photographs went badly all due to my hungry and lack of patience. I was a little lazy and just wanted to eat my dinner. And warm. After taking pictures for half an hour the burger is only lukewarm and the cheese is not melt-y anymore. That takes half the fun out of a cheese burger. So, I gave in to my taste buds after about a dozen photos, most of which turned out poorly.


Second photo shoot, I was totally prepared. Like, I ate a snack while I was cooking so that I would have the patience to get through taking the pictures without getting hungry and frustrated. Well, I’m grilling the burgers and it starts raining and storming. We have a tarp hanging up on the deck to keep the grill area dry, so that was fine, but it was DARK. And this is what happens when you try to take pictures in the kitchen with a really crappy artificial light instead of using natural light:

Now, pretend you never saw that!

So, my other pictures of these burgers are not quite as awful as that one, but didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped for, either. I’m sorry. I hope you try them, anyway!

Moving past the photography and onto the food (that is what we’re all here for, right?), these burgers I’ve been having such a hard time capturing on film are pretty darn tasty. As a GF person, who rarely eats a burger with a bun, I feel pretty strongly about having a burger that is so delicious that I won’t even miss not being able to have the bun. These burgers fit the bill perfectly. With one pound of ground turkey, an onion, 2 seasonings, and 20 minutes of time you get a mouthwatering dinner that is naturally GF. You will enjoy these Thai burgers with or without a GF hamburger bun!


Gourmet Turkey Burgers: Sweet Thai Burgers

Ingredients (makes 6 burgers)
  • 1 lb. ground turkey (or ground beef or chicken)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 c Thai sweet chili sauce (check label to make sure its GF – I use the Maggi variety)
  • 2 Tbs chopped Thai basil leaves (or regular basil)
  • optional: GF hamburger buns (You can easily turn this into a PGF meal by having regular hamburger buns available for anyone who doesn’t need GF buns.)
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When the oil is warm, add the onions. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft.
  2. In a bowl combine the ground turkey sweet chili sauce, chopped basil and softened onions. Form into 6 patties.
  3. Grill the burgers for about 5-8 minutes on each side, until the internal temperature is 165°F.
  4. Serve plain or with additional sweet chili sauce, basil leave, and hamburger buns.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (GF)

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These cookies are by far the simplest GF cookie I make. There’s no rolling out dough, no messing with multiple flours and only half a dozen ingredients. Even better, these cookies don’t taste gluten free. You know what I mean – that funky texture or taste you get from swapping out wheat flour for any one of the gluten free flour options. Even people who are on a non GF diet will find these cookies not just acceptable, but delicious.

This recipe is not really an original of mine. There are multiple versions all over the web (and I’m not surprised – these are too good not to share). There are different tweaks you can make – brown sugar vs. white sugar (or sweetener of your choice), crunchy peanut butter vs. smooth, semi-sweet chocolate chips vs. dark chocolate chips . . . you get the idea! This recipe is my favorite combination. Give it a try, I think you’ll love the result!


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients (makes about 2 dozen cookies)

  • 1c crunchy peanut butter
  • 3/4c brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4c semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cooking Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Mix the first five ingredients (you can do this by hand or in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment).
3. Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Roll a spoonful of dough (about 1-2 tablespoons of dough) into a ball in the palm of your hand. Place cookie dough balls onto a baking sheet. Either a non-stick baking sheet or a greased regular baking sheet should work just fine. 
5. Bake for 8 -12 minutes (watch for the bottom edge of the cookies to start to brown). Let the cookies sit on the sheet for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack or plate (or eat).
6. Repeat with any remaining dough. 

Thai Basil Chicken (GF)

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I’m eating some of the leftovers as I type this. Delicious.

My love of this dish started two years ago when my sister bought me a packet of Thai basil seeds. I planted them in a small purple pot and a couple of months later I had a Thai basil plant. Sister and I decided it was time to cook with the Thai basil and, since this was in the dark ages before Pinterest, we googled “Thai basil recipes”. One of the first results that popped up was for Thai Basil Chicken. Sounded good. We only had some of the ingredients on hand and weren’t interested in even eating some of the other ingredients listed, so we made due with what we had. And that was how two Italian girls created a “Thai” recipe!

If you haven’t had Thai basil before, it’s a different taste that the Genovese Basil you can buy in bunches or dried at grocery stores. In fact, you may have trouble buying it at a traditional grocery store. I grow mine from seeds, and when it isn’t in season I use a pre-chopped variety in a bottle that I’ve found at Harris Teeter and Wegmans. I suppose you could potentially find it fresh at an Asian market. Since my Thai basil plant currently has only six full size leaves on it, I went for the bottled variety in this recipe. The taste is stronger than a traditional basil, and, as the bottle describes “anise-like”.

One component of this recipe is chili garlic sauce. I love spicy food, so this stuff is right up my alley and I add a full tablespoon to the recipe. I’d suggest toning the spice level down when you first make this dish and start with just a teaspoon, or even less if you know you have a low spice tolerance. Or, serve with lots of rice to counter the spiciness.


Thai Basil Chicken

Ingredients (makes 4-5 servings)
  • 1 lb. ground chicken breast
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 oz shallots, minced
  • 2 Tbs fish sauce
  • 2 Tbs Bragg’s Amino Acids (or soy sauce)
  • 1 Tbs sesame oil
  • 1 Tbs chili garlic sauce
  • 3 Tbs Thai Basil, chopped
Cooking Directions
  1.  Mince the shallots, garlic, and Thai basil.
  2. Heat sesame oil in a large frying pan with shallots and garlic.
  3. When you hear the shallots and garlic sizzling, and the ground chicken.
  4. “Brown” the chicken on medium high heat, breaking up into small chunks. The end result will actually look white, not brown (see picture below).
  5. Add the amino acids/soy sauce and fish sauce to the chicken mixture. Take a few minutes to thoroughly combine this with the chicken. You will notice the chicken absorbs the liquid and turns a slightly darker color.
  6. Add the chili garlic sauce and mix.
  7. Finally, mix in the Thai basil.
Serve with rice and/or a vegetable. As you can see from the pictures, I enjoy eating this with green beans.
Photo Directions:
"Browned" chicken, shallots, and garlic.

“Browned” chicken, shallots, and garlic.

Chicken mixture with 2 tbs fish sauce and 2 tbs soy sauce added.

Chicken mixture with 2 tbs fish sauce and 2 tbs soy sauce added.

Completed dish, with 1tbs chili garlic sauce and 3 tbs chopped Thai basil.

Completed dish, with 1tbs chili garlic sauce and 3 tbs chopped Thai basil.

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