Roasted Lemon Chicken (gluten free)

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In honor of my mom’s birthday, I made roasted lemon chicken for dinner (it’s one of my “fancy dinner” options when it comes to Kelsey-safe recipes).  The best part about roasting a chicken is that the Mr. Man and I easily get a dinner, two lunches, and a soup out of it.  I’m planning on making chicken stock from scratch a little later today.  How do you use up chicken leftovers?

Ingredients: 

  • Whole chicken (about 4 pounds)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large lemon
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary (or 4 sprigs)
  • 3 garlic cloves (peeled)
  • Olive oil (about 2 tablespoons)
  • two medium yellow onions
  • A couple potatoes, celery, and carrots (optional)

Direction: 

  1. Rinse chicken (inside and out) and remove giblets and liver, and pat dry.  Then, trim excess fat from around the cavity.  Let sit at room temperature for an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 450.
  3. Cut the onions into 1/2 inch thick, round slices.  Lay onions in two rows in the middle of the roasting pan (the onions should all rest on the lower onion — it’ll look like onion dominoes that fell over).  Make sure the rows of onions right next to each other; place chicken on top of onions.
  4. Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper (freshly ground is nice) inside the chicken cavity.  Then, stuff garlic cloves and rosemary in the cavity, too.  Roll lemon firmly against the counter with your hand. Afterwards, use a fork to poke holes all around the lemon and then place it inside of the chicken cavity.
  5. Tie legs together with twine (optional). Rub outside of chicken with olive oil.  Sprinkle chicken with rosemary and salt and paper (optional).
  6. If you want extra veggies, cut up cleaned potatoes, celery, and carrots and put them around the chicken (you’ll want to put a little bit of olive oil on the veggies so that they don’t get to dry, and sprinkle with seasonings of your choice).
  7. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes (you’ll want the thickest part of the chicken’s thigh to be 165 degrees).
  8. Let it rest for about ten minutes before serving (this keeps all the juices from coming out, which means your chicken will be more moist).

Lemon-Mustard Chicken (gluten & allergen free)

This recipe is based on the Lemon-Mustard Chicken recipe from the retro-pink (breast-cancer addition) Better Homes and Gardens© cookbook that’s sitting on my shelf, pages stained with brownies and pancakes.  Much like the velveteen rabbit, it’s on its way to becoming real.  This cookbook has pretty much taught me how to cook because, even though it never mentions food allergies or celiac disease even once, I’ve learned how to modify recipes and I’ve gained a best grasp of some of  technical jargon in cookbooks that used to scare me.  I’m still learning how to cook and it’s still proving to have some pretty tasty recipes between its covers; a pretty good combination.  

The original recipe calls for removing the skin (something I couldn’t bring myself to do, which meant I had to be careful not to charcoal the skin but it turned out nice and crispy). 

The original recipe also only makes just enough sauce to cover the chicken lightly but I wanted to have enough lemon-mustard mix leftover in the pan once the chicken was done to use as a sauce on my basmati rice, which tasted pretty darn good if I do say so myself.  If you’re not planning on using the drippings/lemon-mustard mixture for a sauce, just cut all of the ingredients (besides the chicken) in half.  Easy peasy.


Ingredients:

  • 2 and 1/2 to 3 pounds Chicken (drumsticks, breast halves, or thighs)
  • 5 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano or basil (crushed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

Directions:

  1. Broil chicken about 5 inches from heat on high for about 15 minutes on each side. 
  2. While the chicken is cooking, stir oil, mustard, lemon juice, lemon-pepper seasoning, oregano/basil, and ground red pepper together in a small bowl.
  3. Brush mix onto one side of the chicken.
  4. Meanwhile, lower the baking rack back to the middle of the oven and turn the oven’s temperature to 400 degrees.
  5. Bake chicken for 10 minutes.  Then, take chicken out, coat the other side with the mustard mixture, and bake chicken again for another 10 minutes.  Or until chicken is no longer pink (turn the heat down on the oven if you’re afraid the skin will burn). 
  6. Serve chicken with basmati rice, cooked veggies, or salad.  And enjoy.

Moroccan Chicken (gluten & allergen free)

As a result of being gluten-free and having more than my share of food allergies, I tend to eat a lot of chicken and rice, so finding a new way to serve it is a plus.  I’ve now made this recipe twice, and it’s a keeper!  It was even a success when I served it to several wheat-eating friends who don’t have food allergies, which seems a good sign.


Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Olive oil (a couple tablespoons; depends on how much sauce you’d like to have)
  • 1/2 a small zucchini, chopped (optional)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons Moroccan seasoning (I used the McCormick© blend, but you can also find tons of recipes for Moroccan seasoning mixes online)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoon honey (or 1.5 tablespoons Wax Orchards’ Fruit Sweet©; a sweetener made out of fruit juice that’s supposed to be diabetic friendly)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (however much you like)

Directions:

  1. Slice chicken (both horizontally and vertically) into small strips.  Add olive oil, chicken, zucchini, and onions to pan.  Cook on a medium to high heat until the chicken is fully cooked and the vegetables are soft.
  2. Mix Moroccan seasoning, salt, and garlic powder in a small bowl.  Then, add to the chicken and stir.  If the seasoning is sticking to the bottom of the pan or there doesn’t seem to be enough sauce, add more olive oil.
  3. Stir in honey/Fruit Sweet©.  If the sauce seems too thick, add a little water.
  4. Stir in golden raisins.
  5. Top with fresh cilantro, then serve warm over rice (I recommend basmati).  And enjoy!

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Debi’s Sour Cream and Cheese Enchiladas

Sour cream and cheese enchiladas[Update: As a result of tomato and dairy allergies, this isn’t something I can eat anymore.  But it’s good!  Give it a try]

Whenever I tell anyone that I’m gluten-free the first thing they usually do is list off all of their favorite bready foods—breadsticks, sourdough, donuts, fried chicken, waffles—and lament my inability to eat them.  They imagine my regular diet being completely void of flavor and tasting like a second-rate imitation.  But what they don’t realize is that there are countless delicious, healthy foods and recipes that are naturally gluten-free.  No modification required.

Mexican food (both the authentic and Americanized variety) is an especially good source of naturally gluten-free meal ideas because a lot of the dishes tend to focus on rice or corn rather than wheat.  And this Sour Cream and Cheese Enchilada recipe, shared by Debi at The Original Simple Mom, is the perfect example.

Special thanks to Debi for being willing to be The Crunchy Cook’s very first guest post. The following is copyrighted to Deborah Taylor-Hough. And used with permission.


I usually serve these with something simple like refried beans and rice as a side dish with a tossed green salad.  And don’t forget the mandatory basket of chips and salsa.  I personally feel that these taste the best when the tortillas are fried first to soften, but when I’m pressed for time or want to cut down on the amount of oil used, I simply place the stack of tortillas on a plate and microwave for about 1 minute to soften.

Sour Cream and Cheese Enchiladas
Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
  • 1/4 cup salad oil
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 3 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups green onions (chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 cups (about 1 pound) shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Pour enchilada sauce into a flat pan or pie plate (you’ll be dipping freshly softened tortillas in the sauce).
  3. In small frying pan, heat salad oil over medium-high heat. Fry the tortillas–one at a time–turning once, just to soften (won’t take more than about 10 to 15 seconds). Remove from oil.
  4. Dip softened tortilla on both sides into the enchilada sauce. Stack dipped tortillas in an empty pan or pie plate.
  5. Repeat the softening/dipping process for each tortilla. Add more oil to the frying pan, if needed.
  6. Don’t forget to turn off the oil when you’re done softening the tortillas!
  7. In a large mixing bowl, blend 2 cups of the sour cream, 1 cup of the green onions, the cumin, and 1 cup of the shredded cheese. (Remaining sour cream, onions and cheese will be used later.)
  8. In a 9×13-inch casserole or baking dish, carefully roll each tortilla around about 3 tablespoons of the sour cream mixture. Work gently because the tortillas will want to rip.
  9. Repeat with all tortillas, placing them side-by-side and covering the bottom of the baking dish. If it’s tight, just squeeze them in as best you can.
  10. Sprinkle the remaining 3 cups of cheese evenly over the top.
  11. Bake uncovered at 375 F degrees for 20 minutes.
  12. Garnish with more sour cream spooned down the center and sprinkle with chopped green onions.

MAKE-AHEAD NOTE: This can be covered and frozen (or stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours) before baking. Save garnishes for serving day. If frozen, thaw completely and then bake for 20 minutes at 375.

Optional Ingredients: Depending on what I have on hand, these can morph into all sorts of things with just a few changes or simple additions:  Shredded leftover chicken, fresh cilantro, jalapeno slices, diced chilis, freshly diced tomatoes, Jack cheese instead of Cheddar.  Don’t be afraid to play with these a bit.  But be sure to try the recipe “as is” first … it’s SUPER good!

Enjoy!  And don’t forget to check out Debi’s website, The Original Simple Mom.

Ratatouille (gluten & allergen free)

DSCN1461Ratatouille is wonderful because not only is it tasty, it’s also one of the few foods my entire family can actually all eat.   And it’s naturally gluten-free.

Often times when people first go gluten-free they focus on breads and pastas almost exclusively, but I think that one of the simplest, healthiest ways to handle a gluten-free diet is eat naturally gluten-free foods.  Something like Ratatouille is a great option because you don’t have to mess with funky gluten-free flours or substitute anything.  And, hey, it’s good for you.

This recipe is my mom’s.  She originally posted on her blog, but she gave me permission to share it with all of you.  For the original post or to try out some of her other recipes, check out her blog!


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil (more or less)
  • 2 large onions, sliced (or one gigantic one like I used)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium-sized eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4-6 medium sized zucchini (or one humungous one from the garden), thickly sliced
  • 2 green peppers, seeded and cut into chunks (I used 1 green pepper and 1/2 each of a red pepper and yellow pepper … makes it more colorful)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh minced parsley (I was out of parsley so didn’t use it … didn’t miss it, either)
  • 4 large tomatoes, cut in chunks (Because I can no longer eat tomatoes, I now leave this step off.  Using red peppers is a nice way to still get red in there)

Directions:

  1. Over high heat, heat olive oil in a large pan or Dutch oven.  Add onions and garlic and cook until softened but not brown.
  2. Stir in eggplant, zucchini, peppers, salt, basil and parsley.  Add a little more oil if needed to keep the veggies from sticking.
  3. Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir gently and carefully to retain shape of veggies as they soften.
  4. Add tomatoes.  Stir gently.  Add more oil if sticking.
  5. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

This is best if served a day or more after preparation.  It can be served hot, cold, or at room temperature.

Pepperoni Pizza (gluten-free & low carb)

Pizza[Update: Sadly, due to new allergies, this isn’t something I can eat anymore.  But I still highly recommend it if you’re gluten-free or on a low carb diet]

One of the low points commonly reached by newly gluten-free folks is the oh-my-gosh-I’ll-never-eat-pizza-again phase.

Of course, this isn’t true because there are several good pizza options and some restaurants now even serve gluten-free pizzas.  But when you’re new, all you know is that your favorite comfort food is suddenly strictly off-limits.

That’s why this cream cheese crust was such an exciting discovery when I first went gluten-free.  This recipe is a modified version of Suzanne Somers’ Mini-Pepperoni Pizzas from her book Suzanne Somers’ Fast & Easy.  While I don’t recommend Suzanne’s books for newbies because they’re not specifically gluten-free, she has a lot of low-carb, grain-free recipes in her books that I’ve found very helpful!  


Ingredients for Crust:

  • 1 (8-ounce) packed of cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Ingredients for Toppings:

  • 1/3 cup marinara sauce (if you use a can, make sure to read the ingredient list to make sure it’s okay for your diet)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • Package peperoni (I used turkey because I can’t eat beef)
  • 2 small zucchinis (optional)
  • 3 Tomatoes (optional)
  •   Parmesan (just enough to sprinkle on top of the pizza)

Directions:

1. Mix cream cheese and eggs together with a spoon.  Once mixed together, add salt and pepper (just a dash for seasoning).  And then blend in the parmesan.

2. Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Pour the cream cheese mixture into the dish and bake at 350 for 15 minutes (the crust should be a light golden brown but not burnt).  Once out of the oven, let the crust cool before adding marinara sauce or toppings.

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4. Cut up the zucchini and tomatoes and sauté them in a pan with the pepperoni.

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5. Thinly spread marinara sauce over the cooled cream cheese crust.

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6. Add mozzarella cheese, zucchini, pepperoni, tomatoes, olives, and parmesan on top (it helps glue everything in place).

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7. Bake for 8 minutes at 400 degrees (cheese should be gooey).  If you want to be able to eat it with your fingers, let the pizza cool completely in the refrigerator.  It makes a great breakfast if you have leftovers!  Or if you’re in a hurry, let it cool for a couple of minutes so you don’t burn yourself and then grab a fork.

Eggplant Bake (gluten-free & vegetarian)

Step 4[Update: This is no longer something I can eat due to new allergies, but still something I recommend.  I know it looks weird in the picture but it’s actually really tasty!]

Well, I might not have been posting but I’ve still been photographing pictures of my food and taking notes on how I’ve altered different recipes.  My laptop was temporarily out of commission, but now that I’m back online I can finally share what I’ve been up to.

Eggplant bake is one of my new favorite naturally gluten-free dinners.  The original version of this recipe came from  Frozen Assets: Lite and Easy by Deborah Taylor-Hough (check out her blog Cheap Eats).  In addition to being gluten-free, it’s also vegetarian and it’s easily made vegan (just leave off the yogurt topping).  So, what have all of you been cooking/baking this week?


Ingredients:

  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 2 and 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 (4 ounce) can of green chili
  • 1 (16 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 8 small tomatoes (sliced)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (I used white cheddar)

Directions:

1.  Caramelize onions that have been cut into rings (sauté until golden brown) .

2.  Then, add can of green chili, onions, and turmeric  to the skillet.  After you’ve mixed it together, let it cook for a couple of minutes.

3.  Remove onion mixture from the skillet and put in the blender or a food processer with the can of stewed tomatoes.  Blend until it’s a sauce (but it’s okay if it’s still kind of chunky).

4.  Put the slices of eggplant evenly in the bottom of a dish (see bellow).

Step 1

6. Spoon the tomato/onion sauce onto the eggplant.  Top with another layer of eggplant.  And then another layer of sauce and sliced tomatoes (the layering will go every other until the ingredients are used up, like you’re making a lasagna).

Step 2

7.  Combine plain yogurt, cheddar, and pepper together in a bowl.  Once mixed, spread over the top layer of the eggplant bake.

Step 3

8. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.  Serve and enjoy.  Or you can wrap it with foil and freeze it for later.