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.
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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.

Blueberry Cheesecake (gluten & sugar-free)

Cream cheese cupcakes[Update: Due to my dairy allergy, this isn’t something I can eat anymore.  But give it a try!  It’s tasty]

Mr. M’s just celebrated his 28th rotation around the sun.  Since our very first date to Seattle almost two years ago he’s been wanting to tour Seattle in the most culturally sophisticated way possible—The Duck.  When Mr. M first pointed out the super touristy, tacky duck-shaped boats and announced that he wanted to ride one I just laughed.

In honor of his birthday though I’m going to treat him to a tour via The Duck once spring quarter is over and he’s back for a week over break.  And I also made him mini blueberry cheesecakes to celebrate (note the lovely lit candles below).  And he seemed to really enjoy them.

I highly modified Suzanne Somers’ New York Cheesecake recipe from her book Somersize Desserts.  While it isn’t specifically gluten-free, a lot of the recipes in the book tend to be naturally gluten-free.


Yields: About 18 cupcakes.

Ingredients for Cupcakes :

  • 3 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 and 1/4 cups Splenda/sucralose
  • 3 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)

Ingredients for Topping:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup Splenda/sucralose

Directions:

  1. Place cupcake liners in muffin tins and set aside.
  2. Beat cream cheese and Spenda together in a large bowl (it will turn out better if you wait until the cream cheese is at room temperature).
  3. Add eggs, beating after each addition.  Then add sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla.  After mixing, carefully add blueberries.  Don’t kill it, just mix until it’s smooth.
  4. Use a 1/4 measuring cup to divvy up the cream cheese mixture evenly into the cupcake liners.  Fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 of the way full.
  5. Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes (0r until a toothpick comes out clean).
  6. In a smaller bowl, mix together sour cream and Splenda for the topping.  Once the cupcakes have cooled completely the in the refrigerator, spread sour cream frosting on top of them.

Cream Cheese cupcakes 3

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.

Tomato and Tuna "Sandwich" (gluten-free)

DSCN1421One of my biggest complaints about a lot of gluten-free cookbooks is that they focus almost exclusively on how to bake breads.  Now, there’s nothing wrong with a piece of toast now and then.  But prior to going gluten-free I never ate bread exclusively, so why would I do that now?   

I’ve heard that a lot of people on gluten-free diets end up getting sick despite getting rid of gluten because they’re not getting enough variety in their diets.  A lot of gluten-free folks end up on extremely high carb diets; eating mostly gluten-free bread and pasta while they’re still figuring out what they can eat. 

But there are a lot of healthy, naturally gluten-free foods that are too often overlooked (fruits, veggies, unbreaded meats and fish, beans, nuts).  And it’s not only much cheaper and easier but even healthier to just leave out the bread completely sometimes. 


Allergen/Sensitivity Info: Gluten/wheat-free, egg-free, soy-free.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of tuna
  • 2 to 3 medium tomatoes (regular tomatoes look prettier but I tend to use Roma tomatoes because they’re cheaper)
  • Spoon full of Mayonnaise (it really depends on how mayo-y you want your food to taste)
  • Relish (or whatever condiments or seasonings you like, just make sure they’re gluten-free)

Directions:

  1. Mix tuna, mayo, and relish in a bowl.
  2. Cut a hole in the top of the tomatoes and hollow out some of the center goop with a small spoon (just like a pumpkin). 
  3. Use a small spoon to stuff the tomatoes with the tuna.
  4. And you’re done!