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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Crunchy SunButter Snack (gluten & allergy free)

SnackWhen left to my own devices I tend to eat crunchy food (also called “hippie food”), but I was still a little unsure about this gluten-free, allergy-free little snack.  Despite the unusual ingredients, it’s delicious!

My mom used to work in a health food store and she said that this (with peanut butter instead of SunButter) was their bestselling sandwich.  And she thought it was something that could easily be modified into a snack-form that I could eat.  And she was right. 

Mom made these for me a couple of days ago and I’ve eaten them every day since.  They do look and sound a little strange, but they’re my new favorite snack.


Ingredients:

  • Rice crackers or you could put it on bread (I use Organic Brown Rice Snaps because they’re free of gluten, soy, dairy, and eggs).
  • A jar of SunButter (it’s peanut-free and soy-free!)
  • Shredded carrots
  • Raisons

Directions:

  • Spread SunButter on rice crackers.
  • Add carrots and raisons.
  • Give it a try even though it looks funky.  And enjoy.

Simple Spaghetti (gluten & allergen free)

PastaTomatoes.  I’ve really been missing tomatoes since I found out I was allergic to them three weeks ago.  Partly because they’re yummy and go well with so many things, but mostly, at least at the moment, because I’m having a hard time adjusting to life without spaghetti sauce.

This is something my mom has made for me before but I hadn’t made it myself until this week because previously I’d just dump red sauce on everything.  But it’s pretty darn easy.  And yummy.  And gives me hope that a red-sauce-free live doesn’t have to be one void of flavor.


Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces of gluten-free spaghetti
  • 2 large minced garlic leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of chili pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

  1. Cook spaghetti as usual—boil water in a pot, put pasta in, cook until soft, and strain.
  2. Place cooked spaghetti in a large bowl.
  3. Mix all other ingredients together in a small bowl.
  4. Pour olive oil sauce over the pasta and mix it together well.
  5. Serve, and enjoy.

Debi’s Confetti Salad (gluten & allergen free)

101_1075I’ve shared this recipe before, but I had to post it on The Crunchy Cook again when I realized yesterday that it’s one of the few recipes previously posted on my blog that I can still eat.  I can eat something!

Due to my extreme peanut allergy, I can’t even walk through the food area at my university around lunch time because someone might be eating something peanut-y.  And that would be bad.  Really bad.  This means that the one and only microwave on campus is completely off limits to me (who had the grand idea to only put one microwave in at a college?), so foods that don’t have to be reheated are the best options for lunches.  And I can still have one of my favorites!

This recipe, Debi’s Confetti Salad, is something my mom came up with.  And it’s a dish my family tends to eat a lot.  You can find her original post about this recipe on her food blog, Cheap Eats.


Salad Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked rice, cooled (I usually use brown rice but you can also use white or basmati)
  • 1 can (16-oz) red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can (16-oz) black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can (16-oz) corn (drained)
  • 4 sliced green onions
  • 1 small green or red pepper (finely diced)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (optional)

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar (or cider vinegar if you can eat apples)
  • 1 tablespoon Spenda/sucralose (or sugar if you prefer)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

  1. Mix all of the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Mix the dressing ingredients together in another bowl.
  3. Pour dressing over salad, mix together.  And you’re done!  It’s that easy.

Baked Apple Ice Cream Bowl (gluten & sugar free)

2012-10-06 18.35.31[Update: I’m now allergic to apples and dairy, which makes this a no go for me.  But it’s good.  You should try it!]

Desserts have got to be one of the trickiest things, at least for me, to find yummy, naturally gluten-free recipes of.  It doesn’t help that I’m also sugar-free and have a whole litany of food allergies.  Makes desserts, well, challenging to find.

When I was a kid my grandma made the best apple dumplings every year during the holidays, and I’ve been wanting something similar that’d be gluten-free, sugar-free, and hopefully less labor intensive.  A pretty high order.

Pinterest provided a good starting point though when I stumbled across an apple recipe.  I altered it a bit–the apples are baked, mine’s sugar-free, along with a couple other alterations.  So Mr. Munger, the fiancé, and I tried it out when he was in the area this last weekend.  And it was a huge hit, even with the wheat-eaters.  Its picture really doesn’t do it justice.


Ingredients:

  • 6 large apples (personally, I like red apples)
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoon Splenda® (or sugar)
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Vanilla ice cream (make sure it’s gluten-free!)
  • Caramel topping (be sure that this one’s gluten-free too, and if you want it to be sugar-free buy the kind sweetened with Spenda®)

Directions:

  1. Cut the tops of apples the way you would a pumpkin (enough so that the hole is big enough to allow you to hollow out the insides but still leaving the majority of the apple intact).
  2. Slowly, carefully hollow out each apple using a metal tablespoon or melon baller.  Unlike a pumpkin, the skin on the apples is fragile so don’t go too quickly or you might end up with a hole. (Don’t worry if it looks uneven on the inside because no one will see it anyway.)
  3. Mix the Spenda®/sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg together in a small bowl.  And then rub mixture on the inside of all of the apples so that they all have a coating.
  4. Set the oven for 350 degrees F.  And bake for 25 to 30 minutes.  (The trick is to have your apples soft enough to easily eat while also being stable enough to hold together.)
  5. Once baked, immediately fill with the vanilla ice cream of your choosing (vanilla bean or French vanilla are my favorites) and top with warm caramel.
  6. Serve immediate.  And enjoy.

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.

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

Pumpkin Cupcakes (gluten-free & sugar-free)

Main picture[Update: Due to my dairy allergy, frosting these little guys is sadly no longer an option.  They’re pretty darn amazing frosted.  And I haven’t tried them out with egg-free egg substitute yet but I’m hopeful that’ll work]

I don’t really believe in “seasonal food.”  Some foods are definitely fresher (and cheaper) if you buy them when they’re in season, but something like canned pumpkin doesn’t really matter.  It’s just generally considered a fall/holiday food.

But I love pumpkin, so despite the fact that it’s late spring I’ve made a couple batches of my new favorite gluten-free cupcakes lately.  And they’ve been quite a hit.  They might not look like anything special, but the multiple requests for me to make them again makes me feel like I’m finally starting to figure this whole gluten-free but still delicious thing out.

You can eat these like muffins, but they taste fantastic if you also frost them with homemade Cream Cheese Frosting.


Ingredients

  • 3 and 1/3 cups Splenda/sucralose (or 3 cups sugar)
  • 1 cup cooking oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 and 1/3 cups brown rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 15-ounce can of pumpkin

Directions:

  1. Set the oven for 400 degrees.  And put about 24 cupcake liners into muffin tins (greasing might also work but because gluten-free baked goods tends to be so fragile, I’d be afraid it’d fall apart when it’s taken out of the pan).  Set it aside for later.
  2. Beat Splenda, eggs, and oil together in a bowl.
  3. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl.
  4. Once mixed, alternately add flour mixture and water to Splenda mixture.  Use the electric beaters on low after each addition.  Now, beat in pumpkin until just combined.
  5. Use a spoon to carefully place the batter into the cupcake liners filling them about 2/3 of the way full.
  6. Bake cupcakes at 400 degrees for 18 minutes.
  7. Let the cupcakes cool for about 10 minutes before removing them from the pan.  Then, put them in the refrigerator so they can cool completely.  (While they taste good right after they’re made, they’ll taste the best after cooling all night in the refrigerator)
  8. Either eat them like muffins (they taste great with butter) or, better yet, frost them after they have cooled for at least a couple of hours.  Follow the Cream Cheese Frosting recipe, but add a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg to give it more of a pumpkin-y flavor.
  9. Once you’ve frosted the cupcakes, let them cool for at least a couple of hours.  The cupcakes will taste better and be less fragile and the frosting will have time to set.  Once they’re done cooling, enjoy.

Finished