Monday, February 25, 2013

Apple Cider Pork with Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

This recipe is one of those recipes that sounds and looks really good on paper; but when it comes to making said recipe, it's a little more difficult. I have attempted and edited this recipe several times in the last year. I have tried it with an apple/raisin chutney (too much apple), baking it in the oven (something was missing), frying it on the stove top (again, something was missing.) This last attempt was the last attempt before I ditched the recipe completely. Then, inspiration hit, the crock-pot. Slow cook the pork with the vegetables in the apple mixture for several hours until they are all melded together and the pork is falling apart. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Hope you enjoy this easy meal as much as we do!

Apple Cider Pork with Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

1 lb pork chop, boneless
2 parsnips, quartered
1/2 bag baby carrots
1/2 potato, cubed
1/2 small yellow onion, sliced
1/2 Braeburn apple, cored and sliced
Juice from half a lemon
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup apple juice
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg

-->Salt and Pepper vegetables and pork. Add a pinch of nutmeg to the pork. Place vegetables and pork in the crock-pot.

-->Drizzle Olive oil on top of vegetables and pork. Add lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and apple juice. Set crock-pot to hi. Cover and go about your business for the next 4-6 hours. If you are cooking it for 6+ hours, around hour 4, turn the setting to low. You can add a 1/2 cup of vegetable or chicken broth if need be by hour 4.

-->Turn heat to off on crock-pot and let sit for 5-10 minutes without lid.

-->Plate and serve with your favorite bread and beverage. Happy Eating!!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sausage Lentil Stew

I discovered this dish on a girl's weekend this past year in Savannah. My dietary needs can sometimes be a little restrictive when I am dining out. On this particular outing, I found this particular stew. I had never had lentils before, but always wanted to try them. I thought to myself, "Self, it is time to try these lentils," and considering there was nothing else on the menu that fit into my diet plan; I tried said lentils and absolutely loved them. Loved them so much that I when I got home, I bought the ingredients for the stew that I tried and made some. Hence, my version of Sausage Lentil Stew was created. This simple, hearty stew is great for the end of a long day out in the cold. Enjoy!

Sausage Lentil Stew

1 lb mild Italian sausages, cut into "balls"
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/3 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
2 cans stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup uncooked lentils
2 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste

-->In a large and deep skillet on medium-high heat, brown sausage balls until cooked completely.

-->Bring 2 cups of water with salt to a rapid boil; add lentils and reduce heat to med-hi. Let simmer while the sausages cook.

-->Once the sausages are cooked, add onions, peppers, and celery. Saute until onions are translucent.

-->Remove lentils from heat and set to one side. Add stewed tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.

-->Add lentils, and water from lentils, to sausage mix. Stir, place lid on skillet, and let simmer for 15 minutes.

-->Remove from heat and remove lid. Let stew rest for 5 minutes and then serve with your favorite bread. Happy Eating!!

Chicken Pot Pie

Turning this classic dish into a gluten-free dish was simple. I had a choice to make it two different ways. Since I was feeling a little on the lazy side, I decided to use a gluten-free all purpose baking mix (generic Bisquick,) to make the "pie" part of the dish. I found it at Wal-Mart. What I have discovered on this gluten-free journey is that the products are easy to find. I usually buy these products at Kroger's or Walmart. They both have a variety of products at a reasonable prices. My hope is which ever way you choose to make the pot pie, that you will enjoy it! Happy Eating!

Chicken Pot Pie

2 large chicken breasts, boneless, skinless and cubed
1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 cup diced onion
1 stalk of celery
1/2 potato, cubed
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tsp herb d'Provence
1/2 cup chicken broth

3/4 cup Gluten free all purpose baking mix
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp herb d'Provence
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp melted butter

-->In a cast iron skillet, on medium heat, warm olive oil and brown seasoned chicken cubes.

-->Add celery, onions, and potatoes to skillet. Saute until potatoes are soft. If chicken and onions get a little brown, you can add a Tbsp of chicken broth.

-->In a medium bowl, mix together the topping ingredients together and set aside. Preheat oven to 350*F.

-->Add the mixed vegetables to the skillet with the remainder of chicken broth. Let simmer until the vegetables are defrosted.

-->Smooth topping atop skillet and place in preheated oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until top is golden brown.

-->Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

-->Plate and enjoy!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pulled Pork with Gluten Free Mac and Cheese, Cole Slaw

One our favorite traditions in the south is pulled pork, cole slaw, and baked mac and cheese. I have truly never made pulled pork or mac and cheese before tonight. We are having a dinner party tonight with a young mother and her daughter. This couple has been very important in our lives. The mother and her ex-husband stood with us as witnesses when my husband and I eloped, almost 9 years ago. After we eloped, we had a blessing of our vows with our friends and family. The daughter was our flower girl.
Baked Mac and Cheese has been one of my favorite side dishes. My grandmothers made the best southern baked mac and cheese. One of those dishes that, try as you might, you can't seem to get it right. There is always one ingredient missing. When I started my gluten free and low carb diet, mac and cheese went by the wayside. Now that I am at the point in my weight loss journey that I am stabilized, I am able to add some carbs back into my diet once or twice a week. With the many gluten free products out on the market, I am able to make my beloved mac and cheese, gluten free now. Happy Eating!!

Pulled Pork with Gluten Free Mac and Cheese, Cole Slaw

Pulled Pork
5 lb Boston Butt Pork
4 Tbsp Ruth's Sweet and Smoky BBQ Rub*
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Cup water

-->Rub down the pork with Ruth's Sweet and Smoky BBQ Rub and place in a crock-pot. Drizzle with Olive oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, and water. Cook for 5 hours on High, then turn to low for 2 hours; for a total of 7 hours.

-->Remove any bones from the pork. Place on a large platter. With 2 forks, pull the pork apart. Serve with your favorite BBQ sauce and rolls.

Gluten Free Mac and Cheese
1 box of gluten free pasta of your choice
1 package of shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
1/4 gluten free bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste

-->Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain and place in a large mixing bowl. Preheat oven to 325*F.

-->Mix with melted butter, 3/4 of the package of cheese, and heavy whipping cream.

-->Place in a medium greased baking dish. Layer the rest of the cheese and gluten free bread crumbs on top.

-->Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, until the cheese is all bubbly.

Cole Slaw
1 bag of cole slaw
1/2 container of cole slaw dressing

-->Mix together and serve.

Waiting for our guests

*Ruth Sweet and Smoky BBQ Rub is a mixture of brown sugar, paprika, cumin, pepper, salt, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, and thyme. I will be doing a post with the exact measures for this rub and several other rubs and mixes that I have created.

Bacon wrapped chicken salad

This meal is one of our go to meals when we don't really know or how the energy to fix much. This has been one of those days. It's a work night and I have tons on my mind. This is a simple, yet complex salad that has a southwestern feel to it. Happy Eating!

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Salad

2 chicken breasts cubed
7-9 slices of bacon, cut in half
1/3 cup Mango or Pineapple Salsa
1 bunch of Romaine lettuce
1 medium tomato
1 avocado
1 yellow bell pepper
4 slices of cheddar cheese
Your Favorite dressing, mine is Ranch

-->Heat 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil in a cast iron skillet. Salt and pepper chicken. Sear the chicken on both sides, remove from skillet.

-->Wrap chicken chunks in bacon and return to skillet. Cook until bacon is completely cooked on both sides. Around 15-20 minutes.

-->While the bacon wrapped chicken are cooking, prepare the salad.

-->Once the bacon wrapped chicken is fully cooked, add salsa to skillet and stir. Let simmer for 5 minutes.

-->Remove from heat and place the bacon wrapped chicken on top of the salad. Dress with your favorite dressing. Enjoy!!