Tuesday, October 13, 2015

White Bean, Sausage and Spinach Stew

As with a lot of my recipes, I have found inspiration on the website Pinterest. For the most part, I reinvent the recipe to make it my own. 9 out of 10 times, I have had to make the recipe gluten free, dairy free, and corn free to fit into my diet plan. As I have said in my disclaimer, I will give credit where credit is due when it comes to the recipes I post. That being said, the original recipe can be found at www.itsmysideoflife.com . Instead of chicken broth, I use vegetable broth. Instead of tomatoes, I use zucchini. Instead of kielbasa, I use Aidell's Chicken and Apple gluten free sausages.
This recipe is a perfect warm meal for the cool months ahead. Full of delicious ingredients and easy to make, My husband was pleasantly surprised with this stew.  I hope your family will enjoy it as much as we did. Happy Eating!

White Bean, Sausage, and Spinach Stew

You will need:

1 large can of Cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
1 package of Aidell Chicken and Apple sausage, sliced
2 large handfuls of baby spinach
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 large zucchini, diced
2 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbsp Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tsp thyme

Directions:

  • In a large deep skillet, on med-hi heat, heat oil and add sliced sausage, zucchini, onions, and garlic. Saute for 10 minutes, then add 1/2 cup vegetable broth.
  • Add beans and let simmer for 7 minutes. 
  • Add 1 cup of vegetable broth, spinach and thyme. Cover and let simmer for 7 minutes.
  • Add the remainder of broth and let simmer for another 7 minutes.
  • Serve with your favorite gluten free bread and a glass of cider.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 31 minutes
Total: 41 minutes
Serves; 2-4 people

Happy Eating!



Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Ham and Swiss Cheese Pasta Bake

This recipe is one of the first recipes I created when I first started cooking. I love Mac and cheese has always been a favorite of mine. My grandmothers made the best Mac and cheese. Both very, very different but definitely not out of the box. In fact, they spoiled me such, I can't even  think about eating the boxed stuff. This dish is a twist on the classic, adding ham and tomatoes for a fulfilling casserole the whole family will love. Hope your family enjoys it as much as ours. Happy eating!

Ham and Swiss Cheese Pasta Bake


You will need:
1 Package of ham cubes
1 1/2 cup shredded Swiss Cheese
1 package of gluten free shell pasta
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1 egg
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, melted
salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch of dry mustard

Directions:

  • Make pasta according to package instructions. Preheat oven to 350* and grease large casserole dish.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together egg, milk, butter, 1/2 cup cheese, and dry mustard together.  
  • Rinse pasta in cool water, mix in the egg mixture. Add ham and tomatoes with 1/2 cup cheese. 
  • Pour into casserole dish and top with rest of cheese.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes until cheese is melted. 
  • Enjoy with a nice green salad. 


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Chicken, Mango, Black Bean Rice Bowls

Mexican and Tex-Mex food are staples in our house. The flavor combinations, the variety of ingredients, and the general comfort the food brings to us. As I have said in previous posts, I am looking for a good substitution for corn in my recipes. In this recipe, I used zucchini in place of corn. Truthfully, we didn't miss the corn. The real stars in this recipe are the black beans and mangoes. This is another easy 30 minute meal. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. Happy Eating!

Chicken, Mango, Black Bean Rice Bowls
You will need:
2 Chicken breasts, shredded
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small zucchini, peeled and diced
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small mango, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 cup cooked rice
Spices, to taste:
Salt and Pepper
Green Chile Powder
Red Chile Powder
Paprika
A dash of Sriracha Sauce
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 Tbsp coconut oil


Directions:
  • In a large skillet heat coconut oil on med-hi heat, saute chicken with zucchini, onions, garlic and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper.
  • When onions are translucent, add mangoes, black beans and rice. Season with salt, pepper, chile powders, and paprika. Add 1/4 cup vegetable broth and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add sriracha sauce and remainder of vegetable broth. Simmer for another 8-10 minutes.
  • Serve with Avocado slices or sour cream with a cold Mexican beer, 







Herb Crusted Pork with Roasted Vegetables


Entertaining friends and family is one of my favorite things to do. I love playing hostess and greeting my guests with a beautiful dinner and warm atmosphere. The following dish is a perfect way to entertain guests. A delicious and filling meal that will put a smile on anyone's face. A classic meal with all the trimmings. Simple to make and elegant served on even the humblest dish. Hope you will enjoy it as much as we did.

Herb Crusted Pork with Roasted Vegetables

You will need:


2-3 lb Pork Roast
1 large onion, chopped
6 large carrots, chopped
3 large potatoes, chopped
1/2 purple cabbage, sliced
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp melted coconut oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
3-4 Tbsp herb d'Provence
1 tsp garlic powder


Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325*. Line a large baking dish with parchment paper.
  • Take the roast and slice it in half. Pat dry, then rub with butter on all sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then rub with herb d'Provence. Making sure the herb covers entire roast, Place in center of baking dish
  • In a large bowl, place sliced vegetables, all but cabbage. Mix with 2 Tbsp coconut oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and herb d'Provence. Spread in baking dish, surrounding the pork roast.
  • Place the cabbage slices on top of vegetables. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and 1 Tbsp coconut oil.
  • Cover with foil and place in the oven. Let cook for 2 1/2 hours covered. Increase oven temperature to 375*. Uncover and bake for another 30 minutes. 
  • Serve with honey rosemary cornbread and a nice white wine. 
  • Happy Eating!


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Frito Nachos

This recipe is one of those "I'm hungry so let's just throw something together" recipes. Super quick. Really easy. Fantastically yummy. The perfect trifecta. 
Plus, it's my favorite type of food. Mexican. My go to comfort food. I made this dish the night after my family left. My family lives in 3 different states: North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. It use to be 4 until grandpa moved back to Georgia. Once a year, we make it a point to spend a weekend together. So, I needed some good ole comfort food after they left. 
I hope your family enjoys this dish as much as we did. Happy eating !

Frito Nachos
You will need: 
1 bag of corn chips
1 lb ground turkey 
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 packet gluten free taco seasoning 
1/4 cup gluten free vegetable broth 
2 cups shredded hot pepper cheese
1 cup salsa, your choice
Dollop sour cream (optional)


Directions:

--> In a large skillet, brown meat with peppers, onions, garlic, and black beans. Season with taco seasoning and adding broth as needed. 
--> Prepare your plates by layering corn chips and cheese. Microwave for 15-20 seconds. Place meat mixture on top, sprinkle cheese and microwave for 20-30 seconds, until cheese is melted. 
--> Dollop with salsa and, or sour cream. 
--> Prep time: 20-30 minutes. Feeds: 2-3 people. 


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Asian Pork and Cabbage Salad

Each culinary ethnicity has its one trifecta of ingredients that are in just about every dish that is served. The Asian cuisine is among one of my favorite trifectas: garlic, chives, ginger, plus soy sauce and red pepper flakes. The sweet, savory and spicy all meld together to make my mouth water and my taste buds tingle. This dish has all the above. The sweet of the oranges mingling with the savory pork and spicy of the red pepper flakes; all served over a crunchy bed of lettuce and purple cabbage. Taste buds beware!

Asian Pork and Cabbage Salad

You will need:

1 lb pork tenderloin, cut in medallions
3 green onions, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, julianned
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 can Mandarin oranges, reserve the juice
1/8 cup gluten free soy sauce
1/4 cup Gluten free vegetable broth
Salt, Pepper to taste
1.4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp crush red pepper flakes
2 cups shredded purple cabbage
1 bunch red leaf lettuce

Directions:


  • In a wok, on med-hi heat, heat oil and saute pork with the whites of the onions, bell pepper, garlic and spices. 
  • When pork is cooked, add oranges and 1/4 cup juice, soy sauce. Simmer, slowly adding another 1/2 juice with 1.4 cup vegetable broth. Simmer for 5-7 minutes. 
  • Remove from heat and cool while the salad is prepared. 
  • Mix together, sprinkling the green onion parts on top and serve with cold green tea,
  • Total prep time: 40 minutes. Serves:4 people.




Gluten Free Chicken Bruschetta Pasta

This meal is the second most requested meal when we have guests in town. When I first started my epicurean journey, one of the first simple appetizers I learned to make was bruschetta. A light and summery Italian antipasto that can be eaten by itself or as a starter to a delicious meal. The simple combination of fresh tomatoes, basil, onions and garlic on a Parmesan crusty bread with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar bring back poignant memories.  
In creating this meal, I combined the traditional base of the bruschetta with chicken and a gluten free pasta. A quick and simple meal to please just about everyone palates. Happy Eating!

Bruschetta Chicken Pasta

You will need:

1 box gluten free rigatoni pasta (cooked precisely according to directions)
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, julianne
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 large cloves of garlic
2 large handfuls of fresh baby spinach
1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes
Salt, Pepper to taste
6 fresh leaves of basil, julianned
1/2 cup gluten free vegetable broth
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 stick of butter ( Yes, you read that correctly, one stick)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:


  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil on med-hi. Saute chicken, onions, 1 garlic clove, and sun dried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • When onions are soft, add fire roasted tomatoes and 1/4 cup of broth. Let simmer.
  • As the chicken simmers, cook the pasta. When the pasta is cooked and drained, add the spinach and 1/4 cup broth to chicken, cover and simmer. 
  • In the hot pasta sauce pan, melt 1 stick of butter with garlic, basil and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. When butter is melted, mix in pasta and then add to chicken.
  • Mix together and sprinkle the remainder of Parmesan cheese.Serve with a nice red wine.
  • Total cooking time: 30 minutes. Serves:4 people.
  • Happy Eating!





Hot Mexican Chicken Salad

In my family, we measure the seasons by food. Spring and summer, fresh greens and delicious salads grace our menus. In the fall and winter, soups and stews warm our bellies and our home. Over the years, I have added to my salad repertoire, Including various types of chicken salads,Cobb salad, Caesar salad, and garden salads. Recently, I have been experimenting with warm/hot salads. I have had very good results so far with the hot salads. This is one of our favorites, Combing two of our staple dishes: Mexican food and salad. I hope your family enjoys it as much as ours.

Hot Mexican Chicken Salad

You will need:

2 large chicken breast per 4 people, diced
1 zucchini, peeled and sliced
1 medium white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1 can diced green chiles
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 1/2 cup gluten free vegetable broth
juice of one lime
couple of dashed of Texas Pete's Cha!
Salt, Pepper to taste
1/2 tsp each: green chile powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, cilantro
1 head of Red leaf lettuce
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 cup fresh guacamole (recipe to follow)

Directions:


  • In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil on med-hi. 
  • Saute chicken, onion, zucchini, and garlic. Seasoning each when added.
  • When chicken is cooked, but not browned, and onions are soft, add 1/4 cup broth. Simmer until reducted. 
  • Add black beans and 1/4 cup of broth, simmer until reducted.
  • Add tomatoes and green chiles with lime juice, Cha!, and remainder of broth. You will simmer this until the juices form an almost dressing like state. 
  • While the chicken and vegetables are cooking, tear the lettuce into a large bowl and add the cucumbers.
  • Add the chicken and vegetables from the skillet to the lettuce and toss well. 
  • Serve with the guacamole.
Total cooking time is 30 minutes. Serves 4 people


Fresh Guacamole

2 ripe avocados
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
2 large cloves garlic
lime juice
Salt and pepper
Paprika
cilantro


  • Blend together all ingredients in a food processor to a desired consistency is met.










Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Cheesy Beefy Rice

As always, I am looking for new recipes for my family. I search everywhere, Pinterest, countless cook books, the internet, friends and family. This recipe I happened upon when scanning through Pinterest one evening. The original recipe calls for ground hamburger and regular diced tomatoes. Well, I figured I could spice it up a bit with sirloin beef cubes, fire roasted tomatoes, and a few of my own spices. As usual, my intuition was spot on and my family can't get enough of it. I hope you enjoy this quick and easy recipe for one of your week night dinners. Happy eating.

Cheesy Beefy Rice

You will need:
1 lb sirloin beef cubes (cut very small)
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
2 handful baby spinach
1 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
2 cups of shredded Colby and cheddar mix. (or hot pepper cheese for some spice)
salt
pepper
paprika
dry mustard

Directions:
  • Heat a large skillet with 3 Tbsp oil (I use coconut oil) on med-hi.
  • Saute onions and brown beef with the spices to taste. Adding a Tbsp or so of vegetable broth when needed.
  • When the beef is browned and the onions translucent, add the garlic and tomatoes with another Tbsp or so of the vegetable broth. (The purpose of the broth is to keep the meat from drying out.)
  • Simmer for 5 minutes on med-hi, then add the rice. Stir and then add spinach. 
  • When the spinach starts to wilt, add the cheese slowly, mixing so as not to stick to the bottom of the pan. You may remove the pan from the heat at this junction. 
  • Let sit for 3-5 minutes before transferring to platter and serving. 
  • Happy Eating!



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pineapple Ham Stir Fry

Pineapple Ham Stir Fry

Since I have been diagnosed with Celiac's disease, there are many a food nationality that I have not been able to enjoy fully. Chinese food is one of the those food nationalities. My husband  and I would eat Chinese food at least once a week, if not more. We discovered that even though I was staying away from the noodles and fried parts, I was still getting sick. Then a very wise person told me it was the soy sauce. I had no idea at the time that soy sauce contained wheat. Luckily for us, there is gluten free soy sauce. My husband and I have been making our Chinese food at home. Not only does it save us money, but also peace of mind for myself.
This is also a great left over dish that I make when I have a big ham. Hope you like this left over dish as much as we did. Happy eating!

You will need:

1 package ham cubes
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced pineapple
1/4 cup raisins soaked in pineapple juice
1/2 cup peanuts
1 cup cooked Quiona or brown rice
1 tbs Sriracha sauce
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 Tbsp Gluten Free Soy sauce
pinch of ginger




To make:

--> Saute onions, peas, and carrots in a medium skillet on med-hi heat for 5 minutes

-->Add ham, pineapple, raisins, and peanuts with spices, Sriracha sauce, and soy sauce; cover and steam for 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice

-->Add cooked quinoa or rice with vegetable broth and pineapple juice. Cover and steam for 10-15 minutes. Stirring once or twice. 






-->Happy Eating!!








Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Pork and Black Bean Stew

Usually I have a few meats left over at the end of a menu list. Most of the time, the meat happens to be pork or chicken. This time, I had left over pork, along with a few extra ingredients that I had on hand. So out of creativity and left overs, this meal was born. A Mexican inspired dish, easy to throw together and get for the whole family. Hope your family enjoys this quick weekday dish as much as we did. Happy Eating!

Pork and Black Bean Stew

You will need:

1 lb cubed pork loin
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can diced green chiles
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cilantro
1 tsp paprika
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup water




Directions:

-->Place all ingridents in slow cooker.
-->Depending on how much time you have, set the slow cooker for 6-8 hours.
--> Serve with Sour Cream or hot pepper cheese.
-->Enjoy!



Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bacon and Butternut Squash Quiche

Growing up, quiche was one of those dishes that I vowed to never like nor bake for anyone. Don't ask me why or how, but in a moment of weakness, I was asked by a very good friend to bake my first quiche for a Christmas eve brunch. 
It was a simple ham and cheese quiche. It was delicious and gone by the end of the afternoon. I fell in love with this simple French dish; which, oddly enough, originated in Germany. 
This particular dish is born from a love of bacon and squash, but mostly bacon. One can enjoy this Kuchen with a variety of sides at any time of the day. Happy Eating!

Bacon and Butternut Squash Quiche



You will need:

1 gluten free pie crust

1 cup roasted butternut squash, cut into cubes
1/2 cup frozen spinach
1/2 cup diced onions
2 Tbsp sun dried tomatoes
5 slices of thick cut bacon, cut into 3rd

4 large eggs
2/3 cup half and half
2 Tbsp pumpkin puree
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste





Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400*
2. Pre-cook gluten free pie crust for 8-10 minutes, until crust starts to brown.
3. Fry bacon in a medium skillet on med-hi. Drain grease, reserving 1 Tbsp and set bacon to side.
4. Saute onion, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, and butternut squash in medium skillet on med-hi heat with about 1 Tbsp of bacon grease until onions are translucent. Remove from heat.
5. Beat eggs, half and half, pumpkin puree and spices in a medium mixing bowl.










Assemble

1. Place butternut squash mixture on bottom of pie crust.
2. Place bacon on top in a circular pattern.
3. Pour egg mixture over bacon and butternut squash.
4. Sprinkle cheese over top.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 2 minutes before slicing and serving.





























From My house to yours, Happy Eating!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Asian Chicken and Stir fry Cabbage


My husband and I have a love affair with Asian and Mexican food. I am forever looking for new ways to incorporate these foods into our menus. I invented this dish out of a desire for a low carb and gluten free Asian inspired meal. A healthy meal to start off the new year right. I hope your family will enjoy this meal as much as well do. 

Asian Chicken and Stir Fry Cabbage

You will need:
1 lb of boneless skinless chicken breast, boiled and shredded
1 head of green or purple cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 cup frozen green beans
1 clove of garlic, minced
Gluten free soy sauce
Sriracha sauce (I prefer Texas Pete's Cha!)
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp ginger
1 Tbsp dry chives
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Tbsp coconut oil

















Directions:


-->In a large wok, heat the coconut oil on med-hi. Add the chicken, onions, green beans, and spices. 



















--> Once the chicken is cooked through, add Gluten free soy sauce and Cha!. Then place shredded cabbage on top. 



















--> Let the cabbage steam for 5-10 minutes, stirring once or twice. You may add more soy sauce and Cha! per your personal tastes. 



















--> Serve hot. If you are not living the low carb lifestyle, you can serve this over rice or Asian noodles.




















--> Happy Eating!