Welcome Fellow Food Enthusiasts

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Tacos... with a twist

The go to food for someone with celiac disease is Mexican food. Beside flour tortillas, and you have to watch the seasoning packets and sauces - so I usually stick with making stuff from scratch, it's pretty much all gluten free.  But eating the same thing over and over can get a little boring. I was craving Stuffed Peppers (something my mother made a lot while I was growing up - super yummy.)  But I knew had, surprise, surprise, the fixings for tacos at home. So, on my way home, I picked up a couple colored peppers, and decided to use them for the "taco shell."  The result? Delicious.

There's no secret to making tacos, but here's what I did.

Preparing the peppers
Preheat the oven to 400
Slice your peppers in half (we used red, orange and yellow)
Clean out the seed and that white stuff
Brush the inside and outside with olive or another oil
Set open face up on a cookie sheet (I used silpat beneath the peppers to prevent sticking)
Bake for 15 minutes face up and then turn over for 15 minutes more

Ingredients I like in tacos...
Either black beans or refried beans
Seasoned taco meat
Cheese (I put my cheese on the hot pepper instead of the beans first)
Cabbage, sliced (not a lettuce fan)
Avocado, diced
Sour cream
Taco sauce or salsa

And that night, I ate the tacos with fresh sliced pineapple and steamed asparagus. Yum!

Grape Salad

image from:

A friend made us this salad when she hosted book club a little while ago.  It doesn't photo well (thus the stock photo), but it tastes absolutely fantastic. A perfect salad for a summer party or for me, a perfect dessert.

8 oz cream cheese
8 oz sour cream
1/2 c white sugar
1 T vanilla
2 lbs grapes (I like it with mixed grapes, but if you have picky eaters, I'm sure it's great with one color of grapes only)
Pecans, chopped
Brown Sugar

Blend cream cheese and sour cream until smooth
Add white sugar
Add vanilla
Fold in grapes
Mix chopped pecans with a little brown sugar and sprinkle on top of salad
Chill for at least 1 hour before serving

Monday, March 9, 2015

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Taquitos

Image from the original blog

Since being diagnosed with celiac disease a few years ago now, I've been trying to figure out how to cook again. I'm starting to get the hang of things, and decided to use our food blog again to post the recipes I find that are already gluten free or are easily adaptable (including where I originally found the recipe so that you can try the meal with gluten if you like...)

This recipe comes from: Creme de la Crumb (click on blog name to be taken to the original recipe) and it was a slow cooker recipe. I had planned to do the whole slow cooker thing, but forgot on the day I'd set to make it. So, my prep was all done just before eating.

Another tip if you will be making just before and not slow cooking.. I buy the big bags of chicken from Costco. But I don't just stick it in the freezer. I have a food sealer, so I seal off a couple two breast per bags, and then I boil about half the bag.  Then I shred half the chicken and dice the other half to freeze in 2 cup portions (the amount usually needed for a recipe.) So easy to defrost and use when needed.

Jalapeño Popper Chicken Taquitos (influenced by Creme de la Creme)

3-4 chicken breasts, shredded (I found this to be a bit too much, I'll use less next time)
1 c cream cheese, room temperature
⅓ c jalapeños (canned, jarred, or fresh) finely chopped
1 t garlic powder
1 t salt
1 t cumin
16 tortillas (I used GF corn, the blogger prefers taco-sized flour)
1½ cups shredded cheese (or as needed - I didn't use that much)

My Instructions:
Preheat oven to 425
Combine cream cheese, jalapeños, garlic powder, salt and cumin. 
Stir in chicken until well mixed.
Warm the tortillas for about 20 seconds in the microwave.
Spray casserole dish with non-stick spray.
Sprinkle some cheese on the bottom of a tortilla, spread chicken on the tortilla, and roll it up. (I used toothpicks to keep the rolled up tortillas rolled.)
After they are all rolled (mine ended up making a lot more that the 16 mentioned in the recipe), and lined up in the casserole dish, spray the taquitos with cooking spray (this helps them crisp up). 
I baked for 12 minutes, then turned on the broiler for 3 minutes. Next time, since I won't use so much chicken, the taquitos shouldn't be crammed in filling the whole pan. I'd recommend turning them over so that both sides crisp under the broiler.

Oh, and I recommend their sauce. It is a Creamy Tomatillo Sauce. I don't know about it being a Cafe Rio knock off (Cafe Rio is not in the least bit gluten free, I'm a Costa Vida girl, as they are.) It was a good sauce. I forgot to buy a new bulb of garlic though, so it didn't have any garlic in it.  You could make half the recipe and have more than enough for the taquitos.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Steak and [Sweet] Potatoes

image thanks to this site, not an image of our dinner - but similar, yes
 I got home from my long run yesterday and thought I was going to die.  Getting old stinks. In my twenties, I could run a marathon without taking a single drink nor eating any food during the race. Now, I need to bring water with me if I run more than 4 hours, I dehydrate that quickly. And more than 6 miles on the road, I really should bring food with me. I've never been a goo person, so I am trying to find ways to get back to where I can run further without food.  I'm OK bringing my camelback for water, but eating isn't really something I'd like to do.

So when I got home and was wondering if I should call family to say my last goodbyes, I googled recommended running diets, and found the same thing on many of the lists - sweet potatoes.  If you watched the 2008 or 2012 Summer Olympics, you know that the Jamaican runners claim the secret of their success is yams.  While sweet potatoes and yams are different things, I figure I'll give it a try. So this week, before the Ragnar I am running in Zions National Park this weekend, I'm experimenting with sweet potato recipes.

I was also craving steak after my run, so I found a new marinade recipe online and a sweet potato recipe in my new Gwyneth Paltrow cookbook for dinner tonight. First, the steak:

I bought four steaks from Costco. I don't have a super great butcher near me, so I hoped theirs would be OK. I made the marinade the night before so that the flavors would blend well before using on the meat. I used my tenderizing hammer before marinating.  I added the marinade this morning and marinated for 8-9 hours before grilling.  I pulled the steaks out of the fridge about 30 minutes before grilling and hammered them out again, and let them sit in the marinade for 30 minutes at room temperature before cooking. The temperature on my grill was between 475 and 500 degrees. I cooked them for 8 minutes on each side (they were thick steaks). There was a nice pink in the middle, but I'd say they were medium well. They were nice and juicy and tender.  Oh, the marinade. Here's the recipe:

2/3 c soy sauce (gluten free, if needed
1 c olive oil
2/3 c fresh lemon juice (I think I used 5 lemons)
1/2 c Worcestershire sauce
3 T garlic powder
6 T dried basil
3 T dried parsley flakes
2 t ground white pepper
1/2 hot pepper sauce (I used Sriracha hot chili sauce)
2 t dried garlic (I used dried sliced garlic that I have)

The recipe (found here) says to add it all to a blender and mix it up.  I think that is a good idea if you are making the marinade right before using, to blend the flavors well.  I didn't blend mine. Like I said, I mixed it together the night before and refrigerated the sauce. I added the sauce to the steaks, tenderized steaks, in a gallon Ziploc and put them back in the fridge for 8 hours.

Now, to the potatoes.  I actually prepared the potatoes, and put them in the oven. The cook time is 45 minutes. So I put them in the oven, and waited 15 minutes. I then went out back to turn on the grill and let it warm up for 15 minutes.  Then I put the steaks on the grill cook, 8 minutes eat side. I found the potatoes were done after about 35 minutes though, so I turned off the oven but kept the potatoes in the oven until we ate.


Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spices from My Father's Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow (my changes in italics)

2 medium sweet potatoes (she recommends peeled, I just washed well and sliced with them on.  She recommends 1/3" slices, I used my adjustable slicer with my safety gloves purchased after an accident involving the upper corner of my thumb earlier this year. I used the 3.0 setting for the thickest slices it makes. 
1/3 c Vermont maple syrup
2 T vegetable oil
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t ground cloves
1 large orange I didn't have an orange in the fridge, out of season, so I used 1/2 c OJ
1 star anise I didn't have this, so not sure of the taste it will add in this recipe

 Preheat oven to 375.
Line casserole dish with parchment paper.
Slice potatoes. Lay potato slices out in baking dish. Because I sliced more thinly, I just used an 8x8 corning with a lid, lined with parchment.
Mix the sauce ingredients together.  If using thick slices, pour sauce over slices.  I added half my thin slices to the sauce, stirred well to coat all the slices, and then put those slices in my baking dish and repeated with the other half.  I then poured the extra sauce atop and covered.
Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.  My thin slices were done by the time I checked them at  35 minutes - so check your thick slices too.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Linguine Limone Parmeggiano

Thanks to this site for photo

Summer is pretty much over, though I'm still waiting for the Indian summer to begin, since you know it will.  I did collect some new cookbooks over the summer.  I spent much of the summer cooking from websites. And I will try to make a better effort to blog the yummy stuff I try. Photos, however, those  I will not promise to include.  One of the books I bought was "my father's daughter" - Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook. The book was highlighted in an article I read in Self. I tried this recipe for her dad's pancakes.  I totally recommend this recipe as well. Awesome pancakes, and I like the idea of making the batter the night before.

The recipe I tried tonight was for her spaghetti limone parmeggiano.  I used linguine noodles tonight, thus the name of the entry.   Ready in 15 minutes, it is so yummy!  Here's the recipe:

1lb pasta noodles
1 lemon
1 1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 t freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 T olive oil
3-5 T pasta water
A handful of basil leaves

While you bring the water to a boil and you cook the pasta, make the sauce.

Use a bowl large enough to hold a pound of cooked pasta and mix it with the sauce. Zest the whole lemon into the bowl (I roll my lemons before I zest and juice them, not sure if it really helps, but it always makes for yummy lemon flavor.) Cut the lemon in half and juice each half. Paltrow recommends using the hand grater used to grate the zest as the strainer when juicing the lemon to save on dirty dishes. I gave it a try, it worked great.

Add cheese, pepper and olive oil to bowl. Tear the basil leaves (I used about 15 nice sized leaves) and stir into the sauce.  Once the pasta is cooked, I added 1/4 c pasta water to the sauce and stirred it in.

Drain pasta and add to bowl, and mix with sauce.  Serve right away.