“Phở”

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I know that this is by no means traditional Phở, but instead think of it as a tasty interpretation of traditional Phở.

Phở is a Vietnamese noodle soup that has linguine like rice noodles, fresh herbs, a delicious broth and meat (typically beef or chicken…I prefer beef). Given my current situation of lets face it being extremely poor, there was no way that I could go out and buy all the ingredients to make the broth from scratch (it is on my list to do at some point though), so I used a Phở “starter” broth…it was a concentrated liquid broth that you add water to from Savory Choice. Pacific Naturals also has several Phở  to choose from (which are delicious, if you haven’t tried them yet, you should).

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I started off by sauteing some fresh ginger, garlic, and turmeric in a large pot, then adding a whole bunch of vegetables, the liquid broth, and water, brought it to a simmer and let it hang out for a while. I was going to leave it just like that but remembered that in my little freezer I had a small piece (about 3 oz) of hanger steak. I defrosted that and quickly marinated it in some 50% less Sodium Tamari from San-J and about a tablespoon of chili paste. This turned out so delicious especially with the added Thai chili peppers and chili paste. You can add whatever vegetables or meat you wish. I would have added some cilantro, green onions, and bean sprouts if I had them.

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Phở” – Spicy Asian Vegetable Soup w/ Seared Hanger Steak

Ingredients

  • 12 oz of hanger steak
  • 1/4 cup 50% less sodium Tamari
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Paste
  • 2 teaspoon oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1/4 inch fresh turmeric minced
  • 1/2 inch of fresh ginger minced
  • 4 Thai chili peppers
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots (purple, orange, white, etc.)
  • 2 large portabella mushroom caps diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded cabbage (green and/or red)
  • 1/2 cup chopped baby bok choy (white parts. Green tops – chiffonade)
  • 1/2 cup summer squash, julienne
  • 3 packets of Savory Choice Pho Liquid Broth (Chiken)
  • 6 cups of water
  • 4 oz Sorghum noodles, broken in half

Toppings (optional):

  • Bean Sprouts
  • Cilantro
  • Green Onions
  • Lime Wedges
  • Chili Paste

Method of Preparation

  1. In a container or bowl marinade beef in tamari and chili paste – set aside.
  2. In a large stock pot heat oil over medium heat.
  3. Add garlic, turmeric, ginger, and Thai chili peppers, cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add carrots and mushrooms, and cook for an additional 3 – 5 minutes.
  5. Next, add shredded cabbage, bok choy (white parts), summer squash, liquid broth packets and water. Bring to a simmer
  6. Add in bok choy tops and sorghum noodles, continue to simmer until noodles are soft but not over done, about 10 minutes.
  7. In a small pan heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat.
  8. Once the oil is nice and glossy and moves easily around the pan, add steak.
  9. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness (you want a nice sear but not cooked throughout as it will finish cooking in the soup).
  10. Remove steak from pan, and let rest.
  11. Thinly slice steak against the grain.
  12. Ladle the soup into four bowls, top with 3 oz of sliced steak and any additional toppings mentioned above (optional)
  13. Serve immediately

This recipe is gluten-free and dairy free and can easily be made vegetarian!

 

 

 

Gluten-Free Corn Dogs by Foster Farms {Review & Giveaway}

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Foster Farms, the producer of the nation’s number one selling corn dog product who has been in the chicken business since 1939 has released a certified gluten-free option! Yes, I said certified gluten-free (by the Gluten Intolerance Group/GIG). Their new gluten-free corn dog is made with a chicken hot dog that is dipped twice in a honey corn breading that has a delicious flavor and crunch. They come in boxes of 12 and make a great snack meal for you and your little ones. These would also be perfect for Super Bowl Sunday! My favorite way to enjoy them is baked in the oven (you can also cook them in the microwave, but the crunch is worth the oven baking!), and then dipped in some spicy brown mustard. These new corn dogs join the line of other gluten-free chicken products by Foster Farms including chicken breast nuggets and chicken breast strips. Want to know if these items can be found near you? Send the lovely folks over at Foster Farms an e-mail: questions@fosterfarms.com. Even though we do not have children – Bryan and I enjoyed these quite a bit!

Foster Farms wants to share with you! Read below on how to enter for your chance to win 1 of 5 coupons for a FREE box of their new Gluten-Free Honey Crunch Corn Dogs. While these are both gluten-free and dairy free they do however contain soy and egg.

How to Enter:

1. Like Foster Farms on Facebook – leave a comment below saying you did and your Facebook name

2. Tweet about the giveaway using #FFGlutenFree and @Creatively_GF – leave a comment below with the link

3. Like Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Facebook – leave a comment below saying you did and your Facebook name

4. Follow Creatively_GF on Twitter – leave a comment below saying you did so and your Twitter name

Giveaway is open to US residents only. Each winner will receive a coupon (sent directly from Foster Farms) for ONE FREE box of their new Gluten-Free Honey Crunch Corn Dogs. Giveaway begins on Monday December 29th and will end on Sunday January 4th at 11:59pm. Please leave a separate comment for each entry to ensure the maximum number of entries per person. The winners will be chosen via Random.org and will have 24 hours to respond, if no response(s) is received another winner(s) will be chosen. Good luck to all who enter!

 

This is a sponsored post – all opinions and photos are my own. Thank you Foster Farms!

My Signature Dish {Good Cook Build Your Kitchen Drawer}

If you read Creative Cooking Gluten Free on a regular basis you could probably guess that my signature dish would include something Asian…and you have probably seen this dish on here before and possibly on TV! It is of course my Sweet and Spicy Chicken. It is simple, delicious, and easy enough for the beginner cook to make. It consists of few ingredients and takes only about 30 minutes to make (including prep time).

As part of the Good Cook Build Your Kitchen Drawer event bloggers were asked to choose 15 items to build their drawer. When picking the items I took the approach of “what would a beginner cook need” and went from there. My reasoning behind that idea was during this time of year students are graduating from high school and college and moving out on their own, so why not help them (or any other beginner cook) with suggestions on what they need to get started. There are so many awesome kitchen tools and gadgets out there (trust me I have quite a few), but there are essentials as well, and are often overlooked. Little did I know that I would be asked to use as many as these items as I could to create my signature dish…but I did it and used 9 out of the 15 items! At the end of the post you can read more on how YOU could win some amazing items from Good Cook, but for now, check out my signature dish…

Sweet and Spicy Chicken

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Chicken:

  • 2 chicken breast – boneless, skinless
  • 1/4 cup corn  or potato starch
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Garlic Powder (optional)
  • 4 tablespoon veggie oil

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup honey (You can also use Agave instead of honey, or half honey and half agave)
  • 3-4 Thai Chili peppers finely chopped (keep seeds in for even more heat…adjust the amount of peppers depending on your spice level) *Dried or fresh chili peppers work well in this recipe
  • 2 Tablespoons of Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Oil (optional)

Method of Preparation

  1. Mix honey, Thai chili peppers, water, and chili oil. Set aside.
  2. Cut up chicken in to 1 inch cubes.
  3. In a medium bowl add the corn/potato starch, salt, pepper, and garlic powder (optional), and mix well, then chicken.
  4. Coat well and shake off any excess corn/potato starch.
  5. In a large skillet or wok heat 1 tablespoons of oil, add half the chicken and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Place chicken on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with second half of chicken and additional tablespoon of oil.
  6. Heat the sauce in the microwave for 30 seconds and mix well. This helps it “loosen” up a bit and makes it easier to pour into the pan or wok
  7. In the same skillet add the honey – chili mixture and bring to a boil for two-four minutes until the sauce reduces, thickens slightly and turns a nice caramel color.
  8. Add chicken back to the pan and coat well. Simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  9. Serve over white or brown rice.
  10. Its a bit sweet with a nice spicy finish.

Chef Note: For a vegan option, used firm tofu that has been drained and 1/2 cup of agave nectar in placement of chicken and honey.

Now for the drawer items…I named this drawer “The Beginners Guide to Kitchen Tools & Gadgets”. Again, I had the beginner cook in mind when picking these items. In 2012 I graduated from Jonson & Wales University with my associates degree in Culinary Arts and last week graduated with my bachelors degree in Culinary Nutrition. I began cooking at a very young age and haven’t stopped since. I love food and making people happy with it. I remember getting my fist place by myself, I was 17 years old and my grand mother and grandfather gave me my first set of pans and knives along with a few other essentials. So if I was to do the same for some one this is what I would give them to build their kitchen drawer…remember I had to pick 15 items (I could have picked more, but that was my requirement)…

The Beginners Guide to Kitchen Tools and Gadgets…what you need to get started:306(The image above shows both the 5 items provided to bloggers from Good Cook and then 15 items that I chose)

Measuring Cups, 5 Piece – The five piece set includes 1/4, 1/3, 1/2. 3/4, and 1 cup measuring cups, which is perfect for those recipes that call for an odd number measurement and all you have are even-numbered measuring cups. They are all connected on a ring and are color coordinated measurements.  These measuring cups are designed to be used for “dry” ingredients – flour, sugar, etc.

Measuring Spoons, 6 Piece – Like the measuring cups, these also have additional handy measurements that are often found in recipes including: 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, and 1 teaspoon along with 1/2 and 1 tablespoon. This helps take out a lot of the guess-work for the beginner cook or baker! Also connected on a ring and color coordinated measurements.

Measure From Above, 3 Piece – This set comes with a 1 cup, 2 cup, and 4 cup liquid measuring cups to be used for liquids such as water, oil, etc. You can read the measurement line by from the side and from above…makes life pretty easy to read it from above and not have to hunch down to make sure it’s correctly measured. Very sturdy and stack well inside each other for easy storage.

Prep Bowls, 5 Piece Set – I love these little bowls – they stack inside one an other, and have measurements inside of them…the top is the larger measurement and part way down is the second measurement (ex. 1/4 and 1/8 cup) – even if you do not use them for measuring they are perfect little prep bowls and make your mise en place nice and neat! AND they are made from a BPA free plastic.

Peeler – This little guy is often overlooked, but can be a huge help, especially if someone does not have great knife skills to peel vegetables and fruits. Can be used for potatoes, apples, mangos, kiwis, zucchini, pears, and can even be used to peel the zest of citrus fruits or ginger! The tip of the peeler is great for removing the “eyes” of the potatoes as well.

Meat Thermometer – I never owned one of these until I went to culinary school, but this is a very important little gadget that everyone should have. This instant read thermometer comes with a case. Thermometers are used for precise cooking – for example poultry and leftovers  should be cooked to an internal temp of 165*F and beef , pork, roasts, seafood, lamb, and veal steaks should be cooked to an internal temp of 145*F and egg dishes and ground meats (beef, pork, lamb, and veal) should be cooked to an internal temp of 160*F (for more information visit this handy information sheet from JWU).

Fine Grater – Everyone needs a grater…or two! I chose the fine grater because I think it is pretty versatile. You can use this to grate hard cheese (like Parmesan) or citrus zest. This is a great product and I’ve been using it quite a bit since receiving it. It come with a protective cover so you don’t scrape you hand while reaching into your drawer looking for something. The cover can also be clipped to the back so when  you grate, it catches it!

Tongs – Stainless Steel and Silicone tips – great for non-stick pans, as it won’t damage them. They lock, which prevents them from flipping open in your drawer meaning you can fit more items in there.

Ladle – I again chose a lade that was both stainless steel and silicone based because it works so well in both stainless steel AND non-stick pans. This ladle is 12 inches, which means you can use it in your big stock pot and get everything out.

Silicone Whisk – This 10 inch whisk is great…can be used to bake and cook with. It is a silicone whisk which makes it great for non-stick pans, but also gets a great scrape when whisking in a bowl, its light, and feels good in your hand, and easy to clean (who doesn’t love that!). The head of the whisk is heat-resistant and can withstand heat up to 400*F.

Large Nylon Flex Turner – This turner is a great size and very sturdy. Perfect for if you have non-stick or stainless steel pans. Everyone needs at least one turner/spatula: flipping pancakes, making eggs, etc.

Silicone Spatula: 2 piece – Heat resistant silicone, the heads remove for even more detailed cleaning. Great for scraping bowls when baking. Great for many uses like using the smaller one for getting the last bits out of a jar!

And now there are three remaining items…I just want to take a second to talk about these as a whole. If you have noticed that so far I have been going in order of the picture above and the three remaining items all happen to be knives. I love knives and I have quite a few of them. However, what it really boils down to is when you are starting out (or in general) you REALLY only need to own two knives, you just have to work on your knife skills! So many get boggled down by buying these huge blocks of knives, but when they really stop and think about it there are two, maybe three knives that they ALWAYS use from that block and those are: a paring knife, a chef’s knife and possibly a bread knife. The two main ones are paring and chef knives…those are your two basics and you should become very familiar with them. I chose three knifes for this drawer, a paring knife, a 7″ chef knife, and a bread knife…

One additional note about knives – keep them sharp! A dull knife will do more damage than a sharp knife.

Paring Knife – This knife has a non-slip handle that feels great in your hand. A paring knife blade is usually between 2 1/2 – 4 inches in length. It can be used for peeling fruits, zesting citrus fruits, dicing garlic, ginger, or shallots can be used while holding the item instead of always having to use a cutting board (like you would with a chefs knife). Again, this is an underrated and underused item in most people’s homes, but I suggest getting to know it a bit better.

Santoku Knife (Chefs Knife): 7″ – I have several typical chefs knives and over the years I have fallen in love with the Santoku style of them. I love how they feel and cut and this one is no exception…actually it has made its way into my knife kit. Santoku knives have these little indents in them which make the remove of food easy. This knife has the same handle style as the paring knife and is a great starter side. There are many different lengths of these knives, but this is a good middle ground, especially if you are not used to handling a larger knife.

Bread Knife –  The Bread and Bagel knife is a serrated edge knife, which is ideal for cutting breads and delicate ingredients such as tomatoes as it helps the knife glide through without having to put a lot of pressure on the item and in turn squishing it. While you won’t use this as much as the other knives, it is still a very useful knife and tool to have on hand.

So there it is…my picks! I hope that this list helps those just getting started. I know there are a million and one other tools and gadgets out there but these are what I consider the basics to get you going to make some delicious dishes!

So what did I use? Check out the photo below…

New ImageI used the Silicone Whisk, Measuring Spoons, Measuring Cups, Santoku Knife, Paring Knife, Ladle, Silicone Spatulas, Liquid Measuring Cups, AND Silicone Tongs! Yes I used all of that to make one dish…I did not have to but I wanted to show you these items. They are awesome and I have really enjoyed working with them.

Build Your Kitchen Drawer Contest!

309This is what my drawer looks like (minus the liquid measuring cups and prep bowls!)

Starting on June 1, you will be able to build your kitchen drawer with 15 Good Cook tools and gadgets from goodcook.com, all you have to do is choose up to 15 items from the official list of products, and you might just win what you choose! If you are a bit suck on what to choose, you can always choose the same tools and gadgets that I did or any of the other participating bloggers…more info will be provided when the contest begins.

From June 2 – June 7th, Good Cook is hosting a 5-day product giveaway on their Facebook page, plus there will be instant winners. For each drawer that you build, you have a chance to be an instant winner and you can enter once daily for more chances!Read more:

Wondering which products are available? Look for the “ADD ME” icon below on the Good Cook website! Additionally, during this contest, all items on GoodCook.com are 25% off – there is no code needed…just head on over and start shopping. The “Build Your Kitchen Drawer” Contest will run from June 2nd – July 14th.

c1989-addmeBe sure to check out the other bloggers and their Kitchen Drawers!


This post was sponsored by Good Cook as part of the Blogger and Kitchen Experts programs.

#goodcookcom #kitchendrawercontest #goodcookblogger

Southwestern Chicken Pizza

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Every once in a while I crave pizza, but it isn’t very often. To me pizza has always been kind of a snack food, not a meal. It needs to have a lot of amazing toppings on it or at least have a salad with it for it to be a meal. I know this sounds weird, but it just is not a meal in my world. However, I think I have come up with a substantial enough of a pizza to make it a meal with. Below is my Southwestern Chicken Pizza loaded with chicken breast, black beans, corn, and lots of delicious veggies. You can feel free to customize the toppings and spice level to your likings. If you are vegetarian omit the chicken and load up on some extra veggies and beans.

I don’t know how busy you all are, but if you are anything like myself, you are pretty darn busy. Most days I’m up at 4:00am and I’m home anywhere between 2:30pm – 10:00pm, all depending on that day’s schedule. Some nights are loaded up with homework and I don’t always have the time to make myself a fancy dinner so this comes in very handy. It is loaded up protein and nutrients. If you use a pre-made crust, this makes for a very quick and easy weeknight meal.

Southwestern Chicken Pizza

Crust

Topping

  • Sauce: Homemade or Jarred (all depends on how much and how big your pizza is
  • 1/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 cup cooked chicken breast (boneless/skinless), cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup peppers: red, yellow, and orange, cut into 1/4″ dice
  • 1/2 cup corn: fresh, frozen, canned (unsalted and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup black beans: rinsed and drained well
  • 1/4 cup red onion: sliced thin
  • 1 cup baby spinach: packed and rough chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 clove of garlic grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Method of Preparation

  1. In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add peppers and corn and cook for 3 – 5 minutes.
  3. Add black beans and red onions, cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Add the baby spinach to the pan and cook until wilted.
  5. After the spinach has wilted, add diced chicken and season with cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic, and salt.
  6. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Top pizza crush with sauce, cheese, and chicken and vegetable mixture…top with a little additional cheese if you so desire.
  8. Bake according to directions of the pizza crust you are using.
  9. Enjoy!

 

 

Spicy Thai Coconut Soup with Shrimp and Chicken

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I just completed my winter term of school and about to begin my spring term which also happens to be my last term of academics before graduating! I can’t believe that in 78 days (yes I am counting) I will walk across the stage at graduation and receive my degree in Culinary Nutrition from Johnson & Wales University. This is a dream come true. All of the hard work, sacrifices, and dedication during these last three years will be worth that moment. This is a day I never thought I would see, especially at the age of 32! Even though this journey has been difficult and I have missed out on many things, I know it is all worth it. Without the support of my family and friends I know I wouldn’t be here and to them, I am truly thankful.

In my last post I mentioned that I have been MIA from here for a while because I have been applying to Dietetic Internship programs. This is a pretty competitive process and I have given my all in these applications and the three years leading up to them. I will be notified on April 6th if I have been selected or not. Until then, it is a waiting game that is completely out of my control. I am hoping for the best and if selected I will give this program my all. If I am not selected, I will continue to work hard and apply again next year.

Thank you all for your support, encouragement, and for being faithful followers and readers of Creative Cooking Gluten Free over these last six years. Thank you for understanding that I am only one person and cannot post daily on here. Between school, work, homework, and volunteering, I just do not always have the time. I hope to be better about it this term however, and provide you all with some new delicious gluten-free and allergy-friendly recipes.

Below is a recipe I created this past term at school – it is originally designed for an athlete on a heavy training day so I had to adjust the amounts to work for everyone. Please feel free to adjust the spice level to your liking and you can always switch out the shrimp and chicken for more veggies if you prefer.

Spicy Thai Coconut Soup with Shrimp and Chicken

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Ingredients:

Amount                                   Ingredient

  • 1 pound                                     Shrimp, large, cleaned, deveined, shells removed and set aside
  • 6 cups                                       Stock, seafood, chicken, or vegetable
  • 1 pound                                     Chicken breast, boneless, skinless
  • 1/3 cup                                      Mushrooms, crimini, shitake, etc., sliced
  • 1/4 cup                                     Carrots, julienned
  • 1/4 cup                                     Zucchini, julienned
  • 2 cans                                      Coconut Milk, full fat
  • 1/2 cup                                     Rice, White or Basmati, uncooked
  • 2 inches                                   Ginger, cut in half
  • 3 cloves                                    Garlic, smashed
  • 2 small                                     Lime, juice and zest (save one lime for garnish)
  • 6  medium                                Thai Chili Peppers, cut 3-4 in half (for less spice remove seeds)
  • 2-3 tablespoons                        Cilantro, chopped or torn
  • 2 tablespoons                           Scallions, sliced on a diagonal
  • 2 teaspoons                             Salt, Kosher (more to taste if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons                          Oil of your choice (Olive, Canola, etc.)

Method of Preparation:

  1.  Gather all ingredients and equipment.
  2.  Clean, devein shrimp, and save shells. Set aside cleaned shrimp
  3.  Slice chicken breast into thin strips and set aside.
  4.  Clean mushrooms, and slice thin and set aside.
  5.  Wash carrots and zucchini, julienne, and set aside.
  6.  In a high sided sauté pan heat oil over medium heat.
  7.  Add shrimp shells and cook for five minutes.
  8. Add in ginger, garlic, lime, and Thai chili pepper(s) and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  9. Add stock and simmer for 15 minutes over low heat.
  10. Strain stock and discard any solids.
  11. Return stock to pan and bring to a boil.
  12. Add mushrooms, carrots, and zucchini and cook for one minute, remove and set aside
  13. Add rice, cover pan and cook for 15 minutes or until tender.
  14. Stir in coconut milk and mix until incorporated and all solids have dissolved.
  15. Turn heat to medium low, add in chicken, and shrimp. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until proteins are cooked throughout.
  16. Return the vegetables to the pan and stir well.
  17. Check for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  18. Serve in a bowl with a slice of lime fresh Thai chili pepper(s), and chopped cilantro.
  19. Hold at 135° or warmer.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps {Crockpot Recipe}

As you have probably gathered from reading my blog, we love Asian food. We often say to each other that we could live on Asian, Mexican, and Italian food…but mostly Asian. Bryan said the other day, I could eat Chinese food for breakfast lunch and dinner…I have and it was awesome. I lived in China for a little while in 2003, while I was a Program Liaison between two colleges/universities – one located in Worcester, MA where I was employed and our partner Beijing Geely University located in the Changping District.

My time spent there was right in the middle of the SARS epidemic so traveling outside of Beijing was out of the question. I did however get to spend quite a bit of time doing the “tourist” thing by visiting places such as The Great Wall (twice) (Bādálǐng), The Forbidden City (Zǐjin chéng), Tiananmen Square (Tiān’ānmén), The Summer Palace (Yíhé Yuán), Mausoleum of Mao Zedong (Máo Zhǔxí Jìniàntáng), Ming Dynasty Tombs (Míng shísān líng), Temple of Heaven (Tiāntán), Temple of Confucius, and many more.

While I didn’t get to travel much, I ate some of the most amazing food. Most of my meals in the beginning of my stay were supplied by the on campus dining rooms – all of which were really great. We (my Chinese colleagues and I) would venture out to local restaurants to try some more delicious and local dishes. My breakfast usually consisted of the following: fresh made wonton soup or red bean porridge , scallion pancake (cōng yóu bǐng) (I am working on a gluten-free recipe for these, stay tuned), fresh hot soy milk ( dòunǎi) which has a slightly sweet flavor to it. Lunch was a number of different options (sadly most of which I can’t remember their name): kung pao chicken (gōng bǎo jī dīng), egg flower soup (dàn huā tāng), the most delicious spicy cucumbers, steamed dumplings (xiǎo ​lóng ​bāo) – either veggie or meat filled, and for the occasional dessert some Mantou (mán ​tou) which is steamed bun that is served either steamed or deep-fried with condensed milk. For dinner my favorite dish was Peking Duck (Běi​jīng ​kǎo​yā), Hot Pot (shuàn ​guō ​zi) was another favorite of mine, although they tended to order mutton (yáng ​ròu) I opted for the chicken (jī​ ròu​) and Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans with some ground pork.

So I have lived solely on Chinese food and would do it again in a heart beat. Thankfully Bryan loves the same styles of food that I do. Many of our meals are Asian and Mexican inspired dishes. We venture out but always come back to our love of Asian food.

Below is a recipe that is inspired by the P.F. Chang’s Gluten Free Lettuce Wraps – it is not a copycat recipe like my Beef a la Sichuan is but just inspired by it. We were at P.F. Chang’s last night to celebrate Bryan’s birthday (a little early, but we wanted to go before school started up for the both of us again). Since I was making lettuce wraps tonight we opted for our other favorite appetizer, their Shanghai Cucumbers.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps {Crockpot Recipe}

3 large chicken breasts* – diced into small pieces

3 large celery stalks – diced into 1/4 inch cubes

8 oz baby bella mushrooms – diced into 1/4 inch cubes

1 8oz can water chestnuts – chopped (divided)

1 8oz can bamboo shoots – chopped

3 cloves garlic – finely chopped

1/2 inch piece ginger – peeled and grated (I use a microplane)

1 tbs brown sugar

1/2 tsp chili garlic paste

1 tbs sesame oil

1/2 cup gluten-free soy sauce (I use San-J low sodium if you have it)

2 tbs hoisin sauce (I use the Dynasty brand)

  1. Prepare all of the ingredients according to the above directions.
  2. In a crockpot (mine is 7qts…you can use a smaller size too) add the Hoisin Sauce, Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil, Brown Sugar, Garlic Paste, Ginger, Garlic, Bamboo Shoots, 1/2 of the Water Chestnuts, Celery, and Mushrooms.
  3. Mix together.
  4. Add the chopped chicken and mix until evenly coated.
  5. Cover the crockpot and turn it on low.
  6. Cook for 5 1/2 hours.
  7. Stir about half way through to incorporate everything and break up some of the larger pieces of chicken.
  8. Add the remaining water chestnuts, mix well, cover, and cook for an additional 1/2 hour.
  9. To serve: Peel the leaves off of a head of iceberg lettuce, butter/boston lettuce, or use romaine hearts. Scoop about 1/4 -1/2 cup into each leave, “roll up” and enjoy. You can top these with shredded carrots, bean sprouts, and chopped peanuts. We’ll be serving ours with a side of steamed edamame.

Notes: Many recipes out there call for ground chicken, which is completely acceptable, however I wanted a more hearty version so I choose to use chicken breasts and dice them instead.

You can also add all the water chestnuts at once, they will retain their crunch, but I wanted a bit more crunch so I added half of the can in the beginning and half towards the end.

Vegetarian version – instead of chicken increase the amount of mushrooms and celery, add zucchini, yellow summer squash, baby bok choy, etc.

Non-Onion Free version – replace the celery with 1/2 cup 1/4 inch diced white onion.

Hope you enjoy this crockpot dish – I dished out a little bit to take a photo and then I couldn’t put it back sooo I ate it…its delicious!

(The chopsticks in the photo were sent to me from a dear friend, Shiho whose family runs one of my favorite little sushi places, Ocean Sushi in Monterey and Pacific Grove, CA. If you are in the area stop on by – they have gluten-free soy sauce!! Thanks Shiho, these get quite a bit of use!)

Gluten Free Asian Kitchen – Giveaway!!

UPDATE: 12/10/11 9:30 am – Giveaway has ended – The lucky winner is Brittany  who said: “I want to try the stir-fried rice noodles with chicken and peanut sauce. I would keep it. I could live off of Asian food (and Mexican). I might actually buy this if I don’t get it.”  Brittany – please check your e-mail! Congratulations Brittany and thank you to all who entered.

A few months ago I was fortunate enough to review Laura B. Russell’s cookbook The Gluten Free Asian Kitchen Recipes for Noodles, Dumplings, Sauces, and More. This is by far one of the best cookbooks out there, especially if you are gluten free and miss eating Asian inspired dishes. Bryan and I could live on Asian food – of all kinds.  We have thoroughly enjoyed all of the recipes that we have made so far. You can read my complete review here.

Today I will be sharing two of the recipes from Laura’s book and giving away a copy to one lucky reader!  Trust me, you will want to enter this giveaway – you won’t be disappointment in any of the recipes.  Roasted Pork Meatballs

serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as an appetizer

 

11/2 pounds ground pork

8 green onions, white and green parts, minced

7 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks lemongrass, bottom 4 inches only, peeled and minced, or substitute the grated zest of 2 lemons

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

11/2 tablespoons sugar

11/2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce

3/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons cornstarch

Nuoc cham (page 27) or Spicy Mango Sauce (page 32), for serving

Lettuce leaves, hoisin sauce GF, Carrot and Daikon Pickle (page 114), and fresh cilantro, for serving (optional)

In a large bowl, combine the pork, green onions, garlic, lemongrass, cilantro, sugar, fish sauce, and salt. Stir to combine the ingredients. Refrigerate, covered, so the flavors have a chance to marry, at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours. More time equals more flavor.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Oil a baking sheet. Stir the cornstarch into the meat mixture. Form the meat into twenty-four 11/2-inch meatballs. (You can form the meatballs several hours ahead of time. Keep them refrigerated until ready to cook.) Transfer the meatballs to the prepared baking sheet. Cook the meatballs until browned and cooked through, turning once with a spatula, 12 to 15 minutes.

For serving, skewer the meatballs with toothpicks and arrange them on a serving platter with the nuoc cham or mango sauce for dipping. Alternatively, using lettuce leaves as wrappers, spread a bit of hoisin sauce on each lettuce leaf and add a meatball, some of the pickle, and a few cilantro leaves.

variation For a juicy, coarse-textured meatball, substitute pork loin, cut into 1-inch cubes, for the ground pork. Toss the cubes with the ingredients in the first step and then freeze the mixture for 20 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse until the pork is coarsely chopped, about twenty (1-second) pulses. Proceed with the recipe, including the marinating time.

heads up

You’ll need to marinate the pork for at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours. The dish calls for nuoc cham (page 27) or Spicy Mango Sauce (page 32). You can prepare the nuoc cham up to 2 weeks ahead, or the mango sauce up to 3 days ahead.

Spicy Mango Sauce

makes about 11/2 cups

11/4 cups diced fresh or frozen mango (thawed if frozen)

1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves

2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 jalapeño chile, seeds and ribs removed

3/4 teaspoon salt

Combine the mango, cilantro, vinegar, ginger, oil, jalapeño, and salt in a blender. Puree until smooth. The sauce will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for about 3 days.

Nuoc Cham

makes about 13/4 cups

1/3 cup sugar

1 cup very warm tap water

1/4 cup Asian fish sauce

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

In a small bowl, combine the sugar with the water. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the fish sauce, lime juice, rice vinegar, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Refrigerate until ready to use. The sauce will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.

Kung Pao Chicken

serves 4

11/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch dice

4 tablespoons soy sauce or 
tamari  , divided

1 tablespoon sake or dry sherry

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons warm water

1 tablespoon sugar

21/2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

21/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

8 cloves garlic, minced

6 green onions, white and green parts, sliced

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts or cashews

Steamed rice, for serving (optional)

In a medium bowl, stir together the chicken, 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, the sake, salt, and pepper. Set aside until ready to use.

In a small bowl, stir together the warm water and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add the rice vinegar, sesame oil, and the remaining 3 tablespoons soy sauce.

In a large frying pan or a wok, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned but not all the way cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining chicken and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the cornstarch to the chicken. Toss to combine. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, garlic, green onions, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chicken back to the pan and stir to coat. Stir in the soy sauce mixture and bring to a simmer. Cook until the sauce coats the chicken and everything is heated through, about 2 minutes longer. Stir in the peanuts; serve hot with steamed rice.

Want to win The Gluten Free Asian Kitchen from Laura? This would make a great gift for a family member or friend with Celiac Disease (or you could keep it for yourself). Please leave a separate comment for each entry – up to 6 entries per person.

1) Visit Amazon and check out the cookbook by “Looking Inside” – then come back here and post a comment telling me which recipe you would like to try most (Mandatory)

2) Post a comment telling me if you would gift it or keep it (its okay if you keep it:) (Mandatory)

3) Like Notes from a Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen on Facebook (optional) – if you already do…leave a comment telling me so.

4) Follow Laura B. Russell on Twitter (optional) – if you already do…leave a comment telling me so.

5) Like Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Facebook (optional) – if you already do…leave a comment telling me so.

6) Follow Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Twitter (optional) – if you already do…leave a comment telling me so.

Entries are open until Friday December 9th at midnight! Each person can enter up to SIX separate comments (see above guidelines). The winner will be chosen on Saturday December 10th using random.org – the winner will have 24 hours to respond via e-mail with their contact information.  If I do not hear back within the allotted time frame, another winner will be chosen. The book will be shipped directly from Ten Speed Press and the Crown Publish Group. Giveaway is open to all who are residing in the contiguous United States.

I would like to thank Laura and her publishers for not only sending me a review copy but also providing an additional copy as a giveaway to one of my lucky readers.  The opinions expressed in this post and my original review are completely my own.  I have enjoyed this cookbook and very thankful to Laura for putting together such a wonderful and comprehensive book on my favorite cuisine which I have missed very much since being diagnosed.

Reprinted with permission from The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen: Recipes for Noodles, Dumplings, Sauces, and More. Copyright © 2011 by Laura B. Russell. Published by Celestial Arts, an imprint of Ten Speed Press and the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo Credit: Leo Gong.

California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) Offers GF Menu Items Part 2

On June 29th I posted some potentially good news: California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) Offers GF Menu Items.  There was a bit of mixed reviews regarding this post, which is completely understandable.  You never truly know if your meal will be 100% gluten-free (and free of any cross-contamination) when you are eating out in a non-designated gluten-free restaurant.  Many restaurants take extra precautions when preparing gluten-free menu items and will train their staff regarding the gluten-free diet and cross-contamination.

I will admit at first I was a bit skeptical about trying the new pizza but I asked a few other bloggers and readers who had tried the new pizza and they all said it was delicious and didn’t have any glutened symptoms.  When we went to Boston a few weeks ago with our dear friends Warren and Joyce we found a CPK and decided to give it a go (when you sign up to receive their e-mails you get a $5.00 coupon!).

Out of the four of us I am the only one with celiac disease so I ordered off of their Gluten-Free Menu! (which is actually just the real menu with “gf” notations next to the items that are gluten-free”). I also asked to speak with a manager about the process of the chefs making the pizza and serving it.  She did assure me that they use a “foil boat” to cook the pizza on, use a separate paddle, separate knife, and serve it right away to avoid any confusion.

I decided to go with what they are known best for – The Original BBQ Chicken Pizza (Invented here in 1985. BBQ sauce, smoked Gouda, Mozzarella, BBQ chicken, red onions and cilantro).  This was always one of my favorite pizzas before I went gluten-free and it was as delicious as ever.  The flavor combination may seem a bit odd when you are just reading about it but the sweetness of the BBQ sauce goes so well with the smoked Gouda and red onions.  Best part of all? I didn’t get sick from eating it!! It was so nice to eat pizza out at a restaurant. Sadly though the closest CPK to us is Boston so we won’t be going there very often.

Again, this is obviously a personal judgement call but I can say that I ate there with absolutely no problems and it was delicious, the staff was very friendly, helpful, and well-informed.  A nice change from my last visit to a CPK.  Again, please come back and let me know if you have tried CPK’s new gluten-free options and what you thought about it.

Five Star Marinade (Review & Giveaway)

We love to grill – chicken, steak, burgers, and especially vegetables.  Depending on what we are grilling we use different seasonings, sauces, and marinades – it usually is something spicy.  About a month ago Burt – the creator of Five Star Meat Marinade asked if I would like to try his gluten-free and diabetic friendly marinade, of course I said yes!

Bryan’s dad has diabetes so lately I have been trying to find things that are suitable for him.  When Burt shared the information about the marinade with me saying that it was “All natural, NO MSG, NO Sugar, NO Preservatives, NO Oils or Fats”, I thought this would be a great marinade for him to try.  Sadly we don’t get to see him much but I figured his birthday is coming up so I’m going to put together a little goodie bag for him.  I’m also going to start experimenting with some refined sugar-free baking for him also and hopefully send Bryan down with some diabetic friendly baked goods.

Back to the marinade🙂

Here is a little bit of history from Five Star Marinade’s website:

While growing up,  holidays were special for many reasons. Getting together with family, good food and lots of laughter. Most meals were potluck,  making it easier on those hosting the event. We always had the traditional turkey or ham as a main course, but my Grandmother would provide another meat with her marinade. Everyone loved the flavor so much that often the family dinners would break tradition serving only her meat dish.  Little did Grandma know that her marinade was a healthy substitute for sugar or molasses based barbeque sauce.

Grandma is gone now but I have taken the recipe and bottled this great taste for everyone wishing great flavor without the worry of calories, preservatives or fat. The marinade is easy to use and is excellent for barbeque, broiling or baking making it enjoyable all year no matter the weather.

My marinade is just the thing for those on restricted diets such as those on low sodium, sugar free, gluten free or Diabetics.

Last week I decided to marinade some chicken breast over night (per Burt’s instructions) and grill them up and served them with some spicy broccoli and a  side salad.  Oh man is this marinade delicious!! It has a bit of a peppery kick to it, which I loved and a great flavor.  I made an extra piece of chicken so I could slice it up and have it atop a salad the next day for lunch. I think next weekend I’ll be marinading (only 30 minutes) and grilling up some portabella mushrooms.

The marinade is simple – yet extremely delicious!  Five Star Marinade Ingredients: Vinegar*, Salt, Spices, Paprika, Garlic *Red Wine Vinegar (not distilled white) so this marinade is also corn-free (for those of you who have corn allergies, this is perfect for you)!

Thank you Burt for making such a delicious, gluten-free and diabetic friendly marinade! And thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to sample your delicious creation (your grandmother would be so proud of you!)

Who would like to try a bottle of this delicious, gluten-free, sugar-free all-purpose marinade?  One lucky winner with have a chance to win a bottle – please leave a comment for EACH entry!

1) Like Five Star Marinade on Facebook

2) Follow Five Star Marinade on Twitter (@GFMarinade)

3) Like Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Facebook

4) Follow Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Twitter (@Creatively_GF)

5) Leave a comment below saying what you would like to try this on.

One winner will be chosen using random.org on Tuesday June 26th, 2011.  The lucky winner will have 48 hours to respond after they receive my e-mail.  If a winner does not respond in the allotted time, a new winner will be chosen.  This contest is open to US residents only – the prize will be shipped directly from Five Star Marinade.  Good luck to all who enter!

Chicken Cordon Bleu

First before I get started on the recipe portion of this post, I want to say sorry for not being very active lately.  School started on March 8th and I’ve been consumed by it.  This is my first trimester and I am taking all academic courses (no actually culinary courses until the Fall).  What some might thing isn’t a big deal, taking Biology, Public Speaking, Leadership and Menu Planning and Cost Control really is to me.  For starters, I haven’t taken Biology in at least 14 years, I’ve never taken any of the other courses and I truly hate public speaking.  I’ve been out of college for about six years now so jumping back into this with both feet has been at times a little overwhelming for me.  It’s also been a little challenging for Bryan and I…we’ve kind of grown used to me being home all day, taking care of the house, making at least two meals a day etc. Now I am up at 4:00 am, getting the bus at 4:50 to Providence, walk three blocks to the Downcity Campus, wait about 30 minutes to get the shuttle to the Harborside Campus (where the culinary arts program is) and then starting class at 7:00.  Thankfully though I am done with classes by 11:15 M-Th and have Fridays off.  Now you are probably wondering why I get up at 4 and take the bus to school.  Several reasons.  One I don’t drive, two if I did we only have one car and with gas prices being as they are…it is more economical for Bryan to be taking the car to class than me driving to and from Providence each day.  Plus with my student ID, the bus is free anywhere in the lovely state of Rhode Island.  Honestly, I don’t mind the early mornings at all.  I thought I would but being done at 11:15, coming home, studying/doing homework making dinner and actually having time to relaxing with Bryan for a bit before I crash around 9:30-10:00 is worth it.  If my classes were in the afternoons I wouldn’t be home until about 8 or 9 at night.  Plus this is my dream and I would do just about anything to make it happen.  So you can think I’m crazy, that is just fine but I choose not to focus on the “oh my goodness you get up at 4 am, that is just crazy” comments, and push on towards my goal.

Speaking of my goal – after planning out my next few trimesters, which will mostly be culinary labs (yay!) and two more academic courses I will have my Associates Degree next summer!!  Next winter I need to apply for the BA in Culinary Nutrition, which I have been told is really hard to get into, so I am doing my best, studying hard and trying to get all A’s. I put a lot of pressure on myself for several reasons, I want this so badly.  As I said above, I’ve been out of school for a while now so none of this is fresh in my mind, and also I am at least 11 years older than the majority of these students.  Seriously I feel old, have little to nothing in common with them, but I’m doing my best.  Thankfully though most of them think I’m about 17 years old and when they hear me say 29 they laugh and don’t believe me…well its true I am, just don’t look at all the gray hairs coming in (and yes they are there, I promise you, lots of them!)

So again, I am sorry for my absence but please be patient as I get used to this new schedule and figure out a balance of home life, school/work and my blog.  I have a lot of respect for those other bloggers who blog everyday, some times several times a day and have jobs and families – you are all rock stars!

Now on to the recipe!

We saw some commercial the other day, I think it may have been for subway- anyway they were advertising a chicken cordon bleu sandwich and Bryan made one of those “mmmmmmm” sounds.  To me having a sandwich like that from subway just sounded nasty.  The “mmmmmmmm” sound wasn’t really for the sandwich its self but the idea of chicken cordon bleu.  I tend to associate those with weddings or banquets of some sort so I never really thought of trying out a gluten-free version of one.  Apparently Bryan really likes them so I said we could either buy you some frozen ones or I can attempt to make some – he obviously chose me making one instead.  I did a bit of researching online to see what was actually in the breading of it, I knew that it was chicken, Swiss cheese, ham and breading but wanted to get the flavoring right.  Honestly this is a really simple meal to make, I based mine off of a Tyler Florence recipe found on Food Network and we really enjoyed it…well mostly, Bryan isn’t so much a fan of the Thyme so I think next time I might leave it out completely or add a different kind of seasoning.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

  • 4 double chicken breasts (about 7-ounces each), skinless and boneless
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 thin slices deli ham
  • 16 thin slices  Swiss cheese
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (I used Jeanne’s of Art of Gluten Free Baking mix-see below for recipe)
  • 1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs or gluten-free rice crumbs (I used Orgran’s Rice Crumbs)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lay the chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, gently pound the chicken to 1/4-inch thickness (FYI a small fry pan or empty wine bottle work just fine, if you are like me and don’t own a meat mallet). Take care not to pound too hard because the meat may tear or create holes. Lay 2 slices of cheese on each breast, followed by 2 slices of ham, and 2 more of cheese; leaving a 1/2-inch margin on all sides to help seal the roll. Tuck in the sides of the breast and roll up tight like a jellyroll. Squeeze the log gently to seal.

Season the gluten-free all purpose flour with salt and pepper; spread out on waxed paper or in a flat dish. Mix the Gluten-free breadcrumbs or rice crumbs with thyme, kosher salt, pepper, and oil. The oil will help the crust brown. Beat together the eggs and water, the mixture should be fluid. Lightly dust the chicken with flour, then dip in the egg mixture. Gently coat in the crumb mixture.  Carefully transfer the roulades to a shallow baking dish (I used my Le Creuset because, I love them and they are the easiest baking dishes to clean up!) and bake for 20 minutes until browned and cooked through. Cut into pinwheels before serving.

Here is Jeanne’s All Purpose Flour Recipe:

Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in fridge):
1 1/4 C (170 g) brown rice flour
1 1/4 C (205 g) white rice flour
1 C (120 g) tapioca flour
1 C (165 g) sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum
(you can also use the gluten-free flour mixture (not baking mix) of your choice–just be sure it contains xanthan gum. Or, you can add 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum per cup of gluten-free flour. If you use bean flour, it will add a bean taste to the cookies)

Hope you enjoy this recipe, its simple, flavorful and most ingredients you probably already have at home.  We served ours with some garlic broccoli and a side salad.

I have more catching up to do – product reviews and a giveaway I promise it will happen soon!  Please stay tuned.

Chicken Parmesan

One of my favorite dishes when I was younger was Chicken Parmesan. I love the crunch chicken but yet still tender and juicy inside with some bubbly mozzarella cheese on the top.  It is a very simple dish, however I never make it.  I don’t know if it was because I feared how it would actually come out with using gluten-free flour instead.  It has just been one of those dishes that kind of made me nervous to “re-create”. While flipping through my favorite cooking magazine (Everyday Food by Martha Stewart) I saw a recipe for chicken parm and asked Bryan if he likes it.  When he said yes I figure, why not give it a shot and see how it comes out.

I opened up my flour cabinet (yes I have a small pantry with all of my gluten-free flours stored in my favorite containers by Snapware) and looked around to see what I had left (I’m running extremely low or I’m completely out of the majority of my flours) and saw that I had some Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose GF Flour, Gluten Free Bisquick and also some Orgran Rice Crumbs.  I decided to use a mixture of the Bisquick and Rice Crumbs and see how that would turn out, and if we didn’t like it I would try another combination the next time around.  We both really liked it – which I was surprised because I kind of just threw this recipe together quickly one night. The recipe is very simple and quick, you can feel free to change the measurements of the seasoning and cheese to your taste level.

Chicken Parmesan

1/4 Cup Gluten Free Bisquick (You could also sub in your favorite GF All Purpose Flour mix)

1/8 Cup Rice Crumbs (You could also sub in GF Bread Crumbs)

1/8 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning

2 Medium Chicken Breasts – pounded to 1/4 inch thickness

1 Egg – beaten with 1 Tablespoon of water

Cooked Gluten Free Pasta – We use Sam Mill’s GF Corn Penne Pasta (It is our favorite GF pasta that we’ve tried)

1/2-1 Cup Pasta Sauce (You can make your own or used a jarred sauce)

1/3 Cup of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Directions:

In a shallow baking dish beat one egg with 1 tablespoon of water, set aside.

In a second shallow baking dish mix the Bisquick, Rice Crumbs, Cheese, Salt and Italian Seasoning – mix well, set aside.

Between two pieces of plasticwrap or parchment paper pound the chicken until it is about 1/4 inch thick (for even and quick cooking).

Dredge each piece of chicken in the Bisquick/Rice Crumb mixture, shake off any excess and then in the egg mixture.  Again shake off any excess and then dredge it back in the Bisquick/Rice Crumb mixture.  Set aside.

In a medium skillet add one tablespoon of oil and heat over medium heat.  Once oil is hot enough (I always test by running cold water over my hand and then flicking a little in the pan, if it sizzles then I know my meat will sizzle – this is by no means scientific but it works well for me).  Add the two pieces of chicken breast.  Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until lightly golden brown and juices run clear.

If you do not have pans that can go into the oven, place the pieces of chicken either on a baking sheet or baking dish for this next step.

Turn your oven to broil and top each piece of chicken with half of the mozzarella cheese.  Place the chicken under the broiler just until the cheese starts to bubble and turn lightly golden brown.

Serve atop your favorite gluten-free pasta and top with your favorite sauce.

Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich-Gluten Free

(sorry the pic isn’t so great, I rushed because I really want to try this, its been over 2 years since I had one)

We don’t eat fast food much.  If we do, we either go to Subway so Bryan can get a sandwich and I get a salad or we go to Wendy’s because they fry their french fries in a separate fryer and I can get a bun-less cheeseburger and Bryan can get his favorite spicy chicken sandwich.  That sandwich used to be my favorite also before I found I had Celiac Disease.  Every time he gets one I ask “can I just smell it” – you laugh but I seriously do this quite often with some of his “regular” food.

Lately I’ve been on a kick of making things at home instead of going out and buying them.  For example in my last post I shared recipes from homemade beef jerky and granola bars.  I can’t go out and get a Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwich but I sure as heck can make it at home.  Making things at home also lets you control the ingredients you use.  Not saying that this sandwich is super healthy by any means, don’t get me wrong.  I mentioned to Bryan the other day that I could try to recreate that sandwich for him, but would have to do it gluten-free so I can enjoy it too…he said sure.  So I looked online for some ideas of what is actually in the sandwich and then went to work on creating a recipe for it.  I have to say it came out pretty darn awesome!  We both really liked it.  I served mine between two pieces of romaine lettuce and Bryan had his on a “regular” bun.  The spicy flavor in mine was much more pronounced without having all that bread in the way.

Gluten-Free Spicy Chicken Sandwich (Wendy’s)

1/4 Cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

1/2 Cup Water

1/2 Cup Gluten-Free Bisquick

1 1/2 Teaspoons Sea Salt

2 Teaspoons Cayenne Pepper

1/8 Teaspoon Fine Ground Pepper

1/4 Teaspoon Paprika

1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

2 Chicken Breasts – pounded until about 3/8 inch thick

4 Pieces of Romain Lettuce

1/4 Teaspoon Mayonnaise (optional)

2 Tomato Slices (optional)

Mix together the Gluten-Free Bisquick, Salt, Cayenne Pepper, Pepper, Paprika and Garlic Powder in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl mix together Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and water.

In a large high-sided sauté pan heat 1/2 cup – 1 cup of canola oil (should come up about 1/2 inch the side of the pan depending on the size of your pan) on medium heat.  You could also use a deep fryer but I didn’t want to deal with all of that.

Take one chicken breast at a time and dredge it in the GF Bisquick mixture, then coat it in the hot sauce/water mixture and then again in the Bisquick mixture.

Cook chicken for about 4-5 minutes on each side until they are golden brown and no longer pink in the center (I cut mine just to make sure).

Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels to remove any excess oil.  Serve on lettuce or a bun and top with mayonnaise (optional), tomato (optional) and an additional piece of lettuce.  Enjoy!!

The Bisquick worked perfect for this recipe.  It was nice and crunchy and the chicken was juicy, and just the right amount of spice.  Oh how I have missed this sandwich, but now I can make it at home!

 

 

Chicken Pot Pie

It is the time of year for comfort foods!  Who doesn’t love a nice hot meal on a very chilly day?  I know I do.

Bryan had mentioned a while back that he really liked chicken pot pie and missed it.  Me being the nice girlfriend that I am decided that I would attempt to make him one, but of course it had to be gluten free so I could also enjoy it.  I actually have never been the biggest fan of pot pies for several reasons: when I was younger I choked on the crust a bit (probably why I don’t like pies that much either and prefer crisps or crumb toppings), I HATE peas, and very much dislike cooked carrots – which are ummm three major ingredients of pot pie.  The three things I don’t like are the three things Bryan really enjoys, well at least two of them, crusts and peas.

I searched online for some gluten free recipes to gain some inspiration and hoped to find a good crust topping.  I eventually stumbled upon a gluten free recipe from Bisquick and seeing as we have some, I would give that recipe a try. I mostly followed it, with a few minor tweaks and it came out pretty well…Bryan really liked it and honestly that is all that mattered. (You can view the original recipe HERE)

Gluten Free Chicken Pot Pie

Filling:

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup diced potatoes (peeled)

2 garlic cloves

3-4 celery stalks chopped (try to chopped all the vegetables the same size)

2 medium carrots chopped

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 1/2 cups cooked chicken – cut up

1 3/4 cup gluten free chicken broth

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

3/4 cup milk

3 tablespoons cornstarch

Topping:

3/4 cup Bisquick Gluten Free Mix

1/2 cup milk

1 egg

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 teaspoon tried thyme (I actually used 1 tablespoon and we both thought it was too much)

Salt

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350ºF. In 3-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add potatoes; cook, stirring frequently cook for five minutes. Stir in celery, carrots,garlic and peas, cook an additional five minutes. Add the chicken, chicken broth, salt and thyme; heat to boiling. In small bowl, mix 3/4 cup milk and the cornstarch with wire whisk until smooth; stir into chicken mixture. Heat just to boiling. Pour into ungreased 2-quart casserole.
  2. In small bowl, stir all topping ingredients with fork until blended. Season with salt and pepper. Drop topping mixture by small spoonfuls over chicken mixture. Carefully spread the topping over the entire dish (this is optional, you can just top it with the spoonfuls).
  3. Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of topping comes out clean. The topping should be a light golden brown.


POM Wonderful Dinner Party (Recap)

About a month ago I entered a contest to host a POM Wonderful dinner party.  POM would pick 100 people to host a dinner party inspired by, Pomegranates (of course).  I entered at first because Bryan and I love pomegranates, and I really wanted to try to incorporate them into some recipes other than just drinking the juice and eating the seeds.  To my surprise I got an e-mail back saying I was one of the 100 picked and I would be receiving two cases of pomegranates and some goodie bags for my guests.  After getting this e-mail I had about 9 million thoughts running through my head of what to make, how many people to invite and oh I can’t forget the decorations! After sitting back and relaxing for a little bit I decided that simple was the best way to go.

Bryan and I will hopefully be in New Jersey for Thanksgiving this year and my dad, stepmom and stepsister will all be in upstate New York, so I figured we would do a pre-Thanksgiving inspired dinner together yesterday, just the five of us. Keeping with the Thanksgiving theme our menu was as follows:

Starter:

Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and a Pomegranate Balsamic Dressing

Main:

Roasted Chicken with Pomegranate Glaze

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Garlic Green Beans

Pomegranate-Cranberry Sauce

Biscuits

Drink:

Hard Pomegranate – Apple Cider

Dessert:

Brownie Cupcakes topped Pomegranate Cream Cheese Frosting

Pomegranate Sorbet

Over all our dinner was great- with a few minor setbacks of having a small kitchen, sink and not being happy with my frosting!  It was nice to have my family here for a relaxing afternoon filled with football and a very tasty dinner (If I do say so myself).  Our decorations were simple – some small pumpkins in the center and on each plate was a pomegranate and an instruction card on “how to open a pomegranate”. Most of the recipes used were ones that we make often, simple yet very tasty and all 100% Gluten Free! Below are some of the recipes with photos.  (I must note that I got caught up in feeding everyone that I forgot to take a few photos, such as the roasted chicken when it came out of the oven-sorry!)

Salad with Pomegranate-Balsamic Dressing

(We usually have mixed greens and what ever else we can throw into the salad, it is completely up to you)

One -two large romaine lettuce heads, chopped (Or mixed greens)

1/2 cup sliced carrots

1/2 cucumber sliced

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (optional)

1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Pomegranate-Balsamic Dressing

Salt and Pepper

1/2 cup of good olive oil

1/4 cup pomegranate juice

1/8-1/4 cup balsamic dressing

Add all ingredients to a covered jar or salad dressing mixer.  Shake well and enjoy (you can adjust the measurements to your flavor liking)

Roast Chicken with Pomegranate Glaze

1 Whole Chicken (about 9 pounds)

1/4 cup room temp butter

1 1/2 tablespoons of Seasoning of your choice – I use a mixture of rosemary, thyme, oregano and sage.

Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl mix the softened butter and herbs until well combined. Set aside

Make sure the giblets and neck are removed from the chicken cavity.  Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels.  Season with salt and pepper – also season the cavity. Place your chicken in the roasting pan and gently lift the skin using your fingers – be sure not to tear any of it.  Once the skin  has been lifted, take  half of the butter and herb mixture and spread evenly under the skin.  Take the remaining butter and herb mixture and do the same over the top of the chicken.  Place chicken in oven.  About thirty minutes into cooking add about 1 cup of chicken stock to the bottom of the roasting pan and baste the chicken.  Continue to baste the chicken every 30 minutes.  (please be sure to check the size of your chicken to determine how long it should roast for).  For a 9 pound chicken, cook for 2 – 2 1/2 hours.

During the last thirty minutes of the chicken brush it with the pomegranate glaze (see recipe below) every ten minutes, do this again when your chicken has been removed from the oven. This sauce can also be drizzled over the meat on your plate (which I did)

Pomegranate Glaze

(Very concentrated flavor, and very good)

1 cup POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice

In a small sauce pan heat the pomegranate juice over medium heat.  Simmer until juice has reduced about half, about 10-12 minutes.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

(We love mashed sweet potatoes, especially with the cinnamon added.  We tend to eat more sweet potatoes than regular ones)

1 – 1 1/2 pounds of sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

1/2  – 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup soy milk

salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sauce pan add sweet potatoes and cover with water.  Boil for ten minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.  Drain well.  Either by using a potato masher or using a stand mixer add your potatoes to a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer), add butter and soy milk and begin mashing (or whisking), until smooth.  Season with cinnamon and mix again until well blended.  Season with salt and pepper.

Garlic Green Beans

(one of our favorite side dishes, quick, easy and very flavorful.  This replaces the green bean casserole on our table)

1-2 pounds of fresh green beans

3 large cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper

Lightly steam the green beans until bright green yet still crispy.  Drain well.  In a medium-large pan melt butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and stir in the green beans.  Toss the green beans so they are all coated in the garlic and butter/oil sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.

Pomegranate-Cranberry Sauce

(I usually make this a day in advance)

1 Bag (12 oz) fresh cranberries

1 cup pomegranate juice

1/2 cup sugar – you can use either with sugar or packed brown sugar (I used the brown sugar this time)

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

salt and pepper

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

In a medium saucepan – over medium/high heat add the pomegranate juice and sugar. Bring to a boil.  Add the fresh cranberries, once the berries start to pop open reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally.  Cook until most of the cranberries have burst open and the sauce has thickened a bit, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and add in the pomegranate seeds.  Cool  to room temp before serving (or if you are making this in advance like I do (I think it tastes better the next day) cool completely and transfer to an air tight container.

Biscuits

I used the recipe on the back of the Betty Crocker Gluten Free Bisquick box.

2 cups Gluten Free Bisquick mix

1/3 cup shortening

2/3 cup milk (I use soy)

3 eggs

Heat oven to 400 degrees

Cut shortening into mix, using fork, until particles are size of small peas.  Stir in remaining ingredients until soft dough forms.  Drop by spoonfulls onto un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 13-16 minutes or until golden brown.  Makes 10 biscuits.

Hard Pomegranate-Apple Cider

(We used a local hard apple cider from Newport Vineyards, which is right down the road from us)

Serves four

3 parts hard apple cider

1 part pomegranate juice

In wine glasses (or any fun glasses you might have) add three parts hard apple cider and one part pomegranate juice and stir lightly.  Serve chilled.

Brownie Cupcakes with Pomegranate Cream Cheese Frosting

12 Brownie Cupcakes (I used the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brownie Mix and made them in a cupcake pan – you can use which ever brand you like).  Make these the night before so they can cool and that is one less thing to bake the day of.

Pomegranate Cream Cheese Frosting

(sadly below isn’t the recipe that I used, I made my own but it didn’t have much pomegranate flavor so I suggest using this one instead)

8 oz cream cheese softened (room temp)

4 oz butter softened

3 oz of pomegranate juice (juice from 3-4 large POM Wonderful Pomegranates,* or 1-1/2 cups POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice)

14 oz Powdered sugar

1 cup arils from 1 large POM Wonderful

Prepare fresh pomegranate juice*, score 1-2 fresh pomegranates and place in a bowl of water, break open the pomegranates under water to free the arils (seed sacs), the arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the membrane will float to the top, sieve and put the arils in a separate bowl. Reserve 1 cup of the arils from fruit and set aside, (refrigerate or freeze remaining arils for another use), reduce the pomegranate juice, over low heat, down to 3 fl. oz., Allow to cool, place butter into electric mixer bowl with paddle attachment and cream on medium-high speed for 1 minute, add the cream cheese and continue to mix for 2 more minutes, turn the speed down to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar and the pomegranate juice reduction, mix until the sugar is fully combined, remove icing from the mixer and place into a piping bag with a round or star tip.

Pomegranate Sorbet

(I have never made sorbet before so I asked my stepmom to use her ice cream maker so I could attempt making pomegranate sorbet.  I found the following recipe online at Saveur and it is very flavorful and refreshing!)

1/2 cup sugar

3 cups pomegranate juice

1 Cup water

Place sugar, 1 cup water, and pomegranate juice in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well chilled. Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve garnished with pomegranate seeds. (This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #9)

 

Our table setting

Our POM Wonderful inspired meal

To make our Hard Apple-Pomegranate Cider we used a local hard cider from Newport Vineyards (It’s the best we’ve had)

A light refreshment – Hard Apple-Pomegranate Cider

“How To Open A Pomegranate”

A simple yet flavor packed and refreshing dessert – Pomegranate Sorbet

Each guest got a POM Swag-Bag which included a POM bracelet, POM recipe cards, POM pamphlet, a free coupon for a bottle of POM wonderful juice and an awesome reusable POM wonderful tote.  They also got to take home a few pomegranates.

 

PJ’s Organics and a Giveaway!

This contest Is now closed! Thank you to all who entered, see below for winners!!


About a week ago I posted a review on PJ’s Organics Gluten Free products and how much Bryan and I enjoyed them.  They offer four great gluten-free options: Gluten Free Beef Enchilada, Gluten Free Chicken Enchilada, Traditional Taquitos and Deluxe Taquitos.

GIVEAWAY!!

The extremely generous people over at PJ’s Organics have kindly offered to give THREE (3) of my readers five (5) free product coupons to be used on any PJ’s Organics products.

AND in addition to the five (5) free product coupons each winner will also receive an iPod Shuffle (winners will get to pick their color choice: gleaming silver, blue, green, orange, or pink)!!

Giveaway Rules

To be entered for a chance to win one of these three (3) amazing prizes please follow the rules below by Monday November 8th by 11:59 PM:

1) (Required) “Like” PJ’s Organics on Facebook – come back here and leave a comment below that you did so (if your Facebook name/account is different from the name you use below, please specify your Facebook user name – Thank you!).

2) For an optional second entry– Read my review and look at the products above and leave a comment below letting me know which one you would like to try most and why.

Three (3) winners will be chosen by using Random.Org and notified by e-mail on Tuesday November 9th.  All winners will have 48 hours to respond with their contact information and color choice of the iPod Shuffle, if winners do not respond within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen by using Random.Org.  All prizes will be mailed directly from PJ’s Organics within four weeks.

Like PJ’s Organics Facebook Page and spread the word!  Visit their website to find out where you can buy these great PJ’s Organics products.

(This contest is only open to those who are living in the U.S.A.)

Our 3 lucky winners are…

1. Sharon J

2. Kristina S.

3. Valerie

Congratulations Sharon, Kristina and Valerie!!

(Winners were chosen using Random.org – Winners were notified by e-mail this morning and winners have 48 hours to respond with their contact information and color choice for their iPod Shuffle to creativecookinggf(at)gmail(dot)com (creativecooking@gmail.com).  If winners do not respond within that time another winner will be chosen using Random.org)

Thank you to all who entered!!  Check back later this week for another great give away.