Warm Millet Salad w/ Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage {37 Cooks & Bilinski’s}

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It’s a new year which means 37 Cooks is back in action! Even though the past few months have been extremely busy with moving to NYC and starting my Dietetic Internship I have missed these fun recipe challenges, and I am happy that this first event is sponsored by one of my favorite brands, Bilinski’s.

If you aren’t familiar with Biliniski’s they are a family owned and operated company that specializes in chicken sausages (with no pork casings!) since 1929. Their products are made from every day ingredients, gluten-free, preservative-free, antibiotic-free, nitrate and nitrite free, all meat is raised in clean, comfortable conditions, no animal by-products in their feeds, and no hormones…but are full of flavor! These sausages are fully cooked and are also low in fat, so you need to be careful to not over cook them.

I wanted to create a healthy and hearty dish that incorporated ingredients that would compliment the flavors in the new  Kale Balsamic chicken sausage! Since moving here and not having an income I have tried to stretch my food dollar even further than before. One way I’ve found to do this is to create dishes that incorporate a lot of delicious and healthy ingredients that are filling and re-heat well…you could serve this dish to a family of four or if you are in a similar situation as myself, have leftovers for a few days (I promise it re-heats very well). Feel free to change-up the ingredients as you see fit. The Kale Balsamic Sausage and all vegetables used in my recipe were organic (I have strangely found that the organic items are cheaper than non-organic in the stores around me).

I know many of you are looking for healthier recipes to get this year started. Sometimes the word “healthy” is translated into “unsatisfying” or “bland”, but it doesn’t have to! Healthy can be (and should be) delicious, flavorful, hearty, filling, and all those other good things that you are craving. Try using a new ingredient each week to expand your horizons in the “healthy” department: try millet instead of rice one week. Using seasonal vegetables and fruits in dishes also means additional flavor.

Warm Millet Salad with Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Millet
  • 2 Cups Organic Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil divided
  • 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Package of Bilinski’s Organic Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
  • 1 1/2 Cups Diced Organic Sweet Potato
  • 1 Cup Diced Organic Baby Bella Mushrooms
  • 1 5oz Container of Organic Baby Kale
  • 1/4 Cup Organic Dried Cranberries
  • 2 Tablespoons Pine Nuts

Method of Preparation

  1. In a small pot bring the chicken broth to a boil.
  2. Add millet, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until all water has been absorbed
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to a large skillet and brown the sausage on both sides
  4. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside in a large bowl
  5. In the same large skillet, add 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil
  6. Add in sweet potatoes and cook until tender or until water has evaporated
  7. Reduce heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to pan
  8. Add in mushrooms and cook until browned
  9. Next, add in the pine nuts, and brown lightly
  10. In a bowl whisk together the remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  11. Add 1/2 of the mixture to the pan with the sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes
  12. Once the vegetables have been coated with the olive oil and vinegar, add in the dried cranberries and kale
  13. Cook until kale has begun to wilt (about 1-2 minutes), remove from heat
  14. Once the millet has finished cooking, add it to the bowl with the sausage
  15. Add the remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar mixture to the bowl with the warm millet and sausage, toss to coat well
  16. To the same bowl add the cooked vegetables, toss to incorporate all ingredients and serve

IMG_4017Thank you to the awesome folks over at Bilinski’s for sharing this new product with all of us at 37 Cooks! This post is sponsored, however the recipe and opinions are 100% my own.

Want more information on Bilinski’s? Find them here:

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Olio d’oliva Pagnotta Senza Glutine {Sweet Creations}

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I’m loving the Nonstick Mini Loaf Pan from Good Cook! You can do so much with this pan, and I know this will come in handy next Easter as I continue to work on converting my Grandmother’s Easter bread recipe (it is not Easter without this bread!). For now however I was asked to “Be a Sweetie” and make a Sweet Creation with this pan. I was a bit indecisive on what to make because there are so many options…did I want to make meatloaf? Something sweet? Savory?  I finally decided on a combination of sweet and savory…a take on an Italian classic; Olio d’oliva Pagnotta – Olive Oil Loaf. Most recipes I have seen or made in the past are made with lemons, however substituted organic Valencia oranges instead and added a nice little crunch of pine nuts (another Italian classic).

The pan is great – you can make four mini loaves of whatever your heart desires which is perfect for any holiday because these little loaves make awesome presents! I’ll be bringing my extra loves into work to share.

 Olio d’oliva Pagnotta Senza Glutine  (Gluten Free Olive Oil Loaf)

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Ingredients

  • 2 Eggs (large)
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar + 2 Tablespoons (divided)
  • Zest of 1 large Valencia Orange (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Orange Juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 3/4 Cup Olive Oil (make sure its a good one)
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 Cup Gluten Free Flour (I use Cup4Cup)
  • 1/4 Cup Pine Nuts

Glaze (Optional)

  • 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Orange Juice

Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400•F
  2. In a large bowl add eggs and 1/2 cup of sugar – beat with a wire whisk until pale and you see a bit of foam.
  3. Add orange zest, , salt, orange juice, and olive oil.
  4. Beat with wire whisk until well combined.
  5. Add baking powder and gluten-free flour, mix with a rubber spatula to combine all ingredients well.
  6. Add 1/3 cup of mixture into each of the four wells of the pan.
  7. Top each loaf well with even amounts of sugar and pine nuts.
  8. Bake for 20-22 minutes – turning 1/2 way through to ensure even browning.
  9. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  10. If using a glaze – prepare it now: in a small bowl add powdered sugar and orange juice, mix until well combined and drizzle over warm loaves.
  11. Enjoy!

IMG_8295_7876(Check out the super cute White Snow Flake parchment paper – also included in the giveaway below!)

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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review – I was provided products for review from Good Cook. Please note that the opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced by outside sources of any kind. Good Cook has kindly offered one Creative Cooking Gluten Free reader the chance to win one Nonstick Mini Loaf Pan and Decorate Parchment Paper (great for wrapping up the loaves!). Winner will be chosen using random.org and will have 48 hours to respond. If no response is received, another winner will be chosen.

Double Barrel Spiced Pork Chop {37 Cooks Lock-N-Load Java Challenge}

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This is my first time participating in a 37 Cooks (an online group made up of, you guessed it, 37 Cooks) challenge and I am very excited about it. For this challenge we were sponsored by Lock-N-Load Java. A fantastic coffee company that is run by veterans and is dedicated to our military, veterans, and those who support them.

(borrowed from their website) Lock-n-Load Java is committed to supporting our military community through regular donations to charities who meet our criteria for being reputable, highly rated, fiscally responsible charities.  We look for charities that are well run… with low overhead and low fund-raising costs, so that more of their resources are used in carrying out their mission.

While many companies claim to support charities with nebulous claims of donating a “portion of profits,” we decided we would create a minimum standard for the money we commit as a company to the panel of charities we have chosen to support. We have set that threshold at the equivalent of $1 for every order shipped.  The more successful we are as a company, the more we donate back to these great organizations. We believe that this level of transparency will earn your confidence and loyalty.

This is my kind of company – great product and charity oriented!

We were sent two samples of our choice…I chose the Double Barrel Black and Snipers Choice (decaf) and were asked to create two recipes with the samples. Of course both of my entries are 100% gluten-free. Below is my first entry:

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Spice Rub:

Double Barrel Black, Ground                    2 teaspoons

Brown Sugar, Light                                     2 teaspoons

Cayenne Pepper                                      3/4 teaspoon

Salt, Kosher                                              3/4 teaspoon

Cinnamon, ground                                    1/2 teaspoon

Olive Oil                                                    1 teaspoon

Butter                                                        1/2 teaspoon

Pork Chop, boneless                                2

Method of preparation:

In a small bowl combine the first five ingredients and mix well.

Rub on both sides of the pork chops evenly and let sit for 10-15 minutes.

In a medium skillet heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add pork chops and cook until internal temperature reaches 145°. Depending on the thickness of your pork chop this could be anywhere between 3-6 minutes per side.

Serve with a roasted sweet potato with butter, cinnamon and sugar, and candied pine nuts (recipe below)

Double Barrel Candied Pine Nuts

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Double Barrel Black, Brewed                     1/4 cup

Sucanat                                                     1/2 cup

Pine Nuts, toasted                                     1/4 cup

Method of preparation:

In a small sauce pan combine the brewed coffee and sucanat and bring to a boil. Stir until the sucanat has dissolved. Stir in pine nuts and cook until the sucanat starts to crystallize around the pine nuts, about 5 minutes.  Continue to stir and once the sucanant starts to re-melt pour the liquid and pine nuts onto a silpat to let cool. Once cooled you ca break them apart.

Chefs Note: I choose the sucanat over granulated sugar because the sucanat goes well with coffee, it adds a hint of molasses.

Be sure to check out both 37 Cooks (find us on Facebook and Twitter) to see what everyone else created and Lock-N-Load Java (you can also find them on Facebook)

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato and Pine Nut Risotto

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Below is a recipe that I created a few weeks ago while in my vegetarian cuisine lab at school. Each week we are all assigned a component of the meal and we need to create a recipe based on that and what our lecture and demo are on that day. Right before break our lecture and demo were on fruits and nuts and I was assigned the entrée portion of the meal. One thing I really love about this class is that we have the freedom to create recipes each week instead of being handed a recipe and asked to make it, or our twist on it. It took me a little while to figure out what I wanted to make that I could incorporate fruits and nuts in it.

I decided to start with my favorite “blank canvas”…a risotto! The idea just grew from there. I looked around the kitchen saw some golden raisins, pine nuts (one of my favorite nuts), baby spinach, and sweet potatoes (another favorite of mine!). I didn’t want the risotto to turn out sweet (because of the raisins), so I added a bit of cinnamon and grated Gruyere cheese instead of the traditional Parmesan cheese.

My chef and class really enjoyed the flavor combination and I can’t wait to make this again. Hope you all enjoy it.

Sweet Potato and Pine Nut Risotto

A hearty risotto with sweet potatoes, pine nuts, golden raisins, and spinach, a savory dish with a hint of sweetness.

Yield: 3 cups      Serving Size:  ½ cup     Number of Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • Vegetable Stock                                                                4 cups
  • Sweet Potato, brunoise                                                     4 ounces
  • Shallot, fine brunoise                                                         2 teaspoons
  • Garlic, fine brunoise                                                           2 teaspoons
  • Olive Oil, divided                                                                4 tablespoons
  • Cinnamon, ground                                                             1/8 teaspoon
  • Ginger, grated                                                                     ¼ teaspoon
  • Arborio Rice                                                                        1 cup
  • Pine Nuts, toasted                                                               ¼ cup
  • Golden Raisins                                                                    ¼ cup
  • Spinach, fresh                                                                      ½ cup
  • Wine, white                                                                           ¼ cup
  • Pepper, white                                                                       1/8 teaspoon
  • Gruyere cheese, grated                                                        ¼ – ½ cup
  • Parsley, chopped                                                                  1 tablespoon

Method of Preparation

  • Gather all ingredients and equipment.
  • Heat vegetable stock in a medium pot to a simmer, then lower heat to keep warm.
  • Wash and peel the sweet potato, then wash again.
  • Brunoise the sweet potato and set aside.
  • Peel the shallot and garlic. Cut brunoise and set aside.
  • In a large, heavy bottom skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add brunoise sweet potatoes and cook until lightly browned.
  • Sprinkle the sweet potatoes with cinnamon and toss to coat. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel to remove any excess oil.
  • In the same skillet add the remaining three tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add shallots and cook for two minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add rice and stir to evenly coat with oil. Cook for one minute, until there is a slight nutty aroma, you do not want the rice to brown.
  • Add 1 cup of stock to rice and stir constantly until almost absorbed.
  • When the stock is almost absorbed, add an additional cup of stock. Repeat until the grains of rice are tender with a slight bite to them. About 20 minutes.
  • Add pine nuts, raisins, spinach, sweet potatoes, and wine. Stir until evenly incorporated and spinach has wilted.
  • Season with pepper and stir to incorporate evenly.
  • Remove from heat and add in cheese. Stir well.
  • Add parsley, and stir to incorporate.
  • Serve immediately.