Monday, January 30, 2012

Crock-Pot Minestrone Soup- gluten free of course

     I'm always on the look out for easy peasy recipes. I like things that taste amazing with little effort and clean up. Call me a dreamer I guess! Crock-pot recipes seem to really fit that bill. I ran across a recipe for Minestrone soup in the most recent issue of All You Magazine. It inspired me to turn it gluten free. I also bumped up the veggies and beans. I like soup that isn't too "soupy" and has an abundance of veggies. I think the end result fits my requirements.

Crock-Pot Minestrone Soup- gluten free

2 T. Margarine
4 ribs of celery, sliced
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1tsp. Italian Seasoning
10-15 baby carrots, diced
4 C. Chicken Stock (1 32oz. Carton)
1 28 oz. can Crushed Tomatoes, with liquid
salt and pepper to taste
2 C. Gluten Free Pasta
1 C. Kale or Escarole, chopped
2 Cans Cannellini Beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained
1 Can Garbanzo Beans, rinsed and drained
Grated Parmesan for serving, optional

In a skillet, melt margarine. Saute the onion, garlic, and celery until tender. Add in the Italian Seasoning. Stir to combine and remove from the heat. Dump the celery, onion, garlic, and seasoning mixture into the crock pot. Add in the carrots, salt, pepper, chicken stock, and crushed tomatoes into the crock pot. Cook on low heat for 4-6 hours.

Thirty minutes before serving, stir in pasta, garbanzo beans, cannellini beans, and kale. Turn the heat up to high and cook until the pasta is tender. Serve hot topped with Parmesan cheese.
Dice the celery into small pieces.
Saute onion, celery and garlic.
Dice the carrots. Add them to the crock pot with the broth, tomatoes, celery, onion, garlic, and seasoning.
Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
Wash the kale and cut the stems off. Dice or tear the leaves into small pieces. Add into the crock pot with the garbanzo beans, cannellini beans, and pasta.  Cook on high for approximately 30 min. more or until the pasta is tender. Serve hot topped with Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy the soup. I thought it was yummy!!!


Easy Classy Garlic Chicken

     I have been craving bacon wrapped chicken. Ok, the truth is I have been craving bacon. The smell of bacon, the crispiness of bacon. I have been craving everything about bacon!
     I figured a good recipe to cure that craving would be bacon wrapped chicken breasts. They are always a hit. I usually use my garlic press and put fresh garlic on the chicken then wrap a couple of pieces of bacon over the chicken breast. The bacon comes out crispy and the chicken has a yummy bacon and garlic flavor.
     The other day I ran across a recipe on Pinterest that I thought would go nicely with my idea for bacon wrapped chicken. It used sauteed garlic in olive oil. Then that was mixed with brown sugar and baked at 500 degrees. Yes, you read that right......500 degrees!! I thought that was a little crazy, but who am I to judge. So I took their Easy Garlic Chicken recipe and turned the oven down and added bacon!!! I think the end result is pretty yummy.

Easy Classy Garlic Chicken

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 garlic cloves , minced
4 tablespoons brown sugar
3 teaspoons Margarine or butter
3-4 Slices of Bacon 

Pre-heat the oven to 450 deg. Line a baking dish with foil. Spray the foil generously with cooking spray. Place the chicken breasts into the foil lined baking dish.

In a skillet, melt the margarine. Using a garlic press, press 4 cloves of garlic into the skillet. Saute until tender. Remove from heat. Add the brown sugar and stir until combined.

Cover the chicken breasts with the garlic and brown sugar mixture. Top with the uncooked bacon. 1 slice per chicken breast.

Bake uncovered for 45 min. to 1 hour or until chicken is no longer pink and bacon is crisp.
Line a baking pan with foil and generously spray with cooking spray. (you will thank me later)

Melt the butter in a skillet.
Using a garlic press, mince the garlic into the hot skillet.
Saute garlic in the margarine until the garlic is tender.
Remove from heat and add the brown sugar.
Mix together to form a paste.
Top the chicken breast with the brown sugar and garlic mixture.
Spread the mixture over the chicken breast.
Top each chicken breast with a piece of bacon. Bake at 450 deg. for 45 min. to 1 hour.
The chicken is done when it is no longer pink on the inside and the bacon is crispy.

As you can see from the area around the chicken, it turns black, you will be super glad you used foil :) Less scrubbing!!

This chicken would be great served with a baked potato and some veggies!! I hope you enjoy the chicken. Be sure to check to be sure that all of your ingredients are gluten free before you start cooking. Enjoy!!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chicken Patties / Chicken Nuggets

    Sometimes I just crave "kid food". Chicken nuggets!! I usually make the adult form of a chicken nugget, which is of course a chicken patty. However, this recipe can easily be made into nuggets, trust me, I have done it before!! You just shape the patties much smaller and they turn into nuggets. The bonus is, you know what is going into the food. It is 100% chicken.
     I looooove this chicken patty on a toasted Udi's bun, lots of honey mustard and a little bit of lettuce. Add a side of extra crunch tater tots and I am in heaven! So yummy!

Chicken Nuggets/ Chicken Patties

1 lb. Ground Chicken
Large handful of Ridged Potato Chips, crushed
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
1/2 tsp. Paprika
1/2 C. Bob's Red Mill All Purpose GF Flour
4 T. Cooking Oil

In a pie plate or on a paper plate mix the crushed potato chips, black pepper, paprika, and gf flour. Shape the ground chicken into patties (1 lb. should make 4-5 patties). Place the patty into the flour/potato chip mixture and coat the patty. Flip it over and coat the other side. When all the patties are coated with the mixture, place them into a skillet with the cooking oil heated to a medium high heat. Cook the patties until the outsides are a golden brown and the inside is no longer pink. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or serve on a gluten free bun.
Crunch your gf potato chips into tiny chunks. The easiest way to do that is to put them into a plastic baggie and smoosh them. (Great job to assign the kiddos)
Combine your smooshed chips, gf flour, pepper and paprika.
Shape your 1 lb. ground chicken into patties or nuggets.
Press the chicken patty into the flour. Flip and coat the other side as well.
Place the chicken patties or nuggets into the hot cooking oil.
Be sure that each side is a golden brown and that the inside is no longer pink.
Remove the chicken patties from the hot oil and let them drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

Enjoy the "kid food"!!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Blood Orange Creamsicle Cuppeycakes

     Last week Elisabeth Hasselbeck was making the talk show rounds to promote her newest gluten free cookbook. I happened to catch her appearance on The Chew, which is a cooking talk show. I'm not a huge Elisabeth fan. She often times shares incorrect information. It is really hard to get correct information out there when gluten free celebs spout incorrect info. and people treat celebs like their word is gospel. I'll just leave it as I'm not a huge fan. I was intrigued, however, by the cupcakes that she brought out for the hosts of The Chew. The Chew graciously posted the recipe on their website for the Orange Cream Cupcakes . I'm not sure if these are in Elisabeth's book, or not, but the recipe can be found via that link at least. The recipe for today was inspired by that recipe.
     As with most recipes, I thought there were a few things that needed changed. So I switched up a few things and set out for the kitchen today to give my recipe a whirl. I used Blood Oranges in my recipe. That is the kind of orange that I had in the house. I LOVE them. They are a deep blood red inside when cut open. They have great flavor. AMAZING!! However, if you don't have blood oranges, don't freak out. Simply use a regular orange. It will work just as well in this recipe. I also bumped up the flavor and changed the frosting. I happen to think that my product is pretty darn amazing!! Give the recipe a whirl and let me know what you think.

Blood Orange Creamsicle Cuppeycakes

1 3/4 C. Annalise Robert's GF Flour Mix
1 tsp. Xanthan Gum
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Cooking Oil
2 Eggs
The Zest and Juice from one blood orange
1tsp. Orange Extract
1/2 C. Milk

Pre heat the oven to 350 deg. Line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners. Spray the inside of the cupcake liners with cooking spray.

In a bowl combine gf flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the oil and sugar until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.

In a small bowl combine the blood orange juice, orange zest, orange extract, and milk. (the juice will make the milk curdle, this is fine, it will be just like adding buttermilk to the recipe) Add half the milk mixture to the egg mixture. Beat until combined. Add half of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Add the other half of the milk mixture and the other half of the flour mixture. Mix well.

Fill the 12 muffin cups by dividing the batter evenly among the paper liners. Bake at 350 for 15-20 min. or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the muffin tin and let them cool completely before frosting.

Blood Orange Cream Cheese Icing

1 pkg. (8oz.) Cream Cheese (softened)
Juice from 1 Blood Orange
1 tsp. Orange Extract
1 T. Orange Zest
4 T. Butter or Margarine
3 1/2 C. Powdered Sugar

In a bowl using an electric combine the cream cheese, butter, blood orange juice, orange extract, and zest. Mix until creamy and no lumps of cream cheese or butter are visible. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Beat until combined before adding in more powdered sugar.  Icing will not be super stiff, if you want it to be more stiff, add more powdered sugar. Using a icing spatula, spread the icing generously over the tops of the cupcakes.

Line your muffin tin with cuppeycake wrappers. Spray them generously with cooking spray.
Before you start mixing the batter, zest and juice the blood orange.
Use a micro plane or the smallest holes on a cheese grater to zest the orange.
Bake for 15-20min. at 350 deg.

Cool completely before frosting.
Combine the cream cheese, butter, zest, blood orange juice, and extract. Mix until creamy.
Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Mix well after each addition.

Frost and decorate.

Enjoy the cuppeycakes!!!