Sunday, January 17, 2010

Gluten Free: Salad, Honey Baked Chicken, Squash Medley, Roasted Brussel Sprouts,

Meal time again!

I am always looking for a new way to make chicken. The thing is, while limiting our red meat and pork and focusing on leaner meats, chicken tends to be the main part of our meal. Occasionally I will cook something like fish, but not often. I do not like seafood and hate the way it smells the house up!

Besides, most of the chicken type of meals, my kids will eat! (Oh, by the way, I tested that Spinach Casserole recipe out on my kids, and my autistic son, who hates nearly all things good for him, ate it and actually liked it!!! Talk about shocked!! He was reticent, of course, but I insisted that he must take a small bite. He took a nibble, his eyebrows went up, and he gobbled up what was left on his fork. As he ate, he told his sister, "It only looks disgusting but it tastes good." If you have picky eaters, give that recipe a go!)

Anyway, back to this meal. I am often in a rush if I haven't pre-planned how to cook my chicken. So, I found this recipe that required ingredients that I had in the house. It was really good! An interesting taste, but a very good one! I will make it again.

So, enjoy the dinner if you try it! It really is good!



  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 5oz package of mixed salad greens
  • 6 cups of torn romaine
  • 1 11-oz can of mandarin oranges
  • 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced


  • 3 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1/8 tspn salt

  1. In small, heavy skillet, cook and stir sugar over medium heat until melted. Stir in almonds, cook for 1 minute until lightly browned. Spread onto foil coated with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In large salad bowl, combine mixed greens, romaine, oranges, celery, and onions.
  3. Tn small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together. Drizzle over salad. Add almonds and toss to coat. Serve immediately

Nutritional information: Serving size is 1 1/4 cups. Contains 125 calories, 8 g fat, 85 mg of sodium

Honey Baked Chicken
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/8 cup prepared mustard (French's Mustard is gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place chicken pieces in a shallow baking pan, skin side up. Combine the melted butter or margarine, honey, mustard, salt and curry powder and pour the mixture over the chicken. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 1/4 hours (75 minutes), basting every 15 minutes with pan drippings, until the chicken is nicely browned and tender and the juices run clear.
Makes 6 servings

Nutritional Information: 325 calories, 13 grams of fat

Squash Medley

  • 6 cups summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 6 cups zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 tspn. garlic powder, divided
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2/3 cup pure cornmeal (NOT a cornmeal blend)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 T. freshly chopped parsley
  • 1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes

  1. Place the summer squash slices in a steamer basket and steam for 3-4 minutes or until tender.
  2. Transfer the slices to a plate and set aside. Place the zucchini slices in the steamer basket and steam for 2-3 minutes or until tender.
  3. Lightly oil a large casserole dish. Alternately layer the summer squash and zucchini in the casserole dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 t. garlic powder and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. In a small bowl, place the remaining garlic powder and remaining ingredients, and stir well to combine. Sprinkle the mixture over the vegetables and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

Serves 6

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and yellow leaves removed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
  2. Place trimmed Brussels sprouts, olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Seal tightly, and shake to coat. Pour onto a baking sheet, and place on center oven rack.
  3. Roast in the preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes, shaking pan every 5 to 7 minutes for even browning. Reduce heat when necessary to prevent burning. Brussels sprouts should be darkest brown, almost black, when done. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt, if necessary. Serve immediately.
Serves 6

Calories per serving: 104 calories, 7.3 grams fat

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Vegetable Night! Winter Fruit Salad, Baked Potato, Spinach Casserole, Honey Ginger Carrots,

Folks, it's been very cold here the last few days. I've been making a lot of soups! Yesterday I made Cream of Pea Soup, for my husband to take to work the next day, while also cooking this dinner. I'll not include the recipe at this time, as I believe the last few entries have been soup recipes!! So goes it with the cold! I don't eat peas, but I did give him a sample of the soup last night while it was piping hot, and he did eat it for lunch today, and he claims it hits the spot. So, I will include that in an entry soon.

Last night we had vegetable night. I try to incorporate veggie night in at least once a week. I am not always successful, but it's becoming easier to do with all the different vegetable recipes that I have been able to find and experiment with. My husband is my guinea pig; my kids, not so much! However, I read reviews for this spinach casserole and saw where tons of people claimed that their kids loved it and asked for more. There's hope!! Kids asking for spinach. I shall try it myself soon and see if it works on my picky eaters. It really was very, very good.

For the baked potato, there's nothing to it, really. Pick out the number of baking potatoes that you need to feed your crew. Scrub them and cut a big X across the top, deeply. Rub with oil, wrap in aluminum foil individually and bake at 425 degrees for an hour, or more, depending on the size of the potatoes. If they're especially large, up the degrees to 450 and cook about an hour and a half. Fix them as you please. I like to use a smidgen of butter and low fat sour cream. D eats his plain.


Winter Fruit Salad
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style prepared mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 4 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 apple - peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 pear - peeled, cored and sliced
  1. In a blender or food processor, combine sugar, lemon juice, onion, mustard, and salt. Process until well blended. With machine still running, add oil in a slow, steady stream until mixture is thick and smooth. Add poppy seeds, and process just a few seconds more to mix.
  2. In a large serving bowl, toss together the romaine lettuce, shredded Swiss cheese, cashews, dried cranberries, apple, and pear. Pour dressing over salad just before serving, and toss to coat.

Honey Ginger Carrots
(this dish is gluten free!!)

  • 1 lbs baby carrots
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 pinch ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add carrots and cook until tender but still firm, about 5 minutes. Drain.
  2. In a large skillet over low heat, melt butter with honey. Stir in ground ginger and lemon juice. Stir in carrots and simmer until heated through.

Spinach Casserole
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
  • 3tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 5-7 Ritz crackers, crumbled finely

  1. In a saucepan, cook spinach in a small amount of water for 2-3 minutes; drain thoroughly. Add pepper, cheese, eggs and milk and stir together. Spoon into a shallow baking dish, about 1 qt. Sprinkle finely crumbled ritz crackers over spinach mixture. Drizzle melted butter over top. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until almost set.
(This is a dish that is even tastier cold!)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Salad, Creamy Tomato Soup and Gooey Grilled Cheese

I got a new cookbook a couple of weeks ago that had a tomato soup recipe in it that I wanted to try. It was actually a very easy recipe, and it turned out very, very good. It was creamy and very tasty and even my daughter kept coming back to the stove to steal spoonfuls of it before I actually served it. There was a bit of complaint from my autistic son because he could feel the finely processed onions in his mouth. That is a shame, really, because he seemed to really like the taste of the soup itself. I will continue to experiment with different ways to reduce that tactile annoyance for him.

This is comfort food, though. Hot tomato soup and gooey grilled cheese. Perhaps a bit more fat than we'd like, but certainly much better than eating out. Besides, there are things that can be done to reduce the fat content if you choose. You can use low fat cheese, or the substitute butter spread. However you make grilled cheese is up to you, and I will probably not include the recipe. I simply butter the bread, add the cheese and cook in skillet until done. The salad was a simple one. Torn lettuce, some cherry tomatoes, a bit of Parmesan, shredded carrots, diced hard-boiled egg and dressing of choice.

This really is very easy and very good.


Creamy Tomato Soup
Serves 4 to 6

  • 2 cups of 100% tomato juice
  • 2 teaspoons of finely chopped onions (use a food processor)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter or acceptable substitute
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of 2% milk (substitute half the milk with half-and-half for richer soup)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper

Melt butter in skillet. Add the flour and onions. Cook until onions brown. Set aside.

Combine milk and tomato juice and cook over medium heat until warmed, but do not boil. Stir in the flour/onion mixture and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring often. Add sugar and remove from heat.

Serve immediately.