Friday, March 30, 2012

Honey and Bean Chicken Burrito Casserole

I found this recipe  on allrecipes and it sounded very tasty. I modified it to suit my family's preferences(icky garbanzos LOL) and needs(we needed gluten free). Omit the chicken and sub veggie broth in the rice and it is a fantastic vegetarian dish!

1 TB olive oil
1 small onion, grated or minced
3/4 cup white jasmine or basmati rice
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt and pepper to taste

10 corn tortillas
1 or 2 small chicken breasts, poached and shredded

3 TB prepared yellow mustard
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup honey

2 cups prepared pinto beans(about 1-15 oz can , drained and rinsed)
2 cups prepared black beans(" ")
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
1/2 cup green peppers, chopped
1 cup corn kernels
2 tsp cumin( more or less depending on your preference for it)
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne

1 cup shredded mozzarella(I use a mozz/smoked provolone mix)
1 cup shredded cheddar

1 TB honey

Prepare Rice:
In a heavy pan heat olive oil over medium heat, add onion and cook until tender and fragrant, add rice and cook, stirring often, until the rice is very mildly browned. Add broth and turmeric, salt and pepper, stir well, bring to a boil then reduce heat to a moderate boil. Cover with a tight lid and cook until all the liquid is absorbed(time depends on the type of rice, see packaging for specific details)
Fluff with a fork and allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 375

In a small dish mix mustard, sour cream and honey.

In a bowl mix beans, red peppers, green peppers and corn. Take out 3/4 cup and reserve for the topping.

To the rest add in sauce, rice and shredded chicken and seasonings. Mix well.

In the bottom of a 8 x 11 baking dish spray a thin layer of cooking spray.

Tear tortillas into rough quarters and layer on the bottom(I use about 3.5-4 for a good base)

Spread over 1/2 the bean mixture and sprinkle on 1/3 of the cheeses.

Repeat layer of tortillas(I use a lighter layer, maybe 2-2.5 tortillas) the remaining bean mixture and 1/3 cheese.

Top with another good layer of tortillas. Then pour over the reserved 3/4 cup beans and sprinkle on the remaining cheeses.

Cover with foil(I spray it with cooking spray first, to prevent cheese sticking to it)

Bake 35-45 minutes until bubbly, remove foil drizzle with remaining TB of honey, bake 15 minutes more.

Allow to stand for 5-10 minute before digging in.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Son's Favorite Gluten Free Buns

It has been an adventure in experimentation for gluten free breads with Logan. We have pretty much come down to he doesn't like actual sandwich breads and prefers buns. It actually works out VERY well because I can make a large batch and freeze them, and then it is so simple to just pop one out anytime we need anything bread/bun like for him.....sandwiches, hamburgers, french dips, sloppy works well! I have finally come up with a recipe that he really likes too...

1 cup very warm water
2 tsp yeast
3 TB sugar(I prefer raw)
1 tsp gelatin
1 1/4 cup brown or white rice flour(you can use 1 or both in any combo you like)
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup ground flax
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1/3 cup corn starch
1/4 cup dry buttermilk powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
3 eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp cider vinegar

In a bowl combine water, yeast and sugar. Allow to sit 5 minutes then sprinkle on gelatin and let sit 1 minute more.

Combine the rest of the dry ingredients and mix well.

After the yeast is foamy mix in the eggs, olive oil and cider vinegar.

Mix well then add in the dry ingredients 1/2 cup at a time until fully combined.
Beat the mixture for 2 minutes. It will resemble a thick muffin batter..

It is a sticky dough, dont be intimidated!! just get in there and get dirty.
Scrap dough out onto a work surface liberally sprinkled with corn starch. Gently work into a dough ball.

With a sharp knife(you can sprinkle on some cornstarch to help with cutting) cut into 8 -12 portions(this depends on your bun size preference, I generally go smaller with 10-12 because my kiddo prefers a thinner bun, this batch made me 11)
Roll each piece into a ball(using more cornstarch as needed).
Place onto a greased baking sheet and press down slightly to form into a bun. Brush each with a little olive oil and sprinkle on some sesame seeds or other toppings you like(poppy seeds, dried onion or garlic etc)
Cover lightly with a clean dry towel and allow to rise for an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 350(if you are using the oven as your draft free location make sure to take it out first.....yeah that doesnt work out well LOL)

Make a mixture of 1 TB cornstarch to 3 TB warm water, set aside.

Bake 15-20 minutes until the internal temp is 205. Brush lightly with cornstarch mixture about 1/2 way through the baking process and again about 2-3 minutes before removing from oven.

Remove from oven and cool 2 minutes, remove from pan to wire rack and cool completely.

 hamburger buns hot dog buns sandwich bread 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Orange Creamsicle Shooters in Orange Peels

FUN TIME!!!! Super yummy fun for adult time! It was FINALLY nice enough to fire up the grill pit and have an outdoor evening with some adult treats with our friends!

6 medium sized oranges
2 cups orange juice
2 cups chilled whipped cream or vanilla flavored vodka*
sugar to taste**
4 packets gelatin

Slice oranges in half and carefully scoop out the flesh leaving the peels in tact. Set aside on a baking sheet or dish. A dish might work well to keep them standing upright better than a pan because they can be butted closer.

I juiced the flesh but if you dont want to do that , premade juice is just fine.
Bring orange juice to a boil. Remove from heat and Add in sugar to taste.

Sprinkle gelatin into chilled vodka allow to sit for a minute or two.

Pour vodka into the hot orange juice and whisk well, until gelatin is dissolved. (about 5 minutes or so)

Pour the mixture into prepared orange peels.

Place in the fridge and allow to set(around 2 hours or so, if you need them faster and have a good flat surface available they can be put in the freezer, mine were done within the hour)

When fully set, slice into wedges and enjoy!!

*If you dont have flavored vodkas available you can use regular and add in vanilla extract(1 tsp at a time to taste) You can also play with the ratio of oj to vodka, if you want less potent ones, go with 3 cups oj and 1 cup vodka or any variation you like!
These would also be fantastic with another flavored vodka, mango was one I thought would go really well!

** I did not add any sugar this first time , next time I will add in a few tablespoons to start, it is all up to your sweet tooth

Friday, March 23, 2012

Polenta Veggie Bake

When I was a child my grandmother would always make polenta at Christmas time and it was never my favorite dish. Now that I have had a chance to work with it more I find it to be very versatile and delicious. I wanted to make a "casserole" type dish and after a few Google searches I put some ideas together and came up with this! Sorry so few pictures, I accidentally deleted the process pictures before they got on my computer.

8 cups water
2 cups polenta*
1 chicken bullion cube
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 TB butter
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

2 medium red peppers, roasted, skinned, de-seeded and chopped**
1 small zucchini, shredded
2-3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 TB olive oil

1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded smoked provolone

*If you cannot find actual "polenta", regular cornmeal works just fine as long as its not to finely ground, or else you get corn mush(and alot cheaper!)

Bring water and seasonings to a boil, reduce heat to a slow boil, SLOWLY whisk in polenta(or cornmeal). It will become thick fairly quickly. Keep Stirring and stirring for about 5 minutes. Add in butter and parmesan cheese and stir well.
Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook stirring often for about 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile in a large pan heat olive oil and add onion and garlic, cook until fragrant, add zucchini and spinach and cook until the spinach is well wilted and everything is soft. Add red peppers and combine well.

Remove from heat.(drain a little if it has released alot of liquid.)

Preheat oven to 350
Grease a 9 x 13 pan and pour 1/2 the polenta. Spread on the veggie mixture and all but 1/2 cup of the cheese.
Spread remaining polenta over the top. Top with remaining cheese(and a little more parm if you like)

Cover with foil and bake  for 15 minutes, remove foil and bake 10-15 more. Remove from oven and allow to set for 10 minutes

** to roast red peppers, place whole red peppers under a broiler set to high, broil until blackened, turn 1/4 turn and broil again. Repeat until all sides are well charred.
Remove from oven and cover with a thick towel until cool enough to handle. Peel off skin and pull out the seeds, then chop well.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Spinach and Sun Dried Tomatoes

I made this with my Roasted Red Pepper Pasta. Everyone gobbled it right up!!!

1 batch Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
(of course you can use 1lb regular dried pasta if you want)
2 TB olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups baby spinach
1/3-1/2 cup oil packed sun dried tomatoes
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
salt and pepper to taste
5 oz -3 shredded Italian Cheese blend(Asiago, Parmesan and Romano)

Boil you pasta until al dente
 Meanwhile heat oil over medium heat, add garlic and cook until fragrant(about 2 minutes)
Add spinach and tomatoes and cook until the spinach is wilted. Add in seasonings.

Drain pasta,  add drained pasta to the spinach mixture. Toss well.

Add in cheese and toss again. Serve immediately.

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta(Gluten Free and Regular Variations)

A flavorful gluten free pasta. Delicious!!!
For "regular" pasta sub 1 2/3 cup white flour for corn masa, brown rice flour and potato starch and omit the xanthan gum

1 medium size red pepper, roasted, seeded and skinned*
1 cup corn masa
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp milled flax
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp olive oil
2 eggs

Place your roasted, seeded and skinned pepper in a blender and puree to a liquid state(add a tiny bit of water if needed)

In a bowl combine corn masa, rice flour, potato starch, xanthan gum, flax and seasonings, combine well.

Add olive oil, eggs , then the red pepper puree 1 TB at a time until you get a crumbly texture that holds together when pressed but isn't sticky adding water if necessary(since the size of the peppers will vary you may or may not need the entire amount of puree or extra water)

Proceed  according to your pasta making style or machine.

I made large macaroni with my Kitchenaid Pasta Extruder. I think this recipe would make a fantastic fettuccine with a white sauce!

*place a washed pepper on a baking sheet under a broiler set on high, broil until nicely charred, turn 1/4 turn and char again, repeat until all sides are done. Remove from oven and cover with a towel to sweat the skin. Cool until you can handle it then peel off the skin and remove the top and seeds. Do not rinse!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Slow Cooker Blueberry Coconut Steel Cut Oats

Another easy morning with the slow cooker breakfasts! I found the big bag of steel cut oats at Costco and the kids are always asking for them!

1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
1 1/2 cups coconut milk(I used Silk Vanilla flavored)
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup ground flax
1/4 cup brown sugar(more or less to your preference)
1 tsp cinnamon
toasted coconut to taste

Line or grease your slow cooker. Add all ingredients and stir. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.

Give it a good stir and serve it up with a sprinkle of coconut or other toppings of your choice!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Slow Cooker Inside-Out Chicken Nachos

LOL Actually a nacho stuffed chicken breast. I call it inside-out since it is all the fun of a good Chicken Nacho platter but using the chicken as the base instead of the chips.  Very versatile dish, you can add in your own topping preferences!
No slow cooker time? place the rolls in a baking dish instead and bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes until it reaches 165

4 chicken breast, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness

1 1/2 cups prepared pinto beans(1 can, drained and rinsed or approx 1/2 cup dried)*
1 TB butter or bacon fat*
(to taste, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder I use about 1/4-1/2 tsp each)
1/4 cup salsa

* of course you can just use a can of premade refried beans if you like

slices of cheese of your choice...(I used Pepper Jack and Cheddar, Monterrey or Colby would be an excellent choice too)
jalapeno peppers or green chilies, minced

1/4 cup taco sauce
1 green onion, chopped

1/2 cup crushed tortilla chip

Place beans in a sauce pan over medium low heat and mash with a potato masher, add in bacon fat or butter and seasonings to taste. Stir in salsa and mash it all together to a re-fried bean consistency.
Remove from heat.

Place chicken breasts on a flat surface and spread bean mixture over each breast.
Place on cheeses(the amount you like is variable, but dont got overboard) and peppers.

Roll up and secure with tooth picks.

Line or grease your slow cooker(I used my 2 quart crock) and place the rolls in. Pour over taco sauce and sprinkle with green onions.(My husband actually had wanted sliced olives too, but I was out, I would have added them on the top as well.)

Cover and cook low 6-8 hours until the chicken reaches at least 165.

Sprinkle with crushed tortilla chips and a dollop of sour cream....I put a squirt of Chalula Chipotle Hot Sauce on mine....I put that on everything LOL.
Even a scoop of guacamole if you like.
Feel free to add any of YOUR favorite nacho toppings!

you can sub 3/4 cup commercial re-fried beans for the pinto beans, fat and seasonings if you wish

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Slow Cooker Greens Eggs and Ham Breakfast Casserole

I am really loving slow cooker meals for breakfast. Makes my mornings SO much simpler and everyone gets  a hot breakfast.

2-3 good sized russet potatoes
10 oz baby spinach,wilted and drained
10 eggs
1 cup ham, chopped
1 TB butter, cut into chunks
1 small green bell pepper, chopped(optional)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheese(whatever kind you like, cheddar, pepperjack, colby...a mix)
1/2 tsp garlic powder or to taste
1/4 tsp onion powder or to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Peel your potatoes and place in pan of cold water, bring to a boil and boil 10 minutes until just barely fork tender.
Pour into a colander and rinse well with cold water until cool enough to handle

Shred all the potatoes into hash browns.

Grease or line your crock pot.
Place hash browns in the bottom. Add butter chunks and ham.

In a large bowl beat eggs and milk until fluffy. Add spinach, green peppers, and seasonings. Mix well.
Pour over the top of the hash browns

Top with cheese.
Place the lid on and set to low.
Cook 6-8 hours.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Slow Cooker Apple Pie Oats

It is so nice to throw everything in the slow cooker at night and wake up to your house smelling delicious and breakfast ready to serve!!

1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
2 cups water*
1 cup milk*
2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ground flax
2 TB butter, cut into cubes
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger

LINE OR GREASE your slow cooker.....very important, if you dont you will spend all the morning prep time you saved scrubbing your crock.

Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker and give it a good stir. Turn on to low and go to bed LOL...

In the morning(6-7 hours cook time) open it up, give it a stir and serve.

Toppings as desired.
a touch more brown sugar
splash of milk
my kids added blueberries and a scoop of peanut butter.

*You can play with your liquid ratios for a more or less "creamy" texture.

Easy to double if you have a large crock pot and it freezes really well. You can divide it into individual portions or in 1 dish. To reheat place in microwave safe bowl. Add a bit of milk and microwave in 1 minute increments , stirring often until hot.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Prickly Pear Cactus White Chili

I had one cactus pad and some tomatillo sauce leftover from the other night so I figured I turn it into a chili. YUM!

1 lb ground chicken breast
1 large prickly pear cactus pad, spines removed, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
5-6 cups prepared white beans(approx 1lb from dried, or 3-4 cans drained)
1 cup frozen corn
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water (to thin if desired)
1 cup tomatillo sauce*
1 TB cumin
red pepper flakes to taste
white pepper to taste
salt to taste
green chilies or jalapenos as you see fit too!

In an oiled skillet over medium heat cook chicken breast until just a little pink remains, add chopped cactus, onions and garlic. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink and the veggies are tender. Place in a slow cooker.
Add remaining ingredients and cook on high 4-6 hours. Low 8-10.

* tomatillo sauce
2-3 tomatillos, husked, cored and rinsed
1 small jalapeno, topped and deseeded(or leave seeds for a kick)
1 small clove garlic
1/4 tsp lemon juice
salt to taste

bring a pot of water to a boil add tomatillos and jalapenos, boil until the tomatillos are yellow in color and fork tender.
Drain and place in a blender, add garlic,  lemon and salt. Blend to puree.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Beer Marinated Chicken over Grilled Nopales with Tomatillo Jalapeno Sauce

My store recently started stocking fresh Nopales( Prickly Pear Cactus pads). They are nutritious and delicious, Kind of like a green bean, asparagus, green pepper cross with an okra texture. They can be cooked any number of ways so if you can pick some up, give them a try!
This is a fantastic marinade for chicken even if you don't want the cactus!

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup beer (flavor/darkness of your choice)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 garlic clove, finely minced
2 TB minced onion
2 tsps sweet paprika
salt and pepper to taste

4-5 large tomatillos, husk and carve out the stem top with a small sharp knife
1 jalapeno, top removed (and ribs/seeds  for less kick)
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/2 tsp lemon juice
salt to taste

6 Nopales(I actually had some really big ones so I only used 3 and gave everyone 1/2, you can use as much or little as you like, the ones I got on my last trip were more "personal" sized LOL)
1 cup beer

Mix marinade ingredients , pour over chicken breasts , cover and allow to marinate at least 4 hours.

Sauce: can be made ahead of time and re-heated
Boil the tomatillos and jalapenos until they are tender, tomatillos will turn a pale color
drain the water and place in blender with garlic clove and lemon juice, process until smooth, add salt to taste. Set aside.

Hold at the base and de-thorn but running a sharp knife or vegetable peeler over them, make sure you get all those needles off, they hurt! Rinse well.

Grease grate and pre-heat grill for medium high( I was intending on doing this on the outside grill, but the weather failed me so I used my griddle pan)

Slice into fingers, leaving them attached at the base.

At this point get the chicken on the grill and cook to an internal temp of 165. Remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Continue with the nopales by dipping in beer and place on hot grill, press down and cook until browned well, about 4-5 minutes, flip and do the other side.

Slice off the base and place strips on a plate top with chicken.

Pour over a little warmed sauce and serve.

I served a side of simple quinoa boiled with chicken broth