Monthly Archives: May 2014

Chicken Stuffed Poblanos

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Ah the month of May, with Mother’s Day and my birthday. My birthday was this week, and it’s a tradition to have my favorite food for my birthday – stuffed peppers! As a child, I only ever knew my parent’s 1980’s Italian version of stuffed peppers. Oversize green bell peppers, stuffed to the top with white rice, ground beef, jarred tomato sauce, and topped with shredded store-brand mozzarella cheese. Just the thought of this still makes me happy!

Since becoming dairy free, I’ve taken on a new love of South West foods. I wouldn’t dare call anything I make Mexican, because I’m not as well versed in the culture as I would like to be. My sister traveled to Mexico and says I would love it there, there are so many options of foods I can eat! I’m looking forward to studying up on proper Mexican recipes and learning a lot!

These new stuffed peppers are made with poblano peppers, which are a beautiful deep green and generally very mild. I made a stuffed pepper recipe last year, as these have always been my favorite food! I wish I had tomatillos to make the delicious sauce I used last time.

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Ingredients:
4 Large poblano peppers, sliced in half and blanched
1lb-2lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts, shredded**
Half a large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, smashed and diced
1/2 Jalapeno pepper, diced
Handful of cilantro, chopped coarsely
1 Jar of salsa, or 1 cup of homemade salsa
Chicken broth, about half a cup
Olive oil
Seasonings: Salt, pepper, cumin, nutmeg, chili powder, turmeric
1/2 Cup white rice, cooked according to package directions**
Handful of chopped kale, optional

Toppings:
Avocado, mashed, or Avocado – Tomatillo Sauce
Daiya cheddar cheese shreds – non dairy option
Extra cilantro on top

Directions:
Preheat over to 350 degrees.

In a large baking dish, lightly oil bottom and place chicken breasts. Sprinkle with seasonings, I used salt, pepper, cumin, nutmeg, and chili powder. Bake until beginning to brown, then add chicken broth to bottom of pan, about half an inch, and cover in foil. Continue to bake covered about 2 hours, until chicken falls apart with a fork.

Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions. I used organic white basmati rice, and I added a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of turmeric to make it a light yellow.

Prepare poblano peppers by slicing them in half, removing seeds. Blanche in rapidly boiling salted water about 4 minutes, remove from hot water, and assemble in a large baking dish. I reused the one from baking the chicken, which had a lot of flavor left in the juices on the bottom.

Shred chicken next.

In a large skillet, saute onion, garlic, and jalapeno with olive oil, salt and pepper, about 8 minutes, until onion softens. Add chopped kale, and saute another 2 minutes. Add shredded chicken, white rice, salsa, and cilantro. Combine well.

Stuff the poblano peppers and bake, covered, about 20 minutes. If you are using Daiya cheddar shreds or real cheese, sprinkle over the top and bake uncovered the last 5 minutes.

Top with avocado, avocado-tomatillo sauce, and more cilantro. Enjoy!Image

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**Make more for leftovers! When I made this recipe for my birthday, I had a lot of leftover filling, because I used a 3lb package of chicken, and 1 Cup of white rice. So the next day, I made these nachos!

I added organic blue corn chips, black beans, black olives, and more salsa. Also a sprinkle of Daiya cheddar shreds or use real cheese if you can! Bake on 350 degrees until just warmed up, and chips begin to get crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Don’t over cook!

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Happy Mother’s Day and Millet Pancakes

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I love getting my handmade preschool gifts, and delicious pancakes and coffee! Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, grandmothers, and moms to be!

I didn’t realize when I created my gluten free, vegan pancakes that these would be my family’s favorite breakfast food! Fast and versatile. Today we were out of brown rice flour, and I subbed in millet flour. Worked great! I really think you could use either one.

My original pancake recipe here.
Naturally green pancakes here.

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Today’s recipe, Millet Pancakes

Ingredients:
1 C Millet flour
1/2 C Sorghum flour
1/2 C Potato starch
1 Tablespoon Tapioca flour
1 Teaspoon Xanthan gum
2 Tablespoons organic brown sugar
1 Tablespoon Baking powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
2 Cups So Delicious Coconut milk
1 Tablespoon Earth Balance buttery spread, melted, plus more for pan frying

Instructions:
Mix the dry ingredients in an electric mixer. Add the coconut milk and melted butter. Blend well. If the batter looks too thick, add another 1/4 cup of coconut milk or water. Heat a wide frying pan over medium heat, and melt a little Earth Balance spread. When spread starts to bubble a bit, laddle batter onto pan.  Flip pancakes when bubbles appear on top, and bottom starts to brown lightly.  Remove from pan before over-cooking, and allow to cool for a minute before eating.

Top with powdered sugar and enjoy!
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Happy Mother’s Day!!

Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins

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Oats, oats and more oats! I need to blog about something else, but right now, I just can’t stop eating them! This could be partially due to the fact that my husband and I loaded up our pantry with oats, so it’s easy to just reach for them. I’ve been playing with my new whole flax seeds, and I love how they go with oats. In the mornings, I’ve been eating hot oats with coconut milk and whole flax seeds. Mmm! See my previous post here for my thoughts on oats in a gluten free diet.

My son has his last helper day in his 2 year old class tomorrow. I’m really surprised how fast the school year has gone by! I’m going to have a morning off with a friend tomorrow to do some shopping, and my husband is going to be class father! I’m so happy they are going to get a special day together. My only job is to provide the snack! It’s a cool rainy day today, and I really feel like enjoying cinnamon. I chose mini muffins so that they are easy for the kids to eat. Plus, then they can get 2 small ones instead of 1 big one! They’re still at an age when that feels like more!

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Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cups old fashioned oats
3/4 Cup millet flour
1/4 Cup sorghum flour
1/4 Cup tapioca flour
1/2 Cup brown sugar, organic
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon xanthan gum
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1 Cup applesauce
1/2 Cup coconut milk
3 Tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 Flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxmeal soaked with 3 tablespoons water)
1/2 Cup raisins (optional)

Ingredients for topping:
1/4 Cup oats
1 Tablespoon brown sugar, organic
1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Earth Balance, melted
2 Teaspoons whole flax seeds (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven 375 degrees. Grease or line with paper a mini muffin or regular muffin pan.

Mix all dry ingredients together (oats, millet flour, sorghum flour, tapioca flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum, cinnamon and salt) in a mixing bowl until well combined.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix well applesauce, coconut milk, grapeseed oil and flax egg. Slowly add in dry ingredients. Add raisins or other mix in you might be using.

Prepare topping by mixing together all ingredients well.**

Pour batter first into prepared muffin pans, and then sprinkle with topping. Cook 14 minutes for mini muffins, 20-22 minutes for full size muffins. Cool in pan 1 minute, then transfer to cooling rack.

**Baking with Kids! The topping is easy for a child sidekick to do on his or her own. I use a Guidecraft Kitchen Helper so that my children can safely reach my counter. If you have a microwave that your child can reach, have him or her measure the tablespoon of Earth Balance, and microwave about 20 seconds in a microwave safe bowl until melted. In a child safe bowl, mix the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and flax seeds. It’s ok if some spills, this part does not need to be exact! Pour melted Earth Balance over the mixture and continue to stir until nicely coated. After you pour the batter into the muffin pans, allow your child to sprinkle topping over each one! My children are now 2.5 and 4.5, I find this to be a great activity for them!

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I’m going to include more ways to involve the kids (besides the cute eating pictures) in my upcoming blog posts! Stay tuned!!

Oatmeal Cookies

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There is a lot of debate over whether or not oats should be part of a gluten free diet. We love oats in our family, and don’t shy away from them. From the best of my understanding, as long as there is no cross contamination, oats are a naturally gluten free food. If you have a severe allergy or celiac disease, it is always best to err in the side of caution. In my family, the risk of reaction is minor, and so we enjoy oats quite frequently. I use old fashioned oats, these are my favorite kind for making cookies with.

I made these cookies last year. They are very similar to my new recipe, but I did not give exact measurements for my gluten free flours, since I was still in the early stages of learning about gluten free flours. Therefore, the ingredients list was not very clear. I also changed from using coconut oil to Earth Balance. Both make a delicious cookie! This new recipe is much more exact for getting similar results each time.

Ingredients:
1 Stick plus 6 Tablespoons Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks, room temperature3/4 Cup brown sugar, preferably organic
1/2 Cup white sugar, preferably organic
2 Flax eggs (2 Tablespoons ground flaxmeal mixed with 6 Tablespoons rice milk)
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 Cup millet flour
1/2 Cup potato starch
2 Tablespoons tapioca starch
3/4 Cup sorghum flour
1 Teaspoon xanthan gum
1 Teaspoon Baking soda, aluminum free
1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon, or more to taste
1/4 Teaspoon salt
2 1/2 Cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 Cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 Cup raisins

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the earth balance with the brown and white sugars. Add flax eggs and vanilla, mix well. In a mixing bowl, combine millet flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, sorghum flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix well. Slowly add dry to wet ingredients using the mixer, until a batter is formed. Add old fashioned rolled oats, unsweetened shredded coconut, and raisins*.

Place rounded tablespoons on baking sheet with parchment paper, and bake for 13-15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly on cookie sheets, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Makes 4 dozen cookies!

*Other ideas to add in place of the raisins: dairy free chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, pepitas, dried cranberries.
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Cinco de Mayo Simple Bean Salad

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Yay for May and warmer weather! It’s *almost* warm here in New York State. My daughter still loves to wear her sweatshirt, but we’re able to eat our meals outside. Today it rained for just a few minutes, and then cleared up nicely for a quick BBQ with friends. We had grilled chicken, organic hot dogs, gluten free organic blue corn chips, salsa, lemonade, and this super simple bean salad. I just pulled together a few simple ingredients I had in the cabinet and the fridge.

Ingredients:
1 Can pinto beans, organic
1 Can black beans, organic
Coarsely chopped cilantro, about half a bunch
4 Scallions, sliced thinly
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Teaspoons raw organic apple cider vinegar, or freshly squeezed lime juice
Salt, pepper, and cumin to taste

Directions:
Rinse and drain beans well. Toss all ingredients to combine. Chill or eat immediately.

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Getting ready for our bbq with bean salad, gluten free bunny cookies, zucchini to grill, salsa, chips, and fresh pineapple for the grill. Chicken was already outside cooking! Not a traditional Cinco de Mayo, but was enjoyed by all!

Lamb and Potato Stew

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I love lamb in the spring. Even though we had a few days with warmer weather, we’re still getting plenty of cool evenings to enjoy a nice stew. I made this with a hint of Indian flavors, and you can add more or less depending on your taste. I rarely ever measure when I cook a meal like this, so these are estimates. I’m enjoying leftovers the next day as I write this, with sprinkled flax seeds on top and refreshing coconut water. The addition of the flax seeds gives it a fun additional layer of texture.
For dinner, we ate this stew over fragrant basmati rice. Mmm!

Ingredients:
One package of bone in lamb neck for stewing
Olive oil for sauteing
Half a large onion, sliced into long strips
4 Organic russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into half an inch thick disks
1 Can organic chickpeas, including the liquid
2 Cups organic vegetable broth
2 Teaspoons arrowroot powder
Salt, pepper, curry, coriander, ginger, cumin, turmeric, chili powder
Fresh cilantro, optional

Directions:
Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet, I used cast iron. Add lamb neck pieces, and cook on all sides until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Seaon with salt and pepper. Add onions and potatoes once lamb is browned, and continue to cook until onions begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add more spices to suit your taste. I used about a quater to a half teaspoon of all, and just a pinch of the chili powder. Add chickpeas, vegetable broth, and arrowroot powder (thickener) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmering, for about an hour, until meat falls off the bone. I love the flavor the bones give this stew. Don’t over cook, or the potatoes will turn to mush. They should still hold their shape on the fork. Serve over hot basmati rice and sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro.
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