Category Archives: Main Dish

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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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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Lentil Soup

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My son and I love lentil soup at our local diner, and their lentil soup is gluten free. However, when eating out at a diner, it’s hard to really know if something hasn’t touched a potential allergen, and for someone with severe allergies, I don’t believe it would be good enough.

Trying to recreate lentil soup at home was much easier than I anticipated. This meal is full of nutrition, especially if it is made with homemade bone broth. It is sure to become a staple at our winter dinner table!

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Ingredients:

1 Cup of green lentils
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Large carrots, peeled and diced
1 Small onion, diced
1 Rib of celery, diced
2 Cloves of garlic, minced
1 Cup Pomi diced tomatoes (or dice your own)
6-8 Cups homemade bone broth (or use organic low sodium chicken broth)
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1/2 Teaspoon turmeric
1/2 Teaspoon cumin
1/2 Teaspoon paprika

Optional add ins:
Leftover baked potatoes and leftover roasted chicken, diced

Directions:

Rinse lentils, picking out any unwanted particles. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a dutch over or heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add diced onions, celery, carrots and stir, cooking for about 8 minutes, until onions are translucent but not browned. Season veggies with sea salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin, and paprika. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes, broth, and lentils to pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer, on low, for 20 minutes. Lentils should be soft. About 5 mintues before the soup is done, add in any leftovers you may want. I used already cooked baked potatoes and chicken, from the previous night’s dinner. Even frozen vegetables would work in this (defrost first)! Experiment with what you have on hand!

Avoid overcooking. Cool slightly before serving. Great with rice, quinoa, or my toasted allergy friendly bread!

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Sweet Potato and Tofu Curry

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All of my new meats were in the freezer last night, and I had 2 sweet potatoes that needed to be made. Plus a package of firm tofu in the fridge. Perfect night to try a new vegan winter meal! We are experiencing more snow this winter than I’ve remembered in a very long time, all the more reason to continue to come up with new winter meals.

This one started out simple, a combination of foods that are basically pantry staples in my house. I like having a stocked pantry that I can just grab whatever I need and be creative.

Ingredients:
1 Pkg firm tofu
2 Medium sweet potatoes
3 Cloves garlic, smashed
1 Inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 Cup Brown Basmati Rice, cooked according to package directions. I used Trader Joe’s
1 Pkg frozen peas, 10oz
7 Fl oz coconut cream, approximately half a can, I used Trader Joe’s
4 Fl oz pureed tomatoes, I used Pomi
1Tsp Indian Curry (sweet or hot)
1/4 Tsp Turmeric
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste

Optional Topings:
Parsley or cilantro
Handful of pepitas
Extra reserved coconut cream
Nutritional Yeast

Directions:
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Bake sweet potatoes for 1 hour, or until soft, but not completely mushy. Peel and dice sweet potato when cool. Alternatively, peel, dice and boil sweet potatoes until soft.

Meanwhile, prepare brown basmati rice and frozen peas according to package directions.

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In a large skillet, heat grapeseed oil over medium heat. Dice firm tofu into 1 inch pieces. Add tofu, garlic and ginger to skillet and  saute. Add Indian curry, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, salt and pepper. Continue to saute until tofu becomes golden, but not browned, approximately 8 minutes. Add sweet potatos, half the peas, and tomato puree, then turn heat to low. Cover and allow flavors to blend, another 15 minutes. When just about ready to serve, stir in coconut cream and heat on low 1 more minute.

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Plate curry over rice, and top with additional peas, parsley or cilantro, pepitas, extra coconut cream, and nutritional yeast.
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Slow Cooker Pork Stew

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Today I took a trip to our grocery store to return some coconut almond milk blend that my husband bought by mistake. Looks delicious, but Nathan and I don’t eat almonds or any tree nuts. Oops! I saw a 4 pound package of chopped pork shoulder for a great price, and knew I had to make a meal around it. We have a ton of snow on the ground, so a nice slow cooker stew seemed perfect for this cold winter day!

Ingredients:
4 Pounds of chopped pork shoulder, bones included
2 Large or 4 small white potatoes, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 Small onion, cut into 2 inch pieces
4 Carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
3 Celery stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 Cloves garlic, smashed
1 Inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1/4 Cup brown rice flour plus more if needed
1-2 Cups water
1 Box Pomi chopped tomatoes, about 24 oz
2 Bay leaves
1 Tsp Chinese 5 Spice
1 Tsp Allspice
Fresh parsley, coarsely chopped, to serve.
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cauliflower as optional side vegetable

Directions:
Wash and chop potatoes, carrots, onion, celery, garlic and ginger.  Add vegetables to the bottom of slow cooker. Over top of the veggies, sprinkle 2 tablespoons brown rice flour and 2 bay leaves. In a large mixing bowl, combine pork shoulder chunks, 2 tablespoons brown rice flour, Chinese 5 spice, allspice, salt and pepper. Toss until meat is coated. If the meat needs more flour, sprinkle more, 1 tablespoon at a time, until nicely coated. Add meat over the vegetable layer in the slow cooker. On top of that, pour 1 or 2 cups water. (I used 2 cups and mine came out with a lot of soupy broth. Less water would make this more stew-ish). On top of all that, add the Pomi chopped tomatoes. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours, until the meat is falling off the bones. I stirred this once after about 4 hours to make sure everything was mixed well together. After 6 hours, discard bay leaves and sprinkle with chopped parsley. If you prefer shredded pork, it should easily shred now.

Tastes great with cauliflower! Cut up florets and boil in salted water for 8 minutes, until tender. Drain and serve over pork stew. Yum!

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Millet & Split Pea Soup, Vegan

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Hulled Millet and Millet flour look deceivingly similar when online shopping! An entire case of hulled millet arrived at my home. Not what I was expecting. Hulled millet are tiny balls, similar in size to quinoa. I was disappointed that they take longer to cook. Directions range from 25-40 minutes cooking time, and from my first try with these grains, the longer the better!

Hulled Millet

The millet arrived on a day when the high was 9 degrees here in New York State due to the “polar vortex”. I decided to try a millet split pea vegan soup and a millet raisin pudding. I have to say that the millet raisin pudding was not a success, and I’m going to try again in a different way. I used directions for millet pudding in a slow cooker, and it became very dry. I would have needed a few more cups of liquid, which is the main reason why it did not work.

Millet Split Pea Soup, Vegan

My millet split pea vegan soup, however, came out quite good, and thick! Again, I ended up needed a bit more liquid than I first imagined. Millet is a thirsty grain! I like this topped with gluten free croutons. Recipes below.

Gluten Free Croutons

Ingredients for Soup:
1 package yellow split peas, about 1 pound
1/2 C hulled millet
4 C low sodium veggie broth, plus more as needed
3 C water
2 Bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 coarsely chopped, dried homegrown chili, or a dash of red pepper flakes
2 T Extra virgin olive oil

Directions for Soup:
Mix all ingredients in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2- 3 hours. Check level of liquid every half hour. Mine thickened much quicker than I anticipated! I had to add a cup of water about an hour into cooking.
Remove bay leaves and use an immersion blender for a smooth consistency. Top with gluten free croutons!

Ingredients for Gluten Free Croutons:
Leftover Gluten Free Bread, recipe here, cut up into 1 inch squares, about 3-4 Cups
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon each dried thyme and parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions for Gluten Free Croutons:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss to evenly coat the cubes of bread with the seasoning. Spread out on 2 baking sheets. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. Turn cubes half way through to make crisp on both sides. Bake an additional 3-5 minutes for more crispy croutons.

Eating Split Pea Millet Soup, vegan Eating Split Pea Millet Soup, vegan

Meatloaf

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Yay for cool temperatures finally! I’m so excited to be baking almost every day now. I was tempted to make a meatloaf that my family would love, and of course be allergy-friendly. Without the eggs, it was a little challenging, but this one was a success! My daughter who is very picky finished all of hers! And my son, who is the allergic child, loved it too and came back for more. My husband was the only one who missed the egg at all, and I will try to use 2 tablespoons flaxmeal as my egg replacer next time.

Ingredients:
1lb ground beef
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
Small bunch of fresh parsley
Approx 3/4 C of leftover basmati rice
1 tablespoon flaxmeal soaked in 3 tablespoons rice milk (or water)
1/2 C quinoa flakes
1/4 C coconut flour
sea salt and pepper to taste
grapeseed oil for oiling the loaf pan
Ketchup (optional) to spread on the top

Directions:
Combine the small onion, 2 cloves of garlic, and fresh parsley in a food processor until the onion is finely chopped. Add leftover rice and pulse a few times to break up the rice into slightly smaller pieces.
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In a large bowl, combine ground beef, mixture from food processor, soaked flaxmeal, quinoa flakes, coconut flour, salt and pepper, and mix by hand. It’s fun to get your hands in there! This step reminds me of a sensory processing project, but for adults!

Lightly grease a loaf pan with grapeseed oil (I also like to use coconut oil or olive oil). It looks so pretty in the loaf pan! I love that there is so much green in it!

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At this point, you can add the optional ketchup or tomato paste to the top of the meatloaf. I baked this at 350 degrees for 1 hour, with foil covering the top. If you get too much moisture in the pan, you can remove the foil for the last 10 minutes.  Don’t forget to bake some sweet potatoes too! Yum!