Crunch to the crunch, baby.
I love a good crunch to my chicken “nuggets”. It’s something I had to give up over the summer when I started on my anti-inflammatory diet. Well, in the last 2 months I’ve been allowed to slowly add new foods back into my diet, one at a time. And while nuts are allowed, they just weren’t giving me the classic crunch I was looking for.
So I cheated.
Actually, not TOTALLY. As of this week, I am officially allowed to test out foods of my choosing. But instead of picking a one-ingredient food, I chose to test out Rice Chex.
I know, I’m a cheater. But oh, I SO enjoyed it! I made me some CRUNCHY chicken, baby! Dipped the chicken pieces in some gluten free flour, then in some egg, and then in the finely crushed Rice Chex pieces. Fried those puppies up and enjoyed them thoroughly. This is most definitely a “sometimes” food, as Cookie Monster says. But man oh man, I’ll definitely enjoy it when sometimes comes!
Gluten Free Crunchy Chicken Bites
- 1lb Chicken breast (cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup gluten free flour (I used buckwheat)
- 1 cup Rice Chex (crushed)
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Coconut or Olive oil (for cooking)
|Get out 3 separate bowls. In the first, mix the flour and seasonings. In the second, beat the egg. In the third, add the crushed Rice Chex. |
|Heat olive oil or coconut oil over medium heat in a large skillet. |
|Dip chicken pieces first in flour mixture, and then in egg mixture, and finally in the Rice Chex. Add to the hot pan and cook for about 2 minutes per side, or until the chicken is cooked through. It'll be crispy and delicious! |
This is a quinoa-crusted chicken that is perfect for those that are gluten, dairy, peanut, or sugar free.
I discovered this recipe over at The Baking Beauties, and I adapted it for my own needs, since there are a few ingredients in the original recipe that I have to avoid. I’ll share my adapted recipe below.
SO good, seriously! When my 7-year old heard the word “quinoa”, he told me twice, “don’t forget Mom, that I don’t like quinoa!!” ha ha….but he ate it right up, along with the rest of the family.
I have since had a negative reaction to eggs, and so the next time I make it I’ll probably omit the egg, but I’ve left it in this recipe for now. I’m making a big freezer batch of this chicken tonight!!
This was lovely served with brown rice and fresh fruit on the side.
*To get the recipe for the Mango-Chili Sauce you see on top, GO HERE.
*Linked at Gluten Free Wednesdays
Child Friendly, Freezable
The Baking Beauties
Quinoa Crusted Chicken - Gluten, Dairy, Peanut, Soy, and Sugar free.
- 2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into strips)
- 1.5 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons water
|Put cooked and cooled quinoa in a large shallow dish. Add paprika, cumin, and 1/2 tsp sea salt, gently combine. |
|In another shallow dish, combine the brown rice flour with the pepper and 1/4 tsp sea salt. |
|In a 3rd dish, whisk together the egg and water. |
|Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. |
|Line up the chicken, flour mixture, egg mixture, and quinoa mixture on your counter (in that order). |
|Dip the chicken strips first into the flour mixture, and then into the egg mixture, and finally into the quinoa mixture. Press the quinoa onto the chicken. |
|Lay the strips of chicken on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, or until completely done (length of cooking time will depend on how thick the strips have been cut). |
|If freezing, transfer the strips to the freezer and flash freeze. Transfer strips to a freezer bag, and label. To reheat, take as many as you'd like and pop into the microwave until hot, or bake in a 400 degree F oven for 5-10 minutes, until heated through. |
This Anti-Inflammatory Diet I’ve been on (as part of a treatment plan my doctor put together for me) has forced me to think outside the box when it comes to meals….which, if I’m honest, is probably a good thing!
What is the anti-inflammatory diet? It’s basically a diet designed to cut any foods that are known to cause inflammation out. My diet has been personalized based on my test results and right now I am NOT allowed to eat any of the following foods, or any foods with these ingredients in them:
Dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, margarine, shortening)
Gluten (wheat, oats, rye, barley)
Rice, corn, potatoes (white, red, yellow) – this is to help me with my blood sugar level, as I was found to have pre-diabetes.
Coffee, black tea, and soda
Iodized (table) salt
Sugar and natural and artificial sweeteners – no sweeteners of ANY kind are allowed
Beef, pork, shellfish, cold cuts, bacon, hot dogs, canned meat, sausage
So…today I ate a salad (like every other day, ha ha), but decided I wanted to try something new with the salmon.
SO very easy, fast, and I loved it! Gluten, dairy, soy, peanut, egg, sugar free!
Salmon with Mango-Avocado Salsa
4-oz salmon fillet, de-boned
1 tsp coconut oil
pinch of oregano
pinch of sea salt
In a skillet over medium heat, heat up the coconut oil and add the salmon. Sprinkle with the oregano, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook until flaky, about 5-7 minutes.
Meanwhile, dice up the avocado and mango. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Plate the salmon and put the mango-avocado “salsa” over the top. Serve with a salad on the side.
Linked at Gluten Free Wednesdays
I remember going to local carnivals and smelling the delicious fry bread to go with Navajo tacos as a kid…and as an adult. When I was younger, I never ate them because “we weren’t there to spend money”, and so you can bet the first time I was in charge of my own cash flow, I bought a Navajo Taco at the carnival.
Then, dang it, I discovered my inability to correctly process gluten, and I haven’t had one since….until tonight.
See, we took our kiddos to the local carnival (actually I dropped them off with my hubby and went home to be sick, lol) and all those delicious memories came back to me. When the kids requested tacos for dinner, I had one thought: No problem, as long as I can make them Navajo Tacos.
I discovered a good-looking recipe on Pinterest, and after making a few adjustments to match what ingredients I had on hand, this lovely new meal was born.
The husband and kids (who are not gluten free) all said that it tasted like regular fry bread! Success. *note – these are best when fresh from the pan!
Indian Fry Bread (for Navajo Tacos)
(Adapted from Successfully Gluten Free)
1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup potato starch
3 tsp baking powde
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp ground flax seed
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup + 1 Tbsp milk
Oil for frying
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the milk and mix well. The dough will be sticky; gluten free dough tends to be. Heat oil (an inch or so) in a skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, oil your fingers a bit to keep the dough from sticking and grab a bit of dough. Flatten it out into a disk about 1/2 inch thick and lay it gently in the hot oil. Heat until golden brown, then flip and do the same for the other side. It takes about a minute per side. Enjoy as the base for a Navajo Taco, or as a scone with honey butter and powdered sugar on top. Yum!
This recipe has been shared on Gluten Free Wednesdays.
When I first learned I had to give up gluten, I was pretty sure that meant I would also have to give up one of my favorite comfort foods: chicken and dumplings. For the first 2 years, I lived by that belief, and then a few months ago I came across a recipe for a gluten free version.
I didn’t have all the ingredients listed in the recipe, but the thought of dumplings had already entered my heart, and I couldn’t let it go! I adjusted it and was pleased with the results. It’s SO awesome being able to eat Chicken and Dumplings again! It’s not the prettiest meal presentation-wise, but it sure tastes good!
Chicken and Dumplings (adapted from Tulsa Gluten Free):
6 cups water with 2 tsp chicken bouillon, or 6 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 lbs chicken, cubed
3/4 cup brown rice flour (I grind my own using the WonderMill Grain Mill)
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup milk + 1/4 cup milk
1 tsp dill, optional
Put the water and bouillon or broth in a large pot and add chicken (add more or less bouillon depending on your taste preference). Bring to a boil over medium high heat, and boil until the chicken is cooked through. While it is boiling, mix together the brown rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter and add the 1/2 cup milk, mixing well.
When the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the pan and put in a bowl. Grab the dumpling dough. Break off small chunks and add to the pan of boiling broth. Stir gently after adding the dumplings, and continue to stir occasionally while the dumplings cook, about 8 minutes. Add the chicken back to the pot, along with the milk. Add the dill if desired, and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 5 minutes, and then serve. It’s delicious with a little Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top!
Okay, so one of my goals for the New Year is to try a couple of vegetables/fruits I haven’t before tried. One of those is parsnips. I’ve heard about them, seen them in the store, and I get the feeling they are probably pretty good, but I just haven’t up and tried them yet. I was excited to find this recipe the other day, and look forward to trying parsnips for the first time very soon!
You can get the recipe for this Parsnip, Bacon and Carrot Medley HERE! Happy eating.
Necessity is the mother of invention…or something like that.
I am so inconsistent about my menu plan. I’ll be really organized and plan a week’s worth of meals for a few months, and then I’ll fall off the wagon and can’t think of a thing to cook for dinner for the next few weeks. Usually this results in hungry and ornery kids (and mom) and throwing something easy, but not necessarily desirable, together to eat.
This is the exception. Oh, thank heavens!
Really, REALLY easy to make. Seriously. 4 ingredients. Quick to cook. Perfect last-minute dish. Serve it with a salad or fruit or something.
Orange-Barbecue Broiled Chicken
4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, thawed
2/3 cup gluten-free barbecue sauce (I use Kraft brand usually – as always, check the ingredients!)
1/2 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed, from concentrate…your call)
garlic salt, to taste
Turn the oven on to broil. Butterfly the chicken (cut in half width-wise to make it thinner); place on a sprayed baking sheet. Do not overlap. Sprinkle each breast with garlic salt. Combine barbecue sauce and orange juice, pour about half of the sauce over the chicken. Place under the broiler for about 12 minutes, or until cooked through, turning each piece over once. (This may take longer than 12 minutes, depending on how flat you’ve cut the chicken.)
*If you want, you can boil the sauce for a couple of minutes in a small pan while the chicken is cooking, until it’s a nice glaze. You can pour it over the cooked chicken.
I’m a big fan of comfort foods. It’s a shame, really. Why aren’t comfort foods ever the foods we consider most healthy?
Thankfully, there are ways to provide myself and my family with comfort foods and make them a LITTLE healthier, and still tasty. This turkey meatloaf is proof of that (although Kid President said that kids don’t like meatloaf, and that moms should stop making it, ha ha! Oops). I suppose the fact that my kids ate it right up and asked for more should make it extra special, then.
Using ground turkey instead of ground beef helped lower the calorie count, and oats mixed in provided a nice dose of fiber. I made the recipe exactly as I found it, with the exception of the sauce on top. I did a ketchup/liquid smoke/brown sugar thing for the top…cause I wanted comfort, that’s why! (I know, I totally negated the entire “health” aspect). I also switched things to ensure it was a gluten free loaf.
My daughter isn’t a fan of sauce so much, so we left part of the meat without.
Turkey Meatloaf (adapted from Melanie Makes):
1 lb ground turkey
1/4 cup certified gluten free rolled oats
1/4 cup gluten free bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 tsp dried parsley
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp gluten free soy sauce (La Choy is the brand I use)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine all of the ingredients. Shape and place into a bread loaf baking pan. Top with ketchup sauce (below). Bake for 45 minutes or until done.
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
1/4 cup brown sugar
Blend all ingredients. Spread on top of meatloaf before baking.