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!
Over the last couple of months, I’ve had a recurrence of some health issues I’d had back when I ate gluten. I’m not eating gluten, and doctors haven’t been able to find anything, so I’m once again looking at my diet to see if I can heal myself. I read The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days
, and decided to follow it. The idea behind the Virgin Diet is to eliminate the 7 foods that are most likely to not be tolerated well. They include gluten (which I’ve already given up), dairy, soy, corn, sugar, eggs, and peanuts.
So far, it’s going well. I’ve lost 3 lbs in the last 8 days, but more importantly, my bloating is lessening, as well as the stomach cramps. I’m still struggling with other symptoms, such as joint pain, depression, and mega fatigue, but I’m hoping that they’ll improve with time!
I’ve been eating a LOT of salad. But I can’t have ranch (mayo, which has eggs and dairy) or most other dressings (sugar, corn)…so I made my own, and I’m not gonna lie, it’s really been love at first taste, and I’m SO grateful for that! It’s made my eating much easier. It’s super easy to make…just add the ingredients and shake!
To start with, I combined lemon juice and salt. I prefer to shake those together first before adding the oil because I heard it would help the salt dissolve and incorporate better. Who knows if it works, but it’s what I do. Then I added some dill, pepper, and olive oil. I shake it up real good immediately before spooning onto the salad.
That’s a salad, baby!
Lemon Dill Dressing
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt (I used plain ole table salt)
1 tsp dill
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Combine the lemon juice and salt in a jar, shake well. Add the remaining ingredients and shake well. Shake well before serving each time.
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.
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.
One of my favorite new breakfasts is this easy, simple, and naturally gluten-free dish: strawberries and cottage cheese!
1/2 cup of nonfat cottage cheese has 80 calories, and, and it gives you 21 grams of protein. A full cup of strawberries (halved) is only 49 calories, and have 3.3 grams of fiber! A cup of strawberries will also get you 149% of your vitamin C for the day!
Top it off with some Stevia, and you’ve practically got a strawberry cheesecake for breakfast! Oh, yeah.
I’ve also added halved grapes and coconut flakes to the dish, making it a tropical treat. If you haven’t tried it, I’m thinking you should. It’s so easy, and quite satisfying. You could easily alter this: Add some blueberries, or swap the strawberries for pineapple. Really, just pick a fruit you love and go to town.
Strawberries and Cottage Cheese:
1/2 cup cottage cheese, preferably nonfat, but not required
1 cup strawberries, halved
1/2 package stevia, or to taste (optional)
Put the cottage cheese on your plate and top with strawberries and stevia. Enjoy!
Since discovering that I couldn’t ever eat gluten again, I’ve tried a few GF bread recipes. I had so many failures, and got so frustrated, that I accepted that I just wouldn’t be able to make a homemade bread ever again….and I didn’t attempt for nearly a year.
I found a recipe (through Pinterest, of course) for Udi’s copy-cat bread, and I pinned it, but I still didn’t want to try it…those alternative flours are expensive and I hate experimenting and failing when using them!
So, the recipe sat on my boards, looking pretty, but untried.
Then I decided it was time to actually TRY some of the recipes I’d pinned, and I knew I could no longer put this off.
Let me just say, I’m SO glad I tried one last time to make a gluten-free bread. I literally started to cry (YES, CRY) when I bit into this, because I was so happy. I didn’t think I’d ever eat any kind of bread again EVER, and this, my friends, was an experiment that turned out!
I like this BETTER than Udi Bread, and it’s cheaper to make than to buy, which makes it, you know…Better on a Budget!
I decided I was going to try and make something else I never thought I could have again with this dough…cinnamon rolls. The dough is a bit too sticky to roll, so instead I made cinnamon “muffins”. They were great, too!
To get the recipe, head on over to Extraordinary Life’s blog…because she deserves full credit for this fabulous recipe.
I’m sick of winter.
It feels like here in Utah, our winter is almost half the year. We often have snow starting in November, and continuing until March. 5 MONTHS! And we’re only halfway done.
I get desperate, man. I really do. I’m pretty sure this lack of sunshine, abundance of cold and smog, and the infamous Utah inversion brings out the worst of me. And to anyone who I’ve encountered in the past 30 days, I apologize. (But you should expect my bad attitude to continue for at least another 30 days.)
Sooo….sometimes I have to do my best to pretend it’s summertime. You know, that I’m in the tropics, sippin’ a pina colada while laying on a backyard swing…only the swing is on the beach.
At least I can live the smoothie part, right?
Easy Pina Coladas:
1 can light coconut milk, chilled
1 can pineapple tidbits
1 tsp sweetener of your choice (optional)
1/2 tsp orange extract (optional, but yummy!)
About an hour prior to blending, drain the juice from the pineapple. Spread the tidbits onto a cookie sheet and freeze for at least an hour. When you’re ready to party, put the coconut milk, pineapple, sweetener and extract into the blender. Blend it on high until the pineapple chunks are broken up. If the smoothie is too thick for your taste, add a little bit of water to help liquefy.
I first made these PB cups over the summer. I am proud to say that I haven’t made them since, but man, oh man, I’ve thought about them often…and I think now is the perfect time to give in and indulge!
Homemade Peanut Butter Cups (Adapted from Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body)
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt (omit if using “regular” peanut butter)
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, stirring often. You can do a microwave, but make sure you watch it closely. Line a muffin tin with muffin paper cups. Once the chocolate is melted turn the heat on the stove down to low. Spoon a little bit of chocolate into each muffin tin (about a tablespoon for a regular-sized muffin tin, a teaspoon for a mini-sized muffin tin). Spread it out and put the tin in the freezer.
Meanwhile, mix together the remaining ingredients. Shape the peanut butter mixture into little discs about the size of the muffin cup. Doesn’t have to be exact. Spoon remaining melted chocolate over top each peanut butter disk, and return the tin to the freezer. Chill until firm. Makes about 12 large peanut butter cups.