Brown Rice & Chicken

Comfort foods are great to repeat over and over in the kitchen.  They welcome family and friends.  Growing up some of my favorite comfort foods were Tuna Noodle Hotdish, Mom’s Fried Chicken and Chicken & Rice Hotdish.  Being from the midwest, comfort foods often times were hotdishes (AKA casserole, for those of you not from the midwest).  This recipe is not a hotdish and is actually made on the stove, but really reminds me of the ones I grew up with at home and at my friends’ homes.  When I made this tonight, I decided to use some leftover frozen rotisserie chicken I had in the freezer.  That was a great move!  It was more tender and in finer pieces, which works well with the rice and peas.  Also, it eliminated any planning ahead with thawing chicken and cut the preparation time drastically.

1/2 t garlic powder
1/8 t pepper
1 skinless boneless chicken breast, halves (~1#)
2 T butter (with a little EVOO)
29 oz GF chicken broth
2 c frozen peas
1 T fresh thyme leaves, crushed or 1 t dried
3 c uncooked quick cooking brown rice
4 T parmesan cheese, grated

1.  Combine garlic powder and pepper, sprinkle on chicken.
2.  In skillet over medium high heat, melt butter/oil, cook chicken 10 minutes or til browned.  Remove, set aside.
3.  In same skillet, combine peas, broth and thyme.  Heat to boiling  Stir in rice.  Return chicken to skillet.  Reduce heat to low.  Cover and cook 10 minutes or til rice is tender and liquid absorbed, stir occassionally.  Remove chicken to platter and stir cheese into rice before serving.  
8 servings.
Here’s what I did to revise the recipe using frozen rotisserie chicken:
I sprinkled a little garlic powder and pepper on the frozen chicken and then started at step 3.  Slick…huh?!  

Gluten Free Pizza Crust

Trying to find a frozen pizza that is both gluten free and egg free is a challenge.  Amy’s Rice Crust pizza was the only one that I could find that worked for Anna.  The downfall is that they cost about $9 per pizza and she only ate a couple of pieces.  So when my Mom forwarded the link to this recipe, I decided quickly that this was something worth trying.  And the result…our whole family loves it!   I hope you do too.

Growing up my Mom made homemade pizza for our family every week while we watched The Muppet Show.  Now I can carry on the tradition of homemade pizza.  No more weekly Kermit The Frog and Miss Piggy but we still enjoy our pizza during our family movie or game nights.

Tip:  For our family of 5, we double the recipe to make 2 pizzas.  These crusts can even be made ahead of time, bake the crust, top it then wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze. 

My Mom found this recipe by Taste of Home.  I don’t change anything in their recipe so to see it, please go to their site to check out this yummy recipe!

Taste Of Home gluten-free pizza crust recipe

Natalie’s Gluten Free Flour Mix

Gluten Free flour mixes can taste gritty.  When my friend, Natalie, shared this amazing recipe with me, it transformed my Gluten Free baking!  It is the closest to regular All-Purpose (wheat) flour that I have tried.  When Anna was first diagnosed, I stuck to buying prepackaged ones at our local co-op because I didn’t want to spend the money experimenting with expensive flours, especially because I didn’t know if we would like it. This recipe is worth the risk!  Xanthan Gum generally has to be added to gluten free baking so that your recipe doesn’t crumble.  The xanthan gum is already included in this recipe so you don’t need to add anymore.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.  If using measuring cups, be sure to lightly spoon the flour into the cup, and level it off with a knife to get an accurate measurement.

Thanks for letting me share this Natalie!

4 1/4 c Rice Flour  (658 g)           
3 c Potato Starch  (420 g)                                                     
2 c Tapioca Flour  (258 g)
2/3 c Garbanzo Bean Flour  (69 g)
1/4 c Xanthan Gum (38 g)

I actually double the recipe so I don’t have to make the mix as often and store it in a container in the refrigerator.

Play Dough

Today I was inspired by Joyfully Becca to attempt making play dough for my kids.  Anna has never been able to play with play dough because the regular store bought play dough contains wheat.  In it’s place, we would let her play with Moon Dough, but real play dough looked so fun, if I could just pull it off.  I tried making Becca’s version, but the gluten free flour I use did not work well.  I think the xanthan gum in my flour mix might have contributed to the sticky mess.  But now I was on a mission, so I googled gluten free play dough and found this recipe.  My son, Noah, is allergic to food coloring so we used some natural food colorings(www.indiatree.com) found at Whole Foods.  It worked!!! Everyone got in on the fun.  Thanks for the inspiration and motivation Becca!

Until I found this recipe online, I was not aware that there are actually Gluten Free Play Dough’s available online.  So if you don’t want to tackle making it in your kitchen, you can still order some from these sites.
 www.aroma-dough.com 
and
www.discountschoolsupply.com

Gluten Free Play Dough

Recipe found at…
celiacdisease.about.com

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Total Time: 8 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot starch
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tsp cream of tarter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp cooking oil
  • Food coloring, if desired

Preparation:

Mix ingredients. Cook and stir on low heat for 3 minutes or until mixture forms a ball. Cool completely before storing in a ziploc bag.

Mini Donut Muffins

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My friend, Katy, made these for us and got us hooked!  The original recipe does not use eggs so it was an easy conversion to make them Gluten Free.  We love them so much, I bought mini donut pans to make them in.

Anna has come to the State Fair with us once and I really wished she could have enjoyed the Mini Donuts with us.  Now she can.  I will make these Gluten Free Mini Donuts to bring along.  You’ll be amazed how close they taste to the “fair” version.

1/2 c sugar
1/4 c butter, melted
3/4 t ground nutmeg
1/2 c milk (or your favorite milk substitute, I bet coconut or almond milk would be amazing in this)
1 t Gluten Free baking powder
1 c  Natalie’s Gluten Free Flour

1/4 c butter, melted
1/2 c sugar
3/4 t ground cinnamon

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease 24 mini-muffin cups.
2.  Mix sugar, butter and nutmeg in large bowl.  Stir in the milk, then mix in baking powder and flour just until combined.  Fill the muffin cups about half full.
3.  Bake 15-20 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned.
4.  While the muffins are baking, melt the butter.  In separate bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon.  Remove muffins from the cups, dip in butter and roll in the cinnamon sugar.  Enjoy!

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Donut-Muffins/

Banana Bread

 
                                        

In the world of re-discovering how to cook after food allergy diagnosis, there are times of failure and times of triumph in the kitchen.  Failures should really just be called “learning opportunities.”  Before food allergies entered into our family, we LOVED this Banana Bread recipe!  I felt challenged to re-create it safely and have it taste just as good.  After many attempts, I finally got it.  My favorite part is how the top crust has a tender crunch to it, probably from all the sugary goodness.  If you are not a big fan of using this much sugar, you could probably use half the amount with good results too.

3 bananas
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/4 c. canola oil or coconut oil
1 c. sugar

Mash bananas and add butter oil and sugar.  Stir to combine.  (Or if you have a food processor, try pulsing the bananas, add melted butter, oil and sugar.  Pulse again just til mixed.)

1 1/2 c. Natalie’s Gluten Free Flour (or rice flour)
1/4 c. flax meal
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

Whisk together dry ingredients then add to wet ingredients and stir just until combined.  (Or add to food processor and pulse just til mixed.)  Pour into buttered and floured loaf pan ( I actually use a small brownie / short pan and find it cooks better).  Bake at 350 degree convection oven for about 25 – 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center, comes out clean.

Featured on Fireflies and Jellybeans.

Crock Pot Chili

Hey Baby, It’s Cold Outside!
Now that we finally feel like it really is January here in Minnesota, with snow covering the ground and the sound of snow crunching from the cold temps, some chili in the crockpot would hit the spot.  In our home, when chili is in the crockpot, some cornbread muffins go in the oven.

Crock Pot Chili
1 1/2 – 2 pounds hamburger, browned
1 c onion, chopped
1/2 c green/red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c water
2 T chili powder
2 t sugar
2 t ground cumin
1/2 t salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 15 oz kidney beans, undrained
30 oz tomato sauce

1.  Brown hamburger with onion and peppers. ( If your kids, or you, don’t like veggie chunks, then brown the humburger, add to crockpot.  Puree the onion and bell pepper and add to crockpot with hamburger.)
2.  Put hamburger and onion/bell pepper in crockpot.  Add remaining ingredients and mix together.
3.  Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

This Crock Pot Chili goes great with this Cornbread recipe!