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Tag Archives: wheat free

Brown Rice Crackers…make your own, any flavor you like!

Rice Crackers with Chili Powder

On a recent trip to Trader Joe’s, I bought some brown rice tortillas. I was hoping they would be a nice change for a sandwich/roll-up. When my husband and I tried them later, the tortillas broke apart and the fillings fell out all over our plates. Maybe they would’ve worked better if we’d heated them on the stove or in the microwave, but I don’t like warm bread, personally. So, I had to find another use for them because I don’t like to waste food.

These crackers are pretty simple to make and you can use whatever spices you like best – chili powder, garlic, rosemary, lemon-pepper, cayenne, dill, basil, sesame seed, cinnamon and sugar,…. the list is endless! Let your imagination run free!

Rice Crackers with Rosemary and Garlic

I didn’t do a price comparison ounce for ounce, but they may be cheaper to make yourself than buy the bags of rice crackers at the grocery store. Plus, my husband liked that he could customize them with his favorite flavors! It will also work well with soft, gluten-free, corn tortillas. If they last long enough, they will store well in an airtight container. Our batches were gone by the end of the day!

Write to me and let me know what flavors you like best…

Enjoy!!

Brown Rice Crackers

1 pkg. (12 oz.) Brown Rice Tortillas

olive oil spray

salt

chili powder

dried rosemary

dried garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a large cookie sheet with olive oil spray. Stack half of the tortillas on top of each other and hand cut them into cracker-sized pieces. Spread evenly on the cookie sheet in a single layer. Spray the tops of the tortilla pieces with olive oil spray. Batch #1: Sprinkle salt and chili powder evenly over the pieces. Bake in oven for 12-14 minutes. Remove and transfer to a plate to cool. Stack the remaining tortillas and cut into pieces. Spread on the cookie sheet and spray with olive oil. Batch #2: Sprinkle salt, rosemary and garlic powder evenly over tortilla pieces. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a plate to cool.

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Posted by on April 13, 2012 in Appetizers/Snacks

 

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My perfect scrambled eggs!

I have never been a fan of scrambled eggs. Their consistency and texture just didn’t feel right, all rubbery and lumpy. I’ll still eat them because I know the health benefits of eggs, but I don’t enjoy them. I do remember liking my mother’s scrambled eggs – probably because she cooked them in leftover bacon fat. She always had a small container of bacon fat in the refrigerator ready to slather into a fry pan for whatever needed frying. Those days are long gone in my house, in favor of healthier oils. But they sure tasted good – salty and dripping with grease…

Never mind the bacon fat… I have finally learned how to cook my perfect scrambled eggs. It’s all thanks to the April 2012 issue of “Bon Appetit” magazine. They have a great article on how to cook eggs many different ways – poaching, scrambling, making a souffle’, making carbonara or aioli sauce, and making flan. Even this old dog can learn some new tricks!

For my perfect scrambled eggs, there is no recipe. It’s the technique that’s most important – cooking slowly over low heat and stirring constantly. I made them two days in a row for breakfast using two different types of pans, just to be certain I could duplicate them. (That’s the scientist in me!) They came out creamy and rich each time!

I started by breaking two eggs into a small mixing bowl. I added a small amount of water – about 1 tablespoon – and using my whisk, I beat the eggs very well. I like my eggs simple so I added a dash of salt and pepper, but any spice could be added at this point. Whisk in the spices, too. I set the heat under my fry pan to medium low and added 1 tablespoon butter. Once the butter melted, I added the eggs. This part is critical – the eggs must be continually stirred/whisked while cooking, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan, until the eggs are just beginning to thicken. Turn the heat down if they start sticking to the pan. Keep stirring, but don’t let them dry out. Total cooking time is about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and serve. Yum!!

The article mentions the reason for the constant stirring and whisking is to keep the eggs from forming large curds. It aerates them so they will cook evenly and be fluffy.

Enjoy and happy cooking!!

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2012 in Breakfast

 

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Kale again? Our new favorite veggie!!

Kale

Kale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, I realize I just posted a recipe using kale not too long ago (Kale Chips). But, at the dinner table Sunday evening, my husband said something like this… ” I never thought I’d hear these words come out of my mouth…this kale recipe is so delicious!!!” 

This may not sound so odd, but a few weeks ago when our son was home for Spring Break, he bought kale and prepared a tasty, warm kale salad. (I also made the kale chips mentioned above.) My husband was less than enthusiastic about eating it. He has never liked kale. Even though he enjoyed my son’s recipe, we did tweak it a little when we tried it again. What I created for Sunday’s dinner was yet another tweak, with a few new exotic ingredients.

Unlike spinach or beet greens, kale keeps it’s structure when cooked. You start off with a good amount and it stays intact, not shrinking down to nothing. Also, this side dish isn’t soggy, like so many cooked greens. Those are the reasons my husband enjoyed this recipe so much. It still had “oomph” to it! We are definitely adding it to our regular list of side dishes. My husband even asked me to add kale to the grocery list this week!

Please use the following amounts as a guide. Once you taste it, adjust anything to suit your own tastebuds. Try not to heat the walnut oil too high – it can be delicate and may change its flavor and lose some of its health benefits. Some of the ingredients may be in the Exotic/International food section of your grocery store or you may have to go to a specialty store in your area. It’s worth it!

Warm Kale Greens 

2 tablespoons walnut oil

1 medium shallot, chopped fine

1 large bunch fresh kale, rinsed, large stems removed, chopped

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (sometimes called “syrup”)

¼ cup sliced almonds

salt/pepper to taste

Heat the walnut oil over medium heat, in a large wok-type pan. Add the chopped shallot and cook for a couple minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the chopped kale and stir to coat the greens. Continue to stir/toss for about 3-4 minutes to cook the kale. Add the red pepper flakes and the pomegranate molasses. Stir/toss to blend. Cook for another minute. Add the sliced almonds, mix in with the kale and remove from the heat. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Serve warm. Makes 2 to 4 servings.

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2012 in Side Dishes

 

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Mexican Chicken Casserole…How do you say that in Spanish?

I’m not really sure what to call this recipe – quesadilla, enchilada, tostada – or a combination of all three. However it’s called, it doesn’t matter because it tastes good and is easy to make!

The quesadillas we’ve had in restaurants are usually two tortillas laid out flat with meat and cheese in the middle and grilled to get them crispy. Enchiladas are tortillas rolled around meat, cheese or beans, covered with a sauce and cheese and baked. Tostadas are more like a pizza – a tortilla crust with toppings.

At first, I was trying to make an enchilada recipe I’d received from a friend, but the tortillas were too small and they cracked when I rolled the them. As always, if something doesn’t quite work out – I improvise! I layered the tortillas flat on top of some sauce, spread my meat and cheese, added another layer of tortillas, more sauce and cheese, then baked it. So simple.

I used chicken breast pieces in this recipe, but you could substitute ground meat, shrimp, turkey or just your favorite vegetables and beans. My suggestion, if you use just vegetables, is to saute’ them in olive oil with some spices first. This will add a nice flavor to the dish. Or you could also roast them in the oven the day before. Just thinking about the variations makes me want to try this recipe again soon! Roasted summer squash, sweet potatoes, black beans…mmmmm. Let me know what combinations you’ve tried!

Buen provecho! (Enjoy your meal!)

 

Mexican Chicken Casserole

1½ lbs. cooked chicken, cut into bite size pieces

1 pkg. gluten-free corn tortillas (~ 10 small tortillas per pkg.)

2 cups gluten-free green taco sauce

1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

sour cream

fresh salsa

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Spread one cup of taco sauce on bottom of dish. Layer 5 tortillas on top of taco sauce, spaced evenly in dish. Layer chicken pieces evenly on top of tortillas. Cover with ½ cup taco sauce. Add the remaining 5 tortillas on top. Spread the last ½ cup of taco sauce. Cover with the cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes, until heated through and bubbly. Garnish with sour cream and salsa. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2012 in Main Meals

 

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Cheesy cauliflower…add more veggies to your plate!

I’ve been trying to add more vegetables to our dinner plate. Who can resist a mound of cheesy, delicious cauliflower. Cauliflower has a mildly sweet flavor when it’s cooked and pairs very nicely with cheese and cream sauces. It is an excellent source of vitamin C and K and provides plenty of fiber. We cook this vegetable in many different ways – steamed, roasted, or baked. I’ve also used it raw in salads. Even though this recipe sounds rich, it’s been adapted from a Richard Simmons recipe. Remember him? Short shorts, tank top and head band? Okay, it’s a blast from the past – I won’t go any further!

Enjoy!

 

Cauliflower with Cheese

1 fresh head of cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces

2 teaspoons butter

2 tablespoons gluten-free flour

1 clove garlic, minced

dash of salt

dash of pepper

½ teaspoon dry mustard

1 cup evaporated milk

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

½ teaspoon dried parsley

dash of paprika

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a shallow baking dish. In a steamer or microwave, cook cauliflower until just tender, drain and set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour, garlic, salt, pepper and mustard. It will form a thick paste. Gradually add the evaporated milk, stirring constantly until the sauce boils and thickens. Stir in half the mozzarella cheese, until melted. Arrange cauliflower in the greased baking dish. Cover with the sauce and remaining cheese. Sprinkle parsley and paprika on top. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Makes about 4 servings.

 

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2012 in Side Dishes

 

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Kale Chips…Does this really look like Kale?

Okay, I’ll admit it – I find it difficult to take good photographs of food. I like cookbooks with really good pictures and I’m sure they use some strange techniques to get those yummy, ooey-gooey shots. My problem is the time of day and the lighting. Also, I’m usually taking the photo and then eating what was on the plate. I want to eat my dinner when it’s hot, not after it’s cooled down from taking a bunch of shots from every angle.

Photographing meals during the winter is especially hard. By the time we eat dinner, it’s dark out. I would have to have a light tent in my kitchen at all times, just so I could pop the plate into it and get a nice well-lit photo of our delicious meal. Sometimes I bake at a certain time of day just to get the right lighting. Summer is just around the corner and the end-of-day lighting will be much better!

I think my pictures have been okay so far, but I’m always trying to improve them. It’s very helpful to use a digital camera so I can see the results immediately. If anyone has any good ideas about food photography, please write a comment and let me know!

Now, for today’s recipe… Kale Chips! These are simple to make, delicious and quite addictive. Even my husband liked them, and he is not a fan of kale no matter how it’s cooked. They are an easy way to add extra green vegetables to your eating plan. I didn’t list the actual amount of salt to use – you will need to adjust that to your personal preference. (Mostly because I used my salt grinder, so can’t tell you how much I added!)

Enjoy!!

 

Kale Chips 

1 bunch of fresh kale, rinsed

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Make sure the kale is very dry before using. Remove the ribs from the kale and tear into medium-sized pieces. In a large bowl, toss the kale with the olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Spread on a large cookie sheet and bake until crisp but still green, about 5 to 10 minutes. Check often so they don’t burn! Cool on a rack. Use as a garnish for soup or for a snack.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2012 in Appetizers/Snacks

 

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Pom’s Thai Restaurant…delicious and gluten-free friendly!

Photo courtesy of Pom's Thai Restaurant Facebook page.

Last night my husband and I ate dinner at Pom’s Thai Restaurant in South Portland, Maine. We had to be in Portland for a very special reason – my son was flying home for Spring break and we were picking him up at the airport! We love to see our son and are very excited to have him home for a week. He also enjoys coming home….getting some rest, eating and cooking some good food and this time, meeting our new puppy!

But, I digress, this post is about dining out at a gluten-free friendly restaurant. (A picture of the new puppy comes later in this post!!) Pom’s Thai Restaurant is located in a strip mall on Western Avenue, one street over from the Maine Mall in South Portland, Maine. The decor inside is very nice – simple, yet elegant and clean. We were very pleased when we opened the menu to find that any dish without gluten/wheat was labeled “no wheat” written under the circle and line symbol —> Ø.

Their menu is very extensive and my husband didn’t have to ask the server about each dish he was interested in, which was very helpful! We really love Thai food and this meal was outstanding. Whenever we go to a Thai restaurant, we generally compare it to our favorite place in Auburn, Maine. Last night, Pom’s Thai Restaurant became our new “Gold Standard” for comparison!!

We got the fresh vegetarian spring rolls, Pad Thai with shrimp, and massaman curry with chicken – so yummy! They have two more restaurants in the Portland area, so we may have to try them all!

We truly are “foodies” in this family, my son included. He whipped up a gourmet omelet for himself for breakfast, then went to the grocery store to stock up on goodies for his week home. He plans on cooking us a gourmet vegetarian dinner some night this week – if I can get a picture of it before it gets devoured, I’ll write about it!

Here’s a peak at our new pup – her name is “Miya”. We lost our older canine boy, “Dunkin”, at the beginning of January, so Miya was our answer to the empty nest syndrome!! She’s a cutie!

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2012 in Dining Out

 

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