Friday, July 27, 2012

Souvlaki Chicken

My husband and little girl love this recipe (and me, too).  Thanks to my sister-in-law Jodi for introducing it to us.  This recipe comes from the Girlfriends on the Go! cookbook (A Busy Mom's Guide to Make-Ahead Meals).

Souvlaki Marinated Chicken Skewers

6 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic -- minced
1 teaspoon onion -- minced
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
2-3 pounds chicken -- cut in 1" to 2" pieces

Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and oregano in a glass bowl or casserole dish.  Add the meat and stir well.  Cover and marinate in the fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight.

Thread meat on skewer stick.  Cook on the grill.  You could also broil until cooked through.

FREEZER DIRECTIONS:  Place meat in a labelled freezer bag, pour marinade over the top, and freeze flat.  The Meat will marinate nicely when you thaw it.

Source: Girlfriends on the Go! by Suzie Roberts

Serving Ideas : Serve with rice, or it's really good in flat bread with tzatziki sauce (great recipe at here at Mel's Kitchen Cafe).

NOTES : You can also use pork or turkey instead of chicken.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Recipe Review: Gingerbread Muffins

Yum!  Gingerbread muffins.  Found this recipe online last night from Daily Dish Recipes.  My little girl helped me make them for breakfast and they were delicious.  And now our home smells like gingerbread.  These will definitely go in the Holiday rotation because I can make a big batch of them and freeze them for quick breakfasts.

I substituted the 2 cups all-purpose flour with 2 cups of Bette Hagman's Gluten Free Mix or:
210 grams superfine brown rice flour
85 grams potato starch (not flour)
27 grams tapioca starch
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons pectin
I spooned the batter into a Ziploc bag and piped the batter into the muffin cups about 1/2 to 2/3 full, then smoothed the tops with wet fingers.  The muffins did not rise a ton, so I could have done it 3/4 full like the recipe says, but they were a little heavy so I was happy with the smaller muffins.  Also, my little girl shared 4 of these with me before I had to tell her that was enough, so I didn't mind that they were smaller.

Use a LID-safe milk substitute and 2 egg whites instead of  the whole egg.  Make sure to use non-iodized salt.

Homemade Hershey's-Style Chocolate Syrup

I needed some chocolate syrup the other night and didn't want to run to the store.  Furthermore, I wasn't sure I would find something safe for our family food allergies once I got there.  So I hopped online and found a couple of really easy recipes!  I combined this recipe and this recipe.  It didn't turn out very thick, but it has a strong, rich flavor and I've decided I don't need it to be any thicker than it is.

Chocolate Syrup

1 1/2 cups water
2 cups white sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 dash salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the water, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt together in a saucepan over low heat; whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and begins to simmer. Remove from heat and stir the vanilla into the sauce. Serve warm or cover and refrigerate until serving.  Will thicken upon cooling.

This chocolate syrup is naturally gluten, soy, diary, egg, and nut free!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Recipe Review: Red Chile Sauce Chicken Enchiladas

For dinner last night we had these Red Chile Sauce Chicken Enchiladas from Mel's Kitchen Cafe and they were delicious.  It's always nice to have homemade recipes for basic things like enchilada sauce, and this red enchilada sauce definitely did not dissappoint.

We don't like too much heat so I toned it down by using only a few Mezzetta Tamed Jalapeno slices with the ribs and seeds removed, and only 4 teaspoons chili powder.  Also I only used half of the onion that the recipe calls for.  Other than those changes the recipe was the same.

I think next time I make these enchiladas I will triple the sauce and chicken and freeze the extra for future meals.  I bet the chicken would also make good Chicken Enchilada Rice Bowls, you wouldn't need so much sauce.  And I bet you could probably throw the chicken and sauce in the slow cooker instead of cooking the chicken on the stove top.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Black Bean Dip (with Jalapeno)

15 ounces canned black beans -- drained and rinsed
1 large can  green chili peppers (mine was 7 oz) -- drained
1/3 cup  jarred salsa (1/4 to 1/2 cup to taste) (I like Chunky Pace Picante Sauce)
2 teaspoons cumin
1 cloves garlic (1 to 2) -- pressed
1 good squeeze of lime
jalapeno slices (I used 8-9 Mezzetta Tamed Jalapeno slices) -- to taste

Dump everything into a food processor and whir like mad. When it's done, plop it into a bowl and serve.

LOW IODINE DIRECTIONS: Make sure your beans, chili peppers, salsa and jalapeno slices are LID-safe.  You may have to make your own beans and salsa, and use fresh jalapeno slices.

JEN'S NOTES:  Next time I might reserve the liquid when I drain the beans, then add a little to help it have a smoother consistency.  I always use low-sodium black beans, so I usually need to add a little sea salt to taste, too.

Source: Leanne Ely at

Yield: 2 cups

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Substituting Gluten Free Flours

Sometimes it's difficult to find the gluten free flours that a recipe calls for, or sometimes you are just simply out of that particular flour that you need so you have to make a substitute.  When substituting flour (of any kind) it is always best to measure by weight and not by cups.  That way you get a more consistent result.

Here is a good explanation as to why this is important:

And here is where you can find a table on the weights of many gluten free flours (click the link at the bottom):

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Green Power Smoothie

This smoothie has so much good stuff in it and it's tasty, too.  Thanks to my neighbors for the recipe!

Green Power Smoothie

Servings: 2

8 ounces water
1 packet Stevia -- optional
1/2 medium cucumber
1 medium Granny Smith apple
1 medium banana
1 huge handful spinach
1 handful strawberries, frozen

Blend until smooth.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Creamy Slow Cooker Chicken (Chicken and Rice)

This is actually a slow cooker chicken recipe where the chicken may be served with rice, pasta, potatoes, etc, but I usually serve it with rice because it's yummy and also quick and easy for me.  I usually call it Chicken and Rice because when Scott asks what we're having for dinner I say, "Chicken and Rice."

The original recipe started out as that Italian Chicken recipe that I've seen on so many websites that is yummy, but didn't satisfy my cravings for something warm and creamy.  THIS satisfies that craving and is my ultimate comfort food.

Creamy Slow Cooker Chicken (Chicken and Rice)

3 large chicken breasts, no skin, no bone -- 3-4 each
1 can cream of chicken soup or alternative
6 ounces cream cheese -- to taste
chicken bouillon -- to taste
more seasonings -- to taste

Season chicken breasts and place them in a slow cooker (I use my 3.5-quart slow cooker) that has been sprayed with cooking spray (my seasoning consists of salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder). Cook for several hours until cooked through.

After chicken is cooked, remove chicken from slow cooker and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, turn slow cooker to High and add cream of chicken soup to the warm juices. Whisk to combine. Add cream cheese to slow cooker and allow to sit for a few minutes, then whisk to combine. Taste and add more chicken bouillon and seasonings as desired.

Break chicken into bite-sized chunks or shred and return to slow cooker. Stir to combine. Continue to heat for another hour until everything is warmed through. Serve over rice, pasta, or potatoes.

You can use whatever flavor condensed cream of ???? soup that sounds good.
CREAMY CHICKEN AND MUSHROOMS:  My favorite is to pour an entire can of mushrooms on top of the chicken in the beginning and letting them cook together. Then sometimes I use a cream of mushroom soup. This is also good with chopped onions and a little bit of minced garlic added in the beginning.
BEEF AND MUSHROOMS:  I have also made this with a roast beef, canned mushrooms, chopped onions, minced garlic, beef bouillon and cream of mushroom soup and it was delicious.

GLUTEN FREE and SOY FREE DIRECTIONS:  Use gluten and soy free cream of chicken soup or alternative, cream cheese, and chicken bouillon.

DAIRY FREE DIRECTIONS:  Use a dairy free cream of chicken soup or alternative. Omit cream cheese.

LOW IODINE DIET DIRECTIONS:  Use LID-safe chicken. Use an LID-safe cream of chicken soup alternative. Omit cream cheese and chicken bouillon.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Jen's Gluten Free Gravy and Cream Soup Substitute

Since I have had to go gluten free, it has been difficult to find gluten free recipes for a lot of the foods that I love.  This chicken gravy satisfies that gravy niche for me.  It's smooth but also creamy, and very easy to make.  And one of the nice things about it is that it makes a good cream of ??? soup substitute, too.

Jen's Gluten Free Gravy and Cream Soup Substitute

2 cups broth, stock, and/or water (stock really tastes the best)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons instant dry milk (1-2 Tblsp) -- optional, to taste
chicken bouillon or base -- to taste
salt -- to taste
black pepper -- to taste

Whisk broth, cornstarch, and dry milk in a saucepan. Heat until bubbling and thick. Add bouillon, salt, and pepper to taste.

CREAM OF ??? SOUP SUBSTITUTE DIRECTIONS:  To make cream of ???? soup substitute, use about 3-4 Tblsp dry milk and 3-4 Tblsp cornstarch. To make cream of mushroom, throw in a can of finely minced mushrooms (processed in the food processor).

GLUTEN FREE and SOY FREE DIRECTIONS:  Use gluten and soy free broth and chicken bouillon.

DAIRY FREE DIRECTIONS:  Use dairy free chicken bouillon. Use a dairy free powdered milk substitute such as Vance's DairFree. If you do use Vance's DairFree, add it when the sauce is warm in order for it to dissolve better.

Yield: 2 cups gravy

JEN'S NOTES: This makes a good creamy gravy, but you can leave out the dry milk if you would like.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bahama Mama Tortilla Soup Copycat from Rumbi's Island Grill

Bahama Mama Tortilla Soup Copycat from Rumbi's Island Grill

2 each chicken breasts, no skin, no bone, R-T-C -- or rotisserie chicken
6-7 cups chicken broth (I use a combination of canned broth and water with bouillon added)
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (the original recipe calls for 1/2 tsp FRESH thyme or 1 pinch DRIED thyme)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon fresh ginger -- chopped (I use the bottled ginger)
1 tablespoon garlic clove -- minced (I usually use the bottle minced garlic)
1 cup shredded or matchstick carrots (I use the matchstick)
1 can coconut milk
1 cup tomato -- chopped
1 cup mozzarella cheese -- shredded
2 cups white tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips (see Laura's notes below)
1 each lime -- cut into wedges
sea salt -- to taste

Laura's original recipe calls for you to grill the chicken, but I never do that, although it would be delicious. Instead I use leftover rotisserie chicken or heat some oil in a large pot, brown the chicken breasts on both sides, then add the chicken broth, allspice, thyme, cinnamon, ginger and garlic and bring to a light boil.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the broth and set it aside to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, turn to medium-low heat and add the carrots and coconut milk. Cut up chicken and add it to the soup, heating until the chicken is warm.

Get four soup bowls and place 1/4 cup of the tomato in each. Ladle broth mixture into bowls. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and tortilla strips. Squeeze juice onto soup from lime wedges and add salt to taste. (JEN: The lime juice and sea salt really change the flavor of the soup dramatically, so I add just a little lime juice and sea salt before ladling into bowls.) Makes 4 bowls.

SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS:  3/23/12 Lately I've been cooking this soup in the slow cooker and it has been really easy.  Place chicken in a slow cooker and season with salt and pepper (I usually use 3 large chicken breasts in my 5-qt slow cooker).  Top with allspice, thyme, cinnamon, ginger, and garlic.  Top with matchstick carrots (I use more than the recipe calls for).  Pour chicken broth down along the sides of the slow cooker so you don't wash all the seasonings off of the chicken.  Cover and cook 4-6 hours  on Low until chicken is cooked through.  Once cooked, pull the chicken out of the slow cooker and let rest for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, add coconut milk to slow cooker and let it heat up while the chicken rests.  Shred chicken and return it to slow cooker.  Stir and serve.  (I like to add lime juice and salt to individual servings because they change the flavor so much.)

GLUTEN FREE and SOY FREE DIRECTIONS: Make sure your chicken, broth, coconut milk, cheese, and tortilla chips/strips are gluten and soy free.


LOW IODINE DIET DIRECTIONS: Omit cheese. Make sure your chicken, broth, and tortilla chips/strips are LID-safe.

Source: Laura at Real Mom Kitchen
Internet Address:

LAURA'S NOTES: You can find tortilla strips in your grocery store now. I have seen them in the produce dept, deli dept, or on the chip isle. If not, then crushed tortilla chips will work. They just aren’t as pretty.

JEN'S NOTES: I love to be able to just taste the flavor of this soup, so I never add cheese and rarely add tortilla chips. The lime juice and salt really change the flavor of the soup dramatically, so I add just a little lime juice and sea salt before serving.

The original recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped, or a pinch of dried thyme. I accidentally put in 1/2 teaspoon DRIED thyme the first time I made this soup and thought it was so delicious that this is what I always do now. The original recipe also calls for 1 cup coconut milk, but I prefer the entire can. The original recipe also says to grill the chicken, but I don't have time for that.