Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Gluten Free Chicken and Vegetable Soup with Pasta

My Mom was diagnosed with Celliacs disease about 5 years ago, if she eats or even touches anything that contains Wheat, Rye or Barley, she can become ill for days.  You would not believe how many foods contain Wheat, from Salad Dressing to canned Tomato Soup.  It is pretty hard to navigate cooking and eating out with Celliacs.  I like to make her life a bit easier and cook for her when I can.

Hubby cooked a gorgeous Rosemary and Lemon Chicken for Sunday dinner, so I made Chicken Stock from scratch using my new favorite method, a crock pot, see the recipe for that here.  Prior to placing the chicken in the Crock Pot, debone it and save the chicken for the soup.

In order to make the soup safe, I purchased Gluten Free Pasta, the brand we like most is Tinkyada, Pasta Joy, it does not get mushy and tastes most like regular Pasta, for my soup I used Spirals.

8 - 10 cups of homemade chicken broth
5 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 sweet onion diced into small chunks
5 celery stalks
Tinkyada Pasta Joy (your choice of type)
Chicken that you boned, chopped
6 crimini mushrooms, stem removed and sliced
1/2 bunch of Chard Greens, leaves removed leave the middle stalk or vein, chop the leaves
lots of fresh cracked black pepper
large dash of Poultry seasoning and dried Basil
salt to taste

Place your Chicken Stock into a large Soup Pot or any large cooking vessel bring to a low boil, add your carrots first, they take the longest to cook, let simmer for 10 minutes

Add plenty of fresh cracked black pepper, the Poultry seasoning and dried Basil along with salt if needed

Add your sliced celery and onion, cook for 5 more minutes then add everything else, cook for approximately 20 minutes till your veggies are fork tender.

*while your soup is simmering, cook your pasta according to the package directions, rinse and drain well

Place your cooked pasta into your serving bowl and ladle soup on top (keep the leftover soup and pasta separate or the pasta will get bloated and unappetizing)

Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges with Smoked Chili Cream

My husband was making me his famous Spicy Chicken Leg's for dinner and I had two Yams that had been sitting around.  Hubby found this recipe and made it his own.  The slightly crisp Sweet Potato Wedges with the spicy Smoked Chili Cream were out of this world good.   So easy and delicious and good for you, especially with Fat Free Sour Cream.

One note, due to the consistency of the sour cream you really have to whip it to get it the correct consistency.  This photo does not do it justice, it tasted great, the pairing of the sauce and the potato was perfect.

  • 1/3 cup sour cream (I used Fat Free Sour Cream)    
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onion tops (dark green parts), divided
  • teaspoons chipotle hot pepper sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 3 pounds medium red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), scrubbed, cut lengthwise into 3/4-inch-wide wedges with skin
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Whisk sour cream, 1 tablespoon green onion tops, chipotle hot sauce, Cayenne, Garlic Salt and lime juice in small bowl. Cover and chill. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.
  • Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 425°F. Combine sweet potato wedges, oil, and cumin in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Arrange potato wedges, cut side down, on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Roast until tender and browned in spots, about 20 minutes, reversing pans halfway through roasting. DO AHEAD Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in 425°F oven until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  • Place potato wedges on large platter. Drizzle smoked Chile cream over. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons green onion tops and serve.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Crockpot Chicken Stock

In the Fall and Winter months my husband refers to me as The Soup Nazi, not very Politically Correct, but you get the drift.  I love making soup, stews and breads in the colder weather.  I rarely use broth/stock out of a can, I prefer to make my own, it is so dang easy and you control what goes into it.  

Every time we have a Roasted Chicken dinner, I know the next day I will be picking the meat off and making stock.  I have always done it the old fashioned way on the stove top.  A gal at the Farmers Market told me to try it in the Crock Pot and I am glad I did, it was way easier and ever tastier if that is even possible!  YUM!
1 chicken frame, include skin, bones and everything remaining after picking meat 
2 stalk celery & leaves
1 onion, quartered
1 carrot, in chunks
1-2 garlic cloves
1 tbl whole peppercorn 
1 tbl salt
2 bay leaves which you will retrieve later
cold water
After eating the cooked chicken for the original chicken dinner pick all meat from bones and reserve

Break the bones apart so that they'll fit better into the crock pot

Put bones, skin, and fat from the chickens into your slow cooker/crock pot, add vegetables

Add cold water until crock pot is full to 1 1/2 inches below the rim

Cook on high 4 hours and then on low for another 6-8 hours or overnight

Strain the stock through a colander or cheesecloth and chill to solidify the fat for easy removal

Portion out and freeze stock in whatever quantities suit your needs.

Tip -- Be sure that the water is COLD
Tip -- I save the plastic containers Chinese Food Soup comes in and use those for my stock, they work perfectly.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Apple Cake

I was perusing my favorite Food Blogs and came across this wonderful recipe at One Perfect Bite,  I had some gorgeous apples and decided to make it.  It is a very tasty, homey and moist cake, we love it!

I added a few more spices to make it more interesting and cut some of the fat by using Applesauce in place of oil, which also boosts the Apple flavor!

3/4 cup chopped pecans
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
3 to 4 large baking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil (we used an individual packaged apple sauce)
1/2 cup) (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

NOTE:  I cooked it at 325 degrees or 1 hour and it was perfectly done
1) Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10-inch removable-bottom tube pan (I used a Bundt Cake Pan) with nonstick spray. Sprinkle pecans evenly on bottom of pan.

2) In a large bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and cinnamon. Add apples and toss to combine.

3) In another large bowl, mix remaining flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, oil, butter, orange juice, and vanilla extract. Beat until batter is smooth.

4) Pour half of the batter (about 2 cups) into prepared pan. Top with half of apple mixture. Spoon remaining batter over apples and top with remaining apples, placing them 1/4 inch in from the tube and the border of the cake.

5) Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Run a paring knife around the sides and center of cake and turn cake out onto wire rack. Invert cake onto another rack to cool, apple side up. Yield: 12 servings.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Turkey, Vegetable and White Bean Soup (Gluten Free)

As noted in my previous post, I made a bunch of homemade Turkey stock and the next day decided to make soup.  I was tired of my usual Turkey Noodle or Turkey and Rice soup, so I decided to do something a bit different this time.  I added Mushrooms and White Beans instead and it was delicious.  Next time I think I will add in some Leeks.

When making soup I always try to make it Gluten Free as my Mom has Celiacs and she loves my soup.  My nickname is not the Soup Nazi for nothing!  This was delicious and different.  I have a huge stock pot so I used alot of stock and many ingredients. You can scale the recipe to the amount you want to make.

Turkey Stock (preferably from scratch, I have a huge stock pot so I used about 10 cups)
1 lb of leftover turkey chopped
6 celery stalks sliced
6 large carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
6 large mushrooms caps removed and sliced
1/2 a large yellow onion
3 cans of white beans drained
1 tsp sage
1 tsp thyme
lots of fresh ground black pepper
white pepper a shake or two
pinch or two of salt
Olive oil

Place a swirl of Olive Oil in your pre-heated stock pot, add your onions and saute until translucent

Add in your turkey stock, carrots and herbs, let simmer for 10 minutes or so and add the celery

Let simmer for 10 more minutes and add the mushrooms, turkey and beans

Let simmer for 10 more minutes and serve

**If you are not planning on serving right away, fill your sink with cold water and add ice.  Let it cool down in the sink before putting in your refrigerator or freezing containers**

*optional (add cooked rice)

How to spatchcock a chicken or turkey!

Finishing some of Cheryl's drafts... Keeping spatchcocking simple. Using a VERY sharp cleaver or kitchen shears -- not scissors, carefu...