Monday, June 28, 2010

Maternity Musings...

Have I mentioned that I'm expecting? Well, I'm expecting. Number 4, due end of August. Yes, August. Only the hottest bit of the year around here. People ask why I planned it this way and I'm like, "you think I planned this?" "You think I want to be huge and hot?" Well, I did plan to have a baby, yes. And you take what you can get, my friends--so end of August and going through 110 + degree weather is all part of the excitement! If only I can survive...
When I knew we were pregnant, I got to worrying how we'd survive gf/cf/egg free, which translated to: How do I cook three meals a day everyday with no Mexican takeout to get me through the rough spots? (You know, morning sickness, food aversions, food aversions, morning sickness...with a few gluten and dairy cravings thrown in.) Only now can I say, at 31 weeks and 2 days (who's counting?) that it can be done. This has been my easiest pregnancy by far and I count it as a HUGE blessing--as huge as I feel these days!
So while gf/cf, ect isn't easy when you're pregnant, it can be done, even if you live rurally like we do with no immediate access to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods and restaurants that actually have a GF menu. (Think Lady and the Tramp: "oh, and some chop suey, too!")
Now if I could just think of something to make for dinner...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mexican Pasta Skillet

Life throws some crazy days at you every now and then and we've had more than a share of them recently, it seems. My son got stung by a bee one day and then my youngest daughter got her pinkie slammed in the hinge of a door--practically a decapitated digit, as it were--which culminated in our first ever visit to the ER.
I got home wishing that I had this dish prepared--comfort food at it's finest. (You'll soon note that my definition of "comfort food" is usually Mexican food.)

Mexican Pasta Skillet

1 lb GF brown rice rotini pasta
1 lb ground beef, browned, drained
2 c. black beans
1 small onion, diced
2 zucchini, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
one medium heat green chili, diced (can omit if spicy isn't your thing)
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 tbsp cold pressed olive oil
1-14 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 c. cilantro
Cook pasta al dente (not too done, or it won't hold up). Drain, rinse in cold water, drain, and set aside. Meanwhile, brown ground beef. Set aside. In a 12" skillet, saute veggies (leaving out garlic til the end) in the olive oil til tender crisp. Add garlic and saute one minute more. Add tomatoes, spices, salt, ground beef, pasta and black beans, and cilantro. Simmer on on med low for 5-10 minutes to allow flavors to mesh and ingredients to heat through. Serve with a green salad.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Chicken Cottage Pie

Okay, so I made shepherd's pie for the first time a few weeks ago and my family really liked it. Last night we had a roast chicken and I saved a portion before setting it before the little savages--and it's a good thing, too! I think they picked the bones, lol. However, I did have leftovers--mashed potatoes. So what is the natural conclusion? A cross between chicken pot pie and shepherd's pie. We'll just call it a hybrid. And those little savages, er, children of mine? They loved it. I had to fight them for a portion for daddy, who was working late.

Chicken Cottage Pie

2 tbsp cold pressed olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 bag frozen mixed veggies (or your choice fresh--think celery, carrots, green beans, and peas)
1 c. chicken broth (make your own, so much better!)
1/2 c. coconut or safe milk
1 tbsp potato flour or other thickener
1 tsp poultry seasoning
sea salt and pepper to taste
4-6 c. mashed potatoes, depending on how thick you like your "crust"

In an oven-safe 12" skillet, saute the onion in olive oil til translucent. Add your veggies, chicken, broth, milk, and seasonings. Sprinkle in potato flour while stirring (if you seem to be lump-prone, add it to the cool chicken broth first). Simmer til heated through. Top with mashed potatoes and bake @375 degrees for 20 minutes or until your crust is browned.

Blueberry Millet Blender Pancakes

It's taken me awhile to figure out pancakes since going egg free. (Okay, one daughter is egg free so if I make anything for the family it is egg free and pancakes are no exception.) I was doing brown rice as the grain and any gluten free grain would probably work just fine, but I am enamored with millet at the moment...

Blueberry Millet Blender Pancakes

In a blender:

2 c. millet
water an inch above millet (how's that for exact?)
1 ripe banana
1 tbsp unrefined coconut oil
1 tbsp flax seed

I usually soak the grain overnight (this will help if your blender is not exactly a powerhouse)
Blend on high for 2 minutes.
ADD: 3 tsp rumford baking powder
ADD: one cup blueberries (frozen works too)
Heat skillet (I use my castiron) and then add some coconut oil. Cook on med-med high heat. Serve with raw honey or maple syrup. MMM.

This Bloggers DH found a new twist to these lovely cakes ...
Shown here are cinnamon raisin cakes with Maranatha chunky peanut butter, banana slices, raisins, drizzled raw honey and ground raw pumpkin seeds .... MMMMM!

Oh, Paella!

There are so many versions of paella out there. Some have shrimp, others chorizo, but I've found my family likes it plain and simple. It has become a favorite. I serve it with black beans and shredded red cabbage. It reminds my husband of simple Venezuelan fare.

4 tsbp cold pressed olive oil
6-8 chicken thighs, skin removed
1 medium onion, finely chopped
*one roasted red pepper, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, diced
2 c. brown rice
1/2 c. crushed tomatoes
3 1/2 c. water
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cumin
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp chili powder

*Can use jarred roasted red peppers in a pinch, or plain ol' red pepper, too!

In a deep 12" skillet or wok, heat oil over medium high heat until hot. Add chicken and brown, about 6 minutes each side. Remove from skillet, leaving drippings in the pan. Reduce heat to medium and add the onion and red pepper. Stir frequently until onion is tender. Add garlic, rice, and spices. Cook, stirring, for one minute. Add crushed tomatoes and water. Let heat to a simmer and tuck chicken into rice. Cover and simmer 40 minutes. The rice and chicken should both be done; if not, cook another ten minutes or so. (It sometimes takes longer if the chicken pieces are large.) Remove from heat and let stand five minutes. Serve with black beans and cabbage.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Roasted Corn Salsa

I've been making this salsa for so many years I've got it memorized. I *think* the original recipe came from my aunt who got it??? Well, wherever it came from, it's here to stay. This is my go-to for potluck's and I'm always asked for the recipe.

Broil til golden:
4 cups frozen or fresh corn
Remove from oven and cool.

Meanwhile, slice, dice and mix:
2 cups black beans
4 green onions, sliced
1 small red onion, diced
4 (or more) cloves garlic, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 avocado, diced
one c. cilantro chopped (makes about 1/2 c. once chopped)
1/3 c. cold pressed olive oil
4 limes, juice of
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Add cooled corn, mix well. Serve with chips, on burros, tacos, grilled chicken, any Mexican dish, really. Or just eat by the spoonful like I do.

PS--I keep forgetting to add pictures! I'll have to come back to that. Really.