Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mediterranean Chicken with Pasta-- A Simple Favorite

This is a simple dish for those on-the-go nights, or just when you're too tired to do too much in the kitchen.  Don't let the green olives put you off!  I had no idea they could be so good until I tried this.  All my kiddoes down to the 3 yr old love them in this dish.  Add a salad and you're good to go.

2-3 lbs chicken thighs, skins removed
cold pressed olive oil
1-28 oz. can whole tomatoes (gf)
1-4 oz. jar manzanilla (green) olives (gf)
4-6 cloves garlic, diced
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. unrefined sea salt
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tbsp. tapioca, potato, or arrowroot, or corn starch
1 lb. gluten free pasta (we like Trader Joes and Tinkyada)

Put a large pot of water on to boil (lidded saves both time and energy).
Cook pasta according to directions.

In a large lidded skillet, drizzle a bit of olive oil and brown chicken thighs for 5 minutes on each side.
Add the tomatoes, olives, garlic, honey, salt, and basil.
Simmer with lid on at medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until thighs are no longer pink and juices run clear.
Stir occasionally and break up the tomatoes a bit.
Add starch to a bit of water; add slurry to skillet and allow to thicken slightly.
Serve over pasta.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Vegan Raspberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

My husband bought me this for Christmas and now that the weather is turning, it's time to get it out and get crankin'!  (Er, plug it in)  I am so excited for this coming hot season (and believe me, it WILL come!).  I love ice cream.  Factor in that we don't eat dairy, and then add the cost of yummy vegan ice cream in stores and THEN add the fact that our little health food store only carries 3 varieties of one brand (vanilla, chocolate and mint chocolate chip) and you've got one sad girl...until now.  Home made ice cream is too easy!  Just mix ingredients in the blender and then pour into the ice cream maker for 20 minutes, tops.  My husband and I made this vegan raspberry recipe the other night for our date after the kiddos were in bed.  Ice cream and old tv shows like The Andy Griffith Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show--who could ask for more?

--Vegan Raspberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream--

In your blender, mix:

1 can coconut milk, whole fat (I like Thai Kitchen)
1/3 c. agave nectar
3 cups frozen raspberries
1/2 tsp. vanilla bean powder (it's a new love of mine--I got mine at mountain rose herbs) or sub vanilla exract; just make sure it's gluten free like Simply Organics.

Pour into ice cream maker and follow your machine's directions.  Add 1/4 c. chocolate chips (we use Enjoy Life brand) when the icecream is setting but not quite frozen.  Serve with your favorite old-time sitcom.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Glazed Meatballs

I love meatballs.  My sister thinks I'm strange for that, wink.  My husband's mother makes a good meatball and that's where I learned it.  My sister in law makes some little meatball appetizers that are glazed with grape jelly and chili sauce.  Cocoa at Chocolate on My Cranium makes them that way, too.
I liked those and then I saw these apricot glazed brunch meatballs from Mennonite Girls Can Cook and those looked great, too!  I thought that these jelly-glazed meatballs were a rare commodity, until I noticed variations popping up all over the place, including my grandma's 80th birthday party.  (They served meatballs in the BBQ sauce/grape jelly version.)  All this to say that I have my own version as well.  I didn't want to spend 4 bucks for chili sauce (which is gluten free [Heinz] from what I understand).  So I had to make my own.  And sis likes them.  So here goes:

Sweet and Spicy Glazed Meatballs

1 1/2 lb. ground beef, turkey, or combo
1/4 c. millet flour (or whatever non-starchy flour you have on hand)
1 tbsp. apricot jelly
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 c. apricot jelly ( I like Polaner's brand)
1 heaping tbsp. chili powder
dash cayenne, optional
1/3 c. GF ketchup (I use Hunt's because they don't use high fructose corn syrup)
1/4 c. water
2 tbsp. starch (arrowroot, corn, tapioca, potato...)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix meatballs and form into 1 inch balls.  Bake for 20-23 minutes or until cooked through with no red/pink.  (turkey may look slightly pink regardless)
While they are baking, whisk sauce ingredients in a small saucepan.  Simmer over medium heat til all ingredients are dissolved and sauce thickens slightly.  Serve over rice.