Category Archives: Gluten Free

Nando’s Peri-Peri Chicken

Nando's Peri-Peri Chicken

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Nando’s Peri-Peri Chicken

I was in London the other week and spent the week around the Financial District on Canary Wharf. I flew all night and arrived mid-day. By the time I made it to my hotel it was late afternoon and I wanted to grab a quick bite before putting in a little work and getting an early night sleep to adjust to the time zone. So while wandering around, I happened into an area near the tube stop that had several places to eat. I looked for the place with the longest lines and ended up at Nando’s. It’s apparently a European chain which serves peri-peri chicken which is a spicy African chicken that is coated in peppers and spices. It’s in the wheelhouse of Jamaica’s jerk chicken. You know that heat that makes your eyes sweat a bit but you can’t stop eating it?

I made a mental note to try to replicate it at home so poke around for some recipes and came across one from SkinnyMS blog. I used her recipe as a starting point and adjusted it to my taste. I used bone-in chicken breast and thighs. Looking back, I will opt to go with a thinner breast without the bone so that the flavor is more intense. The breasts I picked up were roided up or unnatural. So while juicy, much of the flavor never penetrated all the way through the bird despite the 24hrs marinade.

I also put my chicken on a rack with potatoes and chicken skin below to allow the potatoes to cook in the chicken fat along with the chicken drippings from above. I also cooked up some rice to go along with the chicken and potatoes.

Adapted from SkinnyMS
Ingredients:
4 bone-in Chicken Thighs
2 bone-in Chicken breast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 tablespoons white vinegar
4 bird’s eye chilis or red Thai chilis
1 jalapeno diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbs paprika
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp Kosher Salt and Black Pepper

Directions
Prep: Add the ingredients into a food processor or blender and create a paste. Add about 3/4 of the paste to the chicken and rub it in until fully coated. Place the coated chicken in a large ziplock bag or covered bowl and marinate overnight.

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and place your chicken on a rack with foil underneath to collect the drippings. Bake for 40 minutes total or until chicken is done turning it over midway through the cook.

Asian Chicken Lettuce Cup-Rice-Bowl

Asian Chicken Lettuce Cup-Rice-Bowl

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Asian Chicken Lettuce Cup-Rice-Bowl
If you have followed me, you know I really like Asian Fusion foods and crave them several times a week. My lovely, on the other hand, doesn’t share my enthusiasm. She likes it but doesn’t crave it like I do. I’ve made chicken lettuce wraps more times than I can count and I love them. The cool lettuce with the spicy salty ground chicken It’s such a simple, flavorful, quick and fairly healthy depending on what you put into it (or don’t). My suspicion with jill’s tepid interest in the lettuce cup lies in the lettuce as a vehicle. It’s messy, or at least mine is messy.

As I mentioned in my last post, Jill bought me Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook at her book fair. As with all my cookbooks, I go through every page and tag the ones I want to try. So I took her base sauce and added some extra veggies and will toy with making a rice lettuce bowl like you would get at Chipotle and add the chicken on it to see if I can move Jill’s needle or determine if the lettuce cup is the culprit of indifference.

Results: So I made this recipe this week and used Chrissy Teigen’s sauce recipes but added some additional vegetables and instead of serving it atop a lettuce cup, I just added it to a bowl for my wife. Flavor was good but I like my recipe a little better due to the peanut sauce but I loved the spicy notes. I didn’t like the bowl idea and would go back to the lettuce wrap. I also didn’t like the mushroom addition and I thought there was too much ginger. But I will be making lettuce wraps in future but using my recipe with a few tips from Chrissy’s book on the sauce.

Ingredients:
Sauce
3 Tbsp. GF Thai sweet chili sauce
3 Tbsp. GF hoisin sauce
3 Tbsp. light GF soy sauce
2 Tbsp. Sriracha
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
1½ Tbsp. GF unseasoned rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger

Filling
1 lb. ground chicken
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
8 scallions, thinly sliced, whites and greens kept separate
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. of minced jalapeno
4 tbs of minced carrots
4 tbs of diced mushrooms
½ cup finely diced water chestnuts
3 tbs finely diced red bell pepper
Fresh Cilantro
Prepared Rice
Butter Leaf Lettuce (torn)

Directions:
1. Prepare the sauce by mincing everything and then mixing with the wet ingredients. Set aside 2 tbs for browning the ground chicken. img_1051

2. As with most stir-fry type dishes, they go really quickly so go ahead and cut up all your veggies and put them into three different bowls. (hard= carrots, bell pepper, ginger, medium jalapeno, white parts of scallions, mushroom and garlic, soft= cilantro, green onion parts). img_1049

3. Mix in 2 tsp of the sauce into the ground chicken. In a medium heated wok or skillet add some oil and your ground chicken and cook until brown. 5-6 minutes. and remove from the pan.

4. Now for the veggies. Add some oil back to the pan and start by adding the “hard” veggies first and stir and cook for about a minute. Then add your medium and stir for another minute. img_1052

5. Add the chicken back into the pan with the “hard” and “medium” veggies and pour in the rest of the sauce.

6. Right before plating add the cilantro and green onions.
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7. Remove from heat and give it one more stir. To plate the dish, I tore up the lettuce and put it on the bottom of the bowl and then layered on the rice and topped it with the chicken mixture.
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John’s Lemon Brick Chicken

John's Lemon Brick Chicken

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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John’s Lemon Brick Chicken
I have been on a diet, or better yet a fast, of “stars / famous people”. When you have an opinion that differs, they seem to immediately place a label on you and try to shame or bully you into their views. Most of these intolerant disconnects get millions for simply pretending to be another character on screen/stage. How can they relate to me and expect to know how I should live and think? I am soo tired of lectures, politics, social justice bullies. So when Jill bought me Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook, I took it in with tepid interest.

That said, I was actually really surprised when I leafed through it and saw really great looking food. I’ve never seen her on a cooking show or anything so had no idea of her kitchen talents. It’s not a lecturing cookbook with a single focus on popular food trends ( paleo, whole30, GF, or Vegan) but instead features just great food she likes to make. It’s written in a very relaxed conversational style. I am trying two recipes this week.

So tonight I am going to try her John’s Lemon Brick Chicken and a play on her garlicky green beans. The chicken is very much like my 420 Chicken, chalk full of herbs, but with crispy skin and lemon.

Side note: Speaking of chicken skin, In my adulthood I was also told to not eat skin or fat but ran across a dietician, Dr. Marlene Merritt, who talks about how good fat is for us. When you think about the bone broth craze and you read really old cookbooks they are constantly adding fat/lard not only for flavor but for health. I guess everything in moderation. But her points have helped relax my stand on some intake of natural fats.

Result: Chicken was terrifically juicy with lemony herb notes. My chicken skin probably was over done and I should have kept my pan at medium. I turned it on to heat up the oil and left it on screaming high accidently. I pulled the temp down but should have waited for the pan to come down in heat. It didnt impact the chicken itself. I also should have roated the potatoes for about 15 minutes before adding the beans but I actually like my green beans well done.

Ingredients
2 Free Range Bone in, skin on chicken breasts
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
2 tbs chopped fresh sage
4-5 minced and smashed garlic
Zest of a lemon
1 tbs of Kosher salt
1/2 tbs of Black Pepper
2 tsp of Red Pepper Flakes


For Potatoes and Green Beans

Butter
Oil
Salt and Pepper
Squeeze of Lemon


Directions

1. At least 2 hrs before cooking (up to 24 hrs) mix your oil, minced garlic, rosemary, and sage into a bowl. Add salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Rub that all over the chicken. Cover and let it rest for 2hrs.

2. I used a large cast iron skillet and instead of wrapping a brick in foil, I just used another smaller cast iron pan for the weight necessary to get the chicken skin nice and crispy. I also am going to finish mine in the oven to roast with my green beans and potatoes. 7-9 minutes on each side of medium to medium high heat. As she states, don’t peak let the heat do its thing. Flip it bone side down, skin side up and cook for another 7 minutes (no weight) and then into a 400-degree oven until done (mine took about 35mins).

3. As for the beans and potatoes. I preheated an oven to 400-degrees. I cut my potatoes into large bite size pieces. Then I cleaned and trimmed my green beans. I cooked them in a pot over the stove in boiling water flavored with salt, stock, and miso. I let em rip for about 10 minutes and then removed and drained them.

4. Then on a cooking sheet, I added my beans and potatoes and coated them in butter and garlic and squeezed lemon juice over them. Tossed around until coated and then into the oven until tender.
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Chicken Curry Garden Stew

Chicken Curry Garden Stew

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Chicken Curry Garden Stew
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Indian food flavors are some of the most advanced and interesting in the world. A touch of curry can transform a chicken salad or even a deviled egg. Today is one of those chilly and dank days that is worthy of a hearty stew. Instead of a vegetable rich chicken soup, I am going to add some curry, soy, and coconut milk to make something a little different than the standard chicken stock or tomato based soup.

Ingredients:
Add the veggies and amounts that you have on hand or that you suits your palate
2 air chilled free range chicken breasts
1 onion diced
4 diced celery stocks
4 diced carrots
cherry tomatoes
broccoli
3 cloves of garlic minced
3 tbs of red curry paste
1 tbs of turmeric
1 cup chicken stock
1 can of coconut milk
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 tbs Soy sauce
1 tsp Fish Sauce
Cayenne pepper
Turmeric
Dry Curry
Kosher Salt to taste
olive oil

Directions:
1. In a large pot add your carrots, onion, and celery to some oil and the curry paste and heat to medium to have them sweat for 5-7 minutes.

2. Cube your chicken and add it to the pot to cook through and then add the rest of the vegetables. Stir for about 5 minutes to soften the broccoli up.

3. Pour in the chicken stock and coconut milk and season with the rest of the ingredients. About 5 minutes before serving, tear the basil and add it to the stew. Enjoy.
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Paprika Chicken & Spinach With White Wine Butter Sauce

Paprika Chicken & Spinach With White Wine Butter Sauce

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Paprika Chicken & Spinach With White Wine Butter Sauce
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The other night I was poking around Pintrest looking for recipe ideas and saw this one published by Mary of wwww.thekitchenpaper.com that she titled Paprika Chicken & Spinach With White Wine Butter Thyme Sauce. This is the first recipe I have tried from her and it was pretty good. I liked the paprika crust it created on the chicken and the white wine sauce was a great way to pair the chicken and spinach. I served it with some brown rice which is optional. The paprika brings a smokey element that is brightened up by the wine.

Ingredients:
2 Free Range Air Chilled Chicken Breasts
4 tbs of butter
1 cup of white wine
2-3 handfuls of fresh spinach
4 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 cup of fresh thyme
1 tbs of Paprika
2 tsp Kosher Salt and Pepper

Directions:
1. Heat up a cast iron skillet to about medium. Pat your chicken breast dry and rub the paprika, salt and pepper all over the breast. Melt your butter and brown your chicken breasts on both sides. About 3-4 minutes on each side.

2. Now add the garlic and spinach and the wine and cook on a simmer for about 20 minutes. The sauce will reduce and thicken up a bit. Stir in your thyme and let it soften about 15mins into the simmer. Serve it up and enjoy.
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Roasted Herb Chicken and Roots

Roasted Herb Chicken and Roots

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Roasted Herb Chicken and Roots
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This recipe is deliciously simple and sadly boring. It is gluten free, clean, Paleo etc.. It’s healthy and passes almost any diet tests. Roasting fresh food is just delicious. It just concentrates flavors while creating great textures from crunchy to pillow soft. Everything on the plate was 100 natural and either raised or grown without chemicals or additives. I added Zucchini but didn’t like it as well as the carrots and potatoes. Just preference.

Ingredients:
2 air chilled chicken breasts
Several Carrots
1 zucchini
handful of potatoes
Fresh rosemary and Thyme minced
juice of a lemon

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and on a sheet tray add your washed and prepped carrots, potatoes and zucchini.
Squeeze the lemon juice over everything. A few glugs of olive oil (optional). Top with minced herbs, Kosher salt and fresh black pepper.
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Goat Cheese Turkey Baked Ziti

Goat Cheese Turkey Baked Ziti

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Goat Cheese Turkey Baked Ziti
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The request for a pasta dish came in from my better half. Somewhere along the way we started adding a little goat cheese to our spaghetti sauce to give it a little tang. We have a friend that describes the taste of goat cheese as “wet fur”. If you share a disdain for goat cheese you can omit it. I guess we like the taste of wet fur… who knew?

So instead of spaghetti I settled on a baked ziti. What’s cool is I found this penne pasta that was gluten free. It held together nicely and frankly I couldn’t tell the difference. In fact, Jill claimed that it was the best baked ziti dishes that she has ever eaten and when I told her it was GF she was shocked. I think what really made this dish shine was the combination of the goat cheese in the sauce and then the blistered smoked mozzarella (Trader Joes) on the top.

The ground turkey really crumbles well so it blends into the sauce perfectly. One cheat I often do when in a rush is to use jarred sauce and then add to it. I used Rao’s for this one and added some garlic slices, parm, goat cheese, tomato paste, red wine and some basil.

Ingredients:
1 package of ground turkey (you could sub beef, pork, chicken, sausage)
1 package of Penne pasta (I used gluten free)
1 jar of Rao’s Marinara Sauce
4 cloves of sliced garlic
1 shallot diced
2-3 tbs of tomato paste
1/4 cup of goat cheese
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan
Fresh smoked mozzarella (sliced or pinched on top)
1/2 cup of red wine
Basil (fresh or dried) (optional)

Directions:
Prep: Get a boiling pot of water for your pasta, dice your garlic and shallot and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
1. While you wait on your water to boil take a large pot and add your ground turkey. Oil if you need it. I always use medium heat. Once your meat is browned I added the shallot and sweated it out for 3-4 minutes. I then added the garlic slices (you can mince if you prefer) and let them soften for about 1 minute.

2. Now add wine, sauce, basil and tomato paste and bring it to a simmer. Depending upon your pasta and boiling water you can let this simmer until the pasta is done. Drain and strain and set aside. IMG_0873

3. Turn the heat off and add the goat cheese and Parmesan cheese and stir until well combined. If it’s too thick you can add a little water (pasta water if you saved any). Now add the cooked pasta and stir well until everything is well coated.

4. Pour this into a baking dish and top with the smoked mozzarella. On your lowest oven rack or at least in the middle put your dish into the oven but crank it on broil. When cheese is blistered remove and serve.
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Seared Tuna Broccoli Bowl

Seared Tuna Broccoli Bowl

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Seared Tuna Broccoli Bowl
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Lately I have been in a recipe cooking slump. So I find myself wandering the vegetable and protein areas of the market looking for something to jump out at me. For fish I usually go with salmon just because the color pulls me in. Right next to the neon orange salmon nestled a fairly inviting hunk of tuna. So once I had my protein I went back to the veggie section and decided to pair my Tuna with Broccoli.

I had a shallot at home and some brown rice so decided to make a little Asian Fusion Tuna Broccoli bowl. Super easy and healthy little meal. I used some Soy Sauce but you could whip up a little nutty Asian sauce by adding soy, peanut butter, dash of fish sauce and a squeeze of Sriracha. I just went with Soy and Sriracha but my point is to cut loose and play around with various fish and vegetables and sauces.

Ingredients:
Fresh Tuna Steak
Crown of Broccoli
Brown rice (I just used the microwavable packaged rice)
1 shallot
Sesame Seeds
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
Soy Sauce
Sriracha or Sambal
Hot chili oil

Directions:
1. I like my broccoli on the softer side in dishes like this so I took my wok and got it up to medium heat. Put some hot chili oil (you can use any oil you want really). I cooked it for about 5-7 minutes and then added my diced shallot to.

2. While my broccoli was cooking I salted, peppered and sesame seeded both sides of my tuna steak. Before doing this pat them dry with a paper towel to make sure they stick and can crust up. I nestled my Tuna into my wok along with the broccoli and shallot. I cooked about 2-3 minutes on each side. I like my pink inside but if you don’t prefer it cook it a little longer.

3. Turn off the heat, cook/microwave your rice and add some soy sauce to your pan to coat the vegetables. Serve and enjoy IMG_0871IMG_0864

Wedge Salad Bites

Wedge Salad Bites

  • Servings: 20
  • Difficulty: easy
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Wedge Salad Bites
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This is a super easy and fun one-bite appetizer. We had several parties over the holiday’s and they were slanted towards men so I had a lot of heavy, cheesy, meaty dishes. Dude food. So I needed something that wasn’t so heavy so I came up with a little deconstructed salad bite on a stick.

My intention was for each bite to have lettuce, tomato, bacon topped with blue cheese and carrots. I roasted my bacon and it was too crispy to put on the stick so I crumbled it and used it as a topper along with the carrots.

Ingredients:
Iceberg Lettuce
Cherry tomatoes
Bacon
Carrot shreds
Blue Cheese Dressing
Blue Cheese crumbles

Directions:
1. Roast or cook your bacon. Cut your lettuce into little wedges big enough for one bite. Assemble, dress and serve

Smoked Sausage and Black-Eyed Peas

Smoked Sausage and Black-Eyed Peas

  • Servings: 8-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Smoked Sausage and Black-Eyed Peas
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We made these on New Years Day and they were amazing. Truth in advertising, I bought my black-eye peas from Central Market in these clear containers that were either partially cooked or just soaked. They weren’t dry nor were they canned. So if you go to your market and can’t find the right ones you can go the dried route and soak overnight and cook per the instructions on the package or if you are in a hurry you could buy frozen or cans.

My second cheat here was that I bought a new Fagor slowcooker/steamer/pressure cooker for Christmas. That thing is awesome. I pressure cooked for 8 minutes and everything was done as if it cooked for 3 hours. I picked it up on sale for about 100 dollars and it is really going to be worth it for soups, veggies, rice, risotto, meats etc.. Here is a link to the one I bought if you are interested.
http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO-2195139/Fagor+Lux+Multicooker

What I love about these recipe is that the smoked sausage gives it such a salty smokey flavor and the corn bread counters that with a kiss of sweetness. Of course we like spicy so added jalapenos to the black-eyed peas and the cornbread. I read that this recipe was adapted from Emeril. I actually ate this for four straight days I loved it so much but I am a bean and greens nut.

Ingredients:
12 – 16 ounces smoked sausage
1 cup chopped yellow onion
Green onions to garnish
4 whole cloves garlic
1/4 cup – 1/2 cup of Pickled Jalapenos
2 lbs black eyed peas (not canned, not dried but from Central Market pre-soaked)
1 tbs salt
1 tbs of Black Pepper
4 splashes of Tabasco1
1 teaspoon cayenne
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 bay leaves
chicken stock to cover

1. Directions are pretty easy if you buy the black-eyed peas the way I did. As mentioned above if you cook from dried beans it will require you to soak overnight and cook for much longer to get the tenderness you want in your peas. Dice your onions, jalapenos and sausage. I cut my sausage links in half and then rotated 180 degrees and cut that link in have and then diced. So basically if you cut a the link into a disk and then cut into four equal pieces.

2. I added the sausage and browned it over medium heat. I then added the onions and sweated them out until translucent. I smashed the garlic cloves and added them and let them cook for a minute. I added the rest of the ingredients and pressure cooked them for 8 minutes and kept them on simmer while I cooked my cornbread for about 30 minutes.

Serve with jalapeno cheddar cornbread, green onions, jalapenos and/or cheddar cheese.