Chicken, Peppers and Onions with Avocado Dill Pesto over Quinoa

April 19, 2010 - Leave a Response

I know I have been gone for a while and neglecting this blog. I have been busy working on my new business. I am having tons of fun painting. If you want to see my work, please go here.

But a lot has changed since I posted my last recipe. I finally got tested for my allergies. Are you ready for this? I am allergic to yeast, dairy, eggs, in addition to wheat. The worst part is the yeast. If you have a yeast allergy, most likely you have a buildup of yeast in your body. This means that you have to cut all foods out of your diet that feed the yeast. So basically, I can’t eat nuts, vinegar, wine, alcohol, corn, mushrooms, sugar, coffee, tea, colored spices and I am sure I am forgetting something else. I can only have a limited amount of fruit as well. This has really thrown me for a loop. I am having to reteach myself how to cook all over again. Believe me, it is even more difficult than it sounds.

The annoying thing about doing a yeast free diet, is that there are so many differing opinions of what you can and can’t eat. So I am going by the diet laid out in Feast without Yeast. In his book, Bruce Semon has you cut out certain foods in stages. His book has been very helpful to figure out which foods to cut out.

So I am starting to post my recipes again, just so that I can remember what I can make. Hopefully, I can help some other people out there struggling with yeast problems.

yeast free meal

Chicken, Peppers, and Onions with Avocado Dill Pesto over Quinoa

Chicken, Peppers and Onions with Avocado Dill Pesto over Quinoa

2 chicken breasts

10 sweet peppers chopped

1/2 onion chopped

1 clove garlic minced

1 avocado

juice of 1 lime

2-3 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp fresh dill

1/4 cup cilantro

1 cup uncooked quinoa

salt

pepper

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Salt and pepper chicken breasts liberally. Saute in cast iron skillet and brown on all sides. Add peppers, onions, and garlic and saute until soft. While chicken and peppers are cooking, place avocado, lime juice, dill, cilantro, salt and pepper into food processor. Stream in olive oil until desired consistency. It should be thicker than a dressing and thinner than guacamole. Serve chicken and peppers over quinoa, and scoop dollop of avocado pesto on top.

Chile Rellenos

March 1, 2010 - Leave a Response

Chile Rellenos

OK friends, I am sorry for neglecting this blog. I have busy at work starting my new business a girl and her brush, selling my artwork. You can check out my work here. Anyways, I still have a love for cooking and want to keep up this blog as much as possible. The other day I was inspired to make Chile Rellenos after watching Rick Bayless. I absolutely love him. I wish I was his neighbor so that I could get invited to all his amazing parties. I love everything about his show and usually by the end of it, my mouth is watering. So this is my version of his Chile Rellenos.I absolutely love Chile Rellenos. I think it is my favorite Mexican dish. But now I can’t just go to the restaurant and order them. So I have to make them myself. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

1 pork tenderloin

2 Tbsp cumin

1 Tbsp chile powder

salt

pepper

olive oil

juice of one lime

8-10 green chilies fresh

1/2 cup corn meal

1/2 cup brown rice flour

8 oz monteray jack cheese (or queso fresca)

1 28 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes

1-2 eggs

Drizzle pork tenderloin with olive oil and sprinkle with lime juice. Salt and pepper pork loin, then sprinkle chile powder and cumin all over the pork. Place in oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until temp reaches 165 degrees. Remove from oven and let cool. Shred pork with a fork. Place green chilies under broiler and turn until charred on every side. Remove from oven and cool. Cut a slit in the green chile and remove seeds. Stuff inside of chile with a little bit of shredded pork and a thick slice of monteray jack cheese. Warm can of fire roasted tomatoes in a saucepan (add lime juice and seasoning if desired). Heat about a half of a cup of oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Mix together the cornmeal and rice flour in a bowl. Beat egg in another bowl. Dip stuffed chilies in egg then in flour mixture making sure to coat the green chile evenly. Place into hot oil and cook until golden brown on all sides and cheese is melted. Only put two or three chilies in the pan at the same time. Cook in batches. When finished, top each green chili with fire roasted tomatoes. Serve with beans and rice. Enjoy!

Chicken Mole Chili

January 29, 2010 - Leave a Response

Chicken Mole Chili

Mole is a Mexican specialty that combines chilies with chocolate. I have a confession to make… I have actually never actually had authentic mole. I wish that I had because then maybe this dish would be more authentic. When I was in high school, we took a trip to the local Mexican restaurant for our Spanish class for extra credit. I  remember our Spanish teacher highly recommending that we order the mole. Back then I remember thinking it was too far out of my comfort zone. Chocolate and chilies… who would dare put that combination together? It was such a bizarre combination for my head to wrap itself around. Now, I wish I had tried it. Maybe my introduction to mole would have been more authentic and special. Well, through the years I have discovered that certain food combinations that seem bizarre are usually the best. And so I have begun my own experiment with chocolate and chilies. I have discovered that there are amazing complexities in joining these flavors together. The symphony is amazing. The next time I have the opportunity, I am so ordering some mole (that is if it gluten free). So if you are like I was in high school, I would challenge you. Try something that you would never even imagine would be good together. Chocolate and chilies. I guarantee you that if you make this for company… they will be completely amazed! Just don’t tell them the secret ingredient is chocolate.

olive oil

1/2 red onion chopped

3 Tbsp tapioca flour

2 garlic cloves

3 oz unsweetened chocolate

3 Tbsp honey

3 ristra dried chilies (found in the Mexican specialty section of the grocery store)

5-6 fresh green chilies (anaheim)

2 14 oz cans of fire roasted tomatoes

2 handfuls of raisins

2 Tbsp cumin

2 large cooked chicken breasts shredded

2-3 cups brown rice cooked

1/4 cup cilantro chopped

1 avocado

2 limes

6 corn tortillas cut into strips

2-3 cups water

dash of cinnamon

salt

pepper

Roast green chilies under a broiler until blackened all over. Let cool, remove skin and seeds and chop. Place dried chilies in pot of boiling water. Boil for around twenty minutes or until they have softened. Place chocolate and reconstituted chilies into a food processor. The hot chilies will melt the chocolate. Add a few tablespoons of water just to get things moving. Process until mixture becomes a fine paste. Set aside. Saute onion in olive oil in a big soup pot until soft. Add flour, garlic and stir. Pour chocolate chili mixture into the pot. Add green chilies, tomatoes, water, cumin, cinnamon and honey. Simmer over low heat for twenty minutes to an hour. Add shredded chicken, lime and raisins. Cook long enough to plump raisins. Serve with a scoop of brown rice, tortilla strips, cilantro and avocado. (Make your own tortilla strips by cutting corn tortillas into long strips, drizzling with olive oil and baking in the oven until crispy.)

Chicken Spinach Artichoke Risotto

January 26, 2010 - Leave a Response

Chicken Spinach Artichoke Risotto

This recipe was inspired by the all time favorite…  spinach artichoke dip. I combined all the amazing flavors in the popular dip with risotto and chicken. If you enjoy the dip, you will love this risotto. It is also a great way to stretch some chicken breasts. You could make this dish dairy free… just don’t include the cream or the cheese. I just wanted to  make it as decadent as possible since that is what spinach artichoke dip is all about. I didn’t have any parmesan in the house, but I did have some sharp cheddar, so that is what I used. Enjoy this recipe. It is a great comfort food meal. Serve with a green salad to balance everything out.

Chicken Spinach Artichoke Risotto

olive oil

1/2 cup red onion

2 cloves garlic

1 1/2 cups risotto (arborio) rice

1/2 cup white wine vinegar or white wine

1 quart of chicken stock

2 large chicken breasts

1 box frozen spinach

1 can artichokes

splash of cream or milk

1/2 cup parmesan cheese or sharp white cheddar

salt

pepper

Pour chicken stock into saucepan and heat until warm. Saute onion in olive oil in large skillet until soft over medium heat. Add garlic and risotto. Allow risotto to brown, stirring constantly. Add white wine or white vinegar and reduce down until absorbed by the rice. Add one half cup of chicken broth and stir until absorbed by the rice. Keep adding chicken stock to the rice until absorbed. While the rice is cooking, salt and pepper chicken breasts. Cook chicken in olive oil over medium heat until cooked all the way through. Squeeze water out of spinach. Add spinach and chopped artichokes into risotto after all of the chicken stock has been absorbed into the rice. Add a splash of cream or milk. Stir until combined and absorbed into the rice. Sprinkle with cheese and stir until combined. Add sliced chicken to risotto. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with another sprinkle of cheese. Enjoy!

Spinach Pesto Enchiladas

January 15, 2010 - Leave a Response

Spinach Pesto Enchiladas

Want to get your children eating more spinach? This recipe is a great way to bump up the fiber and nutrients in your enchiladas. Then when you add all the peppers and onions, this recipe is really packed full of veggies. I kind of married chicken enchiladas with fajitas in this recipe. I got the inspiration for the sauce from Rick Bayless and his website. I have experimented with all kinds of enchiladas over the years, and I would have to say these are the best enchiladas I have ever made. My husband, the critic, does not like enchiladas very much. But these actually made the critic’s choice. He LOVED them. I also entertained a friend and she really enjoyed them as well (going back for seconds, which is not something she usually does).

I know there are a lot of steps to this recipe and it does seem quite labor intensive. But trust me, it is so worth it. To save on the amount of work, I would recommend roasting the chicken another day. I think I started roasting the chicken at four and wasn’t done with the enchiladas until around six. But if you made the chicken a separate day, it would cut back on half the time. Or just feel free to buy a rotisserie chicken if you don’t have time for roasting one. I have already been thinking about how to vary the recipe by using other fillings. I think they might be good with some sort of seafood or just veggies. This recipe is very easily made dairy free. Just see the notes I made in the recipe about how to make it dairy free.

Spinach Pesto Enchiladas

1 roasted or rotisserie chicken (see below for recipe for roasted chicken)

2 cups spinach

1 cup cilantro

juice of 2 limes

1 roasted clove of garlic

3 cups of chicken broth

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Tbsp tapioca flour

splash of milk (optional or use non dairy milk)

2 tsp cumin powder

salt

pepper

2 red peppers cut into strips

1  red onion sliced

20 corn tortilla

Queso Fresco, Queso Enchilada, or Vegan Cheese (for non-dairy version)

Roast the chicken first if you are not using a Rotisserie Chicken. Note: A great way to make a double duty meal is by making two chickens the next time you roast one. Then you can make these enchiladas the next day.

Step One: Roast Chicken (skip if you are using a rotisserie)

1 whole chicken

1 lemon

1 tsp chile powder

1 tsp cumin

dash of cinnamon

Make a simple spice mix with chile powder, cumin and a hint of cinnamon and sprinkle it all over the chicken with salt and pepper. Put a halved lemon in the cavity of the chicken. Bake in a 400 degree oven for close to an hour or until thermometer reaches 180 degrees. Allow chicken to cool.

Step Two: Roast Garlic

Cut top one fourth of an inch off the top of the garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap in foil and bake in 400 degree oven for twenty to thirty minutes or until garlic softens. Let cool and squeeze garlic cloves into a food processor. Note: You can roast the garlic with the chicken if you are doing it that day.

Shred chicken with a fork and set aside for later.

Step Three: Spinach Pesto Sauce and Peppers and Onions

Place two green chilies under the broiler until blackened on all sides. Let cool and peel away the skin and loosely chop. Place roasted garlic, roasted green chilies, spinach, cilantro, lime, salt and pepper into food processor. Pulse food processor while adding a small stream of chicken broth. Continue to add chicken broth until mixture becomes a loose pesto. In the stove, add olive oil to a hot saucepan. Mix in tapioca flour. Pour in two to three cups of chicken stock and pesto mixture from the food processor. Allow pesto sauce  to come up to a bubble and thicken until it coats the back of a spoon. Add more salt if it needs it. Optional: add a splash of milk or non-dairy milk (I think cashew milk would be great in this recipe).

While the sauce is thickening, saute red pepper and onion in a skillet. I crank up the heat on my skillet so that they really start to blacken and caramelize. I think it adds extra flavor.

Step Four: Assemble the Enchiladas

Place 20 corn tortillas in a wet kitchen towel or wet paper towels. Heat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. The moisture in the towel will keep the tortillas pliable.

Pour one cup of sauce into the shredded chicken and mix in the peppers and onions.

Pour about a half of cup of sauce into the bottom of your baking dish (I used two dishes). Fill tortillas with chicken mixture. Roll and place into the casserole dish. Keep wrapping until you use all of the filling. I got around twenty enchiladas, but this will vary depending on how full you fill the enchilada. I think I use around a fourth of a cup. Pour the rest of your pesto sauce over your enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese (vegan cheese if you are non dairy). I do think that these enchiladas would even be good without any cheese at all. Bake in 350 degree oven for twenty to thirty minutes or until golden brown and bubbling. Serve with guacamole or your favorite enchilada topping.

Pineapple Habanero Salsa

January 14, 2010 - Leave a Response

Pineapple Habanero Salsa

My inspiration for this salsa came from a local restaurant called “Salsa Brava”. Upon request, they have an amazing pineapple habanero salsa. We order it every time we eat there. I decided that I could make this on my own. I love using fruits in my fresh salsas. The balance of the sweet with heat is perfect. I fire roast the pineapple and tomatoes to give it an extra layer of smokey flavor. We eat this salsa over tacos all the time, or as an appetizer. The picture is of some simple chicken tacos I made to go with the salsa. This really is my favorite salsa!

Pineapple Habanero Salsa

3  half inch slices of fresh pineapple

3 tomatoes

1/4 cup red onion roughly chopped

1 habanero pepper finely chopped and seeds removed

juice of one lime

1/4 cup cilantro

1-2 cloves garlic minced

salt

pepper

Place pineapple and tomatoes on baking sheet. Coat lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place under broiler until the tomatoes and pineapple just start to get black. Remove from oven and let cool. Squeeze juices and seeds out of tomatoes (makes the consistency less watery). Place tomatoes, pineapple, onion, cilantro,habanero,  lime, garlic, salt and pepper into the food processor. Process in pulses until you have the desired consistency. I like to leave it a little on the chunky side, but it really is your preference. Enjoy!

Tandoori Chicken with Homemade Mango Chutney

January 7, 2010 - 2 Responses

Tandoori Chicken with Homemade Mango Chutney

I love Tandoori Chicken. I am not an expert in making it but I do know that the real deal is much more complicated to make. This is my simplified version of Tandoori Chicken. If you like curry flavors, you will love this recipe. When you use coconut yogurt from the health food store, it is completely dairy free. And the coconut adds a nice extra layer of flavor. If you don’t have coconut yogurt and you don’t mind dairy, you could use greek yogurt. I also love Mango Chutney. I was somewhat disappointed when I was about to buy a jar a few weeks ago. I was shocked to see that the second ingredient was high fructose corn syrup.  It went right back on the shelf. I knew I could do better and make it myself. I think that it turned out great. Next time, I am going to make extra to store in the fridge. It is also delicious on sandwiches!

Tandoori Chicken

8 boneless, skinless, chicken thighs or 4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts

1 cup coconut yogurt or greek yogurt

1 Tbsp curry powder

1 Tbsp cumin

juice of one lemon

1 tsp minced ginger

2 cloves garlic

salt

pepper

cilantro

Mix together all ingredients, except for chicken. Coat chicken with yogurt mixture and refrigerate for one hour. Bake chicken in 350 degree oven for thirty minutes. Serve with mango chutney and garnish with cilantro.

Mango Chutney

1 mango peeled and chopped

1 hand full of raisins (1/4 cup)

1/4 cup agave or honey

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp curry powder

1/4 cup orange juice

4-5 Tbsp balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over medium low heat until sauce thickens. Serve over Tandoori Chicken.

Curry Meatballs

December 13, 2009 - One Response
Curry Meatballs

Curry Meatballs

When I think about holiday fare, I often think meatballs. This dish is not your typical meatballs in tomato sauce. I wanted to try something different. The curry adds a most unexpected twist. You can make them as an appetizer or as a meal. Either way, they are a great crowd-pleaser. The recipe is quite large. We entertained another couple with this recipe and everyone went back for seconds. There was hardly any leftovers.

Meatballs

3-4 lbs hamburger or lamb

1/4- 1/2 cup brown rice breadcrumbs

3 eggs

3 cloves garlic minced

1-2 Tbsp fresh ginger minced

2 Tbsp cumin

3 Tbsp curry

1/2 tsp cloves

3 Tbsp dried minced onion

1/4 cup greek yogurt

juice of 2 lemons

salt

pepper

Mix together ingredients. Test the flavor of the meatballs by frying up a small piece (about half a meatball) in a skillet. This is the best way to tell if it needs anything else. Add more salt or curry if it needs it. Form into meatballs and place in baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Once the meatballs are finished cooking, start the sauce for the meatballs.

Sauce for the Meatballs

1 red onion chopped

2 cloves garlic minced

1 Tbsp ginger minced

1 4 oz can tomato paste

3 Tbsp curry powder

1/4 tsp cloves

3 Tbsp cumin

2 cans diced tomatoes

1 cup chicken broth

1 can coconut milk

1 can garbanzo beans

1 cup raisins

Saute onion in a little olive oil in a big pot. Let onion get soft. Add garlic and ginger and cook for a minute. Add tomato paste and mix with onions. Add in spices. Pour in chicken broth and 1 can of tomatoes. Place other can of diced tomatoes (drained) into food processor with the garbanzo beans. Puree together. Pour bean mixture into sauce. Bring the sauce up to a bubble and add in meatballs. Reduce heat and allow sauce to simmer and thicken for around twenty minutes. Add in raisins and coconut milk. Serve over rice with yogurt lemon sauce and garnish with cilantro. You could also serve these meatballs as an appetizer with toothpicks, just don’t add the raisins.

Yogurt Lemon Sauce

1 cup yogurt

juice of half a lemon

salt

pepper

Mix together the yogurt with the lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over the meatballs.

Pizzelle Cookies

December 11, 2009 - Leave a Response

Pizzelle Cookies

I am so not a baker! I prefer cooking over baking any day. When you mess up in cooking, it is usually easily fixed. Not so with baking. That being said… I feel extremely proud when I come up with a baking recipe. Here is a gluten free Pizzelle cookie recipe. I wish I could say the recipe is dairy free and sugar free but it is not. I figure a little indulgence this time of year is ok. I think you might be able to modify the recipe and make it with splenda if you really want sugar free. My husband is extremely happy that I came up with this recipe. Pizzelles are his favorite holiday cookie. He officially thinks I am a genius for coming up with this cookie. In his opinion, you can’t tell the difference between these and the real deal. And in the world of gluten free, that is a big compliment.

3/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp anise flavoring
2 tsp baking powder

Beat eggs. Add in the rest of the ingredients. Mix with hand beater until all ingredients are incorporated. Pour into hot Pizzelle iron. I used a little under 1/4 cup of batter for each cookie. Remove after cookies turn a golden brown. Remove excess cookie from the edges and cool on a wire rack. Cookies should become crispy after cooling.

Chai Coconut Latte

December 8, 2009 - One Response

Chai Coconut Latte

Did you know that you can buy coconut milk by the half gallon at your local health food store? It is delicious and good for you too! I think this latte is ten times better than it’s dairy counterpart.
The coconut adds such a rich exotic flavor to the chai! Once you have it this way, you will never want it with regular milk again.

coconut milk
chai tea bag (I used tazo decaf)
agave
*optional spiced rum

Steep tea bag in coconut milk in microwave or on stove. Add agave to taste. If desired, add a splash of rum.

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