Chicken, Peppers and Onions with Avocado Dill Pesto over Quinoa
April 19, 2010

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.

Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Pumpkin Polenta and Parsnip Pear Sauce
October 28, 2009

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Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Pumpkin Polenta and Parsnip Pear Sauce

I absolutely love all of the fall flavors in this meal. I love to fill my kitchen with the spoils of each season and I think Fall might just be my favorite. I truthfully did not plan on everything in this meal to start with the letter “P”, it just kinda happened that way. I have been wanting to make pumpkin polenta for a while now. Pork seemed like the perfect companion. Then I found a recipe for a Parsnip Pear Puree in my Emeril cookbook I have been perusing this week. You know Emeril, all of his recipes are loaded with butter, sugar and cream. Not really on my diet. So I completely revamped his recipe and came up with a lovely sauce using coconut milk instead of cream. The flavors of the spicy parsnip and the sweet pear together, oh my! This sauce was not a disappointment at all. And with the pork and pumpkin flavors… everything just worked. This pork tenderloin is so simple and elegant. Make sure to not to overcook the pork so that it stays tender. You could substitute the pumpkin polenta for some mashed sweet potatoes, if you are not into polenta. But I have to tell you, my husband the critic, has never liked polenta before and he loved this dish. The other funny thing is that he doesn’t even like pumpkin, somehow the two together were delicious for him. I was skeptical that he would like this dish but he LOVED it! This would make a great meal for entertaining. Just serve with a simple salad.

Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Pumpkin Polenta and Parsnip Pear Sauce

Order of Business: You will want to start with the Parsnip Pear Sauce first. Cook Parsnips in oven and cook then start on the pork. While pork is cooking, finish Parsnip Pear Sauce and make the Pumpkin Polenta.

Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin

2 pork tenderloins

3-4 Tbsp rosemary

4-5 cloves of garlic

1-2 Tbsp dried thyme

3-4 Tbsp fresh parsley

4 Tbsp dijon mustard

3-4 Tbsp agave

4-5 Tbsp olive oil

salt

pepper

Salt and pepper pork tenderloins liberally. Rub with olive oil. Mix herbs, mustard and agave together. Smear all over both pork tenderloins. Cook in 475 degree oven for 30 minutes. Turn oven down to 425 and cook until meat reaches 155 on meat thermometer. (I did not have to cook mine much longer than 30 minutes so just continue to check every 5-10 minutes.) Let meat rest for 10 minutes and slice on the diagonal. Serve with Pumpkin Polenta and Parsnip Pear Sauce.

Parsnip Pear Sauce

2-3 parsnips (chopped into 1 inch pieces)

2-3 pears (peeled and chopped in small pieces)

1/2 cup white wine

1 can coconut milk

1/2 cup shallots or red onion

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

4-5 Tbsp agave nectar

olive oil

salt

pepper

Place parsnips into baking dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon and cloves. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil and the agave nectar. Bake in 400 degree oven for 20-30 minutes until soft. Saute onion in saucepan. Add pears and cook for a few minutes. Deglaze pan with white wine. Cook until pears are tender. Add parsnip mixture and pear mixture to food processor and puree until smooth. Add some of the coconut milk if needed. Add puree back to pan and combine with the rest of the can of coconut milk. Simmer on low heat until needed.

Pumpkin Polenta

1 tube of precooked polenta

2-3 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (keep adding broth to polenta until you get the desired consistency, it just depends)

1/2 cup shallot

1/2 cup wine

1 15 oz of pumpkin

1 Tbsp thyme

1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg

4 Tbsp agave

salt

pepper

olive oil

Saute shallot in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Deglave pan with white wine. Add polenta chopped into pieces. Add about 1 cup of broth to polenta and bring to a boil. Smash up polenta as much as possible. Continue to add broth when needed. Use Potato Masher to get all of the lumps out of the polenta. Add pumpkin and incorporate into polenta mixture. Add nutmeg, thyme, agave, salt and pepper to taste. (If it is missing anything add more of that flavor, you could even add a little balsamic vinegar for a zingy flavor). Serve with Herb Crusted Pork.

Plating it up

toasted walnuts

sprig of rosemary

Place a round circle of polenta on the plate. Fan out Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin around the Pumpkin Polenta. Pour Parsnip Pear Sauce over the Pork Tenderloin and top with toasted walnuts. Garnish with sprig of rosemary.

Butternut Squash Risotto and Chicken with Balsamic Drizzle
October 16, 2009

What is the fastest way to turn an everyday meal into a fabulous gourmet masterpiece? Balsamic Drizzle… It is absolutely delicious and looks super fancy. If you are wanting to impress someone, then this meal is for you!

Butternut Squash Risotto and Chicken with Balsalmic Glaze

Butternut Squash Risotto and Chicken with Balsamic Glaze

I know that there are many tasty gluten free pastas, but when I want pasta I usually make risotto. (By the way, I know risotto is not pasta, I just think it tastes like pasta.) It doesn’t feel like it is gluten free or dairy free at all! It creates its own creamy sauce that makes you think it has dairy in it. Of course, you could add parmesan at the end but it is not necessary.

This recipe got a double thumbs up from the critic!

Butternut Squash Risotto and Chicken with Balsamic Drizzle

1 butternut squash

1 1/2 cups of risotto (arborio rice)

1 cup onion

1 clove garlic minced

1 quart of chicken stock

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Salt

Pepper

4 chicken breasts

1/4 cup of honey

Cube butternut squash and place on baking sheet, coat with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake in 400 degree oven for twenty to thirty minutes or until soft.

While squash is cooking in the oven, heat up quart of chicken stock in a saucepan over medium heat. Keep chicken stock next to a big skillet for easy access (you will be adding the stock periodically to the rice mixture). Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft in the big skillet. Add rice to the skillet and toast rice for a few minutes. Deglaze pan with 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar. Let balsamic vinegar become absorbed by the rice. Then add 1/2 cup chicken broth and stir. Again wait for the rice to absorb all of the liquid and start again. You don’t have to stir the rice every minute, but keep an eye on it so it does not stick to the pan. Continue adding all of the chicken broth until the rice is done and still has a little bit of a bite to it. At the end, stir in the butternut squash. Salt and pepper the risotto to taste.

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While the rice is cooking, pour 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup of honey into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. At the same time, sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and saute in olive oil until cooked all the way through.

Presentation

Spoon risotto on plate. Slice chicken in 1/2 inch pieces and fan out on the plate. Drizzle balsamic glaze all over the chicken and around the plate. Wait for everyone to be impressed!!!