glutenfreebymarriage

April 10, 2013

Southwest American Chop Suey

Filed under: dinner, freezer friendly, gluten-free, lunch — Tags: , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 12:38

Southwest style American Chop Suey

Improvisation can be a good thing

Sometimes, no matter how organized you think you are, not everything gets on the shopping list.

Case in point, the plan was to make American Chop Suey for Mr. GF’s lunches and a double batch of spaghetti so that I could freeze half for later, but somehow I only bought enough tomatoes for the spaghetti.

I really didn’t want to go back to the store for one can of tomatoes so I looked in the cupboard for something I could substitute, but the only thing I saw was one lone jar of emergency salsa.  Why not?

Southwest American Chop Suey

Ingredients:

Makes about 5 2-cup servings

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, hand crushed
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 24-ounce jar Southwest Style Salsa
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons brown sugar*
  • 3 cups uncooked brown rice penne pasta (about 6 servings)
  • chile powder
  • ground cumin
  • oregano
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder

*I usually add a bit of brown sugar to help cut the acidity when I make a dish with a lot of tomatoes.

Directions:

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil, cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Brown ground turkey in a large pan, add onions, garlic and green peppers cooking until onions are translucent.

    Note: I used 94% lean ground turkey because it was on sale.  If you are using beef or meat with a higher fat content you may need to drain excess grease from the pan.

  3. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, salsa, brown sugar and spices.
  4. Cook over medium heat until most of the liquid is evaporated.  (Between the canned tomatoes, salsa and tomato sauce there is a lot of liquid, it took me about 45 minutes to cook it down to the point where it was still moist but not completely soupy.)
  5. Add cooked pasta and stir until well blended.

This turned out really well.  Very spicy (I added a lot of chile powder) with a depth of flavor.   I think the salsa with the corn and black beans took this cafeteria staple to a new level and I will definitely make it again.

If you leave out the pasta, this would be a nice freezer friendly meal.

February 11, 2013

Chicken & Rice and Everything Nice – Making Soup When the Cupboard is Bare

Filed under: chicken, cooking, gluten-free, lunch, soup/stew, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 13:15

chicken and rice soup with spinach and mushrooms

I love soup for lunch!

One of the benefits of cooking gluten free is that it gives me an excuse to break away from the same old sandwich for lunch and in the winter there is nothing better than opening your lunch bag and finding a cup of soup.

I’m still getting over a cold and Mr. GF just caught one, so the plan was to make chicken soup for this week’s lunches.  Sadly I’m pretty much out of fresh veg and the supermarket shelves were bare so I had to get creative.  Not to worry, it all came out fine in the end.

Chicken and Rice Soup

Ingredients:

makes 12 servings

  • 2 – 3 pounds  cooked chicken, diced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cup water
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 16 oz package frozen spinach
  • a handful of chopped mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups rice

Directions:

  1. Normally I would be a purist and boil a chicken and use homemade stock, but I’m still sick and kind of tired after all that shoveling so I cheated and roasted some chicken.   You could buy a rotisserie chicken at the supermarket, but you have to be very careful.  Many of the precooked store chickens have coatings which typically contain flour or bread crumbs.  Honestly, it’s no big deal to cook chicken while you’re watching tv, doing laundry or surfing the web.  Just brush on a little flavored vinegar or olive oil, add a few spices and pop it in the oven at 3750 for an hour.
  2. Assuming you already have your cooked chicken, the next step is to make the rice.  Mix 2 cups of rice, 4 cups of water and a dash of salt in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes until liquid is gone.  Set aside.
  3. Heat a couple tablespoons of canola oil in a large pot.  Add sliced carrots, onions and garlic, cook over medium heat until onions are tender.  Add chicken broth, water, chicken and spices and bring to a boil.
  4. Simmer 30 minutes until carrots are tender.
  5. Add spinach, rice and mushrooms, continue cooking until heated through.
  6. Ladle into containers.  Cover when cooled.

If you’re wondering if it’s worth the effort, let me ask you this.  How much does a bowl of soup cost at the take out place and how sure are you that it’s really gluten free?

A little time in the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon and you’ll save time and money all week long.  To put it another way, twelve lunches for less than $1 a serving and no gluten.  Not too shabby.

Note: We both have lingering colds so we thought we would boost the decongestant benefits of chicken soup by adding some spice.  I thought I had jalapeños at home, but was out so I ad libbed with chili powder.  We like spicy, but it’s not for everybody.  If you prefer a more sedate flavor I would probably just use 1 teaspoon of thyme in place of the chili powder, red pepper flakes and nutmeg.

One More Thought: After I ladled out the soup I kept thinking that a teaspoon of feta might make a nice garnish.  I didn’t buy any, and Mr. GF tries to avoid dairy whenever possible, but if I had it on hand I would probably give it a try.

May 29, 2012

Easy Gluten Free Stir Fry (chicken, pork, beef or vegetarian)

Filed under: dinner, gluten-free, lunch, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 13:58

We love stir fry!

Have an extra chicken leg or spare pork chop?  Make stir fry!  Did you buy the family pack of steaks?  That tiny one that nobody eats makes a great addition to stir fry.  Did you go crazy at the farmer’s market?  Don’t let all that fresh veg go to waste, make stir fry!

In case you can’t tell, we love stir fry!  It’s fast, is a great way to use leftovers and is easy to stretch for a week of gluten-free lunches.   The only caveat is that you have to be really careful and read your labels.   Sauces and stocks are favorite hiding places for gluten, and just because a company didn’t list wheat on the label the last time you bought it doesn’t mean that they haven’t changed the formula.  (Ask me how I know…)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups uncooked rice (brown or white)
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • *1 cup meat (chicken/pork/beef), cubed
  • 3 – 4 small carrots, julienned
  • 1 medium green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of pea pods
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (substitute beef broth for beef)
  •  **ginger, garlic, onion powder to taste

*A few thoughts on meat: Meat is an optional ingredient, if you prefer vegetarian, then omit the meat.  (You’ll want to use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth as well.)  Also, meat can be previously cooked, as in leftovers, or raw.

**Fresh ginger and garlic add a wonderful, robust flavor to this dish but can easily be substituted with powdered versions.  If you have fresh ginger and garlic on hand simply add them to the pan with the onions, otherwise, wait until the end to shake over the cooked veg.

Directions:

  1. Add water, rice and a pinch of salt to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover with  tight-fitting lid and simmer 20 minutes until liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Heat large fry pan, wok or dutch oven and add oil.
  3. If using previously cooked meat proceed to step 4, otherwise saute meat until no longer pink.
  4. Add carrots, onions, red and green peppers to pan, continue cooking on medium heat until onions are softened.  If you are using fresh ginger or garlic add to pan now.
  5. Stir in pea pods, mushrooms, soy sauce, chicken broth and remaining spices.  Add meat if using leftovers and continue cooking until liquid is mostly absorbed.
  6. Spread cooked rice on a serving platter and top with meat/veg mixture.  You can also just add the rice to veg mixture in the pan.  It’s not as pretty, but if you are using it for lunches it will be easier to measure out into daily servings if the meat/veg/rice is already mixed.

Note: Total cook time is about 30 minutes.

Substitutes: You can substitute any veg in season or on hand.   (Broccoli works great but is messy!)  Rice noodles also make a great alternative to plain rice.

 

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