Archive for the ‘Gluten free entrees’ Category

If I had named my kids for the cravings I experienced while pregnant, I would be putting little Celery and Mango to bed tonight. Don’t go thinking, “Oh what a healthy person she must be; even her pregnancy cravings were healthy!” Amelia could just have easily been named Taco Bell Bean Burrito.

Though back then I was known to make special runs to the grocery store for mangoes, when it came to making a gluten-free version of Rachael Ray’s Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry in a Hurry, I couldn’t find the mango chutney the recipe called for. This disappointment gave birth to deliciousness when I was forced to make my own! I’m not sure I’d ever even had chutney before. Where have I been?

Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry in a Hurry
by Rachael Ray (adaptations by me)

1 cup white rice (I used jasmine rice–my fave.)
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium-size sweet potato, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, then thinly sliced into half-moons
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 rounded Tablespoon mild curry paste or 2 Tablespoons curry powder (a generous palmful)
2 pounds chicken tenders, bite-size chunks (I used ground chicken.)
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and  thinly sliced (I used a yellow pepper.)
1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch
2-1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
1/4 cup prepared mango chutney (a couple of heaping Tablespoons) or make your own (Remember that a spicy chutney makes a spicy curry, so be careful.)
1 10-ounce box frozen peas
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

1. Prepare white or jasmine rice according to package directions.
2. Preheat large, deep skillet over medium-high heat with the vegetable oil.
3. Add the sweet potatoes to the skillet, season with salt, pepper, and curry paste or powder, and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned.
4. Scoot the potatoes over to one side of the pan and add the chunks of chicken or ground chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook, browning slightly, for 3 minutes.
5. Add the onions and bell peppers and toss to combine. Add the cornstarch and continue to cook for 1 minute.
6. Add the chicken stock, cream, and mango chutney, bring to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the chicken and potatoes are cooked through and the sauce has thickened.
7. Add the peas and cilantro and simmer for 1 minute to heat the peas through. Serve over the rice.

I seriously ate this as leftovers for almost as week.

In the interest of keeping it real, if I had a baby today, it would be named Candy Corn.


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“There’s a hole in my heart where the gluten used to be,” is a phrase I often recited both to myself and in all kinds of company. I had a hard time with the conversion. That’s no secret. If you’re a newbie to the diet due to health reasons, I’m sorry, but I’m also here to offer you hope. It gets better, and before you know it, you no longer feel deprived…only delayed. Let me explain.

When I’m out to dinner or at someone’s house and can’t have the something delicious that everybody else is enjoying with gusto, I’m disappointed for a moment. But the sadness doesn’t last because I know I can recreate it (or something just as yummy) at home. That’s the freedom that comes with learning what you can have and what is simple and delicious.

One of the easiest recipes I enjoy in place of my favorite pasta dishes at restaurants is a roasted tomato “sauce” over gf noodles. I like to call it tomato jam because it’s so sweet.

Just cut a couple of pints of cherry or grape tomatoes in half, drizzle with olive oil and about three cloves of garlic, finely chopped. Sprinkle with about 2 teaspoons of sugar and dried basil (or toss with fresh basil when they come out of the oven) and roast at 425 degrees F until the tomatoes are carmelized and release their juices. Toss with your favorite gf pasta and devour!

Amelia’s favorite teacher used to describe her preschoolers’ hearts as buckets. When something nice is said or done for someone, his or her “bucket” is filled with love. This is one of the dishes that fills the hole in my bucket where the gluten used to be.

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I love a nice grilled cheese and tomato soup as much as the next person, but it gets a little old when it becomes a staple. I eat it for lunch quite often on my Ener-G Light Tapioca bread alongside some Amy’s Tomato Bisque. the bisque is quite good for a canned soup, but I needed something new to accompany it.

After perusing several recipes, I decided on a rendition using Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix–my tried and true swap out for flour. I came up with something akin to the Cheddar Bay Biscuits from Red Lobster, of all things. I felt a little guilty at first, but guilt never lasts very long for a gf-eater. If it tastes delicious, it’s never wrong.

Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

2 cups Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 small clove garlic, grated
2/3 cup milk


Preheat oven to 375°.

In a large mixing bowl pour in Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix and cut in butter with fork or pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Mix in grated cheese and garlic.

Pour milk into flour mixture while stirring with a fork. Drop generous spoonfuls of dough onto a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake 12 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Makes 10-12 biscuits.

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We’re on our big beach vacation and just arrived at our condo this afternoon. Yesterday was a nine-hour tour in the car with our two hunyuks. (That’s what my parents always called us; not sure what it means but it seems fitting. It’s probably Norwegian or something. Even better.) The day was dotted with fighting from the backseat and several belly laughs from the front when little Owen, 4, asked, “Did we bring the Internet with us?” Yes, in fact, we did bring the Internet with us. Mommy has to blog.

It turns out that Interstate 65 is lined not only with kudzu, a viney plant that apparently covers over 7 million acres of the Southeastern US, but various eateries–some impressive, some not so much for the gluten free patron. Our stop yesterday fell into the not so much category. I was so excited to try some authentic Southern cuisine and knew that even though I couldn’t have the fried catfish, the sides would surely be to my liking. This particular establishment doesn’t believe in seasoning food. I won’t mention the name. I’m not a food critic, but I can criticize food. This did not taste good. However, we were all charmed by the big Mason jars that held our giant beverages and the server who called us “y’all.”

Today, however, we found ourselves at a familiar place–The Mellow Mushroom (pizza). Out of the kindness of my heart I told my husband we could stop so he could get something tasty and Amelia and I would find something we could eat. To my astonishment and joy, I found that they not only have a gluten-free pizza crust, it is by far the best gf pizza crust I’ve ever had. After some discussion behind the counter, it was revealed that the crust came from Still Riding Pizza (www.stillridingpizza.com). On their web site you can find out if their crust is used in any restaurants in your area or you can order your own crust to make pizza at home. I fully intend to do that. Thanks, Mellow Mushroom in Enterprise, AL for improving my culinary life and that of my young daughter. I noticed that not one restaurant in Indiana was listed…I have a new mission it seems. No one should have to say, “It’s okay,” after eating pizza, and I won’t have to anymore. Hooray!

On that note, I have to go put these crazy hunyuks to bed.

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Back in the day, I used to order lasagna at Italian restaurants. It was a treat because lasagna wasn’t something I made at home very often. I realized the other day that I’ve only made lasagna once since I’ve been gluten free. The noodles I used were a brown rice variety and the result was sort of gluey. Not ideal for lasagna. It turned me off and I hadn’t tried it again until today.

After a couple hours at the pool…lasagna doesn’t readily come to mind. But…I had most of the ingredients, and in my house, that often dictates what’s for dinner. Most of the time I feel like I’m on an episode of “Chopped,” a show that features chefs who are given a basket of odd ingredients from which they’re supposed to make something delicious. I’m not a chef, so this makes it even more of a game!

I decided to adapt Rachael Ray’s “Sloppy Lasagna” recipe so I could use any kind of noodle I had on hand–in this case, spaghetti (Heartland corn and rice blend). Oh yum; I’m so glad I tried again.


(This recipe makes a ton–you could easily cut it in half.)

  • 2 pounds gluten free noodles of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground meat of your choice (I used Italian turkey sausage)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken stock or white wine
  • 1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes
  • A handful basil leaves, torn
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups milk, eyeball the amount
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 cups fresh ricotta cheese


Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat. Salt the water, then add the pasta and cook to a little shy of al dente. Drain and set aside in a large bowl.

Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot or large skillet over medium heat. Add the meat, press it into an even layer and brown it for 3 to 4 minutes before moving. Turn the meat and add the onions. Stir and cook a few minutes to soften, then add the garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for a couple of minutes, then stir in the tomato paste, wait for 1 minute then add the chicken stock or wine. Reduce for a minute more, then add the tomatoes, breaking them up as you stir. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the basil.

While the sauce simmers, in a medium sauce pot, melt the butter over medium heat and whisk in the corn starch. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk and nutmeg, and season with salt, pepper, to taste. Let cook for a couple of minutes to thicken, then stir in 1/2 cup of the grated cheese and turn off the heat.

Heat a broiler.

Add the meat sauce to the bowl with the pasta and toss. Layer half of the pasta into a lasagna pan and scatter with dollops of fresh ricotta cheese. Top with remaining pasta. Pour the white sauce over the pasta and scatter the remaining 1 cup of the grated cheese over the top. Put under the broiler to brown and bubble. Remove from the broiler and serve.

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Since I’m on this breadcrumbs kick, it struck me that I could use the new gluten free Rice Krispies as a crunchy coating on chicken!

I love Chicken Parmesan. Needless to say, I haven’t had it since I kissed my gluten goodbye. Actually, I didn’t even get a chance to kiss it. Let me rephrase: I haven’t had it since gluten was ripped from my life. That’s more fitting. In hindsight, I should have had one last gluten gluttony…some donuts, a pizza, maybe a big fat cake. Oh, well.

Anywho…before I tried to do the parm, I decided to do a test run with something a little more simple to see if the crust would work. It’s all about the crust, after all. As Anne Burrell likes to say, “Brown food tastes good.” She’s so right.

I pounded out several chicken breasts, dredged them first in Pamela’s Ultimate Pancake and Baking Mix, then in beaten eggs and finally in ground up gf Rice Krispies (just whirred them up in my little food processor). I generously seasoned up the Pamela’s and Rice Krispies with salt and pepper.

I put the stove on medium and put a tablespoon each of butter and olive oil in a skillet. After about 4 minutes on each side, I got a beautiful golden brown crust. My daughter LOVED it and so did my husband and I. Now I’m all set for some Chicken Parmesan! Tyler Florence’s recipe has been searing a hole in my brain for quite some time now. I can hardly wait!

I also mixed up some Rice Krispie treats using the gf Krispies and some Fruity Pebbles. Also a big hit with the kiddos!

Comment from old Blogger post:

Anonymous said…
My mom is a huge fan of chicken fingers – I have a breading you might like:1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 teas thyme
1 teas basil
salt/pepper to tasteI do the normal flour, egg bath, bread crumbs and then I bake them on a pan with a rack 25-30 minutes at 375. (leftover breading freezes VERY well) We pair that with an apricot sauce 1 cup apricot preserves, 2 teas dijon mustard, 1 teas dill weed heated in microwave a minute or so. Yumm!

I’ve tried the rice krispies with this and it works well and adds crunch!! My mom would eat these and oven roasted red potatoes every night if I fixed it!!! LOL! Karen R.

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Recipes calling for bread crumbs used to keep me from making a host of recipes that sounded good to me. I just didn’t think things would taste good with the gluten free alternatives. I soon discovered that there were several options that worked and didn’t detract from the flavor of the dish.

I started with Rice Chex. I ground them up into a coarse meal texture and used them in place of breadcrumbs in meatballs, meatloaf and other recipes. Delicious and cheap! One time, though, I found myself with only Corn Chex in the cupboard and the meatballs I made came out tasting (and smelling) vaguely of a pig farm. I don’t recommend it.

Since then, I’ve graduated to whirring up chunks of my Ener-G Light Tapioca bread in my handy-dandy three-cup food processor. It works perfectly and the bread is mild enough that it acts as a binder without adding any additional unwanted flavors.

There are prepackaged gluten-free breadcrumbs but I find them to be beyond my budget. With so many other good options, I opt for making my own.

Which leads me to the perfect vehicle for said crumbs…salmon cakes. I’ve seen many chefs make crab cakes, salmon cakes, all kinds of cakes, and they all use breadcrumbs, of course. I was determined to try my hand at it as I’d enjoyed many a little tasty crab cake before my unfortunate condition was discovered.

I know, I know…I tend to favor Ina’s recipes. I’m sorry, but I just enjoy the fact that she never mucks things up with strange ingredients–it’s just good, clean food. (Okay, and I secretly want to BE her.) So I used her recipe for Salmon Cakes and we had them last night. I may have gained several pounds in one sitting because I couldn’t stop. Such is often the result when I finally have something for which I’ve been pining. (Same deal happened with the pie.)

There are a lot of ingredients. So if you shy away from that, I understand, but I would hate for you to miss this! It also involves a lot of chopping, which for some reason I find therapeutic. So hunker down and you’ll reap the benefits of this sweet little cake. Doug put his on a hamburger bun with the sauce on top and he said it made a great sandwich. I ate them as is and…yummy!

Salmon Cakes
(Ina Garten’s recipe, gluten free comments mine)
with Lemony Horseradish Sauce (recipe mine!)


  • 1/2 pound fresh salmon (I used frozen, thawed, that I already had.)
  • Good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
  • 1 1/2 cups small-diced celery (4 stalks)
  • 1/2 cup small-diced red bell pepper (1 small pepper)
  • 1/2 cup small-diced yellow bell pepper (1 small pepper)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (Frank’s Red Hot–I used a bit more cause I like the spicy!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crab boil seasoning (Old Bay)
  • 3 slices stale bread, crusts removed (I used Ener-G Light tapioca in food processor–enough to yield one cup.)
  • 1/2 cup good mayonnaise (Hellmann’s Light is a good option.)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (Grey Poupon)
  • 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Place the salmon on a sheet pan, skin side down. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until just cooked. Remove from the oven and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes and refrigerate until cold.

3. Meanwhile, place 2 tablespoons of the butter, 2 tablespoons olive oil, the onion, celery, red and yellow bell peppers, parsley, capers, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, crab boil seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large saute pan over medium-low heat and cook until the vegetables are soft, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

4. Break the bread slices in pieces and process the bread in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. You should have about 1 cup of bread crumbs. Place the bread crumbs on a sheet pan and toast in the oven for 5 minutes until lightly browned, tossing occasionally.

5. Flake the chilled salmon into a large bowl. Add the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, mustard, and eggs. Add the vegetable mixture and mix well. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Shape into 10 (2 1/2 to 3-ounce) cakes. I made mine smaller so I could handle the flipping more easily.

6. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. In batches, add the salmon cakes and fry for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until browned. (Make sure you wait til they get a really good brown crust on them before you flip–they stay together much better and are more delicious.) Drain on paper towels; (Ina says to keep them warm in a preheated 250 degree F oven and serve hot but I found that my cakes got dark in the oven…maybe try a lower temp.)

Lemony Horseradish Sauce

2 tablespoons Woeber’s Horseradish Sandwich Pal (You could use prepared horseradish here–I didn’t have any, but I always have some Pal on hand! Add more if you want even more horseradish flavor.)
1/2 cup Hellmann’s Light mayonnaise
Juice and zest of one lemon

Mix it all up and dip your little cakes in it or make them larger and serve your cake on a bun. Any which way, you’ll love it!

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