Comfort Food – Chicken & Potato Chowder

It’s been cold here in Texas. I needed some good old fashion comfort food. I was thinking chicken soup. Then one of my favorite restaurants posted a picture of loaded potato soup. So, it was off to the kitchen to make Chicken and potato chowder.

Now – this is NOT health food. But it’s good food!!!

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CHICKEN AND POTATO CHOWDER


Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Author Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 1 Chopped onion
  • 3 Carrots - diced
  • 2 Celery stalks - diced
  • 1/4 Cup Gluten free flour blend or 1/8 Cup Corn starch
  • 3 Cups Gluten free Chicken broth (more to thin soup if needed)
  • 3 Cups Half & Half
  • 2 Large yukon gold potatoes - cubed
  • 2 Cups Chicken breast (cooked) - chopped
  • 1 1/2 Cups Shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Salt & papper to taste
  • 1 Whole Bay leave

Instructions

  1. You can boil your chicken breast, use canned (yuk) but what I like to do is drizzle olive oil over the breasts. Salt and pepper them and bake them at 350' for 25-30 min. let them cool and chop them. You will notice the difference in the flavor...believe me.

  2. Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven. Sauté' the vegetables in the butter until tender. About 3 min. - Medium heat.

  3. Gradually mix in the flour (or corn starch) and stir it with a whisk. Slowly pour in the chicken broth continuing to whisk, do the same with the milk. Cook til it slightly thickens - about 1-2 minutes. Fold in the cubed potatoes. 

  4. Bring the mix to a boil, as it's starting to boil, add cooked chicken and cheese. Stir until combined. Continue cooking (covered) til potatoes are fully cooked - about 15-20 minutes. Remove Bay leaf. Salt & pepper to taste. 

  5. If the soup has thicken too much add milk & or broth to desired consistency.

Recipe Notes

You may want to have some extra cheese for garnish.

This recipe can easily be made in half.

If you have leftovers be aware that the soup may continue to thicken so you may need additional liquid to thin it down.

I used Corn starch when I made mine.

About 20 years ago I was making King Ranch Chicken and the recipe writer wrote that they baked the chicken breast instead of boiling them. In their opinion, boiling took some of the flavor out of the chicken. I agree. I have never boiled chicken for a recipe again. 

Did you get Glutened ? Where is it hidding.

Maybe you’re on a Gluten free diet and you are thinking that you are being diligent about watching what you eat and then you get Glutened. Unfortunately, this happens to may Celiacs and Gluten intolerant folk. Why? In many cases it’s hidden Gluten. You think you’ve gotten your Gluten finding  to ninja-like skills and then there it is. Recently, my daughters found it was added to green tea. Who are the repeat offenders? Salad dressing, soy sauce, chips, soups, candy, medication, ice cream. Gluten, gluten everywhere.

First of all what does contain Gluten.

  • Wheat
  • Varieties and derivatives of wheat such as:
    • wheatberries
    • durum
    • emmer
    • semolina
    • spelt
    • farina
    • farro
    • graham
    • KAMUT® khorasan wheat
    • einkorn wheat
    • Rye
    • Barley
    • Triticale
    • Malt in various forms including: malted barley flour, malted milk or milkshakes, malt extract, malt syrup, malt flavoring, malt vinegar
    • Brewer’s Yeast
    • Wheat Starch that has not been processed to remove the presence of gluten to below 20ppm and adhere to the FDA Labeling Law*
      About three years ago I noticed Farro popping up on menus. So, I “googled” it. Then I asked my waiter. “What is Farro” and I’ll be honest I don’t remember what he said but it wasn’t wheat. Ugh!
       

      How about Gluten free pasta in restaurants? If you’re scratching your head at this one, allow me to explain. Efficiency is pretty important in the restaurant industry, so things like boiling water can be reused to cook multiple orders of pasta. I’m sure you see where I’m going with this. Similar to frying French fries in the same oil as onion rings (onion rings are coated in wheat flour) it’s very important to the wait staff and thus the chef that they cannot cook your gluten free pasta in water being used to cook normal pasta. They must use a freshly cleaned pot with clean water. This is one reason I do not eat pasta at most Italian restaurants.

      Sushi – you must be careful to ask. Why? You might know to avoid soy sauce (yes, I know… here it is again!) at the table as well as anything labeled as tempura (which means it was battered with wheat flour/egg mixture and then fried). But what you might not realize is that some restaurants add soy sauce or a cheap grain-based vinegar (that contains gluten) to their sushi rice as it cooks. Imitation crab is also not gluten free.

      Two apps I recommend to help you find hidden Gluten are – Shopwell & Now Find Gluten Free. Shopwell even has a scanner that lets you scan labels in the grocery store to find hidden Gluten. This is how I learned that my grocery store brand tomato sauce was thickened with Gluten but the name brand was not.

Baked Breakfast Taquitos

I’ve LOVE taquitos, especially when I make it at home because I don’t have to skimp on the fillings and I bake them so they are not they greasy old school taquito you’re used to. The only thing is, I really don’t get to make it as much as I want to. That’s where these breakfast taquitos come in.

These babies are freezer and fridge- friendly so I can actually make a ton of them! Simply bake these according to the directions listed below and freeze them so you can fulfill you taquito cravings any time. They definitely come in handy in the mornings where I can pop these (from fridge) into the microwave for about 20-30 seconds, take a shower and then indulge in a cheesy, breakfast taquito loaded with eggs, sausage and veggies. Frozen, wrap in foil and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Now that’s a breakfast of champions!

And if you happen to have some of my homemade Salsa on hand you’re in business.  http://dallasglutenfree.com/2017/11/23/restaurant-styled-salsa/

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Breakfast Taquitos

These are great to fix ahead in batches and heat and take with you. 

Course Breakfast
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Author Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 3 Eggs Beaten
  • 6 Pre-cooked Sausage I used links
  • 1/2 cup Cheese of your liking Shredded
  • 6 Corn Tortillas
  • 1/4 cup any veg optional
  • Spray oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425'. Spay baking sheet with oil. Sauté veg. until tender (about 3 min.) Fold eggs in to veggies. Heat tortillas in microwave for 30 second so they will be pliable. Working one at a time, transfer tortilla to a work surface; place eggs, sausage, cheese in the center of each wrapper. Bring the bottom edge of the tortilla tightly over the filling, rolling from bottom to top until the top of the tortilla is reached. Repeat with remaining tortilla and filling. Place taquitos seam side down onto prepared baking sheet, spay lightly with oil and bake until taquitos are crisp and cheese has melted, about 12-15 minutes.

Recipe Notes

If refrigerating or freezing let them completely cool before  putting them in.

I use the precooked Turkey sausage links cause I'm lazy and I like to cut out a step. But you could easily use crumbled cooked sausage and fold it in to the eggs.

Peppers and Mushrooms – chopped spinach works really good too. In that case cook eggs and fold spinach in to eggs – spinach will wilt.
I add a little milk to my eggs but it’s not necessary.
My daughter made me this herb/salt mix & I’m obsessed with it so I threw some in my eggs.
Cooked eggs with my veggies folded in.

Getting ready to roll them up! REMEMBER – seam side down.
My oven runs a little hot this was to 12 minutes. Check yours at 10.
AND YUMMMM!!!

Dipped into sour cream, salsa and guacamole you’ve got yourself the perfect, quick & easy breakfast for all.

If you like your food a little spicy you can add some chopped jalapenos to your vegetables before sautéing.

 

 

 

Restaurant Styled Salsa

{2} Cans of Green Chili & diced tomatoes (I use the mild but if you like it spicier feel free to go that way)

{1} Can of whole tomatoes 28oz.

{1/2 cup or large handful} chopped cilantro

{1/4 cup} chopped red onion

{2} cloves of garlic chopped

{1} jalapeno – chopped (I remove the seeds and membrane from half the pepper to cut down on the heat but your option is low heat remove it all or more heat leave it all)

{1/4} teaspoon of cumin

{1/2} teaspoon of salt

juice of 1/2 of a lime

Throw the diced tomatoes, whole tomatoes, cilantro, onions, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, salt and lime juice in a blender or food processor. (This is a very large batch 2 quarts). I use a 12-cup food processor, or you can process the ingredients in batches and then mix everything together in a large mixing bowl.)

A Spotlight on Natural Grocers

Natural Grocers has been in business since 1955. They are a family company that has been built on great intent and integrity. From the beginning they established a foundation they refer to as the Five Founding Principles.

1- Nutritional Education  – 2 – Highest Quality Products – 3- Affordable Pricing – 4 – Commitment to Community – 5 – Commitment to Employees

Founded in 1955 by Margaret and Philip Isely with $200 and a dream that everyone should be able to afford health food and a healthy lifestyle. Margaret struggled with chronic health problems and the ability to afford the healthy foods and supplements she needed. Above all odds NG has expanded to more than 90 stores.

A few days ago I found myself across the street from my local NG store. I hadn’t been in there in a while and I had some free time so I decided to really take my time and walk the store.  I walked every isle slowly, taking it all in.

Some of the product I saw when doing my safari. You may already know of these finds of mine but I thought I’d share.

Mostess Mini- Cupcakes by: Better Bites. Vegan, Kosher, Gluten free – free of top 8 allergens.

Refrigerator case.

Hail Merry Tarts – Gluten free, Vegan, Kosher & Non – GMO.

Refrigerator case.

The best tasting organic peanut butter in the world and delicately place it into the highest quality, organic and fair-trade chocolate available.

Epic Bars – EPIC Bar, the original meat, fruit, and nut bar, is a savory high protein snack. Each bar is rich in protein, low in sugar, gluten free, grain free, and absent of both soy and dairy. Live EPIC, Eat EPIC!

Niman Ranch Pulled Pork – From natural pork: humanely raised on sustainable U.S. farms. Never given antibiotics or added hormones – ever. All vegetarian feeds. Minimally processed. No artificial ingredients.

Meat case.

Teton Waters Junior Franks -Great for appetizers. No Nitrates, Not Preserved, No Hormones, No Antibiotics, No Feed Lot, Gluten free, No sugar, No MSG.

Meat case.

Pararuba cake bites – Gluten free, Low glycemic, High in fiber.

In freezer case.

Ian’s Corn Dogs – Popcorn Turkey Corndogs combine antibiotic and hormone free mini turkey hot dogs with a crispy batter. Delicious  – enjoy without the wheat, gluten, milk, casein, eggs, nuts, and soy!

Freezer case.

Applegate Corn Dogs on a stick. Grass-fed Beef, No Nitrates, Gluten free, Casein free, Humanely Raised Meat.

Freezer case.

Against the Grain Baguettes – Original & Rosemary are crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside, and full of flavor like traditional French bread. Celiac-owned family business committed to baking gluten free products using the natural properties of real foods.

Freezer case.

Delicious Gluten free Buns. 100% Plant based, Eggs free.

Freezer case.

Premier Japan – Hoisin sauce. Sweet Asian Sauce for dipping and grilling – Gluten free, Organic

Ian’s Rosemary Garlic Croutons. These croutons perfect atop Caesar salad or soup, they make a scrumptious (and addictive) snack right out of the bag! No Milk/Casein free, No Peanuts or tree nuts, No Soy, No Wheat/Gluten, Non-GMO.

The largest assortment of Gluten free baking and cooking flours & mixes I’ve ever seen!!

I’ve seen the Glutino  Gluten free pretzels lots of places but  these Salted Caramel Covered variety was a first for me.

Pacific Organic Cream based condensed soups – Great as a base for soups, casseroles and sauces.

The next two are perfect for the Holidays.

Pacific Gluten free Stuffing Mix & Imagine Gluten free Roasted Turkey Gravy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mini Corn Dog Muffins – Not just for kids!!

Well, it’s State Fair time here in Texas and it got me to thinking of the famous Corny dogs sold there. While I’m not really a fan of those greasy fried dogs on a stick, this version is a little bite more for my taste. Mini Corn Dog Muffins! A fun simple recipe for an occasion. Easily made gluten-free, too!

If you have a favorite cornbread recipe you can use that and adapt it for the muffins here. Or do as I do – take the easy way out and use a Gluten free mix. I used this one from Martha White. Pre-heat oven to 375′. Prepare per package instructions. *NOTE – my package said 400′ but I think that’s to hot for these tiny guys.

This will make apx. 1 1/2 dozen mini dogs.
My mini muffin pan is a mini size LOL!! Most of the mini pans hold three dozen muffins. If I were going to make this for example a buffet party, I would take a trip to Walmart and pick up the larger size.
Use your favorite Gluten free hot dog or vegan dog.Cut dogs into bite size pieces. I used three dogs for my 1 1/2 muffins.
Spray cooking oil spray into the pan. Use a Tablespoon measurer to load the batter in the pan. Fill up 1/2-3/4 full.
Insert the dog pieces in the batter. Make sure the rounded ends are flat side down or they will roll. Believe me I – I watched them fall over and then had to dig them out.
Bake for 13-15 min. Until coked thru and just turning brown. Hint- they are small so you don’t want to over cook them and dry them out.

Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes. And then use a butter knife to gently remove from the pan.

Serve with spicy mustard  or your favorite dipping sauce.

After completely cooled, you can store these for a day or two in an air tight container and heat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.

Oven Fried Chicken Strips (Fingers)

Make the crispiest chicken fingers you’ll ever make using Gluten free panko breadcrumbs. They are Japanese breadcrumbs and are bigger than normal breadcrumbs which = more crunch, compensating for not deep frying. They’ll be ready in just minutes!

I rarely deep fry. I hate the mess. I feel like it’s a “waste” of oil (unless I make deep fried goodness again shortly thereafter – which is unlikely), plus I am a klutz so I have a fear of deep frying. And it’s just not healthy.

 

Oreida Tator tots take the same cooking temp., so for a fast fix side dish – pop some in the oven (directions on side of package).

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Ingredients

  • 2 T. Water
  • 4 T. Ranch dressing (Gluten free)
  • 1 Cup Plain or Italian style Gluten free panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesean cheese
  • 1 Pkg. Chicken breast (about 1-1/4 lb.)
  • Olive oil spray

Instructions

  1. Pound chicken slightly at thicker end to make uniform thickness.

  2. Cut chicken in to pieces a little thicker and longer as a finger. If they are too thin they will dry out during cooking.

  3. Heat oven to 425°F. Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.

  4. In a shallow dish, beat ranch dressing and water. In second shallow dish, mix bread crumbs and cheese. Dip into water/ranch mixture, shake off excess, then coat with bread crumb mixture. Place on cookie sheet.  Spray slightly with spray olive oil.

  5. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until chicken is no longer pink in center and coating is golden brown.

  6. Serve with Ranch dressing or favorite dipping sauce.

Recipe Notes

 

If you can not find Italian style bread crumbs add 2 T. of mixed Italian seasoning to the plain bread crumbs if desired.

The chicken can be cut ahead of time and stored in a zip lock bag.

***Kinnikinnick & Ian's both make GF panko crumbs. Ian's makes an Italian style version, however it is not as easy to find. Most stores seem to carry the Kinnikinnck.

WANT TO MAKE A COCONUT VERSION ????

Sub out Dijon mustard for the ranch, use plain panko crumbs and trade the cheese for sweetened coconut flakes. Serve with honey mustard or your favorite dipping sauce.

Easiest – Better than Restaurant Chicken Fried Rice

 

While making Chicken fried rice sounds simple – and it is once you’ve learned some of the tricks.  You will be able to get the perfect fried rice every time.

The first and most important ingredient is COLD RICE!! You can use day old rice. Just cook extra a day or two before you want to make to fried rice. I find that cooking it the same day and chilling it works out just fine. I prefer the flavor of Jasmine rice but plain old fast cook white rice works good too.

Why, you ask – cold rice ??? The rice gets drier as is cools and the grains become like individual “pellets” that will not get mushy. Also the rice will now take on more of the flavor of the other ingredients.

So- what do I do if I cook the rice on the same day? One – you could make it in the morning before work, fluff the rice with a fork really well and then put the pot in the fridge. Two – you can spread out on a rimmed pan and put it in the fridge for at least an hour. If you are good at planning ahead, the day before method is great but I’m not much good at doing that.

Another trick is adding sesame oil to the mix. Yes it makes a difference – it takes it  beyond the ordinary.

Having a good grade of Gluten free soy sauce {Tamari} is imperative too. I like the San – J brand. It’s made with 100% soy and no wheat, it has a richer, milder, more complex taste than regular soy sauce.

A shout out to all of you vegetarian eaters out there!!  You can easily make this dish without chicken.  Just leave out the step where chicken is added and skip straight to the next step.  It will still a make kick  a$$  made-at-home take-out!

Serve this with some GF egg rolls and you will think you’re at the local Asian restaurant.

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Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Author Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Chicken breasts
  • 3 Cups Cooked cold rice
  • 1/2 Yellow onion chopped
  • 1 Cup Frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2-3 T. Gluten free soy sauce {Tamari} I prefer San-J
  • 2 T. Sesame oil
  • 2 Beaten eggs
  • 1 T. Olive oil
  • 2 T. Chopped green onion
  • 1 Small hand full of chopped fresh cilantro for garnish {optional}
  • 2 Cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1 T. Sesame oil to drizzle on finished rice

Instructions

  1. Chop the chicken up finely with a knife. Saute' in olive oil until cooked through. Remove to a plate.

  2. Preheat a large skillet or wok. Add 1 T. of sesame oil and 1 T. of olive oil to the pan. Heat til medium heat. Add the onion and mixed vegetables and heat until they are tender. Toss in the chopped garlic.

  3. Push the vegetable and onions over to one side. Add the eggs and scramble. Incorporate the eggs into the vegetables. 

  4. Add the cold rice and chicken to the egg and vegetable mixture. *You might need to add a little more oil at this point if the pan is dry. Let all of it sit for a couple of minutes.Pour the soy sauce of all over it and toss until everything is evenly combined.

  5. Add the green onion, 1T. of sesame oil  and give it one more toss. Top with cilantro if using. Serve with additional soy sauce to taste.

Recipe Notes

Make sure your skillet or wok is large enough to handle all the ingredients that you will have at the end. You will need room enough to be able to comfortably tossing everything.  

You may need to add more oil to your pan as you go through the steps. Remember to use a touch of sesame oil when adding olive oil.

Chop your chicken into small pieces
After cooking add chicken to a plate
Cook your vegetable
Push veg to the side and cook the eggs
Combine the eggs, vegetables and cooked chicken & toss

Greek Chicken

Yes, a single baking pan is all you need, which will certainly come in handy for those busy weeknights, or even when you have friends over so you’re not slaving away in the kitchen while trying to be a good host.

Most of the recipes for this dish call for a whole cut up chicken. But I think that the thighs just get more tender and juicy when baked.

Steamed green beans or any other green vegetable finish out this easy meal.

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Author Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 - 4 Lb. Chicken thighs {4-6 pieces}
  • 6 Yucon gold potatoes cut in to wedges
  • 8 Cloves Garlic crushes & minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 3/4 C Olive oil
  • 2/3 C Freshley squeezed Lemon juice
  • 2 T Dried Oregano

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375'

  2. Sprinkle chicken with garlic and toss. Add potatoes and evenly distribute chicken and potatoes in the baking dish. Chicken skin side up.

  3. Season generously with salt & pepper.

  4. Whisk olive oil, lemon juice and oregano in a small bowl until emulsified {creamy appearance}.

  5. Pour over chicken and potatoes. {you can cover with foil at this point and refrigerate until ready to bake}

  6. Bake uncovered for 75 - 80 minutes, basting 3-4 times during cooking.

  7. Chicken should be golden brown.

Recipe Notes

Use kitchen shears to trim extra skin and fat from the thighs before cooking.

 

GIVE AWAY COMING SOON !!

In response to customer requests, and knowing just how hard it is to maintain a gluten free diet when traveling or dining out, San-J has created a Travel Pack. This is San-J Organic Gluten Free Tamari packaged in convenient travel-sized sachets. You don’t have to carry around that big bottle of gluten free soy sauce any more. San-J Organic Gluten Free Tamari sachets are packed 20 to a box and, as with San-J’s bottled Organic Gluten Free Tamari, are certified gluten free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization and certified organic and kosher.

I’ve been carrying mine in a zip lock snack baggie, how about you?

Well – San-J is sending me some of these cases, samples of their travel packs and some coupons.

As soon as I receive them I will be announcing a give away. Keep looking!

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I’m on Instagram – cherylglutenfreedallas