Gluten Free, Life

Made this a while ago…

I was going to post this long ago. It was something that I decided I was going to make one night. Simple shrimp and creamy tomato sauce. All you need are your favorite form of pasta. Though after my most recent blog you know not to expect a lot of pasta after what recently happened to me. Anyway, in addition to the pasta find your favorite tomato sauce/or make your own and your favorite alfredo sauce. If you’re gluten free make sure you check the labels very carefully on the alfredo sauce. After you have found the two different sauces you need then find whatever size shrimp you like. I tend to go towards the medium sized shrimp that are already peeled and deveined. You can buy the ones that have the tales left on as this is easy to remove once you thaw shrimp out.

Side note: Once you thaw shrimp you should cook them right away. It’s not good to keep thawing and re-thawing shrimp. Or make sure you only pull out of the bag just the amount you want thawed and instantly return the rest back into the freezer. Also, remember this shrimp cook EXTREMELY fast so medium heat is best and keep an eye on them. If they start to form something that looks closer to a circle than a letter c they are overcooking.

Step One: Boil the water for your pasta and add a dash of salt for a little flavor to the noodles. I tend to cook mine only for about 8 to 10 minutes in boiling water so they come out more al-dente. If you like them on the softer side leave them in for just a few minutes more than that. You don’t want to over cook the noodles either.

Step Two: Once the noodles are done drain them and run them under cold water to stop the cooking process. Once you’ve done that time to pull out your sauces and get those into a pan.

Step Three: You want to start out with the cream sauce first. Then pour in your tomato sauce. Be careful to make sure you get the right balance that you get a nice tomato cream sauce going on. You don’t want it to taste too much like tomato sauce or too much like cream sauce. That’s the trick is getting the mix just right that it taste perfectly creamy with a hint of tomato sauce. When it comes to tomato sauce a little bit goes a long way in this case because it is such a powerful flavor.

Once everything is all combined it should look like this. A nice light pink creamy color and that means that it’s mixed just right

Step Four: Take the noodles that you had drained and rinsed and pour them into the sauce. Mix that all up and leave it on low heat to make sure the noodles are warmed up enough for you to eat them. No one likes cold pasta when they are expecting it to be warm.

Step Five: Take the shrimp that you cooked and pour that into the pot as well. Heat everything together for a few minutes until everything is evenly heated and up to the temperature you want it to. Be sure not to turn the heat up too high because you don’t want to cook the shrimp all over again. You just want to warm them up a bit so you can eat them.

That’s it…that’s all you need to make the dish.

When all is said and done it should look like this
Life

What do you do?

What do you do when you come home from work and feel so alone you just want to cry? Do you pull out a book and start reading? Do you put on one of your favorite go to movies? Do you go in the kitchen and find anything that you know is bad for you but will make you feel good? That last one I used to do that a lot. So much so that now I’m in a whole new health problem of a world. On top of being gluten free I now have to alter my diet again.

So yeah I now feel like why me? Why does shit always happen to me. Just when I start to get some sort of positivity and hope back in my life something else comes along to set it back. I had to be in the hospital on Tuesday because I was in so much pain and vomiting (sorry it’s gross) that I couldn’t stand it anymore. So now I also have hospital bills to stress out over. The end result. It was my gallbladder. I have what is called biliary sludge. That caused me to have the pain and what I ate that day a few hours before caused my gallbladder to make me sick.

So I have to go on a low fat diet and have a follow up with a doctor to talk about where I’m at and how I’m feeling. They said it could be a one time thing or it could occur again so it’s best to make the diet adjustment now. The upside is that there are options out there to eating a fat free/low fat diet. More veggies is a must and less dairy. Though we need a little dairy to survive so that is why they make fat free or skim milk for those that need it. Now it takes even more of an effort for me to plan what I’m going to eat.

So now you will see more low fat and gluten free options on my blog. The good side is low fat and getting back to the gym should help me lose the weight I really want to lose. Now back to my Christmas movies because when I’m sad that’s what I watch even though they tend to just make me more sad.

Gluten Free, Life

Melting Pot of Pasta

Time to post another yummy meal that I was able to make. This time I had some help making it from my 4 year old nephew. However, as this is a public space I will not be posting any photographs of him. I call it the melting pot of pasta because that’s what it really is. It’s a melting pot of different things.

So to make this dish if you want to do it the same way I did you will need the following:

  1. Red Potatos
  2. Gluten Free Pasta or regular if you don’t need the GF
  3. Sweet Italian Sausage
  4. Tomato sauce of your choice or get creative and use homemade sauce if you have the time to make it
  5. Garlic powder or fresh garlic your choice
  6. bay leaf
  7. basil
  8. rosemary
  9. parsley
  10. crushed red pepper flakes
  11. broccoli
    Spice Bottles
    These are the spices used for the dish

    Now when it comes to the broccoli what I like to do because I find that it really brings out a lot of flavor is roast the broccoli. Take out a baking sheet and spread the broccoli out. Sprinkle the broccoli with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. If you want to add even more flavor you can absolutely and I recommend it if you want to add Parmesan to this as well. It goes into the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. That is just the right amount of time to roast the broccoli perfectly.

    Broccoli

    While the broccoli is roasting I suggest you get started on the rest of the meal. The sausage is going to take you a good ten minutes depending on how many people you are trying to serve to get it done right. While you are doing the meat don’t be afraid to get that pasta water going because the noodles are going to take 10 minutes to get cooked right. Don’t forget when it comes to your noodles to add the salt to the water to add some flavor to the pasta noodles.

    The potatoes that’s another ball game in itself. They have to also be boiled and then at the very end quickly pan fried to be added to the dish. I don’t suggest combining everything with sauce at the end because this dish can be done with red sauce or if you just want to do a simple butter or olive oil sauce it would taste good that way as well.

    Dinner 1
    I suggest mixing the sausage, potatoes, and noodles all together without sauce. Let everyone decide on the sauce.

    Now when it comes to sauce. If you follow my blog you know that I don’t just make plain Jane tomato sauce. Even if I do it store bought I always add spices and things to the sauce. The spices I listed at the beginning are what I add into my tomato sauce when I make it for my pasta dishes. That is if I’m not doing it homemade, that is an entirely different ballgame.

    Spices
    The spices in the sauce before it’s mixed together.

    When serving make sure to have the main mixture in a separate bowl. Then have different sauces depending on your crowd in separate dishes for them to be able to choose which one they want to put on the pasta. This is just an example of the dish on a plate that we had when I was down visiting my family.

    Dinner Plate.jpg
    Doesn’t it look delicious? 

    The reason I call this a melting pot is because you can add anything you want really into this dish. The only thing I don’t suggest doing is adding broccoli into it. The broccoli is made to just be that little extra side dish to accompany the pasta dish. It’s not meant to be part of the main dish itself.

    All the photos in this post are credit to my sister in law who I am very lucky supports my love of doing this blog and posting about my food that I cook. Thanks Nikki!

    I hope that if you try to make this dish at home you have as much fun as I did making it and the people you make it for enjoy it as much as my family did when I made it for them.

Gluten Free

Rice noodle, broccoli, chicken, and egg dinner from last night

I’m one of the rare ones, the ones that actually like to eat broccoli. Even as a kid. I’ve always liked broccoli. There are so many different ways you can cook it and it will taste good…hello broccoli and cheddar soup. That’s one of the best kinds of soups.

I was browsing through facebook yesterday and came across Gordon Ramsey making this same dish. I of course had to use what I already had in my kitchen which was luckily what he had in his kitchen as well. The only difference was he used more thick rice noodles than I had in my kitchen. I had thin rice noodles but it still turned out the same way. I decided that I wanted to make it because I like Asian dishes every now and then. I just don’t like spicy ones.

Basically its very simple what you need to make the dish. You just need chicken breast, eggs, a little olive oil, garlic, soy sauce of your choice and brand, and broccoli. I use baby broccoli florets because they are smaller and easier to work with. You can use whichever you want to use.

Now for the steps to prepare everything:

  1. butterfly the chicken and pound it to get it as thin as possible
  2. slice the chicken into thin strips
  3. take your garlic and prepare that as necessary
  4. cut your broccoli into smaller pieces
  5. boil water for your rice noodles
  6. when water is done boiling pour it into a bowl and soak the noodles (no longer than 4-6 minutes)
  7. pour your oil into the pan and heat it up
  8. crack two eggs into a bowl and whisk them

Once the prep is done now it’s time to do the cooking!

  1. add the chicken into the pan and season with plain old salt and pepper (you want it as thin as possible so that it gets that little crispy edges but stays moist.
  2. take the cooked chicken and push it aside, add in the garlic and broccoli
  3. add some soy sauce to mix in to get the flavor
  4. remove the items in the pan and wipe out the pan to prepare the egg
  5. pour the egg into the center of the pan
    1. you want to whisk them only slightly once they start cooking in the pan
    2. then when the eggs are not fully cooked at the items back into the pan
  6. Mix everything in the pan together, then add the noodles and a touch more soy sauce

Once that is all said and done and it’s mixed together it’s time to enjoy it! IMG_1564

Gluten Free

Breakfast of champions…


Okay well maybe not champions but it’s my champion breakfast. Three eggs scrambled and in a pan. Basically it’s omelet style without being folded over. Just cook them enough and flip it over into the other side. Once the eggs are done cooking the rest is easy. 

Pull out whatever pizza sauce you would use if you were making a homemade pizza. Spread it on the eggs and sprinkle with your choice of cheese and toppings. In reality you could fold it over into an omelet. I just don’t. I would rather eat it looking like a small pizza than folded over it’s all a matter of preference. 

I prefer my eggs more well done with mozzarella and pepperoni as my toppings. If I’m just eating a plate of scrambled eggs with has browns and bacon it’s got to have cheddar cheese in the eggs. I can’t eat plain eggs I just don’t like the taste. I’ve tried. 

One thing that is the key is make sure it is cooked enough before you try to go flipping it. Also make sure you are either using a non-stick skillet or putting some butter or oil in the bottom to keep the eggs from sticking. Trust me they will stick of you don’t. It’s much easier to flip it if it’s cooked enough that it will stay together. 

Once it’s all said and done you just pop it in the microwave or whatever and once the cheese is melted pull it out and enjoy!

Gluten Free

Tonight’s dinner

Tonight’s dinner menu was breaded chicken, potatoes and peppers. 

To make this I bought some chicken breasts, eggs, and some gluten free breadcrumbs. I tend to buy the chicken that’s seasoned with Italian seasoning. 

So you start out the way you always do when it comes to breaded chicken. First it’s you dip the chicken in your flour whether you are doing it gluten free or not, it helps the egg adhere better. Once it’s coated in flour dip it into the egg mixture. For my egg mixture I usually add some milk into it. Then it is into the breadcrumbs. I buy 4c Gluten free Italian breadcrumbs. 

I buy normal potatoes but you can buy whichever you choose. Then I buy one red pepper and one green. So I get the potatoes to the bare point (no skin) and cut them into bite size small pieces. Then I do the same with the peppers monies skinning the peppers. I combine the peppers and potatoes with some olive oil. Throw them in the oven at 400 degrees with some olive oil, salt and pepper.  

You can either bake the chicken or do what I do and stick it in olive oil and make sure you time it. Don’t walk away and let the chicken over cook in the oil. Once the breading is browned pull it out. Otherwise the breading will burn and the chicken will be over cooked. 


It should look like this. A nice light golden brown color. 


The pepper and potato mixture should look like this. Nice and yummy. 

Then all you need to do is plate it and enjoy. 

Gluten Free

Fried cheese and meatballs

So tonight I decided to try this recipe that I saw while scrolling through Facebook. It was on the food networks Facebook page. The recipe was shared by Guy Fieri and originally it was frying a thing of provolone. I am not big on provolone cheese so I decided to use the recipe but do mozzarella instead. 

I also decided that obviously I can just have fried cheese for dinner so I bought gluten free meatballs at the store. I was not going to have enough time between going to the store for the ingredients for the cheese and to come home and make meatballs. That’s something I need to do when I have time. 

Anyway the recipe for the batter goes like this:

1. 1 cup of cornstarch

2. 1 cup of flour (obviously mine is gf)

3. 2 cups of cold club soda*

4. 1 teaspoon of salt

5. 1 teaspoon of parsley flakes 

6. Whisk together until smooth and refrigerate for a half an hour

It should come out looking like this. 


Now originally they make a tomato salsa to go with this recipe. I’m again trying to save time and not bother with the salsa. I will just heat up some tomato dipping sauce. 

Once the batter is cold and pulled out make sure you have your oil heated. Then simple steps dip the cheese slices into flour and then into batter. Once they are coated in batter they go into the pot. They obviously do not have to be in there very long or else it would be a nasty giant pot of oil and melted cheese. 

After a few attempts it was not holding up so instead I improvised and used the batter as a base and put breadcrumbs on the mozzarella slices. This held up a little better. So they turned out like this. 


I don’t think we need a picture of the meatballs as we all know what those look like. So anyway that is what’s for dinner tonight. 

Until next time…

Gluten Free

Chicken, broccoli, and pasta with cheese sauce…

It’s new recipe time everyone! This time I’m taking my five cheese mac and cheese recipe and kicking it up a notch!

Tonight’s dinner menu is chicken, broccoli and penne pasta with a cheese sauce. I’ve modified the five cheese to only be a few cheeses. 

So obviously the first thing you need to start off with is a chicken breast that you’ve either thawed overnight in the fridge or thawed out in the microwave before slicing it into bite sized pieces. Then you want to oil up your pan. 

My go to oil to cook with

I just like the flavor of extra virgin olive oil but feel free to use whatever oil you like. It’s just to keep the chicken from sticking and to keep it moist. 

Then you want to add your seasonings to the chicken. A little salt and pepper goes a long way. I also like to add a sprinkle of garlic and italian seasonings to my chicken. It just adds that nice bit of flavor to it. 


While you are prepping the chicken make sure you have your pasta water on and are getting that boiling. It is going to take a bit longer to do the pasta than it is the chicken. Also you want to add a bit of salt to your pasta water just for some flavor. You can add oil if you choose though it doesn’t really help it not stick together. You just have to keep stirring your noodles to keep them seperate. Putting a lid on it will help the heat stay in the pan and bring it to a boil a bit faster. 


Once you have the water up to a boil add in the pasta of your choice. Obviously as you can see by the earlier paragraph I chose to use Penne pasta. You can use elbow noodles if you want it to feel more like a mac and cheese. 

Now that your chicken should be done and your noodles are cooking it’s time to prepare the sauce. You want to start with butter and flour and milk to start your base for your sauce. Or as we call it a rue. It will look a little weird at first until you add in the milk. 

Just the butter and flour mix

You will for sure want to have a whisk on hand to make the cheese sauce. 

After the milk is added you have a rue

Once you have the rue started time to add in the cheeses and stir it up until it’s just right when you’re done it will look like this. Depending on the cheese it will be a yellow color or a white color. I like a lot more white cheeses like Monterey and Parmesan. I only add a little bit of cheddar to mine. 


Once the pasta is almost cooked but not quite why not save yourself some extra dishes and add the broccoli right into the pasta water with the noodles 


Let them cook until ready and then pull your colander out and give them a good drain and rinse. Once that’s done time to add it all together grab yourself a plate and enjoy it! 

Gluten Free

Five cheese mac n cheese my way 

First things first I’m going to take these ingredients and turn them into something delicious. 

This is my shopping list:

  1. Gluten free elbow noodles
  2. Gluten free breadcrumbs
  3. Shredded Parmesan 
  4. Shredded Monterey Jack 
  5. Shredded sharp cheddar
  6. Shredded provolone 
  7. Shredded mozzarella 
  8. Milk (whichever you prefer)
  9. Butter
  10. Gluten free flour
  11. Ground turkey

The last three ingredients come into play later.

First things first you want to make sure you get your pasta cooking. Boil your water with a little salt and oil in it. Once it’s at a rolling boil toss your pasta noodles in there. Keep a watchful eye because you don’t want to overcook the noodles. You want them as close to al dente as possible as you will be using the oven. 


Once you’ve got your noodles in there cooking it’s time to get started on browning the meat. You don’t have to use ground turkey I just like to switch between that and ground beef. 


Season the meat with a little garlic, salt and pepper. That will just help to add a little extra flavor to it. It won’t take long to get the meat cooked so you should probably just stay in the kitchen. Throw on some music and jam while you’re cooking this meal. 

Once you have the noodles and meat done throw them into the colander and rinse them off. I do this step with them both together as a time saver. You can do them separately if you choose. 

The next step is super important when you are making any sort of cheese sauce. You want to start with what is called a bechemel base to the sauce. So you first want to take butter and on medium heat get it melted down. Once it’s melted you want to add flour to the mix. You want to use your wisk and wisk it until it is not clumpy slowly adding milk to it. Eventually you want the bechemel base to look like this. 
 

It’s a nice and creamy base to start out your sauce with. Then you just want to start slowly adding your cheeses into the sauce wisking it until it is smooth. Eventually it will turn out like this. 


If you find that your sauce is still too thick feel free to add a little bit more milk to thin it out. This is all about eyeballing when it comes to how thick or thin you want your sauce. 

Once you have your sauce prepared and your noodles and meat done it’s time to throw it all together. First pre-heat your oven to 350. Find your favorite pan that you use when throwing things in the oven and combine everything together in that pan like this. 


Then just before you toss it into the oven add the gluten free breadcrumbs on top of it for a little something extra. You want to keep it in the oven just long enough to brown the breadcrumbs. I also sprinkled just a bit more cheese on top of it for a little added something. 

Keep an eye on it while it’s in the oven so you don’t burn it. The worst thing to clean on a pan is burnt cheese sauce. Once you pop it out of the oven it’s time for this. 


Scoop it out and enjoy!

Gluten Free

Veggie pasta and olive oil

So I’m a big fan of pasta but as we all know pasta can not be the healthiest of your diet options. I’ve cut it down to only indulging in pasta once a week but I thought I’d share with you another version of pasta that I like to eat. Normally I am a big fan of the pasta with your typical variation of tomato sauce depending on your taste. However now and then I like to switch things up a little bit. This is how I became a fan of eating it the way I’m going to tell you about in this blog. 

First things first though when it comes to pasta. Make sure you have a good pan to cook your noodles in. This is by far one of the best things I ever got from my mama. 

Rachel Ray collection
This is the perfect pan to use for so many things but it is also great for cooking straight pasta noodles without having to break them apart. It is one of my absolute favorite pans I have in my kitchen. 

When cooking pasta if you’re like me you can do one of two things to add a little flavor. You can cook the noodles in chicken stock instead of water or if using water add a little salt to it. Contrary to the popular belief adding oil to your pasta water does nothing to prevent sticking. You have to make sure to stir the noodles to prevent this from occurring.  

I prefer my noodles more on the al dente side which means they are cooked but they are not super soft. When cooking pasta you should always try to aim more al dente because especially in the case with this dish you are going to be adding the noodles back into a heating source so you don’t want to have them get over cooked. 

The next step on my list is once the noodles are cooked rinsing them off. Then it’s time to work on the veggies for the dish. I took tomatoes and cut them up and then I took some red, green, and yellow peppers and cut them into bite sized pieces as well. I took some garlic that I had already bought chopped and added that into the pan. I started with just a small amount of extra virgin olive oil to cook the veggies in. 

I also added into it some thyme, rosemary, oregano, and basil and two bay leafs for flavoring. You want to have the veggies be able to absorb some of that flavor while they are cooking. Again you want to watch that you don’t overcook the veggies as well. That’s easy to do if you walk away from the kitchen. 

Once you have the veggies cooked it is time to add the noodles back into the pot and add a little more olive oil into the mix. Stir it all up and it will look something like this. 


Feel free if you feel that you need some sort of meat rather than just pasta to add meatballs to it. I did this and it turned out just as good. I also am guilty of liking to sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese on every Italian thing that I eat. 


This is what my dish looked like before I sprinkled in the cheese. You don’t have to add cheese naturally it’s your preference. I just always go in the mindset of cheese just makes a pasta dish taste that much better. 

That’s it that is my simple easy meal that I decided to try out. If you try it for yourself and enjoy it let me know!