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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Green Bean and Shrimp Salad

This recipe comes to me from my good friend and former roommate, Halley. Two parts, combined together at the end...

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp honey dijon mustard
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp snipped fresh chives

In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Gradually drizzle in olive oil, whisking continuously until dressing is emulsified.

Green Beans and Shrimp:
1 lb green beans, trimmed and ready to cook
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 and 1/2 lbs shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add beans and simmer 5 mins or until crisp-tender. Drain and place in large bowl. Toss with vinaigrette; set aside.

Heat the 2 Tbsp oil in large skillet over med-high heat. Add garlic and shrimp. Season with salt and pepper and cook ~2 mins per side or until cooked through.

To serve, toss tomatoes with beans. Place in serving dish. Scatter shrimp and feta over top.

Notes: All ingredients may be found at Aldi. Use frozen beans and shrimp and chopped refrigerated garlic. Chives may be omitted depending on availability and taste. May also use spicy brown mustard in place of honey dijon for a different kick.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Puppy Chow

For those with a sweet tooth, this recipe will definitely hit the spot:

9 cups Rice Squares (or Rice Chex) cereal... about 2/3 of the box
1 regular-sized pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. butter
1 tsp vanilla
~1 and 1/2 c. powdered sugar (or as much as necessary to coat cereal when finished)

Measure out cereal in large bowl. In 1-qt microwaveable bowl, combine entire bag of chocolate chips, butter, and peanut butter and microwave for 1 minute. Remove bowl and stir. Add vanilla and microwave again for ~30 seconds. Remove and stir. Repeat if necessary until mixture is smooth, though careful not to over-microwave chocolate. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until cereal is thoroughly coated. Transfer cereal to large 2-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add powdered sugar and shake until well-coated. Refrigerate before serving.

Notes: I find this recipe works better if I just sort of wing the amount of peanut butter used. For those who like a decidedly more peanut-buttery taste, use more. For those who like a more chocolaty taste, use less peanut butter.

White Chicken Chili

A favorite for autumn and winter, this recipe is tried and true:

1 med onion, chopped
1(+) Tbsp olive oil (as needed)
~1-2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp cumin (or to taste)
2 15.8 oz cans Great Northern beans
1 14.5 oz can chicken broth
1 pkg pre-sliced chicken breasts / tenderloins (for stir-fry or similar, roughly 1 lb meat)
2 roma tomatoes (or 1 can diced tomatoes)
1 can corn
chopped carrots to taste

In large skillet or dutch oven, sautee onion and chicken in oil. Add carrots when chicken is half done. After chicken is thoroughly cooked, add cornstarch, tomatoes, and cumin. Cook and stir 1-2 mins, thoroughly coating chicken in spice and thickening agent. Add beans, corn, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 mins or until thickened. Garnish with cheese and sour cream as desired. Also great with tortilla chips.

Baked Oatmeal

The controversy over oats aside, if your system can handle it, this simple southern delicacy is one to keep in the recipe books for years...

1 c. oil
2 c. sugar
4 eggs

6 c. oatmeal
1 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 c. milk

Pour into a 9" x 13" pan and Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 mins or until the edges are brown and the center doesn't wiggle. Cut into squares and serve warm with Cinnamin Milk (recipe below).

Cinnamin Milk:

In a medium-large pot, combine:
9 c. milk
3 tsp cinnamin
2 tsp vanilla
3 c. sugar

Warm milk over stove, stirring til sugar dissolves. Serve over oatmeal.

Notes: Both oatmeal and milk may be refridgerated for up to a week. Simply pull out of fridge, pour milk cereal and microwave for 20-30 secs.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Chicken Curry

This recipe comes to me from my good friend, former roommate, and duet partner Jill. Another great rice recipe, you can spice this up or keep it really nice and mellow.

For this recipe, you will need:

- 1-4 Chicken breasts, cut into small stir-fry portions
- 3/4 c butter; 3 Tbsp butter
- 1 qt chicken broth
- 1 clove garlic or 1-2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 c onion chopped
- 1-2 Tbsp curry powder
- 1/8-1/4 c cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper

Sautee meat in ~3/4 c butter (use less butter for less meat). Saute garlic, onion, and curry powder in 3 T butter. Remove from heat and add cornstarch, cardamom, ginger, salt, and pepper. Stir in chicken broth, bring to a boil, and cook slowly for 10-20 mins, reducing heat and stirring as needed. Add meat at any time. Serve over rice or couscous.

Notes: If time is short, use the pre-cut chicken breast tenderloins found in the poultry section. I did this and found that I needed less than 1/2 c butter for sauteeing. Add more cardamom, curry, and pepper to kick up spiciness. Modify amounts of onion, garlic, etc. as necessary for tastes.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pumpkin Sausage Pasta

This is a great sauce to celebrate Autumn. As a friend of mine candidly put it, "That sounds heinous!" However, it is, in fact quite delicious. I would not make it my first recipe if it weren't super yummy...

This is best served over gluten-free pasta but can also be a great sauce over sticky rice (be generous with your sauce if using rice since it absorbs so much moisture).

For this recipe, you will need:

- 1 lb Cooked Gluten-Free Pasta or Sticky White Rice
- 1 lb Sweet Italian Sausage
- 1 medium Onion, sliced and chopped in quarters
- 4 Cloves of Garlic (or maybe ~1 Tbsp Garlic Powder... use your best judgment)
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 Tbsps fresh Sage
- 1 c Dry White Wine or Chicken Broth
- 1 c Chicken Broth (2 c total if using Broth over Wine)
- 1 15-oz can Pumpkin puree
- 1/2 c Evaporated Milk
- 1/8 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
- Salt/Pepper to taste

Start water to boil for pasta or rice. Add pasta when ready. Coat large skillet w/ cooking spray and brown sausage. Remove from heat, drain grease, and set meat aside in separate bowl. Return pan to stove. Coat with additional olive oil or sausage grease if necessary. Add chopped onion and garlic. Sautee til onions are soft, keeping pan wet. Add bay leaf, sage, and white wine (or 1st cup of chicken broth). Cook til half of liquid evaporates. Mix in pumpkin and (2nd cup of) chicken broth. Continue stirring til sauce starts to bubble. Add sausage back in and reduce heat. Stir in evap milk. Add seasonings and simmer 5-10 mins to thinken. Remove bay leaf. Pour over pasta or rice. Garnish with Parmesan or Romano cheese and additional Sage if desired.

Notes: Use a Sweet Italian Sausage or if possible, a sausage that has only salt and pepper seasoning. Also it's important not to brown the onions and keep the pan wet during the sauteeing process.


My story is probably similar to many of yours. You're going along, thinking life is great when suddenly everything you eat seems to make you sick. For me, I thought it was coffee. And while the acidity in coffee was certainly aggravating my poor digestive system, there was yet another culprit at large: gluten and gluten-based products. My online research revealed that gluten is one of the most complex compounds our bodies attempt to break down. Wow. And I have to admit that probably 60% (or more) of my diet consisted of this compound. As a student-musician, I do not have tons of time nor money to invest in professional-level meals, though I have quickly and recently discovered a new outlet for my stress: cooking. And making sure I can eat without getting sick. This blog is devoted to providing quality gluten-free recipes for the under-budgeted among us. My first recipe will come later tonight after testing :)