Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Chicken Thighs with Creamy Dill Pan Sauce
Servings: 4 to 6
6 to 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
Salt and pepper to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
1/4 cup fat-free half-and-half
1 tablespoon fat-free sour cream
Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray (I use an oil mister from Pampered Chef). Add chicken thighs and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. You could also use a salt-free seasoning blend. Cook chicken on both sides until almost done. The last one or two minutes, add the fresh dill and turn chicken over. Remove chicken to serving plates. Add half-and-half to pan and stir to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom. Add the sour cream and stir until melted. Let pan sauce simmer until thickened slightly. Spoon over chicken and serve.
I served this with a basic risotto with dill as well. Both were a hit with my kids. Even my picky almost-4-year-old cleaned his plate (he calls it a happy plate).
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Fast forward a few weeks. It has been hot here, and, being on the river, it has been humid. Talk about uncomfortable! All things ice cream and frozen have sounded really good. On a whim, I decied to use the banana cubes. One of my favorite shake flavors is chocolate-banana, so I decided to make a chocolate shake.
|Does this not look delicious?|
Oh, my goodness! It turned out to be one of the best shakes I've ever had, and ridiculously easy to make. I haven't introduced it to the kids yet, because I know if I do, I'll be making shakes nonstop. Making it with frozen puréed banana means you don't end up with the unblended ice chunks that bother the oldest boy so much.
As usual, some notes on ingredients. This can be made free of most allergens. Use your favorite non-dairy milk. Silk makes a dark chocolate almond milk that would be heavenly in this. In that case, omit the chocolate syrup. It could also be made using cocoa powder, but you might need to add sweetener of some sort.
Chocolate Banana Shake
|Three simple ingredients...|
6 frozen banana cubes
1 cup milk or non-dairy milk of choice
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
Combine all ingredients in a blender. I used my Magic Bullet, using the handled cup container.
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Growing up, I never liked beets, because all I ever had was the insidious beets from a can. I distinctly remember at least one time when I sat at the table for more than an hour because I wouldn't eat a single bite of beet. It wasn't until I was grown and my kids were old enough to start asking for vegetables that I had the courage to try beets again. I pulled out my trusty Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook and fixed them with an orange glaze. I was hooked (and so were my kids). They were actually good!
back to the beets we got from the Farmer's Market. I opened the fridge to fix the Orange-Glazed Beets and discovered that we were out of orange juice. We did, however, have lemonade that the oldest son had bought. Inspiration struck, and Lemonade Beets were born.
1 pound fresh beets
1 tablespoon margarine
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1/4 cup lemonade
Trim stems from beets to 1 inch. Scrub and put in a microwave-safe casserole dish. Add a splash of water. Microwave on High (100% power) for 9 minutes, or until crisp-tender.
Meanwhile, melt margarine in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and cornstarch. Stir in lemon peel and lemonade. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened.
When beets have cooled enough to handle, slip skins off and slice into lemonade glaze. Gently toss to coat beet slices. Makes 4 servings.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
I know, it's Fall. I should be baking with apples, and spices, and pumpkin. But the truth is, I still long for a little taste of summer. And when blackberries went on sale several weeks ago (probably for the last time this season), I had to jump on it.
It also happened to coincide with the older boys' Cub Scout campout. It was great fun, and all the food was provided--as I knew it would be. But, aside from the fruit, breakfast was off-limits to the youngest son--as I suspected it would be.
Da-da-da-DA! Supermom to the rescue! In retrospect, there were probably less messy muffins to make for an almost-two-year-old, muffins with apples or pumpkin. But they wouldn't have been one last, yummy bite of summer.
Vegan Blackberry Muffins
1 ¾ cup GF all-purpose flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 2 tablespoons rice milk
1 cup rice milk
¼ cup canola oil
1 cup blackberries (roughly chop or leave whole)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper liners.
In a large mixing bowl, mix all dry ingredients together. I prefer to use a whisk, because the GF flour I use has a tendency to clump with a spoon. Make a well in the center and set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, mix Egg Replacer with 2 tablespoons rice milk; beat with a fork until combined. Add remaining rice milk and canola oil and whisk with fork until well combined.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just until combined. (Baking 101: Overmixing makes tough muffins. Tough muffins are worse than tough cookies.) Gently fold in blackberries--and I stress gently, otherwise you end up with purple muffins.
Fill muffin cups or liners ¾ full. Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes, or until done and lightly browned on top. Let cool in pan for a few minutes, then finish on a wire rack, if you can wait that long. Or serve warm with vegan buttery spread. Mmm.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
It came about as an accident. One of our frequent Saturday morning breakfasts is wheat-free, egg-free pancakes, usually using one of the recipes from Cybele Pascal's first book. One of our favorites is Peach Pancakes. The easy way is to use drained, canned diced peaches. Only we didn't have diced peaches this particular morning, only peach slices. Daniel was also pulling on my leg and making it very clearly known that he was hungry and he wanted his pancakes NOW! Rather than take the time to chop up the peach slices, I decided to try chopping them in my Magic Bullet.
Now, I love my Magic Bullet, and I use it quite frequently. It makes decent oat flour in a pinch, and really mixes my homemade hot chocolate mix very well. It does not, however, chop canned peach slices very well. It puréed them very quickly.
Being a thrifty allergy-free mama, I didn't really want to pitch it, so I decided to make the best of it and turn it into a warm fruit sauce for the pancakes. The older boys loved it. (Daniel, not being adept with a spoon yet, did not get any, so I cannot report what a toddler would make of it.)
1 can fruit (I used peaches, but I think just about any fruit would work)
Sugar to taste
Drain fruit, reserving juice. Purée fruit. As I said earlier, the Magic Bullet works very well for this, but any blender would work. Pour fruit purée into a saucepan, add the reserved juice, sugar to taste and any spices you think would go well with it. Heat through and serve over pancakes, waffles, or even ice cream.
Fruit/Spice Suggestions: Peach/ginger, peach/cinnamon, pear/ginger, pear/nutmeg, pear/cardamom, apple/cinnamon
Friday, April 8, 2011
While egg-free mayonnaise is available, I'm not a big fan. I think it tastes funny and doesn't quite have the right consistency. It's too gelatinous and not creamy enough. For the creamy base for this potato salad, I turned instead to sour cream. That, however, proved to be too thick, so I added a little milk to thin it to the perfect consistency.
Red-Skin Potato Salad
3-4 medium red-skinned potatoes, cubed
3 tablespoons sour cream
Milk, to get the desired consistency
1 teaspoon dried dill weed (I'm sure fresh dill would have packed a better flavor punch, but you work with what you've got.)
Splash lemon juice
1-2 teaspoons garlic powder, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain and cool slightly.
Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, put in serving bowl and toss with the dressing. Chill for 30 minutes or so to let flavors meld, if you can wait that long. Makes 4 servings.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Now, I don't go for those little bitty packets. Again, not enough there, loaded with sugar, and, well, not a wide variety of flavors. Homemade oatmeal, on the other hand, is only limited by what is in the pantry. Usually I go for some sort of dried fruit, maybe some nuts for protein, and a little brown sugar for sweetening.
Recently I came across an article in one of my magazines with brief recipes from their latest diet plan, including several breakfast recipes. One of them was for Pear-Ginger-Chocolate Smoothie (which was yummy, BTW). That got me thinking. If I could have chocolate in a breakfast smoothie, why not chocolate in my oatmeal?
Chocolate for breakfast? Sure, why not! By using dark chocolate, it actually gives you a dose of anti-oxidants. Add in banana, and it's like a banana split in oatmeal form!
A note on oats: oats are not necessarily gluten-free. Some gluten-sensitive people react to oats, some do not. If you are gluten-free due to celiac, you might want to steer clear of oatmeal, especially regular grocery-store oatmeal. If you are gluten-free due to a wheat allergy, you might want to take into account that regular grocery-store oatmeal may be cross-contaminated with wheat. I feel comfortable using regular oats, as I am the one eating them, rather than my wheat-allergic son. Bob's Red Mill does make gluten-free oats, but I have heard of people reacting to that as well.
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup water
1 very ripe banana, broken into chunks
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (this could be made vegan if you use dairy-free chocolate chips)
Put all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Allow plenty of room for the water to boil up during cooking. I use a 1-quart Corel casserole, one of the deep, square ones. Otherwise, you might end up cleaning your microwave. Microwave on High for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Stir and enjoy. No need for extra sugar or sweetener. Makes 1 serving.