Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Day Two hundred and sixty-three

Chicken Pot Pie is one of those homey, full-of-goodness meals that can bring a family to the table. It’s easy to customize- fill it with your choice of meat (chicken, turkey, or beef) and the vegetables you know your family will love. Store-bought and frozen versions can be loaded with saturated fats and preservatives, but it’s easy to make your own. One bite and you’ll know your efforts were worth it. I’ve tried out recipes over the years, but recently found one that I’ll hand down to my daughters one day. It can be made traditionally, or gluten-free, and is delicious either way.

This first photo gives an idea of what the inside of the Pot Pie looks like. The top was fluffy with a slight crunch to the crust, and the inside was creamy and thick. The recipe comes straight from The Gluten Free Gourmet, and is called Bette’s Best Chicken Pot Pie.

Pot Pie Filling:
  • 2 small chicken breasts (about ½ lb.)
  • 2 c. chicken stock
  • ½ c. diced carrots
  • ½ c. sliced celery
  • ¼ c. minced onion
  • ½ c. frozen peas
  • 1 c. peeled, diced potatoes (about 2 small potatoes; this wasn’t in the original recipe but I added it in because I think Pot Pie needs potatoes)
  • 3 T flour (regular or gluten-free)
  • 2-3 T water
  • ¼ c. cream (I used milk)
  • salt & pepper to taste
In a large frying pan, sauté or poach chicken breasts until cooked through. Remove from pan, cut into bite-sized pieces, and set aside. Place chicken stock in pan and bring to a boil. Add carrots, celery, onion, and potatoes, and cook for 15 minutes. Add chicken and peas and cook for five minutes longer. In a small bowl, mix flour and water to make a thin paste. Thicken stock with flour paste, cook on low one to two more minutes. Add cream, season as desired with salt and pepper. Spoon into a greased, 2-quart round casserole. Preheat oven to 350, and prepare Pot Pie crust.
Pot Pie Crust:
  • 1 T sugar
  • 3 T butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • ½ c. brown rice flour (if not making gluten-free, substitute flour)
  • 1/3 c. potato starch flour (if not making gluten-free, substitute cornstarch)
  • ½ t baking powder
  • ½ t baking soda
  • ½ t salt
  • 1/3 c buttermilk
Mix sugar, butter, and egg together. Sift together dry ingredients, add to sugar mixture, alternating with buttermilk. Spread evenly on top of Pot Pie. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until top is lightly browned and liquid bubbles around the edges (see below).

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Day Three hundred and sixty-two

Dinner: Brown rice penne mac and cheese (crockpot; recipe: Make it Fast, Cook it Slow), chicken sausage, steamed veggies, and blueberries.  Not a dinner of champions, but it was a crazy afternoon, so this'll do.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Day Three hundred and sixty-one

Breakfast for dinner: Scrambled eggs with broccoli, turkey sausage, blueberry muffins (I had these in the freezer from another time) and cutie oranges.

Day Three hundred and sixty

School lunch for tomorrow: Gluten-free crackers, fresh mozzarella, edamame, almonds, and apple.

Day Three hundred and fifty-nine

Breakfast: Scrambled cheese eggs.

Dinner: Turkey and rice soup.  I took the stock from yesterday, tossed in some leftover turkey and steamed carrots, and voila, dinner again.

Day Three hundred and fifty-eight

Pesto, for the freezer.  A little taste of summer that will wait for me in the winter.  Recipe here.

Turkey stock, from the carcass from yesterday. I always hear how great it is to make stock after Thanksgiving, so I decided to try it this year.  The carcass, some leftover vegetables, and water went into the crockpot and it cooked overnight.  By morning, voila!

Day Three hundred and fifty-seven

Our first gluten-free Thanksgiving. Sit back in your chair- this may take a while.

First, the turkey.  As it is, I leave the raw-turkey-prep to my husband, since I'm bothered my handling the raw bird. Did it have to come with a feature still attached? This grossed me out.

A morning smoothie.  This was a peanut butter-banana-flax seed (recipe: Cooking Light).

Pumpkin soup.  My mom makes and brings this along.  Yum.

The turkey.  Post-roasting, post feather-removal.

Carrot-basil-cornmeal biscuits.   These are a family tradition- my mom has been making them since the beginning of Thanksgiving time.  This is the first year they were made gluten-free.  (Next year I'll add more milk, tablespoon by tablespoon, until the dough is more moist). 

Smashed potatoes.  The sour creamy kind.  Only difference is, I sometimes use red potatoes instead of Yukon Gold, and then leave the skins on before boiling (steakhouse style).

Green beans with shallots.  Another contribution from my mom.

Cornbread apple-sausage stuffing. This was the crunchy in-the-oven kind, and there was also an in-the-bird version.  For the cornbread, I make my own using a recipe by Sneaky Chef.  It has pureed corn in the bread and it is *so* moist. 

Indian cornbread pudding.  My mom made this one was well, and it was an easy one to make gluten-free.

The moist cooked-in-the-bird version of the stuffing.

The turkey, carved. Thank goodness my dad worked in a deli as a teen-- he's a pro at carving.

Gravy.  My mom makes it every year. This was another recipe easy to convert to gluten-free.

Sweet potatoes with crunchy roasted marshmallows.  'Nuff said.

Butternut squash.  I think my grandma made this.

Thanksgiving dinner: Turkey, gravy, cornbread apple-sausage stuffing, biscuits, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, smashed potatoes, and Indian cornbread pudding.  Whew.

Pumpkin pie.  I made this using my grandma's recipe, but made a gluten-free crust (crust recipe: Gluten-Free on a Shoestring). 

Apple pie.  My grandma made this with her secret recipe, and used a gluten-free baking mix for the crust.

Pumpkin mousse with fresh vanilla creme- another contribution from my mom.

Pecan pie.  My husband made this (with some help) because he didn't think it'd be Thanksgiving w/o pecan pie.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day Three hundred and fifty-six

This was the day before Thanksgiving. You can see my house is clearly in cooking mode.

Pumpkins: Before.  These went into a pie, bread, and some went into the freezer for future use.  I was fortunate to receive a giant box of pumpkins and squash from my Uncle and Aunt who have a farm in Iowa.  This was only the second time I'd ever cooked w/fresh pumpkin. Definitely worth it!!

And of course, pumpkin seeds.  I made these savory and seasoned them with a little S & P. The next batch were cinnamon sugar.

Roasted sweet potatoes. Tomorrow these will be a part of a casserole.

After: Pumpkins.

Lunch for my little one: Peanut butter and jelly on crackers, and pear slices.

A super easy supper (who has time to cook when you're roasting vegetables all day?!): Brown rice spaghetti with alfredo, chicken nuggets, and steamed veggies.

Shredded zucchini, for the freezer. This will go into chili, meatloaf, and bread.

Day Three hundred and fifty-five

Dinner: Brown rice penne with homemade pesto with cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella (this is seriously one of my favorite dinners), sliced chicken breast, and green beans.   When making the pasta, add the cheese and tomatoes into the pot when the pasta is very warm, it all marries and the flavors heightens. 

Per a request, here's the pesto recipe: In a food processor, combine 2 c. well-packed basil leaves and 1/4 c. chopped nuts (pine nuts or walnuts). Pulse till shredded, then add 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 c. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp. ground pepper, and pulse again. Add 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese, and pulse until smooth, pushing down as needed. If you’d like to freeze this in a jar for later use, don’t add the cheese until it’s been thawed and you’re ready to serve it.

Gluten-free cornbread (recipe: Gluten-free on a shoestring).  This was two days before Thanksgiving, so I was already in cooking mode.  I made a double batch of this- one for my daughter to bring to school for her Thanksgiving feast, and another to use in the stuffing for the turkey.

Day Three hundred and fifty-four

School lunch for tomorrow (I can tell just by looking at it that my husband made it): Turkey hot dog with ketchup, celery and carrots with PB, grapes, and a gluten-free oreo.

Day Three hundred and fifty-three

Gluten-free banana muffins.  These were SO good, moist and filling.  I found the recipe online but I didn't write down the source, and now I can't track it down. The recipe is worth sharing, though, so here it is.  Next time, I'm going to try making it as a loaf.

Gluten-free banana muffins
2 c. gluten-free flour blend
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
3/4 t. xanthan gum
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter
1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
6 ripe bananas, coarsely diced

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well.  In a separate bowl, whisk first five ingredients ingredients (through salt) then add to sugar mixture, stirring only until moist.  Fold in bananas.  Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, until toothpick comes out dry.

Spaghetti squash Parmesan.  If you haven't made this, you should!  It's my older daughter's favorite meal. In fact, this day was her birthday, which was why I made it.

Dinner: Spaghetti squash parm, french bread, and fruit salad.

Pureed yellow squash, for the freezer.

Tomorrow's school lunch: Chunks of grilled chicken, gluten-free crackers, cottage cheese, carrots and apples.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Day Three hundred and fifty-two

Brownies (recipe: The ultimate gluten-free cookie book).  I made these for my daughter to bring in to her class for her birthday.  I was sure they'd never know it was gluten-free, so I was surprised when she told me, "Mom, the kids complained!"  I asked why, and she said, "They wished the brownies were bigger!"  PERFECT.

Dinner: Brown rice fusilli, steamed broccoli, strawberries, and gluten-free chicken nuggets.

Day Three hundred and fifty-one

A red pepper flower.  My daughter couldn't eat it fast enough.

Gluten-free granola (recipe: Gluten-free on a shoestring).  I didn't *love* this granola, but it wasn't bad.

Soup: Potato leek.  The recipe is from my friend Christie, I'll have to ask her where she got it.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day Three hundred and fifty

Lunch: Grilled cheese and tomato on gluten-free bread, sliced pear.

Day Three hundred and forty-nine

This is (I'll admit it) an odd-looking loaf of French bread.  It did tasty pretty good, though.  I made it at home, and let it rise on the way to my grandma's house.  It didn't transport well, though, so the dough got misshapen before it went into the oven.  I can't remember where I got the recipe, but I'll update this once I remember.