Friday, May 30, 2014

Gluten Free Friday! (GF Creamy Rice and Chicken)

Happy Friday everyone and welcome to another Gluten Free Friday recipe post. Lately my wife and I have been on a rice kick since we both love rice and she has gluten sensitivity so I went on the hunt for some new rice recipes. The recipe I have for you today is by Philadelphia Cream Cheese and though I was a bit skeptical at first about how this was going to turn out, I was very happy with the results. Not only was this quick and super easy to make but the dish is creamy and flavorful and at this point I’m not really sure I would change anything except possibly just adding a bit more of the dressing. For those who are curious, I did check and the Kraft Roasted Red Pepper Italian dressing is gluten free. Fun fact, Kraft is actually one of the few manufacturers that labels gluten containing ingredients. So for instance, if the “natural flavor” in one of their products contains wheat they’ll actually list it on the label as “Natural Flavor (Contains Wheat)”. All of the other ingredients in the recipe should be gluten free as well but as I always recommend, check your labels especially if you go with an off-brand. Give this recipe a try the next time you want something quick and easy to make and as always, please feel free to leave comments below.

GF Creamy Rice and Chicken

  • 1/4 cup Kraft Roasted Red Pepper Italian with Parmesan Dressing
  • 1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into strips
  • 1 1/2 cups Fat-Free, Reduced-Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 2 cups Instant Brown Rice, uncooked
  • 4 oz Philadelphia 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese, cubed
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg Baby Spinach Leaves
  • 1 Large Tomato, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Grated Parmesan Cheese

1. Heat the dressing in a Dutch oven or large deep skillet over medium-high heat; add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes.
2. Add the broth and bring to a boil.
3. Stir in the rice and return to a boil; reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Add the cream cheese and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until melted, stirring frequently.
5. Add the spinach (pan will be full) and cook, covered, for 1 minute or until the spinach is wilted; stir gently to mix in the spinach.
6. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes; stir in the tomatoes, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and serve hot.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Yummy Recipe Wednesday! (Strawberry Bread)

Hello again friends and food lovers. Welcome to another Yummy Recipe Wednesday. I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and had lots of delicious food. Today I bring you a great summer time recipe that is perfect now that strawberries are in season just about everywhere. Now I know I don’t post many recipes like this on the blog since I’m not a huge baker so be assured that when I do it’s going to be something special and that’s the way I feel about this recipe. This strawberry bread is just so sweet, moist, and dense almost like a pound cake which is something I like to indulge in occasionally. The strawberry flavor comes out so nicely in this bread and this could easily be served as a dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and/or some whipped cream served on top. Give this a try for yourself next time you have a family get-together or a work function and I promise no one will be disappointed. As always, feel free to post comments below and if you aren’t already, be sure to follow @RecipeBlogger on Twitter so you don’t miss out on any new posted recipes.

Strawberry Bread

  • 4 cups Fresh Strawberries
  • 3 1/8 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups White Sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 3/4 cups Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 4 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups Chopped Pecans (optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C); butter and flour two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.
2. Place 2 cups of the strawberries in a medium-sized bowl and smash them gently with the back of a large spoon; sprinkle the strawberries with 1/2 cup of the sugar and set aside while preparing the batter.
3. Combine the flour, remaining 1 cup of sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in large bowl; mix well and set aside.
4. Whisk the oil, eggs, and applesauce into the smashed strawberries (you can also use a hand mixer or blender/processor); add the strawberry mixture to flour mixture and mix until the dry ingredients are just moistened.
5. Slice the remaining 2 cups of strawberries and fold them gently into the batter with the pecans (if using); divide the batter into the 2 loaf pans.
6. Bake in the preheated oven approximately 45 to 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean (test each loaf separately); let loaves cool in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then turn the loaves out of the pans.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Yummy Recipe Wednesday! (Cajun Chicken Pasta)

Welcome back once again friends and food lovers for another Yummy Recipe Wednesday. Today I bring you a restaurant quality dish that’s so yummy and really pretty easy to make. If you’re looking for a dish to impress guests, family, or co-workers with then I highly recommend you give this a try. I have just a couple of notes/suggestions before you head off to the kitchen and start making this. First, the seasoning measurements are really just guidelines so be sure to taste the sauce after you make it and add more seasoning if necessary. Second, if the sauce isn’t thick enough for your liking, just add a teaspoon or two of corn starch to help thicken it up. Lastly, and most importantly, be sure to use a good quality Cajun seasoning for the best results. I recommend Tony Cachere’s Original Creole Seasoning (there’s a salt-free version too) and if you’re not afraid of spice I recommend Tony Cachere’s More Spice Seasoning. No, I’m not paid to endorse Tony Cachere’s, it’s just what the family and I have always used since I was a boy. Louisiana brand Cajun Seasoning would also be a great one to use. Give this a try and as always, please feel free to post comments below with comments/opinions/changes, etc. Don’t forget to follow @RecipeBlogger on Twitter if you aren’t already so you’ll always know when new recipes, features, etc are added to the blog.

Cajun Chicken Pasta

  • 1/2 lb (8oz) Linguine Pasta
  • 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Halves, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Cajun Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Green Bell Peppers, chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 8 Fresh Mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Green Onion, minced
  • 3 cups Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; add linguine pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente then drain.
2. Place the chicken and Cajun seasoning in a bowl and toss to coat.
3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and saute the garlic until golden brown and fragrant.
4. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until no longer pink and juices run clear, about 5 to 7 minutes.
5. Add the green and red bell peppers, sliced mushrooms and green onions; cook veggies to desired tenderness.
6. Reduce heat and stir in heavy cream; season the sauce with basil, lemon pepper, salt, and ground black pepper and heat through.
7. In a large bowl, toss linguine with sauce; serve hot with grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Gluten Free Friday! (GF Root Beer Pork Chops)

Happy Friday everyone and welcome to another Gluten Free Friday recipe post. Today I’m continuing the grilling theme that I started on Wednesday (despite it being 37 degrees this morning here in the Midwest) with a great way to make awesome pork chops. These chops turn out so juicy and flavorful that you’ll never want to make them any other way again. The key of course is to give them plenty of time to marinate. Overnight is always better but a couple hours will still do the trick. As with any gluten free recipe you pick up, make sure the ingredients you’re buying are gluten free. I’m fairly certain you’ll be safe with any of the ingredients in this recipe (and all other GF recipes on the blog) no matter what brands you buy but always check to be certain. As always, feel free to post comments below and don’t forget to follow @RecipeBlogger on Twitter if you aren’t already.

GF Root Beer Pork Chops

  • 4 (1-inch thick) Pork Chops
  • 3 (12 oz) cans Root Beer
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Beef Stock
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Chipotle-Flavored Hot Sauce
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

1. Place the pork chops in a large dish and pour 2 cans of the root beer plus the 1 Tbsp of Worcestershire sauce over the chops; cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate AT LEAST 2 hours (marinate overnight for best flavor).
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the remaining can of root beer, the beef stock, brown sugar, hot sauce, and the 2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce; simmer the mixture until it reduces to about 3/4 cup and then set aside.
3. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil the grate.
4. Remove the pork chops from the root beer marinade and season liberally with salt and pepper.
5. Grill the pork chops on the preheated grill until the no longer pink in the center, about 8 minutes per side; an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).
6. Brush the chops generously with the reduction sauce and continue cooking for about 2 minutes more per side.
7. Remove the chops from the grill and brush with any remaining sauce; season with salt to taste before serving.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Yummy Recipe Wednesday! (Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs)

Hello again everyone and welcome to another Yummy Recipe Wednesday. We’re just a little over a month away from the official start of summer and now is the perfect time for grilling. Today I bring you a recipe for the most delicious, juicy, tender, melt in your mouth chicken that you’ll ever have. My wife isn’t a huge fan of chicken because most of the time if it’s not cooked right it just comes out dry but she absolutely loved these kabobs. The skewers in this recipe just have chicken on them, which are amazing the way they are, but feel free to add vegetables between the chicken pieces. You can also marinate the vegetables with the chicken as well. The recipe is written for kabobs but this would be just as good with chicken breast halves grilled or even baked in the oven. Next time you have your friends and family over for a barbecue, give these a try for an instant hit. As always, feel free to leave comments below and be sure to come back Friday another Gluten Free Friday recipe post.

Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs

  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Ranch Dressing
  • 3 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Minced Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp White Vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper, adjust to taste
  • 1 Tbsp White Sugar, adjust to taste (optional)
  • 5 Skinless Boneless Chicken Breast Halves (cut into 1 inch cubes)

1. In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients except the chicken; let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Place the chicken cubes in the bowl and stir to coat them well with the marinade; cover and refrigerate for AT LEAST 30 minutes (marinate 3 to 12 hours or overnight for the best flavor).
3. Preheat the grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grill grate.
4. Thread chicken onto skewers and grill chicken skewers for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear; baste with the remaining marinade for the final 2 minutes of grilling.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Yummy Recipe Wednesday! (Deep Fried Tortellini)

Hello everyone and welcome to another Yummy Recipe Wednesday. The days just keep flying by but the weather is turning super nice so hopefully I’ll have some barbecue posts/pics in the near future. Today I bring you a super simple recipe for some delicious Deep Fried Tortellini, which I had actually never tried before but I’m glad I did. They’re very similar to toasted ravioli but unique in a (good) way that’s really hard to describe. You’ll just have to try them yourself and you’ll see what I mean. You could use ravioli in this recipe instead of the tortellini but I think the tortellini makes a better appetizer and it’s easier to use toothpicks in these for people to pick them up with. I also think that next time I make these I will add a little Parmesan cheese to the breading mixture. Give these a try and if you have any suggestions on changes please feel free to comment below. Have a great week everyone and be sure to get out and enjoy the wonderful weather.

Deep Fried Tortellini

  • 1 (16 oz) pkg Cheese Tortellini
  • 1/4 cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Cornflake Crumbs
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Dried Parsley, to taste
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 2 Eggs, lightly beaten

1. Cook tortellini according to package directions; rinse them under cool water to allow them to cool slightly.
2. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the bread crumbs, cornflake crumbs, salt, pepper, and parsley.
3. Heat the oil in a deep fryer or deep skillet over medium heat.
4. In small batches, dip the tortellini in the lightly beaten egg and then place them in the resealable bag; shake the bag to coat the tortellini and then set them aside on a plate until the oil is hot.
5. In small batches, deep fry the breaded tortellini until golden brown; transfer to a paper towel to drain and then serve hot with tomato sauce, ranch dressing, or hot sauce for dipping.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Gluten Free Friday! (GF Crab Rangoon)

Hello again friends and food lovers. I didn’t think the end of the week would ever come but at last here we are so it’s time for another Gluten Free Friday recipe post. Growing up in Southwest Missouri, where Cashew Chicken was invented, I’ve eaten at more Chinese restaurants than I could even begin to count and it is probably my favorite type of food to eat (ok, it’s probably tied with Mexican food). Unfortunately, because of all of the breaded options, Chinese food isn’t ideal cuisine for gluten free eating. Well today I bring you a gluten free version of one of my favorite Chinese appetizers, the Crab Rangoon. Rice paper (or Spring Roll Wrapper) is made of rice so it doesn’t contain the glutinous ingredients that normal Crab Rangoon/Egg Roll Wrappers have which makes them perfect for GF Crab Rangoon or even GF Egg Rolls. These are rolled up more like mini egg rolls or spring rolls since we’re using rice paper but the results are just as delicious as any normal crab rangoon. If you’ve never used rice paper then let me warn you that it’s very thin and you must be sure not to overstuff these so that you have multiple layers of rice paper going all the way around the roll when you roll them up. The multiple layers not only ensure that your ingredients stay in but they also create a flaky outside when you fry them. Now, this recipe may call for canned crab meat but if you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that you can obtain fresh crab meat then by all means use that. However, do not use imitation crab meat because it typically contains wheat flour. Also, the powdered sugar is optional depending on whether you’re used to having a slightly sweet crab rangoon or not. I’ve had them both ways and they’re delicious either way. Next time you’re entertaining guests or just get a craving for some crab rangoon give these a try, I promise you won’t be disappointed. As always, feel free to post comments below letting me know what you think.

GF Crag Rangoon

  • 1 (8 oz) pkg Cream Cheese
  • 2 (6 oz) cans Crab Meat
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Green Onions
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Powdered Sugar (optional)
  • 20-25 (9” round) Rice Paper Wraps
  • Oil for frying

1. Combine the softened cream cheese, crab meat, green onion, minced garlic, and powdered sugar (if using) in a food processor and pulse until combined; set aside.
2. Preheat your oil to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
3. Take a sheet of rice paper and let it soak in hot, but not boiling, water for about 30 seconds; remove the rice paper from the water and blot away any excess water.
4. Put about a Tablespoon of the crab mixture in the middle of the rice paper and roll it up like a mini egg roll.
5. Fry the crab rangoon in the hot oil, in small batches so they don’t stick together, for about 5-7 minutes until they turn a nice golden brown color; remove them to a paper towel to drain and serve immediately.