Chicken Marsala: Quick, easy and allergy free.

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I remember a time when I used to spend a day planning my menu, writing out my grocery list, clipping coupons and still having time to make a full gourmet meal complete with dessert and coffee. All before seven o’clock at night.

But back in those days, my kiddos were all small fries and I could corral them around me with library books, paper and crayons to make their own ‘grocery lists’ and ‘menus’.

Now that those little babies had the nerve to turn into busy, working, sports-playing, always on the go teens and young adults, that seemingly endless time to plan and prepare has all but evaporated.

But that’s okay, because it is my new normal. For the next few years anyway.

And for now, we have easy, favorite dishes, such as Chicken Marsala.

So to help you out, I’ll share it with you.

First, filet four boneless, skinless chicken breasts. In a large ziploc bag, combine 1 cup gluten free flour, 1/2 tsp salt and a dash of garlic powder. Add two chicken pieces at a time and shake to coat. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet and crush in some garlic. Add the coated chicken pieces one at a time, turning once to fully brown and cook the meat.

First, filet four boneless, skinless chicken breasts. In a large ziploc bag, combine 1/2 cup gluten free flour, 1/2 tsp salt and a dash of garlic powder. Add two chicken pieces at a time and shake to coat. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet and crush in some garlic. Add the coated chicken pieces one at a time, turning once to fully brown and cook the meat.

Keep the cooked chicken warm in an oven while you prepare the next step.

Keep the cooked chicken warm in an oven while you prepare the next step.

 

Once the chicken is done, put in in a warm oven on a plate. Next, add 1 cup Marsala cooking wine to the skillet along with a 16 oz pkg of sliced mushrooms. Add one or two more cloves of crushed garlic. Let the shrooms simmer in the cooking wine for about five minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half.

 Add 1 cup Marsala cooking wine to the skillet along with a 16 oz pkg of sliced mushrooms. Add one or two more cloves of crushed garlic. Let the shrooms simmer in the cooking wine for about eight minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half.

Add the cooked chicken back to the pan of liquid and mushrooms, turning once to coat with the juices. Let sit in the pan for about a minute on medium low heat to thicken the liquids.

Add the cooked chicken back to the pan of liquid and mushrooms, turning once to coat with the juices. Allow the chicken to sit in the pan for about a minute on medium low heat to thicken the liquids.

Serve with a side of seasoned rice. Delightful.

Serve with a side of seasoned rice. Delightful.

 

Allergy Free Chicken Marsala

First, filet four boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
In a large ziploc bag, combine 1/2 cup gluten free flour, 1/2 tsp salt and a dash of garlic powder.
Add two chicken pieces at a time and shake to coat.
Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet and crush in some garlic.
Add the coated chicken pieces one at a time, turning once to fully brown and cook the meat. Add more oil as you go, if necessary.
Keep the cooked chicken warm in an oven while you prepare the next step
Next, add 1 cup Marsala cooking wine to the skillet along with a 16 oz pkg of sliced mushrooms.
Add one or two more cloves of crushed garlic.
Let the shrooms simmer in the cooking wine for about eight minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half.
Add the cooked chicken back to the pan of liquid and mushrooms, turning once to coat with the juices. Let chicken sit in the pan for about a minute on medium low heat to thicken the liquids.
Serve with a side of seasoned rice.*

Seasoned Rice

  • 2 cups unconverted Jasmine rice
  • 3 cups chicken broth, such as Pacific
  • 1 tsp dill weed
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp crushed basil

In a medium sauce pot, combine all dry ingredients and then add the broth. Cover.

Cook over medium high heat until boiling.

Turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer, covered, until all liquid is absorbed.

 

Happy Easy Yet Delicious Dinners!

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Feeling a Little Whiny?

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If you have a gluten allergy but love to cook, you may have cast aside any aspirations of using a cooking wine in your sauces and other creations.

I do not drink wine, or any alcohol, so I prefer to purchase cooking wine. Now, when I say cooking wine, I am not referring to the kind people drink.

You see, cooking wine is not meant for drinking; it is made for cooking. It contains added salt and is formulated expressly for cooking. Also, if it’s added to a dish correctly, at least ninety seven percent of the alcohol will burn off in the cooking process, leaving a flavorful addition to your meals.

But for the gluten allergic/Celiac, cooking wine has long been out of the question.

Until now.

Because the good folks over at Mizkan/Holland House have created an entire line of cooking wines and vinegars which are gluten free!

Holland-House-Wine

I have found the Holland House brand in just about every grocery store in town. And my favorite for spaghetti and pizza sauce is the Marsala. It gives your Italian dishes that authentic taste.

In fact, I’ll share my spaghetti sauce recipe with you, just as a little bonus:

Spaghetti Sauce – No gluten, dairy, soy or other crud

  • In a 4 quart stock pot, brown 1 pound ground beef or turkey (for those avoiding meat, see the note at the end of my recipe)

Halfway through the browning process, add:

  • 1-2 cups raw mushrooms
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • Continue sauteing until meat is cooked thoroughly and mushrooms are tender. Drain.
  • To the mixture, add one 20 oz can EACH plain crushed and pureed tomatoes
  • Next, add one small 6 oz can plain tomato paste

To that, add:

  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 TB dried basil (lemon basil is so delicious here)
  • 1 TB dried oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp crushed rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 TB sugar (I use coconut sugar and it works beautifully)
  • 1/4 cup Holland House Marsala cooking wine
  • Stir ingredients well
  • At this point, I strongly suggest transferring the ingredients to a crock pot to cook on low for 8-10 hours, stirring 3 or 4 times during the process.
  • If a slow cooker is not an option, leave the ingredients in the stock pot and cover. Turn on medium heat until mixture begins to simmer. Turn to low and allow the sauce to simmer for at least 45 minutes, but not more than one hour. Stir often.
  • Before serving, remove the bay leaves

Note: If you are vegan or vegetarian, the ground beef can be substituted with any variety of chopped veggies: zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots – the possibilities are endless!

Happy Cooking!

I Love Amy!!!!!

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amy's veggie lasagne

LOOK! Just LOOK at what she has made now!

I haven’t actually tasted it yet, but I almost ran my tongue over the computer monitor.

I am not making this up.

In fact, I’m looking for my car keys so I can go to the local freak food store in search of this tasty treat.

Sure, I can make my own. But it’s too much fun to buy a box of frozen something, like I’m perfectly normal in the area of food toleration like the other folks at the store. Sauntering with my cart, as I casually throw a frozen dinner into my basket, like I haven’t a care in the world what the ingredients say.

It’s like a little secret, held between Amy and me.

I will say that the one drawback to this lasagna is that it does contain tofu. Why they had to add that pesky little critter in there, I’ll never know. But if a small amount of soybean doesn’t bother you, you can be in on the ‘Amy and Me Secret’ too, with our clandestine grocery cart contents.

Thank you, Amy. And thank you Daiya. You have just brought a smile to this cold, blustery, winter’s day.

Happy Instant Gratification!  

Pasta Fagioli! Yes, you can eat that too!

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soup

Forget everything you’ve ever heard about Pasta Fagioli (pronounced ‘fa-shool’. or ‘fah-jool’. Take your pick).

You’ve probably heard that you’ll never, ever, ever eat it again because it’s full of gluten, dairy and all things off limits.

Psh.

I am here to turn that frown upside down.

But without pictures. I’m so sorry.  Basketball season for three of my teens has begun and I hab a code *sniff*. No time for pictures. But I’m still gonna share my recipe. With links! Fair? Fair.

Let’s get started.

Pasta Fajioli – No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No Yeast

  • 2 cans (15 oz each) small white beans, drained
  • 1 (29 oz) can tomato puree
  • 1 (14 oz) can crushed tomatoes (The orgininal recipe that I tweaked for allergies calls for stewed tomatoes, of which we are not fans. If you like stewed tomatoes, by all means, go ahead.)
  • 1 Tbs EACH crushed basil, oregano, rosemary
  • 1 tsp salt (or more to taste, if desired)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 4 green onions, chopped finely
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled, sliced thinly and diced
  • 3 Cups broth (beef or chicken) OR water
  • 2 Cups uncooked small pasta (spirals, macaroni or broken spaghetti works well) **
  • 1 lb cooked and seasoned ground beef, drained
  • Optional: shredded Daiya cheese for topping

In a 4 or 5 quart saucepot, combine all ingredients except pasta and Daiya. Bring ingredients to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Add pasta and simmer, uncovered, and stirring occasionally, for an additional ten minutes or until pasta is al dente.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with Daiya, if desired.  Makes six servings.

**Should you choose to use brown rice pasta in this recipe, it would be a splendid idea for you to pre-cook your pasta then add it to the soup when it is ready to be served. If you choose to add it directly to the soup, remember, rice pasta makes the cooking water quite starchy and all that starch will be in your soup. Kinda icky. That is why I recommend the quinoa pasta for this dish.

Happy Cold Weather Comfort Foods!

Pizza and Allergies: Compatible? You bet!

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One of the first things I thought when the verdict of my food allergy panel was read was, “Pizza! How will I live without PIZZA?”

Well, I did. For a while.

And then desperation won out.

At the time, my boys had to be completely free of yeast in their diet and I was limiting it in my own diet as well.

Also, at the time, Daiya had not yet been invented.

So it really goes without saying that pizza was not much fun back in the day.

But now, thanks to Daiya, and limited introduction of yeast back into our diets, I can enjoy a pizza that rivals any parlor dish out there.

And no one would ever know it is allergy free:

Now, see that guy in the foreground there? See him? He’s the imposter. (He also doesn’t have any pizza sauce on him since I had run out of tomato paste. But that’s okay. He was a tasty little imposter anyway.)

The one in the background is the real deal, except for the fact that his crust is gluten free.

But no one would ever know that about him. He’s that good of an impersonator.

Ummmm….WHY am I referring to these pizzas as living beings?

I have no clue.

Let’s just move on with the recipes, shall we?

Alrighty then.

Here are the two crust versions (one with yeast and one without):

Pizza Crust – No gluten, dairy, soy, egg, yeast or corn

  • 1 cup GF flour
  • 1/3 cup milk (cow or unsweetened alternatives or water works well)
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 (or a little bit more) tsp salt
  • If desired, sprinkle in a little bit of garlic powder and crushed, dried herbs

Combine all ingredients with a mixer and knead for just a few seconds.

On a slightly greased stone or oiled pizza pan (I highly recommend the stone), with slightly oiled hands, press the dough into a pizza crust shape.  Pre-bake for ten minutes at 425.

Remove from oven and top with your choice of toppings. Return entire pizza to oven for another ten minutes or until toppings are ready.

Pizza Crust – No gluten, dairy, soy, egg or corn

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 Tb yeast
  • 1 Tb sugar or alternative sweetener
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 2 cups or more GF flour

Measure yeast into a large bowl and cover with warm water. Stir.

Next add the sugar and stir the mixture. Let sit for two minutes.

Add the salt and oil, then stir.

Gradually add the flour, mixing with a mixer. You may need to add just a little bit more flour until the dough is no longer sticky.

With oiled hands, press the dough onto a slightly oiled pizza stone (recommended) or an oiled pizza pan.

Pre-bake for ten minutes at 425. Remove from oven and top with toppings. Return entire pizza to oven for another ten minutes or until toppings are baked to your desire.

For a homemade pizza sauce, simply blend the following ingredients together in a sauce pot:

  •  12 oz  plain tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup cooking wine (optional, but it really makes the sauce.)
  • 1-2 tsp crushed oregano
  • 1-2 tsp crushed basil
  • 1 or 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • Water to desired consistency*

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pot. Stir over medium low heat, adding water to desired consistency.

*Since tomato paste tends to be real ‘bitey’ , if you prefer your sauce to have a milder flavor, use thin, plain tomato sauce in place of the water. It will tame your sauce.

 

Happy Pizza Parties!