Living with a Non-Gluten Free Family?

My G-free kitchen island. With foil covering the top for extra safety.

Sometimes I stay with my parents or sister while my husband is at sea. Every time I go over I find it more difficult to keep a gluten-free space. This made me wonder how mixed gluten and gluten-free families do it.

During a recent stay at my moms we started talking over what we can do to keep the kitchen safe for my use. And we came up with the idea of buying a kitchen island. My mom always wanted to buy one but never got around to doing it. I told her that I would buy the island if she would let me use it for my G-free items. She thought the idea was great and mentioned how handy my own cutting board space would be. And to keep it covered with foil or plastic wrap, while not in use, to prevent accidental gluten exposure. I would have a space for all my own pans, dishes, bowl, utensils, and any other goods.

I immediately jumped on the internet and started looking into kitchen islands. They can run from a hundred to thousands depending on what you are looking for. I was able to purchase one from Target for $224. It was originally around $300 but was on sale and matched her kitchen perfectly!

Now when I stay at my parent’s house I will have my own gluten-free spot. I am really lucky to have an amazingly supportive family. Thanks Mom.

Chicken Bowl with Black Bean Salsa

What a busy day! I spent most of the morning at my Grandparent’s house, driving around doing errands. Followed by physical therapy for my knee (I had ACL surgery last November and still recovering). After all the driving around and working out I finally made it home!

Cleaning up I had realized I didn’t know what to make for dinner! I had not planned anything that morning so I had to come up with something quick. I tossed some chicken into a pot to cook while I thought of what to make. You can make just about anything with chicken… right?

After checking the fridge for produce I decided to toss together a chicken bowl. I cleaned some rice and put it in my rice cooker (love my rice cooker). Going back to the fridge I pulling out tomatoes, a red onion, cilantro, a white chili, and jalapeno. After chopping them I opened a can of black beans added them to the mix. It was starting to look really pretty. Mixing up my black bean salsa and added salt and pepper to taste.

Once my chicken done (reaching 160 degrees) I removed it from the pot and started to shred and season.

When the rice was finished I scooped some out and placing it in my bowl. Layering it with the shredded chicken and salsa. I had an avocado so I cut it up and added it to my mountain of goodies. Yum! My meal was complete. Quick, easy, and refreshing. I think next time I might try to add some lime juice to the shredded chicken. I was even thinking of cooking an egg over medium (in place of shredded chicken) with the black bean salsa. But I will leave that for another day.

Ingredients:

1 Can Black Beans (I used low sodium)
3 Tomatoes
1 White Chili
1 Jalapeno
1 Red Onion
3 Chicken Breast
2 Avocado
1 Bundle of Fresh Cilantro
Season Salt of your choice
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:

1. Place chicken breast into stock pot, adding water and cook on medium heat.
2. Wash white rice. I used 2 cups and placed it in my rice cooker adding water as directed on cooker.
3. While the chicken is cooking chop tomatoes (salt and pepper them), white chili, jalapeno, red onion, and cilantro.
4. Open a can of black beans and rinse in colander.
5. Combine all the chopped ingredients and black beans together. Toss and season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. When chicken has reached 160 degrees remove from pot. Place in a separate bowl and begin to shred.
7. Season chicken with your season salt of choice. (I used garlic salt, garlic powder, and fresh cracked pepper.)
8. Core and remove the meat from the avocado and cute into slices or squares.
9. When the rice has finished it is now time to put together your bowl.
10. Placing rice as the first layer, add the chicken, black bean salsa, and top off with the avocados.
11. Enjoy!

Portobello Mushroom Pizza

Mushroom Pizza with Sauce

It’s another hot day here in sunny California and the question is what to make for dinner?

On days when it reaches 109 degreese I don’t feel like eating anything to heavy. I decided to try a portobello mushroom pizza after being inspired from A Food Centric Life’s Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms With Roast Tomatoes and Goat Cheese. Since I have never cooked portobello mushroom before I needed some help with how to season the mushroom and cooking time. I went ahead and added my own toppings to the mushroom with what I had handy. For the original recipe refer to  A Food Centric Life and check out  Sally Cameron’s wonderful creations!

Ingredients:

Fresh Mushroom Pizza

4 Portobello Mushrooms

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

1 Large garlic clove, finely chopped

Salt and Pepper, to Taste

Toppings:

1 Mozzarella Ball

1 Pack of Pepperonis

1 Can of Black Olives Drained

1/2 Onion

1 Fresh Tomato Sliced

1 Jar of Gluten Free Pizza Sauce

Few leaves of Basil

Directions:

The first part of this recipe is straight from A Food Centric Life.

  1. Clean the mushrooms by gently wiping the outside of the caps with a damp paper towel or brushing any dirt off with a soft brush. Next, pop out the stems by pushing them from side to side until the snap out. Then with a teaspoon, scrape the gills out until the underside is mostly clean. Place them on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet. (view A Food Centric Life for how to photos.)
  2. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, shallot and garlic.  Brush mushroom caps inside and out with the olive oil mixture (or plain olive oil). Sprinkle each cap with salt and pepper.
  3. Pre-heat the broiler. With the oven rack on the second to the top level, broil the mushrooms for 3-5 minutes until they are hot and the edges are starting to brown. They will start to release moisture and get juicy. Remove from the oven.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 375

Here is where I added my own pizza twist. I decided to make a fresh style pizza and a pizza sauce one.

  1. Fresh Pizza- After removing the mushrooms from the oven I layered it with a slice of tomato, mozzeralla, balck olives, sliced onion, and another tomato. (don’t forget to salt and pepper your tomato.)
  2. Pizza Sauce- I put one tablespoon of pizza sauce, mozzarella, pepperonis, black olives, and sliced onions on the mushroom.
  3. (Now this part was an experiment) I put the tray back in the oven until I saw the cheese melting. This took about 15 minutes.
  4. After removing them from the oven I added a few pieces of fresh basil to the tops and they were ready to serve.

I made this dish for my mom and sister and they were in love with it. The fresh pizza and pizza sauce mushrooms had two unique flavors. My mom preferred the pizza sauce one and my sister was torn between the two. They both agreed that the fresh one was light and not to filling. But they were really taken with the pizza sauce one. They said that it tasted just like having all goodies of a pizza without the bread. It was a little heavier but full of flavor.

I really enjoyed the flavor of the portobello mushroom recipe from A Food Centric Life. You could really taste the garlic and it complemented the other ingredients nicely. It was so juicy! This will be a recipe I make again and again.  I love pizza and this just might keep me satisfied.

 

Beware of Bread Crumbs!

If you are living in a household of G-free and non G-free people BEWARE OUT FOR BREAD CRUMBS! I know sounds totally not so scary. But a few little bread crumbs on the table, counter, or anywhere can really mess you up.

With that being said my brother-in-law sent me this really great link to a blog that informs you how to set up a gluten free pantry and kitchen. It has some really great tips for those living in a mixed gluten household. Here is the link below and enjoy!

http://elegantlyglutenfree.com/how-i-set-up-my-gluten-free-diet-pantry-and-kitchen