Thursday, March 19, 2009

Creamy Chicken Paprikash

So the photo doesn't really do this dish justice. I picked a recipe out of Carol Fenster's cookbook, "1,000 Gluten-free Recipes" and fiddled around with it, and it turned into this beautiful creamy tomato dish that was bursting with flavor. The thyme and paprika work wonders in this dish and transform it from what would have been an ordinary stew to something you won't want to stop eating.

Creamy Chicken Paprikash

2/3 large onion, diced or thinly sliced
1 tbsp. Earth Balance "Buttery Spread"
3-4 chicken breasts, cut into slivers
1 tsp. salt
1/2 - 1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp. Hungarian sweet paprika
1/2 - 3/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced; or 2 tsp. crushed/minced garlic
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 whole red bell pepper, cut into thin slices
1 can diced tomatoes (with juice)
1 3/4 cups gluten free, low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 - 4 tsp. cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tbsp. water (if needed)
1/2 cup Tofutti "Sour Cream"

About 20 minutes before you want to serve the meal, cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. If you are not yet ready to use the pasta, drain the hot water and add cold water to the noodles to keep them from sticking to each other.

Put the "Buttery Spread" and onions in a large pot and saute until they are translucent. Add the strips of chicken, salt, and pepper, and continue to cook until the chicken is browned. Add the paprika, thyme, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, and garlic, and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, red bell pepper, can of tomatoes, and chicken broth, stir thoroughly, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and cover at a simmer for 30 - 45 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked and you are happy with the flavor. Adjust spices as desired.

Take 2 tsp. cornstarch and dissolve it in 1 tbsp. water, and add it to the pot. Stir well. If it needs to be thickened more, add 2 more tsp. cornstarch dissolved in water. Add 1/2 cup Tofutti "Sour Cream" and stir into the dish. Adjust spices as desired. Serve over pasta, or add the pasta to the pot to toss it with the sauce. Delicious!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ode to Oatmeal

It's probably one of my favorite things in the world to eat. I know; this may make me a very old 25 year old, but seriously. It doesn't get much better than a big steaming bowl of oatmeal! I like to make it all kinds of ways; sometimes I add cashews and cranberries, sometimes pecans and raisins, sometimes just plain; I've even made it with peanut butter and honey before. But I think my favorite flavor combo must be brown sugar and maple together. I don't have time to make this on weekdays before work, but I have it almost every weekend. I cook it on the stovetop and let it simmer down and absorb all of the water, and then add all of the extras in. I end up with a creamy, wonderful, and comforting breakfast.

Maple Pecan Oatmeal

For each serving:
1 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats (consult your doctor before consuming gluten-free oats)
1/8 cup toasted pecans
dash of salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (to your own taste)
1/4 cup vanilla hemp milk (other non-dairy milk would work, too)
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. maple butter (the thickness of maple butter makes the consistency of the oatmeal, but if you don't have maple butter, use maple syrup so the taste will at least come through)

Place the water and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the oats and pecans, and then reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, until the water has been absorbed by the oats. Then add the vanilla hemp milk (add more if you want it to be a little creamier) to the pan and stir, keeping the heat at medium. Continue to heat, stirring frequently, until the hemp milk has boiled down a bit and has become thick and creamy. Remove the oatmeal to a bowl and add the brown sugar and maple butter to taste. Perfect with a cup of coffee in the morning! Variations: Substitute cashews for pecans Add a tablespoon full of flaxseed Substitute honey for maple butter Add your favorite dried fruit (cranberries are especially delicious) Use only brown sugar and cinnamon Add a pat of Earth Balance "Buttery Spread" to the oatmeal once it is cooked

Vanilla Blondies by the Gluten-free Goddess

I found this recipe on the Gluten-free Goddess' website when I was looking for a quick and easy dessert recipe that would be fit for mixed company (and by that I mean, of course, guests who either gluten-free or  other). These were perfect! I brought them to my parents' house and served them to my family and some of my mom's friends who were visiting, and at the end of the night, I was actually told not to bring the leftovers home. This is a pretty rare occurrence, you must understand. Sometimes people nibble politely and say that they couldn't possibly eat any more, even if I left some for them to have later. But these? Not a chance. They were gobbled up (half of them before dinner was even served). They're pretty easy to throw together, too. I think the shortening really does the trick here of making the whole thing stay together and giving it that gluten-y texture. Loaded with vanilla and chocolate chips, but not too sweet, they are perfect served with a hot cup of tea or coffee.

Find the recipe here.