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This is simply delicious. It’s very easy to make.

  • Ingredients
  • 1/2 oz. dried mushrooms
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs (with skin)
  • 8-12 oz. unsmoked kielbasa (about 2 links)
  • Salt (or seasoned salt) and pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 large carrot, chopped into 2″ chunks
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped into 2″ chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 can tomato puree
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a small bowl, soak the dried mushrooms in boiling water, covered, for at least fifteen minutes. Remove and chop the mushrooms, then return to the liquid, or set them aside. Reserve the liquid.

In a Dutch oven, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Cut the sausage links into very large pieces, 4 inches or so. Brown the chicken and the sausage in batches until well browned. Add more olive oil as necessary. Remove chicken and sausage to a plate. Into the Dutch oven add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook until onion is translucent. Add garlic and sage. Let it cook another minute or so. Stir in the wine and bay leaves. Let it simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. Stir in mushrooms with reserved liquid, tomato puree, beans, salt and pepper to taste. Nestle the chicken, skin side up, and sausage into the bean mixture. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for two hours.

Serves 4.

NOTES: Finding unsmoked kielbasa is a challenge. I think the dish will be great if you use a smoked sausage. I’m still using up a case of tomato puree that I bought awhile back. This is one of my favorite recipes for it. I made my own puree once by draining a 14 oz. can of tomatoes and pureeing the remaining tomatoes in a blender. Alternatively, you could try using about 4 Tbsp. tomato paste and a cup of chicken broth. I did not drain the fat from the pan before I added the vegetables, but you could do that if you had rendered what you considered too much fat from the chicken. I have used the automatic setting on my oven, so the dish was finished and sat with the heat turned off for 30-45 minutes. No problem. I was hoping it would be one of those leave-and-come-back-when-it’s-finished dishes and it was! The chicken just fell apart and was fork tender. No knives needed at the table. I suppose if you don’t have a Dutch oven you could use any type of appropriately sized baking dish, then just do everything in a skillet until you get to the baking part. I think 9 x 13″ might make too thin of a bean layer, so a dish with less square inches, but taller sides would be best. You never know until you try, though! Go forth and cook!

I’ve been trying to tweak this dish since I first had it at a family gathering. It was so, so good that I wanted to add it to my arsenal of gluten-free foods. You could go a lot of different ways with this to punch up the flavor. I’ve used canned diced green chiles here, but consider how bacon bits would be amazing.

  • Ingredients
  • 2 large russet potatoes, parboiled, then shredded
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 4 oz. can diced mild green chiles
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease or spray an 8×8″ baking dish with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, mix together the shredded potatoes, sour cream, 1 cup cheese, and chiles. Stir in a liberal amount of salt and add pepper to taste. Spread into the prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese over the top. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees F for 45-60 minutes. Serves 4.

NOTE: Parboiling was an interesting challenge as I had never done that before. It means to boil the potatoes whole, or in large pieces, until the outsides are tender, but the insides are still hard. Kinda tricky. They shred rather nicely, though. I used a hand shredder one time and then another time I used my Cuisinart shredder attachment. Either way is fine. The dish requires a generous amount of salt. The first time I tried this I didn’t use enough and the whole thing was rather, muh blah. The last time I made it using garlic sea salt. REALLY good! When I ate this at Easter dinner for the first time, Andrew and Sharon had added just a teensy bit of diced (I assume pickled) jalepeno. My husband thinks I’m killing him with spicy food, so I didn’t put any jalepenos in the potatoes. The baking time will depend upon how big and how parboiled the potatoes were to begin with. You want to make sure they’re very soft before removing the finished product from the oven. I served these with stove-top pork spare ribs in a type of barbecue sauce. The potato dish’s green chile component complimented the ribs nicely.

Let me start by saying I do not have an air fryer. But my dad does. In another region of the world. When I’m at Dad’s, he cooks the chicken pieces in his air fryer. When I’m home, I fry them. Simple. It’s gluten-free, but you must check your soy sauce and ketchup to be sure it’s in compliance. I’ve made this dish several times now and it’s super yummy. Don’t miss my instructions on making squash bowls below this recipe. Have fun!

  • Ingredients
  • 1# boneless chicken, breast or thigh meat, cut into apx. 1″ chunks (okay to substitute pork)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Corn starch
  • Oil
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 onion, cut into 1″ chunks
  • 1 large bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • Sliced green onions, optional garnish

Sprinkle salt and pepper over the chicken pieces and then dredge the pieces through corn starch. If you’re using an air fryer, then you won’t need oil in order to cook the chicken. If you’re frying, then you’ll need the oil in a skillet. Use just enough oil to pan-fry the chicken to cook it through. This is not deep-fried.

While the chicken is cooking, stir together in a small bowl: sugar, vinegar, garlic, soy sauce, and ketchup. Set aside.

In a skillet with a little bit of oil, or in the skillet you cooked your chicken in, stir fry the onion and bell pepper until it softens. Stir in the pineapple and let it heat through. Stir in the sauce you set aside. Let it heat through. Stir in the cooked chicken. Let it heat through. Remove skillet from heat and sprinkle with green onion slices, if desired. Serve warm over rice or in squash bowls or however you like it.

NOTES: My sauce has always come out the correct consistency, but if yours is runny for some reason, then make a slurry of corn starch and water, then stir the slurry into the skillet over heat until the consistency is corrected.

Squash Bowls

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the bottom and the top off of an acorn squash, just so each side will sit upright on a baking dish after it’s sliced in half. Then slice the squash in half crosswise through the middle. Scoop out the seeds. Sprinkle a bit of olive oil on a baking dish. Rub each squash “bowl” with olive oil and set upright on the baking dish. Sprinkle each “bowl” with salt and pepper. I really like using the Hawaiian Volcano Sea Salt. It’s strong, but so is the squash. It works well. Sprinkle the “bowls” with a little more olive oil. Then, flip the “bowls” over so that the flesh is against the bottom of the dish and it’s skin-side up. Place in the oven, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Remove from heat, flip the bowls right side up, and check the flesh with a fork. It should be soft. Serve warm or cold. I usually roast mine in the afternoon and then let them sit, flesh side up, until time to serve with dinner. They fit right into a bowl and we fill them with Sweet and Sour Chicken or Pulled Pork or Chicken a la King or Egg Roll in a Bowl. Any kind of thick sauce should work.

Cuban-Style Pulled Pork

The last few years I have been purchasing pork picnic roasts. Walmart had missed-priced them for about a year on the grocery pickup app, so one could buy the whole roast (about 8#) for under $2. Yeah, that’s not a typo. The whole roast was $1.98. Me and my family members kept a supply in our freezers. Once covid hit and nearly everyone started using the grocery pickup app, the store corrected their error and the price returned to about $19. After a year or so, I ran out of picnic roasts. Shopping in a local store, New Sagaya, I saw the same type of pork picnic roast on sale for about $10. I bought it and threw it into the freezer. I knew what to do with that. So, here for my convenience are the recipes for two pulled pork recipes: Cuban style and barbecue. The Cuban-style recipe started at bellyfull.net. The barbecue recipe is a hodge-podge of several recipes. I like each type of pulled pork equally as well and they are quite different from each other. The very nice thing about the pork picnic roasts are that you can make one recipe of each of these pulled pork with just the one roast. If you do decide to go the route of the picnic roast, know that it’s the upper part of a leg, so there’s bone-in and there’s a fatty skin layer. I remove as much skin and fat as possible, but I don’t worry about the rest of it. It keeps the pulled pork moist and delicious. If you have to cut the roast down to fit it into a pan that’s totally fine. If you do that, it will probably be ready at the three hour mark, rather than later. Last note here, I use the oven, but most people use a slow-cooker. Whatever.

Cuban Style

  • Cuban-Style Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Several grinds pepper
  • 7 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 small sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-4 pounds pork roast
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a Dutch oven or roasting pan, stir together all the ingredients except the roast and the olive oil. Coat the pork roast with olive oil and place into the pan, turning to coat. Cover the pan and place into the oven. Bake at 300 degrees F for three hours. Remove from oven and use a couple forks to see if it pulls apart easily. If it does, use the forks to shred the meat and stir it into the sauce until it’s all well incorporated. If it’s not quite ready to shred, return to the oven and check it again in a half hour or so. If the bone is in, it may take closer to 4 hours.

I like the Cuban-style pulled pork served over baked sweet potatoes or rice or as a filling for plantain cups or poblanos. It’s a wonderfully flavorful dish. This makes about 8 servings. I typically freeze what I don’t use the first day.

Barbecue Style

  • Barbecue-Style Ingredients
  • 1 12-oz. can Coke (cannot be diet Coke)
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce (try the SBJ sauce here)
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • Many grinds of black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 3-4 lb. pork roast

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a Dutch oven or roasting pan, stir together all ingredients except the pork roast. Add the pork roast and turn it to coat all sides. Cover the pan and bake at 300 degrees F for 3-4 hours. Check it at 3 hours to see if you can shred the meat easily with a couple forks. If yes, then shred the meat into the sauce until all is well incorporated. If no, then return to the oven for another half hour to hour or so, whatever it takes. If it’s bone-in, then it will take longer.

The other day I made this and I didn’t have Coke, so I used wine instead. And my most current batch of SBJ barbecue sauce is mouth-on-fire flaming hot, so I used a half-cup of that and a half-cup of a sweeter store-bought barbecue sauce. Still a delicious pulled pork. All of this is just to tell you it’s hard to go wrong.

I like to serve this type of pulled pork over sandwich buns (recipe here) or over baked sweet potatoes. It makes about 8 servings. I usually freeze whatever I don’t use the first day.

I don’t know when this became such a favorite of mine, but I sure do make it a lot. Yum! This is a gluten-free recipe. I’ll give you the ingredients, but not the amounts. I just throw the food into a bowl and stir it around. I like to serve this with finger food like pulled pork sandwiches or oven-fried chicken.

  • Ingredients
  • Sour cream
  • Mayonnaise
  • Vinegar
  • Pepper
  • Red onion, sliced thin
  • Frozen peas, mostly thawed
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Crispy bacon crumbles

Make a dressing with a dab of sour cream and about twice as much, or more, mayo. Stir in a Tablespoon or so of vinegar. I use white wine vinegar. Stir in a couple dashes of pepper. Stir in the remaining ingredients until well mixed. If you have to add more mayo to get everything covered, then do that. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

  • Ingredients
  • Spinach
  • Bleu cheese crumbles
  • Avocado, diced
  • Berries, chopped or whole, depending upon size
  • Sweet Spiced Pecans (recipe found here)
  • Dried cherries
  • Balsamic glaze

Use the amount of ingredients for the number of people you’ll be feeding. Layer the ingredients in individual bowls and let people add their own balsamic glaze as the dressing.

I would say the only “must-have” parts of this salad are the spinach, the bleu cheese crumbles, and the balsamic glaze. I always buy the premade glaze, but I supposed you could find a recipe for it, it’s very sweet. I have used mandarin orange segments instead of berries. I’ve used strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. I’ve made this without the avocados. I’ve used plain pecans when I’ve been too lazy to make Sweet Spiced Pecans. I’ve used dried strawberries and dried cranberries in lieu of the dried cherries, and I’ve also skipped the dried berries (as is pictured since I was out). Anything goes!

I try to always have these on hand to make Spinach-Bleu-Berry Salad. It’s hard to keep them in stock because of the person who lives with me and likes to nibble on little snacks. So, there’s that. The recipe I use is double the one from dimpleprints. You can adjust the kick by raising or lowering the amount of cayenne pepper. This is a gluten-free recipe.

  • Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 4-6 cups pecan halves

Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a very large bowl, mix together brown sugar, cayenne, salt, coriander, cinnamon, and allspice. Set aside.

In a separate, smaller, bowl whisk together egg whites and vegetable oil until egg whites are foamy. Stir the egg mixture into the brown sugar mixture until it’s all incorporated. Fold in 4 cups of pecan halves. Keep folding as you want the pecans to be fully coated with the mixture and it takes time for the mixture to drip into the grooves of the pecans. Since I use extra-large eggs, I fold in another cup, or more, of pecan halves. Keep folding until it’s all soaked in.

Pour the pecans onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Roast at 300 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. I stir mine two or three times during the roasting process. Keep a close eye on the pecans as they can scorch easily. Remove from oven and let them cool completely before lifting the parchment paper and breaking up any clumps. Store and/or share with friends.

I worked at the King Ko Inn in King Salmon, Alaska during my teenage years in the mid-1970s. Most of that time I was a maid, but for a few months in my senior year of high school I was a waitress. The clientele were German sport fishermen and road laborers working on the upgrade of the road to Naknek. The inn’s manager was this mountainous rough woman named Bea. She was all seeing, all knowing. She cruised through the inn like a giant tanker, trailing a wake of fear behind her. She was fiercely protective, however, of her young employees. One thing you could count on when Bea was cooking on Fridays was her Manhattan Clam Chowder. Most places, in the western United States at least, serve clam chowder on Fridays, but it is New England style. Bea’s Manhattan Clam Chowder is so memorable that I have been trying to duplicate it ever since. I finally found it here at Food 52 a few years ago.

  • Ingredients
  • 16 oz. (2-8 oz. bottles) clam juice
  • 12 oz. (2- 6 oz. cans) chopped clams, drained, reserve juice
  • 4 oz. diced bacon
  • 1-1/2 cups small dice onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped leeks (white part only)
  • 1 cup small dice celery
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/8 heaping tsp. celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups 1/2″ dice peeled potatoes
  • 28 oz. chopped canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. horseradish sauce

In a large pan, fry bacon until nearly crisp. Stir in vegetables and saute until soft. Stir in spices. Stir in clam juice and reserved clam juice, salt, pepper, and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer until potatoes are cooked through. Stir in tomatoes and clams. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in horseradish sauce. Serve. Oh, yum!!!

Notes: This will serve 4 easily. I like to serve with a crusty bread or oyster crackers. If you’ve never used leeks before, make sure you clean them appropriately. I slice mine in half lengthwise and then run under cold water while I flip the layers of leek, like pages of a book. Leeks hide sand and bugs and have to be cleaned well. Then I chop them up. This is a gluten-free dish.

I ate this for the first time at a local German restaurant a few years ago. I’ve made it myself several times since then. The recipe I was using online ceased to exist, so I switched to this one from Kimberly Killebrew. I think I like it better anyway. Thinking about making this the first couple times seems a rather daunting prospect, but it’s much easier to do than you would think. I believe you could use wild game instead of beef steak, as long as the piece was sliced thin enough. You’re going to need toothpicks, lots of toothpicks. This is easily a gluten-free dinner if you use a corn-starch thickener instead of flour and serve it over something like polenta or potatoes.

When I last made this, I only made 4 beef rolls (instead of 8), but the full complement of gravy. That’s to say just make the number of rolls for the number of people you’re serving. After you’ve done this a time or two, you’ll understand what I’m getting at. And the rouladen are SO tender, you don’t even need a knife!

  • Rouladen Ingredients
  • 8 slices beef steak (like round steak), about 4×6″ size, pounded thin
  • Spicy brown mustard or Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 8 slices dill pickle
  • Sliced onion
  • Gravy Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • Cornstarch or flour to make a slurry
  • Cream, optional

Spread each piece of meat with mustard and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. At the smallest end of the meat, lay a slice of bacon, pickle, and onion. Roll the meat up from that smallest end to the largest end. Secure with several toothpicks.

Heat the butter and oil in an oven-proof skillet or Dutch oven and sear the meat rolls on all sides. Remove to a plate. In that same skillet, saute the onions until they are translucent. You may need more butter or oil. Stir in the garlic and saute another thirty seconds or so. Add the carrots and celery and saute another five minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Pour red wine into the skillet with the vegetables, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the beef broth, tomato paste, bay leaf, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

Nestle the meat rolls in the liquid, cover the skillet, and place into the preheated 325 degree F oven for about 90 minutes. Remove the rouladen from the sauce to a plate.

Thicken the gravy by making a slurry of cornstarch (see note below) and water (or broth) OR a slurry of flour and water (or broth). Either way works just fine. Many cooks will either strain out the vegetables or puree them to make a smooth sauce. I don’t care about that, so I don’t bother with it. Vegetable lumps it is! You can stir in cream if you want a creamier gravy.

Once your gravy is done to your liking, pluck the toothpicks from the rouladen. They should stay in place without the picks. Return the rouladen to the gravy, turning so that they’re coated on all sides and heat through.

You can serve with spaetzle, polenta, mashed potatoes, or just use your imagination. This is easily a gluten-free dish.

Note: A slurry is taking a cold liquid and stirring in either corn starch or flour until smooth, then slowly pouring the concoction into a thin gravy and stirring over heat until the gravy thickens. A two-to-one ratio of corn starch to cold water (or broth) is a good way to start. I never measure it anymore, just make sure the corn starch dissolves, then start pouring the mix into the gravy. If it gets too thick, then I add more broth to the gravy. If it doesn’t thicken enough, I add more slurry to the gravy. I do the same with flour.

You can make this dish without using an oven, all on the stovetop. I haven’t tried it, but it would work just fine.

I don’t own a meat mallet so I do the best I can with the edge of a saucer to pound the meat without putting holes in it. Again, once you’ve done this a few times you’ll see how it works any which way, it’s not at all fussy. The flavors here are really rich.

I’ve been buying these frozen chicken quarters from the grocery store in 10 pound bags. Once it arrives home, I use my vacuum sealer to split it into freezer-bags with 2 pieces in each. What I’ve learned is, one hour of roasting, uncovered, at 425 degrees will cook the thawed chicken. So the decision is what to put with it. This time I tried red onion, mini sweet pepper, grape tomatoes and a home-grown zucchini. I’ve been using this spice blend called Kahuna Garlic Salt Spice Blend by The Spice and Tea Exchange here in Anchorage, Alaska. It’s got Hawaiian red sea salt, garlic, onion, and parsley in a grinder. I’m on my third jar of it this summer. I put it on nearly everything, including this dish. Wonderful!

  • Ingredient quantities depend upon how many people you will serve
  • Red onion, sliced
  • Peppers, sliced (I used mini sweet peppers)
  • Grape tomatoes, sliced
  • Zucchini, sliced
  • Garlic salt blend (or garlic powder and salt)
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Chicken Quarters

Layer the vegetable ingredients into a baking dish, or a sheet pan with sides, so as not to crowd them. I used a 9×13″ pan for two chicken quarters. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt blend and pepper. Run a swazz of olive oil across the vegetables, not too much, about a tablespoon. Rub the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt blend and pepper. Bake at 425 degrees for one hour. Serve.