Monday, October 25, 2010

Choose Your Own Lettuce Wraps

A while ago I was planning on making chicken tacos and got them almost made only to realize I didn't have tortillas or chips.  Needless to say, I was annoyed.  After searching the fridge, freezer and cupboards I found some Romain lettuce and decided to just use the lettuce as the "tortilla."  They were wonderful, and I felt so healthy.  That said, I have found that butter lettuce works a lot better, but Romain works in a pinch.  The other night I decide to do a "clean out the fridge" and do lettuce wraps.  It turned out wonderfully.  I basically took anything and everything out of the fridge and cupboard that needed to be eaten, along with browning up some hamburger with onion and salt & pepper, although chicken or pork or no meat would work just as well, and set it all on the table.

I know the table looks crazy!
We then all sat down at put together whatever looked like a yummy combination.  Often, one of us would come up with a good idea and we would all copy.  It was such a fun, quick, and easy meal, and now my fridge is cleaned out.

Basically just put the ingredients in the middle of the lettuce and roll it up and enjoy

Here are a few of our favorites: (Printer Friendly Recipe)

Mexican Wrap
taco sauce
sour cream

Asian Wrap
red pepper
soy sauce
chinese noodles (I realize they aren't GF but this was my plate, and I added them)
Pizza Wrap
Turkey Pepperoni
Mozarella cheese

 Veggie Wrap
Red Peppers

Spicy BBQ
Mozzarella Cheese
A1 Sauce
Green Taco Sauce

Coconut Shrimp
Cooked Shrimp
I must admit this wasn't my favorite, I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I had had Cocktail Sauce -- Next Time

So next time you have lots of leftovers grab some lettuce and get wrapping!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Tomato and Onion Salad

Okay, I know your mouth is watering.  I know mine is just from seeing the picture.  You really should make this, especially since you can actually find yummy tomatoes right now -- Mine are from my garden, oh, how I love my garden (My husband's more precisely since I don't do much, but prepare food from it, but marriage is about sharing so it is mine - right).  Make this -- TONIGHT.  It is so easy it is almost scary.  The recipe is from Rachel Ray's "Chicken Clubs" in her 30 Minute Meals cookbook and when I found it I didn't have bacon and I was so disappointed the rest of the night that the minute I got bacon it was the first thing I made for dinner.  It is meant to be a sandwich, which is how about 1/2 my family ate it as, but my daughter just wanted it without bread so it is easily eaten wrapped in lettuce.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Tomato Salad (printer friendly recipe)
8 slices bacon
4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 1/2 breasts)
4 toothpicks
Tomato & Onion Salad (recipe below)
Romain or Bibb lettuce
Toasted buns, or toasted bread

Pound the breasts so they are uniform thickness.  Criss Cross two pieces of bacon and place the chicken in the middle and wrap the bacon around it (like you do a ribbon on a present) Secure with a tooth pick.  Heat either a griddle to medium high or an outdoor grill  to medium or medium low and cook chicken for about 6-7 minutes on each side until the bacon is crisp and the chicken is cooked through.  While the chicken cooks make the Tomato and Onion Salad.  When the chicken is cooked make a sandwich with the chicken and salad, wrap it in a lettuce leaf, or just sprinkle the salad over the top of the chicken and enjoy.

Tomato & Onion Salad
3 tomatoes, thinly sliced into rings
1/4 medium onion, minced
handful of chopped, fresh parsley or 1 tsp of dried
1/2 tsp dried chervil (opt. but yummy)
Salt & pepper to taste
About 1 T olive oil

1. Mix all ingredients together and let sit until chicken is done.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


As you can see, I have been doing a little organizing of my blog.  As such, I have found tons of food inspiration which I have been sorely lacking.  There were a few times I wanted to hop up and start cooking something (Cookie Dough Brownies anyone?)  only to realize that would defeat the purpose of sitting here to organize.  I hope this helps you find some inspiration too.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

I posted last week a recipe for meatballs.  Here is one way to use them that we LOVE!!!

Sweet & Sour Meatballs (printer friendly recipe)
1 C sugar (brown or white, your preference)
2 Tbsp Corn Starch
1/2 C Ketchup
1 20 oz can pineapple tidbits, including juice
Approx 20 Meatballs
Rice or noodles

In a medium saucepan combine ingredients and about 20 meatballs over med heat.  Bring to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes.  Serve over rice or noodles.  Makes enough for 6 people.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Aloha Bread

I love sweet breads, with the exception of fruit cake, I have yet to find one I don't love.  When I found some 1/2 dead bananas at the store the other day I immediately thought, I NEED banana bread.  So I bought some thinking I had enough for a GF batch and a regular.  OOPS, only enough for one batch -- who knew banana bread takes so many bananas.  So I went looking for something else to do with the bananas, because I didn't want my daughter to go without, or for us to eat all her treats.

I was looking in my Lion House Desserts cookbook which I LOVE.  On a side note these recipes are wonderful and since The Lion House is a restaurant in Salt Lake City all the recipes are created for high altitudes, which if you live in Albuquerque is a must.  I really need to get all their cookbooks because they are fabulous!  I have already adapted others for to be gluten free like their doughnut balls (which we had for an after-school snack yesterday), butter-pecan squares, or their wonderful, egg-free chocolate pudding.  In case you are wondering, I plan to continue until just about every recipe has a GF version written to the side of it!

Anyway, they had this recipe which called for just 1 C of mushed banana and then added pineapple, pecans, and coconut -- which if you've seen my carrot cake recipe you know is the trifecta of goodness so this recipe was just begging to be made.  After a little consideration I adapted it for GF and here it is.  I personally think it turned out fabulous and my daughter ate a whole loaf herself in about 2 days.  She loved it toasted for breakfast, and as an after school snack, in her lunch, etc.  I have some left in freezer that is waiting for me to surprise her with later.

Aloha Bread (printer friendly version)
1 C butter
2 C sugar
5 eggs
1 C mashed bananas
4 C GF flour mix
2 tsp xanthan gum
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 20-oz can crushed pineapple, drained
3/4 C chopped pecan
1 C coconut

1. Preheat oven to 325.  Grease 2 large 9x5-inch loaf pans and set aside.  In a medium size bowl mix the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, soda, and salt.  In a separate large bowl cream the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs and beat well.  Stir in the bananas.  Add dry ingredients and blend well but do not over mix or else there will be tunnels and a coarse texture.  Add pineapple, pecans and coconut and mix together on low until blended.  Pour into the prepared pans (they should be about 2/3 full, use a 3rd pan or make muffins if necessary and cook a little less).  Bake for 60-80 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in pans about 15 minutes and then dump onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Sauteed Veggies

The other night I was trying to figure out what to cook.  I wasn't really in the mood to cook and since it was the end of the month we were low on supplies and I was trying to be good and not buy anything.  So after rumaging through my fridge I found 3 large baked potatoes from a previous dinner in the fridge and decided to add some other veggies to them and fry them up with a little seasoning.  It was delicious.   I was afraid I would miss the hamburger which is something I often fry with leftover baked potatoes, but I didn't.  I think we will be eating this more often.

Sauteed Veggies (printer friendly version)
1 T bacon grease (optional, but adds a great flavor you could just sub butter)
1 T butter
4 carrots, sliced
3 slices of onions cut into 6ths (see photo below)
1/2 green pepper, chopped
2 large or 3-4 small/med baked potatoes
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp cumin

1. In a large fry pan or skillet melt bacon grease and butter.  Add carrots and sautee for about 5 minutes.
Add onion
 one slice cut into sixths

and green pepper and cook until onion is soft.  Add potatoes
and seasonings.

Cook until all heated through and some of the veggies are slightly crispy brown.  Enjoy as the main dish of dinner with bread or as a side.  It would be yummy with meatloaf don't you think.  Hmmmm I think I need to buy some hamburger and make meatloaf now.

Monday, October 4, 2010


This is a recipe we love.  My mom created it and it is delicious.  I have to admit it may not be as moist as some since it doesn't have bread crumbs, but that is why I like it.  It is too much of a pain to come up with good GF breadcrumbs.  You can enjoy these with anything you might put meatballs on.  I will occasionally be posting some recipes that use these.  If you want to use turkey instead of beef I imagine it would work, however you might want to add a little olive oil since turkey can be so lean. If you want to make the meatballs more Italian flavored the adaptation is listed at the end.  I've been thinking of coming up with other flavored meatballs, such as Mexican that you could make a sandwich with or soup etc.  If you have any ideas for other flavored meatballs or recipes to use them in let me know.

Meatballs (printer friendly recipe)
approx 12 per 1/2 lb of meat

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
2 Tbsp minced onion
2 Tbs minced green pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Mix ingredients together until mixed well

Mold into small balls about 1" in diameter
Horrid photo I know but you get the idea.  I love Cookie scoops for this!

Place on a greased pan

Bake at 375-degrees for 30 minutes.  Allow to cool and then place in a freezer bag for later use.

Italian Meatballs 
follow the above recipe, but add the following to the ingredients before you mix them together.

1 T dried Italian Seasoning
3 cloves of garlic minced


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