Posts Tagged ‘Egg Free’

Ooey Gooey Mac & Cheese with Cheddar, Bacon, and Hard Apple Cider

Last weekend, a friend of ours had a party with a mac and cheese bar. Apparently this is a thing? Think a big long table with all varieties of mac and cheeses, and then—and here’s where I was totally schooled—a variety of toppings. WHAT. I must be super slow in the whole social development thing, because I have never, ever heard of toppings for mac and cheese. Especially not anything like guac, roast veggies, sausage, and (my elixer of life) sriracha. I mean, I’ve always smothered mac and cheese with ketchup, but because I am a savage I smother everything in ketchup and generally avoid admitting it to anyone, ever.

Well anyway, for said mac-and-cheese-athon I was (as always) THAT gal who called ahead of time and let my host know that “oh-by-the-way I’ve got a ‘DIETARY RESTRICTION’ so you have to go out of your way to cater to my needs.” When faced with a potentially problematic situation I generally do a cost/benefit analysis based on occasion, type of food, and proximity to a toilet. I don’t have full-blown Celiac and I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I have some kind of deadly allergy like all the kids seem to be doing these days…I can totally handle a meal out as long as whatever I’m eating just has a dusting of flour on it or something (loves me some fried food) and I’m not just scarfing a bread basket. Helps if the place has multiple bathroom stalls, too–you know, to avoid blame.

But hipster-bashing aside, my insides are NOT fans of amber waves of grain, either. So wheat noodles smothered in a cheese sauce made with a wheat flour roux? In a one bedroom apartment filled with people? Better to be annoying than to fumigate the place with the bodily equivalent of nerve gas.

(Remember what happened to Megan in that scene from Bridesmaids at the bridal salon? Been there. More than once.)

OK, so all of this nerve gas fart talk was just my way of explaining to you that I used gluten free pasta.

Let’s mac some cheeeeeeeese.

Cheddar Apple Bacon Mac & Cheese

I guess I was still on an apple cider kick. I’ve come to the stunning realization that bacon, cider, and sautéed apples go with everything. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-A-N-G.

So, on a slightly related note…Gluten Free Pasta. There’s some good ones and some really, really not good ones. I’m a HUGE fan of Wegman’s brand GF pastas (corn-based), so if you’ve got a Wegman’s, look no further. If not, then I’d lean towards corn pastas since I think they taste exactly like regular old plain pasta. Brown rice pasta and quinoa pastas are fine, too. I wouldn’t freak out about it. Hipsters and celebrities love gluten free stuff, which means they’re generally less cardboard-y than int he past. Remember, the noodles are merely a vessel for the cheesy goodness that is this boozed up bacon sauce.

Honestly, I wouldn’t judge you if you just made a pot of the cheese sauce and sucked it through a giant straw while catching up on this season of Scandal. Not that I’d know.

Cheddar Apple Bacon Mac and Cheese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 12 oz macaroni noodles (I use gluten free)
  • 2 thick slices of bacon, cut into lardons
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T tapioca starch, arrowroot powder, or corn starch
  • 1 c hard cider (regular apple cider or apple juice works, too)
  • ½ c milk
  • ¼ t nutmeg
  • ½ t dry mustard
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 2 c grated sharp cheddar
  1. In a heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Set the bacon aside but save the drippings.
  2. In the bacon grease, add the onions and sautee until translucent.
  3. Add the apples and mix well. Cook the onion and apple for another 2 or 3 minutes, then remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. Turn the heat down to medium.
  5. Melt the butter and whisk in the tapioca starch, creating a roux.
  6. Add the cider, whisking constantly. Reduce by about half--the mixture will be very thick.
  7. Add the milk and seasonings, continuing to whisk.
  8. Turn down to low and add the cheese, apples, onions, and bacon, stirring to incorporate.
  9. Cook and drain your pasta. Make sure it is al dente.
  10. Add the noodles to the cheese sauce.
  11. Transfer to an 8x8 baking dish. At this point you can cover and refrigerate for later use, if desired.
  12. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned and the cheese is bubbly.


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Pan Seared Pork Chops w/ Spiked Apple Bacon Gravy

I’m pretty sure the only reason my husband asked me on a second date was because he realized that I was willing to feed him. I have a pretty terrible personality. Anyway, I had a handful of recipes that I could throw together on a weeknight that, at least at the time, were sufficiently delicious and “fancy” by my early-20s standards to hold his interest.

Pan Seared Pork Chops with Spiked Apple Bacon Gravy

(Admittedly, at this stage in my life, I thought that going to BJ’s was a “fancy night out” so, if we’re being honest, if we were like 3 or 4 years older he’d have walked out about halfway through our second date and I’d be alone and probably really fat).

Pan Seared Pork Chops w- Spiked Apple Bacon Gravy

Grilled cheeses on crusty boule with gruyere and parmesan, carbonara, scratch made lasagna, roast chicken (NOT the pre-made kind, either!), and this…

Pork Chops with Spiked Apple Bacon Gravy

Back when, you know, I actually had cable TV and could pantlessly binge watch Food Network all weekend, I picked up a recipe for pork chops and a beer-bacon-gravy from Rachel Ray. So delish, amiright? I made the original several times and then made a few changes to the ingredient list after going Paleo, and then a couple more since coming out of my mid-20s angst and realizing that Paleo was awful. Because without Paleo in my life I could seriously drink this gravy and it would be OK. I’m into accepting people for who they are, aren’t you? Of course you are, so let’s eat part of a pig covered in booze, shall we?

Pan Seared Pork Chops w/ Spiked Apple Bacon Gravy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 4 Thick-Cut Pork Chops
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 T Olive Oil
  • 4 Thick Slices of Bacon, cut into lardons
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 Medium Apple, cored and diced
  • 1 T Arrowroot Powder or Tapioca Starch
  • 1½ c Hard Cider (apple juice is fine, too)
  • ½ c Chicken Stock
  1. Season your chops with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Brown the chops on each side until just firm, about 5 mins on each side.
  4. Remove to a plate and cover with foil to let rest.
  5. Add a bit more oil to the pan and add your bacon.
  6. When the bacon is browned, add the onions and stir until translucent.
  7. Add the apples, mix well, and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes.
  8. Whisk in the arrowroot powder for about a minute, then add the cider, whisking constantly to combine well and avoid lumps.
  9. When the gravy is reduced by half, add the stock.
  10. Let simmer for 4-5 minutes, then pour over the pork chops.
  11. Serve garnished with parsley.


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Better Than Takeout: ‘Sweet Sriracha Dynamite’ Chicken

Well, if you can get over the fact that these pictures are a total mess, I have a feeling you’ll be pretty excited.


“Sweet Sriracha Dynamite” is actually stolen from my old friend, Pizza Hut. They’ve got all kinds of wacked out flavors coming out and that was one of them–it’s kind of a trashed up Hawaiian pizza. And I’m all about making trashed up pizza.


Buuuut this time I opted for something a little less…junk food-y. Thanksgiving is less than a week away and my birthday (the one day a year when calories don’t count) is this week, too…so I figure it’s better to front load the healthy stuff. Yay!

Except you’d never know that this wasn’t a big, fat, plate of takeout. It’s got the sweet, the salty, the spicy, and a sauce that made me want to weep tears of joy. May also have been the sriracha.

'Sweet Sriracha Dynamite' Chicken
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
  • 4 thick slices bacon, cut into lardons
  • 1-2 T coconut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 1 c pineapple chunks (if using canned, make sure to drain any liquid)
  • 2-3 T apple cider vinegar
  • sriracha (as much as you want!)
  • salt to taste
  1. Over medium high heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from the skillet and set aside, leaving the drippings behind.
  2. Add the 1-2 T coconut oil to the pan and add the garlic and jalapenos.
  3. Once the garlic is browned, turn heat down to medium and add the chicken.
  4. When the chicken pieces are about cooked through, add the pineapple and vinegar. Toss everything to coat.
  5. Add a few squirts of sriracha, tossing everything to coat.
  6. Turn heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Devour!


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Crockpot Pineapple Pulled Pork

About a year and a half ago, I posted this recipe for my 3 Ingredient Hawaiian Pulled Pork. I was ecstatic when I posted it because it was so good and so easy.

Pineapple Pulled Pork -- The Not So Desperate Housewife

Well, I have to say it’s one of my most commented upon posts to date and…there’s an awful lot of you who thought it was effing terrible. Oy.

Pineapple Pulled Pork - The Not So Desperate Housewife

So! I re-made it! Yay! I think (hope, pray) that the issue with the first one was that it just lacked seasoning. Most of the negative comments called it bland or tasteless in so many words, so I decided to amp up the flavor a bit.

Knife and Jalapeno

I know 6 ingredients (do spices really count as whole ingredients if they’re like a gram each?) are way less appealing than 3 (and I purposely don’t count “salt to taste” because of course I don’t), but geez, you guys, is the extra effort (all 10 seconds of it) totally worth it!

Pineapple Pulled Pork :: The Not So Desperate Housewife

I really don’t know how you can call this bland. It’s sweet, spicy, tangy, and oh-so-rich and buttery.

Pineapple Pulled Pork ::: The Not So Desperate Housewife

For all of those I so gravely offended with the original recipe, please accept my apology.

Crockpot Pineapple Pulled Pork : The Not So Desperate Housewife

Crock Pot Pineapple Pulled Pork
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 pork shoulder (3-4 pounds), cut into a few large chunks
  • 1 can crushed or cubed pineapple, drained
  • ½ c tamari or coconut aminos (soy sauce works too)
  • 2 t garlic powder
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 2 or 3 fresh jalapenos, chopped
  • salt to taste
  1. Give your crock pot a quick spritz with some oil.
  2. Place pork shoulder in the crock pot.
  3. Pour the tamari/coconut aminos over the pork.
  4. Next, season with garlic, jalapenos, and salt.
  5. Finally, dump the drained pineapple over the pork. No need to make it look nice.
  6. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours, until fork tender.
  7. Shred with 2 forks and serve.


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“Thanksgiving Stuffing” Slow Cooker Rice Casserole

The slow cooker rice casserole is my new go-to meal option. Seriously, changed my life…not only is it just insanely easy, but it’s the best way I’ve come up with like, ever, to use up my random assortments of leftovers. I have yet to find anything that doesn’t marry up with rice.

Thanksgiving Stuffing Rice Casserole from The Not So Desperate Housewife

What’s even better is the texture is nothing short of, well, stuffing. And if you’re a stuffing hoarder like me this is pretty much the best thing since Stove Top.

Thanksgiving Stuffing Rice Casserole : The Not So Desperate Housewife

I could eat nothing but stuffing for the rest of my life and be totally happy. It’s the epitome of carby, sweet, savory, salty, warm, comforting goodness. But this casserole? It’s like I transported through time to the Thanksgiving table. And it’s about a thousand times easier to make. And yes, I know stuffing is super easy to make anyway. Think about that one…

Thanksgiving Stuffing Rice Casserole :: The Not So Desperate Housewife

I wish there was a way to take a picture of this that didn’t make it look like a pile of something nasty because it’s so effing good I can’t even stand it. I mean, it’s a literal mash up of a million things so I honestly don’t know what to do unless I dressed up the dish with a sash and crown and just called it America’s Sweetheart. Maybe that would get the point across? Maybe I just need more sleep.

This recipe is extremely customizeable…note how pretty much every ingredient has something else that could fill in. Honestly, feel free to use whatever you’ve got on hand. The basic formula that works the best for me is just 2 cups of dry rice, 4 cups of liquid (like stock) and a can (1 1/2 cups) of coconut milk to add some richness. On top of it all…anything goes. So go nuts! (Add nuts!!)

"Thanksgiving Stuffing" Slow Cooker Rice Casserole
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 c dry white rice
  • 4 c liquid (I used about 3 c of chicken stock and 1 c water)
  • 1½ c coconut milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1-2 c shredded cooked turkey (chicken also works)
  • 1 box sliced mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 c cubed butternut squash or sweet potato
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 c fresh cranberries
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 T dried sage
  • 1 T dried rosemary
  • 1 T dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Toss everything in the slow cooker.
  2. Give it a quick stir to combine.
  3. Cook on High for 4 hours or on Low for 6 hours. Stir once or twice to make sure everything gets distributed evenly.
  4. Can be left longer if needed, but be aware that the longer it cooks, the softer the rice will be (I actually like it that way!)


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Paleo Falafel

Yup. I totally de-legumified falafel and replaced the chickpeas with meat. Sue me. It was sort of on the fly and I didn’t have any, so I did what I often do and replaced the missing ingredient with meat. Meatza, anyone?

Paleo Falafel : The Not So Desperate Housewife

Thanks to the plethora of farmers’ markets and, well, local farms in general, cheap yet local and sustainable foodstuffs–like the aforementioned meat–have been refreshingly easy to come by around here, so my freezer is stocked to the brim with assorted animal parts. We’re on a tight budget, what with my husband in B-school and all, so stocking up on the essentials ahead of time has been a godsend. I’m pretty keen on feeding both of us on $100 a week, and I’d like to get it down to $86 (which is what the USDA says we ought to be able to do on the Super Thrifty…aka What You’d Get on Food Stamps…plan). It’s amazing how much you can drop in one trip to Whole Foods on, like, 3 things. Which isn’t news to anyone, I know, but it was shamefully easy to get complacent when both of us were working and living in a lower cost area.

The real challenge has been deciding what our true priorities were, and I’m still working out the kinks (which I’d like to share in a future post). For example, I’m fine with buying a lot of produce that’s conventionally grown, and the latest GMO study has me sleeping a little better at night over some things. BUT I’m still buying organic eggs and dairy products because, well, there’s some really shady practices in conventional poultry and dairy farming that pose a risk I’m not willing to take. AND I haven’t figured out where to draw the line on meat. On the one hand, yes, grass fed and pastured is better, but it’s also thrice the price a lot of times. Also a heck of a lot easier to find (affordable) grass fed and/or pastured chicken and beef than it is, say pork. Farmers’ Markets help with this but not a ton, especially since a lot of them shut down in the Fall. PS Quick cash-saving tip…I withdraw $100 in cash before my weekly grocery run…it’s the single best way I know of to keep me honest ;-)

OK so falafel. Ah-mazing with hummus, paleo or otherwise…I happened to have some parsnip hummus on hand (recipe coming soon…here’s a sweet potato hummus recipe I love to tide you over!) and did up a little plate with the falafels, hummus, and some roast veggies. I did find this recipe for a GF pita that I really want to try next time, too. There’s a lot of ways to fix up the real deal, so be creative with these! Next time I’m going to try rolling the balls in sesame seeds before frying to try for that lovely crunch.

Adapted from this recipe from Tori Avey.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Paleo "Falafel"
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 pound ground chicken, turkey, or even pork
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ t ground cardamom
  1. Add the onion, carrots, parsley, and garlic to a food processor. Pulse until the bits are very small but not so much that you get a smoothie.
  2. Mix the pork with the veggies, egg, and spices.
  3. Form into balls. Cover with plastic and let sit for an hour or two, even overnight if you want to make ahead.
  4. In a heavy bottomed frying pan, heat ¼ inch of oil over medium heat.
  5. Fry the meatballs on all sides till cooked through, about 15 minutes.


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Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Crock Pot Casserole…aka The Ultimate Fall Comfort Food

When my husband came home with this cooking on the counter, the scent of sage and rosemary wafting through the house, he was convinced I was making Thanksgiving dinner.

The Ultimate Comfort Food - Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Crock Pot Casserole :: The Not So Desperate Housewife

Admittedly it’s super hard to make a picture of this delicious mess look as amazing as it is, so I reallyreally need you to trust me here. It’s approximately 2 minutes of actual work (and by work I mean dumping stuff into a slow cooker) for a meal that will either feed 6-8 people comfortable or feed 2 people for DAYS. And feeding us for days on some very affordable ingredients is a very, very good thing…especially if it manages to hit the level of rich, warm, comfort that makes a food coma positively inevitable.

The Ultimate Comfort Food - Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Crock Pot Casserole : The Not So Desperate Housewife

This will most definitely be happening again…next time I’m thinking it’ll be time to bust out the fall veggies and go all out with some sausage, cranberries, winter squash…maybe even some apples if I’m feeling crazy ;-)

What combos would you want to try?

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Crock Pot Casserole...aka The Ultimate Fall Comfort Food
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 cups of uncooked dry rice
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3 cups of water or chicken stock
  • 2 lbs cooked chicken
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 c sliced mushrooms (1 box)
  • 1 T rosemary
  • 1 T sage
  • 1 T thyme
  • 2 t garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Put everything in the slow cooker. Give it all a big stir.
  2. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 3 hours.

**Adapted from Vegan in the Freezer

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Mocha Cappuccino Chia Pudding

Yeah, I know. I’m going crazzzzy with all this chia pudding.

Mocha Cappuccino Chia Pudding ::The Not So Desperate Housewife

But seriously, what was wrong with me? This is the perfect breakfast. Just mix it all up, toss in the fridge. Boom. Nice cool breakfast option for hella hot days all nice and ready after I stumble out of bed.

Mocha Cappuccino Chia Pudding :::The Not So Desperate Housewife

So this recipe also has sort of a secret ingredient. I use it in pretty much everything. Probably the greatest grocery discovery I ever made.

Mocha Cappuccino Chia Pudding : The Not So Desperate Housewife

Apple pie spice is sorta like pumpkin pie spice but much, much lighter. Maybe because apple pie is a much more summery dessert? I’m freaking out over Fresh Market’s blend, though…it’s got a few extra ingredients that others generally don’t, like lemon peel and fenugreek. Baller.

Mocha Cappuccino Chia Pudding
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-2
  • ⅔ c almond milk
  • ½ c brewed coffee
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 T cacao powder
  • 1 t apple pie spice
  • pinch salt
  • 1 t vanilla
  • ¼ c chia seeds
  • sweetener of choice (I don't use any)
  • cacao nibs, for topping
  1. Here's the trick to getting this stuff to gel without clumping--mix the coffee and almond milk together and pop int he microwave for just a minute or so, to warm it up.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, mixing well.
  3. Transfer to whatever bowls or containers you'd like.
  4. Refrigerate over night.
  5. Top with cacao nibs and enjoy!


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Cheeseburger Chili (without cheese)

Seriously, y’all. It’s like I put a cheeseburger in a blender. I had this fantastic concoction cooking all day yesterday as we were moving in and our tiny kitchen was thick with the smell of backyard barbecue.

Cheeseburger Chili : The Not So Desperate Housewife

This was our second meal actually prepared in the new house. If you recall, half our house was without power and the AC was out for the whole weekend because things like that just…seem…to happen to me all of the time. I think we’re finally in the clear, but just know for the rest of the year I’ll be afraid to turn on the dryer…20A to start when the whole house is only 60A is terrifying. My only good ideas are to either a) just do laundry out, or b) to designate a laundry day and make sure *everything* is shut off before even thinking about washing clothes. At least our water bill might be lower?

Anyway, this chili. I went ahead and roasted half a butternut squash in foil and just scooped out the inside and dumped it into the crock pot, but in the future I’ll probably just used the canned stuff since a) it takes way less time, and b) I won’t have to turn the oven on. I’m making a lot of lists today. If I’d have been thinking ahead, I’d have thought to get some ketchup and mustard to dump over my bowl and make this even more like a cheeseburger smoothie. Trust me on this one.

Cheeseburger Chili (without cheese)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 c mashed butternut squash
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 2 medium potatoes, cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 c sliced mushrooms
  • 1 c nutritional yeast
  • ¼ c apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 T dry mustard
  • 1 t garlic powder
  1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium high.
  2. Place beef in a crock pot with all other ingredients.
  3. Give it all a quick stir and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.
  4. Serve with your favorite burger toppings.



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Overnight Bulletproof Chia Pudding

I have been long averse to jumping on the chia pudding bandwagon. Maybe I had a bad experience? I feel like I probably did, since I couldn’t even hear the word “chia” without thinking of gritty, gelatinous goop.

Bulletproof Chia Pudding :: The Not So Desperate Housewife

Well, you guys, when you’re moving and your AC goes out (along with power in half the building) because the ampage in your new house simply cannot handle running the washer and dryer at the same time, you start looking for breakfast options that are, you know, cold. Never mind how the heck I ended up with a baggie of chia seeds in the fridge, but there they were, and gosh darn it if this mess didn’t come out spectacularly. I even ate it out of a little mason jar, since apparently that’s what cultured grown-ups do. Does it count if it was my complementary margarita glass from Joe’s Crab Shack?

Overnight Bulletproof Chia Pudding
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-2
  • 1 c hot coffee
  • ½ c almond milk
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 T grass fed butter or ghee (can also be another T of coconut oil)
  • 1 T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • ½ mashed banana (optional)
  • ¼ c chia seeds
  1. In a blender, combine all ingredients except the chia seeds.
  2. Add the chia seeds to a mason jar or bowl.
  3. Pour the bulletproof coffee mixture over the chia seeds.
  4. Refrigerate overnight.

Bulletproof Chia Pudding : The Not So Desperate Housewife

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