Posts Tagged ‘Nut Free’

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: 
 
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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.

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“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.

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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
 
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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: 
 
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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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Cowboy Cookies

I don’t know what it is, but something about oats and chocolate gets me every time. Probably because, you know, it’s chocolate that’s totally diet food as long as the oats are there. Add in a bunch of other stuff…and somehow they get even better. Weird.

Cowboy Cookies : The Not So Desperate Housewife

When I was a kid these were easily my favorite cookies. Only like, a million years later did I actually find out that “Cowboy Cookies” were actually a thing. Or maybe you’ve always known them as “Trail Mix Cookies”? (Wouldn’t those have to have M&Ms?)

Food is a little anticlimactic like that…no matter how creative you think you are, it’s been done. Good news, though, is you can type any list of random ingredients into Google and the word “recipe” and boom…dinner. That’s how I found this. (But seriously, try it…crazy, right?)

Adapted from Namaste Foods’ recipe. Sub coconut oil for butter for dairy free and cut the nuts for nut free!

Cowboy Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: +/- 12 cookies
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ c Namaste Foods all purpose gluten free flour (or other gluten free all purpose blend)
  • ½ c butter, softened
  • ½ c brown sugar
  • ¼ c white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ t vanilla
  • ½ t baking soda
  • 1½ c gluten free oats
  • ½ c chocolate chips
  • ½ c coconut
  • ½ c pecans, chopped (or nuts of choice)
  • handful of raisins
Instructions
  1. Cream the butter with the brown and white sugars.
  2. Beat in the egg until you have a light colored, fluffy mixture.
  3. Beat in the vanilla and baking soda.
  4. Beat in the flour and oats, a little at a time to make it more manageable.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips, coconut, nuts, and raisins.
  6. Scoop out golf-ball sized hunk of dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  7. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned.

 

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Single Serve Pumpkin Mini-Loaf

The air has taken on the crisp coolness of mid-Atlantic Fall, so obviously it’s time for baking. With pumpkin. Gluten free and dairy free because that’s how I roll. Mostly.

Pumpkin Bread Mini Loaf : The Not So Desperate Housewife

But you know there’s those times when you just want a slice or two, and then the rest of the loaf stands neglected…I’m not one for waste, so I find it easier to make a mini loaf and call it a day. I mean, it’s fresh and hot out of the oven every single time, so a total win. Besides, theses little babies are just so gosh darn cute!

Pumpkin Bread Mini Loaf via The Not So Desperate Housewife

Added bonus–I don’t have to turn on my giant gas oven (that I’m secretly afraid is going to explode every time I turn it on…it’s an antique). The toaster oven works beautifully. I do still line the pans with a strip of parchment paper since gluten free baked goods have a penchant for sticking. My favorite GF all purpose flour to use for this is Bob’s Red Mill GF AP, but I’ve also used my Namaste Foods brand with success.

Single Serve Pumpkin Mini-Loaf
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 mini loaf
 
Ingredients
  • ½ c + 1½ T GF all purpose flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
  • ½ t baking soda
  • ¼ t salt
  • ½ t pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ c applesauce
  • 5 T pumpkin
  • ¼ t vanilla
  • 1 T water
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth. No such thing as overmixing here so make sure the batter is nice and fluffy.
  2. Pour into a parchment lined mini loaf pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

 

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15 Minute MEATZA

I know, I know. Pizza crusts made with meat are sooooo 2010. But, you know, it’s been a while. Cauliflower crusts seem to be dominating and while I’m generally a fan, sometimes I need a wee bit more substance. Feel me?

I had forgotten how seriously quick and easy this was. Like, when I say 15 minutes, I really do mean FIFTEEN minutes. Admittedly, I didn’t even have to chop my own veggies since I’ve been stocking up on pretty much every frozen vegetable pack Trader Joe’s carries. The fire roasted peppers and onions I used for the meatza are seriously the best thing to happen to the planet. I challenge you not to find amazing meals at any time of day that are made better with them. Seriously. Can’t be done.

MEATZA : The Not So Desperate Housewife

Even without a full time job anymore, I somehow feel like I’ve got even less time to lay around and play scientist in the kitchen. Maybe it’s because I notice all the little things that never, ever, in a million years would have bothered me. Like actually folding laundry? Making beds? Ice in my chardonnay? When did I turn into my mom???

In my defense, I’m making a point to take as much off my husband’s plate as I can. Darden is no joke, you guys. As a pre-med last year I know what a huge difference it makes to have someone there to keep things in their place, have the fridge stocked (his classmates seriously subsist on hot pockets and gatorade…ugh), pick up dry cleaning, blah blah blah. Besides, I can just say I’m paying it forward so he can take care of me in med school ;-)

Apologies for the iPhone pictures lately. Camera battery died and I lost the charger…which happens to be an antique that cannot be replaced easily or cheaply. I’m thinking this may be the time that someone finds it in his heart to help me with an upgrade? I do happen to have a birthday coming up next month…

15 Minute MEATZA
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c pizza sauce, store bought or home made
  • 2 c shredded mozzarella
  • 1 pkg Trader Joe's roasted frozen peppers and onions, thawed and drained
  • 1 pkg Applegate Farms pepperoni
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Combine the beef, pork, and eggs.
  3. Press into a greased baking sheet with some kind of elevation on the sides to prevent leakage.
  4. Bake for 10 mins. Prep you toppings while it bakes.
  5. Remove from the oven and **carefully** drain off the drippings from the pan. Blot the surface of the meatza with paper towels so that toppings will adhere better.
  6. Top with sauce, cheese, onions and peppers, and pepperoni.
  7. Return to the oven for 5 minutes.
  8. Slice and serve!

 

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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: 
 
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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: 
 
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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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Decadent Gluten Free, Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nothing in my little rambler here in Charlottesville is less than 60 years old. This is why everything that comes out of my ’50s-era gas oven without being either a) totally uncooked, or b) not totally scorched is a gift. So, Universe, I must once again bow to you in thanks.

Decadent Gluten Free Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies : The Not So Desperate Housewife

Gluten free baking has come leaps and bounds from where it was even a couple of years ago. What once would have been a pile of dry, crumbly, flavorless pieces of cardboard can now be just as good (I think, even better) than their glutinous counterparts that cause me and so many others a great deal of (totally awkward and socially crippling) pain.

The one key is to know your flour blend. I’ve been using Namaste Foods ever since my mom got me a 5 pound bag from Costco “just to try out.” It claims cup-for-cup usage, but I honestly don’t believe any blend is truly the perfect substitute…you have to be willing to experiment a bit and totally put the manufacturer’s own recipes to work. I adapted this recipe from a chocolate chip cookie recipe on the Namaste Foods site while planning a dinner party for my husband’s learning group (everyone gets smarter with cookies, right?). I made a few subs (wanted a dairy-free version and used palm sugar to take advantage of its awesome, rich flavor) and voila! They came out beautifully. I got 30 cookies from this recipe (the original claimed 5 dozen…umyeahnoway) and with 7 people…well, you do the math ;-)

If you do want to sub out another GF flour blend, while I can’t verify the ratios, Namaste AP blend is just sweet brown rice flour (the majority of the mix), tapioca starch, arrowroot flour, sorghum flour, and xanthan gum. I’d say anything with a similar ingredient mix would work well, so just have a quick check and make sure you aren’t using a bean-flour blend (i.e. Bob’s Red Mill GF AP flour, which I also love to death but is mostly garbanzo).

Decadent Gluten Free Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies :: The Not So Desperate Housewife

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3 dozen
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups Namaste Perfect Flour Blend
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 c coconut oil
  • ¾ c sugar
  • ¾ c palm sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cream the coconut oil with the sugar and palm sugar. Beat in the vanilla and eggs, one at a time until fluffy.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients (except the chocolate chips) and add to the coconut oil/sugar mixture.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on the pan for 2-3 minutes, then carefully transfer to a cooling rack.
  7. Yields 2-3 dozen, depending on cookie size. I made 30.

**Adapted from Namaste Foods

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