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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Snack On!

The Super Bowl weekend is here my friends and I know we all have food on the mind so here are a few snack ideas to help feed the masses and keep it all a bit more healthy in the process.  Well, maybe not entirely healthy, but at least they’re all natural! All of these are gluten free as well so everyone can snack on and enjoy the festivities with ease.

Lindsay ;)

Recipes to snack on…

Stuffed Mushrooms-You are going to love these. They are rather easy to make, they mostly just need time to chill. You can prepare them 24 hrs in advance and then cook them about 20 minutes before the event and they are ready to go.

Ingredients: Mushrooms (16+ large mushrooms), 1 stick of butter, 4 or so stalks of celery-diced small, Black Pepper, ½ c. Parmesan Cheese + a little for dusting , 1 large sweet onion, 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, ½ cup gluten free breadcrumbs (*see how to make your own bread crumbs below).

How To: Quickly wash your mushrooms in cold water or wipe down with a towel. Some people prefer to wipe them down but I really like to give them a cold splash of water and then gently wipe them down a little. Remove the stems and dice the stems up and place in a bowl. Dice your onion, celery and chop any fresh herbs you have to add and put aside. Melt ½ stick of the butter and then quickly dunk each mushroom in the butter. Place each on a cookie sheet or the pan you plan on cooking the mushrooms in later on. Place this tray in the refrigerator to chill at least 20 minutes before stuffing.

Melt the rest of the butter in a saucepan and then add all of the ingredients except for the cheddar cheese. Once the onions and celery have cooked well enough, add the cheddar cheese, stir a few times and then turn the heat off and remove from the stove top to cool slightly.

Once the stuffing has cooled slightly and the mushroom caps have chilled long enough take a large spoon and stuff each mushroom cap with the filling so they are ever so slightly packed. Dust the mushrooms with Parmesan cheese and chill for at least one hour. More time to chill is better but I understand that you’re hungry. 

Making your own Gluten Free Bread Crumbs: This is an easy one and it helps if you have about 2 tbs. dried herbs-your choice but basil, oregano, parsley, those will work nicely. Chives? Any chives in that spice rack? Add a tbs. of those if you have it. Then 2 tbs Parmesan cheese. You can add a tsp. salt. Then if you have any gluten free bread you are going to want to mash up two slices really well. If it’s a little stale it’s even better. If you have some bread that is going stale and you want to use it up somehow, this is a great way and the bread crumbs can be stored in the freezer for a few weeks. 

If you need to get the bread a bit stale in order to really mash it up then toast it first in a toaster or the oven. Is that all mashed up then? Mix all of your ingredients plus 2 tbs. oil and stir in a bowl. Mix that up really well. It should be a little crumbly still. If it’s close you can add a tbs. of gluten free flour or a tsp. corn starch to the mix to help it out. Next pre-heat your oven to 350 and place the mix out on a cookie sheet or baking pan. Cook that mix until it is crispy and a little golden-It will need maybe about 10 minutes, I would probably check in and see how it’s doing after 8 minutes or so. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Once cool place the crumb mix in a bowl and if needed, crunch the mix down or put in a grinder. Your bread crumbs are now ready.

Sweet /Spicy Chicken Sate (with peanut sauce)-This is a fabulous recipe ->  http://thaifood.about.com/od/thairecipes/r/thaichickensate.htm

Notes: If you are going with a sweeter version as this does turn out pretty spicy, I go with less cayenne powder, less shallots and 2-3 + tbs. additional sugar. For the Peanut Sauce you are going to want ½ c. peanut butter, ¼ c. Housin sauce and ½ c. boiling water. Put the Peanut Butter in a bowl and add the Housin sauce. Stir and slowly add the boiling water until mixed and light. You can add a little more Housin sauce if desired. Ready to serve. 

*Check the ingredients for the sauces for this recipe-you can find gluten free soy and oyster sauces but you do have to check the ingredients on the back to be sure the contents do not contain gluten of any kind.

Chicken & Cheese Taquitos-You are really going to want this recipe so grab the ingredients and let’s get started. For those of you that want to scoff at the idea of using spaghetti sauce, you can just stuff it, literally, with these taquitos, because this recipe is one of my all time favorites! For sauce brands, I have had great success with Newmans and Prego Mushroom. I never seem to be able to make enough to freeze any but you can probably freeze these for about 2 weeks or so. 

Ingredients: ½ c. spaghetti sauce, 1/2 medium sized sweet onion diced small, 1 tsp. salt, ½ tsp. Cayenne powder or other hot spices you may have on hand, oil for cooking (*we’re going to be going with high heat so it is preferable you go with an oil recommended for high heat. If in doubt, use what you have but Butter won’t work, but a coconut oil will), 2-3 cloves of garlic minced (you can get this already chopped up as well), 1/2 c. water, 18+ corn tortilla shells, 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese, 1 medium sized chicken breast, 2 tbs. brown sugar (*optional + you can use white sugar if you have it). 

*here is a photo of the tortillas when shopping for ingredients.

How To: Take a pan and heat 2 tbs. of oil on medium heat. Cook the chicken, turning over a few times. Once the outside is cooked well enough remove from the heat and put on a plate, put the chicken on it’s side and slice down the middle. Add the chicken back to the pan and finish cooking completely. Grab new utensils from the ones you used to cook the raw chicken and then add the salt, pepper, spaghetti sauce, 1/3 c. water, garlic, onion, sugar, 2 tbs. oil and the seasoning. Once cooked down a bit-about 10 minutes or less, add the rest of the water as desired to achieve the desired consistency for the sauce.  Remove from the pan and put in a bowl or plate to cool slightly. 

Wipe the pan down, wash it if you need to but probably isn’t necessary, and return to the stove. Add 2 tbs. of oil to the pan. Take about 5-6 of your tortilla shells and lightly brush the back side in the oil and put on a plate nearby. Raise the heat to med/ high and take one of the tortillas and put in the pan flat. If the pan is big enough to lay two out flat then add another now. When the tortilla starts to bubble slightly then you are going to want to add a small amount of the filling to the shell, add a little bit of cheese, and slowly roll the tortilla up tight. 

If you are having a hard time with this rolling part then you can simply fold the tortilla in half and cook it a bit more. Once rolled or folded up, let cook a bit more to crisp up a little while starting your next tortilla. I find a spatula and a fork work well for rolling the tortillas. You need very little of the filling for these and I would say a good rule is about 2 tbs. of filling laid out in a straight line about 3/4" in from the end of one side and then rolled up is good, and then no more than 4 tbs of filling max if you are planning on folding the taquitos in half.

Once you have made about 5-6 you will want to add another 2 tbs. of oil, dash the next set of 5-6 tortillas in oil from the pan, and then start the process all over again with your next set of tortillas. Once finished cooking, you can remove it from the heat, let cool a few minutes and serve or you can save for later and heat them up in the oven. If your tortilla starts to break as you roll or fold it then your heat is not high enough. Raise the heat just a tiny bit more and wait just a little bit, closely keeping an eye of course, and then try again. You will notice how that once crispy tortilla is starting to soften up quite nicely.

Lemon Cilantro Dipping Sauce:

Ingredients: 1/4 c. minced sweet onion, 1/4 c. spaghetti sauce, 3 tbs. Italian Dressing, 2 tbs. Olive oil, 3 tbs minced cilantro, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, 1 minced clove of garlic, 1/2 c. minced green pepper, juice from half of a medium sized lemon. Mix all of the ingredients together and it is ready to serve. You can add diced tomatoes well. I am not a fan but if you like them go for it.

Chicken Enchiladas-These are perfect for dinner or for when guests show up and this is a pretty quick recipe. I love this recipe and I'm betting you will too ;)

(eek! sorry this photo is so dark. I will get a better picture soon, this is what happens when you're up late cooking ;)

Ingredients: 1/2 lg sweet onion, diced. 2 cloves of garlic, 14-16 oz. enchilada sauce, 1 lg. chicken breasts, 2 tbs. oil, 1 c. Cheddar Cheese, 1 green pepper chopped, 8-12 Corn Tortilla Shells, 1 tbs. corn starch (gf flour works ok as a backup).

How To: Cook the chicken in 2 tbs oil. Cut up the chicken small and add the enchilada sauce. pepper and onions, herbs and garlic.  Sprinkle the corn starch over the sauce and stir. Let the sauce cook for a few more minutes. Once cooked down to a nice thick sauce-like consistency then take your tortilla shells and place them in the oven to heat up a little bit. You want it so they will fold in half without breaking or roll up well (your choice). Once softer and more flexible, add a bit of the mix to the tortilla shells, add a little cheese on top and fold or roll up the shell. Place in a pan and once the pan is filled up with the enchiladas take any extra sauce mix and add it to the top of the enchiladas. Add cheese to the top and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat when the cheese starts to golden. This may require more time to cook. Patience grasshopper, cooking magic is taking place...

Mac & Cheese (with Chicken)-This is comfort food at its finest! I love recipes like this when I just want to curl up and hybernate. *A lot of Mac & Cheese recipes call for a flagship cheese. I could not find this at the store but when I asked the woman at the cheese counter she said it means "a high quality Irish cheddar." I just wanted to add that before you go grocery shopping ;) 

Ingredients: 1 box or 2 cups gluten free noodles, 4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese shredded fine (optional for uber cheesiness/ *This would be the flagship cheese mentioned above), 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 2 tsp. corn starch (can supplement with a gluten free flour), 2 chicken breasts, salt, oil, ¼ stick of butter, ¼ c. gluten free bread crumbs (see above for recipe), dried herbs of your choice, ¼ c. Parmesan cheese, black pepper. 

How To: Cook the chicken breasts on medium heat in 2 tbs. oil until mostly cooked. Slice the chicken breasts up smaller, continue to fully cook. Once finished remove from the heat and let cool. Preheat the oven to 350. Boil the noodles in a large pan until done, strain, put into a large bowl, add a tbs. of butter and stir. Add a ¼ c. milk and stir. Dice the butter and add to the noodles. 

In a separate bowl add all the rest of the ingredients except the chicken and Parmesan cheese. Add the dry mix to the noodle combination as well as the chicken and stir. Butter a baking pan and add the contents to the pan, spreading out evenly. Add the Parmesan cheese to the top, dash with salt and pepper and bake for at least 15 minutes, may need longer to crisp up on the top depending on the cheese or noodles used but it will be super yummy when ready to serve. If you want more cheesiness add more cheese ;)

Chili-This one is always great and the perfect food to feed all the visitors on game day ->

Ingredients: 2 lbs. Ground Beef, 2 large Sweet Onions diced, 3 cloves of Garlic diced, 1 tsp Cayenne powder, 1 tsp Black Pepper, 1/3 Brown Sugar, 12 oz. can of Tomato Sauce, 12 oz. can of Diced Tomatoes (2 two medium sized fresh Tomatoes, dried herbs such as Basil-Oregano-Cilantro (which is also referred to as Coriander), 1 tsp. Cumin, 1 tbs. Cocoa Powder, 1 tsp. salt, 4-15 oz. cans of Kidney Beans, Chili Peppers as desired, diced., 2 tbs oil.

How To: Cook the meat, tomatoes, garlic, spices, and onions in 2 tbs. oil. While cooking the meat open the cans of kidney beans and rinse them off in a strainer with cold water. Put the strainer on a plate to catch the excess water and place in a large sauce pan. Once the meat has fully cooked add to the saucepan that has the kidney beans. Add the tomato sauce and the cocoa and cook on low heat for 45 minutes.

Sliders-Need I say more? These little cheeseburgers will make your day. (nom nom nom).

Ingredients: 1 lb. ground beef, spices for taste, slice of cheddar cheese, gluten free rolls, onions sliced, condiments.

How To: Mix the spices and meat together and press into small patties. Cook until done, add cheese to the tops and when the cheese has fully melted, remove from the pan and put on the buns.

Happy Cooking + Happy Game Day!

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