AIR FRYER SPAGHETTI SQUASH

Air Fryer spaghetti squash could not get any easier.  We love to have spaghetti squash with Meatballs and Marinara sauce, or under a serving of chili.  Spaghetti squash is a nutritious and filling squash any way you decide to serve it.

Cut the stem end off of the spaghetti squash, then place on cut end and cut the squash in half.  Scoop out the seeds with a spoon.  Drizzle a small amount of Avocado Oil in each squash and spread throughout with you hand.  Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the Air Fryer at 375 degrees for 5 minutes.  Open the basket and add a splash of water to the bottom of the fryer - no need to remove the tray.

Place the Spaghetti Squash cut side up into the basket and cook.  Depending on the size of you squash cooking time will be anywhere from 23-30 minutes.  Carefully remove the cooked squash with tongs and allow to cool a bit before using a fork to scrape out the strands of squash.  Serve along side any main dish.

Before I get into this recipe I must show you my newest kitchen addition:

A Cast Iron Enameled 3.5 quart Brasier.  I am in serious luv with this baby.  It is great for Danish Frikadiller, seafood dishes, Chinese Food, Curry bowls etc. etc.

Recently we discovered combining rice and quinoa is a winning combination - textures, flavors, as well as a great protein.  I like to make a fairly big batch of this combination to have for a couple of days, whether in a stir fry dish, or mixed in with Greek or Garden chopped salad for lunch it all comes together packed with flavor.

To make the Rice Quinoa is a simple ratio:  1 part Quinoa, 1 part Basmati Rice, to 2 parts liquid.  Bring to a good simmer, stir, turn down to minimum lid on and cook for 18 minutes.  Here I used 1/2 cup Quinoa, 1/2 cup Basmati rice, well rinsed.  Add 2 cups water and serve in a salad or make into a stir fry.

RICE QUINOA LENTIL CURRY BOWL RECIPE:

3 cups cooked rice quinoa blend

14 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 cup baby spinach

3 mushrooms, roughly chopped

1/2 cup canned, rinsed green lentils

3 Tblsp. all natural Avocado oil

1 small shallot, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 rounded tsp. Madras Curry Powder

1 Tblsp. minced ginger

salt to taste

Yogurt - optional

Minced cilantro - optional

Heat up a good sized pan/braiser with Avocado oil on low heat.  Add in the diced shallot and garlic sauteing until fragrant.  Then add in the mushrooms and saute until lightly golden about 3 minutes or so.  To this add the spinach, ginger and tomatoes with juice.  Season with salt, then add in the curry powder.  Mix well and let simmer on low for 5 minutes.

Next add in the Quinoa Rice blend and lentils, stirring to combine.  Heat through stirring for 5 more minutes.  Adjust seasonings, and serve with cilantro and a dollop of yogurt.

This is a recipe that happened as a result of a happy accident.  We love a simple Saffron Rice with any kind of seafood or simple chicken dish.  So having made the Saffron rice the night before, there were some leftovers the next day.

I decided to reheat the rice in a pan with a bit of butter, and threw in a couple of eggs to scramble in the rice.  Next, I added a few dollops of salsa.  Unbelievable, and out of this world flavor.  Who knew Saffron could work so well with a bit of salsa?  It was heaven.

Now a word about Saffron.  It is considered the most expensive spice in the world, and rightly so given how it is grown and harvested.  That said, the quality of Saffron will vary depending on the region it is grown.  My two favorites are Persian Saffron, and Indian Saffron.  It is worth every penny finding quality Saffron and it certainly makes a huge difference in depth of flavor.

In terms of rice - Basmati Rice is my personal favorite.  In this recipe I did something a little bit different.  To a 3/4 cup measuring cup, add 1/4 par boiled whole brown rice, then top up with regular Basmati rice.  Give a good rinse, and allow to dry in the colander.

If you have Basmati rice alone that will work no problem without the added par boiled brown rice.

Also, in this recipe, I infused oil with garlic and onion first, then removed the garlic and onion to let the Saffron shine, with a hint of the garlic and onion.  Saffron in this dish comes first and foremost!

This is a dish we could eat for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner, in fact it is going to be our dinner tonite served with a garden salad loaded with veggies.  This served 2 for dinner with enough leftover Saffron rice for my breakfast tomorrow...happy days!

Saffron Rice Recipe:

2 Tblsp. Avocado Oil

1/4 onion, any kind, roughly chopped

2 large garlic cloves cut in half

3/4 cup Basmati Rice (1/4 of it being par boiled brown rice) (make sure to rinse and drain well in a colander and allow to dry - let sit a good hour or so)

good pinch of Saffron - here we used Persian

1 cup chicken stock, plus 1/2 cup water

salt and fresh cracked pepper

Heat the Avocado oil on low heat.  Add in the onion and garlic, saute for 5 min. until lightly golden, then remove with a slotted spoon and discard.  Add the rice, and Saffron to the oil and stir for 1-2 minutes until there is a slight roasting smell.  Pour in the chicken stock and water stirring well, season with salt and pepper.

Bring to a good simmer, then lid on turn down to minimum and simmer 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.

Saffron Rice Breakfast Bowl:

1 Tblsp. butter

2 rounded 3/4 cups of Saffron rice

4 eggs lightly whisked with a fork

salt and pepper to taste

Salsa - we used a good quality jarred salsa

Heat up a frying pan with the butter on low heat.  Whisk the eggs with a fork and season with salt and pepper and set aside.  Add the rice to the pan and saute for 3-4 minutes until heated.  Pour in the eggs through out and keep sauteing until the eggs are cooked through.  Plate and serve with dollops of your favorite salsa.  Enjoy!

 

This soup most definitely exceeded our expectations. Huge huge flavor in this simple soup whether served for lunch or dinner.  Now if you like your soup on the "spicy hot" side add extra fresh cracked pepper and Thai Red Curry Paste.  This can certainly be made vegetarian/vegan using Vegetable stock omitting chicken and adding in seared Tempeh would be a nice addition.

3/4 lb. skinless boneless chicken breast or chicken tenders cut into small pieces 1/2 inch or so, season with salt and fresh cracked pepper.

2 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 large minced garlic clove

1 finely sliced shallot

1 cup finely shredded cabbage (use a knife to finely shred)

1 cup finely sliced fresh spinach, sliced lengthwise

1 grated carrot - box grate using the large grate

2 green onions sliced diagonally

1/2-2/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro including stems

1 rounded tsp. Thai Red Curry Paste

3 Tblsp. smooth peanut butter

2 Tblsp. fresh finely minced or grated ginger

4 cups chicken broth

2 Tblsp. white vinegar or Rice Vinegar

2-3 Tblsp. Gluten free Tamari or Gluten free Soy Sauce -  gauge by your own taste

3 squares Lotus Gluten Free Ramen Noodles (cook separately as per directions)

Heat up a dutch oven on low/medium heat.  Add the chicken, the garlic and shallot sauteing until fragrant and chicken is cooked (do not overcook). Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside. Don't worry if your chicken is still pink, it will cook in the hot soup.   Then add in the ginger, peanut butter, and Thai curry paste.  Mix/Stir in the pot and heat just until melted through.  Pour in the Chicken stock, Soy Sauce and vinegar whisking well, then add in the cabbage, spinach, and grated carrot.  Bring a pot of salted water to boil for the Ramen Noodles and cook as per directions timing with the soup.  Cook the soup/veggies on low simmer for 12 minutes, then add in the cooked chicken, green onions and cilantro at the end just before serving.

Once the Ramen Noodles are cooked, drain.  Add the noodles to your bowl and ladle in the hot soup over the noodles.

Tomorrow will be great leftovers!

You have all probably heard me say before, we love love our Air Fryer!  Chicken of all kinds is truly divine.

We have discovered with Air Fryer chicken - various parts of the chicken or a whole roast chicken, each method is a bit different.  For example, while whole chicken legs are cooked at a temperature of 380, for a whole roast chicken we set it at 370 degrees.  Again we used a small amount of Extra Virgin Olive Oil worked over the chicken and then used a dry rub.  Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes, cooking a 3 1/2 lb. chicken for 45- 50 minutes turning around the chicken half way through the cooking time.  You will want an internal temperature of 165 by the time the chicken has rested 10 minutes.  Most times we leave the chicken in the Air Fryer slightly cracked open to rest.

Roasted whole chicken in the Air Fryer is nicely browned with crispy skin, and the meat is juicy tender, falling off the bone.

Next up is skinless, boneless chicken breasts.  Here you will again use a small amount of oil on each chicken breast and your choice of dry rub.  It will depend on the size of your chicken breasts to determine the full cooking time, again reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees.  We have had both small and large chicken breasts and the cooking time does vary.

These chicken breasts were not large, so preheat the Air Fryer at 375 degrees for five minutes. (ours took 11 min. with 5 minute rest in the Air Fryer cracked open) Place the chicken breasts into the basket and cook 10-16 minutes turning over half way through cooking time.  Again lovely tender juicy chicken served along any side dishes.

 

 

 

Leftover oven roasted turkey is such a versatile delicious poultry.  And much much better than store bought when roasted in your own oven!  This salad would also be good with a Tblsp. of pesto for added flavor.

1 rounded cup of cubed leftover roast turkey breast

1 inch thick slice of peeled red pepper, finely diced

2 small green onions finely chopped

salt and fresh cracked pepper

3 big Tblsp. real Mayonnaise

1 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice

Mix up ingredients in a bowl and serve with a serving of fresh spinach and sliced cucumbers.

Turkey Melt:

Heat up a frying pan on low medium heat.

2 slices of gluten free bread, spread on one side of each slice a thin layer of mayonnaise.

1 slice of aged white cheddar

Assemble the sandwich and place mayonnaise side down into the frying pan.  Turn over when golden and continue to cook until the other side is golden in color.  Serve along side a salad of your choice.

This was a lovely easy dish to prepare.  The more we use the Air Fryer, the more we love it!  With this Chicken Parmesan, we chose to use lightly toasted Gluten Free French Bread, but a gluten free hamburger bun would work as would any gluten free pasta.  Homemade marinara or from a jar also works.  We don't do Mozzarella cheese which is typical of Chicken Parmesan and instead used white aged cheddar cheese. So whatever your options - an easy tasty dish to prepare.

4 skinless/boneless chicken breasts - time for cooking will depend on how big your chicken breasts are.  Ours were on the small side so no need to pound out or slice in half - always an option if you have larger chicken breasts

1 egg - whisk well in a flat bowl

1 cup gluten free bread crumbs - they want to be on the finer side bread crumb

seasoning for bread crumbs:  1/2 tsp. garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. ground fennel, 1 tsp Italian Seasoning, salt and fresh cracked pepper, 1/4 cup grated fine Parmesan cheese - mix well on a plate with the bread crumbs

grated or sliced aged white cheddar cheese

lightly toasted gluten free french bread or bun

1-2 cups Marinara sauce

Preheat the Air Fryer for 5 min. at 375 degrees.  Heat up the Marinara sauce on a low medium heat so it is heated through by the time the meal is ready to come together.  Mix up the bread crumb/seasoning mixture and set aside.  Whisk the egg in a flat style bowl.  Pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel.  Dip the chicken into the egg mixture then press into the bread crumb mixture pressing the chicken breasts into the mixture to evenly coat.

Once the Air Fryer has heated, line with an Air Fryer liner or parchment paper and add your chicken breasts.  Set the timer for 13 minutes, and turn the chicken half way through.  Once cooked add a good Tablespoon or more of the Marinara sauce on top of each chicken breast spreading out evenly and cover with aged cheddar cheese.  Cook 1 more minute and slightly open the Air Fryer allowing the Chicken Parmesan to rest 5 minutes.  Toast your bread or buns, and add a generous layer of Marinara sauce to the bread, place the chicken on top and add extra Marinara on top if wanted.  Serve with any side dish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having Celiac disease means you have it for LIFE.  Yes you can heal, but it never goes away.  Once you come to understand what Celiac Disease is (the inability to digest Gluten) you can heal from the devastating affects, but you remain a Celiac for life.  You can never resume eating Gluten, and in my opinion who would want to???

This is a post that finally came down to the result of a whole lot of frustration.  I would like to show case wonderful, delicious, food that is GLUTEN FREE.  Most of it, GLUTEN FREE NATURALLY.

There is so much negative hype/nastiness out there these days about Gluten Free this, Gluten Free that, Gluten Free being a Fad, Gluten Free Nonsense, Gluten Free to loose weight, Gluten Free is not healthy and full of fat and extra carbs and the list goes on and on.
Well, I have had enough of the negative hype.  Hopefully through this post, people will gain some understanding.  Being a Celiac or Gluten sensitive in today's world is so much easier than it used to be - finally!  Twenty years ago there was nothing available or virtually nothing available for a Celiac.  One could certainly never go out to a Restaurant to eat that is for sure.
When one has lived a life - 30 plus years miss-diagnosed only to discover they are in fact a Celiac - let me tell you, the world opens up once you become Gluten Free.

How does this happen?  Well here we go:
- once going gluten free, eventually your guts will heal.  Each person is different so it may take time.  My body took 3 years to fully heal.
- eventually the pain, lethargy, brain fog will disappear.  Yes you will actually be able to think clearly once again, because your brain is no longer sending signals that the body has been poisoned.
- eventually your stomach, large intestine, and small intestine will physically heal.
- you will gradually put on the many pounds you have lost, and the mall absorption will disappear and turn your body into a healthy, vital, strong body.  All this said, I have discovered, while my body did heal, it will always have sensitivities.  I believe this is due to the Vili being destroyed in the small intestine as a result of too many years eating gluten/poison to a Celiac.  Never the less, I can still eat lots and lots of healthy nutritious food!
Here is another bonus:  Because there are so many people out there that are finally diagnosed correctly:  whether a Celiac or Gluten Sensitive:  Restaurants have finally learned - yes learned and their chefs and staff have been educated on serving REAL, HEALTHY GLUTEN FREE FOOD NATURALLY.
- But best of all?  There is much more information available now for people that need to eat Gluten Free.  With all this information, awareness, plus great food blogs, you will be able to find beautiful, delicious, nutritious food that once you were terrified to eat. (for those of you that do not understand what Celiac disease is please read the bottom of the post, this is probably more important than anything when a family member is diagnosed with Celiac disease)

Here are just a few dishes that are healthy, nutritious, and delicious:
Italian Meatballs served over gluten free pasta...what is not to love.
How about fresh, wild Baked Salmon:
Here is a lovely Roasted Tomato Vegan/Vegetarian Soup:
Here is a good one:  Remember Rice A Roni?  Loaded in Gluten.  Well, here is a gluten free version of Rice a Roni....and it is damn tasty!
Here is a delicious Chicken dish...can't do without chicken for dinner, can we?  Chicken and Leeks recipe:
How about Gluten Free Beef Bourguignon?
Need more convincing that Gluten Free food can be delicious?
How about Gluten Free French Bread?  Yes you did read it correctly...delicious Gluten Free French Bread that tastes like the yesteryear French Bread I remember:
Now for a few Pasta dishes....lord have mercy we soooo can not forget gluten free pasta dishes.  Here are a few to tempt your taste buds:
Gluten Free Butternut Squash Skillet Lasagna:
Then we have:  Shrimp and Scallop Pasta:
Can't forget about the nourishing, health giving nutrients of bone broth:  Chicken Bone Broth and Wild Rice Vegetable Soup:
Lets move on to baking/deserts.  (By the way if you want more healthy delicious meals - check out my side bar - there are almost 600 recipes - so lots to choose from.
Here is a great breakfast muffin or snack:  Rhubarb Walnut Muffins:
Or a delicious and nutritious cookie:  West Coast Trail Cookies - these pack a punch of wholesome goodness.
How about something decadent?  Yes, we all need a few of these recipes in our world once in a while:
Gluten Free Gingerbread Cake With Sticky Toffee Date Sauce:
Or how about good old fashioned  great tasting Chocolate Cake - yes Gluten Free.
At the side bar on this blog under desserts you will see gluten free puddings, pies and more cakes and muffins - as a Celiac in today's world - the world is your oyster - please help yourselves!

AND FINALLY - people - please do not negate other people for eating gluten free....sometimes it truly is a matter of life or death.  Do your research to help support your friends and family that are dealing with Celiac Disease....they will love you for it!

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