TUNA MACARONI AND CHEESE

Such an old school recipe but one that never gets old and it is mighty tasty too.  Any gluten free pasta style of macaroni or small pasta shape will work in this recipe.  A quick and easy lunch or dinner.

8 oz. Gluten Free Pasta Shells

1  184 gram canned chunky white tuna

1 1/4 c. 2 % milk (we use lactose free)

2 1/2 Tblsp. butter

1/4 cup diced onion, 1 minced garlic clove

1/2 a celery stalk, minced

1/4 finely chopped red pepper

1/2 tsp. dried mustard, 1 tsp. paprika, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 Tblsp. potato starch

1 cup aged cheddar cheese

Heat up a sauce pan on low medium heat.  Add the butter, and once melted add in the onion, garlic, celery and chopped red pepper.  Season with the spices and saute a good 6-7 minutes or until the veggies are soft.  Sprinkle in the potato starch and whisk allowing to cook for a minute or two.  Slowly add in the milk, whisking well until there are no lumps.  Add in the cheddar cheese again stirring to melt.  Check and adjust for any seasonings, turning down to minimum heat.  Then add in the chunky tuna and mix to incorporate.

Cook pasta as per directions and drain well in a colander.  Add to the tuna cheese sauce and gently fold in pasta until well combined.  At this point you could top with gluten free bread crumbs and pop in a 350 degree oven to lightly toast or have as is.

This recipe might hands down be one of the best curry dishes I have ever made!  Recently, my daughter and I went to a restaurant that is farm sourced, organic, with African roots - it was the first time we have ever had Jollaf Rice.  Wow, wow, wow, it was so good.  I found a recipe here which is divine.  That said, I did make a few modifications based on my own diet/restrictions.

I halved the recipe, omitted the black pepper, chili powder and sugar. If you read my blog you know we are serious wimps when it comes to heat.  For the red pepper I used a quarter of a large red pepper - peeled.  While I do love peppers, my body does not, and lessening the amount, and peeling them is a great help!

I also added 2 fresh chopped garlic scapes only because I had them on hand - they have such a short window and they were a lovely addition to this dish.  Then I used 1 red and 1 yellow roma tomatoes.  See how pretty?

 

The original recipe did say to add more stock/liquid if necessary - and yes I did add extra chicken stock near the end.

I can not say enough about this lovely Jollaf Rice Recipe - thank you Chef Valentine Moyo - this was amazing food!

Then we paired this amazing Jollaf Rice with a simple Crock Pot Curry Chicken dish - recipe below.  Easy delicious food worth making again and again.  Next time I will double the recipes!

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1 inch pieces

14 oz. can diced tomatoes drained, but keep about 1/4 cup liquid to add to the crock pot

1 Tblsp. tomato paste

2/3 cup Greek yogurt

1 Tblsp. Madras curry powder

1 tsp. salt

1/2 a large onion, diced

1 minced garlic clove

1 tsp. Garam Masala

2 Tblsp. Avocado Oil

Salt to taste

fresh minced cilantro

1/4 - 1/2 cup Lactose free cream

In a bowl, add the cut up chicken yogurt, salt, and curry powder mixing to combine and set aside.  Heat up a frying pan on low medium heat with the Avocado oil and add the onion, minced garlic clove, and Garam Masala.  Saute until fragrant then add in the drained tomatoes and tomato paste stirring well and cook about 4- 5 minutes, then remove from heat.

Add the chicken mixture to a 4 quart crock pot, then add the onion tomato mixture - mix well, set on high and cook for 4 hrs. total time.  At the 2 hour mark, give the chicken curry a good stir, crack the lid and turn the crock pot to low lid slightly cracked.  At the 4 hour mark, turn off the crock pot, stir in the lactose free cream.  Serve with fresh minced cilantro, and the Jollaf Rice.  We ended up mixing the two dishes together - absolute heaven!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With this easy dish we originally had the black bean chili over rice for dinner one nite.  Then the next day we turned it into a wrap style or quesadilla - even tastier!  The chili recipe with rice made plenty with leftovers to have wraps or quesadilla's for a few lunches - a quick easy meal that turned into two recipes.

RECIPE:

2 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 small onion, diced

3 minced garlic cloves

1/2 a celery stalk, diced

1 cup chopped butternut squash (I used frozen but fresh works too)

1/2 cup frozen corn

1 cup chopped fresh zucchini

14 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice plus 1/2 can water

14 oz. can drained and rinsed black beans

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

salt to taste

3/4 Tblsp. chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

grated extra old cheddar cheese

Heat up a pot on low medium heat with the EVOO.  Add the onion, garlic, and celery, saute about 5 min.  Add in the seasonings and butternut squash sauteing for 5 minutes, then pour in the tomatoes and water stirring well.  Simmer for 15 min. lid off on low heat.  Then add in the zucchini, corn and cilantro - taste to adjust any seasonings, lid on and simmer another 15 min.  Serve over rice with grated cheddar cheese.

For the wraps/quesadillas we found these gluten free wraps (sorry for the poor picture quality!) and they are delicious.

I heated the chili and rice on low heat in a pot on the stove to reheat.  Then using a cast iron frying pan on medium heat add the tortilla then turn over about 25 seconds, and cook another 25 seconds on the other side.

Place on a plate, add the black bean chili and rice, followed by grated cheddar cheese, salsa, chopped lettuce.  Roll up and cut into a wrap or fold over half as a quesadilla.  It is always great to have 1 recipe with leftovers to make another recipe/meal the next day especially a super easy one!

 

 

If you love a Filet of Fish Burger this is a recipe for you.  The original recipe can be found on this site and it is a winner.  Thank you for sharing Nagi!

With our household being gluten free, we used only gluten free ingredients for our Filet of Fish Burger and we used Atlantic Cod which holds up nicely for a fish burger.  A couple of key notes if you are wanting to make this dish using Gluten Free Bread Crumbs in place of Panko Bread Crumbs:

My gluten free bread crumbs are fairly course in size, so after lightly toasting them in the oven, I ran them through a mini blender to make them more fine in texture.

I did not add extra sugar to the tartar sauce as we used Gherkin pickles which were sweet enough, and we used thinly sliced aged cheddar cheese in place of process cheese.

This said, it is the "dredging recipe" combined with the toasted bread crumbs that made this recipe stand out.  The coating on the fish was crisp and flavorful.  I also baked the fish on a wire rack over a baking sheet which also encourages a crispier coating.

Hands down this is the best Filet of Fish Burger I have ever had and a recipe we will definitely be having again.  Sharing the love - so tasty!

 

Here is yet another chicken dish...such an easy protein to work with and healthy too.  Do you love a good curry?  When it is done properly, to me there is nothing better in the whole wide wide world.  Chicken Biryani is a dish I used to make years ago and somehow forgot along the way?  How that happened I will never know.  The lovely thing about curries is the layering...the layering of spices, textures and flavors - that is what makes a great curry.  The other thing I have learned about curries - if you are feeling a bit under the weather, all of the spices here give you a boost - a boost to the immune system as well as to your overall energy.  Yup, curries are the answer!

Now with this dish it was not your typical Biryani.  Yes I did use a Biryani spice blend you can find here.  That said, I also included a Madras Curry spice blend I adore.  Any good quality Madras Curry blend will work nicely - a great compliment to the Biryani spice blend.  Again, another layer of flavor.  The saffron is an absolute must in this dish, it will not be the same without it.  Such a beautiful spice!

Typically, a Biryani is made with yogurt, meat, and your seasoning blend.  Here I used skinless, boneless chicken breasts, but chicken thighs would be lovely as would a good cut of beef.  In terms of salt, use at your discretion - salt to suite your taste.

Chicken:

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 tsp. Biryani Spice Blend

2 tsp. Madras Curry Spice

1/4 juice of a fresh lemon

1 heaping Tblsp. finely chopped ginger

salt

3/4 cup Lactose Free/full fat Greek Yogurt

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl mixing well to coat and marinate in the fridge 4-12 hours.

Rice:

1 cup basmati rice - well rinsed under cold water in a sieve

2 Tblsp. Avocado oil

2 cups water

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

pinch of saffron

salt

Remaining ingredients:

1/2 a large onion sliced into 2 inch pieces

1 large organic Yukon gold potato, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 tsp. garam masala

1/2 tsp. madras curry powder

1 tsp. tumeric

1/2 cup Lactose free full fat Greek yogurt

pinch of saffron

3/4 cup chicken stock

salt

2 Tblsp. Ghee or butter

fresh chopped cilantro

To the potatoes, add the spices - garam masala, madras curry powder, tumeric and saffron , and yogurt, mix well and set aside.  Begin by heating a dutch oven with the butter or Ghee on low/medium heat.  Add in the chopped onion and saute until golden - about 12 minutes, season with salt.  Add the chicken stock, marinated potatoes, and chicken with the yogurt marinade.  Bring to a lite simmer lid off, stirring occasionally.  Cook about 20-25 min. until the potatoes and chicken are cooked through...check for salt and adjust if necessary.  While this is beginning to cook, start on the rice.

Rice:

Add the Avocado oil to a pot on medium heat.  Add the spices and bay leaves, then the rice and saute about 2-3 minutes until nice and fragrant.  Pour in the water and bring to a simmer.  Turn down to minimum heat, lid on and cook about 20 min.

Once the rice is cooked, remove the bay leaves, and stir with a fork to combine.  Transfer to a baking dish and top with the chicken/potato curry, mixing to blend.  Serve with a fresh helping of cilantro.

 

 

 

Each week we try to change things up with our dinner meals for added variety, and also based on what we have on hand.  With this recipe, I scouted out a few other Thai chicken recipes to come up with this one.

This recipe far far exceeded my expectations...it was quick to make, came together easily and it was super delicious.  Instead of peanut butter for the peanut sauce, I had some chunky almond butter that needed using up, and in keeping with the almond theme, used finely ground almond flour to dredge the chicken before cooking.  That said, I would not add any substitutions to this recipe other than to say full fat coconut milk would work nicely here in place of the water at the end of the cooking time.  The chunky almond butter and the almond flour are key ingredients here.

1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into one inch chunks

3 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For the flour dredge:

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 rounded tsp. ground coriander

1/2 cup finely ground almond flour - mix these spices with the almond flour on a plate

3/4 cup Jasmine rice - cooked

1/2 and onion roughly sliced

2 finely minced garlic cloves

1 1/2 Tblsp. finely minced fresh ginger

1/4 of a green pepper, thinly sliced into 2 inch pieces

1/2 a large carrot, cut in half then thinly sliced on a diagonal

1/2 celery stalk, thinly sliced on a diagonal

3/4 to 1 cup purple sprouted broccoli - chop the stalks, but leave the tops as they are small

handful of chopped fresh cilantro (Thai basil would be a wonderful addition if you can get it)

Sauce:

a generous 1/2 cup chunky almond butter (up to 2/3 cup to taste)

3 Tblsp. Gluten Free Soy Sauce

1/3 cup water

1/2 juice of a fresh lime

6-8 drops of toasted sesame oil

1 Tblsp. Gluten Free Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste

 

(put aside 2/3 extra cup of water or coconut milk to add to this dish near the end of cooking time)

Whisk all the sauce ingredients in a bowl until incorporated, and set aside until needed.

Heat up a saute pan with the EVOO on medium heat.  Mix the almond flour with the garlic powder and ground coriander, then lightly dredge the chicken pieces.  Add to the saute pan - saute quickly to cook through, then remove to a plate.

Turn down the heat to low and if necessary add a bit more EVOO.

Add the vegetables to the pan and saute 6- 7 min.

Pour in the sauce and heat with an extra 2/3 cup water (or coconut milk if using) and whisk, then heat through to a lite simmer and add in the broccoli and simmer another 4 min.  Return the chicken to the pan to reheat through.

Serve over the cooked rice and add finely chopped cilantro for the topping.  This may well be a once a week dish, we loved it that much!

This was a simple easy meal to make.  In this recipe I used canned lentils (which also freeze very nicely) and some extra vegetables in the fridge that needed using up.  An easy Vegetarian week nite meal.

2 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 of a large onion, diced

2 minced garlic cloves

1 medium carrot, diced

1/2 cup diced rutabaga

large handful of fresh spinach, chopped

1/3 cup diced celery

2/3 cup chopped fresh green and yellow beans

1  can (14 oz) of diced tomatoes

good splash of Balsamic Vinegar

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. dried tarragon

1 bay leaf

salt and fresh cracked pepper - to taste

3/4 cup cooked lentils

Heat up a large saute pan on medium/low heat with the EVOO.  Add in the onion and garlic sauteing to sweat out.  Add the fresh vegetables and spices, saute about 8 minutes.  Then pour in the tomatoes with juice, and balsamic vinegar.  Turn to a low simmer and cook about 25 minutes.  Add in the lentils and continue to cook until reduced further - about 10 minutes.

Adjust ragout for any seasonings and serve over mashed potatoes or rice.

 

 

This dish was inspired by a few different recipes, but mostly for comfort food made easy...and gluten free.  Here the pasta was Tinkyada Pasta shells - something I have not seen in a very long long time, so we scooped up a couple of packages as it really is a nice pasta for many dishes - soups and salads as well.  A one pot meal and comfort awaits.

1 lb. extra lean ground beef

1 shallot, finely minced

1 large garlic clove, finely minced

1/4 cup chopped crimini mushrooms

2 tsp. garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp. dried basil

2 cups organic beef stock

2 cups tomato basil marinara sauce (we used jarred)

8 oz. gluten free Tinkyada pasta shells

2 cups grated aged cheddar cheese

1/2 cup Lactose free cream

Parmesan cheese

Heat up a dutch oven on low/medium heat with the ground beef added to the pot.  Break up the ground beef.  As it begins to brown, add in the shallot, mushrooms, garlic, garlic powder,basil, salt and pepper.  Cook 10 minutes stirring from time to time.  Pour in the beef stock, marinara sauce, and pasta - stirring well to combine.  Bring to a lite simmer, lid on and cook about 25 minutes or until the pasta is tender.

Remove from the heat and add in the cream and cheddar cheese - mix well.  Cover with the lid and let sit 5 minutes before serving, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

 

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