Healthy Dinners

Roasted Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Gluten-free Pizza

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Corn Free, Food, Gluten Free, Healthy Dinners, Recipes | 2 comments

Back in February we started Friday Night Pizza and Family Night. The kids look forward to it. Couple of weeks ago we fell sick to the stomach virus and last week I went to open my case of Breads From Anna Pizza Mix and it turned out to be pie crust mix, oops! During the week I have had butternut squash on my mind and while the season is changing, I wanted to use it before we change our produce. This creation came to mind and the flavors worked wonderfully. There was nothing left for the next day as my husband and I ate our pizza up! This Roasted Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Pizza is topped with fresh rosemary, apple smoked bacon and raw milk cheddar cheese. The best part, I bought all the ingredients from Trader Joe’s! This pizza takes a little work, but it is Friday and we are having fun and watching TV too. Please make this, you won’t be sorry! Roasted Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Pizza 1 sweet onion, sliced 5 slices of Apple Smoked Bacon Fresh Rosemary 1 cup of Raw Milk Chedder Cheese, shred yourself 2 Tablespoons of Organic Grapeseed or Coconut oil 1 tsp of Celtic or Sea Salt 1 garlic clove, crushed (for the onions) 1 tsp of garlic powder for the squash Your favorite pizza crust, you know mine! Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix salt, garlic powder and one tablespoon of oil in the butternut squash. Roast in the oven for approximately 30-minutes. While that is baking, place one tablespoon of oil in a pan, slice onions and crushed garlic. Cook until nice and brown. Shred your cheese while onions are cooking. Place 5 slices of bacon in a pan and place in the oven for 10 minutes or until cooked crispy, but not black. Cool and pat dry when done. Crumble and put it in the onion mixture and add a little bacon grease to the onion mixture if you desire. When the squash is done, let it cool and puree in the food processor. Spread on your pizza crust, top with the onion mixture and sprinkle fresh rosemary all over the pizza and don’t forget the cheese. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is looking brown on top. Cool and enjoy! I was thinking a nice Reisling would have gone well with this dish too. Definitely a light white wine. Did my kids eat this? No, they are not fan of onions and neither was I at this age. I made them a zucchini, carrot pizza, all shredded so it blended well together. If you decide to by Breads From Anna’s pizza crust mix. I made the crust in the afternoon before picking up my daughter and also shredded the cheese to save a little on time. With a little planning ahead you can save some time in the afternoon when the kids come home from school. If you make this, please let me know what you...

Read More

Kid-Friendly, High in Veggies, Red Beans and Rice

Posted by on Feb 19, 2013 in Corn Free, Food, Gluten Free, Healthy Dinners, Healthy Eating, Recipes | 0 comments

Each time a holiday comes up, I try to mimick the meal to help celebrate the holiday and explain to my daughter what we are celebrating and why. Though she thinks it is fun to celebrate anything, it is a fun age. On Fat Tuesday was no exception. My daughter has a few of her own cookbooks, including the Princess and the Frog’s Cookbook, celebrating Louisana home style cookin. Though the recipes are not gluten free, I can easily convert each one now. I pulled the book out and showed her what we were making for dinner, Red Beans and Rice. She was excited to make something from HER cookbook. I made quite a few modifications, here is what we came up with: 2 cups of red beans soaked over night 1 medium yellow bell pepper, diced 1 small white onion, finely diced 2 stalks of celery chopped ½ tsp of crushed garlic 4 slices of peppered turkey bacon from Trader Joe’s cooked and chopped 1lb of Turkey Keilbasa sausage 2 Tablespoons of my own Cajun spice mix (see below). This is something I do not keep around, I found a few recipes on line and created my own version. 1 can of diced tomatoes 1 c of organic ketchup (organic has no High Fructose Corn Syrup) 2 Tablespoons of tomato paste 2 tsp of hickory smoke flavor (optional) 1 cup of basamati rice cooked with 1 cup of shredded carrots for more veggies Cajun Spice Mix: 2 tsp of Celtic salt (sea salt is fine, this is better for you) 1 tsp of white pepper 1 tsp of garlic powder 1 ½ tsp each of oregano and thyme 1 tsp of cumin 2 tsp of paprika ½ tsp of cayenne pepper ¼ tsp of crushed red pepper The last two can be increased to desired heatness or avoid one. This is meant to be kid friendly. Place soaked red beans in a dutch oven and cover with water adding about a ½ inch of water above the beans. Cook for 2 hours do not add salt. While beans cooking cook chop turkey kielbasa and peppered turkey bacon in a pan (both purchased from Trader Joe’s). Once they are done, take out the meats preserving whatever oils is left and sauté onion, pepper and celery until onions are clear, add garlic once completed. You may add about 1 tsp of olive oil if needed for more moisture. Add the meats back into the veggies. Set aside. While veggies are sautéing place 1 cup of basamati rice and 1 cup of shredded carrots in 2 cups of water with 1 tsp of grapeseed oil (or coconut oil-my son cannot tolerate coconut oil so we use grapeseed oil because of its high heat content) and cook for 20-25 minutes. I like the basamati rice from Trader Joe’s because it has dehydrated veggies in it and it cooks fast. Set aside when done. You may open it up to fluff up the rice and see if the water is gone. After the beans are done, discard most of the water preserving about ½ c of the bean liquid. I took about one cup of beans to freeze and use at a later time. (I cook beans in batches and freeze what I don’t use, but do have some Eden’s Organic canned beans on hand). Add the veggie/meat mixture with the beans adding the can of diced tomatoes, ketchup, tomato paste, Cajun spice mix and continue to cook on low/simmer for 2 – 4 hrs. Omit the meat if you are looking for...

Read More

Gluten-Free Spinach Pesto Pizza Topped with Goat Cheese

Posted by on Feb 6, 2013 in Corn Free, Food, Gluten Free, Healthy Dinners, Healthy Eating, Recipes | 0 comments

Back in January at an play date with some local moms, they said Friday nights was pizza and a movie night. I had just been thinking a few weeks ago how we as a family need to do something fun on either Friday or Saturday night. This is all part of my family-focused goal setting resolution. Spend more quality time as a family. All my daughter talked about the next day was how she wanted to do pizza and a movie night. So in January we began. My hopes is to have a recipe posted for you each Wednesday, so you too can enjoy some healthy, homemade pizza options to make with your family that is not just sausage, cheese and pepperoni, though that is my kid’s favorite too. I believe when we expand outside our palate comfort zones, our kids too will enjoy more. While I did make their favorite, I made this Spinach Pesto Pizza topped with Goat Cheese for kicks. I sprinkled red pepper flakes on it and enjoyed this quite a bit. My daughter tried it, but was not a fan, only liked the goat cheese. Baby steps! What I like about this recipe is that without the goat cheese, it was vegan, I even made the crust without eggs. My favorite pre-packaged gluten free pizza crust mix is by Breads By Anna. It is also nut, corn, rice, peanut free. And she is super sweet too. Just follow the directions to make the crust. If you need it to be egg free, here you go: Add 3 tsp of corn-free baking powder to the oil Pour 1/2 cup of carbonated water to the oil and baking powder, watch it foam and bubble Add half of the mixture and mix, then add another 1/2 cup of carbonated water until mixed and add the rest of the pizza crust mixture Don’t forget to add the yeast packet, I almost did! The pesto is nut and peanut free too. I use raw and soaked pumpkin seeds and replaced the cheese with Nutritional Yeast for the added boost and protein. It also has a cheesy flavor, which we all like. Spinach Pesto Pizza Topped with Goat Cheese I used my vegan pesto recipe and omitted the shredded zucchini and mixed the pesto with frozen spinach Topped with goat cheese Bake until the cheese is melted and enjoy! This pizza crust makes enough you can bake it all and enjoy for lunch the next day or freeze the other half of the dough for next week. I can’t wait to share what I have in mind for this Friday night. Here is how I make Breads From Anna’s Yeast Free Bread Mix Egg-Free...

Read More

Sun dried Tomato and Basil Sausage Stuffing

Posted by on Nov 21, 2012 in Food, Gluten Free, Healthy Dinners, Recipes | 0 comments

This recipe was just a thought. I had some unsulphered sundried tomatoes in my cabinet and wanted to create something that tasted like a pizza, but not your typical stuffing. I love fresh basil and so Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Stuffing was born. I made it for my daughter’s classroom feast after I failed to show up for cooking day. (I misread the email, oh well!). I made this recipe two ways, one with polenta to use instead of your classic cornbread and without the polenta. Since I made this for a crowd, I did use the polenta. For my son and I, I set aside some without the polenta. It was fantastic! I must say, I highly suggest using premade polenta in place of making cornbread. It is moist, you can use less broth and worked well with the homemade gluten free bread cubes I used. Sundried Tomato and Basil Sausage Stuffing 1 loaf of gluten free bread dried and cubed (I used Breads From Anna 1 organic pre-made polenta (optional) 1 lb of sausage 2 organic celery stalks 1/2 – 1 cup of chopped onions 1 cup of frozen spinach 3/4 cup chopped unsulfured sun dried tomatoes, placed in hot water 4 cups of organic vegetable broth (I used low sodium one from Trader Joe’s) 1/2 cup of Nutritional Yeast 3/4 cup of fresh chopped basil leaves Preheat oven 350 degrees 1.) Place sun dried tomaotes in hot water for 5-minutes and chop up when wet 2.) Cook up sausage. Once complete, set aside in a bowl 3.) Saute chopped celery and onions. 4.) Once the onions are almost clear, add spinach, 1/2 c sun dried tomatoes and 1/2 c basil 5.) Mix sausage back in with onion mixture. 6.) In a large bowl, mix bread cubes, sausage mixture, nutritional yeast, broth and chopped polenta. 7.) Place mixture in a glass casserole dish and sprinkle rest of fresh basil leaves and sun dried tomotoes Bake for 40-minutes mixing and adding more water if needed. Serve and enjoy! I did use both Herbed Bread Mix and the Yeast-Free bread mix from Breads From Anna (see link above). The Herbed made it taste more like a stuffing, but this is one you can enjoy anytime during the winter...

Read More

Healthy Mashed Potatoes and Why These Are Healthy

Posted by on Nov 19, 2012 in Food, Gluten Free, Healthy Dinners, Healthy Eating, Vegan | 5 comments

While my daughter is already listening to Christmas music on a local radio station, eating mashed potatoes is a weekly thing in our home. My kids (and husband) love them and I love that I sneak in more than just potatoes. I’ll easily add some parsnips, turnips or cauliflower in with the potatoes, since they are also white root veggies, it is easy to sneak in and get other vitamins and minerals. I just made this the other day and I have about 1 cup left over. Here are my Healthy Mashed Potatoes recipe! Healthy Mashed Potatoes: 6 baseball sized organic red potatoes organic yukon gold 2 small turnips 1 large parsnip Saving 1/4 c of boiled water 2 Tablespoon of unsweetened coconut milk (we use hemp milk) 2 tsp of Himalayan Salt 1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive oil (or use organic, grass-fed butter) 1 tsp of white pepper Peel potatoes, but don’t dice them. Peel and cut turnips and parsnips. Place them all in a pot of water above the potatoes and bring them to a boil. Once you can put a fork through the turnips, empty the water but for about 1/4 cup of it. Add the coconut milk, salt and pepper. Blend with a blender until smooth and creamy. Drizzle olive oil and garnish with parsley or chives! Don’t dice your potatoes! Dicing your potatoes loses its vitamin and mineral content when boiled in the water. Just peel and place them whole. Less chopping, but longer boiling time. Organic is Best! If you are uncertain about why you should buy organic potatoes, then check out this video calledMy Potato Project from a child’s science experiement We use red potatoes a lot because it is the least starchiest of all the potatoes and have many health benefits, including having 37% more potassium than a banana! A serving of red potatoes twice as large would have very similar calorie and carbohydrate content to that found in the white potato! So you can eat more potatoes without all the extra starch or glycemic index. Red potatoes are also high in vitamin C, niacin, magnesium, iron and vitamin B6. Other vitamins and minerals found in lower amounts include folate, zinc and copper. Use other root vegetables! Turnips are great because they are roots that belong to the family of cruciferous vegetables — the same plant family as broccoli, cauliflower and kale (and don’t turn the mashed potatoes green!). The turnip’s root is high in vitamin C. The green leaves of the turnip top (“turnip greens”) are a good source of vitamin A, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K and calcium. Turnip greens are high in lutein, which is good for the eyes! So go ahead and sneak in a turnip or a parsnip. No one will notice and they’ll get more bang for their nutritional...

Read More

Flavors of Fall Cooking Contest: Purple Potato, White Bean Chicken Con Carne Chili

Posted by on Oct 17, 2012 in Artizone Chicago, Corn Free, Food, Gluten Free, Healthy Dinners, Healthy Eating, Recipes | 6 comments

I entered my Purple Potato, White Bean, Chicken Con Carne Chili into the Artizone Flavors of Fall Cooking Contest. This is the first of two recipes I am submitting. This is their Soup/Chili division and I received a box of purple potatoes and a Chili Con Carne Spice Blend. It is strange because purple potatoes has been on my mind to create a soup with, so this was timely. I love purple potatoes. They are a unique find in the potato world and if you have a little girl who loves pink and purple, even better. The health benefits of eating purple potatoes is great too. High in phenols (powerful plant antioxidants) rivals that of broccoli, spinach and Brussels sprouts. If you factor in the particular benefits of anthocyanins (this is what gives it the purple color), the health-promoting benefits of purple potatoes skyrocket! Proven to help reduced blood pressure, it also makes it a heart-healthy starchy vegetable and anti-cancer too. Here is the easy recipe and please go onto Artizone’s facebook page to vote! The picture with the most votes gets to cook on WCIU and have their end products sampled and judged by local chefs. It can be very fun! Here is the recipe: 1 small white onion 1 clove garlic 1 sweet potato baked (or boiled) de-skinned 5 roma tomatoes 2 16 oz cans of organic no salt added tomato sauce 2 cups water 2lbs of purple potatoes cleaned and cubed 1/2 lb of butternut squash diced 3-4 chicken thighs 3-4 Tablespoons of lime juice 3-4 Tablespoons of Cilantro 1 can of Eden’s Organic navy beans, rinsed and drained 1 package of Chile Con Carne Seasoning 1 Tablespoon of Himalayan Salt (or 2 tsp of sea salt) Preheat oven at 350. Salt and pepper chicken thighs add 1 Tablespoon of Cilantro and lime juice to each chicken thigh. Bake for 20-minutes. Cut purple potatoes and dice butternut squash and put in water to boil. Drain once potatoes are tender. While chicken in baking and potatoes are boiling, saute onions until translucent, then add garlic and saute for one more minute. While onions are sauteing, puree tomatoes, sauce and sweet potato in blender. Add tomato mix to the onions and garlic, then add the Chili Con Carne Spice and navy beans over a medium flame. Place chicken into sauce mixture and bring it to a boil. This will help soften the chicken to shred. Add potatoes and squash to the sauce and add two cups of water and Himalayan Salt to taste. Cook over the stove on low for 2 hours. Top with Cilantro and my favorite Beanitos Corn-free Tortilla chips! If you like this recipe and want to see me cook it on TV, vote here! Thank you and be sure to check it out, if you are local and want to enter as...

Read More