Posts tagged ‘grain free’

Better-for-You Butter Chicken (SRC)

Wow, I’m not sure where to start…. except thanks goodness I made it on-time for the Secret Recipe Club this month!

What follows is a “Cliff Note” recap of my recent cooking saga: I fully prepared in advance for my recipe and post, almost a week and a half to be exact. You see, my dearest friend’s birthday is in October and I wanted to make her some homemade goodies for her special day. I was assigned Asiya’s beautiful blog, Chocolate and Chillie’s, and had carefully picked out her Maple Granola to try and send as a gift to my friend.

granola homemade

iPhone photo…the only photo I have left!

1. I made the two batches of granola (Maple Granola pictured on the left)
2. I decorated cute little jars and personalized them
3. Staged and took the photos of the granola
4. Shipped the gift (I ate the small remainder of both after photographing and filling the jars…meaning I have no leftovers!)
5. Uploaded the photos….OOPS…I received an ERROR CODE when trying to upload and all of a sudden they were erased from my camera completely. This has never happened before so I was left with no photos to post and no more granola to re-shoot.
6. Freak out mode sets in…ahhhh I dont have photos for the Secret Recipe Club post in two days!
7. Quickly find another recipe that I can whip up with ingredients I had on hand—BUTTER CHICKEN, take photos and write up a new posting
8. Breathe, relax….I made it!

butter chicken2

With very little time to spare, I wound up making Asiya’s Low-fat Butter Chicken and it was scrumptious! I decided to experiment with a dairy-free option and changed up a few things based on what I had in my pantry and fridge. I increased the amount of ginger-garlic paste, used dried ground fenugreek seeds in place of the kasuri methi, and swapped out coconut sugar for regular white sugar. I typically use coconut oil as my cooking oil (just my preference) but any neutral oil can be used in it’s place. I also opted to add in a squeeze of lemon juice for a little more acidity, puree the sauce and sprinkle the finishing product with coarsely ground black pepper, mmmm.

I’d say that having to make two recipes this month for the Secret Recipe Club turned out to be a win-win situation :) I will be making this chicken again and again!

butter chicken1

Better-for-You Butter Chicken (adapted from Asiya’s recipe)
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free option, Soy-free, Refined Sugar-free, Nut-free option

Ingredients

For the Chicken Tikka:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (or 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts)
1 cup yogurt (can use plain dairy-free options such as coconut milk yogurt etc if needed)
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp tandoori masala powder
1 tsp kasuri methi or 1/2 tsp  ground dried fenugreek seeds
2 tbsp canola oil, coconut oil or other neutral oil

For the Butter Sauce:
2 tbsp coconut oil, canola oil or other neutral oil
one medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp almond flour (if needed to be nut-free, you can omit)
1 Tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp kasuri methi or 1/2 tsp dried ground fenugreek seeds
1/8 tsp sea salt or to taste
2 tsp coconut sugar or sweetener of choice
1/4 cup coconut milk, or greek yogurt or  low-fat sour cream (use coconut milk for dairy-free)
1 tbsp butter, ghee, Earth Balance (use Earth Balance for dairy-free)
squeeze of lemon juice, optional but I like the acidity

Directions

For the Chicken Tikka:

1. In a small bowl mix together cumin, garam masala, salt, cayenne pepper, tandoori masala and fenugreek/kasuri methi.  Rub on both sides of the chicken and refrigerate for at least 30-60 minutes.

2. Line a pan with parchment or foil.  In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil and ginger garlic paste.  Dip each chicken breast into the yogurt mixture.  Coat well.  Lay on prepared pan.

3. Heat oven to broil and cookl 10-18 minutes or until cooked through (depending on thickness of chicken), flipping them over halfway through.  When cooked through, let chicken rest for 5 minutes and then cut into 1 inch cubes.

For the Butter Sauce:
1. Heat the oil a medium sauté pan.  Saute onions until soft and translucent.  Add ginger-garlic paste and stir for about 1 minute.

2. Add all the remaining ingredients except for the coconut milk/ yogurt/sour cream and butter.  Cook on medium heat until thick.

3. Puree sauce in a blender (careful it’s hot!) and return to the pan. If you prefer a more chunky sauce, opt out of this step.

4. Add yogurt.coconut milk/sour cream and butter/Earth Balance.  Stir and cook for another 5 minutes.  If you prefer a thinner sauce, add a bit more coconut milk if you would like to thin it out.

5. Add the chicken and simmer for a few more minutes until heated through.  Serve hot with rice or cooked grain of choice and enjoy!

*Note:  If you would like a smooth sauce, puree the onions after they become translucent and then return to the pan.  Puree the tomatoes before adding.
butter chickenFor more recipes from this month’s reveal, click the link below!

October 27, 2013 at 10:00 pm 9 comments

Lightened-up Orange Chicken and a Cooking Technique (SRC)

Orange Chicken (or Beef) is a popular Chinese dish that I don’t usually get to order when eating out. I tend to miss out on the traditional stir-fries and specialties because I ask them to “leave off the sauce” because they typically contain gluten. When I’m in the driver’s seat in my kitchen though, I prefer to prepare dishes that are “off limits” when eating out to jazz up my menu choices…plus, then I won’t feel deprived!

orange chicken 1When I was assigned Karen’s Kitchen Stories this month for the Secret Recipe Club, I was drooling over all her homemade bread recipes… but I admit, I was intimidated to try and de-glutenize them while staying true to the original recipe. After reading that Karen participates in Wok Wednesdays, I was sold on both her Velvet Chicken and Orange Chicken recipes! I’ve always been intrigued with the way Chinese restaurants prepare their meats, I never could achieve the same texture or tenderness when using a wok…until now!

I opted to cook an un-fried version of Orange Chicken to lighten up the dish a bit (you know, so I could have more of it!). Taking cues from Karen’s Velvet Chicken post, I used the water velveting technique instead of the oil one…. woohoo! The result was very tender chicken! Turns out you can also prepare other proteins in the same way — beef, pork, shrimp — so I will have to try my hand at that soon.

orange chicken 2

I made a few adjustments to the orange sauce by subbing coconut aminos for the soy sauce, adding a bit of ginger, using honey instead of brown sugar and using crushed red pepper flakes in place of the cayenne. I also chose to use coconut oil for sauteeing and tapioca starch instead of cornstarch, but either works in this dish! I served the chicken with brown rice sprinkled with green onion and sauteed broccoli, carrots and onions — a balanced, healthy and yummy meal!

Lightened up Orange Chicken (adapted from Karen’s recipe)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free

For the Chicken

1 T coconut aminos (or tamari or gluten free soy sauce)
1 T rice vinegar (or dry sherry)
2 large egg whites
1 Tbsp tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
1 Tbsp canola oil or other neutral oil
 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed (can use thighs or even beef, pork or shrimp)
For the Orange Sauce
1/3 C orange juice
1/4 C chicken broth or stock
1 T apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
1 1/2 T coconut aminos, tamari or gluten free soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 T honey (or other sweetener) – increase by a couple tablespoons if you prefer a sweeter sauce
1 tsp orange zest
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes

Sauce Preparation

1 tsp oil for sauteeing (I used coconut oil)
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tsp minced ginger
2 tsp tapioca starch (or 1 tsp cornstarch) dissolved in 1 T water or broth

Chicken Preparation

2 tbsp coconut oil, divided (or other oil)
For serving (optional) 
Cooked brown or white rice, or quinoa
Sauteed veggies

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, marinate the chicken in the combined soy sauce, vinegar, oil, starch and egg whites for about 20-30 minutes at room temperature.
  2. Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl, whisk and set aside.
  3. Saute the garlic and ginger in 1 tsp of oil in a saucepan for about a minute until fragrant, add the above sauce, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the starch/water mixture and stir until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat, and cover to keep warm.
  4. In a 2-quart saucepan, bring one quart of water and 1 tbsp oil to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and add the chicken to the simmering water, stirring to prevent the pieces of chicken from clumping together. Cook until the chicken is opaque, but not cooked through, about 1 minute. Drain the chicken in a colander
  5. In a wok or large sauce pan over high heat, swirl the remaining tablespoon of oil into the wok. Add the chicken and saute for three minutes or until cooked through. Re-stir the sauce mixture and pour half over the chicken. Stir fry, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Toss with remaining sauce.
  6. Serve immediately with steamed rice/quinoa and sauteed veggies if desired!
orange chicken 3
For other recipes in this month’s reveal, click here!

September 29, 2013 at 10:00 pm 9 comments

White Turkey Chili

Yes, yes…YES! Fall is here! The breeze is cool, the morning air is crisp and I was able to break out a jacket this week! With Fall being my absolute favorite time of year, I was ready to jump in the kitchen and whip up some “comfort food”.

white turkey chili 1

Warming you to the core, this white turkey chili is packed with flavor, a bit of heat (if desired). protein and fiber. I garnished my bowl with a large scoop of guacamole, baby spinach (for some extra greens), and a squeeze of lime juice…and I was cuddled up on the couch with a huge grin on my face. Needless to say, I am quite the happy camper :)

Here’s to soup season!

Feel free to garnish your bowl with shredded cheese and/or sour cream/Greek yogurt (if you are not dairy-free), or crush a few tortilla chips over your dish for a little crunch if that makes you happy! This chili keeps well and would be a delicious option for get togethers or Monday night football.

white turkey chili 3

White Turkey Chili 
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Soy-free, Corn-free, Dairy-free

Ingredients

1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, coconut oil, butter, or ghee (use oil for dairy free)
1 1/4 lbs ground turkey (beef or chicken or cubed chicken breast can be subbed)
1 medium onion, diced
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
2 anaheim or poblano peppers, deveined, deseeded and diced
1 jalapeño, deveined, deseeded and diced
2-3 tsp ground cumin
1-2 tsp oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp fajita seasoning
2 Tbsp coconut flour (or other gluten-free flour like arrowroot to help thicken broth)
2 cups low-sodium or homemade chicken broth or stock
4 oz diced green chilis (I used canned)
16 oz sliced mushrooms
2 cups cooked white navy or cannelini beans (if using canned, rinse well and drain)
juice from 1 lime + more for serving
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1-2 tsp hot sauce or 1/4-1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper to taste (only if you prefer a little kick)
sea salt and pepper to taste

diced avocado or guacamole for serving
leafy greens for wilting (optional) – spinach, kale, collards
shredded cheese (optional, omit for dairy-free)

Directions 

1. In a medium soup pot or Dutch oven, heat oil/butter over medium-high heat. Add meat and cook for 5-7 minutes until starting to brown, stirring occasionally.
2. Add onions, garlic, both peppers and seasonings to the pan and cook until onions are soft, stirring often, for about 4-5 minutes.
3. Add coconut flour and stir to coat vegetables and meat.
4. Pour in the chicken broth and then add in the mushrooms, green chilis and beans and stir. Let cook for 5 minutes until mushrooms start to cook through.
5. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld. Stir in lime juice and cilantro. Let cook for an additional couple minutes. Season with salt and pepper and hot sauce/cayenne (if using) to taste.
6. If adding greens, place in soup pot and let cook for until wilted (2 minutes for spinach, 5-7 for more hearty greens).
7. Serve in bowls and garnish with guacamole or avocado, a squeeze of lime and/or shredded cheese or crushed chips. Enjoy!

Serves about 4-6

white turkey chili bite

September 18, 2013 at 6:21 pm 1 comment

Easy Chicken Lo-Mein (SRC)

Where has July gone? It seems as if I blinked and August is staring at me right in the face. But, you know what that means? It’s time for another Secret Recipe Club reveal!

This month I was assigned Karen’s Lavender and Lovage blog… Wow, what an extensive list of recipes and with such beautiful photography! I have multiple recipes saved to make later — including Summer Salad in a Jar, No-Bake Chocolate Peppermint Squares, and Jersey Royal Potato Salad with Three-Herb Mayo. They are all so tempting!

chicken lo mein 1

With one chicken breast needing to be cooked combined with a random craving for Chinese food, I decided to make Karen’s Easy Chicken Lo Mein. No doubt I will be making this again and again – it’s a speedy, delicious and nutritious dish that can be adapted to your liking and preferences. Feel free to change up the veggies, protein and noodles for a variation, or use those Shirataki noodles for a low-carb option :)

chicken lo mein 2

I changed up a few things based on my pantry and preferences: I added sesame seeds, increased the mushrooms, substituted gluten free noodles and used coconut oil to make it nut-free.  Since I didn’t have chili sauce,  I added garlic powder, a squeeze of lemon juice and crushed red pepper flakes in it’s place and threw in fresh sugar snap peas for a little more color. You know what they say, we eat with our eyes :)

chicken lo mein bowl

Easy Chicken Lo Mein (adapted from Lavender and Lovage)
Gluten-free, Grain-free option, Dairy-free, Soy-free option, Nut-free, Vegetarian/Vegan option

Ingredients

8 oz gluten free spaghetti or fettuccine or Shirataki noodles, cooked or prepared according to package directions
splash of sesame oil
200g skinless chicken breast fillets, sliced into strips*
splash of coconut aminos, Braggs liquid aminos or gluten free soy sauce/tamari
1 tsp five-spice powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder + couple shakes of crushed red pepper flakes OR 1 tsp chilli sauce
1-2 tbsp coconut oil (or groundnut oil but it’s not nut-free)
1 large carrot, peeled and finely sliced horizontally or into matchsticks
100g bean sprouts
1/2 large onion, peeled and sliced
4 large spring onions, sliced
4 oz mushrooms, washed and sliced
2 tbsp coconut aminos, Braggs liquid aminos or gluten free soy sauce/tamari
freshly ground black pepper
squeeze of lemon/lime juice or a splash or rice vinegar (about 1 – 1 1/2 tsp), optional for a little acidity and freshness
toasted or raw sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)

Directions

1. Drizzle prepared noodles with a splash of sesame oil,  toss well then set aside.

2. Place the chicken strips in a bowl and season with a splash of soy sauce, the five-spice powder and chilli sauce.

3.Heat a wok on medium-high and then add the oil; add the chicken and stir fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the chicken is browned and cooked through.

4. Increase heat to high and add the carrot and stir fry for a further 2 minutes and add in the onions and cook another 2 minutes.

5. Toss in the bean sprouts, spring onions, snap peas and mushrooms and stir fry for 30 seconds more. Stir in the cooked noodles and season with the soy/liquid aminos, lemon/line juice and some freshly ground black pepper to taste.

6. Spoon the noodle mixture onto a serving plate or in individual bowls and serve immediately. Enjoy :)

Serves 2  page1image7280 page1image7440 page1image7600 page1image7760

*Variations and Options: 

-For Vegetarian/Vegan, substitute the chicken for pressed/cubed tofu OR 1/2 cup edamame OR increase the mushrooms to 8 oz (or a combo)
-Substitute shrimp or beef for the chicken if desired
-Substitute Shirataki noodles for a grain-free option

chicken lo mein biteFor other recipes in this week’s reveal, please click below!

July 28, 2013 at 10:00 pm 10 comments

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