Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet n Sour Chicken

Sweet n Sour Chicken

My husband and I wanted take out from a nearby Chinese place a few weeks ago. So, my husband went over the ingredients with the girl behind the counter and made sure mine was strictly gluten and dairy free. I ended up with Garlic Chicken and he got Sweet and Sour Chicken.

To make a long story short, the meals were disgusting. Like nothing I have ever eaten before. So bad, that after I dumped $15 worth of food down the garbage disposal, I headed right for Yelp and left a very descriptive review on just how disgusting it was.

Since then, my hubby has been wanting sweet and sour chicken so I made this for him yesterday. And I usually can’t have sweet n sour chicken because of the breading, but I can have this! YAY!

I have to say, it’s absolutely delicious and the leftovers warm up well the next day. I will make this again and again and I think you will too. So much more tasty and so much more healthy for you than take out. The chicken is tender and the sauce is perfectly sweet and sour. I added red pepper and broccoli, but you can add any veggies you want or none at all.

I’m not sure who to give credit to for this recipe, as it’s on Pinterest a few dozen times and each person takes credit for it as being theirs. LOL! Anyway, to the best of my ability, I did some sleuthing around and I think this gal at Mel’s Kitchen is the one who made it originally and everyone copied her but didn’t give her credit. Mel talks about having made this recipe back in college over ten years ago and she put it on her blog in 2012 and it has over 600 comments. So, thank you Mel!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

12- chicken tenders (Yes, I made a lot because I didn’t want to cook the next day… 😉

1 cup- cornstarch

Salt and pepper

2 large- eggs, beaten

olive oil to fry

Sauce: 

3/4 cup- sugar

4 Tablespoons- ketchup

1/2 cup- apple cider vinegar

1- Tablespoon soy sauce, I use this kind for gluten free soy sauce

1 teaspoon- garlic powder

(*Note: I would double the the sauce recipe for this much chicken when I make it again…) If using less chicken, this amount of sauce ingredients should be enough.)

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Make sauce and set aside

Put skillet on stove and add oil to cover bottom of pan

Fill two bowls, one with cornstarch and the other with the two beaten eggs

Cut chicken into one inch pieces and place on a plate and season with salt and pepper

Add the seasoned chicken pieces to the cornstarch and toss them until well coated.

Turn your skillet to high heat

Toss the cornstarch coated pieces into the egg mixture now and remove quickly as to not remove your cornstarch

When the oil is hot, place the chicken pieces in the skillet and fry until the outside has a golden brown coating (the inside will not be done, you are only browning the outside)

While they are cooking, get a large 9X13 inch pan ready next to the skillet

Place the browned pieces in the pan and cover with the sauce mixture

Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour. (I didn’t turn mine as her recipe indicated to do and mine was fine.)

You can place any cut up veggies in the pan with the chicken or cook them separately, if you wish.

Serve over white rice.

Breading and sauce station

Breading and sauce station

Pieces coated with cornstarch

Pieces coated with cornstarch

Frying to a golden brown

Frying to a golden brown

Golden brown

Golden brown

Into the pot it goes...

Into the pot it goes…

Add your veggies

Add your veggies and sauce then bake 1 hour

Plated over white rice

Plated over white rice

Good to the last drop!

Good to the last drop!

This is warmed up the next day

This is warmed up the next day

 

 

Cauliflower Tabbouli

Cauliflower Tabbouli

Cauliflower Tabbouli

I found this recipe from Dr. Hyman’s recipe site when I made the Rosemary Almond Flour Crackers and mad oh man the two together are delicious! Easy and healthy. Boom! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 head- cauliflower, cleaned and pulsed in a food processor

1/2 cucumber – peeled and diced

8- cherry tomatoes, washed and cut into quarters

Handful – fresh flat leaf parsley, washed and chopped.

Handful – fresh basil, washed and chopped

Handful – fresh cilantro, washed and chopped

2 cloves- garlic, minced

Zest and juice from one whole lemon

1/4 cup- olive oil

Salt to taste

Directions: 

Pulse your cauliflower in small batches to get a uniform size

Transfer all cauliflower to large bowl

Add tomatoes and cucumber

Add all fresh spices chopped

Combine lemon juice, zest, garlic, oil and salt and stir well.

Serve with Rosemary Almond Flour Crackers. 

Pulse cauliflower

Pulse cauliflower

Add cucumber and tomatoes

Add cucumber and tomatoes

Add spices

Add spices

Serve with crackers

Serve with crackers

 

Homemade Marshmallows

Homemade Marshmallows

Homemade Marshmallows

This recipe for homemade marshmallows is all over Pinterest this time of year, but I took the recipe from Alton Brown’s recipe on The Food Network. The only thing I omitted was dusting them with a cornstarch and powdered sugar mixture as I only used the powdered sugar.

It seems a bit labor intensive to make when you first read through the recipe with the use of a candy thermometer and all, but they’re really not. Once your pan is prepared and the syrup mixture boils, it comes together fast.  But, Tom Petty was right… the waiting is the hardest part.

I made my marshmallows smaller so I was able to get three small plates piled high with them. Add them to the DF hot cocoa mix and it’s a all over except the fire and cozy pajamas. They are sweet, but not sickeningly sweet. I’m pretty sure you’ll love them.

*Note: You need a stand mixer to make these. A regular hand mixer will not work.

Ingredients:

3 packages – unflavored gelatin

1 cup- ice cold water, divided

1 and 1/2 cups- granulated sugar (I used sugar in the raw and they turned out just as good)

1 cup -light corn syrup

1/4  teaspoon- salt

1 teaspoon- vanilla extract

1/4 cup – confectioner’s sugar

1/4 cup – cornstarch (I omitted this and nothing stuck together)

Non-stick spray

Directions:

Place your gelatin in the mixing bowl with 1/2 cup cold water and let sit for 5 minutes until it blooms. Attach your whisk attachment.

Meanwhile, in a smaller sauce pan combine your granulated sugar, 1/2 cup cold water, salt and syrup and bring to a boil on medium heat. Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes covered.

Uncover, and clip the thermometer on the side of the pan. Cook until thermometer says 240 degrees (if using an electric stovetop like mine, your thermometer may not go up to 240, so just make sure to cook for 7-8 minutes total.

Remove from heat and with your bowl and whisk attachment in place, turn the mixer on low while pouring the hot syrup in and down the side of the bowl, (not directly on the whisk.)

Once you’ve added all the syrup, turn the mixer to high and let it whisk for 15 minutes.

Add your vanilla extract near the last two minutes (again, down the side of the bowl and not into the whisk or you will make a mess.)

During this 15 minute period, spray a cake pan with non-stick spray and them coat with powdered sugar.

When 15 minutes is up, you will have a big, white, fluffy, sticky, batter to pour in your prepared cake pan. Work quick and spread out with a spatula to smooth top.

Sprinkle top with powder sugar.

Allow to sit for at least 4 hours, overnight is best. Do not cover.

When ready, flip marshmallows out onto a powder sugared surface. (Mine slipped right out.)

Sprinkle the top (that was the bottom) with more powdered sugar.

Cut into small to medium sized pieces with either a pizza wheel or I used a pastry cutter.

Pour powdered sugar into a bowl and toss them in the mix to make sure all sides were coated well and no longer sticking to one another.

Put into an air tight container for up to 3 weeks.

 

Bloomed gelatin

Bloomed gelatin

Down the side

Down the side

Fluffy!

Fluffy!

In cake pan with powdered sugar top

In cake pan with powdered sugar top

The next day I flipped onto a powered sugar surface

The next day I flipped onto a powered sugar surface

Cutting

Cutting

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Dunking them in a powdered bath

Dunking them in a powdered bath

3 plates

3 plates

Rosemary Almond Flour Crackers

Rosemary Almond Flour Crackers

Rosemary Almond Flour Crackers

I found this recipe today on Dr. Hyman’s page on FB, who in turn got the recipe on a blog called The Healthy Apple.  My husband loves rosemary so I thought I’d make them.

I was surprised that they actually ‘snap’ like a cracker when you bite them, but I won’t lie… they are a little bland.

The recipe made about 3 small batches of dough and after I tasted the first batch, I added more salt to the tops of each cracker, which didn’t seem to help much. On the second batch, I thought if I rubbed the tops of each cracker with some oil then salted them it would help. Nope. And it made it really difficult to remove them from the pan and they broke.

So, on the third batch, I added some garlic powder, salt, and pepper right to the dough and then baked them. Better, but still bland. I don’t mind bland though, and I think these would be great for hummus or any kind of savory dip without the cracker overpowering the flavor.

Anyway, these are great for those like me who are Gluten Free (GF) and would like to make their own crackers.

Ingredients:

3 cups- almond flour

3- large eggs

3 tsp. – olive oil

1/4 teaspoon- salt

1/2 tsp- crushed rosemary

Pinch- red pepper flakes

Pinch – lemon zest

Directions:

Preheat over to 325 degrees

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and form a ball

Divide dough into 3 smaller balls (or else it comes out the side of the paper… I know…)

Roll dough ball out onto parchment paper

Top that with another sheet of parchment paper

Roll to about 1/4 inch thin

Remove top parchment paper

Cut into squares using a sharp knife

Keeping the thinly cut dough squares on the bottom layer of parchment

Flip onto a cookie sheet by slowly… and I mean s-l-o-w-l-y peeling it back from the cut squares.

Once it’s removed, place the baking sheet in the oven and bake 12 minutes or until golden.

Let set for a few minutes and place on plate to serve with dip or use a ziplock bag to keep fresh until use.

Note: *These need to be watched if they are really thin, as they will get dark fast. And some of my thicker pieces had to be put back in and baked some more.

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Dairy Free Hot Cocoa Mix

Christmas gifts in a jar

Christmas gifts in a jar

Since I can’t have dairy, what the heck was I supposed to do when I wanted a big mug of hot chocolate on these (not so cold) days here in Florida. LOL!

Answer: Find and make a non-dairy version of the store bought kind, and boy of boy is it ever good!

Warming the mix up along with the almond/coconut milk on the stove top, making sure it’s all incorporated, gives is that extra rich, oh so good flavor that says it’s winter time. Er… or “the end of the year” here in Florida.

Really good if you can’t have dairy. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 cup- dark cocoa powder

1 cup- brown sugar

1 cup- powdered sugar

1/2 cup- dairy free chocolate chips (optional to put on top if giving as a gift in a jar.)

Directions:

Put all the ingredients together in a food processor and pulse until well incorporated.

Warm 3 tablespoons of the mix together with a mug full of almond or coconut milk in a sauce pan and top with homemade marshmallows (recipe to come shortly…)

Enjoy!

Before

Before

After

After

Dairy Free Chocolate Chips on top

Dairy Free Chocolate Chips on top

Cinnamon Rock Candy

Cinnamon Rock Candy

Cinnamon Rock Candy

I remember this girl in school whose mother used to make her rock candy in all kinds of flavors to hand out to her friends. I haven’t had this since that time and that was around 3rd grade. Cinnamon was my all time favorite flavor but you can make this in any flavor you want. Make sure to buy flavored oils found in your local craft stores because ‘extract’ found in the food isles at the grocery stores aren’t strong enough. Add corresponding food coloring to the flavor you decide to make; red = cinnamon, yellow = banana, orange = orange and so on.

This is a great sweet treat to have on hand anytime and/or makes a really nice gift at Christmas time. I’m adding bags of it to the Christmas baskets I’m giving to my neighbors. Make it a regular cinnamon flavor with one teaspoon of flavoring or make it extra cinnamon-y (lol) with two teaspoons of flavoring. I found this recipe here.

Without further ado…

Ingredients:

1 cup -water

3 and 3/4 cups- organic sugar

1 and 1/4 cup – light corn syrup

1 teaspoon- food coloring

1 teaspoon- cinnamon oil (or the flavoring of your choice)

1 and 1/2 cups- powdered sugar

Directions:

Butter a large 15 X 10 baking sheet, then line with parchment paper.

Grease over top of the parchment paper as well, making sure to get the edges well.

In a large sauce pan add your water, sugar, corn syrup and food coloring and heat over medium high heat until sugar starts to dissolve.

Attach candy thermometer to the side and boil until mixture gets to 300 degrees, the hard crack stage (about 20 minutes.)

Once the mixture reaches the 300 degree mark on the thermometer, remove from heat and add the cinnamon oil. Stir well.

*Keep face away from the top of the sauce pan when adding the oil. It’s very strong and will make your eyes water. Keep your stove’s fan on overhead.

Pour immediately into the prepared pan sitting next to your stove and allow to cool for at least 4 hours.

After 4 hours, dust the top with a coating of powdered sugar.

Remove the slab of solid candy from the pan and turn over on to the baking sheet and remove the parchment paper. It should slide right off.

Now powder this side as well.

With the handle of a butter knife, break slab in to bite sized pieces by jabbing it all over the large piece.

Once you get the sized pieces you desire, dust well with a bit more powdered sugar and toss with your hands.

Store in an air tight container and/or divide up and put in treat bags with a bow for gifts.

Enjoy!

Note: I was able to make three small bags and a containers worth with this one recipe.

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Energy Bites

Energy Bites

Energy Bites

I’m not sure where these little things originated, but they are all over the internet now. I’m just now getting to post them here on my blog, but I’ve made these now about three times and they are delicious. A great little grab ‘n’ go before you have to head out the door.

I roll the mixture into 1-inch balls and allow them get firm while sitting on a plate. When set, I just throw them into a zip lock bag and store them that way.

(Side note: We’ve been Gluten Free for years and we find the best place to get the things we use most, like the oats and DF chocolate chips in this post, are at Wal-mart. Hands down, the best prices around.)

Hope you like these as much as we do!

Ingredients: 

1 Cup- gluten free oats (dry)

2/3 Cup- coconut flakes

1/2 Cup- peanut butter

1/2 Cup- Flax seeds (I grind mine in a coffee grinder I use for blending my own spices. Or you can leave them whole.)

1/2 Cup – dairy- free chocolate chips (I use this kind. You don’t even know the difference.)

1/3 Cup – honey

1 Tbsp. – chia seeds

1 tsp- vanilla extract

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together. Form one inch balls and allow to set in the frig for 30 minutes. Then eat.

Once set, you can remove them to a zip lock bag and store them that way to take up less room in the frig.

Enjoy!

*Just a note from me to you about dairy:

For years I struggled with stomach issues to the point of writhing in a cold sweat on the bathroom floor in excruciating pain and being tested for Celiac Disease, twice. I started to gain back weight at an alarming rate. I gained back 20 of the 23 pounds I had lost from just a few years prior and didn’t know why since I was still eating the same way and exercising.

When we move to Florida, I was seen by a Functional Medicine Dr who tested me for food allergies since they play a large roll in Hashimoto’s. He found I was allergic to dairy and bananas. DOH! When my stomach would hurt, I would say to my husband, “I’m going to have a yogurt and a banana to settle my stomach now.” I was stunned. (I also test positive for the DQ8 Celiac gene, but do not have active Celiac. Another reason in addition to the Hashimoto’s, I need to remain strictly gluten-free.)

My new Dr. told me it would take 3 months to see the inflammation go down at a cellular level and that what I was mostly seeing in weight gain was inflammation, which is not good for any system of your body. I didn’t believe dropping weight would happen that easily, but lo and behold, within 3 months, I started to see the scale go down. I am happy to say that now, I never had a stomach ache since and am never on the floor reeling in pain after a meal. And, I’m down a full 12 pounds since removing it from my diet.

It was a struggle at first even though the only dairy I ate was yogurt, butter and some cheese (hence, not posting recipes for awhile.) But, now… I don’t even miss it. If you or someone you know struggle with severe stomach aches and pain, rapid weight gain, eliminate dairy (no cheating) from your diet and see if it helps you.

Rollin' rollin'

Rollin’ rollin’