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Monday, November 15, 2010

Simple and easy gluten free thanksgiving...

I know there are a multitude of recipes out there for a gluten free Thanksgiving. So, I am simply going to post a few tips I like to use, and also a few of my already posted recipes that could be incorporated into a simple gluten free Thanksgiving menu.

Tip 1: Make a centerpiece out of fruit. Its always beautiful, and then you get to eat the fruit after, so there is no waste. Use some extra herbs from your garden, or what you didn't use in your recipes--Voila! Instant centerpiece!

Tip 2: Brine your turkey. Trust me on this one. Google Alton Brown's recipe. You will never go back to un-brined turkeys.

Start with this recipe as one of your appetizers. Its simple, and easy to make, and delicious.
Olive Appetizer.

Make one of these biscuits as your gluten free roll offering for dinner. Either is delicious, and even your non-gluten free eaters at the table will not know they are GF. Tip: The next day, they make amazing biscuits and gravy! Cheddar biscuit, or Buttermilk-Sage biscuit.

Pie. You cannot have Thanksgiving without pie. This crust works! Its a great gluten free recipe! Pie Crust.

Serve your pie with this holiday spiced and scented coffee. It will truly feel like the beginning of the Christmas season. Cinnamon French Press Coffee.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Healthy Chorizo...

When I married into the Hispanic culture several years ago, I was intrigued by the traditional foods of the culture and set about learning to make them. When I married, it was also the beginning of what I call "The Reformation Period" because I set about reforming my husbands relationship and understanding of food.
You see, he was a typical bachelor, eating Cheez Whiz and Chicken In a Biscuit Crackers topped with pepperonis as if it was haute cuisine—and several times a week and calling it 'dinner'. Needless to say there was work to be done.
I introduced him to fresh fruits and vegetables, daily, an oddity to him until then, meats that were cooked properly (aka-not dry and tough), and eating food that had intentional purpose, not just a mere means of filling a growling belly.
Now, the man can eat a piece of chocolate, pause and ponder, then proudly announce the percentage of cacao it contains (I am so proud.) Well, my work is done, as he has fully embraced his new life of food, and doesn't know how he lived the old way. But there are things from his past food-life that he loves, and while they are ok in occasional moderation (think—once or twice a year), they are not good for one on a regular basis—unless you reform it to be healthy!
One of those foods was chorizo. Saturday morning eggs and chorizo with tortillas is a Hispanic equivalent to the traditional American bacon, eggs, and pancakes spread.  I know it may sound like an oxymoron, "healthy + chorizo". After all, isn't that the Spanish sausage that is notorious for leaving a bright orange slick of grease on the plate? It is in fact, that very dish.
I have remade it here to be lean, full of spices, and healthy. So healthy in fact, you can eat it whenever you want—with no remorse.
Make a double batch, it freezes fantastic, and you can cook it right from the freezer, so it makes it easy to enjoy anytime.

  • 1 pound of ground turkey, or ground chicken
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs. California sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (for mild), or 1 tsp. (for hot)
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (dried, or fresh work)
  • 4 tbs. olive oil
  • 4 tbs. red wine vinegar 
In a large mixing bowl place all the ingredients together and combine them well with a fork or your hands, cover and let the chorizo marinate over night.
You will use 1/4 of it to make the eggs and chorizo below. Freeze the rest in freezer bags for use later.

Eggs and Chorizo (Serves 2-3 for breakfast)
Using 1/4 of the mixture above, heat a medium skillet to medium.
Add the chorizo (fresh or frozen is fine. Cooking from frozen just takes longer.)
Cook the chorizo as you would a ground meat, stirring it to break it up.
Cook on medium until it begins to firm up and is cooked through.

Crack in three eggs to the cooked chorizo and continue to stir, scrambling the eggs into the chorizo until cooked through. Season with salt.

Serve this with warm corn tortillas (which is traditional), or with GF toast. I serve it with a side of fresh-roasted (or canned) green chili strips.