Wild mushroom pate

Smitten kitten has a great wild mushroom pate recipe:

wild mushroom pâté

We modified it due to my food issues, and it turned out great. We left out the onions and the wine. Also, we used oil in place of the butter.

We’ve mixed it with wild rice and served it as a side dish. We’ve also had it on toast w/ chicken breast. And we’ve also stirred it into potato soup.

And we had it with crackers. Super yummy.

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Butternut squash and other veggie leftover soup

10 oz. of butternut squash

~ one pound of greens (spinach, swiss chard, etc.)

1-3 red peppers

Cook the squash for 20 minutes in the oven at 350. Saute the red peppers until soft, then add greens and butternut squash. Serve half of this as a side dish with dinner.

The next day, put some vegetable or chicken broth in a blender (about 1/2 of a container), add the leftover veggies and puree. Repeat until all the veggies are pureed and pour into a pot. Add broth to make it thinner (if necessary) and heat until warm.

Eat as is, or add some cheese, maybe even some bacon. Season to taste.

Make your life easier

During times of stress, most people have a harder time keeping up with healthy eating habits. For me, though, I don’t really have much choice but to try and keep up with my meal plans because my body suffers too much if I don’t. It used to be that if I forgot my lunch, I’d be able to grab something to eat on campus, and I could generally find something that was relatively healthy and tasty.

Life is different now, so I am always planning ahead and obsessing about meals. If we forget to pull something out to defrost, it generally results in a meal with eggs and potatoes (because we never seem to be out of either of those items). My partner works full time and is working on her doctorate. I’m an assistant professor on the tenure track. Our schedules are insanely busy and I frequently wish there was someone who could cook for us. Or that I didn’t have food restrictions.

My best pal told me about the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker and said it was a life changer. I wasn’t convinced. I asked if it was going to make my life easier than a crock pot. She assured me that it would, and said that she found her food more flavorful than when she used a crock pot. I became a little more interested. Then she told me it cooks frozen chicken in fifteen minutes. Hallelujah! So we caved and bought one.

I am in love with it.

The first thing I made with it was chicken, and I used frozen chicken breasts. A quick internet search turned up this video:

I followed her instructions (thank you, Busyzgirl), added a little broth, some roasted red pepper sauce and a bit of broth, and some basil.

In just a few minutes I had a yummy dinner. I used the leftover liquid to make a yummy sauce for the chicken. It was super delicious.

Make life easier for yourself. Buy an Instant Pot. Or ask someone to buy it for you.

Chocolate cake w/ raspberry creme frosting

With the IC diet restrictions, I am learning about those foods that are MUSTS to avoid, such as soy, and those that I can have once in awhile, like chocolate. A little bit every now and then doesn’t cause me any difficulties. Depending on where I am eating for a holiday, sometimes there aren’t any dessert choices I can have. For Thanksgiving, Eli offered to make a dessert that I could eat and suggested making a chocolate cake with raspberry puree. This is what evolved out of that idea.

We’ve found that for baking and deserts, King Arthur flours pretty much rock. We love their pancake mix and their muffin mix. Lately, Eli’s been using their All-Purpose Gluten Free Baking Mix and has had a lot of success making desserts.

For this cake, she used the chocolate cupcake recipe on the box to make the cake. She doubled it for the two layer cake she made.

chocolate cake

While the cake cooled, she made a raspberry puree for the middle of the cake. She used a 10 oz package of frozen raspberries, a bit of maple syrup to sweeten them, and lots of cornstarch (at least a quarter cup) to make it thick enough so it didn’t run over the sides or soak into the cake. She pureed the raspberries in a blender and used a strainer to get rid of the seeds.

rasp puree.JPG

One of the cake layers developed a sort of San Andreas Cake Fault in the cooling process. Unfortunately we don’t have a photo of how awesome the fault was, but suffice it to say the layer was nearly two halves. So, once the puree was cool enough, she spread it on top of the non-fault layer. Then she carefully placed the other layer on top.

For the frosting, we opted to make a raspberry vanilla buttercream frosting using 1/2 cup butter, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and about a cup of raspberries. After we frosted it, we added some raspberries on top.

rasp choc cake

The cake turned out to be really tasty. Since we didn’t use a lot of maple syrup in the puree, the raspberry was a nice contrast with the chocolate and the frosting. We’ll definitely be trying this one again.

Chicken Soup-Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg chicken breasts
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 and 1/2 cups veggies (peas, carrots, and/or whatever you like)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1/4 cup gluten free flour
  • 1 tbsp sage
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Dissolve/mix flour into chicken broth and milk
  2. Add all the other ingredients
  3. Put into crockpot
  4. Cook on high for about 3 hours.

Next time I think we’ll add celery. It came out more soupy than stew-like. Maybe more flour next time or maybe some cornstarch next time.

 

Zucchini Sushi Rolls

Tracie and I are gearing up for our wedding in a month and a half, which means we’ve spent a lot of time looking at different food items that she, and some of our other reluctantly high maintenance foodie friends, can eat without triggering anything.  (I have a Pintrest board of recipes I’m going to try and modify in the near future.)

Since we found a caterer who is sensitive to food issues, it gives me space to try some of the things on that board.  Today, I went with the zucchini sushi rolls that I pinned from In Sonnet’s Kitchen. I followed the recipe I found there pretty much verbatim, except that since Tracie can’t do cashews and she can do rice, we used organic California sushi rice instead of the soaked, pureed cashews.

2015-07-25 18.20.11-2

Essentially, here’s what you do:

  1. Slice zucchini using either a vegetable peeler as was suggested, or a mandolin (which is what I used. Fancy, I know).
  2. Put rice, vegetables, avocado, cream cheese, cilantro… and/or whatever you like, at one end of the zucchini.
  3. Roll
  4. After the first go (below) I got toothpicks to stick in the rolls, as they kept coming unrolled.

They came out well, if I do say so myself.

2015-07-25 18.54.14

They came out so well that I made them again the next day for Sunday Dinner with our framily.

 

Enchiladas and Happiness

Enchiladas might be might be my favorite food of all time. Especially when super hot and topped with an over-easy egg.

But chile, of any variety, is on the no-go list for Tracie. She’s also a little tired of your mundane chicken dish. I, mighty Chef eli, took to the internet to see if I could satisfy her desire for a more interesting chicken dish and my desire for some tasty enchis. What I came up with was a chicken enchilada with a red pepper sauce (and almond cheese, because, you know: lactose intolerant).

Red pepper chicken enchiladas. View original on Instagram at https://instagram.com/p/4RhfyaSNcW

Red pepper chicken enchiladas. View original on Instagram at https://instagram.com/p/4RhfyaSNcW

So recipe.

Red Pepper Sauce
*Note: Canned chicken for us = not an option, so I had the chicken breasts cooking in the toaster oven while I was working on the red pepper sauce.

6 large red peppers
~1/4 cup chicken stock
salt, pepper, and whatever other seasonings strike your fancy (or you can have with your diet)

1. Cut peppers into strips and boil until tender.
2. Combine a quarter of the cooked peppers with salt, pepper, seasonings and chicken stock in the blender. Blend.
3. Blend the rest of the peppers, a quarter at a time, into the sauce in the blender.
4. Season to taste.

One of the things Tracie is trying to get me to do is cook more at a time so we have leftovers and I’m not spending an hour and a half every day preparing dinner. Casserole style enchiladas it is.

Enchiladas

2 chicken breasts, cooked
corn tortillas, quartered (I used between 12 and 16)
shredded (almond) cheese
red pepper sauce

0.5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
1. Grease the bottom of a 8×8 casserole dish.
2. Pour enough sauce in the dish to coat the bottom.
3. Place tortilla quarters over sauce, slightly overlapping.
4. Chicken > Cheese > Sauce > tortilla. Repeat.
5. End with a layer of cheese.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes

I was so very happy with the outcome; I’m already thinking about making it again. If you give it a go, let us know how it turned out for you.