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Tag Archives: herbs

FAST FISH! Tahini Lemon Salmon

Salmon is my go-to fish of choice! I love that it is insanely easy to cook (400 degrees, 15-20 minutes), and that you can flavor it in so many ways… PLUS it is healthy! We all know by now that it is a great course of healthy fats and omega 3’s, and to top it off, it’s strongly anti-inflammatory.

This is another one of my recipes that I will call more of a method, because it is so unstructured when I do it…

  • Take a fresh salmon filet, rinsed and patted dry… 
  • rub both sides with coconut oil and place skin side down in baking dish…
  • salt and pepper to your taste…
  • smear about a tablespoon of tahini over the flesh side…
  • top with the zest of one lemon and a couple tablespoons of fresh parsley…
  • bake 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees.
  • SIMPLE delicious!

As a side, we sauteed chopped baby broccoli (put in the pan first for 2+ minutes because it takes longer to cook), along with napa cabbage and spinach in coconut oil, finishing with a squeeze of fresh lemon and sesame seeds.

 

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Spicy Crab Cakes (Low carb, Gluten free)

When avoiding wheat flours that contain gluten, there are many other types of flours that one can use in its place, such as rice, sorghum, or tapioca flours which are still high in carbs. Since we are also on a low carb diet to promote weight loss, we choose to use the alternatives of almond or coconut flours.

This is a crab cake recipe that I came up with for our Friday night treat, and I chose to use coconut flour because I felt that the slightly sweet taste would work well with the sweetness of the crab meat and the heat of the chipotle pepper, while acting as a glue to hold the delicate patties in shape. Crab cakes often have fillers such as potato, which increases the carbs and can also disguise the flavor of the crab… I skipped this, since we like our crab cakes to be ALL about the crab.The Parmesan cheese takes the place of breadcrumbs as a coating, and browns up nicely in the oven. This is similar to the method used in Parmesan Perch.

Crab cakes should be refrigerated for a minimum of 30 minutes prior to baking, to help them hold their shape.

Spicy Gluten Free Crab Cakes

  • 1/4C celery, finely diced
  • 1 medium leek, washed well and finely diced
  • coconut oil for sauteing
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2T mayonnaise
  • 2T heavy cream
  • 6 oz crab meat (I used refrigerated in a packet)
  • 1/2 chipotle pepper, canned, finely diced (seeded if you prefer milder)
  • 2tsp capers, diced
  • 2Tb fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 Tb coconut flour
  • kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 C Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Saute the celery and leek in coconut oil until tender, 2-3 minutes, and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix together egg, mayonnaise and cream. Gently fold in the crab meat. Add the leeks, celery, chipotle pepper, capers and parsley, mixing gently. Add coconut flour, 1 Tb at a time, mixing well. Add salt and pepper to taste. The mixture will be soft, but should be manageable. If it is too delicate, add a small amount of additional coconut flour. Divide mixture into about 6 medium patties, dredging each one in the grated Parmesan cheese before setting on a plate. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to chill cakes and make them a little easier to handle. When they are chilled, bake at 450 degrees on a silicone baking mat or parchment-lined sheet for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve immediately with tartar or roumelade sauce.

Sauce: The sauce I used was a base of 1/2C mayo and 2Tb cream seasoned with a finely diced gerkin pickle, dash of hot sauce, 1/2 diced chipotle and 1tsp dijon mustard with a squeeze of lemon.

 

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Caprese, So Easy!

Fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, herbs and olive oil, tastes and smells just like summer!

 

It’s mid-May and Michigan is just gorgeous! Sunny weekend coming up with temps in the 70’s and 80’s, I feel so fortunate! We had an early spring that stayed moderate, with enough moisture, which should be good for all the growing things. Especially gardens… I get so excited for the vegetable garden to start producing, and I am especially looking forward to the tomatoes and basil!

While none of this is from my chunk of land (yet!) it still smells and tastes like summer, and is a delicious and easy side dish that goes well with all sorts of lighter meals.This recipe serves 3, but you can tweak it for more or less, this is just a guideline. The herb paste I used was refrigerated and in a tube; it was a combination of basil, parsley and oregano. (If you have fresh basil, layer the basil leaves in between the tomato and cheese, and drizzle with olive oil.) Cilantro would also yield a very fresh flavor maybe with a squeeze of lime, for a different spin. Mmmmmm, love fresh herbs!

Insalata Caprese (“Capri style salad“) is a very simple salad which is said to come from the Campagnia region of Italy. Ideally, every ingredient would be local and freshly harvested, but if you have good quality ingredients, it will still be delicious!

Layer in 3 individual dishes:

  • 9 fresh tomato slices (about 2 tomatoes)
  • 6 slices of fresh mozzarella (8 oz)
  • 2TB herb paste (made fresh or purchased)
    mixed with: 2TB good olive oil to make a pesto
  • 2TB pine nuts (optional)
  • drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction (optional, I did not use it this time)

 

 

 

 

 

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Garlic Tomato Scrambled Eggs with Garden Herbs (Low carb, Gluten free)

Garlic Tomato Scrambled Eggs with Garden Herbs

 

GOOD MORNING SUNSHINE!!! Just a quick breakfast post for Tuesday morning…

I still struggle with eating a morning meal most days, and I know it’s important. It’s funny, I only realized I was gluten intolerant this year, but my go-to has always been an “Eggy” breakfast. I didn’t know why, but I always felt terrible if I ate waffles, pancakes, doughnuts, or cereal, so I didn’t… but those are generally the most convenient, so I had a bad habit of skipping it entirely.

Today I wanted eggs, but was craving more flavor:

  1. Saute 1 clove garlic, finely diced, in 1 tsp butter until tender (or browned if you like the taste)
  2. Add 1/2 tomato, finely diced, saute a minute more
  3. Add 2 organic eggs scrambled with 1 TB heavy cream
  4. Scramble eggs until nearly cooked
  5. Add 1 oz shredded white sharp cheddar, toss to melt
  6. Plate the eggs and top with your choice of fresh garden herbs
    Today I used fresh chives and oregano.

Really quick, delicious, low carb and gluten free. The garlic and tomato really add depth of flavor, and choosing sharp cheddar adds a nice zing to the balance. Fresh herbs are great with eggs, and having a few in the garden or pots will definitely add a nice dimension to your cooking. The earliest herbs in my garden are chives, oregano, sage and thyme since they are perennials and come back every year. It always takes some patience waiting for the tender annual basil to get big enough that it won’t die from me stripping off the leaves too soon, 😉 but basil is a fabulous complement to eggs, tomato and garlic as well.

 

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Love to Graham Kerr and a Rant on Personal Nutrition Choices


As a self-proclaimed “Foodie”, you can bet that I have watched more than my share of cooking shows, read countless cookbooks and blogs, and have generally soaked up everything that I find interesting about food for a VERY long time. It wasn’t as if I discovered that I did better without wheat and gluten, and then suddenly decided to start cooking… it is something that I (and my husband) have been enthralled with forever, it seems. Along the way we have seen some true talents showcased in the cooking world, along with some that we just scratch our heads and wonder about. I want to give cheers to Graham Kerr here, who is definitely the former!

He was originally known as The Galloping Gourmet, an energetic television chef and author who is full of fun and frolic, using loads of heavy cream, butter, wine, and other decadent ingredients with full abandon and incredibly delicious results. Later in his career, his beloved wife, Treena, experienced severe health issues, and as a response to her nutrition needs, Kerr changed his tune and his theme, moving away from indulgence, to “Minimax”. Minimizing risk and maximizing color, aroma, texture and taste.

While the current eating style my family has adopted embraces certain fats and cheeses (of which Kerr  would likely NOT approve), and instead minimizes the carbohydrates and sugars, Graham’s philosophy of Minimax is with me in the kitchen every single day. I am always seeking to get the most of my ingredients by using fresh herbs, spices, citrus, flavorful cheeses, nuts, radiant vegetables, fresh cuts of meat or seafood, along with flavor-enhancing cooking techniques. He is one of my true Foodie Heroes, and I have endless amounts of admiration for him for taking a health challenge, and translating that challenge into more wonderful, life-giving meals, instead of feeling that the changes were negative limitations.

As a long-time designer and artist, I have always found that working within guidelines or limitations imposed by a specific client or a defined project, actually can be a positive thing that helps to focus the mind and creativity in such a way that the endless possibilities and distracting thoughts do not interfere as much with achieving the end goal. (Have I mentioned that I am quite ADD, and am easily distracted by… “oooohhhh shinyyyy?”) When you take away the things that are not right for the project (or in this case, dish or lifestyle), you are left with freedom and mindfulness to capture the outcome you desire and need. I feel that cooking gluten free (or for any other food intolerance, allergy, health or weight loss goal) is much the same as designing within the parameters of a client’s needs… YOU and your health just happen to be your client!

I urge you to become familiar with the guidelines of your particular nutrition needs, and to embrace those limitations as a way to move freely inside those parameters. Yes, the results of the food are fantastic, but they are nothing compared to the results that manifest in your life! Did I enjoy the Seared Sea Scallops and sauteed greens on Mother’s Day? You bet I did! But not as much as I have enjoyed being free from recurring and debilitating headaches and body pains. It feels miraculous to me still. I literally could cry with relief at any given moment. I have even more joy in preparing foods now than I did before because I know, I mean really KNOW that I am feeding my body with what it needs to be healthy.

And on to a Rant….

I have had well-meaning friends ask me if I couldn’t just “cheat” once in awhile and have a killer pizza or something else when eating out (I know I bore them with my safe salads!) I laugh and say no, because the only person I would be cheating is ME! I am not eating this way to lose weight, although that is certainly welcome, I am eating this way because I finally heard the language of my body, and it has told me in no uncertain terms that some foods make me sick. Having pizza today is not worth waking up tomorrow with a migraine and feeling like I have arthritis throughout my body.

The irony to me is that most people I know also experience a myriad of health issues, aches and pains, along with excess bulk around the midsection, and it doesn’t even occur to them that there is a strong likelihood that it is being caused by their food. (It seems that we, as a culture, treat disease symptoms as a lack of the right pharmaceutical in our medicine cabinet instead of as an imbalance of our internal systems.) It’s not our fault, we have all been educated repeatedly to eat whole grains (even though they spike blood sugar and create an insulin reaction, in addition to being a very inflammatory food.) We live in a society where fast food is abundant and speed is touted over simplicity or healthfulness. Another problem is that food intolerance is not nearly as obvious as food allergy. Allergies cause a severe and usually immediate immune response, but intolerance is much sneakier and builds up over time, affecting many systems, causing inflammation and auto-immune disorders among other things.

When faced with a friend (me) saying “Hey, why don’t you go without wheat and gluten for a week and see how you feel? Just try it?” The reactions are rarely enthusiastic, smiles.

Darling, you CAN’T be serious!?

“You mean I couldn’t drink a beer or have pizza with my buddies? Well, that is un-American!”

“How do you eat sandwiches without bread? I survive on sandwiches!”

“Grains can’t be that bad, we’ve eaten them for thousands of years!”

“Well, that way of eating works for you, I am sure it’s something else wrong with me.”

“I’ve had cereal for breakfast every day of my life, it can’t be the problem.”

“The government tells us that this is the best way to eat, they couldn’t tell us that if it wasn’t true.”

Really? How do you know? I often suggest that one has nothing to lose by trying, but you see, that’s not quite true! I realize that what one loses is somewhat intangible and yet powerful. First there is the disruption of habit and the major introduction of change in an area of our lives that we “think” is settled and working fine. Then there is a heritage and connection to our roots that most people strongly associate with certain foods and habits. We were raised on breads, pastas and cereals, after all. For what I am saying to be true, it means that what their mom and dad, favorite teachers and doctors were saying was NOT true. I know it wasn’t intentional misinformation, but I urge people to use critical thinking and question these accepted norms!

I do have strong opinions when it comes to a governing body telling its population what foods to eat and how much, when it is clear that those same governing bodies are not being advised by scientists and doctors on the cutting edge of nutrition, but rather by corporations which have a vested interest in selling their goods (as much as possible, please!) to the consuming public.Those same groups seek to limit access to homeopathic remedies, vitamins and supplements, as well as clamp down on those who are seeking lesser-processed dairy and meats, saying that their safety can’t be assured. Come on! Let me decide what is safe for my family, while you go ahead and serve GMO’s at your own table! We the people deserve a say in this!

I don’t claim to have all the answers (or even most of them); I am not a doctor or a dietician. But because of that, I am free to explore without kowtowing to pharmaceutical companies or grain lobbyists. I can tinker with my diet and see what happens if I take out this, or add that, and so can you. I am not telling you or anyone one else to do one certain thing (though I personally think wheat is bad for many people), because if one thing is clear, nutrition and health is NOT a one-size-fits-all solution. What I am urging each of us to do is to explore the bountiful world of food-based nutrition and work at finding out what is right for you. It is definitely a journey rather than a concrete destination, and what works for me now, may very well change in the future.

You deserve to make up your own mind, after all it does still belong to you!

 

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Blog Awards… Sharing the Love!

This post is overdue… not because I am not thankful, but more because I was surprised, flattered, and caught off guard to be nominated for blog awards by my peers!

I am quite new to the bloggering world, and I admittedly did zero research and just jumped in writing with both feet because I was inspired by the changes in my life that came from eating gluten free. It wasn’t until I had been blathering on and snapping pics with my phone (yes I am still using my phone, sad but true), that I opened my eyes to see all of YOU, and that I wasn’t alone in blogging about food and lifestyle choices. How great is that?!

I have always enjoyed writing, whether it was an email to a friend, a college research paper, or just getting some thoughts down on paper to vent or amuse… but I never really thought of myself as a writer. I guess I still don’t, and yet here I am writing several times a week about something I love (food) and something I believe in strongly (healthy living through diet) and expressing it hopefully in an artful way to people who share similar interests (YOU)!

The reason I was so surprised to be nominated for a blog award is that as I read and look and comment on everyone’s posts, I never cease to be amazed by the creativity coming from your hearts and kitchens. I drool over images and recipes, try a few out myself here and there, and store all the info away in the back of my mind to pull out next time I have certain ingredients on hand. So, thank you to everyone out here who is blogging and sharing, it is such a positive experience!

THANK YOU!

Now, on to the awards… thank you first to Glutenvy Girl for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger award! Your support and comments have been very much appreciated and you are an inspiration! Yours was one of the first gluten free blogs I found, and your positivity spills over 🙂

 

Next, I would like to thank CookingUpTheCure for nominating for me the Liebster award. I have enjoyed her blog very much, and the shared dialog as well. I always learn new things when I visit this blog, and learning is one of my passions in life! Especially learning things that I can apply and put into practice.

Random Facts about Me…

Part of accepting the awards is sharing some facts and information about myself. Hmmmmm! I am not quite sure where to go with this, so…

  1. I am a mom and it is the most challenging and best thing that ever happened to me. By far, I am a better person because of who I have chosen and evolved to be for my son. I’m thankful that we are traveling together in this life!
  2. I love going out dancing, especially to 80’s music and alternative rock!
  3. I grow an herb garden every year (even when it had to be in pots) and use them frequently in my foods and in remedies.
  4. I am an artist, and have painted dozens of murals over the years. You can see some of my work here.
  5. I am addicted to sushi, and taught myself how to make it at home several years ago because we live in a sushi-deficient small town 😉 I was thrilled to find out that most sushi is gluten free!
  6. I prefer utilizing natural remedies for most ailments (when common sense dictates) and some of my favorite ingredients are Bragg’s organic apple cider vinegar (with the Mother), baking soda, peroxide, witch hazel, coconut oil, shea butter, cayenne pepper, borax, lemon, local honey and herbs.
  7. I also clean with white vinegar and baking soda, and don’t purchase things like Windex.
  8. I believe LOVE is the answer. Love yourself, love each other, love the earth!
  9. I am passionate about learning, and strive to learn and share something new every day. I think that a life filled with learning (not necessarily in a school setting) is what enriches our existence, along with LOVE 🙂
  10. I’m glad I can’t eat gluten. Seriously, I am. I am thankful that discovering an intolerance is what finally pushed me over the edge, and made clear to me how bad processed carbs are. I always knew it at some level, but now knowing WHY makes it pretty much painless to go without it. OK literally painless, because my body feels great now!

 

Paying it Forward

I would like to nominate the following blogs for the Versatile Blogger Award:

Cooking Up The Cure Versatile is an understatement, variety and information abound on this blog!
While Chasing Kids Not only a great name, but an interesting blog, bringing a Russian twist to healthful foods.
Gracefully Gluten Free Informative and positive, check out the recent post about whether oats are gluten free!
The Food Refashionista Great concept and dedication to making over foods to fit special dietary considerations!
Being Here Now   Flavorful ideas from a multi-cultural point of view!

And for the Liebster Award:

Gabrielle Whitney Visit for a variety of flavorful and healthful recipes.
Feed the Piglet Beautiful images and commentary along with delicious recipes!
Frugal Feeding When you feast your eyes and belly on the recipes, you may think the name is misleading, but it takes talent to be gourmet and frugal!
A Table in the Sun a newer blog with some tasty recipes and interesting commentary.
Cook to Love Great gluten free recipes and inspiration!

I hope that I didn’t nominate someone who had more than 200 followers, but I wasn’t able to locate those numbers in most cases… so just take it as flattery anyway, and know that I enjoy your blog!  I have so many more to visit, thank you for sharing this journey with me!
~Gretchen

 

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Cheddar Flax Crackers, Thyme and Thyme Again!

Are you bored with my low carb cracker variations yet? Hehe. I made a new batch of crunchies for the weekend, and have plenty of dough left over in the fridge to make fresh batches as needed. This time I went ahead and made a double batch using sharp cheddar as the base, adding flax seeds and sesame seeds for extra crunch, nutrition and interest, while seasoning generously with pepper and thyme.

Cheddar Flax Crackers with Ginger Walnut Chicken Salad

I also changed the shape for this batch to be larger and “plank-like” so that it will be a better base for the Ginger Walnut Chicken Salad and other toppings. I have also found that we like these crackers better when we don’t store them in a sealed container, and rather prefer to let them continue air drying. When stored in a container, they took on an almost stale taste, but the crispiness just seemed to get better when left in a dish on the counter. Go figure! I lowered the heat to 375, and extended the cook time to about 12 minutes to accommodate the thicker size.

Cheddar Flax Crackers

  • 1/2 C coconut flour
  • 1/2 C blanched almond flour
  • 3 C sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 C melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8C flaxseed
  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 Tb fresh thyme, finely minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375. Combine all ingredients in large bowl, working together until they form a dough. Knead the dough on a clean, smooth surface for several minutes to soften the cheese. Divide in half and shape each half into a rectangle about an inch thick. Dough can be used immediately or refrigerated for up to a week. (The dough does tend to be easier to handle when cold.) Slice thinly and place on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, turning pan halfway through. Remove and cool, Store loosely covered.

 

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Gingered Walnut Chicken Salad {Gluten Free}

Ginger Walnut Salad with Strawberry

It’s been a busy day in the kitchen, getting some convenient foods ready for the weekend. We cooked a beautiful farm-raised chicken last night that my husband bought from a friend at work. What a treat to have fresh and unprocessed meat! We roasted it on the rotisserie and ate some of the dark meat for dinner; today I decided to make a chicken salad with the breast meat, and use the carcass, skin and scraps of the chicken to make stock; nothing gets wasted at my house! The stock is simmering on the stove with a little thyme and vidalia onion tossed in, and is reducing nicely.

I’m not quite sure what I will make from the stock, but I am thinking I will refrigerate it and probably come up with some sort of soup on Sunday. Already I took 2 cups out that I used to cook the brown rice that is one of the ingredients in the home made dog food that I am feeding my dog Suzie (golden retriever), nursing her past an illness. She seems to respond very well  to the concoction of ingredients that I put together for her, and I think that wet food, especially with some anti-inflammatory oils and ingredients added, is helpful to keep her hydrated and less itchy.

So back to the chicken salad… I had a lovely bowl of cubed chicken breast, and had to decide what to pair it with. I do enjoy a standard mayo-based chicken salad, but I was wanting something a little different, with a freshness, zing, and full of protein! I bought a nice bag of limes at the market yesterday, which ended up being my jumping off point, and I crafted the rest of the recipe around the lime and chicken. I decided to pair it with some frozen grated ginger, coconut oil, a little honey, thyme from my herb garden and some kefir for the dressing, along with walnuts (toasted with ginger and pepper), coconut flakes and celery. The walnuts add another layer of ginger flavor and spiciness, being toasted with ginger powder and fresh pepper. A little bit tropical, summery and fresh, delicious!

Gingered Walnut Chicken Salad

Fresh Lime, Thyme and Frozen Ginger

Dressing:

  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2Tb coconut oil
  • 2Tb grated ginger
  • 2Tb fresh thyme
  • 1C Kefir (probiotic smoothy similar to yogurt)

Salad:

  • 3 C cut up cooked chicken breast
  • 1 C toasted gingered walnuts (tip to follow)
  • 1/2 C flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 2 ribs celery, split and thinly sliced

Toast walnuts, set aside. Make the dressing: combine the lime juice and coconut oil in a medium bowl, and heat in the microwave for 10 seconds or so, to allow the oil and juice to whisk together easily. Whisk in the honey and thyme. Slowly add the Kefir, a little bit at a time, stirring after each addition. Set aside. Place the cubed chicken in a large bowl, and add walnuts, coconut, and celery, tossing well. Slowly add the dressing to the chicken mixture, stirring well after each addition, with the thought of allowing the chicken to slowly soak up the dressing. Serve over a bed of greens, in a cabbage wrapper, on cheese crackers, or topped with strawberries. Makes about 4 cups.

Tip: To make the walnuts, heat about a tablespoon of coconut oil in a skillet, add the walnuts and gently toast. Mix together 1/2 tsp powdered ginger, 1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper, a couple pinches of kosher salt, and 1 tsp turbinado sugar, and sprinkle over nuts, allowing them to toast 2 minutes longer, stirring frequently over medium-low heat, so they don’t burn. These are also great to snack on, so make a few more than you need 😉

 

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Parmesan Perch (Gluten-free and Wheat-free) with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Can you tell that we love fish? Perch is one of the more delicate varieties and I used to serve it up pan-fried, with tartar, and maybe french fries or baked potato. I decided that instead of subbing out flours and attempting to do a different version of pan-frying, I would bake it in the oven and find a substitute for bread crumbs instead, and the results were really delicious! This recipe doesn’t yield a crunchy breading, it is a little on the softer side, and very flavorful, complimenting the mildness of the perch.

Low-Carb “breaded” perch; No Wheat or Gluten.

Parmesan Perch

  • 1 1/2 lbs of fresh Perch filets
  • 1/4 C mayonnaise blended with 1 Tb heavy cream 
  • 1 C grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tb Coconut flour
  • 2 sprigs fresh Parsley (or 2 tsp dry) or Thyme
  • Garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. I used my Ninja to process ingredients, but you can also use a food processor. I started with chunked Parmesan, so I zipped it until it was the consistency of grated, then I added the coconut flour, parsley and other seasonings and processed again until they were fine and completely combined. Line a baking sheet with parchment, and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Dredge the fish lightly in the mayo mixture and then press into the cheese crumbs, arrange on baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the fish is firm, but flaky, and the coating is beginning to brown.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts: Simply cut each sprout in half and remove the tough and bitter stem end. Toss in a healthy oil (I used walnut oil this time), arrange in baking dish, and season as desired with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, or anything your heart desires. Roast at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.

 

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Crunchy Hot Wings and Blue Cheese

OK, first things first… if you are a chicken purist, and think that parboiling is akin to software pirating, please discontinue reading and forget you were ever here!

On the other hand, if you don’t mind some kitchen short-cuts to yummy, crunchy wings, that aren’t deep fried, you are in luck! This is the wings method I have been using for several years, though I don’t recall quite where the idea came from. I vary the sauce depending on what we are craving, and what’s in the fridge, but this is a pretty basic mild hot-wings style I have going here. It’s reassuring that one of our faves does NOT have to be altered to be gluten-free! I am watching the carbs though, so I stayed away from the sweet sauce this time around.

First, the Blue Cheese Dressing: Again, I admit that I really don’t measure things that I make frequently. To make a small batch of dressing, I would use about 4oz softened cream cheese, 1/4C mayo (regular or light), a few tablespoons of crumbled blue cheese or Gorgonzola, freshly ground black pepper, and maybe a pinch of rice wine vinegar. Combine well, and refrigerate for an hour or so to let the flavors come together. Simple! If it is too thick when you remove it from the fridge, just add a little milk.

To make the Wings: Thaw chicken wing sections (if frozen) and cover with water in a stock pot. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes. Next, line a cookie sheet with foil to make clean-up easier, and arrange wings. Broil on medium heat for 8-10 minutes, turn over and finish broiling another 8-10 minutes until wings are crispy and cooked through.

Sauce: Meanwhile, whip up a sauce of your choosing to coat the wings. I used about 1/4 cup of Frank’s RedHot sauce, a few tablespoons of butter and a dash of Ken’s Steakhouse Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing, heated in the microwave about 90 seconds, until the butter melts. (I have also used Asian marinades, BBQ sauce, minced garlic, fresh ginger, dried ginger, sesame oil, soy, hot pepper flakes, pretty much anything you enjoy.) Place the wings in a large bowl and pour the sauce over the top; toss to coat.

Kitchen Tip: I usually serve with celery and sometimes carrot sticks. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I get just as excited about celery leaves as I do about the celery stalks! I always save the leaves and dry them so that I can add them to soups. I just put the leaves on a paper plate and rearrange them every so often to help them dry over the course of a couple days. I think I may be one of the only people who choose their celery by how many leaves they have!

 

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