Tuesday, February 28, 2012

food: mostly dinner

My prayers of late have focused on serving my family with love and joy.  Bah, I'm not very good at it.  I've been on the computer and my phone less, watching less "My Fair Wedding with David Tutera" (why did no one tell me of this show?!), reading less, sitting on the couch eating chocolates less, and doing more housework, cooking, laundry, and cleaning.

The other night I made J made a new recipe.  I just found it online.  It was really good and J was so happy I came up with something new he fell to the ground and wept.  Not really, but I think he wanted to.  I'm so lucky that he is willing to cook after working all day.  And that he is patient with my cooking skills, or lack thereof.  We eat a lot of the same, because I don't like making new recipes (usually involves a meltdown) and I have no kitchen confidence.

I'm content knowing I cook with few processed foods, but I think J would like a week where I don't prepare spaghetti.  Speaking of processed foods: last night I made baked potatoes (fail - takes so dang long in the oven, never turns out) pork chops, and steamed vegetables.  When I go to the store I stare at those rice boxes, and dinners you pop in the microwave, and hamburger helper boxes, dreaming of how easy dinner would be if I utilized them, but I always turn my cart around, buy our usual foods.  This time I indulged!  I bought one of those steam bags of vegetables from the freezer section, you just pop it in the microwave, it inflates, you eat it.  It was fine, but I was a bit freaked out by steaming vegetables encased in plastic in the microwave.  Okay, that's not processed, it's more pre-made.

Part of our food issues stem from my inability to try new things.  Another large issue: I don't like a lot of foods. I'm SO picky, oh goodness it's pathetic.  I have the palate of an average three-year-old.  But part of this whole serving my family with love and a good attitude thing is about change.  So I am going to try one new recipe a week.  I think.  I hope.  I'm scared already.

So tell me, what's your favorite dinner recipe?  Go ahead and throw gluten free things my way too.  I'm taking B to the naturopath on Friday and I'm pretty sure dropping wheat is going be suggested.  I'm afraid I won't be able to consume sufficient calories if wheat is removed from my diet, but if it will make the rash go away, I'll do it.

And if you know a good, affordable chef please send them my way.

One more thing: Bennett's birth story was featured on Mama Birth today.


  1. You don't need wheat to get calories. :) In fact, gluten-free substitutes for bread and pretzels and such are usually calorie-packed (and not very healthy).
    One of my favorite quick-and-easy "cheating" meals is ground pork, browned, and then you add a jar of Classico alfredo sauce, served over brown rice and with a side of a green vegetable, usually broccoli. Can't fault it on calories at all (if you're worried about not getting enough, that is), absolutely delicious, easy, decadent, and gluten free to boot. Not the healthiest, but not bad if you're not dieting.

    We LOVE to make chili around here, too. But my husband's the big chili chef so if you want his recipe let me know and I'll drag it out of him.

  2. I am also incredibly picky!! My husband weeps with joy when I agree to try a new recipe LOL! However his cooking skills are non existent but luckily mine are passable so we get by. Recipes... hmmm - well we just had pizza grilled cheese today - that was a new one and yummy and easy :) Also chicken & broccoli pasta is a favorite around here it basically consists of chicken, broccoli, pasta, garlic, and olive oil with some italian spices.... if you would like any other simple picky friendly recipes feel free to hit me up on facebook :)

  3. I still have the tastebuds of a 4 year old... and I don't like my veggies either.

  4. Gluten free at our house- and it's really not that bad. Udi's gluten free bread is by far the best (in my opinion). You can find it at Roth's, Fred Meyer, and Lifesource... although much cheaper at places other than Lifesource. Brown rice pastas taste fairly similar to their glutenful counterparts.

  5. Couple fairly quick dishes I love:

    chicken breasts dipped in eggwash then "breaded" with ground almond meal, sea salt, Italian seasoning. Does NOT fry well (breading comes off) but bakes nicely. This dish does not taste nutty - I have served this dish so many times and invariably people were shocked that it contained almonds. Get fancy and make it an almond meal/Parmesan cheese (real) blend. I've known a couple people who ditched their breading mix in favor of this. And the calorie count will actually be higher than if you used wheat breading too. :)

    I can't remember if you like Mexican food. If so, here's my favorite go-to enchilada casserole (much easier than filling and rolling individual tortillas for enchiladas): get a bag of those small authentic corn tortillas and any pre-cooked enchilada fillings you like (chicken, beef, olives, beans, onions, etc). Cut a 3-4 inch stack of the tortillas in half and cover the bottom of a casserole pan with a single layer of these half tortillas. Layer with shredded cheese, followed by enchilada sauce (Trader Joes has a good one sans odd preservatives - it takes 2 bottles for an enchilada casserole) sprinkle over fillings, repeat with 3 layers, finish with sauce then cheese. Good way to use up chicken leftovers.

    And do you have a crockpot? Because the culinary possibilities are vast . . .

    I've been cooking gluten free for a couple years . . . hit me up if you'd like more easy recipes and let me know what kinds of things you like! No Thai. ;-)

  6. Pinterest has become a great source of inspiration for my culinary repertoire. I also suggest crock pot meals. I love being able to throw a bunch of ingredients in there and let the crock put do all the work throughout the day, then when evening rolls around dinner has pretty much made itself. Pulled pork sandwiches is a really easy one, get some pork butt (or pork shoulder, same thing but usually it's labeled as "butt"; very misleading), put it in the crock pot with some water and thickly sliced onion, and let it simmer on low all day (aim for at least 8 hours). I like to add a little liquid smoke, too. By the time it's ready, it's so tender it pretty much falls apart so shredding it with your forks is really easy. Then just add some BBQ sauce and slap it on a bun.

  7. When I was doing Dr. Sears elimination diet for Aden, I used to make GF/DF fried turkey breast. I figure if you are doing GF/DF you can fry something. I dipped the turkey breast in rice flour, then almond milk (we weren't doing eggs yet, but you could do an eggwash if you think eggs aren't the culprit), and instead of breadcrumbs, I processed Chex rice cereal (it is GF) in the food processor and used that for breadcrumbs. (You can throw in some paprika, salt, and garlic powder to cut some of the sweetness of the cereal). You can also do this with chicken breast.

    I have this cookbook. http://www.amazon.com/All-Good-Housekeeping-Cook-Book/dp/1588160408. It really helped me learn how to cook. It has a lot of basics in it, like talks about cookware, describing the different cuts of meat and how they should be cooked, how to bone a chicken, it has a fruit and veggie section that breaks down each category and talks about it and then gives some recipes. So there is a potato section, a squash section, an apple section, etc.

    Usually things will fry well when they are dipped in a flour and then an eggwash. This is because the flour helps the eggwash stick, and then the eggwash will help the breadcrumbs stick. I found that rice flour worked pretty well for preparing fried chicken type recipes. I never bought GF breadcrumbs, just used the chex cereal.

  8. Do you have a crock pot? It's really easy to make a roast and veggies, or a chili, or a bean dish, or a soup.
    I love America's Test Kitchen, and they've got a crock pot cookbook - they also are starting online cooking lessons, I think it starts at 19.95 a month. I'm not sure how much their website costs, it's far less than that per month, but it has tons of recipes and videos. I like that they explain the why and how they got to a particular way of making a recipe.

  9. I am also an incredibly picky eater. And forget trying new foods at a restaurant. I was horrified last week when I learned Olive Garden quit serving the dish I have eaten there for 10 years!
    I will see if I can gather some recipes for you and send them your way in a few days!


thank you!


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