Monday, October 13, 2014

Bringing Joy With Gluten-free Baked Chicken Nuggets

Don't you love the gratifying experience of cooking something for your friends and family that they simply gush over? Perhaps it was a new recipe, and you worried over whether or not everyone was going to enjoy it. But enjoy it they did. It's one of my favorite experiences, and I think it it's because I feel I am spreading a little bit of joy.

Something even better happened to me the other day, and it is my favorite part of having written a gluten-free cookbook. A friend of mine to whom I had gifted a copy of our book stopped me to say, "I tried that baked chicken nugget recipe the other day, and my kids loved it! I was so happy! And I felt good that it wasn't fried!"

And this woman has seven children, five of whom still live with her.

It's in moments like these when I feel like the hard work I've done helped someone. Someone who has to cook gluten-free because her youngest son has a wheat allergy was helped in a small way because of me. That makes me feel great!

In the world today ruled by the self-esteem mentality, the best way to feel good about yourself is helping someone else! I love it!

Here's the recipe if you'd like to give them a try:

“Oven-fried” Chicken Nuggets

2-1/2 to 3 cups Rice Chex® or other unsweetened, gluten-free cereal
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
Cooking spray

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into nugget-sized pieces Salt and pepper to taste
Onion powder
3 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup white rice flour

Prepare the Rice Chex by crushing the cereal in a blender on low or in a food processor. Pour crushed cereal into a bowl or gallon-sized plastic bag. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil onto the crumbs and mix well.
Before cooking, place a wire rack inside a large baking pan. Spray the rack with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Generously salt and pepper the chicken and drizzle with olive oil. Sprin- kle with onion powder, if desired. Place rice cereal into a medium-sized bowl. Break eggs into a small bowl and beat well. Dredge chicken in rice flour, then eggs, then roll in crushed cereal. Place chicken on top of the rack placed on the large baking pan.
Bake for 10 minutes on one side, turn all pieces over, and increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes more or until chicken is completely done and coating is nicely browned. Serves 4.

NOTE: I don't actually drag out a blender or food processor to do this. I keep a box of checks for this purpose, and I roll over the whole bag (that is inside the box) with a roller and use what I need and save the rest - or you could crush it with your hands. Easy to do with less to clean up!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Gluten-free Cheesecake Trial 1: Excellent!

Look at this beautiful cheesecake made gluten-free by Deberah. Isn't she amazing! We shared this cake without or football friends and family at our game this past Saturday, and it was a HUGE hit! The crust was excellent; the cake was decadent. Deberah is still working on the recipe because the top of the cake "cracked" a bit, which is more about appearance - but it is one of her cheesecake pet peeves. We will share when we get it just right. And by "we," I mean "my mother, Deberah."

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Gluten-free Sloppy Joes Makes for Excellent Tailgating!

I know sloppy joes are such a "kid" meal, but I'm not ashamed to admit I love them as much as my kids - even though I always get that Adam Sandler song stuck in my head every time someone says, "Sloppy joe."

This Saturday past, we had a great football game, and a great tailgate with these sloppy joes made with Udi's gluten-free buns, which are the go-to brand when we don't have time to make our own. We also had a veggie tray, fruit, soft drinks, and water. Not to mention my mom's new gluten-free cheesecake. I will share more about it tomorrow!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Gluten-free For Me: Getting in a healthy breakfast

I often skip breakfast. I never used to, but I get up earlier than everybody else to get everyone to school on time, and still we are rushing to get out the door. Now, I work at home so it's not like I can't just fix something after I do the "morning rounds." But often I grab something quick (i.e. not the healthiest choice). It's a busy life we live, so I decided to try to do something for me while I'm getting everything together for everyone else.

I love a green smoothie filled with fruits, veggies, and flax seeds. It makes my body happy. But it it takes time to get out the ingredients, wash them, and cut them up (with the right blender you don't have to do much cutting, but I prefer not to eat the apple cores and the like) - time I don't have in the morning.

So last week during my evening preparation for lunch the next day I decided to make sure I had a little something for myself.

I put my kale, cut up apple and carrot, some flax seed and coconut oil in a container the night before and place it in the fridge. In the morning, all the major prep is done. I dump it in the blender with part of the banana, a tiny bit of stevia, and some protein powder (I use a natural brand that is made with good stuff - do your research), poor in a little almond milk, and let the blender do its work.

Even if I don't get to it before I leave, I can make it quickly when I get back and have it while working on a blog post!