Friday, January 29, 2016

GF/DF chicken double cheese dish

Hi readers! Thanks for being patient with me; it's been a very busy week. I have completed a WEEK of dairy free and, although I do not feel any different, I will continue it probably past the 21-day deadline of the So Delicious 21 Day Dairy Free Challenge.

One of the hardest parts of me about cooking, and thus eating, is that my partner and I do not eat the same things, primarily because he can eat most dairy (at least parmesan and mozzarella cheeses; he avoids the rest b/c they 'make him sick') and eats gluten. One thing that I have found helpful is to make the same dish but split it somehow so that his food and my food are separate. For example, tonight I made a chicken double cheese dish (my version of chicken parm) and I separated the chicken pieces, his 4 to the left and my 3 to the right. This will work with most, but not all.

Onto tonight's meal. I cannot call it a recipe because I just throw things together, so here is a loose list of what you need:

  • One pound + of chicken breasts, preferably the thicker cut ones
  • 1 jar of sauce (I use store brand organic tomato basil)
  • a couple eggs (can use olive oil instead)
  • gluten-free bread crumbs (I like Aleia's Italian Bread crumbs )
  • mozzarella cheese (and/or dairy free like Daiya's mozzeralla style shreds which melt very wel)
  • parmesan *here is a fab recipe for vegan parmesan from e.zontho
  • Italian spices such as oregano, basil, rosemary or a blend 
  • pasta of choice (Today I used Tolerant's organic black bean mini fettuccine which is available on Amazon and in random places like Job Lot.)
1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease a large glass casserole dish with olive oil spray (or coconut!)
2. Whether you're using eggs or olive oil, dip the chicken in the wet ingredients, then roll in bread crumbs and season to your liking, place in the dish and into oven.
3. Bake for 20-40 minutes depending on thickness of chicken. (I did 20 minutes tonight for thin-sliced cuts).
4. In the meantime make some pasta, drain it and plate.
5. After the allotted time, spread cheeses on the chicken and return to oven (UNLESS you are using the vegan parmesan. If you are, do not add until AFTER chicken has been removed from the oven. This will not melt like a normal cheese because it's made from nuts.) Bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
6. Remove from oven, combine pasta, chicken, and sauce and add more cheese to taste.

There you have it. This is my FIRST "recipe" that I have ever written. Yippee! I hope you don't mind my lack of specifics, but that just isn't how I cook.

Have a wonderful weekend and I'll meet you back here next Wednesday! Love, love, love!

Stay tuned

Well I failed to get a blog on on Wednesday this week. (Sigh) I will work on one this evening after work.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

FYI book reviews

Sadly I just do not have enough time to do book reviews. I need to scale back. I will definitely write and share reviews when I do have time, and for sure will review the ones I have said I would.

My apologies,

Sunday, January 24, 2016

One-pan gf/df burrito bowl/tacos

Hey look, a post on a Sunday! I just had to share this fab recipe I've had on my Pinterest board for ages: one-pan chicken burrito bowl from NO. 2 Pencil (recipe here).

TJ wanted to have ground beef instead of chicken so I substituted that. I halved the recipe just in case TJ, who is a very picky eater, didn't want it but, it turns out, he really liked it! I used organic Trader Joe's black beans and whole plum tomatoes that I diced up. I omitted the onions since I didn't have any and they tend to bother my GI system anyway. Instead of using the cumin, chili powder and garlic powder the recipe calls for, I used the homemade taco seasoning recipe from Rachel Cook's blog (find that recipe here-you will NOT regret it. Homemade taco seasoning is the way to go!)

I tossed a cube of Massel's Ultracube Bouillon Cubes, chicken flavor, and water into the pan in place of chicken broth, which is a great way to add some flavor. The cubes are great if you don't like to open a can/box of broth and forget about it. (Everyone should use Massel products; they are vegan, gluten free, GMO-free, MSG-free, and damn good. Massel products. )

TJ doesn't eat cheese on his tacos (weirdo) and I just gave up dairy, so I used 1 slice of Daiya's cheddar style slices on a gluten-free corn tortilla, and 1 slice of Chao's Coconut Herb slices on another, and topped with the one-pan mix. Tj stuffed flour tortillas with the mix as well. Turns out it was a fabulous dinner for both of us. 
Please check out the links I gave you. Without these wonderful bloggers I wouldn't have great recipes and my own blog.
Love, love, love

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Day 1 of So Delicious' 21 Day Dairy Free Challenge

Hi readers! Today, January 21st, is the first day of the So Delicious 21-day Dairy Free Challenge and I am doing great. I went to my local Whole Foods Market and got loads of stuff.
 I am excited to try out some of this new-to-me stuff, like the Chao cheese, which comes HIGHLY recommended from my df and vegan friends, and the So Delicious Cultured Coconut milk. I've had the Daiya pizza before, which is also gluten-free, and the Califia farms Horchata, which is great for a dessert, or any time really. I really enjoy Canyon Gluten Free  Bake House's breads, especially this cinnamon raisin one. Below is my post-shopping snack, a Vermont Smoke & Cure turkey jerky, Honey Mustard flavor. My boyfriend even had a bite and said it "wasn't bad", which is high props from a serious meat-eater (and junk foodie) like he is.

 Not sure what I'm doing for dinner yet, but I do have a box of Daiya's Cheddar style Cheezy Mac..or maybe some tomato soup and grilled cheeze (daiya's cheddar style). We'll see! Follow me on Instagram and I might post a pic of dinner! Instagram .I am also on Twitter and Facebook.

Here are some other links to paruse:

On that note, I need to make something to eat! Until next time, love, love, love


Monday, January 18, 2016

A few things...

Hi folks! Happy 2016! I've been pretty busy what with Yule/Christmas/New Years and then my 33rd birthday over the weekend. Plus I am just terrible at making time to blog. So I have decided to change my blogging habits and write a blog every Wednesday, even if it is a small one. I am holding myself to this and I expect you to as well.

The holidays were very good to me, as was my birthday. My dear friends M & D gave me a a fabulous personal blender, the Bella 13984 Rocket Pro Personal Extractor (Amazon link), for my birthday. I love making smoothies and the small blender I had was not cutting it (hah!). I have been making a green smoothie every single day since the beginning of January and I have gotten to the point where I CRAVE one. I tend to make a double batch so I only have to make smoothies every other day. I have been following Simple Green Smoothies' site and using (adapting) their smoothie recipes. They have a free 30 day green smoothie challenge which is very helpful. Their website has loads of recipes and resources (website). The FREE 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge can be found here.

I am thrilled with this gift!
The OTHER exciting thing is that So Delicious is doing a 21-Day Dairy Free Challenge and I am going to participate. It starts this Thursday, January 21st. Apparently "they" say that it takes 21 days to create a habit. (
Because of having endometriosis and fibromyalgia I should be on a gluten-free and dairy-free diet, but I only follow the gluten-free diet, out of sheer stubbornness. This knowledge (and lots more about dairy) sits in the back of my brain and comes to the forefront every once in awhile, reminding me that I should give it up.  Well, this is a perfect excuse and a great time. Thankfully I work at a local health food store and there are Trader Joe's and Whole Foods nearby! I already don't eat/drink cow's milk but the hard part be giving up cheese and yogurt. I hear great things about Field Roasts' Chao Cheese  slices and I use a lot of So Delicious products already. I will be sure to keep you updated!

I am going to write a post on Wed the 20th about a few new products I have tried. Until then, love, love, love.

Monday, January 11, 2016

RIP David Bowie

Rest in peace David Bowie. You were one in a million for sure. His music, his acting, just his way of life. Wow. The stars will sure look different from now on. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Review of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer *spoilers*

Hi readers. Happy 2016! Sorry I have been m.i.a. but life happens. My holiday season was fabulous but I am glad it is over and we are on to a new year.

I was writing a review earlier on Goodreads and noticed the Goodreads' 2016 Reading Challenge. I read 65 books last year,out of 50 I set my goal for, so this year I upped it to 75. Shouldn't be a problem, unless I get accepted to graduate school (which I will hear about soon). I have already read 1 this year. :D

So, let's get down to the review. I read the entire Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer in about 2 months. I borrowed them digitally from my library, so I had to wait a few weeks. I read the last 2 books in the same week. I TORE through them. I read them so fast I skimmed whole paragraphs because I just wanted to know what happened!  Thus, this review is for all 4 of the books.DO NOT continue to read past the book you have read, or past the numbered list below if you have not read any of them.

1. Cinder
2. Scarlet
3. Cress
4. Winter

This series takes some of our favorite female fairy tale leads, and their stories, and turns them on their heads. It's a mix of fairy tale meets steampunk meets sci fi. I absolutely love it!

********* SPOILERS BELOW*********
Cinder is the first book and it sets the stage. It takes place in the future, in a world after WW IV. The Earth is divided into certain colonies, and New Beijing is where this story takes place. Well, mostly in New Beijing. Also, there are colonies on the moon, which is referred to as Luna. You meet Cinder, a gifted cyborg who just happens to be a cyborg (Cinderella). You meet her awful step-mother and two step-sisters, one of which you will love and the other you will hate. Cinder's one friend is her family's servant-droid, Iko, who has the BEST personality. Cinder meets Prince Kai when he needs his assistant-droid fixed and their lives begin to intertwine. In this book, Cinder must find out who she really is.
********* SPOILERS BELOW for Book 2*********
Scarlet is book two and it starts with Cinder in prison. Here we meet Scarlet, a young woman who helps her grandmother run the family farm (Red Riding Hood). Scarlet is completely unaware of the dangerous life her Grandmother used to live, nor the secrets she has kept, and gets tangled up in her Grandmother's disappearance. Scarlet meets Wolf, a street fighter, who she is inexplicably attracted to, and is very dangerous. Their paths cross with Cinder and together they try to stay ahead of the crazy Lunar queen Levana.

********* SPOILERS BELOW for Book 3*********
Book 3 is Cress, in which we meet Cress, a brilliant, beautiful hacker who lives in a satellite orbiting Luna (Rapunzel). Her only companion is Little Cress, a computer program that she designed. Sadly her boss is Queen Levana, who sends her after Cinder and her accomplice, Captain Thorne. Cinder and her posse help Cress escape her tower, I mean, satellite, and Cress helps them with their ongoing ordeal against Queen Levana. 

********* SPOILERS BELOW for Book 4*********
The final book is Winter, where we are introduced to Winter, a princess of Luna. She is beautiful and sadly, quite crazy from Lunar Sickness. She is the step-daughter of Queen Levana, who is beloved by her people, unlike the queen. Winter joins Cinder's cause and together, along with Scarlet, Wolf, Cress, Captain Thorne, Iko, and Jacin (Winter's childhood friend and guard), they end the Lunar Queen's mad reign. 
If you love fairy tales, love strong female characters, and sci-fi, please read this.Check out Marissa' Meyer's website  here.
Author's Twitter. 

Please go check this series out!