Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pasta Salad

I love this pasta salad!  It makes a refreshing meal on a hot summer day or the perfect dish to share with friends at a cookout or picnic.  I got this recipe from my sister-in-law, who got it from a friend.  So, I really don't know who to give credit to.  I did add quantities to the ingredients to share on my blog but I can't take credit for the delicious taste!

Pasta Salad

1 box of your favorite pasta*
1 English cucumber, quartered and sliced
1 pound of grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
4 oz can of sliced black olives
6 oz package of turkey pepperoni, quartered
6 oz package of feta cheese, crumbled
¼ c olive oil
¼ c lemon juice (juice of about 1 lemon)
2 t minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
1 t seasoned salt
½ t freshly ground black pepper

Cook pasta according to the package instructions.  Immediately, rinse cooked pasta in cool water to stop cooking.  In a large container, combine pasta, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, pepperoni and feta cheese.  Drizzle pasta mixture with oil and lemon juice.  Sprinkle with garlic, salt and pepper.  Toss to evenly coat.  For best results, refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving to allow flavors to exchange.  (I have also served it immediately and it is still good.)
Serves 4-6 as an entree and about 10-12 as a side dish.

*In the picture, I used a 13.25 oz package of whole grain rotini pasta.  I have used a 16 oz package of semolina pasta.  This recipe also tastes great with gluten-free pasta!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Buttermilk Waffles {Egg-free}

My grandmother used to make the most delicious waffles.  I inherited this wonderful recipe.  It calls for 4 eggs to make just 8 waffles.  That recipe has been officially off the menu since my husband was diagnosed with an egg allergy.  But we still would like to enjoy the occasional waffle and I have been determined to find a way to make an egg-free version.  After many attempts, I think I finally have a recipe worthy to share on my blog.  I don't even really remember cooking waffles with egg in them, but I do think these have a tendency to stick to the waffle iron a little more.  I would highly recommend using a nonstick waffle iron and brushing the heated iron with a little additional oil in between each waffle.  My waffles, still stuck some but I found they released pretty easily when loosened with a fork.

If you like these buttermilk waffles, try this recipe for pancakes.

Buttermilk Waffles

2 c all-purpose flour
3 T sugar
1 T baking powder
½ t salt
1 c buttermilk
1 c skim milk
1/3 c oil

Preheat waffle iron.  Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Using a stand mixer or electric mixer, gradually add milks and oil, while blending on low.  Scrap sides of the bowl to ensure all dry ingredients are being incorporated.  Then mix on medium speed until blended through.  Brush waffle iron with additional oil in between each waffle.  Pour about ½ cup batter onto a waffle iron heated to medium heat.  To help with sticking, try to avoid getting too much batter in your waffle iron.  If it oozes to the edge while cooking, it is more likely to stick.  Makes about 8 waffles.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Taco Salad

I know most of you don't need a recipe for taco salad.  But I was hoping this would be a dinner idea when you are stuck with the age old question:  "What's for dinner?"  I started this blog to share recipes with other food allergy families, but it is quickly becoming a meal log for my family.  When I get stuck on what to cook or need to quickly reference a recipe, I look here. 

What I love about recipes like taco salad is that each person can make theirs to satisfy their own taste.  This makes it an instant crowd pleaser.  To make the shells, I baked mine in the oven in tortilla shell makers like these.  This is easy and healthier than frying them! 

Taco Salad

1 pound ground beef
1 taco seasoning packet
1-2 cans refried beans

Suggested additional toppings:  salsa, lettuce, tomato, black olives and cheese (for those not allergic).

Preheat oven to 350o.  Bake the tortillas in the tortilla shell pans for about 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.  Allow to cool a few minutes in the pans.  As they cool, they will become crisper.  Brown the meat in a large skillet.  Drain.  Add taco seasoning and recommended water on the seasoning packet.  Warm the beans in microwave or on the stove top.  Transfer tortilla shells to a plate fill with beans, taco meat and desired toppings.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Grilled Cajun Orange Roughy

My goal is to post about eight recipes a month.  I am so not going to make it this month!  I have tried a couple of recipes that need some serious adjustments before they are ready to post.  Plus, it has just been a crazy busy month for us.  So, I hope to get a few more in this month before it ends!

Here is a surprisingly easy recipe for fish on the grill.  I got a great deal on orange roughy and found this delicious recipe here.  I doubled the garlic because we love garlic.  I also doubled the salt because I used a lower sodium seasoned salt in place of regular salt.  I used half of the paprika, simply because I ran out and didn't want to run to the store before dinner.  I reprinted the recipe below rather than simply linking to it to include our grilling instructions as the original recipe provided broiler instructions.  Enjoy!

Grilled Cajun Orange Roughy
This recipe was adapted from How to Grill Gluten-Free Cajun Orange Roughy by Danna Korn and Connie Sarros.

4 5 oz orange roughy filets
2 T butter or margarine*, melted
½ t garlic powder
1 t paprika
½ t cumin
¼ t seasoned salt
¼ t freshly ground black pepper
¼ t cayenne pepper
¼ t thyme
½ t oregano
1/8 t sugar

Preheat grill.  Rinse the filets and pat dry.  Combine the butter, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme, oregano, and sugar into a paste.  Spoon 1/4 of the mixture on top of each filet, spreading evenly over each piece.  Wrap filets in aluminum foil and cook over direct heat for about 7-8 minutes or until flakes easily with a fork.  For a Kamado style smoker and convection grill cook over direct heat of about 300o
Serves 4

*For those allergic to dairy, make sure your margarine is dairy-free.

Note:  For the amount of cayenne pepper used, it was a little spicier than I expected.  While we loved this, some may need to adjust for a milder flavor.  The original recipe includes nutritional information here.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Grilled Burgers

I must admit, I was quite the skeptic when my husband told me about this recipe.  Since we got our new grill, he has been reading grill forums and recipes to come up with delicious meals and cooking methods.  Several sources, such as this one, recommend rubbing your meat with yellow mustard and then a rub.  Appartently the mustard holds in the juice and helps the spices stick to the meat.  I thought the mustard flavor would be overwhelming but it isn't and the results were awesome!!  The first time he made these, he just made his patties with the mustard and rub.  I wanted to steal his burger!  So, this past weekend he made them all the same and I don't remember the last time I have enjoyed a burger as much. 


Grilled Burgers

2-3 pounds ground hamburger (We use 85% lean.)
Yellow Mustard
Steak Rub

Coat both sides of each hamburger patty with yellow mustard and sprinkle with steak rub.  Grill or broil burgers to your liking.  Serve on warm buns with your favorite toppings and maybe a side of sweet potato fries.  Serves 8

Kamado style smoker and convection grill instructions:
Set the dome temperature to 450 oF for a grill temperature of about 425oF.  Grill burgers for about 5 minutes on each side.

Gluten free notes:  We used French’s Yellow Mustard and McCormick Grill Mates Steak Rub.  Both of these products are gluten free.  Be sure to check the labels if you use other brands.  Serve burger on gluten-free bread of your choice.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Pesto Panini

I know most people don't need a recipe for a Panini sandwich.  My goal here is to give you another easy egg-free meal idea for lunch or dinner.  Plus, when it is hot outside, it is nice to cook without heating up the oven.  I used some of our leftover pesto from making chicken pesto pasta last week. 

If you don't have a Panini press, let me recommend the Breville Panini Grill.  It is kind of expensive but worth every penny.  We use ours to make all kind of sandwiches and quesadillas.  I bought one for my parents a few years ago and I think it is thier most used kitchen appliance other than their coffee pot!

Pesto Panini 

1 bakery focaccia bread
1 pound deli shredded turkey
4-8 slices of provolone or mozzarella cheese
4 T pesto

Using a serrated bread knife, cut focaccia bread in half.  Then cut each half in half.  Slice each quarter of the focaccia loaf in half horizontally to make to sandwiches slices.  On each bottom slice, spread 1 T pesto.  Then add ¼ of the turkey and 1 - 2 slices of cheese.  Grill in your Panini press until bread is toasted and cheese is melted.  After cooking, I added some fresh greens and tomatoes to get our veggies in.   
Serves 4

Gluten-free notes:  This sandwich can easily be made gluten-free.  Just replace the bread with your favorite gluten-free variety.  You will also need to make sure the deli meat is gluten free.  According to the Heinz website (Heinz owns Classico), Classico Basil Pesto sold in the United States is gluten-free!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Beef Fajitas

My husband smoked/grilled the most awesome fajitas over the weekend.  They are seriously the best I have ever eaten.

The recipe came from the cookbook Smoke & Spice by Cheryl and Bill Jamison.  Fajitas are usually made with skirt or flank steak, which is usually pretty tough.  The authors of this book suggest smoking the meat.  This slower method of cooking makes the meat nice and tender.

We now have a kamado style smoker and convection grill.  The method he used for cooking the fajitas was a cross between smoking and grilling.  The results were amazing.  The meat was tender, smoky and perfectly charred around the edges.  I know these types of grills aren't extremely common.  The instructions I have here are an abbreviation of the original recipe.  I also put how we cooked it, just in case anyone has a similar style grill.  Regardless of your preferred cooking method, this is a delicious marinade for fajitas!


Bona Fide Fajitas

12 oz beer
¾ c vegetable oil
½ medium onion, finely chopped
Juice of 2 limes
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 T chili powder
1 t freshly ground black pepper
1 t Tabasco sauce (We used Tapatio.)
1 t ground cumin
2-3 pounds of whole beef skirt steak, trimmed (We used flank steak.)

Combine the marinade ingredients in a blender and puree.  Place the steak in a plastic bag with marinade and refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally.  Prepare the smoker for barbecuing, bringing the temperature to 200oF to 220oF.  Remove the steak and drain it.  Transfer the steak to the smoker.  Cook for about 1 hour.  If your smoker has a spate grill area for cooking directly over the fire, or if you have another grill handy, move the meat there and sear it for 1-2 minutes per side.  This step adds a pleasant crispy exterior texture, but isn’t necessary for flavor.  Alternatively, smoke the meat for an additional 15 minutes.  Let the steak sit for about 10 minutes.  Slice at a diagonal angle against the grain.  (If you don’t have a smoker, I think you could follow these instructions using your oven then your grill.  You wouldn’t have the same smoky flavor but it would still make the steak nice and tender.)

Smoker and Convection Grill Instructions
We have a kamado style smoker and convection grill.  These aren’t extremely common.  But if you do have one, this is how we cooked it.  Set the dome temperature to 300 oF for a grill temperature of 280oF.  Add a few wood chips to the charcoal and cook for about 1½ hours.  We used flank steak, which is generally thicker than skirt steak and would need to be cooked a little longer.  Because it is a grill and a smoker, there isn’t any need to do anything else and it turned out awesome!

Put your cooked fajita meat on warm flour tortillas or gluten-free corn tortillas and top with your favorite toppings, like this fresh avocado salsa.