Saturday, August 31, 2013

Uno Chicago Grill

The New Uno

Up to this point, I have pretty much only posted recipes.  But after a particularly good dining out experience, I decided maybe I should share a good allergy friendly restaurant.  In the comments, feel free to share your favorites, too.

Recently, we were traveling and as you know traveling with food allergies can be a little bit of a challenge.  I always try to scope out restaurants near by to find some good options before we arrive.  On our most recent trip, there was an Uno Chicago Grill not far from our hotel.  I was excited to see their allergen listings online.  To view the allergens and ingredient listing, go to the nutrition tab and click on each individual menu option.  They even have gluten-free pizza options for our friends who can't eat gluten.  (But their gluten-free pizza does contain egg.)

We had a great meal and it was so nice to not have to guess about which menu items did or did not have egg.  My husband had a delicious starter salad of Field Greens with Goat Cheese.  Then my husband and I shared the Numero Uno Deep Dish Pizza.  We were even able to order dessert, which is such a treat!  As you know, dessert is almost always difficult for most food allergies.  My husband loved the All American Hot Apple Crumble.  Our kids were perfectly happy with the pizzas and sundaes on the kid's menu, which were by the way large enough for an adult!  Sadly, we don't have an Uno Chicago Grill close to us but I wish we did!

I want to start a list of allergy-friendly restaurant chains that publish their ingredients/allergens online allowing families with food allergies to dine out with a little less stress!  See the list I have started here.  Please help me add to it!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lemon Pull-Apart Rolls {Egg-free}

When I came accross this recipe for Lemon Pull-Aparts, I thought they sounded wonderful.  Well, they are!!  If you like any kind of sweet lemon bread, you must try them.  They didn't last long at all at our house.  I think these would be perfect for a holiday brunch.  I will have to keep that in mind.  But they are so good that I think I will also make them just because.  Enjoy!

Lemon Pull-Apart Rolls - Click to link to recipe.

Note:  The recipe says to remove them from the pan to a cooling rack before drizzling with glaze.  As you can see in my picture, I left mine in the pan.  I cooked them closer to 20 minutes than 25 minutes and let them cool for about 5 minutes in the pan (placed on a cooling rack) before glazing.  Cooling them slightly will keep the glaze from getting too warm and running right off the top of the roll. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Pesto Chicken Stuffed Shells

I love recipes that use shredded chicken.  At least once a month, I cook up enough Shredded Chicken {Slow-cooker} (EF, DF, GF) for several meals and freeze.  I put it in the refrigerator the night before I plan to use it to thaw.  It sure does make dinner preparation faster!

I found this recipe for Pesto Chicken Stuffed Shells and decided to give it a try.  My family really enjoyed it.  I actually made a double recipe.  I used one of my packets of chicken (about two split breasts) and got 24 stuffed shells.  I even froze some for a quick lunch.

If you like this recipe, you may also like Chicken and Cheese Stuffed Shells (EF) or Chicken Pesto Pasta (EF, GF).

 Pesto Chicken Stuffed Shells - Please click to link to the recipe.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Texas Sheet Cake {Egg-free}

I found an interesting article, by Jennifer Harbster, about the origins of this delicious cake.  According to the article, "The Texas sheet cake goes by many names: buttermilk brownies, brownie sheet cake, chocolate brownie cake, chocolate sheet brownies, Mexican chocolate cake, Texas brownie cake, Texas cake, Texas sheath cake, and “plain old” chocolate sheet cake."  Regardless of what you call the cake, it is so delicious.

There are so many variations of this recipe.  But all start with a deliciously moist chocolate sheet cake topped with layer of chocolate icing.  Several of the recipes include pecans in the icing.  The article suggests this is how the name may have changed from simply Chocolate Sheet Cake to Texas Sheet Cake, since pecans are indigenous to parts of Texas.  Very few of the recipes also include coconut in the icing.

The recipe I am posting here is the egg-free adaptation of the one my mother made growing up.  Her recipe used pecans and coconut, which I think makes it all the more delectable.  But you could certainly leave them out without having to adjust any of the other ingredients.  This has always been, and still is, one of my favorite cakes.  I hope you enjoy it! 

Texas Sheet Cake

1 stick margarine
½ c shortening
1 c water
¼ c cocoa
½ c milk
2 c flour
2 c sugar
2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1 t vanilla
2 T white vinegar

Preheat oven to 375o.  Spray a 9”x13” cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.  Mix flour, sugar, baking soda and cinnamon and set aside.  Combine margarine, shortening, water and cocoa in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Add milk and vanilla.  Slowly mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients.  Then mix in vinegar.  Immediately pour into greased pan.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Do not over bake.  Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Chocolate Pecan Icing

1 stick margarine
¼ T cocoa
6 T whole milk
1 t vanilla
1 c pecans (optional)
1 c coconut (optional)
1 16 oz box confectioners’ sugar (about 4 c)

Place margarine, cocoa and milk in a sauce pan; bring to a boil over low heat.  Add remaining ingredients, stirring well.  Pour immediately over cooled cake.

Yeild: 20 servings

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza

I have only been to Chicago a couple of times.  But I will say, their deep dish pizza makes an impression on you!  I hope to make more trips to the windy city to enjoy some.  I found this recipe on Pinterest.  It looked like the real deal so I just had to try it.  Plus, the original creator of the recipe was Cooks Illustrated and they are known for doing the research to make a recipe as authentic as possible.  This is seriously was one of the best recipes I have ever tried!  So delicious!!  I made it as described in the recipe below and my family inhaled it!  I will be making a double recipe next time!

The length of the recipe can be a little intimidating but the steps are very easy to follow.  Give it a try.  You won't regret it!

Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza - The genius behind this recipe is really Cooks Illustrated, but you can't link to any recipe on their website, if you do not have a subscription.  This recipe was featured in their January/February 2010 issue.  I found the recipe on Annie Eats.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mediterranean Chicken Couscous

I hope everyone is enjoying their last days of summer break.  Here is a quick, refreshing meal perfect for busy summer days full of fun in the sun. We ate this right after I prepared it at about room temperature.  Then we ate the leftovers cool straight out of the refrigerator.  I liked it both ways, but I very much preferred it cold.  That makes it a great meal to make ahead when you know you will be in a time crunch for dinner.  I also think it would pack well for lunches.  You can even omit the chicken and serve this as a side dish.  I am loving all of the possibilities!  

Dairy-free notes:  This could easily be made dairy free if you omit the feta cheese.  You could replace the feta with a non-dairy cheese or maybe even olives.  I used the Near East Toasted Pine Nut Couscous, which appears to be dairy-free.

If you like this recipe, you may also want to try Pasta Salad (EF, GF).

Mediterranean Chicken Couscous - I made this as described in the recipe.  Please click to link.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Grilled Steak Burgers

We had a cookout this summer and wanted to make a great burger that would suit everyone's tastes.  Last summer, my husband made this recipe for Grilled Burgers (EF, DF, GF).  But we thought using the mustard rub might weird some people out.  So, we decided to use my husband's 4-2-1-1 rub on our burgers that he used on Grilled Peppered Steak (EF, DF, GF) earlier in the summer.  We thought keeping it simple with salt, pepper, garlic and a little sugar would please even the most discriminating palates.  Success!  Everyone seemed to really enjoy the burgers and he got several recipe requests.

Grilled Steak Burgers

2 pounds ground sirloin or ground beef
4 t black pepper
2 t salt
1 t garlic powder
1 t turbinado sugar
Mix pepper, salt, garlic powder and sugar in a bowl.  Rub the spice mixture generously on both sides of the hamburger patty.  Grill or broil burgers to your liking.  Serve on warm buns with your favorite toppings.
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.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Rice Cereal Treats

Most of you don't need a recipe to make Rice Cereal Treats, but I am posting this as a reminder of how allergy friendly these treats can be.  They are egg-free and can easily be made dairy-free and/or gluten-free!  With the start of school in a few weeks, it is nice to have a quick easy treat that can be shared with school friends.  It seems that even if your child doesn't have food allergies, they have a friend (or two) that does.

If you like this recipe, you may also like S'mores Cereal Bars (EF).

Rice Cereal Treats made with Post Cocoa Pebbles (EF, DF, GF).

Rice Cereal Treats made with Post Fruity Pebbles (EF, DF, GF).

Rice Cereal Treats

3 tablespoons butter or non-dairy margarine 
1 pkg (10 oz) marshmallows or 4 c miniature marshmallows1
6 cups rice cereal2

Stove-top Directions:
In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.  Add rice cereal. Stir until well coated.  Press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.

Microwave Directions:
In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Add rice cereal. Stir until well coated.  Press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. 

1 Most marshmallows are gluten-free, but double check the label to be sure.
2 I simply listed "rice cereal" in the ingredient list because there are so many options!  Kellogg's Rice Krispies do contain gluten, but Kelloggs' Rice Krispies Gluten Free do not.  Two other gluten free options that everyone will love are Post Fruity Pebbles and Post Coca Pebbles.