Garlic Cheddar Chicken

– johanna | March 23rd, 2012

Filed under: RECIPES - Main Dish

I bought a package of chicken breasts on sale at the supermarket. It was one of those loss leader type of purchases. The item was not on my shopping list and therefore not on the week’s menu. However, come Thursday night garlic cheddar chicken sounded so much better than leftovers.

Garlic Cheddar Chicken is best served right out of the oven. The butter creates this savory crunchy salty texture to the breading. Pair with steamed broccoli or a salad.

Source: adapted from Allrecipes
serves 4

3 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 heaping tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/8 teaspoon dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – sliced thin lengthwise to make four fillets

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet, or oven proof pan,  over medium-low heat. Cook the garlic until tender and fragrant, about a minute or two (do not burn).

In a shallow bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, parsley, oregano, pepper, and salt.

Dip each chicken breast in the garlic butter flipping to coat each side. Lay chicken in pan in a single layer. Top with cheese and panko mixture.

Bake 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Serve immediately.

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Gluten Free Banana Nut Muffins

– johanna | March 16th, 2012

Filed under: RECIPES - Breakfast, RECIPES - Snacks

I have a friend who’s son is allergic to practically everything from eggs, milk, nuts, wheat, and corn. It is quite overwhelming trying to find gluten, egg, and corn-free products much less shop on a limited budget.   I started my youngest on a gluten free regimen a little over a year ago. While he is not strictly gluten free and is able to consume small quantities of wheat, I understand her heartache. To a newcomer most gluten free recipes  resemble an advanced chemistry experiment.

The prices for whole grain flours are insanely high and hard to find in many areas. The few gluten free recipes I did know of contained corn starch and xanthan gum (an agent that acts like gluten that contains corn). I have yet to find a viable bread recipe because the xanthan gum is pretty much a crucial ingredient. However, muffins, pancakes, and cookies seem to do well without it. This recipe for banana nut muffins originally includes xanthan gum. The muffins came out so light and fluffy without the xanthan gum so I omitted it from the ingredients list below.

I love that the flour mixture consists of only three items: potato starch (not corn), tapioca starch, and brown rice flour. I think a little bit of almond flour subbed in for the flour mixture would give the muffins a nice flavor.

Now for the eggs. I subbed in two tablespoons flaxseed meal mixed with four tablespoons water. Set aside a few minutes to set. Then I added an additional heaping tablespoon of baking powder. I did a happy dance of joy and emailed a copy to my friend.

Source: adapted from Gluten Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts

Yield: 12 muffins

2 cups GF Flour Mix*
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 packed cup very ripe chopped banana (about 2 medium bananas)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 F. Position rack in center of oven. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, and cinnamon in large mixing bowl. Add bananas and walnuts; stir to coat evenly.

Combine milk and oil in small bowl; remove 1 tablespoon of combined liquid and discard it. Beat in eggs. Add liquids to banana mixture and stir until just blended.

Fill muffin pans 2/3 full. Bake 18-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan and serve immediately or cool on a rack.

*GF Flour Mix
2 cups brown rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch

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Cheesy Toast with Egg

– johanna | March 9th, 2012

Filed under: RECIPES - Breakfast, RECIPES - Snacks

Cheesy toast is a flashback to my summer camp days when I was a youth. Each summer I spent two weeks hiking, swatting bugs, sleeping under a mosquito net, and taking cold showers at the Girl Scout camp near my home. I learned first aid, how to respect the American flag, that people actually drink pineapple juice and where all the unsold boxes of Girl Scout cookies go- in the cafeteria closets of camps throughout the country to be served during Girl Scout camps as a special treat (yum). At each meal there was a spread of silver pitchers filled with juices, milk, and water. We ate a real smorgasbord.

Sometimes I serve cheesy toast at dinner with a salad. I will add a sprinkling of garlic powder with the butter for a garlic version. The kids have converted me to eating non classified breakfast foods for breakfast, mainly leftovers. Cheesy toast is a warm and comforting choice on those mornings we are running late and need to grab something to take with us.

Slices of bread
Shredded Italian cheese blend

Spread the top of each slice of bread with butter. Sprinkle with cheese. Place under the broiler until cheese is lightly browned and melted.

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Greek Salad

– johanna | March 2nd, 2012

Filed under: RECIPES - Soup / Salad

Romaine lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
Baby Mixed Greens
Tomatoes, sliced into wedges
Banana Pepper
Red Onion, sliced
Feta cheese

Toss chopped lettuce and greens in a bowl. Arrange the tomatoes, olives, peppers, cucumbers, and onion slices on top of the lettuce. Sprinkle with cheese.

Serve with Greek Salad Dressing

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