Maple Roasted Chicken {Gluten Free}

This post is sponsored by Foodie.

I’ll give you a minute.

Yup, a FOOD post.

maple roasted chicken gluten free

I gave up on recipe posts awhile back because I wasn’t really cooking anything delicious that the general population would want to read about. {See: allergies.} Then there’s the whole cooking-while-there’s-still-daylight and the keeping-grimy-toddler-hands-out-of-pictures things. It just lost it’s appeal.

BUT. Perhaps with the longer spring days {SPRING!} it may – may- happen once in awhile.

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To re-kick things off, here’s a fun recipe from one of the Foodie app’s gluten-free recipe edition. You’ve probably seen a couple posts I’ve done with Foodie – if not, Foodie is like a food-lover’s Pinterest– a visual collection of recipes in a variety of user-created categories. Every once in awhile they feature a special collection on their app. It’s a virtual cookbook of sorts. It’s like having a swipeable cookbook in the palm of your hand at the grocery store, which makes being flexible about doing dinner shopping easy. {Just don’t be like me and try to download the edition while you’re walking out the door. It takes a few minutes. But once it’s downloaded it’s fast and you don’t have to have internet connection to look at the recipes.}

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Foodie tasked me with making one of the recipes from the latest collection, the Gluten-Free edition. Perfect, right? While a bunch of the recipes looked downright delicious, I opted to go for what could become a dinner staple: maple-roasted chicken.

gluten free chicken dinner

Now, mine looks nothing like the picture because I opted for a few shortcuts. Namely, using chicken breast tenderloins and cooking it on the stovetop. Hey, when a toddler wants dinner, he WANTS DINNER NOW! I love slow-cooking whole chickens so that would’ve been a good option to, had I had my act together before dinner time rolled around.

maple roasted chicken dinner

I served it with wilted garlikcy greens, onions, and roasted {unpictured} cauliflower on the side. It would’ve been really good with the rosemary sweet potato fries {also in the app} or sauteed sweet potato noodles {I’m obsessed with veggie noodles}.

gluten free chicken recipe

Next up, I’m making the ginger spice cookies listed in the edition. I have an unhealthy obsession with crystallized ginger in sweets.

Have you checked out Foodie or tried the app?

 

Speaking of spring, it’s the official first day of spring!

Here are some spring-related posts to get you in the mindset.

Plant an Athlete’s Garden with spring veggies

planting veggies

6 Spring Workouts to get you summer-ready

spring fitness workouts

How to fake spring – because let’s be honest, it’s not really spring even if the calendar says it is

fake spring weather

This post is sponsored by Foodie.

No Excuses: Cook Like a Champion

December seems to be the busiest time of year. Between holiday parties, family gatherings, and shorter days, this is the time of the year when a few extra hours in the day seems particularly useful.

Since I don’t see that actually happening, I have to find another way to scrounge up some extra time to get things done. For me, that usually means cooking dinner.

Fortunately, that doesn’t mean we can’t still eat good meals. Smile

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Last week, before things got crazy, I made tacos for dinner. One of the reasons I never make tacos is because I’m only feeding two people at most- what the heck am I supposed to do with all the leftover taco toppings?

That’s where fast & easy dinners come in: taco salad!!

A few chops with the knife, and dinner essentially serves itself.

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It’s literally everything I used to make tacos, just piled on top of lettuce instead of tucked inside a shell.

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Iceberg, bell peppers (ok, those weren’t on the tacos Winking smile), black beans, taco seasoning, tomatoes (husband only!), cheese, salsa, sour cream, and slightly crushed tortilla chips.

No dinner sacrificing here. Smile

Taco Tiiiime!

I might be the only one that loved school lunch. I mean really loved- I couldn’t wait to get to the cafeteria to see what the meal of the day was. Chicken nuggets? Mexican pizza? Or my favorite, tacos?!

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I don’t know why it was my favorite. Even back then I didn’t eat ground beef. I used to dump the taco filling out of the shell, leaving the taco flavoring, and filled it with the corn that was always served on taco day.

Now it’s even easier to have veggie-tacos, complete with toppings bar. The vegetarian version is so good I don’t even have to make a separate meat batch for the husband. Perfect. Smile

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While I love lentil, tofu, and tvp fillings for tacos, the most traditional tasting tacos come from veggie crumbles & beans.

Saute a small onion and a clove of garlic in olive oil, then add in the veggie crumbles. [They usually come frozen.] I like to mix in some black beans too. As those start to cook, mix in a packet of low-sodium taco seasoning and about 1/2 cup of water. Let simmer while you get all the toppings dished up.

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Obviously you can put anything you want on a taco, but I went for the traditional:

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iceberg lettuce, diced tomato (eww), salsa, taco sauce + hot sauce, cheddar cheese, sour cream or Greek yogurt. I even managed to find whole grain taco shells…score!

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These put school taco day to shame. Smile

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What’s your favorite taco filling?

Joes on Greens

Wow. Thank you isn’t even the write word for what I want to say about all of your beautiful and supportive comments about my mom & our upcoming journey. So, “thanks”, but know that I truly mean more than that.

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It feels a little silly to go from cancer talk to trivial things like dinner, but this is a blog about food after all huh?

And dinner was indeed a little silly…

Behold my latest creation:

salad

A lentil, lima bean, Caesar salad.

veggie joe salad

Think whatever you want. It tasted pretty good. 🙂

It was leftover veggie Joes, lima beans, chopped romaine, and Caesar salad dressing.

Honestly, the only odd factor about it was the Caesar dressing I chose to use. Perhaps I should have thought a little bit more about what I was putting it on instead of just grabbing the first bottle I saw. 😉

Sometimes you just need to get a little creative with leftovers! Now I need to get creative on coming up with some kind of dessert in my almost-barren kitchen…

 

What’s the oddest (but good) food combo you’ve ever eaten?

Parming It Up Again

After my long and strenuous workout (ahem 10 minutes on the elliptical), I found myself with an itch to make an old favorite: vegan eggplant parmesan.

[I really was excited about my 10 minutes on the elliptical, although it felt so strange to go in the room with cardio machines and leave just minutes later. I think it might have been “let’s pretend to workout" day though- I swear there were about 6 women in there sitting on machines watching Dr. Phil. I have no idea what was so intriguing about the show.]

Anyways. Eggplant prep it was! I honestly believe getting the eggplant ready is a vital step in the process- so worth the extra time.

Just slice the eggplant up, coat in salt, and layer in a colander. Place the colander in a large bowl or sink, cover with a towel, and put something heavy on top. I usually empty about half my pantry and throw it on top- cans, jars, bottles, whatever I can grab. Let it soak for a few hours or as long as possible- some brownish liquid will drain out. It helps get rid of the bitter taste and lets the eggplant soak up more sauce (aka flavor) instead of making the dish watery.

eggplant

Don’t worry- just rinse the salt off and pat the eggplant dry before you continue with the recipe.

Toss eggplant slices in seasonings of choice: I tend to use Italian seasoning, onion & garlic powders, and basil. Panko or breadcrumbs can give it a little extra crunch. 😉

eggplant coating

I love to serve “parmesan” over a big bed of kale. Then I don’t have to worry about cooking pasta with leftovers, and it packs in extra veggies.

kale

Layer the kale in a big baking dish, then layer some of the eggplant on top. Next, top it with your marinara of choice. Tonight I just used stewed tomatoes that I crushed up and heated with Italian seasoning. Spread a layer of sauce on the eggplant.

Next comes the fun part: the creamy-cheesy layer.

Mix together the following: [Darn, I forgot to measure again! I promise I will next time..] vegetable broth, almond milk, almond butter, nutritional yeast, cornstarch, and pepper. It should make a nice thick sauce.

Scoop a layer on top of the tomato sauce.

Repeat layers of eggplant, marinara, and creamy sauce until you’ve used everything up.

vegan eggplant parmesan

It may not be pretty, but 350 degrees and 20 minutes later you have a delicious, healthy, indulgent eggplant parmesan.

Optional, but a fabulous touch if I do say so myself: crushed almonds sprinkled on top.

I usually serve it over pasta the first night, then just eat it plain for leftovers. Mmm mmmmm.

 eggplant parmesan 

 

Totally worth every step of the process. 🙂

 

Don’t forget to enter the Chocolate Indulgence Giveaway!

Pepper Time

One of my favorite things to grill are stuffed peppers. Sometimes it can be hard to get in on the grilling action when you’re not into meat. Sure veggies & fruits are fun, but they’re not a meal by themselves.

Stuffed peppers, however, are an awesome veggie option, and just seem to taste so much better with a little char on the outside. 😉

red peppers

Black Bean Stuffed Bell Peppers

2 red bell peppers

1 can black beans, drained & rinsed

1 cup cooked barley

1 small onion, diced

2 garlic cloves

Chopped jalapenos (optional)

Seasonings to taste: garlic & onion powder, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin

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Slice tops of peppers to form “bowl”. Chop pepper tops and sauté with onions & garlic. Stir together barley, black beans, and onion mixture; add in seasonings. Fill peppers, and place on grill over medium-high heat.

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Cook until outside begins to char or bubble. Top with cheese of choice. (Veggie cheddar for me, real deal mozz for the husband.)

cheese topping 

Since it’s physically impossible to grill without an adult beverage, I of course had one.

grilling beer

The peppers were served alongside some creamed corn. (For some reason the husband really wanted “creamy corn”. His wish is my demand. Trust me, it’s just easier that way.;)) [This was Green Giant’s version- good & fairly light too.]

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It was definitely a bright & colorful dinner- and very good too!

stuffed pepper and corn

These peppers turned out much better than my last attempt at stuffed peppers– although those weren’t bad- these were just better!

 

Now if only I can wiggle out a little room for a cinnamon roll dessert! 😉