Wednesday, March 6, 2019

{Gluten and Dairy Free} Ham and Rice Soup

Do you love your crockpot, but hate rushing in the morning to put the meal together? Sometimes, I do! How about putting the ingredients in a bowl the night before. Refrigerate it over night. In the morning transfer it to your crockpot and turn it on. Another idea is to freeze the ingredients in a large ziploc bag. If you lie it flat you can fit a lot of meals on top of each other in the freezer.  You can either thaw it and put it in the morning or you can put it in frozen and turn it on high while you get ready in the morning. Before you leave, turn it to low and you should be set! Even better make two of them in the evening. Freeze on and throw the other in the crockpot the next morning.

Here is the recipe I like to do it with. I made it last night and am throwing it in the crockpot on a marathon day like today.

I know this dish may sound funny, but as soon as I made it, it became a family favorite at our house. My kids cheer when I say it is in the crock pot. I love it because there are a lot of veggies in there, too. You can sub beans instead of rice (white beans).  The rice gets a bit mushy so if that bothers you, you can add the rice at the last minute. Sometimes I put a 1/2 cup rice in a bowl and then pour soup over it.

1 cup rice, uncooked
1 container of Hillshire farms smoked ham, coarsely chopped or 1 pkg farmland ham cubes
1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
7 oz canned tomatoes with juice (I use safeway brand)
6 oz V-8 juice
2 TBS pure pomegranate juice (or you could use lemon juice)
1/2 TBS chili powder
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBS dried thyme

Other good additives: a handful of chopped spinach, kale or sweet peppers.


Put all ingredients in a crock pot. Add water until it is about an inch from the top of a medium size crock pot. Turn on low for 8 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste. We put frozen peas on top to cool it down, and eat it with toasted Food For Life English muffins that are dripping with Earth's Balance spread, or grapeseed oil.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

What's for Dinner Tonight?{Gluten and Dairy Free} Enchiladas

I love these enchiladas. The sauce takes just a little time, but makes a double batch so you can freeze half of it for another night. You will thank yourself when you discover it's all ready to go! I am posting this on Allergy-free Wednesdays here. They have great recipes shared! I hope you get to take a look! For vegan options you can put black beans, rice, corn, and/or green chilis inside instead.

Enchilada Sauce

1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS garlic powder (or 2 cloves garlic crushed)
1 TBS onion powder (or 1/2 onion chopped)
1 TBS cumin
2 TBS mild chili powder
4 TBS gluten free flour (I use a gluten free mix here, or garbanzo)
4 cups chicken broth
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce (I use a small can of tomato paste plus 1 can water)
salt to taste

1. Mix spices and flour in olive oil in saucepan over medium heat until fragrant and starting to brown.
2. Slowly add the chicken broth and tomato sauce and cook and stir until thickened. (15 or so minutes). Add salt to taste.
This makes a double batch of sauce. Label and freeze half of it.

Other ingredients:
Shredded cooked chicken
diced avocado
chopped green onion
chopped red pepper
chopped tomatoes
daiya cheese
brown rice tortillas
dairy free sour cream (Tofutti, Vegenaise, or  So Delicious Coconut yogurt).
(green salsa is dynamite on this!)
black olives

Pour some of the sauce in the bottom of the 9 x 11 pan to make a thin layer. I take Trader Joe's or Food for Life tortillas, and freeze them in the freezer. Take tortillas out one by one and dip them in the hot enchilada sauce for 5 seconds (holding on to the top outside of the sauce with your fingers). Take them out and lay them in the pan.Put 1/2 cup of cooked shredded chicken down the middle. Roll them up with the seams down. Repeat until you have a pan full of enchiladas. Sprinkle with daiya cheese and chopped olives (if desired). Baked at 450F until warmed through. (15 minutes or so) and "cheese" is melted. While it is cooking I shred the lettuce, chop tomatoes, chop green onions, chop cilantro, cut avocado into chunks, and make guacamole (combining smashed avocados with some salsa in a ratio of 2/3 avacado to 1/3 salsa). We also like to put diced red peppers on top. Serve the enchilada with piled toppings on top. I like to use vegenaise instead of sour cream on top.

Since half of this is frozen, it means  you have an easy dinner just waiting to happen. I put the frozen tortillas in the freezer and heat them from frozen so they are ready to go. I make my own chicken broth in the crockpot (go here) and then freeze the chicken in two portions. I thaw one of the portions and the sauce. . . . walla! Dinner in no time!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

What's For Dinner Tonight? {Gluten and Dairy Free} Family Favorite Crockpot Chili

Here is my comfort food. I know this isn't the most "healthy" recipe at a glance. But I add 1 red pepper to give it vitamin c. Also, the tomatoes have lycopene. Then if you add a nice fresh salad on the side, this meal is not too bad. It's perfect for a cold day. And the recipe is SO easy.
 Prep time 20 minutes. Cook time Low 6-8 hours, High 3-4 hours.

2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
2 TBS chili powder
1 and 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup chopped spinach
1/2 tsp oregano
3/4 red pepper chopped fine
1 can 15 or 16 oz kidney, pinto or black beans

Everything is in the crockpot and ready to go!
1. Cook beef in skillet over med heat, stirring occasionally until brown; drain.
2. Mix beef and remaining ingredients except beans in 3.5 to 6 quart slow cooker.
3. Cover and cook on low heat setting 6 to 8 hours (or high heat setting 3 to 4 hours) or until onion is tender.
4. Stir in beans. Cover and cook on high heat setting 15-20 minutes or until slightly thickened. Sometimes I add one can of Stagg's Chili (classic) when I add the beans. It adds to the volume, and the flavor.

Serve topped with Daiya cheese, guacamole, and scallions or dairy free sour cream recipe here. I also like to add some Vegenaise. It tastes like sour cream!  I may top with Fritos or Food for Life brown rice tortillas cut into pieces. I am posting this at Allergy-free Wednesdays.

Easy {Gluten and Dairy Free} Mediterranean Chicken Shawarma

My friend Lori gave me this amazing recipe years ago that I have tweaked just a little bit. I just rediscovered it and am fantasizing about dinner all day. I love this dish! The sauce really does make it. My husband hates curry, but enjoys this dish! When we lived on the Mercy Ships we had curried EVERYTHING to the point where he can't usually stomach it. But he likes this so much it used to be a staple in our diets. Just to warn you, tahini is sesame for those that have a problem with sesame. I bought a bottle of lemon juice and a jar of pre-chopped garlic. That with the curry from the bulk section of herbs makes this dish easy, and very affordable, too. I am posting this at Allergy-free Wednesdays.

10 cloves chopped garlic
2 juiced lemons (6 Tablespoons of lemon juice)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp curry
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

1 clove garlic
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup water
1 TBS lemon juice

For Sauce:
Blend sauce ingredients in the food processor until foamy.

Marinade 2 pounds of chopped chicken overnight. (I do it just all day)
Pan fry chicken and marinade, I add chopped spinach for additional nutritional value.
When cooked chop on tomato.
Serve over rice. Top with Tahini Sauce.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

My Two Favorite Pork Recipes

I'm not a big fan of pork. I love me some ham and bacon (who doesn't love bacon??), but pork I find a lot harder to swallow. Until I found this recipe. This is one of my all time favorite ways to eat pork.  It's grilled on the barbecue which makes it very easy. We love to serve it with rice or baked potatoes.  We often sub pears instead of apples and may like it even better.  I have it in a Pampered Chef cookbook, but found it posted on-line.  We mix the rosemary and next six ingredients all together and use as a glaze on the pork and apples.

Glazed Pork Chops with Grilled Apples

Submitted by: ARAMINTHA here on

from Pampered Chef - It's all Good for You
Number of Servings: 4


    boneless pork top loin or sirloin chops, cut 3/4 - 1 inch thick (about 4 oz)
    1 tsp. dried rosemary
    1 garlic clove, pressed
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    (top 4 should be mixed together)
    2 tsp finely chopped, peeled fresh gingerroot
    1/2 cup apricot preserves
    3 T Dijon mustard

    2 medium gala apples, cored and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices


Yield: 4 svgs

1. Prepare grill for direct cooking over medium coals. Season both sides of pork chops with 1 tsp of the seasoning mix.

2. Peel gingerroot; finely chop using food chopper. Combine ginger root, preserves, mustard and remaining seasoning mix in bowl; mix well. Core apples; cut apples crosswise into 1/2 inch slices, using chef's knife.

3. Lightly grease grid of grill. Brush one side of apples and pork chops with glaze using bbq brush. Place apples and pork chops, glazed side down, on grid of grill. Grill apples 3 minutes and pork 5 minutes, covered, turning once. Brush apples and pork chops with remaining glaze. Grill, covered 3-5 minutes or until internal temperature for pork reaches 160 degrees for medium doneness.

Number of Servings: 4

Mustard Oregano Pork Chops

My friend gave me this recipe recently and I must say it was amazing. My husband even grabbed one of the leftover pork chops the next day, ate it cold and still commented on how delicious it was!  She told me this makes three servings for a family of five. She divides it into three gallon size bags and freezes it. That's three fast and easy dinners! I love it! She serves it with hasbrowns and apple sauce, so that's what I did, too. I used pomegranate juice instead of the vinegar and lemon juice and it worked out super well. I wish I had taken a photo before they were all eaten. Next time!


12 lean pork loin chops
1/2 cup prepared mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 T honey
3 t dried oregano
3 t minced garlic
3 one-gallon freezer bags

Whisk mustard through honey, divide into separate bags. Divide oregano and garlic evenly between bags. Add pork and freeze. Thaw and grill.

What's For Dinner Tonight?{Gluten, Dairy and Soy Free} French Dips and Caesar Salad

When I was a child, my favorite thing to order at a restaurant was a French Dip sandwich. Since changing my diet I have tried so many different ways of making an Au Jus dipping sauce that is gluten and soy free without real success. It is always too different. On Sunday, I had a hankering for French Dips and a Caesar Salad. My inspiration involved a new idea to try for the Au Jus. My husband and I couldn't believe how close it was!  I am thrilled to have these back in my life! I am posting this at
Au Jus Dipping Sauce:
1 Quart Gluten Free Pacific Beef Broth
1 TBS onion powder
1  tsp salt
1 TBS GF Worcestershire sauce
salt to taste

1lb Roast beef

Gluten Free bread of choice (I made my own by not stirring in the cinnamon and sugar part of this recipe to make a french bread) This would be great with Canyon Bakehouse buns.

Put the ingredients in a sauce pan, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes on low. I added my roast beef to the saucepan to heat it up as well.  Next time I would leave the meat cold, but this is a personal preference. We paired this with my Vegan Caesar Salad.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Shove it in the Oven Chicken Stew

A friend told me about this recipe, and I am glad she did. I love the name, because it makes it sound so easy. You can find it on this great blog here. The photo is what sold me. I'm a pushover for a yummy looking photograph.

Shove-it-in-the-Oven Chicken Stew with Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Italian Seasonings
Serves 6 to 8
Sprinkle with a little chopped fresh parsley, if you like.
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into large pieces
2 pounds yellow potatoes, quartered
1 large onion, cut into large chunks
1 pint cherry tomatoes
4 large cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken broth
Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix chicken, potatoes, onion, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, Italian seasoning, and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper in a large roasting pan.  Set pan in oven and roast until cooked through and juices have released, about 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and stir in enough broth to form a thick stew.