Gluten Free Clam Chowder

Gluten Free Clam ChowderHere is a delicious gluten free clam chowder recipe that a friend gave me. If you like clam chowder, you’ll love this recipe :O)

Makes 4 large servings

Ingredients:

1/2 pound gluten free bacon or turkey bacon, chopped
1 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced-opt
3 stalks of celery, diced
5 medium red potatoes, washed and diced (or 3 russet)
3 cans chopped clams in clam juice

4 cups of 2 % milk
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons gluten free seasoning salt
fresh chopped parsley, stems removed
4 tablespoons cornstarch

Instructions:

  1. Chop the bacon and fry slowly until crisp in a large heavy pot or for lower calorie, use turkey bacon fried with a little olive oil
  2. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels
  3. Drain most of the grease from the pot-  Reserve a little of the grease in the pan.
  4. Add diced potatoes, onion and celery and saute until tender.
  5. Add the garlic to the pan.  Saute on low for 2 min or so
  6. Add the juice from 3 cans of chopped clams to the pot while scraping up the bits, (Reserve clams for later)
  7. Add a little water, if needed, to barely cover the potatoes and cook for 6-8 min or until almost tender.
  8. Now add the milk, butter, parsley, clams, bacon and seasonings.
  9. Stir the cornstarch in a small bowl with little more milk until smooth.
  10. Add cornstarch mixture to your simmering soup,stirring until no lumps appear and the soup thickens.  You can add more depending on how thick you like your chowder.
  11. Simmer until the flavors come together and the potatoes finish cooking

Let me know how you like it by leaving a comment :O)

 

 

The Scoop on Gluten

I get asked a ton of questions regarding gluten and why people choose to go on a gluten-free diet so I decided to supply links to some of the articles I’ve read that I feel will help you.

Sherri and I are going gluten free starting this week after reading and doing our own due diligence on the subject. We’ll be sharing some of the better gluten-free recipes here on the site as we find them and try them.

For now, here are some links to helpful articles about how gluten affects the body:

If you’ve never read up on the effects of Gluten, this will be an eye-opener for you.

Let’s here some feedback :O)

Slow Cooker Spinach & Mushroom Quiche

This was sent to me by a good friend and it’s absolutely delicious….
Ingredients
  • Disposable slow cooker liner
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped portobello mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped red sweet pepper (1 small)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese or Swiss cheese (6 ounces)
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups half-and-half or whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup packaged biscuit mix

Directions

1. Line a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker with disposable slow cooker liner; coat liner with cooking spray. Using clean paper towels, press spinach to remove as much liquid as possible; set aside.

2. In a medium skillet cook bacon until crisp; drain, crumble, and set aside. Discard drippings. In same skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and sweet pepper; cook and stir until tender. Stir in spinach and cheese.

3. In a medium bowl combine eggs, half-and-half, chives, salt, and black pepper. Stir egg mixture into spinach mixture in skillet. Gently fold in biscuit mix. Pour egg mixture into prepared slow cooker. Sprinkle with bacon.

4. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Turn off cooker. If possible, remove crockery liner from cooker. Cool for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.

 

Caramel Banana Pecan Bread Casserole

This is a delicious alternative to making French toast…and a LOT easier…

Prep Time: 25 minutes  Cook Time: 4-5 hours (low)

Ingredients:

1 12-ounce loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 9 cups)
2 cups half-and-half, light cream, or whole milk.
3 eggs or 3/4 cup refrigerated or thawed frozen egg product
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped and toasted
1 recipe Caramel-Banana Sauce (below)

Preparation:

  1. (optional) You can line your 4-quart slow cooker with a disposable slow cooker liner if you wish to ease clean-up.
  2. Preheat oven to 300%F. Arrange bread cubes in a single layer on a baking pan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until cubes are golden, stirring once or twice; cool. Place cubes in slow cooker.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together half-and-half, eggs, granulated sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour mixture over bread cubes in cooker. With back of a large spoon, press bread down slightly to moisten cubes completely.
  4. In a medium bowl, use a pastry blender to cut butter into brown sugar until pieces are pea size. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle pecan mixture over bread mixture in cooker.
  5. Cover and cook on low-heat setting 4 to 5 hours or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Turn off cooker and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Serve casserole with Caramel-Banana Sauce drizzled over the top.
    (Makes 8 servings)

CARAMEL BANANA SAUCE:
In a medium heavy saucepan, combine 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup whipping cream, 1/2 cup butter, and 2 tablespoons light-color corn syrup. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally; reduce heat to medium. Boil gently, uncovered, for 3 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in 1 banana, thinly sliced. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Winter Mulled Ale

Did you know that your slow cooker is also a punch bowl? Try this simple recipe and let me know how you like it :O)

Spiced with orange, cinnamon, and zingy ginger beer, this simmering ale is frothy, full of flavor, and the perfect drink for those Holiday get-together.

Prep Time: 15 minutes  Cooking Time: 5 to 6 hours on low or 2.5 to 3 hours on high

Ingredients:

10 whole cloves
1 orange
3 12-ounce bottles or cans of ale
1 12-ounce bottle ginger beer or ginger ale
8 inches stick cinnamon, broken
3 egg yolks
6 to 16 brown or white sugar cubes, or 2 tablespoons to 1/3 cup packed brown sugar or granulated sugar
Grated nutmeg (optional)

Preparation

  1. Press whole cloves into the orange in vertical rows; cut orange into wedges with cloves in center of each wedge. In your 4 quart slow cooker combine orange wedges, ale, ginger beer, and cinnamon.
  2. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. With a slotted spoon remove the cinnamon sticks and orange wedges, gently pressing orange wedges against side of cooker to release juice.
  3. In a bowl, beat egg yolks with a wire whisk. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of the hot ale mixture. Slowly whisk beaten egg mixture into ale mixture in a slow cooker, whisking until frothy; cook and stir for 1 minute.
  4. To serve, ladle ale mixutre into mugs. Add one or two sugar cubes to each serving. If desired, garnish with grated nutmeg.

Makes 6 to 8 (8 ounce) servings.

 

Chef Gary’s Quick & Easy Chicken Salad

I whipped this up today for dinner (it can be served warm or cold) and it was a real hit. Try it out on your family tonight :O)

Ingredients

(serves 2 – simply double everything to serve 4)

2 tbsp extra light extra virgin olive oil
2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
salt & pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp brown spicy mustard
2 tbsp tartar sauce
1/2 bag Craisins (cranberry raisins) from Ocean Spray
1/2 medium yellow onion (chopped)

Directions

  1. Sprinkle salt and pepper on one side of each of the chicken breasts.
  2. Place olive oil in your ten inch skillet (Lustre Craft Freedom Skillet) and fry the chicken breasts until brown and crispy on both sides. Note: You do not have to use oil, but I love the health benefits and flavor of olive oil so I use it a lot.
  3. Remove the chicken breasts from the skillet, cut  into cubes and place back into the skillet over medium heat and saute until the chicken is golden brown all around and slightly crispy (but not dry).
  4. Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a paper towel to drain the oil.
  5. While chicken is cooking, chop the onion and place in a bowl.
  6. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, tartar sauce, and Craisins to the bowl and mix together with a fork until combined.
  7. Add the chicken (still warm) to the bowl and mix until the chicken is fully coated with the sauce.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve with coleslaw and saltine crackers….Enjoy!

 

Spaghetti w/Garlic, Olive Oil & Red Pepper Flakes

This is a rather light Italian pasta dish that is very quick and easy to make and healthy for you. You can use any type of pasta you like. Many like gluten free products experiment and have fun…

INGREDIENTS
1 pound dried spaghetti pasta
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tbsp red pepper flakes, plus more if desired
1/4 cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves

DIRECTIONS
In a large pot (your 6-quart should work fine), bring to a boil 5 to 6 quarts of salted water. Add pasta and cook until al dente (about 6 to 8 minutes). Drain pasta in a colander, reserving 2 tablespoons of the pasta water. The reserved pasta water will help create the sauce. Do not rinse pasta with water – you want to retain the pasta’s natural starches so that the sauce will stick.

In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until light brown and fragrant. It’s important not to burn the garlic or else it will become bitter. Remove and discard the browned garlic. Add the red pepper flakes and saute for 1 minute. Carefully add the reserved pasta water and stir to combine. Place the spaghetti into the pan and mix well for 1 minute.

Remove pan from heat and top with fresh herbs.

CHEF GARY’S  RECOMMENDATIONS

This dish goes great with a nice Pinot Grigio wine, garlic bread, and a Ceasar Salad. If you would like to add some additional dimension to the dish, serve with shrimp and/or scallops sauteed in butter, white wine and garlic.

As always…don’t be afraid to be creative…and most of all…have fun!

Chinese Herbal Medicine Creates Harmony and Health

(NaturalNews) Chinese herbal medicine is one of the oldest forms of medicine with the earliest known written herbal formulas dating back to the 3rd century BC. Prior to being written down, herbal remedies were passed down by word of mouth and may date back as far as 3500 BC. Chinese medicine teaches that people are either in harmony or out of harmony. Disease is caused by disharmony and cured by restoring harmony to the body.

It is believed that we are sustained by a life force called “qi” (pronounced “chee”). It is believed each person is born with a fixed amount, called Yuan Qi, which is inherited from our parents. We can nourish it, but cannot add to it. We can also deplete it through unhealthy living. Chinese medicine works to unblock the flow of qi if it is stuck or nourish it if it is lacking.

Qi is found everywhere in our body; qi protects us from disease and fights it when we get sick. Qi keeps our organs healthy, transforms our food into essential bodily substances, keeps our body warm, and is the source of healthy growth. According to traditional Chinese medicine, blocked or weak qi can prevent our organs from working properly and lead to disease.

While qi is found everywhere in our bodies, there are 12 main pathways, called meridians, where chi flows. The 12 main meridians correspond to the 12 main organs in the body such as liver, heart, lung, stomach, and kidneys. For medicinal purposes, an organ includes the meridian that is associated with it. For example, the liver meridian runs from the big toe up the inside of the leg through the genitals into the liver. Organs also have general body responsibilities. The liver is also responsible for the general flow if qi in the body, digestion, and stable emotions. Treating the liver can fix problems anywhere on the liver meridian as well as the general body functions it is responsible for.

In traditional Chinese medicine diseases are classified as being caused by wind, heat, damp, or cold. A Chinese Herbalist will seek to identify which organ is the source of disease and whether it is caused by wind, heat, damp, cold, or a combination. An herbal prescription will include multiple herbs. Some of the herbs will be used because they have been proven to work for a given condition, and some herbs will be chosen to fit you personally because Chinese medicine believes each person and condition are unique.

When you consult with a practitioner of Chinese herbal medicine, you will start a journey towards total body health. You will need to meet with him or her more than once to make sure the prescribed herbal remedies are having the desired effect as well as to make adjustments to get the best results. At the end of your treatment, your body should be in harmony and have a strong life force.

Where Do I Begin?

Gary Danko is a practitioner of Chinese Herbal Medicine and can be reached at 727-226-3385. Please mention this article for a FREE consultation.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_Chinese_medicine
http://www.askdrwang.com/category-s/20.htm
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies by C. Norman Shealy MD, PhD

About the author

David Victor is a health and fitness enthusiast who enjoys learning about all aspects of health and sharing that information with others through writing.

Grandma’s Chicken File Gumbo

I picked up this recipe while passing through Louisiana last year. We just tried it out and liked it…so here goes…

Gumbo can be made with shrimp and oysters. For crab Gumbo, scald crabs, clean, break off and crack the claws, cut the body into four pieces.

In the area of Ascension Parish in Louisiana, gumbo is traditionally served on Christmas Eve…a little early…but hey…I love Gumbo!

Ingredients:

3 lbs Chicken
1/2 cup extra light olive oil
1 cup flour for frying
1/2 cup green onion tops, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 clove garlic, chopped
salt, pepper, hot sauce
1/2 cup flour for roux
1 gallon water or chicken stock
1 cup onions, chopped
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tbsp parsley
1 cup celery
pinch of file’ per serving

Serves 8 (use your 12 quart pot)

Directions

  1. Cut chicken into pieces. Flour well, Fry quickly in oil until brown.
  2. Make a roux with the remaining oil by adding 1/2 cup flour and cooking until brown.
  3. Add onions and seasonings. Cook.
  4. Add chicken, Add water. Cook until chicken is tender.
  5. Serve over rice.
  6. Add a pinch of file’ and enjoy

As always, come back and let us know how it tastes :O)

Los Dos Amigos Hacienda Restaurant – Salem, Oregon

We found a great Mexican restaurant in Salem, Oregon called Los Dos Amigos Hacienda. The food was fantastic to say the least. It was by far the best Tex Mex we’ve had since we were in Texas last summer.

Sherri and I both had the Carne’ Asada and it was PERFECT. And of course we had to try the Chile Rejeno and the Flan. Both were superb…although Sherri isn’t much for peppers and cheese.

If you happen to be in or around the Salem area, you should check this place out for sure. It’s worth the trip.

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