Friday, February 10, 2012

Quick Mini-Pizzas (Wheat, Yeast, Sugar, Casein and Lactose Free!)

I was really hungry at around 11:00 today as I had my morning smoothie at 8am and the tummy was a'grumbling!!  I usually grab for the eggs and some veggies to saute as my breakfast, but today I decided to mix it up and made mini-pizzas! 
Admittedly, pizza is the food that I miss the most being wheat, yeast, casein and lactose,and refined sugar-free.  I have made a couple of versions of pizza that is within the confines of this rebalancing diet:  one that is wheat and yeast free, and one that is the same but using almond flour.  These are both really tasty and we've enjoyed them both, but they aren't quite like a chewy, doughy, cheesy deep dish pizza!! LOL! 
Not wanting abdominal pain, I just couldn't get the idea of pizza out of my head...these little pizzas soothed my craving and were delicious!!! 
Even if you aren't interested in revamping your entire diet like my family and I have, just replacing a few meals here and there with this would make a huge difference ~ try them out and see!!

1 Ezekiel English muffin, cut in half
3 tbsp homemade tomato sauce*
Handful of arugula leaves or baby spinach
Leftover chicken, shredded
Handful of shredded goat marble cheddar
  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Place the English muffin halves cut side up on a small rimmed baking sheet.  Spread the tomato sauce evenly between the two.  Top with chicken, arugula leaves and cheese.
  • Place in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted evenly.
  • Remove from oven and enjoy!  
*If you aren't using a homemade sauce, read the label closely as they invariably contain sugar (as well as tons of preservative...and some BPA from the can!)  I sweeten my homemade sauce (which also contains no-heat jalapenos and some onions) with pureed carrots!  Try it out!!*

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup with Lemongrass

I wanted to add a bit of an exotic flavour to my regular chicken noodle soup as the kids absolutely love it, but my palette was growing weary of the same old recipe.  Everyone loved it (although Devon told me that I am not allowed to stop making plain old chicken noodle soup! LOL!)  This reminds me of a Thai or Vietnamese-style soup (or pho as it is called in Vietnam)!  Hope you enjoy the medley of flavours while getting the goodness of homemade chicken soup!!!

2 1/2 tbsp coconut or grapeseed oil
2 small boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, butterflied*
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced into rings
2 stalks of lemongrass, trimmed, outer layers discarded, halved lengthwise and bruised with the back of a chef's knife
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger (I use my rasp)
2 tsp packed light brown sugar (I used maple syrup)
5 1/2 cups homemade or low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups stemmed and quartered shiitake mushrooms
9 oz fresh udon noodles (these are made of wheat so substitute rice noodles if necessary)
1 small Serrano chili pepper finely diced
8 large fresh basil leaves, torn (either Thai or Italian basil)
1 lime, half juiced and half cut into wedges
1 tbsp soy sauce (or gluten free Bragg's)
2 green onions, finely sliced
1 carrot, grated (for garnish)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves (garnish)
  • Heat 1 1/2 tbsp of oil in a large Dutch oven or stock pot, over medium high heat, until hot (the oil shimmers when ready).  Season the chicken with 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper, and saute until both sides are evenly browned and almost entirely cooked through.  Transfer to a cutting board and allow to cool.
  • Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil to the pot with the shallots and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt.  Reduce heat to medium and saute until they start to become translucent (approx. 2 minutes).  Add the bruised lemongrass, ginger, and brown sugar and stir constantly until the ginger becomes fragrant and lemongrass sizzles (1 minute).  
  • Add chicken broth and scrape up any browned pieces off of the bottom of the pot.  Bring to a boil and them reduce to simmer.  Add the mushrooms and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring a medium-sized pot of water a boil and cook the noodles until al dente (still a little undercooked in the centre).  Drain and run under cool water to stop the cooking process.  Leave to drain well.
  • Either finely sliver or shred the chicken breasts.  Add the chicken and noodles to the broth and cook for a further 3 to 4 minutes.  Discard the lemongrass.  Stir in the chilies, basil, lime juice and soy sauce.
  • Portion between 4 large warmed soup bowls.  Garnish each with shredded carrot, green onions, and cilantro.  Serve with a lime wedge for squeezing.
  • ENJOY!