Monday, June 11, 2018
What have I done to myself! I am currently on Round 1 Day 8 of Whole30. Which is basically a whole foods, no sugar or substitutes, no dairy, no legumes, no grains diet. I've heard very similar to Keto and Paleo (although Paleo allows honey and natural sugars).
After dabbling for years in Trim Healthy Mama (which is still a great plan - just got to the point where there was so much special stuff you had to buy to keep going, made it harder to progress for me. Again, a GREAT plan, and I love the heart of the ladies, so I'm not dogging THM), Whole30 came up a lot in recipe searches, since there are SOME similar principles. I realized, though, that the alternative sweeteners allowed on plan were messing with my allergic responses, and my fibromyalgia. Enter Whole30. Granted, there are STILL special ingredients to buy (have you EVER tried to look for a ketchup with no sugar? Or a mayo with out canola oil??).
So far, my husband and my youngest daughter are joining me on this journey, and I can see at Day 8, that there will be things I will do regardless of whether or not I'm on a round.
Food prep is a KILLER, I'm NOT gonna lie. Thankfully, I do love to cook, and have been used to a bulk prep day for a long time (thanks to THM). And I've been enjoying trying new recipes and creating new ones, too. That brings us to today. Yesterday on the Whole30 Beginner's Facebook group there was a lengthly discussion about what you can order at a Chinese Restaurant (which is, basically, nothing...sorry). Of course, this made me crave Chinese food. I'd been marinating some pork chops in Coconut Aminos and Sesame Seed Oil over the weekend planning on making Egg Roll in a Bowl (a THM recipe that translate nicely to Whole30 with a few minor adjustments like cooking oil used and using Coconut Aminos vs. Soy or Tamari Sauce). Having marinated over the weekend I HAD to use it today. So I decided to try Pork Fried Rice. I'm so glad I did. I hope you try it and you like it.
Whole30 Pork Fried Rice
3/4 - 1 lb Boneless Pork Chops, cut into cubes
1 12 oz Bag Green Giant Riced Cauliflower & Sweet Potato (the one with no sauces added, defrosted)*
1 clove Garlic
3 Tbs plus 2 Tbs Coconut Aminos (some for marinade, some for cooking)
2 Tbs. Sesame Oil (I prefer Dark - again, some for marinade, some for cooking)
Avocado Oil OR Olive Oil for stir frying
1 egg, beaten well
1 diced scallion
Place pork cubes, 2 Tbs Coconut Aminos, and 1 Tbs Sesame Oil into a baggie big enough (I was able to use a quart sized freezer bag)** Let marinade at least 4 hours or overnight is even better.
After marinading, heat wok (or skillet) on medium high heat. Add about 2 or 3 tbs of Avocado or Olive Oil and 1 Tbs Sesame Oil. Add garlic clove (whole, peeled) to oil while it is heating up and slightly fry the clove - flipping - be very careful not to burn, burned garlic is YUCKY!. Remove the clove when it is lightly browned/fried on all sides. Set aside, you will be adding this back later.
Add pork cubes and marinade to the hot pan and cook until just about done. Add the defrosted Cauliflower Rice blend and continue to stir fry. After about 5 minutes, add 3 Tbs. of the Coconut Aminos. Stir around and create an empty spot on the pan to cook the egg...allow it to COOK before trying to scramble it and stir into the rice/pork mixture. (otherwise you end up with a creamy like sauce and not pieces of egg). Dice the garlic that has been set aside and stir in when you stir in the egg.
After everything is done cooking all together turn off the heat. Sprinkle top with scallions and stir them in. Feel free to top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds if you desire!
*You can use any of the riced cauliflower you'd like just make sure that it has no added sauces or flavorings that are non-compliant.
**You could very easily prep this ahead of time and place in the freezer, I plan on doing this next time I get a bunch of pork chops, just set aside some in the marinade before freezing so that it can marinade while defrosting and make prep even that much easier.
Friday, May 25, 2018
Flautas. Taquitos. Whatever you want to call them, I’ve had a serious craving for them lately. As you know, being gluten-free presents it’s fair share of challenges eating out. Shared fryers being one of them. There is an AMAZING, and very authentic, Mexican restaurant near us that makes the most incredible food. I’ve eaten there often and rarely have a reaction. Well, as long as I avoid the fried foods due to the shared fryer. :( Since I’m gluten sensitive and not Celiac, I had often thrown caution to the wind and had them anyway. A while ago, I had such a significant reaction (likely the oil hadn’t been changed in a while, I guess) the It decided that I’d not eat fried foods there again.
But, alas. What to do about my flautas! I love flautas. Rolled, crispy tacos, fried to a deep golden crispy goodness, oozing with cheese and chicken and sauces and….uh oh, I just drooled on my keyboard. Sorry…I need to clean that up before I continue.
When the craving got too strong one day, and I had a ton of shredded chicken left (if you don’t have an Instant Pot, you really need to get one for dishes like this…makes cooking chicken so it shreds beautifully!). I thought to myself “How hard can it really be???”. Little did I know that that this would set in motion a month long quest of creating the perfect flauta. I do confess that they are not as good as my local Mexican restaurant, but I’m also not a a 4’9” 67 year old Guatamalan/Peruvian grandmother who’s been making tortillas since she was able to walk, so, there’s that.
I’ve finally gotten a blend that’s close enough for me. And you can adjust to your own liking and spice level with the ingredients. Also, this recipe will make approximatetly 12 flautas. You will double or triple if it’s not just for a snack. (case and point, I made a dozen last night thinking I’d have leftovers for breakfast. To my dismay, they all got eaten by wondering snackers!).
Another note about the recipe, it takes a few tries to get into the flow. You need to warm up your tortillas before rolling the filling in and place it right into the hot oil. I’ve gotten into a rhythm. Give yourself a chance. My microwave is right next to my stove, so it’s easy. If yours isn’t close by the stove, you can heat up your tortillas first but cover them with a moist towel to keep warm and pliable.
Flautas De Casa
1 1/2 cups shredded chicken (if you have grilled or baked chicken, shred in a food processor)*
1 Cup Monterey Jack Cheese
1/2 - 3/4 Cup Salsa (choose heat level that you like)
12 GF Corn Tortilla (please check labels, not all corn tortillas are truly GF)
Oil for frying
Heat 1/2” of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat until glossy and hot.
In a medium bowl, mixed shredded chicken, cheese and 1/2 cup of salsa. Mix well. It needs to be wet enough to be “molded” so add the extra 1/4 cup salsa if it’s not. Kind of like pie crust, if you squeeze it and it keeps it’s shape before crumbling at the edges, you’re good.
Warm your tortilla (I do 10 seconds). Lay the tortilla straight in front of you, and put a line of about 2 Tbs of filling close to the edge of the tortilla (about an inch from the edge). Pat into a line and roll the tortilla starting at that closest edge. Place the rolled tortilla into the oil SEAM SIDE DOWN.
Continue with two more tortillas.
Place in the oil immediately after rolling as they dry out and crack if you wait too long! Alternately, if you roll them and keep them between two warm towels you cAN roll them all at once and fry them in batches of three. I’ve tried this with some moderate success).
Flip the tortillas after 3 or 4 minutes, once the seam side is golden brown and “sealed”. Fry for another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and salt them as soon as they come out of the oil.
These are perfect served with normal taco accoutrements: sour cream, guacamole, salsa, shredded lettuce, etc.
*you could also use shredded carnitas or ground beef meat, just make sure it's cooled so it doesn't melt the cheese.
Thursday, March 22, 2018
This, combined with kids changing preferences in activities has given me a little bit more free time to cook and experiment with new recipes.
I hope to at least post twice a week with some new recipes and even some new product reviews.
Gluten-free life is so much easier nowadays! So many new products and they are GREAT products out there.