Korean Style Glass Noodles (JapChae)

Glass Noodles 04

Glass Noodles 03I love Korean food!  Thanks to my Junior High and High School besties, I’ve been hooked on Korean, Vietnamese, and Filipino food for a long time.  Anything with eggs and soy sauce in the recipe just makes my mouth water!

I usually stick to rice because of the gluten issue, but I recently discovered that Korean glass noodles (japchae) are made from sweet potato starch.  Does that mean that they are gluten free?? Yup, it sure does!!

We go out for Korean food on a fairly regular basis, and I’ve been meaning to try some recipes at home since we all love it so much.  I stopped in at the Korean store the other day to pick up some snacks my girls like, and I just happened to pass through the noodle aisle.  I was looking for Soba noodles, but found the glass noodles instead.  That is fine by me because I love these too!  My girls love Korean bbq, but I was a little surprised to see them devour this!  They both had seconds.

It took a minute to get the right flavor in the sauce for the noodles, but I think I got it.  Japchae usually has a hint of sweetness in addition to a light soy sauce flavor.  You can really top it with anything you like.  I saw some recipes that added sauteed onions and bell peppers, but I stuck to what we like.  There are also eggs and steak in this recipe, but you can definitely omit those to make it vegan friendly.

**If for some reason your body does not like soy.  Coconut aminos makes a great substitute for soy sauce.  If you go that route, leave out the honey in the sauce since coconut aminos is a little sweet.

 

Ingredients

6 cups water

1/4 of a 17oz package of glass noodles

1 cup sliced carrots

4 shitake mushrooms, sliced

2 cups baby spinach

1 egg

1 lb top sirloin steak or rib-eye, sliced into strips

2

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 Tbs GF soy sauce

1 tsp vinegar

1 tsp sesame oil

salt

pepper

 

For the Noodle Sauce

1 clove garlic, crushed

4 Tbs GF soy sauce

1 Tbs Sesame oil

1 1/2 Tbs honey

salt and pepper to taste

 

Method

Mix 1 clove crushed garlic, 1 Tbs GF soy sauce, 1 tsp vinegar, 1 tsp sesame oil, and a dash of salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl.  Add sliced beef to the bowl and mix in with the marinade.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge while you prep the rest of the meal.

Glass Noodles 01

Bring the 6 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot.  While the water is heating you can start cutting all the veggies, unless you are super organized and have them all ready to go.  In which case, I applaud you!

Once the water comes to a boil, add a little salt to the water and throw in the noodles.  Cook the noodles on medium/high heat for 6 to 8 minutes.  They will be clear and soft, not too rubbery.  Once cooked, rinse noodles with cold water in a strainer.

While the noodles are cooking heat 1 tsp veg oil in a medium sized pan on medium heat.  Add the mushrooms, carrots, and spinach to the pan.  Saute the veggies, stirring occasionally for about 4 minutes or until the carrots have lost a bit of their crunch. Reduce heat to medium/low. Prepare the noodle sauce by placing all of the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and whisking it together.  Pour the noodles and noodle sauce on top of the veggies and toss together until the noodles are covered with the sauce and have turned a darker color.  Lower heat to lowest setting to keep the noodles warm until they are served.

Glass Noodles 02

Beat the egg in a small bowl and fry it in a pan omelet style.  Just let it cook into one flat piece.  Flip to cook the other side. Remove the egg from heat and cut into strips.

Remove meat from the fridge and you can place it in the same pan you just cooked the egg in.  Cook on medium heat until both sides of each strip are cooked.  About 5 min.

Remove noodles from heat and serve!  Put the noodle and veggie mix in the bowl first and top with the egg slices and meat.  I doused mine with Sriracha because I like my Korean food with some heat!  Next time I’ll definitely be picking up some Kimchi before I make this.

 

 

 

 

 

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Lentil Rice

lentil rice 02Sweet raisins, lentils, sauteed onions, and a hint of cinnamon.  Your taste buds will be begging for more!

Lentil Rice (aka Adas Polo), is a traditional Iranian dish.  Usually served with chicken or some type of meat on the side.  I like it just the way it is!  The lentils offer enough protein so meat really isn’t necessary, and the sauteed raisins and onions add the perfect amount of flavor.

Of course, making this dish is supposed to be a much longer process, but I ain’t got time for that!  The way I make it may be slightly less traditional but it takes half the time so I don’t feel guilty about it.  This recipe is for 3 to 4 people, but can easily be doubled if you need more.  You can also use currants instead of raisins.  They are smaller than raisins and give the dish a more delicate look.

 

Ingredients

1 cup Basmati rice

1/2 cup green lentils (I buy the ones labeled “fancy lentils”.  They’re smaller and look a little nicer)

2 cups water

2 tsp salt

3 Tbs and 2 tsp veg oil

1 Tbs butter

1/2 raisins

1 large onion, sliced

1/2 tsp cinnamon

 

Method

Rinse lentils and place in a pot with 1 cup water.  Heat until the water begins to boil.  Let it boil for a few minutes, then remove the lentils from heat and drain.  Place rice in a bowl and rinse and drain 3 times with room temperature water.  Place the rice, lentils, 2 cups water, salt, and 3 Tbs veg oil in a pot.  Give it a light stir and heat on medium/high heat until it begins to boil.  Once the rice mixture begins to boil, lower the heat to medium/low and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until all the water is gone and the rice is cooked.  You can take a couple pieces out and try them to see if they’re ready.  Once the water is gone and rice is cooked, place a paper towel over the pot and put the lid on.  This will help absorb the rest of the water from the rice so it doesn’t come out too mushy.  Leave on very low heat for at least 5 min.

Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan and add the slice onions.  Saute on medium/high heat, stirring occasionally until onions start to turn a golden color.  Remove them from the pan and place to the side. In the same pan, add raisins and butter.  Heat until raisins are warm.  This usually takes 3 to 4 min.  Stir in the cinnamon, sauteed onions, and a dash of salt.  Heat for a couple minutes and its ready to go!

You can serve it individually or family style.  The lentil rice goes first and the raisins and onions get poured on top.  When its just us, I serve it individually because my little one isn’t crazy about the onions.  She loves those raisins though!

 

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Turkey Meatballs

GF Turkey Meatballs

GF Turkey Meatballs 03I have been making these gluten free babies for years!  The whole family loves them, and they make great meatball sandwiches if you have any leftovers.

Up until I was forced not to, I always put breadcrumbs in my meatballs.  I thought they were a necessary binding agent.  Turns out you don’t really need breadcrumbs.  You just need some ground meat, yummy spices, and lots of garlic of course!  I usually make these in pasta sauce, but you can bake them in the oven on their own or cook them in a pan.

These meatballs are phenomenal on a bed of your favorite gluten free pasta!  If you’re not big on pasta, they’re super tasty on their own or topped with some Parmesan cheese.

 

Ingredients

1 lb ground turkey

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

2 cloves garlic, crushed or diced

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 Tbs ketchup

1 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp sea salt

dash of pepper

 

Method

Put your homemade or store bought marinara sauce in a pot and heat over medium heat.  Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Wash your hands, and get in there.  Blend all the ingredients together.  Once that’s done, roll them into about 2 inch balls and add them to the sauce.  Cook for 20 min.  If your sauce seems a little runny, just turn up the heat and leave a crack open in the lid for 10 min or so.  That way, some of the water will evaporate but the marinara sauce won’t splash everywhere.  If you’re planning on making pasta, you can boil that up while the turkey meatballs are cooking.

GF Turkey Meatballs 02

 

 

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Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken 2

Butter ChickenCan’t make it to your fave Indian restaurant tonight? Try making some deliciously gluten free butter chicken at home!

This recipe is a healthier, less complicated version of butter chicken.  It doesn’t actually have butter in it!  I have substituted the butter and the cream that are usually called for in this dish, but kept all of the aromatic flavors.  Maybe we should change the name too? Nah, it still tastes like butter chicken!

If you’re unfamiliar with Indian cooking, then there is one spice that will sort of stand out in this recipe, the garam masala.  Garam masala is a blend of spices that is used in many Indian dishes.  It can be found at an Indian market and most middle eastern super markets are carrying it now too.  If you enjoy Indian food I highly recommend having some on hand, because you’ll need it.

My husband likes his food on the spicy side, but if you prefer mild then leave out the cayenne pepper.  Serve it up over white or brown rice and enjoy!

 

Ingredients

1 Tbs  and 1 tsp coconut oil

1 lb boneless & skinless chicken thighs, cubed

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 Tbs tomato paste

1 tsp turmeric

2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup water

1/4 cup yogurt

 

Method

In a pan, heat 1 tsp coconut oil and add chicken.  Cook chicken on medium/high heat until both sides are a golden color.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat 1 Tbs coconut oil in a pot on medium heat.  Stir in diced onions and garlic.  When the onions become transparent, add the tomato paste and spices.  Lower the heat and stir occasionally for about 5 minutes then stir in water, chicken and yogurt.

Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes or until it has thickened and is no longer watery.

 

 

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Spinach Yogurt Curry

Spinach yogurt curry

Spinach yogurt curryMonday has always been a veg day in our house.  Out of respect for my Mother-in-Law’s beliefs, ever since I married my husband Monday was dubbed “Veggie Monday”.  It was really the only thing that wonderful woman ever asked of me!

At first it was a little hard for me to come up with vegetarian recipes that we both liked, and then the kids came along and it became even more difficult!  I came across this dish about 6 years ago.  I love yogurt, so I thought I’d give it a try.  I have made it many times since then.  It’s also gluten free on its own, so I didn’t need to substitute any of the main ingredients.

From what I know, this is a traditional Maharashtran dish.  Per wikipedia, Maharashtra is a state in the western region of India.  The curry is served over piping hot rice and mixed together in each plate individually.  It is a simply delicious dish that also has some protein, thanks to the spinach!

 

Ingredients

6 oz spinach

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 cup plain yogurt

3/4 cup water

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 bay leaf

1 Tbs butter

vegetable oil

salt

cayenne pepper

 

Method

Heat a little oil in a medium pan.  Add cumin seeds and spinach.  Cook over low heat until spinach is cooked, about 4 to 5 min.  Place spinach, yogurt, and water in a blender or food processor.  I use the Nutribullet.  Blend ingredients together until liquefied.  Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste and place in a serving bowl.

Heat butter in a small pan.  Once butter is melted add the mustard seeds and one bay leaf.  The mustard seeds may pop when heated. Keep on low heat for just a minute, then turn heat off and let the butter just soak in the flavors.

Pour butter and mustard seeds on top of the spinach yogurt curry.  The bay leaf is mainly for flavor, so it can be left in the pan.  Serve with basmati rice, or your rice of choice.

 

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Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

chicken tacos 02Back in December my older daughter decided she wanted a fiesta style birthday party.  What does one serve at a fiesta? Tacos!  I mean, I have no idea but it sounded good.  We thought about hiring a food truck, but I thought setting up a taco bar would be fun.

I usually make the typical ground beef tacos in the hard shell. I wanted a little variety for the taco bar, so I decided to add chicken tacos to the menu.  After the taco feast, a few people asked for the recipe.  One little problem….I didn’t have a recipe!  I just threw it all in the crock pot and didn’t measure a thing.

The kids loved it too, so I knew I would be making it again.  After a few trials with different measurements, we have a winner!  My girls like things on the milder side.  If you like your food to have a little more kick to it add some cayenne pepper into the mix.  My husband likes to add hot sauce on top or I’ll make a batch of spicy salsa for the two of us.  The best thing about it is you can just let it cook in the crock pot, add your favorite toppings, and dinner is served!

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs

2 cloves garlic

2 Tbs Tomato paste

2 Tbs Taco Seasoning

1 tsp Turmeric

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp salt

1 cup water

GF corn tortillas

 

Method

Place first 7 ingredients in the crock pot and set to High setting.  Pour water over the top and give it a stir.  Place lid on crock pot and let cook for 2 1/2 hours.  Turn the setting down to Low and let chicken cook for another 30 minutes.  When ready to serve, shred chicken.  It should just fall apart at this point, so you should easily be able to pull it apart with a fork and spoon.

Lightly heat your corn tortillas in the toaster or toaster oven.  Serve with salsa, guacamole, shredded cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, or any other taco toppings.

 

 

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Steak Saltado

Beef Saltado

Beef SaltadoFresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, and steak!  Doesn’t get much better than that.  This recipe is my dad’s twist on a Peruvian favorite, Lomos Saltado (Steak Saltado). As a kid, this is what my house smelled like on Saturday morning.  No complaints here!  My dad would get up early to go buy the meat so that it would be ready by the time we all woke up.

As an adult, it’s still a very comforting dish but a little heavy for breakfast.  It’s become more of a dinner or weekend lunch recipe. Oh my gosh, and it took forever to get it right!  There is a yellow Peruvian chili pepper that is VERY hard to find.  So I was trying to do without it, and I finally figured it out.

Traditionally, Lomos Saltado is tossed with french fries and served with rice.  In this version, there are no potatoes and you can serve it with rice or gluten free bread.

 

 

Ingredients

1 lb Top Sirloin Tri Tip

1 onion sliced

2 cloves garlic, diced or crushed

1/2 cup organic mini pearl tomatoes, sliced in half

3 tsp GF Soy sauce

salt and pepper to taste

coconut oil as needed

 

Method

Cut the tri tip into about 1/4 inch think pieces, kind of like you would for fajitas. Heat some oil in a large pan on medium heat and add meat. Stir fry the cut tri tip until all pieces are browned and look cooked.  Remove cooked meat from the pan and place in a bowl or plate.  In the same pan, stir fry the onions and garlic on medium heat for about 3 minutes.  Add tri tip pieces back into pan. Stir in sliced tomatoes, soy sauce, and salt and pepper to taste.  Keep on low heat for about 5 minutes to let the flavors settle. Serve with rice, gluten free bread, or even quinoa.

 

 

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Black Bean & Quinoa Bowl

photo (3)

photo (3)The simplest meal ever and so full of flavor!  I always have black beans on hand.  They are so versatile and it just helps for making quick meals. You can make your own and store them in the fridge, or buy them canned.  I do both, because I don’t always know what I’m making ahead of time.

This is also a great base recipe that you can add so many things to.  You could add some avocado or maybe some grilled veggies.  It’s nice to have a quick go-to meal that you can sit down and enjoy, even when you don’t have a lot of time.

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup Cooked Organic Black Beans

1/2 cup Cooked Quinoa

10 Organic Cherry Tomatoes

Salsa

Shredded Cheese (optional)

 

Method

Cut cherry tomatoes in half and set to the side.  Heat black beans on medium/low heat until warm.  Pour into a bowl.  Add cooked quinoa, cherry tomatoes, and salsa to taste.  You can throw some shredded cheese on top or have it as is!

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Spinach Lasagna

lasagna

lasagnaA couple of years ago a dear friend of mine was throwing together a spinach lasagna while I was at her place.  It was so wondrously simple I thought I’d give it a try.  The original recipe calls for cottage cheese, but I’ve always liked using a bechamel sauce instead of ricotta or anything else in my lasagna. I kept tweaking it just because and now its become a cross between the original recipe and the lasagna I’m used to.  It’s great even for weeknights because its simpler than traditional lasagna and you can always make it ahead.

Of course fresh ingredients are always best, but sometimes this mom needs a little help!  I buy the sauce premade.  I am a huge Trader Joe’s fan and if they carry what I need, I buy it from there.  They have a great organic basil and tomato sauce that I use as a base in this recipe.

 

Ingredients                    

1pkg no boil Gluten Free Lasagna noodles

Canola,coconut,or avocado oil

1 25oz jar Organic marinara sauce

1 lb chopped spinach

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 1/2 cups milk (dairy or almond)

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

2 cups shredded cheese

salt

pepper

 

Method

Heat a large pan and drizzle with about one teaspoon of oil.  Add garlic and spinach and saute until spinach is cooked. Pour marinara sauce into the pan with the spinach, add salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for about 10 min.

While the sauce is cooking heat a small saucepan on medium heat and.  Add butter.  When butter has melted, slowly add flour while whisking.  Pour in milk, half a cup at a time and continue to whisk. Blend in Parmesan cheese.  Sauce should begin thickening by this point.  Once the sauce reaches the consistency of an Alfredo type sauce, turn off the heat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Begin layering your lasagna by lightly coating a 9 inch baking dish with a little marinara sauce.  Lay down your lasagna noodles (usually 3 is enough).  Top with a layer of marinara sauce, bechemel, and shredded cheese, and lasagna noodles. Repeat to create another layer.  The top layer will consist of marinara, bechemel, and shredded cheese.  Mostly cheese.

Bake at 350* for 45 to 50 min.  Let it sit about 10 minutes before you cut into it.  This allows everything to settle a little.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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