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Pesto chicken topped salad

Pesto Chicken 3-Ways

Pesto chicken topped salad

Pesto chicken topped salad

Pesto chicken 3-ways, maybe 4 or 5 or 6……

Hi everyone! I should have named this post herb pesto 3-ways and more. Pesto is so flavorful and versatile, I’m sure you will find other ways to use the leftovers. Actually, I made and egg white omelette this morning and dabbed on a teaspoon – yum! Interestingly, my uber picky eater eats pesto. I certainly won’t complain because I can get good mileage out of a batch and it’s very healthy! But, I find it curious that she will eat pesto, but not something simple as corn…. sigh. Onward!

We grow a lot of herbs and use those those all season in salads and all of my cooking. I’ve convinced the kids that herbs are essential  for making a dish look good and taste good. In addition, herbs are really healthy! I count them as vegetable in our house.

Even my picky eater will eat this - separate, of course

Even my picky eater will eat this – separate, of course

You mentioned healthy?

As mentioned, I treat herbs as a veggie. They are packed with nutritional value. Basil is a good source of vitamin A, C and K and has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Cilantro has much of the same vitamins but also boosts a few more minerals and helps lower bad cholesterol. Fresh oregano is a good source of minerals like potassium, iron and calcium is great for digestive health. Parsley is considered a “super food”. It packs a punch with vitamins A, C and K and minerals iron, magnesium, and potassium like the others but also supports kidney, urinary tract health and fights cancer. Most herbs are good sources of fiber and are low in calories, anti-inflammatory and nutrient dense. Pesto sauce is concentrating all those great properties into a meal.

 What’s in the pesto?

My pesto recipe is really a basic pesto recipe. I do not add garlic as that is not acceptable for TQ’s fructose malabsorption. Honestly, I don’t miss it. But, if you are a garlic fan, then certainly add a clove or two. Sometimes, I use garlic flavored olive oil to get that hint of garlic and it is quite tasty.  Otherwise, the key players are the 3 cup of freshly packed herbs. The herbs I use most are basil (traditional), parsley, cilantro, and oregano. My daughter is especially a big oregano fan. I also use 3-4 green onion tops. I think that rounds out the flavor and since we don’t use garlic it adds a little kick.

This recipe couldn’t be any simpler. I used my blender to pack in the herbs, olive oil, parmesan, juice of half of a lemon and salt and pepper to taste. I used 1/4 cup of pine nuts, but before you add them to the blender toast them in a pan for a few minutes. Place the pine nuts to a dry skillet over medium heat until they are fragrant,  toasty and slightly brown, Turn off the heat once they start browning, so they don’t burn. Add them to the blender. Blend all of the ingredients, start with a pulse of two to incorporate. Once blended, you are left with a lusciously beautiful green sauce that can be use in endless ways.

Luscious, vitamin packed pretty herb pesto

Luscious, vitamin packed pretty herb pesto

Let’s talk versatility…

I used about 3/4 cup of the prepared pesto to a zip bag along with 1 pound of chicken tenders. The chicken marinated in the bag (in the fridge) for several hours.  Make the pesto the night before and prep the chicken, and marinate so it will be ready when you get home in the evening. I cooked a large batch of chicken for leftovers possibilities. Our first evening meal was gluten free pasta tossed with pesto and the marinated chicken.

Pesto chicken tossed with pasta

Pesto chicken tossed with pasta

I made myself a salad topped with the chicken and drizzled a little touch of pesto as my dressing along with a few crumbles of goat cheese which I highly recommend. Our second meal included make your own sandwiches. Toppings included grilled red pepper, green lettuce, goat cheese and little extra pesto for the bread. They can be eaten warm or cold. Perfect for a quick weeknight meal!

Pesto chicken and veggie sandwich

Pesto chicken and veggie sandwich

I had mentioned topping my egg whites with the pesto but I also think this would be a really delicious topped on cubes of baked tofu, or combined to make a pesto tofu salad or wrap. I may try that and report back. It could be spread as a condiment on any sandwich veggie, turkey or grilled cheese. What ideas do you have? What should I do with my next batch?

Pesto chicken pasta artfully designed by my son :)

Pesto chicken pasta artfully designed by my son 🙂

Herb Pesto - low FODMAP style
Serves 16
Luscious, vitamin packed, pretty herb pesto versatile in many ways from a marinade for chicken, pasta sauce or topping for potatoes and veggies.
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
92 calories
3 g
2 g
9 g
2 g
1 g
24 g
186 g
0 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
24g
Servings
16
Amount Per Serving
Calories 92
Calories from Fat 78
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 1g
7%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 2mg
1%
Sodium 186mg
8%
Total Carbohydrates 3g
1%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 0g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
8%
Vitamin C
21%
Calcium
6%
Iron
8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups Fresh herbs (basil, parsley,cilantro, oregano, chervil)
  2. 1/2 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1/4 cup Pine nuts - toasted
  4. 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  5. 3-4 Green onion tops
  6. 2 TB fresh lemon juice (half of a lemon)
  7. 1 tsp Salt (or to taste)
  8. Pepper to taste
  9. Optional garlic clove - but not low FODMAP
Instructions
  1. Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from heat.
  2. Place herbs, lemon juice, green onions (and garlic, if using) in bowl of food processor or blender.
  3. Pulse a few times and scrape the sides with a spatula to make sure all is blending.
  4. Add parmesan cheese and pine nuts, pulse a few more times.
  5. Add olive oil in slow stream to allow sauce to emulsify.
  6. Enjoy endless ways: Marinate chicken or tofu, toss in pasta, serve on eggs, over potato, mix in veggies, serve on sandwiches, top on fish or seafood.......
Notes
  1. Gluten free
  2. Low FODMAP
  3. Low sugar
beta
calories
92
fat
9g
protein
2g
carbs
3g
more
karinakappelonline.com http://karinakappelonline.com/

Scrumptious and quick to make chicken lettuce wrap

Scrumptious lettuce wraps (GF)

Scrumptious and quick to make chicken lettuce wrap

Scrumptious and quick to make chicken lettuce wrap

Hi everyone! This quick and healthy recipe is a family favorite. Not only that, it really is so versatile for so many, low fat, low carb, naturally gluten free, nutritious and safe for fructose malabsorption – a winner. These are my scrumptious chicken lettuce wraps. Mamas like me won’t even feel guilty over indulging on this dinner! The best part, you can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less.

Let’s get started

I think many of these ingredients are pantry staples. At least, if you are like me, and your family loves this meal, you’ll have these on hand so you can whip up a batch in a pinch. The pantry items are sesame oil, tamari (gluten free soy sauce), rice wine vinegar, a can of water chestnuts and rice vermicelli (optional). Next, chop the other ingredients uniformly and fairly small. That included 4-5 green onion tops, a handful of fresh cilantro (or parsley), 1/2 red pepper (orange or yellow). Freshly grated ginger and a little kimchi (totally optional) rounds out the ingredients.

Prepping the chicken lettuce wrap ingredients

Prepping the chicken lettuce wrap ingredients

Let’s get cooking!

Basically, everything gets thrown into a large saute pan. Begin by heating up a tablespoon of sesame oil until it becomes fragrant. Add the ground chicken, stirring often to break up the pieces and cook until almost all the pink is gone. Next, add the ginger, give it a stir. Add the water chestnuts and red pepper next and allow those the soften a bit. Keep the contents moving and drizzle in the tamari and rice wine vinegar. Toss the cilantro in at the end to keep its nice green color and freshness.

Chicken filling quick to make

Chicken filling quick to make

Serve spoonful on open butter lettuce leaves, fold and enjoy!

Serve spoonful on open butter lettuce leaves, fold and enjoy!

Let’s chat about options

Normally, lettuce wraps would have a hoisin sauce, which is a sticky and sweet/tangy sauce that accompanies many Chinese dishes. Hoisin sauce is not a safe product for our family’s food allergies so it has been avoided in this recipe. I mentioned rice vermicelli. My son loves rice noodles in his wraps so I do soak a handful in boiling water while the chicken is cooking. Personally, I like to add a bit of kimchi to the top of mine for a nice punch of heat and tang. With all of the news lately about adding fermented foods to our diet, this is an easy way to do so!

You said this was healthy?

Nutritionally speaking this is a one pot wonder! I add the red pepper for the added vitamin C, B6 and magnesium.  And the cilantro is rich in vitamin A and antioxidants. The butter lettuce has a good supply of your day’s vitamin K. In addition, this recipe is a good source of lean protein. Healthy all around.

Lettuce wraps with rice vermicelli

Lettuce wraps with rice vermicelli

Healthy, light and delicious lettuce wraps

Healthy, light and delicious lettuce wraps

Addicting chicken lettuce wraps
Serves 4
This quick and healthy recipe is a family favorite. Not only that, it really is so versatile for so many, low fat, low carb, naturally gluten free, nutritious and safe for fructose malabsorption - a winner.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
274 calories
9 g
153 g
13 g
30 g
3 g
247 g
610 g
3 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
247g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 274
Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
20%
Saturated Fat 3g
16%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 153mg
51%
Sodium 610mg
25%
Total Carbohydrates 9g
3%
Dietary Fiber 2g
9%
Sugars 3g
Protein 30g
Vitamin A
43%
Vitamin C
49%
Calcium
4%
Iron
15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 Tb Sesame oil
  2. 1 lb Ground chicken thigh
  3. 1 8 oz can Water chestnuts
  4. 4-5 Green onion tops
  5. 2 Tb Low sodium tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
  6. 1 Tb Rice wine vinegar
  7. 1 Tb Fresh ginger, finely grated
  8. 1-2 Tb Fresh cilantro
  9. 1/2 cup Red bell pepper finely minced
  10. 1 head Boston leaf lettuce
  11. Optional ingredients: Kimchi and mung bean noodle (or rice vermicelli), siracha
Instructions
  1. Heat sesame oil in a saucepan over medium high heat.
  2. Add ground chicken and cook until almost browned, about 3-5 minutes, breaking up chunks of chicken as it cooks.
  3. Stir in finely ground fresh ginger.
  4. Stir in water chestnuts, red pepper and green onions until tender, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add tamari sauce, rice wine vinegar and toss in cilantro at end. Taste and adjust any seasonings.
  6. To serve, spoon the chicken mixture onto the center of a Boston bib lettuce leaf, fold and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Gluten free
  2. Dairy free
  3. Low fat
  4. Low Carb
beta
calories
274
fat
13g
protein
30g
carbs
9g
more
karinakappelonline.com http://karinakappelonline.com/

 

Juicy, tangy, not to sweet pie goodness

Gluten free, sugar-free summery blueberry, peach pie

Gluten free, sugar free summer blueberry peach pie

Gluten free, sugar free summer blueberry peach pie

Happy summer! We started our summer off with a fundraiser. The school’s band sold pies at one of the municipal band concerts. TQ has a serious sweet tooth, even with fructose malabsorption. I thought he would grow out of it because all things sweet cause him sickness, not so. Working the pie booth might have been torture for the little man. He loves pie! (of course he hasn’t had any in years) In my effort to stop him from drooling, I promised to make him a pie for himself. The gluten free, sugar free, summer blueberry peach pie was my effort.

Juicy, tangy, not to sweet pie goodness

Juicy, tangy, not to sweet pie goodness

Baking the pie

I have to confess, I was not optimistic about making a gluten free, sugar free pie. But, I was willing to at least give it a shot and maybe I’d learn a few thing along the way. I made it easy on myself to start, I found a pre-made gluten free crust at the store – winning! Fruit and fructose malabsorption don’t obviously go hand in hand so the challenge was big to find an acceptable filling. I chose blueberries because I know TQ tolerates them well. Peaches are ok too, but they are new to his diet. Portion control was really going to be an issue and because of all of the fruit in the recipe, there was no way I could add more sugar to the pie party.

Sugar substitute

Recently, I was lucky enough to receive a sample of a new sugar substitute called Sola. It is made from stevia, monk fruit among other natural sweeteners. The company boasts that it measures and can be used like sugar without any other calculations or additions like the pure stevia powder. So, this seemed like a good opportunity to try this sugar substitute since the fruit was already providing the limit of fructose TQ should have. Added bonus is  Sola is very low in calories and has a low glycemic index – good for all of us!

Sola a new brand of sugar alternative

Sola a new brand of sugar alternative 

*We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Back to the pie

I decided to precook the peach filling a bit prior to baking the pie. Because I don’t have too much experience with baking gluten free pie, I couldn’t be sure how the crust would bake up. In a sauce pan the peaches, lemon, sugar substitute, cornstarch and cinnamon were added. I put the flame on medium and cooked until the fruit broke down a little and juices were released and thickened slightly. I did add about a 1/4 cup of extra water as the sauce was a little too thick. Taste the fruit and adjust the sweetness if necessary.

Meanwhile, the bottom crust was unwrapped and pressed into the pie plate. I added the peaches into the waiting pie crust. Next, I topped the peaches with the blueberries. I didn’t want to precook the blueberries because they would have turned the entire pie purple. Brush a little egg wash over the edges of the bottom crust to seal the two crusts. Finally, the top crust was unwrapped and topped the fruit. So far, so good!

Blueberries sprinkled over peach pie

Blueberries sprinkled over peach pie

The edges of the pie needed to be crimped and sealed, nothing fancy here. I used my thumb and forefinger to make a fluted edge, but you can use a fork as well. Seriously, who is going to care when a fresh pie is being served. Lastly, paint an egg wash over the top of the pie to make it brown up nicely. I sprinkled the Sola sugar alternative over the top to make it extra pretty and sparkly. Vent the pie with 4 or 5 slits on top.

Egg wash and sugar sprinkle for finishing touches

Egg wash and sugar sprinkle for finishing touches

Almost finished!

I recommend baking the pie on a foil lined baking tray. Believe me, it will save you a lot of work later, should the pie bubble over. Bake for 10 minutes at 450, then reduce the heat to 350 and bake at least another 30 minutes until you see the juices bubbling over the top and the crust is a gorgeous golden brown. Tip: halfway through the baking process my pie edges were getting a little extra brown so I covered it with thin strips of foil.

The finished gluten free blueberry, peach pie

The finished gluten free blueberry, peach pie

Allow the pie to cool before slicing and enjoying. One of the things I was most curious about was how the pie would hold up as leftovers. I am very happy to report that it lasted at least 4 days without turning into a pile of gelatinous mush. TQ was able to eat this in very small slivers with an otherwise strict diet day. That made me most excited! I froze two or three of the remaining pieces to see how it would thaw out. It would be nice to have a special ready made dessert in the freezer for special occasions. I will report back on whether that was a success or not.

Side note: The Sola sugar alternative worked out nicely. It provided a pretty browned pie crust along with the egg wash. In addition, it provided just the right amount of sweetness to the fruit. No fructose, low calorie, good taste, easy measuring – Winner! I will continue to experiment with this sweetener and report back.

Enjoy!

Gluten free, sugar free blueberry peach pie - Summer Yum!

Gluten free, sugar free blueberry peach pie – Summer Yum!

Gluten free, sugar-free summer blueberry, peach pie
Serves 12
Luscious guilt-free and easy summertime treat. Utilizing handy shortcut freezer pie crusts and the freshest summer fruit a gluten free and sugar-free blueberry, peach pie will be a welcomed dessert
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Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
159 calories
22 g
16 g
8 g
2 g
1 g
108 g
143 g
7 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
108g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 159
Calories from Fat 67
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
12%
Saturated Fat 1g
6%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 16mg
5%
Sodium 143mg
6%
Total Carbohydrates 22g
7%
Dietary Fiber 2g
6%
Sugars 7g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
5%
Vitamin C
12%
Calcium
1%
Iron
2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 5 cups Peaches (about 5-6)
  2. 3/4 cup Blueberries
  3. 1/2 Lemon, juiced
  4. 1/4 cup Cornstarch
  5. 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  6. 2 Frozen gluten-free pie crusts, thawed according to package directions
  7. 1 TB stevia (OR alternative equivalent, to equal 1/4-1/2 cup sugar)
  8. 1 Egg beaten with 1 TB of water for egg wash
Instructions
  1. Wash peaches, cut in half, remove pit and slice fruit
  2. Add the peaches, juice of half a lemon, sugar substitute, cornstarch and cinnamon to a sauce pan. *Don't add the blueberries yet.
  3. Toss the fruit to distribute the cornstarch evenly.
  4. Cook on medium heat until the fruit breaks down a little and juices were released and thickened slightly. *Add about a 1/4 cup of extra water if the sauce is a little too thick.
  5. Taste the fruit and adjust the sweetness if necessary. Allow to cool slightly as crust is prepared.
  6. Prepare the crust: Make sure frozen crusts are thawed according to package instructions. Unwrap crust and pat into pie plate. Don't worry if it tears, just use extra dough to fill in any holes. The dough is forgiving. Keep a little extra dough hanging over the edges. Brush the crust overhang with a little egg wash to help seal when the top crust is placed.
  7. Fill the crust with the peach mixture. Sprinkle the blueberries over the top of the peaches.
  8. Unwrap the top crust carefully and place over the fruit. Seal the two crusts together and fold over any extra.
  9. Crimp the edges using thumb and forefinger to make a fluted edge or use a fork to press together.
  10. Paint an egg wash over the top of the pie to make it brown up nicely.
  11. Sprinkle top with with Sola sugar alternative (or sugar)
  12. Vent the pie with 4 or 5 slits on top.
  13. Place pie on a foil lined baking sheet
  14. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes
  15. Turn heat down to 350 degrees and bake until golden brown and juices are bubbling over the top about 30-45 minutes (times vary depending on how much you precooked the fruit)
  16. If edges brown too much, place foil strips over edges to protect them from burning.
  17. Remove from over and allow to cool before slicing. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. * Using granulated sugar total will increase sugar intake total
beta
calories
159
fat
8g
protein
2g
carbs
22g
more
karinakappelonline.com http://karinakappelonline.com/