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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/

 

Light and flaky texture

Gluten Free Cheezit Copycat

 

Gluten free cheese crackers

Gluten free cheese crackers

The Confession

A few weeks back I was looking for my phone charger and the likely suspect would be my son. I searched the house finding nothing, so turned my attention to his room. Well, I didn’t find my phone charger but I did find his bedroom stand filled with snack bags of Cheezits. Surprise Mom! Super fun to find that. So of course my mind is swirling, why would he do this he’s allergic to wheat…. Did he get sick?…. He has is own snacks why would he risk it? I confronted him with his secret stash and asked why!? His reply: “Mom, they are just so good I couldn’t help myself, I can’t resist!” and “I really miss Cheezits.” I hadn’t purchased those cheesy, salty crackers in some time, and my daughter needed a change of snack in her lunch box. But, I had no idea I had a closet Cheezit eater.

Light and flaky texture

Light and flaky texture

Time to bake

Everyone loves cheese crackers, so crispy, cheesy, and salty which render you incapable of putting the box down. I had to set out to make TQ an acceptable version. These gems are so good even MK loves them and they fight over the batch.  Now that I’ve made them a few times, I can say that they are pretty quick to bake up a batch. If you’ve made pie dough in the food processor this is very similar. The food processor technique made sense to me to because I was trying to mimic the flaky layers of pie dough.

Place flour, xanthan, baking powder and spices into food processor bowl and give it a quick whirl to distribute dry ingredients evenly. Drop tablespoons of butter ( or Earth Balance)  into dry ingredients and give that a whirl. The mixture should look granular or like little pebbles.

Texture of dough

Butter distributed within flour, resembling coarse sand

Add cheese, whirl to distribute flour over cheese. Add the egg and vinegar, whirl. The mixture will still be a little dry.  Add 1 to 2 Tb of cold water and process. Dough is ready when it holds together when you give it a pinch. If it does not hold together add another tablespoon or two of water. See how his process is very similar to make pie dough?

gluten free cheese cracker dough

Gluten free cheese cracker dough ready to roll out as it just sticks together when I give a pinch

Pretty easy so far right?!

Empty contents of the bowl on a work surface.  Gather the dough and work it into a disk. Cut the disk in half to make rolling out easier. *Tip: if the dough is too warm, it will make it difficult to roll out. Pop it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and try rolling again. The silicone mat made rolling out pretty easy, and it kept the kitchen cleaner. I just wasn’t a fan of baking on it this time. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface( if not using a silicone mat) to a 1/4 inch thickness.

Rolled out cheese cracker dough

Rolled out cheese cracker dough

Rolled out gluten free cheese cracker dough

Rolling out the dough

Cutting the gluten free crackers

Cutting the gluten free crackers

Cut the crackers using a pizza cutter, cookie cutter or dull knife into desired shape. Transfer to pans lined with parchment paper in a single layer. I did try baking a batch on a silicone mat, but I think they crisp up better on the parchment. Poke holes using a toothpick to make the crackers look authentic – that was fun. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-16 minutes or until you see them brown a bit around the edges. The smell of these morsels baking is magical! Close your windows because you may have the entire neighborhood over – seriously!

Allow to cool and enjoy! Store in an airtight container for a week, if they last that long.

gluten free cheez-it cpoycat

Gluten free cheese crackers so tasty ready for munching

Gluten free "Cheez-It" copycat
Serves 12
All of the cheesy, crispy, salty and flaky cracker goodness you loved, but now gluten free - and a snap to make at home.
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Prep Time
1 min
Prep Time
1 min
126 calories
1 g
48 g
11 g
5 g
7 g
36 g
222 g
0 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
36g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 126
Calories from Fat 101
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
18%
Saturated Fat 7g
36%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 48mg
16%
Sodium 222mg
9%
Total Carbohydrates 1g
0%
Dietary Fiber 0g
0%
Sugars 0g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A
8%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
16%
Iron
1%
* 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 1/2 cups Gluten Free all purpose blend
  2. 1/2 tsp Xanthan if flour blend doesn't include
  3. 1 tsp Baking powder
  4. 1/8 tsp Turmeric (ground)
  5. 1/4 tsp Paprika
  6. 1/4 tsp Smoked paprika
  7. 1/2 tsp Salt, plus more to sprinkle on top
  8. 2 cups Cheddar cheese grated, preferably extra sharp
  9. 5 Tb Butter, cold cut into pieces
  10. 1 Egg
  11. 1 Tb Vinegar, white
  12. 3-5 Tb Water, cold
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Line two baking pans with parchment or use silicone liner
  3. Place flour, xanthan, baking powder and spices into food processor bowl and give it a quick whirl to distribute dry ingredients evenly.
  4. Drop tablespoons of butter into dry ingredients and give that a whirl. The mixture should look granular or like little pebbles.
  5. Add cheese, whirl to distribute flour over cheese.
  6. Add the egg and vinegar, whirl.
  7. The mixture will still be a little dry. Add 1 to 2 Tb of cold water and process. Dough is ready when it hold together when you give it a pinch. If it does not hold together another tablespoon or two of water may be needed. (This process is very similar to make pie dough)
  8. Empty contents of the bowl on a work surface. Gather the dough and work it into a disk. Cut the disk in half to make rolling out easier. Dough may be chilled.
  9. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut the crackers using a pizza cutter, cookie cutter or dull knife into desired shape. Sprinkle the surface with a little extra coarse salt to taste.
  10. Transfer to prepared pans in a single layer.
  11. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-16 minutes or until you see them brown a bit around the edges.
  12. Allow to cool and enjoy! Store in an airtight container for a week, if they last that long.
  13. *Tip: if the dough is too warm it will make it difficult to roll out. Pop it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and try rolling again.
beta
calories
126
fat
11g
protein
5g
carbs
1g
more
karinakappelonline.com http://karinakappelonline.com/