Tag Archives: gluten-free

Chicken Sausage, Apple, and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

27 May

Stuffed-Acorn-Squash



Chicken Sausage, Apple, and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

      • 1 acorn squash
      • half sweet onion, diced
      • 2 cloves garlic, diced
      • 3 links of chicken sausage (I used Sweet Apple from Al Fresco), casing removed & crumbled
      • 1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced
      • 1/2 c. quinoa, cooked
      • salt and pepper
      • turmeric, coriander, and smoked paprika

Preheat the oven to 425*F.  Cut the acorn squash in half and remove the seeds.  Trim the intact end down so that you will be able to turn it over and it will sit level, then salt and pepper the flesh of the squash.  Spread a few tablespoons of oil on a sheet pan (I used coconut oil), then place the squash cut sides facing down onto the sheet pan.  Roast the squash for 20-25 minutes or until the squash becomes flexible.  Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your squash obviously!   While the squash is roasting, heat up about a tablespoon of cooking oil in a frying pan over medium heat.  Cook the onions and the garlic for a few minutes until they become translucent.  Remove from the pan and place in a small bowl.  Place crumbled chicken sausage into the pan and cook until browned.  Add the diced apple into the pan, then add the onion and garlic mixture back into the pan.  Stir to combine and let cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add in the quinoa and season to taste with turmeric, coriander, smoked paprika, and salt. Once the acorn squash is ready, turn them over and fill with the sausage mixture.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

These were pretty portable and were easy to take to lunch with me, but fair warning: your coworkers are going to track you down to find out where the delicious smelling food is coming from and ask you what you are eating.  And BONUS: you get to eat the bowl!

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Review: The Taj Mahal

7 Jan

Moving to a new area can be extremely stressful, but luckily it also offers plenty of new restaurants, coffee shops, and local haunts to try out.  A friend of mine invited me to check out one of her guilty pleasures the other day:  The Taj Mahal Restaurant on McKnight Road.

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Now ya’ll know how much I love Middle Eastern food, so I was very hopeful that I would like authentic Indian cuisine.  I mean, we all know my addition to Patak’s sauces, right??  Well imagine my surprise when we were seated and I noticed tons of Indian people dining around us.  That’s usually a good predictor that the food is going to be on point.  The day that we happened to go, the only option was the lunch buffet.  Which…I mean….now my expectations are totally out of whack because buffets are usually gross, right?

WRONG.  You guys, buffets aren’t always gross!  This one was really really delicious!!!  The buffet was extensive and included cold/salad type options, entrees side dishes, appetizers, and desserts.  They included vegan and gluten-free options too, plus did I mention that it’s between $8.99-$9.99 depending on which day you go for lunch?  There is way more to the buffet than what these photos show, you should just go there and see for yourself.

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First, I thought it would be a good idea to try a little bit of anything that didn’t look familiar.  How do you know if you don’t like it if you don’t try after all?

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I didn’t remember to take pictures of all the names of these things, but I tried different chicken, lamb, tofu, and even goat dishes!  I can’t even tell you what most of these things are but I definitely ate $9.99 worth of all of it!  And to be completely honest, the tikki marsala was on point.

Dessert was equally delish!  I got the rice pudding dish and these balls of goodness, but my real favorite was the MANGO PUDDING.  I mean come on.

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Whew!  I spent the rest of the day in my fat pants, that’s for sure, but I regret nothing.  Bottom line:  delicious, affordable, authentic, and YOU SHOULD GO.

Stuff I’ve Put In My Mouth Lately

28 Apr

I have been trying to stay on point with eating.  (Hold on a sec while I put this Easter candy down…it’s so hard to type with just one hand!)  ANYWAY, to me clean eating isn’t steamed broccoli and grilled chicken with a seasoned rub.  I honestly think I would die.  I love flavor, food, and cooking too much and that feels like throwing in the towel.  Instead, I try to make smart choices and use whole, healthy ingredients.  Running also helps.  So does moderation.  😉

nene-tini

Here are some of my favorite eats from last week:

A few days after Easter, I realized that we weren’t going to eat the leftover ham unless I got creative.  (Big shout out to my mom for leaving a bunch of cloves in the ham, so I got a mouthful of potpourri not once, but TWICE.  ON TWO SEPARATE OCCASIONS).  So, into a frittata with the leftover asparagus that didn’t get cooked with Easter dinner, some spinach that’s been hanging around, and a bit of shredded pepper jack cheese:

Ham-Asparagus-Spinach-Frittata-Easter-Leftovers

of course this monstrosity is my own creation

Some semi-clean comfort food that got us through the chilly days:

It tastes like comfort food, but its just 363 calories per serving.  The 33.7 g of protein pack a huge punch and it’s healthy carb heavy.  I subbed in almond milk, so I know mine was lower in fat than the original recipe.  I love it when I feel like I’m having a cheat meal but it’s still pretty clean!  This stretched out over several days worth of lunch for myself at work.

 

This apple-cheddar stuffed chicken didn’t photograph so beautifully, but HOOBOY was it yummy.  This is another home run from Iowa Girl Eats – her recipes are amazing and if you don’t follow her on Pinterest, I’m sorry for your loss.

These gluten-free, dairy-free muffins were a great find on Pinterest!  Christina of course hates them, but I think they are mighty tasty.

Strawberry Chicken Spinach Salads (mine with balsamic, hers with Poppyseed)

photo 1

The End.

 

Cheddar Quinoa Cakes

2 Sep

Last night, I ventured into the dark space that has become my kitchen.  With our schedule being so hectic lately, it hasn’t seen much use.  But last night, the reclamation began.

I started by dusting off this bag of quinoa in my pantry:

Quinoa

And ended with these amazing little cakes:

CheddarQuinoaCakes

Cheddar Quinoa Cakes with Pesto (Pin-spired by SpoonForkBacon)

  • 2 c. cooked quinoa
  • 2/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 T. corn flour
  • 1 T. pesto
  • 1/2 T. EVOO
  • salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.  Heat up oil of your choice (I used canola oil because it’s what I had on hand) in a pan for about 5 minutes.  Then, form the mixture into patties and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes each side.  I flipped mine when they turned a nice golden brown color, but the timing will change depending on the oil you are using.  Since I had to cook these in 2 batches, I placed the finished ones on a cooking sheet lined with paper towels in a 200F oven.  They stayed warm and I was able to absorb the excess oil.  Super easy!

I garnished with a mix of pesto, olive oil, and a dab of mayo.

Southwest Stuffed Portobello Caps

24 Jul

Last night, I was in a little bit of a pickle.

I had planned to make Avocado Chicken Parmesan, but when I got home I realized that we were completely out of Panko.  And pasta sauce.  Oh yeah, and Parmesan.  I must’ve just had avocados on the brain all day because the bunch I bought the other day are perfectly ripe!  At that point, I’ve got chicken ready to go but we lacked anything to go with it.  After assessing the items left in my fridge (we are desperately in need of a grocery store run), I found some giant portobello mushroom caps.  Immediately I knew this was perfect, because you can sort of modge podge together a stuffing to go in them.  Its almost impossible to go wrong.

I remembered that I had grabbed these at the store, but had yet to try them:

ChickenSausage

I knew I had a can of black beans in the pantry along with some quinoa.  I have been a little late to the quinoa party.

Quinoa

I know its loaded with protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, B2, and manganese.  I get it.  (PS – Check out the vintage print on my pantry shelf liners.  At one point, the walls were covered with the same pattern, too.)  I had been served quinoa a few times and I just wasn’t impressed.  I think you have to find your own seasoning formula for quinoa, otherwise its not that appealing.

Southwest Stuff Portobellos

SouthwestStuffedBellas

Ingredients:

  • 2 large portobello mushroom caps, stems removed
  • 3 chicken sausage links (or protein of your choice), cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 can of black beans
  • chicken broth
  • cooking spray/olive oil
  • Spices: chili powder, cumin, coriander, ancho chili powder, Lawry’s

1.  Prep: Preheat the oven to 450F and wipe the portobellos with a damp towel.  Prep a cooking sheet by spraying it with cooking spray.  Then, spray the mushrooms caps as well.  (You could use olive oil here, but I find that it makes mine too moist and they fall apart.)

**Steps 2-4 can be completed all at once to save time!**

2.  Since the chicken sausage was pre-cooked, I just sauteed it in a skillet to reheat it.  Then I cut it up and set it aside.

3.  I drained and rinsed the can of black beans, then mixed together a teaspoon of olive oil, cumin, coriander, and Lawry’s to taste.  I popped them in the microwave for about 3 minutes, until the beans were tender.  Then, I combined them with the chicken sausage.

4.  I cooked the quinoa in chicken broth to add instant flavor, then when it was finished cooking, I seasoned it with chili powder and ancho chili powder.  Then, I combined it in with the chicken mixture.

5.  Once all the ingredients are combined, top the mushrooms and add some cheese if you want to.  These would have been excellent with some queso blanco, but all I had was shredded cheddar.  They would have been just as good without cheese, though, too!

6.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender.

I topped mine with avocado and a little bit of plain Greek yogurt.  Delicious, healthy, and accidentally gluten-free!

SouthwestStuffedBellas

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