Quickest Best Antipasto EVER! and Easy

Antipasto, Antipasti (plural), translated as “before the meal”.  In Italian cooking it means an appetizer typically consisting of olives, anchovies, cheeses, sliced sausage, peppers, artichoke hearts and various meats.  Many Americans also believed it was the course served before pasta.The most hearty and daring of guests may enjoy Peprocini, anchovies and roasted garlic cloves in their antipasto. For Allergies or dietary preference*****omit meats for vegetarian. *****check all ingredients for wheat/gluten free. A low calorie option, omit meats and add ingredients that are oil free, and fat free. Most items can be purchased water packed.antipasto2

Holidays tend to be complex.  Delicious Appetizers are a treat to give and to serve. Quick appetizers that relieve the load might even taste better. I have received more compliments on this easy recipe than any other.

Quick, Easy, One dish Antipasto, Great for traveling, 5-10 minutes prep time.

Ingredients to mix together in nonmetallic dish. You can assemble in minutes for a quick pull together take along or marinate a day ahead for melding of all the flavors. Preserve cheese if making ahead do not add until just before serving.

  • 1 large jar, 28 ounces of roasted peppers, sliced into strips
  • 1 can or container of olives; Black, Kalamata, green or mixed, pitted  may be prefered
  • 1 Jar marinated mushrooms
  • 1 can of Artichoke hearts cut to bite-size or two jars of marinated
  • Have the supermarket deli cut  a half pound each of provolone and Genoa salami,  into 1/2 inch slices , cube at home into 1/2″
  • 1 dozen cherry tomatoes halved, or 6 shredded and minced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tsp  dried oregano or basil, or both.
  • dress with premium olive oil. Omit to cut calories

There is no wrong ingredient, add these optional favorites to your audience’s taste, or serve as sides.

  • pepperocini
  • pepperoni
  • mortadella cubes
  • Italian Capicola, shredded or cubed.Various cheeses, Blue, Feta, shredded or flaked Parmesan
  • 1 Cup of your favorite pasta cooked and chilled before adding, penne, rottini, farfalle bows or Orecchietti, **** gluten free options are available
  • anchovies
  • red raw onion
  • roasted garlic
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • shredded prosciutto di parma, sliced and shredded thin
  • hot pepper flakes
  • roasted Asparagus, Zucchini or Eggplant
  • Capers for a salty bite

Serve with Crusty breads, or varried  lettuces to make quick salads

  • a crusty loaf of bread

 

 

Gluten Free Cornbread or Muffins

This recipe can  be made with regular flour if Gluten Free is not a necessity. Flours are available at most grocers, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Amazon.com and now Walmart  Online.  I tried this in a Silicone Muffin Pan

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Use nonstick spray on large muffin tins, or 8×10 metal, silicone or foil shallow baking pan.

To make Muffin/bread batter

  • 1 cup Gluten Free cornmeal, all corn meals are not created equal
  • 1 cup alternative Gluten Free Flour, Bob’s Redmill Pancake flour adds a lightness. Rice Flour, Amaranth, Quinoa flour, Chick Pea flour will do. A combo flour like Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free has a better than average outcome.
  • 1/2 cup sugar or alternative, Agave and Honey reduce to 1/3 cup
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder-gluten free
  • 1 cup liquid, Milk, soy, almond or apple juice/cider
  • 2 eggs fork beaten or 1/2 cup substitute of egg beaters or whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt optional
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or vegetable oil, avoid margarine
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • Options can include, Raisins, cinnamon,  dried fruit, pumpkin pie spice,  ginger.
  • Mix all dry ingredients well, for a grainier more hearty muffin  use a 1 1/3 cups corn meal to 2/3 gluten free flour
  • Whisk in wet ingredients, mixture should not be lumpy
  • Add optional spices and fruits

Fill muffin tin equally, or spread into non glass baking pan. Bake 22 minutes, makes 6 large muffins, or one small tray of 12 pieces of cornbread when divided. For small muffins reduce time to 18 minutes

Serve warm, or cool and store. Freezes well.

301 each calories based on using agave method and apple juice.46 carbs  11 fat, 5 protein

******This is a gluten free recipe, not diet friendly

 

 

Super Bowl Event Dishes-Taco Bar

Lets make a Taco Bar. You can prepare and precook all the day before, Gluten Free options are included

Premade taco shells will save you time but you can use fresh toasted corn tortillas to be authentic and to save money. Provide soft flour tortillas for those  that would prefer less of a crunch. Use your favorite salsa, or make a fresh one. Left over shredded pork, chicken of beef or a combo or traditional ground taco meat. You can lighten with Turkey, Buffalo or Ground Chicken instead of Beef. All sorts of fun condiments will make it a hit.

This recipe is for 4 full servings, double for 8, triple for 12 and so on for more.

  • 12 taco shells, pre-made or fresh/toasted, or 6″ flour for soft tacos(non gluten free)
  • 1lb of ground meat, Turkey, Chicken, Beef, pork or Buffalo*** any shredded leftover meat or fish can be used for a refined touch
  • 1 envelope of Seasoning or homemade  seasoning to taste
  • Salsa of fresh made from ingredients below
  • 1lb ripe tomatoes, 1/4 inch dice
  • 1/2 cup red onion small 1/4″ dice
  • 1  seeded jalapeno optional, minced fine
  • 2  tablespoons fresh Cilantro or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1 lime or lime 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1/2 head of your favorite lettuce, Iceberg, romaine or ‘field’ greens for a gourmet touch
  • Shredded Cheese, Mexican Blend, Mozzarella, Monterrey Jack, Cheddar,  or a real treat a Mexican Cheese suitable for crumbling, Ranchero® Queso Fresco, yummy
  • Condiments: sour cream, chopped black olives, jalapenos-fresh or canned, Guacamole or Avocado Slices

Day before, make the salsa. In large nonmetallic bowl, add all the following ingredients together

  • Core tomatoes, chop into a 1/4 inch dice, strain off  excess tomato liquid,  preserve liquid
  • add chopped red onion to bowl
  • seed jalapeno and minced/or chop into an extra fine dice, or use 1 table spoon canned chilies as a substitute, Jalapeno may be too hot for children and others and is optional
  • Finely mince cilantro removing tough stems, substitute  dry cilantro leaves, parsley can be substituted if cilantro is unavailable
  • squeeze entire lime into the mixture
  • *****for a different twist add fresh kernels of corn, a few table spoons of cooked,black beans, fresh crushed clove of garlic or finely minced cucumber, anything  different can make it your own unique recipe
  • Mix well and store in a glass or plastic bowl, refrigerate for at least 12 hours for best flavor

Saute meat in a nonstick pan, brown well, after draining fat, add preserved tomato water, add taco spice or homemade taco spice blend. For an extra kick, add minced garlic,  onions, shallots while browning.  If meat is cooked day before, reheat just before serving. See homemade spice instructions.

Time to Serve- assemble a counter space with Taco Fixins

Tacos, Warm Taco Meat, fish or shredded meats,  Various Cheeses, Lettuce, Condiments and Salsa,  there is no wrong way to assemble a taco-ENJOY

This recipe is Gluten Free friendlily when you omit flour tortillas and premade taco seasoning and make your own. See make your own

Gluten Free book Giveaway

Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s Contest for her VIP GiveAway, this article is pasted from Cheap.com

Facebook entry for getting a chance for her VIP Giveaway
If you don’t win it you can buy it, The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide. The Cheap household is nearly 100% gluten free, this will be a great addition to avoid the Monotony of  limited commercial options. Free recipes with Gluten free options are available @ Cookmethis.com

This is the last week to enter to win an autographed copy of Elisabeth’s new gluten-free cookbook “Deliciously G-Free”. Visit the “Deliciously G-Free Giveaway” tab on our Facebook page to enter . Be sure to share this with your friends on Facebook and be entered to win a free box of NoGii No Gluten High Protein Bars!

Free is cheap!

Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad has endless possibilities

Serve on a Salad or Greens. How about a Sandwich of  Flat Bread,  Flour Tortilla or a Roll. As an appetizer on a cracker.

The Basic mix

  • 2 cups Boneless Chicken, simmered and chilled, or leftovers from a store bought Roasted Chicken, White or dark meat based on preference
  • 1/2 cup of  mayonnaise. Lowfat, reduced fat or fat free are best for the waistline
  • 1/4 cup chopped, celery strings removed
  • Optional, 1/2 cup fresh grape halves or dried fruit such as Dried Cranberries, Golden Raisins, Raisins, plums, cherries etc.
  • Optional, unsalted nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, almonds or pignoli (pine) finely chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste,  fresh or dried herbs to taste, such as Sage, or Tarragon

To assemble

  • Roasted chicken should have all skin and bone remove and chilled before mixing. Home cooked chicken should also be cold before adding mayonnaise. If chicken is simmered in broth do not add salt to salad.

In a nonmetallic bowl mix well

  • Chicken -can be coarsely chopped for a rustic look, diced to 1/4 inch or ground for a smooth spreadable texture.
  • celery, and options of grape halves,dried fruit, nuts
  • Mayonnaise, add less for drier, more for wetter,  conventional ratio is 4:1
  • Salt, pepper and add herbs
  • Refrigerate,  the longer it is chilled the better the flavors are incorporated
  • makes 10 1/2 cup servings

Makes enough for ten sandwiches or salad toppers, used as a cracker spread makes approx. 40 or more.

Sage  mixed with Cranberry gives it a thanksgiving flair. Tarragon has a very savory earthy effect, and is luscious.  The combination of bread  or greens can make it basic or elegant.

Stock The Kitchen, Day Two

If you’re not prepared, a 15 minute meal can take you hours to prepare. Most meals should take 10 minutes or less to prepare, and then you add cooking time. Also, timing is everything,. If the protein takes 25 minutes, pasta shouldn’t be started at the same time. Timing is essential, as well as multi-tasking. For example, you can whip up a salad, while the other ingredients heat in the oven.

Stock the cupboards with staples, your must haves, Use Steffie’s Pantry for a start.

Always have on hand, your favorite Pasta & Sauce, Frozen(steamable) bag vegetables, Rice, Potatoes, and Salad fixins. If you have all that, you can cook anything, and quick.