Chicken Piccata Meatballs-Gluten Free

I love Chicken Piccata,  Lemony, Salty with Capers, Yummy. With a side of pasta even better. This recipe is Wheat Free, served with my favorite Orecchiette gluten free pasta.

Packed with a double hit of Protein packed Quinoa. You don’t need to be Gluten free to  enjoy this. Quinoa is the binder instead of Breadcrumbs. You can sub breadcrumbs, gluten free or not. You favorite pasta will do too. Serves 4-8 depending upon portion control. Meatballs can be served as an appetizer.

  • 1 lb of ground Chicken, Turkey or Ground Turkey Breast can be substituted
  • 1 cup Quinoa, cooked with lemon and  broth
  • 4 Bullion cubes made with 4 cup water or 4 cups broth divided for Quinoa prep and sauce
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, or Real lemon
  • 1/2 cup capers or chopped salty olives(kalamata type), divided
  • 1 shallot ir 2 cloves garlic
  • 1  fresh green or colored pepper, diced fine
  • 1 tsp Oregano or Italian seasoning
  • 1 egg well beaten optional, or 1/4 Eggbeaters
  • 2 tablespoons Corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons butter or oil optional
  • 1 lb of your favorite pasta prepared at serving time
  • Favorite grated cheese

Spray non-stick pan. Saute shallot, peppers with 1/4 cup of broth until tender. Set aside and cool. Remove veggies which will be mixed into the meat, retain liquid in the saute pan for the sauce.

Prepare 1 Cup quinoa, with 1 3/4 cup Broth, and 1/4 cup lemon, allow to cool. It can be used as you would couscous.  Makes 3 cups.  You can serve it with the meatballs, or save the other 2 cups at another time.

In mixing bowl,  break apart Chicken, add half the capers, cooled veggies and ONE cup of cooled quinoa. Add optional well beaten egg or 1/4 cup eggbeaters. Get down and dirty, mix thoroughly with your hands. Preheat oven to 350 degees. Spray a cookie sheet with gluten free spray. Form walnut sized  meatballs, and place on cookie sheet without touching.

Bake for 25 minutes, 1/2 way thru carefully turn with tongs.

While the meatballs are baking,  add 2 tablespoons of broth or butter into the saute pan on low that the peppers and shallot were cooked in. Sift the cornstarch in slowly while whisking on low heat. As mixture thickens, continually add broth to the desired consistency.

Finally add meatballs and remaining capers and simmer for an additional 20 minutes (very low). Some prefer this sauce to be a thinner broth for a more rustic style. Steffie prefers a clingy thicker sauce, that sticks to your pasta.

Prepare pasta, and serve, sprinkle with your favorite cheese.

Meatballs can be served as an appetizer,  put into soups, or even a meatball grinder.

Weight Watcher and Gluten-free friendly

 

 

Low Calorie-Meat Chili -Super Bowl Perfect

This is made for my gluten free, nitrate free, nearly vegetarian  best guy!!! It’s on the stove right now. Ground Turkey, Chicken or Buffalo can be used to maintain the lo-cal theme.

Ingredients for six servings

  • 1lb ground meat
  • 1 large pepper or 3/4 cup mixed peppers including hot pepper, diced small
  • 1 medium onion chopped fine
  • 1 clove  garlic or more to preferred taste, finely minced
  • 1 carrot chopped fine
  • 1 can  favorite beans, black, pinto, red kidney, you get the idea
  • 1 small can or 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock. 2 cubes bouillon and 2 cups water as a substitute
  • 1 cup kitchen ready crushed tomatoes or 1 cup finely diced fresh tomatoes
  • Chili, taco or fajita spice (watch for wheat ingredients if  need is glutenfree, or homemade spice mix
  • salt, pepper to taste

Saute in a non stick pan, onions, carrots and pepper until onions start to caramelize,   add ground meat. Chop into small bits as you saute,  thoroughly cook and brown, add clove garlic finely chopped, add a few tablespoons at a time of broth if mixture is too dry. Add spice mixture to taste.

Remove from heat.Allow to cool, enough to add to a food processor. I use my Magic Bullet Grinder for processing and do in small batches, add tomatoes and blend, to a rough smoothness. My last batch I did extra smooth.

Place mixture in a crockpot or  2 qt sauce pan, add your favorite beans. Add broth to desired thickness, simmer on low for 1 hour, or crockpot on low for two hours or more. Add more broth if  mixture becomes to thick. the broth will cook off and also be absorbed while cooking.

Serve as entree with rice, as tacos or in rolls. Gluten free eating?  Try Udi’s new line of hotdog and hamburger rolls, they are  the best find! How about Gluten-free Corn bread.

Weight Watcher points is 5 for Ground Chicken. 6 for Buffalo, the lowest is Ground 99% Turkey Breast a 4 points. Regular Ground Turkey  93% is 5 points.  If you are a beef lover and can’t go without it ranges from 4-8 depending on leanness of the meat. Weight Watcher recipe is 8 points posted on twitter  1/29

 

Super Bowl Dishes- Pulled Pork

There are so many ways to build a yummy pulled pork meal or sandwich.This recipe will serve about 10,  reduce the ingredients for smaller portions, or freeze cooked batches into serving size.

You need a big hunk of pork, apple cider vinegar,spices & time and patience, a minimum of 4 hours.  It’s yum. You need 1 pork shoulder about 8 lbs, pork butt or pork roast. Center cut pork roast is too lean. For quicker cooking you can use  pre-cut ‘country style’ ribs.Country style ribs are the blade end of a pork loin, halved crosswise then sawed into 1″ or greater strips. They will appear 1″ x 6″ long and have a good lean to fat ratio to create tenderness.  A piece of pork with a  fatty appearance will make  tender, moist pulled pork. If you can get your butcher to butterfly or bone, a bone in piece is preferred. The first stage of cooking is roasting and caramelizing bone in meats that will develop a richer taste.

  • Pork, bone in preferred, cut into large 6″ chunks or Butterflied
  • 1-2 quarts Chicken Stock or bouillon made from  cubes or powder
  • 2-3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup each mirapoix- diced Carrots, Onions & Celery
  • 2 tablespoons  vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Green, or Variety Peppers cut into strips.  Jalapeno optional
  • 2 tablespoons Salt, 1 tablespoon Pepper & these spices: 2 tablespoons Chili Powder, 1 tablespoon each Cumin, Oregano, Garlic powder-optional, Pepper flakes-optional.  OR if You have Adobo Brand Spice Mix, Use 4 tablespoons plus Cumin and Chili powder Only
  • 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • Condiments optional, BBQ sauce, Bread & Butter Pickles, Spicy mustard.
  • Slider Rolls or Corn Bread

Mix Thoroughly all dry ingredients, Sugar, Salt, pepper and spices. I do taste mixture to see if it needs a little something. DO NOT add extra salt at this time, you can always salt later, chicken broth will also add salt.

Rub mixture into all surfaces of the meat,  The more surface areas exposed and spiced the better the depth of flavor. Let set for an hour or more as a dry marinade in the fridge. Overnight is better.

Preheat oven to 350, If you have a convection use the fan feature. You can also grill in a BBQ on indirect heat. In large open pan roast or indirect BBQ for at least 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Turn frequently to allow all sides to brown. If you want to omit the sugar due to dietary concerns, the fat will still allow the meat to caramelize without it. The roasting and then simmering method with spices and vinegar produces, the savory, sweet, spicy, yummy taste they call Umami.

While meat is roasting saute the mirapoix mixture in the vegetable oil,  allowing a light caramelization,  the vegetables do not need to be cooked until soft.

In a large dutch oven, stock pot or crock pot, place cooked vegetables. Add 3 cups of stock and one cup of cider vinegar. Remove meat from oven, place cooked meat into stock pot. Deglaze the pan (add 1 cup of stock to pan), scrape all bits of browned pieces and spices into the liquid, pour all of the liquid into the pot with the meat. Add Green pepper mixture.

Add a combination of Vinegar &  remaining stock to completely cover the meat. Ratio should be 1 part vinegar to 3 parts stock. 1/4 cup to 3/4 cup ratio.

Stove-top, simmer meat on low for 2-3 hours until fork tender. Set crock pot on low for about 6 hours. You can use a pressure cooker for 30-45 minutes to accomplish the same. Do not completely submerge in liquid. Fill liquid to 1/3 full only. When pressure cooking check  half way through to make sure all liquid has not been dissipated.

After meat is tender, it should shred when touched with a fork. Remove all pork to a platter. Strain leftover liquid, and reserve, this will be your liquid to keep your pork moist. Liquid can also be used on the side as a mopping sauce. The liquid may be fatty, skim fat from top as it rises.

Pull pork apart with two forks to shred. Remove all bones and fat and discard. Place shredded pork into a foil tray for warming or back into crock pot. When pork is finished, add only enough of the reserved liquid to moisten the pork. It should not be soupy. Keep heated until serving, or refrigerate and reheat before serving.  Cooked meat can also be frozen.

Serve as a main meat with cornbread or as sandwich/sliders. Reserved liquid can also be used southern-style as a side mopping sauce. Add your favorite BBQ sauce or spicy mustard as condiments.  Butter pickles also adds a nice twist. For those with needing a gluten free option, serve with Gluten Free Cornbread, or Breads. Udi’s make a great selection of bread and rolls. Homemade Cornbread or muffins is pretty easy.

You can cook with an oven only method without  liquids if you prefer. LEAVE WHOLE. Roast or indirect BBQ for 3 1/2-4  hours as a whole pork shoulder or butt @ 275 degrees. Remove, wrap completely with foil for 1 hour after cooking. Set on counter to cool. After an hour the meat will still be warm to hot, shred and remove all fat and bone before serving. De-glazing the pan with chicken stock and little vingar will give you a bit of liquid to keep the meat moist. It will be a bit drier, but tasty.

 

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