Crockpot Spaghetti Squash

I love spaghetti squash. It’s healthy, filling and a great pasta substitute. The only problem with it is cooking it. It cooks faster when you cut it in half, but it’s pretty hard to do. After trying to do it myself and almost losing a finger, I now have my husband do the cutting if I’m roasting the squash. Of course that requires him to be around when it’s time to get the squash started in the oven, which doesn’t always happen.

Instead I started cooking the whole squash in the crockpot. It’s quick and easy and the slow cooker won’t heat up your house the way the oven can. Here’s what I do…

Get out your large crockpot and place the squash in it. Add a cup of water, close the lid and cook it on low for 8 to 10 hours. Carefully remove the squash using oven mitts and put it on a large plate or cutting board. Using a large, serrated knife, cut the cooked squash in half. Remove the seeds and set them aside. They can be roasted later just like pumpkin seeds. Use a fork to rake out the “noodle-like” strands of cooked squash.

Top your fake pasta with your favorite pasta sauce and serve. It’s also a great side dish with a little butter and pepper.

Healthy spaghetti squash dish

Pumpkin Pudding

I don’t have to be gluten free. But I make a pumpkin pudding that has the same ingredients as a pumpkin pie minus the pie crust. It is delicious warm or cold. I serve the pudding anytime of the year, but it is especially good on a cold night when it is served warm. I serve the pudding in a bowl because the dessert makes a sauce from the butter and brown sugar.

Pumpkin Pudding

  • 2 TBSP soft butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 16 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk or 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spread butter around the bottom and sides of a 1-1/2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle brown sugar over butter.

In a bowl mix together all other ingredients, blending well. Pour into prepared baking dish. Set dish in pan of hot water.

Bake for 1 hour till set.

Serve warm or cold with whipped cream.

Enjoy

The Hillbilly Housewife Thanksgiving PlannerThe Hillbilly Housewife Thanksgiving Planner

Don’t run around like a chicken (or should that be turkey?) with its head cut off on Thanksgiving morning. The Hillbilly Housewife’s Thanksgiving Planner will help you plan ahead and stay on top of things so you can actually enjoy Thanksgiving with your family & friends.

If you take a quick minute to read the first chapter you’ll realize how easy your Thanksgiving celebration will be. There are plenty of tips and ideas to make sure this year’s feast doesn’t stretch your budget to the breaking point, too.

There are also 2 bonuses tucked inside: A printable planner & checklist and all of the recipes in a printable pdf file.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Hillbilly-Housewifes-Thanksgiving-Planner-ebook/dp/B00A81OQ56

Is Quinoa Gluten Free?

Quinoa is called a grain substitute, but not a grain at all.  It is really a seed.  The good news, it is definately gluten free.

Quinoa is a light grain with a light nutty flavor.  It can be found in most supermarkets in the pasta / rice sections.

Quinoa is very nutritious and can be used in place of rice.  Quinoa is a complete protein and supplies all nine essential amino acids.  It is high in lysine and is an excellent source of protein.

With Susanne on a spring cleaning expedition, and getting all of us fired up to get our spring cleaning done, I thought I would offer up a recipe that is easy, nutritious and delicious.  Hope you enjoy this.

                                Quinoa with Turkey and Spinach 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 Cups Quinoa Grain
  • 2 Cups Homemade Chicken Broth or (Gluten Free Store Bought)
  • 1 Teaspoon ground Cumin
  • 1 1/2 pounds Turkey Tenderloin
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 medium Onion diced
  • 2 mild Green Chilies, stemmed, seeeded, and chopped*
  • 1 Squash, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 2 Cups Fresh Spinach Leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
  • 1 Cup Salsa (salsa by nature should be gluten free, but check label for cross-contamination possiblities)

Directions: 

Adjust the oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Spray a cast iron Dutch oven with olive oil cooking spray, (not the kind with flour in it).  Pour the quinoa into the prepared pan.  Add the chicken broth and cumin and stir until the cumin is dissolved.  Place the turkey into the pan.  Sprinkle in the salt.  Add the onions and green chilies.  Layer the squash into the pan.  Spread the spinach leaves over the squash.  Scatter the bell pepper slices over the spinach.  Spread the salsa out evenly over the top.

Cover and bake 1 hour, or until the vegetables are fork tender.

*If you prefer a little more kick to your dish use jalapeno peppers indstead of the gree chilies.

Makes 4 servings.

Prep Time:  about 20 minutes

Baking Time:  About 1 hour

Total Time:  About 1 hour 30 minutes.

Nutritional Information:  (approximate values per serving)

Calories 402; Fat 11 g; Carbohydrates 56 g; Cholesterol 86 mg; Sodium 268 mg; Protein 14 g; Fiber 7 g.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Mary Blackburn has been gluten free since 1988 and is the owner of http://www.easyglutenfreeliving.com.  She invites you to visit her site for more gluten free living tips and recipes. 

While you're there, take a moment to sign up for The Gluten Free Gazette, her bi-weekly newsletter filled with articles and answers to your questions about gluten, gluten free living and celiac disease.

Gluten Free Irish Dinner

I cannot believe that February is just about over and March is on it's way.  Although it seems that winter has had a strangle hold on parts of the United States, (and other parts of the world), I realize that spring is just around the corner.

Even though spring is almost here, my family is still enjoying warming comfort foods made in a dutch oven in the oven.  I don't know about you but when I make stews and dinners in the oven, they not only warm you on the inside, they seem to warm the whole house.

So in honor of March and St. Patricks Day, I have an Irish one pot dinner for you to try.

                                          Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced thinly
  • 2 lbs gluten free deli corned beef, sliced thick*
  • 2 large russet potatoes, unpeeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups carrots, sliced
  • 1 head of green cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 cup homemade or gluten free store bought beef broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 bay leaves

Instructions:

  • Spray a cast iron Dutch oven well with non stick cooking spray
  • Preheat oven to 450 Degrees.
  • Separate the onion slices and layer onto the bottom of the prepared pan.
  • Scatter the celery over the onions.
  • Place the corned beef over the top of the onions and celery.
  • Layer the potatoes over the meat.
  • Scatter the carrots over the potatoes.
  • Stuff as much cabbage into the pot as it can hold.
  • Pour the beef broth into a measuring cup.
  • Add the allspice, salt and pepper and whisk until there are no lumps.
  • Pour the mixture over the top of the cabbage.
  • Place the bay leaves into the pan.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  • Cover and bake 1 hour.
  • Remove bay leaves and spoon the sauce over each serving.

Makes 4 servings.

*Raw corned beef can be used in place of the deli corned beef.  If you are using deli corned beef, be sure it is sliced thick enough to keep it from becoming a crumbly mess.  If you would like more sauce add more beef broth to your pan.  The amount will depend on how juicy you want your dish so just add 2 tablespoons at a time until you have reached the right amount of  juice.

Prep Time:  approximately 20 minutes

Baking Time: 1 hour

Total Time:  approximately 1 hour 20 minutes

Nutritional Information:  (approximate values per serving)

Calories 298; fat 16 g; Carbohydrates 22 g; Cholesterol 16 mg; Sodium 1422 mg;  Protein 17 g; Fiber 5 g.

Mary Blackburn is the author of Gluten Free Get-Togethers and has been gluten free since 1988.  She is the owner of http://www.easyglutenfreeliving.com, and invites you to visit her site for more gluten free living tips and recipes.  While you're there, take a moment to sign up for The Gluten Free Gazette, her bi-weekly newsletter filled with articles and answers to your questions about gluten, gluten free living and celiac disease.

Gluten Free Summer Treats

I don’t know about where you are but here in Pennsylvania it has been extremely hot the past few weeks.  So I thought that I would share some of the cool treats that I like to make for my granddaughters.

They are not only refreshing, but are better for the girls than the store bought frozen treats.  Besides with the Frozen Fruit Pops I control the amount of sugar.

                                               Frozen Fruit Pops

  • 1 1/2 Cups of fresh fruit  (strawberries, pineapple, peaches*, or whatever your child likes)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

In a blender, blend the fruit, sugar, honey and lemon juice with 1 cup of ice until mixture is semi chunky.  Add another 1/2 cup of ice and blend until smooth.

Pour mixture into popcicle holders** and freeze until firm.  About 5 hours, or over night. 

*If using peaches or other fruit with a skin on it, remove skin before blending in the blender.

                                               Frozen Pudding Pops

  • 1 small package Jello brand pudding mix any flavor
  • 2 Cups cold milk

Whisk ingredients until completely mixed about 2 minutes.  Pour into popcicle holders.**  Freeze about 5 hours or overnight.

**Run popcicle holders under warm water for a few seconds to unmold the frozen treats.  If you don’t have popcicle holders you can always use bathroom size dixie cups and popcicle or craft sticks.  Just freeze slightly before inserting the sticks into the center of the cups, and remember to peel the paper off first.

I use Jello brand pudding because that is the only brand I am certain is gluten free.  But, as always, check ingredients before using.

I hope you and your children have fun making these and enjoy them as much as my granddaughters do.

Mary Blackburn has been gluten free since 1988 and is the owner of http://www.easyglutenfreeliving.com.  She invites you to visit her site for more gluten free living tips and recipes.  While you’re there, take a moment to sign up for The Gluten Free Gazette, her bi-weekly newsletter filled with articles and answers to your questions about gluten, gluten free living and celiac disease.

Yummy Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

This is my mom’s recipe for zucchini bread that I have modified and changed to gluten free.  I hope you all enjoy it.

                                        Mom’s Zucchini Bread, Gluten Free

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Gluten Free Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 Cups freshly shredded Zucchini
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1  1/2 Cups All Purpose Gluten Free Flour mix*
  • 1  Teaspoon Xanthan Gum
  • 1 Cup Chopped Walnuts or Pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat eggs, sugar, and oil in a large bowl with electric mixer.   Add vanilla and mix well.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and xanthan gum.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir by hand to mix well.  Add zucchinni and chopped nuts and stir to combine.

Pour into a greased 9×5 loaf pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 60 to 70 minutes.  Until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Let me know what you think of it.

*You can use Bob’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour or the following All Purpose Flour.

                                                 All Purpose Gluten Free Flour

  • 1 Cup White Rice Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Tapioca Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Cornstarch

Sift all ingredients several times through a sifter to make sure that they are well blended.  Use this flour mix as you would regular all purpose flour.

Mary Blackburn has been gluten free since 1988 and is the owner of http://www.easyglutenfreeliving.com.  She invites you to visit her site for more gluten free living tips and recipes.  While you’re there, take a moment to sign up for The Gluten Free Gazette, her bi-weekly newsletter filled with articles and answers to your questions about gluten, gluten free living and celiac disease.

A Gluten Free Valentines Day Dinner

Valentines Day is this weekend and going out to dinner can be a real hassle when you have celiac disease.  That’s why this week I have a very nice gluten free dinner for you that is delicious, elegant, thrifty, and won’t keep you in the kitchen all evening instead of with your valentine. 

Let me know how you like it, and I hope you enjoy it.

                               Lemon Crusted Pork with Chive Potatoes

For the pork chops:

  • 1 Tablespoon white wine
  • 1 Tablespoon French’s Worcestershire Sauce (it’s gluten free)
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Heinz Dijon Mustard (also gluten free)
  • 4 boneless pork chops 3/4 to 1 inch thick*
  • 1 teaspoon Mrs Dash Lemon-Pepper Seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter or gluten free margarine
  • Fresh Chives

Stir together the wine, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and dijon mustard.  Set aside.            Trim any fat from the pork chops.  Sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning on both sides of all 4 pork chops.  Melt butter or margarine in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat.  Cook pork chops in hot margarine for 3 to 5 minutes per side, turning once,  until slightly pink in the center and juices run clear.

Remove pork from skillet but keep it warm.  Remove skillet from heat.

Add wine sauce to skillet and stir until well blended.  Pour over meat and sprinkle with snipped chives.

*Money saving tip:  You can use a nice pork loin roast and slice it into chops.  That is what I do for this recipe.

For the Chive Potatoes:

  • 8 to 10 new potatoes or about 2 pounds of all purpose cut into small chunks
  • 2 Tablespoons Water
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter or Margarine, melted
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Chives, snipped

Place potatoes and water in a microwave  safe bowl, covered.  Cook on 100% power (high) about 8 to 10 minutes or until tender.  Drain, drizzle melted butter over potatoes and gently stir in the snipped chives.

Serve with a nice tossed salad and a green vegetable.

Mary Blackburn has been gluten free since 1988 and is the owner of http://www.easyglutenfreeliving.com.  She invites you to visit her site for more gluten free living tips and recipes.  While you’re there, take a moment to sign up for The Gluten Free Gazette, her bi-weekly newsletter filled with articles and answers to your questions about gluten, gluten free living and celiac disease.

Gluten Free Kid Foods

Has your family gone gluten free because your child was diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance?  Going gluten free is hard enough as an adult but for a child it can seem almost devastating.

No more macaroni and cheese, or Dairy Queen.  What about chicken nuggets?  While it’s true that you won’t be able to run through a MacDonalds drive thru and grab some chicken nuggets for the kids, I have a recipe for you today that creates some pretty good ones.  On top of that they are made in the oven so they’re healthy and good enough for non gluten free company as well.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.

                                                       Oven Fried Chicken Nuggets

  • 2 large whole boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 Cup Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 Cups Gluten Free corn flake crumbs**
  • 1 Jelly Roll Baking Sheet
  • 1 oven-proof  Wire Cooling Rack

Place cooling rack inside of the jelly roll baking sheet and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Rinse chicken and pat dry.  Cut chicken into bite-sized, about 1 1/2 inch, pieces.  Combine flour, paprika, salt and pepper in a flat pan.  In a second pan, beat eggs and water together, and in a third pan place the 2 cups of corn flake crumbs.

Toss the chicken pieces in the flour, then dip them into the egg mixture, (be sure they are well covered in egg), then into the corn flake crumbs.  Arrange chicken pieces on the cooling rack baking sheet.  Being sure that they don’t touch each other.  Bake at 350 degrees, for 30 to 45 minutes until juices run clear and coating is crispy.

The key to these being crispy is baking them on the wire cooling rack.  It allows the heat and air to circulate all around the chicken and the juices to drip into the pan instead of the chicken getting soggy in the juices.

This recipe can also be used on a whole broiler/fryer chicken for the whole family.

*Instead of Bob’s Red Mill Flour, you can substitute the generic All Purpose  Baking Flour recipe that follows.

**Corn Chex cereal can be used as a more economical substitution for the gluten free corn flake crumbs.  Just make them into crumbs in a food processor or blender.

                                                     All Purpose Baking Flour

  • 1/2 Cup White Rice Flour
  • 1/4 Cup tapioca flour/starch
  • 1/4 Cup cornstarch or potato starch

Sift well together and store unused portion in an airtight container in the freezer.

You can make as much of this as needed, just keep the proportions the same.

Mary Blackburn has been gluten free since 1988 and is the owner of http://www.easyglutenfreeliving.com.  She invites you to visit her site for more gluten free living tips and recipes.  While you’re there, take a moment to sign up for The Gluten Free Gazette, her bi-weekly newsletter filled with articles and answers to your questions about gluten, gluten free living and celiac disease.