Yummy Gluten Free Lunch or Dinner

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GLUTEN FREE SALMON CAKES – serves 6

So I’m really picky when it comes to seafood. I’m always looking for recipes that take the fish out of fish, if ya know what I mean. My goal was to develop a recipe I could tolerate and one that was gluten free. My family and I are trying our best to live healthier by eating leaner meats and fish.Which means those juicy, red meat hamburgers my husband loves to clog his arteries with are slowly being excluded from my weekly meal plans. Sorry hamburger. I know your tasty, but your attempts to lure my husband into an early grave have been thwarted by my quest to find a hamburger alternative. Ok, yes…sometimes I crave you too and yes sometimes you win, but not today.

First off, it is always important to recognize the importance of balancing your omega 6 and omega 3 intakes. Almond flour contains omega 6 fatty acids and should always be used in moderation and paired with foods high in omega 3 like flax meal or fish. Almond flour is added to enhance flavor here. There are two ways you can make this recipe. One way is with fresh cooked salmon and the other way is with canned or packaged boneless salmon. When I first developed this recipe I used 3 packaged 5 oz cooked boneless salmon found by the canned tuna in most grocery stores. Normally I’d turn my nose up to this poor excuse of a salmon fillet, but let’s be realistic here. Being gluten intolerant is really expensive and sometimes life is just busy and you need some kind of break from being a kitchen slave, no matter how small it is. My toddler gets very impatient during dinner time making cooking a challenge. I’m working on teaching her patience and also trying not to sacrifice food quality at the same time, but damn it’s hard when they get so demanding. This is one reason this recipe works for my family. It’s quick, easy and everyone eats it. It doesn’t taste like a beef burger, but my husband still loves it. Hope you like it the way it is, but feel free to tweak it and report back.

INGREDIENTS:

15 oz wild caught, canned or packaged, skinless and boneless salmon (Bumblebee or Chicken of the Sea)

2 eggs

1 TBL. garlic flakes

1 tsp. worcestershire sauce

1 TBL. lemon juice fresh squeezed

1/4 c. fresh cilantro finely chopped

2-3 green onions finely chopped (white or red onions will be too strong)

few dashes of salt (no more than 1/8tsp) /pepper to taste

1/2 c. almond flour (can substitute additional 1/2 c of bread crumb instead of almond for cheaper meal)

1/4 c. seasoned gluten free bread crumbs (use the brand 4C found by the crumbs at Walmart, the romano cheese in it adds a lot of flavor)

plus additional crumbs to coat the outside of the cake before frying

generous TBL. coconut oil for frying (olive oil works too)

DIRECTIONS:

♦ First get out a piece of foil or a plate and pour about 1/4 c of breadcrumbs. Set aside. Get out a large frying pan (do not make on the grill) and prep surface with a generous coating of coconut oil spray or a spoonful of solid oil. You might want to wait to turn on your skillet so the oil doesn’t get too hot, depending on your stove. The more you prepare ahead of time the less you have to wash your hands as you finish your salmon cake prep.

♦ Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl until salmon is thoroughly coated with egg and seasonings. Add breadcrumbs and almond flour and continue to mix into the salmon. I prefer to work it with my hands so I can test the mixture to ensure it has enough breadcrumb and egg to hold it together, but if you cringe at the thought of stickiness a spoon will work fine.

♦ After it’s mixed well grab a handful and begin shaping into a ball and then flatten in your hand while rounding the edges until you get the cake about 1/2 inch thick. Go to the plate of crumbs you set aside in the beginning and lay your cake in the pile of crumbs, flip over to coat the other side. It just has to be lightly covered. Place in oiled pre-heated frying pan, medium heat to prevent scorching, 5 minutes each side until browned and firm. Gently remove from pan and lay onto paper towel.

♦ Serve immediately on your favorite gluten free bun, roll, wrap or bread with condiments or toppings of your choice. I like mine with fresh spinach on top and Henski’s Honey Horseradish Mustard on my bread, but that’s just me and my wierd tastebuds. My husband likes ketchup on his and my toddler eats it plain.

Makes about 6-8 salmon cakes, depending on size.

 

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MAHI MAHI w/ WARM PINEAPPLE MANGO AVOCADO SALSA – serves 4

Super healthy and really easy to make. I came up with this recipe one summer to change things up. Fish was getting boring and this revived my love of fish in a snap. The summery blend of fruits and seasonings tastes so amazing when generously scooped onto pan-seared or grilled Mahi Mahi steaks. Best part, all ingredients are naturally gluten free. Feel free to use frozen mango and pineapple chunks in place of fresh fruit to save time.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple chunks

1-2 cups fresh or frozen mango chunks

1/4 c. water

1 TBL. sugar (honey or agave will work, but changes flavor)

1 ripe avocado chopped into chunks

2 TBL. chopped cilantro

2 TBL. desicated coconut

1 chopped green scallion onion (don’t use white, red, or yellow onions)

juice of one lime

4 Mahi Mahi steaks or fillets

salt/pepper

DIRECTIONS:

♦ So the best way to make this recipe is by eyeing the ingredients and considering the size of each fish fillet. Avocados vary in size so use your best judgement when purchasing. This recipe can really be tweaked to your liking. If you love pineapple more than mango add more pineapple and less mango.

♦ Peel and chop one avocado into small chunks. Combine avocado, 2 TBL chopped cilantro, 2 TBL coconut, one chopped green onion, and the juice of one lime into a medium sized bowl. Gentle mix together. Set aside.

♦ Season the Mahi Mahi with salt and pepper. Preheat a greased grill or skillet. Cook fish about 5-10 minutes on grill. May take less or more time depending on thickness. Will take closer to 20 minutes if you’re baking it. Check fish with fork. Fish is done when flesh is opaque and flakes off. As soon as fish hits the grill or skillet start cooking your pineapple and mango.

♦ In a small sauce pan combine water, sugar, mango and pineapple chunks. Heat until the water boils, turn down heat and cook fruit until warm and tender. The timing may vary depending on whether you use frozen or fresh fruit. You want the fruit to be soft, but still maintain it’s shape. Don’t overcook.

♦ Once fruit is warm and soft remove heat. Take a slotted spoon and scoop out fruit into the avocado mixture. Gently stir ingredients together.  Serve immediately on top of fish with your favorite side of veggies or rice. Enjoy!

 

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GLUTEN FREE SWISS CHICKEN – serves 2-4

Seasoned chicken lies under a layer of melted swiss, topped with a savory blanket of gluten free stuffing. If you have children and not a lot of time on your hands you will appreciate how quick and easy this meal is to throw together. It’s not going to look super fancy when you plate it, but served with a healthy side salad, corn on the cob or sweet potato you can pretend it’s a mini Thanksgiving dinner. Feel free to change it up week to week too. Some weeks I use cream of chicken soup, while others I use cream of mushroom. Try experimenting with this dish by changing what vegetables you add in. Brocolli, peas, celery, mushrooms and asparagus all work well in this dish.

INGREDIENTS:

4 boneless chicken breasts cut in half

4-6 slices of Swiss cheese

1 box of gluten free Pacific brand cream of mushroom soup (This is thicker than other gluten free brands. If I use Cafe Cream of Mushroom out of a can I omit the milk altogether)

1/4 c. milk (only use if soup is really thick like Pacific brand)

1 package of gluten free dry bread stuffing mix (make sure to season plain stuffing with poultry seasoning)

1 – 1 1/2 cups of chopped broccoli florets

salt/pepper to taste

poultry seasoning or your favorite chicken seasoning blend

DIRECTIONS:

♦ preheat the oven to 350 degrees (175 degrees C)

♦ Lightly grease a 9 x 9 glass pan and arrange your divided chicken breasts in the pan. Use a larger pan if necessary. Lightly season with salt/pepper. Then season with poultry seasoning or other chicken spice blends. Put a slice of Swiss cheese onto each piece of chicken. Note: quantity of cheese you need may vary depending on size of cheese slice and size of chicken breasts. Set aside.

♦ Pour the box of gluten free cream of mushroom soup into a large mixing bowl. Add 1/4 c. milk and stir until blended.

♦ Pour about half of the stuffing mix (whether it be Glutino’s or Schar) into the mushroom soup. Save the other half of the stuffing for the next time you make this. Add 1 c. uncooked chopped broccoli and stir everything into the soup mixture until thoroughly coated.

♦ Pour the mixture over the cheese covered chicken and spread evenly. Cover with foil. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. Cook time may be longer depending on how thick your chicken breasts are.

 

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GLUTEN FREE PEAR and HAM PANINI – serves 2

It greatly helps if you have a panini press, but if you have to it can also be made like a grilled cheese in a frying pan, just flip carefully. Canyon Bakehouse, UDI’s, RUDI’s, Three Bakers, or Glutinos have good gluten free bread that will all work for this recipe. Flavor may vary depending on which brand you use. This is so easy to make! Works for lunch or dinner if you make some sides with it. I pair mine with cucumber or tomato salad.

INGREDIENTS:

4 slices of gluten free bread

6 slices of ham (Boar’s Head brand is GF)

2 slices of swiss

mustard

1 ripe pear, sliced thin

spreadable butter or olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

♦ Preheat panini press to medium heat. Get out a large prep surface, plate, cutting board etc. Wash and slice your pear thin. Set aside.

♦ Butter or lightly brush oil onto one side of each piece of bread. Flip over, butter side down and spread a thin layer of mustard onto the inside of bread.

♦ Time to build your sandwich. Layer 3 slices of ham, a few slices of pear, and one slice of swiss cheese onto two pieces of bread. Top it off with the remaining bread.

♦ Grill on the panini press or frying pan on medium heat until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown about 3-5 minutes. It’s that easy. Yum yum for the tum tum.

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