Thursday, March 31, 2011

0 Gluten Free Lemon and Arugula Chicken Pasta

With spring (eventually) coming, I wanted to post a dinner recipe that was relatively healthy and light. I use butter in this recipe, but it can always be substituted with olive oil or margarine. I like adding arugula to the pasta for the color, and for the taste that it adds to the pasta.

This recipe is a good one to make after a long day of work because it can take under 30 minutes if you use leftover or store-bought chicken (I like to buy the rotisserie chicken for these kind of quick recipes). I hope you enjoy!

Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 1-2

6 oz penne rice pasta
1 lemon, juiced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 handful baby arugula, plus a few leaves for garnish
Breast of one chicken

1. Boil water for the pasta, then add the pasta and let boil for 1 to 2 minutes. Cover and remove from heat, let cook for about 18 minutes.
2. While the pasta cooks, shred the chicken mean by hand.
3. In a small saucepan over medium, add the oil and butter. Once the butter has melted, add the garlic and sautee for a few minutes.
4. Remove the oil from the heat, then add the herbs and the arugula to the oil so that it wilts. Once the pasta is done, drain and add to the oil. Toss the pasta and oil with the chicken and lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
5. Tightly roll 2 arugula leaves, and slice into shreds to garnish the pasta.

Monday, March 28, 2011

0 Choose March's Recipe of the Month

Somehow it's already the end of March, so its that time to pick your favorite recipe again! For me it's a tough choice, but I'd love to hear your opinions! I appreciate the feedback that you guys give me through these polls, it helps me figure out what types of food you guys enjoy reading about. Also, please feel free to continue sharing your opinions or ideas through either comments in posts or via our Contact Us page.

Also this month, if you either include your email address in the poll (I promise not to share it), or share this link through Facebook or Twitter (please mention @trcrumbley, makes it easier to track), I'll randomly select one or two, and you'll have the chance to try The Gluten Free Bistro's gluten free pizza crust. I absolutely love their crust, and am sadly on my last crust in the freezer. You have until Friday, so please, participate and always let me know if there's anything I can do to make the site better! Thanks!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

3 Quick and Easy: Blackberry Chocolate Truffles

My last post I described some of my trip to Hill Top Winery, and how I was inspired by their Blackberry Delight Wine to create a dinner and dessert centered around it. During the tasting they described a recipe of replacing water in brownie mix with the Blackberry Wine, and here's my twist on that dessert! This is an extremely easy truffle to make, which only consists of 4 ingredients (5 if you include the sugar topping). I use a mix of semi-sweet and dark chocolate in this recipe to balance the sweetness of the Blackberry Delight Wine. If you can't get Hill Top, substitute with any other Blackberry Wine. If the wine you use is a dry wine, increase the semi-sweet to dark chocolate ratio to 3:1. I hope you enjoy this incredibly easy, yet succulent and fragrant dessert!

Active Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1-3 hours

  • 1/2 lb semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 lb dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 tbsp Hill Top Blackberry Delight Wine
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar for topping (optional)

1. Chop all the chocolate into small pieces that are easier for melting, and place into a medium bowl.
2. In a medium saucepan, add the heavy cream and wine. Cook at medium heat until boiling.
3. Stir the chocolate and cream until creamy and smooth. Pour into either silicone mini-muffin pans (as a mold) or into a shallow baking dish. Refrigerate in the fridge for 1-3 hours or until set.
4. Either remove the chocolate from the mold, or use small spoons to scoop out of the pan and roll into balls. Top with sugar if desired. 
5. Enjoy with a glass of wine or milk.

Chopped chocolate ready to melt
Cream and wine being heated
I could eat with from the bowl...

0 Gluten Free Orange Blackberry Chicken with Mixed Rice

This past weekend I went wine tasting around the Charlottesville area. One of the wineries I went to was Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery. Hill Top is one of my favorite wineries in Virginia because of their atmosphere (a true family owned winery that makes you feel like a member of the family), interesting range of flavors, and spectacular mead. All of their wines and meads are "True to the Fruit", which to me means that each of their wines and meads capture the flavor and essence of a particular berry. They also bottle several varieties of mead, and each sip of their mead is like a taste of heaven. Seriously.
When I last tasted at Hill Top, they described how each wine or mead could be paired with a meal, or how you could cook with them. One that stuck out to me was the Blackberry Delight Wine, which pairs wonderfully with chocolate. They described one recipe, which involved substituting water in brownie mix with the wine. This inspired me to come up with a meal centered around this wine that consisted of a savory dish and a dessert dish. 

The blackberry wine has a distinct sweetness to it, combined with the tartness that you would expect from eating a blackberry. I thought this would pair wonderfully with the acidity and sweetness of oranges, and decided to use chicken because I love the combination of citrus and chicken. The result is a sweet yet tangy chicken with a little bit of a kick from the ginger. I hope you enjoy!

Servings: Dinner for two
Cooking Time: 40 minutes

  • 2 Chicken Breasts, butterflied
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • Juice of 2 cara cara oranges (~1/3 cup orange juice)
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp Hill Top Blackberry Delight Wine (substitute with another Blackberry Wine...if you have to...)
  • salt and pepper
  • Reese Brown and Wild Rice

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Place the chicken onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake the chicken for approximately 20 minutes.
2. While the oven is preheating and the the chicken is cooking, boil the recommended amount of water for the rice, and add a tablespoon of butter. Once boiling, add rice, cover, and simmer at medium heat for the recommended amount of time on the rice container.
Cara Cara Oranges are pink like grapefruit, and milder than traditional navel oranges.
3. In a small bowl, stir the juices, ginger, and wine.
4. Preheat a small saucepan on medium heat. Add the butter and garlic, and sautee for a minute to two. Pour the juice mix into the pan and stir occasionally. Reduce the juice into a sauce, which will take about  10 minutes. Season with a dash of salt and pepper.You want a color that is darker than it was originally (due to caramelized sugary goodness), but a texture that is still liquid and not thick like a syrup. Easiest way to remember is that a sauce is liquidy, while glaze (such as teriyaki or barbeque) is thick and sticky. 

5. After the chicken has been cooking for about 20 minutes, drizzle some of the sauce onto the chicken, and bake for another 5-10 minutes depending on thickness until there is no more pink in the chicken. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes.
6. Once all components are done, fluff the rice onto a plate. Slice the chicken and fan on top of the rice. Then drizzle the orange blackberry sauce on top of the chicken and rice. Serve with the blackberry wine, chilled. 

I hope you enjoy this meal, and I fully recommend anyone living in the Virginia area to go try the wines at Hill Top Winery, you'll really enjoy the experience. For those outside of Virginia, call the winery and see if they deliver to where you live. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

0 Gluten Free Product Review: Gluten Free Bistro Pizza Crusts

This past weekend I received the chance to try some gluten free pizza crusts from The Gluten Free Bistro, and wanted to share my experiences with you guys!

The Gluten Free Bistro is a company based out of Boulder, CO. They strive to provide healthy, delicious food that those eating a gluten or gluten-free diet can enjoy. Online you can purchase either their pizza crusts, pasta, or gluten free flour.

The pizza crusts are hand made and parbaked before being delivered. For those who don't know, the process of parbaking partially bakes the crust until it reaches its desired form and structure, and then flash frozen to halt the baking process. This allows for the crust to be cooked the rest of the way at the destination where it achieves the desired texture.

The crusts can be stored in the freezer until time to bake. Preheat the oven to 400F, top the crusts with desired toppings, and bake for 13-15 minutes. The crusts consist of a variety of flours, and achieves a unique flavor and texture. I topped my first pizza with mozzarella, Parmesan, garlic salt, and pepper. I loved the taste and texture of the crusts after baking the pizza. The crust is baked thin enough to where the edges grow crisp like you would expect other pizza crusts to become. One of my roommates tried some slices of the pizza, and fell in love with it as well.

I totally recommend their gluten free pizza dough, its one of my favorite gluten free pizza doughs I've come across.

Monday, March 21, 2011

0 Donate to St. Baldricks

In college, I participated in a foundation called St. Baldrick's. St. Baldrick's (Main site here) is an organization that raises money for researching a cure to children's cancer. It's an amazing foundation that relies on the fundraising and support of volunteers to reach its goal. Volunteers raise donations towards a goal they set, and shave their heads at an event to raise money and support children with cancer.

Later this week, several of my college friends will be shaving their heads to support this foundation and the innocent children afflicted by cancer. Not only would I love any support you may be able to give, but they would be thankful as well for your support of such a wonderful foundation. Links below the jump.

1 Backyard Garden: Part 1

Over the past year, my roommates and I have grown to appreciate organic and local food and markets. A month or two ago we were at our favorite market and saw a display for organic seeds. The display, along with the rather dead backyard, motivated us to buy a few varieties of seed. With the weather becoming warmer over the past week or two, we decided to begin growing them for the spring and summer.

So I wanted to chronicle our stumbles and fumbles through this adventure to help anyone else who's contemplating the same thing. Hopefully by the end of this we'll have something edible...

We purchased some small tabletop greenhouses to grow the seedlings inside under a controlled environment. For the first batch we decided to grow some flowers and tomatoes. The tomato seeds require 70 degree heat to grow properly, so we placed a heat pack underneath the greenhouse to incubate the seeds. After a few days, when the tomatoes sprouted, we removed them from the greenhouse and placed them by the window for sun.

Until they grow larger, the only attention needed is some water when the soil becomes dry, so I will post again once our tomatoes begin to grow larger. Happy Monday everyone!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

0 Gluten Free 40 Minute Beef Stew

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

For those who may not know and haven't been pinched yet, its St. Patrick's Day, and I wanted to present a food inspired by my Irish heritage. First and most importantly though, for those who consume alcohol tonight, please drink responsibly. If you live in a major metro area, check the internet for free cab services. Most cab companies in larger cities will provide these services for your safety, so please take advantage of it if you need to. 

Now, onto the food! Pressure cookers are amazing tools in a kitchen, and aren't as hard or intimidating as many think they are. For those who don't know, pressure cookers are a great alternative to cooking foods in a significantly shorter amount of time. Most foods that you would braise or do in a slow cooker can be reduced down to a 20-30 minute cook time in a pressure cooker. 

As for the stew ingredients, I substitute beef stew chunks for lamb due to personal preference, but feel free to substitute with lamb. Also, I like to make my stews really thick (one of my co workers thought I was eating Shepard's pie instead...) so if you prefer a thinner stew use less potatoes.

1.5 lbs beef stew cubes
5-6 carrots, peeled
1 onion
2-3 cloves garlic
2 cups beef broth
6-7 potatoes
2 tbsp oregano
1/4 cup diced parsley
1 tsp corn starch
about 1 tsp salt, vary to taste preference
about 1 tsp pepper, vary to taste preference

1. Preheat the pressure cooker to medium high heat. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Dice the onion and carrots, set aside. Mince the garlic, set aside. Peel and cube each potato into eights or tenths, depending on the size and set aside.
2. Add 1 tbsp oil to the cooker, and brown the beef and onions. Keep both moving so they do not burn. Add the garlic, broth, and carrots. Seal the pressure cooker, and maintain heat on medium high. Once you seal the cooker, do not attempt opening it until all pressure is released. Once the pressure cooker alerts that it is sealed (normally through some indicator) and the pressure release starts hissing with steam, start a timer for 20 minutes and reduce the heat to medium. I added the video below to illustrate how the cooker will behave when you want to start the 20 minute timer.
3. While the pressure cooker cooks, boil the potatoes. By the time the 20 minutes is done, the potatoes should be tender and cooked. Drain the potatoes when done.
4. Once the 20 minutes are up, remove the cooker from heat, and let rest for 5 minutes. Then, place the cooker in the sink and pour running water over it. Do this until the pressure is released. You know the pressure is released when the pressure release does not release any steam, and there is no resistance when trying to open the cooker.
5. Place the cooker back onto low heat and add the potatoes, salt, pepper, oregano and parsley. After about 5 minutes, taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

I hope you enjoy, and please be safe tonight!

Monday, March 14, 2011

0 Happy Pi Day! GF Cookies and Cream Pie

Happy Pi Day everyone! For those who don't know, its 3.14, the day that's the same value as pi. I hope everyone has had a slice of pie to celebrate, and maybe do some math....

Here's a really easy pie to make that uses Glutino cookies, and has only a handful of ingredients. I hope you enjoy!

Active prep time: 10 minutes
Inactive prep time: 1 hour

-1 5.1oz package of vanilla Jello Pudding
-2.5 cup 2% milk
-2 packages of Glutino chocolate sandwich cookies
-1/4 cup sugar
-6 tbsp butter, melted
-whipped cream

1. In a food processor, grind 1.5 cups of cookie crumbs (about 1.25 packages of cookies)
2. In a small bowl, combine the crumbs, butter, and sugar. Spread evenly into a pie pan.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk the milk and pudding for about 2 minutes or until thickened. Fold in about 4 crushed cookies. Pour into the pie crust, and refrigerate for an hour.
4. Cut with a warm knife, and serve with whipped cream. Enjoy!

Friday, March 11, 2011

0 Gluten Free Product Review: Bye Bye, Gluti Products

This past week I had the opportunity to try out some products from Bye Bye, Gluti, and I wanted to review them for all of you!

Bye Bye, Gluti creates gluten free varieties of breads, pastas, and desserts with high quality ingredients. Many of the products I ate were made with some combination of corn, almond, and potato starches and flours. The awesome thing about Bye Bye, Gluti's products is that all of their products have 5ppm (parts per million) of gluten, while the guideline for food to be labeled as gluten free is 20ppm. I really liked that it is a company that takes pride in trying to make their food as gluten free as possible.

The first item I tried was their gnocchi. The gnocchi is really quick and easy to make, as it does not have to be thawed before cooking, and only takes a few minutes in boiling water to cook. The gnocchi came out light and plump, which is something that surprised me about frozen pasta. I sauteed them in some butter and tossed them in tomato sauce and Parmesan and they were really tasted. I definitely recommend them. Rating: A-

I also tried the Margarita Pizza earlier this week, and this was one of the better frozen gluten free pizzas that I have tried. The dough is mainly made out of corn, but has a nice fluffy texture in the middle and a firm, crunchy crust. Out of the box the pizza has some sauce and pizza on it, so I recommend topping with additional pasta sauce, cheese, basil, and any other pizza toppings you may have. I left one slice of it to microwave the next day for leftovers, and was surprised by how well the crust held up in the microwave when reheated. Definitely recommend. Rating: A

So I may or may not have fallen in love with their focaccia. The most difficult time I've had with gluten free diet is finding a good bread. I have tried one or two brands, but have pretty much totally removed bread from my diet. the GlutenOut focaccia is everything bread should be; light and fluffy on the inside and crisp golden on the outside. I'm not sure how they make this with gluten free ingredients, but its  amazing bread. Best way to prepare this is to thaw it out and bake it in the oven for 10 minutes at 350F. Serve as part of a sandwich, or with some butter and mozzarella cheese. If you get anything from this post, I totally recommend this. It could fool anyone into thinking it was made with wheat. Rating: A+

The last thing I tried was the chocolate cake. All you have to do is thaw it out on the kitchen counter, no baking necessary. Mostly I ate this as is, without adding any frosting to it. The cake is good on its own, but also tastes wonderful with fresh strawberries or raspberries. This has a nice chocolate taste without tasting too dry. I've also had it out at room temperature for 2 days now and haven't noticed any of it turning stale. Rating: A

Overall, I fully recommend anyone on a gluten free diet to try out some of these products. Bye Bye, Gluti prides themselves on the ingredients they use and the strict adherence to the phrase "gluten free." Also, I said it earlier but their focaccia is to die for. You can purchase GlutenOut products at

Monday, March 7, 2011

4 A Trio of Gluten Free Cupcakes

I found a silicone mini-cupcake tin on sale this past weekend, so I decided to make a trio of cupcakes that use the same batter base. By mixing gluten free chocolate sandwich cream cookies (I recommend Glutino brand), strawberry pieces, or additional vanilla flavoring, you can customize a basic cupcake batter to your tastes. My personal favorite are the cookies and cream cupcakes, which variety would you choose? The frosting recipe I use is this ( I love the light fluffy texture of it.

Yields: 6 dozen mini cupcakes, ~2 dozen regular
Cook Time: 12 minutes per mini cupcake tin, 15-17 per regular cupcake tin

Base Batter

Dry Ingredients:
-1 cup white rice flour
-3/4 cup brown rice flour
-1/2 cup tapioca flour
-3/4 cup potato starch
-1 1/4 tsp xantham gum
-1 tbsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients:
-1 cup butter
-2 cup sugar
-5 eggs
-1 tbsp vanilla
-1 cup milk
-1/4 cup cream, whipped

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease your tins or line with paper.
2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
3. In a second medium large bowl, beat the butter until fluffy. To this beat in the vanilla, and the sugar by the half cup until well blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
4. Alternate beating the flour and the milk into the wet mix until well combined. Fold in the whipped cream.
5. Customize: From here, make the kinda of cupcakes that you want. For super vanilla cupcakes, add another tbsp of vanilla. For cookie and cream, fold in 5-6 crushed cookies per third of batter. For strawberry, fold in 4 chopped strawberries per third of batter.

6. Spoon into your cupcake tins, and bake for 12 minutes if mini cupcakes, 15-17 for regular cupcakes. Cupcakes are ready when an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool cupcakes completely before icing.
7. Customize Frosting: For strawberry frosting, add diced strawberry (1-3 strawberries for taste) to the frosting. Use regular frosting for cookies and cream icing, just top with a piece of cookie after frosting.

For a blog post that has a collection of really awesome confections, go to this blog post.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

0 Tenderloin with Country Beans and Broccoli

This past month I've been doing quite a bit of travelling for work, so I grew homesick of having a full kitchen. Tenderloin is probably one of my favorite meals because I have memories of my grandparents cooking them when I was younger. Tenderloin is the best cut of beef you could purchase; its got many of the flavors of fattier beef, yet is rather lean. I wanted to describe how to make a dinner that is easy to make, yet is totally delicious. If you want to spend less on the tenderloin, and cut of beef should be substitutable, or you could substitute with chicken breast.

Total Cook Time: 30 Minutes

-Beef Tenderloin, salted and peppered
-Fresh broccoli
-Country Style Beans

1. Preheat a grill pan on medium high heat. Grease the pan with canola oil, and then place the tenderloin on the pan. Cook the tenderloin for about 4 minutes to get a nice sear on the outside of the steak. Sear each side of the steak for 4 minutes per side.

2. Place the pan in the oven at 350F (make sure it is an oven safe pan) and cover with aluminum foil. Cook for about 10-15 minutes before checking for done-ness. You can use a knife and fork to gently look inside to see if the steak is done. Remove from oven when done and let rest for at least 5 minutes.
3. While the steak is cooking, prepare the Country Style Beans.
4. While the steak is cooking, boil a pot of water. Immerse the broccoli into the water, and boil for about 3-4 minutes, then remove from water and drain.

I hope you enjoy, and happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

0 Quick and Easy: Country Style Beans

Here is a really quick and easy recipe that takes beans from a can and elevates them to something totally amazing. Perfect as a side for beef or country bbq.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes

-1 can of baked beans
-3 slices of bacon
-2 tbsp brown sugar
-1 tsp onion powder
-1 tsp garlic powder
-some salt and pepper

1. In a pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until it is crispy (be sure to flip it half way through). Drain the excess grease with a paper towel, and then cut into pieces.
2. In a saucepan, add all the ingredients, and simmer on medium low for about 4 minutes or until the beans are warm. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

2 February's Recipe of the Month and Giveaway Winner

Thank you to everyone who participated in choosing this month's best recipe. It was close with a 1 vote separation, but your favorite recipe of the past month is...

Gluten Free Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes!

Here are the detailed results from the poll. Dark chocolate waffles came in a close second!

With this poll, there was also a gift of a $50 Amazon Gift card to a random participant, and that goes to Mary Ryan! Congrats.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support of this blog. This month expect to see several Gluten Free Product Reviews, along with more recipes. As an extra feature for all of the technology nerds who read this blog, I will also have a review out on the Nintendo 3DS, slated to come out later this month.

Happy March everyone!

0 Quick and Easy: $8 Chocolate Chip Parfait

This past week I was traveling once again for work. The hotel I was staying at had a stove top, so I chose to go out and get the makings for a quick and easy dessert to eat throughout the week. This is a really quick and easy recipe, and can be made with only a fork, spoon, and a bowl, and only cost $8 for about 6 servings! I hope you enjoy!

Prep Time: 4 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour in refrigerator
Servings: 6
Health options: Use gluten free chocolate chip cookies, and substitute 2% milk and Cool Whip with Lowfat/Skim milk or Lite Cool Whip. You could also use Sugar Free Jello Pudding

- 1 Tub of Cool Whip
- 1 8.5 oz package of chocolate Jello pudding
- 1 cup of 2% milk
- 7-8 gluten free chocolate chip cookies

1. Line the bottom of a medium flat-bottomed bowl with gluten free chocolate chip cookies.
2. In a medium bowl, add the milk and pudding mix. Whisk (if you don't have a whisk, a fork works perfectly fine) for about 2 minutes, occasionally scraping the side of the bowl. Fold in half the tub of Cool Whip until combined.
Before Cool Whip
After Cool Whip is folded in
3. Pour the pudding mix on top of the cookies, and spread evenly. Refrigerate for an hour. When serving, garnish with Cool Whip and cookie pieces.