One of the things you may have noticed by now is how much we LOVE comfort food here at Fat Boy Heaven. There is nothing that epitomizes comfort food for most of us more than a nice rich Mac and Cheese, but it would get boring if it was always the same. I decided that the saltiness of the feta might tie in nicely with the smokey saltiness of the bacon very nicely, and since feta doesn't melt, provolone was a nice neutral base cheese to develop the sauce. I added the dates as the milk was first coming to a boil so that some of the sugar would help sweeten the sauce to offset the salt.Read More
We love Italian food in our home, and a frequent quick meal our kids yell for is a quick dinner of pasta with a sausage sauce. I decided to try and take it to another place tonight by using quinoa to make it gluten-free and Paleo friendly. Roasting the tomatoes take a lot of extra time, but cooking the quinoa will take most of the 50 minutes or so you will need to roast off the tomatoes, and trust me, there is no way to substitute the depth of flavors you will get unless it is summer time and you can throw whole tomatoes on the grill to slow roast them there. The spinach will add some great contrasting flavor in addition to the contrasting color it brings, and you can add more than I did if you want more greens, but my kids were rebelling even with this.Read More
Growing up one of my favorite fall dinners was my Father's Beef and Barley soup, but in this day and age I thought updating it for those of you avoiding gluten would be a good idea. Quinoa is a very hearty and nutritious grain, and can be easily substituted for any whole grain when cooking. It holds up to long cooking much better than rice,and carries flavors very well too.Read More
I was looking for a recipe for dinner tonight and stumbled across this great idea in an email from All Recipes (a great source of recipe ideas). The great thing about this website is that it has encouraged me to experiment with new flavor combinations that I never might have tried before, and this was definitely one that I would not have come up with on my own. A great gluten-free meal.Read More
I love italian food, but it is hard when trying to eat gluten free. One of my favorite italian dishes has always been Steak Pizzaiola, the perfect way to prepare any cut of beef. Beef slow cooked in marinara until it is so tender that it flakes apart, then topped with provolone cheese and broiled. It can be prepared many ways, but I love it in the crock pot since I can just set it and forget it. When served over Gluten Free pasta it is one of the perfect meals.Read More
I found a great Paleo friendly recipe for a classic Greek stew called Stifatho, and decided it would be great to try for dinner tonight. The great flavor of beef combines so well with the traditional Greek spice combination of cinnamon and cloves that I am amazed they are not used more in savory American cooking. The sweetness of the spices is cut by the slight acidity of the tomato sauce, and complimented by the currants and feta. Give this a try folks. Healthy and amazing flavor combined to create Fat Boy Heaven.Read More
Dinner tonight was a low carb adventure. I found a great recipe for Fried Cabbage that looked amazing, so I decided to give it a try. It really was simple to prep with an amazing new addition to my freezer - Frozen Diced Onions.Read More
The Cultured Caveman food cart in the Alberta 15 foodcart pod (Located just off 15th and Alberta) started as a Kickstarter project. That is where I first learned of their idea, and I am proud to say I was a backer of this unique cart. Since I live on the west side and don't have much cause to be in NE Portland, this was my first chance to visit Joe and Heather and taste their food.
I went with the Paleo Chicken Tenders and a side of Rainbow Rosemary Fries. The first thing to know about food from this cart is that anything fried is fried in Organic, Grass-fed beef tallow. This imparts a flavor all it's own to any food, but also has a lower smoke point, leaving food a little soggier than some would prefer. Remember that the paleo diet is more about a lack of grains and dairy than it is about being low-fat.
The Rainbow fries were great, if a little soggy. A trade off I will take any time for this flavor profile. Served with their own homemade ketchup, the combination is amazing.
Paleo chicken tenders were as good as any I have had with wheat flour. A nice crispy coating while maintaining a nice tender and moist chicken. Cultured Caveman uses organic raised chickens from Draper Valley Farms, "breaded" in a dredge of coconut flour, garlic, white pepper, and salt. Again, the flavor was amazing, and dipped in their southwestern aioli was a delight.
In all the combination of a crowd-sourced startup plan and amazing food make Cultured Caveman a healthy and tasty piece of Fat Boy Heaven. I'll be back to try their other menu items soon.
I was looking for something to do for dinner tonight, and ran across a very easy to follow recipe for carnitas. I thought that rather than doing tacos or serving it with beans and rice, I would try and come up with a gluten-free bun that would work with it. I decided on a sweet corn muffin using a gluten-free cornbread mix, but dressing it up a bit with honey and a few other tricks.
Drew's Sweet Corn Muffins
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup dairy free milk
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 3/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Cornbread mix
- 1/4 cup honey
- Preheat oven to 350, spray large muffin or bun tin with non-stick cooking spray
- Whisk eggs until fluffy. Add milk, oil, vinegar, vanilla, and honey and mix until well combined.
- Add cornbread mix, and mix thoroughly.
- Divide batter evenly between 6 wells of muffin/bun tin
- Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Test with toothpick until pick comes out clean when stuck through center of muffin.
You can find the recipe I used for the carnitas here. Enjoy this little taste of FatBoyHeaven!
One of the things that is an exciting trend in Portland food is the Food Cart, and I've decided to start highlighting new cart ideas that have taken to KickStarter for final funding to get off the ground. Crowd sourcing technology has been an ever present fact of life, but crowd sourced local food is an idea I love.
The latest idea is Cheese & Crack, a gourmet cheese and cracker box featuring hand-made crackers with local cheese and meat. A great concept, and one I can't wait to try this summer. You can find out how to help here, and check out the video for more information.
OK, was looking for something different, and found an idea here for a Nacho Chicken Bake that I thought I'd try. I weighed the remaining chicken and had 12 oz, so I was all set. I made some modifications to make it gluten-free, but they were minor (really just checking ingredients to get condensed soup that didn't have wheat). I also changed some ingredients to fit what I had in the cupboard. Here is MY version:
12 oz Shredded Chicken (pre-cooked)
2 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese - grated
1 can (10 oz) Ro-Tel tomatoes with green chilies
2 cans Gluten-Free Condensed Cream of Chicken soup
1 bag (15 oz) gluten-free corn chips
1. Pre-heat oven to 325
2. Pour chips into greased 13x9 baking dish
3. Mix chicken, 1/2 of cheese, and other remaining ingredients in bowl
4. Pour chicken and soup mixture over the chips
5. Top with remaining cup of cheese
6. Bake for 45-50 minutes
7. Let cool for 5-10 minutes so that caserole can setup before serving
So, the good news is I had another winning meal. The bad news is I was only able to stretch the chicken for 4 nights worth of dinner. If I hadn't used so much of it on the first night for the chicken salad I think I could have made it five nights. Not bad at all for a budget concious family.
This week I wanted to see how far I could stretch one meat purchase. I bought two full (both sides) chicken breasts yesterday, with a total of just over three pounds. I cooked them in beer in my crock pot, and then put them in the fridge to cool off and stop them from cooking past their prime.
Night one: Chicken Salad
I took one half of a breast (yielding about 2 cups of chicken) and shredded it. I mixed in 1/2 a cup of Greek yogurt, a bit of salt and pepper, and about a 1/2 cup of driend cranberries. I had it on gluten-free bread and the wife and kids had white bread. Rave reviews, and still 3/4 of my meat for the week is left.
Night two: Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina
I found a recipe on foodnetwork.com here, and thought I'd give it a try. I used a nice brown-rice pasta and crushed corn flakes instead of bread crumbs. The recipe only used a very small amount of chicken (I used 1/2 of one side of the breast, leaving plenty of chicken going into day three. The blend of flavors was great, and the whole family enjoyed this quick meal. Since the chicken was already pre-cooked yesterday, prep went real quick and easy as well.
Stay tuned, we'll see how far I can stretch 3 pounds of chicken!
I love stuffed peppers, especially on a cold night. I haven't made them for a while, and thought tonight would be a good time. I took a couple shortcuts to make it easier, and they turned out great! A nice, simple gluten-free dinner that got rave reviews. I used Yellow bell peppers this time as they add a nice sweet counter point to the acid of the tomato, without the harsh flavor that green peppers sometimes bring to this dish. You can also use a mix of spicy italian sausage and ground beef to add a little kick to this one.
You can find the recipe here.
I picked up some pork chops on sale this week and wanted something besides applesauce to do with them. I found this recipe and decided to give it a shot. My only changes were using seasoned gluten-free flour on the pounded cutlets rather than just salt and pepper to give it a nice crust, and I used chianti instead of a white wine. I served it over brown-rice pasta.
It came out great, and got rave reviews. Give it a try!
Another fast easy recipe for you all tonight. I love Tamales, but never have time to make them. This casserole has a lot of the same flavors, but obviously is not going to replace tamales in anyone's life. I loved the way the flavors blended so well, and it was a huge hit with the family.
you can find the recipe here. Enjoy!
I love baked ziti. Always have. So much cheesy goodness. Great meat sauce. For those of you that have never had baked ziti, think a combination of lasagna and pasticcio.
Using the best ingredients, just like anything else in cooking, makes for better food. So when I decided to try baked ziti gluten free, I was worried about the new pasta more than anything.
The brown rice pasta held up perfecly, as you can see from the picture. The cheese coated it perfectly, and it didnt have flavor or texture any different than a normal wheat pasta.
Try this one, you won't be sorry!
I love lasagna. Cheesy meaty goodness can never be over stated. However, doing it wheat and gluten-free has been a struggle. I was at NewSeasons Market today, and found a gluten and wheat free lasagna noodle and thought I'd give it a try. To change it up, I decided to do them in individual servings using a muffin pan.
They came out tasting great, but didn't hold together real well. I think more sauce may have been what it took to make it hold better.
If you can't find the gluten free noodles, you can buy a roll of pre-made polenta and thinly slice it. Polenta is frequently used as a substitute for pasta, and would be great here.
Give it a try, the flovor was great, and the fun change with the serving had the wife and kids raving. The recipe can be found here.
I know Wednesday has been cooking with Beer night, but I was craving biscuits and gravy tonight. It's hard with needing to keep things Gluten free, but it came out really well!
2/3 Cup Milk
2 cups Gluten-Free Bisquick
2/3 cup shortening
1. Cut shortening into bisquick until pea-sized chunks form
2. Add milk and eggs, stiring until mixture forms into dough
3. Use tablespoon to drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheet
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 13-16 minutes
1lb Ground Beef or Sausage
3/4 cup White Rice Flour
2 cups milk or milk substitute
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Brown meat in large skillet on medium
2. Sprinkle flour over meat until all grease is absorbed and no loose flour remains in pan
3. Add milk, stirring consistantly until gravy thickens to desired consistancy. If gravy gets too thick, milk can be added to thin it out. Continue to stir until ready to serve.
Tonight I wanted to try something different than the old standby soups I've been doing lately. I saw a recipe idea for bean and brisket soup and modified it a bit to meet our dietary needs.
The soup turned out great, getting rave reviews from the family. The corned beef made it a bit too salty for my taste straight from the package. I should have maybe soaked it in water to try and get some of the curing out, but otherwise it was amazing. As with any soup, the true test will be how it is the next day after the flavors have married together overnight, but I'm calling this one a hit.
Cooking with beer. Just makes you feel good to hear those words to start a post doesn’t it? This week I turned to AllRecipes.com for inspiration, and found a new go-to dish. I modified this recipe to make it gluten-free by using a gluten-free beer from 10Barrels brewing, and using an all-purpose gluten free flour mix from Bob’s Red mill. The only other change I made was to use red potatoes instead of russets.
Recipe is here for you to give it a try! The beef was as tender as anything I’ve ever made, it almost melts in your mouth. The Colcannon was what made this meal interesting. The little bit of crunch and slight bite from the cabbage and the richness of the bacon really kicked up the mashed potatoes. I had never heard of Colcannon before, but even the kids agreed it was great. I may never make mashed potatoes any other way again.
A nice big plate of Fat Boy Heaven right here!