Homemade chicken teriyaki

I’m not a huge chicken teriyaki fan, but I do like the combo of fresh vegetables and umami’ed up chicken in this one. Plus, it’s quick – you can make it on a weeknight.

4T sake
1T cornstarch
2lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1″ pieces
2T veg oil (not olive oil)
0.5c mirin
0.25c tamari (aka gluten-free soy sauce – use soy sauce if you’re not GF)
1T finely grated ginger
0.5t ground black pepper
3c cooked white rice
3 scallions, sliced thinly on the diagonal
3″ piece of cucumber cut into matchsticks
4t roasted sesame seeds

  1. Whisk 2T sake and cornstarch. Add chicken, toss to coat. Heat 1T oil in a 12″ skillet until shimmering. Add half of the chicken in a single layer and cooking without stirring until browned, about 3 minutes. Flip chicken, cook another 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl, repeat with remaining chicken.
  2. Return skillet to medium heat, add mirin, tamari, remaining 2T sake, and ginger. Bring to simmer and cook, stirring and scraping up brown bits until spoon drawn through leaves trail, about 5 minutes.
  3. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to pan. Add pepper and cook, stirring until chicken is glazed, about 4 minutes. Season with additional tamari to taste. Divide rice amongst 4 bowls. Spoon chicken over rice, top with cucumber, scallions, and sesame seeds.

Recipe from Milk Street’s Tuesday Nights cookbook. It’s worth your while to pick this one up. Trust me.

Crepes make delicious snacks

Gluten-free bread is expensive, and flavor is always kind of a crapshoot. It’s never really going to taste exactly like bread and different flours taste different. I like the bread I make from scratch.

But here’s the thing: making bread from scratch takes forever. Even (especially?) gluten-free bread. I’ve got a good recipe – that’s another post though.

So a couple of weekends ago, I was craving peanut butter. Normally, I’ll cut up an apple or cut a celery stalk and have some peanut butter. That was not going to work this time, because it turns out that I was craving a peanut butter sandwich. And of course – no bread in the house. (There’s almost never GF bread in the house.) Peanut butter tastes terrible on corn tortillas – don’t try it, just trust me – and so what to do?

The answer, my friends, is crepes. Crepes are quick to make, quick to cook, easy to eat (I had one with peanut butter while I was finishing cooking the batch, thus sating my craving), and then you have extra crepes around! At least for a bit until everyone else eats them. They go fast.

Gluten-Free Crepes

5.5oz ATK GF flour blend
1.5t sugar
0.25t salt
1.5c milk (the recipe calls for whole, we never have whole in the house, 1% works fine)
2 large eggs
2T unsalted butter, melted & cooled

Start heating a 10″ nonstick skillet over medium heat. We actually have a crepe pan, so if you have one, please use it instead. A skillet is a fine substitute and not having a crepe pan should not stop you.

Whisk the dry ingredients (which includes the sugar this time!) into a medium bowl. Mix the wet ingredients into another bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, whisk until all the lumps are gone.**

Once the pan is heated, pour about 0.25c of batter into the pan and swirl to get a thin, even layer of batter. (This is easily the hardest part of making crepes, and your first crepe is often kind of a mess. It’s ok, even if it looks bad, it makes a nice snack while you’re cooking the rest of them.)

Cook the crepe without moving until the edges are brown (about a minute). Gently slide a spatula around and under the crepe, loosening and then trying to flip. Cook until second side is lightly spotted – only about 30 seconds or so. Then transfer to a waiting plate. Repeat until your batter is done, placing one crepe on top of another.

This is the crepe recipe from America’s Test Kitchen’s How to Be Gluten-Free, which is a cookbook I HIGHLY recommend if you’re a gluten-free person like myself.

** Aside: I often mix the wet ingredients together in to a 4c pyrex measuring cup and then put the dry into the wet, to make the batter easier to pour into the pan.

Eat yer veggies


I am a pretty boring lunch person. It’s either leftovers (if I’m feeling lazy) or a salad. Honestly, I prefer the salad. But it’s almost always the *same* salad, the one pictured above.

What’s in it? I’m glad you asked:

  • Quinoa
  • Refried Beans
  • Cheese

I put these three ingredients on a plate or in a bowl and then heat them up in the microwave. Then I add:

  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Diced red and green bell peppers
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole

The best part about this salad is that I can make 5 days of it on a Sunday night (two containers, one that gets heated up, the other of cold ingredients) and then I have a good selection of veggies for lunch throughout the week.

Leftover taco meat, if that’s a thing in your house, is a great addition.

Consider this today’s adulting tip.

Homemade chicken stock is easier than you think

This is a terrible photo.

Whilst cleaning out the freezer (still nesting, y’all – not pregnant. Really, really not pregnant. *shudders*), I found a number of stashed leftover chicken backs and wings and necks. I must have saved them to make stock and then forgotten about them.

My go-to chicken stock recipe is easy enough that if I’d remembered they were there, I’d totally have used them. It takes roughly an hour and minimal ingredients for some pretty good broth.

Chicken Stock

a couple of pounds of leftover chicken bits, preferably frozen raw, not already cooked, chopped into 2″ pieces (this is when a meat cleaver comes in handy)
an onion, chopped
some salt
8c boiling water

  1. Heat some oil (1T-ish) in a stock pot on medium heat. Sauté the onion pieces. Once done, move them to a separate bowl.
  2. Add a little more oil. Place about half the chicken pieces in the bottom of the pan. Sauté until they’re no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Move to the bowl with the onions.
  3. Add a little more oil and repeat with the second batch of chicken pieces.
  4. Return the contents of the bowl to the stockpot, cover, and lower heat to low or medium low. Let cook for 20 minutes, until the juices have come out.
  5. Add 8c of boiling water to the pan along with 0.5t of salt. You can add a bay leaf at this point if you want.
  6. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Voila! Use a strainer to drain the stock into a bowl, separating out the chicken and onion pieces. Let cool, remove fat that accumulates at the top of the bowl.
  8. Store until you’re ready to use it.

This is one of the first things I learned how to cook as a post-college adult. It’s pretty easy, and homemade stock tastes SO MUCH BETTER that the store-bought stuff.

Carb-o-riffic dinner

spicy bucatini

 

Spicy bucatini is one of our favorite weeknight meals. It’s quick and easy and simple to make gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta. We eat this very regularly. We’ve been making it for so long, I’m not even sure where we got the recipe from. This one’s pulled from my memory.

Spicy Bucatini

2T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
0.25 – 0.5t red pepper flakes (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
0.25lb pancetta, diced
28oz petit diced tomatoes (You can use the regular diced tomatoes. I prefer the smaller cut.)
2T minced fresh sage
0.5c parmesan, freshly shredded
1lb bucatini or other long, thin pasta

  1. Heat the olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and pancetta over medium heat in a saucepan until fragrant (about 2-3 minutes). Add tomatoes, simmer for 10 minutes, until thicker. Add sage.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 4qts water to boil. Cook your pasta as directed, reserving 0.25c before you drain it.
  3. Return pasta to pot, add sauce & cheese. Stir to combine over the still-warm burner for about a minute. Add as much leftover water as needed to make it smooth.
  4. Serve, with extra cheese to pass if you like parmesan. Mmmm, parmesan.

A weeknight pasta

salmon and farfalle

 

Salmon with farfalle is one of our long-standing pasta dishes. It precedes our gluten-free days, but easily adapted since it’s pretty easy to find gluten-free pasta. We use Barilla – but they don’t make it in farfalle form – so we used penne here. My kingdom for all the different pasta shapes with gluten-free ingredients…

Salmon with Farfalle
2T olive oil
2 medium minced garlic cloves
0.25t hot red pepper flakes
20oz can petit diced tomatoes
0.5t salt
0.5lb salmon filet, skinned and coarsely chopped
0.5c heavy cream
ground black pepper to taste
2T minced fresh basil (we skipped it this time as it’s not basil season)
1lb gluten-free farfalle (or regular farfalle. whichever.)

  1. Heat oil, garlic, and hot red pepper flakes in skillet over medium heat until fragrant. Add tomatoes, simmer for 10 minutes. Mix in salt. Add salmon & cream, mixing to blend. Heat for another 5 minutes, until fish is cooked. Add pepper and basil.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 4 quarts of water over high heat for the pasta. Once boiling, add 1T salt and pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain. Return to pan. Toss with sauce. Serve immediately.

Using up the vegetables

fennel soup

I came up with this recipe last winter, I think, when we got a CSA box with fennel and leeks, and I thought to myself: what on earth can I make with fennel? So I made up a fennel-leek-potato soup (since I love potato-leek soup). It’s light enough that it needs something else with it – bread (if you eat it), salad (like you see in the photo), or maybe it’s a starter for your main meal. Regardless, it’s a good winter soup.

Fennel-Leek-Potato Soup

Saute in olive oil:
2 leeks, cleaned and sliced, white and light green parts only
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 diced fennel bulb

Once they’re soft, add:
~6 yukon gold potatoes, diced (I had red potatoes on hand, so I used those instead this time – probably about a pound’s worth.)
2 minced garlic cloves
~0.25c minced parsley
3c chicken stock (I subbed in vegetable stock in this batch. Again, it was to hand.)
5c water

Bring to a boil, then simmer for ~45 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender, stir in 0.5c heavy cream, add salt & pepper to taste.

Light, fluffy, gluten-free muffins

five spice muffins

Gluten-free baking is a pain and I don’t do it very much. It’s just too hard to get right and there are too many opportunities to screw it up.  (Never, ever just sub in gluten-free flour. It will not work.)

These muffins, though. They came from a cookbook I trust, so I gave them a shot. And they are delicious and light and fluffy and amazing. Yum.

Sweet Potato + Five Spice Muffins
(summarized from It’s All Good)

1 large sweet potato
1/2c extra-virgin olive oil
1/2c milk (almond milk if you’re avoiding dairy)
3/4c good quality maple syrup
1t vanilla extract
2c gluten-free flour
1t xanthan gum (if the flour doesn’t already include it)
2t baking powder
2t baking soda
1.5T Chinese five-spice powder
1/2t salt

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Poke holes in the sweet potato, then bake it for an hour, until soft. Set aside till it’s cool.
  2. Peel the sweet potato and mash the flesh in mixing bowl. Whisk olive oil, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla into sweet potato. In separate bowl mix remaining ingredients. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet.
  3. Line muffin tin with paper liners, distribute batter evenly.
  4. Bake 20-25 minutes, brushing top with extra maple syrup in last 5 minutes (I usually skip this). Let cool before serving.