Monday, March 26, 2012

Parmesan Pork Chops

Pork chops aren't usually in our weekly menu.  We are more of a chicken, turkey and beef family.  Not because we don't like pork, just because I don't have a lot of experience cooking it.

I found a Parmesan Sage Pork recipe on one of my favorite recipe websites but it didn't match our family's taste or pantry availability.  So I made some changes and created GLUTEN FREE Parmesan Pork Chops.  I typically don't feel super proud of meals I make but I have to say this one made me puff up a little!  It was awesome!  Not dry or chewy at all!

What You Need:
4 boneless pork chops
1/2 cup GF bread crumbs (I used rice crumbs)
3/4 cup parmesan cheese (I combined shredded and grated)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 egg
1/4 cup GF flour (I used Bloomfield Farms Seasoned Flour)
Salt & pepper
Season salt
Garlic powder

How to Make It:
Heat oven to 400.  Put flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.  Put parmesan, GF bread crumbs, season salt and garlic powder in a second bowl.  Put egg in third bowl.  Pat the chops dry with a paper towel.  Coat chops in flour, egg, then parmesan mixture.  Let rest while you heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Brown the pork chops for 2 minutes on each side.

Then bake for 15 minutes.  I used a drying rack sprayed with GF cooking spray on a baking sheet.

That's it!  Baked Gluten Free Parmesan Pork Chops!  I served ours with green beans, sweet potato fries, and GF mac-n-cheese.  The sides are all centered around the toddler :)

This was the first time I've EVER browned any meat then baked it.  I know - my cooking techniques need to be broadened.  But since this went so well I may try other things.


This post linked to Gluten Free Homemaker

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Gluten Free Freezer Meals

With our crazy schedule and 3 kids making dinner is getting harder and harder.  Thanks to Pinterest I decided to try a new idea - freezer meals!  After a lot of planning, a BIG shopping trip, 2 hours of chopping and sorting I made 10, yes 10, dinners!  Eight are slow cooker meals and the other two are skillet meals.

For MORE Gluten Free Freezer Meals check out Freezer Meals - Take Two!

Here is how it broke down.

Shopping List:
2 bags frozen chicken - fresh would work but frozen was BOGO
2 packages of GF chicken sausage
1 package of pork chops
1 lb ground beef
3 green peppers
3 multi-color peppers
1 bag carrots
5 onions
6 red potatoes
2 cans pineapple chunks
1 package celery
2 cans tomato sauce (12 oz)
2 cans diced tomatos
GF BBQ sauce
1 box gallon size freezer bags

Kitchen Staples:
Brown Sugar
GF Worcestershire Sauce
Italian seasoning
Garlic salt
GF Teriyaki sauce


Teriyaki Chicken - makes 2 bags, items below are per bag
  • 2 handfuls carrots 
  • 1 handful onion 
  • 1 can pineapple with juice
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup GF teriyaki sauce
Mix together in bag.  Cook for 4 hours on low.  Serve with rice.

Sausage & Peppers - makes 2 bags, items below are per bag
  • 4 GF chicken sausages sliced
  • 1 handful green peppers
  • 2 handful multi-colored pepers
  • 1 handful onion
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • Splash of EVOO
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic salt
Mix together in bag. Cook for 5 hours on low.  Serve with pasta.
*UPDATE* I actually cooked this on the skillet and it came out great!

BBQ Chicken - makes 2 bags, items below are per bag
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 handful green peppers
  • 1 handful multi-colored peppers
  • 1 handful onion
  • 3 chopped red potatoes (big pieces)
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp GF Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
Mix together in bag.  Cook for 4 hours on low.  Serve with rice.

BBQ Pork Chops - makes 2 bags, items below are per bag
  • 2 pork chops
  • 1 handful green peppers
  • 1 handful carrots
  • 2 handfuls celery
  • 1/2 cup GF BBQ sauce
Mix together in bag.  Cook for 4 hours on low.  Serve with rice or pasta.

Chicken Stir Fry - I only made one bag of this 
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 handful celery
  • 1 handful carrots
  • 1 handful multi-colored peppers
  • 1/4 cup GF Teriyaki sauce
Mix together in bag.  Follow this recipe to cook.  You will need to add the rice, egg and GF soy sauce when cooking. 

Mexican Ground Beef
  • 1 lb beef
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 packet GF taco sauce
This is the only item I actually pre-cooked.  I browned the beef with the carrots, let it cool then put it in a bag.  My plan is to add corn and beans to it when we use it. 

Some tips:
  1. Shop the weekly sales.  I bought all the meat BOGO at the expensive grocery store that I rarely go to.  This weeks ads just happened to be perfect for what I needed.  I got all the fresh and can veggies from Aldi and saved a ton!  Even cheaper than Wal-Mart.  
  2. Chop all the veggies first then organize the meat.  I had all my chopped veggies in bowls so I could grab handfuls to fill my bags.  The recipes above say "handfuls" basically 1 handful of onion = 1 onion.  
  3. Mark your bags before you fill them.
  4. You could easily add more meat to each bag if you are feeding more people.  
  5. The day before you want to use a meal put it in the fridge to defrost.  At lunch time put it in the crock pot.  

I used these awesome blog posts for ideas, recipes and inspiration.

I'll write a blog about the results once we eat all the yummy meals.  I have to say I'm pretty pumped about this!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pepperoni Bake

When you are running low on food and don't have time to make it to the store what is your go to meal?  You know the one thing you will most likely have ingredients for that will carry you one more day before a grocery run.

I have a few standbys but a pepperoni bake is pretty popular in my house.  We got the recipe from a friend who brought it to us after the twins were born.

What You Need
12 oz GF pasta
1 jar red GF pasta sauce
1.5 cups of mozzarella cheese
3 oz chopped GF pepperonis (Hormel is a good brand)

How to Make it
Heat oven to 350.  Cook pasta al denta (I just cook it for about 3 minutes less than the package says).  Once pasta is done, mix everything in a casserole dish.  Cook for 25 minutes.

Viola - dinner!

Monday, March 5, 2012

No Bake Granola Bars

I found this easy recipe on Pinterest for no-bake granola bars.  It is a great base and easily made Gluten Free.  To change it up I added raisins, pecans and white chocolate chips.

What You Need:
1 cup GF Rice Crispy cereal
2 cups GF quick cook oats (I used Bob's Red Mill)
4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup honey
1/3 brown sugar
1/2 tsp GF vanilla
3 oz raisins
1/4 chopped pecans
1 tbsp white chocolate chips

How to Make it:
Mix dry ingredients (except chocolate) together in a large bowl.  Melt butter, honey and sugar over medium high heat.  Once it starts to bubble, reduce heat and cook for 2 minutes.  Add vanilla and stir.  Pour over dry ingredients.  Mix well.  

Pour into a greased sheet pan. Use spatula to firmly press together.  Mine only took of 1/3 of my pan because I wanted them to be thicker.  Place chocolate on top.  I only made half of mine with chocolate.

Allow to cool at room temperature for 2 hours.  Pop into the fridge for 20 minutes before cutting.  I used a pizza cutter and it worked perfectly.

Wrap each bar in wax paper and store for snacking!

These came out AMAZING!  I will be making these often to save the $1.49 for prepackaged granola bars.  My toddler ate half of mine for snack so they are very kid friendly.  I plan to pick up some more nuts and maybe some Chia seeds to add more protein and fiber to my next batch.  

If anyone makes these and freezes them let me know!  They would be a great make ahead snack.
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