Chipotle Candied Bacon

This simple recipe is perfect as a topper for salads, veggies or as a decadent indulgence. Be sure to line your baking pan; the drippings stick and burn. Substitute regular dried chile or add additional spices such as 1/2 tsp. dried Cumin and 1/2 tsp. dried Oregano for a more piquant taste.

9 Slices Thick Bacon
1/2 Cup lightly packed Brown Sugar
3 Tbsp. Dried Chipotle Powder

Toss chipotle chile powder and brown sugar in a bowl. Using a lined work surface (parchment paper or foil work great), lay out bacon with each strip touching so that there is no space between slices. Sprinkle half of the sugar mixture over bacon. Press sugar into the slices so more will stick.

Gently peel each slice away from the work surface, letting loose sugar fall back onto the lined area. Lay each slice, sugared-side down, onto a foil-lined cookie sheet topped with a cooling rack. Slices should be touching edges.

Shake leftover sugar from work surface back into bowl. Evenly sprinkle the second half of the sugar mixture over the top of the bacon. Gently press into slices.

Bake in a preheated 350ºF over for 20-30 minutes, until sugar is bubbling and fat on bacon is baked. Watch carefully starting at 15 minutes; the bacon will go from under-cooked to burned very quickly. Remove from oven and let completely cool. Remove and store with parchment lining between layers.

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Blue Corn Fish Enchiladas

Truth be told, if you’re looking for a gorgeous presentation, you shouldn’t pick this recipe, because it tends to blend together a bit when serving. But what it lacks in visual presentation, it makes up for in taste and speed (45 minutes from dragging the ingredients out of the fridge to sitting down to dinner). And it’s always a good thing when gluten-free and amazing taste can be used in the same sentence.

Blue Corn Fish Enchiladas

6 Blue Corn Tortillas, soft – straight out of the bag or very lightly roasted over gas flame or on a comal
1 lb. Orange Roughy (or other delicate white fish) , raw
1 jar El Pinto Red Chile Sauce or homemade gluten-free red chile sauce
3 cups shredded Mexican Cheese
1 tbsp dried, ground roasted cumin
1 tbsp dried, ground oregano
1 tsp. garlic salt

Prepare a 9X13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Layer bottom with 2 1/2 raw corn tortillas, one torn in half to fill in empty spaces. Top with 1/2 of the raw fish, laid directly on top of the tortillas, spaced out as evenly as possible. Cover with half of the jar of red chile (around 1 1/2 cups if homemade). Top with half of the cheese. Sprinkle half of the spices on top of the cheese. Repeat all steps for a second layer.

Cover with foil and bake in a 350℉ oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until cheese is bubbling and browned on edges. Remove, let sit for five minutes. Serve with Black Bean Salsa.

Black Bean Salsa

This light side dish is big on protein and can easily become a main dish.

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup orange heirloom or cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup yellow corn, drained
1/4 cup salsa
1/4 cup chopped green onion
2 tbsp. fresh roughly chopped cilantro

Mix all ingredients; let marinate for at least one hour and up to two days. Serve cold.

Honey Orange Fried Rice with Oven Roasted Orange Chicken

Honey Orange Fried Rice with Oven Roasted Chicken

Oven Roasted Orange Chicken

Marinade:
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup white wine
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Lemon Pepper seasoning
1 tbsp. table grind black pepper

6 chicken breasts

Measure all marinade ingredients into a gallon-size zippered storage bag. Zip and shake to mix. Add chicken breasts, pushing out as much air as possible before completely sealing. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours, turning occasionally.

Remove chicken and place on a prepared broiling pan and bake in 375℉ oven for 45 minutes. Brush additional marinade on chicken as needed to keep chicken moist during the last 15 minutes of baking.

Serve with Honey Orange Fried Rice.

Honey Orange Fried Rice

2 cups cooked rice, chilled
3 slices gluten free bacon, raw, chopped into small pieces
1 egg, beaten (optional)
1/4 cup Tamari Organic Gluten-Free Soy Sauce
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey

In a large skillet, stir fry bacon until crispy. Drain excess bacon fat, leaving pan drippings in the pan. Add cooked rice, toss to coat. Add all other ingredients, tossing and stirring until rice is crispy and heated thoroughly, about 10 minutes.

Gluten-Free French Onion Soup with Shredded Roast Beef

We recently visited a popular French restaurant, and I wanted to order a wonderful bowl of French Onion Soup (without the bread, of course), but luck would have it that the soup had flour as the base. Still craving some a few weeks later, I made French Onion Soup the easy AND gluten-free way – and the one that leaves you with wonderfully delicious roast beef leftovers.

Shredded Roast Beef with French Onion Soup

1 3-5 lb. rump roast, visible fat removed
5 yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 bottle red wine
1 tbsp. butter
salt, pepper

Melt butter in a large pressure cooker, add onions and simmer on medium heat until onions are softened. Lay raw roast on the bed of onions, salt and pepper to taste. Cover with half of the bottle of red wine, add enough additional water until liquid has reached the top line on your pressure cooker. Cover according to directions, adding pressure valve, and raise heat to medium-high until pressure has been established.

Lower to medium heat and continue cooking under pressure for one hour. Remove from heat, run under cold water until pressure has been released.

Remove roast; set aside. Pour liquid and onions into a large serving bowl.

Shred roast, return to pressure cooker. Add the rest of the red wine and enough liquid to reach the top line of your pressure cooker. Cover according to your directions, including pressure valve, and return to medium-high heat for an additional 45 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit until pressure is released (or run under cold water to serve immediately).

Serve soup topped with a slice of provolone cheese.

Gluten-Free Chicken Risotto

Arborio Rice, which has a tougher skin and holds up better under stirring, is the standard base for Risotto

Rice can get so boring, and what better way to add some elegant flair than with wine, cheese and cheese?

3 – 4 large chicken breasts, fully cooked and cubed (see hints below); set aside.

In a large sauce pan over high heat, combine and stir for 1 – 2 minutes (until rice begins to make a popping noise):

1 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 cups Arborio Rice*
3/4 – 1 cup fresh, roughly chopped mixed herbs (arrugula, basil, oregano, thyme, parsley)

Quickly add and stir:

1 1/2 cups gluten-free white wine (almost all wines are gluten-free, although a few are stored in containers that may have previously contained gluten-products)

Turn heat to medium-low and leave uncovered, checking often. When liquid is almost gone, add:
1 1/2 cups gluten-free chicken broth or enough to add a small layer of liquid to the top of the pan again. Stir and let rice continue cooking on medium low heat.

Continue to rotate wine and broth until rice is almost done but still barely crunchy to the bite, about 20 – 30 minutes. Add:

2/3 cup shredded parmesan or other hard, white cheese (note: while hard cheese do not contain gluten, they do contain casein – the protein in cheese – which has a similar molecular structure to gluten, so some gluten-free dieters also avoid most cheeses)
1 cup chicken broth
Prepared, chopped chicken breasts

When cheese is melted and most of the liquid is absorbed, remove from heat and serve.

Note: I used left-over chicken for this recipe. I initially marinated a full family-size package of chicken breasts in gluten-free sun-dried tomato dressing (Whole Foods) and baked in a 9 X 13 baking dish, reserving the juices after baking. I stored the leftover chicken overnight in a container with the reserved liquid to keep the chicken moist and then used the liquid as my initial broth (with the fat skimmed and removed) in the risotto. The additional subtle flavors were delightful.

*Arborio rice should be available in your grocery store. It is a fatter rice with a thicker skin, allowing it to retain its shape during the cooking process. If you cannot find Arborio rice, you can substitute brown rice, but the taste and texture will be different, and you will need to adjust your cooking times to the new type of rice you choose.

Note: to serve as a side-dish, do not add chicken. Risotto is a flexible dish, so play with the spices to create your own personal favorite. ©Gluten-Free Culinarian / originally published on The Diet Diaries.

Fresh Green Chile Makes Everything Taste Better

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About a month ago, I finally harvested my small green chile crop from my garden. After roasting, peeling, and chopping, I had just enough for two green chile enchiladas and a few mornings of green chile scrambled eggs.

Buried behind a large cluster of marigolds, I left the plants and forgot about them. Imagine my surprise this past week when I pulled out the marigolds to find yet another crop of green chile almost ready for harvest!

Now for those of you whose entire experience with green chile comes from a tin can of mild chiles bought at the local grocery store or the green sauce at Taco Bell, you have no idea what you’re missing. Fiery, flavorful chile makes everything taste better and packs a wallop of vitamin C to boot. And the best part is that it is almost entirely calorie-free.

I plan to roast, peel and chop my bonus crop and make an egg-white omelette that will not only set my taste buds on fire but make me forget I’m on a diet.

Here is my recipe for Green Chile Egg White Omelletes:

  • 3 egg whites, whipped
  • 1/4 cup low fat shreeded cheddar cheese
  • 3 fresh green chile pods, roasted, cooled, peeled, seeded and chopped (for those of you who are using canned, a couple of tablespoons will do)
  • chopped fresh cilantro, green onion, fresh tomato and bell pepper to taste

Heat small skillet and spray and non-stick cooking spray. When very hot, add egg whites. Immediately top with chopped vegetables, herbs and green chile. Sprinkle all but a small amount of the grated cheese. Cover with lid and cook until egg is no longer watery. Using a spatula, flip egg in half and continue cooking. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and serve.

Yogurt Parfait – Delightful treat

When we travel, we hit the McDonald’s drive-thru more than I’d like. Why? It’s easy, fast, and we can all get something that we’re willing to eat. The kiddo loves the Happy Meal, and who can argue about a new toy in the middle of a road trip? That’s worth at least another hour of no complaining or asking when we’ll get there. The kids go for the chicken selects (why don’t they call them fried chicken slices???) and the hubby for whatever is on the dollar menu. Me? I make up for his savings buying a salad and yogurt parfait.

Now you may think that’s a bit much for a fat lady on a diet, but you have to understand how the eating goes in our family. My better half orders less than he’ll eat, but then he starts eyeing mine because I eat slower than him. So, I order more than I’ll eat so that I can generously offer up part of my food.

He loves the yogurt parfaits and still doesn’t believe me when I tell him they have more calories than an ice cream cone. Funny how our mind works – the fat lady can have a yogurt parfait without looking like a pig, but let her order an ice cream, and indignation is thicker than campaign ads in October. "I thought you were on a diet!" "Can you eat an ice cream cone on a diet?" "Wow – is that on your diet?" Yeah, I’ve heard ’em all.

And, just to avoid the fifth degree, I order a fruit parfait and figure I’ll only be eating half anyway.

Well, today I made some for the family for an afternoon snack. It was a big hit, no one griped about diets, and I ate one all by myself.

If you’d like to enjoy one yourself, here’s the recipe:

Take a wine glass and fill the bottom with 1/4 cup low-fat or fat-free vanilla yogurt. My favorite by far is Mountain Dairy.

Add 1/4 cup frozen mixed berries. Layer again with yogurt and top with berries. Add 2 tbsp. low-fat granola just before eating.

It tasted better than McD’s and this time it really was less calories than an ice cream cone!