Lime-cilantro chicken

I think my gluten free experiment is proving that my illness is wheat related.  I accidentally had wheat on Friday for lunch. I didn’t read the ingredients in a Marie Callender meal because it was just rice, chicken, and mushrooms. I thought those ingredients were pretty safe; however, there was wheat in it and that night and the next day I was really sick. After feeling pretty good all week, my sudden change in wellness has to mean something. There’s still a chance it’s something else making me feel this way, but after experimenting I do think at least part of it is a wheat allergy.

I still have a little while until my next appointment (which is the endoscopy) and I’m hoping to learn more about my blood tests then. For now I think I’ll stay gluten-free. This Saturday I made lime-cilantro chicken and my mum made delicious cheese and parsley mashed potatoes to go with it. I’ll have to post the recipe for the mashed potatoes later on. I haven’t tried to make them myself yet, but they are a delicious addition to any meal! Here’s the lime-cilantro chicken to start with!

Lime-cilantro chicken

Source: Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking by Kelli Bronski and Peter Bronski

Ingredients:

Lime juice from one whole lime

1 cup of orange juice

Skinless, boneless chicken pieces (you can use up to 6 pieces for this mixture)

2 teaspoons of pepper

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/4 cup of fresh cilantro (roughly chopped)

2 tablespoons of garlic (minced)

Method:

Cook the 1/4 cup of olive oil and garlic in a skillet. Next, throw in the lime juice and the orange juice. Leave those flavours to blend for about five minutes and add the pepper and cilantro.

At this point you are supposed to marinate for an hour or a whole day, but as usual I didn’t read the recipe correctly. So I put the chicken straight in the pan to cook with the marinade. Every time I turned my chicken, I spooned the marinade over the top. I think it turned out just as good as leaving it over night. Although, I’m sure leaving it longer would have resulted in a stronger taste.

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A light and easy lunch

Okay, I didn’t cook as much as I wanted to this weekend. There was a nasty bug going around my training class, and when I woke up Saturday morning, I had it, too. So Saturday I kinda just lazed around and did nothing, but today I tried a variation on something a classmate told me about. She mentioned that she always snacks on a mango/avocado quesadilla. I love mango and I love, love, LOVE avocado, so I was pretty much hooked. Well, I’m trying a gluten-free diet for a week to see if my illness is actually a wheat allergy, which meant I had to think of something outside of a quesadilla. My mind instantly went to rice.

Combined with a little cheese and salsa, I had the makings of a delicious, quick, and easy lunch! Let me share with you.

Mango and avocado naked burrito

Source: classmate and my own mind

Ingredients:

Uncle Ben’s Jasmine Rice (90 second microwavable kind)

1 avocado

1 mango

1/4 cup of shredded Mexican cheese

2 tablespoons of mango salsa (Newman’s Own)

Method:

Cut and dice both your mango and avocado. Set in the pan on a medium heat and cook until nice and soft. When you have about a minute or two left, add the Mexican cheese to melt.

Now put your rice in the microwave to cook. Once done, pour in a bowl, add your avocado/mango mix on top, and finish with the mango salsa. You can even add a little extra cheese if desired.

See, quick, easy, and quite scrummy, too! If you’re looking for something a little different and light, definitely try this mango and avocado naked burrito.

Leaving the basics until last

Even with all the recipes I’ve tried, it may surprise you to know I’ve never made an omelette. A simple, beginners dish, and I’m leaving it until after the chicken parmesan and homemade mac and cheese. What can I say? I’m the type of woman who likes to work backwards. Some nights, I even eat my dessert before dinner.

Since I’ve been craving omelettes and scrambled eggs (another recipe I haven’t made), I figured it was time to learn. I’m proud to say I did okay. My only complaint is I used the wrong type of cheese. We had mozzarella open in the fridge and I didn’t want to waste it; however, it made the omelette a little chewy. Next time I’m definitely using cheddar.

Even though I’m sure everyone has made an omelette but me, I thought I’d share the recipe anyway.

Cheesy omelette

Ingredients:

2 eggs

1/4 cup of cheese

1 teaspoon of butter

Method:

Crack two eggs and beat thoroughly. Place butter in pan and allow to melt a little. Pour in your eggs. Combine cheese and use fork to spread throughout omelette. When corners begin to brown,  check underneath, if bottom is brown flip and cook the other side.

Make a slight mark in the middle of the omelette. If the center isn’t wet, the omelette is ready to serve.

Now that I’ve learned the basics, I can’t wait to try different variations. I might try a southwest omelette next or maybe something with spinach. Either way, I can’t wait to start experimenting.

My Pinspiration a.k.a my favourite Pinterest recipes

I saw this post on another blog and thought how great of an idea it was. Pinterest has become quite an unhealthy obsession for me, but since hubby is always on his games, I can’t help but gravitate towards all of those glorious pins. It’s not just the recipes either. I’m always looking through the home decor section and the weddings, too. Yet, when it comes to the recipes, there are so many fabulous pictures I get eager to get in the kitchen and start cooking.

Alright, so here we go! These are the top Pinterest recipes I am longing to try.

1. Avocado grilled cheese

Photo from Pinterest- originally from aturtleslifeforme.com

I love avocado and I love cheese. Put the two together in a sandwich and I may have found food euphoria.

2. Bacon, egg and toast cups

Photo from Pinterest - originally from marthastewart.com

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day and I enjoy making quirky recipes. So when I saw this picture, I was not only drawn in visually, but my taste buds were going crazy!

3. Slow cooker cilantro lime chicken

Photo from Pinterest - originally from pipandebby.com

I love chicken coated in fruity marinades – particularly lime ones. Plus, what’s easier than throwing it in a Crock-Pot and not having to worry until dinner time?

4. Snickers cake pops

Photo from Pinterest - originally from mightydelighty.blogspot.com

Cake pops are almost as fabulous as cupcakes – almost. I’m still trying to get the art of the chocolate coating down, but I definitely want to experiment with a Snickers pop!

5. Banana pudding with caramelized bananas and bourbon banana sauce

Photo from Pinterest - originally from zoebakes.com

It’s the bourbon sauce and caramelized bananas that drew me in. Hubby is more of the pudding guy, and while I’m not sure how he’d feel about this recipe, I still want to try it. It just sounds so decadent.

There are so many cupcakes I want to try, too. Since I’m a little cupcake obsessed, I knew that could be a post of its own. So stay tuned, I’m sure there will be a cupcake inspired post soon.

The foods I hope to conquer in 2012

It didn’t take me long to throw all of my Christmas money into baking gadgets and cookbooks. As I mentioned earlier in “Baking on the Brain,” I already got tools for cupcake and cookie making. Well, I also splurged on a handful of cookbooks. I usually stay away from them as they are so expensive, but if you can’t enjoy a little luxury during the holidays when can you? I had so much fun exploring the shelves upon shelves of books.

This is what I walked away with.

I also got a few more recipe books before Christmas, too. With my new gadgets and books, I’m really excited for what I can make next year. In-fact, I already have a few foods/baked goods I hope to conquer in 2012.

  • Whoopie Pies – I love the idea of a whoopie pie and the different combinations you can put together. Hubby wants me to try a jalapeno and maple bacon pie; meanwhile, I’m excited to try a smores whoopie.
  • My own pastry – My mum is the queen of pastry making (at least, to me she is)! Her pastry always comes out perfect, and this year, she’s suggested I try it for myself. I haven’t used a lot of pastry in my baking before, but I enjoy making things from scratch. Even if I don’t use it often, I’m excited to learn.
  • Thanksgiving dinner – I am hoping that Robert and I will be settled in our own place by next Thanksgiving. If we are, I want to start the tradition of cooking for everyone at our house. I picked up a holiday recipes cookbook and I’ve already picked out a few dishes – like coconut sweet potatoes!
  • Healthy baking – While I always get the “life is too short to worry” responses, I eat way too many cupcakes. It isn’t healthy to eat as much sugary foods as I do. Since I don’t want to give up baking or eating cupcakes, I’m challenging myself to learn healthier ways to bake. I can’t wait to start experimenting.
  • Cheesecake – This is one of Robert’s favourite desserts and there are so many interesting recipes. I’m particularly eager to try the pretty designs on top of the cake.