This is a really easy dinner that I made even easier using a few convenience foods. This is Trader Joe’s taco seasoning mix which is gluten free and made of pure spices and frozen mixed peppers. These mixed peppers cut down a lot of time cutting for me. For the taco meat, I used ground turkey breast. This is the leanest form of turkey you can buy. To make the fajita tacos I started by sauteing one vidalia onion in a frying pan. To the onion I added the ground meet and cooked it until it was about half way done. Then I added the frozen peppers and cooked these down a bit for a couple of minutes. Then I added the full bag of taco seasoning and one 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes and cooked everything until combined and hot. You’ll notice that if you follow the directions on the back of the taco seasoning, that I didn’t follow the directions. I like a lot of vegetables in my tacos, and that’s why I called these fajita tacos. Also, the package calls for tomato sauce, but I like this better with the chopped tomatoes. Here’s a look at the final product. This mixture went into yummy corn tortillas. Then I topped them with a little lettuce and shredded lite mexican cheese. Also, on the side we had this vegetable which was quite interesting. This is a new vegetable from TJ’s. It’s frozen grilled asparagus. I couldn’t figure out if I liked it or not. It sort of tasted burnt, but it also tasted good. You may want to try it for yourself.
One thing that I rarely get cravings for, but tend to enjoy on occasion are hamburgers. I recently learned that hamburgers can be a really easy meal for my husband and I. This meal consisted of hamburgers, mushrooms and onions, and roasted confetti potatoes. To make this easiest, I started with a package of lean hamburger patties that were already made. I sprayed a grill pan with cooking spray and heated it to medium. Once hot, I put the four patties in the pan and seasoned each with montreal steak seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and italian seasoning. I let them cook for about 5 minutes on one side and then flipped them over sprinkling all the seasoning except the montreal on the opposite side. Then I cooked this side until almost done and flipped one more time to seal in all the seasoning. Doesn’t it look like it was cooked on a regular grill. Then I simply cut up an onion and cooked it with baby bellas and shitake mushrooms over medium high heat. I sprinkled this with garlic, salt, and pepper and cooked it until it just started to brown. Once browning, sprinkle in paprika and cook until completely done. For the potatoes, I used a bag of mini confetti potatoes including white, red, and purple. I simply diced these into quarters and placed them in a tin sprayed with cooking spray. I also added one sliced onion, 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp. of crushed garlic. Mix all of this up and cook it on broil until all the potatoes are nicely browned. You will want to mix this periodically while cooking. Here’s a before and after look at the potatoes.
Tonight’s dinner solved many issues in my kitchen. First I had lots of vegetables in my refrigerator that either needed to be cooked or tossed in the garbage. Second this soup can incorporate many fresh ingredients that are great this time of year. This soup requires a lot of ingredients, but is very simple to make.
- 1 28 oz. can of plum tomatoes (the one I used has basil, but this is not necessary)
- 1 15 oz. can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp. of crushed garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 5 oz. cans of clams
- 2 8 oz. jars of clam juice
- 2 dried bay leaves
- Chicken broth or water
- 1 lb frozen cooked shrimp
- mixed bag of seafood from Trader Joe’s (includes shrimp, calamari, scallops)
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 package of fresh basil torn to smaller pieces
- 2 tsp. dried oregano (you can use fresh if you have it)
- salt and pepper to taste
- mushrooms (I used a combination of chopped portabello and shitake mushrooms)
In order to make this soup, I sprayed the bottom of a big soup pot with cooking spray and heated the pan over medium. Then you’ll want to add the vegetables including onion, pepper, mushrooms, etc along with the garlic. Cook this alone until soft. Then I put in some tomatoes I had in my fridge that were getting a little soft. Once all of this was cooked together a bit and getting soft, I added all of the clams and clam juice. Depending on how much vegetables you have, you may want to add a bit of water or chicken broth to cover all of the vegetables. Then add in all seasonings except salt and pepper. Here’s a look at this point of the process. Once the soup began to heat throughout and the flavors began to blend together, I added in the frozen seafood mixture from trader joes. Once that was cooked through, I added the frozen shrimp since they were cooked already. Then heat until everything is hot and season with salt and pepper. You really can add whatever vegetables you want to this soup. It is a very light and flavorful dinner.
On the side I made this. Doesn’t it look like a nice fresh crusty bread…well it is. It just happens to be gluten free also. This is a Joan’s Gluten Free Italian Bread. Her products really are some of the best I’ve tasted (and my husband too who doesn’t require a gluten free diet). In order to make this bread, follow the directions on the back of the package. I simply defrosted this white frozen loaf on parchment paper in the microwave. Then I cooked it at 425 for 25 minutes until brown. Once cooled most of the way, slice the bread and it’s ready to eat. What could be better than crusty bread and soup? This meal was a winner!
Here’s another easy dinner with the help of Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s often sells frozen fish which is actually very good, but this weekend they also had fresh already seasoned tilapia with their special (G) rating denoting that no gluten ingredients were used. All you have to do with this is put it in a pan and cook it in the oven. There were no directions, so I cooked mine for about 20 minutes at 400 and flipped it in the middle. When it’s cooked it should be flaky.
This fish had a good flavor, but I think I like seasoning my own fish better. I’m not sure I would buy this again. On the side I simply cooked snap pea pods in the microwave for 3 minutes. Unfortunately there is not a picture of these. I did not add any additional seasoning though because snap peas are very sweet and flavorful on their own. For a starch, we had this Orgran product I had never tried before. It was kind of like little rice pilafs, but gluten free. This is the garlic basil flavor. This is a great product if you have to watch your sodium intake because it is seasoned, but without any salt. You cook it in a pot of boiling water just like you would cook pasta. Then you drain it and rinse it with cool water. After it was drained, I put it back in the pot with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. It was really enjoyable, and I would definitely try it again.
Weekend nights are sometimes hard for making a quick and healthy dinner at home with so many temptations for a fun weekend. In the gluten free world, sometimes though it’s easier and healthier to make something like a treat at home that you would normally go out to eat. Here’s a great gluten free vegetarian pizza made by me at home. This is an already made Udi’s pizza crust topped with Trader Joe’s pizza sauce, sliced mushrooms, chopped artichoke hearts, and mozzarella cheese. To me artichoke hearts are a must for pizza, but you can add your favorite toppings too. There are so many combinations. This crust comes frozen and you take it out of the freezer, put all of your toppings on it, and bake it in the oven for about 10-15 minutes depending on how done you like your pizza. This crust is thin and crunchy and always a hit. The serving size is 2 per pizza even though they are a little bit larger than a personal size pizza.
Breakfast for dinner is a meal I often enjoy…especially after going gluten free. Eggs have become a large part of my diet. Eggwhite omellettes are one of my easy go to meals. These meals were sometims boring with bad bread, but as you’ll see in this post, this meal was anything but a boring gluten free meal. What is the reason for this? It’s a newer product from Joan’s Gluten Free Great Bakes. Joan’s makes great bagels, but these are bialys. As soon as I tried the first one I couldn’t believe they were gluten free and so good. In order to cook these you must either let the bialy defrost on the counter or in the microwave before cooking it. The directions are on the package. Here’s the before and after photos. It looks just like a regular bialy. You would never know they are gluten free. These cook pretty quickly too. You can top the bialy with a little cream cheese or butter. Along with this, I created one of my egg white omelettes with sliced mushrooms and red pepper. This is 3 egg whites and one yolk all cracked in the pan after the vegetables are cooked. Here’s the final product. Another really simple and easy gluten free dinner.
So you’ve seen my summer Thanksgiving Turkey dinner…now see the beautiful sandwich I made the next day with my leftovers. It wasn’t that long ago that I would never make sandwiches because the breads were so horrible and dense. This sandwich had none of those awful characteristics because it is made with Udi’s bread. It is absolutely the best. On the sandwich was just turkey and cranberry sauce. On the side I made a couple of different vegetables I really like. First, I made squash, zucchini and onions. For this recipe it takes a lot of squash and zucchini because the vegetables cook down a lot. I used the following:
- 5 small zucchini
- 3 yellow squash
- 1 medium to large size onion
- salt and pepper to taste
- water to coat the bottom of the pot
- Here’s everything all cut up and overflowing the pot. Once you put everything in the pot together, let it cook over medium heat stirring often to make sure nothing burns and the vegetables evenly cook. Doesn’t that look really springy?! Another vegetable that I’ve really been enjoying lately is arugula. It is really simple to make arugula because it just needs to wilt when it’s cooked. For this recipe I simply simmered 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of chicken broth in a pot with 2 tsp. of crushed garlic and 2 tsp. of chopped onion flakes. Once the mixture was smoking, I added the arugula and cooked it just until wilted throughout. Then I added pepper to taste. This is really nice and green. Enjoy!