Tag Archives: recipes

Easy Crock-Pot Chicken Cacciatore

crock-pot chicken cacciatore I know, I know, it’s kind of too hot to break out that Crock-Pot, but sometimes a busy girl has to do what a busy girl has to do. And sometimes that means cranking up the Crock Pot to make Chicken Cacciatore as the thermometer climbs into the 100s. It’s just too easy to use the Crock-Pot on those days when you know that 5,000 things will need your attention and you still have to work out and sleep and be a person. This meal is great for those days because you can throw everything in the Crock-Pot at breakfast and it will be ready for dinner or throw it in the Crock-Pot the night before and take it for lunch. It’s just good planning, people.

easy chicken cacciatore (Stupid) Easy Crock-Pot Chicken Cacciatore

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of chicken, cut up in pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 6 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 -4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Throw everything in the Crock Pot and let cook for approximately 7 hours on low. Serve over pasta, rice or quinoa if you wish. I just eat it plain. No time for all that.

super easy, crock-pot chicken cacciatore

love,
melanie

 

Crockpot Pumpkin Chili

pumpkin chili I told ya’ll I was pumpkining all the things. I should just start driving a pumpkin to work, Cinderella style. My rotund orange friend has conveniently snuck in to all sweet and savory dishes that have come out of the Airstream kitchen lately. I’m sorry, husband. He’s such a good sport about it. I think he deserves a pumpkin cupcake.

But that’s not what we’re here to talk about today. Oh no. Today we’re here to talk about creamy, savory, EASY, pumpkin crockpot chili. It’s chilly and it calls for chili.

pumpkin chili This pumpkin chili doesn’t taste like a pumpkin pie or anything creepy, like that. The pumpkin just makes the chili thicker and adds a little somethin’ somethin’ to the taste.

Pumpkin Crockpot Chili
Ingredients

  • 1 1b ground beef
  • 1 cup of canned pumpkin (not the pie filling kind!)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with chilies (don’t drain!)
  • 2 diced green peppers
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder (or a small, real onion, if you have it)
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (or more depending on your spiciness!)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Black pepper to taste

Throw everything in the crock pot. Meat and green peppers on bottom. Stir occasionally. Let it do it’s magic for 6 hours on low. Voila! You’ve got pumpkin crock pot chili. Top with your favorite things: cheese, sour cream and avocado, recommended.

What are your favorite fall recipes? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

The Gluten-Free RV: Crustless Quiche

gluten free, dairy free quiche  If there was an Olympics for taking on more than you can handle, I’d be winning the gold, silver and bronze. And it’s my fault, I know. I seek out the craziness. It’s one of my very few character faults. :)

I knew this week was going to be brutal, so I planned ahead. I’m also good like that. Here’s one of my favorite plan-ahead breakfasts. It’s great for those days when even making a smoothie is too time-consuming. Just grab, go and heat it up at work before your morning meeting. Or cram it in your mouth while changing lanes on your morning commute. 

crustless, gluten-free quiche Ingredients
1 lb of ground sausage
Veggies of your choice (I used sautéed zucchini and topped with tomatoes)
6 eggs
1 cup of almond (or regular) milk
1/4 cup of nondairy liquid creamer (or half-and-half)

Brown sausage and sauté your veggies. Wisk eggs, milk and creamer together. Add sausage and veggies to egg mixture. Top with tomatoes if you want to make it look half-way presentable. If not, I won’t judge. This is a working (wo)man’s breakfast. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees until the center is set– about 30 minutes.

Easy as quiche.

love,
melanie

The Gluten-Free RV: The Beginnings

A typical gluten-free meal for me. Yes, that's a lot of mayo.

A typical gluten-free meal for me. Yes, that’s a lot of mayo.

Now children, gather round, I’m going to tell you a deeply personal story. Once upon a time in grad school I started to get very, very sick. I had debilitating stomach pain. I was hospitalized several times. I had mysterious rashes, unexplained tiredness and nausea. I knew every bathroom within a 50 mile radius of my apartment. It was a miserable, unpleasant, and downright scary time. Sometimes the stomach pain would get so bad, I would think “ok, this is the end. I’m really lucky I didn’t decide to get a cat so he wouldn’t eat my face off when I die.” Really. I thought that.I saw so many doctors and the inside of more depressing waiting rooms than I care to remember. I had so many tests run and everything came out negative. Many doctors brushed me off. “You’re in your 20s, you are young, it’s just stress,” they’d say. I lived in fear of food and on the recommendation of one doctor, ate a very bland, low-acid diet of peanut butter crackers, bananas and chicken soup.

I was sick for years. YEARS. I lived a miserable dietary existence. I was ready to just accept my fate as a weak, sickly individual until I saw one last doctor. This particular doctor suggested cutting out certain foods to see if my pain stopped. I cut out gluten, dairy and nightshades. My pain disappeared. I had more energy than I had in my entire life. I actually enjoyed eating again.

I worked the nightshades back into my diet with no problem. Then I tried the dairy. Still very little problem as long as I didn’t overdue it. I was scared, but I also tried adding the gluten back into my diet. The stomach pain and nausea came back soon after.

I’ve now been gluten-free for a couple of years. And it’s been glorious. I don’t miss “real” bread, pasta or the pain they once caused me. I eat fresh, beautiful foods without abandon. And guess what?! I cook them all out of my Airstream!

So to make a long story short, I want to share those foods with you in a new column I’m calling “The Gluten-Free RV.” The title makes sense now, huh?!

Thanks for listening, ya’ll. I love you and I hope you’ll enjoy.
melanie

 

 

Maple and Rum Horchatas

horchata1 I like my milk heavy on the coffee. Is that how that saying goes? No? What I’m trying to say is a big glass of plain, dairy milk makes me cringe.

The first time I encountered horchatas was when I lived in L.A. I was scared to try them because I thought they were a big ol’ glass of watery milk. But we ordered one anyway and boy was I was wrong! Horchatas are refreshing, delicious and made from rice water and almond milk– which I actually enjoy. I also enjoy a little refreshing nip of rum–if you know what I’m saying.

Here’s my recipe for the perfect adult horchata.

Ingredients

  • 1  cup of uncooked long grain rice
  • 5 cups of water
  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 4 shots of your favorite rum (We used Sailor Jerry’s for the nutmeg and cinnamon flavors.)

horchata2

Pour the rice and water into a  blender.  Blend the rice until it breaks up, but isn’t total mush– about 1 minute. Let rice and water stand at room temperature overnight.

The next day, strain the rice water into a pitcher. Discard the leftover rice. Whisk the almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon, maple syrup and rum into the rice water. Serve over ice.

So much more refreshing and relaxing than a glass of milk!

What is your favorite summer drink?

love,
melanie

Saffron Lemonade

lemonade3 I watch the Cooking Channel while running on the treadmill at the gym. I should be embarrassed, but I’m not. No shame in my game.

The other night My Grandmother’s Ravioli was on and Mo Rocca was cooking with two adorable, little Indian women. I absolutely love the flavors of Indian cooking, so I was enthralled. Before the ladies began cooking, they served Mo saffron lemonade. My head almost exploded. I quickly typed it onto the notes on my phone and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

lemonade2

I googled their recipe, but I modified it a bit. I try to watch my sugar intake.

Saffron Lemonade: Makes 16 oz.
5-6 lemons
1/4 cup of sugar
2 pinches of saffron
1 cup of cold water
A handful of ice

Squeeze the lemons, add the sugar, water and saffron, then add a handful of ice and shake. The longer you let the saffron steep in the lemonade, the stronger the flavor will be. I let mine steep about an hour and it turned a gorgeous orange color.

lemonade

The flavor kind of reminded me of kombucha, but less tart. Saffron lemonade is the perfect spring drink!

love,
melanie

 

Breakfast Pizza

Pizza with an egg on top!
Pizza with an egg on top!

It’s no surprise that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. My first date with George was actually to iHop. On the weekdays, we usually don’t have enough time to make an elaborate breakfast, but on the weekends, we go all out. This weekend we wanted to try something different.

We are also obsessed with pizza. (Who isn’t?!) George and I would eat pizza every night of the week if we could. So we decided to combine two of out favorite things: pizza and breakfast!

We made this breakfast pizza from a store-bought, gluten-free crust. We topped it with pizza sauce, cheese, pre-cooked sausage and uncooked eggs, then baked according to the directions written on the crust. It tasted amazing! And as George and I like to say, “Put it on the menu!”

How have you reinvented your standard meals? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie