Tag Archives: nut-free

Baked Chicken with Spaghetti Squash

IMG_0912 One of my favorite features of Fall is the abundance of winter squash available. Butternut, Kabocha, Spaghetti Squash…these are all major staples in my household year round, but during this time of year the flavors are truly at their peak (not to mention the savings are about half-price).  In my experience, these squash can last for months in a cool, dark area.  When prices are low, I buy in bulk and keep mine in the garage.  Being that there aren’t too many other perks I feel from the weather starting to turn cold, I am thrilled that I have at least this one aspect of the season to look forward to.

When cooking for a gluten-free and grain-free household, as specified by the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), finding starchy filler options can definitely be challenging.  Typically, 4-5 days a week, my menus include a winter squash, whether in a soup, as a side, or part of the main dish.

Last night, I made for my family Baked Chicken with Spaghetti Squash from A Taste of Wellness by Rochel Weiss (a special thank you to my aunt Linda for getting me my copy so many months ago).  What attracted me to this particular recipe was the minimal ingredients required (no need for a grocery store run), and ease of preparation.  The whole recipe, besides for cooking time, took a total of 20 minutes. The result was delicious, filling but still light, and for added bonus, a breeze to clean up:)

Baked Chicken with Spaghetti Squash

(recipe taken from A Taste of Wellness by Rochel Weiss)

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoon mayonnaise  (for SCD, a quick and easy homemade version can be found at comfybelly.com)

Salt and paprika to taste

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 medium spaghetti squash

3 tablespoon oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

IMG_0908In a small dish, mix mayonnaise with salt and paprika.  Spread evenly on both sides of chicken breasts.  Arrange chicken in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until juices run clear.  Do not overcook or chicken will be dry.

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Meanwhile, cut spaghetti squash in half; scrape out and discard seeds with a large spoon.  Place squash cut-side down on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake at the same time as the chicken for 35-45 minutes, until tender. (Do not overbake, keep strands crispy).

 

With a fork, gently separate cooked spaghetti squash into spaghetti-like strands.

Shortly before serving, heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat.  Add squash strands and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cut baked chicken into 1 inch cubes and add to skillet, mix well.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice until piping hot.  Serve immediately.IMG_0920

Yield: 4 servings

5 Minute Honey Mustard Roasted Chicken

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I have always found honey and dijon mustard to be a delicious, no-fail duo. Whether for a chicken, salmon or london broil marinade, salad dressing or dip, the sweet and tangy combination always provides great flavor. A few years ago, I was hoping to take my predictable honey roasted chicken recipe up a notch, so I did what I always do when searching for cooking inspiration, I headed on-line.  I somehow came across the recipe for Honey Baked Chicken at allrecipes.com which intrigued me because of the addition of curry powder to the honey mustard dressing.  Not having any curry powder, I tried it with turmeric and the result was AMAZING! I served it one Friday night for dinner, and for the first time ever, I barely had enough chicken because everyone kept taking more. I was so excited to have found such an easy recipe (it only took me 5 minutes to prepare) that was so full of flavor.  Besides for switching turmeric for curry, I have adapted the original recipe a few ways, including substituting olive oil for butter to make it kosher and healthier (I also cut the amount of fat in half), and by slightly reducing the honey to save some calories.  This unbelievably easy and delicious dish has come to be a regular at my Friday night table

 5 Minute Honey Mustard Roasted Chicken

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken cut into 10

IMG_42821 large onion sliced in rings

4-6 garlic cloves, peeled

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup olive oil

3 heaping tablespoons dijon mustard

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Line the bottom of baking pan with onion rings and garlic cloves.IMG_4299
Lay chicken pieces, skin side up, over onions and garlic. Mix together all remaining ingredients (salt, turmeric, honey, olive oil and mustard) and “paint” over chicken. Bake uncovered about an hour and 15 minutes. Baste with juices at least once during cooking, best after first 30 minutes of baking.

 

Tip: Chicken can be prepared in marinade the night before to really intensify the flavor (and also to save 5 minutes of preparation on a busy Friday)!IMG_4320

Cinnabon Bites (Gluten Free)

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Intrigued by the health benefits of coconut flour (high protein, high fiber, gluten-free…), I decided months ago to order a bag of coconut flour as a change from my usual baking flour of choice, almond flour. Being that all my go-to recipes are made with nut bases, the coconut flour had been sitting unopened for a little while. As I was recently preparing a meal for a family that I invited who have children with nut allergies, I finally remembered the forgotten coconut flour. For inspiration on how to use it, I flipped thru one of my favorite cookbooks, Cooking for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, by Erica Kerwien, and found an easy recipe for Cinnamon Bun Muffins to put my coconut flour to the test. The results were amazing, and within minutes the muffins were gone! Who can resist a hot cinnamon bun muffin fresh from the oven? Apparently not my husband… The good news was that the whole recipe takes about ten minutes to prepare, so I was able to make a new batch in no time!

IMG_4352My family and friends have become hooked to this dessert which I have modified slightly to make a little less sweet and a little more moist than the original, found at Kerwien’s website: comfybelly.com. I also changed the size to mini muffins to make sure that every bite is filled with the delicious cinnamon glaze topping–and also so that when my husband eats ten at a time, I don’t have to worry because I know there are at least 40 more….

Cinnabon Bites

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 eggs

2/3 cup coconut milk

2/3 cup honey

Cinnamon Glaze Topping:
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4 tablespoons ground cinnamon

5 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons melted coconut oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Line mini muffin trays with parchment paper liners. In a medium sized bowl, combine coconut flour, baking soda and salt until evenly blended. Add wet ingredients to the bowl — vanilla, eggs, coconut milk (if using coconut milk from a can, make sure to shake well before opening because the milk separates and will be thicker on top if not shaken) and honey, and mix well with electric mixer. In a separate small bowl, mix topping ingredients together–cinnamon, honey and coconut oil. Use a tablespoon to measure the muffin batter and fill each muffin liner. Then, using 1/2 a teaspoon of topping, swirl over each muffin.

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Bake 10 minutes and enjoy!

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yield: 50 Cinnabon Bites

Tip: I buy coconut flour, canned coconut milk without any additives, and refined coconut oil from: digestivewellness.com