If you were to look at my text messages, emails or the nicknames assigned to people in GChat, you might think that half the people I know don’t have actual names. Or that I have friends who fancy themselves celebrities on a mission to have the cleverest of names. Maybe you would think I was a secret agent (actually, it would be pretty cool if you thought that). Read more
You might have had a mild inkling that I am not an outdoorsy girl. Particularly if you have seen my instagram feed. Or my shoe collection.
When I was invited to this camping trip, a good friend asked if I even was going to have to buy new shoes so that I had appropriate footwear. (Clearly I own appropriate shoes – this first picture is proof…)
I was very much undecided about a weekend filled with nature. I hadn’t been camping since Girl Scout Camp when I was 10. My idea of visiting nature is a mile or two hike through the forest preserve. Not spending 3 days away from civilization.
Somehow, I let them talk me into going. I am still unsure how that happened.
It started with crazy Chicago traffic, a third person I didn’t know, a broken down car and an emergency car rental. That first car ride is what made our trip. My friend Helen and I bonded with an acquaintance who needed a ride to the camping trip. (This was greatly aided by the Sour Patch watermelon candies that I grabbed on impulse at the grocery store…)
There was a lot of laughter. A little bit of singing. A lot of games. I spent time with acquaintances that I rarely get to see in real life. I bonded with some of the girls over our lack of outdoorsy-ness. We all got a little silly. We even got to watch lanterns released in lieu of holiday weekend fireworks.
So, if I ignore the fact that there were bugs and dirt, it was a pretty ok time. And the food was pretty spectacular.
It had to be the best – people expect things when you blog about food. Plain old burgers and dogs wouldn’t cut it if I was going to live up to my reputation. But I also had to be careful. There were 30 people on this trip, and I had to make sure that I didn’t end up coming in contact with food that would trigger an allergic reaction and necessitate an emergency room trip.
My solution to a crowded grill filled with gluten was a foil packet dinner. Packing up veggies and meat with something to add flavor makes for jealous camping buddies when your food is better than their burgers. This type of cooking is also great for cookouts where there is a shared grill, or for nights when you want to put together a fast and easy dinner using the grill so you don’t heat up your kitchen.
- 1 lb chicken tenders (about 12 tenders)
- 8-12 small sweet peppers, seeded and sliced
- 1/2 cup honey mustard
- Salt & Pepper
- Start your grill or fire and let it get hot – it should be hot enough to cook a burger.
- Set out 4, 12″ long pieces of foil.
- Divide the chicken and peppers evenly and center them on the pieces of foil.
- Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of the mustard on top of each group of ingredients.
- Bring the short ends together and roll them down together, then roll up the open sides to create a packet.
- Place on the grill or over the fire, but off to the side so it isn’t directly over the flame, and cook for 20-25 minutes. You want the chicken to get golden brown on the bottom and the honey in the honey mustard to start to caramelize.
Wednesday Wisdom is a series of posts with helpful ideas for getting started with being gluten-free, easy meal ideas and lifestyle thoughts from myself and my gluten-free friends. This week’s post is from Jen Cafferty from the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo.
When it comes to quick and easy dinners, one of my favorite things to make is stir-fry. Asian stir-fry is already really easy to make and I have even simplified this chicken recipe more by using chicken nuggets. I know that may sound gross, but the reality is that you are ultimately just frying some chicken with your vegetables and adding sauce, so why not start out with pre-fried chicken – the nuggets!
- 1 pound package chicken nuggets (we use Allergen Free Foods or Bell & Evans)
- 1Tablespoons oil
- 1 cup San-J orange sauce
- a few splashes sriracha chile sauce (I like the bottle with the rooster on it)
- 3 cups shredded cabbage (you can use a bag that was chopped for cole slaw)
- 4 green onions, sliced (use the whites and greens)
- 1 cup broccoli florets, cut into small pieces (you might want to heat them in the microwave for a minute to soften them)
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- any other veggies you love
- cooked white or brown rice
- Bake the chicken nuggets as suggested on the package. Once cooked, remove them from the oven and cut them into 1″ pieces.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil.
- Add the vegetables to the skillet and saute for about 5 minutes until they are heated through and reduced slightly. Once the veggies are cooked, add the to the pan.
- Pour the orange sauce over the mixture and add a splash or two of the chili sauce. Stir to combine.
- Serve over white or brown rice or gluten-free noodles.
Summer is almost over. Major bummer.
There are only 3 weeks left until Labor day weekend and the unofficial end of summer.
When I am not baking (which, in preparation for this month’s gluten free ratio rally, I have been doing each night), I am usually cooking something delicious for dinner before I do things like design gluten free flour reference charts and illustrate children’s books.
I saw chicken thighs while out grocery shopping and decided that I had to make something with them. I don’t buy meat often because it is just me eating it, and it just feels like too much hassle. But the chicken was calling to me.
I also had some University of Illinois honey (so famous that it made the Colbert Report) that I got as a Christmas gift and it was beginning to crystallize, so I knew I was going to make a hone chicken thigh.
And really, what good is chicken without sauce? No good. And since eating mayo is not so good for you, I blended it with yogurt & cilantro for a refreshing, tangy dipping sauce.
|Sweet & Hot Chicken Thighs||
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 T cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 t chili powder
- 1/2 t cayenne
- 1 t granulated garlic
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1/4 c plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 c canola mayonnaise
- 1/2 c chopped cilantro
- salt & pepper
- Turn on broiler and prepare broiler pan.
- Whisk together the honey, vinegar, chili powder, cayenne, garlic and salt & pepper to taste.
- Brush chicken thighs with sauce and place under the broiler.
- After 5 minutes, turn over and brush with sauce. Return to oven.
- During this time, whisk together mayo, yogurt, cilantro and salt & pepper to taste.
- Take them out, turn them over and brush with sauce again.
- After 1 minute turn and brush the thighs one last time.
- Return to oven for 1 minute.
- Serve with a dallop of yogurt sauce on the side.