GF + Paleo = Thai Red Curry Spaghetti Squash with Chicken

Thai Spag Squash COVER

I mentioned a few posts back that I was starting a new adventure down the Paleo path.  I’ve been attempting gluten-free recipes and my taste buds have been surprisingly happy.  I feel like Paleo is gluten-free on steroids.   Sayonara grains, legumes, dairy, potatoes and refined salts, sugars and sweets.  Hello cavewoman!

This recipe can be as little as 4 ingredients or as many as you want!  Best part about this is that you have options.  You can make entirely in a crockpot if you have 4-5 hours to let it stew, or you can speed up the time and use the microwave (nothing about Paleo says no modern day equipment 🙂 ).

Thai Spag Squash ingredients

What you will need:

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash (3-4 lbs)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. red curry paste – I used Thai Kitchen – Publix has a ton of varieties and these are paleo!
  • 6 cloves glarlic
  • 1 lb chicken breasts
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • parley for garnish

Step 1: Wash the squash.  Cut in half along the short side.  Scrape out the seeds.

Thai Spag Squash inside

Step 2: Microwave Magic!  Poke the top of the squash halves with a fork and place open side down on a microwave save bowl/plate.  Add a little bit of water to cover the bottom.  Microwave each half for 6 minutes.  Note: If you want to only use the crockpot, cooking time will increase from 1 hour to 4-5 hours.

Thai Spag Squash microwave cook

Step 3: The Secret Sauce. Mix the coconut mix and curry paste in the crock pot.  The crock pot should be on the low setting. Add 4 cloves of garlic, whole.  Slice the other 2 cloves and set aside for the chicken.

Thai Spag Squash sauce

Step 4:  Add some Protein.  Place chicken in a single layered baking dish.  Cover slightly with some of the coconut/curry mixture and top with garlic clove slices.  Set aside to marinate until about 20 minutes until the squash is done.  Then preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 15 minutes or so until chicken is cooked thoroughly.

Thai Spag Squash chicken

Step 5:  Crock Pot time!  Add the squash halves, open side down to the crock pot.  Now let it simmer for about 1 hour if you used the microwave or 4-5 hours if not.  The squash will be very, very hot and should be very soft at the end of the time.  You can see my squash didn’t fit completely in the crock pot… amateur move… make sure it fits!

Thai Spag Squash crock pot

Step 6: Prep the dish. After the crock pot time has elapsed.  remove the squash from the pot.  Using a fork, fork out (for lack of a better word) the insides of the squash.  It should come out easily and looking like spaghetti. Take the garlic from the pot and squash it.  Now add it back to the sauce and pour the sauce over the spaghetti.

Thai Spag Squash noodles

Once the chicken is done, top the plate with the Thai Curry Chicken and serve with Organic Wine YES, PALEO APPROVED!

This sweet girl wanted to play all night and knew exactly where her ball should go for me to get it.

GF pizza Emmie

Bon Appetite!

Gluten-Free Pizza – A happy alternative

GF pizza COVER

I love pizza.  I love pizza probably too much and if I lived in Chicago, I would have serious health problems.  With that’s said, I had to try a new version of pizza… gluten-free pizza!

Not looking for gluten-free?  Check out these:  Hawaiian or Buffalo Chickenmargarita on whole wheat or my all-time favorite so far – Chicago Pizza Cups.

GF pizza doughBut if you’re looking for a gluten-free recommendation, this Hodgson Mill Pizza Crust Mix is the bomb diggity!  I attempted GF pizza crust using GF all-purpose baking flour but it didn’t turn out that great (I didn’t cook the dough enough and it was a funky consistency).  I was super skeptical about this mix but decided to give it a try.  I found it at WalMart (and to my surprise, WalMart actually has a descent GF section!)

For the pizza crust, I just followed the instructions on the box.  Pretty straight forward – Mix 1 1/4 cup warm water and the yeast package (included).  Add 2 tbsp. olive oil and 2 eggs (protein, yeah!!).  Add the pizza mix and combine.

To prevent sticking, I would typically use flour.  GF – no flour.  Instead, I used cornstarch.    This dough made 2 – 12 inch sized pizza crusts and the key here is to COOK THE CRUST first, solo, without any toppings.  Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.  This pre-bake is KEY.

GF pizza sauce

I wanted a very simple, healthy sauce so I used no salt added diced tomatoes, a few cloves of garlic and some parsley.  All combined to a sauce in the Food Network Food Processor (LOVE that thing!).

Here’s what the dough looks like before it cooked….

GF pizza toppings

For the toppings, I wanted something traditional didn’t want to go to Publix for the 4th day in a row –  pepperoni and fresh mozzarella it is!

While I was cooking, I had a special kitchen helper.  This is “emmie’s spot” if anyone is in the kitchen.  PS – this is right in the middle of the kitchen in front of the sink.  “emmie’s spot”  great….

Thai Spag Squash Emmie

After the crust is baked for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and add toppings.  I like to add in this order – sauce, meat, other toppings, cheese.  I just love how the cheese holds everything together when on top.

Bake for another 15-20 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is slightly golden.  I ran out of topping so made half of the second pizza a flatbread with olive oil and Italian seasonings.  This part was so good I didn’t have any leftovers of it!

I will definitely cook with this crust mix again.  Eventually, I might make my own pizza crust mix but I’ll stick with this one for now.

As I am writing this, I have a little buddy who wanted to be pictured with her favorite bone… 🙂

emmie2

Bon Appetite and sweet puppy dreams!

(Almost) Gluten-Free Cookies

GF Cookies COVERGluten-Free…  A diet that excludes the protein gluten, found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale.  So what’s the big deal with this?  A diet free of gluten is used to treat celiac disease.  To a lesser-non-medical-degree-cassie-intrepretation, a gluten-free diet makes you feel better!  Or so I’ve been told.  So I’m starting a mini adventure to explore gluten-free options.  I’ve decided to start where I’m best… desserts, of course!

I’m not going to lie, I was a little skeptical of gluten-free cookies.  I mean, flour and chocolate go together like peanut butter and jelly.  Why mess with a good thing?  So the adventure begins….

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (makes 1 1/2 – 2 dozen)

Ingredients 2 1/2 cups gluten-free old-fashioned oats, 1 tbsp cornstarch, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 stick butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 egg, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 cup dark chocolate morsels

GF Cookies dry

Grind oatmeal in a food processor until fine.  This will be flour-like and help keep the cookies in their form.  Whisk together oats, cornstarch, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.  Set dry ingredients aside.

GF Cookies dough

In a blender, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.

GF Cookies dough choco

Beat in egg and vanilla.  Add the oat mixture.

GF Cookies choco

Finally, fold in the chocolate!  I also took a dark chocolate Dove and grated it in the mixture.  🙂

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Drop by tablespoonful on parchment paper.  Bake until cookies have light brown edges but be careful not to over bake.  Bake about 10-15 minutes.

GF Cookies prebake

Drink with a big glass of milk (or wine!) and enjoy!  The dark chocolate wonderfulness of these cookies are really delightful!  I was doubtful of these cookies but I take back all my doubt and want more cookies!

This blog post title is “Almost” Gluten-Free Cookies.  I have to say almost because I technically didn’t use completely gluten-free products.  For example, the oats and baking powder are gluten-free, however, they are often processed in facilities that also handle wheat, so they may contain trace amounts.  For that reason, I give you Almost Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies! If you need a 100% GF recipe, make sure all ingredients are labeled GF.

Do you have any GF yummy recipes you love?