Crock Pot Beef Stew

P1030586There’s nothing better than a warm, tasty stew on a chilly February evening. This is a simple, gluten-free stew that is sure to warm you and yours to the core! And this sure beats beef stew from a can — ENJOY!

Crock Pot Beef Stew*

(serves 6-8 people)

Prep Time:  15 min.   Cook Time:  4-6 hours

2-3 pounds beef, cubed

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons corn starch, divided (or rice flour or all-purpose GF flour)

1 teaspoon salt + ½ teaspoon pepper + 1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons oil (coconut or olive)

¼ cup diced onions OR 2 tablespoons minced onion

2  15-ounce cans GF beef broth

2 cups hot water

4-5 medium potatoes, diced

1 16-ounce bag frozen, mixed vegetables, cooked

Salt & pepper to taste (2 teaspoons salt + ½ teaspoon pepper)

Put cubed beef, salt/pepper/garlic powder mixture and ¼ cup corn starch (or flour) into sealed plastic bag; toss until beef is evenly covered.

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Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat; add beef and onions. Brown beef, stirring often; don’t overcook or beef will be tough – cook only until beef is lightly browned and still slightly pink in the middle.

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Pour into crock pot, then add beef broth, water, vegetables, potatoes, salt & pepper.  Cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.

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About 15 minutes before serving, mix 2 tablespoons corn starch with cold water in a small cup.  Pour into crock pot and stir for about 1-2 minutes until liquid thickens & gets cloudy.

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OPTIONAL:  Serve with GF and/or regular crackers, salad, Chi-Chi’s® Sweet Corn Cake.

* This recipe can also be made in a large Dutch oven on the stovetop.  Just brown the meat in the large Dutch oven and then add the rest of the ingredients; bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 1 hour or until potatoes are soft.

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Hamburg Vegetable Soup

It’s FRIGID here at my house … and it probably is where you are too. A hot bowl of Hamburg Vegetable Soup sure hits the spot on days like this. It’s super easy, and usually I have on hand what I need to make it. Leftovers make a great lunch the next day. So heat things up at your house with this great gluten-free soup! (Thanks to my friend Ellen Davis from St. Johns, Michigan, for this simple recipe!)

Hamburg Vegetable Soup (serves 6-8 people)

Prep Time: 10-15 min. Cook Time: 1 hour
1 ½ – 2 pounds ground beef/venison/turkey
½-1 cup chopped onion (or  2 tablespoons minced onion)
3 15oz cans tomato sauce
3 CANS of water
1 cup diced potatoes
1 cup sliced carrots (optional, especially if your frozen veggie blend has carrots)
Celery (optional)
1 16oz bag frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, green beans, etc.), heated through in microwave
Salt & pepper to taste

Brown meat and onion in large Dutch oven. Drain off grease.

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Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer covered for about 1 hour or until potatoes are soft.

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Serve with salad and/or grilled cheese sandwiches. Glutino even has “saltine-type” gluten-free crackers for soup!

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Baked Cheesy Enchilada Chicken

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Baked Cheesy Enchilada Chicken

So I LOVE to use coupons! And I LOVE Progresso brand soups because they have a few that are gluten-free. Whenever I find a coupon for Progresso soup, I am sure to clip & save it. With the weather getting cooler, stores are beginning to have sales on soups. The other week Progresso soups were just $.88 each at my local HyVee store — and BONUS — I had a “buy 4, get $1 off”coupon!!! OH YEAH! I stock up on these soups and use for baking or soups of my own.

I regularly stock up on Progresso’s Cream of Mushroom and Chicken Corn Chowder, but I was delighted to find a NEW gluten-free flavored soup on the shelf: Chicken Cheese Enchilada! YUM! So I tried one recipe with it, and it turned out OK (which is why you never saw it here on my blog!).

P1030291I tried another recipe with it last night, and it was a hit! The kids said they really liked it, and I’m always looking for NEW ways to make the “same old chicken.” ENJOY!

BAKED CHEESY ENCHILADA CHICKEN!

1  2.5-3-pound bag frozen chicken breast/tenders

1 can Progresso Enchilada Cheese Chicken soup

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray large baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange frozen chicken in single layer.

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Then evenly dump soup over chicken.

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Bake for 45-60 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in middle.

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Serve with steamed veggies, salad, and brown rice. Use extra sauce over meat/rice.

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Grilled Barbecue Chicken Skewers

OK, I made this recipe on the fly one night for dinner, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how it turned out! It is beyond simple, and it’s not only quick to prepare but also to cook.

Now, I pity those reading my blog because you don’t have my incredible grillmaster & husband to grill for you, but do the best you can anyway! The secret: cook ’em slow . . . and don’t burn them. If you use medium heat and turn every couple of minutes (covering chicken in your favorite gluten-free barbecue sauce), your Grilled Barbecue Chicken Skewers will turn out as moist, juicy and flavorful as ours did. This was a TOTAL HIT with the kids, too!

Happy grilling!

5-6 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into thick strips (or 10-12 boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins)

GF Barbecue sauce (and long food brush)

skewers (metal or wooden — I prefer metal because they are reusable and heat conducts through the metal to cook the inside of the meat better)

Carefully weave skewer through meat. Set aside.

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Grill slowly on medium heat, turning over every couple of minutes and applying layer of barbecue sauce a couple of times.

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YUMMY!!!!!

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Serve with mashed or baked potatoes, sweet potatoes or rice along with vegetable.

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Back to school gluten-free lunches!

Here is a great blog post about how to prepare healthy school lunches for your gluten-free child.

http://glutenfreemom.com/blog/back-school-gluten-free/#.U–q0vldWid

And here are some ideas from my book, Gluten-free Cooking for Busy People, that I am still attempting to publish:

Sometimes you just need a quick, easy lunch. Leftovers are a great option, of course. I have found packing lunch for my sons each day a bit challenging at times, but here are a few ideas for quick lunches.

> Tuna mixed with mayo or Miracle Whip®, scooped up with tortilla chips (try stirring some shredded cheese into the tuna, or even chopped up apples, celery or seedless grapes); serve with a veggie & fruit (pudding cup for dessert!)
> Salad with canned tuna/chicken (drained) on top, drizzled with GF salad dressing
> Peanut butter & jelly sandwich (on GF bread); serve with GF chips, veggie, fruit, string cheese
> GF lunchmeat & cheese sandwich (on GF bread); my son likes this toasted, then I wrap in aluminum foil. (This can be heated in the microwave at school.) Serve with GF chips, veggie & fruit.
> GF macaroni & cheese (buy this boxed; there are lots of options available, or check out my recipe in the Quick Recipes chapter).
> Hard boiled eggs are a great “side dish” in the lunch box.
> Homemade “lunchables:” GF crackers (ie. rice crackers), GF lunchmeat (I like Hormel® Natural Choice) cut into squares/circles, GF cheese slices cut into squares/circles.

> Meat-roll-ups: take a slice of cheese and a few slices of GF lunchmeat; break cheese slice into 3-4 long strips & wrap a slice of lunchmeat around it. Serve with sliced cucumbers & fruit.

> Hummus with tortilla or GF crackers, fruit & veggie.

What do YOU like to pack for a healthy GF lunch?

Could GLUTEN be causing your child’s health problems?

Did you know that bed wetting (or day wetting), tummy aches, colic, not sleeping well, being a “difficult baby,” being cranky, having congestion, and fatigue can all point to a gluten intolerance?

Did you know that autoimmune disorders are linked to gluten-intolerance?

Is your child not a very good eater or picky eater? This too can point to gluten-sensitivity.

Here is a link to a great article about a mom’s decision to put her children on a gluten-free diet. The improvements in the children’s health are remarkable. Her son, who couldn’t keep up with the other kids on the soccer team, can now outrun them all! She herself has MS (muscular sclerosis), an autoimmune disorder, and has found much relief because of her GF diet. I dare say, by getting gluten out of her children’s diet, she may have prevented a possible development of MS in her kids. We will never know for sure, but we all know the tendency to develop the same diseases that our parents/relatives have.

Finally, parents, after you read this article, I BEG YOU to switch to a GF diet for your children if they suffer from similar problems. It is our responsibility as parents to care for our kids, and if that means they would be better off on a GF diet, then the effort and expense are totally worth it.

http://fit4godonline.com/4-ways-going-gluten-free-made-my-kids-life-better/