Cheese Lover’s Zucchini Casserole


Cheese Lover's Zucchini Casserole

During our summer growing season we grew so many zucchinis in our vegetable garden, I found that I was serving them everyday.  So that my family would not get tired of eating this nutritious vegetable, I had to create a new zucchini recipe. After some experimentation, I came up with this one. It takes only minutes to assemble and bakes while you prepare the rest of the meal.  

As a mom, I know that getting your kids to eat a vegetable dish can be difficult. Cheese Lover’s Zucchini Casserole gets the thumbs up here at the homestead every time. No wonder, it actually has a pizza-like taste! 

Recipe for Cheese Lover’s Zucchini Casserole:

Ingredients:

2 tblsp.  olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. zucchini, sliced 
2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
gluten free marinara sauce, homemade or jar
grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400℉

Toss zucchini with olive oil. Then spread the zucchini slices on a baking dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast until they are just starting to brown, about 10-15 minutes . Roasting the zucchini will keep the casserole from becoming watery.

 Cheese Lover's Zucchini Casserole

 

Turn oven down to 350℉

Spread 2 tablespoons of marinara sauce in bottom of a casserole dish .  Arrange one layer of zucchini over sauce,  sprinkle mozzarella and top with another layer of zucchini and then mozzarella cheese again.  Cover and bake for 25 minutes; remove cover and  bake 5 minutes more.  

Cheese Lover's Zucchini Casserole

 

Top with marinara sauce.

Cheese Lover's Zucchini Casserole

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Serves 6

Approximate preparation time: 10 minutes 

Approximate cook time: 45 minutes 

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Autumn Photo Feast and Panko Crusted Pork Chops Recipe


Autumn Photo Feast and Panko Crusted Pork Chops Recipe

This delicious pork chop dinner is a wonderful way to celebrate Autumn, my favorite time of year!

I love taking long walks and hearing the crunch of leaves underfoot, wearing comfy sweaters, and wrapping up in scarves. My family enjoys taking scenic drives upstate in order to capture beautiful photos of the lovely fall foliage. After returning home from a day of hiking, touring one of the many mansions, antiquing or apple picking, my gang is mighty hungry. Quick yet satisfying recipes like panko crusted pork chops make the perfect dinner.

Before I share the recipe, here is a video set to the music of Autumn In New York with beautiful fall pictures of New York City. I’ll just go ahead and put this right here and since this recipe is quick, you have a moment to watch it and enjoy.

Here are some of my photos of landscapes north of the City. 

Autumn Photo Feast and Panko Crusted Pork Chops Recipe

Take a scenic ride along Seven Lakes Drive.

Autumn Photo Feast and Panko Crusted Pork Chops Recipe

Stunning deer, just one of the many varieties of wildlife you see. 

Autumn Photo Feast and Panko Crusted Pork Chops Recipe

Top of Perkins Drive, high above Bear Mountain. On a clear day, you can see the New York City skyline 40 miles away!

Autumn Photo Feast and Panko Crusted Pork Chops Recipe

Delight in the natural wonders at Rockefeller State Park Preserve.

Autumn Photo Feast and Panko Crusted Pork Chops Recipe

Don’t feed the ducks on Swan Lake, Rockefeller State Park Preserve!

So here is that recipe for melt in your mouth panko crusted pork chops. Don’t the colors of the pork chop resemble the golden hues of autumn? The pork chops are first dredged in parmesan cheese, then egg and finally crunchy panko breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs trap steam in the meat keeping it juicy on the inside.
Yum.

Autumn Photo Feast and Panko Crusted Pork Chops Recipe

Recipe for Panko Crusted Pork Chops:

Ingredients:
2 large eggs
3 tblsp. milk
1/2 cup  grated Parmesan
1 cup kinnikinnick gluten free bread crumbs PANKO STYLE
4 boneless center-cut pork chops 
Salt
pepper
3 tblsp. olive oil

Directions:

Sprinkle the pork chops with salt and pepper.

Beat eggs and milk in  a shallow bowl. Place parmesan cheese on a separate plate, and bread crumbs on another plate.

Dredge each pork chop in the cheese then into the egg mixture, and finally into the bread crumbs coating evenly.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Place coated pork chops in the skillet and cook until golden brown about 6 minutes on each side. Serves 4

Approximate preparation time: 10 minutes

Approximate cook time: 12 minutes

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Gluten Free Toad In The Hole


Gluten Free Toad In The Hole

My husband always talks about this dish with a very funny name that his mom used to make when he was a child: Toad in the Hole. It is a very popular dish in Britain where his mom was from. No one knows exactly how it got its name though it is said that the sausage peeking out of the Yorkshire pudding is supposed to look like a toad.

Gluten Free Toad In The Hole

It reminds me of the character Mr. Toad of Toad Hall from Kenneth Grahame’s beloved children’s novel Wind In The Willows. It’s just the kind of dish Mr. Toad would have enjoyed after his madcap adventures in his motorcar around the English countryside. 

Indeed, this classic British dish of juicy sausages nestled in Yorkshire pudding makes for a seriously special dinner treat. Since today is my youngest son’s sixteenth birthday, it was the perfect occasion for a fun-filled meal. I decided to serve up a gluten free version of Toad in the Hole.

Yorkshire pudding with roast beef is one of the first recipes that I shared with you on the blog. But Toad in the Hole takes traditional Yorkshire pudding to a whole new level. It consists of a batter of eggs, flour and milk so I selected Bob’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour. The sausages from Jones Dairy Farm are simply delicious. I doubled the recipe and made two pans because there are six of us (one I made in a cake pan). They were both devoured straight away, no leftovers.

I am not sure which I loved more: the spicy, savory Toad in the Hole or the creamy homemade onion gravy. This birthday dinner was truly out of this world.

Gluten Free Toad In The Hole

Recipe for Gluten Free Toad In The Hole:

Ingredients:

1 package Jones gluten free sausage
1½ cups Bob’s Red Mill GF All Purpose Baking Flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 eggs
1¼ cups milk
2 tblsps. oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400℉

Cook gf sausages in a skillet according to package directions. Then remove sausages to a plate and keep warm.

Gluten Free Toad In The Hole

Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet. Place skillet in the oven for 5 minutes. 

Meanwhile, beat eggs on low speed of electric mixer for 1/2 minute. Add milk; beat 15 seconds. Add gf flour and salt and beat 2 minutes more until smooth. 

Pour batter over hot drippings in pan. Add sausages.

Gluten Free Toad In The Hole

Bake about 30 minutes. Meanwhile prepare onion gravy according to recipe below.

Cut into slices and smother in gravy.

Gluten Free Toad In The Hole

Recipe for Gluten Free Onion Gravy:

Ingredients:

2 tblsp. butter
1 onion, chopped
pepper to taste
2 tblsp. Bob’s Red Mill GF All Purpose Baking Flour
1 cup beef stock
1 tsp. Gravy Master
1/2 tsp. salt

Directions:

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet. Add onion, sprinkle with pepper, and cook until the onions start to brown, about 10 minutes.

Stir in 2 tablespoons of gf flour until the mixture is thick and smooth. Continue to stir and slowly brown the flour over a low heat for 5 minutes.

Then add stock, Gravy Master and salt. Whisk and simmer so that the gravy stays smooth while it thickens, about 2 minutes. 

Serves 4

Approximate preparation time: 20 minutes

Approximate cook time: 30 minutes

Gluten Free Toad In The Hole

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Stir Fry Chicken And A Classic Film


Stir Fry Chicken Prior to "Gone With The Wind" Anniversary Screening

This stir fry chicken is all Scarlett O’Hara’s fault. Let me explain.

If there is one thing that my family loves, it’s movies, especially the classics. I remember my mom and grandmother talking about their favorite films when I was a child. Of course, back then movie theaters rarely showed re-runs of older films so I never got a chance to see them until Turner Classic Movies (TCM) began showing them on cable T.V. in the mid 1990s. My family loves watching these classics together (since we are seeing them for the first time, they seem like new movies) and looking up the biographies of the actors to learn more about their lives off the screen. I guess you would say we are film buffs.

Stir Fry Chicken And A Classic Film

Last week we had the opportunity to see Gone With The Wind at our local movie theatre. For myself and the kids, it was our first time seeing the film on the big screen. My husband remembers seeing it in his neighborhood theatre back in 1967 when he was in grade school. He had been amazed and couldn’t wait to share this experience with us.

TCM released this special showing in honor of the epic film’s 75th anniversary celebration. It had been fully remastered with a specially produced introduction by TCM host Robert Osborne. Watching the sizzling romance between Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) and Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) unfold with all the amazing sets, special effects, beautiful costumes and memorable lines, kept us riveted the entire time. I always feel a little more hopeful after seeing this film. Don’t you?

Gluten? Ha! ”As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.” Worries? “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

But show time was 7:00 which is our usual dinnertime, and we had a tight schedule. We planned to pick up my older son at the train station (even though he has moved out, he wasn’t going to miss joining us for this event). Above all, we wanted to arrive at the theatre early enough to get good seats and warm buttered popcorn.

Stir Fry Chicken And A Classic Film

I had to get a quick dinner on the table early because we wouldn’t be getting out of the theatre until 11:00. It’s a four-hour film.

The solution?

This one-pot stir fry chicken would be nourishing and quick with lots of vegetables, gluten free tamari sauce, and tender chicken. I would only have to marinate the chicken for 15 minutes and could easily serve it over rice from the previous night’s Chinese take-out. How convenient.

Frankly my dear, this simple stir fry hit the spot. I think Scarlett and Rhett would have approved. Here is the recipe for the next time you need a meal in a snap.

 

Stir Fry Chicken And A Classic Film

 

Recipe for Stir Fry Chicken:

Ingredients:
2/3 cup gluten free Tamari sauce
1 g stevia
1 tblsp. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2-2 lbs. thin sliced chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tblsps. olive oil, divided
1/2 lb. broccoli florets
1-2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, chopped

Directions:
Combine gf tamari sauce, stevia, and gf flour in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Add garlic, and pour over chicken to marinate. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Heat oil over a medium high heat in your wok or large skillet. Add broccoli, carrots, and onion. Cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove vegetables and set aside.

Remove chicken from marinade, reserving marinade. Heat 1 more tablespoon of oil in wok over medium-high heat. Cook and stir chicken, about 2 minutes per side. Bite-size pieces of chicken cook very quickly. Return vegetables and reserved marinade and bring to a boil. Continue to cook about 5 more minutes. Serve over rice. Serves 6

Approximate preparation time: 15 minutes
Approximate cook time: 15 minutes

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of joyful gluten free living.
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Gluten Free Sole Meunière


Gluten Free Sole Meunière

My husband is not a big fish eater, but he does have a few favorite fish dishes and gluten free sole meunière is one of them. I am glad because fish is so good for you and I’m always looking to add more seafood dishes.

The French word “meunière” means “miller’s wife” and refers to the way the fish is dredged in flour before cooking. Hence those with a gluten sensitivity cannot order this classic dish when dining out. By swapping the flour for gluten free all purpose flour, you can prepare this simple rustic dish at home.

I hope you love this as much as we do.

Gluten Free Sole Meunière

Recipe for Gluten Free Sole Meunière:

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
4 sole fillets (3-4 ounces each)
6 tblsps. butter, divided
6 tablsps. + 1/4 cup juice of fresh lemons
1 tsp. parsley

Directions:

Step 1. Rinse and pat the sole fillets dry with paper towels and sprinkle one side with salt.

Step 2. Combine gf flour, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper in a shallow bowl. Dredge sole fillets in the seasoned flour.

Step 3. Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat until it starts to brown. Add 2 floured fillets and cook until golden on bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully turn fish over and cook until opaque in center and golden on bottom, about 2 more minutes. While the second side cooks,  add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice  to the pan. 

Step4. Carefully transfer fish filets to a plate and pour sauce from the skillet over the fish. Sprinkle with  parsley, salt, and pepper.

Keep warm while you repeat steps 3 and 4 with the remaining 2 floured fillets.  

Step 5. For extra sauce, add 1/4 cup of lemon juice to the skillet, stir, scraping up the little bits.  Serve sauce on the side. Serves 2

Approximate preparation time: 5 minutes
Approximate cook time: 10 minutes

gluten free sole meuniere

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Gluten Free Italian Sausage With Peppers at Citi Field


Gluten Free Italian Sausage With Peppers at Citi Field

Go ahead, it’s gluten free!

One warm evening this past summer, my husband surprised our family with last minute tickets to a Mets baseball game. Don’t you just love surprises? We all scrambled to get ready so that we could get there early and tour Citi Field (we hadn’t been to a Met game since they played at Shea stadium).

Usually, I have to take time to plan for gluten free meals when we go out for the night, but the Mets have this under control. There is a separate gluten free food stand on the field level. You can get burgers or hot dogs on gluten free buns or indulge in a gluten free Italian sausage and peppers sandwich. Certainly, this is better than years ago when we had to settle for ordering from the main concession stand and forfeit the bun. These were Udi’s buns, just like the ones we eat at home. Yum. Then for desert, treat yourself to Kozy Shack pudding, carvel ice cream, peanuts or chips. Gluten free beer is also available.

The Good News Express: The Birthday Gift;

Gluten free concession stands are popping up at many stadiums across the country so be sure to inquire the next time you go to your favorite ballpark. I wrote about Yankee Stadium here.

The Good News Express: The Birthday Gift;

Upon arrival at Citi Field, we were greeted with a floppy hat giveaway. Then we entered an impressive rotunda highlighting the career of Jackie Robinson. Nine inspiring ideals of his are engraved on the floor: Excellence, Citizenship, Commitment, Determination, Persistence, Courage, Integrity, Teamwork and Justice. Several flat screen televisions played highlights from his baseball career. Once upstairs, the feeling was a lot like an amusement park. 

We were so excited when Travis d’Arnaud hit a home run. The famous big apple behind the centerfield fence that rises each time a Mets player hits a home run added to the thrill. Everybody clap your hands!

The Good News Express: The Birthday Gift;

During the seventh inning stretch, Mr. Met entertained us while Citi Field workers used air guns to launch T-shirts to the fans.

Even though the Mets fell to the Rangers, it was a fun gluten free night.

You can fix mouthwatering sausage and peppers at home following this recipe.

Gluten Free Italian Sausage With Peppers at Citi Field

Recipe for Gluten Free Sausage and Peppers:

 Ingredients:

1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 large onion
3 tblsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. thyme
16 oz. package  Premio Italian Sweet sausage
1/2 cup white wine

Directions:

Prepare Sweet Italian Sausage

Bring pot of water to a boil. Add Sweet Italian Sausage and boil for 20 minutes. Then fire up your grill and brown to perfection. Set aside.

Saute peppers and onions

Slice Peppers and onion. Add oil to a large frying pan. Cook peppers, first, over a medium heat, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently. Add onion, garlic and thyme and continue cooking, another 5 minutes. Remove peppers and onions to a plate. Add wine over medium heat to the same pan. Return vegetables and add sausages to the pan, stir to coat with wine sauce until heated through about 3 more minutes. Dish up on toasted gluten free Udi buns and top with Bubbies sauerkraut.  Serves 4

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Approximate preparation time: 10 minutes

Approximate cook time: 35 minutes

 

 

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See What’s Growing In Our Garden (Kale Recipe)


See What's Growing In Our Garden (Kale Recipe)

As fall arrives this week, our organic vegetable garden’s summer season is winding down.

We enjoyed homegrown vegetables all summer long (more about our garden here). Picking fresh vegetables from the garden is as fresh as it gets. Here are some pictures from the summer that I incidentally never got around to posting. Please enjoy.

See What's Growing In Our Garden (Kale Recipe)

The perennial strawberries grew back from last year; the plants were so voracious that the runners started to take root in the neighboring cucumber bed. While the fruit was juicy and a bit larger than last year, there were not an abundance of them so we may replace that bed with something else next year, perhaps some favorite herbs or more kale.

 

See What's Growing In Our Garden (Kale Recipe)

Indeed, we’ve had a positively bumper crop of kale. Absolutely sweet and earthy and incredibly nutritious, you can blend kale in smoothies, mix in salads, cook briefly in a skillet with garlic and oil or sauté following my flavorful recipe below.  

 

See What's Growing In Our Garden (Kale Recipe)

Meanwhile, the green bell peppers and hot chili peppers are still going, Although this may not last too much longer, I’ve been savoring zesty hot peppers in my salads ever since I read that they help to speed up the metabolism and burn calories.

Alas, we’ve already finished harvesting our zucchini crop, and turned that section of the garden over. I meant to plant some fall vegetables like brussel sprouts, but it is too late now. The bountiful cucumber crop has finished too.

The closing scene is still bordered with strikingly colorful marigolds (whose strong scent repels unwanted pests), there are yummy peppers and lush Red Russian kale.

See What's Growing In Our Garden (Kale Recipe)

 

Here is a quick recipe for you to try starring all-popular kale. Chicken broth adds a delightful flavor to this easy sauté. I hope you like it.

See What's Growing In Our Garden (Kale Recipe)

 

Recipe for Sauteed Kale:

Ingredients:

1 ½ lbs. kale, coarsely chopped
3 tblsps. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
½ cup gluten free chicken broth
salt to taste

Directions:
Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over a medium high heat. Add garlic and cook until soft but not brown. Add broth and kale. Toss, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Then remove cover and simmer, about 5 more minutes. Season with salt as desired.  Serves 4

Approximate cook time:  15 minutes

See What's Growing In Our Garden (Kale Recipe)

 

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I am extremely blessed by your participation and promotion
of joyful gluten free living.
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