Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Breaded Pan Fried Chicken, Brussel Sprouts & Quinoa

Gluten & Dairy-free Breaded Pan Fried Chicken. What on earth could be better? My mother used to make something similar when I was growing up and this is my Laura Friendly version. Served with a side of Pan Fried Brussel Sprouts and a heap of Quinoa… It’s heaven on a plate.   

Over the years, I’ve experimented with different ways of breading chicken. Through trial and error (sometimes a lot of error) I have found gluten-free cereals are a great breading choice. This particular batch of Fried Chicken was made with the cereal I had in my cupboard. Gluten-free Corn Flakes. Perfect! It’s really such a versatile dish and can be seasoned anyway that you like. Try adding rosemary, lavender or a little cayenne powder.

This gem has become My Special Man Friend’s favorite dinner. That’s gotta mean something, right?

Breaded Pan Fried Chicken with Brussel Sprouts and Quinoa
by Laura Friendly
start to finish: about 55 minutes total
serves: 4

Breaded Pan Fried Chicken
by Laura Friendly
start to finish: 35 minutes
serves: 4
  • 1 ½ cups dried quinoa
  • 1 ½ lbs chicken tenders (or boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in two, lengthwise)
  • 2 ½ cups gluten-free corn flakes
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Flour
  • 2 eggs & ¼ cup water, whisked together
  • olive oil

Prepare quinoa according to package instructions. (I add 1 tsp of sea salt to the water for extra flavor)

In a food processor, combine corn flakes, garlic salt, onion powder, pepper and thyme. Blend until the cornflakes are crushed into a meal. Set aside.

On a clean counter top, place the chicken between two pieces of waxed paper. Pound the chicken with a meat mallet or pan, until it’s about ¼ inch thick.

Place the GF flour, eggs with water, and cornflake mixture into three separate shallow bowls. Coat both side of the chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess; next, dip chicken into the eggs; finish, by fully coating both sides of the chicken with the cornflake mixture. Set chicken onto a clean plate and continue to bread the remaining tenders. note: do not stack the breaded chicken tenders on top of each other

Heat a large nonstick skillet to medium high and add olive oil. When the olive oil is hot, using tongs, lay the chicken into the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan.

Let the chicken cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until browned, then turn to the other side. Continue to cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Continue to turn the chicken, cooking for an additional minute per side, until cooked through. The chicken is done when the juices run clear, when pierced with a fork.

Transfer the pan fried chicken to a paper towel lined plate and continue to cook the remaining tenders.

Pan Fried Brussel Sprouts
by Laura Friendly
start to finish: 20 minutes
serves: 4

  • 20 to 24 brussel sprouts, washed, stems trimmed, cut in half lengthwise
  • garlic salt & pepper
  • olive oil
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • juice of 1 lemon

In a large bowl, toss brussel sprouts with olive oil, garlic salt and pepper.

In a non-stick saute pan, over medium heat add sprouts, cut sides down. Drizzle with wine and lemon juice, cover and steam for about 5 minutes, or until sprouts are slightly tender.

Remove the lid, and increase the heat to medium-high & fry until the sprouts begin to lightly brown. Flip over and brown the other side. Season with additional garlic salt & pepper, remove from heat and serve.

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips, is one of my first Laura Friendly desserts. New to the gluten-free world, I was struggling for sweet treats to make at home. As I was noodling around my kitchen, I came to my corn tortillas and wondered if these could be transformed into a dessert? Maybe… with a little bit of cinnamon and sugar… I could make something like Cinnamon and Sugar toast! But what goes with corn tortillas? Salsa. Perhaps, a sweet and spicy fruit salsa would be a good match!

This Fruit Salsa is so delicious, you really could eat this by itself (and I do). I think it tastes even better as the flavors mingle in the refrigerator for a day. The Cinnamon Chips are also delicious but are best served right away. I hope you enjoy!

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips
by Laura Friendly
start to finish: 30 minutes
serves: 4

Fruit Salsa

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup strawberries, stems removed and diced
  • 1 cup plums, pits removed and diced
  • 1 cup nectarines, pits removed and diced
  • 1 cup cherries, pits removed, sliced in half
  • 2 tbsp honey (or agave nectar to make vegan)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped jalapeno, optional
  • 1 tbsp minced cilantro, optional

In a medium size bowl, combine blueberries, strawberries, plums, nectarines, cherries, honey, lime, jalapeno and cilantro. Mix together well.

Cover and refrigerate while making the Cinnamon Chips.

Cinnamon Chips

  • 10 to 12 corn tortillas
  • ⅓ cup coconut palm sugar (or regular sugar)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • olive oil

Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Lightly coat a large baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.

Brush tortillas with olive oil and cut into 8 wedges. Arrange tortilla wedges, in a single layer, on the baking sheet. Combine sugar, cinnamon and salt, sprinkle mixture over tortillas.

Bake in the center of the oven until chips are lightly brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Serve immediately with Fruit Salsa. 

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Watermelon Lavender Smoothie

A Watermelon Lavender Smoothie may sound a bit strange, but this odd combination is light, floral and delicious.

The key to cooking with Lavender is to start with small amounts. If you add too much, your lovely dish will taste like potpourri. I’ve been working to incorporate lavender into more recipes and this smoothie was a perfect choice. The watermelon is fresh and sweet, and the vanilla yogurt blends well with the floral taste of the lavender.

A wonderful benefit of experimenting with herbs, is the transformation they bring to your food. Something you may have eaten 100 times, suddenly takes on a completely new taste. Try adding a pinch of lavender to your salads, breads or desserts.


Watermelon Lavender Smoothie
by Laura Friendly
start to finish: 10 minutes
makes: two cups

  • 2 cups watermelon, rind removed, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • ½ cup dairy-free vanilla yogurt (I used soy yogurt)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened dairy-free milk (I used almond milk)
  • ⅛ tsp food grade dried lavender, finely ground

In a blender, combine watermelon, yogurt, dairy-free milk and lavender. Blend until smooth.

Serve immediately.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Almond Joy No-Bake Cookies

Do you remember the taste of Almond Joy or Mounds candy bars? I use to love them. This cookie is in honor of those delicious treats. Almond Joy No-Bake Cookies. Over the past few weeks, by request of my Aunts, I have been playing around with desserts that use more natural sugars — honey, maple syrup and agave nectar, for example.

To be honest, I’ve been working to eliminate most refined sugars from my diet, so this request did not seem too extreme. It’s amazing to realize how sweet fruit can taste, after limiting sugar for only a week! But even on a low sugar diet, I still require delicious treats. And with the heat of summer fresh in my mind, a cookie that requires little, to no baking, seemed like the way to go.

These cookies have a rich dark chocolate flavor, that works perfectly with the shredded coconut. It’s this combination, dark chocolate and coconut, that takes my mind into Almond Joy Bliss.

You can customize the sweetness of these delights, by adding more or less honey. Or, if honey isn’t your style, agave nectar is a great option. To make these a healthier treat, I’ve added a few tablespoons of Chia seeds [my new favorite superfood, that’s rich in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids]. You can also try adding a bit of fresh ginger, vanilla or nutmeg. Enjoy!

Almond Joy 
No-Bake Cookies
by Laura Friendly
prep time: 10 minutes
refrigeration time: 30 minutes
makes: 24 cookies

  • 5 oz dairy-free, dark baking chocolate (about 1 cup), roughly chopped
  • ½ cup honey (more or less to taste)
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger, optional
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups shredded coconut
  • 1 ½ cups raw cashews, ground into a fine meal or flour
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds, optional
  • whole almonds or cashews, optional

In a small saucepan, combine chocolate, honey, coconut oil, ginger and salt. Over low heat, mix continually, until the chocolate is completely melted and all ingredients are well combined.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine melted chocolate, shredded coconut, cashew meal and chia seeds. Mix together well.

On a parchment lined, baking sheet, spoon mixture into little mounds (note: the cookies can be placed close together, because they will not spread out). Top with almonds or cashews, if desired. Transfer the baking sheet into the refrigerator, and allow the cookies to set for 30 minutes. Once the cookies have hardened, transfer to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Serve cold.

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