Have you ever come home from a long day at work tired, hungry and don't really feel like making anything? Yeah, that happens around our house...a lot. One weapon we rely on is our slow cooker. It's a magic time machine - you put stuff in it [usually frozen] before work and by the time you get home - POOF! Dinner! Good eats without a wholelotta work...I'm all over that like fur on a weasle...
This is crazy simple - takes about 5 - 10 minutes of prep work before you leave for work. Simple is what I need in the morning 'cos I'm usually half asleep when I'm putting this together.
Sliced large onion or 2 med. onions
Hand full of carrots
Stalk or two of celery
Chopped tomato (I've used tomato paste in the past, but we had fresh tomatoes to use)
Penzey's Granulated Garlic
Penzey's Granulated Onion
Penzey's Herbs de Provence
Salt & Pepper
1/2 - 3/4 cup of water or gluten-free beef broth or red wine.
2 - 2 1/4 lb Chuck Roast
1 tablespoon of Sweet Rice Flour to thicken gravy
Place veggies on the bottom of the slow cooker. This gives the meat a bed of flavor to rest on.
Season both sides of the frozen meat with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion, Herbs de Provence. Use whatever herbs/seasoning you like - be creative!
Place frozen meat on top of veggies.
Set slow-cooker to stun (low). For us, the cooking process is about 9 hours by the time someone gets home.
Walk out the door and return 8 - 9 hours later to some really great smells!
When I get home, I strain the veggies from the liquid. After 9 hours, they've given their little veggies lives to flavor the meat and the liquid for the gravy.
In a sauce pan heat up the liquid. Make slurry with the gluten-free flour and some water. Whisk the slurry into the pan. Allow to come to a boil and thicken. If it's not thick enough, make and whisk in a bit more slurry. Turn down the heat to a simmer. Season gravy to taste.
Homage to the Herbage
If you've ever wondered what type of herbs to use, my Facebook friend Jimmy Boswell [aka the Gluten-Free Chef] from New Zealand created this very handy chart. He suggest which herbs to use for selected meats or veggies.
A great tip from Jimmy -
The general rule for using dried is use ¼ dried herbs for what’s suggested for fresh amounts in a recipe. You can reverse this if dried is suggested and you have fresh.
I took the liberty of putting Jimmy's text chart into a table...
|Beef||Basil, Bay leaf, Caraway, Chervil, Lovage seed, Cumin, Garlic Fenugreek, Ginger, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme and Peppermint.|
|Chicken||Thyme, Anise, Basil, Bay leaf, Borage, Chervil, Chives, Cinnamon, Cumin, Dill, Fenugreek, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Lovage, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Mint Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory and Tarragon.|
|Duck||Bay, Rosemary, Sage, Sweet Marjoram and Tarragon.|
|Fish||Anise, Basil, Borage, Caraway, Chevil, Chives, Dill, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Fish - Baked or Grilled||Basil, Bay, Caraway, Chervil, Chives, Dill, Fennel, Lemon Balm, Lemon Thyme, Lovage, Marjoram, Mints, Parsley, Savory, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Fish - Oily||Fennel and Dill.|
|Fish Soups||Bay, Lovage, Sage, Savory, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Goose||Fennel, Sage and Sweet Marjoram.|
|Ham||Lovage, Marjoram, Mint, Mustard, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary and Savory.|
|Lamb||Basil, Bay leaf, Cinnamon, Coriander, Cumin, Chervil, Dill, Garlic, Ginger, Lemon Balm, Lovage seed, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Saffron, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Thyme and Savory.|
|Liver||Basil, Dill, Marjoram, Sage, Savory and Thyme.|
|Pork||Anise, Caraway, Cardamom, Coriander, Chervil, Dill, Garlic, Ginger, Oregano, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Tarragon, Fennel, Lovage seed, Marjoram, Savory and Thyme.|
|Rabbit||Basil, Bay, Marjoram, Lovage seed, Rosemary and Sage.|
|Salmon||Dill seed and Rosemary.|
|Seafood||Basil, Bay, Chervil, Chives, Dill, Fennel Seed, Marjoram, Rosemary, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Turkey||Basil, Garlic, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme, Parsley and Sweet Marjoram.|
|Veal||Basil, Bay leaf, Chervil, Chives, Ginger, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Savory and Thyme.|
|Venison||Bay, Lovage seed, Rosemary, Sage, Savory and Sweet Marjoram.|
|Artichokes||Bay, Savory and Tarragon.|
|Asparagus||Chives, Lemon Balm, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme, Chervil, Dill and Tarragon.|
|Avocado||Dill, Marjoram and Tarragon.|
|Beans Dried||Savory, Cumin, Garlic, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, and Thyme.|
|Beans, Green||Savory, Basil, Caraway, Cloves, Dill, Marjoram, Mint, Sage and Thyme.|
|Broccoli||Basil, Dill, Garlic, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Oregano, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Brussel Sprouts||Dill, Sage and Savory.|
|Cabbage||Basil, Caraway, Cayenne, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Marjoram, Sage, Savory, Borage, Dill seed, Mint, Oregano and Savory.|
|Carrots||Anise, Basil, Chervil, Chives, Cinnamon, Clove, Cumin, Dill, Sage, Ginger, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme and Chervil.|
|Cauliflower||Basil, Caraway, Chives, Cumin, Dill, Garlic, Marjoram, Parsley, Rosemary, Savory, Tarragon and Fennel.|
|Corn||Chevil, Chives, Lemon Balm, Saffron, Sage and, Thyme.|
|Eggplant||Basil, Cinnamon, Dill, Garlic, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, Savory and Thyme.|
|Lentils||Garlic, Mint , Parsley, Savory and Sorrel.|
|Mushrooms||Coriander, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Tarragon, Thyme, Basil, Dill, Lemon Balm, Parsley, Rosemary and Savory.|
|Onions||Basil, Marjoram, Oregano, Sage, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Parsnips||Basil, Dill, Marjoram, Parsley, Savory and Thyme.|
|Peas||Caraway, Chevil, Chives, Rosemary, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme, Basil, Chervil, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley and Sage.|
|Potatoes||Parsley, Basil, Caraway, Chives, Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Lovage, Sage, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Spinach||Anise, Basil, Caraway, Chevil, Chives, Cinnamon, Dill, Rosemary, Thyme, Borage, Marjoram, Mint, Sage, Sorrel and Tarragon.|
|Squash||Basil, Caraway, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Savory and Dill.|
|Tomatoes||Basil, Bay leaf, Chives, Chervil, Coriander, Dill, Garlic, Lovage, Sage, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Savory, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Turnips||Dill seed, Marjoram and Savory.|
|Zucchini||Basil, Dill, Marjoram, Rosemary and Tarragon.|
Until the next good eats...
Don't get me wrong, I really like leftovers for lunch, and have them quite often, but sometimes it's nice to make something fresh.
Since we had a couple of tomatoes from the farmers market just begging to be used, we decided to turn our Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich into a Pesto Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
I best get back to the vacation fun of cleaning the garage...
Pesto Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwich
2 slices of GF Bread (Udi's is shown here)
Basil Pesto (homemade is best, but Classico Basil Pesto shown here)
2 slices of Provolone cheese
1 slice of tomato
Heat pan or griddle to medium heat.
Drizzle olive oil on one side of each slice of bread. This side will be placed directly on the heat.
Spread pesto on the non-oiled side of each slice.
Lay down one slice of cheese on top of pesto
Lay down the tomato slice.
Lay down the last slice of cheese. This encases the tomato in an envelope of cheese.
Cover with remaining slice of bread. Remember Pesto side toward the cheese/oiled side on top.
Place sandwich on pan and cover. Covering will help the cheese melt.
Check after 1 - 2 minutes - make sure it's not burning. Flip when GBD (golden, brown & delicious)
Do the same to the next side.
I'll let you decide how best to slice your sandwich. Personally, I think diagonal cuts taste far better. :-)
Since GF bread slices tend to be smaller, I made 2 sandwiches.
Until the next good eats...
For those of us without kids, we are going to squeeze every last bit out of summer before it slinks into fall.
Summer time = cookouts and family gatherings
Cookouts and family gatherings = cold pasta salads!
Any cookout worth its salt has a cold pasta salad present. Years ago, a relative of Peg's brought this [non-gluten-free] pasta salad to a summer family event. Peg said that I'd really like it - it was tangy, zesty and a bit spicy. Yup - sounds like right up my alley, but I couldn't touch it.
Until today...we made this salad for our group's annual cookout! Nothing is off-limits at this cookout!
Gluten?!? We don't need no stinkin' gluten!
Jovial Foods was kind enough to send us some samples of their pasta [my sole intent was making a rightous cold pasta salad]. I think we accomplished that mission!
1 lb Jovial Gluten-Free Penne Rigate Pasta.
1 Small Onion
1 Green Pepper
1 Yellow Pepper
1 Small Zuchinni
½ lb of Mozzerella cheese (cubed)
½ lb of Hormel Pepperoni Slices (chopped)
¼ lb Hillshire Farms Hard Salami Slices – chopped.
3 Stalks Celery (sliced)
3 Fresh tomatoes (sliced or chunked)
1 can pitted black olives (sliced)
1 ½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon white pepper
½ cup of canola oil
¼ cup of olive oil
½ cup Heinz White Vinegar
2 ½ teaspoon Penzey's Orgeno
½ teaspoon Penzey's Pizza Seasoning
¼ teaspoon Penzey's Garlic Powder
Mix dressing ingredients, veggies & meat chill for at least 2 hours. Do not mix in cheese.
Make gluten-free pasta several hours before eating. Allow to cool (room temp).
Mix pasta, dressing with veggies and meat, and cheese together. Chill until needed.
Gluten-free pastas have a tendancy to harden when cold. Jovial's Penne has a much better texture [softer] when chilled overnight.
Jovial's GF products are certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization.
1 - 2 pounds stew meat
1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 32 oz carton GF beef stock [Kitchen Basics]
1 48 oz bottle V8 Juice
2 - 3 cups cubed fresh rutabagas
2 - 3 cups sliced fresh carrots
2 - 3 cups chopped fresh green beans
1 medium onion chopped
2 cups chopped zucchini
2 ears cooked fresh corn cut off the cob
3/4 cups of frozen peas
3 cups chopped cabbage
2 chopped Roma tomatoes
1 Bay leaf
Salt & Pepper to taste
optional: 1 packet of HerbOx beef bouillon
optional: 1 small 5.5oz can of tomato juice
Add olive oil to your soup pot or dutch oven and brown stew meat.
Add beef stock and V8 juice to pot and stir.
Add carrots and rutabagas. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
Add all the rest of the veggies and bay leaf.
Stir and simmer covered pot for about 3 hrs.
Rinse the bottle of V8 and add water to pot [about 1-2 cups].
The amounts of veggies can be adjusted to your tastes. I added the additional HerbOx and tomato juice because I felt there was more veggies than liquid. I didn't want to loose flavor as I added liquid, so I used the HerbOx
This recipe is adapted from Living Without Summer 2005 issue.
It's one of our favorites and gets rave reviews from all who've tried - gluten-free or otherwise.
We save it for the fall/winter when it's cold and yucky on the outside and warm and yummy on the inside.
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves minced garlic
1 large onion - diced
2 medium carrots - sliced
2 stalks celery - sliced
1 medium potato - diced
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1 small zuchinni
1 tspn oregano
2 tspn salt
4 cups GF chicken broth (we used Swansen Natural Goodness)
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 cup fresh or frozen green bean (1 1/2" pieces)
1 15oz can kidney beans - drained & rinsed
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (optional) or 2 cubes of frozen homemade basil pesto (See Al Notes)
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Add olive oil, butter & garlic to a large soup pot over medium heat. Saute until onion is transparent and soft.
Add celery, carrots, potato. Saute for another 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, oregano, salt and chicken broth.
Bring soup up to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15-30 minutes. Veggies should be tender.
Add the corn, green beans, kidney beans, zuchinni and simmer for another 15-30 minutes.
Stir in fresh basil or add frozen pesto cubes and allow to melt.
Serve hot and don't eat too much. You could also top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
Since we made a double batch, we use both kidney beans and black beans.
In the summer I will make fresh basil pesto. This is usually a Saturday project for me. We have a little farmers market downtown and I'll get several bunches. I'll whiz up a batch and pour it in ice cube trays and freeze it. After about a month of pesto making, we'll have several freezer bags full of pesto cubes we can use for a whole bunch of things...like this soup!