Allergies, Sensitivities, and Auto-Immune Diseases, Oh My! Part Two

I've recently had a few scary, accidental run-ins with wheat and nuts. I'm finding more and more that eating out or at social gatherings is hazardous. Thus, I'm finding myself more and more in the kitchen. I am really not that great of a cook, but I can proudly say that I have graduated from the George Foreman burgers, grilled chicken strips, frozen dinners and cinnamon toast stage, where I began almost 6 years ago after marrying Brandon.

All that to say, I have some new recipes I'd like to post. These are extremely user friendly as I think "normal" people could enjoy them, too. They are also healthy, balanced and inexpensive to make.

Red Lentil Soup (the soup for which Esau is said to have sold his birthright)

1 bag red lentils (green will work, but the soup will look more like . . . poop)
1 small onion
2 T. butter
1 small can tomato paste
2 cups+ water
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onions in butter. Add tomato paste, lentils and water. Simmer 20-30 minutes. Add water as needed.
Season to taste. Blend and serve.

Pizza Soup

2 t. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chicken broth (i make my own)
1/2 t. salt
3 (14.5oz) cans diced tomatoes
fresh or dried basil, or italian seasoning

Heat oil and add garlic. Cook 30 seconds. Add broth, salt and tomatoes, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Blend.

While soup simmers, saute 1/4 onion in butter. Add frozen or fresh (I use frozen b/c you get more bang for your buck) spinach. Cook until thawed and wilted. Add shredded cheese (I use goat cheese, and I shred it myself).

Serve spinach on top of soup alone or with pepperoni.

Spinach quiche

1 T. olive oil
1 frozen package of spinach, thawed and drained
6 eggs
2 cups shredded mont. jack cheese (if I'm making it for Micah or myself, I use goat cheese)
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Spray 9 in. pie pan with Pam. Cook onion in large skillet. When soft, stir in spinach and continue to cook until excess moisture has evaporated. In large bowl, combine eggs, cheese, salt and pepper. Add spinach mixture and mix well. Scoop into pie pan. Bake about 30 minutes or until eggs have set. Cool 10 minutes and serve.

Glazed Butternut Squash

Peel and dice squash (or buy frozen). Place foil over cookie sheet and spray foil with Pam. Lay out squash evenly. Mix 1/4 c. melted butter and 2 T. brown sugar. Pour over squash. Sprinkle pepper over squash. Put in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Also, I've learned how to sneak broccoli into Micah's diet. It requires an extra couple of steps, but it's worth it.

Chicken Casserole:

I begin by making my homemade gluten-free cream of mushroom soup, found here.

Then, I chop up a bag of frozen broccoli, thawed. (True, I could buy it pre-chopped, but I can't find it organic, and I'm into that kind of thing.) I throw the broccoli into the soup and let it warm.

I then spray a casserole dish with Pam, and place 1 c. of brown rice and 2 c. water into the dish. I stir in the soup. I take chicken breast strips and season them however I wish, and place them on top. I put the casserole into a 350 degree oven for about an hour.

I've also been enjoying lettuce burgers and homemade fries.

I divide ground meat into fist sized balls, and press flat. I season them with Montreal steak seasoning alone. They can been popped into a skillet on medium heat with butter or on a grill if you want something more figure friendly.

I now make my own french fries, too. I (and by I, I really mean Brandon) cuts potatoes up into small, very thin slices. He also cuts an onion up into strips. He throws the potatoes and the onions a little at a time into a fryer full of hot oil until the potatoes become a golden color. He pulls them out, places them on paper towels to drain, and we season them with Tony's.

I eat my burger wrapped in lettuce. He eats his on a bun. We're both happy. And so is Micah who really enjoys meat and potatoes (along with some veggie or fruit I force upon him).

I hope my gluten-free friends find this helpful!