Sunday, September 2, 2007

Easy, One-Dish, Autumn Dinners

Goodbye Summer! Now it’s that time of year when we our lives get busy again and GFCF Mommies need quick and easy dinners. I thought I’d post of few of my favorite one-dish recipes. I don’t have photos of these yet, but they are the kind of thing I make at least once a month, so I’ll try to remember to take pics and add them later. But I thought you all might like the recipes now!

Parallel Meals: I am afraid these recipes are more for The "Sensory-Seeking" ASD Child. All are on the spicy, textured side. Even though the Prince is a sensory-seeking child, he still is a picky eater with certain idiosyncrasies. What I often do is make “parallel” meals that are similar to what I am preparing for the Professor and myself. I always cook our meals GFCF, on the chance that the Prince might want to sample something we are eating, which sometimes has happened and when it does it is a great thing! But often, I do take items from my Kid-Friendly Convenience Food Items and adapt them to something similar to what we are eating. We encourage trying new foods, and if even only one bite is taken, huge praise is offered. I’ve ordered some “picky ASD eater” books to review and I’ll do a separate post on that later. Here are some family-friendly GFCF dinners with few or no special ingredients.

4 Star Texas Chili

This is an adaptation from an old Southern Living magazine recipe:

1 lb each beef and pork cut into cubes for stew
1 large onion, chopped (3 c.)
½ c balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing
1 jar (16 oz) your favorite GFCF Salsa
1 can (14 oz) organic beef broth
1 TB chili powder
2 cans organic black beans, rinsed
4 cups brown rice

Brown meat and onion in dressing. Add broth, salsa, and chili powder. Bring to a boil. Reduce to med-low, cover. Simmer 1 hour. Stir in beans. Cook uncovered 30 min. Serve over rice. Best of all: LEFTOVERS!

Toned-down, Parallel Meal: The Prince actually likes this, but if you need to create a parallel meal similar to this one, you could get a can of Bush’s Baked Beans (if your kids like sweet flavors, most Bush’s varieties are GFCF but remember the golden rule and check the label) and mix in some unseasoned, browned, ground beef or chicken, or maybe a cut-up cooked GFCF hot dog (aka GFCF “beanie weenie”). You can serve the rice on the side. Or you could just serve the black beans and rice, if you child prefers simple flavors.

Colorful Cacciatore

This is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Mom’s Guide to Meal Makeovers. These two nutritionist moms have a pretty cool website too. I wish they’d do another cookbook. I find their recipes very kid-friendly and easy to adapt to the GFCF diet

¼ c. all purpose GFCF flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill)
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. dried oregano
1 ½ lb. boneless chicken cut into strips
1 TB. olive oil
One 16 oz bag frozen pepper strips (I like Cascadian Farms)
One 26 oz. jar GFCF pasta sauce (I like Muir Glen)

Combine flour, onion powder, garlic powder and oregano in shallow bowl or plastic bag. Coat chicken in flour mix. Heat oil. Brown chicken. Add peppers. Stir in pasta sauce and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 20 min. Serve with a GFCF spaghetti or fettuccini, such at Tinkyada Rice Pasta or Quinoa Pasta.

Toned-Down, Parallel Meal: I usually make this for the Prince but without the peppers and he likes it fine. But if the flavors are too strong for your child, leave out the peppers, onion, and garlic. Or if they prefer the Ian’s, Wellshire Kids, or Bell and Evans chicken nuggets or tenders, just prepare those and top with a little of the pasta sauce or even just ketchup. You could also serve the pasta with a little of the tomato sauce out of the jar. Or even plain with a bit of your favorite butter substitute.

Mexican Casserole

1 lb. lean ground beef or boneless chicken breast strips, your choice
½ large onion chopped
1 large clove garlic
1 ½ c. Tofutti “better than sour cream”
1 c plain soy yogurt
1 jar jalapeno peppers (4 oz) (if desired)
½ c. chopped cilantro (if desired)
2 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. salt
1 ½ c your favorite GFCF salsa
1 bag corn chips
1 ¼ c. Galaxy Vegan Mozzarella “Cheese,” shredded

Preheat oven to 350. Coat baking dish w/ cooking spray. Coat non-stick skillet w/ cooking spray. Brown ground beef or chicken, add onion and garlic. Set aside.

Combine in bowl Tofutti sour cream, soy yogurt, peppers, cilantro, cumin and salt. Spread 1 c. salsa across bottom of dish. Arrange half chips over salsa. Spread half cheese mix over chips. Top with half ground beef or chicken. Top with 1c salsa and ½ c faux cheese. Repeat. End with salsa and cheese. Bake 30 min. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Toned-down, Parallel Meal: Sometimes I make a smaller version of this for the Prince without the spices, onion, peppers, and cilantro. For him, instead of salsa I substitute tomato pasta sauce (the Prince likes Muir Glen Cabernet Marinara, or Newman’s Own Cabernet Marinara.) You could also substitute refried beans for the meat, if your child likes a smoother texture. Another idea is to make “nachos” for your child using the ingredients from this recipe that you think they would like.


Thomas Dzomba said...

Let's not forget the gfcf Daddies...

GFCF Mommy said...

My apologies to the GFCF Daddies out there. I certainly mean to include you too!