Tag Archives: lunch

Spicy Taco Salad

I made tacos last weekend, using a boxed kit. It was all very tasty, but those taco shells are so tiny. So confining. I kept breaking them with my overly ambitious and optimistic attempts to fill them. I eventually gave up and just made piles of the filling.

Today, I used up the leftovers in this delicious salad. I had about a cup each of spiced refried beans and cumin spiced beef. I heated them in the microwave, and then dressed the plate, first with beans and then with the meat. I topped all of that with cheese (a mozzarella-cheddar blend). I microwaved that gently to melt the cheese. Then, I placed freshly chopped romaine lettuce around the edge of the plate. I topped the cheese with a generous helping of pickled jalapeno slices and dollops of sour cream. I slathered everything with green tomatillo salsa and then sprinkled chopped green onions over it all. Finally, I sprinkled two broken up taco shells across the top.

This was so delicious. There was lots of crunch from the lettuce and the taco bits. And the temperature contrast between the hot beans, beef and cheese and the cold lettuce and sour cream was great, too.

I think next time, I won’t bother buying taco shells. I’ll just use nacho chips. I used the packaged spice mix, but I can replicate that quite easily too. I also think chopped cilantro would be a fantastic addition on top.

I highly recommend this approach to tacos if you too are finding yourself hemmed in by very tiny hard shells.

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Fried Plantains

I was on vacation in the Caribbean recently and had a ton of delicious food while I was there. One of my fondest memories is of dinner at a rib shack that included your choice of any three sides with an order of ribs. I chose coleslaw, beans and rice, and plantains. Ever since, I have been thinking about eating plantains again.

I bought a couple of green plantains about two weeks ago and have been patiently waiting until the skins turned black enough for me to fry them.

I made these today, as a side for spicy shrimp and rice. I used this recipe as a guide. I fried them in a stovetop wok in a mix of butter and oil. As they turned brown, I removed them to a plate lined with paper towel to drain. I generously salted them, and then I got to try them.

They were fantastic hot. I am taking some for lunch tomorrow, and will eat those ones cold. They were so tasty and so easy to make. I will definitely be making these again soon.

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Fondue on Demand

I have a weakness for the cheese sections of food stores. I find myself gravitating towards them, whether I need cheese or not. I’m currently not allowing myself to buy any more cheese until I work through some of what I have in my fridge.

With that goal in mind, I made a batch of this fondue recipe. Of course, I didn’t use beer because most beer contains gluten. I had some leftover prosecco in the freezer, so I used that instead. I have also made it using dry apple cider, which gives it a fantastic flavour.

When I make this recipe, I like to double the quantity of caraway seeds and leave them whole. I am also more generous with the onions and garlic but tend to skip the sherry completely. For this batch, I used Etorki and Gruyère, plus some mozzarella for meltability. A blend of old Cheddar and Emmental is also fantastic.

I like to pour my finished fondue into a pan and then let it solidify in the fridge. Then, I freeze it in small ziploc bags so that I can easily thaw some out whenever I want to. I took some for lunch one day last week, along with some bread cubes I’d made by cutting up a store bought gluten-free bread roll. At the office, all I had to do was to remelt the fondue in the microwave and voilà, I had an instant gourmet meal.

Reheated fondue can be used anywhere a cheese sauce is called for. I had some over reheated roasted potatoes and it was fantastic. I am thinking of having some more with roasted potatoes and dill pickles, and later using it as a topping for eggs on English muffins instead of Hollandaise sauce. Another option, of course, is simply eating it straight from a bowl with a spoon.

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Buffalo Chicken Dip

It occurred to me today that one of my guiding principles in the kitchen may simply be finding new ways to eat melted cheese.

Gluten-free living means eating far fewer sandwiches and more things that are free form, like dips.

I happened to have leftover buffalo wing sauce so, in the interests of using up leftovers, I made this dip. I sliced up four green onions, gently cooked two large chicken breasts in the microwave, and grated about two cups of old cheddar. I mixed a package of cream cheese with the leftover buffalo wing sauce, and added in the onions, shredded chicken and half the cheese. I put it all in a pie plate, sprinkled the rest of the cheese on top, and put in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.

As predicted, it was incredibly cheesy. And good. You can vary the heat by choosing how much hot sauce to add. My version had gratuitous butter, in the name of using up leftovers. This made it a bit richer than necessary, but it was still very tasty.

If we ever have potlucks again, this would be a good dish to take. And the heated up leftovers will make an awesome addition to an egg sandwich tomorrow morning.

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Pepperoni Pizza!

I had been craving pepperoni pizza for a while now, but could never find gluten-free pepperoni when I remembered to look for it. Then I finally found some made by Piller’s. I used it to make this pepperoni, jalapeno and onion pizza.

To make it, I used the crust recipe I have been using for a few years now. I usually make it without the addition of the tiny amount of Parmesan as I tend to put generous amounts of cheese on top. It’s really fast to make, and it uses tapioca flour and coconut flour, so it’s grain free. The crust ends up being nice and thin–I roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper. It is delicate, and I leave it on the lower piece of parchment paper for baking. But if you are light on the sauce, the crust stays crisp enough that you can eat the pizza by hand.

This one was fantastic, of course, and let me have leftover pizza for breakfast. I highly recommend this crust to anyone looking for a yeast-free, gluten-free option to make at home.

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Hashbrowns with Kimchi, Onions, Cheese and Eggs

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I had an amazing meal today. My goal was to finish up the last bit of kimchi in the fridge.

I sliced up some onions and fried them in a pan until they were soft. Then I added the kimchi and a little bit of water that I used to get out all of the deliciousness in the kimchi container.

I let the kimchi topping simmer while I fried up some hashbrowns in another pan and melted some butter for eggs in yet another pan. I also grated some sharp cheddar and chopped up some green onions.

When the hashbrowns were getting golden, I cracked two eggs into the pan with butter and quickly fried them sunny-side up, keeping the yolks runny. When they were ready, I put down the hashbrowns in a layer, topped them with a generous layer of the kimchi and onions, added a layer of cheese, slid on the eggs and then scattered green onions on top.

The result was fantastic. Very savoury and filling, but special enough that it would make a lovely brunch dish. It was a three-pan meal, but it was definitely worth all the dishes.

 

 

 

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Sweet Potatoes and Cheese

cheese and sweet pot-sm

Lunches are a challenge if you are avoiding gluten. Packing a lunch that’s nutritious, got protein, and is affordable, filling, tasty AND fast to pull together is no small feat.

Here’s one of my go-to lunches—roasted sweet potatoes with melted cheese. It’s a good way to use leftovers, but also simple to make from scratch.

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Breakfast Nachos!

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I had a hectic schedule this week, where food was often a necessary afterthought. It was a pleasure to finally have a little time to think up a delicious breakfast. This is nachos with old cheddar, baked in the oven until crispy, doused generously with tomatillo salsa and dotted with sour cream.

Some people have a bowl of cereal topped with fruit to start the day. How is this that different? Corn, dairy and fruit… It’s practically the same thing.

While that may be debatable, what is definitely true is that this was a tasty treat and a very welcome meal.

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Biriyani Redux

biriyani leftovers

There is an amazing array of lunch options near my work. One of my favourites is chicken biriyani. It makes a filling lunch, but luckily, also provides fantastic leftovers. This is my favourite way to have leftover biriyani. I fry an egg or two in butter, reheat the biriyani slightly in the microwave, place the eggs on top of the rice and drizzle any remaining butter over the eggs and rice. Amazing, and fast.

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Chicken Slaw with Blue Cheese Dressing

chicken slaw salad

This salad looks a little bland (I will have to work on that), but it it is big on flavour. To make it, I use a store-bought coleslaw mix, a store-bought blue cheese salad dressing and leftover, cooked chicken. It is fast to make and really delicious.

 

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