Monday, March 15, 2010

Tentative menu

I've been a bad blogger again....I know.

Here is a tentative menu; tentative because I don't know how I'll be feeling from day to day anymore. Those of you in the chronic illness community will understand what I mean!

I'm in a lot of pain today, having tried a certain pain medication recently (fentanyl patch) which worked well, but had unacceptable side effects (it interfered with my breathing and swallowing!). I had to quit the medication cold turkey when I realized what was happening, and since I had been on it for only two weeks I didn't have the full blown withdrawal that some people describe. The descriptions of a fentanyl patch withdrawal sound as bad or worse than heroin withdrawal! But I did have some stomach problems for a couple of days and extremely vivid dreams, to the extent of actually falling out of bed and landing on the floor during a dream early Saturday morning in which I thought I was running. Miraculously I didn't hit my head on the way down, nor did I break any bones, but I'm very sore and bruised.

Plus I'm in lots of pain anyway because my doctor hasn't given me a new pain medication yet. So the menu will be mostly easy meals....two meals will be takeout food because we have coupons for Old Spaghetti Factory and our local Z Pizza (Glendora, CA) is having a Monday night special, buy one gluten free pizza get one free! So we're going that route tonight....we can even have them delivered!

Obviously Z Pizza and Old Spaghetti Factory are neither grain free nor low carb. I'm not trying to be completely grain free for the rest of the week either, although some of the meals can be made low-carb and grain free if desired.

Monday: Z Pizza - buy one gluten free pizza, get one free!

Tuesday: Chili, green salad

Wednesday: Risotto with shrimp and mushrooms, steamed broccoli

Thursday: Crockpot Pomegranate Beef, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots

Friday: Baked Chicken with gluten free pasta (takeout from Old Spaghetti Factory)

Saturday: leftovers (the chili is great on baked potatoes!)

Sunday: Crockpot Thai Chicken, rice (or fake cauliflower rice if you want low-carb)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Comfort food....

I've been feeling slightly depressed lately, just a little down....maybe the rainy gray days have been getting to me? Anyway, I've been in the mood for something in the way of "comfort food".

Hubby went shopping recently and, among other things, brought home a package of cooked chicken from Costco. This is chicken meat that comes from their roasted chickens, de-boned and ready to use in sandwiches, casseroles, whatever.

Coincidentally, a friend of mine mentioned in email a couple of days ago that she was planning to make her "gluten-free chicken pot pie".....yum!! So I asked for the recipe.

Well, she hasn't sent it to me yet, but I was REALLY hungry for chicken pot pie, so I decided to make up my own recipe. I was motivated by (a) wanting comfort food, and (b) needing to use up the cooked chicken from Costco. This recipe is not entirely grain free, but is definitely "grain light" compared to other versions of chicken pot pie:

Grain-Light Chicken Pot Pie


extra virgin olive oil
Lawry's Seasoned Pepper
1 large onion, diced
2 medium russet potatoes, diced
1 1/2 C sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 C frozen peas and carrots
2 1/2 C diced cooked chicken
2 T sweet rice flour
2 - 3 T cornstarch
1 - 2 C milk (dairy, almond, soy, rice, whatever)
1 - 2 C gluten free chicken broth
Herbes de Provence

1 - 1 1/2 batches of Grain Free Biscuit Dough


Put 1-2 T of olive oil in a medium skillet, along with an equal amount of butter, and heat until bubbly. Saute the diced onion in the olive oil/butter mixture over medium heat until soft; add another 2 T butter and allow to melt, and then the sweet rice flour to make a thick paste. Pour in the milk very slowly, while will want to add just the right amount to make the consistency resemble condensed soup mix, so it will be very thick. Season to taste with salt and Lawry's Seasoned Pepper and set aside.

Wash and dice the potatoes (you don't have to peel them unless you want to...I didn't). Place in a medium saucepan and add chicken broth just until the potatoes are completely covered. Heat broth until simmering; allow potatoes to simmer until cooked through but still firm. Mix cornstarch into a very small amount of cold broth or water and add to the saucepan. Stir well until thickened; you will want this mixture to be quite thick as it will thin out when the frozen peas and carrots are added.

Add the sliced mushrooms, the peas and carrots, and the chicken, then stir in the onion/milk mixture. Check seasonings; add more salt or pepper, if needed, then add approximately 1 tsp of the Herbes de Provence, adjusting seasonings to your own taste. If you don't have Herbes de Provence handy, you may use 1/4 tsp each dried sage, rosemary, parsley, and thyme.

Pour the mixture into a 7" x 11" Pyrex baking dish; form the grain free biscuit dough into 6 or 8 individual "patties" with your hands and layer over the top of the chicken mixture. NOTE: I used only 1 batch of the biscuit dough but may try 1 1/2 batches the next time. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, or until the chicken mixture is bubbly around the edges and the biscuit topping is firm and turning golden brown.

Hubby had two helpings, while I was satisfied with one (it's very filling!).....and yes, it was DEFINITELY very comforting! :)