Let’s Eat!

Here you’ll find recipes for some of the things I make for my family.  We have been gluten and dairy-free for years now, which is common in the Special Needs community, but we love to eat well and any recipe I put up can easily be modified to suit a typical diet.  We are NOT soy or corn free, so if your family has those requirements then be sure to read each recipe carefully!

Today’s Recipe is…

Weeknight Caldo (de Pollo)

Weeknight Caldo2

Okay, so since this is my new site and I haven’t figured out how to make everything look exactly like I did on my old site, you might think this looks a bit different.  Bear with me :)

It’s cedar season in Texas and pretty much everyone is dying a slow death by pollen.  Last week both Eden and Allen were sick, so soup seemed like the thing.  This is a very nourishing chicken soup full of hearty vegetables, and it’s easy to do on a weeknight if you’ve got about an hour.  I shave some cooking time off by buying a roasted chicken at the grocery and just de-boning and shredding it when I get home.  If you want to use 2-3 large breasts, just put them in the broth whole and shred them at the end.  If you want to get super authentic, use a whole chicken, skim the scum off the top, cool, shred, then add it back into the broth and continue with your veg.  I personally hate skimming.

Caldo Veg2

1 Roasted Chicken, de-boned and shredded
1 Onion, chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
3-4 Carrots, chopped
1 Large or 2 Small Yellow Squash, chopped
½ Head of Green Cabbage, chopped
2 Medium Yellow or White Potatoes, chopped
1 Lime
Avocado, Cilantro for garnish
6-8 Cups Chicken Stock
12 oz. Chopped Tomato, with juice
1 ½ tsp. Ground Cumin
Salt and Pepper

canned goods2chicken in pot2chopped veggies2

 In a large stock pot, add shredded chicken, chopped onion, garlic, carrot, cabbage and tomato.  Cover with stock, and add ground cumin.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  

Simmer 20 minutes, then add in squash and potatoes.  Bring back up to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, another 20 minutes or so.

Turn off heat, squeeze in the juice of a lime and taste for salt and pepper.
Garnish with sliced avocado and chopped cilantro.

Even more delicious on day 2!

Anytime Pumpkin Soup

It’s exactly one week after Thanksgiving and I wanted soup for lunch.  Usually, I take myself out for lunch once a week, and I thought about doing that today, but I just had too much to do.  I opened the freezer, looking for some frozen veggies to make into soup at home, but neither the peas nor the broccoli were calling to me.  I opened the pantry, scanned the shelves, and resigned myself to no soup at all… until I saw the canned pumpkin.  The soup was on! 

Now, if you’re like me then you buy extra everything at Thanksgiving, so you don’t run out.  That came in handy today when I found the extra pumpkin, chicken broth and bacon.  (Yes, bacon.  Leftover from the Brussels sprouts with crumbled bacon and fried shallot rings.  MMMM.). Do you have an onion, a box of chicken broth and a can of pumpkin?  You’ve got lunch, friend.


1 can Pumpkin

1 small Onion, chopped
2 c. Chicken Broth
1/2 c. milk or cream1 Tbs Olive Oil
1/2 Tsp Curry Powder
Salt and Pepper

Crumbled bacon for garnish, if you have it! 

(Just a note here…I searched far and wide for a gluten-free baguette to serve at Thanksgiving.  See pic above.  These were in the freezer section at one of our finest groceries, and the brand is Local Oven.  They are absolutely wonderful.  You won’t hear me say that about GF bread very often!)

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, sauté onion in olive oil until soft and fragrant.  (I cooked 2 slices of bacon just before and added about a teaspoon of the grease to my oil.)

Add pumpkin.


Add broth, curry, salt and pepper.  (Look at your consistency as you are adding broth, and add as much or as little as you wish depending on your desired texture.). Cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Purée with an immersion blender or conventional blender to smooth out the onions and overall texture.  If using a conventional blender, don’t forget to vent your lid to let the steam escape!  Blender burns can be terrible! 



Back in the pot, turn on a low flame and slowly add your milk or creamStir thoroughly and heat through.  Correct salt and pepper to taste. 

To serve, garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg and bacon.  Who needs to go out to lunch, anyway?!

*No bacon?  Try chives, or a dollop of tart yogurt!  Hate curry?  Just omit the spice and this soup will still float your boat.  Enjoy!



Quick(ish) Posole
I normally would not post two pork dishes in a row, but when I posted these pictures on Facebook I had lots of requests for the recipe.
I had a craving for posole last week, and no place to get it nearby.  So I made it myself.  I looked at lots of recipes, and many of them called for slow cooking over 6-8 hours.  I didn’t have that kind of time (although this still takes 3.5-4 hrs, which is why I called it “quick-ish”) so I cobbled together my own recipe and took some shortcuts.  Notably, I didn’t use dried chilies which would need rehydration, but a chile powder rub and adobo sauce in the broth.  I also bought a bag of coleslaw, rather than a whole head of cabbage.  My whole family agreed that this dish was great. 
Pork Shoulder Roast 2.5-3 lb.
1 can Chopped Tomato
4-6 c. Chicken Broth
2 Cans of hominy, drained
1 can Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
1 and a quarter Yellow Onions
4 Cloves Garlic
Bag of pre-packaged Cole Slaw
2 tsp Oregano
3 tsp Ancho Chile powder
2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tap Garlic powder
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Rub 1 tsp chile powder and cumin, a bit of salt and garlic powder all over roast. In a Dutch oven, brown roast on all sides in olive oil.
Add in chopped onion and 4 cloves chopped garlic, stir for a minute. 

Add in can of chopped tomato with juices.
Pour in chicken broth. 4-6 cups. Should come up most of the way on the roast, but don’t cover. Maybe 2/3 or 3/4 way up.
Add in the adobo sauce from can of chipotle peppers. Save peppers for another dish.
Add dried oregano, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp salt,  1 tsp chile powder.

Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to low simmer.
Simmer 3 hours covered.
Remove roast from liquid and when it’s cool enough pull it apart. Add it back to liquid along with hominy (drained).
Heat through.
While your pork is simmering,

Chop 1/4 onion in very thin strips.
Add 3 c. Cabbage/slaw mix
Chop 1/2 bunch of cilantro
Add 2 tbs olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
Toss, cover and chill.
Garnish posole with cabbage mix, avocado, extra lime wedge.

Badass Pork Roast


I make a lot of pork roasts because frankly, my family never met a pig it didn’t like.  This pork roast happened one day when my mom asked what I was doing for dinner.  I didn’t know, but I asked her if she wanted to come to supper.  She did, and then she said,  “I’m so tired of summer food.  I’m ready for winter food now.”. Since it was the first cool day since last spring, I turned on the oven.   Here’s what happened.

*This roast takes about 3.5 hours, total.  Plan accordingly.  If you are like me and Sunday supper is important to you, this is a great Sunday roast.  Feeds 6.


3 lb. Boneless pork shoulder roast (with bone-in it is a Boston butt roast, and that’s fine)
1 Yellow onion, chopped
1 Lg. shallot, chopped
2 Cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb. Carrots, chopped in stewing chunks (if you buy organic, leave the peels on and just give them a good scrub.  This is where the highest sugar content is and will make your carrots sweeter.  Yummy!)
2 Tb. Fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 Bay leaves
11/2 c. red wine
1/2 c. chicken stock
Olive oil
Flour or cornstarch, optional


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Generously salt and pepper roast.

In Dutch oven, heat olive oil (approx. 2 tbs.)

When pan is very hot, brown roast on all sides.  Add onion, sauté 1 min.  Add shallot, sauté 1 min.  Add garlic, sauté 1 min.  Add rosemary, bay leaves, carrot.  Pour in wine and stock and cover Dutch oven.  (Your liquid should come up about 2/3 of the way on your roast.). Bring just to a boil and transfer to pre-heated oven.  Turn oven down to 300 degrees and set timer for 3 hours.





When your long wait is up, because this will smell so good it seems like an eternity, remove the roast from the pan to rest and mash the veg in the pan with a potato masher.  Yes, there is another name for this tool, but my computer refuses to let me type it.  Put it back on the stove and bring it to a simmer.  If you want to concentrate the flavors, reduce it down to the thickness of your preference, or thicken quickly by making a flour or cornstarch and water slurry and drizzling it in while stirring.  Simmer until desired thickness.

Serve roast with the veggie gravy.  I like this roast with creamy polenta or mashed potatoes.

*If you are going to pair with wine, you will want a big Cabernet or Zinfandel or Syrah that can stand up to this very rich meal!

Honey Mustard Glazed Steelhead Trout


This is one of my favorite fish recipes.  I found it in Food and Wine magazine, then tweaked it according to my preferences.  The original recipe calls for Salmon steaks, but I don’t like Salmon.  I DO like Steelhead Trout.  It is a lovely pink, less oily and has a much milder flavor than Salmon, and still has all of those great Omega-3 fatty acids. 
I use San-J gluten-free tamari to make this work for our dietary requirements, and I also add jalapeños for some tasty heat.
I love doing this recipe on a cedar plank on the grill, but it lends itself to the oven just fine if you don’t feel like fooling with plank and grill prep.  And it is FAST!  So this is a great weeknight supper.  I hope you love it, too!


1/4 c. Dijon mustard
1/4 c. Whole grain mustard
1/4 c. Honey
2 T. Soy sauce
1 Clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 t. fresh thyme, chopped
1 Jalapeño, sliced into rounds
Safflower or Canola oil
4 6-oz. Steelhead trout fillets
Cedar Plank


Soak cedar plank for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

In medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients through thyme.

Rinse fillets, pat dry, then arrange on the plank.

Heat grill.

Brush glaze generously on fillets and arrange jalapeno rounds on top.

Place plank on medium grill, close to smoke, and cook for 15-20 minutes, depending on thickness of fillets.  Fish will flake easily when done.

If you prefer the oven, lightly oil a shallow baking dish and preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until fish flakes easily.  Serve with rice and sugar snaps or edamame, and you’ve got supper in well under an hour!

Shrimp and Veggies over Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce


2 jars roasted red peppers, drained
2 cloves garlic, whole
Good handful roasted, salted pecans
Olive oil
Red wine vinegar


1/4 yellow bell, sliced
1/4 orange bell, sliced
5-6 baby portobello, sliced
1/4 red onion, sliced
1/2 pint cherry tomato, halved
1 sm zucchini, halved then chopped
1 sm yellow squash halved, then chopped
2 handfuls baby asparagus, woody stems off
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful fresh basil, chiffonade
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
Olive oil
1 pkg gluten free rotini


Put peppers, garlic, nuts in blender or food processor. Pulse until broken down then blend and while blending, drizzle in olive oil and vinegar. Salt and pepper.

In a large pot, start your water for the pasta and add salt and a drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking.  When your veggies are almost finished, add your pasta to the boiling water to come out at the same time your veggies and shrimp are finished.

Sauté shrimp in olive oil over med high heat. Season with s&p. When opaque, remove and keep warm. Sauté squash and zucchini over high heat til just starting to brown. Add peppers and onions. When relaxed, add mushrooms and garlic,and when everything close to soft, add tomato and asparagus. Season with s&p. Sauté for a couple of minutes til tomatoes start to wrinkle and add shrimp back in to warm.


Coat cooked pasta in sauce then spoon shrimp and veg over top. Garnish with basil :)

You can see that I was enjoying a glass of wine while preparing the meal.  This was a refreshing vinho verde, if you are looking for a suggestion!

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