Fajitas

Fajitas are wonderful, whether made with steak or chicken. Haha, we usually opt for chicken because it’s cheaper. You don’t need a whole packet of taco seasoning–just enough to give it a little flavor. Serve with Spanish rice or cilantro lime rice, cheese, sour cream, maybe some salsa, and of course a tortilla.

If you’re making this gluten free, make sure to use gluten free taco seasoning and corn or other gluten free tortillas. You may also want to use a new or uncontaminated bag of cheese.

Fajitas

  • Servings: 5?
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
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Don’t forget the Spanish rice or cilantro lime rice.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Large Onion, chopped
  • 2 Green Peppers, cut in small strips
  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs. Chicken breasts or beef sirloin, sliced thin
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Taco Seasoning to taste (such as McCormick or homemade)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Spanish rice or cilantro lime rice
  • Flour or corn tortillas

Directions

In a heavy pan, heat the oil then add the onion and green peppers. Cook until tender and maybe with a tiny bit of black for flavor. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove and place in a bowl. In the heavy pan, brown the chicken and then salt and pepper to taste. Add the onion and peppers back into the pan, then sprinkle all with taco seasoning. Serve on top of tortillas and rice, adding sour cream, salsa, or other toppings as desired.


Chicken Salad (Loaded)

Chicken salad is great when served of course as a sandwich, but it’s also great with crackers or sliced cucumber. Chicken salad is a nicer sandwich than just lunch meat, but it can also be slightly boring. So we loaded it up with pecans and grapes to make it more exciting and delicious. Note that it does take a fair amount of time to get the chicken off the bone, as well as pulling the grapes off the vine, and chopping everything. But they make great sandwiches for picnics.

If you’re making this gluten free, it’s naturally gluten free as long as you use a new jar of mayo or one that’s dedicated gluten free (so you don’t get crumbs from previous sandwich making).

Chicken Salad (Loaded)

  • Servings: 8-9
  • Difficulty: easy
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Great served with crackers or cucumber slices, or of course as a sandwich.

Ingredients

  • 1 Rotisserie Chicken, pulled to bite-size pieces (Sam’s Club’s is nice and big)
  • 2 Celery Ribs, diced
  • 1 bunch Green Onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Garlic Salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 c. Mayonnaise (or new jar/dedicated gluten free jar)
  • 2 c. Grapes, cut in half
  • 1 1/2 c. Pecan Halves

Directions

In a large bowl, combine chicken, celery, and green onions. Sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper, then stir to combine. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.


Chicken Gyros

We’ve made these several times, and they’re delicious. Especially with warm pitas. But I wouldn’t mind trying a new gyro recipe. If I find a new recipe that’s even better, I’ll update.

If you’re making this gluten free, you’ll need to find a substitute for pitas. I haven’t found gluten free pitas in my grocery store, but you could probably try making some. I’ve used gluten free tortillas and made it a wrap, but it wasn’t so great. I’ve made gluten free naan before, which was delicious and may make a good substitute. Even just a warmed up piece of gluten free bread works fairly well.

Chicken Gyros

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: medium
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Make the tzatziki first so the flavors can meld, then do everything else.

Ingredients

Tzatziki

  • 1/2 c. Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 Cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 2 tsp. Minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp. Lemon Juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste (need a fair amount)
  • Drizzle of olive oil

Marinade

  • 2 tsp. Minced Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1 1/2 lb. Chicken Breasts, cubed

Toppings and Bread

  • 1 Tomato, diced
  • 1/2 Red Onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 Cucumber, diced
  • 3-4 Pitas (or gluten free bread)

Directions

For the tzatziki: Chop the cucumber in large chunks and place in blender with a little water. Blend until smooth, then pour the liquid through a paper towel and squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Place the remaining cucumber pulp from the towel in a bowl and mix with the rest of the tzatziki ingredients. Adjust flavors as needed. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes so flavors can meld.

For the marinade/chicken: Mix all marinade ingredients and chicken together in a Ziplock bag and let marinate for a few minutes while you chop the rest of the vegetables for the toppings. Once everything is chopped, heat a heavy frying pan over high heat, then add chicken and cook until it’s done, about 7 minutes or so. Warm the pitas in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

Assembling the gyro: Place a warm pita on a plate, then spoon chicken down the middle. Top with tzatziki, tomatoes, onion, and cucumber. You can either wrap it up or fold it slightly and eat like a taco.


Strawberry Bacon Salad

This is a nice summery meal, and it makes lots of leftovers. You can use prepackaged candied pecans, but I usually make my own because I can make a lot–and they’re much cheaper. The coating from the candied pecans does tend to dissolve off in the leftovers, though. Haha, that’s if you don’t secretly sneak all the candied pecans before dinner–they’re too tempting! Sometimes the red onion can be a bit much, so we often opt for green onions instead. You can opt to add feta cheese, but we found that the salad didn’t need it, with the salt from the bacon. And this salad is delicious, but it does take a fair amount of time to make.

For the salad in the picture, I just used one package of spinach, 1 pound of strawberries, a package of bacon, 1 bunch of green onions, a rotisserie chicken, and I made my own candied pecans. And I used Kroger Poppy Seed dressing, much cheaper than Brianna’s.

And luckily the poppy seed dressing is gluten free, so this one is naturally gluten free.

Strawberry Bacon Salad

  • Servings: 6-8?
  • Difficulty: medium
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Delicious and summery–try not to eat all the pecans before mealtime. Haha

Ingredients

  • 1-2 (8 oz.) pkgs. Spinach
  • 1-2 lb. Strawberries, sliced
  • 1 pkg. Bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 small Red Onion, diced OR 1 bunch Green Onions, sliced
  • 1 Rotisserie Chicken, broken down into pieces OR 4 Chicken Breasts, cubed and cooked
  • 2 c. Candied Pecans (prepackaged or using recipe below)
  • Brianna’s or Kroger Poppy Seed Dressing

Candied Pecans

  • 3 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Water
  • 1/4 tsp. Vanilla
  • 2 c. Pecan halves

Directions

Place the spinach in a very large bowl, then place the rest of the ingredients on top, except the dressing. We generally don’t toss the salad because everything falls to the bottom of the bowl. Each person can add dressing as desired.

For candied pecans: In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, salt, water and vanilla. In a heavy frying pan on medium-high heat, toast pecans until they smell nutty and brown. Be careful because once they’re toasted, they can start to burn quickly. Pour the liquid over the nuts and mix to coat. Spread nuts on wax paper or Silpat to cool and harden.


Stir Fry

Stir fry is great because you can kind of put in whatever vegetables you have in your fridge. And it makes great leftovers. I generally put in at least carrots and broccoli. And to make things faster, I usually microwave the broccoli, then add it to the rest. Jeff prefers to have stir fry on rice, but you can also make a kind of lo mein and mix it with noodles (like spaghetti).

If you’re making this gluten free, you can either buy gluten free teriyaki sauce or make your own with tamari or gluten free soy sauce (since soy sauce is usually made with wheat).

Stir Fry

  • Servings: 5?
  • Difficulty: medium
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Great Asian flavors and great leftovers.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 lb. Chicken Breasts, cubed
  • 1/3 c. Oil
  • 1 heaping tsp. minced Garlic
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 big Carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 bag fresh or frozen Broccoli (or broccoli/cauliflower blend)
  • Yoshida’s Gourmet Sauce to taste
    • For gluten free, use gluten free teriyaki sauce or make your own:
    •  c. Gluten Free Soy Sauce or Tamari
    • 1 c. Water (or for more flavor use 1/2 c. water, 1/2 c. orange juice)
    • 1 tsp. minced Garlic
    • 1/4 tsp. Ginger
    • 3 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. Water
  • ½ c. Cashews
  • White Rice, prepared; Minute Rice, prepared (2 c. rice, 2 c. water); OR 1 pkg. Spaghetti, prepared

Directions

Heat heavy pan or wok on high, then add oil. When the oil is shimmering, add chicken and cook until golden brown. Then add garlic and onion to cook until softened. For faster cooking, microwave broccoli while doing the rest. Add the carrot and cook until tender, then add in cooked broccoli. Then add sauce to taste, diluting with water if it’s too strong. Mix cornstarch and water to make a slurry, then add it to the mixture to thicken the sauce. Simmer until the sauce is thick enough. If the veggies aren’t soft enough, cover the pan with a lid and steam a few minutes until they’re soft. Just before serving, add cashews. Serve on rice or toss with spaghetti noodles.


Chicken Linguine

Once again, this recipe comes from the time when I lived with Grandpa and he was trying to eat lower-sodium meals. It was originally a side dish on Mrs. Dash’s website, but I updated it with chicken and a few other ingredients, and eventually added more salt after the low-sodium diet was over.

The house smells so amazing and full of spices when this meal is cooking, and it makes nice leftovers. I generally serve it using tongs because the noodles are long and the chicken is hard to grab with a pasta server. But you can use any pasta with this recipe, really. And you might need to add a lot of extra Mrs. Dash, just according to your taste preference.

If you’re making this gluten free, just make sure to use gluten free pasta. Everything else is gluten free naturally–just make sure your cheese hasn’t been contaminated.

Chicken Linguine

  • Servings: 6?
  • Difficulty: medium
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Healthier, but very aromatic and delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 box uncooked Fettuccine or Linguine (or gluten free pasta)
  • 2-4 Chicken Breasts, cubed
  • 2 ½ Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp.+ Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning, to taste
  • 1 Red Pepper, sliced
  • 1 Yellow pepper, sliced
  • 2 c. chopped Broccoli or Asparagus
  • ¼ c. Lemon Juice
  • ¾ c. Shredded Provolone/Mozzarella Blend
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

Prepare pasta according to package directions, and cook chicken. Place chicken in bowl, then heat olive oil in pan. Add vegetables and Mrs. Dash Seasoning. Cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Toss together with pasta, chicken, vegetables, and lemon juice. Mix in cheese and stir until melted, then add salt and pepper to taste.


Chicken Grape Cashew Salad

If you’re making a salad that will be eaten in one sitting, you can mix the mayo right in with everything. But generally we can’t finish the whole salad in one meal and need to make containers of leftovers, so I almost always leave out the mayo and mix it separately per serving. If you mix the mayo with the whole salad and then make leftovers after, it does tend to get slimy fairly quickly, FYI.

If you’re making this gluten free, it’s naturally gluten free as long as you use a new jar of mayo or one that’s dedicated gluten free (so you don’t get crumbs from previous sandwich making).

Chicken Grape Cashew Salad

  • Servings: 6?
  • Difficulty: easy
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Light and easy, but it does take a little time to cut and assemble everything.

Ingredients

  • 3 lb. Chicken Breasts, cubed and cooked (or 1 rotisserie chicken, pulled)
  • 1 bag Salad or Spinach
  • 1 bunch washed Grapes
  • 1-2 c. Cashews
  • 1-2 stalks fine-cut Celery
  • 1 bunch sliced Green Onions
  • Mayonnaise (or new jar/dedicated gluten free jar)
  • Salt to taste

Directions

Cook cubed chicken, adding salt and pepper to taste. Combine rest of ingredients except mayonnaise in a bowl, generally keeping everything on top of the lettuce because everything will fall to the bottom otherwise. Add mayo separately per portion and mix in, to keep leftovers from getting slimy.