Egg “Muffins”

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com, and I guess these are kind of like frittatas or omelets made in muffin tins. They’re very versatile in the fillings that you can put in them. I’ve done regular onions and green onions–I feel like the green onions provide a little bit of flavor without a slightly crunchy texture. I’ve done regular sausage and turkey sausage. I’m thinking of trying ham and cheese next time. Oh, and last time I cooked the peppers. I like that there weren’t slightly crunchy peppers in there like when you put them in raw, but the flavor didn’t seem as strong when it was cooked.

These egg muffins are wonderful to make ahead and eat for a few days from the fridge and then freeze the remaining. I like to make a double batch so I can use a whole pound of sausage and so I can have lots to freeze. If I warm them from the fridge, I just microwave them for a minute. And when I freeze them, I generally put two in a sandwich bag (I don’t bother with fancy freezer bags because I know we’ll eat them quickly). Then when I microwave the frozen ones, I put a paper towel around them (optional) and microwave them at 50% power for 2 minutes, then 1 minute on 100% power.

And this one is naturally gluten free.

Egg Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
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Make ahead for a very easy breakfast.

Ingredients

  • ½ lb. Sausage
  • 12 Eggs
  • ½ c. Onion or Green Onion, chopped
  • ½ c. Bell Pepper, chopped
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Black Pepper
  • ¼ tsp. Garlic Powder
  • ½ c. Shredded Cheddar cheese (plus optional cheese to top)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350° and grease a muffin tin. In a large pan, cook the sausage over medium-high heat until it’s browned evenly and crumbly. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Stir in onion, bell pepper, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Add sausage and cheese. Use a 1/3 cup (maybe a Tbsp. less) to fill each muffin cup, not quite all the way to the top. Optionally top with an additional small amount of cheese. Bake about 20-25 minutes, until a knife comes out clean from inserting into the muffins.


 

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.


Hamburger Gravy

Jeff LOVES this meal and says he could eat it every fast Sunday after 24 hours of eating nothing. Jeff’s family used to have hamburger gravy pretty often when they were growing up. And they usually used 1 lb. of beef for their 8+ member family. But we like it very beefy and Jeff loves the leftovers, so we usually do 2 lbs. of beef and use a 5 lb. bag of potatoes to make mashed potatoes. It’s also very easy if you have pot roast gravy in your freezer, which we usually do. I just microwave it for several minutes to thaw before adding it to the beef.

If you’re making it gluten free, just make sure that your gravy is gluten free. I usually make gravy from pot roast broth or beef broth and thicken it with cornstarch.

Hamburger Gravy

  • Servings: 6?
  • Difficulty: easy
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Easy and hearty–serve with mashed potatoes and corn.

Ingredients

  • 2 lb. Ground Beef
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1-2 jars Beef Gravy (like this) or 1 container thawed homemade pot roast gravy from freezer (size can vary based on how much liquid you want)
  • (Serve with mashed potatoes and corn)

Directions

In a large deep skillet, brown the beef and add salt and pepper to taste. Add gravy and warm through. Serve with mashed potatoes and corn.


Easy Chicken and Rice Soup

Great for cold weather or when your stomach is upset, especially if you need something gluten free. This is adapted from a great recipe on twopeasandtheirpod.com

And as previously mentioned, this one is naturally gluten free.

Easy Chicken and Rice Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
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Mild and great for cold weather or upset stomachs.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced (abt. 1 tsp. minced)
  • 2 medium Carrots, chopped
  • 2 Celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 tsp. + Dried Thyme Leaves
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 qts. Chicken Stock or Broth (I often just do 3 Tbsp. chicken base and 9 cups water)
  • 1 c. Water
  • 1/2 c. Rice, uncooked
  • 2 c. Shredded Cooked Chicken (can use about 1/2 rotisserie chicken)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

Place a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Pour in the chicken broth and water and bring to a boil. Add the rice and chicken; season with salt and pepper.
Cook on medium-low until the rice is tender, about 25-30 minutes.


 

Ikea’s Swedish Meatballs

When the pandemic hit and people couldn’t go to Ikea for their Swedish meatball fix, Ikea generously posted their recipe for everyone. Granted, it’s not 100% the same, and the sauce is secret–so they posted a similar sauce. But it’s great. I generally ended up doubling the sauce and making a few other slight adjustments, so here’s the final recipe. Of course you should serve with lingonberries if you can find any (it’s hard unless you buy some at Ikea), but I have served it with cranberry sauce or I think even raspberry jam once.

Every time I make it, I forget the stipulation that you should refrigerate it for 2 hours. I usually just refrigerate it like 20 minutes to an hour. I don’t mind if my meatballs are a little flatter, because they hold together well enough. Last time I made it, I doubled the meatball recipe, which almost filled up a whole cookie sheet. And I made 1 1/2 times the sauce in the recipe below, and it was a good amount of sauce. If I’d doubled the sauce, it would’ve been tons. Also, I’m not sure it needs so much cream. I think next time I might use half cream, half milk. Haha, or just use all half and half.

If you’re making this gluten free, I did try it once using crushed tortilla chips instead of breadcrumbs. Haha, I’ll never do that again. It ended up tasting like oily chips. So you could use gluten free breadcrumbs, cornstarch instead of flour, and gluten free soy sauce, which is what I did last time (it’s the one in the picture)–and it was delicious. I may even try using crushed up Rice Chex instead of breadcrumbs. We’ll see.

Ikea Swedish Meatballs

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: medium-hard
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Adapted from Ikea’s officially released recipe.

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1/2 lb. Ground Pork
  • 1 small Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic (about 1/2 tsp. minced)
  • 100 g. Breadcrumbs (or gluten free breadcrumbs)
  • 1 Egg
  • 5 Tbsp. Milk
  • Generous Salt and Pepper

Cream Sauce (doubled from original, with some modifications)

  • Dash of Oil
  • 6 Tbsp. Butter
  • 2/3 c. Flour (or 1/3 c. cornstarch)
  • 2 1/2 c. Beef Broth
  • 2 c. Cream
  • 1 Tbsp. + Soy Sauce (or gluten free soy sauce/tamari)
  • 2 tsp. Dijon Mustard

Directions

In a large bowl, combine beef and pork, and break up any lumps with your hands. Add onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, and egg, then mix well. Add milk and season well with salt and pepper. Shape mixture into small balls, and place on a cookie sheet in the fridge for 2 hours (this will help them hold their shape while cooking). In a frying pan, heat oil on medium heat, then add meatballs and brown on all sides. When browned, add back to the cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
For cream sauce: Melt butter and whisk in flour or cornstarch, stirring for 2 minutes. Add stock and continue to stir. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer, allowing sauce to thicken. Add meatballs (not with the grease from the pan) and stir. Serve over mashed potatoes with lingonberry (or other berry) sauce.


 

FYI, here’s the original recipe from Ikea:

Jalapeno Cheddar Soup

This is another decadent cream-based soup based on a Harmons deli soup recipe. (Check out the tomato basil soup also.) I’m so glad the deli director at Harmons was always happy to share any recipe you’d ask for, because everything that Harmons makes is so amazing. Anyway, at the hot soup bar, you can find their turkey cheddar jalapeno soup. I adapted it to use chicken (cheaper and more convenient), and I also added more ingredients so it wasn’t so much broth in relation to chicken. This one is great, spicy, and best with chips and cheese on top. Depending on how spicy it turns out, you may need to add sour cream. This is another soup where we freeze the leftovers in gallon bags–sometimes the potatoes can get a little mushier, but mostly it heats up and tastes just fine. And this soup still has a thin broth instead of a thick gravy like a stew–so I put cheddar and sour cream on top of the soup for the picture, and of course they both just sank right in. Haha. 

If you’re making this gluten free, make your roux with the cornstarch instead of flour.

Jalapeno Cheddar Soup

  • Servings: 15?
  • Difficulty: medium-hard
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Spicy and delicious–you can freeze leftovers in gallon bags.

Ingredients

  • 1 c. Butter
  • 1/2 c. Flour (or 1/4 c. cornstarch)
  • 6.5 lb. Chicken Breasts, cubed
  • 1/4 c. Canola Oil
  • 1 Onion (.6 lb.)
  • 2 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
  • 1 Red Pepper (3.25 oz.), diced
  • 1 Green Pepper, diced
  • 1 Jalapeno (1 oz.), diced
  • 1/4 c. Water
  • 1 oz. (about 1+ Tbsp) Member’s Mark Chicken Base
  • 1 gal. Chicken Stock
  • 2 qt. Cream
  • 2 qt. Milk (8 cups)
  • 1 Tbsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp. Black Pepper (1/4 oz.)
  • 1 Tbsp. Red Pepper Flakes (1/4 oz.)
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and diced  
  • 1 lb. sharp or extra sharp cheddar, grated
  • 1/2 bag Frozen Corn

Directions

In a separate pan from the stock pot, create the roux by melting the butter and adding the flour or cornstarch to cook. In the large stock pot, brown the chicken. Add oil, onion, garlic, peppers, and jalapeno and cook until onion is translucent. Add water, stock, base, and cream. Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and bring to boil. Add potatoes and cook until they’re done (about 15 minutes). Reduce heat and add roux and cheese. Stir until soup thickens and cheese melts, then add corn. Serve with sour cream, extra cheese, and crushed tortilla chips on top.


 

Tomato Basil Soup

Oh man, this soup is so glorious and rich. It does take a fair amount of time and cream (probably one of the reasons it’s so delicious), so we’ll often look for cream to go on clearance and then freeze it for making this soup or ice cream in the future. This soup is adapted from a deli recipe at Harmons, so get out your scale for this recipe. I’m so glad the deli director at Harmons was always happy to share any recipe you’d ask for, because everything that Harmons makes is so amazing. I did adapt it to make it a little easier and cheaper for certain ingredients, and to add chicken and pasta. This soup is fantastic when served in a bread bowl or with bread in general–dip your bread in it. Or grilled cheese. Delicious. (Also try the Jalapeno Cheddar Soup recipe adapted from Harmons.)

You can add chicken and/or tortellini to the soup, which we usually do. Take note that this soup does require an immersion blender (unless you make a tiny batch and blend it up in your regular blender). We usually make a giant batch and freeze leftovers in gallon bags, so it always takes longer to make than I think. But it’s so worth it. And it’s wonderful to have in the freezer for an easy meal or in case a friend is sick and needs a quick meal.

*I learned last time I made it that it fills about half the huge stock pot. You can double all the ingredients except the chicken and tortellini if you want more “soup”. This recipe had lots of chicken and tiny raviolis when I made it last, so I might double the soup portion next time–I think I remember doubling this recipe but having the recipe’s amount of chicken and tortellini. I remember buying a 3 lb bag of onions because by the time you peel them, it’s about 2 lbs of onions.

If you’re making this gluten free, just don’t add the tortellini. You could potentially cook some gluten free pasta separately and put it in the bottom of each person’s bowl before adding the soup. But it’s pretty great as it is.

Tomato Basil Soup

  • Servings: 30?
  • Difficulty: medium-hard
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We make this giant batch and freeze leftovers in gallon bags for amazing, easy meals.

Ingredients

  • 6 lbs. + Chicken Breasts, cubed (optional) (like a pack of fresh chicken breasts from Sam’s Club)
  • 1/4 c. Olive Oil
  • 1 lb. Yellow Onions, diced
  • 1 oz. Garlic, minced
  • 1 oz. Salt
  • 0.3 oz. Ground Black Pepper
  • 3 c. Water
  • 1 lb. 8 oz. (24 oz.) Fresh Tomato, 1/2″ dice
  • 6 lbs 6 oz (102 oz.) can Diced Tomato (I’ve also sliced whole tomatoes after Sam’s Club stopped carrying the large diced can–but you’ll puree it all anyway)
  • 2 lbs. 8 oz. (1 qt. + 1 c.) Heavy Cream 
  • 16 oz. shredded Italian Cheese 
  • 1/2 c.+ Parmesan (like the cheap powdered parmesan)
  • 0.375+ oz. dried Basil
  • 40-60 oz. Frozen Tortellini (optional)

Directions

In a very large stock pot, cook the chicken breasts, then remove and place in a bowl. Then heat oil over medium heat. Saute garlic, onions, salt, and pepper until translucent. Add water, fresh tomatoes, and canned tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cooking for 40 minutes or until thickened. Add cream, cheeses, and dried basil. Puree with a stick blender. Add more cheese, salt, or basil to taste–I often add more of all–but remember that the basil flavor will get stronger as it sits. Add chicken and tortellini at end to heat through before serving.


 

Schnitzel

Haha, I think because of the restaurant Wienerschnitzel, people think schnitzel is going to be some sort of hot dog or sausage. I didn’t know what it was until my mission in Germany and Austria, then I had a lot of great schnitzel. I learned that schnitzel is really a breaded, fried cutlet of meat. “Schnitzel” kind of translates to small cut–like a cutlet. It’s reminiscent of chicken fried steak, made with either pork, chicken, or veal, depending on the geography. It’s not very flavorful, but it’s still a fun meal. This recipe is adapted from daringgourmet.com–she has lots of delicious German recipes.

I remember in Vienna, there was a restaurant that the missionaries called Herb’s–but it was really called Schnitzelwirt. It was like a rite of passage for an elder to finish the giant Wienerschnitzel and all the accompanying fries. I’m pretty sure I also did it–and I went back there with my mom when we went to visit. Traditionally schnitzel is served with fries and a lemon wedge–or maybe with potato salad.

If you’re making this gluten free, I have now made it with corn starch and Corn Chex crumbs–that’s the one in the photo. It turned out great, and I think I’ve heard that corn starch coatings make stuff nice and crisp.

Schnitzel

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: medium
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Serve with fries and a lemon wedge, for a wonderful German/Austrian meal.

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless Pork Steaks or Chops (you can also use chicken or veal)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c. Flour combined with 1 tsp. salt (or gluten free flour or cornstarch)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs (or gluten free breadcrumbs or Corn Chex crumbs)
  • Oil for frying
  • Lemon wedges (optional)

Directions

Place the chops under plastic wrap and pound until they’re 1/4″ thick. Lightly season both sides with salt and pepper. Place the flour mixture, egg, and breadcrumbs in 3 separate shallow bowls. Dip the chops in the flour, then the egg, and then the breadcrumbs, coating both sides and all edges at each stage. Be careful not to press the breadcrumbs into the meat. Gently shake off the excess crumbs. Don’t let the schnitzel sit in the coating or they will not be as crispy once fried – fry immediately.
Make sure the cooking oil is hot enough at this point (about 330 degrees F) as you don’t want the Schnitzel to sit around in the coating before frying. Use enough oil so that the Schnitzels “swim” in it.
Fry the Schnitzel for about 2-3 minutes on both sides until a deep golden brown. Transfer briefly to a plate lined with paper towels. Optional: Squeeze a lemon wedge all over the schnitzel before eating.

 


 

Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas

Jeff and I had our first date at Chili’s, so it’s always had a special place in my heart. I used to love getting their quesadilla explosion salad before I found out I have celiac. One day for a date night, I looked up ideas of how to make those quesadillas, stuffed with cheese, chicken, bacon, and ranch. I didn’t find an exact copy, but I’m quite happy with how these turned out, and we’ve had them a lot. They’re pretty easy if you’ve got pre-cooked chicken (such as from rotisserie chicken) and bacon. And Chili’s would serve them with shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, and sour cream, so that’s what we try to do if we can.

If you’re making this gluten free, just use corn tortillas and make yours either in a separate pan or make yours first before making any with flour tortillas.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas

  • Servings: 6?
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
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Chili’s flavors, delicious with shredded lettuce, pico, and sour cream.

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. Bacon, cut into pieces with scissors
  • 1-1.5 lbs. Chicken Breasts, sliced thin or Rotisserie Chicken pieces
  • Taco Seasoning to taste (optional)
  • Flour or Corn Tortillas
  • Shredded Cheddar or Mexican Cheese
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Optional: Shredded lettuce, pico de gallo or salsa, sour cream

Directions

In a heavy frying pan, cook the bacon pieces until crisp and then place on a paper towel lined plate. Remove the grease, then cook the chicken on high heat, adding taco seasoning to taste. Set chicken aside in a bowl. Wipe out the pan, then cook one side of two tortillas (or alternately you can use one tortilla to make a quesadilla, but fold it in half). When the tortillas are crisp but not dark, flip one over and set one aside. Place a handful of cheese on the one in the pan, then squirt ranch dressing in a spiral on top of the cheese. Add several chunks of chicken, then sprinkle bacon pieces over top. Sprinkle another handful of cheese over all, then place the reserved tortilla with the uncooked side up. Then carefully flip the whole thing so the uncooked side of the tortilla cooks. When the quesadilla is done, place on a cutting board and cut into four pieces. Serve with shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, and sour cream.