I don't know about you, but sometimes, I really need a quick meal - but not just any quick meal. It has to be safe for me, healthy, and tasty enough for my Hubby to eat. Store bought rotisserie chickens are my answer - many stores (I've found some at Costco and Giant) offer gluten free ones and are labeling them accordingly. There are several rotisserie eateries that are safe too (Chicken Out and Crisp and Juicy). At around $5 each, they can be the answer to healthy "fast food."
Below are my top 10 favorite things to do with a rotisserie chicken:
- For a super quick meal, pull pieces of the roasted chicken, place on a plate then make instant mashed potatoes or instant microwaveable brown rice then heat up a can of your favorite vegetables or use the frozen microwave steam ready ones.
- Make Spanish Skillet, using diced or shredded rotisserie chicken for the 1 cup of cooked chicken.
- Chicken sandwiches - shred the chicken, add mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato and onion to brown rice or corn tortillas and serve with chips
- Stir-fry asparagus or other vegetables(s) in sesame oil, toss in chicken until warmed through, sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top
- Shred the chicken and use it to make a Cobb salad
- Make chicken salad (I like mine with mayonnaise, dijon mustard, finely diced celery and onions, lemon juice and dill relish) and serve that on brown rice or corn tortillas or on chips
- Shred the chicken and top pasta and your favorite pasta sauce
- Shred some chicken and put it in tacos with your favorite toppings
- Barbeque chicken - pull pieces of chicken off, place on a plate and top with barbeque sauce. This can be eatten off a plate or put inside a brown rice or corn tortilla. Serve french fries and a salad on the side.
- Then, after you've eaten chicken for a few nights and picked off all the meat you can, make fresh, homemade soup. Even if you think you'd gotten all the meat you can off the carcass, you'll be surprised at how much more comes out as you simmer it. Use this recipe to make homemade stock in the crockpot. Then, take out the skin, bones and other inedible things. Put the stock and any edible meat into the blender, blend until all the meat is pureed (and the broth is light). Pour back into the crockpot, put it on high and put in noodles, rice, vegetables or whatever you want until cooked through. This is my absolute favorite out of all of the meals. I always freeze a container or two for when I'm sick.
When I went gluten free, one food I missed dearly was onion rings. I've always loved the flavor of onions and anything crunchy so naturally, onion rings became one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Recently I decided to try to come up with a gluten free replacement. After some trial and error, I finally developed a recipe that I believe will rival any gluten-filled version.
Gluten Free Onion Rings
from Clara Ogren, http://www.sixfoodintolerance.com
1 quart peanut oil (or however much is needed to fill your pan)
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup corn meal
2 teaspoons Lawrys Seasoning (or other all-purpose seasoning mix)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups dairy-free buttermilk (2 cups of your favorite dairy free milk, add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, stir and let sit for 3 minutes)
2 sweet yellow onions (preferably Vidalias)
coarse Kosher salt
Pour peanut oil into a dutch oven or other deep frying pan and heat to medium high heat.
Measure brown rice flour, cornmeal, Lawrys and garlic powder into a mixing bowl. Wisk together well.
Pour dairy-free buttermilk into a separate, wide, large bowl.
Slice onions into rings.
Place one quarter of the sliced onions into the dairy-free buttermilk and let it sit for 1-2 minutes.
One at a time, take a ring out, cover in the flour mixture, shake off the excess, dip back into the dairy-free buttermilk, then recover in the flour mixture, shake off the excess again, then drop into the hot oil.
Repeat until there are 3-5 onion rings in the oil at a time. Let them sit in the oil for a few minutes until the outside is browned and onion is cooked.
Take out of the oil and place on a cooling rack. Sprinkle with coarse Kosher salt while the onion ring is still hot.
- These freeze and reheat (in the oven) well.
- White rice flour can be used in this recipe but the brown rice flour lends a nice brown color to the finished product and it more nutritious than white rice flour.
- Make sure not to get the oil too hot otherwise it will brown the flour before the onion is cooked.
- Shaking off as much of the flour as you can is very important. If you do not shake off most of the excess, it will gather in the milk causing a mess or in the oil and burn.
- Do not overcrowd the pan, doing so will lower the temperature of the oil.
- Try using this batter for breading other vegetables (zucchini, mushrooms, asparagus, etc) to make tempura.
Can you see what's wrong with this picture? (click on it to enlarge it)
Case and point for my number one recommendation for living gluten free.
Unsafe soy-free food list (unsafe ingredients and where soy often hides) *I've worked pretty hard to come up with a list of unsafe soy-free foods (like this one for gluten) and I think I have finally done it! If you see any mistakes or think something should be added, please leave me a comment and I'll look into the matter further. I hope that this list will help all the soy-free newbies and keep you safe!
Always or typically contains soy:
Abura-age (sliced deep-fried tofu)
Atsu-age (deep-fried tofu)
Bean curd (typically made from soybeans)
Chocolate (many contain soy lecithin) *
Curry pastes (many contain soy oil) * ~
Edamame (parboiled green soybeans)
Gan-modoki (a soy dumpling)
Hydrolyzed soy protein (HSP)
Isolated soy protein
Kinako (Japanese for soybean flour)
Koya tofu (freeze-dried bean curd)
Kyodofu (freeze-dried bean curd)
Mayonnaise (most contain soy oil) *
Margarine (most contain soy protein or soy oil - Earth Balance makes one that does not) *
Natto (fermented soybeans)
Nimame (stewed soybeans)
Okara (soybean pulp)
Pad Thai sauce (many contain soy protein or soy oil) * ~
Peanut butter (many contain soy oil) *
Soy-based meat alternatives
Soy fiber (can be found in baked goods, as well as processed meats, sausages, hamburgers, etc)
Soy ice cream
Soy infant formula
Soy isolate fiber
Soy lecithin *
Soy oil *
Soy protein concentrate
Soy protein isolates
Soy whipped topping
Textured soy flour (TSF)
Textured soy protein (TSP)
Tofu and tofu products
Uno-hana (soy pulp)
Vegetable oil (usually all or part soy oil) *
Vitamin E (a preservative typically derived from soy)
Worcestershire sauce (in the US, the Lea & Perrins brand is safe)
Yuba (tofu skin)
The following may contain soy. You'll have to read the ingredients and/or contact the manufacturer:
Canned tuna (may contain vegetable broth which may have soy)
Fish sauce ~
Hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP)
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
Ice cream (many contain soy lechithin) *
Imitation bacon bits
Imitation crab and lobster
Isolated vegetable protein
Mixed tocopheryls (a preservative often derived from soy)
Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
Oyster sauce ~
Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
* Soy oil and soy lechithin are non-protein forms of soy and may be tolerated by some soy-intolerant or soy-allergic people.
~ There are several Asian sauces listed, but there are several that are soy free.
^ Soy free miso made from beans and chickpeas can be purchased from South River Miso.