Sunday, November 6, 2011

Three Weeks Down...

It's hard to believe that tomorrow will mark the beginning of our last week of the gluten-free challenge. Time has certainly flown by! After temptations in Portland, Jeff has been having more cravings for pizza, bagels, and sandwiches. I guess that's all part of the deal - this is a test to see if we like eating gluten-free and if we can actually pull it off - so daydreaming about all the foods we can't eat is par for the course. I'm continuing to love it and feel good. Like I mentioned before, it's the consciousness of what I'm eating that I'm enjoying the most, coupled with the new and unique foods I'm attempting to cook. Last week, Jeff and I ordered in Mexican one night (mole enchiladas all around) and ate out (carne asada for him, steak salad for me, and lots of french fries). It's frustrating to look at a menu and see lots of things that you can't eat, but we've been lucky to frequent spots with gluten-free options.

I also made two dishes for dinner, both instant favorites. I learned that polenta is my new best friend, and Jeff compared it to macaroni and cheese! My pork chops came out perfectly cooked (shocking, I know), so I will definitely be making more of them. The second meal is a regular of mine, a creation I started making in New York when I needed something easy and quick of which I could have lots of leftovers. This was my first time putting it over rice, which was a nice, but not necessary, addition.

Pork Chops and Roasted Vegetables over Cheesy Polenta

Recipe, adapted from EatingWell:
(Makes 3 servings)

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
1 onion, sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup water
2 cups chicken broth (reduced sodium if possible)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
3 pork chops
Garlic powder and pepper to taste
Olive oil
Preheat oven to 500 degrees
Cover a large cookie sheet with tinfoil
In a large bowl, toss the vegetables in olive oil and pepper
Pour onto cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until soft
Combine chicken broth and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil
Whisk cornmeal into liquid
Reduce heat to low and cover
Cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy (10 to 15 minutes)
Stir in cheese
Remove the polenta from the heat, serve promptly
While polenta is cooking, heat olive oil in a skillet
Season pork chops on both sides with garlic powder and pepper
Cook in skillet, approximately 4 minutes on each side or until chops are no longer pink inside
Spoon polenta onto plate, top with pork chop and generous spoonfuls of veggies and enjoy!

Zoë's "Gumbo"

(Makes 4 servings)

1 can low/no sodium beans (I always use white beans, but realized right before starting to cook that I only had black! I recommend white beans)
1 can low/no sodium diced tomatoes
1 onion, sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
4 chicken or turkey Italian sausages, sliced (I use fully cooked usually)
2 cups brown rice
1 3/4 cup water
Garlic powder, chili powder, pepper to taste
Olive oil
On medium, heat olive oil in a large skillet
Add sliced onion and cook, stirring frequently until softened
Add mushrooms and continue cooking until both vegetables are soft
While vegetables are cooking, drain beans and tomatoes, pour into medium sized pot, and heat
When cooked, add mushrooms and onions to pot
Using the skillet from the vegetables, heat sausages until browned
Add sausages to pot and cook all ingredients together until thickened and hot, approximately 10 minutes
Season ingredients with garlic powder, chili powder, and pepper


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