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Picadillo is a classic Cuban dish and we absolutely love this version of it. I found the recipe in the Food and Wine Cooking From Scratch One Dish Meals cookbook years ago. I’ve made it several times and tweaked it to accommodate our family’s dietary restrictions. This dish is dairy free, egg free, and gluten free. You can serve it with warm, flour tortillas or you can just eat it plain. We often eat it without tortillas and it is still just as delicious. It is even better warmed up the next day.

 

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You may be thinking to yourself, dairy free fudge pie? Is there such a thing? Well, yes there is! My sweet husband loves chocolate. He really, really loves chocolate. So when he was unable to tolerate dairy anymore, I had to get creative when it came to our desserts. One of our very favorites around here is homemade fudge pie. It’s easy, it’s delicious, and it’s chocolate. Need I say more? 

Now the key to making it dairy free is in your butter, pie crust, and chocolate. We prefer to use the earth balance vegan butter because I know for sure it is safe for both my husband and my son. For the pie crust, I tend to get a little lazy. You can make your own crust if you so desire but did you know that most of the frozen, ready to go pie crusts are dairy free? Yes, even the ones you can find at Wal-Mart are dairy free. Now, if you want to make this gluten free, just make sure your pie crust is GF and you should be good to go. Last, for the chocolate chips – “Enjoy Life” makes a very delicious semi-sweet chocolate that you can find in mini chip form at Whole Foods or often at Publix Supermarket. It is dairy free, egg free and gluten free.

 

 

 

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This recipe is a hit with all ages. It is fairly easy to make, especially if you are using leftover chicken that is already cooked. Even if you have to cook your chicken, it can all be done in less than 35 minutes. If you’re feeling frisky, you can even make some salsa to serve with it. Some folks like sour cream and the other fixings with their quesadillas. We’ve found that these are tasty enough all on their own with no extras.

I like making my own fajita seasoning because that way I know exactly what’s going into our food. No extra ingredients that I can’t pronounce! You can always add additional vegetables or you can even take the chicken out and make it vegetarian or substitute a different protein. This is one of my favorite recipes for leftovers. All I really need to have on hand is tortillas. The other things are staples we tend to keep on hand.

You will notice in the recipe that I don’t specify amounts for this one. That’s because you can add however much you want in each tortilla. If you’re cooking your own chicken, I usually use 2 nice sized chicken breasts. We also like to use the larger, 10 inch tortillas as you can just fold them over and cook 1 tasty quesadilla using 1 tortilla instead of 2.

We started using the goat cheese because my husband developed an allergy to cow’s milk. I think it is even more delicious! I use a mixture of sharp goat cheese and soft goat cheese.

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I’ve been cooking this Thai soup for at least 10 years. We love all kinds of food but we really love Thai food. We had many a date at the Thai restaurant in Huntsville before we got married. In fact, it’s still there and still a tiny little restaurant that serves amazing Thai food. If you’re ever in 5 points in Huntsville, AL, we highly recommend The Thai Garden. Anyway, we fell in love with Thai coconut soup many years ago. This recipe originated from the Food and Wine Cooking From Scratch with Herbs cookbook. However, I’ve changed it considerably over the years. It is so delicious and the lemon and ginger broth smell so amazing when it’s cooking. It’s a fairly easy meal to make and it is very yummy as a leftover the next day.

One bit of advice if you plan to serve it to guests – you may want to find the lemon peel and ginger chunks before you serve it. It won’t hurt you if you don’t, in fact we like them in there. I like crunching down on the ginger for a blast of flavor. But, if you’re not expecting it, it might be quite the surprise.

When it comes to rice, I highly recommend using jasmine or basmati rice. It costs a little more but the flavor and texture make ALL the difference in the world. If you don’t have cilantro, you can omit it without losing a whole lot of flavor. But if you can help it, do not skip on the fresh lime juice. It makes all the difference in the chicken marinade and then later right before you serve it. I think the fresh squeeze of lime juice right before you serve it wakes up all of the flavors in the soup and melds them together beautifully.

 

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This recipe uses one my family’s favorite foods, conecah sausage. Conecah sausage is made in Conecah county, Alabama. It is absolutely delicious. If you haven’t tried it before, I highly recommend it. It is smoked sausage, but we think it is better than any national brand out there. We like it grilled, sauteed by itself or with peppers and onions. It is great to have on hand when you need a quick, filling meal.

This is a recipe that I created a couple of years ago. You see, I like to run. I like to run longer distances actually. I am currently training for my 2nd marathon and I’ve run 5 half marathons and several 15, 10 and 5K’s. I like to do my long runs on Saturday mornings and if you are running really long (10+ miles), it helps to eat a lot of carbohydrates the day before. So I started experimenting with what sounded good to my brain… garlic, fresh tomatoes, fresh spinach, and pasta. Oftentimes, it was whatever I had around the house. My favorite version of this dish is with 1/2 pound of chopped bacon. You could also put in shrimp or grilled chicken. It is just a simple pasta dish with some fresh veggies and a protein. Even if you aren’t running 10+ miles, this dish is usually very popular with the whole family.

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This is one of our very favorite hamburger recipes. We have used it to make sliders for super bowl parties and even just thrown them together a quick dinner. It takes a regular hamburger and brings it up to a totally new level. I think it’s the bacon. I absolutely love bacon. I could probably live off of bacon. For a few years at least until I had a heart attack from all of the cholesterol. But this recipe isn’t so bad. It has ½ a pound of bacon and it makes about 7-8 good sized hamburgers. I found this recipe one day at Whole Foods Market and I’ve adapted it to suit our family’s needs. The miso is a key ingredient. Miso paste is aged and fermented rice and soybeans. I know it may sound gross but it’s actually delicious and a staple in much of Japanese cooking. If you’ve ever been out for sushi and had the miso soup – it is made from Miso. I found mine at Whole Foods Market. It is a little pricey but ­this recipe doesn’t use a lot so you can use the rest of it to make your own Miso soup, miso salad dressing, and lots more. There are tons of ideas on for it online.

You can eat your burger with or without the cheese but we really love it with sharp goat cheese. You could use any green with it but we really love the spinach because once you stack it on the burger, it wilts just slightly and has the most delicious flavor and texture. I would also not skimp on the red onion – caramelized onion is so yummy and adds to the taste. This burger really is a treat for your senses. We had them for dinner last night and you could smell them cooking from the driveway.

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My go to pot roast recipe 20+ years ago included a ready to go pouch of seasoning… I didn’t trust myself to make it from scratch. Well, those packets have dairy in them. And many other “quick and easy” pot roast recipes are the same way or they have a lot of processed foods in them which can make the dish very high in sodium.  So when I was nursing my son, I started experimenting with various ways to make a pot roast using fresh ingredients. The recipe below has been tweaked many times over the years. I often change up the way I serve it as well. In the summer time or when I’m rushed, I’ll toss in potatoes and carrots for the last hour of cooking. If it’s winter, I will often cook roasted root vegetables in the oven. It would even be tasty with some fresh rice and a green vegetable.

One thing to note is the cut of meat that you choose when you’re getting your ingredients. I think a common mistake is choosing just any cut of beef that has “roast” on the label.  But for the tastiest pot roast, you want to make sure and choose a boneless “chuck roast.” These are going to have a good amount of marbling on them which will help enhance the flavor in your final product.

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