Marinated Roasted Teriyaki Chicken

The best meals are delicious and easy to put together when you need to get dinner on the table fast. Sometimes that means doing some prep the day before or morning of. This is one of those great meals. It takes a little time to make the marinade, but that is the most effort you will need to exert.

Marinated Roasted Teriyaki Chicken


2 to 3 pounds of chicken thighs

½ cup of vegetable oil

½ teaspoon sesame oil

½ cup of soy sauce

½ cup of rice vinegar

½ cup of honey

3 Tablespoons of brown sugar

1 Tablespoon of minced ginger

1 Tablespoon of onion powder

1 clove of garlic, minced

Juice of 1 lime

1 ½ cups of water

¾ cup Wegman’s Organic Teriyaki sauce (gluten and lactose free), plus more reserved for after cooking.

sesame seeds, optional


Mix together vegetable oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, brown sugar, ginger, onion powder, garlic, lime and water. Marinate chicken in mixture for 4 hours to overnight. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Discard marinade, rinse chicken and then pat dry. Spray roasting pan with non-stick spray. Pour 3/4 of a cup of teriyaki sauce into a shallow bowl. Coat each piece of chicken with sauce and plan in pan. Cover pan with foil and cook for 20 minutes. Uncover, turn heat up to 400 degrees and cook for another 25 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to ensure each piece of chicken is cooked through. If you want crispy skin on the chicken, place under broiler for 2 minutes.

Serve with rice and broccoli.

You never have enough chicken recipes in your repertoire!

Hot and Sour Soup to Warm your Soul

This is one of my favorite soups of all time! It is warm, comforting and absolutely delicious! I could eat this every day, especially now that the weather is cold. I was turned onto hot and sour soup when one of our local take out places brought me a free one. Their ploy worked! I was immediately hooked and had to add it to our order each time. To make it more cost effective I had to figure out how to make it at home. I looked at various recipes online but couldn’t find one that replicated that comforting flavor, so I played with it on my own and this is what I came up with! Enjoy!

Hot and Sour Soup


2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil

¼ teaspoon of sesame oil

About ½ pound of shiitake mushrooms, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon chili paste (I use Gourmet Garden)

Pinch of white pepper (add more if you want it to be spicy, careful though a little goes a long way)

1/3 cup soy sauce (make sure it is gluten free, if making this GF. I use La Choy Low sodium)

1/3 cup rice vinegar

2 cups beef stock

2 cups chicken stock (or you can use all vegetable stock or all beef or all chicken, it tested best with the mixture )

3 Tablespoons corn starch

3 Tablespoons water

1 egg, beaten

7 ounces (about half of a package) of extra firm tofu, diced

3 green onions, sliced


In a large soup pot over med-high, heat the vegetable oil and sesame oil. Add the mushrooms, garlic, chili paste, white pepper and stir. Cook for a couple of minutes, until fragrant then add soy and vinegar, stir and allow to simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Add stock and simmer for another 5 to 6 minutes. In a small bowl combine corn starch and water then pour into the soup and stir. Cook for another couple of minutes and add beaten egg while stirring. Add tofu and green onions. Stir and then serve!

Note: This is a mild version, not very spicy. Add more chili paste and/or white pepper if you want more heat. Careful with the white pepper!

The first time I made this, I made a batch every week. I could not get enough! And I don’t even like mushrooms or tofu 😉 This is a healthy and satisfying meal that is gluten-free and can easily be made vegetarian or even vegan!

It is the perfect snack or meal to have on hand for family arriving for the holidays. I know I would want some after being on an airplane or in a car all day.

Take some time out of your hectic schedule this weekend and make some soup. Eat it in front of the fire. Realistically you might make it at 10 pm, after the kids are asleep, then eat it standing in the kitchen or hopefully in bed binge watching Netflix. Still, you should try. More soups to come each Friday! Here are the links to some past soups in case your in the mood for something else. (Just remember that if the post is before April 2014 it might need to be adapted to be gluten free – contact me! I can help)

Chicken Noodle Soup

Coconut Curry Sweet Potato Soup

Good Food that happens to be Gluten Free

I am a GF Cook. I make Good Food that happens to also be Gluten Free. For my family and others with celiac disease it is out of necessity. For many others it is a way to eat healthier or just feel better. In the past 2 years since my son’s diagnosis of celiac disease, there have been ups and downs. I have discovered that you do not have to sacrifice taste, texture or being adventurous with new foods. You do not have to throw out your family recipes and favorite cookbooks. Yes there are limitations, but after the first several months, we found our groove and now know the resources that can help navigate the world of gluten-free eating.

Cooking gluten-free food often means making it from scratch because convenience food (like prepared frozen meatballs from Trader Joe’s that used to make a weekly appearance at our house!) often contain gluten. More and more gluten-free items are appearing in the market, which is great, but as I love to cook and now have a giant freezer in my garage, I make my own convenience food packs and freeze them.

I spent a great day testing meatball recipes last spring and had some family and friends test recipes. I made Italian meatballs stuffed with mozzarella, homemade sausage meatballs and the winner – Bahn Mi flavored meatballs. I made about 4 pounds worth and saved them in 2 pound batches, perfect for our family of five for dinner with leftovers for lunch. You can cut this recipe in half. I serve them with cucumber noodles (or coodles) for a spin on spaghetti and meatballs. You can use them in a lettuce wrap or as an appetizer with your favorite Asian dipping sauce. My kids love hoisin sauce and I love peanut sauce. I grind my own meat using the Kitchen Aid attachment but you can buy ground meat in the grocery store or ask the butcher to grind it for you, but know that that contains more fat, so you won’t need to add as much bacon in the recipe below. 

Bahn Mi Meatballs
Makes about 35 meatballs 

2/3 cup cucumber shredded (about 1 English cucumber)
1/3 cup shredded carrot
3/4 cup rice vinegar
3/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons sugar
About 4 1/3 lbs ground chicken and pork (I use 2/3 pork loin and 1/3 chicken thighs. It was also tested with only pork)
3 pieces of bacon, minced (you might have to test how much bacon you add depending on the fat content of your ground meat)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 Tablespoon ginger, paste or grated fresh
handful of Cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 tsp coriander
1 egg (still add one whole egg if cutting recipe in half)
1/4 cup of bread crumbs (use gluten-free if making this gluten free)
2-3 Tablespoons of canola oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Mix the rice vinegar, water and sugar in a small bowl. Add cucumber and carrots. Soak at least 3 hours, up to overnight. Drain and dry between some paper towels while you prepare the meat mixture. Pre-heat oven at 375 degrees. In a small bowl mix salt, pepper, ginger, cilantro, coriander, egg and bread crumbs. Place meat in a large bowl and add drained cucumber and carrots and the egg mixture. Get your hands dirty and mix it all together. 

TIP: Cook a small patty of the meat mixture to taste and adjust seasonings if you need before cooking the whole batch.

Heat a large not stick-pan to medium-high, add canola oil and sesame oil. Brown meatballs and transfer to a baking rack that sits on top of a cookie sheet.

Roast for 15 minutes. (You can put directly on rack without browning and cook for about 25 minutes, if you don’t have time to brown). Serve or freeze.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I love cooking for and writing it. My plan is to post weekly. You will see my own recipes, recipes from my favorite cookbooks (gluten free and not) that I have adapted for my family and ideas for entertaining and cooking in bulk. You don’t have to eat gluten free to enjoy these recipes. They are tasty enough for everyone!  

Please use the buttons below to Pin, Tweet or share this on Facebook! Thank you! Let me know if there is anything you want to see here. I always love a cooking challenge. 

I’m still here and still cooking

Hello everyone! I am still here, grilling, spending time with the family and working. I’m hoping to kick the blog up again this fall!

As we head in to the end of summer, I pledge to write again. I have been cooking and taking photos, so watch for fun school lunches, easy dinners, easy entertaining meals, breakfasts and more! I will finish my cooking bucket list, even though I haven’t started it yet! I will enter new worlds (for me) of technology like instagram and ramp up my presence on Facebook and Twitter. So stay with me! If there is anything you would like me to write about or try to cook for you all, send me a an email, or like me on Facebook and tell me there!

The picture above is a pork sirloin roast marinated in an Asian-style sauce and basted each time I turned it on the grill. I served it with cooked spaghetti, extra sauce (not used to marinade) and steamed broccoli. The Asian-style sauce is a version of one of my go to sauces, but with a minced garlic clove added and a little extra brown sugar to caramelize on the outside. Make sure you keep some of the marinade aside to use for basting and for tossing with the noodles.

Ginger Citrus Shrimp with summer squash, zucchini and rice

Something about the spring makes me crave light refreshing shrimp dishes. This one is so simple and you can make your own version of it with whatever seafood or chicken, pork or vegetables that you have on hand. You can make it with rice, noodles, or as filling for a lettuce wrap.

Marinade: about 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar(you can use white wine, white balsamic, champagne vinegar or the leftover white vinegar you bought for dying Easter eggs plus add a couple teaspoons of sugar), 1/8 cup vegetable oil, a drop or 2 of sesame oil (makes all the difference in any Asian dish – totally worth buying), 2 minced cloves of garlic, about 2 Tablespoons of minced fresh ginger (I peel and freeze mine when I bring it home and then use the microplane to grate it into dishes), about 2 teaspoons of sugar, salt and pepper to your taste and 1/2 of an onion-minced.

Add uncooked shrimp to the marinade ( or pre cooked and then you just don’t have to cook it in the pan as long). Let sit for about 10-15 minutes.

Make rice or noodles while you wait. I swear by my rice cooker.

Dice other half of onion, mince a clove of garlic and a Tablespoon of minced ginger. On a cookie sheet, toss with chopped zucchini and yellow squash (or asparagus or some peas, or whatever veggie you like) and some vegetable oil with a drop of sesame oil, salt and pepper. Roast about 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

Cook shrimp in sauté pan with melted butter and a little of the marinade until pink and cooked through. Serve with rice and veggies! Top with some chopped cilantro and green onions if you would like.


More leftover ideas and some comfort food for those cold snowy nights

I feel like I’m finally getting a hang of using up all my leftovers and not just as the same dish it was, but transformed so my family doesn’t get bored. There are a couple of dishes that are great for transforming meats, veggies, like quesadillas or chili or a baked pasta dish. Here are a couple of things I have made recently.

Eggplant Rolotini with Orzo
Olive oil
1 small onion diced
1 small/medium eggplant sliced thin to make rolls, and extra pieces chopped
1 28oz can of tomatoes (diced or crushed. Substitute 3-4 medium tomatoes in the summer)
Garlic powder (can use fresh garlic, 1-2 cloves minced depending on how garlicky you like it)
1-1/2 cups Fresh ricotta
1 egg
12 ounces orzo
4 cups of stock (veggie or chicken) or water
Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add chopped pieces of eggplant and more olive oil if needed. Sprinkle salt, pepper, oregano and thyme onto eggplant and onion mixture. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add in tomatoes. While that is cooking, take ricotta cheese and egg and mix together with a little pepper, garlic powder and salt. Take mixture and spread across top of long, thin piece of eggplant and roll up. Take the sauce off of the heat and place roll up in the sauce. Repeat.  Drizzle eggplant roll ups with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover and place in 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes.
Make orzo according to package. Serve with eggplant and sauce.
I made this recently for a cooking club and we had to bring something that started with the same letter as your last name. Very fun!

Leftovers: Added the orzo and some of the diced cooked eggplant in with a white pork chili (see below)
Barley risotto, Roasted Butternut Squash and Balsamic Garlic Pork Tenderloin
(a recipe for when you have lots of time to cook. If you don’t, make some baked potatoes or even sweet potatoes instead of the risotto)

2-3 lb pork tenderloin (you could also use beef or boneless chicken or turkey breast)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup apple juice
1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/8 cup soy sauce
3-4 sprigs of thyme
1 medium sized onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced salt
lemon pepper
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
olive oil
2 cups pearl barley
8-10 cups broth (veggie, chicken or beef or even water or a mixture), heated

Turn crockpot onto low. Pour in balsamic, apple juice, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, thyme, 1/2 of the onion and 2 of the garlic cloves. Mix the sauce and taste. If too acidic for your taste, add more apple juice. If you want it to have a little more of a savory bite add more Worcestershire sauce. Dry the pork and rub it with salt and lemon pepper and then place it in the sauce in the crockpot. It should cover it about 3/4 or so the way up the pork. Close and let cook 6-8 hours on low. When it reads 170-180 degrees on a meat thermometer, the pork is done. Take it out to rest. If you want gravy, add the cooking liquid to a large saucepan and bring to a boil to reduce by about 1/2. Then strain. I use a spoon that is a large strainer since its easier than pouring it out and then back in the pan. Taste. I usually add a little more apple juice, a Tbsp of brown sugar and some black pepper. Lastly add a cornstarch mixture (2 Tbsp cornstarch to 1/2 cup water) and whisk until thick.

Spread the squash out on a sheet pan and toss with olive oil, salt and lemon pepper. Roast in oven at 375 degrees for about 30-45 minutes.

In a medium sized sauce pan on medium high heat, put enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Add remainder of onion and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent. Add barley and cook while stirring for 2-3 minutes. Add about 1 cup of the broth and stir until absorbed. Keep adding a ladle or 2 of broth at a time until absorbed and the barley is the consistency that you like to eat it. This can take about 45 minutes. Finish with a handful of parmesan.

Leftovers: I used the pork and barley, along with the eggplant and some orzo from another meal to add to 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 1 diced zucchini, 1/2 jalepeno (seeded and taken out before eating), cumin and chili powder to make chili. I put everything in the crockpot and cooked on low for 2-3 hours. I used the butternut squash in a quesadilla with cheddar. The kids loved it! Well, 2 out of 3 did at least 🙂

Another good idea for leftovers is to make an Asian noodle dish. For some reason, my 4 year old has decided she LOVES Asian food, so I’m trying to make it more. The other day for a quick week night meal, I took some shredded turkey out of the freezer (from the holidays) and made a turkey, broccoli and edamame noodle dish with whole wheat spaghetti noodles.


 Cook the noodles as directed on package. Put a little bit of vegetable oil in a large sauce pan or a wok if you have one, on medium high heat. Add 1/2 onion sliced thinly and 1 clove of garlic, minced. Cook until onions are translucent. Add turkey and cook until heated through. Throw in a handful of frozen broccoli and a handful of frozen edamame (shelled). Then add sauce. I made a sauce with leftover pineapple juice I had in the fridge, with terriyaki sauce, soy sauce, a little brown sugar and a drop of sesame oil. It was so good! Let cook for 5-10 minutes on medium. Add a little cornstarch if you want the sauce thicker. Add noddles to pan, mix and serve!

Lessons learned from Thanksgiving and cooking in the aftermath

Thanksgiving was wonderful! So much food and good times with family! I gave my brother a tray full of food but still had lots of turkey, lobster, mashed potatoes, stuffing, squash and cranberry sauce leftover. Everything turned out mostly like I wanted it to, except the gravy! I put too much vinegar in my brining liquid (I also noticed that I typed the wrong amount on my blog about Thanksgiving! It is now corrected.) The turkey tasted great, but the gravy did not, especially when I added the liquid and veggies from the oven bag I roasted the turkey breasts in. The lemons made it in and really added a bitter taste. So lesson learned is DO NOT put already roasted lemons in the gravy to reduce. To fix this I added some brown sugar and apple cider vinegar and extra stock to take away the bitterness. It was a long day prepping, which it always seems to be no matter how simple I try to make it, but it was fun. The kitchen is my happy place!

Prepping for mashed potatoes and roasting squash and sweet potatoes.

Turkey breasts ready to go in the oven!

Appetizers: meats, cheese ball with crackers, grapes, veggies and homemade white bean hummus. The hummus didn’t quite come out how I wanted, so I’ll post a recipe when I try it again. I tried to substitute sesame oil and peanut butter for tahini (because I forgot to buy it) and the flavor wasn’t quite right.

The table ready for food!

The lobster is ready too!

Plate of many of my favorite things!!

Rolls turned out to be the pita bread I attempted to make the day before. The came out more like rolls than like pita. I used the Grands Biscuits I bought then for a yummy appetizer recipe below. Win win!

Dessert 🙂 Store bought pumpkin pie (delicious!), my favorite Carvel ice cream cake with a turkey on it and pretzel – Hershey’s hugs bites (find here).

Leftover sandwich, yum!

I used the left over roasted squash and sweet potatoes and spinach from the salad to make these little quesadillas. Mix veggies with a cream cheese, shredded cheese, cumin and chili powder. Roll up in a tortilla and cook at 375 for about 5-10 minutes until cheese is gooey! So good and my kids loved it!

Lobster corn chowder was a fun way to use the rest of the lobsters and mashed potatoes. Sauteed 1 medium diced onion in a little olive oil until translucent. Then added mashed potatoes. Once I stirred that around a couple of times, I stirred in chicken stock until it was the consistency I wanted for the soup. Then I added a can of corn. After that, I broke down the rest of the lobsters (saved the shells to make stock) cut the meat into bite size pieces and threw it in the pot. Stirred, tasted for seasoning and added some thyme. Served with grilled cheese. Everyone except my 4 year old loved it! She is going through a non soup phase.

Last meal I made with the leftovers was from one of the Food Network specials I saw just before Thanksgiving. We had an old friend over for dinner and I made these. They were a hit. The only changes I made was to use shredded carrots instead of cucumbers, since I didn’t have any cucumbers and I added some fresh ginger to the cranberry hoisin sauce.

Now that Thanksgiving is over and the leftovers are gone, I am struggling with the energy to cook and be creative. We’ve been eating homemade pizza, pasta and quesadillas. Last night I finally got some energy from somewhere to cook and made pork chops, polenta and peas. Tonight may be another pasta night.

Spaghetti Night!

Your kids have decided this week that they do not like tomatoes or you have to cut them out of your diet, can you still eat spaghetti? Of course! Here is a great recipe I adapted from the KCTS 9 (King County public television) Cooks Family Favorites cookbook (2010). [My Quinoa Butternut Squash Risotto recipe can be found on pg. 323]

Spaghetti with Chinese Sauce (Thank you Lori Lockrey, Scarborough, Ontario!)

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb lean ground pork (I used ground turkey)
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
2 cloves garlic, finely minced (I use jarred minced garlic as a timesaver)
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 lb of spaghettini (I used whole grain spaghetti)
2 Tbsp dry sherry or white wine (optional) [I used white balsamic vinegar, which in general is a good substitute for sherry or white wine. You could also use white wine vinegar]
2 Tbsp cornstarch
cooked lobster or shrimp (optional) [I didn’t use, but if you have leftover, go ahead and throw it in]
1/4 cup sliced green onion [I didn’t have any, so I added about 1/4 tsp of onion powder to the ground turkey]
red pepper flakes (optional)

1 cup frozen edamame
1 tsp grated ginger

Heat oil in large frying pan. Add meat and brown. Add broth, soy sauce, sugar and garlic (and onion powder if you don’t have green onions). I also added the ginger at this point. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Bring a large pot to boil with water. Once boiling add salt and spaghettini and cook according to package directions. Drain when done.

Blend the cold water, sherry or wine or vinegar with cornstarch, stir into frying pan. Simmer until thickened. At this point if you are using shrimp or lobster or frozen edamame, add in to warm about 2 – 3 minutes.

Either stir drained pasta into frying pan or dump sauce over drained noodles, and mix and serve. to with green onion (if you are using) and sprinkle with red pepper flakes (if using).

My kids all ate this up! and my husband did too 🙂

If you are ok with tomatoes, here is a quick 15 minute meal that I made tonight (with whole wheat rotini). I conquered my fear of the microplane! This is the first time I have used it since I cut myself twice trying to assemble it and use it Christmas Eve. Granted that was after 2 glasses of champagne 🙂 I set it up and julienned 1 zucchini! So proud!

I sauteed the zucchini in some olive oil with salt, lemon pepper and a little garlic powder. Then added about 3/4 of a jar of tomato and basil spaghetti sauce with a splash of white balsamic vinegar and just heated through. Toss this with pasta + a little mozzarella cheese. Very tasty! Very easy!

Now that I have conquered my fear of the microplane, we will be having lots of thinly cut veggies over the next few weeks 🙂