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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Soy-Free Chicken Fried Rice (MSPI)


As I've mentioned here and here, when I was eating dairy/soy-free (MSPI diet), I had to completely revamp our meals. Several of the dairy/soy-free dinners were so good that they have stuck around as staples in our rotation. This Chicken Fried Rice is one of them. You can serve it with soy sauce on the side if you don't have a sensitivity to soy, or if there are members of the family that can tolerate it.  Bob usually puts soy sauce and sriracha sauce on it.

Authentic fried rice is made from day-old rice. Since I usually serve the Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs with rice, I make a double batch so I have leftover rice for this recipe the next night.

I prefer chicken thighs for this recipe but have used chicken breasts before and they work too; it's just a matter of personal preference.

Soy-Free Chicken Fried Rice (MSPI Friendly)

2 tablespoons Canola oil, plus extra for cooking chicken
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
salt and pepper to taste
coarse salt
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons water
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
4 cups cooked rice (day-old leftover rice is best)


1. Drizzle Canola oil in a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and place in pan "pretty" side down.  Cook until starting to brown and then flip to finish cooking completely. Remove chicken to a plate until cool enough to handle, shred, and set aside in a warm place.  Set pan aside for use in step 3.

2. In a smaller (medium-sized) nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-low heat; swirl to coat pan. In a small bowl, lightly beat together eggs, 2 teaspoons water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pour into pan; cook, pulling in egg from edge of pan, until set, about 2 minutes. If desired, carefully flip over for a few seconds. Transfer to a plate; when cool enough to handle, cut into strips.

3. In large skillet, heat remaining tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add scallions and garlic; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add rice; season with salt to taste. Cook, stirring often, until very hot, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar, peas, eggs, and shredded chicken; cook until very hot, about 2 minutes.

Source: Adapted from Martha Stewart

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs (MSPI)


I mentioned in this post that I had to be dairy-free soy-free for several months when Ella was a new baby. One of our favorite dinners that I found when searching for MSPI Friendly recipes is this recipe for Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs. We all love these, and I continue to make them despite no longer having to be dairy/soy-free.  I usually serve them with plain, steamed rice and sautéed sugar snap peas. I will soon post my favorite MSPI Friendly Fried Rice recipe that I make using the leftover rice from this dinner!

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs

2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika (I used smoked paprika)
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne - can reduce if sensitive to spice)
~ 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Canola cooking spray (that does not contain soy) or Canola oil
6 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1. Preheat broiler. Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray with Canola cooking spray or brush with Canola oil.

2. Combine first six ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken to bowl; toss to coat. Place chicken on pan.

3. Broil chicken 5 minutes on each side.

4. Meanwhile, combine honey and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well.

5. Remove chicken from oven; brush half of the honey mixture on chicken. Broil 1 minute.

6. Remove chicken from oven and turn over. Brush chicken with remaining honey mixture. Broil 1 additional minute or until chicken is done.

Source: MSPI Mama, adapted from Cooking Light

Sunday, November 1, 2015

New England Sausage and Dried Cranberry Stuffing


Now that Halloween is officially over, it's time to start getting our Thanksgiving menus together. We always have our traditional Thanksgiving Dressing on Turkey Day, but a few years ago when my we started having a December "Dickens Dinner" with my sister's family, I started making this New England Sausage and Dried Cranberry Stuffing. Since I don't eat pork, I substitute chicken or turkey sausage and even the pork-eaters love this stuffing. Whether you're looking for a new recipe for Thanksgiving or one of the many holiday dinners ahead of us, this recipe is worth trying!

New England Sausage and Dried Cranberry Stuffing

Serves 5 - 6 

6 cups white bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 pound sausage, casings removed (traditional, chicken, or turkey)
1/4 stick butter
3 cups onion
1/2 pound tart green apples (or your choice), peeled, cored, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 1/2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup chicken broth 

1. Place bread cubes on a large baking sheet and bake until slightly dry, about 15 - 20 minutes. Cool completely. You can also leave the cubes out overnight to dry.

2. Sauté the sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, crumbling coarsely with the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a large bowl. Pour off any drippings from the skillet.

3. Using the same skillet, melt the butter. Add the onions, apples, celery, and poultry seasoning to the skillet. Sauté until onions are softened, about 5 – 8 minutes.

4. Mix in dried cranberries. Add the mixture to the sausage, then mix in the bread, eggs, and parsley. Season stuffing to taste with salt and pepper. Add the chicken broth to moisten stuffing depending on how most you like it (can be prepared one day ahead. Cover and refrigerate).

5. Butter a baking dish (I used a 7 x 11-inch glass dish). Transfer stuffing to the dish, cover, and bake at 350F until heated through, about 45 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Source: Adapted from The Food

Notes: I halved the original recipe, which serves 10. It calls for 4 teaspoons of chopped fresh rosemary (so that would be 2 teaspoons for the half batch) and the parsley to be fresh. Due to personal preference, I omitted the rosemary and substituted dried parsley.

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