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The Chic Bag Chick

I love Jesus, am married to a firefighter, am a nurse, learning to cook (while dealing with a gluten allergy), sew, and keep house, love to crochet, and am a planner fanatic, as well as run several small businesses. This is my life…a little bit of everything, which you'll find here on this blog!

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Gluten free

Whole30 day 1!

Well, today we started our Whole30, but yesterday was so busy, that I woke up this morning with the “oh crap!” feeling…because I hadn’t had a chance to prepare breakfast ahead of time, or even go grocery shopping! 😳 lol thankfully, we already had sweet potatoes and eggs, so I whipped up some breakfast. I have to admit, it was nice to sit and have a quick breakfast together! We have never done that, due to varying work schedules and of course, health problems that make me exhausted. But this was nice.

Day 1 breakfast: sweet potatoes fried in coconut oil, and eggs fried in olive oil (didn’t work well lol, but I didn’t have ghee).

Then, I loaded up my meal planner and grocery list (I’ll be doing a blog post soon on my recent “conversion” to the Happy Planner,  and why it makes my life so much more organized! 😁), and headed to the one and only, Costco. 😜


I had to hit Walmart for green onions and cilantro, but was able to get most everything at Costco. We are already stocked on beef and chicken, so this is pretty much all fresh produce, and it made me extremely happy! I already felt healthier. 😂


For lunch, I was going to need to hurry and make my own taco seasoning, since our pre-made, store-bought mix has sugar in it. 😖

Taco seasoning:

1/2 cup chili powder

2 Tbsp garlic powder

1/4 cup onion powder

1 Tbsp pepper

1 Tbsp smoked paprika

1 Tbsp salt

2 Tbsp cumin powder

1/4 cup dried chopped onion

Mix together! I found that it takes about 2 Tbsp per pound of ground beef, depending on your taste. I added only a tiny bit of water to my ground beef to mix this in. It was so delicious, I think we will keep making our own! There is plenty left, so I stored in a Rubbermaid, since we have several taco-themed items on the menu. 


Day 1 lunch: Lettuce Wrap Tacos

Lettuce leaves (we like this artisan romaine at Costco-it’s perfect for wraps!)

Diced tomatoes or salsa (I hadn’t made homemade, sugar free salsa yet)

Browned ground beef with the homemade taco seasoning from above 

It was amazingly delish! 


After lunch, I sat down to check out what I needed to do next, according to my meal plan for the week. I’m a huge believer in prepping food ahead of time, although I’m still working on how to most efficiently execute that idea lol.


I started dinner while also prepping some breakfast items.

I put 2 sweet potatoes in my Instant Pot on a trivet with 1 cup of water, placed the lid on and turned the valve to seal, and set to cook on manual for 23 minutes.


I had cooked up some sugar free bacon, and saved the bacon grease…so I chopped up some red potatoes, and threw those in to cook. *licks lips*


I put the salmon in a bit later, I cut into fillets, and layered on a trivet in my second IP with 1 cup of water. Looking back, I would’ve cut that large piece in half, even though it was thin. And I also would’ve layered foil, because when it was finished, the fillets suck together pretty good. 🙈 

Anyway, I sprinted a bit of Italian seasoning, and set that on manual for 6 minutes.


Next, I worked on making Mini Breakfast Egg Bakes to have on hand for the mornings. 

Ingredients:

Cooked and crumbled bacon, desired amount

Approx. 4 cups spinach, chopped or torn into smaller pieces

Approx. 2 cups chopped mushrooms

Approx. 25 eggs, beaten (makes 24 servings)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. After preparing all ingredients, start by placing spinach, mushrooms, and bacon into muffin tins. I try and make sure not too much is sticking out. This picture just shows the various layers I did while filling the cups.


2. Pour beaten egg over ingredients in muffin tins. Don’t fill too full! (I seasoned my egg with a bit of Montreal steak seasoning)


3. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until cooked through. 

When we took ours our, for some reason, some of the egg puffed up super high!  😂 I tried to get a pic, but they were already settling down, and eventually went back to normal size.


I stuck them in a Rubbermaid with foil layers, and then we can grab a couple out of the fridge on busy mornings and reheat in the microwave. Yum!


When the potatoes finished, I put them in a container for quick breakfasts or snacks. So delicious!!


Ok, back to dinner! The potatoes and salmon finished about the same time. Naturally release the salmon, don’t do a quick release ok the IP.

I removed the sweet potatoes and placed on our plates, emptied the IP, poured a cup of water in, and then put the steamer basket in with some broccoli, and set on “steam” with a time of “0.” When it finishes, use a quick release for the steam. This cooks it so incredibly quick, I love it!


Day 1 supper: “Baked” (IP) Sweet Potatoes with coconut oil and cinnamon, IP Salmon, and Steamed Broccoli


Overall, even in the rush, today was a success! 

Now on to tomorrow! 😁

Mission: Healthy lifestyle

Well, here I sit, at almost the heaviest I’ve ever been. *sigh*

How did I get here? A combination of various medical issues, including PCOS, Hashimoto’s, a wheat allergy, narcolepsy, and 11 miscarriages. My body hates me so badly. Ugh. I feel sluggish, and walk around with a foggy brain most of the time. People throw these kind of symptoms around to describe a hangover, or staying up til 3am and having to be up for work again by 6, but these symptoms are no joke to me. They bog me down, prevent me from getting hardly anything done, and they can throw in a bad day with no warning, leaving me unable to do much other than sleep and hit the bathroom. It’s torturous. 

We’ve cleaned up our eating considerably over the years…when we got married almost 4 years ago, we lived off convenience foods. It was horrendous. Almost 2 years ago, we discovered that a large portion of my mysterious health problems was being caused by a serious wheat allergy. It’s rough! So we’ve eliminated wheat in every tiny form, and rarely eat out due to cross-contamination risks, and also budget. 

But it’s still not enough! AGH!

So, we are embarking on the Whole30 journey, and I intend to blog my way through! So if you’re interested in doing it yourself, you’ll be able to see firsthand how I feel, look, and what I eat! =D

Bring it on!!

Gluten free sweet potato casserole (utilizing Instant Pot)

This is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted, hands down! My only problem with is is that I didn’t have enough marshmallows on hand lol! I would’ve covered the dish entirely, and mini marshmallows probably would’ve been better. But it tasted AMAZING, so who really cares? 😜

Ingredients:

1.5 cups water

Approx. 4 large sweet potatoes, cut into chunks (I filled almost the whole IP up!)

2 Tbsp butter

1/4 cup 1/2 & 1/2

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 Tbsp brown sugar

Salt to taste

Topping:

8 Tbsp butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose gluten free flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup chopped pecans

4-5 cups marshmallows (you can use large or mini)
Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

1. Place water and cut potatoes in Instant Pot, cover and place steam valve to sealed, and turn on manual, and set to 20 minutes. 


2. QR when done, mash sweet potatoes, and add 2 Tbsp butter, 1/2 & 1/2, pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, and dash of salt. Mix well, and spoon into a rectangle baking dish evenly.

3. Mix topping ingredients together in small/medium bowl.

4. Add topping and marshmallows, and bake 10-15 min, or until marshmallows are golden brown. 

Enjoy! Mmmm!

Gluten free pumpkin cheesecake!

Ingredients:

Crust:

1.5 cups gluten free graham cracker crumbs 

5 Tbsp sugar (white or brown)

1/3 cup melted butter

Filling:

3 8oz cream cheese blocks, softened (it’s very important that they are extremely softened, I learned lol)

1.5 cups sugar

4 eggs, separated

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp pumpkin spice blend

1/2 to 1 cup canned pumpkin (measure to your liking of how “pumpkin-y” you want this)

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg


Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 

1. Mix crust ingredients and press to bottom of 9 inch springform pan.


2. In bowl of electric mixer, beat egg whites until fluffy, then add sugar and beat.

3. In another bowl, beat egg yolks, cream cheese, spices, vanilla, and pumpkin. 

4. Then add egg white/sugar mix and blend until smooth.



5. Pour mixture into crusted pan.



6. Bake 40 minutes, then turn off oven and leave cheesecake in oven for 40 min. Remove and let cool, chill for 2-4 hours before serving. 

Enjoy!! =D

Gluten free chicken and dumplings!

Ingredients:

2 frozen chicken breasts

9.5 cups chicken broth

2 tsp Montreal steak seasoning

3 cups sliced carrots

3 cups sliced celery

1 onion, chopped

Dumpling ingredients:

2 cups gluten free flour (I used Pillsbury for these)

4 tsp baking powder

2 tsp white sugar

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp butter

1 cup milk

Directions:

1. Put 1.5 cups chicken broth and frozen chicken in IP. 

2. Cook on poultry setting for 10 minutes, then let pressure naturally release.

3. While chicken is cooking, make dumplings. 

Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl and mix together. 

4. Cut in butter, then add milk and mix (May need more or less milk…add and mix slowly)

5. When chicken is finished cooking, place in mixer and turn on low setting to shred!

6. Add 8 cups of chicken broth to the IP, along with chicken, onions, celery, carrots, and Montreal steak seasoning. 

7. Cook on manual for 8 minutes, then quick release. 

8. Turn pot on sauté, and add dumplings, leave on sauté until cooked, approx. 5-10 minutes. 

Yum!!

Add pepper to taste. =D

Cheesy cauliflower bake

Ingredients:

6-8 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 cup mayonnaise 

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup chopped chives

2 cups shredded cheese

Approx. 6 cups of cauliflower in bite-sized pieces

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

1. I used my IP to cook my cauliflower, because it cooked super quickly, and I didn’t have to watch it, so I prepped the rest of the ingredients while it cooked lol. But you can cook it whatever way you want! 

So, for IP:

Place 1 cup of water in IP, then put in a steamer basket. 

Place cauliflower in basket, turn IP on steam, and place minutes on “0.” (Did you know you can do this? Lol it cooks them perfectly, it gets up to pressure and then that’s the right amount of time!) QR, drain, and let cool a bit.


2. Combine 1 cup of the shredded cheese (I used a mix of mozzarella and a Mexican blend), half the bacon crumbles, half the chives, the sour cream, mayo, and cauliflower. Mix well. 

3. Place in baking dish, and sprinkle the rest of the cheese and bacon over top. 

4. Bake 15-20 minutes until cheese is golden brown.

5. Sprinkle the rest of the chives on top, and serve! It’s also delicious with a little bit of pepper!

Instant Pot corn chowder (gluten free)

This is definitely one of our staples now! We’ve made some tweaks and changes until we finally found the right combination of delicious ingredients, so here’s our perfected recipe! Take it and tweak it to make it your own if you choose! 🙂

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp butter

6 large leeks, sliced

7 cups chicken broth (I use water mixed with better than buillion chicken base)

2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

8 Tbsp corn starch mixed in small amount cold water

Bacon crumbles (desired amount)

1/8 cup minced garlic

10-12 cups cubed potatoes (I prefer red)

1/4 cup diced jalapeños (Or to taste)

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper to taste

Pinch of sugar

Pinch cayenne 

4-6 cups frozen corn

2 cooked chicken breasts, cubed (I cook in the IP while I prep the other ingredients)

1 tsp of each: turmeric, Montreal steak seasoning, dried thyme, dried oregano, chili powder, paprika, cumin, onion powder

Directions:

1. Turn IP on sauté, and adjust to medium heat if necessary. Melt butter and add sliced leeks, garlic, and jalapeños. Sauté for approx. 2 minutes. Turn IP off.

2. Stir in broth, add potatoes, seasonings (except sugar), bay leaf, bacon and chicken. 

3. Add cornstarch/water mixture, and stir well.

4. Cook on manual for 10 minutes, let pressure release naturally for several minutes, then quick release (turn valve to “vent”) the rest of the way.

5. Stir in corn, sugar, and whipping cream until heated through.

Serve and enjoy!! Mmm!

Instant Pot salmon! Gluten-free

Salmon…yum!

We love salmon, but after getting our IP, I was curious how it would cook this yummy-ness. It did not disappoint, let me tell ya! Perfectly cooked, moist, tender and flaky…and flavor sealed in like only and IP can do! *licks lips* I don’t think we will ever revert to previous cooking methods!

Ok, here ya go!

Ingredients:

Desired amount of salmon fillets

2 lemons (juice one, slice the other)

Chili pepper to taste

Sea salt to taste 

Pepper to taste

Johnny’s garlic spread to taste

Paprika to taste

Turmeric to taste

Lemon pepper to taste

1 cup water

Directions:

1. Place rack in IP, and fill with the water.

2. Rub fillets (cut to fit in IP) with spices and pour the juice of one lemon over top.

3. Place lemon spices on top of fillets.

4. Turn release valve to “seal,” and cook on manual for 5 minutes.

5. Let pressure naturally release (don’t touch the pressure valve when it beeps). This takes several minutes…just test it by carefully tapping the pressure valve to see if there is still steam left to release. When no steam comes out, it’s ok to open.

Enjoy!

We love it served with mashed potatoes (doctored up with butter, sour cream, and seasonings), and green beans (spread fresh green beans  on cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with Montreal steak seasoning and garlic salt/spread, bake at 400° for 10-15 minutes until tender)!

😋

Zuppa Toscana soup in the Instant Pot (gluten free)

Ingredients:

1/4 cup cooked bacon, crumbled 

1 lb Jimmy Dean all natural sausage

Minced garlic to taste

4 cups kale

1 onion, chopped

Approx. 5 cups cubed potatoes

1/8 cup better than buillion chicken base 

7 cups water

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tbsp red pepper flakes

1 tbsp Montreal steak seasoning

3 tbsp Italian seasoning

Directions:

1. Brown sausage in IP on sauté setting.

2. Add onion and garlic and sauté 2 minutes.

3. Turn off Instant Pot. 

4. Mix chicken base and hot water together.

5. Add potatoes, bacon, chicken base/water mix, and seasonings to IP. 

6. Cook on soup setting for 15 min.

7. NR or QR, being careful to keep it from spewing liquid out.

8. Add kale and stir until wilted. 

9. Add cream and serve (tastes great topped with Parmesan!).


This is one of our all-time favorites! The IP makes it taste like it’s been simmering all day! It really seals in the flavor! ☺

Enjoy!

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