Category Archives: Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free Grilling Poultry

Spicy BBQ Chicken Thighs

Grilling season is upon us! Light up your grill, crack open a beer, and start marinating these INCREDIBLE Spicy BBQ Chicken Thighs!

Spicy BBQ Chicken Thighs Recipe

The brown sugar in the marinade creates a succulent glaze on the chicken that will make your taste buds go nuts. Feel free to adjust the sriracha to your desired level of heat. And if you don’t have any sriracha in your cupboard, you can substitute red pepper flakes.

One note for those of you thinking about it…I’ve tried this recipe with chicken breasts and I can strongly attest that is simply is not as good. Thighs are juicier and more flavorful – they are definitely the way to go for this recipe.

Spicy BBQ Chicken Thighs Recipe

For me, the only thing that would make these Spicy BBQ Chicken Thighs better would be to grill them with my dad on our deck in Maine (Hi Dad!). That place is ultimate relaxation for me.

But for now, my teeny tiny porch in LA will have to do 🙂

Spicy BBQ Chicken Thighs Recipe

 

Spicy BBQ Chicken Thighs Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
Instructions
  1. Mix the first seven ingredients in a large bowl. Add the chicken thighs and marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours. Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before grilling to bring to room temperature.
  2. Grill over direct heat for 3-4 minutes on each side*, or until thighs are no longer pink in the middle. Allow to rest for 2 minutes and then serve.
Notes
*You can also cook these on a grill pan over high heat.
 

Appetizer Gluten-Free Snack Vegan

Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bites

As promised, I am sharing a DELICIOUS snack recipe with you guys today. Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bites!

Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bites Recipe

I whipped up these Bites last week and devoured them all within just a phew days. Whoops!

Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bites Recipe

They are super easy to make and I bet you have most of the ingredients in your pantry already. Even if you don’t, no worries! This recipe is extremely customizable. Feel free to substitute dried cranberries for raisins, change up the variety of nuts, sub semi-sweet chocolate for dark, make it your own! This recipe is gluten-free and if you want to make it vegan, just use maple syrup instead of honey.

Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bites Recipe

Make sure you follow the ratios in the recipe, though, or else your bites won’t hold together. You need the correct amounts of wet and dry ingredients or else you’ll end up with Peanut Butter Trail Mix mush, and nobody wants that!

Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bites Recipe

Hope you love these trail mix bites as much as I do! Peanut Butter lovers, this one has your name ALLLLLL over it!

 

Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bites Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 14-16 bites
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cups unsalted almonds*
  • ⅓ cup unsalted cashews*
  • 1 Tablespoon flax seeds
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup dates, chopped
  • ⅛ cups raisins
  • 2 Tablespoons dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon stevia
  • 2-3 Tablespoons honey (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup peanut butter*, melted
  • salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a food processor grind the almonds, cashews, and flax seeds for about 15 seconds or until there are still some chunks of nuts. DO NOT grind to sand-like texture. Remove the nuts from the food processor and place in a large bowl with the oats, dates, raisins, dark chocolate, and stevia. Stir well.
  2. In a small bowl combine the honey (start with 2T and adjust to desired sweetness), vanilla, and peanut butter. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the nut and oat mixture and stir well. Taste mixture and add a pinch of salt if desired. Line a baking sheet or large plate with parchment paper. Using wet hands, roll the mixture into 14-16 balls, slightly smaller than the size of a golf ball. Make sure to pack the mixture tightly. Place the baking sheet in the fridge for at least one hour to harden, then enjoy.
  3. Trail Mix Bites should last in the fridge for 10 days.
Notes
*If using salted nuts and/or peanut butter, I do not recommend adding salt at the end.
 

Gluten-Free Poultry

Persian Chicken Stew (Fesenjan)

I am in one of those phases where I just want to cook the same thing over and over again. It’s not due to a lack of imagination, but rather an addiction to some seriously delicious meals that have come out of my little kitchen recently.

One of them, in particular, is this incredible Persian Chicken Stew, also known as Fesenjan.

Persian Chicken Stew (Fesenjan) Recipe

In this stew chicken is slow cooked in a mixture of ground walnuts, my beloved pomegranate molasses, and an assortment of spices. While this meal does take a little bit more time than I typically like to spend on a weeknight meal, it’s worth it. This warm meal is incredibly comforting on a cold evening, but unlike plenty of “comfort foods,” this Persian Chicken Stew is very healthy.

Persian Chicken Stew (Fesenjan) Recipe

Feel free to increase this recipe if you’re serving more people or want leftovers – the stew reheats very well the next day! I serve this Fesenjen with rice and a side of vegetables, like my Spiced Roasted Carrots (a perfect pairing, in my opinion!). Next time, I am going to try to adapt this recipe for the slow cooker, first browning the chicken and sautéing the onions in pan, and then putting the rest of the ingredients in the slow-cooker to simmer all day.

Persian Chicken Stew (Fesenjan) Recipe

I hope your family loves this meal as much as we do!

 

Persian Chicken Stew (Fesenjan) Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, trimmed of excess fat, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped (1.5 cups)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 Tablespoons pomegranate molasses (Make your own here)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup pomegranate arils, optional for serving
Instructions
  1. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the walnut halves and toast, stirring reguarly for about 8 minutes. Be very careful not to let the walnuts burn. Once lightly browned, remove the walnuts from the pan and place on a plate to cool. Once cool, place in a food processor or blender and grind the walnuts until finely ground (like sand).
  2. Return the pan to medium heat and add 1 Tablespoon of the extra-virgin olive oil. Once hot, add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides. Sprinkle the chicken with salt while it is cooking. Once browned (but NOT cooked through), remove the chicken to a plate.
  3. Add the remaining olive oil to the pan, and then add the onions. Cook until translucent, 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally to remove the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan and add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer on very low heat for 15 minutes, covered.
  4. Stir in the ground walnuts, pomegranate molasses, sugar, and spices. Cover again and cook on very low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and adjust sugar/salt to taste.
  5. Serve with rice and sprinkle with fresh pomegranate arils.
 

Gluten-Free Side Dish

Spicy Braised Kale with Parmesan

The kale craze isn’t over yet, right? Okay, good, because I have a great recipe for you today!

Spicy Braised Kale with Parmesan Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

This spicy braised kale is everything you want in a side dish: quick, easy, and extremely healthy!

Spicy Braised Kale with Parmesan Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

All you need is kale, extra-virgin olive oil, chicken or vegetable broth, red pepper flakes, and parmesan. I bet you already have a majority of that in your pantry, right?

Spicy Braised Kale with Parmesan Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

This is a great way to eat kale for those of you who struggle to digest it. It is no news that kale leaves are extremely tough, making it very difficult for our stomachs to break down. However, when you braise kale in liquid, like in this recipe, the leaves become soft, and thus a lot easier on our bellies.

Spicy Braised Kale with Parmesan Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

The first time I made this braised kale, I ate it on its own (yes, it was that good!) I know it would be a delicious side dish served with my grilled skirt steak or roasted chicken.

 

Spicy Braised Kale with Parmesan Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ lb. Tuscan kale, torn and stems removed
  • ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ⅛ cup shaved parmesan
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat a large pan over medium-low heat. Add the extra-virgin olive oil. Once hot, add the kale in batches (adding an additional handful every 20 seconds or so). Cook until kale begins to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth to the pan, reduce the heat and cover. Simmer for about 12 minutes until the kale is tender and almost all of the liquid is absorbed.
  2. Remove from heat and transfer the kale to a serving dish. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and parmesan. Add a small amount of salt and pepper to taste.
 

Beef and Lamb Gluten-Free Grilling Main Meal

Grilled Skirt Steak Marinade

On Sunday before the Super Bowl, Travis and I grilled up our favorite skirt steak. We love this chili steak marinade SO much. I’ve tried lots of recipes involving a wide variety of ingredients, but this stills stands as my favorite.

Grilled Skirt Steak Marinade Recipe

To call it a marinade isn’t really accurate – it’s more like a rub that contains a small amount of liquid. I actually prefer this because it allows you to get the spices into every little crevice of the meat, ensuring that each bite is packed with flavor.

Grilled Skirt Steak Marinade Recipe

This marinade isn’t just for skirt steak. I’ve used it on flank steak and sirloin as well and both times it tasted great.

This is also the steak marinade I use for my Steak Salad Recipe (see below!)

Grilled Skirt Steak Marinade Recipe

On Sunday, our intention was to grill this bad boy to a perfect medium-rare, but let’s just say that Travis had a few too many Super Bowl beers and might have left it on the grill for an extra minute ;-). Regardless, it was still delicious cooked medium and eaten with approximately 3 lbs. of chips and guac.

Grilled Skirt Steak Marinade Recipe

 

Grilled Skirt Steak Marinade
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1.5 teaspoons chile powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ cup Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1½ lbs skirt steak, trimmed of excess fat
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl combine the chili powder through ground pepper. Add the lime juice and oil and mix well. Rub the marinade (which will be more like a paste) thoroughly over the steak and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.
  2. Grill the steak over direct high heat for 4-6 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Medium-rare should register to 130-135 degrees F on a meat thermometer.
Notes
 

Gluten-Free Tips and Tricks Vegan

Homemade Pomegranate Molasses

As promised,  today I’m sharing a very simple recipe for homemade pomegranate molasses. Some of you have reached out asking where to buy bottled pomegranate molasses, and admittedly, not all grocery stores carry it – not even all Whole Foods.

Homemade Pomegranate Molasses Recipe

Recently my go-to Whole Foods was out of it, so I considered making my own but assumed the process would be a hassle. After a quick internet search, I discovered making homemade pomegranate molasses was so easy! The only ingredients required are pomegranate juice, granulated sugar and fresh lemon juice, and luckily I had all three in my fridge and pantry at the time.

Homemade Pomegranate Molasses Recipe

Now for those of you who have seen pomegranate molasses listed as an ingredient in some of my recipes, such as Muhammara and this Pomegranate Molasses Dressing, and thought it was silly to buy a bottle (or make your own!) for just one recipe – you’re wrong! Pomegranate Molasses is so versatile. I use it in sauces for poultry dishes, dips, salad dressing, and so much more. The flavor is so unique, adding a sweet and tangy component to any dish.

Homemade Pomegranate Molasses Recipe

If you follow this recipe, your homemade pomegranate molasses will stay in the fridge for at least 6 months. I made this batch less than three weeks ago and I am almost out already. Yes, it’s THAT good!

 

Homemade Pomegranate Molasses
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Place the pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the sugar has completely dissolved, stirring occasionally.
  2. Once the sugar has dissolved, reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture has reduced to ½ cup, 40-45 minutes. It should be the consistency of thick syrup.
  3. Remove the molasses from the heat and allow to cool in the saucepan for 20 minutes. Transfer to a glass jar and allow to cool completely before covering and storing in the refrigerator.
 

Breakfast Gluten-Free

Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Frittata

Hi guys! Happy Friday! This week fleeeewww by for me, and I am more than ready for the weekend. Besides a date night with Travis and a friend’s birthday, we don’t have too many plans, so I am really looking forward to just relaxing on the couch for a few hours.

I thew together this incredibly delicious breakfast frittata last weekend with ingredients we just had in our fridge. It was the perfect morning fuel to get us ready for our Saturday workout. This frittata is PACKED with protein from eggs and mozzarella, and if you serve it with a slice of whole wheat toast, it’s the ideal balanced breakfast.

Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Frittata Recipe

I love frittatas because they look impressive, but they are honestly SO easy to make (this one came together in under 15 minutes). Frittatas are also a great way to use up any leftover ingredients in your fridge; almost anything tastes good: roasted red pepper and goat cheese, kale and cherry tomatoes, sausage and leeks, and so on!

Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Frittata Recipe

As soon as I took one bite of this frittata, I said to Travis that the flavor combination tasted just like a pizza. Yeah, it was that good. Try this recipe this weekend, and if you don’t have these exact ingredients, just follow the cooking method below. You’ll be sure to love it!

 

Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Frittata
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 3 whole eggs + 2 egg whites
  • 3 Tablespoons milk (I used 1%, but any kind will do)
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ⅛ cup onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes*, chopped
  • ¼ cup roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 3-4 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, torn
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Turn the oven on to BROIL. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, egg whites and milk. Season with ⅛ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
  2. Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil to the pan and once hot, add the onion, sun-dried tomato, and roasted red peppers. Saute for about 3 minutes. Pour in the egg mixture and allow to cook for about 30 seconds. You can slowly push the mixture around if you need to spread out the veggies. Add in the basil and place the sliced mozzarella over the eggs. Make sure to NOT cook the eggs completely - they should still look wet.
  3. Place the pan in the oven on the top rack and broil on HIGH for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese begins to brown slightly. Remove from the oven and let cool for 1 minute before serving.
Notes
*If sun-dried tomatoes are packed in oil, then rinse them of excess oil.
 

Appetizer Gluten-Free Salad Side Dish Vegetarian Meals

Kale Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing

I bet many of you have jumped on the healthy new year bandwagon, so I’m bringing you a delicious AND nutritious kale salad recipe today.

This salad has everything you need – a great balance of flavors, varying textures, and jam-packed flavor in every bite. You can serve it as an appetizer or feel free to add a piece of protein, such as grilled chicken, and make it a meal of its own.

Kale Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing Recipe

Kale Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing Recipe

Pomegranates are SUPER healthy – they’re packed with antioxidants, which help to protect you from heart disease and cancer. I’ll admit, peeling pomegranates is not my favorite activity, but it’s worth it for the delicious sweet crunch you get from each tiny aril. (Don’t be stupid and wear a white shirt while peeling them like I did – you’ll get the juice everywhere!) I know you can buy the arils on their own, but I find that the price tends to be astronomical, so I usually opt to peel the pomegranate myself.

Kale Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing Recipe

Pomegranate molasses is something I’ve had in my pantry for years and I’ve talked about it a bunch on the blog. I use it in my Muhammara as well as various chicken recipes. It adds a sweet and tangy punch to whatever you’re making. When adding it to a salad dressing, it adds a more complex acidity than you get from lemon juice or vinegar.

Kale Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing Recipe

You can find pomegranate molasses in Middle Eastern supermarkets and I know Whole Foods carries it as well. I actually make my own molasses from pomegranate juice, and I will be sure to share a tutorial on how to do that soon.

Kale Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing Recipe

 

Kale Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
Pomegranate Molasses Dressing
  • 1.5 Tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Salad
  • 6 cups kale, tough ribs removed
  • ⅓ cup pomegranate arils
  • ¼ cup roasted, unsalted pistachios (shelled)
  • ¼ cup shaved parmesan
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the pomegranate molasses, red wine vinegar, dijon, and honey. Slowly drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil to emulsify. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. In a large bowl combine the kale, pomegranate arils, pistachios, and parmesan. Toss with about ¼ cup of dressing, or to taste. Season lightly with salt and pepper. The dressed salad will keep for about 24 hours.
 

Gluten-Free Snack Vegan

Pumpkin Hummus

Clearly I am hooked on making dips right now because today I bring you the most delicious Pumpkin Hummus recipe.

Pumpkin Hummus Recipe

If you’re one of those people obsessed with pumpkin-EVERYTHING as soon as fall hits, you’re going to love this hummus. Even if you’re not, I bet you’ll think this Pumpkin Hummus is A++++ (if I do say so myself).

The pumpkin flavor is faint, but you still definitely know it’s there. The addition of cumin and paprika give this hummus a nice punch of spice.

Pumpkin Hummus Recipe

Bessie REALLY wanted love and attention while I was making this, so I plopped her on one of the dining room chairs, looking into the kitchen.

Bessie Chair

There was something about sitting where “the humans” sit that made her extra content. She settled in and slept on the chair until I was done cooking.

It’s been almost a year since Travis and I first picked her up from the vet to foster her (we only officially adopted her this past July). We have no clue when her birthday is, so we decided we will celebrate it (yes, we’re those people) on the day in January when we first brought her home. The vets estimate that she is 7-8 years old, but we just like to pretend she is only 2, and hope that she lives a loooooooong time.

OK, back to hummus.

Pumpkin Hummus Recipe

Some of you will have all of the ingredients for this hummus in your pantry already. It is very easy to whip up and it lasts in the fridge for about a week. I made a double batch of this hummus for a holiday party, but at the last minute I wasn’t able to attend, so Travis and I ate A LOT of hummus that week. We loved it so much, not a bite of it was wasted!

Enjoy!

 

Pumpkin Hummus
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained, skins removed
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons tahini
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth (about 30 seconds), scraping down the sides as needed. Serve with whole wheat pita and veggie sticks.
 

Gluten-Free Snack

Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

I love eating tapas-style because that way I get to try small bites of many different things. More and more restaurants are offering shared small plates instead of larger dishes, and it is always my preference to order this way, as opposed to getting my own entree. This is probably why I always look forward to snacking at the appetizer table during the holiday season – lots and lots of delicious nibbles to try. Although, I will admit, it is very hard for me to exercise self-control with such a variety in front of me, and I often fill up before the main meal. Oops.

Unfortunately, we all know that a delicious spread of cheeses, breads, crackers, and other bite-sized goodies can often be our winter-diet downfall. So many of these appetizers are calorie-heavy and high in fat. Sure, they taste mighty good, but they aren’t the healthiest option.

Sun-Dried Tomato Dip Recipe

So when Chobani contacted me about creating a recipe for their #MadeWithChobani campaign, I knew right away I wanted to create a healthy appetizer for the holiday season. I cook and bake with greek yogurt a lot. I especially love using yogurt as a substitute for mayonnaise and sour cream in dips. You get that creamy, tangy taste without all of the unnecessary fat and calories. Plus, when you add greek yogurt to any recipe, you give it a great boost in protein!

Sun-Dried Tomato Dip Recipe

If you like sun-dried tomatoes, you are going to love this dip. I had all the ingredients in my fridge and chances are you do, too! This recipe requires only four ingredients and comes together in under five minutes, so it is perfect if you are pinched for time!

Sun-Dried Tomato Dip Recipe

We chowed down on this dip with baked pita chips and carrots sticks. It would also be delicious with sliced bell peppers and warm whole wheat pita. Bring this to your next holiday gathering and people will be begging you for the recipe.

 

I was asked by Chobani to participate in their #MadeWithChobani campaign. This recipe as well as all opinions stated are my own. 

 

Sun-Dried Tomato Dip
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • ½ cup crumbled feta
  • 1 cup Chobani nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes, packed in olive oil (drained)
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl mash the feta crumbles. Stir in the greek yogurt, olive oil, and sun-dried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with pita chips, veggie crudites, or warm pita bread.