Salads for EVERYONE

I’m sure most of you know how to make a salad.  At my house everyone likes their salads to be personalized. My husband wants cheese and croutons (not gf croutons or dairy free cheese…), I like spinach, Kenzie loves lots of goat cheese, and Alex won’t touch a salad with a 10 foot pole! Since going gluten-free I have become a regular salad eater. I probably have a salad for at least one meal everyday.  I have learned that what I use to think was a basic salad no longer does it for me, especially since I eat them so often. So I decided to blog about my new love for salads and the many ways to “spin” a salad. I have also incorporated as many “superfoods” or healthy veggies in my salads to get the ultimate health benefits. So even though, Chris loves to load up on cheese and dressing, he doesn’t notice if I mix in a little spinach with the romaine. SHHHH….Don’t tell!

Essentials to a Healthier Salad

Romaine Lettuce (Vitamin A, C, manganese, chromium)

Spinach (Iron, folate, and loaded with antioxidants)

Kale (Vitamin C, beta-carotene, calcium and antioxidants)

Slivered almonds (monounsaturated fatty acids)

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (One serving has only 2.5 grams of fat and 22 grams of protein!)

Black Beans (antioxidants and magnesium)

Broccoli (Vitamin C and K, Calcium)

Avocados (Fiber)

Mandarin oranges ( Vitamins C and A plus fiber)

Dried Cranberries (Vitamin C and antioxidants)

Edamame (Tons of fiber and protein)

pomegranates (vitamin C and antioxidants)

So make yours mexican…black beans, avocado and some salsa mixed in with your dressing.  You can top them so many different ways, the options are endless! I like to have mine with spinach, mandarin oranges, pomegranates, grilled chicken and poppy seed dressing.  I use Briannas Home Style Dressings because they are all natural ingredients. The poppy seed is fantastic. Also, you can always throw together a quick dressing with a little extra virgin olive oil and some fresh or dried herbs.

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Gluten-Free Noodles in Chicken Noodle Soup

Grandma Dee Dee’s homemade noodles use to take up about 3/4 of my plate at holiday dinners.  The woman always had noodles made. You can bet, if you were at her house she either had noodles drying on the counter or yeast rolls rising in the basement.  So I have to say, the hardest thing besides pizza was losing those noodles at Christmas! 

Another sad state of affairs? Chicken noodle soup. Now, I never ever had attempted to make chicken noodle soup ever. Why would I?  Usually, when I wanted chicken noodle soup the kids or I were sick.  It was as easy as having Chris stop at the store for some sprite and Campbell’s soup.  Those days are gone. There is one brand that makes a GF version, but it just doesn’t measure up for me. 

When trying to come up with a GF version for noodles, I began with Grandma’s recipe.  Passed down thru the generations, I grabbed my Cornelius Family Cookbook (Thanks to my cousin Mandy, who took the time to compile all of Grandma’s recipes into a book for the whole family.)  The funniest thing about that recipe is that it is so vague!!! 1 cup of egg yolks! Just add flour til it looks right???? What do I do with this? I decided to just throw caution to the wind and give it a whirl.

She was right…I mean, I didn’t know how much flour I exactly used. I just had to wait until the consistency was right. So here I am doing the exact same thing and very vaguely handing you a recipe.  I used oil in my recipe and of course added a little xanthan gum. I also figured that my regular flour mixture wouldn’t give it the right texture.  I used tapioca flour and it seemed to work well.  In the pictures my noodles look like McDonald’s french fries, but hey this is all about taste, right?

When I try this again, I would probably use a little less flour and roll a bit thinner.  I like thick noodles, but these took awhile to cook. 

Another option, if you don’t want to spend the time making noodles is to just buy rice macaroni pasta. 

So…Here it is!  It might take a few tries, but the end result is yummy!

Noodles

1 cup egg yolks (about6-8)

Tapioca flour or cornstarch

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 tsp. xanthan gum

1/2 tsp. salt

water if needed

Beat egg yolks then add in oil.  Mix in salt and tapioca flour until you get a consistency that is good for rolling out.

(anywhere between 1-2 cups is what I used plus some for rolling out) Add water if you think it gets too thick.  Roll out at desired thickness and cut with pizza cutter into strips. Let dry.

Chicken Noodle Soup

4 cups chicken stock or broth (Make sure it doesn’t have wheat!!!!)

1/2 c. onion

1/2 c. carrot

1/2 c. celery

Fresh mushrooms (if desired)

1/2 tbsp. fresh parsley

1/2 tsp. Thyme

1 Bay leaf

Noodles

2 c. Cooked chicken cubed

I used a crock pot to make my soup and just added all the ingredients and cooked on low. If you do it this way don’t add the noodles until the middle of cooking time.  (about 6 hours)

Over the stove heat broth, onion, carrots, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and salt and pepper until boiling. Add noodles and simmer about 8-9 minutes.  Add chicken and simmer for about 20 minutes.