Green Chili Chicken and Kobucha Squash Enchilada Casserole

Green Chili Chicken and Kobucha Squash Enchiladas (Gluten Free) // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Are you feeling adventurous? Of course you are. It’s after Christmas and we are revving up for the New Year. It is time for those New Year’s resolutions…such as trying new veggies!!!!

Drum roll please……….First up is Kobucha Squash!

Green Chili Chicken and Kobucha Squash Enchiladas (Gluten Free) // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

This amazing and delightful winter squash looks like a green pumpkin and is actually referred to as a Japanese pumpkin. It is often used in Thai curry and is quite flavorful. In fact, I think it tastes better than butternut squash and WAY better than regular orange pumpkin.

*GASP* Yah you heard me.  I’ve just found the better pumpkin replacement. Get on it, friends.  It even packs a lower calorie count than butternut squash with only 40 calories in a single cup compared to 60 calories per cup for butternut squash. It also has half the carbs of butternut squash (7 grams versus 16 grams). This puppy is WAY healthier than sweet potatoes too!

Once you cut into this green pumpkin, you are greeted with bright orange flesh which provides a fabulous dose of beta-carotene and vitamin A! The Kobucha contains plenty of other awesome attributes such as being loaded with fiber, iron, vitamin C, and some B vitamins. Can I get an AMEN!

Green Chili Chicken and Kobucha Squash Enchiladas (Gluten Free) // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Green Chili Chicken and Kobucha Squash Enchiladas (Gluten Free) // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Well-stocked grocery stores or farmers markets will have Kobucha Squash. If you are unable to locate this awesome gem of a veg, you can substitute the Kobucha Squash for Butternut Squash.  If you don’t have butternut squash, you also could use sweet potatoes.

Now lets talk about this Green Chili Chicken and Kobucha Squash Enchilada Casserole. They are literally the best enchiladas I have EVER made. Literally. The roasted Kobucha Squash help make these comforting and creamy without being doused in tons of cheese. Also, I like making this dish more lasagna style with layers of tortillas, filling, cheese, and sauce instead of nice and neat rolled up enchiladas. To me, it is much easier and just as super tasty.

Green Chili Chicken and Kobucha Squash Enchiladas (Gluten Free) // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

These enchiladas do take some prep time.  However, most of the steps can be done ahead of time. You can marinate the chicken up to one day ahead of time. The Kobucha Squash can be carved and cubed several days in advance, placed in a container, and refrigerated. (Note – I recommend microwaving the Kobucha Squash for 2 minutes to make it easier to carve up.) You can even roast the chicken, shred it, and refrigerate it in advance too. To be honest, this whole casserole can be assembled up to one day in advance and cooked the next day, making it the perfect dish for entertaining or for an easy weeknight meal.

I hope you enjoy this amazingly flavorful, delicious, and nutritious dish. And give yourself a big pat on the back for branching out and trying a new veggie!

Green Chili Chicken and Kobacha Squash Enchiladas (Gluten Free)

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs chicken thighs or chicken breast (preferably organic)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • juice of 1 lime (about 4 tablespoons)
  • 3 cups cubed Kobucha squash (butternut squash or sweet potatoes could be substituted)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 4 oz canned diced green chilis
  • 16 oz gluten-free tomatillo salsa verde
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 8 to 10 gluten-free corn tortillas, cut into quarter sections

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray two rimmed baking sheets with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. Place chicken thighs in a medium bowl. Combine coriander, cumin, chile powder, and salt in a small bowl. Add half of spice mixture to chicken and reserve the other half.  Add half of lime juice to chicken. Toss chicken with spices and allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes or refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
  3. Place cubed kobucha squash and diced onion in a separate large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Stir in remaining spice mixture. Place cubed winter squash as a single layer on rimmed baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Stir vegetables and place back in oven to cook for an additional 25 minutes. At this time, add chicken to a rimmed baking sheet and cook for 25 minutes. Remove both the roasted squash and baked chicken from oven. Turn down the oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Using two forks, shred baked chicken. Place shredded chicken, roasted squash and onions, juice of half a lime, 1/4 cup diced cilantro, canned green chilis, and 1/3 cup salsa verde in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  5. Spray or grease an 8X11 baking dish. Place 1/3 cup salsa verde in bottom of baking dish. place 10 to 12 quarter sections of tortillas in bottom of dish on top of salsa verde in a single layer, slightly overlapping each other.  Spoon out half of shredded chicken mixture and smooth over the tortillas. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of salsa verde and 1/2 cup cheese on top. Layer with 10 more tortilla wedges. Spread out remaining chicken filling on top of tortilla wedges. Top with remaining tortilla wedges. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded cheese and remaining salsa verde.
  6. Place baking dish into preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Serve with extra salsa verde, chopped cilantro, and greek yogurt.

Notes:

  • For dairy free version, do not use cheese.
  • For vegetarian version, replace chicken with 2 cups cooked black beans.
  • These enchiladas can be prepared up to 1 day ahead of time through step 5. Cover and refrigerate. When ready to cook, remove from refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before placing in middle rack of preheated oven. Cook for at least 30 minutes.

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Broccoli, Apple, and Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Tahini-Maple Dressing

Broccoli, Apple, and Brussels Sprout Salad with Tahini-Maple Dressing // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Welcome the season of “How Many Parties, Booze, Snacks, Sweets, Treats, and Good Times Can I Shove Into My Face and Schedule”.

But there is one big problem with this season.

My stomach. She’s such a fun killer.

Broccoli, Apple, and Brussels Sprout Salad with Tahini-Maple Dressing // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Broccoli, Apple, and Brussels Sprout Salad with Tahini-Maple Dressing // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Given my cranky belly and gluten intolerance, I often go to holiday parties and find that there is hardly anything that I can eat without severe consequences. Lately, my trick for getting through party after party is to bring a delicious, healthy, and festive dish that I can eat and enjoy. By doing this I hopefully won’t be the one over in the corner munching on a pound of carrots and staring like a voracious dog at others eating seven layer bars, molasses cookies, sausage balls, and chocolate covered pretzels…. “No no no, I’m good. I LOOOOVE carrots. I hate other delicious things. No go on. Please keep eating. Please, I’m fine. I’m FIIIINE.”

This Broccoli, Apple, and Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Tahini-Maple Dressing has been my go to Christmas salad this season.  It’s incredibly delicious with great crunch from the broccoli and brussels sprouts and crisp apple. Plus the savory tahini-maple dressing will have you wanting to lick the spoon! I have taken this salad to four different parties and have had great responses. It also holds up very well as leftovers for lunch the next day.

Broccoli, Apple, and Brussels Sprout Salad with Tahini-Maple Dressing // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Oh and look how festive this salad looks! Greed, Red, and White! Sometimes I even add dried cranberries for more red pop!

So Happy Holidays to you and yours!  Make a plan during this holiday season and don’t get overwhelmed!  You can do it!

Broccoli, Apple, and Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Tahini-Maple Dressing

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 broccoli crowns, florets only, chopped
  • 1/2 lb brussels sprouts (about 2 big handfuls), stems removed and discolored leaves discarded
  • 1 large honey crisp apple, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta (do not include for dairy free option)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Tahini-Maple Dressing

  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. Chop the broccoli into small bite size pieces and place in a large bowl. Use a sharp chef’s knife or mandolin slicer to slice the brussels sprouts as thin as possible. Alternately, a food processor’s slicing disk could be used. Add the brussels sprouts to the large bowl with the broccoli.
  2. In a separate small jar or bowl, whisk the tahini, lemon juice, and maple syrup together to form a paste. Add water one tablespoon at a time until the mixture is creamy and pourable like vinaigrette (not too watery). Pour the dressing over the broccoli and brussels sprouts and toss to combine.  (The salad can be made a few hour ahead of time to this point and refrigerated).
  3. Add the chopped apple, feta, and sliced almonds to the salad and toss lightly.  Serve immediately.

Notes

  • For paleo friendly, vegan friendly, and dairy free, do not include the feta cheese.
  • If you don’t have tahini, almond butter could be used.
  • For added protein and a complete meal, add some cooked quinoa or shredded chicken.

Smoky Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet

Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Breakfast is a hallowed time in our home. Not brunch…breakfast. I primarily blame my husband for this tradition. He isn’t one for typical traditions but when it comes to breakfast on the weekend, it is sacred, it has to be from a skillet, and it happens before 9AM.  He was the crazy friend in college that would wake up one too many friends knocking on their door at 7 AM saying “it’s BREAKFAST TIME”.

AT SEVEN AM…

in COLLEGE. uuuuuh.

God bless him.

But now that we are in our mid-thirties, 7 AM is not that early to me anymore. My hubby still wakes up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (ugh) on Saturday or Sunday morning and says, “It’s BREAKFAST TIME”.  Usually there is a dance that goes with this statement as he pulls out his most prized flea-market find, an old Griswold cast iron skillet that he lugged back from MARFA, TEXAS on a PLANE.

God bless him.

Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Sunday mornings in our home consist of putting on a record, firing up the cast iron skillet, and brewing a pot of coffee. Currently, I have Sturgill Simpson on repeat and this Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet heating up. This breakfast skillet is similar to a breakfast hash that I get at my favorite breakfast spot in KC called Urban Table. There is something about getting breakfast served to you in a skillet, am I right?

Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

I love the flavors of this breakfast with the smokey bacon, seared brussels sprouts, caramelized onions, and sweet potatoes.  I season the whole shabang with a spicy kick from the chipotle powder and smoked paprika, adding to the smokiness of the bacon.

Oh and a few cook’s notes –

1. Be sure to dice your sweet potatoes rather small so that they cook all the way through quickly.

2. If your brussels sprouts are humongous, just quarter them. Basically you want them to be just a bit larger than the sweet potatoes because the brussels sprouts will cook faster than the sweet potatoes. Cooking pieces that are slightly larger will allow them to be done at about the same time.

3. If you are serving this to tiny tots or people with a spice intolerance, I would hold off on the chipotle powder and use chili powder or nothing.  Chipotle powder is quite spicy.

4. To finish the whole thing off, cook the eggs separately to each persons desired consistency.  I love my eggs either poached or sunny side up, but the Breakfast Man likes over-easy eggs.

5. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, cry yourself to sleep and hope that santa brings you one. But never fear, you can make this in a regular skillet OR you could even roast your veggies (tossed with olive oil) in a 450F preheated oven for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time.

Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

So throw on some warm socks, brew a pot of coffee, and pull out your skillet. BECAUSE IT IS BREAKFAST TIME!!!!!

Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet

  • Servings: 2 to 4
  • Difficulty: Easy/Medium
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Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 slices of smoky thick cut bacon, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup of small brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 to 4 large eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add bacon and cook until the fat is rendered and the pieces are just crisp (not burned!). Remove the bacon slices using a slotted spoon and place on a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
  2. Reduce the heat under the skillet, add the sliced, sweet potato cubes, and halved brussels sprouts and stir to coat with the bacon grease. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until the sweet potato has softened. Add bacon and spices to the veggie skillet and stir to coat. Turn off heat.
  3. In a separate skillet, poach or fry eggs to desired consistency. Spoon out portions of the brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes onto separate plates and top with eggs.

Cook’s Notes

1. Adapted from my favorite breakfast at Urban Table and How Sweet Eats’ Brussels Sprouts Breakfast Hash.

2. This dish serves 2 GENEROUSLY or 4 smaller portions. If serving a crowd, serve with a fruit salad.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Pumpkin Bread // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

I was an only child until I was almost 11 years old. Then came my brother…and then a sister four years later. And then… four years later my mom asked me “Do you want another brother or another sister?” and my unfortunate response was “Neither”.

But despite my lack of enthusiasm…sixteen years ago today, my youngest sister was born. I was in college.  In the midst of college finals and stress and sleepless nights, I had just gained a new sister. I went home for Christmas break and stayed up all night with my newborn sister, watching 24-hours of Christmas Story over and over and over so that my mom could get some sleep.

And that’s when I fell in love with that little bundle of joy. I was so happy to have her in my life.

She was so tiny, so beautiful, so new.

And so LOUD! Holy crap.That kid could cry!

Newborns.

Yikes. Talk about insta-birth control for a college kid. Ovaries on shutdown mode. Thanks!

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Pumpkin Bread // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Pumpkin Bread // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Over the years, watching her grow up has been amazing. She is a talented young girl who is super creative and has the biggest heart. I was always worried that the age difference between the two of us would be hard to stay close. When I moved away 6 years ago, it killed me to know that I wouldn’t be able to go to her sports games or see her get awards or be there for her birthdays. I was missing out on all those little moments.

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Pumpkin Bread // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

I was really lucky this past weekend because I was able to see her and my other sister and brother for Thanksgiving! I couldn’t get enough.

I whipped up a double batch of this pumpkin bread and took it to Thanksgiving for breakfast since pumpkin is one of her favorite flavors. It is moist, light, fragrant, and nutritious! Aaaaand did I mention that it was gluten free and dairy free? Double bonus.  But seriously, friends, I was blown away by how perfect this pumpkin bread turned out.  It uses only two flours: oat flour and almond flour.  Arrowroot powder is also used to keep the loaf from being too dense. It is simply amazing.

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Pumpkin Bread // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

This recipe makes a double batch which is super helpful during the holidays. You can always give a loaf away to a friend as a gift, or wrap it up tightly and freeze it for later. I promise that you WON’T regret having two loaves.

So Haaaaaappy Birthday to my lovely and beautiful little sister. I am so glad that you were born, because I gained a sister and a friend. Hope you have a wonderful day!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread (Gluten Free and Dairy Free)

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten free oat flour*
  • 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 1 cup almond flour*
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • one 15oz can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filing)
  • 6 tablespoons melted coconut oil or butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare loaf bans by applying butter and then set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients (oat flour through nutmeg). Whisk to combine.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk eggs and maple syrup until slightly frothy. Stir in vanilla, canned pumpkin, and melted coconut oil (or butter). Gradually add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to combine. Stir in 3/4-cup of pecans into batter.
  4. Transfer batter to the loaf pans and smooth the tops with the back of the spoon. Sprinkle remaining 1/4-cup of pecans and coconut palm sugar on the tops of the loaves. Place the loaf pans on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes until a toothpick or butter knife inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool in the loaf pans for about 15 minutes. Turn out the loaves onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

*Notes

Slow Cooker Apple, Fennel, and Pecan Cornbread Dressing (Gluten Free)

Slow Cooker Apple, Fennel, and Pecan Cornbread Dressing (Gluten Free) // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

This year was my third year to host Friendsgiving here in Kansas City.  The first year, we had 11 friends and no kids gather in our small home and bring an amazing assortment of food…including jello shots. Over the years, some friends have moved away and others have moved in. We love welcoming new friends into our hearts and home. This year was much bigger with 15 adults and six children, as many of our friends have become parents. No jello shots this year. Womp Womp. Although the dynamic was slightly different, the joy and love was tremendous.

Friendsgiving 2012

Friendsgiving 2014

Time management is key to hosting a low stress and enjoyable holiday party. By organizing my dishes and using slow cooking techniques, I was able to enjoy the beautiful day and amazing friends that came to our home.

I spent the day preparing for a full house in my tiny space. Since my kitchen and my oven is quite small, I chose to roast a 7-lb pork shoulder in a roasting oven (life saver), roast a 4-lb free range chicken in my oven, and cook my cornbread dressing in my slow cooker. During the great cooking adventure, I did lose a breaker and a fuse a few times (and ended up placing my slow cooker with the cornbread dressing in a spare bedroom!). But it all turned out great and I kept my wine glass FULL.

Slow Cooker Apple, Fennel, and Pecan Cornbread Dressing (Gluten Free) // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

So let’s get to this Cornbread Dressing, shall we?

Apples, Fennel, and Pecans! Yeeeeeeaaaas. And don’t forget sage!

Slow Cooker Apple, Fennel, and Pecan Cornbread Dressing (Gluten Free) // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

There are several parts of this dressing that can be made ahead of time. The Gluten Free Old Fashioned Cornbread can be made up to 2 days ahead. The aromatics in the dish (onions, celery, and fennel) can be braised in a little olive oil up to two days ahead of time as well. I mixed everything together and placed into my slow cooker and allowed to cook while I was getting other things together. This also kept the cornbread dressing warm until it was time to eat.

Slow Cooker Apple, Fennel, and Pecan Cornbread Dressing (Gluten Free) // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Slow Cooker Apple, Fennel, and Pecan Cornbread Dressing (Gluten Free)

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 batch of old fashioned skillet cornbread
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 bulb of fennel, slivered
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 medium apples, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Prepare cornbread at least one day ahead of time. Crumble up cornbread and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Allow to sit out at room temperature and dry out. Alternately, preheat oven to 250F and scatter cornbread in a single layer on the rimmed baking sheet and bake (stirring often) for about 1 hour or until the cornbread is dried out.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fennel, onion, and celery and cook, stirring often, and beginning to soften. Add apple, pecans, and herbs. Cook for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and gently stir in dried out cornbread and 1 1/2 cups of broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. Spoon cornbread dressing mixture into a large slow cooker or crock pot. Cook on low for about 4 hours. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Easy Gluten Free Old Fashioned Skillet Cornbread

Gluten Free Skillet Cornbread // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

As Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, I am preparing a two series post for my favorite Thanksgiving dish….cornbread dressing. Not stuffing. Dressssssing. What’s the diff, you ask?

Stuffing is stuffed inside your bird whereas dressing is a casserole cooked OUTSIDE your bird. Next, make that dressing with cornbread. None of this fancy BRIOCHE. What? Give me southern style cornbread dressing seasoned with plenty o sage!  YAAASSSS. But stay tuned, that’s my next post.

And for my next magic trick, I’ll make amazingly moist gluten-free cornbread. You ready??? aaaah. Put away those boxes of Iffy Jiffy. Serious. This is just as easy and better for you.  It’s perfect alongside chili, soup, and as a base for my Cornbread Dressing for Thanksgiving!  Oh and it’s fabulous with a dab of butter and some honey! holy Moses.

Gluten Free Corn Bread // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Gluten Free Skillet Cornbread // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

So what is Old Fashioned Cornbread, you ask?

Welcome to cornbread 101!  I like to break cornbread (pun intended) into two different styles: Old Fashioned (or rather Southern Style) and Yankee Style (or Northern Style).

(1) Old fashioned cornbread is 100% cornmeal, buttermilk, and a touch of sweetener.

(2) Yankee style cornbread is a more cake-like cornbread that contains around 50% cornmeal, 50% all purpose flour, and a lot of sugar. Think yellow cake and Jiffy in cornbread Tender match. Good…but not cornbread to me.

I prefer a savory cornbread that tastes like CORNBREAD…not cake.

Old fashioned cornbread is also generally cooked in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, adding extra flavor. If you don’t have a skillet (put it on your christmas list and get one), you can easily make this cornbread in a buttered 8X8 pan. However, I should note that something magical happens when the skillet of cornbread is finished. You open that hot oven to an amazing smell of buttery cornbread. Pulling out a hot skillet of hot cornbread from an oven makes me feel close to my grandmother and a different generation that didn’t know about cell phones, and Facebook, and go go go. It makes me wish that she was here with me as I slather a hot wedge of cornbread with extra butter.

Gluten Free Skillet Cornbread // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Easy Gluten Free Old Fashioned Skillet Cornbread

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups stone ground gluten-free cornmeal*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey*
  • 2 eggs (at room temperature), beaten
  • 1 1/4 buttermilk*
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Place an 8-inch cast iron skillet into the preheating oven. (If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, butter an 8X8 baking dish and set aside.)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk cornmeal, salt, and baking soda. In a separate medium bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk, honey, and greek yogurt until combined.
  3. Remove preheated skillet from oven. Place butter in the skillet, swirl around and allow to melt.
  4. Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients and pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir until combined and no dry ingredients remain.  Mixture will be slightly lumpy.
  5. Pour batter into the skillet. Place in preheated oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until top is golden brown. Test the doneness by placing a butter knife in the middle of the cornbread and removing it. It’s finished baking when the butter knife comes out clean. Let the cornbread cool for about 10 minutes. Serve warm!

*Notes:

  • For a more fluffy cake-like cornbread (yankee style), a half-cup of the cornmeal can be replaced with gluten-free flour such as oat flour, almond meal, rice flour, or a gf flour blend.
  • The honey can also be increased to one-fourth of a cup for a sweeter cornbread. I have also used maple syrup and coconut palm sugar with good results.
  • Buttermilk can be substituted with dairy or non-dairy milk and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.

Crockpot Beef and Mushroom Stew (Gluten Free and Paleo-Friendly)

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I have been in an alternate universe, my friends. A universe where people never sleep, the air smells like strawberry perfume, puke, and alcohol and no one seems to care that a burger costs $22. Ya….I speak of Vegas.

One of my oldest friends was getting hitched last weekend there. It was great to see him and his new wife as well as many old friends from college.  It’s funny getting back together with friends that you don’t see that often, but when you do see them, it is as if no time has passed. But then the problem is that I feel like I have to cram so much fun into a condensed time span.

So what do you get when you concentrate fun in Vegas?  Drinks that should never be THAT big, beer pong rallies (be sure close to your eyes when the ball hits the floor so that you don’t vom in your mouth), mechanical bull riding that felt like it lasted 10 minutes (I pulled a groin muscle doing this because I’m OLD), no sleep no sleep no sleep.  It took only 12 hours for me and my husband to quickly realize that we were in our mid 30s, not early 20s. Ouch.

Crockpot Beef and Mushroom Stew // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

As a result, mama is in major decompression mode. No bright lights, no floral smells, no alcohol, no loud noises. All I need right now is to be wrapped up in a blanket like a human burrito while I listen to soul music on the record player. Put it on repeat please.

I also need a massive helping of this warm comfy soup to combat the outside temps that are in the teens!

Crockpot Beef and Mushroom Stew (Gluten Free and Paleo-Friendly)

  • Servings: 4 to 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 lbs beef stew meat (seasoned with salt and pepper)
  • 2 onions, sliced in 1/4-inch slivers
  • 10 oz baby bella mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 2 cups diced potatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon thyme
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place first six ingredients (stew through beef stock) in a crockpot. Cook on low for at least 8 hours.
  2. In a small bowl, stir arrowroot powder into sherry until a smooth paste is formed. Add sherry mixture to the crockpot and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper as needed.

Gluten Free Apple Spice Muffins with Walnut-Oat Streusel

Gluten Free Apple Spice Muffins // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Apples are here! And these Gluten Free Apple Spice Muffins are healthy, delicious, moist, and sweet.

Similar to the way people are feeling about post season baseball around here is the way I feel about Apple Season.

APPLE SEASON is Post Season to me! Am I right?  Let’s get pumped, people! Summer is over and HELLOOOOO apples. Crunchy, juicy, sweet/tart Apples.

I could seriously OD on apples more than chocolate… weird, huh?  Seriously, I can’t be the only one who has fantasies about going apple picking and bringing home loads of perfect apples and then baking them up in pies, muffins, cobblers, a la mode, cinnamon-spiked applesauce, or, hell, just eating them fresh ALL the TIME.  I’m drooling right now.

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Gluten Free Apple Spice Muffins // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

I also have to admit that I get SO overwhelmed with all the apple varieties. Holy pooh on a stick! How can you choose?  I’m on the hunt for some interesting varieties this year.  Here in Missouri, there are lots of apple orchards that allow you to pick your own. I’m a big fan of the local varieties of Jonathan, Ozark Gold, Goldrush, and Enterprise. These varieties are good for eating and baking, having sweet/tart flavors with plenty of crunch. They don’t mush up when baked, which is a plus as well.

I used a combination of Jonathan and Golden Delicious when I baked up these luscious Gluten Free Apple Spice Muffins, but any variety should be fine. However, depending on the quality of apples you have access to, the final flavor will vary slightly.

Gluten Free Apple Spice Muffins // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

I used a combination of two flours: gluten free oat flour and almond flour. I really like the balance of these two flours in muffins. The combo of these flours provide both fiber and protein, which are perfect for beginning your morning and staying satiated longer. And you get a great fall spice treat to start your day.

I used an interesting technique with these muffins. Instead of using store-bought applesauce, I created my own by pureeing one of the three apples in a food processor. After it was pureed, I then added the remaining two apples to the bowl of the food processor and pulsed the apples until they were chopped. If you don’t have a food processor, you can sub 1/2-cup of applesauce for one of the apples.

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Gluten Free Apple Spice Muffins // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

And let’s also talk about this Walnut-Oat Streusel topping. Walnuts, oats, maple…mmmmm. You mustn’t skimp on this step, friends. Noo no no. Do this. I typically don’t top my muffins (because I’m lazy). But I took the extra 2 minutes (seriously…why do I not do this) and holy mama was it worth it.

Gluten Free Apple Spice Muffins // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Gluten Free Apple Spice Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy/Medium
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Gluten Free Apple Spice Muffins Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten free oat flour (ground from gluten free rolled oats or use Bob’s Red Mill gluten free oat flour)
  • 1 cup almond flour (I use Honeyville)
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 medium apples, cored and sliced in quarters
  • 1/3 cup greek yogurt (or dairy free yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted (or coconut oil)
  • 4 eggs (at room temperature)

Walnut-Oat Streusel Topping Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup rolled gluten free oats
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line or grease a 12-muffin tin with liners and set aside.
  2. Place dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Combine Walnut-Oat Streusel topping ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a food processor, place pieces of one apple, greek yogurt, maple syrup, melted butter, and eggs.  Puree mixture until smooth. Add remaining pieces of two apples and pulse until the apples are in small chunks. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir mixture until just combined.
  5. Scoop 1/3-cup of batter into each lined muffin tin to 3/4 full. Sprinkle streusel topping evenly on each muffin. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until muffins are browned and cooked all the way through. Remove from oven. After 15 minutes, move muffins to a cooling rack.

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (gluten free, paleo, and dairy free) // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

My husband and I ran the KC half marathon this past Saturday. One of the best things about running in the early morning is getting to see the city wake up as the sun rises. You see a view that is typically missed while enjoying the coziness of bed. Chilly morning runs sound so much better, right? I’ll tell ya, that the early morning air was perfectly crisp for me. Plus the trees were all in full amazing bloom of color like they saved all their peak beauty just for us!

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (gluten free, paleo, and dairy free) // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

It’s crazy to realize that five years ago I completed the full marathon. *shudder* I will say that I definitely enjoy running half marathons MUCH better than full marathons….obvi. The full marathon is a torturous journey that I’m glad I did once…and will likely never repeat.  (Similar to trying to drink a pint of vinegar on a dare….great to do once, but never again.  Am I right?)

For some reason, I really like running half marathons. It’s a decent length of race to push my training and fitness level a little higher, while not ruining my life or body. Usually. This past training season I pulled a calf muscle three weeks ago but since I gave myself three weeks off from running, I was able to bust out the race. Needless to say, after running 13.1 miles this weekend, I’m in super recovery mode. Give me carbs, give me nutrients….more importantly, give me ice cream!

On Sunday, I did a lot of stretching, drank plenty of water, and worked in my yard enjoying the fall day. I also harvested the end of season crops and late bloomer tomatoes and peppers. I wasn’t sure what to do with my bounty until I remembered this delicious Smoky Red Pepper Soup in one of my favorite new cookbooks, Vibrant Food by Kimberly Hasselbrink. I decided to adapt the soup a bit and roast the peppers and tomatoes in the oven together and whip up this nutrient-dense soup to aide my recovery. Winner winner.

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (gluten free, paleo, and dairy free) // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (gluten free, paleo, and dairy free) // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

This soup is the easiest thing I’ve done all weekend.  It is so easy since all of the vegetables are roasted together on a single baking sheet under a broiler.  Then all of the roasted vegetables are then pureed with spices in either a high speed blender or in a stockpot using an immersion blender. So easy I could sleep and do this. Maybe I am.

The broiler gives a great smoky flavor to the tomatoes and peppers. It is also spiced with both smoked paprika and chipotle powder which add extra smoky punch of flavor.  If you are sensitive to spice or serving this to lil tikes, then I would recommend skipping the chipotle powder since it is a bit spicy.  This is perfect as a main meal with a dollop of greek yogurt or served as a first course with this kale salad with garlic tahini dressing or this Peruvian Roasted Chicken.

Oooh….or grilled cheeeeeeese pleeeeeease.  Sorry folks. As you can tell I’m in carbo load mode.  I’ll get back to being a green machine tomorrow.

You don’t have to run a half or full marathon to deserve this soup. It’s easy, light, and provides your body the nutrients it needs to get through these fall days. Get on it!

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (gluten free, paleo, and dairy free) // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (Gluten Free and Dairy Free)

  • Servings: about 10 cups
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 medium sweet red bell peppers (about 2 pounds), quartered with seeds/membranes removed
  • 3 whole cloves of garlic (skins on)
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 2 pounds of whole tomatoes (about 8 Roma tomatoes or 4 larger tomatoes)
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder (optional if you don’t like spicy dishes)
  • Optional toppings: plain greek yogurt, fresh cilantro, roasted pumpkin seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat the broiler. Place oven rack in the upper portion of the oven about 6 to 8 inches from broiler.
  2. Place cut peppers skin side up, whole roma tomatoes, whole garlic, and quartered onions in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven on the top rack. Broil the veggies, watching carefully, for about 10 to 15 minutes until the pepper and tomato skins are mostly blackened on top.
  3. When the peppers are cool enough to touch, remove the pepper skins by running them under running water. Peel and remove the skin from the garlic as well.
  4. In a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat, heat the roasted vegetables, vegetable broth, salt, and spices.  Puree the soup smooth using an immersion blender. This step also can be performed using a high speed blender or food processor.
  5. Serve soup topped with greek yogurt, chopped cilantro, and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Note – Recipe adapted from Kimberley Hasselbrink’s Vibrant Food.

Gluten Free Carrot-Apple Muffins

Gluten Free Carrot-Apple Muffins / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

My man and I just celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary last month.

Nine! Where did time go?

I am utterly surprised that my husband still looks at me with amazingly bright eyes and is still in love with me. For some reason he likes being married to a neurotic woman with an obsession for ketchup and oatmeal. Not together…separate. Anyways I digress, I really think I got the better end of the deal. He is definitely the best thing that has ever happened to me. Well, except at 5am when he sings random songs like “Highway to Hell” or “Baby Got Back”. (Really…we should have no singing rules until well after 8am, right? Right? or at LEAST after coffee!)

Gluten Free Carrot-Apple Muffins / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

But honestly, anniversaries like this remind me that time is passing so quickly. I hope that I can breathe in as many details of my life and not take things for granted.  I want to laugh more and not take things so seriously. (Except the singing before 8am…I take that very seriously.)

For our anniversary, my husband got me a Vitamix (the ridiculously amazing and over-the-top blender that does everything that you ever imagined, including make creamy nut butter, process ice cream, puree smooooooth soups, grind fine flours, clean your house, complement your hair, and check your email). This blender is sheer madness!!!!  She’s like a personal assistant…that is also your best friend and doesn’t annoy you…ever.

Gluten Free Carrot-Apple Muffins / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

What was one of the first things I did with my Vitamix? No smoothies. I made oat flour and then made carrot and apple muffins. Ya, you heard me…muffins. Real muffins, not smoothie muffins. Well…I didn’t bake the muffins in the Vitamix.  C’mon! Ridiculous. That’s the next version…the easy bake Vitamix.

I created these quick gluten-free carrot and apple muffins by placing chunks of carrots and apples in the bottom of the high-speed blender and slowly processing them until they were finely shredded. It took 15 seconds! SECONDS! And you save your fingers! This step could also be done in a food processor, or with a grater.  But it won’t take 15 seconds….maybe 1 minute more. Not bad at all.

The resulting muffins are moist and delicate. They are perfect for breakfast. You could even top them with a cream cheese frosting and serve them as cupcakes for dessert. I will definitely be turning this recipe into a cake soon. Especially since I can cut down the prep time with my blender!

Gluten Free Carrot-Apple Muffins / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Needless to say, although I thought that these high-speed blenders were a bit over the top, I’m not complaining that this beauty is now sitting on my counter waiting for me to make my next magical concoction.

Gluten Free Carrot-Apple Muffins

  • Servings: 9
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Ingredients

  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 medium apples, cored and cut into eighths
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter), melted
  • 1/3 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup oat flour (from ground gluten-free rolled oats)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup walnut pieces

Instruction

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place muffin liners in 9 cups of a muffin tin. Set aside.
  2. Place carrots and apples in the bowl of a food processor or high-speed blender. Process on low until carrot and apple are diced into fine pieces. Add eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil, greek yogurt, and vanilla to food processor or blender. Process or pulse until everything is well mixed.
  3. Place all dry ingredients (except walnuts) in a separate large bowl and whisk together.  Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients in the large bowl. Stir all together until just mixed and no dry ingredients remain. Stir in walnuts.
  4. Spoon about 1/4-cup portions into each muffin tin liner. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 350F, or until a toothpick comes out clean when stuck into the center of a muffin. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3 days. May be frozen for up to 3 months.

Note – Recipe adapted from Edible Perspectives.