Enchilada Casserole Verde

This recipe is so easy and makes a quick, tasty gluten-free dinner for the family with leftovers for lunch. Although I am usually one to create scratch recipes, this one is just with fine the convenience products available but would be that much better if you make your own Verde sauce and shred and blend your own favorite cheeses. This recipe is mild but feel free to spice it up with fresh jalapenos or Serrano peppers to your degree of heat. Meatless and gluten-free.

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Enchilada Casserole Verde

Yield: 1-9×14 inch casserole

25 corn tortillas
2-28 oz. cans green enchilada sauce
4 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 sweet red chili pepper sliced

Spray a 9×14 inch casserole pan or dish with pan spray. Add enough enchilada sauce to just cover the bottom, add a layer of corn tortillas
( I cut most of them in half to make the edges flush) then add shredded cheese and repeat till you have 3 layers of tortillas with sauce and cheese on top. Slice the red pepper and arrange on top of casserole and bake uncovered in a 350° pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. Let casserole rest for 5-10 minutes then portion and serve.

© 2014 Aron David Bradley

Sweet and Sour Apricot Chicken

This dish with its fruity tang, savory notes and bright colors is especially appealing to kids (of all ages). If you are blessed in Summer with local apricots, by all means use them in this dish but my recipe takes advantage of something that is accessible year ’round, dried apricots. They also have a tang that adds to the overall flavor of the dish. If you use gluten-free ketchup this recipe is gluten-free and lower in fat than most sweet and sour Asian dishes. Enjoy!

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Sweet and Sour Apricot Chicken

Yield: 5 servings

1-1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 red, green and yellow bell pepper
6 oz. dried apricots
1 small yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ cup seasoned rice vinegar
3 tablespoons gluten-free tamari sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons corn starch (1 for dusting the chicken)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Soak dried apricots in hot water for 1 hour. Cut chicken into 1-1/4 inch chunks. Dust chicken with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 teaspoon salt. Cut peppers and onion into 1-1/4 inch chunks and set aside. Mix vinegar, honey, ketchup, tamari and cornstarch till cornstarch is dissolved. Heat oil in a wok at high heat till hot but not smoking and add the dusted chicken and garlic. Stir fry till chicken is cooked (160°) and beginning to brown and add drained apricots, peppers and onions. Stir fry adding the sauce mixture. Cook till sauce has thickened and cornstarch is incorporated (about 1-2 minutes) and serve.

© 2013 Aron David Bradley

Gluten-Free Shrimp & Clam Cakes With Fat-Free Coleslaw

This a really easy to prepare and very tasty appetizer or main course. Most clam or crab cake recipes are loaded with fat from mayonnaise and usually served with a remoulade (more fat). This recipe is gluten-free, low fat, dairy-free and very tasty. Use fresh or frozen thawed bay shrimp…not canned. You can always use fresh clams if you have them.

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Shrimp and Clam Cake Image

Gluten-Free Shrimp and Clam Cake with Fat-Free Coleslaw

Yield: 5 clam cakes

3 cups crushed Rice Chex™ cereal
1 ½ cups cooked bay shrimp meat
2- 6 ½ oz. cans chopped clams
¼ cup green onions chopped
¼ cup red bell pepper chopped
1 egg
1 tablespoon coconut or grape seed oil
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon dill
Ground black pepper to taste

10 oz. finely shredded coleslaw
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon stevia

Mix shrimp, clams, peppers, green onions, crushed Rice Chex™, egg, seasonings and juice from
one of the cans of clams (strain the other can) and form into cakes. Pan fry with oil at medium high heat till golden on both sides. Combine coleslaw ingredients. Serve with clam cakes. Optional: serve with lemon wedges.

© 2012 Aron David Bradley

Brown Rice Penne w/ Spinach and Mushrooms

Our local store has recently expanded their bulk foods section adding 3 gluten-free pastas. I thought I would give the brown rice penne a try so I created a simple entree to check it out. This recipe is lower in fat, gluten-free, dairy-free, diabetic friendly, and vegan.

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Brown Rice Penne with Spinach and Mushrooms

Yield: 4 generous servings

5 cups cooked brown rice penne
4 cups organic baby spinach leaves
3 cups Crimini mushrooms sliced
5 cloves fresh garlic chopped
6-8 leaves of fresh basil chiffonade
1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon salt
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Cook brown rice penne al dente drain, rinse and set aside. Heat olive oil in a wok or large heavy bottom sauce pan. Add garlic, and mushrooms sauté one minute then add spinach, basil, penne and seasonings. Cook till spinach is done (about 30 seconds) stirring constantly to coat penne.
Portion and serve.

© 2012 Aron David Bradley

Easy Chicken Korma (Paleo Version)

Here is a modified version of my easy chicken korma which I made last night and served with sauteed kale and leeks. It was divine. The spices dance in your mouth with layers of complexity and the coconut milk and almonds make it creamy.

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Easy Chicken Korma (Paleo Version)

Yield: 6 servings

1 ½ lbs. free range boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into large cubes
2 large tomatoes (vine ripened preferred)
1 large yellow onion chopped
5 cloves of garlic
1 big toe sized piece of peeled ginger
1 can light coconut milk
1 cup almonds
1 tablespoon raw honey (optional)
Sea salt (optional)
3 teaspoons hot Hungarian paprika
2 teaspoon sweet (mild) paprika
2 teaspoons grape seed oil or ghee
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

In a heavy saucepan add oil, chopped onions, chicken and 1 teaspoon of salt. Sauté on high heat till the onions begin to get opaque and chicken is nearly done. Reduce heat to medium low. Put the remaining ingredients into a blender and puree till smooth. Stir into chicken and onion mixture, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally to keep food from sticking to the bottom. Serve.

© 2012 Aron David Bradley

Tuscan Herbed Chicken

Inspired by the flavors of Tuscany with olive oil, fresh herbs, wine and garlic, my recipe is simple, rustic and full of flavor. The marinade just takes minutes to prepare. Chiffonade is a French word meaning ‘rags’. As a cutting technique, the fresh herbs are rolled then cut into fine ribbons. This recipe is gluten-free and diabetic friendly.

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Tuscan Herbed Chicken

Yield: 4 servings

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup chardonnay wine
3 tablespoons fresh basil (chiffonade)
2 tablespoons fresh sage (chiffonade)
5 cloves of garlic minced
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

3 ounces mixed (red, yellow and orange) mini sweet peppers

Mix marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken. Marinate for 1-2 hours.
Place in a baking pan and add mixed peppers. Preheat oven to 350° F. and cook for 20 minutes or till internal temp reaches 155°.
Portion: 2 thighs per serving.

Serving suggestion: Serve with a salad and pasta or a pilaf.
©2010 Aron David Bradley

20 Minute Minestrone

As fall approaches I find the hearty goodness of soups and stews beckoning. My variation of a classic minestrone is super quick and easy to prepare and is very substantial nutritionally yet tastes like you spent hours preparing it. I have omitted the traditional pasta which if you omit the cheese provides complete protein in favor of allowing you the option of adding whole grain bread or gluten-free bread or pasta if you desire. Or you may simply add cut corn or quinoa or cooked brown rice to the soup and your complete amino acid balance is there. This minestrone is low-fat, high fiber, diabetic friendly and gluten-free.

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20 Minute Minestrone

Yield: 6-8 servings

2 – 16 oz packages of Italian Blend frozen vegetables
1 – 15 oz can garbanzo beans
1 – 15 oz can light or dark red kidney beans
1 – 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 ½ cups fresh or thawed frozen spinach
1 ½ cups fresh zucchini quartered lengthwise, sliced
1 ½ cups water
1 cup red wine (Burgundy, Merlot, Chianti)
1 ½ tablespoons Kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon sucralose, stevia equivalent or sugar
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

4 – oz Asiago, Romano, or Parmesan cheese grated

Place all ingredients in heavy bottom saucepan, soup or stock pot. Bring to a boil stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium and cook 15 minutes. Portion into soup bowls and grate
Asiago or Romano or Parmesan cheese on each serving.

© 2010 Aron David Bradley

Meatless Tamale Pie

I love tamales but often find them disappointing. Usually there is way too much masa and the meat is greasy and too spicy or downright bland. This is a quick and easy recipe full of flavor and nutrition. You can vary the filling ingredients by adding your own touches like mushrooms, carrots, sweet peppers etc. This tamale pie is gluten-free and low in fat.
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Meatless Tamale Pie

Yield: 6 servings

Masa dough:
3 cups of water
2 ½ cups instant corn masa flour
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic

3 cups medium diced zucchini
2 ¾ cups vegetarian chili lime refried beans
2 ¾ cups of cut corn
2 cups medium diced Roma tomatoes
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup pitted black olives
½ cup fat-free shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup masa flour
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon California (mild) chili powder
2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sucralose, stevia or sugar
2 teaspoons E.V.O.O. (extra virgin olive oil)

1. Heat water, canola oil salt and granulated garlic in a saucepan till it comes to a boil.
Remove from heat and stir in corn masa with a balloon whip forming a dough. In a covered casserole dish or Dutch oven, press dough into the bottom and sides. Dough should be about ¼ inch thick all around.
2. In a heated sauté pan or wok, sauté the filling ingredients and seasonings except the masa flour, shredded cheese and half of the olives stirring frequently. Cook for 4 minutes then add masa flour to help thicken the filling. Cook an additional minute then pour into the crust. Top with the shredded fat-free Cheddar and the other half of the olives.
3. Cover casserole or Dutch oven and place in a pre-heated 325 degree oven and bake for 10 minutes. Serve

c.2010 Aron David Bradley

Phad Thai

Phad Thai, Pad Thai or Phat Thai (“fried Thai style”) is a dish of stir-fried rice noodles with eggs, fish sauce, tamarind juice, red chile pepper and mung bean sprouts. You can also add shrimp, chicken, beef, squid or tofu, if you like (though it is a complete protein with the noodles, mung bean sprouts and peanuts). Garnish with crushed peanuts, fresh coriander (cilantro) and lime, the juice of which can be added along with traditional Thai condiments.

During the recession following World War II, the post-war government of Phibunsongkhram, desperate in its efforts to revive the Thai economy, looked for ways to stem the massive tide of unemployment. Among the occupations the government aggressively promoted to give the populace a way to earn a living was the production of rice noodles and the operation of noodle shops. Detailed instructions on how to make the noodles and recipes were printed and distributed around the country. From these efforts, rice noodles became firmly rooted in the country and have since become a widespread staple food. Phad Thai is one of Thailand’s national dishes. In America we see a myriad of styles and variations of this dish in every restaurant and food outlet. My variation omits the tamarind which might be harder to find but is still flavorful and has broccoli slaw for healthful added texture or you can substitute Cole slaw veggies. This recipe is Gluten-free.

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Phad Thai

Yield: 4-6 servings

1-16 oz package rice noodles
6 cups broccoli slaw (julienne broccoli stems, carrots and red cabbage)
4 cups mung bean sprouts
¾ cup roasted salted peanuts
½ cup of beaten eggs
½ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup canola oil
1 lime
optional: 2 teaspoons chile flakes

Phad Thai Sauce:

½ cup fish sauce
2 tablespoons sucralose
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons of lemon grass paste
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons sambal chile paste
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon galangal or dried ginger

Fill a large pot about 4 inches deep with water and bring to a boil. Take off the heat and add rice noodles separating them with tongs as they soften to avoid them sticking together. Rinse with cold water in a colander and set aside. Cook beaten eggs open face omelet style and cut into strips. Chop peanuts and set aside. Chop cilantro and set aside. Heat a large wok a or high walled skillet with the canola oil. Add rice noodles, mung beans, broccoli slaw chopped cilantro, eggs and sauce mixture and sauté with tongs to fully incorporate the ingredients for 3-5 minutes. Portion onto plates and serve with lime wedges and chopped peanuts as garnishes.

c.2010 Aron David Bradley

Grilled Steak Tacos w/ Pico De Gallo

Natural beef and buffalo meat is becoming more available in the larger chain and specialty markets or if you are in a rural area you may find a local grass fed beef ranch near you. To make this low carb just omit the tortillas. This is gluten-free and the low carb version is great as a diabetic entree.
The pico de gallo recipe is in the menu section.
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Grilled Steak Tacos w/ Pico De Gallo

Yield: 2 servings

1 lb natural hormone and antibiotic free petite sirloin steak
8 corn tortillas
1 teaspoon canola oil

Southwestern Steak Rub:
2 tablespoons medium hot new Mexican chili powder
4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

6 tablespoons Pico de Gallo recipe in my Boomer Cuisine blog

Trim any visible fat from steak. Cover with the teaspoon of canola oil and apply
rub by spreading it on a cutting board and pressing steak into it until all edges are covered. Get grill hot and cook steak medium rare (130-135 degree center temp).
Let meat rest for 5-10 minutes then slice thin across the grain. Place in two heated
corn tortillas per taco(microwave 10-20 seconds) add pico de gallo and serve.
Serving suggestion: Add a couple of fresh pineapple spears per serving as pictured.

c.2010 Aron David Bradley