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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Paella Spanish Rice, Traditional or "Veggie-Style"

This is a wonderful savory paella. My family says it's the best rice dish ever!

All you need, is a large covered skillet to make this fabulous paella.

Traditional Paella rice is served with shrimp and chicken, (plus expensive saffron, which I don't add) anymore. 

I usually make ours VEGGIE-STYLE, served with fish; my family adores it that way with my Maple Glazed Salmon recipe. Being a rice dish, makes it gluten-free and the flavors are incredibly delicious!


Traditionally: cooked chicken & shrimp is added,
but we love it "Veggie-Style" to go with Maple Glazed Salmon!
Serves 6-8

Veggie-Style: Paella
1 1/4 cups uncooked rice, we love Jasmine
1/2 cup onion, diced
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 sweet red pepper, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
4 Tbsp fresh oregano, minced

(Substitute 1 Tbsp dried flakes)
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 small zucchini, diced
10 grape tomatoes (love adding them, when I have them!)
1 (14-oz) can chicken broth

1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed (reserved)

In a large skillet (with a cover), sauté rice and onions within the olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the peppers, oregano, garlic and seasonings; cook 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini, tomatoes and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover for 20 minutes, to cook until tender. Fluff, adding a few tablespoons of water (if necessary) to remove bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the thawed peas, just before serving.

Traditional Paella: Stir in generous amounts of cooked chicken and shrimp.


Sharon Anne

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Gluten-Free "Cream-of-Whatever" - aka: COW SOUP MIX

One of my favorite "cooking secrets" has to be Instant ClearJel® powder; particularly since this wonderful thickener also happens to be GLUTEN-FREE!!! 

Tip:Using ICJ powder (thickener) makes soups creamy - yet still - LOW in fat!

You see... I've been using ICJ in my own soup recipes - long before - I had to go gluten-free - by nearly three decades now! So I know how great it is. Here's how I make this versatile soup mix substitute!

1. "Cream-of-Whatever" aka: COW SOUP MIX
1/3 cup powdered non-fat dry milk 
Note: Or substitute 2/3 cup Instant dry milk.

2 Tbsp Instant ClearJel® powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 dash white pepper (not all are Gluten-Free)

Note: G-F white pepper brands McCormickSpice Island and Tones was sold at Sam's Club*
2. Add: 3/4 c water
1 1/2 tsp instant chicken bouillon granules
Or (Better than Bouillon) chicken base paste.

3. Add: Any desired meat or cooked veggie/s (i.e.: shredded chicken, beef, mushroom, celery or potatoes.)

1. First whisk dry ingredients thoroughly in a 2-cup glass measure.

2. Update: Add the water and bouillon to dry ingredients; blend with a stick blender until mixture reaches the consistency of undiluted-canned soup.

3. Add meat and/or cooked veggie/s. Use in recipes calling for cream soup. 

Equivalent: 1 (10.75-oz) can Cream of Chicken Soup, undiluted. 

Servings: 3

Per Serving: (before meat and/or veggies) 71 Calories; trace Fat (3.6% calories from fat); 7 g Protein; 10 g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 4 mg Cholesterol; 375  mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Non-Fat Milk; 0 Fat.

*I still have loads of TONES white pepper from Sam's Club; sadly, they've stopped carrying it.

Related Recipes:
Loaded Potato Soup - Made Gluten-Free

Monday, July 29, 2013

Gluten Free: Kung Pao Chicken

I love Oriental food and I LOVE Kung Pao Chicken, so I wanted to share my GLUTEN-FREE, home-cooked recipe {that tastes great to everybody} with you today.

I almost NEVER can eat at Chinese restaurants these days anymore, UNLESS they have a dedicated Gluten-Free menu {i.e.: P.F. Chang's} due to food allergies. It's just not worth the trouble it causes me.

Most soy sauces contain WHEAT, so they are certainly not gluten-free!

La Choy Lite Soy Sauce
does NOT contain wheat.

Being Non-Celiac-Gluten-Sensitive, it's FRIENDLY (for people like me). I tolerate La Choy Lite Soy Sauce without any difficulty.

Everyone's individual; trust you gut and instincts! There are people who can't even tolerate SOY at all; I can't help you out there. Sorry!

A little ingredient that's BIG in Asian Cooking is Sesame Oil. 

Update: Originally I hadn't added sesame oil to my Kung Pao Chicken recipe below previously. However this time, I decided the sauce tasted somewhat flat and one-dimensional. So I tried adding in 1/2 tsp sesame oil. It shot up from a GOOD FLAVOR to a GREAT FLAVOR!!!

  1. Note: Sesame oil was not pictured, but added LATER (don't omit)! 
  2. Nor was the granulated sugar, yet sprinkled in by taste later too. 
  3. I double my meat marinade mixture (freezing half) for another dinner!

Gluten Free:
Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken
Serves: 4

Meat Marinade: Marinate for 30 minutes
1 lb skinless chicken breast, cubed
1/4 cup water
1 small egg, beaten
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt

Stir-Fry Veggies:
2-3 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 red pepper, chunks
1 green pepper, chunks
1 small zucchini, chunks
1 yellow squash, chunks
2 green onions (whites: sliced & greens: cut 1/2-inch pcs)

1/3 cup water
2 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce, La Choy Lite - for Gluten Free
1 Tbsp cornstarch (dissolved in 1 Tbsp cold water)
1 tsp rice wine vinegar, unseasoned
1/2 tsp sesame oil, added to taste
Granulated sugar, added to taste
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, to taste

Serve With:
3-4 cups cooked rice (Calrose or Jasmine)
1/3 cup peanuts, dry-roasted

Marinade & Rice: Combine meat in a zip-type bag with egg, water, cornstarch and salt; marinate chilled, for at least 30 minutes. Prepare and chill veggies. Also get the rice started too [figure 20 minutes for white rice, or 45 minutes for brown]. A rice cooker eliminates all the guesswork.

Sauce: In a small bowl, combine water and soy sauce, stir in dissolved cornstarch and rice wine. Chill and reserve.

Wok: Heat up a wok until hot, add about 1-Tbsp of oil. Drain meat, discarding marinade; quickly stir-fry meat with the garlic, in 1 Tbsp oil for 60-90 seconds, don't overcook. Transfer the meat to a bowl. Heat the remaining oil as needed, to stir-fry the red and green peppers until tender-crisp. Add zucchini, squash chunks and green onions last. Give the chilled sauce mixture a quick stir before adding to the veggies. Heat the sauce through to thicken; sweeten to taste with sugar. Add in ginger and red pepper flakes.

Serve: Over the hot rice, sprinkled with peanuts

Sides Suggestions: Fresh watermelon and steamed green beans

Gluten Free: 
Kung Pao Chicken
Cuisine: Asian

Check out: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sharealikecooking and/or my cooking site http://sharonanne.com/ (where) I'm DEVOTED to cooking tips!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Strawberry Jam made w/ Instant ClearJel

Ruby Red Strawberry Jam

UPDATED Post 7-4-13

Made more jam today... AND THIS RECIPE remains to be perhaps one of my families' OLDEST perennial favorites. 

I've been making this particular recipe for 25+ years (correction 32+). 

Serve jam either fresh and/or freeze for long term storage.

Delicious as a TOPPING for desserts, as fillings for cakes.

Also tastes AMAZING, when added to ice cream recipes, in place of nearly all sugar, since there's sugar in the jam.

This recipe also makes a wonderful glaze for strawberry pie. See my beautiful  "Old Glory" Patriotic PieAnother perennial favorite I always make too!

Start with 2 lbs of lovely berries! 
Rinse, trim the leaves and core.

Crush with a potato masher.

Squeeze in 2 Tbsp lemon juice.
(add corn syrup, if desired).

ALWAYS mix sugar and clearjel 
together (FIRST) before ever 
adding to the wet ingredients.

Doing so eliminates any clumps, 
dispersing the thickener evenly!

Taste, adjusting for sweetness!

Serve fresh or freeze for long term freshness.

Yield: 5 3/4 cups

2 lbs strawberries
2 Tbsp lemon juice, fresh squeezed
2 Tbsp corn syrup (I personally DON'T add any, but does aid w/storage-life)
1 3/4 - 2 cups granulated sugar (depending on how sweet berries are)
OR 1 3/4 cups granulated Whey Low® (for Ice Cream), which I much prefer
4 Tbsp Instant ClearJel® powder (formulated for freezer jam)

Crush ripe berries with a potato masher or food processor. Add lemon juice and optional corn syrup (increases freezer-life).

In a small bowl, completely mix sugar and clearjel powder, before folding that into the berries. Ladle jam into sterile jars; cover, label - date and freeze for 1 year.

Nutritional Analysis: Servings: 92 (1-Tablespoons)
Per Serving (per 1-Tablespoon): 20 Calories; trace Fat (1.4% calories from fat); trace Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; trace Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Fruit; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates, Gluten-Free.

Sharon Anne

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Mango - Lime Preserves (ClearJel Jam)

Updated: Freezer Jam 

Pure love-in-spoonfuls!

This jam's so good! I adore how simple it is make... mixed with crushed pineapple, passion-fruit concentrate (when I've got some), plus a fresh lime - zested and juiced.

Mango - Lime Preserves
by Sharon Anne
Yield: 3 cups

1/2 cup (plus 2 Tablespoons) granulated sugar 

OR see - Whey Low (for Ice Cream) - sweetener
3 Tablespoons INSTANT ClearJel® powder
1 1/2 cups fresh mango, diced (1 large mango = makes about 1 cup diced)
1/2 cup crushed canned pineapple, drained
1/4 cup passion fruit concentrate puree, see (Tips & Techniques...)
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (1 large lime = about 2 Tablespoons)
Fresh lime zest

In a bowl, mix sugar and clearjel powder; reserve.

Instant ClearJel and sugar OR WLD sweetener (unmixed)

Instant ClearJel and sugar OR Whey Low D sweetener (mixed)

Combine diced mango, crushed pineapple and passion fruit puree; whisk in the reserved clearjel-sugar mixture.

Remove from heat, to add the zest and lime juice*, plus any more sweetener (as desired) to taste.

Ladle the jam into sterile jars, cover to freeze. 

Per Serving: (1-Tablespoon) 14 Calories; trace Fat (0.7% calories from fat); trace Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 1mg Sodium, Gluten-Free.

(Tips & Techniques...)

Passion Fruit Puree: I have read some Latin or Hispanic stores might sell passion fruit puree concentrate (in the freezer section). Plus, I've also noticed that Welch's makes a passion fruit juice and/or concentrate (albeit containing only 15% passion fruit); I've not tried it, because I'm simply happy with my current source.

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