Smothered Chicken

2 servings

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts weighing approximately 5 oz each.  Alternatively smaller pieces of chicken can be used weighing 10 oz total.
8 oz chopped mushrooms and green onions mixture
1 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tbs olive oil

Directions:
Pound the chicken breasts till they are thinner – approximately 1/2 inch.  Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat.

When oil is hot, place chicken breasts in pan and allow to cook thoroughly on one side.  This usually takes approximately 6 minutes or so.  Turn the chicken when it has a nice brown color.

When chicken has been turned, spread the chopped mushrooms and green onions mixture over both chicken breasts.  Cover pan so steam will tenderize the vegetables.  Cook approximately 6 more minutes.

Sprinkle shredded cheese over vegetables.  Allow the heat to melt the cheese.  Remove from pan and let rest a few minutes before serving.

Notes:
Use pepper jack cheese, green peppers, and tomatoes for a more southwest flavor.

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Candy Corn Cheesecake: Gluten and Sugar Free

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Servings: Many! And it’s SO rich!

Suggested Tools and Materials:
Food Processor
Mixing Bowl
Mixer with Paddle
Various measuring cups/spoons
9″ Spring Form Pan
Aluminum Foil
Parchment Paper
Wilton’s Checkerboard Cake Insert (see links in the Notes, below)
Cooling Rack

Ingredients:
Crust:
2 cups finely chopped roasted almonds and pecans (about 10 oz total)
1 stick butter
1 tbsp light agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 tsp cinnamon

Cake:
3-8 oz cream cheese packages
¾ cup light agave nectar
3 large eggs
¾ cup heavy cream (reduced to make up for the additional liquid)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp vanilla
Red and Yellow Food Coloring

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Prepare the spring form pan. Grease it thoroughly, and line the bottom with parchment paper. Line the outside of the pan with 1-2 layers of aluminum foil.

Mix all of the crust ingredients together in the food processor. Pour into pan and bake approximately 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on cooling rack for at least 10 minutes, while you prepare the cheesecake batter.

Mix all of the cake ingredients (except the food coloring) one item at a time with a paddle attachment on the mixer, until each ingredient is just mixed. Be sure to introduce the eggs to the batter one at a time. Do not over mix. The batter will be slightly runnier than you are used to due to the Agave Nectar. No worries – it will be fine.

Insert the Wilton’s Checkerboard Insert into the cake pan. Press it into the crust a little bit, to prevent the batter from leaking underneath the insert. This will divide the pan into three sections: a center circle and two rings.

In the center circle, pour cheesecake batter until it is nearly to the top of the insert. Add yellow food coloring to the remaining batter until you achieve the desired brightness of yellow. Pour this batter into the outer ring of the insert until it nearly to the top of the insert.
Finally, add more yellow and some red food coloring (no more than 3 drops of red!) into the remaining batter. Pour this batter into the middle insert. Do not remove the insert yet.

Create a water bath by putting warm water in the baking/roasting pan – no deeper than 1 inch. Place the spring form pan into the warm water so the batter will settle and be even. I did not do this…notice in the picture below that there are peaks and valleys in my batter? This created more of a diamond effect in the final cake appearance, instead of a circle. Leave your cake in the water for about 10 minutes to allow the batter to even out. Remove the insert quickly to prevent smudging or dripping.

candy corn cheesecake

Put the entire pan (including the water bath) into the oven. Bake for 45-60 min, depending on your oven. When the cake is finished it will wobble in the middle, but be firmish on the edges. For more information about how to know if your cake is finished – explore the links provided below.

After the cake is finished baking, leave in the oven for another hour, so the heat of the cake reduces with the oven heat, in the steam. All of this helps to prevent the top of the cake from cracking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool further, or place in the fridge. Remove the sides of the spring form pan when the cake has fully cooled.
Share with friends! Happy Fall!!!

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Notes:
http://www.preparedpantry.com/Cheesecake-recipes.htm
http://sugarberrybaker.blogspot.com/2009/05/agave-nectar-cheesecake.html
http://www.wilton.com/idea/Candy-Corn-Cheesecake

Pulled Pork Tacos

2 servings

Ingredients:
12 oz pork loin
Mrs. Dash Chipotle seasoning
1 tbs olive oil
16 oz green pepper, mushrooms, green onions, squash mixture
Optional: Tortillas, Sour Cream, Cheese, Salsa, Avocado, Sauces, fresh vegetables

Directions:
In a crock pot, cook pork loin sprinkled with seasoning.  I recommend Mrs. Dash Chipotle seasoning – but feel free to use a favorite.  I cook mine for about 6 hours on low – but monitor to ensure that your pork cooks completely.

In a pan, heat olive oil and cook green peppers, mushrooms, green onions, squash mixture.  You can use whatever vegetables you prefer for this, but this is my typical combination.  Season as desired.  I don’t use salt – but that is a personal preference and it would probably be better if I did.  Cook till vegetables are tender.  Enjoy!

Note:
Serve with tortillas of choice if desired.  Maybe also be good on a bed of lettuce.  Garnish with sour cream, cheese, salsa, avocado, and/or sauce of choice.  I don’t eat tomatoes, but those and any number of other vegetables (lettuce, cabbage, etc) might be perfect to add to this.  I try to keep it a 8 oz per person raw or 4 oz per person cooked guideline.

Also – I use this combination with most proteins: shrimp, chicken, steak, etc.  Cooking method may vary by protein.

Garlic Steak Stir-Fry

3 servings

Ingredients:
1 lb lean steak, sliced into stir-fry pieces
1-2 tbs Home-Made Chinese Spice (depending on taste preferences)
24 oz broccoli, green onions, mushrooms, cabbage
4 T Olive Oil
1/4 c Bragg’s Aminos (Sodium Free Soy Sauce)

Directions:
Combine spices, 2 T olive oil, and Bragg’s Aminos in a zipper food storage bag.  Put sliced steak into bag and gently squeeze to thoroughly cover each piece of steak. Marinate in fridge for at least an hour – mine marinates during the workday.

Heat large pan over medium-high heat.  Put 2 T olive oil in pan.  Begin to sear steak pieces in pan – but only till a little bit done.  Put the vegetable mixture in the pan and pour remaining marinade (from zipper bag) into pan.  Stir to even out mixture and cover with a lid so the vegetables will steam.

When vegetables are cooked, but crisp, remove lid and stir all ingredients to ensure that it is evenly cooked.  Serve warm.

Serve over rice if desired.

Home-made Fajita Seasoning

Mix these ingredients to create a useful, salt-free, no carb Fajita Seasoning to have on hand to sprinkle on Fajita ingredients, or in greek yogurt or sour cream for a zesty dip! I store mine in an old cleaned out spice bottle

Ingredients:
1 T Cumin
1 T Cayenne Pepper
1 T Garlic Powder
4 T Paprika
2 T Mrs. Dash Table Blend
4 T Chili Powder
2 T Onion Powder

Shrimp Fajitas

Ingredients:
8-12 oz raw shrimp without shells and tails
16 oz mixture of sliced green peppers, green onions, mushrooms, squash, zucchinni
Home-Made Fajita Seasoning
2 T Olive Oil

Directions:
Heat a large pan to medium-high heat.  Put Olive Oil in pan to heat thoroughly.  Tilt pan to spread Olive Oil all over pan.  Saute vegetable mixture in pan.  While vegetables are still crisp, add shrimp and Home-Made Fajita Seasoning.  Cook until shrimp are cooked all the way.

Serve with tortillas, shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and salsa if desired.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash

This is my favorite alternative to pasta – and is such a treat in the cooler months!
Preheat Oven to 400 degrees

Directions:
Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Brush the flesh with 1-2 tablespoons of the oil and season generously (based on the size of the squas) with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves cut-side up on a baking sheet and roast until fork tender, about 50 minutes.

Garnish with parmesan cheese, sauce, or anything else to make it go with your meal.