Tuesday, April 11, 2017

No Prosciutto Bread for Me!

The Holidays have started and it is all about the food! ~Palm Sunday! 

In my big, loving, Italian family this is a favorite! It’s usually set at the beginning of spring. It’s sunny and a bit warmer with a little chill still hanging around. Just enough chill for the kids to run around outside with their mothers chasing them to put their jackets back on. Of course the opposite is happening inside. Inside the house the windows are cracked begging for a breeze to come in as some conversations may be full of “hot air” and warmth from the oven with burners all going at “full steam ahead.”

We always overdo it. You can hear the meatballs and sausages bubbling in the sauce. Your senses are overloaded with Baked Ziti and Lasagna baking in the oven (one with sugar and one without) and always a protein waiting in cue. This time my sister made lamb. Other times it could be a pork dish or a roast. It will end with coffee and espresso and “S” Cookies and Italian pastries for desert. Festa!

But for me there is one big problem. Gluten! Gluten to the left of me! Gluten to the right of me! Gluten everywhere! In the crispy Italian bread. In the bread crumbs in the meatballs. In the pasta. In most of the delicious food that the family had lovingly prepared. I wouldn’t dare to eat any of it even though I can still remember the taste. So I had to come prepared.

I always make sure I prepare something the night before. I don’t want to fight for space at the stove top or the oven. That is when you find out what they mean by “Too many cooks.” I decided to make myself my favorite rosemary lemon chicken with organic brown rice.
This is one of my favorite dishes. I prepared it the other night for my friend Stacy London and her little dog Dora. They both loved it. Dora likes to yip and bark and run around. Unless she is eating chicken. Then she sits like a little angel and waits to get a tidbit.

It is a very simple dish. I am using all organic, non-gmo ingredients. No Gluten. No Corn. No Soy. No Dairy. First, coat the bottom of your baking dish with olive oil. Then lay out sprigs of fresh rosemary. Take two large lemons and slice them into round lemon slices. Place them in the dish over the rosemary. Rinse off the chicken and place it on top of the lemons. I like to use chicken tenders as it is easy to maneuver and cooks all the way through much faster than a leg or a breast. Sometimes if you cook it long enough to cook through a leg the rosemary and lemon start to burn and disintegrate. I add some garlic (chopped garlic in oil works best.) Coat all the tenders liberally. Then I cover the chicken with gluten free breadcrumbs. It will give the dish a crunchy top which is really tasty! I put it in the oven for one hour at 400 degrees. Pretty hot, I know, but you want the chicken to cook. The trick is to take two large lemons, squeeze all the juice out of them and have the juice ready to pour over the dish at the half hour mark. It will moisten the dish and stop it from burning. Keep checking that it doesn’t get too dry or that it doesn’t burn.

The lemon chicken is then served over a simple brown rice dish. I start with sautéed onions and green peas in olive oil. Then I add brown rice and keep turning it until it is all coated with oil and mixed together. Serve a scoop and put the chicken right on top, accenting with slices of roasted lemon. It is heavenly.

I prepared the dishes the night before and brought them to Palm Sunday. I just had to pop them in the oven to heat up and I had a great little meal. So good that my nieces and nephews wanted some. They didn’t care that it was gluten free. They just loved that it was delicious. Isn’t that the goal? Eat well and be happy. It just takes a little prep.

I still miss the prosciutto bread. But hey what can you do?

I just want to keep living gluten free and loving it. You can too!

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