Friday, February 11, 2011

Kiss the Cook

Spicin' up Saturdays with Joni

When I was a young teen I was known for my cooking abilities or my lack of. One time my parents were going out of town and I was assigned to make the dinners. My mom had prepared the meals ahead of time and all I had to do was defrost the casserole and put it in the oven. Simple enough? Not for me. One night it was after 8pm, my younger sisters were crying, and the darn meat loaf was still pink in the middle. Who knew putting a frozen meatloaf in the oven would take so long to cook? Anyways, I was branded as the girl who couldn't cook. Then I married a giant of a man. Jaron, at 6 feet 8 inches tall, was 22 years old when we married. He was still a young man with a large appetite and I could cook two meals well - french toast and pasta salad. I would make a large pasta salad on Sundays and that would be our lunches and sometimes dinners for the week. When we would both come in after a long day of school and work, I would whip up some french toast. This worked for the first 6 months of our marriage but it became apparent that I would have to learn to cook. So one meal at a time, I figured out how to prepare edible food. Luckily, I had a husband who would eat about anything. Many times I ended up eating cereal as he ate my dinner and told me it tasted good. His taste buds must have been better developed than mine or more dull because he endured this learning curve better than I. But as most things goes, I figured it out and I became a good little wife who would make dinner and make it pretty well, if I may say so myself. Than my life changed. In the fall of 2010 I learned that I was gluten intolerant. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, and rye and most all other foods! It is used a lot as an additive and so it is hidden into a lot of foods where it should not be. Because of my discovery of what had been making me so sick, I again had to learn to cook. The foods I loved and thought tasted good, I no longer could eat. My first week of eating gluten free, I ate meat and vegetables. By the end of that week, I was so sick of meat and vegetables. But again, each day I learned how to cook in a new way and I can now cook gluten free almost without thinking. Because it is important for me to not get any gluten in my food even by it touching something with gluten, it isn't easy to go out to eat. I make every meal now. There is no, "Honey, I had a long day. Pick up a pizza on the way home." As many people are discovering their need to cut out gluten in their lives, I am going to include a recipe with my weekly post. A lot of times people associate Gluten free with bad tasting. I will say there is some gluten free food out there that tastes bad, but it doesn't have to be. The recipes I will include have been approved by others and so I say, give them a chance. They are yummy! Here is my first recipe and I hope you enjoy it. And don't forget to KISS THE COOK!

Joni's Salsa Chicken Soup


2-3 chicken breasts
2 cups chicken broth (gluten free chicken broths: Progresso, Kroger brand, Pacific)
1 cup Pace Picante Salsa (gluten free)
1-2 cans of canned corn
1 can of black beans
shredded mozzarella cheese
tortilla chips (gluten free brand Food Should Taste Good, found at Costco)
1/2 cup sour cream (great value brand is gluten free)

1. Put chicken and chicken broth in the crock pot and cook all day (4 hrs on high or 6 to 8 hours on low)
2. One hour before serving, shred chicken and add to broth. Add the salsa, drained corn and beans. Cover and let heat up for the last hour. Right before serving, add the sour cream.
3. Serve with cheese sprinkled on top of soup and with chips on the side for dipping
*note - my mom likes to add rice to this mixture. Both ways, easy and yummy!


Anonymous said...

Joni, great entry. I forgot that you have struggled with your cooking. You have come a long way. Thanks for mentioning the rice. I think it makes the soup more filling. Love, mom

Rindi said...

Sounds yummy, Joni! I'm going to try this recipe. I'm proud of you for working to make cooking your strength!!

Clint said...

I have tried this and it is good. I am going to make it again this week. You do work hard at this so good job.

Eardley Family said...

Good job Joni...You have gone to great efforts to change. You are very dedicated!!! I miss you.


Em Russ said...

who can't use new recipes!! I have a friend who has gluten issues. I am going to send her to your posts!!

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