Super Bowl Jalapeno Poppers

Living in Texas, football is kind of a big deal. People are die-hard fans of either high school, college, or professional teams – and sometimes of all three! I became a football fan when I moved to Texas the first time, way back in 1994. High school football is a really, really big deal and my high school was no exception. Home of the “Fire-Breathing Dragons”, we had several state championships we unsuccessfully defended during my four years. High school football is so important in Texas that you will find parents in the stands that haven’t had kids in school for over 20 years!

During football season, we are a house divided. I am a New England Patriot’s fan (haters gonna hate 🤣) and Brad is a Houston Texan’s and a New Orleans Saints fan. Neither of us are Cowboy’s fans, despite the fact we live in Big D. We typically spend football Sunday’s at home, on the couch watching our favorite teams. If it’s a big game, we invite our families over to watch with us. Last weekend, I made a big pot of chili and Brad made chicken wings in the air fryer. We have yet to master anything in the air fryer except for chicken wings, but we are working on it.

The playoffs were really stressful for us. The Texans fell in the first round and the Saints experienced a heart-breaking loss to the Rams. The Pats also had a tough game, finally claiming victory in overtime. I’m always sad the first Sunday after the Super Bowl – our day seems so empty without having any games to watch. But, the weather starts to warm up and it’s not long before we would rather be outside than inside watching TV.

Even if you aren’t entertaining friends or family, you can still have a fun Super Bowl viewing party. If you are having a party, you can serve delicious food that is gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free. It can be as simple as homemade guacamole or salsa with corn chips, chili with gluten-free, vegan cornbread, or recipes that require a little more time in the kitchen. Pizza and beer is classic football watching food. You can make gluten-free pizza served with gluten-free beer. Another idea is turkey pinwheels with gluten-free tortillas and Boar’s Head turkey.

We haven’t yet decided if we are going to stay home or go up to my parents house to watch the game, but either way, we will be having Brad’s bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers. He made them for me last year and I was surprised how flavorful they were! I admit, I had never had a jalapeño popper in my entire life before last year. It’s not like I can order jalapeño poppers in a restaurant since a main ingredient is cream cheese. I also was under the impression jalapeño poppers were really spicy but they aren’t since the seeds and insides are removed.

Preparing these poppers takes about 30 minutes. For added flavor, you can brine the chicken breasts before assembling the poppers. Mix 1/2 cup of Kosher salt with 3 cups of water in a large mixing bowl. Submerge the chicken breasts in the water and let soak for 30 minutes. During this time, you can prepare the jalapeños and spice mixture. Once brined, rinse the chicken breasts under cold water. You want to make sure to remove all of the saltwater.

When you are working with jalapeño peppers, it is recommended to use disposable kitchen gloves. It will help prevent the spice from the jalapeños sticking to your hands. Simply washing your hands won’t always remove all of the oils from the pepper and you definitely don’t want to rub you eyes after handling peppers.

To prepare the peppers, start by cutting each in half, lengthwise. Think of the pepper as being a little boat that you are filling with cream cheese and chicken. I don’t recommend using thick-cut bacon because each slice is wrapped a few times around the jalapeño. When cutting the chicken, you wan to make sure each pice is the same length as the jalapeño, as you don’t want the chicken to be sticking out the end of the popper.

The best way to cook the jalapeño poppers is with a cast-iron grill pan. But, it’s not required and any grill pan will do. If you are using a cast-iron pan, pre-heat it in the oven. It does not need to be super hot, just warm enough that the entire pan is heated through. Transfer to the stove and continue heating under medium heat. You don’t want the pan too hot because the chicken needs to cook and you don’t want the bacon to be cooked before the chicken.

If you are lucky enough to live in a state that you can grill outdoors in February, then dust off the barbecue and grill the poppers outside (side note, these are great for any type of party, so these can make an appearance at your summer barbecue, too!).

The poppers take about 15 minutes to grill. If you like to have your poppers with Ranch dressing (and you can eat eggs), try Primal Kitchen’s Ranch Dressing. It is made with cage-free eggs, doesn’t contain gluten, dairy, or soy, and is Palo-friendly. Personally, I don’t think the poppers need anything extra 🙂 Enjoy and may the team you are cheering for be victorious!

Brad’s Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Author: The Food Allergy Foodie

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Makes: 12 poppers

Serves: 4-6 people (2 poppers each)

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Recommended equipment: disposable gloves for working with the peppers

Ingredients

6 medium-to-large jalapeno peppers, halved, seeds and insides removed

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 package of bacon

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

ÂĽ teaspoon cumin

ÂĽ teaspoon Kosher salt

1 package of dairy-free cream cheese

Toothpicks

Directions

  1. Remove the cream cheese from the refrigerator to let come up to room temperature. You want the cream cheese to be easily spreadable.
  2. Fill a small bowl with water and soak the toothpicks while you are assembling the poppers. This will prevent the toothpicks from burning when cooking.
  3. To prepare the jalapeno peppers, cut the peppers in half, longways. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and white skin inside the pepper. This is where all the heat lives and by removing this, the peppers won’t be spicy.
  4. Combine the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, ground black pepper, cumin, and Kosher salt in a small bowl. 
  5. If you have decided to brine the chicken, wash and pat-dry. 
  6. Cut the chicken into strips that are the length and width of the jalapeno pepper. 
  7. Generously season the chicken strips with the spice mixture. Reserve about 1 teaspoon to lightly dust the peppers once they are fully assembled prior to grilling. 
  8. Using a knife, generously fill the inside of each pepper with cream cheese.
  9. Once the pepper is filled, place one chicken strip on top.
  10. Using one piece of uncooked bacon, wrap the bacon around the filled jalapeno. Once wrapped, poke the toothpick through the entire pepper so that it pokes out the other side. You want to make sure the chicken doesn’t fall out or the bacon comes unwrapped during cooking.
  11. Once all of the jalapenos are ready, sprinkle the rest of the seasoning over the top of the poppers.
  12. Warm a grill pan on the stove under medium heat, between 325-350 degrees. Grill for about 25 minutes, turning every 5-8 minutes to ensure the bacon is crispy all around and the chicken is fully cooked.
  13. Optional: once the bacon is about halfway cooked, you can remove the toothpick so that it is easier to grill all sides. You want to make sure the bacon won’t unwrap during cooking. 
  14. Plate and enjoy!

Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. It’s a day to reflect on the past year over a delicious meal with friends and family. But for those of us with food allergies or sensitivities, this food-filled holiday can be anything but enjoyable. Don’t worry – I have you covered this year!

My mom loves Thanksgiving – it’s her favorite holiday. She has a Thanksgiving folder with all her recipes, notes, and menus from years past. Most years, she hosts and for a few days leading up to Turkey Day, she is busy prepping and cooking. Food is overflowing from the kitchen and you won’t be surprised to find non-perishable foods in the laundry room, waiting to be brought into the kitchen. The dining room table is set with her fine china and crystal. Cooking duties and chores are divided up between us and we all pitch in to help.

The first year I hosted Thanksgiving, my mom made me my own Thanksgiving folder. She made copies of all of her recipes and taught me how to plan for cooking such a large meal with so many different dishes. We made a checklist and assigned duties to everyone. Luckily, she was there to help, guiding me along the way.

RecipeFolder

The first year I was diagnosed with food allergies, I didn’t think we would be able to cook our traditional dinner. Gravy – made with flour; mashed potatoes – has milk and butter; stuffing – made with a loaf of bread; dessert – forget about it! I thought my plate was going to be filled with turkey with no gravy, sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli. Luckily, I have an amazing mother who took her recipes and converted everything she could so I wouldn’t be left out. There are still some dishes that I can’t eat, like green bean casserole, but I don’t mind because I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. Some years we serve soup, other years we omit that course so we have more room to enjoy the main event. Every year we start out with Pistachio Cheese Crisps. OMG, they are so delish!

Planning ahead is the key to a successful Thanksgiving. A few weeks leading up to the big day, plan your menu. Gather all of your recipes; print them out and put them in a folder. If you are converting family favorites to be gluten, dairy, and egg-free, make notes on what changes need to be made. You can swap dairy milk with whole-fat coconut milk, substitute butter with Earth Balance buttery spread (remember, if you are avoiding soy, Earth Balance has a soy-free spread), and replace wheat bread for cornbread.

After reviewing your recipes, determine what can be made ahead of time. I like check lists, so I make a big list, writing out everything that needs to be accomplished, who is responsible for it, and when it needs to be completed by. Many of the foods can be baked at the same time, since the baking temperature is the same.

The week of Thanksgiving is busy and fun. We go grocery shopping on Monday or Tuesday and start cooking on Wednesday. Since we do a lot of prepping and cooking on Wednesday, we have time to enjoy watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and ease into cooking on Thursday. We typically eat around 3pm, so our turkey goes on the grill around 10 am. By grilling the turkey, our oven is free for baking everything else. The kitchen is a beehive of activity – we are all cooking and the dogs are underfoot, waiting for something to drop their way.

The following menu is delicious and I promise you won’t be able to tell there isn’t any gluten, dairy, or eggs anywhere to be found. Just follow the links to the individual recipes but scroll down for the main event – the turkey and gravy!

Menu

Appetizer:
Pistachio Cheese Crisps

Main Course:
Turkey with Gluten-Free Beer Basting and Giblet Gravy
Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing
Baked Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup
Mashed Potatoes
Fresh Cranberry Sauce
Steamed Broccoli with Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice and Olive Oil

Dessert:
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Thanksgiving2018_Gravy

Grilled Turkey with Giblet Gravy

Author: The Food Allergy Foodie
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: approximately 20 minutes per pound
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6-8 people

Ingredients:

1 (approx. 12-lb) turkey
1 celery stalk, with leaves
12 ounces of gluten-free beer
8 tablespoons of honey
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 small aluminum pan filled with water
1 medium aluminum pan for under the turkey to catch the drippings for gravy
Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

Directions for Cooking the Turkey:

  1. If using a frozen turkey, follow the package directions to defrost the turkey. A good rule of thumb is to thaw at a rate of 1 day per 4 lbs. of turkey. A 12-lb. turkey will take about three days to defrost.
  2. One day prior to cooking the turkey, remove the innards and giblets to make homemade stock (recipe follows).
  3. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to 350 degrees. Place the medium aluminum pan under the grate in the center of the grill and place the small aluminum pan with water on the grate.
  4. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and wash under cold water. Pat dry. Do not let the bird rest at room temperature for an extended period of time.
  5. To make the basting, combine the gluten-free beer and honey in a tall glass. Mix well to combine. Place the celery stalk leaves side down, into the basting mixture. You will use this to baste the turkey as it cooks.
  6. Stuff the cavity of the turkey with the cornbread stuffing. Use kitchen twine to close the cavity of the turkey.
  7. Lightly coat the bird with a thin layer of olive oil. Generously salt and pepper the turkey.
  8. Place the turkey on a roasting rack and transfer to the grill. Close the grill and let the temperature rise back to 350 degrees. Roast for 15 minutes and then baste the bird.
  9. Baste the turkey in 15-minute increments, using the celery as a basting brush.
  10. Keep an eye on the aluminum pan with water. Refill if needed. The water helps to keep the turkey moist.
  11. Cooking times will vary, but it usually takes between 15-20 minutes per pound. A 12-lb turkey will take approximately 3.5 hours to cook. The turkey will be cooked when a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.
  12. Once the turkey has cooked, remove the bird from the grill. Cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 30 minutes.
  13. Carve and serve with the giblet gravy (recipe below).

Giblet Gravy

Author: Originally printed in the November 20, 1980, edition of the Contra Costa Times; modified to remove gluten and dairy.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3-4 ½ hours
Resting Time: 24 hours
Serves: 6-8 people

Step 1 – Make the Stock 1-2 Days Before Thanksgiving

Ingredients:

1 celery stalk
1 yellow onion
1 carrot
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
Kosher salt to taste
The innards that come with the turkey, except the liver

Directions:

  1. At least 24 hours before roasting the turkey, make the broth for the gravy.
  2. Coarsely chop the celery, onion, and peeled carrot.
  3. Remove the giblets that come with the turkey. Discard the liver and place the remaining giblets in a stock pan or deep sauce pan. Add the celery, onion, carrot, bay leaf, peppercorns, and Kosher salt.
  4. Add water to the pan, covering the entire contents of the pot. The water should fill the pot but not be too full that it will overflow once the liquid comes to a boil.
  5. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.
  6. Let simmer 3-4 hours.
  7. Transfer to an air tight container and cool overnight in the refrigerator.

Step 2 – Make the Gravy When The Turkey Is Cooked

Ingredients:
2-4 tablespoons of corn starch
1/4 – ½ cup of full-fat coconut milk
Turkey stock

  1. Remove the turkey stock from the refrigerator.
  2. When the turkey has finished roasting, pour the drippings into a fat separator. Once separated, pour the drippings into a sauce pan over low to medium heat.
  3. Add one tablespoon of corn starch to the sauce pan. Whisk consistently to incorporate the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Slowly pour about 2 tablespoons of coconut milk to the gravy. Continue to whisk.
  5. Slowly pour about ÂĽ cup of broth into the gravy mixture. Continue to whisk.
  6. Continue to whisk and add the corn starch and coconut milk until the gravy thickens. If the gravy becomes too thick, add more broth. If it needs to be thicker, add more corn starch and coconut milk. Remember to continually whisk the gravy so it doesn’tburn or stick to the bottom of the pan.
  7. When the gravy has thickened to your likening, transfer to a gravy boat and serve. Pro tip – add hot water to the gravy boat and let sit for about 5 minutes. Pour out the water and add the gravy. The boat will be warm and the gravy will stay warmer a little longer than adding to a cold gravy boat.

Roast Chicken on A Rainy Sunday

Today is the first day in Dallas it actually feels like Fall! I don’t think the cooler temps are going to stick around, but I’ll take it, even if it’s just for a day. It’s been overcast and raining all weekend so we are spending a quiet day at home watching football…and catching up on blogging.

A rainy Sunday is the perfect day to roast a chicken. It can cook slowly in the oven and fill the house with delicious aromas. Served with mashed potatoes and green beans, it’s the perfect Sunday dinner!

When I buy chicken, I try and buy organic chicken. I know it’s more expensive, but as I’ve educated myself on non-organic vs. organic, I am learning there really are benefits to eating organic.

How Foods Are Labeled “Organic”

For foods to be labeled “organic”, it must adhere to the guidelines outlined by the USDA. These guidelines indicate how fruits and grains must be grown and how livestock must be raised. In order for livestock to be labeled organic, it must meet the following guidelines:

  • Live in healthy conditions with access to the outdoors
  • 30% of the feeding must be done in a pasture during grazing season
  • Be fed an organic diet that doesn’t include antibiotics or growth hormones
  • Live on a farm that doesn’t use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides

Reading Organic Food Labels

Food labeling can be very confusing. Something labeled “all natural” or “free range” doesn’t mean that it is also organic. Anything labeled as “all natural” means there are no added sugars, preservatives, or flavors. Eggs or chicken’s labeled “free range” or “hormone-free” doesn’t guarantee the farmer followed all guidelines for organic farming. If a product has the USDA Organic label, the food manufacturer or farmer has adhered to all of the guileless and have been certified by the USDA.

USDAorganicThe USDA Organic seal can be included on labels if manufactures can verify the food item is:

  • 100% Organic – can only be used when fruits, vegetables, eggs, or meats are grown or raised using all organic means. Multi-ingredient foods may be labeled 100% organic if all parts are 100% organic.
  • Organic – can only be used when multi-ingredient foods are 95% organic. The non-organic items must be grown or provided by manufacturers that are approved by the USDA.

The following can’t use the USDA Organic seal, even though parts of the product contains organic items:

  • Made With Organic – this verbiage indicates that one or more of the items are organic. For example, some cereals use organic oats along with other non-organic ingredients.
  • Organic Ingredients – usually on multi-ingredient items, this indicates that 70% or less of the items are organic. The label will indicate which items are organic.

Non-GMO Project Verified – What Exactly Is This?

NonGMOThe other label found on many foods in the all-natural aisles of the grocery store is the Non-GMO Project. Founded in 2010, this non-profit organization works to verify non-GMO foods and products.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are basically foods created in a laboratory. These foods don’t naturally occur in nature and have been modified to withstand things such as frost or pesticides. For example, the Polyphenol oxidase (PPO) enzyme in Granny Smith and Golden Delicious Apples causes them to brown and scientists have figured out a way to remove this enzyme, thus causing the apples not to turn brown.

Below is a list of the most common GMO foods – I was shocked to learn that zucchini and yellow squash is on the list!

  • Aspartame
  • Alfalfa
  • Canola / Canola Oil
  • Corn
  • Papaya
  • Soy
  • Zucchini and Yellow Squash
  • Sugar Beets
  • Diary / Milk

I know many times is easier and cheaper to just buy “regular” chicken, but being aware of what goes into that chicken is important. For those of us with inflammation issues, eating more organic or natural foods can help keep inflammation away and helps to keeps us healthier in general.

Sunday Roast Chicken

Author: The Food Allergy Foodie
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour + 10 minutes to rest
Serves: 4

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_75bIngredients
1 whole roasting chicken
10 garlic cloves, peeled
1 large bunch fresh thyme
1 lemon, halved and juiced
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Kitchen Twine (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Remove the whole chicken from the packaging. Some whole chickens include the liver and neck in a separate pouch inside the cavity; remove this and discard if you don’t want to make broth. If you want to make broth, reserve this for later use.
  3. Wash the chicken, making sure to rinse the inside cavity. Pat dry with paper towel.
  4. In a roasting pan, drizzle about 1 tablespoon of oil on the bottom of the pan. You don’t want standing oil, but enough to coat the bottom of the pan.
  5. Peel 10 cloves of garlic.
  6. Juice one lemon. Keep the lemon halves, as you will put them in the cavity of the chicken.
  7. Wash the bunch of thyme. Take half of the thyme and chop finely. Reserve the other half of the bunch of thyme.
  8. Place the chicken in the pan, breast side up. Salt and pepper the inside of the cavity.
  9. Using a knife, gently lift the skin off the chicken. You don’t want to fully detatch the skin, but find little pockets that you can insert the garlic cloves into. Scatter the garlic cloves throughout the chicken and if you have any left over, place inside the cavity.
  10. Using a basting brush, brush olive oil over the entire chicken.
  11. Lightly pour the juice of one lemon over the chicken.
  12. Sprinkle the minced thyme over the chicken. Salt and pepper, to taste.
  13. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the lemons, remaining thyme, and garlic. If you have kitchen twine, tie the chicken legs together.
  14. Place the chicken in the oven and let roast 30 minutes. After roasting for 30 minutes, use a pastry brush or baster to baste the chicken with the juices from the pan. Continue roasting for another 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.
  15. Let rest 10 minutes before carving.
  16. You can put the cooked garlic in a bowl and use it as a garnish for the chicken or use it in your mashed potatoes.

Oven Baked Beans

Backyard barbecues are a fun way to bring together friends and family during the summer. Last weekend, while my parents were in town visiting, we had my future father-in-law over for a barbecue. There are several side dishes that just go with barbecuing – like potato salad and baked beans. We smoked pork and beef ribs and I made mayo-free potato salad and my dad made his famous baked beans. He has tweaked this recipe over the years and made adjustments when I discovered I had gluten sensitivities. I love his baked beans. They are not overly sweet and have a thick sauce that doesn’t run into other foods on your plate.

Have you ever read the ingredient label on canned baked beans? I was shocked when I discovered many brands use additives such as modified cornflour or corn starch, caramel coloring, dextrose, and soybean oil. While some of these items contain traces of gluten, and don’t contain dairy or eggs, they are still really bad for us.

Many homemade baked bean recipes call for soaking the beans overnight. You can do this, but we have found it’s not a necessity. If you boil the beans for about 40 minutes, you can get the same results as soaking the beans. The important thing is to have the beans cook until they are al dente. You don’t want them to be too mushy because they will continue to bake in the oven.

Homemade baked beans are not hard to make – it just takes several hours to bake. But, the end result is do delicious it’s worth the long cooking time. These beans also travel well and are a great dish to bring to a pot-luck barbecue or summer party.

Oven Baked Beans406

Author: The Food Allergy Foodie’s Father
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 4 hours
Serves: 6-8 people

Ingredients:

3 cups of French Navy beans
9-10 cups of water (enough to cover the beans)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce“>Worcestershire sauce
2 cups of Ketchup
1/2 cup of Yellow mustard
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup Molasses
1 yellow onion, peeled with the ends cut off
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
3/4 cup of gluten-free beer
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

Directions:

  1. Add the three cups of French Navy beans to a 2-quart saucepan with 9-10 cups of water. You want enough water so the beans are covered. Bring the beans to a boil and let cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the beans are al dente. The beans should be a bit firm to the bite and not too soft or mushy. Stir the beans periodically, about every 15 minutes while cooking.
  2. Once the beans come to a boil, preheat the oven to 325°.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked beans into a Dutch oven or stockpot that is oven-safe. Reserve the cooking water, as you will use that as the beans bake in the oven.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients with the beans in the Dutch oven. Mix well to combine. Place the yellow onion in the center of the pot.
  5. Cover the beans and place in the preheated oven. Bake for three hours. Check the beans every 30 minutes and add a ladle-full of reserved cooking water as needed. The sauce should be thick so only add as much water as needed to achieve the desired consistency.

 

Easy Kebabs for Entertaining

I can’t believe I’m finally writing my first blog post! I’ve been thinking about starting a food blog for a while and after several months of preparing and testing recipes, I’m finally ready to debut my little passion project to the world!

And, it just so happens that the launch somewhat coincides with Brad’s birthday. We had only been dating a few weeks last year when it was his birthday, so we were in the awkward stage of what to get someone you just started dating. Having discovered he loves milk chocolate, I baked him chocolate cupcakes from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Cake Mix Doctor, and took him to the Jimmy Buffett concert the next day. Now, a whole year later, we are still keeping it low key but I can indulge a bit more.

I love entertaining and having friends and family over for a delicious meal and Brad’s birthday is a perfect excuse to have a party. Since I’ll be in control of the menu, I can make sure everything on the menu is free of diary, gluten, and eggs – and most of the time, no one knows these ingredients are missing.

We have a Webber kettle grill that works great but we have been talking about purchasing a gas grill for a while; unfortunately something always seems to jump in front of the line of purchase priority. So, I decided to give Brad a Broil-Mate™ One Tough Grill for his birthday. It’s going to be great to have the option of cooking over charcoal or gas. During the week, it’s just easier to turn on the gas grill than preparing and waiting 30 minutes for the charcoal grill to heat. I convinced Brad to open his gift a day early so we could use it during the birthday barbecue. We tested it out the night before by grilling chicken – delish!

Brad loves kebabs, so I’m making chicken and steak kebabs, dairy-free potato salad, and fruit salad. Most everything on the menu can be prepped ahead of time, leaving me time to mix and mingle with his family. And for the vegetarians and vegans out there, you can use the marinade on veggies – just swap the honey for Agave nectar.

Kebabs_06.12.18Balsamic-Honey Chicken Kebabs

Author: The Food Allergy Foodie
Prep Time:  1-1.5 hours
Serves: 8-10 people

Ingredients

Marinade:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Kebabs:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, brined and cubed
1 container of grape or cherry tomatoes
2 zucchini, sliced into ½” pieces
1 container, Crimini mushrooms
1 red onion, cut into large pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into large pieces
1 green bell pepper, cut into large pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into large pieces
8-10 metal or wooden skewers

Directions:

  1. One hour before you are ready to assemble the kebabs, brine the chicken breasts in a salt water bath. In a large mixing bowl, measure ÂĽ cup of Kosher or sea salt with cold water. Whisk until the salt is dissolved. Add the chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. The longer you brine the chicken, the juicer it will be.
  2. While the chicken is brining, prepare the marinade. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the marinade. Whisk well to combine the oil and vinegar.
  3. After the chicken is done brining, rinse well under cold water. Make sure to really rinse the chicken because you don’t want to taste the salt from the brine. Pat dry the chicken.
  4. Cube the chicken into 1-1/2” pieces. You want to make sure the pieces are large enough so they won’t fall off the skewer while cooking. Place the cubed chicken into a Ziplock bag and pour half the marinade over the chicken. Close the bag and shake to cover the chicken. Marinate for 30 minutes. You will need the remaining marinade to baste the vegetables.
  5. If you are using wooden skewers, now is the time to soak them so they don’t burn during grilling. I use a baking sheet and fill it with water and soak the skewers for at least 30 minutes.
  6. While the chicken is marinating, prepare the vegetables for the kebabs. I like to make “stations” for each of the vegetables so I get out all of my mixing bowls, one for each vegetable. As I cut each vegetable, I add them to a bowl for easy assembly.
  7. After the chicken is done marinating, it’s time to assemble the kebabs. You can build the kebabs any way you like – you can do chicken – vegetable – chicken, or vegetable – vegetable – chicken – it’s up to you! As I build each kebab, I placed the filled skewers on a baking sheet. Once all the kebabs are assembled, brush each with the remaining marinade.
  8. Heat the grill to 375 degrees. Once heated, place the skewers on the grill and let cook about 30 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the chicken registers 165 degrees.
  9. Plate and enjoy!

If you are vegetarian or vegan, you can substitute the honey in the marinade with agave nectar and create delicious veggie kebabs.