In my opinion, it's okay to get help from some store bought products to short-cut your nightly dinner prep. After all, who has the time to make a from-scratch meal every night? I'm just happy to get a good-tasting, healthy, gluten free dinner on the table for my family most nights. Judging from the multitude of "cheat" and "hack" recipes out there, I'm in good company!
So here's a quick and easy down-home Southern dinner that you can make in about an hour, with a little help from Aleia's, Bisquick, and Gillian's -- and a recipe found on the Internet that I adapted to be gluten free.
Having been a fan of Aleia's gluten free cookies, stuffing, and pre-made breadcrumbs and Panko coating for a long time, I was thrilled to recently find their "extra crispy" Coat & Crunch mix (similar to Shake-n-Bake) to use on meat. So I set out to make a dinner with this healthier version of "fried" chicken, baked in the oven.
And what's the perfect companion to crispy chicken? Why, biscuits, of course! I can't say I've tasted a better gluten free biscuit than the ones I've made using the recipe on Bisquick's own gluten free mix box. (It would be awfully presumptuous of me to assume I could best that company's biscuit recipe!) Add a few ingredients to the mix, and within 20 minutes, you have perfect, warm biscuits that you'll be shocked are gluten free.
Having overheard someone in the grocery store the day before talking about making a peach pie, I immediately started craving one! Although my kids aren't huge fans of fruit pies (makes no sense to me!), I figured they might enjoy a fresh peach pie, given their rapid devouring of peaches all summer long! So I bought a small basket of locally grown peaches and figured I'd make use of the Gillian's pre-made gluten free pie crust sitting in my freezer. (There are several other brands of GF pie crusts you can buy.) I did an Internet search for Peach Pie and ran across this one from Food.com. Obviously, I substituted my gluten free ready-made pie crust AND GF flour in the recipe (I used Bob's Red Mill "1-to1" gluten free baking flour). I'm also a big fan of crumb topping, so instead of following Steps 6 and 7 of the Food.com recipe to make a "top crust," I made a gluten free version of crumble and sprinkled it all over the top of the peaches.
The crumb topping recipe is as follows:
3/4 cup gluten free flour (use one of many brands that's made to substitute cup-for-cup for regular flour)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup melted butter
Mix ingredients together in a bowl, and then use your hands to sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the pie.
So, miraculously, even though I'd started the dinner-making process later than I would have liked, I managed to get all three of these things made and dinner on the table in just under an hour. It was fun to have this healthier and gluten free version of a Southern-themed dinner right at home. After all, there aren't many restaurants that serve safe gluten free fried chicken and biscuits!
What are some of your favorite gluten free "hacks," shortcuts, or brands? Share in a comment below.