Chicken and Asparagus Risotto Dinner (GF/DF)

When I first started with Pampered Chef, I made this recipe A LOT because it made me feel fancy and accomplished! I was putting a beautiful meal on the table… like a restaurant-quality meal!  Then as my cooking skills increased, my palate became little more expanded and changing my diet, I realized this recipe wasn’t going to work for me anymore but at the same time, it remained one of my favorites and one that holds a special place in my heart.

To make it gluten-free, I swapped out the cream of mushroom soup and instant rice and I swapped out the parmesan for nutritional yeast to make it dairy-free.  Lastly, I adapted it to be prepared in the Quick Cooker Pressure Cooker to save time and effort.  So now it’s a win-win… healthier and easier to prepare!  The hint of fresh lemon gives this dish a vibrant flavor that is perfect any time of year.

Chicken & Asparagus Risotto Dinner
Adapted from: Pampered Chef
Makes 6 servings

1 tbsp olive oil
½ small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, pressed
1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup arborio rice
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 lb fresh asparagus spears, cut into 1 1/2-in pieces
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon dairy-free cream cheese
½ lemon

  1. Set the Quick Cooker to SEAR and press START. Heat the oil in the inner pot for 3 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and sear and each side until browned, about 2 minutes per side.  Remove from the Quick Cooker and tent with foil to keep warm.
  3. Add the onion, garlic pressed with the Garlic Press, salt and pepper to the Quick Cooker and cook uncovered for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the rice and broth stir to combine for 1 minute. Press CANCEL.
  4. Pace the wire rack into the inner pot with all three feet touching the bottom.  Place the chicken on the wire rack.
  5. Lock the lid, select the CUSTOM setting, adjust the time to 11 minutes, and press START.
  6. Meanwhile, cut the asparagus into 1 ½-inch pieces using the 5” Santoku Knife.  Zest the lemon using the Microplane® Zester and set aside.  Save the lemon for later use.
  7. When the timer is up, press CANCEL. Press the steam-release button to manually release the pressure.  Remove the chicken to a plate to keep warm and remove the wire rack.
  8. Stir in the asparagus and set to SEAR and press START.  Cook, uncovered, for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in the nutritional yeast and cream cheese and stir for 1 minute longer.
  9. Press CANCEL. Before serving, Press ½ lemon into the rice using the Citrus Press.  
  10. Portion the risotto, asparagus and chicken onto serving plates.  Sprinkle with lemon zest and serve.

Enjoy!

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Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Everything on this site, recipes and photos belong to the author and any reprints are only by permission of the author.

Why You Need a Stackable Cooling Rack

Stackable Cooling Rack

I personally have six of them. Yes, I said it. I have six. When I do my massive holiday cookie baking, these are essential. But not just for the holidays! These sturdy racks are perfect for all kinds of baked goods, plus they are strong enough to support stoneware or bakeware. They will keep your countertops safe from hot dishes.

Here are the details:

  • 10” x 18”.
  • Small, nonstick grid prevents food from falling.
  • Durable, heavy-gauge steel.
  • Rubber feet protect counters.
  • Hand wash.

Plus, you can order them as a set too!

Do you really need a cooling rack for baked goods? The short answer: yes. Because the raised level of the rack combined with the open grid allows air to circulate, cooling your goodies quickly and evenly. No more soggy bottoms!

Stackable Cooling Rack Set

Are you wondering what else I use them for when I’m not baking massive amounts of cookies? I’m glad you asked!

My mother shared with me with brilliant hack of placing one in my freezer to offer another storage shelf. I also use them to rinse my produce when it’s arrived from the store before storing. I place the rack right over my sink and use the host attachment to rinse the vegetables. When we entertain, I use them under my tablecloths to create height for serving.

Do you ever make peanut butter cookies? Here’s my favorite hack for that: instead of using a fork to make the cross-hatch pattern after you’ve portioned your cookies onto a cookie sheet, use the rack to make the crosshatches all at one time. Genius!

But there’s more! Use it to chop avocados for guacamole, eggs or egg salad and potatoes for potato salad! How? Place your produce or eggs on a cutting board and press the rack over them. The contents will come right through the grid into chopped pieces.

On a side note, this rack is NOT oven safe so you won’t want to use it for roasting vegetables or making bacon, BUT you can use this Baking Rack for those things (and as a cooling rack too!). See? We’ve got you covered!

Get yours here: Stackable Cooling Racks

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Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Everything on this site, recipes and photos belong to the author and any reprints are only by permission of the author.

German Chocolate Brownies (GF/DF)

German chocolate is such a classic flavor and a comfort food for us.  Bill loves coconut so whenever I can make anything that has coconut in it, I know he’ll be in love. 

In doing a little research I learned that the chocolate part is what is the German chocolate. I mistakenly thought that it was the combination of the chocolate, coconut and pecans that made it “German chocolate.”  And it has zero connection to being German in origin!

These brownies can be heated slightly in the microwave or air fryer to serve warm or can be cooled and refrigerated for up to a week, but only if they last that long.

German Chocolate Brownies


Adapted from: Detoxinista and 365 Great Cookies & Brownies
Makes 16 servings

1 cup almond flour
1 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
3 eggs
3 tablespoons plus ¼ cup ghee, melted, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup oat milk
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup flaked coconut

  1. Heat the oven to 350F.  line an 8” square baking pan with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Mix the almond flour, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in the Medium Stainless Mixing Bowl using the Small Mix ‘N Scraper.  Add the eggs, 3 tablespoons ghee, and vanilla and mix well.  Spread in the prepared pan and bake 25-30 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven to a Stackable Cooling Rack to cool.  
  4. While the brownies are cooling, combine ¼ cup ghee, brown sugar and oat milk in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 3 minutes.  Stir in the chopped pecans and flaked coconut.  Spread the topping over the brownie layer in the pan, then allow to cool completely.
  5. Cut into 16 squares.

Enjoy!

SHOP MY KITCHEN!

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Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Everything on this site, recipes and photos belong to the author and any reprints are only by permission of the author.

Why You Need A Micro-Cooker Set

Whether or not the majority of your cooking is done in a microwave oven or not, this Micro-Cooker set is a kitchen essential.  When I started with Pampered Chef, the Small Micro-Cooker came in the starter kit and while I wanted to like it, I just couldn’t!  I found it hard to attach the lid to the pot and with the long handle, it was a challenge to store.  It went in my cabinet and I rarely used it.  Fast forward to moving to a new place to live and not having a microwave, it wasn’t needed.  When I finally did have a microwave, I had been so out of the habit of using it, frankly I’d forget that it was an option.

When the newer style was introduced, I figured I’d feel the same way about it because I really don’t do much microwave “cooking” and if I were to, I’d opt for stoneware.  But then one day, I pulled them out to use and instantly fell in love!  What happened?

Well, a few things! First, they are much easier to store! Look at how easily they stack and the lids snap together so there isn’t a chance that one will be misplaced.  The lids are also completely easy to twist on and off.  The struggle is gone!  Plus, the lids have holes that let steam escape and make any liquid easy to drain off without getting out a colander or burning myself.

So, what are these essential little pots used for?  The 1-Qt is perfect for melting butter and chocolate, heating soup and steaming vegetables and perfect for one-dish microwave meals.  I end up using it often when Bill is traveling and I’m cooking for myself. 

The 2-Qt is the right size for family meals, poaching chicken, larger servings of soup and vegetables.

The 3-Qt Micro-Cooker Plus makes cooking starchy dishes like potatoes, quinoa, pasta, polenta and rice a breeze!  The special lid insert circulates the liquid and prevents boil-overs so there are no microwave messes to clean up!  All three sizes are microwave safe too.

This set is perfect for dorms, apartments, empty nesters and frankly anyone who owns a microwave.  And of course, all are BPA free so they are completely safe to cook with and are sold in a set or separately, depending on your needs.  Did I mention they are dishwasher safe?

You can grab yours here: 

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Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Everything on this site, recipes and photos belong to the author and any reprints are only by permission of the author.

Perfect Juicy Turkey Burger (GF/DF)

Aren’t we always looking for a juicy turkey burger that is actually juicy?  I’ve been making my turkey burgers this way for years since I learned a little secret one night when I was volunteering.  

I was helping out at a poker fund-raising event at a restaurant in suburban Detroit that ended up running into the early morning hours.  The volunteers were getting hungry so the manager offered us something to eat as a thank you for helping out. I said that I was craving a burger but being an Italian restaurant, they didn’t have one on the menu.  The manager told me not to worry, they would accommodate my request.  

The burger was one of the most delicious things I had ever tasted… perfectly beefy, juicy and everything you would want in a burger.  Then the manager shared with me the secret.  He told me that the chef always ground the beef for the burgers he made.  But that wasn’t it… he noted that the chef always added portobello mushrooms to the mix.  That was my a-ha moment.

Since I’ve been making my burgers this way, everyone has said the exact same thing… they can’t believe it’s not a beef burger! It’s perfectly juicy and has the appearance of a beef burger.

Plus, we all know turkey burgers are better for you because they aren’t red meat and are a lean protein.  Throw in the portobello and you have added an excellent source of riboflavin, niacin, copper (a mineral necessary for storing and producing iron) and potassium.  Enjoy your burgers… you’ll never make them any other way again!  

For the portobellos, I pop them into my food processor and process them until they are finely ground.

Then I combine them with the ground turkey, some GF breadcrumbs and seasoning mix. I form them into patties and then into the grill they go!

PERFECT JUUCY TURKEY BURGER
Makes 4 servings

1 pound ground turkey
2 portobello mushroom caps
2 tablespoons gluten-free breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon Pantry Crushed Peppercorn & Garlic Rub
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons spicy ketchup (I used this one)
4 lettuce leaves
4 tomato slices
4 gluten-free hamburger buns

  1. Place the portobellos in a food processor and process until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl and combine with the turkey, breadcrumbs, and Rub.
  2. Set the Deluxe Electric Grill & Griddle, with the grill plates, to the GRILL setting for 5 minutes and press START.
  3. Meanwhile, the turkey mixture into 4 patties and seta side.
  4. Once the grill has preheated, place the burgers on the grill, close the top. (If you are not using the Deluxe Electric Grill & Griddle, heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the burgers 5 minutes per side or until the burgers reach 165F).
  5. While the burgers are grilling, mix the mayonnaise and ketchup in a 1-Cup Prep Bowl using the Mini-Skinny Scraper and set aside.
  6. When the timer is up, check the temperature of the burgers using the Instant-Read Food Thermometer to ensure the burgers are 165F. When burgers are done, remove them from the grill to the Cutting Board to rest for 3 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, spread the mayonnaise mixture on the bun tops and bottoms. Place the burgers on the bottom buns and top with lettuce and tomatoes. Place the bun tops over the burgers and serve.

Enjoy!

SHOP MY KITCHEN!

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Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Everything on this site, recipes and photos belong to the author and any reprints are only by permission of the author.

TERIYAKI Chicken Rice Bowl with lemon & Garlic (GF/DF)

We had a busy evening last night as we are tidying the house up for a family visit this weekend.  Usually our home has overnight guests frequently but obviously since the pandemic hit, we haven’t had a many.  Confession: Why our evening was busy was because we had to put the Christmas decorations away.  Our house wasn’t still decorated though! We had taken everything down right after the new year and put the boxes into the guest bedroom and then got lazy about moving them back to the attic.  Isn’t it always the way that when you have guests arriving, things get done?

Rice bowls are so easy to make and we always enjoy them.  And I’m digging that everything goes right into the Quick Cooker and we can let it do its thing without babysitting it and enjoy dinner when we are ready.  This is the ultimate one-pot meal.

Using the Pantry Lemon Garlic Rub helping bring the flavor up a notch without having to pull out tons of spice bottles! I love using the Pantry seasonings for that very reason, plus being gluten free eases my worries of any tummy issues.

TERIYAKI CHICKEN RICE BOWL WITH LEMON & GARLIC
Adapted from: Pampered Chef
Makes 4 servings

1 orange bell pepper
1 cup broccoli florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds chicken thighs
1 tablespoon Pantry Lemon Garlic Rub
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1/4 cup coconut aminos or tamari
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
1 cup water
1/4 cup parsley leaves
1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)

  1. Using the Quick Slice, cut the bell pepper into strips. Cut the broccoli into small florets using the Utility Knife. Set both aside.
  2. Place the oil in the inner pot of the Quick Cooker and select SEAR and press START. Meanwhile, season the chicken with the Rub.
  3. When the oil has heated for 3 minutes, add the chicken to the inner pot and sear the chicken, 3-4 minutes on both sides, turning once using the Chef’s Tongs.
  4. Meanwhile, in a 2-Cup Prep Bowl, mix the ginger, coconut aminos, mirin and honey using the Stainless Steel Mini Whisk. Pour over the chicken in the inner pot.
  5. Place the pepper and broccoli over the chicken and place the wire rack into the inter pot with all three feet touching the bottom.
  6. Add the rice and water to the Ceramic Pot and cover with the stretch-fit lid. Place the ceramic pot into the wire cradle and lower onto the wire rack.
  7. Lock the lid and select the CHICKEN/POULTRY setting. Adjust the time to 10 minutes and press START.
  8. When the timer is up, let the steam release naturally for 10 minutes, then press CANCEL and release any remaining pressure.
  9. Carefully lift the Ceramic Pot out and fluff the rice. Using the Salad Chopper, chop the chicken in the Inner Pot.
  10. Serve the chicken over the rice with the sauce. Sprinkle with parsley from the Herb Mill and sesame seeds if desired.

Enjoy!

SHOP MY KITCHEN!

Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 4.49.00 PM

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Everything on this site, recipes and photos belong to the author and any reprints are only by permission of the author.