Friday, April 1, 2016

Mom's Swiss Chard & Quinoa Salad

Mom's Swiss Chard & Quinoa Salad

This recipe & images were contributed by my mom.  She recommends serving this salad with baked chicken.

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 large white Onion, diced
2 Tablespoons minced Garlic
1 Cup Quinoa
2 Cups Chicken Broth
5 Beet Green Leaves
5 Swiss Chard Leaves
2 Tablespoons chopped Pecans
1 Cup Pomegranate Seeds

 Add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil to a saucepan.  Heat the oil over medium heat.  When the oil is hot, add the diced onion and minced garlic.  Saute until the onions start to brown.

Bring 2 Cups of chicken broth to a boil.  Add 1 cup of quinoa.  Reduce heat and simmer until all the water is absorbed (10-15 minutes.)

Thoroughly wash the beet greens and the swiss chard, pat dry with a paper towel, and break into bite size pieces.

In a medium to large bowl, combine the greens, onions and garlic, quinoa, pomegranate seeds, and pecans.  The chard melts into the quinoa.  Serve with your favorite pomegranate  dressing.

  Bon appetit!

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Friday, January 15, 2016

Chad's Gluten Free Chicken Scampi Supreme

Chad's Gluten Free Chicken Scampi Supreme

This is so delicious!  AND, this recipe is very easy to make and can be ready in about 45 minutes.  Did I mention it's really delicious?
Gluten free rotini,  linguine, or penne pasta 
1 garlic bulb  (10-15 cloves)
8 Tablespoons butter 
1 large head of broccoli
2 lbs uncooked chicken breast, cut into chunks 
16 oz baby bella mushrooms
1/4 Cup Extra virgin olive oil
1 pint grape tomatoes
 0.5 lb block of feta (We highly recommend sheep feta from France)
Sea salt to taste 
Boil pasta following directions on the box.  Peel the garlic cloves. 
Saute garlic & 6 Tablespoons of butter until the garlic softens, about 2 min.
Cut the broccoli into 1 inch chunks
Steam in a saucepan with water until soft, 10-15 min.
Remove from heat & set aside. 
While the broccoli is cooking, chop the chicken into 1"x1" chunks. 
Add chicken to the garlic and saute until the chicken is cooked through, 8-10 min.
Remove from heat & set aside. 
Slice mushrooms, 1/4 inch thick
Saute mushrooms with 1/4 Cup olive oil and 2 Tablespoons of butter. 
Add a generous sprinkle of sea salt. Saute until they are 
Slice the tomatoes in half. 
Arrange them with the cut side up. Sprinkle them with salt. Broil in the oven on high for 
about 2 min to soften them. 
Crumble the feta cheese into the pasta.
Add the broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes, and chicken... careful not to stir too much.
(Carefully scoop from the bottom to the top.)
Add heat if needed to melt the 
feta. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Mom's Collard Salad

Mom's Collard Salad

This recipe & images were contributed by my mom...nutritious and delicious!  This recipe makes one large serving.  Just double or triple the recipe for more salad.

1 cup cooked chicken breast, chopped
1 persimmon, chopped
1 orange, cut into chunks
2 large organic collard leaves
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
2 strips of bacon, crumbled (optional)

Chop the chicken, persimmon, orange, & pecans.
Wash the collard leaves, pat dry with a paper towel, roll them up and slice into thin strips.
Combine ingredients and serve.
Mom recommends serving with honey mustard dressing and raspberry balsamic vinegar.

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Great tip for Rver's: Collapsible salad spinner

Friday, December 25, 2015

Chia Pudding

Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are very versatile.  They can be soaked in water and tea for a refreshing beverage, sprinkled on salads, and cereals, added to sauces, dressings, and dips, and used as an egg substitute in baking.  Chia seeds are high in protein, omega-3s, minerals, and antioxidants.

Chia pudding was introduced to us by Chad's mom.  It's incredibly easy to make and very nutritious.  This is great for breakfast, a snack, or dessert.  And, this is entirely gluten free.  

1/3 cup chia seeds
1 1/2 cups liquid of your choice (we've been using coconut milk)
2 Tablespoons honey, coconut sugar, maple syrup, or stevia
1/2 tsp vanilla

You can also add fresh fruit, nuts, coconut, mashed banana, mango juice...the possibilities are endless.  This could also be layered with fruit and whipped cream as a delicious dessert pudding.

Mix all ingredients and let it sit overnight or for an hour or two and serve.  It's really that easy!

After the seeds sit for a couple of minutes, you will notice they will start to expand into a gel like consistency.  If you're not comfortable with the consistency, try adding flax seeds.

I found some other great ideas for Chia pudding on TheFitRV's blog.  I can't wait to try their chocolate chia pudding.  Click here for the recipe.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Susy's Fettuccini Alfredo & Shrimp Scampi

Susy's Fettuccini Alfredo & Shrimp Scampi

Here's another delicious recipe contributed by Susy. She made this for us the last time she visited and it is so, so delicious!!!!

Alfredo Sauce

(Image compliments of Susy)

1 stick butter
2 cups heavy cream (whipping cream)
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
1 clove garlic, crushed or 1 teaspoon garlic powder (Optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
Pasta cooking water, as needed  
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley before serving (Optional)
16 oz box of Gluten free Pastafettuccini, linguine, spaghetti or angel hair

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

In a saucepan or skillet, warm the butter and garlic (be careful not to burn). 

Add the cream & cook for 2-3 minutes until warmed through. (be careful not to boil)

Add the Parmesan and stir until melted. 

Taste for salt & then season with salt and pepper (taste before adding because butter & Parmesan can add salt)

Toss to combine with pasta, thinning with pasta water if necessary. (1-2 tablespoons of pasta water will help the sauce “stick” to the pasta.  The cream & Parmesan thicken the sauce. Add more if the sauce is too thick, as you prefer.)

Shrimp Scampi

(Image compliments of Susy)


1 stick butter
¾ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium onion, chopped (or 3-4 small shallots)
1-2 small garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tablespoons PESTO (store bought is fine)
2 lemons, zest & juice
1 Cup of white wine (Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc)
1 Cup freshly grated Parmesan 
2 pounds of medium shrimp (peeled & deveined)
1 cup of fresh basil chopped and/or fresh parsley
1 medium tomato, seeded & chopped (optional)

Add the butter & olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, & pesto.  Cook for 1-2 minutes until the onions are soft. 

Add all the following ingredients: lemon juice/zest, white wine, & Parmesan.

Cook the sauce for 1-2 minutes & then add the shrimp until cooked.  (If using cooked shrimp, just cook until the shrimp is heated through.)

Add the fresh basil and tomato & heat through for 1 minute.

Serve in a separate platter or pour over pasta.

WINE PAIRING:  Pinot Grigio is the best w/ this menu!

More Recipes by Susy
Tostones - Twice Fried Plantains
"Picadillo Habanero" = Ground Beef Havana Style

Monday, August 10, 2015

How to Replace RV Slide Topper Awning Fabric

How to Replace RV Slide Topper Awning Fabric 

Well, this was upsetting.  The wind caught our awning and ripped the fabric.....likely because it was so old and brittle.  But, still...upsetting.  

So, we ordered new fabric and this is how we did the install.....By the way, when measuring for new fabric, the fabric lengths are center to center, arm to arm.

This is for a slide topper awning compatible with Carefree, Carter, & A&E awnings.

We decided to prop the awning arms up at about chest level to make it easier to replace the fabric.

As you unroll the awning fabric, note the number of times you turn the torsion assembly to relieve the tension.  The spring’s tension is exact and will need to be set to this exact point during reinstallation.  In our case, the awning fabric had ripped off, so we guessed 11 times.  Keep in mind that unrolling the fabric tightens the spring and rolling it up releases it.

Hardware will need to be removed only from the side that you will be inserting the awning fabric from.  The rivets (example shown below) have to be removed... well as the awning bracket.

There was also a screw down the track from the bracket that needed to be removed.  It actually had to be drilled out.

When the rivets are removed, the torsion assembly can be pulled apart as shown below.  The cord can be pulled out as well as...

...the existing awning fabric.  Keep in mind that the fabric will be reinserted in much the same way as it is removed.

The next step requires the help of an assistant.  In fact, the help of 4 people would have been ideal, but we accomplished the task with just the two of us.  The vinyl awning fabric came with a cord installed on the bottom and top.  First, feed the cord and fabric into the top rail about 1 foot.

Then feed the cord and fabric into the track on the torsion assembly.  

This is where more people comes in handy as you feed the fabric into the track and keep guiding it down the rail.

The top and bottom need to be fed together.

When the fabric has been fed completely onto the track, the bracket and screw can be reinstalled.

The torsion assembly has a second track.  The fabric has to be carefully folded into this track and then a cord inserted into the track.  This is tricky.  You have to be careful not to rip the fabric.  We used a pin punch to glide the cord down the track.  We also sprayed WD40 on the fabric to make it easier to slide the cord down the track.

We used the blunt edge of a bondo applicator to fold the fabric down the track.

There was an existing stopper piece that we reinserted over the cord before pushing the torsion assembly back into place.

The existing rivets were old/worn, so we used sheet metal screws to hold everything in place.

Carefully roll the awning up into place.

The following are pictures of the awning fully extended.  We are very happy with this vinyl fabric.  It is also working well in the rain.

Yay!!  All finished.

My mom & Chad


Friday, August 7, 2015

Chad's Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan

Chad's Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan

This recipe actually combines a couple of our other recipes.  Chad's basic marinara sauce and Gluten Free Chicken Cutlet, both of which can be made ahead of time.  We highly recommend making the marinara sauce because that is what makes the recipe so delicious.  I'll include all of the ingredients here so you can see what's required at a quick glance.
Marinara sauce Ingredients
1 small bulb of garlic (use more or less garlic to taste - we love garlic)
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
28 oz can Whole Peeled Tomatoes (from Italy are delicious - fresh tomatoes are best)
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
1/8 teaspoon Pepper (or to taste)
1/2 Tablespoon dried basil
Click here for the recipe
 Gluten Free Chicken Cutlet Ingredients
 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
 3 oz. gluten free bread crumbs
1/2 Cup brown rice flour (You could also use coconut flour to give it a slightly sweet flavor)
 3 eggs
1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder
 1 Tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon salt 
 2 Tablespoons water
Canola oil (or for a healthier alternative use refined coconut oil or extra light olive oil)
Click here for the recipe.  You will need to cut the ingredients in half (reflected above).  Follow all of the steps shown in the recipe.

Additional Ingredients
15 oz. Ricotta cheese
16 oz. Mozzarella cheese, grated
Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded to taste
1 pint Sliced mushrooms (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a 13x9 pan, spread a layer of the marinara sauce, then the grated mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, and chicken.

Layer the ricotta cheese over the chicken, add another layer of marinara sauce, and sprinkle the remaining mozzarella on top.  Garnish with parmesan cheese on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes.

Bon Appetit!
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