GFCF Dancing Chicken Recipe

March 7, 2011 at 6:09 am | Posted in Recipes, YUM | 1 Comment
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By Shannon Penrod

This is one of my favorite recipes.  When ever I am stressed, overwhelmed or have a lot to do I like to make this dish.  It’s inexpensive, easy to make and creates healthy, tasty meals for days.  We call it “Dancing Chicken” because we make the chickens dance when we wash them!


2 whole chickens, thawed

2 whole organic lemons


Olive Oil

Did I mention this is super easy?  I buy my chickens at Sam’s Market.  I get 2 chickens for around $10.  I rinse the chickens well, inside and out.  This is when we make them dance!  Then I take two organic lemons and wash them well.  I stab the lemons about 15 each with a sharp knife and then stuff the lemons inside the cavities of the chickens.  I put both chickens breast side down in a big roaster with a lid.  I pour about 1/4 cup of olive oil over the chickens and then sprinkle salt over them.  I put the lid on and roast them in a 350 degree oven for at least 2 hours.  I don’t baste, the lemons do that for me.  The chicken comes out practically falling off the bone, tender, juicy and flavorful.

After the chickens cool I take the lemons out and squeeze what ever hasn’t already seeped out into the pan.  I cut the leg/thighs off at the joint as well as the wings.  I flip the chicken and pull the breasts off and put them aside.  If the chicken has been cooked long enough the meat should literally fall off the bone. Once I’ve cleaned the carcasses and stored the meat I strain the juice from the pan storing some of it in the fridge and some of it in the freezer.

The best thing about this recipe is how you can use it and stretch it into many meals.  First I serve my son the legs and wings.  If I’m only feeding him that’s four meals alone.  The breasts I use as chicken nuggets (I dredge them in Namaste Pizza Crust Mix and slightly fry them), I cut up pieces to be used with gluten free pasta, in soup, in chicken salad and even sliced on sandwiches.  The juice from the pan makes a great base for a soup, or sauce or to cook rice.  I cook these chickens and I know that I’m going to have at least four days of fast easy meals.  I like to roast my chickens on Sunday while I’m doing laundry.  Prep time is about 5 minutes to get it in the oven, about 10 minutes to clean the carcasses and there’s only one pan to clean.  If you’re having guests include some onions, carrots and other vegetables in the bottom of the pan for a more upscale meal.  You won’t be disappointed.

GFCF Pumpkin Stew in the Pumpkin!

October 21, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Posted in GFCF, Recipes, YUM | Leave a comment
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By Shannon Penrod

One of the greatest things we can do for our children is make healthy food fun and colorful.  Let’s face it we have to compete with electric blue candy!  How’s a mom supposed to get their kids to eat vegetables when faced with neon sugar?  I say fight fire with fire!  Get your kids involved, make it fun, make it colorful. 

Last week we visited our local pumpkin patch and for a mere five dollars I got a huge squash that resembled a pumpkin.  I made my son help me pick it out and I told him my plan to make pumpkin stew and cook it in the pumpkin.  He was really into it.  Next we went to the farmer’s market and I told him we needed to pick out vegetables to go in the stew and we needed as many colors as we could find.  He calls that eating the rainbow and he loves to go to search the market for interesting colors.  This time he picked yellow and red peppers, some rainbow colored chard,  yellow and green squash, japanese eggplant and carrots.  Great ingredients for a stew!  Other great ingredients, if your child can eat them are potatoes, corn, chicken, beef, rice, beans, etc… this is an anything goes proposition.

We thoroughly washed and then cut open the big “pumpkin” squash and cleaned out the seeds and pulp.  It was a beautiful deep orange – full of beta carotene!  We rubbed olive oil and salt all over the inside of the “pumpkin”.  I would have used pepper, but my son won’t eat anything that has pepper in it.  

We turned the pumpkin upside down is a large roasting pan with cup of water in the bottom and baked it for about an hour at 350 degrees.  While it was baking we started on the stew.  We sautéed onions, garlic and celery in large stock pot with a little bit of olive oil.  To that we added freshly washed chard and then slowly added in the rest of the vegetables stirring frequently.  We added a little water, an entire box of Imagine gluten free vegetable broth and a cup of carrot juice.  We let everything simmer for about 20 minutes and then added cardamom and cinnamon to taste.  Yummy!

When the “pumpkin” squash was just starting to be fork tender we flipped it and filled it with the stew and then continued baking it for another 45 minutes.  We served the stew with a steaming heap of the “pumpkin” in each bowl.  It was delish!

I do have to say that my little guy refuses to eat zucchini unless it is pureed – so in the end I was forced to throw his soup in the food processor!  But he loved the flavor and ate it up. 

If you want to use a pumpkin stew for a dinner center piece I would advise you to cook the “pumpkin” a little less, it gets gushy when well cooked and  can even leak!  But it sure is pretty and tasty too!

Shannon Penrod is the host of Everyday Autism Miracles a talk radio show about everything positive happening in the field of Autism.  Everyday Autism Miracles airs every Friday at 2pm Eastern Time and 11am Pacific Time on Toginet Radio  The toll free call in number is 877.864.4869   Free podcasts of the show are available on the show page and on iTunes.

GFCF Pumpkin Cookies with No Sugar

October 15, 2010 at 12:46 am | Posted in Birthday Parties, GFCF, Mixes, Recipes, Yeast | Leave a comment
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By Shannon Penrod

‘Tis the season to bake scary treats for little goblins who want to share in the festivities but don’t want the fall out of gluten, casein, soy or SUGAR!  This is my newest treat.  I can’t say that the recipe is perfected yet, but this is a pretty good cookie considering the restrictions.  I started with a cake/cookie mix from The Craving’s Place.  This is the same mix I used for Jem’s birthday cake back in June.  The mix comes unsweetened giving you options based on your kid’s needs.  If your kid tolerates sugar, go for it!  I chose to sweeten Jem’s cookies with Earth’s Best pear baby food and carrot juice which added to the pureed pumpkin make these tasty but incredibly healthy, not to mention a lovely pumpkin color.


1 Cup of The Cravings Place Unsweetened Cake/Cookie mix

1 4 oz. jar of Earth’s Best Pear Baby Food

1/2 Cup of pureed pumpkin

Approximately 1/4 cup of Carrot juice added slowly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the pumpkin and pears together.  Add the mix in slowly.  One tablespoon at a time add the carrot juice until all of the ingredients are moist but it is the equivalent of a paste.  Spoon on to a cookie sheet, press down with a fork and bake at 350 for about 6 minutes. Because these cookies have virtually no fat in them it is best to cook them on parchment paper to avoid sticking to the pan. Cookies should be firm to the touch but not hard.  Allow them to cool before removing from the cookie sheet.  This recipe makes about one dozen small cookies.  Please be advised that the cookie mix does contain corn ingredients.

These make a great lunch box treat and are wonderful to take along to Halloween parties so while the rest of the kids are stuffing their faces your child gets a treat too.

Shannon Penrod is the host of Everyday Autism Miracles on Toginet Radio.  She is also the author of The Autism Miracle in my Kitchen and three children’s books with her son Jem, who is seven years old and recovering from Autism.

GFCF Pretzels Using Namaste Pizza Crust

April 22, 2010 at 4:41 am | Posted in Birthday Parties, GFCF, Mixes, Namaste Contest, Recipes, Yeast, YUM | Leave a comment
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by Shannon Penrod

Before we went GFCF my son loved pretzels.  When we started the diet I looked for a substitute and we found the Ener-C pretzels, they were expensive but they worked, he loved them.  Then when we started working with our DAN Doctor he asked us to remove all soy, well that meant the Ener-C pretzels were out.  We switched to another brand then, I’m not sure which, it may have been Glutino.  Whatever it was had yeast in it and when we eliminated yeast from our son’s diet we effectively eliminated store bought pretzels.  That’s when I started making them out of Namaste Pizza Crust mix!  The make really nice chewy pretzels, you can add kosher salt before putting them in the oven for a real authentic soft pretzel.

The consistency of the dough is key to making pretzels.  It needs to be about the same consistency as Play-Doh.  Gushy enough to roll into a ball, but not so wet that it sticks to your hands is perfect.  At my altitude this is about one cup of Namaste Sugar-Free Pizza Dough Mix and 3 tablespoons of water.  Add the water slowly so you can see what works for you.  Mix the dough and then separate into two pieces.  Roll 1/2 of the dough between your hands to create a long tube.  Once you have it in a tube, place it on a piece of wax paper and gently knead the dough making it longer and thinner.  The spices in the mix will make it impossible to continue rolling it between your hands without breaking so slowly work the dough out with your fingers, smooshing it back together if it breaks or cracks.  One you have reached the desired length (about a foot) take both ends and cross them attaching the ends inside, like a pretzel. If the pretzel breaks just smoosh it back together, they are very forgiving before you cook them. Do the same with the other half of the dough and then transfer the two pretzels to a baking sheet.  Cooking on parchment paper is ideal but not necessary.  Sprinkle with kosher salt if desired.

Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for about 6 minutes, do not burn or even let them get very brown. One cup makes two large pretzels!

Shannon Penrod is the host of Everyday Autism Miracles on  The show airs live every Friday at  2pm EST/11am PST.  Free podcasts of the show are availabe at or you can subscribe to the free podcast on iTunes.

GFCF Recipe Contest LAST CALL

April 16, 2010 at 3:01 am | Posted in GFCF | Leave a comment
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by Shannon Penrod

The Namaste GFCF Recipe Contest is drawing to a close, but there is still time to get your recipes in!

Here are the details:

Create a winning recipe and you can win a $50 gift certificate for Namaste products and your recipe will be featured in the NEW Namaste Foods Cookbook!   Here are the particulars of the contest:

Prizes will be awarded to the best recipe in the three following categories:

1. Entrée – this is anything you would serve as the main course of a meal.
2. Dessert – tasty treats ranging from a Birthday cake, to a brownie and beyond
3. Everything else – this could be a side dish, a snack or even a dog biscuit!  Anything goes in this category.
Contestants must create a fabulous recipe in one of these categories using one of more Namaste Foods products.

To Enter:
1. Clearly write the ingredients and instructions to your recipe and email it to
2. Be sure to include your email address, name and address as well as your phone #.
3. Attach a photo or your finished recipe
4. In the subject line type the category your recipe should be judged in. (entrée, dessert, everything else)
5. Tell us in 100 words or less who you make this recipe for and why they love it!

Submission will be accepted until  April 15th.  Winners will be notified by May 1st.
Winning recipes will be featured in the New Namaste Foods cook book.  All entries will become the property of Namaste Foods and could be featured in upcoming cook books, recipe cards or on line.

Have an idea and getting ready to step into your kitchen to test drive it?  Namaste would like you to enjoy a 15% discount of their products ordered from their website.  Visit fill your shopping cart and enter promo code 50014 to receive 15% off of products.  Please note that the 15% reduction is for product only and cannot be applied to shipping costs.  Namaste Products are also available in stores such as Whole Foods Markets.  You can find a store close to you by visiting the store locator at .  The promo code is only applicable to products purchased via


Lazy Lemon Chicken Legs

April 8, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Posted in GFCF, Recipes, YUM | 2 Comments
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by Shannon Penrod

I admit it.  I am a lazy cook.  I like to do things the REALLY simple way.  I know some people think of the really simple way as going through the drive through at a fast food restaurant, but I don’t have the luxury of doing that on my son’s diet, and his diet makes the difference in him being able to talk and learn, so I’m not giving up on that!  But I don’t want to give up on keeping things simple either.  So over the years I’ve come up with some really easy recipes that get the job done.  This is a fav!  It takes less than 5 minutes to prep the chicken, about 45 minutes to cook it and makes enough for several meals!


A jumbo package of chicken legs – you can remove the skin if you want (it’s healthier without it – but I’m lazy and leave it on)

One large lemon

1 tablespoon of dried basil

1/4 Cup olive oil or canola oi (you can mix them if you like)

Salt to taste

3 Cloves of garlic

Press the garlic cloves into a large bowl.  Juice the lemon into the bowl, add the basil and oil and salt.  It should smell great.  Rinse the chicken and toss 4 pieces at a time in the mixture. I don’t dry the chicken before tossing, that’s how lazy I am!  Toss the chicken and put it into a shallow baking dish.  Arrange the legs so you can fit in as many as possible!  Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 45 minutes.  I don’t even turn the chicken.  When done the chicken should be a nice brown on top and bottom and the meat should be falling off the bone.  Check at least one piece to make sure that it is done at the bone.  The juices should run clear.  I remove the chicken from the pan almost immediately and let it cool on a clean white dish towel – this helps to drip grease and means that I can start soaking the pan almost immediately.  I always let the pan soak in hot soapy water overnight which makes for quick clean up the next morning.

The chicken is great hot or cold and packs well for picnics, as long as you bring napkins to clean hands afterward.  It’s great lazy cooking!

GFCF Turkey Meatloaf With Hidden Veggies

March 12, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Posted in GFCF, Recipes, YUM | Leave a comment
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Don’t hate me because my child eats vegetables, I have a husband that considers vegetables toxic waste.  I remember him explaining to me when were dating that pickle relish counted as a vegetable, and he only used that sparingly.  So I have my work cut out for me.  Whenever I find a recipe that is GFCF (and my other son’s restrictions) and my husband will eat it – it is nothing short of a miracle. When it also has a full serving of veggies in it and both my husband and my son love it – then it’s time to celebrate!  I ought to call this meatloaf recipe CELEBRATION MEATLOAF!  It’s fairly easy to make, they both love it, it’s economical and it’s healthy.  DING! DING! DING!  We have a winner!


1 1/2 lbs. of Ground Turkey

1 C. Carrots

2 C. Broccoli

1 C. Cooked Brown Rice

1 C. Water

I like to do things the easy way – so I put 1/2 instant brown rice, 1 cup of baby carrots and 2 cups of frozen broccoli into a bowl with the water and I steam them in the microwave until the carrots are fork tender.  You could steam the veggies in a steamer and cook the brown rice from scratch – I don’t have that kind of patience.

Take the steamed veggies, rice and water and puree them in a blender of food processor until they are liquified – it should look like pea soup, thick and green.  You may need to add more water.  You could leave it chunkier if you wanted, but it is my experience that my fussy eater (my husband) won’t eat it then.

Put the ground turkey into a baking dish that has a lid.  Add the liquified veggies and rice to the meat slowly and stir in.  The first time you make the meatloaf you might want to only add half of the veggie mixture and freeze the other half for the next meatloaf (get their taste buds adjusted before you hit them with the full veggie onslaught).

Smooth the meatloaf down into the pan and cover.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for one hour.  Make sure that meat is cooked in the middle before serving.   It should make a nice tight meatloaf that can be sliced. If not cook slightly longer and next time reduce the amount of water you add.

You can use other veggies to make this meatloaf but this combo seems to work best for my family, my husband swears he can’t taste the veggies!

This is a picture of what I served Jem for dinner the other night.  Two pieces of meatloaf, 1/2 of a brown rice tortilla with red pepper humus, fresh cucumbers and some slice beats.  It ends up being about 4 servings of vegetables with a good lean protein, some complex carbs, lots of fiber and very little fat!  Best of all, he ate the whole thing and asked for more meatloaf!  My husband ate his meatloaf on a toasted bagel with barbeque sauce and was equally happy. I had the pleasure of knowing that he got his veggies too.

GFCF Corn Free Popcorn

March 5, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Posted in Birthday Parties, GFCF, Mixes, Namaste Contest, Recipes, Yeast, YUM | Leave a comment
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Listen, when I say that I can make almost anything out of Namaste’s Sugar Free Pizza Crust, I’m not kidding!  Someone asked me the other day if I work for Namaste, because I’m always talking about it – here’s the sad truth – I don’t work for them I just love their stuff.  If your kid has as many dietary restrictions as mine, you’ll love it too.  Jem can’t have corn – it is too starchy and converts to sugar in his system and where there’s sugar – there’s yeast.  A little corn and I have a drunk elf – seriously he acts and smells like he’s been to a bar.  So, no corn – what do you do on movie day at school when all the other munchkins are dining on popcorn?  I make pop corn out of pizza dough! 

I take one cup of Namaste’s Sugar Free Pizza crust mix and slowly add water one tablespoon at a time to get the right consistency, today it took 8 tablespoons of water (it can vary greatly depending on the humidity where I live)  The dough needs to be wet, but not soupy.   It needs to be wet enough to spoon it on to a cookie tray in small globs that will remain slightly spiky.  It should look like big popcorn.

Bake at 400 degrees for only a couple of minutes – Don’t bother walking away.  You need to bake it long enough to dry the dough out, but not long enough to brown.  My oven runs hot and I am at altitude so it only takes about 4 minutes.  Keep an eye on your oven the first time to time it – nobody likes burnt popcorn.  I serve it as is, but you can add salt if you like.  It’s good hot, cold or room temperature and it travels well!

What can YOU do with Namaste Pizza Crust Mix?  Enter the recipe contest on Everyday Autism Miracles and you could win a prize and have your recipe featured in Namaste’s new cook book!

GFCF Chicken Nuggets -Egg Free!

February 14, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Posted in GFCF, YUM | 2 Comments
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Okay – you have decided to go GFCF – But what do you feed your kid? Never fear – This recipe will be a staple, even my husband loves them!
There are 2 different versions one with egg one without – today the egg free!

Egg Free, GFCF Chicken Nuggets

Canola Oil – for frying
Boneless Chicken or Turkey sliced 1/2 thick or less – cut them big or small to make strips or nuggets.
Namaste Sugar Free Pizza Crust mix
Salt to taste

Make sure the meat is fairly uniform in thickness, rinse and pat dry. Cut the meat into strips or chunks (whichever your child prefers), put about 3/4 of a cup of the pizza dough mix into a quart sized zip lock bag. Place some of the meat into the bag and close securely. Shake the bag until the meat is completely coated. I have my child do this and we sing “Shake your Turkey” to the KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Shake, Shake, Shake” tune. He loves it.

Heat some canola oil in the heaviest pan you own. Make sure that you keep the heat at medium so you don’t set off the smoke alarm like I do! Place the coated meat into the pan once the oil is hot. There should only be enough oil to cook one side. Let them cook while you shake another batch. Turn the  meat when the top side is almost completely white and the bottom side is crispy brown. Only flip once. When both sides are done let them drain on a clean white dish towel and add salt to taste. The first time you might want to crack one open just to make sure the inside is done – if it isn’t you need to reduce your heat and cook longer. Serve after they have cooled slightly.

If you drain them sufficiently they travel well – I take them to birthday parties and on car trips with a cold pack. You can microwave them to heat them up – 20 seconds does the job.

We make chicken nuggets often but we also make turkey nuggets  – I buy Trader Joe’s sliced turkey cutlets and cut them into strips – it takes seconds to get them in the pan. We buy the Namaste Sugar Free Pizza Dough mix at Whole Food’s Market and Lassen’s Health Foods. The Pizza Crust Mix is a staple in our kitchen we use it for everything from pizza crust to pretzels.- It is a God send!

GFCF Pounded Chicken

January 30, 2010 at 11:39 pm | Posted in GFCF, Recipes, YUM | Leave a comment
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by Shannon Penrod

I’m always looking for something easy to make, that travels well, is nutritious and is a “sure thing”.  “Sure things” are those meals that you know your child will eat, no matter what. My newest home run is a little dish my son likes to call “Pounded Chicken” and you will see why.  This dish calls for the following ingredients:

2-4 Chicken Breasts

1-2 Cups of cooked green beans

2 tbs. Olive oil

Salt and Pepper

For equipment it is essential that you have meat mallet, a heavy frying pan (preferably with a lid) and a gallon size freezer bag.  Just a note, non-freezer bags don’t work, you will end up with a mess!

How to make:

Step 1: Rinse the chicken breasts, pat them dry and butterfly them – this is fancy chef talk for slicing the chicken breasts in half so the are not as thick.  Take a sharp knife and pierce the breast in its side, then carefully cut your way through the breast.  Don’t worry about being perfect, you will get better at it with time and the dish is very forgiving.  Do worry about using knife safety and not slicing open your hands, fingers or wrists, they are not as forgiving.  Butterfly all the breasts – this will decrease your cooking time and double the number of chicken pieces.

Step 2: One by one place the breasts in the freezer bag and pound them with the meat mallet (use the flat side) until they are thin but still intact.  If there are any holes, don’t panic, the recipe will still work.  I have learned that it is best to leave the bag at least partly open while pounding so you don’t get air bubbles.  Stack the pounded chicken on plate, I like to put a piece of wax paper between them.

Step 3: Take a small handful of cooked green beans and place them on a piece of chicken, add a pinch of salt and pepper and roll! Repeat until all of your chicken is rolled, making sure to stack the chicken so “the seam” is on the bottom.

Step 4: Heat olive oil in a heavy pan on medium heat and carefully place the chicken seam side down into the pan.  Let the chicken sear thoroughly before attempting to turn.  If you turn too early the chicken will dry out and your roll may even unravel.  Walk away for a while.  When the first side is thoroughly browned, flip or roll.  Keep turning as a side browns until all sides are brown. The first side takes the longest, the other sides are quick!  To finish turn the heat down to low and cover the pan for 5 minutes.  I like to let the chicken rest on a paper plate or clean dish towel before serving to absorb some of the grease.

Jem loves this dish and will eat them hot or cold.  I pack them for picnics, to go to Disneyland, car trips – they are convenient and easy to eat even without utensils.

If you have non GFCF people in the house you can also have a second pan going with the same dish, for added UMPH put swiss cheese and turkey bacon underneath the green beans.  I did this when my mom visited at Christmas – she loved it.  I use turkey bacon because it is already cooked, if you want to use other bacon just cook it before hand.

Also you can use other vegetable for either version, my husband likes onions and garlic with his green beans, asparagus work well or even zucchini and peppers sliced in strips.  Have Fun!

Tune in to Everyday Autism Miracles with Shannon Penrod on Toginet Radio,,  every Friday afternoon at 2pm EST to hear about the therapies, dietary interventions and bio meds that are helping children all over the world to recover from Autism.  Shows begin airing Feb. 12, 2010!

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