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My favorite recipes are the ones that can easily be gluten free (or not) will little modification.  I find these types of meals more accessible and well-liked.  A friend just recently found out she has Celiac Disease and became gluten free. Chatting with her about favorite cookbooks, resources, and meal ideas got me nostalgic for those early days when the impossible-seeming transition loomed ahead.  Even though it’s been years for us, it’s still fun to discover something new.  She shared this recipe after trying it out with approving results, so I decided to make it for my family.  Hearing we were making Chinese food, my older daughter asked to make lo mein, and my younger one wanted to make her famous honey carrots.  Who can turn down kids who want to help in the kitchen?

Chinese Food Night

The blogger designed her honey chicken recipe as gluten free (cornstarch rather than flour, and gluten-free soy sauce) but it tasted no different than regular Chinese food, and would appeal to anyone who enjoys this type of dish.  My husband was home to clean and cube the chicken (my least favorite part). Meanwhile, my older daughter prepared the glaze for the chicken, and then worked on lo mein.  Our favorite lo mein recipe comes from the original Gluten Free on a Shoestring cookbook.  For both of the dishes above, we substitute coconut aminos for half of the soy sauce, since it has less sodium and we try to consume minimal soy.  Finally, my little one worked on the honey carrots, which come from her favorite kids’ cookbook.  Other than my helping cut the carrots into coins using a sharp knife, this is one she was able to do independently. They come out well, and she’s always pleased to have made the dish herself.

This dinner took a bit of time to prepare. None of it is particularly hard, but the chicken has to be browned and sauteed in its glaze, the lo mein sauce needs to cook down, and carrots have to be steamed. Fortunately, all four of us were in the kitchen and working together. Everything tasted great, so it was worth the wait.  More importantly, there’s such value to opportunities for kids to cook along with their parents, and we had lots of fun.  Give your feedback on the honey chicken, or share your favorite family dinner ideas with our readers.

Chinese food was always a “we’re tired and hungry, let’s get take-out” kind of dinner for us. Then we became gluten-free, and for the first few years, Chinese food was off the list. Eventually, a few places in our area caught on and began to offer gluten-free Chinese food, but by then, we’d already begun compiling favorite recipes. We also found out that we could make it much healthier, and sometimes even faster, than take-out. Here I’ll share four of our favorites– one original recipe for Fried Rice, the source of our favorite Lo Mein recipe, and two crockpot links for our favorite chicken dishes.

Fried Rice

Chicken fried rice

One of our first attempts was Fried Rice, and we were pleasantly surprised to find out how easy it was to make well. Find our family recipe for Chicken and Vegetable Fried Rice here, and feel free to customize it to the likes of your own family!

Lo Mein

My daughter frequently requests Lo Mein… it’s the one dish that we haven’t found gluten-free at a single Chinese restaurant, since the traditional noodles contain wheat. We use brown rice spaghetti, and presto, Lo Mein is back on the table. Find the recipe in the first cookbook (Gluten Free on a Shoestring) of the Gluten Free on a Shoestring franchise, and enjoy these delicious noodles once again.

Sesame/General Tso’s Chicken

General Hso's

This is another family favorite, a dish that’s a standard in our take-out order… but nice to be able to make without all the breading and oil that comes with battered chicken. This recipe comes from A Year of Slow Cooking, and always disappears by the end of dinner. I add sake, sesame oil, and toasted sesame seeds to the final product, and turn the Tso’s into Sesame. Since it cooks in the crockpot, you’re free to enjoy the afternoon, and pop some rice into the rice cooker right before dinner.

Orange Chicken


Another easy crockpot dish, this Orange Chicken recipe is one that I blogged about recently.  It’s worth mentioning in this line-up since it was so good. Combine it with a few of the others highlighted here, and you can almost feel like you’re sitting in your favorite Chinese restaurant. To find out what’s new in our kitchen, stop by, or become a fan on Facebook.

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