Cook Kindly

Adventures in cooking and navigating a gluten-free life.

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Apricot Kielbasa Slices

When you’re gluten free and you need a dish to share for a potluck, or you want a tasty hot hors devours, what do you bring? Well, the frozen meatballs cooked in a delectable sauce is pretty much out. But, what about Kielbasa? Oooh, goodness! I found this recipe while hunting for an Oktoberfest snack to bring to a friend’s party. Personally, I’m a big fan of kielbasa sausage, and I’ve been able to find lots of flavor varieties that are gluten free. Both my local Cub Foods and Sam’s Club carry plenty of gf options.

Thanks to Taste of Home, where I found the original recipe for this gf snack.

  • 1 pound fully cooked kielbasa or Polish sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 jar (12 ounces) apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


  • In a large skillet, brown sausage; drain and set aside. Add the remaining ingredients to the skillet; cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Return sausage to the pan; cook for 5-6 minutes or until heated through. Serve warm. Yield: 4 dozen.

You can make this dish and keep it warm in a crockpot, or you can be (lazy) like me, and just make the whole dish in the crockpot (cooking at least until hot). I do think the smokey kielbasa flavor is enhanced by browning the sausage first, but certainly that depends on the time you have and your personal taste.

Taking this dish beyond just a snack, I’ve served the kielbasa in apricot sauce over rice and made a meal out of it (with a veggie either on the side or mixed in, broccoli is delish). It’s sort of a German take on orange chicken (a favorite of Ryan’s & mine).

I wish I had pictures to share, but this dish is so yummy, I ate it all!



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Crockpot Chicken Tacos


While I was doing a little Pinterest perusing, I came across this recipe, which looked so delicious, and upon examining the recipe, super easy! Thanks to My Chocolate Therapy for posting this yummy Crockpot Chicken Tacos recipe. Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t tweak the recipe at least a little bit. I’m sure My Chocolate Therapy’s 3-ingredient version is delicious as well. I have to say, this chicken crockpot taco dish was outstanding! Honestly, Ryan took one bite and ran upstairs to kiss me!

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

Chicken – raw & thawed (I used 3 very large chicken breasts, probably about a pound)

2 envelopes of taco seasoning (double check the ingredients to make sure it’s GF. I used one regular and one spicy taco seasoning packets)

2 cups of salsa (whatever you like, I used Pace’s Medium Salsa)

1 bag of frozen corn

1 small can of diced green chilies

1 can (drained) black beans

Pour the salsa and taco seasoning into the crockpot, stir to combine. Add in chicken breasts (I spooned some of the sauce ontop of the chicken). Top with corn and green chilies. Stir to mix everything together. (Don’t worry, I didn’t forget the black beans, they’re coming). I am so NOT a morning person, so I prepped this whole meal the night before (except for the beans, again, they’re still to come). My chicken breasts were actually still semi-frozen when I put the whole crock-pot bowl back into the fridge, but I figured this still gave the chicken plenty of time to marinate in the sauce.

So, like I said, I’m SOOO NOT a morning person. I got up for work the next day, and remembered to plug the crockpot in, but forgot everything else in the fridge. Yikes! So, I had to run home over lunch to put dinner on. Luckily, 4 hours on HIGH was perfect for cooking the chicken to tender deliciousness. According to Chocolate Therapy, you can cook on low for 6-8 hours. This is where the new-fangled crockpots come in handy, being able to set the crockpot to cook for a certain number of hours and then switch to WARM, genius!

Ok, so 4 hours after my mid-day dash home to start dinner, the crockpot magically switch to WARM until I arrived back home. The aroma in the house was intoxicating. I love food, but I was REALLY excited to EAT dinner that night. Yum! I got out a cutting board and two forks to shred the chicken with, but when I speared the first chicken breast, it melted into stringy pulled-chicken goodness. I literally shredded the chicken in the crock pot with the rest of the ingredients. Super easy, I practically stirred the chicken into shreds. I drained the black beans, gave them a quick rinse and threw them into the crockpot, while still on WARM. After about 10 minutes, dinner was ready.

I warmed a couple of corn tortillas in the microwave for 10 seconds, then layered cheddar cheese and the chicken taco mixture on top. I recommend letting some of the juiciness run off before adding the chicken mixture to the taco, it was a little soupy. The flavor dimension was fantastic. I ended up eating my taco with a fork, though, as it was a bit messy.

Honestly, I think you could reduce the amount of salsa in the recipe to help with the juice-factor, or just serve using a slotted spoon. I’m also curious about adding in some chicken stock and making this into tortilla soup.

I’m a big fan of bring left-overs for lunch. Even before going gluten free, I wasn’t a huge cold sandwich for lunch kind of girl. But, since becoming gluten free, I find that quick, easy, and nutritious lunches are that much harder to figure out. The chicken tacos made an excellent lunch served over rice.