Sunday, September 7, 2014

Kale, Tomato & Goat Cheese Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Hands down, this is THE BEST recipe ever for spaghetti squash. Garden-fresh spaghetti squash is filled with kale, tomato, red onion, and goat cheese then roasted to perfection and topped with paprika-roasted, crispy squash seeds.

My husband and I devoured this dish, and I'm struggling to come up with words to describe how perfect it is. It's definitely a staple recipe for us to enjoy as spaghetti squash is thriving in our garden now.

Click here for recipe from BS in the Kitchen - The only change I made to the recipe was to substitute kale for spinach. It also took me 45 minutes for the squash to be fully roasted. If your squash is really hard, I'd recommend either pre-cooking your squash for 15 minutes before filling it and cooking it for 30-45 minutes. Or, fill and cook for 45 minutes.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cucumber Watermelon Salsa

Cucumber Watermelon Salsa is my new go-to summer salsa recipe, utilizing fresh produce from my garden and the farmer's market. Watermelon and cucumber are balanced out by jalapeno and cilantro, making it a perfectly balanced sweet and spicy salsa. Serve with tortilla chips or on top of grilled chicken.

What's your favorite salsa recipe?

Click here for recipe from Iowa Girl Eats

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Pretzel-Crusted Peanut Butter Brownies

Pretzel-Crusted Peanut Butter Brownies are the ultimate brownie for chocolate|peanut butter lovers and sweet|salty lovers. This is a four-layer brownie dessert made up of a salty, buttery pretzel layer topped with peanut butter cookie dough, Reese's cups, and rich brownie batter. The outcome is decadent, with melted chocolate and peanut butter oozing out of every bite.

Pretzel-Crusted Peanut Butter Brownies

·3/4 cup gluten-free pretzels, chopped so some large chunks remain - I used Glutino Gluten-Free Pretzels
·1/4 cup butter, melted
·1 cup peanut butter - I made homemade peanut butter but store-bought will work fine
·1/2 cup sugar
·1 egg
·8 regular-sized Reese's cups
·1 box gluten-free brownie mix, mixed according to package directions - I used Aldi's LiveGFree Brownie Mix

Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8x8-inch pan.

In a small bowl, mix chopped pretzels and melted butter. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.

In a separate bowl, mix peanut butter, sugar, and egg. Layer on top of the pretzel mixture.

Place unwrapped Reese's cups on top of the peanut butter layer.

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Pour brownie batter on top of Reese's cup layer.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a tooth-pick inserted into the brownie layer only comes out clean.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Zucchini Bread Cookie Whoopie Pies

If you have a plethora of zucchini this summer, you have to make these Zucchini Bread Cookie Whoopie Pies. They are bite-sized, semi-healthy cookies that taste like cinnamon-spiced zucchini bread stuffed with sweet cream cheese frosting. I took them to my family for a weekend visit and they are so scrumptious they didn't last long. I will definitely be making a double-batch next time.

Click here for recipe from Iowa Girl Eats - I substituted my mom's gluten-free all-purpose flour blend to make the recipe gluten-free. You can use any gluten-free flour blend to easily convert this recipe.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Greek Chicken Sandwiches

Greek Chicken Sandwiches are the perfect summer sandwich to use garden-fresh produce. This sandwich incorporates cucumbers, tomatoes, and mint all grown in our garden. The taste is phenomenally fresh, and the dish is relatively simple to prepare coming together in less than 20 minutes.

Greek Chicken Sandwiches
Recipe inspired by Culinary Mamas and Rachael Ray

·2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
·Salt and pepper, to taste
·1/2 tsp cumin
·1/2 tsp garlic powder
·1/4 cup Greek yogurt
·1 TBS fresh lime juice
·2 TBS fresh mint, minced
·1/2 cucumber, sliced
·1/2 onion, sliced
·1 tomato, sliced
·Gluten-free bread or rolls, toasted

Season the chicken with salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic powder. Grill over medium-heat, until no longer pink in the middle.

For the dressing, combine the Greek yogurt, lime juice, and mint in a small bowl.

Assemble the sandwiches by spreading dressing on the gluten-free bread. Top with chicken, cucumber, onion, and tomato. Serve immediately.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Caprese Pasta Salad

I love anything and everything Caprese. It's my go-time meal in the summer. This Caprese Pasta Salad is a cinch to prepare and tastes garden fresh.

If you are making this with gluten-free pasta, it is best served immediately. Leftovers do not taste the same, as the gluten-free pasta hardens in the refrigerator. If you do have leftovers, heat it up in the microwave for 30 seconds or so to soften the gluten-free pasta.

Click here for recipe - I used gluten-free penne pasta to make this recipe gluten free. I omitted vinaigrette because I don't like the taste of balsamic vinegar. I drizzled extra virgin olive oil over the cooked pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella, and cheese. It was delicious.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

LiveGfree Southwest Veggie Stuffed Sandwich

I posted raved a few months ago about Aldi's gluten-free line and their Pepperoni Stuffed Sandwiches. The other variety of stuffed sandwiches offered is a vegetarian option - Southwest Veggie. The sandwich is stuffed with rice, black beans, corn, and tomatoes. It tastes As Good As Gluten, reminiscent of Southwest/Mexican flavors. The sandwich/crust is hearty due to 100% whole grain millet flour as the first ingredient.

Have you tried LiveGfree products from Aldi? What's your favorite?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. It's a product I bought, loved, and wanted to share with you!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cookie Dough Brownies with LiveGfree Brownie Mix

LiveGfree Brownie Mix from Aldi results in perfect gluten free brownies. The flavor of the brownies is rich - chocolaty and sweet. The texture of the brownies are moist and chewy, with crispy tops and edges.

I've enjoyed the brownies plain with a glass of milk, or topped with cookie dough. Both taste great. To top with cookie dough, I made this recipe for Healthy Cookie Dough Dip, without the M&M's.

What's your favorite brownie recipe?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. It's a product I bought, loved, and wanted to share with you!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Lemon Parsley Pork Chops

Lemon Parsley Pork Chops are flavorful, fresh, and juicy. Pair with a side of steamed broccoli and a baked potato for a hearty and tasty meal.
Lemon Parsley Pork Chops
Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart
·Zest from 1 lemon
·2 tsp dried parsley
·1 tsp minced garlic
·Salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
·1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
·4 boneless pork chops
In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, parsley, minced garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Cook in the skillet until browned, 3-4 minutes per side.
Add 1/2 cup water to the skillet; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cover, and simmer gently until the pork is cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Transfer the pork chops to a plate; sprinkle with the lemon-parsley mixture and serve.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Scallops and Grits inspired by Oceanaire

Pan-seared scallops on top of a bed of creamy, cheesy grits all covered in cajun butter sauce.
I made Scallops and Grits a few months ago, and I already have a new recipe for the dish to share. The first time I made the dish, I attempted to recreate a healthier version of one of my favorite restaurant dishes. This time when I made the dish, I stumbled upon the restaurant's recipe online. I realized how unhealthy the restaurant dish actually is (which I knew in the back of my mind, but chose to ignore), so I'm glad I only eat it a few times a year.
While the dish from Oceanaire I'm obsessed with is listed as Shrimp and Grits on the menu, I customize the dish to be Scallops and Grits. But, it's delicious with either shrimp or scallops. My homemade version below is equally as delicious and much healthier.
Scallops and Grits
Inspired by The Oceanaire
·2 cups skim milk
·1/2 cup grits
·1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
·Salt and black pepper, to taste.
·1 TBS unsalted butter
·1 lb scallops
·1/2 tsp each - minced garlic, oregano, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper
·Half of a lemon
·Green onions, chopped for garnish (optional)
Carefully bring the milk to a low boil; then add grits, reduce heat, and stir constantly for 8 minutes until grits are cooked. Remove from heat, stir in cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
In a small pan, heat unsalted butter and add scallops, minced garlic, oregano, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Saute for 3-5 minutes. Deglaze with juice from half of a lemon. Spoon cajun butter and scallops over a bed of cheesy grits, sprinkle with green onions, and serve. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Baked Chocolate Glazed Doughnuts

I warned you when I started making gluten free doughnuts, that they were dangerously too easy to make. My third batch of doughnuts is Baked Chocolate Glazed Doughnuts, a small twist on Jeanine's Baked Chocolate Doughnuts. I cut the sugar in the doughnut batter recipe in half, and didn't taste a difference. Instead of frosting with chocolate frosting, I whisked together an easy glaze to dip the cooled doughnuts in. The glaze has a nice vanilla flavor which complements the baked chocolate doughnut nicely.

Doughnut Glaze Recipe:
·1 cup powdered sugar
·4 TBS skim milk
·3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
·Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Whisk ingredients together in a bowl, then dip cooled doughnuts in the glaze. Set on a cooling rack (with a piece of parchment paper or silicone baking mat underneath) until serving.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Gluten Free Tres Leches Cake

Gluten Free Tres Leches Cake is sweet, moist, and delectable. It was such a hit at my husband's birthday party, I made a second cake the following weekend for my father-in-law's birthday.

For my husband's birthday last month, I also made one of his new favorite cakes - Tres Leches Cake.  Mike tried real (aka gluten cake at a Spanish restaurant) Tres Leches Cake last year at a holiday party and raved about it. I obviously could not try it, but I've been wanting to try a gluten free version since Mike loved it so much. I knew I had to make Tres Leches Cake for his birthday, because one birthday cake just does not cut it anymore in our household. We're a two birthday cake household. Why pick one favorite, when you can have two of your favorite cakes?!

Gluten Free Tres Leches Cake

·1 box Betty Crocker Gluten Free yellow cake mix
·1/2 cup butter, melted
·2/3 cup water
·3 eggs
·3 tsp real vanilla extract
·10 oz sweetened condensed milk
·1/2 cup fat free evaporated milk
·1 1/2 cups whipping cream, divided
·2 TBS sugar
·1/2 pint fresh strawberries, sliced (optional for garnish)

Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8x8-inch pan.

In a kitchen stand mixer, beat cake mix, water, oil, 2 tsp vanilla, and eggs on low speed for 30 seconds, then on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 36 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Poke top of hot ake very 1/2 inch with a long-tined fork, wiping the fork occasinoally to reduce sticking.

In a large bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and 1/2 cup whipping cream. Carefully pour evenly over the top of the cake. Cover and refrigerate overnight so the milk mixture absorbs into the cake.

The next day, prepare the whipped frosting. In a large, chilled bowl, beat the remaining 1 cup whipping cream, 2 TBS sugar, and remaining 1 tsp vanilla in a kitchen stand mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Frost cake with whipped cream and sliced strawberries before serving.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Raspberry Filled Banana Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting

Raspberry Filled Banana Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting are light, fresh, and sweet - perfect for spring and summer celebrations.

These cupcakes combine my husband's favorite dessert flavors - banana, lemon, and raspberry. I made them last month to celebrate his birthday, and they were a hit.

Raspberry Filled Banana Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting

Cupcake Ingredients:
·1 box (15 oz) Betty Crocker Gluten-Free yellow cake mix
·1 cup mashed ripe bananas (approximately 2 bananas)
·1/3 cup butter, melted
·1/3 cup water
·3 eggs
·2 tsp real vanilla extract
·1/2 cup raspberry jam

Lemon Frosting Ingredients:
·1/2 cup butter, softened
·2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
·1 tsp real vanilla extract
·4 TBS fresh lemon juice

Heat oven to 350˚. Place cupcake liners into a muffin tin. In a kitchen stand mixer, beat cake mix, mashed bananas, melted butter, water, eggs, and vanilla until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon batter into cupcake liner, filling half way. Spoon a teaspoon of raspberry jam into the center of each cup of cupcake batter. Top with remaining batter until cupcake liner is filled.

Bake for 18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the side comes out clean. Remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting, about 30 minutes.

To prepare the Lemon Frosting, beat together butter, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice in a bowl or kitchen stand mixer until light and fluffy. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and serve.

Yield: and 20 mini-cupcakes, or 18-20 regular cupcakes

Sunday, June 1, 2014

LiveGfree Cheese Ravioli

It's been at least 5 years since I have had ravioli. I haven't had ravioli since going gluten free. Actually, I take that back. I believe my mom made homemade gluten free ravioli once. They were either too difficult to make or they didn't turn out well, because we haven't had them since.

Side note, I grew up only knowing ravioli as toasted ravioli (which was invented in St. Louis). I literally had no idea real ravioli , or the original ravioli , was untoasted. :)

Now, back to Aldi's LiveGfree Cheese Ravioli . It's seriously amazing. The tomato sauce is sweet with a hint of basil. The cheese filling is creamy. The ravioli pasta is tender.
The ingredients blow me away, as the majority are real ingredients I would use. As I mentioned in my first review of Aldi's LiveGfree line, all of the ingredients in the Cheese Ravioli are ingredients I can pronounce and I know why they are in my food. This makes sense, because the back of the box says, "...each product has been sourced and made from the most premium quality gluten-free ingredients..." This is so true - tasty and wholesome. I can tell when I eat from Aldi's LiveGfree line that it's good, wholesome ingredients not crap like a lot of products, especially frozen foods (gluten and gluten free) are.

I literally snarfed this gluten free cheese ravioli down with a side of asparagus. Aldi's LiveGfree Cheese Ravioli passes the As Good As Gluten test with flying colors.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. It's a product I bought, loved, and wanted to share with you!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Glutino Lemon Wafer Cookies


Glutino's Lemon Wafer Cookies are As Good As Gluten. The flavor is perfectly balanced between citrusy lemon and sugary sweet. The texture is just like a regular wafer cook - crisp layers filled with creamy lemon filling. I've also tried Glutino's Chocolate Wafer Cookies, which didn't disappoint either.

What cookie do you miss from your pre-gluten-free days? 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. It's a product I bought, loved, and wanted to share with you!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Van's Cinnamon Heaven Cereal


I was excited when I found Van's new gluten free cereal at Target two weeks ago. I immediately bought a box, hoping the taste would be reminiscent of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, yet healthier since it's made with five whole grains.
My first bite was disappointing. It tasted like five grain cereal with just a hint of cinnamon. While I'm glad it's not overloaded in sugar like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, I was hoping for more cinnamon flavor.
What cereal do you miss from your pre-gluten-free days? Hands-down, I miss Cheerios. Plain, regular Cheerios.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. It's a product I bought, loved, and wanted to share with you!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Aldi LiveGfree Stuffed Sandwiches

I love Aldi! Over the past year, I've found a few gluten free items at Aldi that I enjoyed (brownie mix, baking mix, and pancakes) in addition to all of the naturally gluten free items they carry. I was ecstatic last week when I found out Aldi was testing an entire line of gluten free products called LiveGfree. My husband immediately went to the store for me and got 1-2 of almost everything they offer in the LiveGfree line. If the test is successful (fingers crossed it is), they'll keep the line of LiveGfree products.

I checked the ingredient labels on a few of the products and I was impressed. Gluten free items can be made with nutritious whole grains (i.e., brown rice, millet) or made with starches that offer little to no nutrition. I was impressed that the Brown Rice Spaghetti is made with brown rice and the first ingredient on the Stuffed Sandwiches is 100% whole grain millet flour. So, not only does Aldi offer an amazing line of gluten free products that is affordable, but at least some of the products are made with nutritious ingredients. As another bonus, the line includes two foods I've never seen gluten free before - ravioli and stuffed sandwiches. 


The first product I tried is the Gluten Free Stuffed Sandwiches (aka hot pockets). I don't think I've ever had a regular hot pocket before...but, I'm in love with LiveGfree Stuffed Sandwiches.  The crust reminds me of my calzone dough. The crust is hearty (likely due to the 100% whole grain millet flour) and slightly sweet, filled with creamy mozzarella cheese, savory pepperoni, and tomato sauce with chunks of real tomato.

Since I haven't had a regular hot pocket, I shared with my husband and he affirms LiveGfree Stuffed Sandwiches are As Good As Gluten. I'm elated, and can't wait to try the rest of the LiveGfree products we bought. Stayed tuned for more "My Pantry" reviews over the next month or two.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. It's a product I bought, loved, and wanted to share with you!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Gluten Free Baked Lemon Glaze Doughnuts


Ever since trying Jeanine's recipe for Gluten Free Baked Chocolate Doughnuts a month ago, I’ve been anxiously waiting to try another doughnut flavor. I’m afraid overjoyed that baking gluten free doughnuts is so easy that it’s become an every few weekends breakfast tradition in our house.
I'm a chocoholic, so while I prefer the chocolate doughnuts over the lemon doughnuts - the lemon doughnuts did not disappoint. They're sweet, tart, and the light lemon flavor was perfect for the spring-like Saturday morning we made them on last weekend.
What's your favorite donut flavor? I’m thinking Coconut or Maple Bacon are going to be the next doughnut flavors for me to try.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Cauliflower Sauce Alfredo with Barilla Gluten Free Pasta


I recently tried Barilla Gluten Free Pasta in a homemade alfredo recipe. I made this Creamy Cauliflower Sauce, which turned out to be bland and in need of more flavor. I stirred in cooked chicken, mushrooms, and broccoli.

The Barilla Gluten Free Pasta, however, tastes As Good As Gluten. While it tastes great, it's made with a combination of corn and rice. Personally, I prefer Tinkyada Gluten Free Pasta which is made with brown rice and offers more nutrients than a corn/rice blend pasta.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Coconut Lime Peanut Chicken


The flavor profile of this Coconut Lime Peanut Chicken dish is complex, yet all of the flavors pull together resulting in one amazing dish. A creamy peanut butter and spicy Sirarcha sauce surrounds the chicken and rice, all complemented with crisp asparagus and green onions.

My husband hates, hates, hates any main dish with peanut butter. I love, love, love anything and everything peanut butter. This dish is a winner, as my husband even said it’s the best peanut dish he’s ever had. I agree, it’s incredible! Give it a try, and let me know what you think.


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Skinny Queso Dip


This Skinny Queso Dip is zesty and creamy. It tastes delicious, so you won't be able to tell that it's "skinny."

I made two modifications to this recipe. I used pepper jack cheese instead of cheddar, for a zestier flavor. I also didn't have access to poblano peppers, so I omitted.

Click here for recipe from Skinny Taste

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Double Chocolate Reese's Cake

I celebrated my birthday last month and had a great month of celebrating. The festivities included two delicious gluten free cakes. The first cake was a phenomenal Thin Mint gluten free cake made by my mom. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures. But, I'm still dreaming of the fudge frosting on top of a perfectly cooked and flavored vanilla cake with crème de menthe.

The second cake was a decadent Double Chocolate Reese’s gluten free cake my husband (who hates baking) made. He’s made me a few cakes throughout the years for my birthday, but this one topped the cake (pun intended). J Just take a look…

While I don't have a recipe to share, I just had to share photos of this decadent cake with you. All I know about making this cake is that it took him 4 hours to prepare, is full of butter, and is made with a gluten free chocolate boxed cake mix, gluten free chocolate buttercream icing, mini Reese’s cups, and my favorite Reese’s – Reese’s Eggs. It tastes even better than it looks!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Oatmeal Breakfast Cupcakes


These Breakfast Oatmeal Cupcakes are perfect for breakfast – at home or on-the-go.  A little bit of easy work in the kitchen to prepare these breakfast cupcakes on the weekend will result in a few weeks of breakfast ready for you and your family.

There are so many things I love about this breakfast recipe. Not only are they almost effortless to prepare, but the flavor possibilities are endless and they taste delicious. I made Banana-Walnut-Chocolate-Chip-Oatmeal Cupcakes and “frosted” them with peanut butter. I ate for breakfast every day for two weeks with a glass of skim milk, which energized me for the day. It’s rare that I don’t need a mid-morning snack, but these Breakfast Oatmeal Cupcakes fueled me until lunch time.

What’s your favorite healthy breakfast food?


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Baked Lasagna Boats with Homemade Marinara Sauce and Schar Gluten-Free Baguettes


Baked Lasagna Boats are easier than preparing lasagna and taste amazing. A crisp gluten free baguette is filled with the meaty sauce and cheesy layers typically found in lasagna. YUM!

I made this recipe with Schar Gluten-Free Baguettes, which crisp up in the oven. They have good flavor and texture of a real baguette.

Baked Lasagna BoatsAdapted from Taste of Home, 2014

·1 gluten free baguette
·1 lb lean ground beef
·1 TBS garlic powder
·1 TBS Italian seasoning
·Salt and pepper
·1 cup homemade marinara sauce (see below)
·1 cup small curd cottage cheese
·½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
·¾ cup cheddar cheese, grated
·¾ cup mozzarella cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut baguette half lengthwise in the center to within 1-inch of the bottom. Pull baguette sides apart to make a bread boat. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat; season with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper, breaking up until no longer pink. Drain grease. Stir in marinara sauce.

In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, and half of mozzarella cheese.

Spoon meat sauce into baguette; top with cheese mixture. Cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining mozzarella cheese; bake, uncovered, 3-5 minutes longer.

Homemade Marinara Sauce (Crockpot)

After making this Homemade Marinara Sauce, I am never, ever going back to jarred marinara sauce. Homemade Marinara is healthier than jarred. It's slightly sweet and tastes delicious. It's rather effortless to make, since the crockpot does most of the work, and it freezes well.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Scallops and Grits


A few Lenten Friday nights ago, my husband and I had a cooking date night. We went to the store to get fresh seafood (scallops for me, shrimp for him) and came home to prepare it our favorite ways. I made a pot of grits to go along with both of our dishes, and also snagged a piece of Mike's shrimp to top my plate of Scallops and Grits.

The scallops were seasoned and cooked perfectly. Don't cook for too long, or you may overcook the scallops and they'll be chewy. The grits were phenomenal - creamy, cheesy, and full of flavor.

Scallops and Grits

·1 cup water
·3/4 cup grits
·6 oz. chive and onion cream cheese
·Salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
·1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
·1 lb scallops
·Half of a lemon
·Salt, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder to taste

For the grits, combine water and grits in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until creamy. Remove from heat, stir in cream cheese until melted. Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste.

For the scallops, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add scallops, season with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Cook for 3-4 minutes, turning once. Remove from heat and squeeze juice from half a lemon over the scallops. Serve over a large spoonful of grits.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Gluten Free Baked Chocolate Donuts

I was recently asked what food I miss the most since becoming gluten free over 4 years ago. It took me awhile to answer because I have found so many delicious gluten free products and recipes. I no longer feel like the gluten free foods I eat are replacements for my old, favorite gluten foods. It doesn't feel like a sacrifice because I've found great food that tastes As Good As Gluten and doesn't make me sick.
As I was thinking of what food I could possibly miss, I went through my mental checklist to see if I had a gluten free option. Pasta, check. Bread/buns, check. Cakes/cupcakes, check. I could go on and on listing foods and most of them were check, check, check. Then I thought about donuts, and there was my answer. I miss donuts.
I've tried frozen store-bought gluten-free donuts and they are just okay. The texture is dry and the flavor left a lot to be desired. I've tried gluten-free donuts when I've found them traveling to other cities, but they are few and far between to come by. I've been craving donuts since thinking about them and my mental gluten free checklist a few weeks ago.
Last Sunday, I finally got around to making a recipe I pinned two years ago. The recipe looked amazing and had my mouthwatering when I pinned it, but I put off making them because baking homemade donuts seemed too complex and time-consuming. I should have known better. This recipe is one of Jeanine's recipes. She's an amazing gluten free blogger. Her recipes aren't complex, and I know they will always turn out perfectly. These Gluten Free Baked Chocolate Donuts are no exception. In full disclosure, however, this recipe comes with warnings:
  1. They magically disappear. Make a double triple batch.
  2. You will be tortured starring at the donuts waiting for them to cool. Don't worry, it'll be over soon.
  3. It's a dangerous recipe to have since they're relatively easy and quick to prepare.
  4. Eating one two of these donuts may invoke feelings of gluttony.
  5. After one bite, you may rejoice in song or dance.


These Gluten Free Baked Chocolate Donuts taste As Good As Gluten. If you've forgotten what that's like, they taste just like a cake donut. The donut is sweet with a perfectly dense and cakey texture. Don't be afraid by my description of dense. It's dense AND cakey. Dense is a bad word in the gluten free baking world, since it usually means that it feels like a brick in your stomach. No brick-like dense trauma with these donuts. It's cakey-dense that's slightly moist and spongey. The chocolate glaze is the icing on the cake donut, pun intended. It pulls everything together into a mouth-watering, chocolatey, sweet, delicious, amazing donut.

I'm over the moon with how perfect these deliciously gluten free chocolate donuts turned out. I can't wait to try even more flavor varieties. Donuts, welcome back to my life!!

Click here for the recipe from The Baking Beauties

Note: I used a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend instead of the flours and starches Jeanine outlined in her recipe. It's a homemade blend I helped my mom perfect. We've tried it in so many recipes and it's perfect. One day we'll be ready to share the recipe with the world. But for now, follow Jeanine's recipe or use your own blend of all-purpose gluten-free flour.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Chicken and Asparagus Lemon Stir Fry

Spring has finally arrived…YAYAYA!!! This Chicken and Asparagus Lemon Stir-Fry dish is a light and fresh meal perfect for a busy weeknight. Lightly coated chicken is paired with crisp asparagus and tangy lemon. We used gluten free soy sauce and served with brown rice.

Click here for recipe from Skinny Taste

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Red Thai Curry

I'm obsessed with the local Thai restaurants in my area. I finally tried spicy green and red Thai curry dishes earlier this year, and I'm hooked. I decided I had to learn how to make it at home so I can enjoy it more often.
This dish is less spicy than what I order in the restaurants, so let me know if you have any tips on how I could make it spicier. Nonetheless, this Red Thai Curry dish is a healthy and naturally gluten-free meal that comes together in just 30 minutes.
Red Thai Curry
·2 TBS coconut oil
·1 onion, chopped
·2 1/2 tsp minced garlic
·1 tsp ginger
·3 TBS Thai red curry paste
·1 1/2 TBS fish sauce
·1 tsp gluten free soy sauce
·1 can light coconut milk
·1 medium eggplant, diced
·4-5 mini bell peppers, chopped (red, orange, or yellow)
·1 small head of broccoli, chopped into florets
·Handful of fresh spinach
·1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
·Cooked brown rice to serve
Heat the oil in a large pan. When the coconut oil is warm, saute the onions until soft. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute. Add the eggplant, bell pepper, and broccoli and saute for 3-5 minutes. Stir in the curry paste, fish sauce, and gluten free soy sauce. Cook for 3 more minutes then pour in the coconut milk; stir in the spinach and cooked chicken. Cover and simmer under low heat until vegetables have cooked until tender. Serve over brown rice.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Creamy Chickpea, Mushroom, and Spinach Pasta


Creamy Chickpea, Mushroom, and Spinach Pasta is easy to prepare, comes together quickly, and tastes incredibly flavorful. I love the base pasta recipe for this dish, Creamy Garlic and Mushroom Pasta Recipe, which I've made into quite a few different flavor varieties over the years.
This time, I added chickpeas for more protein. The chickpeas surprisingly pulled together the flavors in this dish together well by adding depth and texture. I also started using cottage cheese instead of Parmesan and adding no cream or milk. I found the dish to be creamy enough without additional cream. One time I didn't have any cheese, only cottage cheese, in the fridge. It worked great and I think it's healthier than regular cheese.

Creamy Chickpea, Mushroom, and Spinach Pasta
Inspired by my favorite Creamy Garlic and Mushroom Pasta Recipe

·2 tsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
·1 TBS minced garlic
·5-10 mushrooms, sliced
·3 TBS butter, divided
·¼ tsp salt
·½ tsp pepper
·1½ cups homemade chicken stock
·2 cups water
·½ lb gluten free spaghetti noodles (I use Tinkyada)
·1 cup cooked chickpeas
·1 cup fresh spinach
·½ cup cottage cheese
·Up to ¼ cup skim milk, if needed
·2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped

In a large pot, heat the EVOO over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add 2 TBS butter, heat until melted. Add salt, pepper, chicken stock, and water. Raise the heat to medium-high and let it come to a boil.

Once boiling, add the pasta and cook for as long as the box’s directions indicate. Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms in 1 TBS of melted butter in a skillet over medium heat.

Once the pasta is cooked to al dente, remove from heat and mix in the cottage cheese until melted. If pasta needs more liquid, add up to ¼ cup skim milk. Stir in the spinach, mushrooms, chickpeas, and parsley. Stir until spinach is wilted.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

These Cookie Dough Cupcakes look amazing and taste even better than they look. They also pack a sweet surprise...

A cookie dough stuffed center! These Cookie Dough Cupcakes are double the cookie dough - stuffed with cookie dough in the middle and then topped with cookie dough frosting. Sinfully sweet and delicious!

I made these in February to celebrate my brother's birthday. They were loved and devoured by everyone.

There are no health safety risks eating these cupcakes, as the cookie dough is eggless. I'd recommend making extra and keeping it in the freezer when you need a sweet tooth fix.


Cookie Dough Cupcakes

·1 box of Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix
·1 1/2 cups brown sugar
·1/2 cup butter, softened
·1/2 tsp vanilla
·2 cups gluten free flour
·Pinch of salt
·1 cup miniature chocolate chips

To prepare cookie dough, mix together the brown sugar and butter in a medium bowl until smooth. Mix in vanilla, milk, gluten free flour, and salt until well blended. Remove half of the cookie dough into a separate bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips into one bowl of cookie dough only. Chill both bowls of cookie dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare gluten free cake batter according to package directions. Spoon into muffin tins lined with cupcake liners. *Do not bake yet.

Remove both bowls of cookie dough from the fridge. Using the bowl of cookie dough with chocolate chips mixed in, roll the cookie dough into 18-24 one-inch balls. Drop one ball of cookie dough into the center of the cake batter in each cupcake liner.

Bake cookie dough stuffed cupcakes according to package directions. Meanwhile, let the other bowl of cookie dough begin to soften. When cupcakes are finished baking, remove from pan and allow to cool completely.

To prepare the cookie dough icing, stir the cookie dough that's been softening on the counter. Do not stir in the chocolate chips. If you do, the cookie dough frosting will be harder to work with. Add a few splashes of milk, if needed, to thin the cookie dough out enough for frosting. Frost each cooled cupcake with the cookie dough frosting, then sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips on top.

Serve, enjoy, and celebrate!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Chipotle Raspberry Pork Chops


Chipotle Raspberry Pork Chips are the epitome of a sweet and spicy dish. I'm not a huge fan of pork chops, but the way these pork chops are prepared is delicious! Not only is it tasty, but it's a fast and simple dish that comes together with a few ingredients. The outcome is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy.

Chipotle Raspberry Pork Chops
Slightly adapated from Taste of Home

·1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves
·1 TBS chipotle chiles in adobe sauce puree* (see note below)
·Salt to taste
·6 boneless pork chops

In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook raspberry preserves and chipotle puree until heated through, stirring occasionally. Set 1/4 cup aside to use for serving.

Meanwhile, heat a grill or a grill pan on the stovetop to medium heat.

Sprinkle the pork chops with salt then brush with remaining chipotle-raspberry sauce. Cook the pork chops on the grill for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.

Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with reserved chipotle-raspberry sauce on top.

*Note: For the chipotle chiles in adobo sauce puree, you need to buy a small can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce from the grocery store (it's usually found in the Hispanic foods section). In the can is whole chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. Seed the chipotle chiles and then puree the entire can of adobe sauce and chipotle chile together. Use the amount need for the recipe, then freeze the rest in a marked plastic bag. Next time a recipe calls for chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, all you have to do is break off a piece from the bag in the freezer.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Moroccan Chicken with Coconut Rice


Moroccan Chicken with Coconut Rice is sweet, savory, and flavorful.

While I prefer quick and easy dinner recipes, this dish does take some time and effort to prepare but it is worth it. The aroma that fills your house while cooking will have your mouth watering, which pays off in the first, flavor-rich bite.

Moroccan Chicken with Coconut Rice
Slightly adapted from Carol Fenster

·1 recipe coconut rice, see below
·4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
·1 tsp salt
·1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
·1 TBS cornstarch
·3 TBS extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
·2 large onions, chopped
·1 tsp each - ginger, cinnamon, cumin, paprika
·1 TBS brown sugar
·2 cups chicken broth
·1/2 - 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes, including juice
·2 TBS lemon juice
·2 TBS honey
·1 TBS minced garlic

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat 2 TBS of EVOO over medium heat. Add onions and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Add ginger, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, and brown sugar. Cook for 10 more minutes, stirring constantly until onions are caramelized. Transfer to a plate.

Add remaining 1 TBS of EVOO to the skillet. Sprinkle chicken with 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, and 1 TBS of cornstarch. Cook chicken until golden brown and the inside is no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, tomatoes, lemon juice, honey, and garlic. Bring to a boil, hen reduce heat to  medium-low. Cook uncovered until the mixture begins to thicken, about 5-10 minutes. Return chicken and onions to the skillet. Simmer until heated through, about 3-5 minutes.

Serve chicken and sauce over prepared coconut rice.

Coconut Rice

·1 cup coconut milk
·1 1/2 cups water
·1 cup brown rice

Combine coconut milk and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add the rice, stir well, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes without stirring. Fluff with a fork and serve.