Gluten Free Veggie-full Quinoa Salad

I went to Whole Foods yesterday, which is always a special treat for me!

I don’t just go there to grocery shop, I go there to eat!

I know, I know, I’m breaking the golden rule of healthy eating: Never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry!

But let me tell you my friend, those paninis are too difficult to refuse!

Ham, mango chutney and melted brie between two pieces of toasted ciabatta! Are you freakin’ kidding me??!!!

As I was slowly ascending to heaven with each bite, I couldn’t help but notice my gluten free husband eating his GF bread with cheese and quinoa salad.

Yes, he looked like he was enjoying it, but not nearly as much as I was enjoying mine. Not even close!

Don’t you worry, I was not bragging about how amazing my meal was during lunch. I was sitting there composed while my stomach was doing victory laps, and my taste buds were giving each other high fives.

Even though I felt like I was eating like a champion, I still felt the need to try a bite of my husband’s salad. After the mediocre bite, I thought to myself, “I can make this at home and probably could do a better job!”

And boy was I ever right! Below is my quinoa salad, which happens to be a scrumptious recipe! It ain’t no panini, but it’s better for you and will give the gluten free person in your life something to eat when they come over.

Veggie-full Quinoa Salad

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 2/3 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • Dressing: 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, juice of one lime, salt and pepper to taste
  • feta cheese to your hearts delight

Directions:

  1. Prepare quinoa with chicken broth or water as per package directions. Let cool
  2. Mix black beans with red wine vinegar and salt and pepper.
  3. Add the rest of the chopped vegetables on top of black bean mixture.
  4. Make dressing: combine olive oil, garlic, lime, salt & pepper
  5. Add dressing and cooled quinoa to vegetables and mix
  6. Keep in fridge for at least 1 hour
  7. When reading to serve, mix in some feta cheese!

I don’t always use all those veggies but if you want to make it extra veggie-tastic, make as above and maybe even add some edemame!!

Gluten Free Hashbrown Casserole

There’s not many things in life that scare me. But one thing that does give me the heebie geebies is having a dinner guest with a severe gluten allergy!

What I mean by severe gluten allergy is that she can tell right after a meal if she has been glutened!

That means that if you gluten-ize her, she may never trust your cooking/baking ever again!!! She may think you are a liar, careless, or uneducated!

Ok, maybe not, but here’s one big tip: DO YOUR RESEARCH! Read up and google the ingredients! There’s lots of info about gluten on the WWW!

Also, be careful of cross contamination! Try to make everything gluten free for dinner! Trust me, that decreases the stress for you and your allergy burdened friend.

That way you don’t have to orientate your dinner guest about what’s gluten free and what’s not.

Sooooo, I bet you’re wondering what I served for dinner!

My wonderful father-in-law BBQ’d steak seasoned with only salt and pepper

I made a GF hashbrown casserole, tossed salad (with GF store bought dressing), and a dinner roll made with tapioca starch (I will share that recipe some time in the future:)

But what I will share with you at this time is my wonderful Gluten Free Hashbrown Casserole recipe!! It was a hit! And it doesn’t contain any of those instant soups! All from scratch and all gluten free!!

Gluten Free Hashbrown Casserole   

  • 1kg hashbrowns, thawed
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 500 mL sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 heaping tbsp corn starch
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups Gluten free corn flakes with 3 tbsp butter
  1. Melt 3 tbsp of butter in a sauce pan
  2. Sauté onions, celery and mushrooms
  3. Whisk in cornstarch. This will make a paste.
  4. Slowly add cold milk while you whisk.
  5. Continue until you have the thickness you desire. Then remove from heat
  6. In a large bowl combine hashbrowns, sour cream, cheese, 1 stick melted butter, some salt and pepper and your rue.
  7. Stir until nicely mixed and spread in 9×13 ungreased pan
  8. Top with corn flake and butter mixture8. Place in oven preheated to 375 for 1 hr.

Rollkuchen a.k.a. Deep-Fried Goodness

So I was at camp this last week.

No, not as a camper…but as camp nurse.

With camping comes unhealthy food (why is it that camping and junk food come hand in hand??) and sometimes its ok to just give in and indulge.

Key word is SOMETIMES!

So pretty much all week I bypassed the cookies, nutella, mac n cheese, candy, ice cream sandwiches, and every single cavity-causing food you can think of.

I had eyed up the week’s menu in advance and tried portion control until Wednesday lunch arrived!

Ohhhh buddy…what an amazing lunch it was!

ROLLKUCHEN!!!!

So I don’t expect you to pronounce that correctly but I do expect you to make them, buy a large watermelon and serve it for a Sunday lunch some time.

Better yet, make this for lunch, invite your friend who pretends she’s Martha Stewart, and she will finally be the one who is jealous of you! Oh, and when she asks you for the recipe, make sure you “accidentally” write down the wrong measurements.

Anyway, this lunch was the kids’ favorite meal that week! There were rollkuchen eating contests! I ate 8 which is probably equal to 2500 calories. Ok, so maybe not but I don’t care because it was sooooooo goooooooood!!!

Here’s the recipe!

Rollkuchen

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • Add to:
  • 6 tbsp butter, melted
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Directions:

  1. Beat eggs well
  2. Put eggs into a 1 cup measuring cup and fill with milk
  3. Add to remaining ingredients and mix to combine.
  4. Roll out very thin and cut into strips.
  5. Cut again so that pieces are approximately 1 inch long by 3 inches wide.
  6. Cut a slit in the middle and pull one end through to knot it.
  7. Fry four to six at a time, in deep hot fat until golden brown.
Let cool a little and then enjoy!!! No, this is not diet food!!!

BBQ worthy Potato Salad

Happy July 4th y’all!

I’m not American, but today is a happy day for me nonetheless because this is the first day it has actually been sunny so far this summer!

No I don’t live in the North Pole…although it felt like it 2 days ago! That’s right, I hauled out my winter quilt at bedtime.

So today when millions of Americans are attending a BBQ and getting their drink on, I am doing just the same…minus the drinking part. I don’t drink. Anyway…

It will be potluck style so I’m bringing a salad.The old fashioned potato salad.

Let me tell you a little secret!

I attended a BBQ one month ago where I had to bring a potato salad. I was so nervous because I had never ever made potato salad in my life and was serving it to experienced potato salad makers.

The night before my potato salad debut, my husband came home with a big a$$ bag of potatoes for $5.

What on earth am I going to do with all these potatoes! I only need 3 for juggling, what am I going to do with the 67 others??

So now, for every potluck, BBQ, birthday party or baby shower, I have been bringing potato salad just to get them outta my house.

In case you’re wondering…only 8 potatoes left! Wahooo!!!

I’ve been getting compliments on the potato salad so here ya go! Serves 8

Potato Salad

  • 8 medium potatoes cooked and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups mayo
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced
  • 1 cup onion minced
  • 5 hard boiled eggs
  • paprika
Directions:
  1. Boil peeled potatoes in salted water until done. Cool to room temperature. Then dice.
  2. Mix mayo, cider vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, garlic powder, and pepper and add to potatoes.
  3. Add celery and onions and mix well.
  4. Stir in eggs.
  5. Sprinkle paprika on top.

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wrap

So you’re following this diet blog about a girl who lost 50 lbs and is now acting like a diet expert. She has created a meal plan which you decide to follow!

You make a grocery list and head to town to do some shopping. That night you lay in bed in excitement to try this amazing diet that will help you shed those last 10 pounds.

You can just picture yourself in that bikini bod now! Yowza!

Ok, so for breakfast you enjoy a bowl of fibre one cereal with blueberries and unsweetened almond milk.

Yum.

For lunch, it’s a turkey wrap and some carrot sticks.

Delicious and guilt free!

3pm you enjoy an apple with a piece of cheese!

Then, you look at the clock and it’s 4:58pm…you’re husband is about to come home and you need to get dinner started.

According to little miss skinny pants, tonight’s menu calls for steamed broccoli, 1/2 cup non fat cottage cheese and tofu burger minus the bun.

Well isn’t that just gonna go over well with husband.

What you could do is make that meal for yourself and then make spaghetti and meatballs for him.

I hope you’re rolling your eyes, because I too am fully aware that it is slightly short of complete ridiculousness.

To be completely honest, I would love to follow a diet meal plan to a T and watch the pounds melt off. But since I’m not cooking for just myself, that’s really not reasonable.

For now, I am just throwing away the suggested dinner menu and instead I’m just trying to be as healthy as possible for supper. That means protein and veggies!

I get quite excited when I find entree’s where I can make them healthy and then easily make them husband friendly.

I’m so thankful to have discovered P.F. Chang’s Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

It’s quite the healthy recipe. For myself, I follow the below recipe but instead of wrapping it in lettuce (which I have not yet mastered) I throw the goodness onto a bed of lettuce on my plate.

The not-as-healthy version is throwing the goodness on to some rice noodles.

Voila! That’s how you make the same healthy dinner for you and your husband without spending hours in the kitchen making two completely different meals!

Enjoy!

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wrap

  • 3 frozen chicken breasts
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 8 mushrooms, diced
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 can water chestnuts, drained and diced
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 head iceberg or butter lettuce
  • rice noodles

sauce:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha (I left this out)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger
  1. bring chicken breasts to a boil for 10 min in water with a pinch of salt and a clove of garlic. Remove from water and chop finely
  2. meanwhile, chop and dice veggies to the size of a kernel of corn
  3. then mix together sauce ingredients
  4. heat 2 tbsp oil and 1/4 tsp sesame oil in a large pan and add onions, mushrooms and red bell pepper. Cook 2 minutes to soften.
  5. add chicken, water chestnuts, and garlic and saute for 2 minutes
  6. add sauce to pan, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes until liquid is reduced and there is almost no liquid left in pan and then stir in grated carrot.
  7. serve on bed of rice noodles or lettuce!

Potatoless Potato Salad

Potatoes are a dieter’s nightmare!

They are a complex carbohydrate that people call a vegetable and therefore assume are healthy!

Unfortunately you can do so many yummy things with potatoes! There’s fries, chips, mashed potatoes, hashbrowns, and I’m pretty sure potato salad is the only salad that will make a man drool!

A few weeks ago, at dinner time, I called my husband to the table and then placed a bowl in front of his nose!

“You made potato salad!” he said.

I said nothing. Side note: I had never ever made potato salad in my life.

After saying grace…

he took a huge spoonful and smiled…

then raised his eyebrows for a moment…

then smiled again.

“I don’t think these are potatoes!”

Ding ding ding! You are correct!

Let me introduce to you: Potatoless Potato Salad!

What is the replacement for potatoes??? Cauliflower!

Stop rolling your eyes!

Yes cauliflower is kinda gross, but not when you cook it and cover it with non or low fat mayo!

So go out and give it a try! Your love handles will thank me!

Potatoless Potato Salad

  • 1 1/2  heads of cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • ½ cup celery chopped (1 long stalk)
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp green pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks green onion, chopped
  • 2 baby dill pickles, chopped
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp mustard (I favor dijon)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (I used non fat mayo)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • paprika
  1. Cook cauliflower and cool.
  2. Mix cauliflower with the rest of ingredients.
  3. Refrigerate until serving.
  4. Before setting it on the table, top with paprika

Oopsie!!

For the past month I’ve been doing 10 minutes of stretching after putting on my skinny jeans.

Since I’m too cheap to buy new jeans and for fashion’s sake I am refusing to take out my straight leg and boot cut jeans…I guess I need to shed a few pounds!

Therefore, I’ve been trying to eat more healthy these days.

That means I started Monday. Yup, yesterday!

For me, healthy eating = cutting carbs!

No bread and no cereal for the next while (which happen to be my daily staples).

I have not yet found a cereal alternative (I’m trying folks!)…but I found this wonderful bread alternative! Which also happens to be gluten free!

Oopsie Rolls!!

The day I discovered it, it was worthy of a Facebook status announcement! In case your wondering, I got 15 likes and 8 comments!

Thanks yourlighterside.com

Ingredients: 3 large eggs, pinch of cream of tartar (1/8 tsp), 3 oz cream cheese (Do not soften)

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

2. Separate eggs

3. Whip egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff

4. Add cream cheese to the yolks and mix

5. Using a spatula, carfully fold the egg yolk mixture into the white mixture

6. Spray a cookie sheet and spoon the mixture onto the sheet, making 6 mounds.

7. Bake about 30 minutes

8. Enjoy!

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