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.

Skinny Chocolate Dessert

Several years ago, half of America and I decided to do the South Beach diet.

To my surprise, I actually stuck to it and lost 25 pounds. Probably because I was on a pure carb diet before that and the South Beach diet completely eliminated my carb ingesting tendencies.

I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the diet, but if you are, I’m sure you are aware that ricotta cheese is a staple in almost every South Beach diet phase one dessert.

Since I love chocolate, I mixed cocoa and splenda with the ricotta cheese and ate that every day for 2 weeks.

Let me tell you one thing folks….after 2 weeks of ricotta cheese, I was disgusted by it and never wanted it in my home ever again!!

So now what was a girl to do! I needed a yummy chocolatey easy-to-make-South-Beach-friendly dessert.

I looked in the pantry and the refrigerator and saw the following:

The light went on in my head!

I mixed 1/2 cup cottage cheese with 2 tbsp cool whip, 1 tbsp cocoa and some splenda.

I then took a big spoonful and put it in my mouth.

My eyes were opened! I found happiness again!

Did you know that I eat this every single day?? Not a lie my friend!

I hope you enjoy these 110 calories as much as I do! I promise that it will satisfy your chocolate tooth!!!

 

 

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Strawberry Dressing

I have a love/hate relationship with strawberries.

I love to eat them but I’m an absolute stress ball when trying to pick a perfect container of strawberries at the grocery store.

I often rummage through the pile of strawberries for at least 5-10 minutes, praying to find a container that doesn’t contain a single rotten strawberry.

I really don’t think it can be done. I’m sure the produce manager is in the back of the store, hiding all the rotten strawberries in the middle of the containers so they cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Just a word of warning, if strawberries are on major sale and the price seems too good to be true, well newsflash lady, IT’S TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!

Half those strawberries in that pristine container are good for nothin! And you’ve just been hosed by the conniving little produce manager who’s laughing and watching you through his security camera at the supermarket.

However, it is the strawberry season, so I’m planning on setting aside extra time tomorrow to purchase several pounds of fresh strawberries from a small family owned local farmer’s market. I’m hoping I’ll have better luck with fresh ripe strawberries from them rather than getting shady strawberries from Foods R ‘Us or whatever hot shot grocery store I usually shop at.

This weekend I’m planning on making this delightful strawberry salad with strawberry dressing. I made it last summer and it was absolute deliciousness!

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Strawberry Dressing

Dressing:

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 2½ tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ tbsp. champagne or white wine
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • Pinch of salt

For the salad:

  • Baby spinach leaves
  • sliced almonds
  • sliced fresh strawberries
  • feta or blue cheese
  1. In a blender, combine dressing ingredients until completely smooth.  Transfer to an airtight bottle or container and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Combine salad ingredients and top with dressing right before eating.

WARNING: This is a very healthy recipe!!!

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!

Blueberry Crisp

In a world of microwaves, dishwashers, fast cars, computers, and the Roomba…why are human beings still so busy??

Ya, I work full time, but I still have no clue why I’m constantly in a rush, always running late, never have time to clean or fold the flippin’ laundry!

Well, yesterday was no exception! I was moving at hyperspeed all day and still had no time to make dessert to bring to my in laws. Oh, and it had to be gluten free to boot. HELP!

Blueberry crisp to the rescue!!

This recipe literally took me 5 minutes to throw together at home. I then brought it to my in-laws and put it into the oven to bake while we ate dinner.

I usually don’t encourage serving fresh-out-of-the-oven dessert but I served it with ice cream so it was all good. Actually, my brother-in-law did burn his tongue but lets just pretend that never happened!

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention how amazing it tasted!!!!

Not only did I manage to make dessert in 5 minutes, I also satisfied everyone’s sweet tooth!!! Props to me!

It was a pretty good ending to my busy busy day!

Here’s the recipe! You’ll love it even if you are not GF:)

  • 4 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup Pamela’s Ultimate Gluten-Free Baking & Pancake Mix (other GF baking and pancake mix will do)
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup Shortening
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Generously smear an 8×8-inch baking dish with butter or shortening.
  3. Sprinkle a tbsp of the Pamela’s mix onto blueberries and toss to coat. Pour blueberries into baking dish.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of Pamela’s mix with the brown sugar and cinnamon.
  5. Add in shortening by hand and rub mixture between fingers until it resembles coarse crumbs
  6. Layer the crumbs over the blueberries. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Previous Older Entries