Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wild Rice Omelet with Hollandaise Sauce

I love a really good omelet and I love hollandaise sauce..oh..and I love wild rice. This recipe combines it all into a fantastic breakfast that is worth the extra effort.

Here is how:
1. The hollandaise sauce: (this is how Tyler Florence does it):

a. Whisk (with some speed) 4 egg yolks and 1 Tbs. of lemon juice together in a bowl and the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume.

b. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing "barely simmering" water. Note that the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl.

c. Continue to whisk quickly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble (I used a medium-low heat).

d. Slowly add 1 stick of melted butter and continuously whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume.

e. Remove from heat and add some salt to taste. Cover and keep warm until ready to use.
Note: if the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.



2. The Omelet: (this recipe is for 1 large omelet):
Note: you will need to cook some wild rice and fry some bacon prior to starting to omelet.

a. In a bowl, beat 4 eggs, 1 Tbs. of milk and a pinch of salt and pepper.

b. In an 8 inch omelet pan or skillet, heat  2 Tbs. of butter over medium heat.

c. Pour egg mixture into pan; cooking until mixture thickens and lifting the cooked portions around edges to allow uncooked portion to flow underneath.

d. Combine:
- 1/4 cup wild rice
- 1/4 cup of shredded swiss cheese
- 4 strips of crumbled bacon (I used Hormel black label bacon).
- 1 stalk of celery sauteed until crisp-tender (I like organic celery for the flavor).
- 4 scallions sliced and sauteed
- 2 baby bella mushrooms sliced sliced and sauteed.

e. Sprinkle this mixture over half of omelet.

f. With a spatula, fold omelet in half. Slide onto warmed plate.

g. Serve with the hollandaise sauce, topped with some bacon on a bed of wild rice (and some really good coffee or fresh orange juice).

Tip for making omelets: If I feel like the bottom is cooking to fast and the top of the omelet is not finished..I throw my omelet pan under the broiler for a couple minutes.

Here is to elegance at home!! xo

Friday, April 29, 2011

Cilantro Pesto Chicken Fingers

This is a Weber Grill recipe that is a different twist on a chicken finger. The cilantro pesto is really delicious and adds some amazing flavor to the chicken. This is a good recipe to try when you are tired of grilling chicken breasts the same way and want some more moisture and taste to the meat.

Here is how:
1. To make the pesto: in a food processor, finely chop:
- 2 Tbs. of chopped walnuts
- 2 garlic cloves.

2. Scape down the sides of the food processor and add:
- 1 1/2 cups cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 1/2 tsp. of salt
- 1/4 tsp. of fresh ground pepper
- 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

3. Blend this all in the food processor until it is a smooth puree.

4. Place 2 pound of boneless, skinless chicken tenders in a large Ziploc bag with the pesto. Seal the bag and toss around the chicken to coat it. Place the chicken in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours.

5. Remove the chicken from the bag and thread it onto skewers.

6. Grill over direct high heat until the meat is firm and the juices run clear..about 6-8 minutes (turning over the skewers once).

Here is to healthy chicken with flavor! xo

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Coconut Shrimp

It had been literally over 2 years before tonight that I had coconut shrimp. I did not want all of the fat from frying but these turned out SO good and they are baked.

Here is how:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Mix together:


  • 1/2 cup "Panko" bread crumbs. (I used the food processor to grind rice crackers which is about the same texture as regular panko bread crumbs).







  • 1/4 tsp. salt (I used a coarse ground pink Himalayan salt)







  • 1 Tbs. minced dried onion







  • 1 tsp. garlic powder







  • 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chilies







  • 1 tsp. white sugar






  • 3. In another bowl, lightly beat 3 eggs. In a third bowl, place some shredded/flaked coconut (about a cup).

    4. Holding the shrimp (I used a pound of large raw shrimp de-thawed and de-shelled) by their tails, dip first into the beaten egg, then in the bread crumbs, then back in the egg, and finally in the coconut. Lay the shrimp on its side on your prepared baking sheet.

    5, Bake for 15 minutes until lightly browned. Turn the shrimp halfway through baking. Serve with sweet Thai chili sauce (Maggi and Taste of Thailand are both gluten free).

    Here is to not missing out!! xo

    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    Chicken Goujons with Noodles

    This is a Jamie Oliver recipe that I tweaked a bit to make gluten free. I like to have staple meals for nights when I have "no idea" what I feel like cooking and this is one of mine. This dish packs in a lot of flavor with a fusion of some interesting flavors.

    Here is how:
    1. Cook a package of rice noodles according to the directions (I used Taste of Thailand rice noodles). Rice noodles are one of my favorite gluten free options because they are so quick and easy.

    2. While the noodles are cooking, get a skillet and heat it up well over high heat. Add 2 Tbs. of vegetable oil.

    3. To the skillet add:
    - 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into strips
    - 1 Tbs. of grated fresh ginger
    - 1 tsp. of dried chili flakes (you can adjust the amount of these to get the degree of heat that you want).
    - 1/2 medium sweet onion diced
    - 2 tsp. of Chinese 5 spice powder (make sure it is a blend that has no gluten bindings).

    4. Once the chicken is browned add:
    - 5 sliced green onions
    - 1 Tbs. of gluten free tamari (I use San J brand)
    - 1 Tbs. of honey

    5. Drain the noodles and add them to the chicken.

    6. Serve topped with fresh chopped cilantro and a lemon wedge.

    Here is to flavor fusions and yummy meals! xo

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    Tandoori Chicken Kabobs

    Kabobs are one of my "easy/ go-to" weeknight options for dinner. The yogurt sauce on these is so creamy and delicious and adds fantastic flavor to the chicken while keeping them healthy. I serve these with steamed brown rice for a complete meal.

    Here is how:
    1. To make the marinade/ sauce: combine the following ingredients until smooth.
    - 1 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt for a thicker and creamier texture).
    - 1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
    - 1 Tbs. paprika
    - 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
    - 2 cloves minced garlic
    - 1 tsp. salt (I used a fresh ground pink Himalayan salt)
    - 1 tsp. cumin
    - 1 tsp ground turmeric
    - 1/2 tsp. finely ground pepper

    2. Cut 2 large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts into chunks and coat them with the marinade.

    3. Make kabobs on wooden skewers by alternating:
    - red onion chunks
    - green bell pepper chunks
    - cherry tomatoes
    - the chicken chunks

    4. Lightly spray the kabobs with cooking spray.

    5. Grill the skewers of direct medium-high heat until the chicken is cooked through (turning a couple times to cook the various sides) for about 8-10 minutes.

    Here is to healthy, easy, flavorful weeknight options...and grilling weather! xo

    Sunday, April 24, 2011

    Chicken Wings with Curry-Lime Butter

    This is a great Tyler Florence recipe that I adapted gluten free. It works great for an appetizer or party food. The curry-lime butter adds delicious flavor and they are quite easy to make.

    Here is how:
    1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

    2. Rinse a family package (large) of chicken wings under cold water and pat dry.

    3. Put the wings in a large bowl and drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil. Season them as well with salt and pepper (I used a coarse ground pepper here). Toss the wings well to coat them.

    4. Spread the wings out on a baking sheet and bake them for 30 minutes (or until the skin gets crispy and the meat is tender on the inside).

    5. While they are baking,  in a blender mix: 1 stick of butter (softened), 2 tsp. of red curry paste (I used Taste of Thai), zest and juice of 1 lime, 1 Tbs. of honey, 1 tsp. of gluten free tamari sauce (I used San J) and salt/ pepper to taste. Blend to mix.

    6. Scrape the butter into a large bowl. When the wings are done...take them right out the oven and toss them in the butter.

    7. Serve them on a platter topped with chopped fresh cilantro and sliced grape tomatoes.

    Here is to fun party food! xo

    Saturday, April 23, 2011

    "PF Changs" Lettuce Wraps

    PF Changs is one of my favorite restaurants and they do have a gluten free menu. I have to be honest and say that I have been cross-contaminated at one before..so be sure to speak to the manager and tell them about the severity of your gluten issues. I will also go on to say that the following time I went there the problem was rectified. There food is so delicious and the lettuce wraps are one of my favorites. This is a version that is close to theirs and easy to make at home. I made mine here with ground beef but chicken can be easily substituted. This recipe is also casein free.

    Here is how:
    1. Make the PF Chang dipping sauce with:
    - 1/4 cup sugar
    - 1/2 cup water
    - 2 Tbs. gluten free tamari (I use San J brand)
    Note: PF changs has gluten free soy sauce
    - 2 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
    - 2 Tbs. ketchup
    - 1 Tbs. lemon juice
    - 1/8 tsp. sesame oil
    - 1 Tbs. mustard (I used a sweet and spice mustard from Trader Joes)
    - 1 -2 teaspoon red chile paste

    Mix these ingredients all together well and refrigerate until ready to serve.

    2. Heat up a skillet until hot with 2 Tbs. of oil (I used wok oil for extra flavor).

    3. Saute a pound of ground beef or chicken for about 5 minutes until cooked through.

    4. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside. Keep the oil in the pan and keep it hot.

    5. Mince 1 cup of minced water chestnuts and 1/2 cup of minced mushrooms.

    6. Make the stir-fry sauce with:
    - 2 Tbs. of gluten free tamari
    - 2 Tbs. brown sugar
    - 1/2 tsp. rice wine vinegar

    7. Add the meat, 2 cloves of minced garlic, the water chestnuts and the mushrooms to the pan.

    8. Add the stir-fry sauce and saute it for 2 minutes.

    9. Serve the mixture in lettuce cups (Iceberg or Bibb lettuce) along with the dipping sauce (you top the lettuce wraps with some of the sauce too).

    Here is to restaurant favorites at home!  xo

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    Chicken Kiev, Cucumbers in Sour Cream, Stuffed Potatoes and Aromatic Iced Tea

    Anyone living with food allergies realizes adapting "old favorites" is a key to not feeling like you are deprived. People ask me all of the time "how do I not eat gluten everyday". My answer is "because I have learned how to cook the food I love in new ways to accommodate my health needs". It had literally been over 2 years that I had eaten chicken kiev when I created this recipe one evening. I paired it with cucumbers in sour cream, stuffed potatoes, dilled carrots and aromatic iced tea for an authentic feel.

    Here is how:
    A. Chicken kiev:
    1. Take 4 boneless chicken breasts and place them each between 2 pieces of plastic wrap.

    2. Working from the center out, pound them (with a wooden mallet) to form 1/4 inch cutlets. Take off the plastic wrap and season them with salt and pepper (I used a finely ground pepper).

    3.Measure 1 Tbs. of chopped green onion and parsley and place it in the center of the cutlet.

    4. Cut 4 Tbs. of chilled butter into pieces and place 1 Tbs. in the center of each cutlet with the parsley and green onion.

    5. Take one end of the cutlet and roll the meat (like a jellyroll), tucking in the sides. Press the end to seal the cutler well. Note: you can place a toothpick in the cutlets to keep them secure as well.

    6. Dust each roll with all purpose gluten free flour (I use Bob's Red Mill), then dip each cutlet into beaten egg (I used 2 eggs) and finally roll in bread crumbs.
    Note: I made my own gluten free bread crumbs by putting older gluten free bread into my food processor.

    7. Place the cutlets on a baking sheet and cook for 45 minutes at 400 degrees (until the chicken is no longer pink). Garnish with fresh parsley.


    B. Cucumbers in sour cream:
    1. Peel and thinly slice 1 cucumber.

    2. Sprinkle the slices with a pinch of salt.

    3.Combine and pour over the cucumbers:
    - 1/2 cup sour cream
    - 1 Tbs. white vinegar
    - 2 Tbs. chopped chives
    - 1 tsp. dried dill
    - dash of finely ground pepper

    3. Chill the cucumbers for about 30 minutes before serving.

    C. Aromatic iced tea:
    1. Boil for 5 minutes:
    - 8 cups of water
    - 1 1/2 cups of sugar
    - 8 cloves
    -1 orange rind
    -1 lemon sliced

    2. Make tea separately with 4 cups of water and 1 1/2 Tbs. of loose black tea (or 4 bags) (make sure it is gluten free) (I used The Republic of Tea..which is all gluten free).

    3. Add 1 1/2 cups of orange juice and the juice of 1 lemon to the tea.

    4. Strain the first mixture with the rind and add it in a pitcher to the tea mixture.

    5. Chill until cold.

    D. Lemon-dill carrots:
    1. In a large saucepan, bring 1 inch of water and carrots to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer them for 3-5 minutes or until tender-crisp (al dente).

    2. Drain the carrots, transfer to a serving bowl and season them with butter, 1 tsp. of dried dill and a the juice from 1/2 of a lemon.


    E. Stuffed Potatoes:
    1. Take 4 medium baking potatoes and pierce them with a fork.

    2. Bake them at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

    3. Take the potatoes out of the oven and let them cool until you can handle them.

    4. Make a slice in the center of each potato and scoop out the pulp and leave the shell.

    5. In a medium bowl combine the pulp and:
    - 1/2 cup sliced green onions
    - 1/4 cup of butter
    - 1/4 cup of milk
    - 1/2 cup of sour cream
    - 1 tsp. of salt
    - 1/2 tsp. of finely ground pepper
    - 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

    6. Scoop the mixture into the potato shells. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle the potatoes with 1/4 cup of melted butter and sprinkle them with paprika (I used Hungarian paprika).

    7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until heated through.

    Here is to adaptations and eating good food! xo

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    Chicken Noodle Soup

    With Spring illnesses and colds in full swing I thought it would be helpful to do a post on a really delicious chicken noodle soup. This is a twist and an expansion on a Jamie Oliver recipe that takes a bit more time but is seriously worth it. The broth from scratch is so delicious and comforting that I guarantee it will make sick days much better.

    Here is how:
    1. In a large saucepan place 1 whole (I prefer free-range) chicken, with 2 peeled and chopped carrots, 2 stalks of roughly chopped celery (I prefer organic) and 2 slices of gluten free bacon (I like Hormel black label). Cover this all with water and bring it to a boil.

    2.Turn down the heat and simmer the stock for an hour and 15 minutes, skimming off the white residue from the top as needed. Add 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary during the last 15 minutes.

    3. Next remove the chicken from the pan and put it in a large bowl to cool. Also remove the veggies, bacon and rosemary and discard from the saucepan.

    4. After the chicken has cooled, tear up the meat in slivers and return it to the pan. Also add 3 peeled and chopped carrots and 2 more stalks of celery chopped up. I also like to add 1 1/2 cups of chopped baby bella mushrooms.

    5. In addition, add a pound of gluten free rotini (I used quinoa rotini in this soup), sea salt to taste and a splash of cooking sherry. Bring the stock  back up to a boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the pasta and veggies are tender yet firm.."al dente".
    Note: I have this with Glutino gluten free crackers when sick.

    Here is to comforting soup when sick...or anytime! xo

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    Salmon Cakes

    These salmon cakes are healthy and kid-friendly option for dinner (my son LOVED these). Best of all, there are vegetables hidden right inside of them..so along with some oven fries it makes a complete meal.

    Here is how:
    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

    2. In a bowl combine:
    - 1 can of salmon (the Red Sockeye salmon is best)
    - 1 1/2 cup of broccoli that has been steamed and minced up (I used a food processor).
    - 4 medium potatoes that have been peeled, boiled until tender (for about 12 minutes) and mashed up.
    Note: You can also use the pre-made "Simply Potatoes" mashed potatoes to save time..they are gluten free.
    - 2 Tbs. minced parsley
    - 1 Tbs. of all purpose gluten free flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
    - a pinch of ground pepper
    - 1 egg yolk

    3. Mix this all together well. If the mixture is a little dry add some milk..if the mixture is too wet, add a little more flour.

    4. Divide the mixture into 12 portions and shape each portion into a cake.

    5. In a medium bowl beat 2 large eggs. In another medum bowl, put 4 Tbs. of the same gluten free flour. Finally, in a third bowl put 2 1/2 cups of gluten free bread crumbs (I used Glutino).

    6. Roll each cake in the flour, then the beaten egg and then the breadcrumbs to coat.

    7. Take a baking sheet (that has a rim) and drizzle it with 2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil. Heat up the sheet with the oil in the oven for 5 minutes.

    8. Add the fishcakes and bake them for 10 minutes. Then, gently turn the cakes over with a spatula and bake for 10 more minutes.

    Here is healthy food kids will eat! xo

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    Benefits of Yoga on the Immune System

    There are many benefits to yoga on the body. As I referenced in "my workout rules" post..I believe that everyone should practice yoga at least once a week..I aim for 2-3 times a week...even if it is only a few Vinyasa series in the morning.

    The well known benefits of yoga include:
    1. Flexibility: I believe everyone over the age of 35 should be engaging in yoga to keep the body limber and flexible. According to Web.md , "Yoga stretches not only your muscles but all of the soft tissues of your body. That includes ligaments, tendons, and the fascia sheath that surrounds your muscles. And no matter your level of yoga, you most likely will see benefits in a very short period of time. In one study, participants had up to 35% improvement in flexibility after only eight weeks of yoga. The greatest gains were in shoulder and trunk flexibility."

    2. Strength: Yoga is isometric muscle work which is different but just as crucial for the body as more traditional weight lifting. Yoga involves balancing and utilizing one's own body weight and engages the core muscles throughout many of the asanas. Yoga will lean out your body and give the muscles length and definition. This will also improve your body's posture and alignment overall.

    3. Breath: through Pranayama (or breath with movement) the lungs are strengthened through deep and slow breathing. This also induces relaxation and combats the body's "adrenaline stress function level" that most of us are in on a day to day basis. With the increase of stimulus and technology all around us our body's are simply more "stressed". More than ever it is not only a privilege but a need that we slow down our body's through purposeful relaxation such as yoga. According to Web.md again, "Among yoga's anti-stress benefits are a host of biochemical responses. For example, there is a decrease in catecholamines, the hormones produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress. Lowering levels of hormone neurotransmitters -- dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine -- creates a feeling of calm. Some research points to a boost in the hormone oxytocin. This is the so-called "trust" and "bonding" hormone that's associated with feeling relaxed and connected to others." The flow of oxygen to the brain also helps regulate mood and concentration and even help alleviate symptoms related to depression.

    4. Heart Disease: People with Celiac Disease have an increased risk of heart disease (we all do nowadays right)..Yoga decreases blood pressure and increases the heart's efficiency. According to Web.md, "On a biochemical level, studies point to a possible anti-oxidant effect of yoga. And yoga has been associated with decreased cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as a boost in immune system function."

    5. Immune system: Celiac disease is an auto immune disease which means it must be treated holistically. Basically, immune repair work needs to be done. Yoga help the immune system repair by flushing out unnecessary toxins from the body. Secondly, yoga is a stepping stone towards a healthier lifestyle. People who practice yoga are found to eat healthier and live lifestyles that involve fitness and health. Thirdly, practicing yoga decreases the amounts of stress hormones released in the body. This protects the against viral and bacterial attacks. Finally, yoga assists in healing the immune system by improving circulation and oxygen flow, clearing out mucus and toxins from the lungs and sinuses, increasing lung function, stimulating all of the internal organs and soothing the nervous system (some of  these points we explained more above).
    Basically, get a yoga book...get a dvd...try a class...incorporate yoga into your lifestyle and it will benefit you greatly.

    May you find yoga as enchanting and inviting as I do. Namaste. xo

    Taco Potato Skins

    This is a great appetizer for a birthday bash with friends or a tailgate/ sports game party. Homemade potato skins are worth the extra effort and these turn out delicious.

    Here is how:
    1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

    2. Wash 6 large russet potatoes and prick the skins with a fork several times. Bake the potatoes in the oven for 1 hour until tender.

    3. Take the potatoes out of the oven and cool them down until you can handle them. Then cut the potatoes length and then quarter wise. Scoop out the pulp, leaving about 1/4 inch of potato pulp left in the shell (save the pulp for mashed potatoes).

    4. Combine 4 tbs. of  melted butter and 2 Tbs. of gluten free taco seasoning (I get mine from Trader Joes) and brush the mixture over both side of the potato skins.

    5. Place the skins on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

    6. Next sprinkle the skins with 1 cup of shredded Mexican cheese, 6 strips of bacon (I like Hormel black label) that have been cooked and crumbles, and 4 green onions that are chopped.

    7. Bake the skins for about 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

    8. Top with some fresh chopped cilantro, season with salt and pepper (I used a chipotle pepper blend) and serve with sour cream.

    Here is to yummy party food! xo

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    Meatloaf with Pickle Stuffing

    This is an old family recipe for a delicious stuffed meatloaf that I have redone gluten free. The pickle stuffing reminds me of 50's diner food and this makes for a comforting family meal along with some baked potatoes and a spinach salad.

    Here is how:
    1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

    2. Buy 2 pounds of a meatloaf meat mix (beef, pork and veal) and mix it, in a large bowl, with 1/2 cup of gluten free breadcrumbs (I used Glutino), 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion, 2 tsp. of salt, 1/4 tsp. ground pepper and 1 tall can (1 2/3 cup) of evaporated milk. Mix this all together gently but thoroughly.

    3. Pack 1/2 of the meat mixture into a loaf pan.

    4. For the pickle stuffing mix: 1 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish (I minced up some of my bread and butter pickles for awesome flavor), 2 tsp. dijon mustard, 1 cup of the gluten free breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup of evaporated milk. Blend this all together in a bowl.

    5. Spread the pickle stuffing evenly and firmly onto the meat layer in the loaf pan.

    6. Pack the remaining half of the meat mixture over the pickle layer and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

    Here is to classic meals redone gluten free! xo

    Croque Monsieur

    I have a lot of french influence in my cooking as it was the original style of cooking that I learned. This is a quick and easy sandwich that reminds me of french bistros and is prefect for a brunch dish.

    Here is how:
    1. For each sandwich use 2 slices of white gluten free bread (I used Kinnikinnick brand).

    2. Make a sandwich with 2 slices of swiss or gruyere cheese and a few slices of ham (Hormel Naturals makes good deli meat or Boarshead is all gluten free...just make sure the deli person cleans the slicer first to prevent cross contamination).

    3. Dip the sandwich into a mixture of 2 beaten eggs and 1 Tbs. of milk.

    4. Grill the sandwich in a skillet in melted butter until golden and toasted on each side.
    Note: I served mine alongside some mango chutney

    Here is to easy, elegant brunch food! xo

    Saturday, April 16, 2011

    Corned Beef and Sweet Potato Cottage Pie

    This recipe reminds me of stylish outdoor bistros that pack together unusual flavor combinations that work together beautifully. This is a cottage pie that I would serve along with a lovely chopped salad and a trifle for dessert. I would pair this dish with a Cabernet Sauvignon..make sure it is a dry one.

    Here is how:
    1. In a medium saucepan cook 1 medium, minced onion in 2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil until softened over medium-high heat.

    2. Stir in 3 Tbs. of gluten free, all purpose flour (Bob's Red Mill makes a great one) with a wire whisk to prevent lumps and take the pan off the heat.

    3. Add 1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes, 8 oz. of cooked and diced corn beef and 2 Tbs. of chopped, fresh parsley together and place in 4 small oven proof dishes.

    4. Cook 1 pound of peeled, diced sweet potatoes in boiling water for about 14 minutes, until tender. Drain and season with 2 Tbs. of butter and salt/ pepper to taste. Mash the sweet potatoes and add milk as needed to obtain a creamy yet firm consistency.

    5. Top the corn beef mixture with the mashed sweet potatoes and top the dishes with grated cheese (I used provolone) and bake the dishes for ab out 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with a lovely chutney on the side (I served mine with mango chutney).

    Here is to elegant cafe food! xo

    Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

    I must admit...I have a huge weakness for desserts with cream cheese frosting..this is a twist on a recipe from the amazing "Gluten Free Goddess"..the cake turns out so moist that you really cannot tell the difference from regular cake..the ultimate goal.

    Here is how:
    1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. and line a 10 x 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
    2. Beat 3 large eggs in a large mixing bowl until they are light and frothy. Next add 2  cups of brown sugar (not packed)  and  beat until smooth. Next add 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil,  1 15 oz. can of pumpkin, 2 tsp. of vanilla (make sure it is gluten free); beat to combine.
    3. In a separate bowl, mix together 2 cups of Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix, 1 Tsp. of ground cinnamon, 1 tsp. of allspice and 1/4 tsp of salt. Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, slowly and beat to combine..for about 2 minutes.
    4. Pour the mixture into the baking pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake is firm and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

    5. Cool the cake on a  wire rack while you make the frosting.
    The cream cheese frosting (oh yeah):
    1. Beat 8 oz. of softened cream cheese and 4 Tbs. of softened butter until fluffy. Add 3 tablespoons of  maple syrup and 1 1/2 Tbs. of vanilla (again make sure it is gluten free). Add  3 cups of powdered sugar...1 cup at a time (use more if needed to get the consistency you want) and  beat until smooth.
    2. Frost the cake after it has cooled.
    Here is to dessert! xo




    Scallops Saltimbocca

    This is a fantastic Tyler Florence recipe that I have tweaked which combines a variety of flavors and turns out absolutely amazing. Paired with a velvet potato puree and some baby greens with a simple vinaigrette the meal is complete and balanced.

    Here is how:
    Scallops Saltimbocca
    1. Heat up 1 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.

    2. Add 12 slices of thick cut bacon or pancetta (chopped up bite size) and cook until cooked but not yet crisp.

    3. Add 1 pound of sea scallops and 1 Tbs. of dried, rubbed sage. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook the scallops (turning very gently once or twice) for 2-3 minutes until the scallops are browned.

    4. Remove the bacon and scallops and put on a serving platter.

    5. While the scallops are cooking...peel, core and slice 2 apples (I used Figi). After you remove the bacon and scallops add the apples to the pan and saute them until they are wilted and caramelized (for about 4-5 minutes). Take a 1/2 a lemon and season the apples with the juice. Add some salt and pepper to taste.

    6. Serve the apples over the scallops and bacon sprinkle a touch more of the dried sage on top.

    Potato Puree:
    1. Peal and quarter 6 medium Yukon Gold potatoes.

    2. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover them with water. Add a tsp. of salt to the water and bring the water to a boil.

    3.Reduce the heat to a medium-low and simmer the potatoes for about 20 minutes until they are tender.

    4. Drain the potatoes and pass them through a rice mixer into a large bowl.

    5. Add 1/2 cup of half and half, 1/2 cup of sour cream, 4 Tbs. of butter, a drizzle of olive oil. Season them to taste with salt and pepper and mix them well.

    Here is to dinners to remember! xo

    Friday, April 15, 2011

    Beef "Bull Bites" with Bearnaise Sauce

    These are a fantastic appetizer or make a really delicious light supper. The Bearnaise sauce is so delicious and combines with the spices on the beef for a fantastic flavor combination. The recipe is also naturally gluten free.

    Here is how:
    For the Bearnaise sauce:
    1. Combine 2 Tbs. of white wine vinegar, 2 Tbs. of dry white wine, 1 Tbs. chopped shallots, 1 tsp. of dried tarragon in a small saucepan.

    2. Place over high heat and boil until it is reduced by half (about 1 minute). Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool.

    3. Melt 1 stick of butter (not margarine) in a different small saucepan.

    4. Fill the bottom of a double boiler with water and bring it almost to a boil. Lower the heat to keep the water at a simmer and not a boil.

    5. Whisk 3 eggs yolks and the shallot mixture in  the top of the double boiler and place the top of the double boiler over the bottom part.

    6. Slowly whisk in the melted butter in a steady stream and continually whisk until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    The Bull Bites:
    1. Heat 2 Tbs. of oil in a skillet and get the pan nice and hot (over high heat).

    2. Chop up 1 lb. of steak tenderloin into bit size pieces and put the in the skillet.

    3. Saute the steak over high heat until it is brown on the outside and pink on the inside (mid-rare).

    4. Season the beef with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, ground mustard seeds and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

    Here is to flavor! xo

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Lemon Curry Chicken with Mango, Mint and Green Beans

    This is one of my favorite meals to cook for dinner parties. It is a Tyler Florence recipe that I have redone a bit. It has so many fresh flavors that combine into a really fantastic dish that is also quite healthy.

    Here is how:
    1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

    2. Rinse and pat dry an 8 piece cut up chicken.

    3. In a large bowl combine:
    - 2 cups of plain yogurt
    - 2 Tbs. of curry powder
    - The grated zest (skin) and juice of 1 lemon
    - 1 Tbs. of sesame oil
    - a pinch of salt and fine black pepper

    4. Add the chicken to the bowl and toss gently to coat the chicken in the yogurt marinade.

    5. Place the chicken on a baking sheet and roast...using the remaining marinade to baste it twice (with a brush) while it cooks...for about 45 minutes until the chicken is tender on the outside and crisp on the inside.

    6. While the chicken is cooking make the ginger rice:
    - Take 1 cup of jasmine or basmati rice and add 2 cups of water and 1 Tbs. of finely grated ginger in a medium saucepan.
    - Bring the rice to a boil and then turn it down to low..cover it and cook the rice for about 12 minutes (without lifting the lid).

    7. Place the rice on a platter and top with the chicken. Next place 1/2 pound of trimmed fresh green beans, 1/2 small chopped red onion, 1/4 cup of chopped peanuts, 1/4 cup of chopped fresh mint leaves and 1 mango peeled and sliced. Throw a little coarse black pepper, some coarse sea salt and a dash of extra virgin olive oil on top for additional flavor. This dish pairs fantastically with an oak barreled Chardonnay.

    Here is to fresh flavors and lots of taste! xo

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Baja Tacos

    This is one of my favorite dinners for mid week when the last thing you want to do is cook...yes even I get tired of cooking occasionally :) This is a recipe that was requested from me..it packs in a lot of flavor and really is not a lot of work.

    Here is how:
    1. Heat up a skillet and coat it with 2 Tbs. of vegetable oil.

    2. In the skillet, saute 1/2 of a  sliced sweet onion (vidalia or red) and 1/2 of a sliced bell pepper for 2 minutes until the vegetables are "al dente" (firm with still a little crisp to them). Remove the veggies from the pa and set them aside.

    3. Slice one boneless, skinless chicken breast and saute it in the same pan for 4-5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and add it to the veggies.

    4. Heat up 4 small corn tortillas (I like Trader Joes) in the same skillet for about 20 seconds on each side to warm and toast the tortillas. Remove them and place them on a plate.

    5. Season the vegetables and chicken with some salt and pepper (I used a chipotle pepper). You can also add some crushed red chili flakes if you like some heat. Divide the mixture among the tortillas.

    6. Top each taco with some fresh avocado, chopped cilantro, shredded Mexican cheese, sour cream, salsa and hot sauce if you want them spicy (Sriracha sauce is my favorite).

    Note: This recipe is also great with shrimp as well.

    Here is to healthy, easy food..packed with flavor! xo

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Gluten Free Breakfast Ideas

    One of the requests I have had is to give some basic meal planning ideas. I already did a post on gluten free lunch ideas so here is a list of some gluten free breakfast ideas. I hope this helps with your meal planning.

    1. Omelets (the picture above is a bacon and cheese omelet) or frittatas (see my other post).
    2. Gluten free cereal topped with some fresh fruit. I like Chex cereal (the ones that are gluten free are clearly marked on the outside) topped with some blueberries.
    3. Greek yogurt with honey, fresh fruit (mango is awesome here) and gluten free granola (Udi makes a great one).
    4. Smoothies or a fitness protein shake (I like "Myoplex Lite" and "Muscle Milk" both which are gluten  free).
    5. Gluten free toast with peanut butter (gluten free bread is always better toasted).
    6. Home fries, eggs and gluten free sausage (all Jones Naturals are gluten free and Hormel little sizzlers is another favorite).
    7. Gluten free waffles (so good topped with whip cream and strawberries).
    8. Good old fashioned gluten free buttermilk pancakes (will do a recipe for a good one later).
    9. European style: fresh fruit, some cheese (if you can have dairy) and some Earl Grey tea with milk.
    10. Gluten free oatmeal (your oatmeal must be designated gluten free because most oatmeal is cross contaminated with wheat) topped with brown sugar and dried fruit.
    11. An elegant egg dish like the eggs florentine post or Huevos Rancheros (will do a post on later).
    12. Gluten free biscuits and gravy (will do a recipe on later).
    13. A Gluten free donut (Kinnikinnick makes a really good maple one).
    14. A great gluten free muffin (Udi makes some really yummy ones).
    15. Cappuccino and a biscotti (Pamela's makes yummy ones).
    16. A breakfast bowl with home fries topped with scrambled eggs, diced ham (make sure it is gluten free) and cheddar cheese.
    17. Scrambled eggs with fresh salsa.
    18. Cottage cheese and fruit salad.
    19. Espresso and a gluten free scone (will do a recipe for later).
    20. A favorite from European travel.. a gluten free crepe (will do a recipe for later) topped with Nutella and some Orangina or Evian water.

    One of my favorite memories is horseback riding in Tuscon and cooking amazing breakfasts in the middle of the desert..make breakfast delicious...here is to a stylish start to your day! xo

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Cedar Planked Grilled Salmon with Honey- Lime Dressing

    This is a Weber grill recipe that I tried tonight that turned out so fantastic that I had to share it. A cedar plank can be bought in the grill section of a store like Target and smells so amazing you will enjoy your cooking on a whole new level. I paired the salmon with some grilled potatoes (will do a post on later) and some grilled asparagus for an elegant weeknight meal that really is not that difficult.

    Here is how:

    1. Soak your cedar plank for about 20-30 minutes in water.

    2. To make the dressing: in a blender combine until smooth:
    -2 Tbs. of fresh lime juice
    -2 Tbs. rice vinegar
    -2 Tbs. dijon mustard
    -2 Tbs. honey
    -2 Tbs. chopped chives
    -1 tsp. salt
    -1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
    -pinch of cayenne pepper
    -1/2 tsp. ground  black pepper
    -1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

    3. Remove the cedar plank from the water and brush it with olive oil.

    4. Season a pound of salmon fillets with salt and pepper and place on the cedar plank.

    5. Brush the salmon fillets with half of the dressing.

    6. Place the cedar plank (with the salmon on it) on the grill over direct high heat until the outside oedges of the plank start to char (with the lid closed on the grill.
    Note: Make sure the plank does not flame.

    7. After the edges on the plank start to char either lower the heat to low (if using a gas grill) or move to indirect heat (if using coals) and grill for about 20 minutes until the salmon is opaque and slightly pink in the middle. The edges of the fish should be slightly brown.

    8. Remove the plank from the grill and serve the salmon on the plank warm with the rest of the dressing. Fantastique!

    Here is to creative grilling! xo

    Quick and Easy Paprika Steak Wrap

    Wraps are a quick, easy, and healthy gluten free option for dinner. This recipe is another one from Jamie Oliver (love him) that I tweaked a bit to make gluten free. Hopefully, this can be an option when you want something delicious yet done in less than 15 minutes for supper. This recipe is enough for 2 wraps.

    Here is how:
    1. Heat up your outside grill or an indoor griddle pan and let the surface heat to "very hot". Brush your grill surface with some olive oil.

    2. Take 1 sirloin steak and season it with pepper and smoked paprika (regular paprika works fine too).

    3. Place the steak on the grill surface and grill for 3-5 minutes on each side, turning once...depending on the thickness and how well you like your steak cooked. The hot grill surface will sear the outside of the steak and keep the inside juicy.

    4. Take a warmed up (microwave for 30 seconds) gluten free tortilla wrap (mine is a brown rice wrap) and top with some baby greens, chopped tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes), a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a dash of extra virgin olive oil.

    5. Slice up the steak..adding it to the wrap and top with some sour cream or hummus.
    Note: I season my steak with salt after grilling it to prevent the steak from drying out while grilling it.

    Here is to quick, easy and delicious dinner options! xo

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Chicken and Dumplings

    Sometimes I crave old school style scratch cooking like Grandma used to make..chicken and dumplings is a classic dish. I literally had not eaten this since going gluten free..until tonight and it tastes just as good. This recipe takes a bit more time but is so worth it.

    Here is how:
    1. Take a pound of boneless skinless chicken breasts and cut into large chunks.

    2. Heat 2 Tbs. of vegetable oil in a large saucepan (double handled used to make stews) or as I like to call a french "cassoulet" pan.

    3. Place the chicken in the pan and add 1 Tbs. of paprika (I used a smoked paprika), 1/2 tsp. of salt and 1/2 tsp. of coarse ground pepper.

    4. Cook the chicken over medium-high heat for 10 minutes.

    5. Pour off the fat from the and add 2 stalks of celery cut into 1 inch pieces, 2 carrots peeled and chopped, 1 leek (white and light green part) chopped into 1 inch pieces, 1 small  (yellow or white) onion chopped.

    6. Next add 4 cups of gluten free chicken broth and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat (to medium low), cover and cook for 30 minutes until the vegetables and chicken are tender and cooked through.

    7. Remove the vegetables and chicken from the pot (using a slotted spoon), set aside and keep warm.

    8. In a mixing bowl mix 2 cups of all purpose gluten free flour (like Bob's  Red Mill), 3 tsp. of baking powder, ground pepper to taste and 6 Tbs. of chopped fresh parsley.
    Note: you can also use a gluten free bread mix like Pamela's and just omit the baking powder.

    9. Next, with a pastry cutter, cut in 4 Tbs. of shortening until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.

    10. Next add 2/3 cups milk (add slowly because depending on your mixture you may need a little more or a little less). You want the mixture just moistened.

    11. Next, knead the dough with your hands once or twice and return it to the bowl.

    12. Drop the dough by large spoonfuls into the reserved broth after you have brought the broth back to a boil.

    13. Cover and simmer the dumplings until they are cooked through (about 20 minutes). The broth will turn into a lovely thick gravy from the dumplings cooking in it.

    14. To serve: ladle some of the chicken and vegetables in a a bowl, topped with some dumplings and some of the broth/ gravy. Garnish with fresh parsley.

    Note: to make this casein free use rice or almond milk instead of regular milk
    Here is to old school scratch cooking! xo

    Beef Stroganoff

    This one of my classic favorite Sunday dinner meals. I have tried several versions of gluten free versions and this is one of the best I have come up with (and I am picky when it comes to beef stroganoff).

    Here is how:
    1. Saute in a large skillet: 1 pound of beef sliced up (I used beef sirloin tips) with 1/2 cup of chopped onion (I simply used a regular yellow onion here) in 4 Tbs. of butter (no margarine..use the real stuff). Saute until the meat is browned.
    *Cooking tip: If you heat your pan up nice and hot before adding food...even in a regular skillet your food will not stick. Heat up the pan well, add the butter and then the food.

    2. Stir in 2 Tbs. of all purpose gluten free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill), 1 tsp of salt, and 1/2 tsp of cracked black pepper. Using a wire whisk combine this into the meat mixture well..using the whisk to get rid of lumps in the flour.

    3. Add 1 lb. of fresh sliced mushrooms to the pan (I used baby bellas) and gently combine them with the rest of the food. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.

    4, Add 1 package of Pacific Naturals Organic cream of mushroom condensed soup (works just like regular condensed soup) and simmer uncovered for another 5 minutes.
    Note: Gluten free flour can thicken more quickly than regular flour so watch the dish add a couple Tbs. of milk and whisk in  to keep the consistency to a thick gravy.

    5. Add in 1 cup of sour cream and heat through. Garnish with fresh parsley

    6. Serve over gluten free noodles (I used Tinkyada brown rice rotini)..heat a pan of salted water to a rolling boil and cook the pasta according to the directions to an al dente consistency (cooked through but firm).

    7. In the photo I served this alongside some fresh green beans and a side salad of: baby greens, sliced apple, sliced pear, chopped organic celery (organic celery makes a huge difference in taste), chopped walnuts all topped with a blush wine vinaigrette (Brianna's Naturals makes a great gluten free one).

    Note: I will be working on posting more recipes that are also casein free for those that cannot have either allergen.

    Here is to classic meals around the Sunday table! xo

    Saturday, April 9, 2011

    Shrimp Fra Diavolo and Pasta with Pancetta

    One of the things I love the most is a really delicious Italian meal. Gluten free pasta can be a bit tricky to get a texture and flavor that resembles "the bad stuff" but this rendition of a few Giada de Laurentiis recipes turned out so good..I literally forgot it was gluten free.

    1. Shrimp Fra Diavolo:

    a. Clean and peel 1 pound of shrimp (I used a medium size raw shrimp) and toss in a bowl with 1 tsp. of salt and 1 tsp. of dried crushed red pepper flakes.

    b. Next, in a large heavy skillet (I like a well seasoned cast iron skillet) heat up 2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil over a medium-high heat.

    c. Add the shrimp and saute them until they are opaque and cooked through..about 2 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set them aside and keep warm.

    d. Add 1 medium sweet onion (I used a Vidalia..finely chopped) to the skillet and saute until the onion is translucent..about 5 minutes.

    e. Add a 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes with juices, 1 cup of red wine (I used a robust Chianti), 2 minced cloves of garlic, 1/2 tsp. of dried oregano and 1/2 tsp. of dried basil.

    f. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the sauce until it loses some of the moisture and starts to thicken..(called reduction of the sauce)..about 10 minutes.

    g. Return the shrimp to the pan and toss them in the sauce to coat. Add a few Tbs. of minced fresh flat-leaf parsley and season with salt and cracked black pepper to taste.

    2. The Pasta (my favorite part of this meal):

    a.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add 1 pound of medium (I used a penne) gluten free pasta (I used brown rice Tinkyada brand pasta). Make sure you cook the pasta according to the package directions and watch it closely. You want the texture to be al dente..cooked through but still firm.

    b. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat up 2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil with 1 Tbs. of minced garlic over medium high heat.

    c. Add 1 cup of chopped pancetta (make sure it is gluten free..mine was from Trader Joes) and saute until the pancetta is cooked through and starting to crisp.

    d. Make 1 cup of gluten free bread crumbs from gluten free older bread (I used a Cuisinart food processor). I also added a 1/4 tsp. each of garlic powder, dried oregano and dried basil to make the bread crumbs "Italian style".

    e. Add the bread crumbs to the pan and cook in the pancetta drippings (OMG so good)!!!!! Cook for 2 minutes until the bread crumbs are starting to brown and get toasty.

    f. Remove the pan from the heat and add in 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with some minced fresh parsley if you would like.

    3. Spicy Green Beans:

    a. Steam 1 pound of fresh green beans just until the color bursts..again you want them cooked but crisp.

    b. Heat 2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the green beans.

    c. Saute them for about 3 minutes with 1/2 tsp of dried pepper flakes (you can adjust the spiciness according to your taste, 1 minced garlic clove and 1/8 tsp of salt.

    Here is to good Italian food that does not hurt your body! xo

    Friday, April 8, 2011

    Chicken Sausage over Horseradish Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onion Gravy

     This is a recipe that has been requested from me for a rendition of a meat and potatoes meal with Scottish influence. The little extra details in this dish make you look like a gourmet chef and it is really quite easy. This is a spin on a Jamie Oliver recipe that I changed to suit my taste buds and preferences.

    Here is how:
    1. Take a skillet (I used cast iron) and throw it on medium high heat with a couple Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil.

    2. Take a pound of gluten free chicken sausage (mine was from Trader Joes or Annie's Naturals makes some great ones) and cook them in the olive oil with 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tsp. of dried or fresh rosemary and 1 tsp. of rubbed sage.  Cook them (turning occasionally) until the sausages are heated through, golden and slightly crispy on the outside.

    3. While the sausages are cooking  peel and chop 8 medium potatoes (I used Russet) into chunks and boil them in salted water until tender and cooked through. Drain the potatoes and mash with a potato masher adding 1/2 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of low-fat sour cream, 2 Tbs. of butter and 1 heaping Tbs. of fresh horseradish. Season the potatoes to your taste with salt and cracked black pepper as well. Keep the potatoes warm.

    4. To make the caramelized onion gravy peel and julienne slice 2 sweet onions (purple or vidalia) and cook in a small skillet (again I used cast iron) in 1 Tbs. olive oil. You want to use a low heat and cook them slowly so that they caramelize beautifully.

    5. When the onions are golden, soft and caramelized add 2 Tbs. of balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbs. of butter, salt and pepper to taste and 1 tsp. of rubbed sage. Let this cook down to thicken and bit.

    6. To serve: spoon some potatoes in a wide rimmed soup bowl with some sliced sausages on top covered with some of the onion gravy.

    Here is to elegant comfort food! xo

    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    Chicken Marsala

    Chicken marsala is one of my favorite dinners over a glass of red wine, nice dishes and a some pillar candles.  This dish is succulent, flavorful and delicious...so easy too.

    Here is how:
    1. Take a pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and place them between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Pound the breasts until they are a 1/2 inch thickness.

    2. Combine 2 Tbs. of gluten free all purpose flour, 1/2 tsp. of dried basil and a pinch of salt and pepper in a plastic bag. Put the breasts in the bag and shake to coat.

    3. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the breasts in 2 Tbs. of butter for 4-5 minutes on each side ...remove from heat and keep warm.

    4. In the same skillet, saute 2 cups of sliced fresh mushrooms (I used baby bellas), with 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 cup Marsala wine, 1 tsp. of lemon juice. Stir to remove the brown bits from the pan, bring to a boil and cook until the liquid is reduced by a third. Meanwhile cook 1 package of gluten free (I like brown rice) spaghetti according to the directions.

    5. Place the chicken breasts over the spaghetti and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of fresh grated Parmesan.

    6. Serve with a lovely side salad and some great gluten free garlic bread (will post a recipe later) and a great glass of wine (Pinot Noir is my choice).

    To some romance and great food! xo

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    Managing an Auto-Immune Celiac Attack

    Auto-Immune attacks are inevitable for people with Celiac disease. It is not possible to avoid every grain of gluten when it takes less than 1/8 of a tsp. to trigger the immune system shutdown. A reality for people living with Celiac Sprue is learning how to manage the symptoms when it happens. Please note that the longer one with gluten sensitivities refrains from eating wheat, rye or barley (or any derivative of those) the stronger your symptoms become. I am going to go through my list of symptoms one by one (listed under the Celiac Symptoms post) and what I do to manage them.

    1. Stomach bloating: This happens for up to a week with me..there is really no easy way around this one other than creative fashion styling like billowy tops, pants a size too big, leggings and tunics etc..the goal is to not look pregnant. For guys..a looser shirt and pants that don't cut into your stomach will make you feel more comfortable. For the diarrhea and vomiting, I recommend going through it and getting the gluten out of your system..you will heal quicker.

    2. Infertility: Research is still not indicating a correlation between PCOS and Celiac Disease. I believe PCOS is over diagnosed and that there is much about fertility we still do not understand. The one common thread that I have learned from midwives and doctors (including Endocrinology specialists) is that weight loss is the #1 factor in naturally increasing your chances for conception with PCOS. Obviously, many other factors such as heredity, age and lifestyle choices impact your chances for conception. I encourage you to talk to a doctor who specializes in fertility if you are struggling with this issue.

    3. Abdominal Pain: This can range from stabbing pain to what I call "intestinal flip flopping/ cramping"..the best cure I have found is Imodium (over the counter)..I usually have to take 2 doses but it really does calm down the stomach symptoms so your at least function. HR-132 is also a homeopathic compound that helps with pain and cramping.

    4. Irritability and Depression: Good common self care is paramount here: healthy diet (get your Omega 3s and DHA through fish), daily exercise, fun/ laughter, social time and relaxation (get outside!). There are also many fabulous homeopathic and herbal remedies like St. John's Wort and HR-129. If these remedies do not help enough or if you experience a period of time when you feel like you need something more talk to a medical professional who will really listen to you and take the time to get to know how your auto-immune disease impacts your overall health.

    5. Migraines: I have found that over the counter Excedrin  helps the best. I am hesitant to recommend prescription pain medication because of the body's tendency to become dependent on them.

    6. Numbness: Unfortunately this is something that you have to distract yourself from..these symptoms have gotten much better and are now almost gone since going gluten free.

    7. Muscle Cramps: I get these in my feet, calves, quads and hamstrings frequently. What helps the most is staying hydrated, making sure you are getting enough calcium (for those with casein sensitivities in addition to the gluten..vitamins are a must), and enough potassium (bananas are best).

    8. Skin Rash ( Dermatitis herpetiformis)...this comes in various amounts for people depending on their sensitivity level. For foot sores (that itch really bad) I use an over the counter athlete's foot fungal cream which calms the sores down until they heal. For inside my nose I use a topical anti-biotic ointment like Neosporin.

    9. Mouth Sores: Good old carmex for these is best or Smith's Rosebud Salve (available from many online apothecary retailers).

    10. Weight Gain: The basics of a healthy diet are what works. There are no fast cures for long lasting weight loss. Portion control and healthy diet choices (including high-glycemic carbs) is what works. Remember that gluten free carb choices actually contain a naturally lower glycemic ratio so going gluten free does not mean you get to just "eat whatever you want as long as it is gluten free". If you need to lose weight also see my posts on "My Workout Rules" and "Celiac and Obesity".

    11. Fatigue: Extra sleep and naps work and giving yourself time to relax. Lavender and chamomile are essential oils that boost rest. Also, relaxing in the evening, refraining from caffeine, keeping a bedtime routine and teas that contain herbal components like valerian help promote restful sleep.

    12. Stools: Again, the Imodium really helps here.

    For those that are currently suffering, I hold you in my heart and in my prayers and simply say "I understand". xo

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    Grilled Corn on the Cob with Basil Parmesan Butter


    Grilled corn on the cob is the perfect pair to so many grilled dishes..it is much easier and much more delicious than traditional boiled corn. The basil-parmesan butter adds that something extra and makes your average weekly dinner extra special.

    Here is how:
    1. Husk 4 ears of fresh corn
    2. Rub the ears with softened butter.
    3. Sprinkle the ears with Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, dried basil, sea salt (I used fresh ground pink Himalayan salt), fresh ground black pepper and minced granulated garlic.
    5. Cover the ears in tin foil and grill over direct medium heat until slightly browned and tender...turn the ears throughout grilling and it takes aboutt 10-15 minutes.

    Serve the ears with some butter mixed with Parmesan and basil and enjoy the decadence.

    Here is to..just a little something extra! xo

    Orange Tarragon Chicken Packets


    It's so easy, quick and fast to clean up when you grill dinner. I love foil packets and chicken packets are naturally low-fat and healthy. Here is a delicious variation on the ordinary chicken packet. The recipe makes enough for 2 packets.

    You need:
    1. 8 green onions sliced
    2. 1 medium orange, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
    3. 2 Tbs. of butter cut into small chunks
    4. 1 Tbs. of dried or fresh tarragon
    5. 1 medium yellow bell pepper cut into chunks
    6. 1/2 medium sweet onion (like vidalia) cut into chunks
    7. Pinch of black coarse pepper
    8. Pinch of sea salt (I like pink Himalayan salt for the mineral properties).
    9. 1 pound of boneless chicken breasts cut up

    The how to:
    1. Place 1/2 the ingredients on approximately a 12 x18 inch sheet of foil. Flatten the pile of ingredients slightly so that they cook more evenly.
    2. Bring the long sides up and make a triple or quadruple fold over the ingredients to seal...rolling the ends in to make sure each end has at least 2 folds.
    Note: leave some room in the packet
    3. Place the packet seam-side down on grate over direct medium-high heat. Grill for about 12 minutes..turning them packets over halfway through.
    Note: Be careful when opening to allow the steam to escape.

    Here is to easy and elegant grilling! xo

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    Green Bean Casserole


    Green bean casserole is a classic dish served for many occasions and one of my all-time favorite side dishes. This is my gluten free version.

    Here is how:

    1. Take 4 cups of fresh uncooked green beans cut in half and 1 cup of mushroom sliced thinly and saute them in a skillet with 1 Tbs. of butter over high heat until they are golden and tender (about 6 minutes).

    2. Mix 1 container of "Pacific Natural Foods gluten free cream of mushroom condensed soup", 1/2 cup of milk and 1 Tbs. of gluten free tamari sauce (I use San J).

    3. Combine the green beans/ mushrooms and soup mixture in a casserole dish.

    4. Saute 1/2 of a medium onion sliced thinly in 1 Tbs. of butter over high heat in a skillet until the onion is translucent.

    5. Next, in a nonstick saucepan over medium-low heat melt 1 Tbs. of butter and add 3/4 cup of gluten free bread crumbs (I used Glutino).

    6. Top the green beans with the onion and next the bread crumbs and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until the green beans are cooked.

    Here is to classic dishes redone! xo

    Pheasant Baked in Wild Rice


    I am a total outdoors girl and love wild game. This is one of my favorite recipes for pheasant. It turn out crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. After prepping this is a really easy meal to throw in the oven and bake.

    Here is how:
    1. Take the breasts, legs and thighs of 2 pheasant and coat in gluten free all purpose flour (again, I use Bob's Red Mill).  Note: make sure the breats are cut in half  (slice them in the middle along the mid-bone).

    2. Brown the pheasant in a couple Tbs. butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. After browning season the breasts with some gluten free poultry seasoning (I used Chef Paul Prudhomme's).

    3. Place 3/4 cup of wild rice, a pinch of salt and pepper into a large greased casserole dish and add 2 Tbs. of grated onion.

    4. Add 1 cup of sliced mushrooms and 2 cups of gluten free chicken broth.

    5. Place the pheasant on the rice mixture and dot the dish with 2 Tbs. of butter cut up.

    6. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

    I serve this with green bean casserole and some gluten free dinner rolls..see the next post for the green bean casserole.

    Here is to great wild game cooking! xo