Wednesday, August 31, 2011

English Muffin Veggie Pizza

Busy nights are a reality for all everyone and cooking something that is "quick and easy" yet healthy can be a challenge. This is a vegetarian recipe that can easily be made casein free as well. I truly hope this recipe is helpful.

Here is how:
1. Toast 4 gluten free english muffins (halved) in a designated/ "gluten free" toaster.

2. Mix 2 Tbs. of tomato paste with 2 Tbs. of pesto and spread evenly over the muffin halves.

3. Heat 1 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the following until soft and starting to brown:
- 1/2 sweet onion (thinly sliced)
- 4 baby bella mushrooms (sliced)
- 1/2 zucchini (thinly sliced)

4. Preheat the broiler to high. Divide the vegetables between the muffins and top with mozzarella cheese.

5. Cook under the broiler for 3-4 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned.

Here is to healthy, quick and easy meals! xo

Monday, August 29, 2011

Savory Cornish Hens with Roasted Garlic

Cornish hens are an elegant option for dinner that are also healthy and flavorful. This recipe is delicious paired with brown rice couscous as well as some gluten free foccacia bread that the roasted garlic can be spread on top of. I hope this meal brings style to your dinner table.

Here is how:
1. Rub 4 Cornish hens with:
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Salt to taste

2. Place the Cornish hens in a roasting pan with:
- 2 cups of fresh tomatoes (quartered)
- 4 shallots (minced)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 Tbs. dried basil
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 lemons (sliced)
- 2 Tbs. dried rosemary

3. Stuff the cavities of each Cornish hen with 2 more lemons (sliced) and place 4 whole garlic bulbs, (with a 1/2 inch cut off the top), in the roasting pan with the other vegetables.

4. Roast the Cornish hens for 1 hour at 375 degrees. The skins will be golden brown and the juices will run clear when they are done.

5. Serve the hens with some of the vegetables and broth spooned on top.

Here is to health, flavor and elegance! xo

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Not So Sloppy Joes

This is a version of "Sloppy Joes" that is not only gluten free, but also adds nutrition with the vegetables. It is a great recipe for kids that do not like to eat their veggies and is also a "quick and easy" dinner solution. I truly hope you find this recipe helpful.

Here is how:
1. In a skillet, heat up 2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat.

2. Add and saute until softened:
- 1 cup sweet onion (chopped)
- 1 rib of celery (finely chopped)
- 1/2 green bell pepper (seeded and chopped)

3. Next, add to the skillet 1 pound of lean ground beef. Cook until the meat is browned, stirring to avoid any clumps.

4. Finally add:
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbs. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Sriracha hot sauce to taste (optional)

5. Cook until bubbling and heated through. Spoon over gluten free hamburger rolls, (I prefer Udi brand), and serve.

Here is to "kid friendly" meals with nutrition! xo

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Avocado Omelet

I love making omelets for breakfast and this recipe is also a vegetarian option that balances nutrition with texture and flavor. I hope you find this recipe helpful and enjoy it as much as I did.

Here is how:
1. In a small bowl, toss together:
- 1/2 California avocado (peeled and diced)
- 1/2 Plum tomato (seeded and diced)
- 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

2. In a second bowl, lightly beat 3 eggs.

3. Melt 1 Tbs. of butter in a non-stick omelet pan or skillet over medium heat. When the butter has melted, raise the heat up to medium-high and pour the eggs into the pan. Cook the eggs, without stirring, until the omelet starts to brown around the edges, (about 15 seconds). Then gently stir, gathering the mixture toward the center of the pan.

4. When the bottom is set but the top is still slightly wet, add the avocado mixture to the pan. Cook until the filling is heated through, (about 45 seconds). Slide the omelet onto a plate and top with freshly chopped chives.

Here is to breakfast with style! xo

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mushroom and Bacon Pizza

This is a "quick and easy" dinner idea that incorporates the flavors of wild mushrooms with onion and bacon. I hope you find this recipe as delicious as I did.

Here is how:
1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil.

2. Add:
- 1 cup of wild mushrooms (sliced)
- 1 sweet onion (sliced)
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 tsp. salt

3. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms and onions are tender (about 12 minutes).

4. Add 1/4 cup dry white wine and simmer uncovered, until the liquid evaporates (about 3 minutes).

5. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme.

6. Place 2 gluten free pizza crusts, (I like Udi brand), and top with:
- the mushroom mixture
- 6 slices of bacon (crisp-cooked, drained and crumbled)
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

7. Bake the pizza according to the pizza crust directions.

Here is to delicious pizza made at home! xo

Monday, August 22, 2011

Seared Tuna with Caper Butter and Pasta with Marinated Tomatoes

I love Ahi tuna and am always looking for new ways to prepare it. This recipe adds in a flavorful butter and a light pasta side dish for a complete meal that features some of the flavors of Summer. I hope this recipe brings happiness to your table.

Here is how:
1. Rub 2 fresh Ahi tuna steaks with extra virgin olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

2. In a bowl combine:
- 2 Tbs. butter (at room temperature)
- 1 Tbs. capers
- 1 Tbs. bell pepper (finely diced)

3. Roll the mixture, on parchment paper, into a ball and refrigerate until firm.

4. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Sear the tuna for about 3 minutes on each side. The tuna should be browned on the outside and medium-rare on the inside.

5. For the pasta, combine:
- 1 large ripe tomato (seeded and chopped)
- 1 cup of cherry tomatoes (sliced)
- 1 clove of fresh garlic (finely minced)
- 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbs. fresh dill (chopped)
- 1 Tbs. dried basil

6. Marinate the mixture for up to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

7. Cook 1/2 pound of gluten free penne according to the package directions until al dente. Drain well and toss with the tomato mixture.

Here is to elegance and style at home! xo

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Strawberry Mango Bagel

This was a "quick and easy" recipe I came up with for breakfast one morning. The cream cheese highlights fresh summer flavors and is also light and healthy. I hope you enjoy.

Here is how:
1. Slice a gluten free bagel (I like Udi brand) and top with the following mix:
- Light cream cheese
- Fresh strawberries (chopped)
- Fresh mango (chopped)
- Fresh mint (chopped)

Here is to "grab and go" breakfasts with style! xo


Tempura is a Japanese word to describe food that has been cut into bite-size pieces, coated with batter, fried in oil, and served with one or more sauces. It is a fun dish to make at home and is really delicious. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Foods suitable for tempura are:
- Cubed scallops
- Shrimp
- Pork, cubed and precooked
- Mushrooms
- Onions sliced into rings
- Broccoli florets
- Celery sliced diagonally
- Fresh spinach leaves
- Cauliflower florets
- Carrots sliced diagonally
- Bell peppers cut into cubes
- Water chestnuts sliced
- Green beans
- Snow pea pods

Here is how:
1. Select the vegetables and proteins and prepare them by washing and drying them well with paper towels. This will allow the batter to adhere properly.

2. Arrange the selected foods on a platter.

3. For the batter, combine and beat until smooth:
- 1 1/2 cups cornstarch
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 1 large egg

4. Prepare the sauces. Some sauces that can be bought are: gluten free tamari, horseradish sauce, gluten free sweet and sour sauce, and gluten free hoisin sauce. In addition, I made hot mustard sauce and plum sauce.
      A. Hot Mustard Sauce:
- 3 Tbs. rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup dry mustard

     B. Plum Sauce:
- 1 cup plum preserves
- 1/2 cup mango chutney
- 1 Tbs. sugar
- 1 Tbs. rice vinegar

5. Heat 2-3 cups of vegetable oil in a wok to the temperature of 400 degrees.

6. Use tongs or chopsticks and dip the food into the batter. Allow it to drain briefly, then drop the food into the hot oil. When done on one side, turn and brown it on the other side. Total frying time is usually 2-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the food. Thinly sliced vegetables should be cooked only 1 minute.

7. Remove from the oil, cool on a plate covered in paper towels and serve with the sauces and rice.

Here is to fun cooking at home! xo

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Indian Butter Chicken

Butter chicken (or murgh makhani) is part of the Indian cuisine, popular in countries all over the world. The origins of butter chicken can be traced back to Kundan Lal Gujral, a Hindu Punjabi, who ran a restaurant called Moti Mahal Delux in Delhi. Butter Chicken is regarded to have been first introduced by Moti Mahal in New Delhi. Butter chicken is usually served with naan, roti, parathas or steamed rice. It should not be confused with Chicken tikka masala, a similarly coloured Indian chicken dish that originated among the South Asian diaspora in the U.K..

This also happens to be one of my favorite Indian dishes because the blend of spices is so fragrant that is takes you to another country right at your own dinner table. I hope you find this recipe as delicious as I do.

Here is how:
1. Blend these spices in a bowl and set aside:
- 1 Tbs. Garam Masala (make sure it is a gluten free blend with no "binders")
- 1 Tbs. freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

2. To make the sauce: Melt 4 Tbs. butter in skillet over medium heat. Add 1 onion (chopped) and saute until the onion starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Add  2 cloves garlic (minced),  1 Tbs. tomato paste and  the spices, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning.

3. Add 1 (15 oz.) can of tomato sauce and 2 cups of fresh tomatoes (diced) and stir will. Add 1 pound of cooked chicken breast pieces, spoon the sauce over the top and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and cook, uncovered, until the chicken is warmed through and the sauce is flavorful, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Remove the chicken to a serving dish and cover to keep warm.

4. Add 1/4 cup of greek yogurt to the sauce in the pan, stir well and heat through. Do not boil. Spoon the sauce over the chicken. Serve with brown basmati rice and top with freshly chopped cilantro or parsley.

Here is to ethnic cooking at home! xo

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Grilled Sweet and Hot Salmon Sandwich with Summer Slaw

Omega 3 fatty acids are an important part of a balanced diet. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center:

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. In fact, infants who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems. Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.

This recipe is a delicious way of getting nutrients with flavor. I paired the sandwich with a Summer "Slaw" to highlight some seasonal flavors. I truly hope you find this recipe helpful.

Here is how:
1. Combine and set aside:
- 2 Tbs. dijon mustard
- 3 Tbs. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. gluten free tamari sauce

2. Brush 2 Salmon fillets with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grill over direct medium-high heat for 5 minutes (or until browned). Turn and grill for another 5 minutes.

3. Brush 2 slices of gluten free bread with extra virgin olive oil and grill for about 1 minute on each side to toast the bread. Top the bread with baby spinach and the salmon. Drizzle the mustard sauce on top.

4. For the slaw, combine in a bowl:
- 2 Tbs. creme fraiche
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger (peeled and grated)
- Juice from 1 clementine
- 2 clementines (peeled and sliced)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 small carrots (chopped)
- 2 Tbs. of fresh dill (chopped finely)
- 1/4 pound of fresh green beans (trimmed and chopped)

5. Toss the slaw ingredients together and refrigerate until time to serve.

Here is to healthy meals with style! xo

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mexican Pizza

I love Mexican pizza and have yet to find a gluten free version in the grocery store. This was the recipe I came up with for dinner and it was delicious. I hope you find it helpful.

Here is how:

1. Take an Udi gluten free pizza crust and top it with:
- Salsa for a base
- Ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning (Trader Joe's is gluten free)
- Kidney beans
- Mexican cheese
- Diced fresh tomato
- Sliced black olives
- Fresh cilantro (chopped)
- Fresh lettuce (chopped)
- Avocado (chopped)
- Sweet onion (chopped)
- Sour cream
- Chipotle pepper

2. Bake the pizza according to the crust directions.

Here is to pizza with style! xo

Sunday, August 14, 2011

California Burgers

Burgers are always a delicious option for dinner and these add the benefits of some healthy nutrients as well. I used "Laura's Lean" all natural burgers and Udi brand hamburger buns with sweet potato fries for a side.

Here is how:

1. Grill the burgers to your preference. I also buttered and grilled the buns for extra flavor.

2. Next, simply add:
- Mayonnaise
- Tomato slices
- Avocado (chopped)
- Green onions (chopped)
- Freshly ground black pepper

Here is to summer grilling! xo

Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara is a dish that highlights simple flavors combined to make a delicious, yet "budget friendly" meal. This recipe personifies rustic charm yet is still elegant enough to serve for guests. I hope you enjoy.

Here is how:
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the spaghetti.

2. Heat 2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 8 slices of bacon (cut into strips and then crosswise) and 1 sweet onion (chopped) and cook for 7-8 minutes, until the onion is caramelized and the bacon is crisp.

3. Meanwhile, crack 3 eggs into a serving bowl. Add 5 Tbs. of cream and 1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese and whisk. Add the bacon and onion into the bowl with the cooking fat.

4. By now the water should be boiling, so add 1 pound of gluten free spaghetti and cook it according to the package directions until al dente. Scoop out 1/4 cup of the pasta water and add it to the bowl with the bacon and eggs.

5. Drain the spaghetti, add it to the bowl, and toss it all together. Cover the serving bowl with a plate to hold in the heat and let the pasta set for 5 minutes.

6. Remove the plate, season with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and chopped fresh parsley. Give it another toss and serve.

Here is to rustic flavors! xo

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Vitamin Supplementation for Celiac Disease

1. According to

How to Replace Lost Nutrients Caused by Untreated Celiac Disease

At the very least, most celiacs will benefit from a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement that includes calcium, 1,000 milligrams, along with 400 milligrams of magnesium (note that too much magnesium can cause diarrhea). Lack of vitamin B6 is partly to blame for symptoms of celiac disease, Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate (P-5-P) is often a good choice, as it requires no conversion to make vitamin B6, and can be easier on the stomach.
vitamins can also speed healing. Because the absorption of fats is particularly poor in celiacs, many celiac patients commonly suffer deficiencies of vitamins A, C, D, E, and benefit from taking these in supplemental form, along with a chelated form of zinc supplement. As with any supplement, read the directions and keep your doctor fully informed about what you are taking and how much.
A typical dose, for example, is 1,000 to 2,000 international units (IU) of vitamin A in the form of fish oil (too much can have toxic effects so discuss this with your doctor), 100 to 200 IU of vitamin D also in fish oil, 500 to 1000 milligrams of vitamin C, 100 to 400 IU of vitamin E, and 15 to 30 milligrams of chelated zinc.
Check with your doctor before taking more than 20 milligrams of zinc. Beta-carotene, 10,000 I.U. daily, can also be helpful, as can Iron, 60 mg. daily, if a blood test indicates iron deficiency.
In addition to a good multivitamin/mineral for support, and other vitamins, digestive enzymes, which digest gluten, may also be helpful. To improve nutrient absorption and assimilation, these should be supplemented.
Celiac patients also often suffer a deficiency of vitamin K., which can be supplemented through green foods, especially alfalfa. Green food supplements contain many essential nutrients, including trace minerals. Evening primrose oil is a good source of the omega-6 essential fatty acids that celiac patients often lack.
Silica soothes inflammations in the gastrointestinal tract. It is available in both capsules and gel form.
Medicinal clay is excellent in promoting healing of the walls of the colon and protecting it from irritation by toxins and dry, abrasive matter.

2. The Mayo Clinic states that:
Vitamin supplements to combat malnutrition If your nutritional deficiencies are severe, you may need to take vitamin and mineral supplements recommended by your doctor or dietitian to help correct these deficiencies. Your doctor may recommend supplements to increase your levels of:
  • Calcium
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Vitamin B-12
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin K
Vitamin supplements can be taken in pill form. But in some situations, your digestive tract may have trouble absorbing vitamins. In these cases, your doctor may give the vitamins by injection.

3. Finally a group of researchers from the Netherlands did a study that demonstrates in agreement with earlier findings, that both the presence and the severity of coeliac disease were determinants of homocysteine levels. The regular use of B vitamin supplements was associated with higher serum vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin B12 and lower plasma homocysteine levels in patients with coeliac disease. Furthermore, B vitamin supplements seem to have a protective role against the effect of villous atrophy on homocysteine levels, irrespective to the genetic susceptibility status as manifested by carrying the C677T polymorphism of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase.

I hope that all who suffer with Celiac disease find this post helpful. Namaste.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Penne with Shrimp and Dill

Shrimp is one of my favorite proteins to cook with and according to :

Shrimp packs a wallop of protein (18 grams per 3 ounce serving), and with only 83 calories and 1 gram of fat per serving, it is healthy and so delicious. What about blood cholesterol? You need to know that that research shows, and dietitians concur, that the high percentage of "good fats" in shrimp reduces the impact of cholesterol.

Shrimp is also a nutritious alternative to other meat proteins. Shrimp is an excellent source of selenium. Selenium is an essential trace mineral in the human body. This nutrient is an important part of antioxidant enzymes that protect cells against the effects of free radicals that are produced during normal oxygen metabolism. The body has developed defenses such as antioxidants to control levels of free radicals because they can damage cells and contribute to the development of some chronic diseases. Selenium is also essential for normal functioning of the immune system and thyroid gland. Mounting evidence suggests a link-between selenium intake and reduced risk of cancer.

Shrimp also has emerged as a very good source of vitamin D and vitamin B12.

This recipe is a balanced combination of healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates that combines the seasonal flavors of Summer as well. I truly hope you enjoy this meal.

Here is how:
1.  Heat up 2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute 1 pound of shrimp (peeled and deveined) for about 5 minutes until the shrimp turns pink and opaque. Remove from the skillet and keep warm in a bowl. Next, saute 1 medium vidalia onion (chopped) for about 5 minutes until translucent.

2. Add 1 pound of gluten free penne pasta to boiling water and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain (do not rinse) and add to the bowl with the shrimp.

3. Add:
- 1 cup of grape tomatoes (halved)
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
- 1 Tbs. capers (rinsed and drained)
- 2 Tbs. grated lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

4. Toss well and serve warm.

Here is to summer flavors at their best! xo

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bruschetta Chicken

This is a "quick and easy" meal solution that turns chicken breasts into an Italian dish  that you will want to make often. It also makes a wonderful dish to serve for guests as well. I truly hope you enjoy this recipe and that it brings flavor and warmth to your table.

Here is how:
1. Place 1/2 cup of all purpose gluten free flour and 2 eggs (lightly beaten) in separate bowls.

2. Dip 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 oz. each) in the flour, then in the eggs. Place in a greased baking dish.

3. Combine 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup gluten free bread crumbs and 1 Tbs. melted butter; sprinkle over the chicken.

4. Loosely cover the baking dish with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until the top is browned.

5. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine:
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 3 Tbs. minced fresh basil
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

6. Spoon over the chicken. Return to the oven for 3-5 minutes or until the tomato mixture is heated through.

Here is to dinners worth repeating! xo

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Marinated Scallop Brochettes with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

This is a salsa that is made with ingredients commonly found in the kitchen. The combination of mild spice with brown sugar makes the dish healthy yet flavorful. I hope this recipe brings health and happiness to your home.

Some of the health benefits of scallops are:
  • Scallops contain nutrient that can help promote cardiovascular health and give protection against colon cancer.
  • Sea scallops are an excellent source of cyanocobalamin or vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 helps in the formation of red blood cells and it necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and protein.
  • Scallops are rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, an essential nutrient for cardiovascular health. Omega 3 helps ease symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, slows the growth of cancerous tumors, helps prevents arthritis and helps combat skin disorders.
  • Scallop is a good source of potassium and magnesium. Potassium is necessary for muscle contraction and magnesium is necessary for the proper function of muscles and nerves. It is also important for converting blood sugar into energy. Relaxation of blood vessels is associated with magnesium and thus it provides relief from hypertension.
  • Scallop is also a good source of selenium which helps neutralize the injurious effects of free radicals. Excessive accumulation of free radicals (which are by products of metabolism) weakens the immune system making it prone to diseases.
Here is how:
1. To make the marinade, in a medium bowl, whisk:
- 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove (minced)
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2. Rinse 24 sea scallops under cold water. Remove and discard the small, tough side muscle from each scallop that has one. Place the scallops in the bowl with the marinade and toss evenly to coat them. Cover the bowl and let refrigerate for 1 hour.

3. To make the salsa: Lightly brush 1 onion (cut crosswise into slices) on both sides with oil.  Grill over direct high heat until lightly charred all over (6-8 minutes):
- the onions
- 4 medium tomatillos, (about 1/2 pound total), husked and rinsed
- 1 medium poplano chile

4. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin, stem and seeds. In a food processor place the tomatillos and chilis with:
- 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 medium garlic clove (minced)
- 1/2 tsp. dark brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt

5. Process until fairly smooth and taste to adjust the ingredients if necessary. Remove the scallops from the bowl and discard the marinade. Thread the scallops through their sides onto skewers so the scallops lie flat. Grill over direct high heat until just opaque in the center (4-6 minutes) turning once. Serve warm.

Here is to summer grilling flavors! xo

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sesame Noodles with Shrimp

This is a "quick and easy" meal that makes for a light yet healthy dinner. It tastes best served at room temperature and can be made with tofu for a vegetarian option. This recipe is also casein free. I truly hope you find this recipe delicious.

Here is how:
1. Cook 8 oz. of rice noodles according to the package directions; drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.

2. In a saucepan, combine:
- 1/3 cup reduced-fat smooth peanut butter
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 Tbs. ketchup
- 2 Tbs. gluten free hoisin sauce
- 2 Tbs. gluten free tamari
- 2 Tbs. packed light brown sugar
- 1 Tbs. rice vinegar
- 1 tsp. dark sesame oil

3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until well mixed. Remove from the heat and cool about 10 minutes.

4. Toss the noodles with the sauce and sprinkle with 2 chopped scallions.

5. Add:
- 1/2 cup sliced cucumbers
- 1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts
- 1/2 pound sauteed shrimp

6. Toss to combine and serve.

Here is to "quick and easy" dinners with flavor! xo

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rosemary Chicken with Wild Rice

Wild rice is one of my favorite ingredients to cook with and also has some interesting history behind it. According to :

Many native American Indian tribes used wild rice as an important staple in their diets and considered it the centerpiece of their Megwetch Manomin Feast that followed the first harvest. During the long, cold winters when the lakes were frozen and hunting was difficult, their precious stores of wild rice nourished -- often as the primary element of their diet, a testament to the nutritional properties. They had great reverence for "the precious grain sent by the Great Spirit to serve as food." The grain was so valuable to subsistence that tribes sometimes waged wars over wild rice territories. The Chippewa tribe even carried small pouches of wild rice with them whenever they traveled.

Before any explorers set foot on the North American continent, wild rice was gathered by Indians over an expansive of area North America from the Atlantic coast to the Mississippi Valley. Archaeologists found charred remains of wild rice seeds in threshing pits in the northern states that existed long before there was contact with Europeans. By the early part of the1900s, only clear lakes and rivers of the most northern regions of Minnesota could still support the growth of wild rice and provide the Indians their staple food.

It became known as "wild rice" because the explorers noticed Indians gathering it in the waters of the Great Lakes region. As they observed it rising 3 or 4 feet above the water, it reminded them of rice paddies.

This recipe combines the flavors of wild rice and rosemary and is delicious served with some steamed green beans topped with some almonds. I hope this recipe brings comfort and flavor to your home.

Here is how:
1. Cook 1 cup of wild rice according to the package directions.

2. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil. Add 2 cloves of garlic (minced) and saute until golden (about 2 minutes).

3. Add:
- 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cubed)
- 2 carrots (chopped)

4.  Saute, stirring frequently (about 3-4 minutes). Next, stir in 2 Tbs. of fresh rosemary, (chopped), and cook until the chicken is cooked through (about 3-4 minutes longer).

5. Stir in:
- 1/4 cup orange marmalade
- 1/8 cup dijon mustard
- 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

6. Cook, stirring frequently, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and toss to combine.

Here is to outdoor flavors! xo

Chicken Paprikash Topped Potatoes

A culinary journey in Hungary from :

At the root of the country's gastronomy is French cooking, imported by way of Austria to Hungary, where it melded with ancient peasant traditions, many originating in Asia. The country's unique cuisine has influences also from the Central Asian Magyar founders of the nation, Turks, Germans, Czechs, Slovaks, Serbians, and Croatians. The simple agrarian and shepherd lifestyles of the Hungarian Plain and mountains have also helped shape the country's unique dishes.

It is uncommon for a Hungarian dish not to have a little dash of paprika. This spice first appeared in Magyar cooking in the 19th century. Today the best varieties of sweet peppers used in making paprika come from Szeged and Kalocsa in southern Hungary where flame-colored fields extend across the plains as far as the eye can see.

This recipe is based on a Hungarian flavors of chicken and onion in a creamy paprika sauce that turns baked potatoes into a balanced meal. Dark meat chicken complements the bold flavors. I hope this recipe brings happiness to your home.

Here is how:
1. Pierce 4 Russet potatoes with a fork and bake in the oven for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

2. Combine in a zip-loc bag:
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (cut into bite-size pieces)
- 2 Tbs. gluten free all purpose flour (I prefer Bob's Red Mill brand)
- 2 tsp. Hungarian paprika
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper

3. Seal the bag and coat and shake to coat the chicken.

4. Melt 2 Tbs. of butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

5. Add:
-  The chicken mixture
-  1/2 cup onion (chopped)
-  1 (8 oz.) package of presliced mushrooms
-  2 garlic cloves (minced)

6.  Saute for 5 minutes and add 1/2 cup of gluten free chicken broth (Pacific brand is gluten free) and bring to a boil. Cook for 6 minutes or until the chicken is done and sauce thickens; stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in 1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream.

6. Open the potatoes and fluff the pulp. Divide the chicken mixture evenly over potatoes; sprinkle with fresh parsley.

Here is to healthy meals with flavor! xo

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New York Strip Steak with Pizzaiola Sauce

One of my favorite meals to make at home is a New York Strip Steak paired with twice baked potatoes and grilled vegetables. This recipe combines classic flavors with an Italian Pizzaiola sauce that makes dinner memorable. I truly hope this recipe bring enchantment and happy memories to your table.

Here is how:
1. To make the sauce: Grill 2 1/2 pounds of plum tomatoes over direct high heat until charred on both sides (3-5 minutes). When cool enough to handle, peel away the skin, halve the tomatoes crosswise, remove the cores, squeeze out the seeds, and then chop the tomatoes.

2. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil and cook 1 clove of garlic, (minced), until golden brown, (1-2 minutes), stirring occasionally.

3. Add the tomatoes, 1/4 cup thinly sliced oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, and 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then stir in 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh oregano.

4. Allow the steak to stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before grilling. Brush both sides of the steak with extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, rubbing the seasonings into the meat.

5. Sear over direct high heat for 8-10 minutes, turning once, and then grill over indirect high heat until cooked to desired doneness, 4-6 minutes for mid-rare.

6. Remove from the grill and let rest for 3-5 minutes. Reheat the sauce over medium heat. Serve the steak over a pool of the sauce.

Here it to memorable meals at home! xo

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Glazed Salmon

According to some of the health benefits of salmon are:

People who eat fish seem to be protected from a host of conditions. Some of this is probably due to the omega-3 fats, but there may be other benefits apart from this. The science isn’t clear yet as to all the reasons why eating fish (particularly fatty fish such as salmon) seems to be so darned good for us.

Omega-3 fats seem to primarily work through reducing inflammation in our bodies. Inflammation is turning out to be at the base of many health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, some types of cancers and arthritis. Omega-3’s also help prevent the blood clots which cause many strokes.
An exciting, fairly recent development is the realization that omega-3 fats have potential to help slow cognitive problems such as Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline. Also, people who have sufficient levels of omega-3’s (especially as compared to omega-6 fats) seem to have less depression and suicide risk, as well as less aggression -- in one study, giving prison inmates this type of fat (plus vitamins) reduced aggressive behavior by a third in a mere two weeks.

This is actually a fairly simple recipe that combines sweetness and spiciness that complements the flavor of the salmon perfectly. I paired the fish with some savory herbed brown rice couscous (Lundberg brand) and a side salad for a complete meal. I hope this recipe brings health and happiness to your home.

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

2. Combine in a saucepan:
- 3 Tbs. dark brown sugar
- 1 Tbs. gluten free tamari sauce (I use San J brand)
- 4 tsp. Chinese-style hot mustard
- 1 tsp. rice vinegar

3. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat.

4. Place 4 (6 oz.) salmon fillets on a foil-lined jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.

5. Preheat broiler.

6. Brush the sugar glaze over the fish; broil 3 inches from heat for 3 minutes or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

Here is to healthy meals with flavor! xo

Monday, August 1, 2011

Baked Chicken Breasts with Parmesan-Garlic Crust

This is one of my favorite "quick and easy" meal solutions for dinner. The parmesan crust gives incredible flavor to the chicken and paired with some garlic mashed potatoes, fresh fruit and vegetables it is a delicious, balanced and complete meal. I hope that this recipe warms your hearts and homes.

Here is how:
1. Adjust oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Combine in a bowl:
- 1 cup gluten free bread crumbs (I prefer Schar brand)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste

3. Pat 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (trimmed) dry with paper towels and transfer to a 13 by 9 inch baking dish.

4. Combine 1/4 cup reduced fat mayonnaise and 1/4 cup fresh basil (minced) in a small bowl and spread evenly over the chicken.

5. Sprinkle the bread-crumb mixture over the mayonnaise, pressing lightly to adhere.

6. Bake until the crusts are golden brown and a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest past of the chicken registers 160 degrees. Bake for 18-22 minutes.

Here is to dinners with comfort and nutrition! xo