Poached Peaches with Raspberry Sauce and Pecan Tuile Cookie


Each term of school I take either one or two culinary labs. This term I took a culinary lab called Designing Healthy Desserts. This course is broken up in to six groups with three students each. Each group chooses a dietary restriction from the following list: Gluten-Free/Celiac, Strict Diabetic, Pre-Diabetic/Celiac, Vegan, Vegetarian-Lacto, and Lactose Intolerant. I was asked to not be in the Gluten-Free/Celiac group because lets face that it would have been rather easy to do seeing as I live it on a daily basis so we created the Pre-Diabetic/Celiac group instead. Each class we were assigned a subject matter and had to create a dish with five components (main item, two sauces, crunch factor, and garnish). We were asked to use or create recipes that did not meet our dietary restrictions and then recreate them so they would meet our guidelines.

My group consisted of two other members, Lauren (who is AMAZING and her father is diabetic), and Peter (again he is AMAZING, and also has Celiac!). I loved working with the two of them. Probably the best group I have worked with since being in school. We all were on the same page and just had so much fun, wish we could have all the same labs for the rest of our time here (which is only a year!!!).

Below is one of my favorite recipes that we created. It is a poached peach recipe in a delicious raspberry sauce and served with a pecan tuile cookie. Seeing as our group had to incorporate not only gluten-free components but also had to be suitable for a pre-diabetic so we came up with a flour blend that worked very well in the cookie recipe we found, and instead of sugar we used xylitol. We didn’t want to use splenda in any of our creations so we used mostly xylitol and frutose which worked out very well for what we were trying to achieve.

IMG_5060_5274 copy

~Poached Peaches with Raspberry Sauce!

Adapted from “Poached Peaches with Raspberries.” Poached Peaches with Raspberries. Yummly, n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2013.

These peaches are poached in a flavorful blend of white wine and spices, which is then reduced to a sauce.  The sugar is substituted with xylitol, making it a low sugar dessert.

Yield: 8 servings                                                                      Serving Size: 5 ounces

Ingredients:                                                                             U.S. Standard

  • Water                                                                                       1 1/3 cup
  • Xylitol                                                                                     7/8 cup
  • White wine                                                                               ½ cup
  • Salt                                                                                           1/6 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon stick                                                                        1 each
  • Lemon zest                                                                              1 lemon
  • Peppercorns                                                                             1/8 teaspoon
  • Peaches                                                                                    4 peaches
  • Raspberries                                                                              4 ounces
  • Mint leaf                                                                                  8 each

Method of Preparation

  1. Put all of the ingredients except the peaches and raspberries into a large pot.
  2. Halve the peaches and remove the pit.
  3. Add the peaches and bring the pot to a boil.
  4. Cover the pot with parchment paper and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Cook the peaches in poaching liquid for 7-10 minutes (time depends on the ripeness of the peaches.)
  5. Take the peaches out of the cooking liquid.
  6. Add half of the raspberries to the cooked peaches.
  7. Add the remaining raspberries to the pot and bring it back to a boil.  Reduce the cooking liquid to about half.
  8. Strain the poaching liquid.
  9. Pour the poaching liquid over the peaches and raspberries. 

~Pecan Tuile Cookies~

Adapted from “Pleasant House.” Pecan-Bacon Lace Cookies. Pleasant House, n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2013.

These cookies can be used to add a crunch to a dessert that might otherwise be lacking.  They are made with xylitol, making them suitable for diabetics.

Yield: 8 servings                                                                              Serving Size: ½ ounce

Ingredients:                                                                                       U.S. Standard

  • Unsalted butter                                                                                    2 tablespoons
  • Milk, 2%                                                                                              1 tablespoon
  • Bourbon                                                                                               ½ tablespoon
  • Pecans, very finely ground                                                                  3/8 cup
  • Brown rice flour                                                                                   1 teaspoon
  • Potato starch                                                                                        1 teaspoon
  • Tapioca starch                                                                                     1 teaspoon
  • Xylitol                                                                                                 ¼ cup

Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silpat.  In a saucepan, combine the butter, milk, and bourbon over low heat.  In a small bowl, combine the ground pecans, flour, and Xylitol.  Once the butter is melted, add in the dry ingredients all at once.  Cook until gently bubbling.  Remove saucepan from heat but keep warm
  3. Drop small spoonfuls of the batter onto the lined sheet pan, leaving at least two inches between each cookie as cookies will spread.  Bake for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove cookies from oven and cool on sheet pan slightly until cookies can be lifted off the pan and hold their shape but are malleable.  Cook cookies on a cookie rack, or mold into desired shape and cool until set.

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Corn & Black Bean Salsa


I would grill all year-long if I could. This year we had so much crazy snow drifts that it was a bit impossible to do. I love my grill dearly…great flavors, you can grill pretty much anything, its outside with the sun and the fresh air, easy clean up, and less fats are used! We grill steaks, chicken, burgers, hot dogs, hot sausages, shrimp, fish, pizza, and veggies…tons of veggies! Last year I bought one of those little grill baskets for I think $3.00 and it works like a charm, especially for mushrooms.

Last week we got the tank refilled and have used it quite a bit since. We are both trying to get in better shape and eat healthier (a follow-up post to my I’m on a mission…post will appear soon, I promise!). So the grill comes in very handy for this, because like I mentioned I use way less oils or fats when cooking. We have switched from eating red meat weekly (sometimes multiple times a week) to about monthly and started eating more chicken (breasts, no skin – which we have always done), shrimp, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

Since starting to work out and now that I have gotten on a schedule with a program I really like I have been craving much healthier foods…funny how that works huh? Snacks include slices of yellow, red, or orange bell peppers, or carrot sticks with hummus and mandarins! Seriously I never ate peppers or any form of oranges, but loved orange juice. Now I can’t seem to get enough of them. For lunch I have been buying Boar’s Head low sodium meats and making little “roll-ups” with some low sodium cheese, and baby spinach. I’m really like this craving of healthy foods! More to come on all of this in my follow-up post mentioned above, but for now let’s get back to the Grilled Shrimp Tacos…

These are SO easy to make, light, and delicious – we are loving this little creation of mine. As with the majority of my recipes please feel free to adjust the seasonings and spices to your flavor likings!

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Corn & Black Bean Salsa




  • Lime Zest                                                                  1 lime
  • Lime Juice, Fresh                                                     2 limes
  • Cayenne Pepper                                                      ¼ teaspoon
  • Salt, Kosher                                                             1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Black Pepper, freshly ground                                   1/8 teaspoon
  • Corn, rinsed & drained                                             1 can (14oz)
  • Black beans, no salt added rinsed, & drained          1 can (15.5 oz)
  • Red Bell Pepper, small dice                                      ¼ cup
  • Orange Bell Pepper, small dice                                ¼ cup

Method of Preparation

  1. Gather all necessary equipment
  2. In a medium bowl zest one lime. Zest the second lime used later for juicing and set aside zest for the shrimp marinade.
  3. Juice the two limes into the bowl
  4. Add cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper, mix until well combined. Set aside
  5. Open cans of corn and black beans. Drain and rinse corn first, and then add to a medium bowl.
  6. Drain and rinse the black beans and add to the bowl with the corn and lime juice mixture.
  7. Dice bell peppers and add to the corn, black beans, and lime juice mixture.
  8. Mix well, cover and store in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  9. Mix well before serving.
  10. Serve with grilled shrimp tacos and/or corn tortilla chips.

Grilled Shrimp Tacos – makes six tacos


  • Olive Oil                                                                      2 tablespoons
  • Cayenne Pepper                                                        ½ teaspoon
  • Lime Zest                                                                    1 lime
  • Salt, Kosher                                                                1/8 teaspoon
  • Jumbo Shrimp, peeled, deveined, cleaned                 10 each
  • Corn Tortilla, soft                                                          6 each
  • Avocado, halved and sliced                                        1 each

Method of Preparation

  1. Gather all necessary equipment
  2. In a small bowl combine first four ingredients and mix well.
  3. Add shrimp and toss to evenly coat all shrimp.
  4. Cover and marinade in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Heat grill to medium high
  6. Either skewers your shrimp or use a grill basket to cook shrimp.
  7. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side. Shrimp should be opaque and cooked throughout.
  8. Remove shrimp from grill and cut up into large chunks or leave whole.
  9. On the cooler part of the grill add the soft corn tortilla shells.
  10. Grill until you see grill marks – about 3-4 minutes per side (this all depends on how hot your grill is, and how crispy you want them…at this stage they are still quite pliable).
  11. To assemble your tacos add 2-3 tablespoons of corn and black bean salsa on each grilled corn tortilla shell.
  12. Top with equal portions of diced or whole grilled shrimp and slices of avocado.
  13. Enjoy the extra salsa with some gluten-free corn tortilla chips.

Red Apple Lipstick {Review}


When I started my website I really wanted to include a page for cosmetics and beauty products that were gluten-free. I didn’t realize how difficult it was to read the labels on those things because prior to being diagnosed I never had to read them. So when I find a company that clearly states what they have is gluten-free or not I will continue to post it up there…and if any of you have suggestions of companies that I have missed, PLEASE let me know and I will be happy to get the info up.

I’m going to admit, I’m not the biggest makeup person out there, and a lot of that has to do with I can’t really wear makeup to school (culinary), but I wear a little bit anyway😉 It normally consists of some powder, eye liner, and mascara with some chap-stick. Exciting, I know. I never really wear lipstick…it scares me a bit. I never know what color will look good, and its hard because for the most part you can’t try them on so I tend to stick with chap-stick of a light gloss. Every once in a while when we have somewhere to go and need to get all dressed up I do the whole look, with eyeshadow and everything, but it doesn’t happen that often.

Recent though I have heard so much about Red Apple Lipstick (RAL) from other bloggers and how much they LOVE their products.So when one of the lovely ladies over at Red Apple Lipstick asked if I wanted to give their products a try, I was quite excited about it. She told me to pick out three items to try. It took me a little while (and even asked for her help) to pick a color that would look good…we ended up picking Drama. I also have really bad chapped lips so I asked for the Exfoliate and the Rallye Balm. They also sell eye-shadows, pallets, lip glosses, and lip pencils.

photo 3(2)

I use the exfoliate about twice a week to help with my chapped lips…this stuff is unbelievably amazing. So easy to use, and if my lips are really bad I’ll do it a few more times during the week as needed. The Rallye Balm is probably my favorite item so far. You can buy it in a tub or a regular lipstick, you can even get a 3 month supply of this bad boy. It ends dry lips, stops lips from cracking, and protects lips by surrounding them with a moist, protective shell. Head on over to their website to read about this amazing product in more detail!

photo 1(2)

And last but certainly not least is the wonderful lipstick in Drama! I never knew I would enjoy lipstick so much. I know that sounds funny but this is a beautiful color, stays put, keeps my lips moist, and it is Gluten Free • Paraben Free • Allergen Free • Vegan • Mineral Based • Cruelty Free – seriously what could be better than that? Needless to say RAL has won me over on in the lipstick department.

RAL offers a Lipstick Exchange program – where you send them a lipstick you don’t like, from any manufacturer and they’ll send you a tube of Red Apple Lipstick at a reduced price!!

Red Apple Lipstick is currently running a contest called Red Apple Girl Contest!! Read the information below (copied from their website)

Red Apple Lipstick is launching a photo contest for Red Apple Girls to showcase their style while wearing their favorite lipstick! The contest begins on Friday, March 1. Entering is easy—simply take a photo of yourself wearing your favorite Red Apple Lipstick products and add the hashtag #redapplegirl. We also encourage you to include a hashtag with the name of the color you’re rocking (example: #Red!)

Ways to enter: Use your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Tag Red Apple Lipstick’s Instagram @RedAppleGirls in the photo description. Tweet your photo to @RedAppleLipstic or Facebook it and tag @Red Apple Lipstick, in either case with the same hashtag (#redapplegirl).

Red Apple Lipstick founder Jay Adam Harper says, “It doesn’t matter who you are or what walk of life you’re passing through. Every girl deserves a chance to show the world their beauty—inside and out!” The grand prize winner will receive a $200 RedAppleLipstick.com gift certificate, plus the chance to be a new face of Red Apple Lipstick. The second place winner will receive a $50 gift certificate, the third place winner will receive a $40 gift certificate, the fourth place winner will receive a $30 gift certificate, and the fifth place winner will receive a $20 gift certificate. Please note that Red Apple Lipstick will not be able to see your photo if your account is set to “private.” The contest will close on Friday, March 29, and winners will be tagged on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter soon thereafter.

Snap away!

The Fine Print:
Photos must be appropriate for all viewers. By entering, you agree to give Red Apple Lipstick, Inc. permission to use your photographic likeness, basic location and name in all forms and media for advertising and trade. By entering you agree that the product/gift certificate received in exchange, if you are selected, is the only consideration you will receive. You must be 18 years of age or older in order to enter. If you are located outside of the Continental United States, you will be responsible for paying for the shipping of the products purchased with your gift certificate.

Thank you for making such amazing products!

Disclosure: I received Exfoliate, Rallye Balm, and Drama lipstick from Red Apple Lipstick in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any other manner. The opinions expressed above are my own.

Chocolate & Coffee Mini Cupcakes {37 Cooks & Lock-N-Load Java Challenge}


As mentioned in my previous post I am doing a food challenge for 37 Cooks and Lock-N-Load Java. Please head on over to that post to learn more about Lock-N-Load Java, what they stand for, who they support, and why and also to learn more about the challenge.

For my second entry I made rich mini chocolate cupcakes with a mocha cream cheese frosting. I made them mini so I wouldn’t feel so guilty on my journey to getting in shape. I’ll also be bringing these into school so I will not be tempted at home! But they are so dang tasty, it is kind of dangerous to have them hanging out for another day.

Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes


Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes:

Organic granulated sugar                                          1/4 cup

Sucanat                                                                      1/2 cup

High Quality Gluten-Free Flour Blend                         3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons

(if your blend does not have xanthan gum already incorporated in it add a scant 1/2 teaspoon)

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder                                      1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons

Baking Powder (gluten-free)                                       3/4 teaspoons

Baking Soda (gluten-free)                                           3/4 teaspoon

Salt, Kosher                                                                1/2 teaspoon

Sniper Choice, ground                                                1/4 teaspoon

Double Barrel Black, ground                                       1/4 teaspoon

Egg, Large                                                                  1 each

Soy Milk (unsweetened)                                             1/2 cup

Canola Oil                                                                   1/4 cup

Vanilla Extract, Pure                                                   1/2 teaspoon

Hot Brewed Coffee*                                                     1/2 cup

(*hot brewed coffee – brewed with half snipers choice and half double barrel black)

Method of Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • In a large mixing bowl add all dry ingredients (organic granulated sugar, sucanat, gluten-free flour blend, xanthan gum (if required), cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and coffee grounds). Mix well.
  • Add in egg, soy milk, canola oil, vanilla, and hot coffee.
  • Whisk until well combined, but do not over mix.
  • Line a 24 cup mini cupcake tin or a 12 cup regular cupcake tin with paper liners.
  • Fill each tin 3/4 the way.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes (for mini cupcakes, and 28-30 minutes for regular cupcakes) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let cook in pan for five minutes and then remove and finish cooling on a wire rack until completely cooled. Frost with a mocha cream cheese frosting (recipe below).

Mocha Cream Cheese Frosting

Hot Brewed Coffee*                                                     1/2 cup

(*hot brewed coffee – brewed with half snipers choice and half double barrel black)

Sucanat                                                                       2 teaspoons

Cream Cheese, 1/3 fat                                                8 ounces (room temperature)

Organic Powdered Sugar                                           1/2 cup

Vanilla Extract, Pure                                                   1/2 teaspoon

Method of Preparation

  • In a small sauce pan add coffee and sucanat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer until reduced by half. (You are looking for a thick syrup to coat the back of a spoon).
  • Set aside and let cool.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer add softened cream cheese and turn mixer on to low. Add in powdered sugar and mix until incorporated.
  • Add in vanilla extract and mocha syrup, mix on medium-low until incorporated.
  • Spread on cupcakes and enjoy.

If you have someone that isn’t a huge coffee person (this has a very rich coffee flavor) then reserve a small amount of the cream cheese frosting and then add in the mocha syrup and use that for their cupcakes (pictured above).


Be sure to check out both 37 Cooks (find us on Facebook and Twitter) to see what everyone else created and Lock-N-Load Java (you can also find them on Facebook)

Double Barrel Spiced Pork Chop {37 Cooks Lock-N-Load Java Challenge}


This is my first time participating in a 37 Cooks (an online group made up of, you guessed it, 37 Cooks) challenge and I am very excited about it. For this challenge we were sponsored by Lock-N-Load Java. A fantastic coffee company that is run by veterans and is dedicated to our military, veterans, and those who support them.

(borrowed from their website) Lock-n-Load Java is committed to supporting our military community through regular donations to charities who meet our criteria for being reputable, highly rated, fiscally responsible charities.  We look for charities that are well run… with low overhead and low fund-raising costs, so that more of their resources are used in carrying out their mission.

While many companies claim to support charities with nebulous claims of donating a “portion of profits,” we decided we would create a minimum standard for the money we commit as a company to the panel of charities we have chosen to support. We have set that threshold at the equivalent of $1 for every order shipped.  The more successful we are as a company, the more we donate back to these great organizations. We believe that this level of transparency will earn your confidence and loyalty.

This is my kind of company – great product and charity oriented!

We were sent two samples of our choice…I chose the Double Barrel Black and Snipers Choice (decaf) and were asked to create two recipes with the samples. Of course both of my entries are 100% gluten-free. Below is my first entry:

Double Barrel Spiced Pork Chop IMG_5044

Spice Rub:

Double Barrel Black, Ground                    2 teaspoons

Brown Sugar, Light                                     2 teaspoons

Cayenne Pepper                                      3/4 teaspoon

Salt, Kosher                                              3/4 teaspoon

Cinnamon, ground                                    1/2 teaspoon

Olive Oil                                                    1 teaspoon

Butter                                                        1/2 teaspoon

Pork Chop, boneless                                2

Method of preparation:

In a small bowl combine the first five ingredients and mix well.

Rub on both sides of the pork chops evenly and let sit for 10-15 minutes.

In a medium skillet heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add pork chops and cook until internal temperature reaches 145°. Depending on the thickness of your pork chop this could be anywhere between 3-6 minutes per side.

Serve with a roasted sweet potato with butter, cinnamon and sugar, and candied pine nuts (recipe below)

Double Barrel Candied Pine Nuts


Double Barrel Black, Brewed                     1/4 cup

Sucanat                                                     1/2 cup

Pine Nuts, toasted                                     1/4 cup

Method of preparation:

In a small sauce pan combine the brewed coffee and sucanat and bring to a boil. Stir until the sucanat has dissolved. Stir in pine nuts and cook until the sucanat starts to crystallize around the pine nuts, about 5 minutes.  Continue to stir and once the sucanant starts to re-melt pour the liquid and pine nuts onto a silpat to let cool. Once cooled you ca break them apart.

Chefs Note: I choose the sucanat over granulated sugar because the sucanat goes well with coffee, it adds a hint of molasses.

Be sure to check out both 37 Cooks (find us on Facebook and Twitter) to see what everyone else created and Lock-N-Load Java (you can also find them on Facebook)


Active Accessories {Review}


A little more than a month ago I received some samples from Active Accessories to review. Active Accessories was started by Karen (whom I met through EatSmart Products) and her sister Jenna. I received the On-The-Go Accessory Pouch and two On-The-Go Hair Bands.

Earlier this weekend I posted about trying to lose weight, get in shape, eating healthier, just feeling better over all. In that post I mentioned that I can afford a gym of any sort so I have been working out at home. Once the weather clears up I hope to try some outside activities to help in my journey. So for now the On-The-Go Accessory Pouch has become my new wallet! I know that is not its intent but it works so perfectly. I can hold all of my important information, my Red Apple Balm and Lipstick, my iPhone, and in the center is a little strap that also holds my On-The-Go Hair Bands perfectly! This pouch is amazing…if my phone isn’t in it, I can just throw in my iPod instead. Also the little strap in the middle is great for holding your key chain.


Here are the features of the On-The-Go Accessory Pouch:

  1. Ripstop Nylon Exterior – Water resistant, light weight (2.2 ounces) and very durable
  2. Polyester Interior – Strong yet soft fiber to cushion valuables
  3. “Perfect” Size – Large enough to hold your smart phone, but small enough for your earrings
  4. Snap Button Holder – Inside button allows you to clip in rings or hoop earrings
  5. Ripstop Nylon Handle with Hook – Use the pouch as a clutch or clip it onto any bag

The On-The-Go Hair Bands are AMAZING!! I have thick curly hair and is just a mess most of the time. I don’t spend much time getting ready or pampering myself so the curls are just there hanging out. Most of the time my hair is pulled back and I am always needed to adjust it and re-tie it back. Maybe it is just me and my hair but when I do take it down, I have those weird bumps in my hair, which I can’t stand.


The hardest part for me and my hair is trying to keep it secure under my chefs hat…no one wants hair in their food, no one! But these bands are so good! My hair stays in place so well it is unbelievable. I just put it in a bun on the top of my head, wrap a band around it twice and I am good to go. Oh, and no weird bumps (at least for me!). I need to stock up on these little beauties. They come in so many fun colors. These have also been great since I started working out. No more stopping to adjust my hair in the middle of a work out!


Wondering where to buy these great products? Visit their online store here!! Also sign up for their monthly news letter and keep an eye out for specials and sales!

Want to stay connected to Active Accessories? Be sure to check them out on the following social networks:






Disclosure: I received On-The-Go Accessory Pouch and the On-The-Go Hair Bands in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any other manner. The opinions expressed above are my own.

Vegetarian Burrito Bowls {Take-out At Home}


We both love Chipolte, Cilantros, and Pancheros (both similar to Chipolte) but eating out adds up and we don’t have the money to do that very often so I make as much as I can at home and call it “Take-out At Home”. When we do eat out at one of the places listed above we both tend to go for the vegetarian option – I always get a bowl because it is gluten-free (the corn tacos are as well, but I like the bowl better) and Bryan goes back and forth between a bowl and a burrito. We are not vegetarians, although we do try to eat several meals a week that are vegetarian, but we always order the vegetarian option at these places. Why? Because you get free guacamole (except for Pancheros)! Go ahead and laugh but I would rather save the extra $1.00 – $1.50 and get the guac instead of meat. It’s a much healthier fat anyway.

These are so simple to make at home and cost way less money! Below is a simple, quick, and delicious way to prepare the vegetarian bowls at home. This is also a great recipe for those on a budget because it utilizes what you have in your freezer and cupboards! You can however feel free to use non-instant brown rice, or dried beans (soaked, and cooked), and fresh corn on the cob (if in season).

Vegetarian Burrito Bowls (Serves 2)


  • Brown Rice, boil-in-the-bag                         1 bag
  • Cooking Spray                                             As needed
  • Corn, frozen – defrosted                               1 cup
  • Black beans, canned, no salt added            1 can
  • Cumin, ground                                              1/2 teaspoon
  • Cayenne Pepper, ground                              1/2 teaspoon
  • Lime, juice and zest                                      1 zested then sliced into wedges
  • Avocado                                                        1 pit removed, and flesh scooped out
  • Cilantro                                                          2 tablespoons chopped
  • Salsa                                                             1/2 cup, divided
  • Lettuce, mixed greens                                   1/2 cup, divided
  • Cheese, shredded                                         1/2 cup, divided

Method of Preparation:

In a medium sauce pan bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add the brown rice (boil-in-a-bag) and cook on medium high heat for 10 minutes. Once cooked, remove from water and drain slightly over the sink. Divide evenly between the two bowls.

Lightly spray a small sautee pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add corn and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You are looking for a nice roasted color on the corn, you may need a little more or little less time depending on your stove. Be careful not to burn them.

In a small sauce pan add the canned beans (no salt added or low sodium is best). Add the cumin, cayenne pepper, a pinch of lime zest (1/4 teaspoon), and the juice of 1/4 of the lime. Cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes.

In a small bowl add the flesh of the avocado and mash it up with 1/8 teaspoon cumin, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Squeeze 1/4 of the lime into the bowl and mix well. Set aside.

Add the remaining 1/2 of the lime juice, cilantro and lime zest evenly into the bowls with rice and mix well.

Top the rice with roasted corn, black beans, guacamole, lettuce, and shredded cheese. Serve with additional lime wedges if desired. Also great served with tortilla chips.

Looking for other Take-out At Home dishes? Check out these delicious recipes below:

Pumpkin Spice Muffins (Starbucks)

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Blackened Shrimp Nachos

“Wendy’s” Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Mozzarella Sticks

Szechuan Beef (P.F. Chang’s)

I’m On A Mission


(I can touch my toes!! )                         (pigeon pose – well part of it)

I am on a mission…to loose weight and be healthier! Since being diagnosed with celiac disease almost five years and my intestines slowly healing I have put on about 35 pounds. I’m saying around because I am not one to weigh myself much but I know about what I used to weigh when I was constantly getting sick and what I weigh now. This is not an easy post for me to write because lets face it I am overweight, borderline obese – something I never thought I would say, ever.

My family has a history of being overweight and we all carry it as visceral fat. There is also a history of diabetes (both my grandfathers), heart disease (both my grandfathers), Alzheimer, diverticulitis, crohns disease, IBS, and more. In addition to the weight gain from my celiac disease, my family history, I also have: chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. So I have all that stacked up against me but I am determined to not let that get the best of me, my body, and my health.

Here are my current photos and anthropometrics:

photo 4

photo 3

photo 5

BMI: 29.3 = overweight (borderline obese)

IBW: 95     IBW Range: 85.5-104.5     AIBW: 106

Bust: 41 (I hope I lose weight here as well, I never have but I hope I do!)

Chest: 33.5

Waist: 33

Hips: 40

Calves: 15

Thigh: 23

Arms: 11 3/4

BEE Harris Benedict x Activity Factor: 1626 kcal

Protein Needs 9 oz

Fluid Needs: 7 cups

Bryan has been doing the Tapout workout – and that is WAY out of my league!! So I have been trying to find something that was more my speed and I think I have figured out that the work outs that incorporate dance to them are for me. I get bored with just doing squats and what not, but when there is dance involved, I’m all for it. Probably because I am working out but I don’t feel like I am working out. I can’t afford a gym or and type of class so I have resorted to finding videos online, TV, etc. We have Netflix but sadly they removed all of their workout instant play videos so I found some on our OnDemand through our cable company. I found these two videos that at first made me laugh but I tell you what – I felt it afterwards!! I started out with Beautiful Belly with Hemalayaa and then finished with Hemalayaa: Bollywood Booty. I’m sad to say though after doing them for two days they are now no longer available! So today I found an online Zumba “class” which was fun but it focused on the class and not what the instructor was doing so I hope I did it right! I am back to square one with finding a video that I like and have to remember that if it is OnDemand, it won’t be there for very long.

I have also started doing a little bit of yoga. Like I said I can not afford any classes so with the help of Bryan’s sister Leigha (who has been posting some kick but yoga photos on her instagram!) and the lovely folks over at Aurorae Yoga who sent me a link to some online yoga videos, I have been trying out some different poses. Starting with the basics of course and as I can I will slowly move up to some more advanced poses. I have to say my favorite one so far is the pigeon pose! I also entered a contest on Aurorae’s Pinterest page to win some of their awesome goodies. Seeing as I am just starting out, I could really use this! So if you wouldn’t mind heading over to their contest page and give my photo  (pink tank, grey pants, green mat) a like and repin I would truly appreciate it. “Voting” ends on March 8th! The person with the most likes and repins wins an Aurorae Yoga package including: Aurorae “The Ultimate” Racerback Tank Top, Aurorae “The Ultimate” Long or Cropped Yoga Pant, Northern Lights Yoga Mat & Sling Yoga/All-Purpose Backpack!!

We are also changing the way we eat…more whole grains, legumes, vegetables, leaner proteins, less processed foods, red meat, and sugary items. We do not eat out much to begin with but we are cutting back even more and making our favorite dishes at home instead.

I am putting all of this out there as a way to keep my accountable. I really want this and need this. I want this for myself and my health, but I am also studying Culinary Nutrition and hope to be a registered dietitian after school, and let’s be honest, who in their right mind would take nutrition advice from someone who is overweight or obese? That’s right, no one would!

So let the journey begin! Keep checking back for updates.

IMG_4797 IMG_4799

Popeye Risotto {Marx Foods Blogger Challenge)



Voting is now open! Click HERE to vote

Voting begins today, Tuesday February 12 and ends at 11:30pm PST on Thursday February 14th. Two winners will be chosen, one by popular vote and one from internal votes. Winners will be awarded $100.00 credit to Marx Foods each! And I could really really use some vanilla beans😉 Thanks!

A few weeks ago I signed up to take part in another Marx Foods Challenge. This one was called “Its Easy Being Green” and for those who know me really well I’m a bit obsessed with green. Some have been known to call me Kermit. In addition to my love of all things green (which includes my favorite animal, turtles) I love my green veggies: broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach, green beans…well almost all – I truly despise peas, except for in my homemade fried rice.  I received samples of bamboo rice, dill pollen, green eston lentils, whole cardamom and mint herb crystals from Marx Foods and was asked to create a dish using at least two of the above ingredients.

Life has been a bit hectic the past few weeks with school, my first chef’s table, and of course blizzard Nemo where go figure we lost power! We seem to lose power on Aquidneck Island when the wind blows but the past few days have been miserable, with loosing food (again), and no heat (we have electric everything), so my original recipe idea for this was scratched and today I made a very green inspired risotto using the bamboo rice, cardamom, and some spinach.

You may have noticed on Creative Cooking Gluten Free that I also love risotto because it’s a blank canvas and you can do so much with it. This one is packed with flavor and color! This is also a great way to get that extra serving of vegetables (especially the leafy greens) that you may be lacking in your diet. Highlighted below are the two ingredients I choose – you could even add a little of the dill pollen to this as well.


Popeye Risotto

Spinach Stock

  • Olive oil                                         2 teaspoon
  • Garlic                                             2 tablespoons
  • Baby Spinach                                 9 oz (1 Bag)
  • Grey Salt                                        1/4 teaspoon
  • Black Pepper                                  1/8 teaspoon
  • White Wine                                      1/4 cup
  • Cardamom                                      2 Whole – crushed and seeds removed
  • Vegetable Stock                               2 1/2 cups


  • Olive Oil                                            1 tablespoon
  • Butter                                                 1 tablespoon
  • Bamboo Rice                                    1 cup
  • Ground Ginger                                   1/8 teaspoon
  • Parmesan Cheese, grated                 1/4 cup

Method of Preparation:

  1.  Gather all ingredients and equipment.

  2.  Peel garlic and rough chop it, set aside.

  3.  In a large, heavy bottom skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil over medium heat.

  4.  Add chopped garlic and saute for 1 minute.

  5. Add cardamom seeds and baby spinach.

  6. Cook over medium heat until spinach has wilted.

  7. Add white wine and cook for an additional minute.

  8. Season with salt and pepper

  9. In the pitcher of a blender add 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock and spinach mixture.

  10. Blend on high-speed until well blended.

  11. Add spinach stock to a medium sauce pan and keep warm over low heat.

  12. In the same skillet as before add remaining olive oil and butter over medium heat.

  13. Once the butter has melted add the bamboo rice and stir until well coated.

  14. Sprinkle ground ginger and stir well.

  15. Stir in 1 cup of spinach stock – just enough to cover the rice.

  16. Stir well and continue to stir until the rice has almost completely absorbed the stock.

  17. Continue this until all stock has been added to rice and absorbed. This should take about 20-30 minutes.

  18. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese.

  19. To serve top with grated lemon zest and pine nuts (optional)

Chef Notes:You can use arborio rice instead of the bamboo rice, it will have the same texture and consistency. I have made a similar recipe with the arborio rice and it is very delicious and flavorful.

It is easy being green…and delicious too!

Kabocha Squash Soup


This past week as “lacto-ovo” week in my Vegetarian Cuisine lab. With that being said, the following recipe originally did not have either lactose or egg in it but I had to make a quick decision at the end to add a dollop of cinnamon sugar sour cream to the top before presenting it because it didn’t meet the criteria for that weeks lesson. But honesty, this soup needs no such additions, it is naturally creamy with a bit of spice so the additional of the cinnamon sugar sour cream help off set that a bit for those who do not enjoy so much spice.

I picked up the kabocha squash (aka, Japanese pumpkin) which is an Asian variety of a winter squash. The outside of the kabocha is rough and dark green in color and may have some off white lines through it. The flesh is a beautiful yellow-orange. I would have to compare the flavor of this squash to that of a butternut squash, maybe a tad bit sweeter though and I found the texture to be similar to a pumpkin or sweet potato. Once blended, this was so thick and creamy…I was tempted to lick my bowl.

Kabocha Squash Soup

Yields about 40oz, Serving Size: 8oz, Number of Servings: 5

Soup Ingredients:                                                                              U.S. Standard:

  • Olive oil, extra-virgin                                                                      2 tbsp.
  • Kabocha squash, peeled, seeded, large dice                                35 oz.
  • Carrot, peeled, large dice                                                               5 oz.
  • Celery, large dice                                                                            5 oz.
  • Apple, granny smith, peeled, seeded, large dice                            4 oz.
  • Onion, white or yellow, large dice                                                    5 oz.
  • Garlic, rough chop                                                                           2 tbsp.
  • Ginger, grated                                                                                  1 tsp.
  • Paprika                                                                                             1 tsp.
  • Cayenne pepper                                                                               1 ½ tsp.
  • Cinnamon, ground                                                                            1 ½ tsp.
  • Vegetable stock, divided                                                                   4 ½ cups
  • Salt, kosher                                                                                        1 tsp.


  • Pine nuts, toasted                                                                               ¼ cup
  • Mushrooms, crimini, sliced and blanched                                           4 oz.
  • Sour Cream                                                                                         ¼ cup
  • Cinnamon                                                                                            1/8 tsp.
  • Sugar                                                                                                   ¼ tsp.

Method of Preparation:

  1. Gather all the ingredients and equipment.
  2. Wash, peel, and wash the squash, carrot, celery, and apple. Set aside.
  3. In a large stock pot add olive oil and heat over medium heat.
  4. Add onion, and cook until translucent. This should take about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add garlic and ginger and cook for an additional minute.
  6. Next, add in the kabocha squash, carrot, and celery.
  7. Cook for 8-10 minutes until slightly softened.
  8. Add in paprika, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon, stir to coat evenly.
  9. Next add in 4 cups of the vegetable stock. Reserve the remaining ½ cup – this will be used to blanch the mushrooms.
  10. Bring stock pot to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until squash is fork tender.
  11. While the soup is simmering, take a small dry sauté pan and add the pine nuts.
  12. Cook over medium heat until lightly toasted but do not burn them.
  13. Remove the pine nuts and set them aside to garnish the soup with.
  14. In the same sauté pan add the remaining ¼ cup of vegetable stock and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for 6-8 minutes.
  15. Once the mushrooms have finished cooking, set them aside in a small bowl to garnish the soup with.
  16. Add the mushroom stock to the simmering stock pot.
  17. To create the sour cream topping place the sour cream in a small bowl.
  18. Add the cinnamon and sugar and mix well. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  19. Turn off the stock pot.
  20. In a heavy-duty blender puree soup (in batches if needed), until smooth.
  21. Return back to the stock pot, season with salt.
  22. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  23. Soup temperature must reach 165°F before serving.
  24. Soup should be held at 135°F
  25. Serve immediately in a large bowl topped with mushrooms, pine nuts, and a teaspoon of cinnamon sugar sour cream.
  26. Cool remaining soup to 41°F as quickly as possible, by placing the a container of the remaining soup in an ice bath to help with the cooling process. Store in a refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  27. To reheat the soup, place it in a stock pot and cook over medium-low heat (do not boil) until it has reached 165°F for 15 seconds.

 Chef’s Notes:

  • This is a blended soup, so using a rough chop on the vegetables is a good way to save some time during preparation.

  • For a vegan option you may substitute out the sour cream for vegan sour cream such as “Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream”

Spicy Tofu and Cold Noodle Salad


I love soy products and sadly I don not consume enough of them, but that will be changing soon. I actually fell in love with soy milk when I lived in China.  I would wake up early to head down to the dining hall on the campus where I was working just so I could grab as many of the cups of fresh made soy milk that I could. I love both warm and chilled so I would drink one or two with my breakfast then put the rest in my refrigerator for later.

To me tofu is like risotto. By that I mean they are both blank canvases and you can do so much with them. Tofu is very versatile it can be used in smoothies, soups, desserts, stir-fries, fried, enjoyed as is, and so much more. It also takes on the flavor profile of whatever you marinade or cook it in. If you haven’t had a chance to try it, you really should. I feel like tofu gets a bad rap some times, people say they have had it and hate it but I wonder how they had it? Was it a not so good preparation or recipe? If so maybe this recipe will change your mind?

Here is a little information about Soybean and Soy Products

(information take from lecture notes, Vegetarian Cuisine lab at JWU with Chef Cwynar)

  • Soybeans are a wild plant from East Asia and have an edible seed.
  • The seed colors can vary from yellow, green, brow, black, or multicolored – here in the US we consume the green beans.
  • Soybeans are oilseeds – which are mainly grown for oil extraction.
  • Soybeans are great sources of protein and their composition is: 33% protein, 39% fat, and 28% carbohydrates. 1 cup cooked soybeans = 28 gm of protein (about 1 ounce)
  • Rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Great sources of protein for diabetics
  • Low in saturated fat
  • FDA recommended soy food intake: “25 grams of soy protein a day as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease”
  • Soy protein is one of the only plant proteins that is equivalent to animal protein.
  • Contains all 9 essential amino acids with high digestibility (.91)
  • Other benefits of soy: Reduces Cholesterol (could cut heart disease risk by 25-30%), Slows Artery-Clogging (neutralizes the ability of LDL cholesterol to infiltrate artery walls and trigger plague buildup which aids in avoid a heart attack), Fights Cancer (soy isoflavones – genistein, suppresses the growth of cancer cells), Strengthens Bones (new evidence that soy foods can cut the risk of osteoporosis and fractures in later years),  Eases Hot Flashes (because soy has estrogen like activity, a decrease of hot flashes may occur), and Helps Equalize Blood Sugar (for diabetics).
  • Isoflavones – studies show that as little as 25% grams of soy per day (less than 1 ounce!) reduces the risk of: heart disease, breast cancer, digestive disorders, eases symptoms of menopause, eliminates the problems of lactose intolerance, prevents symptoms of milk allergies, and is beneficial in diabetic diets (equalizes blood sugar)

Tips on ways to add soy products into your diet

  • Soymilk – don’t expect it to taste like cows milk, it has a nutty flavor, comes in many varieties such as: plain unsweetened, sweetened, vanilla, and chocolate
  • Tofu: use silken tofu in soups (miso soup), smoothies, and custard like desserts, it takes on different flavor profiles, if you marinate it before cooking it will have a deeper more intense flavor, you can grill it, bake it, fry it.

Last week was soy week in vegetarian cuisine and below is the recipe that I created.I like to make different noodle dishes at home, some warm, some cold, and I never write down how I make it because usually it is one of those “what do I have in the house” type meals. So when I knew that I had to make a salad for class that night I thought, “oh this is the perfect opportunity for me to actually write it down!”. I tend to change up the ingredients based on what I have on hand so feel free to get creative with this. Sometimes I drizzle in a little toasted sesame seed oil, and chili oil (we like spice in this house!), and even top with some toasted sesame seeds.

This salad works great for summer cookouts because there is no dairy. It travels well and the longer it sits the more intense the flavor. I would suggest eating it within a day or two though (if there is any left).

Spicy Tofu and Cold Noodle Salad

IMG_4496(close up)

Sauce/Marinade (divided)

  • Ginger, fresh, grated                                                                                       1 tsp.
  • Garlic, fresh, grated                                                                                        1 ½ tsp.
  • Tamari, gluten-free, low sodium                                                                      4 tbs.
  • Chili paste                                                                                                       1 tsp.
  • Hoisin Sauce, gluten-free                                                                                1 ¼ tsp.
  • Agave or honey                                                                                               ½ tsp.

Cold Noodle Salad

  • Tofu, extra firm, diced                                                                                      6 oz.
  • Mushrooms, baby portabella, diced                                                                10 oz.
  • Zucchini, diced                                                                                                10 oz.
  • Bell Pepper, red, diced                                                                                    4 oz.
  • Bell Pepper, yellow, diced                                                                               4 oz
  • Water, tap                                                                                                        1 qt
  • Rice noodles, Medium                                                                                     12 oz
  • Green onion, cut on a bias                                                                              ½ oz
  • Bean sprouts                                                                                                   4 oz
  • Cilantro, chopped (divided)                                                                             1 tbsp.

Method of Preparation

1.   Gather all the ingredients and equipment.

2.   Peel the ginger and garlic and grate them into a medium bowl using a microplane.

3.   Add remaining sauce/marinade ingredients (Tamari, chili paste, hoisin sauce, and agave), mix well.

4.   Check sauce/marinade for spice level and adjust if needed.

5.   Take 2 tablespoons of sauce/marinade and place in another medium bowl. This will be used to marinade the tofu.

6.   Gently wrap tofu in a several paper towels and press it lightly to remove any additional moisture.

11. After you have pressed the tofu, dice it into ½ inch chunks and add to the second bowl to marinade for 20 minutes.

12. Gently wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel to remove any dirt.

13. Cut the mushrooms into quarters and set aside.

14. Wash the zucchini and pat dry. Cut in half, length wise, then cut in half, length wise again. Dice into ½ inch pieces and set aside.

15. Wash peppers. Remove tops, seeds, and ribs. Dice into ½ inch pieces and set aside.

16. In a large sauce pan add 1 quart of water and bring to a boil.

17. Once the water is at a boil, add the rice noodles and cook for 7 minutes.

18. Add all mushrooms, zucchini, and red and yellow bell peppers to the boiling water. Continue to cook for an additional 3 minutes.

19. Strain all contents of the pot in to a chinois and run cold water over the noodles and vegetables to stop the cooking process. Drain well.

20. Add the noodles to the first bowl with the sauce/marinade and mix well to make sure all the noodles are coated with the sauce/marinade.

21. Add in the green onions, bean sprouts, and ¾ tablespoon cilantro, mix well.

22. Place the noodles and vegetables on a serving dish and top with marinated tofu and the remaining ¼ tablespoon of chopped cilantro.

Chefs Notes:

A)    The medium rice noodles work very well in this dish, they absorb the sauce nicely, however you may substitute thin or thick rice noodles, buckwheat noodles, or gluten-free spaghetti (Sam Mills corn pasta works great in this).

National Peanut Butter Day : KIND Bar {Review & Giveaway}


This giveaway is now closed! The lucky winner was Rachel – please check your e-mail. Congratulations!

I don’t normally write posts about national such and such day for a few reasons but mostly because there are just too darn many of them and I wouldn’t be able to keep up. However, when KIND Healthy Snacks e-mailed me asking if I would like to do a review for them for their peanut butter line, I couldn’t say no! I will admit I am a sucker for KIND Healthy Snacks bars in general but I have a deep love for peanut butter. My grandfather and I used to eat it on slices of granny smith apples (still my favorite way to eat it). I could probably eat peanut butter by the spoonful (okay maybe I have once or twice).

I know many people who are gluten-free and miss those delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (I know I get a craving for them every now and again). Many brands of peanut butter and jelly are naturally gluten free, but  KIND Healthy Snacks came up with a brilliant way to get these fixes and to give people (especially those gluten-free) a great alternative to the traditional ways of enjoying peanut butter!

They have two delicious bars:  Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein a healthy, satisfying blend of peanuts and antioxidant-rich dark chocolate and Peanut Butter & Strawberry, If you don’t have time to make a PB&J sandwich, this bar tastes strikingly the same, and is just as good! No lie, at first it was kind of weird because it tasted so much like at PB&J made with crunchy peanut butter and without the bread, but weird in a good way! Both of these bars are delicious, and I will be buying them again in the future!

They also have a peanut butter granola, Peanut Butter Whole Grain Clusters which is made with 100% whole grains like amaranth and quinoa. I haven’t had a chance to try this yet, but I can’t wait to dig into it this weekend.

So in celebration of National Peanut Butter Day and these delicious bars and granola – the wonderful people over at KIND Healthy Snacks has offered the following prize pack to one lucky reader! Entry is easy – one mandatory entry and a few extra optional ones to help boost your chances. Please leave a separate comment for each entry!


image004One lucky reader will win the Peanut Butter Cube which contains:

Peanut Butter Whole Grain Clusters (2 Pouches)

Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein   (4 bars)

Peanut Butter & Strawberry (4 bars)

Rules: Must at least complete the mandatory entry to qualify for the giveaway. Each person has a chance to enter 6 (six) times. Giveaway begins at 8:00am (EST) on Thursday January 24th and will end at 11:59pm (EST) on Thursday January 31st. Winner will be chosen using random.org and will be notified by e-mail. Winner will have 24 hours to respond – if no response is received a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is open to all those living in within the United States.

Entries – leave a separate comment below for each entry! Good luck to all who enter.

  • Mandatory Entry: Which product in the above mentioned cube are you most excited to try?
  • Optional Entry: “Like” KIND Healthy Snacks on Facebook
  • Optional Entry: Follow KIND Healthy Snacks on Twitter
  • Optional Entry: Tweet about this entry (and be sure to include the link to the tweet in the comments below, must mention @Creatively_GF and @KINDSnacks)
  • Optional Entry: “Like” Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Facebook
  • Optional Entry: Follow Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Twitter

Good Luck!!

Also you should check out their store for more great KIND items! I just saw this on their site and I have a “wish list”🙂

*Disclosure: I was sent the above products for review from KIND Healthy Snacks, I was not paid for the review and all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Sweet Potato and Pine Nut Risotto


Below is a recipe that I created a few weeks ago while in my vegetarian cuisine lab at school. Each week we are all assigned a component of the meal and we need to create a recipe based on that and what our lecture and demo are on that day. Right before break our lecture and demo were on fruits and nuts and I was assigned the entrée portion of the meal. One thing I really love about this class is that we have the freedom to create recipes each week instead of being handed a recipe and asked to make it, or our twist on it. It took me a little while to figure out what I wanted to make that I could incorporate fruits and nuts in it.

I decided to start with my favorite “blank canvas”…a risotto! The idea just grew from there. I looked around the kitchen saw some golden raisins, pine nuts (one of my favorite nuts), baby spinach, and sweet potatoes (another favorite of mine!). I didn’t want the risotto to turn out sweet (because of the raisins), so I added a bit of cinnamon and grated Gruyere cheese instead of the traditional Parmesan cheese.

My chef and class really enjoyed the flavor combination and I can’t wait to make this again. Hope you all enjoy it.

Sweet Potato and Pine Nut Risotto

A hearty risotto with sweet potatoes, pine nuts, golden raisins, and spinach, a savory dish with a hint of sweetness.

Yield: 3 cups      Serving Size:  ½ cup     Number of Servings: 6


  • Vegetable Stock                                                                4 cups
  • Sweet Potato, brunoise                                                     4 ounces
  • Shallot, fine brunoise                                                         2 teaspoons
  • Garlic, fine brunoise                                                           2 teaspoons
  • Olive Oil, divided                                                                4 tablespoons
  • Cinnamon, ground                                                             1/8 teaspoon
  • Ginger, grated                                                                     ¼ teaspoon
  • Arborio Rice                                                                        1 cup
  • Pine Nuts, toasted                                                               ¼ cup
  • Golden Raisins                                                                    ¼ cup
  • Spinach, fresh                                                                      ½ cup
  • Wine, white                                                                           ¼ cup
  • Pepper, white                                                                       1/8 teaspoon
  • Gruyere cheese, grated                                                        ¼ – ½ cup
  • Parsley, chopped                                                                  1 tablespoon

Method of Preparation

  • Gather all ingredients and equipment.
  • Heat vegetable stock in a medium pot to a simmer, then lower heat to keep warm.
  • Wash and peel the sweet potato, then wash again.
  • Brunoise the sweet potato and set aside.
  • Peel the shallot and garlic. Cut brunoise and set aside.
  • In a large, heavy bottom skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add brunoise sweet potatoes and cook until lightly browned.
  • Sprinkle the sweet potatoes with cinnamon and toss to coat. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel to remove any excess oil.
  • In the same skillet add the remaining three tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add shallots and cook for two minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add rice and stir to evenly coat with oil. Cook for one minute, until there is a slight nutty aroma, you do not want the rice to brown.
  • Add 1 cup of stock to rice and stir constantly until almost absorbed.
  • When the stock is almost absorbed, add an additional cup of stock. Repeat until the grains of rice are tender with a slight bite to them. About 20 minutes.
  • Add pine nuts, raisins, spinach, sweet potatoes, and wine. Stir until evenly incorporated and spinach has wilted.
  • Season with pepper and stir to incorporate evenly.
  • Remove from heat and add in cheese. Stir well.
  • Add parsley, and stir to incorporate.
  • Serve immediately.

Soft & Fluffy – Rudi’s Gluten Free Contest & a Giveaway!


This giveaway is now closed – a winner has been chosen using random.org and e-mailed. Thank you to all who entered!

Have you been feeling like you are missing out on something? Have you been feeling like you are missing out on Soft & Fluffy bread? I bet if you were to check your freezer you’ll see that Soft & Fluffy is nowhere to be found…until now! Yep, that is right!

Rudi’s Gluten-Free has launched a new line of softer and fluffier Gluten-Free Sandwich Breads and now needs your help in finding the bread through a Missing Soft & Fluffy $1,000 Reward sweepstakes and Lost & Found Facebook campaign.

To enter to win the $1,000 Reward sweepstakes and Lost & Found Facebook campaign all you detectives out there who stumble across Soft & Fluffy can text “FOUND” to 304-52-RUDIS (be sure to type out all the numbers!). To help spread the word, Rudi’s Gluten-Free fans can share Missing Soft & Fluffy notices on their Facebook wall or download a poster to share in their neighborhood. To prove they’re assisting in the search, fans can share photos on the whereabouts of Soft & Fluffy on Rudi’s facebook page to be entered for that weeks prize! So where is Soft & Fluffy hiding? Is it in the toaster? Your freezer? The grocery store freezer? Weekly prizes include: a Garmin GPS, Nikon CoolPix camera, soft and fluffy bathrobes or a Rudi’s Gluten-Free T-Shirt. Don’t worry, NO detective goes unnoticed, Rudi’s Gluten-Free will show appreciation by awarding everyone with a $2 off coupon good for the new “Soft and Fluffy” Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bread products.

So head on over to their Facebook page for more details, and to see how the other detectives are posting their photos! Don’t forget to give them a like and enter for your chance to win these great prizes. The contest ends on February 8, 2013, so don’t waste anymore time.

But keep reading…there is more, including a giveaway!!

Here is what Doug Radi, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Rudi’s Organic Bakery has to say about the new Soft & Fluffy bread:

“Our gluten-free fans deserve great-tasting, soft and fluffy breads that don’t leave them feeling like they’ve missed out on the good stuff. We’re excited to announce that we used our baking expertise to improve our Rudi’s Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread recipe so it’s now softer and fluffier. These sweepstakes give our fans a fun way to discover they now have a better choice when they’re looking for bread that tastes, looks and feels like the real thing. Fans can see, taste and feel the difference in the full line of Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery Sandwich Breads, including Rudi’s Gluten-Free Original, Multigrain, and Cinnamon Raisin. Always free of artificial chemicals, preservatives and GMOs, the revamped recipe was selected as the favorite bread against a top competitor when it came to flavor, aftertaste, texture, appearance and everyday usability. The new Sandwich Breads are quickly become a fan favorite for their yummy taste, longer shelf life, double the fiber content with 2g per serving, and the presence of the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO) seal.”



Rudi’s is one of my favorite brands out there! I love their products, the textures, quality, and flavors. I am very excited about the new Soft & Fluffy and can’t wait to go on my own detective journey!

Thanks to Rudi’s Gluten Free Bakery, one lucky Creative Cooking Gluten Free reader will win the following prize package which is valued at $100.00!! (You do not have to enter the Rudi’s sweepstakes to enter the following giveaway) Tools for finding soft & fluffy GIVEAWAY


Giveaway is open to United States residents only!

To enter the giveaway please read below. For each entry you must leave a separate comment for each one!

1) Tell me what will you use the new Soft & Fluffy bread for first? (Mandatory)

2) Like Rudi’s Gluten Free on Facebook

3) Follow Rudi’s Gluten Free on Twitter

4) Like Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Facebook

5) Follow Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Twitter

6) Share this post on any social media site and leave a comment below saying you did so with a link.

Best of luck to all who enter!!

Giveaway begins today Saturday January 19, 2013 and will end on 11:59 (EST) on Saturday January 26. Again this is open to US residents only. Winner will be chosen by using Random.org and will be notified by e-mail. Winner will have 24 hours to respond, if no response is received a new winner will be chosen.

Spring Rolls

Vegetarian Spring Rolls

Last month I graduated with my degree in culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University and also started my bachelors degree in culinary nutrition with a concentration in clinical dietetics. This degree is more heavily focused in academics with a handful of culinary labs. The first one is Vegetarian Cuisine. At the beginning of the term we were given recipes for each week and everyone was assigned a different item…starch, veg, dessert, entrée, etc. However to change things up a bit our Chef said that we can use these recipes as guides (which in my opinion that is what recipes are for), and then create something from there. Which, I think is a great idea because this encourages us as students to be more creative and produce something that we have created. Instead of looking at the recipes I look at what I am assigned and go from there. I want to be able to create recipes that I can share with all of you so I haven’t been using the recipes that were provided to us. So far I have made a curry mango smoothie (this was on the legumes week – I was assigned beverage), these delicious vegetarian spring rolls (grains week – I was assigned vegetables), and this past week I made a sweet potato and pine nut risotto (fruits and nut week – I was assigned starch). These other recipes will be posted soon.

These spring rolls are pretty easy to make. You can always buy pre-cut vegetables to save you some time and you can use which ever vegetables that you like. I wanted to include as many colors as I could with what we had in the kitchen that week. I call it…eating the rainbow! The spring rolls are made with purple sticky rice instead of the traditional rice noodles. As I said I was given vegetables on grains week and we were provided with so many wonderful options of grains, but I really wanted to stick with something gluten-free so I could enjoy them as well. Plus, this purple stick rice has a beautiful color and texture to it. If you can’t find this rice you can always use the rice noodles, brown rice, forbidden black rice, etc. Be creative and keep it colorful (a great way to get your kiddos or picky eaters to eat their veggies). This is also a great recipe to make with your kids, its hands on, gets them to learn about the different vegetables out there and try new things.

Vegetarian Spring Rolls

A spring roll, loaded with an assortment of vegetables served with a sweet spicy dipping sauce.

Yield: 8 Rolls      Serving Size:  2 Rolls     Number of Servings: 4

Spring Rolls

Purple Sticky rice, cooked and cooled                  1 ½ cups

Summer squash, julienne                                       1 ounce

Asparagus, julienne                                                1 ounce

Carrot, julienne                                                       1 ½ ounce

Bell pepper, red, julienne                                        1 ½ ounce

Red cabbage, julienne                                             1 ½ ounce

Water, warm                                                             6 cups

Rice Paper wrappers                                                8 sheets

Dipping Sauce

Gluten-Free Soy Sauce, Tamari  (San-J)                  ¼ cup

Ginger, freshly grated                                               2 tsp

Garlic, freshly grated                                                1 tsp

Agave or Honey                                                        1 Tbs

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes                                       ¼ tsp

Method of Preparation:

1.    Gather all ingredients and equipment.
2.    Cook rice according to package and set aside to cool.
3.    Wash all vegetables, peel carrot, and wash again.
4.    Julienne all vegetables and set aside in small bowls.
5.    In a large bowl, add the warm water.
6.    Soak each sheet of rice paper in the water until it becomes pliable, about 30-45 seconds.
7.    Remove rice paper wrapper from water, and gently squeeze off any additional water.
8.    Lay rice paper wrapper flat on a large cutting board or damp tea towel.
9.    In the center of the wrapper add 3 tablespoons of rice, and equal portions of squash, asparagus, carrot, bell pepper, and red cabbage.

10. Fold down the top end of the wrapper over the center tightly, fold in each of the sides over the center (should look similar to an envelope), and roll up tightly. Set aside and repeat with the seven remaining wrappers and remaining rice and vegetables.

11. To prepare the dipping sauce combine the soy sauce (tamari), ginger, garlic, agave or honey, and crushed red pepper flakes in a small bowl.

12. Stir well to combine and serve along-side the spring rolls.

13. To serve, cut each roll on a bias and serve alongside the dipping sauce.