GFAF Expo: Official Blogger {Ticket Giveaway: Secaucus, NJ 9/6 & 9/7}


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I am very excited and honored to be part of this years Gluten-Free, Allergen-Free Expo (GFAF Expo) Blogger Team in Secaucus, NJ September 6 & 7th. I was selected last year as one of their Official Bloggers and loved every minute of the expo. The GFAF Expo is a two-day event that is held in several cities around the US. Getting to meet the other bloggers and to meet so many of the gluten-free and allergen-free vendors that I have worked with over the years was amazing. I loved finally getting the chance to put a face names and e-mail addresses.

blogger badgeEach of the two days is filled with classes and presenters on various topics of Celiac Disease, Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, and Food Allergies. Last year I sat in on several classes and gained so much information from them. Last year was the first time that GFAF Expo made an appearance on the East Coast, and I am so happy that not only are they back again but have included more cities! This year the GFAF Expo will be in the following cities: Secaucus, NJ (9/6 & 9/7), Springfield, MA (10/25 & 10/26), and Dallas, TX (11/15 & 11/16).

The GFAF Expos are the largest expos that emphasizing on special diets. Over 150 vendors participate in these expos across the country providing attendees with information, coupons, samples, demos, and more. Each attendee will receive a free reusable to carry all of the great goodies that you will receive. In addition to companies there will also be authors and of course, bloggers like myself!

Tickets are limited for each day so be sure to snag one early by clicking the image below and receiving 20% off your ticket!! In addition to this great discount, thanks to the lovely folks over at GFAF Expo I am also giving four lucky winners one (1) ticket to either Saturday or Sunday of the Expo in Secaucus, NJ!! Read how to enter below.

Check out the Class Schedule ♦ Learn about the Presenters ♦ Vendors, Vendors, and More Vendors!

  • Giveaway will begin on Monday August 11, 2014 and end on Friday August 22, 2014 at 11:59pm.
  • Please leave a separate comment for each entry – this will allow you to receive the maximum number of entries.
  • Four (4) winners will be chosen using
  • Winners will be notified via e-mail and will have 48 hours to respond with required information.
  • Good luck to all who enter and remember if you are not chosen, please take full advantage of the 20% off deal by clicking the image above!


  1. Why do you want to attend? Have you recently been diagnosed or know someone who has? Share below
  2. Click the Class Schedule link above and let me know which class(es) you would like to attend…remember there are two days
  3. Which day would you attend?
  4. Share this post on your social media sites and be sure to come back here to leave the link. Don’t forget to mention @Creatively_GF (twitter), Creative Cooking Gluten Free (Facebook), @GFAFExpo (twitter), and use the hash-tag #GFAFEXPO —–> This can be done daily!
  5. Who would you take with you?

Jennifer’s Way {Book Review}

You won’t find many non-cookbook book reviews here on Creative Cooking Gluten free, however when a good book comes along I am more than happy to write about it and share with all of you.

photo 1(this is not the actual cover – it has changed since I received my review copy)

Jennifer’s Way is written by none other than Jennifer Esposito, acclaimed actress (who just so happens to have celiac disease) turned celiac/gluten-free advocate and bakery owner! Jennifer,like many of us, myself included, went years being misdiagnosed, a huge problem for those with celiac disease. With celiac disease having over 300 symptoms it can be difficult for doctors to know to test for this, especially if the individual is showing signs and symptoms that are less well known.Celiac disease is not a pretty disease, especially if you are misdiagnosed for many years.

Jennifer’s Way is a brutally honest summary of her journey to being diagnosed with celiac disease and her path to health and wellness in all areas of her life. Additionally in her book she shares some of her delicious recipes and you can find even more on her website. Once I cracked the cover on this book, I couldn’t put it down. So many parts of this story, I myself could have written. I would take some quick pictures with my cell phone and send them to Bryan of different sections and just say “this was me!!” and he would agree. Like Jennifer, I am also Italian (although not fully, I have more characteristics and qualities of that side of my family), I was always in love with food…it represents so much to me, and amongst other things I was diagnosed later (age 26) with many years and visits to the doctors, only to be told that it was only in my head or my favorite one…”she is just looking for attention”. Let me just say, IF I was looking for attention, going to a doctor’s office would probably be my last choice!

I was constantly sick growing up, I am short in stature (many of my family is as well, but my dad is 6’1″, I’m 4’11!!), my weight was always low,and every time I had blood work, my doctor would say that he sees something (which he called a virus), but couldn’t quite figure it out. Granted when I was younger, celiac disease was not on anyone’s radar like it is today. I actually had to bring it to my doctor’s attention to test me for it because I was so sick of being sick.

I laughed and cried while reading Jennifer’s Way. It was refreshing and heartbreaking to read the words penned by Jennifer, knowing that I and millions of others are not alone in this struggle, because it was a struggle,and some days it sill is. It is also frustrating to constantly have to defend this disease…trust me I did not ask for this, I mean who would want a DISEASE? This is not a fad for those who truly need it. The only treatment (note: not cure!) for celiac disease is a 100% gluten-free diet. There are no cheat days, yes, there is the occasional sadness of “I miss Italian bread” or “I miss tiramisu” but you learn to adapt and be creative when reformulating your favorite recipes.

Jennifer, thank you so very much for writing and sharing your beautifully honest journey with all of us, I can imagine it was not easy to do. I am so appreciative of your determination to get answers, stand up for yourself, and find the health and happiness that you so deserve, and fighting for awareness for others in similar situations. You are amazing, talented, and I can’t wait to move to NYC next month and finally visit your bakery! My mouth waters every time I see a picture you post.

(images of an article in Simply Gluten Free Magazine July/August Issue)

Watch Jennifer’s interview with John Stewart of The Daily Show:

Becoming a Consious Shopper

photo(14)I have claimed this year to be MY YEAR. The year that I take back my health, wellness, and fitness, to shed those unwanted pounds, and practice what I preach! There are several things that I am utilizing to achieve these goals which include portion control eating (post will follow shortly on that!), daily exercise (another post to follow, so stay tuned), and choosing the right foods to eat.

This sounds like a simple concept, and frankly it is, however, if you are anything like me sometimes you get overwhelmed or distracted and buy items that you don’t need. Below are some simple tips to keep in mind when heading to the grocery store…

1. Outer Limits: AKA stay on the perimeter of the store! This is where you will find many of the healthy food items that you should be adding to your shopping cart or basket. Thank about what is in the outer limits: vegetables, meats, seafood, and dairy. Now, NOT all items in the middle of the store is off limits…there are plenty of great options such as legumes, canned beans, whole grains, and vegetables (no salt added, rinse very well). However, the majority of the center aisles are filled with processed foods, chips, candy, and if you look at many of these items you will find ingredient lists that would rival a great novel!

When buying your fresh produce – remember the old skittles saying, “eat the rainbow”…think of that! Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables daily!

2. Buy Fresh: Buying fresh and making treats at home will help reduce the amount of additives and preservatives in your food. It is nice to know exactly what goes into your food and your body.

3. Do Not Shop When Hungry: Hunger can be your biggest enemy because that is where you tend to pick up the foods that you do not normally purchase or shouldn’t be purchasing. You will end up spending more money than you anticipated by putting these impulse items into your shopping cart or basket. Think with your brain…not your stomach!

4. Ripe vs. Unripe: Ripe is best, right? Not always…if you plan to use that ingredient that day then Yes! However, if you make a weekly meal plan and shopping list and you shop on Monday but won’t be making guacamole until Wednesday, purchase avocados that are not quite ripe (you can ripen them by putting them in a brown paper bag), but if you buy ripe avocados on Monday, come Wednesday they won’t be looking so pretty. You will end up spending money and then just throwing away these items…not worth it.

5. Plan Ahead: Each week try to create a rough weekly menu and then create a shopping list off of that. I say rough, because you may think that you want a specific dish on a certain day but when that day rolls around, you want anything but what you have listed. I like to create a general menu that cross-utilizes ingredients so if one night I am craving another item on the menu, I can simply make that and not waste ingredients. Be flexible, but have a plan. When you shop with a list, this helps you stay on track and not purchase foods you do not need.

When writing your weekly menu and shopping list, take a look at what you already have on hand…check those cabinets, refrigerator, and freezer. Start by working with ingredients that you already have on hand and go from there. Again, this is another tip that will help you save money, time, and sanity during your busy week.

6. Step Away: Avoid the snack aisle – this will help you avoid purchasing items you do not need. Find healthier alternatives to these items or make them at home with healthier ingredients!

7. Spice It Up: Spices and herbs are your best friend. They help add tons of flavor to your dishes without adding unhealthy ingredients. Look for single ingredient spices and create your own blends to avoid an additives/preservatives that are not needed. If you do find a blend that you like, check to see the sodium level in it…is this something that you can recreate and reduce the amount of sodium? Probably! Get creative and experiment with different homemade blends.

Fresh herbs are also wonderful ingredients to use and can last a while if stored properly. You can also plant little window plants with herbs that you use often like cilantro, chives, rosemary, basil, etc. Both spices and herbs can take any old boring dish to something extremely delicious that your family and friends will want to eat!

8. Certified: If something claims to be organic, all natural, etc…look for the USDA certification! Do not believe everything you read.

9. Labels: Read these carefully – if you pick up a bag of pasta for example and there are 10+ ingredients in it, I would probably put it back and look for something else. I mean let’s be real, pasta should only consist of 3-4 ingredients!

10. Claims: Be on the look out for these – if something says “as much protein as…” and it is something claiming to have as much protein as an egg, why not just eat the egg? Understandable if you have an egg allergy etc., but for the masses…just eat the egg.

11. Samples: Trying new products can be awesome! Trust me I have the privilege to do this quite often, but I have become particular of the items I sample and review. Do not be sidetracked by trying something that is not good for you or something you just do not need.

12. Code Words: Know the code words for certain ingredients like sugar. If you have a food allergies or Celiac Disease or Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity know where gluten is hidden, know the other names of these allergens. Educate yourself!

The two images in this post are what typical grocery shopping trips look like for me…loaded with fresh fruits and veggies, proteins, dairy, with whole grains. Each week I create a menu and shopping list and check the items off as I add them to my cart. If it is not on the list, I do not buy it – being on such a tight budget this has been extremely helpful. I have found alternatives to “sweet treats” like buying a large thing of plain Greek yogurt, and freezing a small amount of it with a bit of honey swirled in, then when it is partially frozen I mix in some fresh fruit and have that instead of ice cream!



Gluten-Free Buyers Guide {Review & Giveaway}

indexWhen I was first diagnosed in 2008 I felt completely lost, frustrated, and overwhelmed by trying to find decent products, restaurants, and information in general. Thankfully though, over the years more and more information is available (sadly, not always correct), more products (that thankfully taste much better), and resources in general (both in print and online). Additionally there are some lovely people who will do a lot of the work for you now-a-days…like Josh Schieffer of The Annual Gluten-Free Awards! Every year for the last 4 going on 5 years, Josh, has put together the Annual Gluten-Free Awards to bring you the best of the best  in over 40 categories that sum up this ever-growing gluten-free world. The winners are then compiled into The Gluten-Free Buyers Guide; a compact book that is convenient to take to any store with you! It is not bulky, but straight to the point with all the information you need from The Best Gluten-Free Bagels to the Best Gluten-Free Vacation Destinations! Please understand however, that this guide is not filled with every single gluten-free item, blog, website, magazine, etc. on the planet, as it was not designed for that. It does contain what over 2,500 people voted for their favorites in these categories in the 2014 edition!

Josh, a fellow National Foundation for Celiac Awareness Hero, was kind enough to send me a copy of the 2014 Gluten-Free Buyers guide to review. He was also kind enough to offer two of my readers a chance to win a copy of this great resource. Thank you Josh for taking the time to create such a great resource, especially for those who are newly diagnosed.


How to enter:

  • Please leave a separate comment for each entry – this will give you the maximum number of chances to win!
  • Giveaway will run from Friday July 25th – Friday August 8, 2014 (11:59 EST)
  • Two winners will be chosen using Random.Org and will be given 48 hours to respond. If no response is received, a new winner will be chosen
  1. Like “” on Facebook
  2. Follow “GFREEKcom” on Twitter
  3. Leave a comment below telling me what your favorite Gluten-Free Product is
  4. Follow “GFREEKcom” on Pinterest
  5. Tweet about the giveaway – you must include @Creatively_GF and @GFREEKcom

My Signature Dish {Good Cook Build Your Kitchen Drawer}

If you read Creative Cooking Gluten Free on a regular basis you could probably guess that my signature dish would include something Asian…and you have probably seen this dish on here before and possibly on TV! It is of course my Sweet and Spicy Chicken. It is simple, delicious, and easy enough for the beginner cook to make. It consists of few ingredients and takes only about 30 minutes to make (including prep time).

As part of the Good Cook Build Your Kitchen Drawer event bloggers were asked to choose 15 items to build their drawer. When picking the items I took the approach of “what would a beginner cook need” and went from there. My reasoning behind that idea was during this time of year students are graduating from high school and college and moving out on their own, so why not help them (or any other beginner cook) with suggestions on what they need to get started. There are so many awesome kitchen tools and gadgets out there (trust me I have quite a few), but there are essentials as well, and are often overlooked. Little did I know that I would be asked to use as many as these items as I could to create my signature dish…but I did it and used 9 out of the 15 items! At the end of the post you can read more on how YOU could win some amazing items from Good Cook, but for now, check out my signature dish…

Sweet and Spicy Chicken



  • 2 chicken breast – boneless, skinless
  • 1/4 cup corn  or potato starch
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Garlic Powder (optional)
  • 4 tablespoon veggie oil


  • 1/2 cup honey (You can also use Agave instead of honey, or half honey and half agave)
  • 3-4 Thai Chili peppers finely chopped (keep seeds in for even more heat…adjust the amount of peppers depending on your spice level) *Dried or fresh chili peppers work well in this recipe
  • 2 Tablespoons of Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Oil (optional)

Method of Preparation

  1. Mix honey, Thai chili peppers, water, and chili oil. Set aside.
  2. Cut up chicken in to 1 inch cubes.
  3. In a medium bowl add the corn/potato starch, salt, pepper, and garlic powder (optional), and mix well, then chicken.
  4. Coat well and shake off any excess corn/potato starch.
  5. In a large skillet or wok heat 1 tablespoons of oil, add half the chicken and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Place chicken on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with second half of chicken and additional tablespoon of oil.
  6. Heat the sauce in the microwave for 30 seconds and mix well. This helps it “loosen” up a bit and makes it easier to pour into the pan or wok
  7. In the same skillet add the honey – chili mixture and bring to a boil for two-four minutes until the sauce reduces, thickens slightly and turns a nice caramel color.
  8. Add chicken back to the pan and coat well. Simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  9. Serve over white or brown rice.
  10. Its a bit sweet with a nice spicy finish.

Chef Note: For a vegan option, used firm tofu that has been drained and 1/2 cup of agave nectar in placement of chicken and honey.

Now for the drawer items…I named this drawer “The Beginners Guide to Kitchen Tools & Gadgets”. Again, I had the beginner cook in mind when picking these items. In 2012 I graduated from Jonson & Wales University with my associates degree in Culinary Arts and last week graduated with my bachelors degree in Culinary Nutrition. I began cooking at a very young age and haven’t stopped since. I love food and making people happy with it. I remember getting my fist place by myself, I was 17 years old and my grand mother and grandfather gave me my first set of pans and knives along with a few other essentials. So if I was to do the same for some one this is what I would give them to build their kitchen drawer…remember I had to pick 15 items (I could have picked more, but that was my requirement)…

The Beginners Guide to Kitchen Tools and Gadgets…what you need to get started:306(The image above shows both the 5 items provided to bloggers from Good Cook and then 15 items that I chose)

Measuring Cups, 5 Piece – The five piece set includes 1/4, 1/3, 1/2. 3/4, and 1 cup measuring cups, which is perfect for those recipes that call for an odd number measurement and all you have are even-numbered measuring cups. They are all connected on a ring and are color coordinated measurements.  These measuring cups are designed to be used for “dry” ingredients – flour, sugar, etc.

Measuring Spoons, 6 Piece – Like the measuring cups, these also have additional handy measurements that are often found in recipes including: 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, and 1 teaspoon along with 1/2 and 1 tablespoon. This helps take out a lot of the guess-work for the beginner cook or baker! Also connected on a ring and color coordinated measurements.

Measure From Above, 3 Piece – This set comes with a 1 cup, 2 cup, and 4 cup liquid measuring cups to be used for liquids such as water, oil, etc. You can read the measurement line by from the side and from above…makes life pretty easy to read it from above and not have to hunch down to make sure it’s correctly measured. Very sturdy and stack well inside each other for easy storage.

Prep Bowls, 5 Piece Set – I love these little bowls – they stack inside one an other, and have measurements inside of them…the top is the larger measurement and part way down is the second measurement (ex. 1/4 and 1/8 cup) – even if you do not use them for measuring they are perfect little prep bowls and make your mise en place nice and neat! AND they are made from a BPA free plastic.

Peeler – This little guy is often overlooked, but can be a huge help, especially if someone does not have great knife skills to peel vegetables and fruits. Can be used for potatoes, apples, mangos, kiwis, zucchini, pears, and can even be used to peel the zest of citrus fruits or ginger! The tip of the peeler is great for removing the “eyes” of the potatoes as well.

Meat Thermometer – I never owned one of these until I went to culinary school, but this is a very important little gadget that everyone should have. This instant read thermometer comes with a case. Thermometers are used for precise cooking – for example poultry and leftovers  should be cooked to an internal temp of 165*F and beef , pork, roasts, seafood, lamb, and veal steaks should be cooked to an internal temp of 145*F and egg dishes and ground meats (beef, pork, lamb, and veal) should be cooked to an internal temp of 160*F (for more information visit this handy information sheet from JWU).

Fine Grater – Everyone needs a grater…or two! I chose the fine grater because I think it is pretty versatile. You can use this to grate hard cheese (like Parmesan) or citrus zest. This is a great product and I’ve been using it quite a bit since receiving it. It come with a protective cover so you don’t scrape you hand while reaching into your drawer looking for something. The cover can also be clipped to the back so when  you grate, it catches it!

Tongs – Stainless Steel and Silicone tips – great for non-stick pans, as it won’t damage them. They lock, which prevents them from flipping open in your drawer meaning you can fit more items in there.

Ladle – I again chose a lade that was both stainless steel and silicone based because it works so well in both stainless steel AND non-stick pans. This ladle is 12 inches, which means you can use it in your big stock pot and get everything out.

Silicone Whisk – This 10 inch whisk is great…can be used to bake and cook with. It is a silicone whisk which makes it great for non-stick pans, but also gets a great scrape when whisking in a bowl, its light, and feels good in your hand, and easy to clean (who doesn’t love that!). The head of the whisk is heat-resistant and can withstand heat up to 400*F.

Large Nylon Flex Turner – This turner is a great size and very sturdy. Perfect for if you have non-stick or stainless steel pans. Everyone needs at least one turner/spatula: flipping pancakes, making eggs, etc.

Silicone Spatula: 2 piece – Heat resistant silicone, the heads remove for even more detailed cleaning. Great for scraping bowls when baking. Great for many uses like using the smaller one for getting the last bits out of a jar!

And now there are three remaining items…I just want to take a second to talk about these as a whole. If you have noticed that so far I have been going in order of the picture above and the three remaining items all happen to be knives. I love knives and I have quite a few of them. However, what it really boils down to is when you are starting out (or in general) you REALLY only need to own two knives, you just have to work on your knife skills! So many get boggled down by buying these huge blocks of knives, but when they really stop and think about it there are two, maybe three knives that they ALWAYS use from that block and those are: a paring knife, a chef’s knife and possibly a bread knife. The two main ones are paring and chef knives…those are your two basics and you should become very familiar with them. I chose three knifes for this drawer, a paring knife, a 7″ chef knife, and a bread knife…

One additional note about knives – keep them sharp! A dull knife will do more damage than a sharp knife.

Paring Knife – This knife has a non-slip handle that feels great in your hand. A paring knife blade is usually between 2 1/2 – 4 inches in length. It can be used for peeling fruits, zesting citrus fruits, dicing garlic, ginger, or shallots can be used while holding the item instead of always having to use a cutting board (like you would with a chefs knife). Again, this is an underrated and underused item in most people’s homes, but I suggest getting to know it a bit better.

Santoku Knife (Chefs Knife): 7″ – I have several typical chefs knives and over the years I have fallen in love with the Santoku style of them. I love how they feel and cut and this one is no exception…actually it has made its way into my knife kit. Santoku knives have these little indents in them which make the remove of food easy. This knife has the same handle style as the paring knife and is a great starter side. There are many different lengths of these knives, but this is a good middle ground, especially if you are not used to handling a larger knife.

Bread Knife –  The Bread and Bagel knife is a serrated edge knife, which is ideal for cutting breads and delicate ingredients such as tomatoes as it helps the knife glide through without having to put a lot of pressure on the item and in turn squishing it. While you won’t use this as much as the other knives, it is still a very useful knife and tool to have on hand.

So there it is…my picks! I hope that this list helps those just getting started. I know there are a million and one other tools and gadgets out there but these are what I consider the basics to get you going to make some delicious dishes!

So what did I use? Check out the photo below…

New ImageI used the Silicone Whisk, Measuring Spoons, Measuring Cups, Santoku Knife, Paring Knife, Ladle, Silicone Spatulas, Liquid Measuring Cups, AND Silicone Tongs! Yes I used all of that to make one dish…I did not have to but I wanted to show you these items. They are awesome and I have really enjoyed working with them.

Build Your Kitchen Drawer Contest!

309This is what my drawer looks like (minus the liquid measuring cups and prep bowls!)

Starting on June 1, you will be able to build your kitchen drawer with 15 Good Cook tools and gadgets from, all you have to do is choose up to 15 items from the official list of products, and you might just win what you choose! If you are a bit suck on what to choose, you can always choose the same tools and gadgets that I did or any of the other participating bloggers…more info will be provided when the contest begins.

From June 2 – June 7th, Good Cook is hosting a 5-day product giveaway on their Facebook page, plus there will be instant winners. For each drawer that you build, you have a chance to be an instant winner and you can enter once daily for more chances!Read more:

Wondering which products are available? Look for the “ADD ME” icon below on the Good Cook website! Additionally, during this contest, all items on are 25% off – there is no code needed…just head on over and start shopping. The “Build Your Kitchen Drawer” Contest will run from June 2nd – July 14th.

c1989-addmeBe sure to check out the other bloggers and their Kitchen Drawers!

This post was sponsored by Good Cook as part of the Blogger and Kitchen Experts programs.

#goodcookcom #kitchendrawercontest #goodcookblogger

One-Pot Meal: Spring Time Mushroom Risotto {Good Cook Kitchen Drawer Contest}

photo 3(5)

I have really enjoyed working with Good Cook and getting to participate in their challenges and using their products. If you are anything like me, you get rather excited about kitchen gadgets, and trust me, Good Cook has some great ones. Starting on June 1, you will be able to build your kitchen drawer with 15 Good Cook tools and gadgets from, all you have to do is choose up to 15 items from the official list of products, and you might just win what you choose! If you are a bit suck on what to choose, you can always choose the same tools and gadgets that I did or any of the other participating bloggers…more info will be provided when the contest begins.

From June 2 – June 7th, Good Cook is hosting a 5-day product giveaway on their Facebook page, plus there will be instant winners. For each drawer that you build, you have a chance to be an instant winner and you can enter once daily for more chances!Read more:

Wondering which products are available? Look for the “ADD ME” icon below on the Good Cook website! Additionally, during this contest, all items on are 25% off – there is no code needed…just head on over and start shopping. The “Build Your Kitchen Drawer” Contest will run from June 2nd – July 14th.

To begin this awesome “Build Your Kitchen Drawer” event bloggers were given five tools/gadgets to work with and create a one-pot meal with. We had to use at least two of the five tools provided us and create a delicious dish…not too hard right? Ha, I beg to differ…I got stuck on “one-pot meal”, thinking to myself “I could make a soup”, “Nah, its spring time”, or “chili…that’s always a one-pot meal”, “No, I don’t really want chili right now either”. So my next thought was fried rice, because, you know me, I LOVE Asian food, but when walking through the grocery store I came across this mix of mushrooms; it had baby bellas, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms, and decided to make a spring risotto with mushrooms and green onions, and of course some white wine. There are so many “one-pot” meals, and this one can be used as an entrée or as a side dish…you can even bake it, or roll them into balls and make fried risotto balls – endless possibilities!

The five items that we were provided are  SMART Ice Cream Scoop, Flip Measuring Spoon, Safe-Cut Can Opener, Egg Separator, and the Pot Clip Holder. All of these products are great – I did not use all of them to make this dish but I did try to test them out at least once so I could share them with you. The only item I did not use for this recipe was the Safe-cut Can Opener, but let’s start with the items I used…

  • SMART Ice Cream Scoop – LOVE this ice cream scoop…it has a split back to help release the contents, and can be used for many different things such as scooping the risotto out of the pan into my bowl, mashed potatoes, and obviously ice cream, you can read more about the SMART Scoop here – (hand wash only).
  • Flip Measuring Spoon – this is perfect for people who do not want a cluttered drawer, or are just starting out, it is four measuring spoons in 1, it doesn’t get much better than that. I used this to measure out the red pepper flakes and salt for the recipe below, you can read more about it here.
  • Egg Separator – is a pretty handy tool especially if you need only to use the egg whites or yolks in a recipe – I did not NEED to use that for this recipe, but I tested it out anyway…it just makes life a little easier, read more about it here.
  • Pot Clip Holder – How I have lived with out this, I’m not sure just yet. This is the perfect little kitchen gadget that I think everyone should own, maybe even several of them. This helps keep your stove top and counters nice and clean. It clips on to the side of the pot and holds your spoon when you aren’t using it. Read more about it here.
  • Safe-cut Can Opener – The one and only item I did not use, only because I had no can to open, but this can opener, as its name states is a “safe-cut” which means it leaves no sharp edges to get injured on! So this tool is perfect for having your younger ones help out in the kitchen, you can read more about it here.


photo 1(9)Here is what I made…

Spring Time Mushroom Risotto

photo 2(8)


  • Olive Oil                                               1 tablespoon
  • Butter                                                   1 tablespoon
  • Scallions, sliced                               1/4 cup
  • Mushrooms, sliced                           1 cup
  • Red Pepper Flakes                          1/4-1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt, Kosher                                        1/4 teaspoon
  • Arborio Rice                                       1 cup
  • White Wine                                         1/2 cup
  • Chicken Stock, low sodium            4 cups
  • Egg, whole                                         1 large
  • Parmesan Cheese, grated            1/4 cup

Method of Preparation:

  1. Gather all ingredients and equipment.
  2. In a small stock pot add four cups of chicken stock and heat over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer
  3.  In a large, heavy bottom skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat.
  4.  Add sliced scallions and saute for 1 minute.
  5. Add mushrooms, and cook for an addition 2 minutes.
  6. Add white wine and cook for an additional minute.
  7. Season with salt and pepper
  8. If the pan is a little dry add an additional teaspoon of either oil or butter, then add the rice and stir to evenly coat.
  9. Stir in 1 cup of stock – just enough to cover the rice.
  10. Stir well and continue to stir until the rice has almost completely absorbed the stock.
  11. Continue this process until all stock has been added to rice and absorbed. This should take about 20-30 minutes.
  12. Push the risotto to the outer edges of the pan and add the egg.
  13. Fry egg, and carefully flip over to not break the yolk – you want it to be runny over the risotto when plating.
  14. Gently remove the egg and set aside.
  15. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese.
  16. To serve top with fried egg and sliced scallions.

Chef Notes:You can use any short grain rice instead of the arborio rice, as risotto is a style of cooking, not a type of rice.

 Be sure to check out more delicious recipes from the other Good Cook Bloggers and Kitchen Experts at the link below!

This post was sponsored by Good Cook as part of the Blogger and Kitchen Experts programs.

#goodcookcom #kitchendrawercontest #goodcookblogger

Gluten Free Allergen Free Expo {GFAF Expo – Official Blogger – Secaucus, NJ}


Words can not begin to express how excited I am to have been chosen as an Official Blogger for the Gluten Free Allergen Free Expo (GFAF Expo) in Secaucus, NJ on September 7 & 8, but I am going to try anyway.

I was diagnosed five years ago with celiac disease and what a journey it has been. There have been some great moments and some really horrible ones, but it is all a part of it and you have to learn to adapt and move forward. Over these five years I have managed to miss all of the amazing gluten-free and allergy-free events around the country mostly because I couldn’t afford them, even if I was given a “scholarship” to one I would not have been able to afford the plane ticket or hotel. However, when Jenn mentioned that the GFAF Expo was coming to the East Coast I knew I had to be there. I have been waiting for an opportunity for five years. I was so thrilled to see one come this way and was even happier when I found out it was in NJ. Bryan’s family lives there so I knew I would have a free place to stay and the trip to the expo was only a train ride away – talk about perfect!

Over the years I have heard so many wonderful things about events such as this but, to me this one just sticks out. Not only is everything gluten-free but is about allergy-free as well. I may only have celiac disease however, I plan to focus my studies and future career in the allergy field. I have been working at a natural foods store that I absolutely love and I also volunteer with one of my professors at an allergy clinic at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence. I have learned so much not just in my studies but also at work and in the clinic when it comes to helping individuals and families with celiac disease and or multiple food allergies.

What I am looking forward to the most…

  • Meeting all of the vendors and sample some of the delicious products – especially the ones that I have had the privilege of working with over the years and meeting new ones.
  • Meeting some of the most amazing bloggers and authors – those who have been “mentors” to me (they probably don’t even know it). I admire what they do and when I first started this journey they answered my countless questions.
  • Meeting and getting to know the fellow bloggers that will be there!
  • Sitting in on the classes
  • Bringing back samples to share with the Sans Gluten group at Johnson & Wales!
  • So much more…

Will you be attending? If so be on the look out for me…can’t wait to meet everyone and experience this wonderful opportunity.

GFAF Expo Blogger Badge

Strawberry Chia Scones {Product Spotlight}


I’m going to attempt a new feature on CCGF – I’m not 100% set on the details just yet but here is what I am thinking.

  • Either weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly I am going to do a product spotlight.
  • I do a bunch of reviews on the blog already but I thought I would highlight a few of my favorite thing.
  • These products are not necessarily going to be a food item, they may be kitchen gadgets, cookbooks, etc.
  • I plant to talk about the item, the pros, cons, how to utilize it, etc.
  • I just want to have fun with this and share with all of you my favorite items.
  • I started working at a natural foods store with tons of gluten-free options, many of which I have never tried so I thought I would incorporate some of those items as well.

What do you all think?

Below is my first product spotlight…

Pamela’s Biscuit & Scone Mix

By: Pamela’s Products

I love Pamela’s Products – it is one of my favorite packaged gluten-free goods. Lately I have been making my own flour blend to use but this is one that I would definitely go out and buy, especially her pancake mix (I’ll be taking that with me next week when we are fly fishing in Maine for a week). Below is a little bit of information about Pamela’s Products:

Here are some of the reasons why Pamela’s stands out from the crowd:

  • High quality sugars including, fruit juice, agave, coconut sugar, brown rice syrup and molasses create better tasting, decadent food.
  • The palm shortening is made from the most healthful part of the palm and is sourced from companies with fair trade and environmental stewardship track records.
  • Our nuts are from American suppliers to ensure freshness and quality.
  • Minimally processed grains like certified gluten-free oats, brown rice, millet and sorghum are used whenever possible to provide the benefits of whole grains they offer.
  • Sweet creamery butter (non-rBGH of course) and the highest quality monounsaturated safflower oil are used. Pamela’s does not use low quality oils.
  • The cardboard used in our packaging is made from recycled materials and are recyclable. Soy ink is used in all cardboard printing. We continue to seek additional sources of recycled materials.
  • We are in the process of changing our plastic trays to 100% recycled material.

What we leave out is as important as what we put in:

  • We never use any artificial colors, flavors, preservatives.
  • We never use high fructose corn syrup.
  • We have statements from all suppliers verifying our ingredients are non-GMO.  We are currently preparing to join the non-GMO Project, and are working closely with our vendors to assure the quality and source of all our ingredients

Biscuit and Scone Mix Ingredients: Brown Rice Flour, Tapioca Starch, Potato Starch, Sorghum Flour, White Rice Flour, Sweet Rice Flour, Grainless & Aluminum-Free Baking Powder (Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Potato Starch), Natural Evaporated Sugar, Sea Salt, Guar Gum, Baking Soda.

Allergy Information: Free of gluten, wheat, eggs, dairy*, nuts*, soy*, corn,

*=depends on if you use butter or a butter alternative, and if you use almond or soy milk.

Pros: easy to follow directions with several recipes listed on the package itself. No sugar in the mix so you can add as much or as little as you want (I didn’t use much). You can use whatever ingredients you wish making your biscuits or scones either savory or sweet.

Cons: Can’t find it in a store near me but will contacting them to carry it.

How I used it: After reading the recipe options on the packaged (which all sounded delicious) I wanted to try my own thing. B went to the store yesterday and picked up two packages of strawberries that were out of this world delicious. So I thought of making a fresh strawberry and chia seed drop scone.

Strawberries are a good source of folate and potassium, and very good sources of dietary fiber, Vitamin C and manganese. Chia seeds are amazing little things. In just one tablespoon they pack 6 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, and 2.9 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids! These are also great in smoothies, yogurt, and other baked goods.

These are delicious! I can however see why they say to use dried fruits in the recipe on the package…the fresh fruit makes it a bit sticky and uneasy to cut so I just made them into drop scones…don’t know if that is a real thing but it is now!

Strawberry Chia Scones


1 Package of Pamela’s Products Biscuit & Scone Mix

8 Tablespoons of Butter or Butter Alternative (Earth Balance), Cold

1/3 Cup Wholesome Sweetener Organic Sugar

1 Cup Almond Milk

3/4 Cup Fresh Strawberries, Diced

1 1/2 Tablespoons of Chia Seeds

Follow directions on package – however when mixing in the fresh fruit mix by hand to prevent the fruit from becoming over mixed.

Place rack in top third of oven and pre-heat oven to 375°.

Combine dry mix and sugar. Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment or pastry blender, cut in butter until pea-sized crumbs are formed. Add milk. Add strawberries and chia seeds, mix until well incorporated. Take two large spoons and scoop scones onto a prepared baking sheet (either greased or parchment lined.You can sprinkle the top with a little bit of sugar before baking if you wish. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Cool slightly and enjoy.

These came out moist and delicious! Hope you enjoy this recipes and give this mix a try. So versatile…you can make savory scones or biscuits as well!

*I was sent this mix from Pamela’s Products for a review – I was not compensated in any way and all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

What Is A Serving Size?

Image from:

I am on a mission this year to get in shape and to become healthier. I’m doing this for several reasons but one in particular is that if I plan to become an RD I need to be healthy – no one, including myself wants to take advice about health and wellness from someone who is not healthy and practicing what they are preaching.

One of the biggest things that I have found is really being conscious of the serving sizes. I don’t know about you but I don’t tend to carry around my food scale and measuring cups with me everywhere I go to measure everything I eat. So below is a list of examples for you to keep in mind. You can find more information about healthy eating on my Healthy Eating page , Choose My Plate. There are also many more examples and references along with various images out there for serving sizes, but these are a few that I have found to be helpful.

Confused about portions sizes? Try relating them to everyday items to help you out!

  • A rounded handful – one 1/2 cup vegetables or fruit, 1/2 cup of cooked rice or pasta, or a snack serving of crisps or pretzels
  • Woman’s fist – another way of visualising a serving of vegetables, or one piece of whole fruit
  • Small handful or golf ball – 1/4 cup of dried fruit or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • A matchbox – a 1 oz serving of meat, or a serving of cheese
  • Deck of cards, – a 3 oz serving (recommended serving = 3-4 oz) of meat, fish or poultry, or ten chips/french fries
  • Check book – a serving of fish (approximately 3 oz)
  • Tennis ball – 1/2 cup of pasta, or a serving of ice cream
  • Computer mouse – a medium baked potato
  • Compact disc – one serving of pancake or small waffle
  • Thumb tip or one dice – one teaspoon of margarine
  • A ping-pong ball – two tablespoons of peanut butter
  • Small milk carton – 8 fl oz glass of milk
  • A baseball – 8 fl oz cup of yogurt, one cup of beans, or one cup of dry cereal

Are you wondering how much you should be consuming of each food group on a daily basis? Visit this great resource, Personalized Daily Food Plans from Choose My Plate.

For more resources be sure to visit:  – Portion Size Plate

MIT – Serving Sizes

Spark People – The Portion Distortion Guide

Conscious Box {Giveaway}


The giveaway is now closed – Sara A. is our lucky winner! Thanks to all who entered and don’t forget all Creative Cooking Gluten Free readers can receive 25% off by using the code LOVELIFE!

There are so many wonderful subscription boxes out there that cater to various diet restrictions, healthy eating, and eco-friendly products. Have you heard about Conscious Box? They combine all three of those ideas and more into one awesome box that is delivered to your doorstep each month.

I had not heard of them until the other day when I received an e-mail saying that they now offer Vegan & Gluten-Free boxes (Just select your dietary preferences). In the e-mail they informed me that the founder also has Celiac Disease! To celebrate their new gluten-free and vegan boxes they have offered a giveaway to one of my readers…a 3-month Conscious Box subscription – that’s a $59 value! AND we’d also like to offer your readers a 25% OFF discount for any Conscious Box subscription. Use code: LOVELIFE (giveaway entry rules are below…)

Below is a little bit of information on how Conscious Box works and what they include in each box.


How Does Conscious Box work?

Conscious Box is the best way to discover the most ethical and sustainable products on the planet! Focusing on strict tenets of organic, fair trade, and pure and natural products, each month Conscious Box will introduce you to healthy and honest alternatives for every aspect of your life and for every member of your family. Discover the best natural products, earn points for leaving feedback and reviews, and buy your favorites at incredible discounts!

  • Get a variety of unique pure & natural products every month!
  • From organic food to vegan beauty products, you’re sure to find new favorites!
  • Discover ethical and purpose-driven businesses of all sizes!
  • Get content on daily living tips, exciting monthly themes, and creative ways to use your box!
  • Easily earn points you can apply to full size products for unbeatable discounts!

Want to win a 3-month Conscious Box Subscription? Follow these simple rules below. Do not forget they are also offering all readers a 25% OFF discount for any Conscious Box subscription. Simply use code: LOVELIFE when checking out.

  1. Head to and create a profile! This is totally free!
  2. Like Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Facebook
  3. Head to their Facebook Page and like it! While you are there tell them that you have entered the giveaway on @Creative Cooking Gluten Free (you can do this daily)
  4. Share on Facebook – you must tag @Creative Cooking Gluten Free or share Creative Cooking Gluten Free’s post about this giveaway on Facebook
  5. Follow Conscious Box on Twitter
  6. Follow Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Twitter (@Creatively_GF)
  7. Tweet about the giveaway (use the little twitter button below) be sure to mention @Creatively_GF

Be sure to leave a separate comment below for each of the above entries!

Giveaway starts on Thursday March 28th and ends on Friday April 5th at 11:59 pm EST.

Disclosure: I received an e-mail from Conscious Box regarding their new gluten-free and vegan options. I was not compensated in any other manner. The opinions expressed above are my own.

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 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.

Gluten-Free Frito-Lay Recipes

Don’t you just love when a favorite item or brand of yours is actually gluten free, and provides the information on their website! I know I do. I get abnormally excited over something that most would consider small, but to me its all about the small things in life. I’ve always been a fan of Frito-Lay’s products however, I never realized how many of them are gluten-free! Check out their recently updated list here. I think you will be presently surprised. This was brought to my attention by the National Foundation For Celiac Awareness (NFCA) when they asked if I would like to be a recipe tester for some of the new products.

I was assigned the Frito Waffles with Mascarpone and Warm Strawberry Compote. I had the option of changing up the recipe if I so desired to, however I rather liked it just as it was. The waffles were more on the savory side, but topped with the Mascarpone and Strawberry Compote made them a sweet-savory treat. I made these for my neighbor and myself whose respective other halves are away for the summer and she was recently told from her doctor that she needs to avoid gluten and wheat. They not only would be great for dinner but they made a mighty delicious dinner🙂

In addition to my recipe and post check out the NFCA’s page for additional recipes and bloggers:

Keep reading to learn how you can win your own Frito-Lay products!!

Frito Waffles with Mascarpone and Warm Strawberry Compote

175 grams (about 1 1/4 cups millet flour)
50 grams (3/4 cup) crushed Fritos® Original corn chips
1 tablespoon golden flaxmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup milk
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup melted butter
1/4 cup honey
3 large egg whites

Strawberry Compote
1 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mascarpone cheese

Combine flour, corn chips, flaxmeal, baking powder, milk, egg yolks, vanilla, butter and honey
in a blender container. Blend until smooth. Beat egg whites in a medium bowl until they form
soft peaks. Fold flour mixture into beaten egg whites until incorporated, being careful not to
deflate egg whites.

Pour about 1/2 cup of batter onto greased, heated griddle and cook until waffle is done,
according to manufacturer’s instructions. Repeat with remaining batter.

Combine strawberries, sugar, cornstarch and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium
heat until juicy and thickened, stirring often.

Serve waffles with mascarpone cheese and warm strawberries.

Yield: about 9 waffles.


To make these a little sweeter – maybe add a tablespoon of sugar

This recipe was pretty easy and quick to make. Again this is great for breakfast or dinner. Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner? I know I do!

I ended up eight large waffles

My waffle maker is old (very old) so they came out a bit darker than I had hoped.

The strawberries and Mascarpone are fantastic on this – don’t add anything to the cheese, just add a dollop on top of the waffles and then top with the strawberry compote.

Head on over here to enter for your chance to win a prize package from Frito-Lay!



One Vinaigrette – Two Dishes {O Olive Oil}

In my last post about O Olive Oil, I mentioned that I was one of the lucky bloggers who was chosen to participate in the O Olive Oil challenge over at Each blogger was asked to do two posts – one a tasting and the second a recipe. Please take a second to read my fist post – A Naked Tasting. I was generously provided a bottle of the O Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and the Pinot Noir Wine Vinegar to taste and create a recipe with.

As I mentioned in my last post these have a higher sugar content and in turn a lower burn temperature which make them great for finishing oils and vinaigrettes. I decided to do just that – make a vinaigrette and then create two dishes to use it with, both of course are gluten-free and can easily be made vegetarian by simply omitting the chicken in one and the fish in the other – you can also add in some delicious tofu!

Meyer Lemon and Pinot Noir Vinaigrette (adjust this to meet your needs)

3 parts O Meyer Lemon Olive Oil

1 part Pinot Noir Wine Vinegar

Small Shallot – minced

Kosher Salt – to taste

Fresh Ground Black Pepper – to taste

Pinch of sugar

I know you are probably wondering where the exact measurements are but I think vinaigrettes are a personal judgement call.  Taste as you go, adjust as needed based on your likes and needs. This oil and vinegar make such a delicious vinaigrette – its sweet and tangy all at once.

Quinoa Salad with Meyer Lemon and Pinot Noir Vinaigrette

1/2 cup quinoa

1/2 cup red quinoa

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

1 small zucchini diced (1/4 inch)

1 small summer squash diced (1/4 inch)

1 1/2 cups roasted chicken (omit or sub with tofu for vegetarian option)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Meyer Lemon and Pinot Noir  Vinaigrette – to taste

Lemon Zest


  1. I roasted mine with a lemon pepper compound butter that had a light drizzle of the olive oil in it and placed it under the skin. When done – let the chicken rest and cool – shred and set aside.
  2. Cook quinoa according to package instructions.
  3. In a small non stick pan over ow-medium heat add 1/2 teaspoon olive oil and gently cook the mushrooms, zucchini, and summer squash – just to warm them up a bit.
  4. In a large bowl add the vinaigrette, shredded chicken, and veggie mixture – toss to coat.
  5. When quinoa is finished cooking add directly into the bowl with the chicken, veggies, and vinaigrette – toss to combine and let sit for at least 20 minutes so everything soaks up the awesome vinaigrette.
  6. Toss in the tomatoes and zest lemon over the top before serving.
  7. This makes for a great entree or as a side dish. You can add anything you really wanted to this dish as quinoa to me is like a blank canvas just waiting to be jazzed up a bit. This dish can be served warm or chilled, which makes it great for the summer and a picnic or BBQ!

Grilled Tilapia Pasta with Meyer Lemon and Pinot Noir Vinaigrette

Penne pasta (gluten-free)

Broccoli florets and pieces

1 – per person, Tilapia Fillet

1 slice of lemon per piece of Tilapia

Meyer Lemon Olive Oil

Meyer Lemon and Pinot Noir Vinaigrette – reserve 1-2 table spoons

Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Heat grill to medium-high.
  2. Create foil packets – in each packet place lemon slices, and two fillets of fish, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with just a little bit of the Meyer Lemon Olive Oil, and seal the packet.
  3. Grill the packets lemon size side down first for 3-4 minutes, flip and repeat.
  4. Remove fish packets and set aside for one minute.
  5. Open fish packets and flake the fish into chunks. Set aside until pasta is complete.
  6. Cook pasta according to package.
  7. During the last 4 minutes of cooking add in broccoli florets and pieces.
  8. Strain pasta and broccoli, place in a large bowl and toss with vinaigrette – the warm pasta is going to soak up all of this beautiful vinaigrette.
  9. Place pasta on individual plates or bowls – top each plate/bowl with grilled Tilapia fillets and drizzle with reserved vinaigrette.
  10. Another dish perfect for the summer, especially on a week night – quick, easy, delicious, and full of flavor from just a few ingredients!




O Olive Oil {A Naked Tasting}

A naked tasting?? Before all of your minds start going in the wrong direction let me clarify the title of this blog for all of you. There are so many great benefits of being a food blogger – networking with fantastic companies, sampling new products, and being invited to partake in tastings and challenges.

Recently I was selected to participate in O Olive Oil contest. Each blogger selected to participate received a complimentary box from O Olive Oil that included one of their olive oils and one of their vinegars. The bloggers are then requested to write two posts – a review and the second a recipe. I received the Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and the Pinot Noir Wine Vinegar! O Olive Oils are pressed and NOT infused as some might think. The pressing gives the oil a deeper and richer flavor profile.

O Olive Oil is the original maker of organic citrus-crushed olive oils since 1995 and premium barrel-aged wine vinegars since 1997.

For the review I chose to do a tasting.  I really wanted to taste the oil and vinegar for what they are. I started by simply tasting them naked…with no bread or anything, just took a small spoon and tasted each one just as it was.  I had to refrain myself from continuing to “taste” (aka drink them – they are that good!) like this, so I heated up some gluten-free ciabatta bread (from Schar) and tried each individually then a combination of them.

Let me start with the Meyer Lemon Olive Oil  – Oh. My. Goodness. that pretty much sums it up but I’ll elaborate a little bit for you. This is beyond delicious and I wasn’t joking when I said I would have drank this. I’m a sucker for olive oil, especially really good olive oil. The hint of Meyer lemon in this oil is just perfect. It has a slight sweetness that balances out the slight acidity of the oil its self. To me it tastes just how the lemon smells.

Next up was the Pinot Noir Wine Vinegar. This also deserves an Oh. My. Goodness. Their wine vinegars are barrel aged (just like wine)When I first read about these they sounded great. Pinot Noir is my favorite grape varietal, however I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Sounding great and tasting great are two different things. I was so thrilled that these exceeded my expectations. As I tasted this vinegar, my mind started racing on what I wanted my recipe to be.  My taste-buds were going crazy when I tried this both naked and with the bread.

These oils have a higher sugar content than most olive oils and have a lower burn temperature so keep that in mind when you go to use them. With that said they are not intended to be used for frying and most cooking methods, however they are great as a finishing oil and used in vinaigrettes!

Have you visited yet? If not head on over there – this website is a great resource for recipes and you can find plenty of gluten-free ones there too! While you checking it out, why not sign up and submit your recipes!

Thank you and O Olive Oil for letting me participate in this review and contest.

Below are some photos that I took for the tasting…

The “naked” tasting – Pinot Noir Wine Vinegar and Meyer Lemon Olive Oil

Tasting with gluten-free bread

Meyer Lemon Olive Oil tasting with gluten-free bread

Pinot Noir Wine Vinegar tasting with gluten-free bread

Check out my recipes here!!

Disclosure: All reviews on Creative Cooking Gluten Free are 100% honest and completely my own opinions

EvaRuth’s {Update}

A lot has changed since I first walked in to EvaRuth’s Gluten-Free Bakery in Middletown, RI. I was so excited to find this after we moved here and I still get just as excited about it. This place is a little gem. Ruth, the owner has grown this shop so much over the past year alone.

You’ll find amazing baked goods that are not only gluten-free but you will also find dairy free, and vegan options! She has also perfected an amazing bread recipe that baked fresh and comes in several different varieties (white, Italian, and baguettes). This bread is my favorite – you get about twice the size of ones that you can find frozen in your local grocery store and these are fresh!! Seriously, you can’t beat it and its only a few dollars more…but again, you get more than double the product! There are delicious cupcakes, brownies, cookies, pies, and cakes.

In the last year she has also branched out and started offering lunch options which include sandwiches (on her bread!), and fantastic soups. She is currently working on an egg-less version of egg salad, which I was fortunate enough to get a sample of and it is out of this world delicious. I’m not dairy, egg, or nut free but I would go in and buy this in a heart beat.In addition to trying the egg-less egg salad I was also given a turkey sandwich with homemade tarragon mayo and a cup of chili that was loaded with veggies and quinoa! Oh my goodness, I’m not lying when I saw I wanted to lick the cup…it was that good. The perfect amount of spice, yum yum yum. In addition to the awesome lunch options Ruth has started offering fresh juices. She asked me if I wanted fruit or veggie….I chose the veg because I’m a sucker for V8. She came back with a cup of the Carrot Cleanse juice – I pretty much inhaled it. Delicious, flavorful, and refreshing are the first three words that came to mind as I tried it. You can taste all of the ingredients, which I have come to find as rare in many dishes and drinks. I love knowing exactly what is in my food.

Check out their extensive menu here. You can even order many of these delicious products on-line!

On top of all these great selections she and her staff are simply wonderful people. Always willing to help, answer questions, and offer suggestions if you are torn on what to choose. So if you are in the area please stop by and say hello to them. Also check out their website because they are now in a bunch of local markets and  farmers markets!!

You can read my first post here!