Diced {100% Gluten-Free Meal Kit Delivery}


Looking to try a meal delivery service, but need it to be 100% gluten-free? We FINALLY have an answer…Diced.

Diced was created by Tinsley Meloy’s who was diagnosed in 2008 with Celia Disease.  She, like myself and many others out there had to learn to how cook and survive in a whole new world; the gluten-free world. Diced was created out of her desire to create a successful, gluten-free lifestyle to make the gluten-free world easier to navigate and tastier to eat.

Diced is based out of Brooklyn, NY and everything is prepared in a 100% gluten-free facility so there is no need to worry about cross-contamination! Amen! Seriously, knowing that was a huge thing for me as I have noticed recently that I’ve been getting ill after even the smallest amount of cross-contamination.

Here is how it works: Visit MyDiced.com and check out their Weekly and Core menu options. Choose your meal(s) –> trust me you’ll want to order more than one! Then click the checkout button when you are ready to purchase. Meals are delivered next day (Monday-Friday)!

Tinsley and the awesome team over at Diced kindly provided us with three meals (of our choice) to sample. I can’t even begin to express how excited I was to try this service. We’ve talked about trying other services in the past however none were 100% gluten-free and didn’t want to risk it. Bryan and I went through the list and picked the Takeout Style Chicken and Broccoli with Rice, Quinoa Chili, and Salmon Nicoise Salad. Bryan doesn’t normally eat cooked fish (he’s much more of a sushi guy, so the last one was really for me), however he loved it! All of the meals were beyond easy to make…they come with recipe cards with pictures for you to follow. Everything is pre-measured out and neatly packaged. These meals are perfect for those that are in need for a quick and easy dinner on busy nights. I normally plan out a weekly menu, so this took some of the guess work out of it for me. I will 100% be purchasing meals from Diced again.

Tinsley and team is offering Creative Cooking Gluten Free readers a special discount…use DICED<3sCCGF at checkout to receiving 25% off your order!!

Be sure to check Diced out on social media as well: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram And don’t forget to check out my posts and reviews on Instagram too! Use #getdiced

I tried my best to take pictures of each of the meals, but completely spaced for the quinoa chili and just inhaled it before any pictures were taken; sorry about that! Below are images from the other two meals we chose though!

*A coupon code for free meals was provided by Diced – all comments and opinions are 100% my own.




I know that this is by no means traditional Phở, but instead think of it as a tasty interpretation of traditional Phở.

Phở is a Vietnamese noodle soup that has linguine like rice noodles, fresh herbs, a delicious broth and meat (typically beef or chicken…I prefer beef). Given my current situation of lets face it being extremely poor, there was no way that I could go out and buy all the ingredients to make the broth from scratch (it is on my list to do at some point though), so I used a Phở “starter” broth…it was a concentrated liquid broth that you add water to from Savory Choice. Pacific Naturals also has several Phở  to choose from (which are delicious, if you haven’t tried them yet, you should).


I started off by sauteing some fresh ginger, garlic, and turmeric in a large pot, then adding a whole bunch of vegetables, the liquid broth, and water, brought it to a simmer and let it hang out for a while. I was going to leave it just like that but remembered that in my little freezer I had a small piece (about 3 oz) of hanger steak. I defrosted that and quickly marinated it in some 50% less Sodium Tamari from San-J and about a tablespoon of chili paste. This turned out so delicious especially with the added Thai chili peppers and chili paste. You can add whatever vegetables or meat you wish. I would have added some cilantro, green onions, and bean sprouts if I had them.


Phở” – Spicy Asian Vegetable Soup w/ Seared Hanger Steak


  • 12 oz of hanger steak
  • 1/4 cup 50% less sodium Tamari
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Paste
  • 2 teaspoon oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1/4 inch fresh turmeric minced
  • 1/2 inch of fresh ginger minced
  • 4 Thai chili peppers
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots (purple, orange, white, etc.)
  • 2 large portabella mushroom caps diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded cabbage (green and/or red)
  • 1/2 cup chopped baby bok choy (white parts. Green tops – chiffonade)
  • 1/2 cup summer squash, julienne
  • 3 packets of Savory Choice Pho Liquid Broth (Chiken)
  • 6 cups of water
  • 4 oz Sorghum noodles, broken in half

Toppings (optional):

  • Bean Sprouts
  • Cilantro
  • Green Onions
  • Lime Wedges
  • Chili Paste

Method of Preparation

  1. In a container or bowl marinade beef in tamari and chili paste – set aside.
  2. In a large stock pot heat oil over medium heat.
  3. Add garlic, turmeric, ginger, and Thai chili peppers, cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add carrots and mushrooms, and cook for an additional 3 – 5 minutes.
  5. Next, add shredded cabbage, bok choy (white parts), summer squash, liquid broth packets and water. Bring to a simmer
  6. Add in bok choy tops and sorghum noodles, continue to simmer until noodles are soft but not over done, about 10 minutes.
  7. In a small pan heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat.
  8. Once the oil is nice and glossy and moves easily around the pan, add steak.
  9. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness (you want a nice sear but not cooked throughout as it will finish cooking in the soup).
  10. Remove steak from pan, and let rest.
  11. Thinly slice steak against the grain.
  12. Ladle the soup into four bowls, top with 3 oz of sliced steak and any additional toppings mentioned above (optional)
  13. Serve immediately

This recipe is gluten-free and dairy free and can easily be made vegetarian!




Gluten-Free Corn Dogs by Foster Farms {Review & Giveaway}


Foster Farms, the producer of the nation’s number one selling corn dog product who has been in the chicken business since 1939 has released a certified gluten-free option! Yes, I said certified gluten-free (by the Gluten Intolerance Group/GIG). Their new gluten-free corn dog is made with a chicken hot dog that is dipped twice in a honey corn breading that has a delicious flavor and crunch. They come in boxes of 12 and make a great snack meal for you and your little ones. These would also be perfect for Super Bowl Sunday! My favorite way to enjoy them is baked in the oven (you can also cook them in the microwave, but the crunch is worth the oven baking!), and then dipped in some spicy brown mustard. These new corn dogs join the line of other gluten-free chicken products by Foster Farms including chicken breast nuggets and chicken breast strips. Want to know if these items can be found near you? Send the lovely folks over at Foster Farms an e-mail: questions@fosterfarms.com. Even though we do not have children – Bryan and I enjoyed these quite a bit!

Foster Farms wants to share with you! Read below on how to enter for your chance to win 1 of 5 coupons for a FREE box of their new Gluten-Free Honey Crunch Corn Dogs. While these are both gluten-free and dairy free they do however contain soy and egg.

How to Enter:

1. Like Foster Farms on Facebook – leave a comment below saying you did and your Facebook name

2. Tweet about the giveaway using #FFGlutenFree and @Creatively_GF – leave a comment below with the link

3. Like Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Facebook – leave a comment below saying you did and your Facebook name

4. Follow Creatively_GF on Twitter – leave a comment below saying you did so and your Twitter name

Giveaway is open to US residents only. Each winner will receive a coupon (sent directly from Foster Farms) for ONE FREE box of their new Gluten-Free Honey Crunch Corn Dogs. Giveaway begins on Monday December 29th and will end on Sunday January 4th at 11:59pm. Please leave a separate comment for each entry to ensure the maximum number of entries per person. The winners will be chosen via Random.org and will have 24 hours to respond, if no response(s) is received another winner(s) will be chosen. Good luck to all who enter!


This is a sponsored post – all opinions and photos are my own. Thank you Foster Farms!

Spicy Thai Coconut Soup with Shrimp and Chicken

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I just completed my winter term of school and about to begin my spring term which also happens to be my last term of academics before graduating! I can’t believe that in 78 days (yes I am counting) I will walk across the stage at graduation and receive my degree in Culinary Nutrition from Johnson & Wales University. This is a dream come true. All of the hard work, sacrifices, and dedication during these last three years will be worth that moment. This is a day I never thought I would see, especially at the age of 32! Even though this journey has been difficult and I have missed out on many things, I know it is all worth it. Without the support of my family and friends I know I wouldn’t be here and to them, I am truly thankful.

In my last post I mentioned that I have been MIA from here for a while because I have been applying to Dietetic Internship programs. This is a pretty competitive process and I have given my all in these applications and the three years leading up to them. I will be notified on April 6th if I have been selected or not. Until then, it is a waiting game that is completely out of my control. I am hoping for the best and if selected I will give this program my all. If I am not selected, I will continue to work hard and apply again next year.

Thank you all for your support, encouragement, and for being faithful followers and readers of Creative Cooking Gluten Free over these last six years. Thank you for understanding that I am only one person and cannot post daily on here. Between school, work, homework, and volunteering, I just do not always have the time. I hope to be better about it this term however, and provide you all with some new delicious gluten-free and allergy-friendly recipes.

Below is a recipe I created this past term at school – it is originally designed for an athlete on a heavy training day so I had to adjust the amounts to work for everyone. Please feel free to adjust the spice level to your liking and you can always switch out the shrimp and chicken for more veggies if you prefer.

Spicy Thai Coconut Soup with Shrimp and Chicken

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Amount                                   Ingredient

  • 1 pound                                     Shrimp, large, cleaned, deveined, shells removed and set aside
  • 6 cups                                       Stock, seafood, chicken, or vegetable
  • 1 pound                                     Chicken breast, boneless, skinless
  • 1/3 cup                                      Mushrooms, crimini, shitake, etc., sliced
  • 1/4 cup                                     Carrots, julienned
  • 1/4 cup                                     Zucchini, julienned
  • 2 cans                                      Coconut Milk, full fat
  • 1/2 cup                                     Rice, White or Basmati, uncooked
  • 2 inches                                   Ginger, cut in half
  • 3 cloves                                    Garlic, smashed
  • 2 small                                     Lime, juice and zest (save one lime for garnish)
  • 6  medium                                Thai Chili Peppers, cut 3-4 in half (for less spice remove seeds)
  • 2-3 tablespoons                        Cilantro, chopped or torn
  • 2 tablespoons                           Scallions, sliced on a diagonal
  • 2 teaspoons                             Salt, Kosher (more to taste if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons                          Oil of your choice (Olive, Canola, etc.)

Method of Preparation:

  1.  Gather all ingredients and equipment.
  2.  Clean, devein shrimp, and save shells. Set aside cleaned shrimp
  3.  Slice chicken breast into thin strips and set aside.
  4.  Clean mushrooms, and slice thin and set aside.
  5.  Wash carrots and zucchini, julienne, and set aside.
  6.  In a high sided sauté pan heat oil over medium heat.
  7.  Add shrimp shells and cook for five minutes.
  8. Add in ginger, garlic, lime, and Thai chili pepper(s) and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  9. Add stock and simmer for 15 minutes over low heat.
  10. Strain stock and discard any solids.
  11. Return stock to pan and bring to a boil.
  12. Add mushrooms, carrots, and zucchini and cook for one minute, remove and set aside
  13. Add rice, cover pan and cook for 15 minutes or until tender.
  14. Stir in coconut milk and mix until incorporated and all solids have dissolved.
  15. Turn heat to medium low, add in chicken, and shrimp. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until proteins are cooked throughout.
  16. Return the vegetables to the pan and stir well.
  17. Check for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  18. Serve in a bowl with a slice of lime fresh Thai chili pepper(s), and chopped cilantro.
  19. Hold at 135° or warmer.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps {Crockpot Recipe}

As you have probably gathered from reading my blog, we love Asian food. We often say to each other that we could live on Asian, Mexican, and Italian food…but mostly Asian. Bryan said the other day, I could eat Chinese food for breakfast lunch and dinner…I have and it was awesome. I lived in China for a little while in 2003, while I was a Program Liaison between two colleges/universities – one located in Worcester, MA where I was employed and our partner Beijing Geely University located in the Changping District.

My time spent there was right in the middle of the SARS epidemic so traveling outside of Beijing was out of the question. I did however get to spend quite a bit of time doing the “tourist” thing by visiting places such as The Great Wall (twice) (Bādálǐng), The Forbidden City (Zǐjin chéng), Tiananmen Square (Tiān’ānmén), The Summer Palace (Yíhé Yuán), Mausoleum of Mao Zedong (Máo Zhǔxí Jìniàntáng), Ming Dynasty Tombs (Míng shísān líng), Temple of Heaven (Tiāntán), Temple of Confucius, and many more.

While I didn’t get to travel much, I ate some of the most amazing food. Most of my meals in the beginning of my stay were supplied by the on campus dining rooms – all of which were really great. We (my Chinese colleagues and I) would venture out to local restaurants to try some more delicious and local dishes. My breakfast usually consisted of the following: fresh made wonton soup or red bean porridge , scallion pancake (cōng yóu bǐng) (I am working on a gluten-free recipe for these, stay tuned), fresh hot soy milk ( dòunǎi) which has a slightly sweet flavor to it. Lunch was a number of different options (sadly most of which I can’t remember their name): kung pao chicken (gōng bǎo jī dīng), egg flower soup (dàn huā tāng), the most delicious spicy cucumbers, steamed dumplings (xiǎo ​lóng ​bāo) – either veggie or meat filled, and for the occasional dessert some Mantou (mán ​tou) which is steamed bun that is served either steamed or deep-fried with condensed milk. For dinner my favorite dish was Peking Duck (Běi​jīng ​kǎo​yā), Hot Pot (shuàn ​guō ​zi) was another favorite of mine, although they tended to order mutton (yáng ​ròu) I opted for the chicken (jī​ ròu​) and Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans with some ground pork.

So I have lived solely on Chinese food and would do it again in a heart beat. Thankfully Bryan loves the same styles of food that I do. Many of our meals are Asian and Mexican inspired dishes. We venture out but always come back to our love of Asian food.

Below is a recipe that is inspired by the P.F. Chang’s Gluten Free Lettuce Wraps – it is not a copycat recipe like my Beef a la Sichuan is but just inspired by it. We were at P.F. Chang’s last night to celebrate Bryan’s birthday (a little early, but we wanted to go before school started up for the both of us again). Since I was making lettuce wraps tonight we opted for our other favorite appetizer, their Shanghai Cucumbers.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps {Crockpot Recipe}

3 large chicken breasts* – diced into small pieces

3 large celery stalks – diced into 1/4 inch cubes

8 oz baby bella mushrooms – diced into 1/4 inch cubes

1 8oz can water chestnuts – chopped (divided)

1 8oz can bamboo shoots – chopped

3 cloves garlic – finely chopped

1/2 inch piece ginger – peeled and grated (I use a microplane)

1 tbs brown sugar

1/2 tsp chili garlic paste

1 tbs sesame oil

1/2 cup gluten-free soy sauce (I use San-J low sodium if you have it)

2 tbs hoisin sauce (I use the Dynasty brand)

  1. Prepare all of the ingredients according to the above directions.
  2. In a crockpot (mine is 7qts…you can use a smaller size too) add the Hoisin Sauce, Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil, Brown Sugar, Garlic Paste, Ginger, Garlic, Bamboo Shoots, 1/2 of the Water Chestnuts, Celery, and Mushrooms.
  3. Mix together.
  4. Add the chopped chicken and mix until evenly coated.
  5. Cover the crockpot and turn it on low.
  6. Cook for 5 1/2 hours.
  7. Stir about half way through to incorporate everything and break up some of the larger pieces of chicken.
  8. Add the remaining water chestnuts, mix well, cover, and cook for an additional 1/2 hour.
  9. To serve: Peel the leaves off of a head of iceberg lettuce, butter/boston lettuce, or use romaine hearts. Scoop about 1/4 -1/2 cup into each leave, “roll up” and enjoy. You can top these with shredded carrots, bean sprouts, and chopped peanuts. We’ll be serving ours with a side of steamed edamame.

Notes: Many recipes out there call for ground chicken, which is completely acceptable, however I wanted a more hearty version so I choose to use chicken breasts and dice them instead.

You can also add all the water chestnuts at once, they will retain their crunch, but I wanted a bit more crunch so I added half of the can in the beginning and half towards the end.

Vegetarian version – instead of chicken increase the amount of mushrooms and celery, add zucchini, yellow summer squash, baby bok choy, etc.

Non-Onion Free version – replace the celery with 1/2 cup 1/4 inch diced white onion.

Hope you enjoy this crockpot dish – I dished out a little bit to take a photo and then I couldn’t put it back sooo I ate it…its delicious!

(The chopsticks in the photo were sent to me from a dear friend, Shiho whose family runs one of my favorite little sushi places, Ocean Sushi in Monterey and Pacific Grove, CA. If you are in the area stop on by – they have gluten-free soy sauce!! Thanks Shiho, these get quite a bit of use!)

The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen {Review}

If you follow Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Facebook or Twitter you have probably seen my recent posts about receiving a review copy of Laura B. Russell’s cookbook The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen.  When I first received the book in the mail, I don’t think I put it down for about thirty minutes (okay it was probably longer than that). It is simply beautiful.  Bryan’s first response was “the cover looks so good I could eat it”. Thankfully Bryan loves Asian food as much as I do.  The majority of the food we eat is Asian inspired.

I was more than excited to receive this cookbook.  If you read through my recipes or take a look at my “pantry” page you have probably noticed the large selection of Asian inspired dishes and ingredients.  Since I can remember I have had a deep fondness of Asian foods and their cultures.  My mom used to tell me that while she was pregnant with me she craved Chinese food all the time.  That statement there could probably be the root of my love of Asian food, however it grew even more when I had the opportunity to live in China for a little while in 2003 (yes right in the middle of SARS).

While living there I had some pretty interesting foods but also some of the most delicious food I have ever tasted.  People used to make fun of me saying I could live off of Chinese food and eat it for every meal, well I had the opportunity to do so and I have to say I would do it again.  My breakfast usually consisted of the following: fresh made wonton soup or red bean porridge , scallion pancake (cōng yóu bǐng), fresh hot soy milk ( dòunǎi) which has a slightly sweet flavor to it.  Lunch was a number of different options (sadly most of which I can’t remember their name): kung pao chicken (gōng bǎo jī dīng), egg flower soup (dàn huā tāng), the most delicious spicy cucumbers, steamed dumplings (xiǎo ​lóng ​bāo) – either veggie or meat filled, and for the occasional dessert some Mantou (mán ​tou)  which is steamed bun that is served either steamed or deep-fried with condensed milk. For dinner my favorite dish was Peking Duck (Běi​jīng ​kǎo​yā), Hot Pot (shuàn ​guō ​zi) was another favorite of mine, although they tended to order mutton (yáng ​ròu) I opted for the chicken (jī​ ròu​) and Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans with some ground pork.

As I’m looking and every recipe and every picture in The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen I am taken back to my time in China.  All of my wonderful memories came rushing back, not just about food but all the places I had the opportunity to visit, the amazing friends that I made, and the beauty of the country.  As I mentioned above I was there during SARS so I was unable to travel very far. I was fortunate enough to visit, The Great Wall (twice) (Bādálǐng), The Forbidden City (Zǐjin chéng), Tiananmen Square (Tiān’ānmén), The Summer Palace (Yíhé Yuán), Mausoleum of Mao Zedong (Máo Zhǔxí Jìniàntáng), Ming Dynasty Tombs (Míng shísān líng), Temple of Heaven (Tiāntán), Temple of Confucius, and many more. The best part about it was I was there pretty much by myself.  Not many people were out visiting and there were definitely not tourists around. You can view some of my photographs from China on my Flickr Page (this was pre-digital so I have a ton to scan still)

Sorry for being side tracked on memories of China, I just couldn’t help it.  Now back to the book. After I looked (drooled) over the recipes and photos I handed the cookbook to Bryan and asked what he wanted me to make first.  With out much hesitation he asked for the recipe on the cover: Gingery Pork Pot Stickers with the Soy Vinegar Dipping Sauce.  Thankfully I had enough of the flours the recipe called for to make them. You can get the recipe by ordering The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen on my Amazon Store! (This is still available for pre-order, release date is August 23rd! so order now for only $14.50)

Over all the recipe its self is pretty simple with simple ingredients that most of us (especially if you are gluten-free) already have in your pantry.  The only two items I needed to pick up were the pork and the green onions.  We don’t normally cook with any form of onion in our house because of Bryan’s allergy, but we decided to give these a try to see how he felt (he felt fine after eating them, woo hooo). I read the instructions a few times because I didn’t want to screw anything up…I had my heart set on these dumplings and probably would have shed a few tears had they gone wrong.  Due to the heat and humidity I had a bit of a hard time “rolling” out the dough, but I just made it work.  We ended up with a few less dumplings than the recipe yield but we devoured them all regardless.

It is amazing what a huge flavor impact just a few ingredients can have.  I had a little bit of the sausage mixture left over so I added it to a skillet, cooked it up and then tossed it with my spicy green beans as a side dish.  I’m not joking when I say I almost cried when I first tasted them.  Between the dumplings and the green beans/sausage it brought me right back to China.  I was in love with this cookbook when it arrived and after tasting this first recipe I am even more in love with it.  Laura did an amazing job with this recipe and the whole cookbook.  My next recipe to try is her Kung Pao chicken.

We plan to make these again but I have to order some flours first.  However, when I do make them I will be making a triple batch and freeze the majority of them.  That way we have them for a quick dinner and something that Bryan can just make while he is home for lunch and I am at school.

Seeing as this is the recipe Bryan choose I asked him what he thought of it (I usually do this anyway but he still can’t stop talking about them) and his response was “these are fucking delicious – anything more would just take away from its deliciousness”.  Now who said you can’t have gluten-free Asian food and it taste like the real thing?

Laura,  I know we’ve been chatting back and forth and I have said this a million times to you but thank you for creating such a beautiful cookbook with amazing recipes that take me back in time.  The recipe that we tried truly made me feel like I was back in China with my friends at a dumpling restaurant or on campus at the dining hall.  You also made my non-gluten-free boyfriend one happy person.  We are both looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

Please visit Laura’s website at: http://www.laurabrussell.com/ You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter

Also, Are you in the Portland area? Laura will be doing a  book signing for “The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen” at Crave Bake Shop on Wednesday, September 7th in the evening. Lots of treats involved!

Chicken Cordon Bleu

First before I get started on the recipe portion of this post, I want to say sorry for not being very active lately.  School started on March 8th and I’ve been consumed by it.  This is my first trimester and I am taking all academic courses (no actually culinary courses until the Fall).  What some might thing isn’t a big deal, taking Biology, Public Speaking, Leadership and Menu Planning and Cost Control really is to me.  For starters, I haven’t taken Biology in at least 14 years, I’ve never taken any of the other courses and I truly hate public speaking.  I’ve been out of college for about six years now so jumping back into this with both feet has been at times a little overwhelming for me.  It’s also been a little challenging for Bryan and I…we’ve kind of grown used to me being home all day, taking care of the house, making at least two meals a day etc. Now I am up at 4:00 am, getting the bus at 4:50 to Providence, walk three blocks to the Downcity Campus, wait about 30 minutes to get the shuttle to the Harborside Campus (where the culinary arts program is) and then starting class at 7:00.  Thankfully though I am done with classes by 11:15 M-Th and have Fridays off.  Now you are probably wondering why I get up at 4 and take the bus to school.  Several reasons.  One I don’t drive, two if I did we only have one car and with gas prices being as they are…it is more economical for Bryan to be taking the car to class than me driving to and from Providence each day.  Plus with my student ID, the bus is free anywhere in the lovely state of Rhode Island.  Honestly, I don’t mind the early mornings at all.  I thought I would but being done at 11:15, coming home, studying/doing homework making dinner and actually having time to relaxing with Bryan for a bit before I crash around 9:30-10:00 is worth it.  If my classes were in the afternoons I wouldn’t be home until about 8 or 9 at night.  Plus this is my dream and I would do just about anything to make it happen.  So you can think I’m crazy, that is just fine but I choose not to focus on the “oh my goodness you get up at 4 am, that is just crazy” comments, and push on towards my goal.

Speaking of my goal – after planning out my next few trimesters, which will mostly be culinary labs (yay!) and two more academic courses I will have my Associates Degree next summer!!  Next winter I need to apply for the BA in Culinary Nutrition, which I have been told is really hard to get into, so I am doing my best, studying hard and trying to get all A’s. I put a lot of pressure on myself for several reasons, I want this so badly.  As I said above, I’ve been out of school for a while now so none of this is fresh in my mind, and also I am at least 11 years older than the majority of these students.  Seriously I feel old, have little to nothing in common with them, but I’m doing my best.  Thankfully though most of them think I’m about 17 years old and when they hear me say 29 they laugh and don’t believe me…well its true I am, just don’t look at all the gray hairs coming in (and yes they are there, I promise you, lots of them!)

So again, I am sorry for my absence but please be patient as I get used to this new schedule and figure out a balance of home life, school/work and my blog.  I have a lot of respect for those other bloggers who blog everyday, some times several times a day and have jobs and families – you are all rock stars!

Now on to the recipe!

We saw some commercial the other day, I think it may have been for subway- anyway they were advertising a chicken cordon bleu sandwich and Bryan made one of those “mmmmmmm” sounds.  To me having a sandwich like that from subway just sounded nasty.  The “mmmmmmmm” sound wasn’t really for the sandwich its self but the idea of chicken cordon bleu.  I tend to associate those with weddings or banquets of some sort so I never really thought of trying out a gluten-free version of one.  Apparently Bryan really likes them so I said we could either buy you some frozen ones or I can attempt to make some – he obviously chose me making one instead.  I did a bit of researching online to see what was actually in the breading of it, I knew that it was chicken, Swiss cheese, ham and breading but wanted to get the flavoring right.  Honestly this is a really simple meal to make, I based mine off of a Tyler Florence recipe found on Food Network and we really enjoyed it…well mostly, Bryan isn’t so much a fan of the Thyme so I think next time I might leave it out completely or add a different kind of seasoning.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

  • 4 double chicken breasts (about 7-ounces each), skinless and boneless
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 thin slices deli ham
  • 16 thin slices  Swiss cheese
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (I used Jeanne’s of Art of Gluten Free Baking mix-see below for recipe)
  • 1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs or gluten-free rice crumbs (I used Orgran’s Rice Crumbs)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lay the chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, gently pound the chicken to 1/4-inch thickness (FYI a small fry pan or empty wine bottle work just fine, if you are like me and don’t own a meat mallet). Take care not to pound too hard because the meat may tear or create holes. Lay 2 slices of cheese on each breast, followed by 2 slices of ham, and 2 more of cheese; leaving a 1/2-inch margin on all sides to help seal the roll. Tuck in the sides of the breast and roll up tight like a jellyroll. Squeeze the log gently to seal.

Season the gluten-free all purpose flour with salt and pepper; spread out on waxed paper or in a flat dish. Mix the Gluten-free breadcrumbs or rice crumbs with thyme, kosher salt, pepper, and oil. The oil will help the crust brown. Beat together the eggs and water, the mixture should be fluid. Lightly dust the chicken with flour, then dip in the egg mixture. Gently coat in the crumb mixture.  Carefully transfer the roulades to a shallow baking dish (I used my Le Creuset because, I love them and they are the easiest baking dishes to clean up!) and bake for 20 minutes until browned and cooked through. Cut into pinwheels before serving.

Here is Jeanne’s All Purpose Flour Recipe:

Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in fridge):
1 1/4 C (170 g) brown rice flour
1 1/4 C (205 g) white rice flour
1 C (120 g) tapioca flour
1 C (165 g) sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum
(you can also use the gluten-free flour mixture (not baking mix) of your choice–just be sure it contains xanthan gum. Or, you can add 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum per cup of gluten-free flour. If you use bean flour, it will add a bean taste to the cookies)

Hope you enjoy this recipe, its simple, flavorful and most ingredients you probably already have at home.  We served ours with some garlic broccoli and a side salad.

I have more catching up to do – product reviews and a giveaway I promise it will happen soon!  Please stay tuned.

Chicken Parmesan

One of my favorite dishes when I was younger was Chicken Parmesan. I love the crunch chicken but yet still tender and juicy inside with some bubbly mozzarella cheese on the top.  It is a very simple dish, however I never make it.  I don’t know if it was because I feared how it would actually come out with using gluten-free flour instead.  It has just been one of those dishes that kind of made me nervous to “re-create”. While flipping through my favorite cooking magazine (Everyday Food by Martha Stewart) I saw a recipe for chicken parm and asked Bryan if he likes it.  When he said yes I figure, why not give it a shot and see how it comes out.

I opened up my flour cabinet (yes I have a small pantry with all of my gluten-free flours stored in my favorite containers by Snapware) and looked around to see what I had left (I’m running extremely low or I’m completely out of the majority of my flours) and saw that I had some Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose GF Flour, Gluten Free Bisquick and also some Orgran Rice Crumbs.  I decided to use a mixture of the Bisquick and Rice Crumbs and see how that would turn out, and if we didn’t like it I would try another combination the next time around.  We both really liked it – which I was surprised because I kind of just threw this recipe together quickly one night. The recipe is very simple and quick, you can feel free to change the measurements of the seasoning and cheese to your taste level.

Chicken Parmesan

1/4 Cup Gluten Free Bisquick (You could also sub in your favorite GF All Purpose Flour mix)

1/8 Cup Rice Crumbs (You could also sub in GF Bread Crumbs)

1/8 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning

2 Medium Chicken Breasts – pounded to 1/4 inch thickness

1 Egg – beaten with 1 Tablespoon of water

Cooked Gluten Free Pasta – We use Sam Mill’s GF Corn Penne Pasta (It is our favorite GF pasta that we’ve tried)

1/2-1 Cup Pasta Sauce (You can make your own or used a jarred sauce)

1/3 Cup of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese


In a shallow baking dish beat one egg with 1 tablespoon of water, set aside.

In a second shallow baking dish mix the Bisquick, Rice Crumbs, Cheese, Salt and Italian Seasoning – mix well, set aside.

Between two pieces of plasticwrap or parchment paper pound the chicken until it is about 1/4 inch thick (for even and quick cooking).

Dredge each piece of chicken in the Bisquick/Rice Crumb mixture, shake off any excess and then in the egg mixture.  Again shake off any excess and then dredge it back in the Bisquick/Rice Crumb mixture.  Set aside.

In a medium skillet add one tablespoon of oil and heat over medium heat.  Once oil is hot enough (I always test by running cold water over my hand and then flicking a little in the pan, if it sizzles then I know my meat will sizzle – this is by no means scientific but it works well for me).  Add the two pieces of chicken breast.  Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until lightly golden brown and juices run clear.

If you do not have pans that can go into the oven, place the pieces of chicken either on a baking sheet or baking dish for this next step.

Turn your oven to broil and top each piece of chicken with half of the mozzarella cheese.  Place the chicken under the broiler just until the cheese starts to bubble and turn lightly golden brown.

Serve atop your favorite gluten-free pasta and top with your favorite sauce.

Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich-Gluten Free

(sorry the pic isn’t so great, I rushed because I really want to try this, its been over 2 years since I had one)

We don’t eat fast food much.  If we do, we either go to Subway so Bryan can get a sandwich and I get a salad or we go to Wendy’s because they fry their french fries in a separate fryer and I can get a bun-less cheeseburger and Bryan can get his favorite spicy chicken sandwich.  That sandwich used to be my favorite also before I found I had Celiac Disease.  Every time he gets one I ask “can I just smell it” – you laugh but I seriously do this quite often with some of his “regular” food.

Lately I’ve been on a kick of making things at home instead of going out and buying them.  For example in my last post I shared recipes from homemade beef jerky and granola bars.  I can’t go out and get a Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwich but I sure as heck can make it at home.  Making things at home also lets you control the ingredients you use.  Not saying that this sandwich is super healthy by any means, don’t get me wrong.  I mentioned to Bryan the other day that I could try to recreate that sandwich for him, but would have to do it gluten-free so I can enjoy it too…he said sure.  So I looked online for some ideas of what is actually in the sandwich and then went to work on creating a recipe for it.  I have to say it came out pretty darn awesome!  We both really liked it.  I served mine between two pieces of romaine lettuce and Bryan had his on a “regular” bun.  The spicy flavor in mine was much more pronounced without having all that bread in the way.

Gluten-Free Spicy Chicken Sandwich (Wendy’s)

1/4 Cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

1/2 Cup Water

1/2 Cup Gluten-Free Bisquick

1 1/2 Teaspoons Sea Salt

2 Teaspoons Cayenne Pepper

1/8 Teaspoon Fine Ground Pepper

1/4 Teaspoon Paprika

1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

2 Chicken Breasts – pounded until about 3/8 inch thick

4 Pieces of Romain Lettuce

1/4 Teaspoon Mayonnaise (optional)

2 Tomato Slices (optional)

Mix together the Gluten-Free Bisquick, Salt, Cayenne Pepper, Pepper, Paprika and Garlic Powder in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl mix together Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and water.

In a large high-sided sauté pan heat 1/2 cup – 1 cup of canola oil (should come up about 1/2 inch the side of the pan depending on the size of your pan) on medium heat.  You could also use a deep fryer but I didn’t want to deal with all of that.

Take one chicken breast at a time and dredge it in the GF Bisquick mixture, then coat it in the hot sauce/water mixture and then again in the Bisquick mixture.

Cook chicken for about 4-5 minutes on each side until they are golden brown and no longer pink in the center (I cut mine just to make sure).

Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels to remove any excess oil.  Serve on lettuce or a bun and top with mayonnaise (optional), tomato (optional) and an additional piece of lettuce.  Enjoy!!

The Bisquick worked perfect for this recipe.  It was nice and crunchy and the chicken was juicy, and just the right amount of spice.  Oh how I have missed this sandwich, but now I can make it at home!



Weekly Menu Planning

I’m determined to get back into planning out a weekly menu and base our grocery shopping on that menu.  I hope that this will save us money but also the frustration of what to eat each night.  This week is a very Asian inspired week as you’ll see below.  I really miss my favorite little Chinese restaurant in Monterey, Full Moon.  They were so great to me, I would bring them a bottle of gluten-free soy sauce and they would make my food with that. We have both been craving Chinese food lately and Bryan could go out and get some but I can’t so I figured I would make a few Asian inspired recipes this week that will hopefully hit the spot.

When planning weekly menus I usually look at my cookbooks, blogs etc and search for dishes that are tasty, easy and that the ingredients can be used in more than one dish during the week.  This weeks menu inspiration comes from: Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking, Everyday Food-Fresh Flavor Fast and a few recipes I found online.

November 29-December 5


Grilled Steaks, mashed sweet potatoes and corn (these were our last steaks from Omaha Steaks -a gift from Bry’s parents)


P.F. Chang’s inspired Beef A La Sichuan (Bryan’s favorite dish to order there, even off of the gluten-free menu)


Asian Inspired Noodle Bowl (Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking pg. 30)


Beef Stir Fry (Everyday Food Fresh Flavor Fast pg. 190)


Penne A La Broccoli (Light dish with red pepper flakes from DrWeil.com)


General Chang’s Chicken (Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking pg. 163) I’ll be making this for my birthday dinner along with some cupcakes, or maybe even a cheesecake…I have yet to decided which one I really want.


Not 100% sure what to make just yet for sunday, maybe some beef stew or pot roast.

If you haven’t picked up a copy of the Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking cookbook by Kelli and Peter Bronski you really should – this cookbook is fantastic.  I’ve made several of their recipes and have enjoyed every one of them.

What are you cooking this week?

POM Wonderful Dinner Party (Recap)

About a month ago I entered a contest to host a POM Wonderful dinner party.  POM would pick 100 people to host a dinner party inspired by, Pomegranates (of course).  I entered at first because Bryan and I love pomegranates, and I really wanted to try to incorporate them into some recipes other than just drinking the juice and eating the seeds.  To my surprise I got an e-mail back saying I was one of the 100 picked and I would be receiving two cases of pomegranates and some goodie bags for my guests.  After getting this e-mail I had about 9 million thoughts running through my head of what to make, how many people to invite and oh I can’t forget the decorations! After sitting back and relaxing for a little bit I decided that simple was the best way to go.

Bryan and I will hopefully be in New Jersey for Thanksgiving this year and my dad, stepmom and stepsister will all be in upstate New York, so I figured we would do a pre-Thanksgiving inspired dinner together yesterday, just the five of us. Keeping with the Thanksgiving theme our menu was as follows:


Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and a Pomegranate Balsamic Dressing


Roasted Chicken with Pomegranate Glaze

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Garlic Green Beans

Pomegranate-Cranberry Sauce



Hard Pomegranate – Apple Cider


Brownie Cupcakes topped Pomegranate Cream Cheese Frosting

Pomegranate Sorbet

Over all our dinner was great- with a few minor setbacks of having a small kitchen, sink and not being happy with my frosting!  It was nice to have my family here for a relaxing afternoon filled with football and a very tasty dinner (If I do say so myself).  Our decorations were simple – some small pumpkins in the center and on each plate was a pomegranate and an instruction card on “how to open a pomegranate”. Most of the recipes used were ones that we make often, simple yet very tasty and all 100% Gluten Free! Below are some of the recipes with photos.  (I must note that I got caught up in feeding everyone that I forgot to take a few photos, such as the roasted chicken when it came out of the oven-sorry!)

Salad with Pomegranate-Balsamic Dressing

(We usually have mixed greens and what ever else we can throw into the salad, it is completely up to you)

One -two large romaine lettuce heads, chopped (Or mixed greens)

1/2 cup sliced carrots

1/2 cucumber sliced

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (optional)

1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Pomegranate-Balsamic Dressing

Salt and Pepper

1/2 cup of good olive oil

1/4 cup pomegranate juice

1/8-1/4 cup balsamic dressing

Add all ingredients to a covered jar or salad dressing mixer.  Shake well and enjoy (you can adjust the measurements to your flavor liking)

Roast Chicken with Pomegranate Glaze

1 Whole Chicken (about 9 pounds)

1/4 cup room temp butter

1 1/2 tablespoons of Seasoning of your choice – I use a mixture of rosemary, thyme, oregano and sage.

Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl mix the softened butter and herbs until well combined. Set aside

Make sure the giblets and neck are removed from the chicken cavity.  Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels.  Season with salt and pepper – also season the cavity. Place your chicken in the roasting pan and gently lift the skin using your fingers – be sure not to tear any of it.  Once the skin  has been lifted, take  half of the butter and herb mixture and spread evenly under the skin.  Take the remaining butter and herb mixture and do the same over the top of the chicken.  Place chicken in oven.  About thirty minutes into cooking add about 1 cup of chicken stock to the bottom of the roasting pan and baste the chicken.  Continue to baste the chicken every 30 minutes.  (please be sure to check the size of your chicken to determine how long it should roast for).  For a 9 pound chicken, cook for 2 – 2 1/2 hours.

During the last thirty minutes of the chicken brush it with the pomegranate glaze (see recipe below) every ten minutes, do this again when your chicken has been removed from the oven. This sauce can also be drizzled over the meat on your plate (which I did)

Pomegranate Glaze

(Very concentrated flavor, and very good)

1 cup POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice

In a small sauce pan heat the pomegranate juice over medium heat.  Simmer until juice has reduced about half, about 10-12 minutes.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

(We love mashed sweet potatoes, especially with the cinnamon added.  We tend to eat more sweet potatoes than regular ones)

1 – 1 1/2 pounds of sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

1/2  – 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup soy milk

salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sauce pan add sweet potatoes and cover with water.  Boil for ten minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.  Drain well.  Either by using a potato masher or using a stand mixer add your potatoes to a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer), add butter and soy milk and begin mashing (or whisking), until smooth.  Season with cinnamon and mix again until well blended.  Season with salt and pepper.

Garlic Green Beans

(one of our favorite side dishes, quick, easy and very flavorful.  This replaces the green bean casserole on our table)

1-2 pounds of fresh green beans

3 large cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper

Lightly steam the green beans until bright green yet still crispy.  Drain well.  In a medium-large pan melt butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and stir in the green beans.  Toss the green beans so they are all coated in the garlic and butter/oil sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.

Pomegranate-Cranberry Sauce

(I usually make this a day in advance)

1 Bag (12 oz) fresh cranberries

1 cup pomegranate juice

1/2 cup sugar – you can use either with sugar or packed brown sugar (I used the brown sugar this time)

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

salt and pepper

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

In a medium saucepan – over medium/high heat add the pomegranate juice and sugar. Bring to a boil.  Add the fresh cranberries, once the berries start to pop open reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally.  Cook until most of the cranberries have burst open and the sauce has thickened a bit, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and add in the pomegranate seeds.  Cool  to room temp before serving (or if you are making this in advance like I do (I think it tastes better the next day) cool completely and transfer to an air tight container.


I used the recipe on the back of the Betty Crocker Gluten Free Bisquick box.

2 cups Gluten Free Bisquick mix

1/3 cup shortening

2/3 cup milk (I use soy)

3 eggs

Heat oven to 400 degrees

Cut shortening into mix, using fork, until particles are size of small peas.  Stir in remaining ingredients until soft dough forms.  Drop by spoonfulls onto un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 13-16 minutes or until golden brown.  Makes 10 biscuits.

Hard Pomegranate-Apple Cider

(We used a local hard apple cider from Newport Vineyards, which is right down the road from us)

Serves four

3 parts hard apple cider

1 part pomegranate juice

In wine glasses (or any fun glasses you might have) add three parts hard apple cider and one part pomegranate juice and stir lightly.  Serve chilled.

Brownie Cupcakes with Pomegranate Cream Cheese Frosting

12 Brownie Cupcakes (I used the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brownie Mix and made them in a cupcake pan – you can use which ever brand you like).  Make these the night before so they can cool and that is one less thing to bake the day of.

Pomegranate Cream Cheese Frosting

(sadly below isn’t the recipe that I used, I made my own but it didn’t have much pomegranate flavor so I suggest using this one instead)

8 oz cream cheese softened (room temp)

4 oz butter softened

3 oz of pomegranate juice (juice from 3-4 large POM Wonderful Pomegranates,* or 1-1/2 cups POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice)

14 oz Powdered sugar

1 cup arils from 1 large POM Wonderful

Prepare fresh pomegranate juice*, score 1-2 fresh pomegranates and place in a bowl of water, break open the pomegranates under water to free the arils (seed sacs), the arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the membrane will float to the top, sieve and put the arils in a separate bowl. Reserve 1 cup of the arils from fruit and set aside, (refrigerate or freeze remaining arils for another use), reduce the pomegranate juice, over low heat, down to 3 fl. oz., Allow to cool, place butter into electric mixer bowl with paddle attachment and cream on medium-high speed for 1 minute, add the cream cheese and continue to mix for 2 more minutes, turn the speed down to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar and the pomegranate juice reduction, mix until the sugar is fully combined, remove icing from the mixer and place into a piping bag with a round or star tip.

Pomegranate Sorbet

(I have never made sorbet before so I asked my stepmom to use her ice cream maker so I could attempt making pomegranate sorbet.  I found the following recipe online at Saveur and it is very flavorful and refreshing!)

1/2 cup sugar

3 cups pomegranate juice

1 Cup water

Place sugar, 1 cup water, and pomegranate juice in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well chilled. Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve garnished with pomegranate seeds. (This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #9)


Our table setting

Our POM Wonderful inspired meal

To make our Hard Apple-Pomegranate Cider we used a local hard cider from Newport Vineyards (It’s the best we’ve had)

A light refreshment – Hard Apple-Pomegranate Cider

“How To Open A Pomegranate”

A simple yet flavor packed and refreshing dessert – Pomegranate Sorbet

Each guest got a POM Swag-Bag which included a POM bracelet, POM recipe cards, POM pamphlet, a free coupon for a bottle of POM wonderful juice and an awesome reusable POM wonderful tote.  They also got to take home a few pomegranates.


PJ’s Organics and a Giveaway!

This contest Is now closed! Thank you to all who entered, see below for winners!!

About a week ago I posted a review on PJ’s Organics Gluten Free products and how much Bryan and I enjoyed them.  They offer four great gluten-free options: Gluten Free Beef Enchilada, Gluten Free Chicken Enchilada, Traditional Taquitos and Deluxe Taquitos.


The extremely generous people over at PJ’s Organics have kindly offered to give THREE (3) of my readers five (5) free product coupons to be used on any PJ’s Organics products.

AND in addition to the five (5) free product coupons each winner will also receive an iPod Shuffle (winners will get to pick their color choice: gleaming silver, blue, green, orange, or pink)!!

Giveaway Rules

To be entered for a chance to win one of these three (3) amazing prizes please follow the rules below by Monday November 8th by 11:59 PM:

1) (Required) “Like” PJ’s Organics on Facebook – come back here and leave a comment below that you did so (if your Facebook name/account is different from the name you use below, please specify your Facebook user name – Thank you!).

2) For an optional second entry– Read my review and look at the products above and leave a comment below letting me know which one you would like to try most and why.

Three (3) winners will be chosen by using Random.Org and notified by e-mail on Tuesday November 9th.  All winners will have 48 hours to respond with their contact information and color choice of the iPod Shuffle, if winners do not respond within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen by using Random.Org.  All prizes will be mailed directly from PJ’s Organics within four weeks.

Like PJ’s Organics Facebook Page and spread the word!  Visit their website to find out where you can buy these great PJ’s Organics products.

(This contest is only open to those who are living in the U.S.A.)

Our 3 lucky winners are…

1. Sharon J

2. Kristina S.

3. Valerie

Congratulations Sharon, Kristina and Valerie!!

(Winners were chosen using Random.org – Winners were notified by e-mail this morning and winners have 48 hours to respond with their contact information and color choice for their iPod Shuffle to creativecookinggf(at)gmail(dot)com (creativecooking@gmail.com).  If winners do not respond within that time another winner will be chosen using Random.org)

Thank you to all who entered!!  Check back later this week for another great give away.

PJ’s Organics – Gluten Free Enchiladas & Taquitos

One thing we really seem to lack around us is Mexican food!  I was beyond spoiled living in California and I have to say that even though I love the Mexican food in Monterey the Mexican food in Ventura was still better.  One day we decided to try an “Authentic Mexican Cantina” near here and I posted about this before – bottom line, it’s not good at all, so we make tacos at home now, and by no means are they authentic but they are at least tasty!

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by PJ’s Organics and was asked if I would be interested in trying and reviewing their new gluten-free products.  I didn’t even have to think twice about that, my answer was yes!  I was sent samples of their four gluten-free products: Gluten Free Chicken Enchilada, Gluten Free Steak Enchilada, Traditional Taquito and Deluxe Taquitos.  Bryan and I were both excited to try PJ’s Organics products – even though he isn’t gluten-free, he is my taste testing companion – I think its great that I get to do this, but I love getting his non-gluten free opinion on these products.  If he says its good, then you know it must be really good!

So first up we really wanted to try the Enchiladas which come with black beans and brown rice.   We decided to make them both, and cut the Enchiladas in half and each try them both.  Let’s start with how Bryan felt about them “You can’t even tell these are gluten-free!” and I think that sums it up pretty well, they were delicious for frozen meals.  The perfect serving size, the meat in side wasn’t just mush either, there were actually chunks of meat.  These were very filling, I don’t think either of us even finished the rice and beans.  We would defiantly buy the Enchiladas again – if you can find them around you, give them a try!

Next up we had the Traditional and Deluxe Taquitos.  Again, we tried them both together and out of the two I have to say my favorite was the Deluxe Taquitos…they have chicken, corn, red bell peppers along with rice and cheese.  Both were a bit dry, but that was easily solved with a little bit of salsa and sour cream.  Again, there were actually chunks of meat and decent flavor – the enchiladas had a bit more than these did but they were still pretty tasty. The Taquitos were a very good size too – so about two or three of them are great for a snack after school.

These products defiantly fixed our need for some tasty Mexican Food – and yes they are frozen meals, but they did the job just fine! Click here for places to buy PJ’s Organics – They have a whole ton of gluten containing products and the gluten-free products listed above!

Thank you to the very kind people of PJ’s Organics for letting me taste your wonderful products.  Great job on making them taste fantastic and even those with out Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance will enjoy them!

Chicken Tenders (W/ Betty Crocker GF Bisquick)

I’ve heard some mixed reviews over Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Bisquick mix and have been on the look out for it since it hit the stores.  However, I’m not exactly sure if it is the state of Rhode Island or just the part we live in that seems to have extremely limited gluten-free options.  I’m not just talking about restaurants either…our grocery stores are weird.  At the main chain stores (Shaws, Stop & Shop) they see to not carry the Betty Crocker mixes, or if they do it is very hit or miss. Then you go to Ocean State Job Lot (which is kind of a last chance type of store) and they have the largest selection of Bob’s Red Mill products I’ve ever seen in a store – its HUGE!! (I know I just said this place is kind of like a last chance store, but the expiration dates on the packages are for 2011 and so on!!!) and they also carry my favorite gluten-free pasta for cheap (I think I’ll do a give away soon of that pasta – so stay tuned).

In Portsmouth we have four grocery stores, the two I mentioned above; Shaws and Stop & Shop, and we also have a local store called Clements which carries a bit more gluten-free (or as they call it “natural”) foods and then there is The Green Grocer.  The Green Grocer has the largest selection of gluten-free products in the area however they are so expensive I can’t bring myself to shop there…more than Whole Foods!  With having no job and Bryan being in school full-time, it just isn’t realistic.  It drives me crazy how expensive some of these gluten-free products are.  I do my best to make things at home, but right now what I really want is some bread…a nice loaf of bread! The recipe I had used in the past just keeps failing on my and I don’t own a bread machine so I have been searching for a gluten-free bread recipe that doesn’t require a bread machine (If anyone has one please o please pass it along).

A few weeks ago my dad came down for the day to hang out with Bryan and I and we went to Clements to pick up a few things for lunch.  While there I finally found the Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Bisquick mix!  I picked it up and then put it right back down.  Here’s why:  It is right next to the regular Bisquick mixes which are about double in size – this box is all of 16oz and cost more than double the regular mix.  I always do this in grocery stores, I find something GF and get all excited then debate over it for a few minutes and it drives Bryan crazy so he usually just throws in the our basket which is exactly what happened with the Bisquick mix.  I have put off trying this for a few weeks because I was annoyed to spend that much money on something that I feared I would only get one maybe two uses out of (depending on the recipe).  I gave in tonight and used it to make the “Ultimate Chicken Fingers” recipe that is on the box.  Overall the recipe turned out great and I would make it again for sure.  Even Bryan really liked it. I think next time I will try a different recipe, maybe the pizza crust or even the biscuits…hmmmm

Betty Crocker’s Ultimate Chicken Fingers (W/ Gluten-Free Bisquick)

3/4 cup Bisquick Gluten Free mix

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt or garlic salt (I did 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder)

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 lb, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips)

2 eggs, slightly beaten

3 tbsp butter or margarine, melted (I used some olive oil)

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray (I used parchment paper with no spray)

Stir Bisquick mix, cheese, paprika, salt and garlic in shallow baking dish.  Dip chicken strips into eggs then Bisquick mixture; repeat dipping in eggs and Bisquick mixture.  Place chicken on cookie sheet. Drizzle butter over chicken (Or olive oil).

Bake 12-14 minutes turning after 6 minutes, until no longer pink in center

These chicken tenders came out moist and crispy.  We served them with some home-made sweet potato fries and dipped them in honey (kind of like McDonald’s – but WAY better)

Sweet Potato Fries

1-2 lbs of sweet potatoes

1/2 tspn salt (Kosher)

1/2 tspn Hungarian paprika

12 tspn ground cinnamon

1/4 cup olive oil

1/8 tspn black pepper (optional)

Peel sweet potatoes and cut off the pointy ends (the pointy ends burn quicker when they are baking and the burnt parts don’t taste very well).  Slice potatoes in 1/2 inch strips so your pieces are as close to even as possible.

In a zip lock bag combine the salt, paprika, cinnamon, oil and pepper (if you choose to add it), mix at the bottom of the bag then add the potato sticks.  Mix well so each piece is evenly coated with the mixture.

Bake in a single layer (this should take up on complete large baking sheet) on a baking sheet that has been lined with either parchment paper or a silpat. Bake for 30 minutes (or until there is a light crisp to the fries) turning twice (after ten minutes and then again after twenty minutes).

Sautéed Chicken in Mustard- Cream Sauce

I find it rather interesting that there are so many recipes out there that are naturally gluten-free but don’t carry the title.  My big thing when I was diagnosed in 2008 was determination to take these everyday recipes that you find in your cookbooks and cooking magazines and recreate them to be gluten-free, however with many of them there is no need because they already are gluten-free!  I don’t know about you, but I find that to be rather exciting.

I love the Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazines – I have about thirty of them (wish I had more!).  This is my go to magazine for recipe ideas – even before searching online I check these.  These magazines are jam-packed with great recipes that are not only easy to make but always turn out and taste fantastic.  These recipes are usually very easy to adapt if they do contain gluten and also easy to make other substitutions. For example for many of the recipes you can use chicken instead of shrimp (which you will see later this week) or vise versa.  I do the same thing with cookbooks as I do with cooking magazines; when I get them I go through the entire thing and put little tabs next to each recipe I want to try.

I’ve made this particular recipe a few times and have greatly enjoyed it each time.  Tonight I thought I would make it for Bryan seeing as he loves Dijon mustard.  While we were grocery shopping this weekend he really wanted to buy some peas – mind you I HATE peas, I always have since I was a little girl (I think I get this from my Aunt Sue).  I love green beans, snap peas edamame etc. but HATE peas.  However, I love Bryan enough to not only buy them but also give them a try, and yes, I sand by my previous hatred towards them.

Sautéed Chicken In Mustard-Cream SauceMartha Stewart Everyday Food Magazine Issue #3 page 58

(Serves 4 Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes)

1. Sprinkle 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each) – (I used two large chicken breast and butterflied them in half) with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.  In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add chicken; saute until cooked through, 10-12 minutes, turning once.  Transfer to a plate; keep warm.

2. Pour 1/4 cup dry white wine or chicken broth into hot skillet; cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Whisk in 1/2 cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, and 1 teaspoon dried tarragon (or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh).  Cook, whisking until thickened, about 2 minutes. 

3. Pour any accumulated chicken juices into sauce.  Right before serving, drizzle the cream sauce over the chicken.

Great Combination: This classic French combination of ingredients also makes an excellent sauce for fish, such as seared salmon and trout.

I served our chicken with mustard-cream sauce with sautéed mushrooms, peas and mixed greens with a light balsamic dressing.