About a month ago I heard about this new company called SmartyPans and was rather intrigued by their concept so I reached out to Prachi Baxi, CEO of SmartyPans for a bit more information and here is what she had to say, “our goal is to help people cook better and also give them the ability to track caloric intake. SmartyPans app will thus work as a sophisticated form of food-diary for the Nutritionists: it will be the platform for Nutritionists and other health professionals to track and understand the precise nutritional intake of their clients and thus guide/counsel them in an effective way.” So you may be asking how is this information tracked? Well it is tracked via an app on your phone or tablet.

Earlier this year Prachi and her brother Rahul were interviewed at SXSW by The Washington Post and according to Prachi “SmartyPans is a smart cooking pan that connects to a free recipe app and gives you step-by-step cooking instructions. The cool thing is, the pan will warn you if you need to adjust the temperature, and it will show you caloric information in real-time on the tablet screen, using bluetooth connectivity sensors built into the pan. So, you always know exactly what went into your food and what your nutritional intake was. At the touch of a button, you can then input that information into other nutritional fitness platforms like MyFitnessPal or Fitbit. No more guestimating.”

I love the idea of this and can’t help but think of the people who could benefit from it. It takes the fear out of cooking for some people, and that is one of the biggest hurdles I have seen for people who want to be healthy but don’t know how to cook for themselves.

Check out this video to see it in action:

Check out their website for more information, updates and how to pre-order your pan now.

Green Cooking Pots

I first heard about Green Cooking Pots on a blog that I stumbled upon.  I kind of feel in love at first sight, which can happen very often with me when it comes to pans, knives and kitchen utensils/appliances.  Then it hit me, these are probably right up there (cost wise, etc.) with Le Creuset and even the Martha Stewart Cast Iron Enamel pans, so I went to their website to do a bit more research before my little heart got crushed again.  I love both of those companies and their products, but sadly I just can’t afford them.  We are two college students living on an extremely tight budget but we make due with what we have.

After going to Green Cooking Pots website, my excitement grew the more that I read especially went I looked at their prices!  Here is a bit of information from their website about the creators, Cafe and Mica, and the pots themselves:

Hello! Our names are Cafe and Mica. We are twins who love food and cooking. We grew up in a household where fresh organic food was always in the fridge and on the table. As children we would regularly visit the local farmers market with our mother, who instilled a deep value of preparing and cooking healthy food. We learned that food preparation is a holistic endeavor, every step as important as the food itself, from the pots used, to the oil that we cook with. We believe food should be prepared with love, the intention to nourish people and is an expression of gratitude. Greencookingpots was envisioned as an extension of our love of cooking and creating meals for and with our amazing family and friends.

Greencookingpots are made of enameled cast iron and are free of any chemicals, making them a great alternative to potentially toxic cookware. Our pots and skillets make healthy cooking affordable and simple. Enameled cast iron absorbs heat and distributes it evenly, creating an efficient cooking experience, whether it is the slow roasting of vegetables or the simmering of soups. They can be used on any heat source including the oven for casseroles or baking bread.

Greencookingpots provides eco friendly “green” pots and skillets. Our products are a great alternative to potentially toxic cookware. Teflon and Aluminum cookware have raised various health concerns in this country and others. Cooking with greencookingpots is an easy choice and simple way to live healthier.

Proper care of your Greencookingpots will ensure a lifetime of use.

-It is best to use low to medium heat with your pot.

– Clean up is easy when using a non-abrasive sponge and warm soapy water. You can remove any stubborn bits by bringing a little soap with water to simmer for a few minutes. Also a little lemon juice will lighten any stains.

-Over time some enamel chipping may occur, but this will not affect the quality or performance of your pots. If this occurs you can rub a little oil on the chips to prevent them from rusting. But know that these show the use and love of your cookware and speak of all the wonderful meals you’ve shared with your family and friends.

Greencookingpots are made in China. We use the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Test Procedure Leach ability of lead and cadmium for glazed ceramic surfaces. Greencookingpots also uses third party test (Mervyn’s Hardline Test) to ensure that products with the our name comply the standards set forth by the United States Food & Drug Administration.

Cafe and Mica were generous enough to send me a grass green 10″ skillet to try out and I use it all the time!  It has quickly become one of my favorite pans.  You get the quality of Le Creuset and Martha Stewart but with out the heafty price tag.  Green Cooking Pots offers square grill pans, skillets, specialty pots, dutch ovens, roasting pans, sauce pans, and they even offer several different sets. The colors are also beautiful.  As I mentioned, Cafe and Mica sent me a grass-green skillet and it matches my green and blue kitchen perfectly. These pans also do not let off any toxins like Teflon and Aluminum do when cooking, making these pans “green” – hence the name🙂

I’ve used this pan to make a bunch of different things, but this morning I used it to make bacon in and I have to say this is now my go-to-pan for bacon.  The bacon crisps up perfectly and cleaning the pan is beyond easy.  Just a little bit of warm water and soap and everything comes right up.

Head on over to Green Cooking Pots and check out their great selection. I think that whenever we do get married, I’ll try to do a registry with Green Cooking Pots!

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.

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


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?

Favorite Cookbooks (at the moment)

I’m sure I’m not the only one out there but I read cookbooks, not just skim the recipes but read them like they are a novel.  I truly love cookbooks (and books in general).  Then I go back and put little sticky notes on all the recipes I want to try. This past Christmas I got a few of them as presents and sadly some of them I haven’t even cooked from yet.  Once the big move is over and we are finally settled somewhere my big plan is to make weekly menus for at least a month from all of these cookbooks that I have in my collection.

There is one in particular that I can’t wait to cook from, and that is Tom Colicchio’s Think Like A Chef. The recipes in this cookbook are simply amazing sounding.  I would love (and I mean LOVE) to eat at one of his restaurants in the near future!  Who knows maybe it will happen.

Lately I’ve been adapting recipes from a cookbook that my friend Janine had signed and sent to me by Ellie Krieger called So Easy.  And she isn’t kidding her recipes are very easy and extremely tasty.  One of my favorite ones so far is her Garlic-Basil Shrimp.  I could probably eat this once a week (but I don’t).

Another current favorite cookbook of mine is the Allergy-Free cookbook by Alice Sherwood.  I use many of her recipes also.  For example the great blueberry muffins that I just made are from this cookbook.  This cookbook is so helpful because it will take a recipe and tell you how to make it: gluten free, nut free, dairy free, and or egg free!!

A friend of ours got me a cookbook for Christmas because he always sees me posting recipes or pictures of food on facebook and saw that it said gluten free.  Turns out to be an amazing cookbook that got some rave reviews!  Artisanal Gluten Free Cooking.  I’ve made a few recipes out of here and they were all very very good.  Even Bryan’s mom made a recipe out of here on my last night in New Jersey.

On the list of cookbooks to concur when we move (besides Tom Colicchio’s) are the following:

The Flying Apron


On the list of cookbooks to buy are the following:

The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook

Jamie’s Food Revolution

The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook

Gluten Free Girl and the Chef