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!





Five Star Marinade (Review & Giveaway)

We love to grill – chicken, steak, burgers, and especially vegetables.  Depending on what we are grilling we use different seasonings, sauces, and marinades – it usually is something spicy.  About a month ago Burt – the creator of Five Star Meat Marinade asked if I would like to try his gluten-free and diabetic friendly marinade, of course I said yes!

Bryan’s dad has diabetes so lately I have been trying to find things that are suitable for him.  When Burt shared the information about the marinade with me saying that it was “All natural, NO MSG, NO Sugar, NO Preservatives, NO Oils or Fats”, I thought this would be a great marinade for him to try.  Sadly we don’t get to see him much but I figured his birthday is coming up so I’m going to put together a little goodie bag for him.  I’m also going to start experimenting with some refined sugar-free baking for him also and hopefully send Bryan down with some diabetic friendly baked goods.

Back to the marinade 🙂

Here is a little bit of history from Five Star Marinade’s website:

While growing up,  holidays were special for many reasons. Getting together with family, good food and lots of laughter. Most meals were potluck,  making it easier on those hosting the event. We always had the traditional turkey or ham as a main course, but my Grandmother would provide another meat with her marinade. Everyone loved the flavor so much that often the family dinners would break tradition serving only her meat dish.  Little did Grandma know that her marinade was a healthy substitute for sugar or molasses based barbeque sauce.

Grandma is gone now but I have taken the recipe and bottled this great taste for everyone wishing great flavor without the worry of calories, preservatives or fat. The marinade is easy to use and is excellent for barbeque, broiling or baking making it enjoyable all year no matter the weather.

My marinade is just the thing for those on restricted diets such as those on low sodium, sugar free, gluten free or Diabetics.

Last week I decided to marinade some chicken breast over night (per Burt’s instructions) and grill them up and served them with some spicy broccoli and a  side salad.  Oh man is this marinade delicious!! It has a bit of a peppery kick to it, which I loved and a great flavor.  I made an extra piece of chicken so I could slice it up and have it atop a salad the next day for lunch. I think next weekend I’ll be marinading (only 30 minutes) and grilling up some portabella mushrooms.

The marinade is simple – yet extremely delicious!  Five Star Marinade Ingredients: Vinegar*, Salt, Spices, Paprika, Garlic *Red Wine Vinegar (not distilled white) so this marinade is also corn-free (for those of you who have corn allergies, this is perfect for you)!

Thank you Burt for making such a delicious, gluten-free and diabetic friendly marinade! And thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to sample your delicious creation (your grandmother would be so proud of you!)

Who would like to try a bottle of this delicious, gluten-free, sugar-free all-purpose marinade?  One lucky winner with have a chance to win a bottle – please leave a comment for EACH entry!

1) Like Five Star Marinade on Facebook

2) Follow Five Star Marinade on Twitter (@GFMarinade)

3) Like Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Facebook

4) Follow Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Twitter (@Creatively_GF)

5) Leave a comment below saying what you would like to try this on.

One winner will be chosen using on Tuesday June 26th, 2011.  The lucky winner will have 48 hours to respond after they receive my e-mail.  If a winner does not respond in the allotted time, a new winner will be chosen.  This contest is open to US residents only – the prize will be shipped directly from Five Star Marinade.  Good luck to all who enter!

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!

Friedman’s Lunch (REVIEW)

If you are in NYC and are either gluten-free or not….you really need to try Friedman’s Lunch!!  In my many searches for gluten-free dining options in NYC this place always comes up as having gluten-free options, however today was the first time we tried it.  It’s located inside of Chelsea Market, cute little place with a great atmosphere!  I walked in thinking “this is my kind of place”.  The staff was very friendly and extremely helpful, and the menu-wow!  Talk about options – anything on the menu with an * can be made gluten free…which is almost the entire menu!

Bryan, his friend Mike and myself spent the day in the City yesterday just wandering around with no real plans and ended up making a complete day of it.  Went to Ground Zero, which is an extremely humbling place.  I wasn’t fortunate enough to have seen the towers while they were still standing but so badly wish I could have.  Then it was off to Battery Park to see the Statue of Liberty at a distance because, little did I know tickets were sold out months in advance. I also got to experience Canal Street for the first time yesterday, no I didn’t buy anything.  It was way to hot to be on a street that crowded so we finally starting making out way to get some food. By the time we arrived at Friedman’s the three of us were starving.

Some times it can be a bit uncomfortable searching for a place to eat online and then convince who ever you are with to come and try it with you, especially if you have never been there before AND they are gluten-free.  It’s along the lines of telling someone how amazing a movie or book is and they go and watch it and end up hating it. But, I love trying new places with Bryan because he gets to try the non gluten-free items (if available) and give me his opinion on them.  He has gotten really good at this and offers up some great opinions especially if he is trying the gluten-free version of something. Bryan is really great about trying all these new places and new products with me.

I was so hungry I could have eaten the entire menu and it was nice to see that I had options other than salad. Bryan and I ended up getting the same thing, a B.L.A.T – Bacon.Lettuce.Avocado.Tomato sandwich, his on normal bread, mine on Udi’s gluten-free bread with a side of gluten-free french fries.  Mike ended up ordering the Southwestern Turkey Burger that came with french fries and also ordered a side of their mac-n-cheese (which looked AMAZING).  Both of our B.L.A.T.’s were very good.  The bacon was thick cut (who doesn’t love that?!), the avocado was nice and creamy, not over ripe and again the Udi’s bread held up amazingly.  It was placed in a panini and never got soggy even with the herbed aioli.  Just like Tu-Lu’s each sandwich came with a side of mixed greens that were lightly dressed and a half of a pickle.  The French Fries were perfect.  Thickly cut and crunch but still soft in the middle.  There was no ketchup needed for these.  They were tossed with a little bit of sea salt and some crushed rosemary and sage.  Mike really enjoyed his Southwest Turkey Burger and said the mac-n-cheese was great (sadly couldn’t have tried either).  The staff was so careful there about gluten-free that they originally made his burger with a gluten-free bun (they changed it out for him before even bringing it to the table) but that was very impressive to see.

When our delicious meal was over I went up to the register to ask them a few questions and the answers and help were beyond what I was expecting.  The staff there is kind and extremely knowledgeable. I asked which bread they used for my sandwich (so I could get it right on here) and the proceeded to tell me what gluten-free bread products they use for all of their meals (see list below).  They also have a print out of where all of their gluten-free products come from. They suggested I come back for breakfast at some point because not only do they offer sandwiches with gluten-free bread (I should note that for gluten-free bread, bagels etc.  they do charge an additional $2.25 but it is well worth it) they also offer bagels, baguettes and pancakes!!

Here is some information from their website:

The inviting open kitchen, dark wood tabletops, exposed filament bulbs; chalkboard menus, large mirrors and vintage wallpaper create a rustic setting and a welcoming atmosphere at Friedman’s Lunch. Tryg offers exciting daily specials such as a fresh squeezed juice of the day and an assortment of market sides. Some other menu favorites includes the pastrami reuben, two bean turkey chili, spicy mac n’ jack and 100% ground beef brisket burger.

Most of the items on the menu are also available gluten-free, an element that was particularly important to Vanessa when establishing Friedman’s Lunch. Having been diagnosed with a gluten intolerance as a teenager, an ailment that requires the elimination of all gluten products from one’s diet, Vanessa needs to be on a life-long gluten-free diet. When Vanessa and Tryg met, they began to experiment with ways of eliminating gluten from various dishes. Tryg discovered that he was able to re-create many classic dishes into delicious gluten-free options. Now they are very excited to offer these gluten-free creations to the community.

Friedman’s Lunch is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. Take-out, dine-in and full service catering are available.

List of Products

Everybody Eats Inc – NYC – Baguetts

Katz Gluten Free – Challah Rolls (used as burger buns)

Joan’s – Bagels

Udi’s – Bread for sandwiches

Next time you are in NYC head on over to Chelsea Market and give Friedman’s a try, I honestly don’t think you will be disappointed.  I hope when you try it you enjoy it as much as we did.  Thank you to their staff for all of their help and information.