Saturday, January 5, 2013

Chunky Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Happy New Years my fellow gluten freegans! I bet you are all vowing to eat better in the New Year. I know I am! Have you ever looked at some of the pre- made low cal meals? Holy gluten!So what can we do when we need to drop a few? Make some of our old stand by meals a little healthier, with a little more fiber, of course. Add this delish spin on chili to your repertoire and you will not be disappointed. Even more awesome about this recipe. It actually tastes better as leftovers. So make it eat it, then eat it a couple of days later.

Chunky Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili


1 TBSP of Olive Oil

1 stalk of celery, chopped

½ tsp of cumin

½ tsp of salt

1 tsp of chili powder

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces ( about 1 cup)

1 can of black beans (drain and rinse)

1 can of diced tomatoes

2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

1 zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces

2 cloves of minced garlic


Heat oil in a large pot. Add garlic, celery , cumin and chili powder. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the vegetables are slightly softer.

Add the sweet potatoes, beans, tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are fork- tender (20 – 30 minutes).

Add zucchini and cook for another 5 minutes until slightly softened.

Taste great when topped with sour cream, cinnamon, or cheese.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Skinny Coconut Shrimp

It’s that time of year again. We are all winding down from holiday happiness . We have seen family, friends; we have toasted, feasted and now we can’t button our jeans. It is not easy to jump back into a restrictive diet after tasting all the deliciousness the world has to offer. Just Skinnify some of your favorite recipes and little by little, your body will go back to its pre holiday awesomeness! After a chocolate oreo and chocolate coconut truffle baking extravaganza, I am left with a huge bag of shredded coconut. I decided to use my coconut for something other than baking and make something of substance that will not add to my week ( or 2 ,or 3) of gluttony.  Wishing you a G-Free 2013 filled with happiness, love, health ! See you next year!
Skinny Coconut Shrimp
Canola Oil in a spray bottle or cooking spray
 1/3 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon pepper
 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lime juice or lemon juice
3 egg whites
 1 cup shredded coconut
 1 1/2 lbs large raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined,rinsed and patted dry

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Spray a large baking sheet with canola oil/cooking spray
3. In a ziplock bag, place the cornstarch, pepper, salt and half of the shrimp. Zip it closed and shake until shrimp has a thin cornstarch coating. Repeat with remaining shrimp.
4. In a small microwave safe dish heat up honey approximately 30-45 seconds.
5. Add lime juice to honey and stir.
6. Slowly add in egg whites and continue to stir.
7. Place coconut in a thin layer on a shallow dish.
8. Take each shrimp and dip in egg white mixture and finally roll in the coconut.
9. Then place on the baking sheet.
10. Lightly spray with oil or cooking spray and bake 10-15 minutes or until shrimp is pink and the coconut is lightly toasted.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Chicken Breast with Scallion Cream Sauce

I am the self- proclaimed “Chicken Queen”. I love chicken in all its chicken glory. Baked, rotisserie, steamed, fried.. I love it all. The rest of my family does not share my affinity for poultry. So I am in a constant battle to make chicken “new” again. Chicken really is healthy and economical compared to most other meats. I made this dish recently for three gluten loving relatives and they couldn't get enough. Mangia! Mangia!
Chicken Breast with Scallion Cream Sauce


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound), trimmed of fat
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 TBSP or minced garlic
1/4 cup of cornstarch
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium  yellow onion diced
1/2 cup white wine (Pinot Grigio or Sauvignan Blanc works well)
2 cups of chicken broth (or boullion, Herbox is gluten free and carried by most stores including Walmart)
1/3 cup or 1 serving size container of either light sour cream or plain greek yogurt
1 tablespoon mustard
1/2 cup scallions


  1. Put chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a meat tenderizer until they are about ½ inch in thickness.
  2. Season both sides of the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place ¼ cup cornstarch into a dish and dredge the chicken in it.
  3. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown.
  4. Take chicken out and place on a plate with paper towels underneath to soak up excess oil.
  5. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the pan over medium-high heat.
  6. Add onions and cook, stirring constantly and scraping up any browned bits, until golden brown. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch; stir to coat.
  7. Add wine, broth and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil, stirring often.
  8. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until heated through and no longer pink in the center.
  9. Stir in sour cream or greek yogurt and mustard until smooth; turn the chicken to coat with the sauce. Stir in scallions.




Thursday, November 15, 2012

Easy Pumkin Mac and Chees

Your first reaction when you saw this recipe was probably, "Yuck!".  Give me a minute to explain myself....first off the pumpkin in the recipe is barely detectable by taste. If you do not tell someone that pumpkin is in it they will not know. It adds this deep orange color to the mac and cheese that makes it look like it came straight off the pages of a cooking magazine. It looks really delish! Pumpkin is full of fiber, which most of us are not getting enough of. Pumpkin is also high in vitamins, E, A and B6, folate and iron. Helloooo healthier mac and cheese! Feed this to your children and smile since they are eating something healthy and have no idea. Feed this to yourself and chow down guilt free.

Easy Pumpkin Mac and Cheesey



  • 1 14- 16 oz package of your favorite gluten free pasta
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/8 cup of cornstarch
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree or 1 cup fresh pureed pumpkin
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions :

1.      Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.      Cook pasta according to the directions on the package.

3.      Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir in the cornstarch and cook while stirring until well combined. Remove from heat and stir in milk. Place back onto heat and bring to a simmer.

4.      Stir in salt, pepper, mustard and pumpkin puree.

5.      Add 1 ½ cups of cheese then cook, stirring, until cheese is melted.

6.      Add the drained macaroni to the pot and combine well with the cheese sauce.

7.      Once combined, place in a baking tray and sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of cheese on top of the macaroni and bake, uncovered, until the top is golden brown.



Monday, October 15, 2012

Go Greek!

Greek food is so delicious and flavorful. This particular recipe is low in fat if you use a low fat greek yogurt. Try this with a side of rice and and easy greek salad made from chopped seeded cucumber, tomatoes, feta cheese, and purple onion. The Tzatziki is nothing short of addicting, make a double batch and enjoy it as a dipping sauce for your veggies and g-free pretzels.

Chicken Souvlaki

Juice of half a lemon or about 2 TBSP of lemon juice

1 Tablespoon  olive oil

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1/2 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon oregano

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3 chopped garlic cloves

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1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken chopped into inch cubes

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Tzatziki Sauce

¼ cup grated cucumber

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1/2 cup plain greek yogurt

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1 TBSP of lemon juice

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1/4 teaspoon salt

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1 chopped garlic clove



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1.      Combine all ingredients for Tzatziki Sauce and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2.    Combine all of the ingredients (with the exception of the chicken) into a Ziplock bag. Add chicken and refrigerate for 1 hour.

3.     Take chicken out of the bag and discard the remaining marinade. Cook the chicken in a pan on a medium heat ( add additional olive oil if needed) until cooked through  ( about 8 – 10 minutes)

4.    Use Tzatziki as a dipping sauce for your chicken.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

It's apple season folks!!!

A simple way to help you in your gluten free quest is to eat seasonal one ingredient foods ( for example, a fresh apple has one ingredient.. APPLE!) or you cook with a combination of foods that have one or few ingredients. It gets murky when you have the long list of unpronouncable ingredients, gluten comes in many forms and goes by many names. Yestarday, in starvation desparation, I picked up a salad from Wendy's. Pecans, strawberries and grilled chicken. Seemed pretty legit so I didn't really question it. I was reading the ingredient list of the pecans ( why it isn't just pecans is beyond me!) and there was wheat flour in them... sigh.. lettuce and strawberries for lunch. Let this be a lesson to us all.. READ ingredients even if it is something gluten has no business being in. I am thankful I read the label, mainly out of habit but I saved myself from a week of intestinal distress, mouth sores and body aches. Anyway, I try to instill the importance of seasonal, one ingredient eating to my students. Today we made baked apples. So easy, healthy and the kids really enjoyed themselves. This is also a great starter for parents that may not have cooked with their kids or are a little reluctant.

Baked Apples
    2 apples
  • 2 tsp. butter
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • raisins and/or chopped dates
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  1. Slice apples to about 1/4 inch pieces.
  2. Dab a small amount of the butter on each slice.
  3. Drizzle or spread the honey on each apple slice.
  4. Sprinkle with raisins and cinnamon.
  5. Place apples in a microwave safe baking dish and microwave for about 2 - 3 minutes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

JuicyJerk Chicken

One of the things I had to get used to in my g free life was the prep that goes into daily eating. I make my breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday. It can get tedious! I teach 6th grade Family and Consumer Science, so after a long day at work, I want to do minimal prep for dinner. Minimum prep with maxium results of course. I am a big fan of seasonings and rubs that I can throw on meat and cook with little effort. Enter Badia Jerk Seasoning.
So easy  and so good. It is not a spicy Jerk seasoning but aromatic and delish. Adding a lil Jamacian to your meal is as simple as rubbing it on the meat and letting it marinate for an hour or two. The longer it sits the more flavor it will have. I rub the jerk seasoning on chicken breast, put a small amount of olive oil in a saute pan and cook until ready. Go really Jamacian with a side of Bammy. Bammy is a biscuit made out of casava flour. You can find it in most markets that sell Carribean foods. If you can't find it, make my cheesey biscuits to go with your chicken!