Archive for category GF Recipe Compilation

Watermelon Does A Body Good!

I’ve always been a sucker for a sale…

Recently, our grocery store had a coupon for a whole seedless watermelon at the low, low price of $3.99! Now realistically, how much watermelon can one family eat? But $3.99 was just too darn good a price to pass up. After purchasing my 14 pound watermelon (I made sure to get the biggest one possible), I knew I had to come up with some creative ways to ingest all of this melon before it became a hairy science project.


In case you too were sucked in at the promise of slashed prices and freakishly large produce, I offer you my Watermelon Slushy recipe. Depending on the day you are having, you can make this slushy “au natural” or go crazy and add some (gluten free) potato vodka for a little kick.

Feel good about drinking this beverage as Watermelon is the produce front runner for containing Lycopene, is healthy for your heart, and is an excellent source of Vitamins A, B6, and C.   Blueberries are ranked Number 1 in antioxidant benefits and contain a substantial amount of fiber along with Vitamins A, C, and E.

Um, I don’t think potato vodka has any nutritional value, but it sure tastes good in a slushy 🙂

Watermelon Slushy

In a blender, add the following:

2 cups of seedless watermelon cubes
2 cups ice cubes
1 cup blueberries

Puree until smooth
Garnish with mint leaves and small blueberries

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People Let Me Tell You ‘Bout My Best Friend…

I am a very lucky girl.

My best friend Kelly is an amazing person who serves as my confidant (and, ahem, part time shrink), my shopping partner, and my co-conspirator to surviving life here in good ol’ suburbia. In addition to all of that, Kelly is a fantabulous baker. Now, I know you jaded Celiacs are thinking, “Bully for Kelly. Let her bake a ton of delicious delights that we can only drool over.” But, on the contrary, one of the reasons I am so lucky is Kelly bakes GLUTEN FREE for me!

And it’s oh so good.

Kelly’s brother in law and nephew happen to have Celiac Disease. So, when I was diagnosed, she was already familiar with gluten intolerance and the need to be gluten free. Since I am challenged in the kitchen, Kelly routinely takes pity on me and bakes mind blowing delights that you’d never know were sans gluten.

At the encouragement (prodding!) of many, my BFF (finally!) started selling her gorgeous cookies for parties, weddings, etc. They literally are almost too pretty to eat! Unfortunately for me, they come chock full of gluten, so I will refrain and just (sullenly) admire their prettiness. Hmf.

During one of our afternoon get togethers, I was ooh-ing over Kelly’s fresh-outta-the-oven batch of cookies when her son asked me if I wanted to eat one. I then explained to him that “Aunt Mo” can’t eat certain foods because it will make me sick. Blah, blah, blah – you’ve heard the story. Well, her darling son exclaims, “Mom, you’ve gotta make some cookies that Aunt Mo can eat!” Bless his little gluten eating heart.

It probably helped that I slipped him $20 to make that wondrous comment 🙂

A day later, Kelly arrives at my front door with a huge tray of sugar cookies! She altered her recipe to be gluten free and baked lil ol’ me a batch of the prettiest gluten free cookies EVER. I wanted to cry as I hadn’t had a sugar cookie for three years. Wow – it was like Christmas in July!!! So, after recovering from the fact that I had a tray full of gluten free cookies, I asked Kelly if she’d share her recipe for my blog. Her answer was a resounding “Yes! No one should have to live without baked goods!” Amen sista!

“Kelly’s Cookies” Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Recipe

3 cups gluten free flour
3/4 teaspoon xantham gum
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 sticks of butter

Cream together butter and sugar, add egg and vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and xantham gum and then add to the creamed mixture. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and chill for about 10 minutes. Cut out in desired shapes and bake 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Check for doneness by the edges turning golden brown. Cool and decorate (Kelly used fondant as “icing” in the cookie pics posted) or just eat!

PS – If you are interested in ordering cookies from Kelly, please contact her at kellyj(at)

PPS- No, she will not be your best friend. Back off Celiacs, she’s mine!! 🙂

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Picnic Paranoia

Episode 3 of my Hold The Gluten Podcast is now live!

Episode 3 “Picnic Paranoia” Features:

  • A Celiac’s “Picnic Paranoia”.
  • Food as a social experience.
  • Surviving (gluten free!) summer picnics, pool parties, and various shindigs.
  • Easy Gluten Free dishes to bring to get togethers.
  • Maureen’s 7 Layer Dip Recipe.
  • “Beyond Rice Cakes” – a gluten free cookbook authored by Vanessa Maltin of the NFCA.
  • Enjoying the summer months with an unglutened belly!

Maureen’s 7 Layer Dip Recipe
2 pints of sour cream
2 bags of shredded cheese
1/2 head shredded lettuce
1 jar salsa
1 can sliced black olives
1 can sliced green olives
3 large tomatoes diced
1 bag corn tortilla chips

  1. Spread the sour cream in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch dish.
  2. Layer the shredded cheese to completely cover the sour cream.
  3. Continue adding a layer of shredded lettuce, salsa, black olives, green olives, and diced tomatoes.
  4. The final layer will be the remaining bag of shredded cheese.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips.

*Optional – For more variety, consider adding a layer of taco meat, shredded chicken, black beans or jalapeno peppers.

*PLEASE always double check the ingredients list or, if in doubt, call the manufacturer to confirm.

Read the blog. Listen to the podcast. Educate yourself.

Rock on Celiacs!

Click the player below to listen to the show! Subscribe to the podcast using iTunes (or whatever media player you use) at

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Cool as a Cucumber

At times, I can be a “crunchy granola” kind of girl… The gluten free variety, of course!

Exhibit A: I have a peculiar obsession with Goji Berries.

Exhibit B: I can compost with the best of them!

Exhibit C: I enjoy a cup of Yerba Mate and Pi Lo Chun (don’t ask, it’s some kind of green tea).

Last year, I had joined a local CSA (community supported agriculture). Unfortunately, I ended up with too many veggies that I just didn’t know how to cook or really wanted to ingest (who the heck eats Dinosaur Kale?!). So, in my mission to find local, organic produce, I happened upon DanLynn Farms, a certified organic farm in Pedricktown, NJ. The kiddies (affectionately dubbed Thing 1 and Thing 2) had a blast on our outing. They were fascinated with the chickens, guinea hens, and tractors. I purchased (quite reasonably!) a bunch of cucumbers, some zucchini, yellow squash, and scallions. The owner actually dug the scallions right from the ground. You can’t get much fresher than that, huh?

I absolutely love cucumbers. They remind me of my childhood. Ok, that sounds like a strange statement, so let me explain. My grandparents were backyard farmers and gardeners. With almost an acre of land, they cultivated the most amazing vegetable gardens each year. I remember helping them shuck corn, pick peas and gooseberries, and harvest loads of cucumbers. At many a summer meal, my grandmother would make her simple but tasty “cucumber salad”. As a child I loved it and I still love it today. So, I’d like to share with you my Grandmother’s recipe for cucumbery goodness. I’ve altered it ever so slightly to make it a healthier meal. My family could have kept the Hellman’s Corporation in stock based on our consumption of their mayonnaise alone. Back in the “old days” we put Hellmann’s in everything (including cucumber salad!). In this recipe, the light sour cream makes the salad satisfying, but not heavy.

Cucumber Salad

Three cucumbers
1 & 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt
1/2 Vidalia onion
1/4 to 1/2 cup Light Sour Cream (I love the Daisy brand – you can’t tell it’s lowfat)
8 fresh mint leaves
Black Pepper to taste
Mint leaves for garnish

Use a vegetable peeler to remove the cucumber peel. Note – remove less peel for more fiber and Vitamin A. Using the “thin slice” side of large grater (or just slice them really thin by hand), slice all cucumbers. In a colander, place all sliced cucumbers and mix in 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt. Allow the cucumbers to “drain” for 10 minutes. Cucumbers are naturally high in water content, so adding the sea salt actually draws some of the water out. After 10 minutes, take a handful of the cucumbers and squeeze in your hands to remove additional water. Repeat until you have squeezed all of the cucumbers 🙂 Put cucumbers in a serving bowl and set aside. Peel a Vidalia onion and again use the “thin slice” side of your grater. The onion slices should be paper thin so not to overpower the cucumber. After slicing 1/2 an onion, allow this to “drain” in the colander. Pat dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Then chop slices into small pieces. Add onion to serving bowl (with cucumbers). Then fold in 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of Light Sour Cream. Start off on the low end — you can always add more. Chop the 8 fresh mint leaves and fold into salad. Add fresh cracked pepper to your taste. Note – do not add salt to this salad. It will make it watery! Refrigerate until chilled. Garnish with mint leaves and additional cracked black pepper and serve. Note – use your discretion as to how much onion, mint, or sour cream your prefer. The mint adds a very mild hint of flavor, but can definitely be omitted. If you are not a huge onion fan, lessen the amount and be sure to chop into tiny pieces.


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Can An Irish Girl Make Good Pesto?

By heritage, I’m an “Irish Girl” who reluctantly grew up on meat, potatoes, irish stew, and (gag) turnips. Not my personal idea of a good time. I used to like Lucky Charms (that counts, right?!) but, alas, they’re not gluten free. I so happen to have a great fondness for Italian food!!!

Recently I decided to make good use of the basil from my herb garden.  I’m impressed — this plucky basil is holding its own amongst the mint for my mojitos.  I reside here in the great “Garden State”.  For those of you who don’t know, that’s New Jersey. No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you — I actually typed New Jersey 🙂 I live in Southern New Jersey, which is probably the most underdeveloped in all the state (read – there is a little bit of land left that is not taken by housing, strip malls, etc).  In fact, New Jersey is one of the top producers of blueberries, cranberries, and peaches.  Oh, and Sopranos fans.

But “Fuhgetabout” the agricultural lesson for today, on to more important things… FOOD!  In preparation for dinner, I picked up some of the first “Jersey Tomatoes” at our local farm stand.  I then stopped by the Italian Market for some smoked buffalo mozzarella and roasted red peppers.  Back home, I dusted off my Cuisinart Chopper Thingy (yes, that’s what I call it), and started on the pesto.  This pesto is lighter in taste than your traditional pesto as I used lemon juice.  Not to toot my own horn (toot toot!), but the pesto tasted delicious with the tomatoes, mozzarella, and red peppers.  What an easy summertime meal!

Homemade Pesto

3 packed cups of fresh basil leaves
2 cloves of peeled garlic
1/3 cup of grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons of lightly toasted pine nuts (toast in a small pan over low heat till golden brown in color)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of water

In a food processor, puree all the ingredients listed above until combined. Taste and make adjustments as needed (I sometimes need to add a bit more basil or cheese).

Tomato, Mozzarella, and Roasted Red Pepper “Salad”

Two to three medium tomatoes sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 8 ounce ball of smoked buffalo mozzarella
1 12 ounce jar of marinated roasted red peppers (these were in olive oil & had garlic cloves — I drained mine)
A few basil leaves for garnish

On a platter, alternate sliced tomatoes and mozzarella.  Where there is space, place your roasted red peppers.  Drizzle a small portion of extra virgin olive oil on top of the tomatoes, mozzarella, and red peppers.  Next, spoon the homemade pesto over all of the ingredients.  Garnish with a few basil leaves and enjoy!

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Breakfast of Champions

Yesterday we celebrated Father’s Day. In the PC (pre-celiac) days, we would have (1) gone out to breakfast, (2) the kids would have trashed the table, floor, and surrounding vicinity, (3) we would have left a very, very generous tip, and (4) we would have vacated the building post-haste. With Celiac Disease, dining out for breakfast is a bit more challenging. Between dreaded cross contamination and way too many menu items with “Toast” in the title, my hubby sweetly agreed to dine in.

So, what to make for our Father’s Day Breakfast Bonanza? A bowl of (gluten free!) Cocoa Pebbles wasn’t going to cut it. I needed something manly and gut filling. The recipe also needed to be easy because, as I have mentioned previously, my skills in the kitchen are limited. To the rescue comes my Breakfast Casserole! With only four itsy-bitsy ingredients (eggs, bacon, hash browns, and cheese), the chances of me getting distracted during the mixing process was lessened considerably (ooh look, something shiny!).

Hey, when did you get here!? 🙂

Ok, moving on… I’d like to make a disclaimer about this recipe… If you are popping Lipitor like candy and have the American Heart Association’s website as one of your “Favorites”, please think long and hard about how often you eat this dish. The casserole is definitely gluten-free, but as for “uber-healthy” — not so much.

Breakfast Casserole

9 eggs (I use Eggland’s Best)
1 pound Oscar Mayer Center Cut Bacon
15 ounces Ore Ida Hash Browns (the shredded kind)
2 cups of Kraft Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Cook the hash browns (use stove top directions). Put the cooked hash browns in a 9 or 10 inch round casserole dish. Push them on the bottom of the dish and up along the sides. Cook the bacon and crumble it (do this as you are cooking the hash browns — a pound of bacon takes some time to microwave!). In a medium container, whisk the eggs and then add the crumbled bacon and shredded cheese. Stir. Pour mixture into the hash browns that you’ve already put in the casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes (uncovered).

*Note – all of these items are gluten free at the time I am writing this post. PLEASE always double check the ingredients list or, if in doubt, call the manufacturer to confirm.

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Mint is Magnificent!

Little ol’ me is growing an herb garden. Well, I guess I should clarify; my herb garden is predominantly a mint garden. There are two basil plants thrown in for good measure, but mint is the front runner in the pack. Why? Well, I used to be a vodka kind of girl. In my single, partying days, it was shots of Absolut. Then, as I matured and grew into a responsible adult, it was Grey Goose mixed into various drinks. When I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, my vodka slurping world as I knew it was turned upside down. It was tough enough trying to figure out what food I could ingest, but what was safe to drink?

Rum is my new best friend. Please don’t e-mail me the Alcoholics Anonymous website. I do have actual real life friends, but rum is my new vodka. 🙂 I’m specifically growing mint for my rum-based (gluten free!) Mojitos. Now, Mojitos are a bit tedious to make (there’s the picking of the mint leaves and the muddling of the mint leaves), but please, spare your backside and don’t buy the Bacardi Silver Mojito Drink (found in 12 oz longneck bottles, 12 oz slim-line cans, and 24 oz bottles). The pre-made Mojito Drink is a MALT flavored beverage. Malt is the evil red headed step-child of Barley (off limits to us with Celiac Disease). Just say no.

In my humble opinion, the Mojito is the perfect summer drink. It’s light, refreshing, and doesn’t knock you on your patuckus like most potato vodkas (I’ll save that dire story for another post).

As the dog days of summer start drooling down our necks, get your “herb garden” growing and treat yourself to a gluten free Mojito. Here’s the recipe (for a single serving):

Mint Mojitos

1 heaping tsp of crushed ice
10 mint leaves
1 tbsp sugar
Juice of 1/2 lime

Muddle the crushed ice, mint leaves, sugar, and lime juice in a tall, thin glass. (FYI, “muddling” is basically crushing the mint leaves in the bottom of the glass to release their oils. You can use an actual “muddler” or the back of a wooden spoon to crush the leaves.)

2 oz. Bacardi Light Rum
Ice cubes
Fill glass with club soda (lemon/lime flavored works great)
Garnish with mint leaves and slice of lime
Stir and enjoy!

Note – if you have issues drinking mint pulp, do not despair… After muddling the first four ingredients, just add the light rum, strain the drink into an ice filled glass, and then top off with club soda.

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Waffles Are Wonderful!

I’ve always been a “road less taken” kind of girl. I never like to follow the crowd, have a bit of a rebellious streak, and never, ever am keen on anyone telling me what to do.

Maybe that’s why I can’t cook to save my life!?

Recipes are like the voice of authority to me. I need to do things my way and on my own terms. One other problem might be I just don’t have the attention span to follow long, detailed instructions. When my tummy rumbles, I want to eat. NOW! Welcome, Mr. Instant Gratification, come right in 🙂 In spite of my stubborn resistance to cooking, I find myself endlessly cutting recipes out of magazines and anal-retentively filing them in my color coded recipe folder. Why, you ask? Because having celiac truly makes you think about food – what you are eating, how it’s prepared, and the ingredients that are going into your meal. One (ahem, me) eventually needs to suck it up and cook something for themselves.

My husband will tell you I have a small addiction to household items (vegetable steamer, citrus juicer, hot chocolate machine, etc). Although these poor things haven’t seen the light of day since they came home from the store, I feel somewhat closer to cooking by acquiring them. I recently unearthed a Cuisinart Waffle Maker (still in its box) from my kitchen cabinet. Made hungry by the tasty looking waffle photo on the instruction guide, I decided to try to conquer this waffle oppressor. Filed away under the “Breakfast” category in my superiorly organized folder was a recipe I’d adapted for gluten free Pumpkin Waffles. Perfect! Now, back to my attention span. I don’t always have the time or energy to measure out 32 different flours to make a gluten free flour mix. Call me crazy, but when I can buy a pre-made flour mix that works just dandy, I’ll take that option! Although I might like to cut some corners in the cooking arena, I do make every effort to eat healthily. If the dish is great tasting, nutritious, gluten free, and easy to prepare, I’ll eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until the cows come home. (Note – this is coming from a girl who ate peanut butter and honey sandwiches from Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade EVERY DAY) All joking aside, these waffles are fantastic!! If you have some time (and a waffle maker!), give this recipe a try. Prepare a batch, then individually freeze the leftovers and reheat for future meals.

Pumpkin Waffles

1 1/2 cups Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix
2 teaspoons flax seed meal (the ground stuff)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Heaping 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons canola oil

In a large bowl, combine gluten free flour mix, flax seed meal, brown sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.  Mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, pumpkin puree, and canola oil until smooth; add to flour mixture and stir until blended. Pour batter into a pre-heated waffle maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Eat and Enjoy!

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