Quote Tuesdays

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: 'What! You, too? Thought I was the only one.' " ~ C.S. Lewis

I know you all have heard me talk about my wonderful, dear friend Carrie, right? Well, did you know that we've never met in real life? Yup. Not once. And we've never had a real conversation over the phone. Seriously. We met through her Gluten Free Recipes Yahoo Group when she asked me to help her moderate and it just all took off from there! We did A LOT of the "What! You, too? Thought I was the only one" through emails and chats - with food, with our housekeeping skills (or lack thereof! :) ) and with our general lives. In only a few short months, she has become an integral part of my life. She is a dear friend and a wonderful person. If you haven't been to her blog, Ginger Lemon Girl, be sure to visit today! :)

Vita-Mix Fridays: Tortilla Soup

Today, one my all-time favorite recipes, and one of the ones that "sold" me on the Vita-Mix! Vita-Mix Tortilla Soup from the Vita-Mix website (and cookbook!). But, as usual, I tweaked things a bit. Here is what I do:

Tortilla Soup
Inspired from Vita-Mix: http://vitamix.ahoy.com/recipe/recipe.cgi/0/274/

Yield: 5 cups
Speed: Variable to High to Variable
Time: 5 to 6 minutes

3 cups water
2 bouillon cubes
1 Roma tomato
1 carrot
1 rib celery
1 thin slice of onion
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 thin slice of yellow squash
1 thin slice of red bell pepper
1 thin slice of cabbage
1 mushroom
1 packet of Sazon Goya Low Sodium Seasoning, Natural & Complete
dash adobo powder without pepper
dash chili powder
dash cumin
handful of black beans (reserved)
handful of corn kernels (reserved)

Place all ingredients to cumin (leaving out black beans and corn) in Vita-Mix container in order listed. Secure 2-part lid. Select VARIABLE, speed #1. Turn on machine and quickly increase speed to #10; then to HIGH. Run for 5 to 6 minutes until steam escapes through lid opening.

Reduce speed to VARIABLE, speed #2. Remove lid plug. Add in the black beans and corn kernels just a few seconds - long enough to chop them up a bit.

Serve immediately.

Can't you just see that steam rising from it? All from a blender! Pretty cool (er, uh, hot), huh?

Kettle Chips - Sea Salt & Vinegar

Kettle Chips - Sea Salt & Vinegar

Finally! A salt & vinegar chip that I can have!! My favorite chips ever used to be these, but they had gluten and dairy in them. Phooey! Then, when I looked at other brands, they all had gluten, dairy or yeast in them! It's been a year without my beloved salty, tart and tangy chips, but they're back now, baby! :) These are super crunchy too, since they're kettle cooked. Double Yum!

Carrot Sesame Salad

I came across this yummy looking Carrot-Sesame Salad while blog surfing a while ago. I decided it was time to make it, but of course, as usual, I tweaked it! There were a few ingredients I didn't have and it has soy sauce in it. So, I modified it and here is what I came up with:

Carrot Sesame Salad

2 medium carrots
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt
Splash of fish sauce
1/2 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 Tablespoon toasted black sesame seeds
1 Tablespoon toasted white sesame seeds

Put all ingredients into a bowl, mix well.

I am so pleased with how this came out! It's a great side dish or appetizer. It's so tasty - slightly sweet yet tangy. Yum!


Quote Tuesdays

"In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." ~Carl Sagan

My friend, Carrie (aka Ginger Lemon Girl), sent me this quote. Isn't it funny? I guess we really don't cook from scratch! I guess it's all in your perspective! :)

Vita-Mix Fridays: The Cheesy Imposter ... in the Vita-Mix!

Enough with the smoothies, right? Tired of reading about them on Fridays? Well, okay, I hear ya - and I've got just the kinda recipe that you're going to love!

When my sweet friend, Carrie, asked me to test a recipe for her, I was excited and on board immediately! I just love Carries recipes! She is a fab baker and chef. When she told me it was a CF/SF/YF cheese sauce, I got really excited! There are a few CF/SF cheese sauce packets or mac & cheeses out there - but they all have nutritional yeast in them! That doesn't cut it for this GDSYWP-free girl! But Carries, now that covers it all! :D

(Cute name, huh? And quite fitting, I think!)

After reading the recipe, I thought, hhhmmm, blend huh? Then heat in a pot? I bet the Vita-Mix can do it all at once! And sure enough, it did! Boy, do I love this thing! :)

Here's the recipe as I made it (stuff in bold is tweaked a bit):

Carries Cheesy Imposter
2/3 cup unsweetened hemp milk
4 tablespoons cooked chickpeas
1 heaping tablespoon tahini
3 tablespoons cashews
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic granules
3/4 teaspoon tumeric
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
scant 1 tablespoon diced pimiento peppers
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Now, instead of following her directions, I put all of it into the Vita-Mix, slowly went from Variable 1-10, then to high and let it run for 3 minutes. Perfectly blended AND warm! Wonderful! I love it when the Vita-Mix makes life just that much easier! :)

I had some last night on some oven-roasted deli turkey and am having it today for lunch over a baked potato. But, I can see this recipe in so many different applications - over steamed broccoli, a dip for tortilla chips, and dare-I-even-think-it, on pizza! Yay! :D

You've GOT to try this recipe - especially if you are CF/SF and even more so if you're YF too! :D


Dad's Potato Salad from Simply Recipes

The other night, I made this potato salad.

It was my first time making potato salad and it was GOOD! The only changes I made were:
I halved the recipe for just Hubby and me
I left out the parsley since I didn't have any
I added a sprinkle of granulated garlic (of course)!

This recipe had a super yummy in flavor - but I messed up on the texture and temperature. I didn't cook the potatoes long enough and they were a bit hard on the inside. And, I didn't let it chill long enough (I only did 30 mins or so), so it was still a bit warm. Hubby and I agreed that we like our potato salad COLD. Next time, I'll probably make it a day in advance to let the flavors mesh together and to give the salad time to get really cold.

So, lessons learned! But hey, the good news is that I now have a yummy recipe to add to my repertoire! :D

Quote Tuesdays

"It would be nice if the Food and Drug Administration stopped issuing warnings about toxic substances and just gave me the names of one or two things still safe to eat." ~Robert Fuoss

When I read this quote, I literally laughed out loud! It reminds me of when I tell people about all my food intolerances. They almost always say, "Geez, what CAN you eat?" Well, I can eat rice and potatoes (which always surprises people - they tend to confuse "gluten" with "carb"), all vegetables (asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, etc), all fruits (apples, oranges, bananas, pineapples, pears, etc.), all nuts except walnuts (cashews, peanuts, almonds, pecans, etc) and so forth and so on. I guess it surprises people because so much of the American diet revolves around wheat and dairy. grilled cheese, mac and cheese, cheeseburgers, hamburger helper, cakes, doughnuts, etc. I reassure them that I am certainly able to eat plenty and do not go hungry! ;)

Liz Lovely's Ginger Molasses Cookie

When I saw this at my local Roots Market, I thought, cool! GDSYWP-free! Then, I gave the package a little squeeze (I know I shouldn't do that - ssshhhh, don't tell!) and was shocked when the cookie actually gave! No rock hardness! Wow! I looked at the flavors: Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Fudge and Ginger Molasses. I figured I could make a kick-ass chocolate chip oatmeal myself and a yummy chocolate cake, but what I hadn't had in a year is a good molasses cookie - which are one of my favorites! So, I decided to give the Ginger Molasses a try.

Seriously, I can't say enough good things about this cookie. Yummy, Yummy in my Tummy! Seriously, this might be the BEST GDSYWP-free pre-made, packaged and bought that I have ever had! YUM-O The only bad thing I can say is that there was WAY too much ginger on there for me - I picked off all the large pieces that I could and it was still too spicy for me. But then, take into consideration that I'm not a big ginger fan and therefore don't eat it much. But, the texture was PERFECT - soft, not crumbly and moist. The flavor was good, I'd prefer more molasses and less ginger, but it wasn't off-putting or anything like that. Seriously, a GOOD cookie.

The other thing is they are kind of expensive. I paid nearly $4.00 for 2 large cookies - but they were decently sized (a bit larger than my palm and about 1/2 an inch thick) - and had high quality ingredients, so it isn't a terrible cost. I wouldn't get these for everyday or anything, but for a treat, or if I saw them when I was traveling or if I needed a grab-and-go kind of thing, these were GREAT. I think I need to try the other two flavors ... all in the name of reviewing them for this blog, whad'ya say? ;)

Vita-Mix Fridays: Kale and Pear Smoothie

Okay, so this looks an awful lot like the Strawberry You-Won't-Taste-The-Spinach Smoothie. I know. But! It tastes completely different! I promise. First of all, there isn't a single strawberry in there ... or a drop of spinach, for that matter! Today's smoothie is a Kale and Pear smoothie from the Vitamix website.

Anyway, I made this recipe and it was GOOD. Yum! And you won't taste the kale at all. I promise. Hubby does NOT like kale, not one bit (well, except in this recipe, but you can't taste it then either - it's covered in bacon! hahaha) I'll definitely be making it again - and you should totally give it a try. After all, kale is a super food!

Kale and Pear Smoothie
from Vita-Mix: http://www.vitamix.com/household/health/green_smoothie.asp
Yield: 4 cups
Time: 1 1/2 minutes

1 cup green grapes
1 orange, peeled
1/2 Bartlett pear
1 banana, fresh or frozen
1 cup kale
1/2 cup water
2 cups ice cubes

Place all ingredients into container and secure the lid.

Select VARIABLE speed #10, then to HIGH for 1 ½ minutes. Turn machine off.

Serve immediately.


My Two Favorite Chocolate Bars

When I first started letting chocolate back into my diet, I was thrilled to have it, but I was so missing my milk chocolate. I have never been a fan of dark chocolate and was not adapting well. It was so bitter, strong and harsh to me. It took a while to find some that I actually liked that were also GF/DF/SF! So, today I'm going to share with you my 2 favorite chocolate bars! Personally, I don't think they taste at all like dark chocolate, but they are so you get all those good antioxidants and flavonoids, and of course, get to avoid the dairy!

This stuff isn't always easy to find, but when you do, it's so worth it! It is completely GF/DF/SF but it is DELISH! I think it's light on the tongue and melts beautifully. It's really creamy and just a bit nutty - so good! I couldn't believe this was dark chocolate when I first had it. I kept checking the package!

Divine Dark Chocolate with Mint
Warning: This bar contains Soy Lecithin

I have always been a fan of the chocolate and mint flavors together and this bar just takes it to another level! The mint is crisp and bright! I love that the mint is in chips, crackling just a bit under your teeth and tongue. The chocolate is mellow, a bit creamy and "levels out" the sharpness of the mint. It's not at all bitter to me! I just LOVE this bar. And, even the packaging is appealing! Doesn't it just draw you in and make your mouth water?

Quote Tuesdays

"When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste." ~Laiko Bahrs

This is SO how I do things!

I am such an amateur baker (as in only started when I went GDSYWP-free and still only do it when I must), so I always very closely follow the directions. I am so scared to mess something up! I just don't know what I'm doing or the science behind baking enough to tweak anything! I'm a wuss with baking. I always check with my Gluten Free Recipes Yahoo Group before I even try to convert a "regular" recipe to GF!

However, when I cook, I feel so much more comfortable! I have no problems adding this or leaving out that or whatever. I totally cook by taste! I really love to get creative with a dish! It's fun for me and I love when I come up with a yummy result! :D

Glutino Gluten Free Chicken Ranchero with Brown Rice

I was quite happy when I found this in the store! It's GF/DF/SF! Woo hoo! Of course, it was also $5.00! Boo hoo! ;)

I kept it in the freezer for in-case-of-emergency-only. Well, I didn't have a lunch on hand the other day, so I grabbed it! The flavor is actually not bad. It was a little bland for my tastes, so I sprinkled a bit of Cajun spice on it and it was better. The only other thing that I have to complain about is the size. Maybe I'm a piggo, but I was still hungry afterwords. It just wasn't enough for me. Luckily, I had brought along some tortilla chips, so I ate some of those too.

All-in-all, this is a good in-case-of-emergency meal, but for the price, I would only keep 1 on hand at a time and still mostly try to use my bulk cooked meals, for economical reasons!

Vita-Mix Fridays: Strawberry You-Won't-Taste-the-Spinach Smoothie

Soon after my Hubby and I were married, we bought a Vita-Mix. We were roped into the sales pitch at our local Costco and we gave in. I love soup, Hubby and I both love smoothies, I could make various dips (like hummus! yum!), Hubby wanted to try making his own ice cream ... this machine seemed like a good investment! So, we plopped down nearly $400 on the Vita-Mix 5000. Yes. You read it right. $400. Probably not the best idea for our poor, newlywed, my-student-loans-are-about-kick-in budget.

But ya know, I have yet to read a bad review of the machine and in all honesty, it really does kick-ass in the blending department ... uh .... when I use actually it! So, this is what this is all about. I really need to start using this baby more. At least once a week. So, I am going to start Vita-Mix Fridays. Every Friday, I will post a new Vita-Mix recipe, some will be my own, some will be from various cookbooks or websites (always cited, of course! ;) ).

So, today, I will share my latest smoothie recipe, something I threw together based on what was in my fridge. My Hubby aptly dubbed it the "Strawberry You-Won't-Taste-the-Spinach Smoothie," which says a lot considering that he is not a fan of veggies ... especially spinach!

Strawberry You-Won't-Taste-the-Spinach Smoothie

2 cups frozen strawberries
2 loose handfuls spinach
1 cup mango juice (I used this one)
2 tbsp vanilla rice protein powder (I used this one)
1 banana

Throw all the ingredients into the Vita-Mix, slowly speed up to variable 10, then to high and continue blending until smooth.

I took this in to work for breakfast. It was good, but there are two changes that I would make. 1) I thought it had a tad too much protein powder in it (I could feel the powder on my tongue), so I would probably only use 1 tbsp next time, but the flavor was great. And the fact that Hubby even enjoyed it proved to me that it was yummy! 2) Ice! How could I forget the ice! I like my smoothies to be icy, chilly and cold. But, since I'm out of Vita-Mix practice, I totally forgot about ice! Oops! *Sigh* There's always next time! ;)

Oh, and if you're wondering about the container it's in, it's a Blender Bottle. It's awesome. I have a purple one and Hubby has a blue one. There is a metal wisk ball in there that shakes up all ingredients to make sure everything is all evenly dispersed and good. It's the best thing for smoothies!

Chicken Piccata with Artichoke Hearts

Another yummy find!

The other day, I had some chicken breasts that needed to be used up, but could just not figure out what to make! I wanted something different! So, I searched the 'net and found the recipe here on All Recipes.com.

Here is the original recipe, as is:
Chicken Piccata with Artichoke Hearts
Originally from "JAMMINMARTIN" on All Recipes

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded 1/2 inch thick and cut into thirds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 onion, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 (13.75 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped, liquid reserved
1/4 cup capers, with liquid
2 tablespoons butter

1. Mix together the flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning on a plate. One by one, dredge the chicken pieces lightly in the prepared flour mixture.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken pieces for 2 minutes per side, or until nicely browned. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

3. Using the same skillet, cook and stir the garlic and onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour the white wine into the skillet, turn the heat to high, and cook until the wine reduces by half, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, lemon juice, artichoke hearts, reserved artichoke liquid, and browned chicken to the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Stir in the capers and butter.

The only substitutions I made were:
I used a GF mix instead of the all purpose flour
I didn't have any white wine on hand, so I used an extra 1/2 cup of chicken stock
I had about a handful mushrooms that were on their last legs, so I sliced them up and threw them in too!

All I can say is YUM-O! Even Hubby, who doesn't like artichokes liked this! Granted, he picked out most of them, but ate a few of the solitary leaves. He said that we can add this to our rotation, so I'm super happy about that because this dish was VERY good! It did take a bit of prep, but so worth it! The dish was just bursting with flavor! I served this with a side of brown rice, but I can totally see it next to white rice or plain or with a slice of bread or steamed broccoli ...

Quote Tuesdays

“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience.” ~ Author Unknown

I've never been a patient person ... uh ... ever. But, I'm trying to be patient with my Celiac Gene test. I'm trying to fill my days and not think about it ... and it's everlasting affects on both my life ... and the future of my family ... and future kids. No, I'm not thinking about it at all! ;) I'm being wonderfully, calmly patient!

Oh, and if you believe that, I have some ocean front property in Arizona to sell ya! ;)


The opinions and thoughts expressed here are purely my own and are not coerced, swayed or influenced by a company, organization or other person. The information contained here is to the best of my knowledge at the date posted. I am NOT an expert and am NOT responsible for anything that you do with this information. Please do your own research, seek out professionals and read all ingredients yourself in order to ensure that the choices you make are right for your lifestyle.

Comments on this website may not represent the views of the blog owner and their claims, advice, etc. are the sole responsibility of their original writers, NOT the blog owner.

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