Archive for the ‘Main Dishes’ Category

5-Ingredient Caprese Pork Chops

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

5-Ingredient Caprese Pork Chops from #grilling #glutenfree

Nothing says summer like summertime grilling.  Today I am sharing an easy 5-ingredient recipe for Caprese Pork Chops that you must try for your backyard grilling. These 5-ingredient pork chops couldn’t be easier and are our family’s new favorite dish. Anything that can be made with minimal effort, reheats like a dream, and makes my whole family happy is a winner in our kitchen. This recipe serves all three of those purposes!

As we head into the summer months on the blog, my focus on projects and food are going to be all about simple things that add value and save you time in your day. I hope you will appreciate the shift in focus and be inspired to try incorporating some of these ideas into your life, especially when they are so easy to execute.

If you plan to do some gardening this year, this recipe is a great way to use up your basil and cherry tomatoes or even create the pesto from scratch from your garden of herbs. You can also try my version by hitting your local grocer, farmer’s market, or vegetable stand to snag these ingredients.

Be sure to check out my get your grill on Pinterest board for additional inspiration and, if it hasn’t gotten too hot where you are, clean your grill while you sleep!

5-Ingredient Caprese Pork Chops from #grilling #glutenfree

5-Ingredient Caprese Pork Chops
Recipe type: Grilling
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
An easy 5-ingredient Caprese Pork Chop that couldn't be easier to prepare...or eat!
  • 8 thick center-cut pork chops, boneless
  • 1 jar of pesto (I love the Classico brand- over by the spaghetti sauce/pasta aisle)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella
  • Handful of basil
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  1. Place pork chops in a bag and pour the jar of pesto over them. Season with salt and pepper. Seal the bag and move the bag around to coat all of the chops in the pesto. Allow them to marinate for four hours or overnight.
  2. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half in a small bowl. Chop or tear the basil and add them to the tomatoes, seasoning with salt and pepper. Slice the mozzarella into eight slices and set aside.
  3. Preheat your grill on medium-high heat. Place chops on the grill and cook for five minutes on each side. In the last two minutes, add a slice of mozzarella on each pork chop. Shut the grill and allow the cheese to melt.
  4. Once the pork is cooked through, remove it from the grill and allow the chops to rest for 5 minutes. Top each chop with the tomato salad. Serve.

For more grilling recipes try these Chicken Pesto Burgers, Grilled Ground Beef Gyros, Grilled Chicken Gyros, Grilled Chicken or Shrimp Kabobs, Balsamic & Rosemary Grilled Salmon, Applebee’s Honey Grilled Salmon, Cracker Barrel Grilled Chicken Tenders, Grilled Shrimp with Garlic & Herbs.


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Slow Cooker Mexican Black Beans

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Slow Cooker Mexican Black Beans from

For years I have been wanting to make beans in the slow cooker, but was intimidated with the process. Beans in the slow cooker though are surprisingly easy and frugal to create in large batches for your family. Today I wanted to show you a foolproof and delicious recipe for Slow Cooker Mexican Black Beans for all of your Cinco de Mayo fun, or as a frugal side dish for your next taco night. Today’s cooking tutorial is going to take you through the in’s and out’s of how to cook beans, how to freeze them, and then in the comments below you can share your views on bean preparation. Everyone has a theory, a trick, and a recipe. Let’s share what we know works best for us!

Bean Cooking 101

How to Cook Dried Beans

Why Should You Trouble Yourself With Dried Beans?

There is true convenience in grabbing a quick can of beans for your dishes out of your pantry. Although it is still a frugal staple, dried beans are oh-so-much cheaper and they have much more flavor than the canned variety. Dried beans typically cost two to three times less than canned beans and they have the added benefit of less sodium, more flavor, and can save you a lot of room in a small pantry. Did I mention that they can be made while you are sleeping in your slow cooker? Now that’s a beautiful thing.

When I posted that I was working on this on Instagram, many people commented on their techniques as well as their failures in cooking beans. I guess I am not the only one a little intimidated by the process. Now that I have made them though, I will be making this a regular habit because it saves me a lot of money and is a very filling protein for someone who is on a gluten-free diet and always hungry.

A Little Sorting Never Hurt Nobody

Once you purchase your beans, make sure you sort them out. Arrange dried beans on a sheet pan or clean kitchen towel and sort through them to pick out any shriveled or broken beans, stones or debris. This is not an all-day affair, just a quickly peek and move on to the next steps.

Rinse It, Rinse It Good

Always make sure you rinse your beans really well before beginning. Make sure you also rinse them well after our salt brine (below).

Slow Cooker Mexican Black Beans from

To Soak or Not to Soak

Sounds like a great Shakespeare line, doesn’t it? I know that many people skip the soaking process and opt to just throw them right into the slow cooker after a rinse.  I always consult the experts when it comes to cooking and according to Cook’s Illustrated, quick soaking can be effective, but their proven method of soaking beans in a brine, yields a bean that a girl can really be proud of.  Just as a brine on a bird can yield tasty results, beans can benefit from salt too. The salt soak prevents magnesium and calcium from binding to — and, subsequently hardening — the cell walls on your beans. When people  complain that they can never get the beans to soften, you can be assured that a brine can help with that, while maintaining the shape of your beans.

Cook’s Illustrated recommends, for 1 pound of dried beans (about 2 cups) dissolve 3 tablespoons of salt in 4 quarts of water. Add the rinsed beans and let them soak at room temperature for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. (If you’re short on time, quick-soak the beans: Place the beans in a large heatproof bowl. Bring 2 quarts of water and 3 tablespoons of salt to a boil. Pour the water over the beans and let them soak for 1 hour before draining and rinsing.)

As far as salting goes for your beans for seasoning though, it is advised to wait until the end and salt once they are cooked and season to taste. You also want to be sure that you are rinsing that brine off before you get started with your recipe.

Slow Cooker Mexican Black Beans from  Cook Them Low & Slow

Since beans need to be cooked low and slow, the slow cooker is ideal for cooking your beans. Once you have rinsed these after the salt brine, add them to your slow cooker along with liquid and seasonings of choice and turn your slow cooker on Low and head to bed.  Skip the addition of anything acidic though because the acid can prevent those beans from breaking down and it’s all about getting these beans to break down.

I cooked mine in my Ninja Cooker and set it for six hours and it set’s itself to warm after that.  The beans should take roughly six to eight hours to cook and slow cookers can be the ideal tool for cooking them. According to The Kitchn, it’s adviseable to pick a slow cooker that fits best with the amount of beans you are cooking. They advise that for small batches of beans, a pound or less, to rely on a 3 1/2-quart or smaller slow cooker. If cooking 2 pounds or more, you can use your 7-quart slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Mexican Black Beans from Freeze Those Beans

Once the beans are done, divide them up into two cup portions in freezer bags and put them in the freezer.  You can now enjoy the savings all month long and enjoy these beans as a side or accompaniment to any of your favorite Mexican dishes.

I hope this tutorial helps and I can’t wait to read your own tips for cooking beans in the comments below! These would be delicious paired with my favorite 10-minute fish tacos, our chicken enchiladas (made with homemade enchilada sauce), my roasted corn salsa, and a tall margarita or mojito…just in case you are looking for a few great dishes for Cinco de Mayo!

Slow Cooker Mexican Black Beans from

SAFETY NOTE: If you are cooking kidney beans, boil them for 10 minutes before cooking. This neutralizes a toxin called phytohemagglutinin that can cause acute digestive distress.

Slow Cooker Mexican Black Beans
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
Be sure to read our Bean Cooking Tutorial before you begin! These beans make the perfect side dish for any meal!
  • 1 pound dried black beans
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, or 2 cups fresh chopped tomatoes (ADD AT THE END)
  1. Follow the instructions for sorting, rinsing, brining, and then rinsing again as I have outlined above.
  2. Put the drained beans into your slow cooker, then add the chopped garlic, broth, cumin, and chili powder. Stir well to combine.
  3. Set on LOW for six to eight hours in your slow cooker (see above for recommended slow cooker sizes based on pounds).
  4. Once they are done, stir in diced tomatoes and season.
This post contains affiliate links.

What’s your favorite way to cook beans? Any tips, tricks, or techniques that work well for you?

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A Lentil Stew – Anyway You Want It

Monday, April 28th, 2014

From our food contributor, Diana Bauman.

A Lentil Stew - Anyway You Want It | Am I ever excited to talk lentils today! Being that I’m part Spanish, lentils are a staple in my home. My mother is from Sevilla, Spain. I’ve spent many summers abroad visiting my family there and one meal that I could never get enough of was lentejas con chorizo, lentils with Spanish chorizo sausage. Lentils, to a Spaniard, is just as comforting as a warm bowl of homemade mac and cheese is to an American. The great thing about lentil dishes is that kids love it just as much as adults. Whenever I prepare lentejitas, as I call it, my kids gobble it up and I’m sure yours will to.

A Lentil Stew - Anyway You Want It | Lentils are legumes (beans) that are quick and easy to make. They readily absorb flavors from other foods and spices making them a bean that many people enjoy to eat. Lentils also pack a healthy punch. They contain high levels of soluble fiber which lowers cholesterol and helps in reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke. Also, because it contains so much soluble fiber it stabilizes your blood sugar levels making this a great food for diabetics. Lentils are also a good source of folate and magnesium which contributes to heart health. They’re also a good source of B vitamins. It’s been found that many people with depression, stress, and anxiety have low levels of B vitamins and magnesium. Adding lentils to your diet can help alleviate physical symptoms and lift your spirits. Let’s not forget, lentils are also packed with protein! Out of all the legumes and nuts, they contain the third-highest level of protein.

So, if you were ever squeamish to try lentils, all of these nutritional benefits should make them a staple in your home.

My favorite way to prepare lentils is by making them in a stew. The greatest thing about a lentil stew is that all you have to do is place all of your ingredients in a pot, add water, and cook. It couldn’t be easier. When making a lentil stew, you can make it with any vegetable that happens to be in season.

From zucchini, carrots, and dark leafy greens…

A Lentil Stew - Anyway You Want It |

to pumpkin, turnips, and rutabaga.

A Lentil Stew - Anyway You Want It |

In Spain, the most comforting way to eat lentil stew is by adding Spanish chorizo sausage (not to be mistaken for Mexican, uncured, chorizo). This cured meat gives the stew depth in flavor and adds a bit of piquant by the Spanish paprika (pimenton) seasonings within it. Both the chorizo and Spanish pimenton used to be difficult to source in the United States but is now readily available in most specialty stores. If you can’t find the sausage, no worries, It tastes just as good by adding any other type of sausage including bacon or even by omitting the meat all together.

Today, I’m going to share with you the lentil stew recipe I typically make at home. I usually add chorizo sausage, a bit of rice, potatoes, and dark leafy greens.

A Lentil Stew - Anyway You Want It |

It’s simple to prepare, comforting, and the entire family enjoys it. I hope yours will as well.

A Traditional Spanish Lentil and Chorizo Stew
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Spanish
Serves: 4-5
This is a nourishing lentil stew made with Spanish chorizo sausage that the entire family will enjoy.
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • Spanish Chorizo Sausage, sliced in coins (about 1½ cups)
  • ½ green pepper, roughly chopped
  • ½ white onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, whole and smashed
  • 2 roma tomatoes, whole
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tbls extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Spanish paprika, pimenton
  • 3 russet potatoes, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup white Basmati rice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 large handfuls dark leafy greens
  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, add the lentils, chorizo sausage, green peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and bay leaves. Cover all the ingredients with water so that it covers them by 1-2 inches.
  2. Add the olive oil then bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered for 25 minutes.
  3. After 25 minutes add the potatoes, rice, and salt and simmer for an additional 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the rice is cooked through.
  4. As soon as all the ingredients are cooked through, add the dark leafy greens and serve right away.

Does your family enjoy eating lentils? What’s your favorite way to prepare them?

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Thai Coconut Chicken Curry

Monday, April 7th, 2014

From our food contributor, Shaina Olmanson.

Thai Coconut Chicken Curry #recipe via Shaina Olmanson at
Thinking fast on your feet is one of those skills no one ever tells you you’ll need as a mom. I often feel like there should have been a prerequisite before choosing to have kids, a mini boot camp that presented you with harrowing situations and tight time limits for figuring out the solution. Where were those life skills taught?

More often than not, when I reach the 5 o’clock hour I’m in a mad rush to throw something together before whatever activities the evening holds. I have four kids emptying their backpacks on my dining room table as I stare into the refrigerator, and as I’m stress-searching the contents of crisper drawer and the inner door, one of them is bound to ask for homework help. Why didn’t I remember to take the meat out of the freezer?

It is in these parenting moments where I feel utterly defeated by life that I find the greatest opportunities to defeat it instead. This meal is one of those that lends itself to last-minute meals. I try to keep ingredients for it on hand, ready at a moment’s notice, along with a Greek seasoning blend and taco seasoning and cans of beans in the pantry (which isn’t really a “pantry” as much as basement shelves and a cupboard in the garage at my house). They’re the things I turn to when everything is falling apart, when I’ve dropped every ball there was to juggle. The thing they have in common: quick cooking times.

Cutting the chicken thin helps it cook faster. If you only have chicken in the freezer, thaw it partially and then cut it. It’s wonderfully easy to slice thinly when there’s still a bit of frozen resistance. The vegetables are interchangeable, for the most part. Use what you have on hand. Zucchini and mushrooms can be great in this curry, too.

Thai Coconut Chicken Curry #recipe via Shaina Olmanson at
Let’s talk rice. I’m not going to judge the type of rice you use here, whether you’re a boil-in-the-bag home, a minute-rice family, you rely on those microwaveable pouches and trays, you are a diehard stovetop rice cooker, or you – like me – are devoted to your rice cooker. For me, I find that the best way to cut down on rice cooking time is simply to make exactly the amount you need. My rice cooker takes far longer to cook six cups of rice (I like leftovers) than it does to cook two. Similarly, if you are making it on the stove, bringing several cups of water to a boil is going to take more time than if you only make what you’ll be eating.

Thai Coconut Chicken Curry
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: 4-5
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into thin slices
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 daikon, julienned (see notes for substitutions)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 can (15 ounces) coconut milk
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 4 cups cooked rice
  1. In a wok or large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add in the chicken and cook until white on all sides. Stir in the curry paste. Add the red bell peppers and the daikon and saute for 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the brown sugar, fish sauce, and coconut milk. Bring just to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle green onions and cilantro over the top just before serving. Serve over rice.
You can substitute bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, or another vegetable for the daikon.


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Mama Francesca Cheese & a Gluten-Free Meatball & Pasta Recipe

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Mama Francesca Premium Cheese Review

*This post is sponsored by Mama Francesca

I have been looking forward to sharing with you all week my new partnership with Mama Francesca Grated Cheese. The company reached out to me to share about their beautiful product and I couldn’t wait to start cooking with it and showing it off on our site.

Mama Francesca Premium Cheese ReviewMama Francesca Premium Cheese Review

Have you heard of Mama Francesca? It is a delicious new grated cheese that comes in five different varieties. I am showcasing three flavors that I found at my own store. The ones pictured here are: Aromatico (Parmesan, Basil & Oregano), Fiero (Parmesan & Red Pepper), & Pungente (Parmesan & Garlic). As you can see from the picture, the cheese is light and fluffy while blended with delicious spices that you can see and taste in your dishes.

You can also find Audace (Parmesan & Romano), and Perfetto (Classic Parmesan) on your store shelves.

 Mama Francesca Premium Cheese Review

Many times when we think of parmesan cheese, we think of it as a way to just dress our dishes. With these fun cheese blends though, they offer a delicious ingredient alternative in your favorite recipes that, not only add flavor, but can save you time in the kitchen since they incorporate that perfect blend of spices.

My family is a big fan of pasta and meatballs.  I wanted to create that familiar dish that we love, but in a gluten-free variety using Mama Francesca’s cheese as the inspiration for our new dish. I replaced the spices and cheese with the Aromatico (Parmesan, Basil & Oregano) cheese blend and then replaced the breadcrumbs in these meatballs with a little gluten-free panko. The replacement of spices and cheese saved me time digging through my spice rack and the cheese blend managed to still perfectly spice our meatballs. When it comes to meatballs,  I recommend doubling these to enjoy a delicious meatball sub for a busy weeknight meal- topped with sauce & cheese.

With this dish, you can use any variety of gluten-free pasta shape you love. Rotini, shells, and elbow macaroni are three of my favorites in this dish. The pasta can be tossed gently in this delicate fresh tomato sauce.

Mama Francesca Premium Cheese Review Of course, just because you use the cheese in the meatballs doesn’t mean you can’t shake on the cheese liberally over your plates of pasta. Set out a few varieties of cheese and let your family member’s customize their dishes for a fun family meal!

I hope you will give Mama Francesca a try for your next family dinner! I promise that this cheese does not disappoint!

Gluten-Free Meatball & Pasta Recipe

Gluten-Free Meatball & Pasta Recipe
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
A gluten-free meatball & pasta dish that is just as delicious as the gluten-filled version.
  • Gluten-Free Pasta With Meatballs
  • ¼ cup gluten-free panko
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • ¾ cup Mama Francesca Aromatico (Parmesan, Basil & Oregano) Grated Cheese
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound Sweet Italian Turkey Sausages (remove the casings)
  • 1½ cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 pound gluten-free pasta (any variety)
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the panko , parsley, eggs, milk, ketchup, cheese, salt, and pepper. Add the turkey and gently stir to combine.
  2. Make your meatballs the standard size and put them on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees for ten to fifteen minutes.
  4. In a large pot, heat your olive oil and then heat your garlic for about thirty seconds. Next, heat chicken stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, as directed on the packaging directions of your favorite pasta variety.
  6. Drain the pasta and rinse well with warm water. Add the meatball mixture and garnish with fresh parsley and more cheese.

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Hazelnut Soup Recipe

Monday, March 24th, 2014

From our food contributor, Diana Bauman. It's Hazelnut Soup | Rapunzel, It’s Hazelnut Soup! Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Whenever I think of hazelnut soup, I’m reminded of one of my favorite Disney movies about a beautiful princess and her long silky hair. Along with a dreamy guy, a cast iron skillet, and parsnips… what’s not to love? Honestly, the first time I saw this movie I was more intrigued with the mention of hazelnut soup than the rest of the movie. Rapunzel’s fake mother brought home parsnips after a trip to town in order to make her hazelnut soup. I happen to love parsnips and hazelnuts so I knew this was a soup I had to recreate… animated or not. Parsnips are carrot-like root vegetables that contain vitamins, minerals and nutrients, most notably fiber, folate, potassium and vitamin C. They’re in season during the late fall and winter. They’re sweet, yet can have a bit of bite to them. Large parsnips can have a bitter center which is best removed before cooking. They taste great mixed into stews, soups, and any other way you would normally use a potato or other root vegetable. I tell you what, when I saw one of my favorite vendors at my farmers market selling freshly harvested parsnips in the fall, I stocked up and purchased about 15lbs of them to carry me through the winter. They keep wonderfully in the crisper and actually get sweeter over time. When I purchased them, I knew right away that I was going to be using some of them to make a comforting batch of hazelnut soup.

Hazelnut Soup

It's Hazelnut Soup | I usually make this rustic hazelnut soup once or twice during the winter season – thick and silky, just the way I like it. In order to create complexity, I start by sautéing onions in a cast iron dutch oven until they’re caramelized, deep and sweet. While the onions are caramelizing, I roast the hazelnuts to deepen their flavor. Once the onions are caramelized, I deglaze the pot by adding a bit of homemade beef broth. To the pot, I then add the parsnips, carrots, a potato, some of the roasted hazelnuts, seasonings, and a fair share of more broth. If you decide to use store bought organic broth, be aware that it won’t have as much depth and character as one made over a stovetop and simmered for 24 hours. If something like this intimidates you, I promise, you’ll be surprised at how simple it is to make and the nutrients inside will be unlike anything that can be purchased at a store. Once the additional broth has been added, the vegetables are covered and simmered until tender. Once tender, a bit of milk or cream is added to the soup and is then ready to be served with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled with roasted hazelnuts. This soup serves beautifully with a green salad and a hunk of crusty bread (or not… if you’re gluten free).

It's Hazelnut Soup
Serves: 4-5
A rustic hazelnut soup made with parsnips and roasted hazelnuts.
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced
  • 3 tbls butter
  • 3 parsnips, roughly chopped
  • 1 potato, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, roasted, divided
  • 4¼ cups beef broth, divided
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash of fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tbls fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup milk
  • chopped hazlenuts to garnish
  • sour cream to garnish
  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, over medium heat, melt the 3 tbls butter and add the onions. Stir the onions into the butter and allow to gently cook for 20-25 minutes or until the onions caramelize to a deep golden brown, stirring them along the way.
  2. Once Caramelized add ¼ cup beef broth to deglaze the pan.
  3. Once deglazed, mix in the parsnips, potato, carrots, ¾ cup hazelnuts, the rest of the broth, salt, pepper, and thyme leaves. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and then cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Once tender, with an immersion blender or working in batches using a blender, puree the contents of the pot. If using a blender, return the puree to the pot over medium heat.
  5. Add 1 cup milk and stir through. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled with roasted hazelnuts

Do you enjoy soups? Share with us, what’s your favorite comforting soup during this season?


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Gluten-Free Pad Thai With Shrimp

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Gluten-Free Pad Thai With ShrimpWhen I went gluten-free I never realized how exciting it would be to recreate some of my favorite gluten-filled dishes at home. Today I am sharing a Gluten-Free Pad Thai with Shrimp recipe that you can create in your own kitchen and your guests will never know that this delicious dish is gluten-free!

This month Walmart challenged me to create a delicious Lent recipe that you could enjoy with your family. I am no stranger to creating fun dishes for the Lenten season. You can see last year’s round-up of 30 fish and meat-free meal ideas.

For this challenge, I wanted to recreate one of my favorite takeout dishes. Have you ever had Pad Thai? If you haven’t, you are in for a delicious treat. Pad Thai, according to Wikipedia, is a stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly served as a street food and at casual local eateries in Thailand. It is made with soaked dried rice noodles which are stir-fried with eggs and chopped firm tofu, fish sauce,  dried shrimp, garlic or shallots, red chili pepper and palm sugar, and served with lime wedges and often chopped roasted peanuts.

Gluten-Free Pad Thai With Shrimp

While I love the delicateness of the rice noodle, I prefer a more linguine-style noodle in this dish to balance the lightness of the shrimp and because these hold up well to a lot of reheating. Just like my chicken noodle soup I made last month, I am relying on the Tinkyada noodles to create this dish. You are looking for the Fettucini Style Pad Thai Noodles.

Be sure that you are using a gluten-free soy sauce and fish sauce. I rely upon the La Choy Lite Soy Sauce as my soy sauce substitute, but there are reports that some people have a reaction to this. I have not, but be sure to do your own research on what product will fit your gluten-free needs best.

Gluten-Free Pad Thai With Shrimp

The fun part about sharing this with your family and friends is that you can also create a variety of toppings so everyone can personalize their dish. I love roasted chopped peanuts, sriracha, fresh limes, and cilantro on mine.

I hope you love this dish as much as we did and can enjoy this during the Lent season…or any season, really! We polished this dish off in no time at all and I can’t wait to make it again. Thanks to these sturdy noodles, the dish reheats beautifully and can be eaten for your lunches or a late night snack!

Gluten-Free Pad Thai With Shrimp

Gluten-Free Pad Thai With Shrimp
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
A gluten-free Pad Thai dish that you can enjoy right in the comfort of your own home.
  • 1 package (14 ounces) Tinkyada Brown Rice Pad Thai Noodles
  • ⅓ cup fresh lime juice
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 12 oz frozen peeled deveined medium shrimp, thawed (raw not cooked)
  • Sriracha Sauce (to taste)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped dry-roasted peanuts
  • ¼ cup firmly packed cilantro leaves
  • Lime Wedges
  • Sriracha Sauce
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the noodles as directed on package. After they are done cooking, drain and rinse with cool water; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir lime juice, ⅓ cup water, the brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of the oil until well mixed; set aside.
  3. In nonstick wok or 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium heat. Cook shrimp for approximately three minutes and remove from pan; set aside. Next cook mushrooms and then set aside.
  4. Using the same oil, cook garlic for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly, until starting to brown. Add eggs. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring gently and constantly, until scrambled but still moist.
  5. Stir in noodles and lime juice mixture. Increase heat to high. Cook about 1 minute, tossing constantly with 2 wooden spoons, until sauce begins to thicken. Add remaining ingredients except cilantro. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, tossing with 2 wooden spoons, until noodles are tender.
  6. Place on serving platter. Sprinkle with cilantro. Garnish with additional chopped dry-roasted peanuts, and lime wedges.
 Recipe Adapted from Betty Crocker


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Gluten-Free Pancakes (With A Better Batter Coupon Code)

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Gluten-Free Pancakes from

If there is one thing this girl loves, it is pancakes. Today I am sharing a recipe for gluten-free pancakes that taste as light and fluffy as our gluten-filled variety, but are perfect for creating for those who cannot tolerate gluten.

Gluten-Free Pancakes from

Fluffy gluten-free pancakes are easier to create than you might think, it just requires the right measurements, a good flour, and a little milk on hand if your batter gets too thick. Before we made the switch to gluten-free, I loved to throw wheat germ into our hearty wheat-filled pancake. No wonder I felt so awful after our Sunday brunches!

Now we have substituted our wheat love-fest with flax seed in our pantry for our pancakes and energy bites, a deliciously healthy addition to just about anything, and still get that taste and texture that I love.  As with all my favorite pancake recipes, it is laced with cinnamon and vanilla while these pancakes get their sweetness from a little honey.

Gluten-Free Pancakes from I first discovered that I had to go gluten-free, my best friend recommended a book called, “Gluten-Free on a Shoestring.” (affiliate link) I treated myself to the cookbook for Christmas and loved that the author relied upon one all-purpose mix to make almost all of her recipes.

I placed my first order for Better Batter after reading it and started testing recipes with this cup-for-cup substitute shortly after buying it. None of us could believe how good everything had tasted and with very little adjustments in our favorite family recipes.

I immediately wrote the company and asked if they might be interested in a partnership. I truly believe in their product and how it can help beginner gluten-free chefs overcome their difficulties with baking. Not only did they send me some products for our recipes, but they also are offering valuable coupon codes for our readers to try their flour too.

Not only does the flour perform well, but it is much more affordable than other flours on the market. You can even buy their product in bulk to snag additional savings.

What are the Ingredients In This Flour?

The flour I have featured today is an an all-purpose flour substitute that you can use as a cup-for-cup substitute in your recipes. The packaging states that it contains: Rice flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, potato flour, xanthan gum, and pectin (lemon derivative). It is the blend of these flours that makes it such a great performer in baking recipes. I hope that helps!

How Can I Save Money On This Flour?

I truly believe you will love this flour and am so excited that Better Batter is sharing some coupon codes with our readers to help them save even more. This month you can use the coupon code XNF6EBYK4JRT for $8 off ANY SIZE ORDER.

That’s right, I said ANY SIZE! 

I hope you can take advantage of the savings and can enjoy a stack of these delicious pancakes in your home!

Gluten-Free Pancakes from

Gluten-Free Pancakes
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
You won't even miss the gluten with this delicious pancake recipe. Be sure to double your recipe so you can enjoy these all week long!
  • 2 cups Better Batter All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons flax (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten & at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2½ cups milk (or milk substitute)
  1. Heat your griddle or nonstick pan and coat generously with butter.
  2. In a large bowl, place the flour, baking powder, baking soda, flax, cinnamon, and salt in and whisk to combine.
  3. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the eggs, butter and milk, one at a time, blending well after each addition. Add vanilla and honey and continue to mix until the batter comes together and there are no lumps.
  4. Working quickly, ladle the pancake batter on the griddle surface, and allow to sit until bubbles begin to appear on the surface (2 to 3 minutes). Flip and continue cooking for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until the underside is browned.
  5. Remember that your batter thickens as it stands and may require more milk to keep your batter in a pourable consistency.
  6. Serve with fresh fruit and maple syrup.


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Nearly Classic Shrimp and Grits Recipe

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

From our food contributor, Shaina Olmanson.

Classic Shrimp and Grits #recipe via
I feel under qualified to be talking about grits. Coming from the Midwest, grits are not exactly an everyday food. In fact, an upbringing and solidified love for farina and creamed wheat cereals is what led me to believe I would love a bowl of grits equally, and so when the opportunity arose to order them on a road trip well into my teen years, I did just that.

I’ll leave it at this: Truck stop grits are not the type you fall in love with. Still, there was something to that bowl of white and creamy food with a big pat of butter melting on top. I was not to be thrown off course in my desire to adopt grits as my new “it” food. It had all the same promises as my breakfast favorites, but with expanded possibilities for my palate. At the top of the savory list: shrimp and grits.

Creamy, cheesy grits get topped with vibrant shrimp and crisp green onions. What’s not to love about this? The idea of adding butter and cheddar and plump shellfish to a bowl of warm comfort food seemed to me like a decision that was already made in the affirmative. So I set out to learn as much as I could about grits.
Classic Shrimp and Grits #recipe via
The first issue was obtaining them. Outside of the generic “quick-cooking grits” on the market shelf, there weren’t many options at first in the urban Midwestern area I lived in. I finally settled on making grits with white cornmeal to begin my experiments and then ordering online. Traditional grits are made from hominy, alkali-treated corn, and were stone ground in a rough, coarse texture. You’ll find both white corn and hominy when looking, so determine which you want to go for.

Once you have the grits in hand (or nearly grits), the rest of the preparation is satisfyingly simple, and the payoff is pure comfort food. It’s the kind of meal that leaves you satisfied at the end, the type of dish that begs to be made again and again.

Nearly Classic Shrimp and Grits
Recipe type: main dish
Cuisine: southern
Serves: 4
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup stone ground white grits
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese (I used Kerrygold Dubliner)
  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails removed (if desired)
  • ½ cup chopped scallions
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Bring the water and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Slowly whisk in the grits. When all the grits have been added, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, for 25 minutes. Keep the butter and cheddar cheese ready off to the side.
  2. While the grits are cooking, in a large skillet cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon pieces, leaving the grease in the pan and add in the garlic and the shrimp. Cook the shrimp over medium heat just until pink.
  3. Add in the scallions, parsley, and the lemon juice. Cook for 3 minutes to combine the flavors and then remove from the heat and stir in the bacon pieces.
  4. Stir in the butter and shredded cheese at the end of the cooking time for the grits. Immediately spoon into a bowl and top with shrimp and bacon to serve.


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Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup from

Going gluten-free is proving to be a fun adventure for me in the kitchen. This gluten-free chicken noodle soup recipe is just one example of an old family favorite that has been transformed into a delicious gluten-free version.

This week Walmart challenged me to create a great cold weather dish that you could create from items they have at their store. One of my favorite things to create with their ingredients is a weekly batch of soup. Not only is it the perfect cold weather dish, but it is the perfect “convenience food,” that I love to have on hand for nights when I don’t feel like cooking.

Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup from

One item that I buy frequently there is their rotisserie chickens for all of my chicken-filled soups. It saves me some cooking time and I find that they bring a lot of flavor to my easy weeknight soups. They are priced at $4.98, which is about the same price as buying a whole chicken and cooking it from scratch, so I find it to be a good soup investment.

Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup from

My biggest challenge has been finding a pasta that tastes like my old familiar white-floured starchy friend. We have sampled every variety of noodles under the son from corn blends to quinoa blends to rice blends. When I posted on Instagram that I was still on the hunt, Tinkyada was the brand that fellow gluten-free friends recommended. Friends, let me tell you, this was the closest pasta I have ever tasted to the real deal. The best part is that it is strongly made so it can withstand being reheated, unlike the other blends that fell apart in my soup.

I had been hunting for this in the pasta aisle at our store, but it is not in the pasta aisle. This pasta is over with the other gluten-free specialty foods, on the end of one of the candy aisles in our store. A pound of this was $2.87, while the fancier and not as appetizing pastas, were costing me over $4 and did not contain a pound.

For a pasta-filled soup, you only need half the bag (or approximately two cups of pasta). Since everything seems to cost an arm and leg if it is marked gluten-free, this is a pasta we all loved AND didn’t cost a fortune! Winning, I say!

Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup from MomAdvice.comGluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup from MomAdvice.comGluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup from

To me, this looks like the perfect bowl of soup. I thought I would never have a good chicken noodle soup again after this gluten-free debacle of mine, but I am mourning the loss of my soup no more.

It is the ultimate cold weather comfort food dish! I hope you enjoy this one as much as we have!

Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
A gluten-free chicken noodle soup that is the ultimate cold weather comfort food dish. One pot serves many, so share this with someone in need!
  • 2 cups Tinkyada Rice Pasta Elbows
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 stalks chopped celery
  • 3 chopped carrots
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 12 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 rotisserie chicken
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
  2. Add gluten-free elbows and cook 12-14 minutes. Drain and rinse with water. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or Dutch oven, saute the carrots and celery in two tablespoons of olive oil for five minutes to start your soup base. Add garlic at the end (to prevent burning)
  4. Add your rotisserie chicken and any drippings form the chicken to the pot, directly on top of your vegetables. Pour your chicken broth directly over the chicken to incorporate all of the good flavors.
  5. Heat up broth and bring it to a simmer.
  6. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.
  7. Pull out your chicken and set aside to dice.
  8. Stir in noodles and diced rotisserie chicken, and heat through.
  9. Toss in a handful of fresh chopped parsley and ladle into bowls.




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