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May 23, 2012

Black Bean, Corn & Avocado Salad Over Quinoa with Cilantro Dressing

I love quinoa! It is high in fiber and protein and adds nutritional value to a meal. 
By adding just 1 cup of quinoa to a salad puts in 8.14 grams of protein, 5.2 grams of fiber, zinc, potassium, magnesium, copper, iron, calcium and phosphorus.
When my sister made this recipe for dinner one night I was overwhelmed by the flavor, color, taste, and freshness. All ingredients can be purchased at Trader's Joes! Just another great dish to start a BBQ off right!
Click HERE for other quinoa salad recipes. 


Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved 
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn
1 can chicken broth
1 red onion, finely diced
1-2 avocados, cut into small pieces
1 lime
sea salt & pepper

Cilantro Dressing 

1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients and mix well with cilantro dressing. Add salt and pepper if desired. I served with corn tortilla chips, perfect combination!

Love the colors!


May 22, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Continuing the Memorial weekend holiday food recipe collection I wanted to share one of my favorite dips for chips, crackers or vegetables (my preference celery sticks). This yummy creation is a mix of cream cheese, a hint of ranch dressing and a spicy kick with Frank's RedHot Buffalo Sauce! I was initially concerned that the buffalo sauce would not be gluten free, but I found the below statement on Frank's RedHot Sauce's website and was off to the kitchen...

Q: Are Frank's RedHot sauce products gluten free?
A: Yes, Frank's RedHot Original, XTRA Hot, Buffalo Wings Sauce, Chile 'n Lime™, Hot Buffalo Wings Sauce, Kickin' BBQ Sauce, Sweet Chili Sauce and THICK™ Sauce are gluten free. None of the ingredients used to make Frank's RedHot wing sauce contain any gluten

1 lb shredded chicken
4 stalks celery
18 oz. of cream cheese
1 cup Frank's RedHot Buffalo Sauce
1 cup Ranch dressing
Mix together all ingredients and bake at 375 degrees F until bubbly, usually 30 minutes.

May 21, 2012

Gluten Free Crispy BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

My favorite cracker by far is the Crunchmaster MultiGrain! They're a wonderful blend of sesame, quinoa, flax and amaranth seeds with natural seasonings. I found this recipe on their website and was anxious to try. The recipe is for chicken wings but I only had drumsticks available. They turned out so well, very flavorful, easy to make and a recipe I will be making for my summer BBQs and family gatherings. 

Thanks Carol Kicinski for sharing your delicious recipe!

2 - 4.5 oz bags Crunchmaster Multi Grain Sea Salt Crackers
1 cup gluten free barbeque sauce – use divided
½ cup honey – use divided
4 lbs chicken wing drumettes

Pour ¾ cup of the barbeque sauce and ¼ cup of the honey in a large plastic storage bag and mix. Add the chicken wings, close the bag and toss several times to coat the wings with the sauce. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray two baking sheets with gluten free, non-stick cooking spray.
Grind the crackers in a food processor or blender to fine crumbs and pour onto a dinner plate. Remove a chicken wing from the marinade, roll in the cracker crumbs to coat and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken wings. Discard the marinade. Spray the tops of the wings lightly with gluten free, non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until browned and cooked thoroughly (registering 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the wing).
Combine the remaining ¼ cup barbeque sauce with the remaining ¼ honey and serve with the wings for dipping.
Makes about 30 wings.

Stay tune this week for more of my favorite gluten free recipes to enjoy in the summer sun!

May 15, 2012

Gluten Free Ice Cream Sandwiches!

Memorial Day is right around the corner, a holiday to celebrate and honor those who have given their lives to support our country and protect our freedom. For many Memorial day is the official start to outdoor meals, family gatherings, and one of America's favorite desserts- ice cream! 

We will be spending the long weekend in Pennsylvania, spending time with family and enjoying the start of the sunshine months. There is nothing more enjoyable during a hot summer day than an ice cream treat. I have been craving an ice cream sandwich but have yet to find a pre-made gluten free one M&M's and colored sprinkles... so...I decided on a homemade M&M Mini cookie with a vanilla bean center- aka a match made in heaven! Click HERE for the M&M cookie recipe, please also remember to substitute the flour for gluten free all purpose flour and add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum to your dry ingredient mixture. Once cookies cool I used Trader's Joes French Vanilla ice cream for the yummy center. For added color I rolled the side of the sandwiches in a variety of sprinkles. YUMMY!

What would summer be without ice cream treat?


1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups gluten free flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 12 ounce package of M&M's minis

May 14, 2012

Mother's Day Tea Party

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day! 

Our family celebrated with a Saturday afternoon tea party tradition. My grandma loved drinking tea and it quickly became one of my sister and I's favorite things to do with our mom and grandma for holidays and any warm afternoon. I love the elegance of my grandma's fine china, from the tea cup to the sugar and cream holders, the table is filled with memories of her.

My sister and I were so excited to spend an afternoon with our mom chatting over a warm cup of tea, delicate tea sandwiches, sweet treats and lots of laughter. We set the table with fresh tulip printed linens, pink table sets, floral antique accents, tiered serving pieces and fresh spring flowers. Below is just a glimpse of our menu- recipes to follow!
Our Menu

Fresh Teas with honey, milk & sugar

Tea Sandwiches- I used Udi's bread and Kinnikinnick bread
Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches with Sliced Cucumbers & Cherry Tomatoes
Salmon, Avocado, Cream Cheese & Red Onion Sandwiches
Deviled Egg Salad Sandwiches

Blueberry & Plain Scones- I used Gluten Free Pantry Muffin & Scone Mix with 
Clotted Cream, Lemon Curd & Triple Berry Preserves

Spinach & Mushroom quiches using Glutino Pie Crust
Coconut Macaroons
Glutino Pretzels Dipped in Pink Chocolate 

I have to credit the Spring issue of Delight Gluten Free Magazine Hostess with the Mostess! Gluten Free Afternoon Tea Party! A majority of the gourmet recipes we used came from this charming article.

May 13, 2012

Gluten Free Dining Out 101

"Gluten free" is popping up everywhere in local eateries and chain restaurants. Don't get me wrong I'm excited every time I see the words "gluten free" but I can't help but worry that although the words are present, is it really gluten free? Without a FDA standardization for the use of the term gluten free, I can only continue to ask questions and read labels.

Whether your grabbing a quick bite, traveling or just trying a new restaurant it is important to keep the below things in mind. This list was shared at the 2012 Celiac Disease Foundation Conference & Food Faire (Click HERE for my gluten free finds at the conference) and I'm happy to pass on these simple but important rules to keep in mind.

Best Choices:
  • American Faire
  • Ethic Foods based on rice, corn and lentils
  • Mom & Pops
  • Expensive restaurants
  • Where everyone knows your name
Not So Good:
  • Pizzerias
  • Pasta eateries
  • Sandwich shops
  • Many chain restaurants
On a side note- I was recently dining at True Foods Kitchen in Newport Beach (post coming soon) and didn't know what "farro" was. I instantly accessed my "Gluten Check App." This handy app lists gluten-containing ingredients other than wheat. Safe ingredients are listed in green, and unsafe ingredients are listed in red. Not only has this app been useful at restaurants but I have also relied heavily on it while grocery shopping. Click HERE to download it, its FREE!

Happy Dining!

May 7, 2012

Celiac Awareness Month Continues...

Happy second week of Celiac Awareness Month! If you're looking for anything and everything to do with the gluten free community during this special month check out NFCA- 
National Foundation of Celiac Awareness's website. 

Click HERE to:

Learn more about Celiac Disease & Symptoms
Testing & Diagnosis
Enter to win A Gluten Free Pantry Raid
Access to the Gluten Free Blogger Campaign (my favorite)
Check out sponsored promotions
Explore an excellent source of information for our gluten free community!

May 3, 2012

The Waffle in Los Angeles

There is nothing I enjoy more than spending a Sunday outdoors underneath the warm sun and cool breeze while enjoying a delicious brunch. After the Celiac Foundation conference on Saturday, I was anxious on Sunday to find a gluten free hot spot for brunch in LA. Thanks to my Find Me Gluten Free App- The Waffle was within 4 miles from our hotel in Universal Studios. Can you guess what they had? Gluten Free Waffles!

Mark was easily convinced  as he equally enjoys an outdoor meal and the menu was pretty extensive. We hopped in the car and drove south a few exits and the next thing you know we're heading down Vine Street and all I had on my mind was WAFFLES!

I was excited to find that The Waffle is a modern and stylish breakfast eatery in the heart of Hollywood. They have a large patio that is dog friendly and accommodate large crowds on a weekend with no problem. We were ironically happy to see so many people waiting around to be seated, the large crowds indicated a long wait but something worth waiting around for.

After being seated the waiter promptly took our drink and food order and within no time a plate with 2 large waffles sprinkled with powdered  sugar and accompanied with a bowl of fresh cut strawberries. I couldn't believe my eyes. I even had to confirm with the waiter as he was setting the plate in front of me, are these gluten free? . I was shock with how "normal" they looked. I quickly buttered one waffle, poured a generous amount syrup and put my fork and knife to work. Within in no time I was in waffle heaven.

I highly recommend The Waffle to my fellow Celiacs! Enjoy a breakfast classic!

May 1, 2012

Happy Celiac Awareness Month!

I want to wish all my readers, supporters and fellow Celiacs a Happy Celiac Awareness Month! I encourage everyone to share a little piece of their experience with someone new and spread the word about Celiac Disease!

There is so much going on within the gluten free community this month- stay tune for updates in San Diego. Drum roll please....the first gluten free "hot spot" for the month is Jsix Restaurant in Downtown San Diego.

Jsix is happy to announce that they’re kicking off Celiac Awareness Month with a series of gluten free menus. Click HERE to view each one, let me just give you a preview...Seared Maine Diver Scallops, Double Cut Niman Pork Chop, Grilled Wild Salmon, and Red Wine Braised Brandt Beef Shortrib...and those are just the main dishes, don't even get me started on the desserts. 
Happy May Celiacs!