Category Archives: It’s All About ME!

Tidbits from my life :)

Fantastic [Gluten Free] Fish Tacos!

Me eating tabbouleh!!!

I am not a picky eater.  I never have been.  I grew up with my mom exposing me to many different foods.   Hamburgers, hotdogs, mac and cheese, and even peanut butter and jelly never were my favorites like a normal kid.  Hummus, tabbouleh, any type of fish, eggplant, spinach, ALL green vegetables, and plain yogurt were all things I loved when I was really young.  Thankfully that makes the gluten free diet much easier for me.  I will try anything and everything (free of wheat of course!).

When thinking about my favorite foods I first think fish.  Salmon, haddock, shrimp, scallops, tuna, clams, sushi…I love it all!  I also LOVE Mexican food.  Especially tacos!  Naturally, you would think fish tacos must be a favorite on the menu at my house, but surprisingly I had never tried them!

Until this weekend…

I decided to make my own fish tacos at home.  It was incredibly easy, and of course gluten free!  The right mixture of tilapia, jalapeno peppers, sweet mango,  tangy limes, and cilantro folded over in a warm tortilla is a tasty and even a healthier alternative to the customary cheesy beef taco.

Fish Tacos

Gluten Free

Ingredients

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 lime, juiced

1 jalapeno, diced

1 tsp. of cilantro

1/2 tsp. salt (divided)

2 tsp. olive oil (for pan)

1 lb. tilapia fillets

1 tsp. chilli powder

2 cups of thinly chopped lettuce

1 cups tomatoes, chopped

2 bunches of green onions, sliced thin

1 mango, diced

1 tsp. parsley

Corn tortillas (4-6 depending on how big)

Directions

1) Combine olive oil, lime, jalapeno, cilantro, and 1/4 tsp. of salt in a medium bowl.  Hold aside.

2) Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large skillet.  Sprinkle tilapia with chilli powder and remaining 1/4 tsp of salt evenly.   Add fish to pan.  Then pour jalapeno and lime mixture over fish.  Cook fish on pan until cooked through (should flake easily).

3) When fish is finished remove from heat and cut into small pieces.

4) Prepare garnish by combining lettuce, tomatoes, green onion, mango and parsley in a bowl.

5) Heat tortillas in a pan. Add fish and garnish to tortillas and fold.

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Filed under It's All About ME!, Jamie's Favorites, Under the Sea

All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt!

Another busy week has come to an end.  This one was full of exciting good news, a couple of celebrations, and plenty of chocolate! 

My Week in a Nutshell

On Monday Luke and I adopted a little sister for Jasper.  Her name is Luna (formally known ad Bebe) and she is incredibly sweet!  She’s two years old only weighs 5.8 pounds (Jasper weighs 14!).  Before going to the animal shelter she came from a one bedroom home with over 50 cats!  Looking like a baby herself, she had a litter of kittens this past March, all of which have been adopted.  So far Jasper seems to love her, following her around everywhere she goes.  She doesn’t seem to mind too much, but is still getting used to her new home and her new brother.

Miss Luna girl lounging on the couch

On Tuesday, we had a party at work for my work study student Mireille.  She is graduating from UNH and leaving us to go teach in Tennessee.   At 6 am I decided to make a batch of gluten free brownies before work.  I was in a hurry so I used Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Brownie Mix.   At first I didn’t even tell anyone they were gluten free because I wanted everyone to try them.  They were a hit!  They were really chocolaty and very moist.  No one even noticed the difference!

Congrats Mireille!

UNH President's Office saying goodbye to Mireille!

Wednesday my sister Kasey and her boyfriend Ryan came over and we made my Chipotle Chicken Fajitas!  YUM!!! 🙂  If you haven’t tried them yet, I suggest you give them a try!

Thursday was an awesome day for me.  I was offered a job at Timberland Boot Company.  I was really excited.  I had been trying to find a job there for the past year!  To celebrate Luke took me to my favorite restaurant, The Puritan Backroom in Manchester, NH.  They have an amazing gluten free menu… review to come!!

Friday my friend Jodi and I were up all night making gluten free cupcakes for our best friend’s bridal shower.  Because my vanilla cupcakes were a hit on my birthday, (see my “birthday cupcakes” post) we decided to make a dozen vanilla and a dozen gluten free chocolate cupcakes. For the chocolate cupcakes we used a similar “revised” recipe using Betty Crocker’s chocolate cake mix.

Note: Use the recipe below, DO NOT follow the recipe on the box.

Update Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix

Ingredients

4 large eggs and 1 egg white

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract (gluten free)

1 package of Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix

3.4 ounces of jello instant chocolate pudding (powder mix not pre-made)

1/3 cup sugar

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 325°

2) Mix eggs, oil, orange juice,and vanilla extract in a small bowl.

3) In a large bowl mix cake mix, pudding mix, and sugar. Slowly add wet ingredients into the large bowl and mix thoroughly until batter is smooth.

4) Fill muffin tins 2/3 full and bake for approx. 25 minutes.

5) Let cool. Top with your favorite frosting.

I thought these cupcakes came out great!  Like the vanilla, the result was very moist and much better then the original recipe on the box.  Some people say they can taste the orange a little, and others couldn’t tell at all.  The people who could taste it still said they enjoyed the flavor.  We did a mixture of strawberry frosted (my fav!) and vanilla frosted, each sprinkled with edible glitter stars!

Wedding Shower Cupcakes!

And of course… Happy Wedding Shower Day to my beautiful and amazing best friend Ashley Wilson!!

The Bridal Party

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Filed under Celebrate!, Delectably Sweet, Eat-Drink-Review, It's All About ME!

Garden Pagoda, Chickpea, and Broccoli Rabe

Hi, long time no see!

This past two weeks have been super busy!  Work,  job searching/ interviewing, wedding planning, and apartment hunting have pretty much consumed my life in the past few days.  On a more exciting note, we are [possibly] adopting a sister for Jasper.  Key word here is possibly. We weren’t planning on getting a new cat, but I fell in love with this tiny 2 year old gray cat while were were picking up Jasper’s food from Pet Smart.

Hopefully Jasper's new sister "Luna"! (crossing fingers!!!)

What I love about this sweet little girl is that she is just so tiny!  She is two years old and only 6 pounds.  She came from a hoarders home of over 50 cats, probably the reason why she is so small.  She needs a good home (with a big brother to take care of her!).  She even has Jasper’s adorable face!

Tiny "Luna"

Luke and I are still trying to make the decision to adopt her (as you see my mind is made up!).  Our hope is that Jasper would love to have a friend to play with.  However, we are concerned he won’t take to have a little sister in his home.  If anyone has had experience in introducing cats, any advice would be helpful…  I still have some convincing Luke to do! 😉

Now on to the recipe…

Although things have been busy, I still had time to try out a  new chickpea and pasta recipe this week!  Chickpeas are an excellent way to beef up your gluten free pasta dishes. They add a tasy nutty flavor, protein, and loads fiber to your pasta!  Pair this up with a Greek salad and your good to go!  Quick, healthy, and delicious! 🙂

Garden Pagoda, Chickpea, and Broccoli Rabe

Garden Pagoda, Chickpea, and Broccoli Rabe

Ingredients

2 cups of Gluten Free Ancient Harvest Garden Pagodas

1/2 bunch of broccoli rabe (see note)

3/4 cup of low sodium vegetable broth (non-vegetarian option you can replace with low sodium chicken broth for added flavor)

2 teaspoons of chickpea flour (Bobs Red Mill Garbanzo Bean Flour)

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 can of chickpeas (8oz)

2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1) Prepare broccoli rabe by trimming the ends into 2 inch pieces. Hold aside.

2) In a large pot cook pasta for 6-7 minutes, add broccoli rabe and continue to cook for 3 minutes.  Drain and hold aside.

3) In a small bowl mix together vegetable broth and chickpea flour.

4) Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium heat.  Add garlic and rosemary and cook for 1 minute. Mix in broth and chickpea mixture.  Let simmer mixing constantly.  Add chickpeas, pasta, and broccoli rabe.  Cook for 2 minutes making sure pasta in coated completely stir carefully because pasta tends to break apart).  Salt and pepper to taste.

**If desired add Parmesan cheese at the end!

Note-  Broccoli rabe looks similar to broccoli, but has long stems and leaves surrounding it’s buds.  If you do not have broccoli rabe available, regular broccoli can also be used!

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Filed under It's All About ME!, Just Plain Good

Birthday Cupcakes (Improved!!!)

“Birthdays are nature’s way of telling us to eat more cake!”

This past weekend Luke and I both celebrated our 26th birthdays (yes, I am the older woman…but only by a day!).  As a special birthday treat I decided it was time to revisit the cupcake baking mix dilemma from my post back in February (“Whats up cupcake”).  Last time I tried Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix.  It’s not that my cupcakes came out bad, they actually tasted great, they were just much dryer compared to  the non-gluten free cupcakes I remember.

As promised I looked up some ways to moisten up this mix.  Using the same gluten free yellow cake mix by Betty Crocker, I read that adding instant vanilla pudding and orange juice would do the trick!  (Note-other measurements change from the package directions)  I was skeptical about putting orange juice in my vanilla cake mix, but surprisingly the result turned out to be great!  The cupcakes were moist, and were not crumbly the next day like the original recipe.  I got a hint of orange in the flavoring, but this was very slight.  In my opinion the orange may have even improved the flavor!  I made these cupcakes Saturday before Luke and I had some friends over. Knowing that many of my friends had not ever tried gluten free products I asked them to test them out.  They loved them!  A couple of them even asked me if they could wrap one up for the next day!  🙂

If your looking to make some quick and easy gluten free cupcakes I suggest you try Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix using the directions below!~

Update Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix

Ingredients

4 large eggs and 1 egg white

1/2cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract (gluten free)

1 package of Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix

3.4 ounces of jello instant vanilla pudding (powder mix not pre-made)

1/3 cup sugar

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 325°

2) Mix eggs, oil, orange juice,and vanilla extract in a small bowl.

3) In a large bowl mix cake mix, pudding mix, and sugar. Slowly add wet ingredients into the large bowl and mix thouroughly until batter is smooth.

4) Fill muffin tins 2/3 full and bake for approx. 25 minutes.

Delicious colorful spring cupcakes!


Some birthday fun…

Happy Birthday Luke!

Birthday love from my little guy!

Great times with my amazing friends!


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Filed under Delectably Sweet, Eat-Drink-Review, It's All About ME!, Just Plain Good

Girls Weekend in NC!

Just got home from an awesome weekend in North Carolina with my friend Jodi.  I’ve been feeling a little behind on my posting, because I have been away.  So I thought I would share a little bit of my trip!

Thursday night, after hours of flight delays and during what was (hopefully) the last snow storm of the season,  Jodi and I were finally off to NC for the weekend.  We were thrilled to be leaving the snowy weather behind us!

Jodi happy we are leaving New England during a snow storm!

Our weekend was filled with lots of shopping (maybe a bit too much!), two trips to Maggie Moo’s (the best ice cream ever!), a visit to Duke University, and of course a little bit of sunbathing!  We had a wonderful time!

 

Jodi and I at the Duke Gardens!

My favorite part of the trip was visiting Duke University’s Sarah P. Duke Gardens. This gorgeous 55 acre public garden is a must see if you are ever in the Raleigh-Durham area.  We spent hours just walking around the 5 miles of walks and pathways, and of course we took tons of pictures!

 

I'll take these over snow any day!

Enjoying every minute in this beautiful place!

Love all the flowers in bloom!

Duke University Chapel (Jo's future wedding spot!)

Best seat in the house! Lunch time w/ Duke's Chapel in the background.

And of course no blog post is complete with out some gluten free goodness! 🙂  On our vacation Jo introduced me to P.F. Chang’s!  I was surprised by the size of their gluten free menu.  They offer 29 gluten free items including: starters, entrees, vegetarian options, and dessert.  The best part is…they modify their most popular menu items to be gluten free using their very own versions of gluten free sauces and marinades!  Another thing I found out is that they only serve gluten free food on round plates.  Non-gluten free food is served on square and rectangular plates, this is something good to look out for.

Everything on the P.F.Chang’s menu looked really good!  I ended up ordering the gluten free egg drop soup, and the highly recommended (by Jodi) gluten free chicken lettuce wraps. Lets just say I was not disappointed, and I can’t wait to go back!

Gluten Free Egg Drop Soup

Gluten Free Lettuce Wraps

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Filed under Eat-Drink-Review, It's All About ME!, My Travels