Category Archives: Jamie’s Favorites

In my book these are the best of the best!

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

So many choices at the Puritan Backroom Restaurant

My favorite restaurant in Manchester New Hampshire is the Puritan Backroom.  The Puritan is a place where Luke and I go to celebrate many happy occasions and accomplishments.  My college graduation, my engagement to Luke, special date nights, new jobs, and even my first 1000 hits on my blog (yes we look for ANY reason to celebrate) are all the happy moments I think of every time I go to the Puritan.  The reason I love the Puritan Backroom Restaurant so much is that they have by far the best and biggest gluten free menu out of all the places I have been.

Check out the menu, I guarantee there is something for everyone!

The Puritan Backroom Restaurant Gluten Free Menu

Two weeks ago Luke and I went to the Puritan Backroom Restaurant and it was delicious (as usual).  I ALWAYS start off the night with their amazing Greek salad (with oil and vinegar on the side).  This salad is my favorite!  I am sure it has to do with the giant hunks of feta cheese they give you.  Yum!!

If you like appetizers there are plenty of gluten free options to choose from. You can order fresh vegetables with Tzatziki (a Greek strained yogurt sauce), fruit cup with sherbert, Loukaniko (grilled Greek sausage with onions and peppers), scallops wrapped in bacon, jumbo shrimp cocktail, or fresh vegetables with hummus.  I typically don’t have enough room for an appetizer, but I could always go for fresh veggies and hummus.  This is a great healthy option to go with a lighter meal.

Choosing an entree is hard for me at this restaurant because there are so many choices!  When I’m in the mood for something on the lighter side I tend to go for the vegetable stir fry.  This meal is a giant plate of summer squash, zucchini, carrots, broccoli, pepper, and onion sauteed over rice. I love this dish because it is nice and healthy, really tasty, and big enough that I have plenty left over for lunch the next day.  Another dish I have tried in the past is the barbequed lamb.  Lamb is not something I usually order, but I tried it one day when feeling more adventurous and loved it.  It’s a smaller plate of barbequed lamb tips on a skewer with onions and peppers.

The only dish I have tried at the Puritan that I would not recommend are the broiled chicken fingers or the broiled chicken parmesan.  The Puritan is well known to have the best (regular) chicken fingers around.  I was hoping the gluten free ones would be similar, but I really just did not like them. The chicken was tough in texture and the gluten free sauce was too sweet for me.  Maybe it was just an “off day”, but there are so many items on the menu I do like, that I am not sure if it is worth trying it again.

I have been on a big fish kick lately, so this past time at the Puritan I ordered the swordfish.  You have the option to choose lemon pepper or Cajun spices.  I love food on the spicy side so I went with the Cajun!  It was delicious!  So far this is my favorite dish on the gluten free menu.  It’s much more expensive compared to other items on the menu ($19.95), but worth it!  I guess I am going to have to save this dish for those extra special occasions!

Some other great reasons to go to the Puritan:

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Filed under Celebrate!, Eat-Drink-Review, Jamie's Favorites, Just Plain Good

Flourless Almond Butter Cookies w/Chocolate Ganache and Toasted Coconut

Whether or not you celebrated Easter this past Sunday, I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful weekend with friends and family!

This weekend was great! I spent a lot of quality time with my family, ate lots of good food (and way too many jelly beans!), colored Easter eggs, and made all sorts of delicious gluten free cookies!

My Easter Cookie Platter- IMMACULATE Chocolate Chunk, Almond Butter and White Chocolate Chip, & Almond Butter w/ Chocolate Ganache and Toasted Coconut Cookies... YUM! 🙂

I started off with gluten free chocolate chip cookies.  IMMACULATE BAKING CO. makes my absolute favorite gluten free cookie dough.  Their Jumbo Chocolate Chunk cookies are super easy and come ready-to-bake.  Just take them out of the fridge, break apart, and stick on a pan!  One package will make a dozen cookies in less than 20 minutes.  These cookies are incredibly soft and chewy, and they taste just like a chocolate chip cookie should!  They do not flatten out like cookies traditionally do after when in the oven, but form a round plump cookie instead. Personally I liked them like that, but if you prefer something thinner just flatten out the dough a little before baking.

Chocolate Chip w/ IMMACULATE BAKING CO. Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough

IMMACULATE BAKING CO. Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough can be found in the refrigerated section in most natural food markets.  I did not have any luck finding this product at my local Shaw’s, Hannaford, or Stop and Shop supermarkets, however, I have noticed it appearing on shelves at several Market Baskets in my area.

The second batch of cookies I made were sort of an experiment.  Using an old recipe given to me for flourless peanut butter cookies I decided to try to make my own flourless almond butter cookies with white chocolate chips (see recipe below- add 1 cup of white chocolate chips/ without chocolate ganache and coconut).  The first tray of cookies I made were not the best, but then I realized I forgot the baking powder… Oops!  The second tray came out pretty good, but I still wasn’t satisfied.  I knew I could do much better…

For the final batch of cookies I decided the white chocolate needed to go.  Instead I made an all almond butter cookie.  Then to add some PIZAZZ, I stirred up a chocolate ganache and toasted shredded coconut in my toaster oven.  When my almond butter cookies were baked and completely cooled I drizzled the chocolate ganache over half of each almond butter cookie and topped each one with the toasted coconut.  Finally a creation I could be proud of! 🙂   Check out my recipe (below) and let me know what you think!

Flourless Almond Butter Cookies w/Chocolate Ganache and Toasted Coconut

Gluten Free

Flourless Almond Butter Cookies w/Chocolate Ganache and Toasted Coconut


Ingredients

(Cookies)

2 cups of creamy Almond Butter

2 cups light brown sugar packed

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons of baking soda

(Chocolate Ganache)

½ cup heavy cream

1 cup of chocolate chips

¾ cup shredded coconut, toasted

Directions

(Cookies)

1) Preheat oven to 350°F

2) Mix together almond butter, light brown sugar, eggs and baking soda in a large bowl until smooth.

3) Drop oversized tablespoons onto an ungreased baking sheet for 10-13 minutes or until lightly browned (depending on how large you make them).

4) Place cookies on wire racks and allow to cool completely.

5) Meanwhile, toast coconut in warmed oven or toaster oven until browned.

(Ganache)

1) In a medium sized glass bowl microwave cream on high for 1 minute.

2) Add chocolate chips and let sit for 2 minutes. Then stir chocolate until mixture is smooth.

3) When cookies have been cooled, spread half the melted chocolate over half of each cookie. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.

4) Let set at room temperature.

And just for fun I thought I would add some photos of us coloring our Easter eggs. 🙂  Jasper decided he was going to help too!

Our bright and colorful eggs (too bad we broke one)!

Trying to get creative with the pink!

Very interested in Luke's blue egg!

My handsome guy 🙂

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Filed under Delectably Sweet, Eat-Drink-Review, Fast from the Freezer, Jamie's Favorites

Stepping into Spring with Gluten Free Pasta

Delicious pasta recipes can easily be turned into yummy gluten free dishes. This past Monday night was Luke’s turn to make dinner.  Worried that we needed to use up the spring onions and mushrooms in the fridge,  I tossed Luke one of my cooking magazines, hoping he would look at some of the pasta recipes and come up with something good.

At first I was worried, watching him look at the spring onion’s large bulbs and hollow green leaves with a puzzled look on his face. “Jame, what part do we eat?” he asked.  Amused, and not quite sure myself I told him to just guess.  I use green onions all the time in my recipes, but this was the first time I ever purchased the similar but extra-large spring onion. Plus I really wanted him to do this on his own!

After Luke got started our kitchen smelled amazing.  Nothing is better than the smell of onions and garlic!  After about 40 minutes , Luke put a plate of my gluten free fusilli pasta in front of me.  It was mixed with caramelized spring onions (yes, he figured them out!), sautéed mushrooms, garlic, vegetable broth, and white wine.  The best part was that it was topped  with gluten free breadcrumbs that had been browned in the oven with garlic.

Let’s just say I am still craving more of this yummy pasta!  This dish was so good and full of flavor, you could not even tell he used gluten free pasta!  I am actually thinking about making this again on Sunday to take to my family as a side dish for Easter!

GF Fusilli with Carmelized Spring Onions and Mushrooms

Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Ingredients

1/2 cup of gluten free breadcrumbs

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups of spring onion, sliced thin

4 white mushrooms

1/2 cup dry vermouth

1/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth (Pacific Natural Food’s Low Sodium Organic Vegetable Broth once again is my fav!)

8 oz package of gluten free pasta (I used Bionaturae Gluten Free Fusilli)

1/4 teaspoon pepper

salt (if desired)

Directions

1) Preheat over to 375 °

2) In a small bowl combine the gluten free breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  When mixed spread on a cookie sheet and bake until browned (between 5-7 minutes).  Hold aside.

3) Heat remaining olive oil (2 tbs.) in a pan on medium-low heat.  Add onions and let cook for 25 minutes. When there is only 10 minutes left add mushrooms.

4) Meanwhile, cook gluten free pasta according to package directions.

5) After onion and mushroom mixture has cooked for 25 minutes increase heat to medium-high.  Add remaining garlic (1 tbs.) and dry vermouth and cook for 1 minute. Next add vegetable broth and cook for 4-5 minutes.

6) Combine cooked pasta with the onion and mushroom mixture. Season with salt and pepper and top with breadcrumbs.

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Filed under Jamie's Favorites, Just Plain Good, Luke Cooks G-Free!, Sensational Sides

Sunday Morning Happiness

Gluten Free Coffee Cake Muffins

Gluten Free

This morning while flipping through Eating Well Magazine I came across the most delicious looking Coffee-Streusel Bundt Cake (non-gluten free of course).  It reminded me how much I LOVE coffee cake muffins, and I haven’t had one in years!  I decided it was time to make my own version of this delicious treat!

For me baking can be difficult.  Unlike cooking you need to be exact with measurements.  Just one mistake can leave you with an awful product.  To make things a little easier on myself and save some time I decided to use Gluten Free Pantry’s Muffin and Scone Mix.  I prepared the mix like the box said, but added an additional 1 teaspoon of cinnamon for extra flavor.  I then prepared the crumbly filling and coffee glaze very similar to Eating Well’s Coffee- Streusel Bundt Cake recipe.  Substituting the all-purpose flour for Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour and making sure to use a gluten free vanilla extract.  This recipe turned out to be really easy, and the final product came out EXCELLENT! It definitely fulfilled my coffee cake muffin craving!

Ingredients


Muffin Mix

1 box Gluten Free Pantry’s Muffin and Scone Mix

6 tablespoons softened butter

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon of gluten free vanilla extract

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon cinnamon (additional to box mix directions)

Streusel- the crumble filling in the middle of the muffin

3 tablespoons of gluten free all purpose flour (Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour)

3 tablespoons of dark brown sugar

3 tablespoons of chopped hazelnuts

1 tablespoon of melted butter

Coffee Glaze Topping

1/2 cup of confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon of  instant expresso (dry)

2 tablespoons of brewed hazelnut coffee

chopped hazelnuts to sprinkle on top

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 375 F

2) Prepare muffin batter according to package directions.  Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to mix.  Hold aside.

3) Mix gluten free flour, dark brown sugar, hazelnuts, espresso powder, and melted butter in a small bowl.  This should make a crumbly mixture.

4) Fill muffin tray half way with muffin batter. Spoon a layer streusel filling. Then fill the rest of the tray with muffin batter.  If desired sprinkle a thin layer of streusel on top (I did this with half the muffins).

5) Bake muffins for 15-18 minutes (until lightly brown and cooked all the way through).

6) Meanwhile, prepare coffee glaze topping.  Mix confectioners sugar, instant espresso, and hazelnut coffee. If mixture is too runny add more sugar, if too thin add more coffee.

7) Drizzle coffee glaze over cooled muffins. Top muffins with chopped hazelnuts.

Mmmm... perfect breakfast!

Now it’s time to go enjoy this beautiful Sunday!  Off to the outlets with my love to pick up some new running sneaks as an early birthday present!  Hooray!! 😉

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Filed under Delectably Sweet, Jamie's Favorites, Just Plain Good