Category Archives: Sensational Sides

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


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)


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.



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

Goat Cheese and Herb Stuffed Chicken Breast & Red Pepper Quinoa

Whenever I am waiting in line at the grocery store my eyes are always drawn to the mouth watering food on the covers of food magazines.  I never used to bother buying these magazines because most of the recipes are not gluten free.  What’s the point in teasing myself with yummy looking food that I can’t eat?!  Lately however, I started flipping through the cooking magazines to use as inspiration for my own gluten free recipes.

Most recipes I find are really easy to change to be gluten free.  I take the ingredients I can’t eat and exchange them for something similar that I can.  I also add my own spin to my recipes, using ingredients that I conveniently have in my refrigerator!

The other day when flipping through Cooking Light Magazine I saw a picture for a goat cheese and herb stuffed chicken with a side of couscous and spinach.  It looked delicious!  The recipe called for a couple of off limit ingredients including; panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) and couscous.  Changing this recipe turned out to be a piece of cake!  I used my favorite italian bread crumbs by Gillian’s Foods in place of the panko, added green onions to the filling (just because I love them!), and decided to coat the chicken in an olive oil, lemon, and pepper mixture.  For the side dish, instead of making the forbidden couscous, I made quinoa (my favorite!) mixed with a red pepper and green onion saute.  Easy and delicious!

Goat Cheese and Herb Stuffed Chicken with Red Pepper Quinoa and Green Beans

Goat Cheese and Herb Stuffed Chicken Breast

Gluten Free


1/4 cup gluten free Italian breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons green onions, sliced really small

4 oz. package of goat cheese

3 chicken breasts

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 lemon wedge



1) Preheat oven to 350˚

2) In a medium bowl combine breadcrumbs, mint, parsley, green onions, and goat cheese.

Goat Cheese, Mint, Parsley, and Green Onions

3) Cut a diagonal slit into the chicken breast and form a pocket (works best on the largest side of the chicken).  Stuff with the goat cheese mixture and secure with toothpicks.

4) Brush the chicken with olive oil, lemon, and pepper.

5) Chicken then needs to be seared on a pan (about 3-4 minutes per side), then bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on how thick the chicken breasts are).

Red Pepper Quinoa

Gluten Free, Vegan


1 cups water

1/2 cup quinoa

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large red pepper, cut into small cubes

1 tablespoon of minced garlic

2 tablespoons green onions, sliced

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

Note: I use green onions a lot because Luke does not like regular onions, but regular yellow onions would work well in this recipe too!


1) First, cook quinoa according to package directions (bring water to a boil in a saucepan.  Add quinoa.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes).

2) Meanwhile, in a small pan saute olive oil, red pepper, and garlic in a pan on medium heat until red pepper is cooked through.  Mix in green onion and red pepper flakes and heat for 1 minute.

3) Remove from heat. Mix in the red peppers with cooked quinoa and serve!

Leave a comment

Filed under Just Plain Good, Sensational Sides

March Mango Madness!

It’s mango season! And I am sure you have noticed I have been adding mangoes to everything lately. I can’t help it, they are just so good!  The mango is a really juicy tropical fruit, with a flavor that’s both sweet and tart.  They are high in vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C.

There are many ways to eat the marvelous mango!

1) Peel back the soft skin and eat it as is (watch out they are messy!).

2) Add them to your salads, rice, or grain dishes (see my Mango-Apple Quinoa Salad below).

3) Mango Salsa is great with tortilla chips, or added to the top of meat, poultry, or fish dishes. (Haddock with Orange-Mango Salsa).

4) Add mangoes to your favorite smoothie (Kale & Mango Green Smoothie coming soon!).

5) Or add to your favorite dessert or baked good (Gluten Free Banana Mango Bread).

Don't like fish? Use the salsa recipe from the "Haddock with Orange Mango Salsa" dish and serve with your favorite chips instead! YUM!

Today I made Mango Apple Quinoa Salad. It’s sweet and refreshing.  It is served cold as either a side dish to your main meal, or makes a wonderful snack.

Mango Apple Quinoa Salad

Gluten Free, Vegan, Dairy Free


2 cups water

1 cup quinoa

1 large mango, peeled and cut into small cubes

2 apples, peeled and cut into small cubes

1/2 cup green onion,diced

1/4 cup of parsley, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

1 lemon

1/2 tsp. white vinegar

1 1/2 tsp. white cooking wine

1/2 tsp dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt (or to taste)

pepper to taste


1) First, cook quinoa according to package directions (bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Add quinoa. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes) Allow cooked quinoa to cool to room temperature; fluff with a fork. (I typically will rinse with cool water and place in fridge for 10 minutes to cool faster)

2) Once quinoa has been cooled mix in the mango, apple, green onion, and parsley.

3) In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon, vinegar, wine, and mustard. Mix well into the quinoa.

4) Add garlic salt and pepper to taste. Chill before serving.


Filed under Healthy Snacks, Just Plain Good, Sensational Sides

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Gluten Free, Vegan, Dairy Free

For my very first blog entry I want to share one of my absolute favorite recipes- Quinoa Tabbouleh!

As a child my grandma got me hooked on Tabbouleh and Syrian bread. Although nothing is quite like the Syrian bread I ate as a child, I did find a way to keep eating tabbouleh after my switch to a wheat-free diet. This gluten-free version of tabbouleh replaces the bulgur (wheat) with quinoa. Quinoa is a “grain-like” seed that is an excellent replacement for the grains restricted in a gluten or wheat-free diet. Best of all it his high in protein and tastes good too!

Quinoa Tabbouleh is great to make ahead of time and take to work for lunch and also serves as a great side with dinner. It also make a great snack when scooped with gluten-free corn chips! YUM!

Quinoa Tabbouleh and Corn Chips


2 cups water

1 cup quinoa

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 cups squeezed fresh lemon

3 tomatoes, diced

1 cucumber, diced

3 bunches green onions, diced

1 cup fresh parsley, chopped


1) First, cook quinoa according to package directions (bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Add quinoa. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes) Allow cooked quinoa to cool to room temperature; fluff with a fork. (I typically will rinse with cool water and place in fridge for 10 minutes to cool faster)

2) Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine olive oil, garlic salt, fresh squeezed lemon juice, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, and parsley. Stir in cooled quinoa.

**Grandma’s tip: to chop parsley more fine- wrap tightly in leaves of lettuce to hold it together while chopping.

Leave a comment

Filed under Jamie's Favorites, Just Plain Good, Sensational Sides