Tag Archives: Vegetarian

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


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


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

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

There’s a whole new world of gluten free pizza out there!

The most common thing I hear when someone is just starting on a gluten free diet is “I just wish I could have some pizza!”.  For me, pizza was BY FAR the hardest thing to give up.  Sure, when I started on my wheat free diet gluten free pizza existed, but it was not easy to find, and many of the products that I tried just weren’t any good!  But now more and more companies and restaurants are becoming aware, and getting on board with gluten free products and offerings.  I am happy to say there is a whole new world of gluten free pizza out there!

Here are a couple of my pizza favorites!…

My favorite way to make pizza at home- Rustic Crust Napoli Herb Gluten Free Pizza Crust

The Rustic Crust Napoli Herb is my new “go to” crust when I want to make a delicious pizza in a hurry.  This all natural crust is wheat/gluten free and dairy free.  Unlike other brands, this one comes in a sealed package instead of in the frozen food aisle.  I love the fact that this product is not frozen!  It makes me feel as though I am eating something more fresh (and I probably am!).  The only downside to not having a frozen pizza crust was that it is a lot more crumbly, but only before putting it in the oven, so I recommend you just be careful when taking it out of the packaging so it doesn’t break.  Once the pizza is fully cooked, the crust holds together well, the edges are nice and crispy, and the middle is thin but still moist.  Thin gluten free pizza is a good thing, if a crust is too thick it often tastes less like a “regular pizza” and more “bready”.  The best part about this crust is the taste!  Unlike other crusts I have tried, the Rustic Crust Napoli Herb is blended with spices and herbs, which definitely adds extra flavor to my pizza!

I buy Rustic Crust Napoli Herb Crust at Hannaford’s Supermarket in the gluten free section of the natural food aisle.  It’s usually right next to all of the gluten free pasta.  Check out the Rustic Crust website, you can look up where to find this product near you or even buy it online!

The last pizza I made on Rustic Crust was a combination of things I already had in my kitchen; Mushrooms, Peppers, onions, pineapple, and pumpkin seeds!  It was quick, really easy, and there was no mess like when making your own dough.  I often make this when I want something quick when I get home from work.  It’s usually done in less than 30 minutes (including prep time!).

Mmmm…makes me wish I had leftovers for lunch today! 😉

Rustic Crust Napoli Herb Gluten Free Pizza Crust (before baking)

Veggie and Pineapple Pizza on Rustic Crust Napoli Herb Crust!


My favorite pizza restaurantPortland Pie Co.

Portland Pie Co. has changed my life! Ok that may be going a little too far, but it definitely has brought the traditional pizza and a movie date night experience back into Luke and my lives.  Not only does this restaurant have incredible pizza, THEY DELIVER!  I absolutely love the fact that Luke and I can stay in an order pizza like a normal couple. Portland Pie Co. is a newer edition to downtown Manchester.  They also have locations in Portland, Scarborough, and Westbrook Maine.

The large menu includes over 16 different pizzas, with the option to build your own.  The gluten free pizza is available as a 10” personal pizza and the price ranges from $9.49- $11.49 (totally worth it!).  They use a special gluten free sauce and have the option to add a gluten free/vegan cheese for those who choose not to or cannot consume dairy products.

My favorite pizza (below) is the “Old Orchard”.  I get this on the gluten free crust, with gluten free sauce.  The “Old Orchard” is a vegetarian pizza that comes with green peppers, fire roasted red peppers, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, fresh garlic, three cheese blend, and crushed red pepper.  My only tip is that you order this a little well done, all the toppings tend to weigh it down otherwise!

The “Old Orchard” at Portland Pie Co.

What’s your favorite gluten free pizza?


Filed under Eat-Drink-Review, Jamie's Favorites

Date Night at Pochito’s!

Luke and I LOVE going out for Mexican food. Not only is it delicious, but most of the menu items are made from corn and I tend to have a lot of gluten free options.

The other night we decided to check out the new Pochito’s Mexican Restaurant and Cantina in Manchester. It was excellent!  The food was amazing and the service was great.  Although I am usually pretty sure what I am allowed to eat at a Mexican restaurant, I still always make it a point to ask which items are gluten free and let the waitress know that I can not have wheat.

33 South Commercial Street in the Mill Building (right near the Fishercat Stadium)

After the waitress explained to me that I could order almost anything on the menu (as long as it was on either a soft or hard corn tortilla), the owner of the restaurant was nice enough to come over to our table to let me know that he would take care of me.  He let me know that when creating his menu he kept the gluten free diet in mind, because his wife also has to eat gluten free. He assured me that his chips, corn tortillas, salsa were all gluten free, as well as all the beef, chicken, fish, and veggies (some places will add flour to their marinades or rubs).

One thing I loved about the menu at Pochito’s is that you can “make your own fiesta”.  I ordered a vegetarian “fiesta” for only $9.00.  I was allowed choose two of the following: Enchilada, Chile Relleno, Burrito, Tostada, Taco, or Quesadilla.  Each item made with grilled vegetables, mushrooms, spinach, and cheese.  The meal also came with a side of rice and beans.

I ordered a vegetarian taco on a soft corn tortilla and tostada with veggies.  A tostada is basically an open faced taco pizza.  I asked for both with light cheese and a side of rice. Yum!

Vegetarian Tostada

Vegetarian Taco on a Soft Corn Tortilla

And of course the best part of Mexican Restaurants... Chips & Salsa!!

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Filed under Eat-Drink-Review, Jamie's Favorites

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