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Veggie Pasta Bake

This dinner was one of the best I’ve made in a long time.  Pasta is definitely one of my downfalls when it comes to eating healthy just because it’s something I have a hard time controlling how much I eat of it.  This recipe helps that because it’s full of lots of veggies and less pasta.

This recipe includes:

– 1/2 bag of gluten free pasta of your choice (I used ziti from TJ’s) already cooked, but not cooked completely.  It will cook more in the oven.

– two jars of tomato sauce (TJ’s marinara and spgahetti)

– 1 bag of frozen brocolli

– 1 onion chopped

– 1 container of sliced portabello mushrooms

– 2 bell peppers, one red and one yellow

– sprinkle of garlic and crushed red pepper flakes

– part skim mozzarella cheese

– parmesan cheese

First, saute all of the vegetables except broccoli in a pan.  Once they are soft, add in the frozen brocoli and cook till warm.  I used pasta I had cooked last night and heated it up for a minute in the microwave so it wasn’t stuck together.  Put the pasta in a foil pan and top it with the vegetables, seasonings, and two jars of sauce.  Mix all of this together. 

The top this with both cheeses to your liking.  Then cook for about 20 minutes on 500 degrees until the top is bubbly and browned.  This dinner was truly delicious and was liked by all.  I will be making this again.


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Gluten Free Chinese Dinner

This dinner didn’t come out exactly how I had expected it too, but that’s ok because every cooking experience is part of learning.  You can always try and make something better next time.  This dish is shrimp stir fry.  Stir fry’s are easy to make and since gluten free chinese food is hard to come by, this is one way of getting that flavor back into your life. 

This stir fry included:

  • 2 chopped onions
  • 2 chopped peppers
  • 1 bag of fresh snap peas
  • 1 can of baby corn
  • 1 bag of bean sprouts
  • 1 bag of frozen asian vegetable mixture
  • 2 small cans of pineapple in 100% juice
  • corn starch
  • garlic powder
  • fresh ginger
  • 1lb bag of shrimp (I used cooked jumbo that I defrosted and added towards the end of cooking the remaining vegetables)
  • soy sauce (gluten free)
  • sezchwan sauce (gluten free)


This mixture made a ton of stir fry.  I have lots of leftovers.  First saute all of the fresh vegetables, then add in the frozen vegetables and the soy sauce and szcheuan sauce.  All of this will need to be to taste because the szecheuan sauce is very spicy and not everyone likes this style of sauce.  Towards the end add in the baby corn and shrimp to get heated through.  Then add in 2-3 tsp. of corn starch to thicken the sauce a little bit.

I served my stir fry over shirataki noodles.  You have to like the taste and consistency of these, but they are low in calories and to me a good stand if for rice in this kind of a dinner.  Do you have any gluten free stir fry sauce secrets?

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Chicken Enchiladas

This meal is usually something I do when I either have already made chicken or I cook chicken breasts in the oven while cooking another meal.  This way, once the chicken is cool, I can shred it, put it in the fridge, and easily make the enchiladas the next day.  For the chicken, I used three chicken breasts that were sprinkled with garlic, cumin, and chili powder.  I cooked these, shredded them and put them in the fridge until I was ready to make enchiladas.  The next day I simply heated 8 corn tortillas in the microwave so they would be easy to roll and work with.  As I rolled them, I put them in a foil pan sprayed with cooking spray and then topped the enchiladas with two different salsas, both from my favorite store of course, Trader Joe’s.

Once all of that was in the pan, I sprinkled 2% reduced fat mexican cheese on half of it.  Then I baked it in the oven at 400 until it was brown and warmed through.

On the side, I simply doctored up a can of black beans to make them mexican black beans.  These include sprinkles of garlic powder, onion flakes, crushed red pepper, and cumin.  This was just heated in the microwave for about two minutes, and it’s done.  Almost like a restaurant!

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Barbecued Chicken Breasts

This dinner was super easy and super tasty.  Barbecued Chicken breasts baked in the oven are great.  I didn’t even premarinate these.  All you have to do is spray a pan with cooking spray.  Place the chicken in the tray and top it with a gluten free bbq sauce of your choice (some of my favorites include Trader Joe’s Classic, Dinosaur BBQ, Bone Suckin Sauce).  This chicken uses Trader Joe’s sauce.  Get the sauce all over the chicken on both sides and cook it at 400.  You will have to judge how long it takes the chicken to cook based on the sizes of your pieces.  I used boneless skinless chicken breasts.  I also flipped these in the middle. 

On the side I made a vegetable I had never made before and it turned out delicious.  This is baby bok choy.  In order to make this I used about 1 tsp. of olive oil and 2-3tsp. of crushed garlic.  heat this in the pan until it warms up.  Then add in the bok choy.  I had three stalks that I chopped and cleaned well.  saute this and add some margarine, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes.  Cook until the leaves are wilted and the tough parts are just soft and crunchy.  This was a great new vegetable and gave us a break from broccoli and asparagus. 

Have you made any new vegetables lately that I should try?

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Easy Turkey Fajita Tacos

This is a really easy dinner that I made even easier using a few convenience foods.  This is Trader Joe’s taco seasoning mix which is gluten free and made of pure spices and frozen mixed peppers.  These mixed peppers cut down a lot of time cutting for me.  For the taco meat, I used ground turkey breast.  This is the leanest form of turkey you can buy.  To make the fajita tacos I started by sauteing one vidalia onion in a frying pan.  To the onion I added the ground meet and cooked it until it was about half way done.  Then I added the frozen peppers and cooked these down a bit for a couple of minutes.  Then I added the full bag of taco seasoning and one 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes and cooked everything until combined and hot.  You’ll notice that if you follow the directions on the back of the taco seasoning, that I didn’t follow the directions.  I like a lot of vegetables in my tacos, and that’s why I called these fajita tacos.  Also, the package calls for tomato sauce, but I like this better with the chopped tomatoes.  Here’s a look at the final product.  This mixture went into yummy corn tortillas.  Then I topped them with a little lettuce and shredded lite mexican cheese.  Also, on the side we had this vegetable which was quite interesting.  This is a new vegetable from TJ’s.  It’s frozen grilled asparagus.  I couldn’t figure out if I liked it or not.  It sort of tasted burnt, but it also tasted good.  You may want to try it for yourself.

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Grilled Hamburgers…Kind of!

One thing that I rarely get cravings for, but tend to enjoy on occasion are hamburgers.  I recently learned that hamburgers can be a really easy meal for my husband and I.  This meal consisted of hamburgers, mushrooms and onions, and roasted confetti potatoes.  To make this easiest, I started with a package of lean hamburger patties that were already made.  I sprayed a grill pan with cooking spray and heated it to medium.  Once hot, I put the four patties in the pan and seasoned each with montreal steak seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and italian seasoning.  I let them cook for about 5 minutes on one side and then flipped them over sprinkling all the seasoning except the montreal on the opposite side.  Then I cooked this side until almost done and flipped one more time to seal in all the seasoning.  Doesn’t it look like it was cooked on a regular grill.  Then I simply cut up an onion and cooked it with baby bellas and shitake mushrooms over medium high heat.  I sprinkled this with garlic, salt, and pepper and cooked it until it just started to brown.  Once browning, sprinkle in paprika and cook until completely done.  For the potatoes, I used a bag of mini confetti potatoes including white, red, and purple.  I simply diced these into quarters and placed them in a tin sprayed with cooking spray.  I also added one sliced onion, 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp. of crushed garlic.  Mix all of this up and cook it on broil until all the potatoes are nicely browned.  You will want to mix this periodically while cooking.  Here’s a before and after look at the potatoes.

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Leftover Thanksgiving Sandwiches

So you’ve seen my summer Thanksgiving Turkey dinner…now see the beautiful sandwich I made the next day with my leftovers.  It wasn’t that long ago that I would never make sandwiches because the breads were so horrible and dense.  This sandwich had none of those awful characteristics because it is made with Udi’s bread.  It is absolutely the best.  On the sandwich was just turkey and cranberry sauce.  On the side I made a couple of different vegetables I really like.  First, I made squash, zucchini and onions.  For this recipe it takes a lot of squash and zucchini because the vegetables cook down a lot.  I used the following:

  • 5 small zucchini
  • 3 yellow squash
  • 1 medium to large size onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • water to coat the bottom of the pot
  • Here’s everything all cut up and overflowing the pot.  Once you put everything in the pot together, let it cook over medium heat stirring often to make sure nothing burns and the vegetables evenly cook.  Doesn’t that look really springy?!  Another vegetable that I’ve really been enjoying lately is arugula.  It is really simple to make arugula because it just needs to wilt when it’s cooked.  For this recipe I simply simmered 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of chicken broth in a pot with 2 tsp. of crushed garlic and 2 tsp. of chopped onion flakes.  Once the mixture was smoking, I added the arugula and cooked it just until wilted throughout.  Then I added pepper to taste.  This is really nice and green.  Enjoy!

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