Tag Archives: Salad

Company For Dinner

As I told you on Friday night, we were having friends over for dinner last night.  Yesterday definitely became a very busy day trying to get everything ready for dinner.  I really had no idea what to make for our friends.  My husband and my friend’s husband aren’t really too into fish, so that was out.  I don’t really like cooking red meat that much, so that was out too.  I knew it had to be chicken of some sort, but my usual chicken recipes just were not doing it for me.  Also, I wasn’t sure what we were going to do for the side items.  My sister actually helped me look for some recipes because I felt clueless.  I’m not really sure why I felt that way since I cook almost everyday, but I wanted dinner to be good, and I wanted our friends to enjoy it.  I actually cooked everything except for the rice from a real recipe.  I almost never do that. 

I didn’t take pictures of the apps, but we started with various Trader Joe’s eats.  Olives, Artichoke Tapenade, Eggplant Capponata, lite gouda cheese, stilton cheese with apricots, carrots, crackers, and hummus were all very good.  Again TJ’s didn’t disappoint me at all.

Then we sat down for salad.DSC01598  This salad was delicious.  It included apples, toasted walnuts, dried cherries, orange pepper, and a combination of romaine and young lettuces.  The recipe is from epicurious, and you can find it here.  The only thing about this recipe is that i definitely used more lettuce than what the recipe called for and I added orange pepper because I like pepper, and there is way too much dressing.  I only used about half.  You may want to cut down the dressing measurements if you don’t want to have leftover dressing, or you can just save it for another salad, which I definitely will be doing.

For the main course, we had chicken in a really great marinade.  DSC01601The recipe came from the I Am Gluten Free blog.  The recipe used orange juice, honey, pomegranate juice, and lots of spices as a marinade.  It had a great flavor and I would definitely make it again.  Next time though I would probably marinate the chicken for a little while before cooking it.  You can find the recipe here.

The side dishes included Lundberg’s Wild Rice cooked in chicken stock instead of water and Asparagus with Parmesan Butter.DSC01603DSC01600  The asparagus was delicious.  I’m excited for leftovers tonight.  This recipe is also from eipicurious and it can be found here.  I think next time I may add more basil.  The basil really adds a lot.  I think fresh basil might be finding its way into my food more coming up.

The most exciting part of my meal was this.DSC01593DSC01592DSC01591  Now, I have never made bread in my life let alone gluten free bread.  I really have been craving warm crusty bread, so I decided yesterday to look for gluten free bread recipes to see if there were any that seemed easy to make.  This one was one of the first to come up and I thought it was quite easy.  The only thing was that the recipe called for two loaves, but the dough was so sticky that I decided to just make one giant loaf.  This was the closest thing to normal bread that I’ve had in the last 6 months.  All of my gluten eating guests enjoyed the bread as well.  The recipe is from Gluten Free Girl and can be found here.

The final star of the meal were these desserts that our guests Rich and Briana went out of their way to bring to dinner from Mama’s.DSC01604  This is the same restaurant where Mike took me for my birthday last weekend, and had no idea that we had been there since it is so far from where we live.  I happily tried half a cannoli and a small bite of each of the chocolate desserts.  It was so yummy.  I really enjoyed the cannoli.

This was such a good night!  I really enjoy entertaining and hope to do it again soon.

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Yummy Dinners

Since yesterday was a crazy day, and I posted all my meals from the weekend that i thought were of interest to you all, I never actually posted my dinner from last night.  So this post will combine the last two nights together.

First, last night was risotto night.  I don’t make rissoto that often because it is one of those foods to me like pasta where I have to really control my portions.  This risotto was fabulous though.  Yesterday was my birthday and a very long day.  We hadn’t been to the grocery store in a week, so we didn’t have too many fresh ingredients on hand.  However, we had a few very good frozen items to make a delicious risotto. 

The risotto contained the following

  • 1 1/2 cups of Arborio Rice
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine (Here’s the wine I used…it is definitely one of my favorites for eating and drinking)DSC01407
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 small onions (Mike wanted to be in the blog today…he was the chopper)DSC01405
  • A few sweet peppers from my dad’s garden
  • 1 tbsp margarine
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 bag frozen asparagus defrosted and cut ( I just defrosted it in the microwave)
  • 1 pound of shrimp (I used frozen cooked, but you can use any kind of shrimp for this recipe)
  • Sprinkling of mozzarella and parmesan cheese to taste
  • Pepper to taste

First, I sauteed the onion and pepper in the margarine while heating the stock in another pan.  Once the onions were cooked, I added the risotto and coated it until almost translucent.  Then I added the wine and cooked it until the wine was absorbed.  Once the wine was absorbed, I added about a cup of the heated stock and cooked until that was absorbed.  Make sure to continue to stir the risotto the whole time.  As the stock gets absorbed, continue to add more until all the stock is almost absorbed in the pot.  For this recipe, I added the asparagus, peas, and shrimp about half way into the cooking time.  When almost all of the stock is absorbed, add the cheese and season with pepper if needed.  Here’s the final product…so yummy.  Mike went back for multiple servings.DSC01411

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now for dinner tonight…this is a meal you’ve partially seen on the blog before.  We had Trader Joe’s Ratatouille and Polenta log along with salad.  I love buying easy foods to make at TJ’s and then adding my own spin to them.  This Ratatouille included some leftover raw zucchini that was about on its last leg and sliced mini heirloom tomatoes.  This was the first time that I’ve added my own tomatoes and decided to slice them.  The reason I chose to do this was because usually the tomatoes don’t cook as well and I always end up mashing them on the side of the pan.  With them already being sliced, they cooked much more evenly.  As always, I added garlic powder and crushed red pepper flakes to the ratatouille mixture as well.

DSC01412Here is the polenta browning in the pan also.  I got a lot of slices out of this log.  So very good.DSC01418  I was craving salad tonight to go along with the polenta.  My stepmom made this really great salad this weekend that she’s made for me before, so I decided to recreate it on my own after asking her what she uses for the dressing.  I had never really made my own salad dressing until tonight.

 

 

 

 

The salad included:

  • Baby lettuce
  • Sliced Raw Mushrooms
  • 1/2 sliced small red onion
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • Nuts such as almonds or walnuts if desired (I opted not to include nuts in this salad tonight, but they taste very good in the salad)
  • Cheese of choice; goat cheese, blue cheese, feta, gorgonzola (I topped my salad with crumbled goat cheese since Mike is not into cheese on salad)

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The dressing included:

  • 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp spicy mustard
  • sprinkling of garlic powder
  • sprinkling of italian seasoning

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Mix all ingredients together and pour over the salad.  I had a bit leftover, and will save the remaining dressing for another day.

Here’s all of my dinner tonight…DSC01422DSC01420

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you probably have seen looking through my blog, I have started using my new pots and pan set from cuisinart.  So far these pots are great.  I cooked everything in them both last night and tonight.  Once I use them for a little bit longer, I will give a full review.

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So Much To Say

Here’s more pictures of the beautiful produce from yesterday’s green market.  Some of this was incorporated into my meals over the last few days.

Heirloom Tomatoes

corn

Apples

okra

Squash Varieties

watermelon

All of the fruits and veggies make me so happy.

Yesterday in the mail, I received a special delivery that I had ordered.

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I saw many other bloggers writing about their custom granola and cereal creations.  Many of the creations however were not gluten free.  Well www.meandgoji.comis different.  They have three different gluten free bases including a flake cereal, gf granola, and oates.  Most of their fruits, nuts, and other toppings are gluten free as well.  My cereal creation contains flaxed and flaked, ground nutmeg, gound cinnamon, quinoa, strawberry, amaranth, and pumpkin seeds.  It’s so good, and one other thing…take a look at this.

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This is the coolest seal of approval.  They give you the CEO’s personal cell phone number on the lid if you have a problem.  How creative.  I love creative companies like that.

Moving on to my lunch today…

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I told you that I would be utilizing my leftover quinoa for lunch in the next few days.  I definitely put it to great use today.  Here are the ingredients.

  • spinach leaves
  • romaine
  • beets
  • goat cheese crumbles
  • yellow zucchini
  • green zucchini
  • mini heirloom tomatoes
  • leftover roasted asparagus
  • mini peppers
  • quinoa

I didn’t use any dressing on this salad since I had so many wonderful flavors from the vegetables.

Dessert was a bunch of green grapes…and my afternoon snack…

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This gala apple was great.  It is a local NY State apple I also bought at the greenmarket yesterday.  I couldn’t believe how sweet and crisp it was.  I can’t wait to eat more of these later in the week.

My dinner post will have to wait until tomorrow.  It was a great new concoction.

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Shrimp on Salad

For brunch today I had such a good omelet.  It was egg whites with mushrooms, pepper, broccoli, tomato, and avocado.  I also asked for salsa on the side.  I also had some of my potatoes and an iced coffee.  It was truly delicious.

After brunch we visited Brooklyn for a short time to drive my husband’s grandmother home followed by a trip to Trader Joe’s and Stop and Shop.  Since today was such a warm beautiful day, I felt that a yummy light salad was in order.  I filled up a big bowl with romaine, baby lettuces, mini persian cucumber, mini peppers, mini heirloom tomatoes.

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There was one secret ingredient.  Besides the shrimp, this was the highlight.

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Mangos are so good on salad.  I really love the flavor it adds.

To make the shrimp, I started with a bag of frozen uncooked shrimp that I purchased at Trader Joes.  I let the shrimp defrost in a colander with cold running water.  Then I peeled the shrimp, and started making the marinade.  Here were the main ingredients.

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Pomegranite vinegarette, gluten free soy sauce, Trader Joe’s Orange Vinegar, and honey.  After these were mixed in a big ziplock bag, I added garlic powder, crushed chili pepper, lemon juice, a drop of olive oil, and italian seasoning. 

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Then the shrimp went into a grill pan, and cooked until they were slightly browned.

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To my salad I added a fresh sliced beet and some crumbled goat cheese.  This was so good.

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Along with the salad, since I knew this wouldn’t be filling enough for the husband, I roasted some butternut squash.  I bought already peeled and sliced squash today.  I put it on a slightly oiled baking dish and sprinkled it with salt and pepper.  This roasted for about 25 minutes at 425.  We like things a little crispy here.  This was sweet and tasty too.

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I may have some mango sorbet later, but it depends on my hunger.  It may turn out to be a very mango evening.  We shall see.

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Welcome To My World!

Welcome to Gluten Free and Healthy For Me!  I’m so happy to write my first post.  My first few posts will mainly tell you who I am and why I’ve decided to write this blog in the first place.  My goal is to share my world with you while staying healthy in every aspect of my life.

The face that goes with the post!

The face that goes with the post!

My name is Jamie, I’m 27, and I got married in 2008.  I currently live in New York City and work in advertising.  Since my high school years I have exercised on and off, but mostly on.  That may not have showed at all times in my life since I also liked to eat.  I liked to eat healthy food, but I guess I always ate too much of it.  This has been a constant struggle for me; trying to find the right balance.  In the three years before my wedding, I lost around 30 pounds…some of it on my own and a small amount with the help of Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers.  These programs helped me, but in the end my own plans always worked best because they didn’t feel like I was really on a diet. 

After my wedding, I quickly gained around 15 pounds and felt very off, always feeling too full no matter what I ate.  I will spare you the full details of all of the stomach issues I experienced, but I thought I was normal at the time since many of the symptoms I had felt to varying degrees for my whole life.  In March of 2009, I got sick with bronchitis and made a visit to a new doctor.  At the time, I did not think anything else could be wrong with me, but the doctor wanted to do a full physical.  He asked me my medical history, took some blood, gave me an antibiotic and I thought that would be it.  About two weeks later, I got the call that at the time I never thought I would hear.  My doctor told me that I was severely anemic due to the fact that I had an autoimmune disease called Celiac Disease (a disease that causes damage to the small intestine when the body cannot break down gluten; the protein found in wheat, rye and barley).  I was almost in tears at the time since I knew exactly what Celiac Disease was.  My younger sister, Dara, had cut wheat and gluten from her diet 4 years earlier, but was never diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  After many tests and visits to the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, I was given the full diagnosis.  The Celiac Disease had caused several other problems in my body including Osteopenia (weakening of bones) and a Vitamin D deficiency. 

Once given all of my diagnosis on April 29th, 2009, I went fully gluten free even though my biopsy was not scheduled until two days later.  As the doctors suspected, the biopsy came back positive for Celiac Disease.  The doctors put me on a calcium supplement, a daily vitamin, and 50,000iu Vitamin D/week.  I’m happy to report that as of August 20th, my Vitamin D levels had gone back to normal.

I think that it is important to share the details of my diagnosis so that you have a basis on where I have come from.  Also, if you are like me and have Celiac Disease, I think it’s important to know how others get through it.

Even though I have Celiac, I eat almost the same as I did before…just making a few modifications to certain things.  For tonight, I will leave you with a picture of my dinner.  I bought frozen tilapia from Trader Joes.  I seasoned the fish with a sprinkling of garlic powder, montreal seasoning, parsley, and paprika and baked it for about 15 minutes on 400.  I took it out of the oven and let it cool.  I filled two bowls with baby greens, chopped red pepper, and cucumber.  Then topped each bowl with a piece of fish (my husband got two pieces) and some mango salsa.  The mango salsa was store bought, and was a little spicier/less sweet than I expected.  It was still good, and I’m hoping to have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow…yum.

 

Before Picture

Before Picture

Final Product -- It was Yummy!

Final Product -- It was Yummy!

 More about me tomorrow!

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