Archive for Sides

Kicking 2013 off right with Mason Jar Salads

Every year the same New Year’s resolutions are made….and kept, with the best of intentions…..for about a week! LOL This is not just me I’m talking about here and you know it! The biggest one I hear of is people wanting to be healthier….eat healthy and exercise more. I’m gonna tell ya, sticking to that is hard work! And even with the best of intentions, its not always gonna happen! So…. I’m gonna see how long I can last this year! I don’t know where the time goes every morning when I’m getting ready for work (obviously its NOT cause I’m sitting here writing blogs, cause Ive been slacking lately. OH! Another NY resolution! LOL) Anyhow….I feel terrible when I don’t have time to fix something for hubs to take to work for lunch…. I mean, a guy can only eat so many lean pockets right?! LOL  So I saw this idea on Pinterest (yes that handy little devil of a website that is totally addicting and steals all my time! You KNOW what I’m talking about here right?!) And I thought….ohhhh yeah! I could SO do that! So…. a little jaunt over to Walmart for supplies….. and a huge mess in the kitchen…..viola! Success!! And I’m DONE with the entire weeks meals. Mason Jar SaladsNot only did I make the lovely mason jar salads for lunch, but I did smaller ones with layered fresh fruit! SO cute! LOL So….breakfast, lunch and 2 snacks are packed and ready to go for the rest of the week. Now if I can just make myself overcome my sheer exhaustion when I get home from work and make something good and healthy for dinner (like i USED to….this aging thing is CRAP i tell ya! LOL). These jar salads are totally customizable too….you really cant go wrong….unless you’re a picky eater (ahem, I wont mention any names but you know I’m talking about you! LOL) So have fun with them… and enjoy. Good luck with your own new years resolutions! 🙂


Roasted Parmesan Potatoes

Potatoes! Simple……yet delicious, not to mention naturally gluten free! And there are so many ways to make potatoes! This side dish is not only tasty, but its quick to make, and couldn’t be any simpler to make!  I made these up real quick and stuck em in the oven to bake while i cooked up some chicken on the George Foreman. These potatoes are sooo good! Crispy, cheesy covered tender potatoes.  I made them with just garlic but I’m sure they’d be awesome with the herbs too. Next time! Well, this is gonna be the shortest post ever, but that doesn’t mean these aren’t worth your time! LOL  Give em a try and enjoy! 🙂

Roasted Parmesan Potatoes (Printable Version)


  • red potatoes, scrubbed &cut in half lengthwise
  • cooking spray
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • garlic powder
  • other seasonings (rosemary, thyme basil, oregano, etc), optional


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Place foil on baking sheet and spray with cooking spray
  3. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and seasonings all over the pan
  4. Place baby potato halves face down on the pan.
  5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through.
  6. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Vegetable Pancakes

These scrumptious vegetable pancakes are like deluxe potato latkes, and they must be amazingly good because my very picky non-cooked only vegetable eating husband loves them! You can fry them, but to keep them healthier i just stick em in the George Foreman…less of a mess that way too! They have to cook a minimum of 5 minutes to reach 160 but after that you can cook them as long as you want to reach the desired crispiness. Also, if you have leftovers, I like to just store the uncooked portion in the fridge and then grill them when i want to eat them, otherwise they’re really soggy which is gross! They’ll probably have oxidized a little, but just drain off the liquid and you’re good to go! You’ll want to squeeze out any extra moisture when you make them originally as well. The less moisture the better they’ll fry up! These are quick to make, especially if you shred your veggies in a food processor. You might be thinking these sound a little weird…..but trust me….this is something you’ll be grateful you tried! Enjoy! 🙂

Vegetable Pancakes (Printable Version)

2 med zucchini, coarsely grated (2 cups)

1 med carrot, peeled & grated

1 med potato, peeled & grated

1/3 c frozen peas

1/3 c frozen corn

2 eggs

¼ c gluten free flour

¼ c grated parmesan cheese

¼ tsp salt, pepper, garlic (each)

In colander, drain zucchini, squeezing to remove excess liquid. Combine zucc, carrot, potatoes, peas, & corn in bowl. Stir in eggs, flour, cheese, and seasonings. Mix well. Drop batter by ¼ cup-fulls onto greased George Foreman at medium heat, press lightly to flatten, fry until golden brown, about 5-8 min. Serve warm.

Baked Mac & Cheese Cups

Who doesn’t love macaroni and cheese right?! That’s one of the big things I missed going dairy free….. I do splurge once in awhile and have a little tiny bit of cheese in something… I’m using this recipe for my splurge this time! LOL! I tried this once before, and used quinoa macaroni…..yugh! Not a fan of quinoa. I also had a blonde moment apparently, because I made my sauce with sweetened, vanilla flavored almond milk……thats what i had…..didn’t even think about it. So….my sauce was a little, uhm, off to say the least. I had my husband taste it not knowing what it was…he asked me if it was butterscotch?! Hahahaha! Oops! So the second time around I got plain, unflavored, unsweetened milk, and got brown rice pasta…..much much better!! They turned out perfect and didn’t even stick to the pan at all either!! So next time you’re having a mac & cheese craving give these a try! The bake up nicely, with a crunchy crust! They are gluten free and almost dairy free, you could use soy cheese to make it completely dairy free! YUM!! Can’t wait to make em again! LOL Enjoy! 🙂

Baked  Mac & Cheese Cups (Printable Version)

1 Tbsp non-dairy butter

1 Tbsp gluten free flour

1/2 cup unsweetened, unflav almond milk

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup gluten free brown rice macaroni

dash ground black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

3 Tbsp gluten free bread crumbs

Heat oven to 350 F.

Cook the macaroni following the directions on the package.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter over medium low heat in a small sauce pan. Add flour and whisk to combine into a thick paste. Cook, stirring, until roux is cooked, but not brown. Add the milk and whisk. Continue to stir until sauce is bubbly and thick. Stir in most of the cheese. Add the salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the cheese sauce. Spoon the mac and cheese into a 6-cup greased muffin pan, pushing the mac and cheese firmly into each cup. Top with the remaining cheese and the bread crumbs. Bake for 35 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned.  Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Using a butter knife, run it around the edges of the muffins to loosen before removing from pan.

Baked Spaghetti Cups (GF)

Plain ole spaghetti gets pretty boring…so why not spice it up by turning it into these delicious and cute little baked cups?! They go great with my super yummy cheddar herb biscuits and a salad! There are lots of other options with these too. You could try using Alfredo sauce or even cream of mushroom soup, like in my  baked spaghetti casserole recipe. I pretty much just made these for my husband because I can’t have tomatoes….but it killed me not being able to eat them because they smelled and looked SOO good! I’m thinking I’m gonna have to give in and order some Nomato sauce! Anyone try that before?! You could also stick some chopped/shredded veggies in there… try different kinds of cheese…etc. Anyhow, these certainly got a great rating from hubs, so if he loved them (and he’s kind of a picky eater, hehe, love you hun!!) then you probably will too!! I’m also a picky eater but not by choice… its forced by allergies……and it sucks! LOL! I have to eat vicariously through others!  Speaking of picky eating…..tomorrow is St Patrick’s Day, and I’m definitely not a traditional St Patrick’s Day eater, even though I’m Irish (ironic isn’t it?!) I don’t like lamb or Guinness or corned beef and cabbage, but I do have some (hopefully) great recipes I’ll be posting in the next couple days! So get your Italian on with this recipe today, and have a great St Patty’s Day tomorrow! Enjoy! 🙂

Baked Spaghetti Cups (Printable Version)


8 oz gluten free spaghetti, cooked

½ lb ground beef, turkey or sausage

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

2 eggs

1 to 1 ½ cups marinara sauce

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp salt


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F and grease 12 muffin cups.

In a large skillet on med-high heat, cook and crumble meat, then drain. Add in sauce and heat for a few minutes, then set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine eggs, Parmesan cheese, salt, oregano, basil, and pasta. Stir to combine, then add to sauce and mix. Using tongs, place enough noodles in a muffin cup to fill it.  Twist the pasta as you are placing it in each cup.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are starting to brown. Let sit for 5 minutes, then use a knife to run around the edges of each muffin cup before removing from pan. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.


Mmmm……. Comfort Food

So you just made my last post and now you’re wondering what in the world you will make to use up the other half of that can of mushroom soup right?! Well then….I’ve got a few options for ya! You could make Baked Spaghetti, one of my other posts, or you could give this one a try… Confetti Scalloped Potatoes. YUM! Comfort food at its best. Its creamy and cheesy and full of flavor. So quick and simple to make, you’ll have this whipped up in no time. Some garlic toast and a salad and you’ve got it made! I’ve got some other great casserole recipes coming, but in the meantime… Enjoy! 🙂

Confetti Scalloped Potatoes  (Printable Version)


  • 2 Tbsp (non-dairy) butter
  • 4 cups frozen O-Brien potatoes
  • 1/2 can GF Progresso cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Dash pepper
  • 1/2 cup GF cheese cracker crumbs, divided


In a large skillet, melt the butter over med-high heat. Stir in the potatoes and cover. Let cook a few minutes then stir to coat. Add the soup, cheese, pepper and 1/2 of the crumbs. Cook, stirring for a couple of minutes. Transfer to a greased 1 1/2-qt. baking dish; sprinkle with remaining crumbs. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Time for a Little Omega-3

I’m not a big fish fan……but I can tolerate tuna, as long as its Albacore in water. And who doesn’t need a nice healthy does of Omega-3 right? I kinda forget about tuna…. of course there’s tuna noodle casserole, which I’m gonna share with you now. I’ve got some other great tuna recipes coming… my nutritionist says people should have fish at least once every 2 weeks, if not once a week. I also did buy some omega-3 pills, so hopefully I’ll start getting enough Omega-3 now! You could easily substitute the tuna here for a can of chunk chicken breast (I get mine at Costco and its so handy to have when you don’t have time to cook up fresh chicken!) for those of you who don’t like tuna. (You KNOW who I’m talking about here! Hehe ;)- )  Anyhow, enjoy! 🙂

Tuna Noodle Casserole (Gluten Free)   (Printable Version)

6 oz. gluten free spiral pasta, cooked
1 small can of albacore tuna, drained and flaked
1/2 can GF Progresso cream of mushroom soup
1 cup frozen peas & carrots, cooked & drained
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup dried gluten free bread crumbs
Sprinkler of grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a large bowl, stir together first five ingredients until well combined.
3. Spread into a greased 1 ½ qt casserole dish then sprinkle bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese evenly over the top.
4. Bake uncovered in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Roasted Potato Wedges & Homemade Ranch Dip (Gluten & Dairy Free!)

Somewhere in my distant memory I have this vague recollection of creamy ranch dressing.  I remember how I used to put Ranch dressing on everything! I also remember getting really bad indigestion after eating ranch dressing! That’s probably because of the buttermilk…since I’m allergic to milk and didn’t realize it! LOL! But now that I know…. I realized how much I miss ranch! So I set out to find a gluten free AND dairy free ranch dressing/dip. Found one! And OMG it tastes amazing! Its incredible paired with sweet little crunchy baby carrots, or these delicious roasted potato wedges! Yum! You can thin it down if needed with more almond milk to make a great creamy salad dressing too! If I could have pizza….trust me I’d be dipping it in this ranch sauce! Now I’m thinking of all the things that I can make that will utilize this fabulous dip! Got any suggestions?! Let me know! LOL. In the meantime though… give these a try! The wedges are super yummy with or without the ranch. They make a nice complementary side dish or have em just for a snack! Enjoy! 🙂

Roasted Potato Wedges (Printable Version)

2 large Yukon Gold potatoes

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1/4 tsp paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

 Dash of Parsley flakes


Preheat the oven to 425F.  Wash and scrub the potatoes well. Cut potatoes into wedges and place in a large bowl. Add oil, paprika, salt, pepper and parsley and mix well to coat thoroughly. Spread the wedges, side down, on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake in the oven 15 minutes, turning potatoes, and bake for another 15 minutes.

Gluten & Dairy Free Ranch Dressing/Dip (Printable Version)


1 cup regular or lite Mayo
1/4 cup almond milk with a dash of lemon juice
1/2 tsp. dried Parsley
1/2 tsp dried Chives
1/2 tsp. dried Dill
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp. Onion Powder
1/8 tsp. Sea Salt
1/8 tsp. Black Pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
  2. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Makes 1 cup

Home-made Rice-a-Roni

After finding out you’re gluten and dairy intolerant, you realize you can’t have any of those easy boxed meals anymore…..which after looking at all the additives in them, I’m actually pretty grateful for this “inconvenience”! I’m eating much healthier…..when you create your own meals from scratch you can keep track of exactly what you are eating. One of the things I missed most was Rice-A-Roni! A good rice pilaf is an excellent side dish, and this recipe is so simple and quick to make….and its even tastier then I remember! We make it all the time….since it seems to go with just about everything! My gluten-eating husband can’t get enough of it, and most certainly can’t tell its both gluten and dairy free! I like to throw in some frozen vegetables and even some leftover meat chopped up to make a fried rice like dish! You can easily make this non-gluten and dairy free by using regular pasta and butter….. This is one you’ll really want to give a go! Enjoy! 🙂

Homemade Rice-a-Roni (Printable Version)


¾ cup long grain white rice
½ cup broken gluten free spaghetti
1 ½ Tbsp (non-dairy) margarine or butter
14 oz water
1 Tbsp instant chicken bouillon
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
½ tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 cup frozen peas & carrots, cooked and drained (opt)


Melt the butter in a pan and sauté the rice and pasta until lightly browned. Add the water, bouillon, parsley, garlic and salt. Bring to a boil and cover, then reduce heat to low. Cook 15 minutes without lifting lid. After 15 minutes check to see if all liquid has been absorbed and fluff rice with a fork. If the rice is tender but it is still a little wet just let it sit on low with the lid off for a few minutes.

(opt) While the rice is cooking, microwave the frozen veggies. Drain and add to the rice after rice is cooked through.

** You could also add some chopped up cooked meat after the rice is done cooking.

Chicken Bliss!

Mmmm!  Chicken Parmesan the speedy way! I always forget about my cool kitchen gadgets that I have stashed away! But now that I’ve remembered my wonderful George Foreman with removable plates, I’m hooked! Its amazing how quickly things cook using a GF grill! A piece of chicken….6-8 minutes and viola! Done! I will admit, I did cheat a little on my diet and have just the teenist bit of grated Parmesan cheese, but it was totally worth it! This recipe is not only tasty, its quick and easy! Throw some chicken on the grill and boil your pasta….heat up some marinara sauce and bam! You’ve got a great home-cooked meal in 15 minutes! The photo I took is of my husbands meal! I don’t do tomatoes or that much cheese, well….really that much food at all either! This recipe is also easily adaptable as to how much you want to make! So give it a try and enjoy! I’ve got another great chicken recipe up my sleeve for dinner tonight hopefully! So stay tuned! 🙂

Chicken Parmesan (Printable Version)


  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Rice milk
  • GF breadcrumbs mixed with Italian seasoning
  • Marinara or spaghetti sauce
  • GF spaghetti
  • Parmesan cheese


  1. Cook pasta as directed on package. While it’s cooking, cook the chicken.
  2. Place each breast between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound it to until it’s 1/4 inch in thickness.
  3. In a bowl, mix breadcrumbs and Italian seasoning. Pour rice milk into another bowl.
  4. Dip the chicken breasts into the rice milk and then into the breadcrumbs until it is covered on both sides.
  5. On medium or high heat, grill the chicken with your George Foreman Grill for 6-10 minutes or until thermometer reads 180 F.
  6. Take out the chicken from the grill and place on cooked pasta.
  7. Pour a coat of warm marinara sauce over the chicken.
  8. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese & parsley

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