Let’s get heart healthy!

Monica and Daria say:

World Heart Day will be celebrated on Tuesday!

Since you may know that heart disease and stroke are the leading cause of death worldwide, it’s important to reduce our risk for these cardiovascular diseases by making some lifestyle changes.

Why not start with the food you consume?

When you think of a traditional American cookout, what foods do you see?

Hamburgers, hotdogs, sausage patties,….well, while we love all of those foods, too, we feel the need to elevate our nutrition a bit while grilling!

So, at our cookout today, we decided to select a lean protein and surround it with some heart friendly veggies!

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Our choice was organic, free-range, hormone and antibiotic free chicken!

The vitamin B6, found in chicken, is particularly helpful to your heart. Research has shown that B6 fights cardiovascular disease by lowering levels of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood that is affected by diet. Homocysteine is understood to cause damage to the inner linings of arteries and in turn, promotes blood clots.

We are so lucky that we have a local farmer nearby who provides us with this wonderful protein that contains essential nutrients and vitamins.

We chose to cut the chicken into tenders to make it easy to thread onto our skewers. And of course, the grill time is reduced as well.

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It’s nearing the end of grilling season, but we can still get our hands on some delicious corn on the cob. A great source of soluble fiber, corn provides heart healthy benefits. It binds with cholesterol and carries it out of your system, which helps lower levels in your blood and reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease.

We brushed our cobs with organic coconut oil and grilled on low to medium heat, cooking 1 to 2 minutes on each side until slightly brown. Take it easy on the salt shaker….remember, you are trying to be heart healthy!!

Last, we have our dark leafy greens.

Statistics claim that only about one quarter of all adults consumes the recommended 3-4 servings of veggies per day!

The health benefits of eating your greens are well established. They are crucial to our heart health for countless reasons including their role in strengthening the immune system, improved blood circulation and purification, and lowering cholesterol.

We buy organic and like to include organic beets whenever we can. The cleaned whole beets are simply roasted in aluminum foil until tender, cooled, and then sliced to be placed onto the salad….so yummy!

This night our salad was sprinkled with a wee bit of feta cheese, which contains calcium that helps keep your bones strong, but remember that feta should be an occasional indulgence…not an everyday occurrence, since it is high in sodium!

Let’s pump up the greens and improve your health!

 

Here is the simple chicken recipe to get you grilling, too!

Moroccan-spiced chicken skewers

Ingredients:

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp pepper

2 T olive oil

1 ½ pound of chicken tenders

Directions:

Put all spices into a Ziploc bag and shake until blended. Add olive oil and knead to blend.

Add chicken and knead to coat until blended again.

Place bamboo skewers into water to prepare for grilling.

Marinate for a few hours in refrigerator.

When ready to grill, thread each tender on a bamboo skewer.

Grill 4 minutes per side….yummy!

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Doesn’t this look so good?

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It really was a great meal to eat and to share, knowing that you were kind to your body, as well as those of your guests!

All organic and all gluten-free, of course!

Enjoy!

© 2015, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk

 

A September Beach Getaway!

Monica says:

Oh how we LOVE the beach!

And if you’ve never visited there in September, you really need to plan a trip!

It’s much less crowded; it’s still lovely (weather-wise); it’s more affordable for accommodations!

Win. Win. Win.

Since we live on the East coast, we have our choice of Maryland, Delaware, New York, and New Jersey beaches. And while all of them are wonderful in their own unique way, somehow we always gravitate to the “Jersey Shore” and our favorite place is Cape May.

Yes, all the way down at the southern-most tip…Exit 0.

Two Christmas seasons ago, we brought our Golden/Corgi mix puppy daughter, Molly, with us for a quick little getaway to Cape May. She was a great little traveler, but since it was December and very rainy that year, we couldn’t introduce her to the Atlantic Ocean.

This time we knew we wanted to include Molly on our trip so we booked a pet-friendly hotel (with a kitchenette for gluten-free goodies from home*) and we were off!

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*GF goodies included Gluten free Cheerios, Udi’s GF Granola, Gratify GF Pretzels, homemade chicken salad, homemade brown rice salad with scallions, dried cranberries, slivered almonds and broccoli, Gratify GF Everything Baked Bites, Popcorn Indiana Organic Himalayan Pink Salt Popcorn, Schar Honeygrams, fresh blueberries and grapes, and lots of bottled water!

Our eating policy when we are on vacation is to try new places each time we visit. We absolutely have favorite eateries, too and sometimes, we just have to go back and enjoy a favorite meal there. Our first stop was the Lobster House for a quick take-out since we were beat from our long ride!

We were so tired that I forgot to take a picture of my broiled scallops, lobster, and shrimp with baked potato…oh well! But trust me, it was delicious!

The next morning we were up early and off to let Molly explore pet-friendly Higbee Beach. Her tail wagged continuously as we walked the sandy access path to the beach area.

Her nose got quite the workout! She sniffed here and there and everywhere!

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It was so much fun to experience this with my little cutie! She wasn’t too impressed with the water and in fact, couldn’t really be bothered with it!

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The Cape May – Lewes Ferry behind us in this photo is a car and passenger ferry that crosses the Delaware Bay and connects NJ with Delaware. We’ve used this wonderful ferry service and it’s an easy and fun experience!

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Later in the day, we decided to dine at the Cape May Fish Market which is smack in the center of Washington Square Mall in the historic part of Cape May.

Our server, who was familiar with celiac disease (since both of her parents have it!), explained a few of the menu items that would be gluten-free.

I decided on a fresh salad of iceberg lettuce with mixed greens, cucumbers, and tomatoes with fresh jumbo lump crab meat.

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So fresh and delightful! Can’t you just taste this???

Spending our days going for long walks with Molly and enjoying the beach, we were really ready for great food at dinnertime.

Our new favorite place is The Blue Pig Tavern, which is located within Congress Hall. This amazing place was recommended to us by our darling daughter and my blogging partner, Daria! She had eaten there earlier this summer and she raved about it….now we know why!

First, let’s talk about ambience.

This place has it! Tucked in the corner of America’s oldest seaside resort, the tavern is just magical.

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Second, let’s talk about service.

Our server was well versed about celiac disease and checked with the kitchen several times to make sure that I was taken care of.

And, how about these adorable napkins? And, of course, my favorite color, too!

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Third, let’s talk about the food.

The Blue Pig Tavern features American comfort food and uses fresh produce, herbs, and eggs from their own farm, Beach Plum Farm, which is two miles from the restaurant.

Oh my! Everything was wonderful!

Every bite!

My appetizer was the Beach Plum Farm Gazpacho. This tangy cold soup featured tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet and hot peppers, garlic, cilantro, and olive oil.

Absolutely amazing!

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My husband Lewie’s appetizer was PIE (Prince Edward Island) Mussels. The mussels were accented with spicy chorizo and cilantro, in a spicy tomato broth.

These made us so happy!

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My entrée was a culinary delight! I chose the Seared Rainbow Trout which was served with truffle and chive smashed potatoes, roasted red pepper coulis, and sautéed Swiss chard.

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Perfectly prepared and perfectly devoured by me!

We always try to save a little bit of room for dessert! After all, we raised a pastry chef!

We know from personal experience that pastry chefs put their heart and soul into their desserts.

Our Daria certainly does! So proud of that girl!

The gluten-free choice at The Blue Pig Tavern was a flourless chocolate cake…so exciting!

This rich and dense chocolate cake was covered in chocolate ganache and served with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream with a strawberry…so scrumptious!

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We wandered around Congress Hall a bit after dinner and I was so impressed with this resort.

It reminds me of Bedford Springs as both have such rich histories.

Take a look!

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We are so NOT GOOD at selfies! But we try!

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Our last beach day had another early beginning and late ending! And of course, it had to include something Italian…and it had to be gluten-free pizza!

We had noticed a few days prior that Blue Moon Pizza had a sign for “GF Pizza and Wraps” in the window. So we decided to check it out!

Please NOTE: the link to Blue Moon does not clarify that they have GF pizza available; don’t know why they don’t publicize this!

The young man at the counter told me that the GF pizza is made in a dedicated oven with its own utensils and bakeware. So, I ordered a personal pan-size gluten-free pizza with a crust covered with fresh ricotta, fresh sliced tomatoes, and spinach. Of course, mozzarella, garlic, and olive oil rounded out the taste!

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It was so tasty and mouthwatering!

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My husband ate his meatball hoagie and helped me finish the pizza! Yum!

Our last day was Sunday and after early Mass, we went to one of our favorite places in West Cape May that we discovered several years ago. It’s a small café that seems to expand every year. Bella Vida, which means “Beautiful Life” offers many vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

Please NOTE: If you click on the MENU tab from the link above and then click on Vegetarian/Gluten Free you will see a pdf that talks about these options. They DO explain that they do NOT have a gluten free kitchen. They stress that it is very important you let your server know the extent of your allergy.

It is such a great find off the beaten path and one that brings us back year after year! (I personally have not been glutened here)

Here is my “million calorie” breakfast that lasted me most of the day! I usually wake up starving and I can only tell you that this really hit the spot!

I ordered the Double Header which featured two eggs, two gluten-free pancakes, and homefries with peppers and onions. And, I had to have a cup of caffeine free Lively Lemon tea!

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Doesn’t it look so appealing? You should have tasted it! Wow!

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My pancakes look so happy, don’t they? They were so fluffy…I need to know the secret to the fluffiness!

So sad to say goodbye to the Jersey shore…one of my favorite places on earth!

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Needless to say, Molly really enjoyed her “vacay” and had a relaxing time!

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Special goodbye to this little guy who lost his foot but had so much spirit!

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Hope to see you next year!

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xos

© 2015, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have processor, have pudding! GF, of course!

Monica says:

 

Who loves chocolate?

Who loves dark chocolate?

Who loves dark chocolate pudding?

If you are yelling, “Yes!” “Yes!” “Yes!” …I have a recipe for you!

It combines healthy dark chocolate cocoa with avocado and banana.

That’s right. Three powerful foods full of antioxidants, healthy fats, fiber, and nutrients.

And best of all, making this wonderful pudding is so incredibly easy.

If you have a food processor, you are in business!

Get ready for gluten-free yumminess!

 

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Avocado Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients:

2 avocados

2 ripe bananas

½ cup milk (used Lactaid Milk)

¼ cup raw unfiltered honey (can use maple syrup)

1 T maple syrup

1/3 cup cocoa powder (used Hershey’s Special Dark)

1 ½ tsp pure vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Process all ingredients until smooth in a food processor.

whisks  © 2015, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

That’s it!

No kidding!

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Pour the pudding into a bowl and set in refrigerator for a few hours covered.

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To serve, I split the pudding into two ramekins and topped it with slivered almonds and dark cocoa nibs.

What a delight!

The cinnamon really brings out the dark chocolate, while the banana and avocado make it super silky smooth.

You just want to keep on eating and eating it!

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Luckily, this recipe only makes two servings. Because you might eat yourself into oblivion!

I know I would!

So give this recipe a try and let me know how you like it.

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Gluten free doesn’t have to be boring, you know!

Happy blending!

Enjoy!

© 2015, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Trail Mix Day!

Monica and Daria say:

What can you do with a bunch of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and chocolate (yes, most definitely, chocolate)?

You can make your own trail mix!

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We grabbed a variety of nuts that we always have on hand… ½ cup of each of walnuts, almonds, and pecans.

Then we added in ½ cup of pumpkin seeds, and ½ cup of sunflower seeds.

We LOVE dried cranberries so we put in ½ cup of those and topped it all off with ½ cup of Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips!

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What is easier and nutritious to boot?

It has a great combo of carbs and energy. Trail mix is THE snack for hiking, biking, and exploring!

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Trail mix is so versatile that your ingredients are only limited by your imagination! Some of our favorited additional ingredients include puffed rice cereal, M&Ms, pretzels, unsweetened coconut, or anything else that is trail mix worthy!

Just make sure that your ingredients are gluten-free, and you are set to go!

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And did you notice that our trail mix is in a collector Pyrex bowl? Just picked it up at our favorite antique shop, The Shop 2….check them out!

Have a great day…wherever your travels may take you!

Enjoy!

© 2015, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk

Zucchini and pasta…a match made in heaven!

Monica says:

When I think of dinner on a Friday, it’s a meatless meal!

Why?

Well, for so many years, growing up Catholic, we weren’t allowed to eat meat EVER on a Friday! So I guess you can say that I’m in a rut…but actually it’s a good rut!

There are so many wonderful meatless meals that you can come up with and being Italian, the Mediterranean diet fits the bill so beautifully.

So now I would like to share a recipe from my oldest friend’s mother, who everyone calls Nana Angie.

Nancy has been my friend since first grade so she really is my oldest friend…I can hear her now….”But you’re older than me!” Yes, chronologically I beat her by one month and two days (but who’s counting?)!

Nana Angie might be the BEST Italian cook in my little world! Everything she makes and has made over the years is just delicious. And she lives to feed everyone and anyone who visits with her! She is just a great lady!

Anyway, when I first tasted this pasta dish at Nancy’s house, I fell in love! And over the years, I think I have perfected it, but being a “throw a little of this, and a little of that” kind of cook, I found it really hard to write this recipe down!

So I hope it turns out great if you try it…and if it doesn’t, I apologize!

Cooking isn’t the fine art that baking is!

So here goes….enjoy!

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Zucchini, cheese, and eggs

Ingredients:

1-2 T Olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2-3 slender young zucchini, chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic, diced

Gluten free pasta of your choice (16 oz)

1 can tomato sauce (16 oz)

1 can crushed tomatoes (32 oz)

Salt and pepper

Pinch of oregano, basil, and parsley (if you have fresh spices, USE them)

1 egg

2-3 T Romano cheese

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Directions:

Chop your onion and zucchini and set aside.

Make the pasta according to package directions.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and sauté the onion first. When the onion becomes semi-soft, add the garlic and zucchini, sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper, and sauté until zucchini is fork tender.

Now add your sauces….first the tomato sauce. Stir to combine.

Then add your crushed tomatoes. Stir.

Add the spices.

Now let the mixture get incorporated and let simmer for a few minutes.

Right before serving, beat the egg with the Romano cheese and add to the skillet.

Incorporate the egg mixture by continually stirring for 2 minutes (sauce will lighten to a pleasant orange color).

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Rinse your pasta and place into a large bowl. Pour your sauce mixture over and top with additional Romano cheese OR…

you can place pasta in individual bowls and top with sauce.

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Just don’t forget the grated Romano cheese on top!!

© 2015, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk, inspired and conceived originally by Nana Angie

Gluten Free Cheerios….OmG!

Monica and Daria say:

How fast can you run?

Just run!

Run, run, run!

To your nearest grocery store, or in our case, to the nearest Sam’s Club!

You NEED to try the new Gluten Free Cheerios! And at Sam’s Club, you get 2 boxes bundled together at 1 pound 4.35 ounces apiece!

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Oh so much Cheerios goodness to eat!

Why are we so excited about Gluten Free Cheerios?

We haven’t eaten them in 13 LONG years! Since our diagnoses, this great little cereal and reminder of our childhoods has been off limits!

So, we are ecstatic!

We were so hoping that the gluten free version of this classic cereal would be close to the original version….the little round O’s that we remember being so crunchy and standing up to the milk!

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Well, our hopes were satisfied!

Gluten Free Cheerios tastes just like regular Cheerios!

It’s awesome!

Oh we couldn’t wait to dive into a bowl this morning!

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So we got out the dark chocolate almond milk, cut up some strawberries, and readied our taste buds!

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YUM!

Isn’t it amazing how the simple things in life are the best?

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So make Gluten Free Cheerios a part of your breakfast routine again…and relive some happy moments like we are!

Enjoy!

© 2015, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk

A gluten-free getaway!

Monica and Daria say:

Oh how we love the end of July!

“Why?” you ask.

In a word….Bedford!

Well, maybe two words…Bedford Springs!

Lewie (hubby and daddy) always attends a conference here and he is so nice to invite us to tag along! He is busy during the day with meeting people from around the state of Pennsylvania, and we busy ourselves with leisure activities…..swimming, reading, antiquing, etc.

Is it any wonder that we look forward to this conference???

This year we couldn’t have asked for any better weather, either. The days were hot and sunny and even though I, (Monica), am not into tanning, reading under the umbrella and sipping something yummy was simply delightful! Daria gets enough sun for both of us!!

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Even though this is the fifth year that we’ve accompanied Lewie to Bedford Springs and have gotten to know the area quite well, we always look online for any new restaurants (before we leave) that may have opened since our last visit.

And to our surprise, we usually find something!

This year we investigated via findmeglutenfree.com and were not disappointed!

What a great resource for people who need to eat gluten-free!

This web site offers the user an insight into gluten-free friendly businesses in cities around the United States and even some cities in Canada! You can go online from your computer or download the free app to your cell so that you are connected wherever you go!

For those places that we had eaten at in previous years and wanted to dine there again, we made a reservation using Open Table. For the new places, we stored the information (address, phone, hours and days of operation) in a memo on our cell and were we happy we did!

This info was right at our fingertips when making inquiries and reservations when we arrived. We didn’t have to take any extra time to look anything up a second or third time! What a timesaver!

Here are our new favorite places!

Our dinner at Eat2Live Bistro was perfection! This wonderful little place in New Paris, is a dream come true for gluten-free diners! From soup to dessert(s)…we enjoyed every second!

Our server Tina was so friendly and knowledgeable about eating gluten-free; she truly added to our dining experience!

We started off with fresh blackberry infused water….Daria chose to add some coconut palm sugar to sweeten it a bit!

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Then we looked over the extensive menu!

Daria enjoyed the chilled Gazpacho which consisted of local tomatoes, peppers, onions, cucumbers, and watermelon…so refreshing!

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Monica and Lewie had the Roasted Corn and Red Pepper Chowder which boasted creamy, roasted sweet corn and red bell peppers with potatoes and nitrate-free bacon! Amazing!

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We each ordered a different entrée and had so much fun tasting each other’s. That’s what families do!

Daria had the Chicken ‘n Pesto which featured seasoned, grilled chicken breast topped with a roasted garlic and herb feta. It was served over house made quinoa pasta tossed with marinated local tomatoes and butter pesto sauce.

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OmG! So delicious!

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Look at that quinoa pasta!

Monica chose the Roasted Pineapple Pork Chop. This local pasture raised pork chop was topped with roasted pineapple salsa and served over a creamy mushroom wild rice risotto.

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In a word…delightful!

Lewie decided on the Trout Almondine (a local spring water fed trout, of course) which was presented on a creamy mushroom wild rice risotto, with seasonal veggies and toasted almond butter.

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Melted in your mouth!

Tina’s suggestions were spot-on and we were delighted to have found such a great eatery.

We were so full after our dinners, but managed to share the Three-Berry Cobbler with house made ice cream….gluten-free of course!

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It was simply delicious!

Since we rarely ever find an establishment that has ALL gluten-free desserts, we decided to take home the other selections….it’s so nice to have a refrigerator in the hotel room!

And when you are on vacation…dessert is breakfast!

So here are the other desserts….

A delicious Cheesecake….so creamy on an oatmeal walnut crust…we chose the caramel drizzle!

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Spring Carrot Cake…moist and delicious with cinnamon and walnuts, this cake had a house made lemon cream cheese frosting! Yum!

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Chocolate Truffle Cake…a decadent two-layer cacao (dark chocolate) beet cake with cacao avocado truffle icing. Just the right amount of sweetness and definitely chocolatey!

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We ended the evening with some sangria on the porch of the Bedford Springs Omni just chatting and reminiscing about vacationing together!

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Lunch at the Bedford Springs Omni was great, too!

Cheese plates, fruit plates to start!

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A gluten-free Rachel sandwich (which is a variation on a Reuben) with turkey, and coleslaw along with some gluten-free veggie pizza hit the spot!

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And here are some gluten-free shrimp rolls that were so good! The rolls were accompanied by a ham, cheese, and pea salad that is a local favorite. Not one of ours though…sorry!

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SO happy that we were able to spend a little time together!

Monica says:

While Daria couldn’t continue on the way with us to Greensburg to attend the Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp, we really wish she could have, because she missed some GREAT gluten-free food!

On the evening of our first day there, we found a great little place called Noviello’s Sunset Café. What a fabulous Italian restaurant!

As soon as we walked in and smelled the Italian sauce, we knew we were in for a treat!

Since most Italian restaurants serve bread and dipping oil immediately upon ordering, I was so happy when our waiter brought me this little veggie plate! He even apologized that they didn’t have any gluten-free bread and hoped that this would make up for it!

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The house salad featured red beets, fresh grated mozzarella, and a house dressing that was a white wine concoction. Very good!

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I ordered the polenta with marinara sauce and it may have been the fluffiest polenta I ever ate! It seriously melted in my mouth!

Add your grated cheese and that’s it!

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Heaven!

The best was yet to come!

While we were eating the evening before at Noviello’s a gentleman at the next table was talking about being gluten-free….well, one thing led to another and he suggested a pizza place for me to try!

Before we went to the Steelers’ Friday Night Lights practice in LaTrobe, we found Little E’s Pizzeria…and my day was made!

I had to take a picture of the window….so exciting!

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Organic and gluten-free selections were so numerous I couldn’t even believe it!

I settled on a Margherita pizza with red pizza sauce, fresh mozzarella, drizzled with extra virgin oil and fresh basil. Lewie decided on a gluten-free meatball hoagie that was made with homemade grass-fed Texas Longhorn meatballs, provolone cheese and red sauce.

We were so shocked and delighted that the meatballs were gluten-free!!

While we waited for our selections to be made, we had some Woodchuck Amber on tap….the flavor was so much crisper than the bottled!

The meatball hoagie came out first…two huge pieces and with extra dipping sauce! Can you see the steam from the sauce?

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Such great flavor in the meatballs and the bread…oh, the bread!

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And now the pizza!

I think this pizza was the best gluten-free pizza I ever had! (even though I raved about the one in Rome!)

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The crust was herbed and so incredible!

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I wondered if the pizza crust and the hoagie bread were made on site. So I asked!

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Our server told us that they bought the gluten-free items from a place called Herbalicious in Mt. Pleasant…

we will be  looking into their products!

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Do you think we enjoyed our pizza?

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All I kept saying to Lewie was “I wish Daria was here!” and “I wish these people would come to eastern PA!”

Our evening ended with Lewie seeing his favorite Pittsburgh Steelers and a beautiful “blue” moon to boot!

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A great trip and tons of great gluten-free food!

© 2015, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk

To see our gluten-free adventure in Bedford in 2014 link to:

https://glutenfreedoubletalk.com/2014/08/09/a-lovely-little-place-called-bedford/

 

 

Veggie Lasagna…gluten-free and gorgeous!

Monica says:

Is your mouth watering looking at this picture?

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If so, then you need to make this gluten-free lasagna and make yourself happy!

Lasagna has always been a favorite meal in our household.

The saucier and cheesier the better!

But when Daria and I were diagnosed with celiac disease, our meals changed quite a bit….especially the Italian ones!

In 2002 the products that are on the market today were virtually non-existent. We ate very blandly and endured many a boring meal while we educated ourselves about this thing called a “gluten-free diet!”

We did have the occasional pasta but it was made by my hubby and Daria’s daddy who grew up making cavatelli with his Nana! He used Betty Hagman’s cookbook, The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast and Healthy, like a bible. Thank God for Lewie because we were still getting used to our new lifestyle and were often sick!

Fast forward to today….gluten-free products abound! But we still find ourselves shying away from the commercially produced and processed items because we feel better eating “whole” foods.

Not to say that we aren’t grateful for the strides made in gluten-free food….we are! We just know what’s best for us…

as I’m sure you know what is best for you!

That being said, I have developed a recipe for gluten-free veggie lasagna that incorporates

all of the fresh and wonderful vegetables that I love.

Hope you give this recipe a try!

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Gluten-free Veggie Lasagna

This recipe has five parts…first, make the sauce…second, blend the cheese mixture…third, boil the noodles…fourth, sauté your veggies…and fifth, put it all together!

Sounds like a lot of work but it is so worth it!

Let’s get started…

Homemade Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

2 T extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, chopped fine

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2-28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes

1-15 oz. can tomato sauce

Sprinkle of basil

Sprinkle of oregano

Dash of cracked pepper

Directions

Sauté the onions and garlic in extra virgin olive oil in a large sauce pan on medium heat.

Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a rolling boil.

Then reduce heat to medium low and cook for an hour making sure to stir every now and then.

After one hour, simmer for an additional hour.

MEANWHILE, while your sauce is getting lovely….

Cheese Mixture

Combine these Ingredients

32 oz. of Ricotta cheese

1 egg

Pinches of parsley, oregano, and basil

Dash of salt and pepper

Set the mixture aside and place in refrigerator.

NOW it’s time to make the…

Pasta

Boil ONE box of gluten-free lasagna noodles according to the package directions.

Cool.

Time to chop and sauté the…

Vegetable Blend

Ingredients

2-3 T extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2-8 oz. packages of mushrooms, chopped (baby bellas)

3 large carrots, chopped

3 small to medium zucchini, sliced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 bag organic baby spinach

Mozzarella cheese, grated

Romano cheese, grated

Directions

Sauté mushrooms and onions in extra virgin olive oil first. When translucent and semi-soft, remove to a plate.

Next, sauté the carrots, zucchini, and garlic until semi-soft.  Add in the spinach and stir through the veggie mixture until it wilts slightly.

Remove to the plate with the mushrooms and onions.

And now it’s time to assemble the lasagna!

Get your favorite 9 x 13 pan out and get ready to layer! (I use a non-stick ceramic baking dish)

Place sauce on the bottom of the pan, followed by noodles, followed by veggies, followed by ricotta mixture topped with a sprinkle of grated mozzarella and Romano cheeses.

Repeat.

Make sure you end with a layer of noodles on top, covered with sauce and topped with Romano cheese!

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 whisks   © 2015, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

So the next time you are craving lasagna, why not try a vegetable version?

You can really pump up your recommended veggie intake for the day and have fun doing it!

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Buon Appetito!

© 2015, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

Cucumber soup…so cold and delicious!

Monica says:

While I wasn’t too thrilled to go to the doctor the other day, I was pleasantly surprised when I found a great recipe in the waiting room!

I almost ALWAYS have a book with me (you never know if you get stuck in traffic!)… but this day, I forgot it on the dining room table! So, I kept myself amused reading articles in various magazines.

Much to my surprise, I found this cold soup recipe in the June 2015 issue of WebMD. And since, my  Doctor subscribes to this magazine, he has several copies for his patients to take home if they so choose.

Guess what?

I chose!

The magazine featured several cucumber tidbits and recipes and this cucumber soup, in particular, caught me little eye!

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As I read over the ingredients, I said to myself “I have every ingredient at my house right now….this is going to be an addition to my supper!”

So I went home and gathered some mint from the garden.

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And I assembled the blender, and pulled out all of the other ingredients.

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And then I followed this lovely little recipe that I share with you here!

I omitted the scallions because I forgot that I didn’t have them on hand and just didn’t feel like running out to the grocery store again!

Special thanks to WebMD for inspiring me (and hopefully, you!)

 

Creamy cucumber soup with avocado

(Recipe reprinted from the website, ©June 2015, WebMD, to aid you in your shopping!)

Makes 4–6 servings

Ingredients

2 large cucumbers, seeded and chopped

2 cups plain nonfat Greek yogurt

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 T fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint (plus a few sprigs for garnish)

1/2 tsp kosher salt

White pepper to taste

2 scallions, chopped

1 T extra virgin olive oil

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped (prepare just before serving)

Directions

  1. Place cucumbers, yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, mint, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth.
  2. Refrigerate 3–4 hours. Then spoon soup into chilled bowls. Garnish with scallions, a drizzle of olive oil, avocado, and a sprig of mint. Serve immediately.

Per serving (based on 4 servings): 194 calories, 14 g protein, 17 g carbohydrate, 9 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 4 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 355 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 39%

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Go ahead and make a cold soup this summer…

it’s easy, enjoyable, and really hits the spot!

© 2015, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

Happy 239th birthday, America!

Monica and Daria say:

It’s Independence Day!

Yay for America!

We attended a family get-together yesterday and were so happy with the results of our red, white, and blue fruit salad!

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Several guests at the party asked “Who made the quinoa salad? It’s so delicious!” And many thanked us for bringing such a nutritious addition to the picnic!

We certainly can’t take all of the credit, though. We found the recipe through Pinterest!

Make the quinoa (takes a mere 15 minutes); cut up your strawberries, prepare raspberries, blackberries, blueberries; chop some fresh mint and basil; and prepare the citrus dressing!

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The only thing that we did differently was to use fresh slivered almonds that we toasted with some cinnamon, rather than the Blue Diamond Honey Roasted Cinnamon Almonds, used by two peas.

The dressing is what really pulls the whole salad together! It’s just bursting with citrus flavor! What a delight!

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And regarding the dressing, we used Raw Unfiltered Honey. And of course, we doubled the recipe just knowing that it would be a hit!

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So many thanks to two peas & their pod for posting the recipe for this salad! Your pictures are amazing, too!

We were so busy tasting this salad that we only took a few pics!

For more Fourth of July recipes see our previous Happy Birthday, America! post  and Our salads were a hit! from 2014!

So enjoy our country’s birthday celebration!

Long may our proud American flag fly!

© 2015, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk