Another Kid Friendly Gluten Free Recipe – Gluten Free Pretzel Parfait

Pretzel ParfaitThis is really not so much a recipe as it is an idea for a treat for the kiddos. My kids love this. I guess it’s kind of a simple, stupid idea, but it just goes to show that you can find some pretty tasty things if you just play with your food. I came up with this idea because one of my family’s favorite desserts is called pretzel salad. It’s a dessert made with crushed pretzels and butter for the crust and then it’s topped with jello mixed with frozen fruit and a whipped topping sort of topping. This one is a lot healthier. We love the Glutino gluten free pretzels in our house. I don’t usually let the kids have them though, because there’s not much that I can eat, so I tend to covet what I can. I haven’t been eating bread items too much lately, so I’ve been coveting things like pretzels a lot less. So, here’s my recipe for pretzel parfait:
Pretzel Parfait

4 Ounces Gluten Free Pretzel Twists (can use regular pretzel twists for the family members that aren’t gluten free)
½ Cup Chopped Strawberries
(4) 6 Ounce Cups Low-fat Greek Yogurt (can use coconut milk yogurt or soy yogurt for a dairy free option)

Turn the yogurt upside down into a bowl. Top with the chopped strawberries. Crush the pretzels and sprinkle over the top of the parfait.
Makes 4 Servings: 295 calories, 3g fat, 5mg cholesterol, 316mg sodium, 52g carbohydrates, 3g dietary fiber, 17g protein

More Bacon, Please: Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts – It’s What’s For Dinner

Bacon Wrapped Chicken BreastsReally, I’m not a total bacon nut. Yes, it probably does make most things taste better, but, really, I don’t sprinkle bacon on everything we eat. My family, on the other hand, probably would if I would let them. I guess there’s a show called United States of Bacon (or something like that) that my husband and kids were watching and they saw bacon wrapped chicken thighs and were kind of gaga over them, so here’s my stab at the recipe. Okay, so I only had boneless breasts, so I used those instead of chicken thighs, and I made up a stuffing that I use as my regular go-to stuffing for stuffed mushrooms. I found a gluten free brand of barbeque sauce, so I didn’t need to make my own: Dinosaur BBQ Sauce is gluten free (there are some others, but Dinosaur was the most affordable and the only name brand one there), and I used the honey garlic sauce because I thought it would compliment the sausage stuffing well. This turned out really good. It’s more like a Saturday night recipe, though, because it is a little time consuming. Wrapping the breasts in bacon isn’t the easiest thing to do and it takes a little patience. In terms of cooking, it really is an overall easy recipe. It just takes a little bit of time. I served them with smashed yukon gold potatoes and it was a nice mid-week meal. Hope you give it a try. Enjoy!

6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, pounded thin
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 lb. Italian Sausage, casings removed
½ lb. Mushrooms, chopped
1 Shallot, chopped finely
½ Cup Gluten Free Bread Crumbs
½ Cup Chicken Broth (gluten free)
6 Tbsp. Shredded Dairy Free Cheddar Cheese
18 Slices Thinly Sliced Bacon
¾ Cup Barbeque Sauce (gluten free)

In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil and add the sausage. Break up sausage while cooking. When almost done, add the shallot and cook until translucent. Add in mushrooms and cook for about 5-10 minutes, until mushrooms are thoroughly cooked. Remove from heat. Add in the bread crumbs and chicken broth and stir to combine.
Preheat the oven to 375º.
To stuff the breasts: lay out each breast. Place about 1/3 cup of the stuffing over the breast. Top with 1 tablespoon of cheese. Roll up the breast and wrap with 3 pieces of bacon. Brush with barbeque sauce. Bake in oven for about 45 minutes. Baste again with barbeque sauce about half way through the cooking time. Turn the oven to broil and broil for about 3-5 minutes, until top is slightly caramelized. Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings (very generous servings: we each only ate about ½ of a breast).

Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms (using gluten free bread crumbs)

Stuffed MushroomsMy husband loves stuffed mushrooms. Well, I do too, but probably not as much as my husband. The standard stuffed mushroom I make has bread crumbs in them. For these, I found some gluten free bread crumbs at our local supermarket. The nature’s food section of the store has their own brand of them so they were much cheaper than the name brand (nearly half the price). I wanted to try them out. Originally, I had bought them to make some breaded mozzarella sticks, but haven’t used them for that yet. I’m not totally sold on using them, though. They seem to be a little too fake for my taste. Don’t get me wrong, there aren’t a bunch of chemicals in them: they’re made of milled corn, evaporated cane juice and sea salt. They look a little strange, though, so I’m not sure they would work for coating something in bread crumbs. I think that next time, I will just use some stale gluten free bread and whir it in a food processor to make crumbs. The bread crumbs themself don’t have a strong taste at all that sticks out in the recipe, so they worked well as a binder. Okay, I have to admit, the mushrooms aren’t the prettiest things, but they are so tasty! The tomatoes add a little acidity and brightness to the filling and the cheese adds a pungency that works well against the sausage. The texture of the mushroms is really nice and meaty. This is a recipe for my health book that I’m writing. They’re about 152 calories each, so you could eat two of them for a meal, or use them as a side dish to pasta. Tonight we had a light chicken parmesan and ate these as a side. I had them instead of pasta: low carbs, low fat, and high flavor. Enjoy!


4 oz. Italian Sausage, casing removed
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
14.5 oz. Italian Style Chopped Tomatoes, drained
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese
⅓ Cup Gluten Free Bread Crumbs (can use regular bread crumbs)
3 Tbsp. Finely Shredded Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese
Salt and Pepper, to taste
6 Portobello Mushroom Caps (about 6” diameter)
Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 375º (350º convection bake). Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and sausage. Cook the sausage, breaking up into small crumbles. Remove the stems of the mushrooms. Scoop out the gills of the mushrooms with a spoon and add to skillet with sausage. Add the tomatoes and garlic and sauté until the water cooks out of the mushroom gills. Remove the pan from heat and allow to cool slightly. Add the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese and mix thoroughly. Spray the mushroom caps with cooking spray on both sides. Scoop a generous ⅓ cup of the sausage filling into each cap. Top with ½ tablespoon of shredded mozzarella. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.