Bacon and Cheese Dip

I went away for the weekend and wanted to take along a few great snacks. This dip was one of them. I served it with some good corn tortilla chips. It’s not a heavy dip, and you get hints of all the great flavors in each bite. I made this portion size for two people to snack on over a weekend, however you can easily double the recipe.


6 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon paprika
a pinch of cayenne pepper
3-4 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
2 green onions, chopped

Start by cooking your bacon. Once it is cooling off, place the sour cream and mayonnaise in a bowl and stir together. Add in the paprika and cayenne, and stir. Finally add the bacon, cheddar cheese, and parsley. Top off with the green onions.

Easy and delicious!

Over the weekend I also served this watermelon and pomegranate salad. It’s fresh, fun, and anywhere I bring it, the bowl ends up empty! Outings are so much more fun when there is delicious gluten free food available. Just bring plenty to share!


Oven Roasted Kielbasa and Potatoes with Cheese

kielbasa2This is a delicious and easy to make comfort dish. We ate a lot of kielbasa and potato type meals growing up (often with sourkraut) and it’s something I crave from time to time, so I made a spin off on that. It’s a 1 dish meal that you can toss in the oven and only need to check on once or twice while it’s cooking. There’s nights where that’s something I need! I ate some of the leftovers the next day with some eggs, and it fantastic then as well.

14 oz polish kielbasa, sliced (other sausage of choice works as well)
2 lbs red potatoes, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1/2 small white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon paprika
sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated (add more if needed)

kielbasaPreheat the oven to 375F. In a large baking dish lined with aluminum foil, place the sliced kielbasa, potatoes, green peppers, and onions – then toss them with the olive oil. Once they are evenly coated, add the spices stir well, then place into the oven. Bake for about 45 minutes, allowing the potatoes to brown, checking every 15 minutes and giving a bit of a stir. At the end of the 45 minutes, turn the oven off and cover with the cheese, set the pan back in the oven and allow the cheese to melt before serving.

Serves 3-4, enjoy!

Southwest Style Pork Casserole

Southwest Pork CasseroleThis is a nice casserole to serve when you have company that’s a bit pickier – children, or you want something that reheats nicely for lunch the next day. I rarely make lunch, it’s generally leftovers or a salad.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound boneless pork loin, cut into bite sized pieces
3/4 cup rice, uncooked
10 oz can condensed cream or mushroom soup or you can use my homemade recipe
14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 4 oz can green chili peppers, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup water
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

southwestpork3In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat and add the pork loin. Saute until browned, then drain the grease from the pan and add the rice, cream of mushroom soup, tomatoes, black beans, water, green chilies, and spices. Stir to combine – then bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and allow it to simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the rice is soft.

While that is cooking, preheat the oven to 375F. Transfer the mixture to a 9×9 baking pan when the rice is soft. Sprinkle the cheese over top the mixture and bake for 10 minutes. Serve hot, goes well with tortilla chips.

*If you like it spicy, feel free to add some hot sauce, or some hot spices – a bit of cayenne pepper to the mix.



Sweet Potato Kielbasa Hash

Sweet Potato and Kielbasa HashThis is an easy dinner you can put together in 30 minutes or less. It’s ingredients are fairly simple but it’s still big on taste. I love sweet potatoes for how great they are for you – and how great they taste! I also kept this to 1 pan – less clean up is always a good thing. I ate some of the leftover the next day with eggs over easy and it was a fantastic breakfast. This will serve 2-4, I’d serve a  side dish if you’re serving 4 hungry adults, however.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4″ pieces
1 15 oz polish kielbasa, sliced
1 small onion, diced
1 large green pepper, diced
salt and pepper, to taste

Place the olive oil in a large skillet along with the onions over medium heat. Allow them to become fragrant and add the sweet potatoes. Allow them to cook and soften for about 10 minutes. Add in the green peppers, kielbasa, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 7-10 minutes, until the kielbasa is cooked through. Serve hot.


Sweet Potato Goat Cheese and Bacon Egg Skillet

Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Bacon Egg SkilletCooking eggs under the broiler is a really great way ensure they’ll be cooked evenly – and they cook really fast. I made this to serve two (a larger brunch) – however this can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a hungry family or group of people. I also like my eggs slightly over easy, and as a kid I was so picky I wouldn’t eat the egg whites – only the runny yolks. Broiling the eggs I’ve found cooks the egg whites more consistently – and cook within minutes.

4-5 large eggs
4 pieces bacon, cooked
1 large sweet potato, peeled
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1 ounce goat’s cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste

Peel the sweet potato and place it in a microwave and cook for 5 minutes. For the bacon, if it’s not precooked I like to bake mine at 350F for about 8-10 minutes, this eliminates the splatter and mess that it tends to make on the stove.

Preheat the broiler on your oven to high.

Allow the sweet potato to cool a bit till you’re able to safely handle it, then slice it into about 1/8″ pieces and lay them across the bottom of a cast iron or large skillet. Crack your eggs and place them around the sweet potatoes, then top with the peppers, cheese, salt, pepper, and bacon.

Place the skillet in the oven under the broiler and cook for about 4 minutes. Check after 4 minutes and if the eggs are done to your liking, remove. If you want the eggs to be more done, cook for another minute or 2. Enjoy!


Pineapple Fried Rice

Pineapple Fried RiceThis is another fried rice recipe that I love, with lots of small pieces of fresh pineapple and ham with my vegetables. It doesn’t take long to prepare – especially if you have rice prepared ahead of time. Have I said before how much I enjoy having a rice cooker? I received one for Christmas last year and it’s been great.

I’ve kept this fried rice simple, so that the spices aren’t overwhelming the pineapple and ham. I wanted this to be a dish that everyone could enjoy, and eat their veggies (hopefully!)

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 white onion, diced
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas
3 large carrots, grated
3/4 cups ham, diced
2 cups pineapple, diced
3 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
3 cups cooked rice



In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil.


Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet or wok. Add the garlic and onions and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the carrots, peas and carrots, cook for 4-5 minutes, until soft. Add the pineapple, ham, and rice.

Carefully pour the bowl of soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil over the rice and vegetables and combine well. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, until everything is cooked throughout. Serve hot. Serves 4.

Chorizo, Kale, and Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppers

Kale Chorizo and Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppers
This came together from a thought of “what do we have here in the fridge” – and I was so pleased with how it turned out. The flavors of the chorizo with the creamy goat cheese work very well together, there’s this nice crisp bite from the peppers – and I had this delicious kale I’d picked up at the farmer’s market the day before. I served them with a side of potatoes that needed to get used up as well.

2 large red bell peppers, halved, seeds and ribs removed
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 chorizo sausages (about 4oz), casings removed, and chopped
1/4 lb kale, stems removed
2 oz goat cheese
1/2 medium white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste

stuffedpeppers1Preheat the oven to 375F. Prepare the peppers by slicing in half lengthwise and removing all the seeds and ribs.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add the garlic and onions and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the chorizo and start adding the kale, a couple handfuls at a time, since it will wilt as it cooks. Stir for a few minutes and add more of the kale. After all the kale as been added and wilted, add the goat cheese and mix until just melted into the kale and chorizo. Spoon into the pepper halves and place into the oven. Bake at 375F for 10-12 minutes, just enough for the peppers to soften. Serve immediately and enjoy! Serves 4.


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Meatballs with Mushroom and Onion Cream Sauce

Meatballs with Onions and MushroomsEven in the summer heat I crave some good old fashioned comfort food, so I gave in and made these delicious meatballs and served them with some garlic mashed potatoes. I’ve worked on making the dish a bit lighter and healthier, replacing the heavy cream with sour cream, and the meatballs are a mix of pork and beef. They go great served over any gluten free grain of choice, mashed cauliflower, or mashed potatoes.

1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 medium white onion, diced (other half is used below)
1/4 cup gluten free bread crumbs
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon Worcestershire (double check it’s g/f)
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 1/2 cups fresh sliced button mushrooms
1/2 white onion, sliced
1 cup beef broth
1/3 cup sour cream (reduced fat is fine)
1/2 cup water
1-2 tablespoons cornstarch

mashed potatoes or grain of choice

meatballs2In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix together the beef, pork, diced onion, breadcrumbs, garlic, egg, parsley, salt, and pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce. (Using your hands is probably best.) Roll the meat mix into 16 evenly sized balls.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, place the olive oil and let it warm. Place the meatballs in the pan 5-6 at a time, or whatever comfortably fits, and brown the sides. Repeat till all are browned (they won’t be cooked through.) Remove all the meatballs from the pan and place the water, sour cream, and beef broth in the pan – then whisk together. Add cornstarch as needed to thicken. Place the meatballs into the sauce along with the onions and mushrooms. Bring to a low boil, cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes – until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve with gluten free grain or alone as is. Serves 4. Enjoy!

Shrimp and Pancetta over Polenta

Shrimp and Pancetta PolentaPolenta is very popular in the American south and Italy. It makes a great naturally gluten free base to many meals – or as I had it as a child, for breakfast with a bit of honey and milk made by my grandmother. I added a bit of goat’s cheese and basil to the polenta for a bit more taste and creaminess.

For my personal bowl I added just a bit of Sriricha – which I kept out of the main dish since I was feeding family that doesn’t like food as spicy as mine. It really gave it some punch and I really enjoyed the extra heat.

Shrimp and Pancetta PolentaIngredients:
For the polenta
3 cups water
1 cup polenta (corn grits)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ounces plain goat’s cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried basil

For the main dish:
1/2 pound shrimp, cleaned and de-veined
4 ounces pancetta, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes in juice
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon parsley
sea salt and pepper, to taste

shrimppolenta1Bring 3 cups of water and salt to a boil and add the polenta. Reduce heat and allow to thicken, stirring occasionally. Add the goat’s cheese and basil and stir well. Remove from heat and cover.

In a large saucepan over medium low heat, add the oil, garlic, and pancetta. Allow to cook until the pancetta is starting to become crisp. Add the tomatoes, basil, shrimp, salt, pepper, and parsley. Cook until the shrimp are cooked all the way through, and the sauce is hot. Serve over the polenta. Serves 4. Enjoy!

*Topping with a bit of sriracha or green onions adds a bit more punch.


jambalayaI haven’t gotten to have a spicy dinner for awhile and I’ve always enjoyed jambalaya. I’ve tried it several different ways, and this is my favorite way of having this dish. I do include tomatoes in my dish, along with three types of bell peppers. I also include okra, which is a vegetable that I don’t get to have very often and wasn’t able to get fresh today (frozen works just as well!).

1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
1/2 pound chicken breast, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 large stalks of celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup okra, sliced
3 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups long white rice
2 tablespoons creole or cajun seasonings
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha
1 teaspoon thyme
2 green onions, sliced

jambalaya2In a large saute pan over medium heat add the olive oil, onions, celery, peppers, jalapeno and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, allowing the vegetables to soften. Add the chicken and sausage and cook until the chicken is no longer pink. (If using frozen chicken, cook in a separate pan first.)

Next add in the rice, tomatoes, chicken stock, creole seasonings, worcestershire,  Sriracha, thyme, bay leaf and a pinch of salt. Stir together and reduce the heat to medium low. Cover and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally until the rice cooked, about 90 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf, and add in the shrimp and okra. Allow it to simmer until the shrimp are no longer pink. Top off with some green onions (and more Sriracha if you like) and serve warm. Serves 4-6. Enjoy!