Quinoa Stuffed Peppers {Gluten Free}

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When it comes to dinner, we’re all about simplicity in this household. (Oh, and flavor of course!) These easy-to-make gluten free quinoa stuffed peppers did just the trick for our Monday night dinner this week. Hubby approved!

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers {Gluten Free}

makes about 4 servings (2 peppers per person)

What ya need:

  • 8 medium bell peppers (mix of yellow, orange & red!)
  • 1 c. quinoa (rinsed)
  • 1 jar all-natural marinara sauce
  • 1 package ground turkey
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 Vidalia onion, chopped
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • about 2 c. shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar or monterey jack best!)
  • salt & pepper to taste

1. Rinse quinoa & add to pot with about 2 c. water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cover for about 15 minutes.

2. In the meantime, sauté onion in olive oil on medium heat until cooked through. Lower heat, add in crushed garlic, and stir for another minute. Set aside.

3. In same pan, cook the turkey burger on medium heat. Once cooked, add in the marinara sauce, lower heat and let simmer. Mix in cooked quinoa, onion & garlic, and can of black beans. Add salt & pepper to tsate.

4. Preheat oven to 350. Cut tops off of the peppers, remove cores & seeds, and line onto baking sheet. Stuff each pepper equally with the quinoa mixture, and a sprinkle of cheese on top. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. (Note: save any leftover “stuffing” for a delicious meal the next day!)

Enjoy! What are your favorite week-night recipes?



Healthy Chicks in the Community: A Zenned Out, Yoga-Loving, Gluten Free Eating Entrepreneur

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Good morning ladies! Now I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted a feature for Healthy Chicks in the Community, but I’m excited to get it going again this week with a very special lady.

As a past client of mine, this Healthy Chick always wows me with her strength, guts and drive to go after what she wants. Not only did she just start her own biz, but she also works full time at Harvard Business School. Talk about gettin’ stuff done! I’ll let Erica take it from here…I’m sure you’ll fall in love with her mission as I have.

[second to the right]

Name/Age: Erica Zendell, 23

Blog/Twitter: http://erica-zendell.blogspot.com, @ezendell

Current City: Boston, MA

Photo: I traveled to China on a recent work trip and met the lovely founders of the organization ‘Gluten-free Shanghai,’ whose resources made my time in a land of soy sauce and wheat buns so much easier!

What I do for work: I am balancing work as a research associate at Harvard Business School and starting a healthy snack food business, Zen Cookery!

Number one passion: Building my business, which seeks to help those with special diets in their desire to feel whole and at peace with food by cooking up superior-tasting gluten-free, vegan, and allergy-friendly food products.

I feel my healthiest self when: I get a full night’s sleep and get some sort of exercise early the following morning. In the summer I love a good bike ride along the Charles River.

But I am also a real girl and sometimes: I stay up late binge-watching shows like ‘Glee’ and ‘Pretty Little Liars’ and spend too much time looking at friends’ pictures on Facebook.

My top 3 kitchen staples: shelled edamame, frozen bananas, and flaked coconut. Edamame makes for an interesting variation on hummus, frozen bananas I’ll use in homemade vegan/gluten-free ice cream, and coconut is simply miraculous.

Number 1 guilty pleasure: singing 90’s one-hit wonders at karaoke nights across Boston and Cambridge bars.

Exercise that makes me shine: I never thought I’d say this, but yoga. I started about five months ago, and while I was highly averse to the idea of doing yoga, it’s been a huge help in a variety of subtle ways for my mind and body.

Favorite comfort food: homemade sunflower and coconut butter cups–they’re like Reese’s, but better (and better for you)! I’m seriously considering adding them to my product line for Zen Cookery!

Message you’d like to share with other healthy chicks: Check out Zen Cookery on Facebook, Twitter, or ZenCookery.com and spread the word! We’re looking to take on Boston and beyond in our quest to change the business of allergy-friendly food. Say you heard about us on Healthy Chicks and we’ll give you a special discount off your first order! ūüôā…

Healthy Chick(en), Broccoli & Avocado Fettuccine “Alfredo”

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I’ll let you in on a little secret: my go-to requested birthday meal is Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken Parmesan. Yes, the two of them together. But it has to be homemade by my mother. And it only tastes¬†that good on my birthday. It is my birthday meal, after all.¬†I simply adore the combination of a hearty, homemade marinara with the creamy white Alfredo. Not a likely combination, but it’s¬†genius.

Sometimes I think I could eat that meal every day for the rest of my life, but then again it wouldn’t taste as good that way. Since it isn’t my birthday every day (and no one should consume that amount of cream & cheese 365 days of the year), I’ve created my own health-i-fied version. The Healthy Chicks version.

Using avocados in place of cream and just a pinch of optional parmesan cheese, you can feel a bit more confident indulging.¬†I’m not saying you should eat this meal every day of the year either, but you can feel a little better about it (as will your tummy) when you do prepare it. Enjoy!

Healthy Chick(en), Broccoli & Avocado Fettuccine “Alfredo”

Makes 4 to 5 servings

What Ya Need:

  • 8 oz. brown rice spaghetti
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli (or equivalent fresh)
  • 1 pound ¬†boneless chicken breast, preferably organic, sliced into small chunks
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • freshly shaved parmesan cheese (optional)

For “Alfredo” Sauce

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1/2 c. almond milk
  • 2 medium sized avocados
  • 5 cloves garlic (use less if you’re not a huge garlic fan)
  • 1 tsp. each oregano, basil & parsley
  • few shakes of red pepper flakes

How To Make It:

1. Heat a large skillet to medium heat & coat with olive oil. Sautee chicken for about 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Add in broccoli, salt and pepper, cover and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer. While that’s cooking, boil up your pasta and cook according to directions.

2. In a separate saucepan, heat 1 TB olive oil with 1 clove garlic on low heat. Add in 1/4 c. of the almond milk and bring to a simmer. Mix in herbs, red pepper flakes and salt & pepper.

3. In the meantime, take out a high-speed blender (I recommend using a Vitamix*) to prepare your sauce. Blend together the avocados, lemon juice, 5 cloves garlic, and remaining 1/4 c. of the almond milk until creamy. Then slowly whisk into the stove-top sauce mixture.

4. Drain the pasta, and mix with “Alfredo” sauce, chicken and broccoli. Feel free to top with freshly shaved parmesan cheese.

*To purchase your own Vitamix, browse their site here & use coupon code 06-007907 at checkout for FREE shipping!


“The Bowl Of Goodness” {Warm Quinoa Bowl with Greens & Creamy Garlic Sauce}

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It’s no surprise that The Boy and I like to make our own creations in our¬†tiny box kitchen! We’re always playing with different greens, oils, herbs, meat, seasonal produce and garlic (lots and lots of garlic) to tantalize our taste buds.

Then we have our classic dishes, our staples if you will. The Boy’s include soup (particularly his heart-warming Potato Corn Chowder), Breakfast Frittatas and his famous meatloaf (which he literally won’t stop talking about…he keeps telling all my friends and family to “Ask Rach about my meatloaf!”) Classic Rachel dishes include Almond-Crusted Coconut Chicken with Sweet Potato Fries/Mashed Sweet Potatoes,¬†fancy salads, and an apartment favorite: Warm Quinoa & Veggie Bowls which The Boy just dubbed “The Bowl of Goodness.”

The original inspiration came from our favorite local organic cafe Live Alive, as we are absolutely addicted to their warm grain bowls. That’s when I decided to get my experimenting (and my apron) on! ¬†I never make one bowl exactly the same, but all are vegan and free from gluten and dairy ingredients. Sometimes I add in raisins or curry powder, while other times I load up on the garlic and create a more savory dish. Here’s the most recent bowl I made this week:

“The Bowl of Goodness” {A Warm Quinoa Bowl with Greens & Creamy Garlic Sauce}

Makes 4 servings

The Bowl*:

  • 1 c. quinoa, rinsed and cooked according to directions
  • 1 bag frozen organic broccoli (or equivalent fresh)
  • 1 head Kale (simply run your hand down the stem to remove leaves)
  • 8 shiitake mushrooms, cleaned & sliced into thin strips
  • 1 large avocado, sliced
  • 1/2 c. green onions, diced
  • Sea salt & nutritional yeast to taste

*Use organic ingredients when possible

1. Cook quinoa according to directions, covering and stirring occasionally until all water is drained.

2. While the quinoa is cooking, steam kale, broccoli or any other dark green veggies you are using. Once mostly cooked through (about 10 minutes) add in mushrooms and steam for another 5 minutes or until all the vegetables are cooked to your liking.

3. Drain the vegetable mixture, and in a large bowl mix together quinoa, vegetables, green onions and avocado. Add sea salt & nutritional yeast to taste. Slowly mix in Creamy Ginger & Garlic Tamari Sauce (shown below) to your liking.

The Creamy Garlic & Ginger Tamari Sauce:

  • 6 cloves garlic, pealed and chopped
  • About 1/4 c. fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1/4 c. tamari, organic
  • 3/4 c. extra virgin olive oil, cold-pressed & unrefined
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • 1 TB nutritional yeast
  • sea salt to taste

~Add the garlic, ginger, tamari, lemon juice and half of the olive oil. Blend on high speed in a food-processor or Vitamix (I used a Vitamix). Then slow add in the olive oil, pulsing until it creates a creamy texture. Mix in nutritional yeast and sea salt to taste, and stir with a spoon.

Note: This sauce makes enough so you have leftover to use for other dishes, sandwich toppings or as a dip with your favorite veggies.

Do you like experimenting in the kitchen? What are your classic go-to dishes? Who does most of the cooking in your house? P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for my Spring Cleaning Wellness Workshop next Tuesday. Special discount for Healthy Chicks readers!

Make This: BBQ Chicken Sausage Pizza with Cauliflower “Crust” {Gluten & Dairy Free}

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The Boy & I have been trying to severely cut back and/or¬†eliminate both gluten and dairy from our diets. While gluten is something I’ve learned to¬†eliminate¬†over the years (due to personal digestion issues and bloating), I occasionally indulge in a tasty snack or fresh-baked slice of bread made with real ingredients. I know my limits, and I’ve pretty much learned to live without it. I guess I’m lucky because I’ve never really had a sweet tooth so fresh bread is really my only temptation.

However, dairy is a¬†completely¬†different beast. You see, I love cheese. Nothing beats a slice of fresh mozzarella, hard cheese paired with fruit, or local feta from the farmer’s market. That being said, this past year I’ve also come to the conclusion that my love for cheese may have some sort of connection ¬†to my skin issues. So I’ve been trying to cut back as much as I can to experiment. Again, this is just my own personal experiment and I’m not saying everyone should give up dairy for clear skin. After all, we are all different and what works for one may not work for another (see: bio-individuality).

I’m proud to say that I’ve considerably¬†cut back on my cheese obsession, from having it nearly every day to having a taste every now and then (once a month or so). I’ve also been drinking a mug of warm water with fresh lemon every morning before eating, adding organic Apple Cider Vinegar to improve digestion and help detox my body along with consuming a 90% “clean” diet.

The verdict? I feel great! As for my skin, I can’t say if I see¬†major¬†improvements but I do think I’m starting to control it. There are days when it’s super clear and days I want to use a pound of cover up. I also ¬†know a lot of my skin issues are hormonal, and therefore right now I need to focus on de-stressing and maintaining balance (through yoga, meditation and¬†self-care).

The point of all of this? I was really craving pizza the other night and instead of ignoring my¬†cravings (by eating lettuce or an apple instead) I decided to think outside the box. Hm…pizza without gluten AND dairy and that actually tastes good? Now this is going to be a toughie! With a quick google search I found this recipe for¬†Cauliflower Pizza Crust, something I’ve been meaning to try for a while now. Only problem was this recipe used mozzarella in the crust mix so I knew there’d be some substitutions involved. Then I got BBQ-style in my mind, and it was¬†on:¬†BBQ Chicken¬†Sausage¬†Pizza it is!

Healthy Chicks BBQ Chicken Sausage Pizza with Cauliflower “Crust” {Dairy Free & Gluten Free}

*Makes 4 extra-large slices or 8 small

For the crust mix (inspired by this recipe from Closet Cooking):

  • 1 large head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. Daiya Mozzarella Shreds (a vegan, kosher, dairy-free, soy-free cheese alternative that in my opinion is the best out there aside from homemade!)
  • 1 tsp. each dried parsley, oregano and basil
  • few shakes of onion powder
  • sea salt & pepper

For the pizza:

  • 1/2 package or 2 links all-natural chicken sausage, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB all-natural BBQ sauce for¬†saut√©ing¬†onions plus 1/4 c. for pizza “sauce” (I used Annie’s Naturals Organic Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce)
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced into thin strips
  • large handful of fresh kale, chopped
  • 8 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 c. Daiya Mozzarella Shreds

1. Preheat oven to 450. Grate the cauliflower in a food processor until it gets a rice-like texture (rather than pureed). Then steam for about 10 minutes, or until cooked.

2. Use a tea towel or cheese cloth to wring out the cauliflower, removing as much of the moisture as you can. NOTE: This step is extremely important. I completely rushed the process (I was hungry!) and therefore came out with a slightly soggy finish. Do it.

3. Mix together the cauliflower, egg, Daiya, seasonings, salt & pepper and spread out on a lined baking dish as you would regular pizza dough. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.

4. In the meantime, prepare & chop your pizza toppings! Heat large skillet to medium heat and sauté onion and garlic for about 2 minutes. Add in 1 TB BBQ sauce and continue to stir until onions are well coated. Mix in sliced chicken sausage, stir and remove from heat.

5. Remove crust from onion and coat with 1/4 c. BBQ sauce, chicken/onion mixture, kale and grape tomatoes. Top with another 1/2 c. of Daiya cheese or enough to your liking. Bake for another 15 minutes, or until cheese it bubbling and crust is a perfect crusty golden  brown.

~Enjoy with a glass of organic wine &  homemade salad like this Roasted Beet & Arugula Salad. Cheers!

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty the cauliflower crust was (minus our slight soggy issue that I totally know now for next time). I could eat this in place of regular pizza any day! I’m telling you…it’s gooood.

Wold you like to cut back on a particular food or have any sensitivities to certain ingredients? Have you ever made a pizza with cauliflower crust before? What natural remedies do you use to keep your skin clear?

Coconut Curry Tempeh Tacos with Creamy Garlic & Ginger Tamari Sauce

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I am not a vegan, nor am I a “meat-eater.” I am not Paleo, Macrobiotic or Carb-Free. While I try to eat gluten and dairy-free most of the time based on experience with my own body, sometimes I “give in” and want a piece of good-quality sourdough bread or cheese from the local farmer’s market. (Um, the cheese thing happens more than sometimes.) I avoid red meat for the most part, but I won’t say no to a good-quality, organic grass-fed burger every now and then…when I’m in the mood that is. My body knows what it can handle, and I listen to it 99% of the time.

The thing is, I don’t like to define myself, or my diet. I like to think of food as food, and load up on as much food that makes me feel good inside, reducing those things that make me feel not-so-good. It’s as simple as that. As you learn to listen to your body and treat it with lots of love, you’ll come to realize your own recipe for happiness and contentment in your body.

One of the many things that make my body feel really darn good is loading up on plant-based meals prepared with real, whole foods. That is, foods that are as LEAST processed as possible, and closest to their natural state. Therefore, while I am not a strict “vegan” or “vegetarian,” many of my meals happen to be naturally vegan and¬†vegetarian-friendly. Same goes for gluten and dairy; I find often times while cooking I could do without these ingredients and therefore I do.

These Coconut Curry Tempeh Tacos with Garlic & Ginger Tamari Sauce that I whipped up the other night is a great example of a not-on-purpose vegan dish prepared with fresh, wholesome ingredients.

Coconut Curry Tempeh Tacos with Creamy Garlic & Ginger Tamari Sauce

Vegan, Free from gluten & dairy

For the tacos:

*makes 6 tacos

  • 1 package organic tempeh (8 oz), diced into small squares (I used Lightlife Foods’ Organic Flax Tempeh)
  • 6 whole corn tortillas (I used Food for Life’s Sprouted Corn Tortillas)
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 TB coconut oil, organic, cold-pressed & unrefined
  • 2 TB tamari, organic
  • 1 tsp. curry powder (add additional according to taste)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • handful of leafy greens (for taco toppings)

1. Heat large skillet on medium heat with coconut oil. Add in shallot and cook for about 3 minutes.

2. Mix in tempeh, using spatula to create a crumbled effect (like ground meat). Add tamari, curry, salt and pepper and stir. Cook until tempeh is lightly browned and crispy. Reduce to low heat, and let sit covered. In the meantime, heat corn tortillas in the oven for a few minutes until soft and warm.

3. Top each tortilla with taco mixture, sauce (see below), & leafy greens and serve.

[We enjoyed ours with a side of homemade fish-chowder!]

For Creamy Garlic & Ginger Tamari Sauce

  • 6 cloves garlic, pealed and chopped
  • About 1/4 c. fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1/4 c. tamari, organic
  • 3/4 c. extra virgin olive oil, cold-pressed & unrefined
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • 1 TB nutritional yeast
  • sea salt to taste

Note: This makes enough so you have leftover to use for other dishes, sandwich toppings or as a dip with your favorite veggies.

~Add the garlic, ginger, tamari, lemon juice and half of the olive oil. Blend on high speed in a food-processor or Vitamix (I used a Vitamix). Then slow add in the olive oil, pulsing until it creates a creamy texture. Mix in nutritional yeast and sea salt to taste, and stir with a spoon.

This sauce is seriously AMAZING. I was literally licking the sides of the Vitamix…I kid you not! It was originally inspired by Life Alive’s Ginger Nama Shoyu Sauce (which is served on my favorite Green Goddess dish) since I just had to try making something similar at-home. Enjoy!

Do you define your diet, or eat a particular way? Have you ever tried cooking with tempeh? What’s your favorite vegan or¬†vegetarian¬†dish?

Be Green: St Patty’s Festivities Plus Buckwheat Veggie Pasta with Pesto & Chicken Sausage

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Good afternoon ladies! Hope you all had an amazing weekend, and a happy & green St. Patty’s Day. I spent the weekend catching up with old friends, eating good food, wining, and roaming the packed streets in South Boston. (I even got to catch some of the parade this year!)

[Ladies’ night apps: green grapes, herbed goat cheese, When Pigs Fly sourdough]

[The Boy & I]                                                             [best friends]

While I didn’t get around to Green Eggs ‘n’ Ham or dying our milk green (boo to artificial coloring), I did make a delicious green pesto pasta the other night that I’ve been dying to share with you ladies. Even better, it’s both gluten and dairy-free!

Buckwheat Veggie Pasta with Pesto & Chicken Sausage (Dairy & Gluten-free)

Makes 4 large servings

  • 8 oz. bag of buckwheat pasta
  • 2 links all-natural chicken sausage, sliced into thin circles (We used garlic-flavored)
  • 1 c. frozen green peas
  • Half a bag frozen spinach
  • 2 c. frozen broccoli
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 TB cold-pressed coconut oil (for cooking)
  • salt, pepper & seaweed gomasio to taste

For pesto:

  • About 2 c. fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • few shakes of nutritional yeast (to give it that “cheesy” flavoring)
  • sea salt & pepper to taste

Note: Aim to use organic ingredients when you can!

1. Cook pasta according to directions, until cooked through but still slightly firm. In the meantime, heat large skillet with coconut oil and sauté garlic and onion on medium heat for about 2 minutes.

2. Add frozen vegetables, and continue to cook. In the meantime, prepare the pesto by adding all the ingredients to a food processor and pulsing until mixture is smooth. Add salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and nutritional yeast to your liking and give it a good stir.

3. Once vegetables are no longer frozen, add in the sliced chicken sausage and stir. Drain the pasta, and slowly stir into veggie mixture. Then add in pesto, mixing until the veggies and pasta are evenly coated. Add salt, pepper and seaweed gomasio to taste and dig in!

What did you do this weekend to celebrate St. Patty’s Day? What’s your favorite go-to healthy pasta dish?

Wild Mushroom & Sweet Potato Coconut Soup (Dairy & Gluten Free)

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I have an over-the-top crush on soup. From thick stews and chowders to broth-based and bisques, soups make my heart melt.

There’s noting like coming home to a hot bowl of soup in the winter, especially when it’s homemade. It brings me back to childhood when I’d rush into the house from the bus stop to the heavenly aroma of parsley, dill and colorful vegetables. This meant my mom’s homemade Chicken Noodle Soup was about to be served!

Unfortunately, most soups and stews found at the store or restaurant are loaded with cream, sugar, sodium and other additives to enhance the flavor. But for me, the natural ingredients in soup create enough flavor as they are.

Last week, I was itching for a hearty bowl of soup, but not necessarily the heavy ingredients that come with it. Therefore, I browsed through some recipes for a little inspiration and decided to create my own thai-style coconut mushroom soup with sweet potatoes. If you know me, I’m not a huge fan of recipes because I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen and playing with flavors! (I apologize in advance for my rookie recipe-writing skills since I rarely go by the exact tablespoon, cup or precise cooking method)

I particularly loved the blend of ingredients in this soup, not only for their flavor but also for their health benefits. Mushrooms have a whole slew of health benefits (including the potential to protect against Cancer) and sweet potatoes are among my favorite winter root vegetables especially since I enjoy eating with the seasons.

With no dairy, gluten or unhealthy additives, this recipe is savory and nutritious at the same time!

Wild Mushroom & Sweet Potato Coconut Soup

What You Need:

  • 1 package baby bella mushrooms plus 1 package wild mushroom blend (a nice variety of shiitake, Oyster, etc), cleaned & diced
  • 1 TB olive oil (plus 1 tsp. for sweet potato)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 can organic coconut milk (we used light but regular works too!)
  • 1 carton organic chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 habanero pepper, whole
  • 3 small sweet potatoes, diced
  • Soup seasonings: dried ginger, cayenne pepper, Chinese 5 Spice, tarragon & basil (a few generous shakes of each)
  • Blend of Chinese 5 Spice, Chili Powder & Black Pepper (to your liking ‚Äď we used a few shakes of each to coat sweet potatoes)
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste

  1. Rinse & then chop sweet potatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, and toss with sweet potato seasonings listed above. Roast on 400 for 25 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, dice mushrooms and onions finely. Heat large saucepan to low heat, and add in garlic, olive oil mushrooms and onion. Stir for one minute, being careful not to burn the garlic.
  3. Increase heat to medium; add in coconut milk and stir. Slowly mix in the chicken or vegetable stock.
  4. Bring to a simmer and add in soup seasonings including the Bay Leaf and Habanero Pepper. Then reduce to low heat and cover for about 15 minutes. When sweet potatoes are finished roasting, mix those in as well. Remove from heat & cover until ready to serve.

What’s your favorite winter soup recipe? Do you like following a recipe or creating your own “experiment” in the kitchen?

Pancakes Make Me Happy (Especially When They're Gluten Free)

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I remember when I was a little kid, having pancakes for breakfast was just as exciting as seeing presents under the tree. Our family made such an event out of it. There were blueberry pancakes, banana pancakes, and my absolute favorite childhood flavor: chocolate chip pancakes. And of course we made a batch or two of plain, only to smother them in butter and Maple syrup. Seriously, there was nothing like pancakes for breakfast. 

Then I developed a gluten/wheat sensitivity two years ago, and haven’t been able to enjoy pancakes ever since. Seriously, I had forgotten what they tasted like. Last year, our roommates hosted a winter day brunch, and all I could eat were the eggs, fruit salad and bacon. The pancakes just sat there staring at me, with all of their ooey gooey goodness. Grr. I cursed them for containing wheat, but then again, I guess it’s not really their fault.¬†

Well, it wasn’t until this morning that I was brought back to childhood with a bite of some damn good pancakes. Yesterday while strolling my favorite place in the world -Trader Joe’s – I stumbled upon a box of frozen¬†gluten free pancakes, and thought I should give them a try. I didn’t expect them to taste like the real thing by any means, but I thought, why not?

Boy oh boy was I wrong. These babies knocked my expectations out of the ball park. They were heavenly, the perfect texture and extra warm and gooey in the middle. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been missing pancakes for far too long, but I even dare say they were better than what I remembered. Yup, I went there…better. I topped my three little guys (the perfect serving and 230 calories) with a little Earth Balance butter, sliced bananas and a drizzle of Maple syrup then dove right in. Wow…just wow.¬†

So next time your friends throw a festive brunch, and you have to sit out with a sad face due to an allergy, just remember…there is always a way! Have a happy Tuesday and make pancakes for dinner if ya want! : )¬†…

Sweetie Pie “Spaghetti” & Meatballs

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¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† What? That’s NOT spaghetti??!


This healthy dish is a wonderful substitute for your traditional spaghetti ‘n’ meatballs. Eat one of the all-time favorite comfort foods with absolutely no guilt at all. Serve with a side salad or small piece of homemade garlic bread! Trust me: it’s so darn good that your guests won’t even know it’s not real spaghetti. Note: this recipe is GF- gluten free AND guilt free!¬†


*serves 4

For squash:

-1 spaghetti squash

-2 TB extra virgin olive oil

-1 tsp. cinnamon

-1 TB ground pepper

-1 TB red pepper flakes

-1 TB oregano

-1 TB parsley

For meatballs/sauce:

-1 package lean ground turkey

-1 c. of fresh Marinara sauce

-1 clove garlic, crushed

-1 tsp. salt

-1 TB red pepper flakes

-1/4 c. red onion, chopped into small pieces

-1 tsp. pepper

-1 TB basil 

-Extra Virgin Olive Oil 



1. Preheat oven to 375. Cut squash in half (lengthwise). Scoop out the insides, and set on a large baking sheet. Coat squash with olive oil, along with the dry ingredients “for squash” listed above. Bake for 45 minutes.


2. In the meantime, mix ground turkey in a large bowl with 2 TB olive oil, salt, pepper and chopped onion. Once mixed, form small meatballs with hands. Place them on a large skillet coated with olive oil on medium-high heat. Saute the meatballs until crispy. Add in the Marinara sauce, basil and garlic and let simmer on low heat.


3. Remove squash from oven, and scrape with fork to pull out all of the “spaghetti” onto 4 plates. Top with a dash of Parmesan cheese.




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