Gluten Free Brazilian Cheese Rolls

Oh my gosh.  Yes, it’s true.  GLUTEN FREE BRAZILIAN CHEESE ROLLS.

Gluten Free Brazilian Cheese Rolls - Better on a Budget

I LOVE these things, and holy cow, I’m glad I discovered them.  I actually had never had one BEFORE going gluten free, so I couldn’t tell you exactly how they compare, but I can tell you that compared to the store bought gf cheese rolls, they are wonderful.  And they don’t cost $10 for a dozen.  Score! 😀

I wish I was exaggerating when I say that I ate an entire batch in 2 days, I really do.  But alas, it’s the truth.  I don’t make these often simply for the fact that I cannot stop eating them.

Get the recipe HERE at Gluten Free Yummy!

Gluten Free Brazilian Cheese Rolls - So Good!!  Better on a Budget*Linked at Gluten Free Wednesday!

Pan-Roasted Sunflower Seeds (shell free) 1 comment

I’ve been eating a lot of nuts and seeds lately, and to keep it more healthy, I’ve been buying them raw.  I love a good raw almond in a salad, although I’m not yet in love with them by themselves.  Same goes for sunflower seeds.  The other day, I decided I wanted some roasted seeds, but of course, I didn’t want to buy any and get all that sodium and who knows what kind of preservatives in my body – so I roasted some of my own raw seeds!

Pan Roasted Sunflower Seeds

Sorry for the fuzziness – cell phone pic! #firstworldproblems

I buy these raw seeds already shelled from the bulk section at Winco.  I’m sure most health food stores will have them.

Totally easy to do.  I simply turned on my stove to medium heat, put about a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet, heat that over the stove and added some sunflower seeds (about a cup).  I heated them through, stirring often, until they started to brown up a bit.  So good!

I seasoned these ones with a homemade garlic salt and pepper mix.  Next time I may try it with a cinnamon-sugar mix, or perhaps I’ll use some of my homemade creole seasoning!  Easy, right?  And so, so good.  I want to play around with other seasonings as well…any ideas? :)

Pan-Roasted Sunflower Seeds - Better on a Budget

Pan-Roasted Sunflower Seeds

1 tsp olive oil
1 cup shelled raw sunflower seeds
Seasonings of choice (garlic salt, cinnamon-sugar, creole, ranch, etc) to taste

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat.  Add the sunflower seeds; stir to coat.  Add desired seasonings.  Stir often to keep seeds from burning.  Heat through until some of the seeds begin to darken in color, about 3-5 minutes.  Let cool and enjoy!



1 Hour Freezer Cooking Session

I’ve decided that instead of doing one all-day massive freezer cooking section, I’ll break it down into an hour at a time.  While I love the idea of an all day marathon, it just isn’t realistic for me right now.

Whadya think:  If I do one of these each week over the summer, I should have a good amount of meals/snacks ready when school and work starts again, right?  Unless, of course, we eat all the delicious, convenient meals along the way! :)

This week’s freezer cooking session will consist of 3 different recipes, and will make 4 meals for our family, as well as a nice batch of snacks:

IMG_2594.1No-bake energy bites from Smashed Peas and Carrots are one of my favorite snacks.  Honestly, I’ve even eaten two of them for lunch when rushed and called it good.  They are a great pick-me-up when that afternoon slump hits.

honeylimeThis Honey Lime Chicken from Happy Money Saver is a new one to me.  It sounds and sounds good, so why not?  And if the kids don’t like it, more for me. :)

P6090066I’ll also be making a couple batches of ground taco meat using ground beef and homemade taco seasoning.  

Do you do freezer cooking?  If so, what are your favorites?  I’m excited to try new recipes each and every week, and hope you will too!

Menu Monday 2/24 – 03/02

Here in my neck of the woods, this winter has been fairly mild.  We’ve had a few big snowstorms, but there haven’t been a whole lot of them.  My heart goes out to those who have been shoveling themselves out of snow for weeks straight without relief.  Seriously, I’ve been miserable here with the gray skies and the cold, but man, I haven’t had to deal with what a lot of you have.


That said, oh my gosh, it’s almost March!  Spring fever is hitting me hard, and I cannot WAIT!  I can’t wait to plant peas in the garden, to see my crocuses and tulips come up, to hear the birds sing, to see BLUE skies and sunshine again!


This week’s meal plan is a little different than the normal.  I’m eating leftovers for breakfast this week, and will be having a protein shake for lunch.  I wonder if I’ll prefer it this way – guess we’ll see!  As usual, I’m keeping everything I eat gluten free:


Monday – Potato and Corn Chowder (recipe will follow later this week), rolls

Tuesday –  Leftover night

Wednesday – Crockpot Baked Potato Bar

Thursday – Out to eat (we’ve got a dentist appointment, gymnastics, and parent teacher conferences, I ain’t cooking!)

Friday – Maple Sweet Potatoes and Sausage

Saturday – Chicken Tacquitos, Spanish Rice, green salad

Sunday – Oven Fried Chicken (adapted a bit), letuce salad, fruit salad


Have a great week!  I, and dozens of others are linked up at OrgJunkie, if you need some dinner ideas!

2014 – Recipes I HAVE to Try!

So, I kinda slacked off on posting my goals for 2013.  I shan’t make that mistake again.  I’m gonna get so specific on all my goals you’re gonna be sick of hearing about them.  I’m even making a list of recipes I have a goal of trying!  Ha ha ha, yep, that’s how I roll.  I cannot wait to try these recipes in 2014:




Parsnips, Bacon and Carrot Medley – one of my goals for 2014 is to try a few new vegetables that I haven’t before eaten, and parsnips is on the list.  I think this medley looks really tasty and really easy!





(Vegan and Gluten Free) Chocolate Coconut Cake Doughnuts – I know I don’t need to say any more…





Paleo Almond Flour Tortillas – These could change my life if I like them!






Sweet Baked Ham





Gluten Free Corndogs




The Chewy Gluten Free: Alton Brown

Chewy Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies





Homemade Raw Almond Milk





Paula Deen Frito and Corn Salad





Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas, Apples and Feta



All right, so there you have it.  Are there any winning recipes missing up there?  I’m sure there are – if you know of a fantastic gluten free recipe, please share!  I’d love to try it and feature it (with a link to you) here!

Best of 2013 – 10 Recipes

I still feel fairly new to the whole gluten free living thing, and so I’m constantly finding new recipes to try.  Here are some of my favorites I tried in 2013…thank goodness for the internet!  I hope you find some good ones that you’ll enjoy trying and eating!




a7a8580f11446c42c79246a71bd958eaPaleo Chicken Fingers – These didn’t turn out as crisp as they look in the picture, but man oh man we loved the taste and have made them multiple times since!





Slow Cooked Sticky Chicken





Grilled Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad – seriously one of my FAVORITE salad recipes – EVER.





Zucchini Chips – These take me a lot longer to cook than the recipe calls for, but they are oh, so good!






Slow Cooker Jambalaya





Baked Spiced Chickpeas – such a delicious snack!





These Fluffy Gluten Free Pancakes are my favorite pancake recipe that is gluten free.  Love ’em.





Parmesan Crusted Chicken





I LOVE my Sweet N’ Spicy Salmon recipe!  It continues to be a favorite.





Cheesy Bacon Oven Chips



Start Eating That Zucchini!

If you have a garden and you grow zucchini, then you’re probably in the midst of craziness!  I absolutely LOVE growing zucchini, because it makes me feel like I’m an accomplished gardener, with all the produce I get. :-)  Of course, if I’m honest with myself, well…let’s not go there.  I’m gonna pretend I’m accomplished and leave it at that.
There is always the question of, “what now?”  that occurs when we start harvesting those zucchini.  I am prepared this year with a handful of different tried-and-true recipes, as well as a ton of new recipes that I’m excited to experiment with.  This is the perfect place to put them, so I’ll always have them for reference, and so will you!  Enjoy:


Fried Zucchini Chips – This is the way my great grandma would cook her zucchini, I’m told.  Because it’s related to family history, I justify the frying and enjoy these to the fullest when we make them!

1/2 zucchini, peeled and sliced thin
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup flour ( I use a gluten-free flour blend)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup oil (I use olive oil)
Salt and pepper to taste
Put the egg in a bowl and beat it.  Put the flour in another bowl.  Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Dip each zucchini slice into the egg, and then into the flour.  When the oil is hot, put the floured zucchini slices in the pan and fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once.  Drain on paper towels and salt to taste.

Simple Grilled Zucchini

1 zucchini, peeled
olive oil
salt/pepper to taste
Peel the zucchini and slice it fairly thin.  Heat a grill pan on your stove over medium heat and brush with olive oil.  When hot, place the zucchini slices in a single layer on the pan and grill for a couple of minutes on each side.  Salt and pepper to taste.

100_3260-1024x561Zucchini Crisp (adapted from Taste of Home)

6 cups cubed peeled zucchini
3/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup gluten free flour
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
In a bowl, combine the zucchini, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; mix well. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.  For topping, combine brown sugar, oats and flour in a bowl; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over the zucchini mixture. Bake at 375° for 45-50 minutes or until bubbly and the zucchini is tender. 


Spaghetti Sauce (Adapted from Jeanne’s Slow Cooker at All-Recipes)

2 quarts peeled, diced tomatoes (I used about 9 large ones)
1 (6-oz) can tomato paste
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 medium yellow squash, peeled and diced
2 small zucchini, peeled and diced
1 small green pepper, minced
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried rosemary
In a slow cooker combine tomatoes and tomato paste.  Turn slow cooker on high.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion, squash, zucchini, bell pepper and garlicin oil until onions are translucent.  Optionally, puree the vegetables (my family doesn’t like chunks).  Add to the slow cooker along with remaining ingredients to season.  Cover and cook on high for 2 hours.


Gluten-Free-Zucchini-Muffin-Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins – I haven’t made these yet, but I’m looking forward to trying them, and the fact that they’re gluten free ensures that I will eat them and so they won’t go to waste!  I can’t make that claim when it’s food I can’t eat – my husband and kids are terrible about wasting food!


Sweet Corn and Zucchini Fritters – This is another new recipe I will try, and adapt to make it gluten free.


Lemon-Zucchini Loaf with Lemon Glaze


Zucchini Brownies – I’ve made these before, and I love them.  Very rich and chocolatey!  Of course, I substituted the flour with a gluten-free version.


Grilled Zucchini Pizzas – I can’t wait to try these with some homemade pizza sauce!







JH0112_Zucchini-Alla-Carbonara_lgBeautiful Zucchini Carbonara – 

I shared this recipe on the blog last year as well.  From the mastermind cook Jamie Oliver comes this fantastic recipe/idea for carbonara.  It calls for 6 medium zucchini, so it’s gonna make you a nice, big batch of pasta goodness!  It looks like a pretty easy recipe as well, which is always a plus!



Zucchini and Apple Bread.  

This recipe, from the Food Network, uses 1 cup of finely grated zucchini along with 1 cup of apple.  I have not tried it, but boy, it looks so delicious!  It has great reviews too, which is something I always look for.


unnamedThere are so many ways to prepare Zucchini Boats, but this is one of my favorites.  You can really get creative with this recipe and make the flavors your own!






Menu Monday : July 1-7

mpm-chalkboardIt’s been an eventful week, and this one will be eventful as well.  I’m sending my daughter off today to a summer camp, and I’ve never had her gone for more than overnight before…yep, I’m a full blown emotional mom! 😉


I’m also scheduled to take a BIG leap of faith – LITERALLY!  Wednesday, weather permitting, I will be going hang gliding!!  I’m ridiculously afraid of heights, but it’s been a goal of mine for a year now, and I’m sick of living so much of my life in fear.  So that’ll be awesome/terrifying/amazing!


I hope you all have a good week!  Here’s what we’re eating in my house:


779c99ebc499e903ba4a8c8dbfa993ceBreakfast Options
– toast
– fruit (this week we have grapes, apples and fresh garden raspberries!)
breakfast quinoa
– eggs and soy sauce over rice

Lunch Options
– pb&j sandwiches or tortillas
– baby carrots, bell peppers,
– oranges, apples, grapes, strawberries, raisins
-smoothies and shakes (herehere and here)
-cheese quesadillas (corn tortillas for gf)



Monday – Dinner at my MIL’s
Tuesday – Mochiko Chicken, rice, carrots, salad
Wednesday – Leftover night
Thursday – Creamy Chicken Taco Soup
Friday – Grilled Corn Saladtilapia
Saturday – Homemade Pizzas
Sunday – Baked Potato Bar

You can find more great menu plans at OrgJunkie.

Food – Pinterest Picks

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of my favorite Pinterest finds.  I’ve been nice and busy this summer (why did I think I wouldn’t be?), and haven’t tried as many new recipes as I would have liked, but I think every single one I’ve attempted has been a winner!


I blame it on the fact that I’m getting Pinterest-Picky.  I will NOT pin a recipe if I haven’t clicked on the link and read all the ingredients myself.  If it’s not something I think I can remake gluten free easily, I skip it.  If I don’t “approve” of the processed ingredients and don’t think I can duplicate it with non processed, I won’t pin it.  If it looks amazingly good but I know that I’ll make it and eat the entire thing in one sitting, I (USUALLY) skip it!  I don’t need any more temptation than I already have, right?  :-)


Anyway, let me share some of my new favorite food Pinterest Picks:




Gluten Free Pizza Crust – although this uses a mix, and I’m not a big fan of mixes, I just HAD to try this.  I have missed my dang pizza, and to buy one that is gluten free?  The prices are outrageous, and I can’t justify it!  If you try this, do yourself a favor and use the exact mix she suggests…don’t go thinking that because this other mix (from the same brand, just a different blend) will work, because you will be disappointed.  The right mix is key, and it made me so very happy to eat a yummy pizza!!


a3b493863de4cf0be772ce0ce0321602Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies – I wasn’t a huge fan initially, but after I ate a cookie, I reached for another one…then I reached for another, and suddenly I had to hide them!  They’re strangely addicting, and I’ve decided I really like them! I’ve made multiple batches.  I confess, I’m one of those annoying people that add things to my experiments, and I did it again here.  I basically omitted the walnuts cause I hate walnuts, and added in some all natural peanut butter instead.  I also may or may not have added a small-ish handful of chocolate chips to the mix.


62ca4bf5460d6210bcf9e1594b56fdc8Baked Spiced Chickpeas – Love, love, LOVE!  These are my new favorite snack!  I felt all virtuous because of it, and then remembered that chickpeas have calories too…I have made at least 3 batches and I love their crunch, and the seasoning with a hint of spice!  I added this to a homemade trail mix for camping/hiking last week, and I’m telling you, I’m in love.  SO much healthier than a potato chip!


f9118769f0892e48ceb75fc2baa95372Clean Eating Caramel Popcorn – This is another winner for me.  It doesn’t taste a whole lot like caramel though, so keep that in mind.  The “caramel” is made with honey and peanut butter, so that’s the taste you’re going to get, but man, it’s a good taste!

So, there you have it…my new favorite Pinterest Finds!




Coconut Mango Smoothie 2 comments

A few days ago I posted about my aversion to the winter.


I’ve got another simple, tasty smoothie for you.  It’s pretty much the same as the last one, but with mango instead of pineapple.


I was serious about pretending it’s summer!!



Coconut Mango Smoothie

1 mango, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup light coconut milk

1/2 tsp sweetener of your choice (I used good ol’ sugar)

1/8 tsp orange extract (optional)


Freeze the pieces of mango in a bowl for at least 45 minutes before putting together the smoothie.  Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Easy and delicious!  Dairy and gluten free as well. :-)