Roasted Green Beans

Here’s a simple, healthy way to make green beans.  Get creative with the seasonings! They make great finger food for little kids!

Roasted Green Beans

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, stems removed
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Put green beans in a resealable plastic bag; add oil and seasonings, zip closed and toss to coat.

Spread evenly onto a baking sheet.  Roast for 30-45 minutes, tossing beans around every 15 minutes for even cooking.

Beans are ready when they are browned in places but still slightly firm.

These are great hot or room temperature; try dipping them in ranch dressing or Greek yogurt!  Enjoy!


Lauren’s Cheeseburger Pie

I think most everyone has made the “Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie” recipe on Bisquick’s website.  It is impossibly easy.  But it is also begging for improvement!

Here’s my version adapted from the original.  For one, there’s not nearly enough cheese!  Greek yogurt and Velveeta cubes add depth (just go with me on the Velveeta here.  It’s good.).

I also use the leanest beef I can so it’s less oily (that would be the cheese’s fault).

Read on for the recipe.

Lauren's Cheeseburger Pie

Adapted from Gluten Free Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie,

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90/10 or leaner)
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 ounce container Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk (or 1 cup if omitting the yogurt above)
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces Velveeta, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup gluten free Bisquick (or use regular)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Brown the onion and beef in a skillet until cook through; pour into 9-inch greased pie plate or square baking dish.

Top with the shredded Cheddar; spread the Velveeta cubes evenly over the top.

Whisk the milk, yogurt, garlic powder, eggs and salt together.  Slowly add Bisquick, whisking to combine.  Pour the mixture over the top of the meat and cheese.  Top with more Cheddar if you like.

Bake about 25 minutes until top is browned and quiche is set.  We love this quiche with fresh steamed green beans – enjoy!

Chicken Stoup


Nope, it’s not a typo – it’s a soup-meets-stew.  Fast cooking time like a soup, but hearty like a stew.  If I make “soup”, it better be filling because my lumberjack-appetite hubby will be rifling through the kitchen cabinets within a few hours, in search of something to munch on if it’s not.

So I thicken up a traditional soup with potatoes and pasta and you’ve got a one-pot, all-in-one meal in half an hour. That’s stoup!

With chicken stoup, I always start with potatoes, celery and carrots, and then build out from there with whatever other veggies I have available.  And it’s low fat – just healthy fats from the olive oil and chicken – and super satisfying on a cold night.  You control the salt, and can easily keep the sodium low versus canned soups.  Here I use corn, but you could also add zucchini, yellow squash, or replace the red potatoes with sweet potatoes.

Gluten free brown rice elbow pasta is the final touch. Perfect for a cold day!

Chicken Stoup

Yield 8 quarts.

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken (I used a mix of breast and thigh meat)
  • 1 carton low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine (optional)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1-1 1/2 cups uncooked gluten free pasta noodles
  • 28 ounce carton chopped tomatoes (or canned)
  • 1 pound red (new) potatoes, skin on, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 cups celery, chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 1 can low or no sodium corn
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • black pepper to taste

In an 8 quart stockpot with a lid, heat 4 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion and garlic; cook for 10 minutes or until garlic begins to brown.

Chop your meat into small pieces; add to the pot along with 1 tablespoon olive oil and cook until chicken is mostly done.

Chop your vegetables and add to pot; add the tomatoes, chicken broth, wine, water, and spices.  Stir to combine.

Bring the stoup to a simmer, and add the pasta.  Cover and simmer 25-30 minutes or until pasta is cooked and potatoes are soft.  Enjoy!

Chicken Fajita Quesadillas

How about I show you a gluten free quesadilla today with all the fajita fixin’s?

I found Goodbye Gluten large wraps in my grocery store a while ago.  They are right next to the regular tortillas!

Heat the wrap covered in a damp paper towel for a few seconds to warm it and make it easier to work with.

You could make tacos or burritos with this filling too.  Serve these with Fresh Pico de Gallo, sliced avocado, sour cream, and Homemade Yellow Rice.

Chicken Fajita Quesadillas

  • 4-5 ounces chicken, cubed
  • One whole small green pepper, sliced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/3 cups shredded cheese (such as 4 Cheese Mexican blend)
  • juice from 1/4 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter (or oil)
  • One 10-inch gluten free tortilla (or any you prefer)

Chop up the green pepper, onion, jalapeno, and garlic.  In a nonstick skillet with a little butter or oil, brown the vegetables, about 10 minutes.  Remove from skillet and set aside.

Add cubed chicken to hot pan over medium-high heat.  Add the chili powder, cumin and salt.  Squeeze the lime juice over the chicken, and fry until golden brown.  Add chicken to plate of vegetables; turn off burner and wipe out skillet.

Place a 10-inch tortilla in the hot pan; to one side add half the cheese, then the chicken and vegetables.  Top with remaining cheese, and fold the tortilla in half.  Turn heat back on medium-low.

Cook until browned; flip to brown other side.  Remove from pan; let sit 5 minutes to cool (so it doesn’t fall apart when cut).

Top with sour cream, guacamole, and/or pico de gallo.  Enjoy!



Lighter Beef Stroganoff

Beef stroganoff, how I love thee…but alas, the scale reminds me just how much I love thee.

How to make a lighter version?  And make it gluten free?

This recipe is both!  At around 550 for a serving including the noodles, this will make you feel pretty dern good about still getting to eat what you love!

Move over, fatty beef stroganoff and glutinous Hamburger Helper!

Lighter Beef Stroganoff

  • 1 pound 93/7 (or 90/10) ground beef
  •    (or top round, cubed or sliced beef, if you prefer)
  • 1 cup sliced baby portabella mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard (or 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) Greek yogurt, plain yogurt, or sour cream
  • 3-4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup beef broth (or chicken will work fine too)
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounce box of gluten free pasta (or mashed potatoes or rice)

In a large skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic until beef is cooked through.  Do not drain fat from meat.

Add broth, sliced mushrooms, mustard, Greek yogurt, cubed cream cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.  Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until sauce is formed and thickened.

Stir in parsley before serving.  Spoon over pasta, mashed potatoes, or rice.  Enjoy!

Gluten Free Macaroni & Cheese

What is there to say about homemade mac and cheese that hasn’t already been said?  It’s the ultimate family-friendly comfort food!

Many versions include flour in the cheese mix – you could always substitute gluten free flour.  But not everyone has gluten free flour in their pantry, and it is expensive.  But eggs – everyone has those.  Here I make a classic recipe gluten free by using eggs instead of flour (and gluten free pasta, of course).

The result is creamy and cheesy, and you won’t even be able to tell it is gluten free!  It isn’t my healthiest recipe, but indulging every once in a while makes me really happy.

I use a blend of 4 cheeses: Cheddar, Mozzarella, Parmesan and Velveeta.

Ok, ok, so that’s really like…3 1/2 cheeses.  But the Velveeta adds a delicious creaminess.  Don’t leave it out!


So delicious!!!  Make this now!

Macaroni & Cheese

Makes 2 1/2 quarts.

  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) gluten free elbow macaroni
  •      (I like brown rice pasta)
  • 2 cups whole milk (or one cup whole milk
  •      and one cup lowfat milk)
  • 4 ounces Velveeta, cubed
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) medium Cheddar cheese, grated
  •      (plus more for topping)
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions.  In a large pan, heat 1 1/2 cups milk over medium heat until just bubbling; remove from heat and allow to cool 5 minutes.

Beat an egg in a small bowl; add cooled milk 1/4 cup at a time, whisking to prevent egg from scrambling.  Add another 1/4 cup milk to egg; add egg mixture back to pan and return pan to medium heat.

Add in cheeses, and stir.  Add dry mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.  Stir constantly until cheese is mostly melted (this can take 10 minutes; be patient and don’t let the mixture boil).

When cheese is melted, add in drained pasta and stir to combine.  Transfer mixture to a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until edges bubble.

Top with more Cheddar cheese, and broil on high 5 minutes or until top begins to brown.

Let dish rest 10-15 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Three Cheese Stuffed Shells

Mmmmm….stuffed shells.  My version is full of Ricotta, Mozzarella and fresh Parmesan cheese, plus spinach for a nutritional punch.

I always double the recipe and freeze the extra pan – then you can take right from the freezer, bake in the oven at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly and have dinner ready any night of the week!

To my gluten free friends: unfortunately, as of today jumbo shells (or cannelloni shells, or anything else you might stuff with cheese) don’t have a gluten free version available.  If one of you does come across them, please let me know and I’ll add that info here!


2013-08-17 19.06.40

Three Cheese Stuffed Shells

Yield 30-35 stuffed shells.

  • 32 ounces (4 cups) Ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) shredded fresh Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cups coarsely shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 10 ounces cooked chopped spinach, squeezed as dry as possible
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 12 ounce box jumbo shells
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce, any flavor
  • more shredded Mozzarella or Parmesan cheese, for topping

Cook and drain as much liquid as possible from the spinach.  In a large mixing bowl, add cheeses, spinach, eggs, salt, pepper, parsley, oregano, and red pepper flakes.  Mix gently with a spoon or use your hands.

Cook the shells about 3/4 of the time the directions indicate.  Once slightly cooled, fill each shell with the cheese and spinach mixture.

In a 13×9 inch baking dish, spread enough spaghetti sauce to cover the bottom.  Place stuffed shells seam side up in rows.  Repeat until dish is full.

Top with the remaining spaghetti sauce, plus more Mozzarella or Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, then turn the heat up to 375 for another 10-15 minutes.

Serve immediately.  Alternatively, the finished (but uncooked) dish can be tightly wrapped and frozen.  Bake from frozen at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly.  Enjoy!