Stories, recipes and health info for the gluten challenged

Tag Archives: dinner

I had seen a shiny new brand of g-free bread crumbs made from rice (so, not really bread at all), and since I use rice flour as a substitution for so many things (I know, I still owe part 2 of my g-free flours post) I thought the rice crumbs would be perfect for the stuffing that goes in my stuffed pork chops.

I combined a cup of the rice crumbs, along with 1/4 cup chopped apples, 2 Tbsp. chopped onion, 1 tsp. of fresh sage and salt and pepper to taste. Then, added about 1/3 cup chicken stock to moisten the mixture. It smelled wonderful, looked promising. I cut deep slits into my boneless pork chops and filled them with the stuffing mixture.

What should have been my first warning: The stuffing had become incredibly sticky and was hard to separate by the time I was stuffing the chops.

I fried the chops for a few minutes on each side to get a nice crust, then popped them in the oven for about 20 minutes to finish them off. They came out steaming, bubbling and smelling of sage and roasted apples.

But it was a huge fail. Disastrous. Embarrassing.

The stuffing had become a grey, gelatinous mass pouring out of the chop. There were no signs of sweet apples or savory sage. Just, this blob. I half expected it to move when I poked it (remember dinner in “The Adam’s Family” movie, circa 1994? Anyone?). The flavor was lost, and it sucked the moisture from your mouth, forcing you to make a “smack, smack, smack” sound as you tried to process the gooey grossness.

I’m not sure what scientific principles are behind the rice crumbs having done this (though I’m sure it has something to do with the release of starches when wet), but am willing to suggest that rice crumbs not be used for wet mixtures.

My recommendation for the best g-free bread crumb substitute: Tortilla crumbs. They have a great texture, hold their integrity and can be used in any mixture (but because of their mild flavor, they may not be appropriate for all recipes). Or, for deep fried “breaded” items, I’ve found that cornmeal makes and excellent crust without holding too much oil. Schar also makes a great g-free bread crumb, though I think it’s overpriced for a filler.

Last, you can always cube g-free bread in place of bread crumbs. The cubes hold their integrity well, don’t over absorb liquids and give you that light, fluffy taste you’re looking for in stuffings and mixes.


A naturally g-free recipe with mouth watering results. Subbing the salsa for fresh pico de gallo would make this even better!


  • 6 chicken breasts (if they’re large, use 3 and butterfly them to make more reasonable portion sizes)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups cooked rice (white, wild or brown)
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 jar salsa (your preference mild, medium or hot)
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Lightly salt and pepper chicken breasts on both sides. Add chicken breasts to the frying pan and brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.
  2. Cook rice according to package directions to yield 2 cups cooked rice.
  3. In a 9 x 13 baking dish, combine rice, black beans, green peppers and salsa. Mix well.
  4. Lay chicken breasts over the top of the rice and top with cheese.
  5. Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees

Serves 6. Per serving: 366 calories, 51 carbs, 6 g fat, 36 protein, 1097 mg sodium

This delicious one-pot meal is perfect anytime. Simplify it by subbing the arborio rice and laborious risotto process and making your own white rice in chicken broth. You’ll want to have at least 3 cups of cooked rice.


  • 3 sweet or hot Italian sausage links
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced fennel (also called anise)
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1.5 cups arborio rice
  • 3 cups low sodium, fat free chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  •  2 tsp. fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large frying pan, cook sausage links. Remove from pan and cut into 1″ pieces. Set aside.
  2. In the same frying pan, add half of the olive oil (1.5 tsp) and saute fennel and onion. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, red pepper flakes and thyme. Cook another 2 minutes stiring often. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. In the same frying pan, add the remaining olive oil (1.5 tsp) and arborio rice. Stir rice to coat in oil and heat, 1 minute.
  5. Deglaze pan with white wine, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Allow the wine to reduce until it’s almost completely absorbed by the rice.
  6. Add 1 cup of chicken broth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until the broth is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining 2 cups of chicken broth until the rice is tender.
  7. Reduce heat. Add sausage, onion/fennel mixture and mix well.
  8. Remove from heat. Add parsely, lemon zest and parmesan cheese. Mix well and enjoy!

Per serving: 242 calories; 44 carbs; 11 grams of fat; 13 grams protein

I love pasta, especially in this amazing and simple dinner! Use any kind of g-free pasta (corn, rice, quinoa, flax), and remember to read labels on your sausage. I recommend Al Fresco chicken sausage!


4 Italian sausage links (sweet or hot)
1 pint grape tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 package frozen broccoli
1 box ziti, penne or other pasta
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Slice grape tomatoes in half length-wise.
  2. In a bowl, combine sliced tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well and pour mixture onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes, or until tomatoes are tender.
  3. In a frying pan, cook sausage links until well done in center. Remove from pan and cut into 1″ pieces. Set aside.
  4. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Just before the pasta is done, add frozen broccoli to the boiling pasta water. Heat through, and strain pasta/broccoli mixture.
  5. In a large bowl, combine pasta, broccoli, sausage, tomatoes (along with their juices and oil), parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. Mix well. Serve and enjoy!

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 342 calories, 47 carbs, 10 g fat, 19 g protein, 437 mg sodium