Breakfast idea: Gluten-free Maple Pecan Cereal Pie

Gluten-free Maple Pecan Cereal Pie

When people find out that our family is gluten-free, dairy-free and predominately egg-free, the most common question I get asked is “What do you guys eat for breakfast?!”

Gluten, dairy and eggs are ubiquitous in our standard American breakfast. So it’s no wonder that going gluten-free and dairy-free can seem daunting to so many people.

I have to admit that initially it did take a little bit of extra thought in planning my family’s breakfast schedule.
But now I try to get creative and think outside the box. Sometimes, I will even serve dinner’s leftovers for breakfast. After all who made up the rule that says you can’t eat certain foods for breakfast?!

In other countries people eat all kinds of things for breakfast. In Italy, for example, it is not uncommon for people to eat lunch meat with their breakfast. And in Asian countries, rice is a breakfast staple. So I’ve learned to get creative and think outside of the box.

But that’s not what this recipe is about! This recipe was just me figuring out how to get creative with our beloved oatmeal.

Sometimes just changing the presentation can make something old seem new! So that’s what I’ve done here — I created a baked oatmeal and served it in a pie dish.
It was fun to pull out of the oven (not to mention how delicious it smells coming out) and have the boys think they were getting dessert for breakfast!

There are so many ways you can alter the flavor of this oatmeal. I’d love to hear what you tried. Let me know in the comments section how you changed it up! Enjoy!

Gluten-free Maple Pecan Cereal Pie


Maple Pecan Cereal Pie


2 cups water
1 cup Gluten-Free Organic Rolled Oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 spoon salt
2 tablespoon Flaxseed Meal
2 bananas, sliced
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1/4 cup of rice milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 400°F. Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Stir in oats, cinnamon, and salt. Stir and simmer until tender about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add flaxseed meal and combine well.

While the oats are cooking, line a 9-inch pie plate with 1 sliced banana. Reserve the second sliced banana for the topping.

Return to the oatmeal- stir in rice milk, maple syrup, and vanilla.

Spread this mixture into the banana-lined pie dish. Top with remaining sliced bananas and the pecans.

Bake uncovered until browned, 20-25 minutes. Let cool and solidify for 5-7 minutes. Slice and serve.

Save leftovers by covering the pie dish and storing in the fridge. To eat after it’s been stored in the fridge, slice a pie-shaped serving and heat in the microwave.



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Slow Cooker Kalua pork

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

I love Hawaii! Seriously, whenever I go there for vacation, I slip into a serious depression on my last night. I hate to leave the sunshine, cool ocean breezes, their relaxed “island style” and definitely their food.

In particular, their Kalua Pork is so succulent and flavorful. And they put it on everything! Last time I was there I had Kalua Pork Nachos! Wow — they were amazing!

Well, some days I crave a little taste of Hawaii so I venture into making Kalua Pork. Now the traditional recipe calls for a slow roast with liquid smoke and pork wrapped in banana leaves.

Some days I’m just not that ambitious, plus where the heck do you find banana leaves?!

So, I break out my slow cooker, simplify the recipe and then enjoy the taste of the islands.

Here’s my recipe, let me know what you think!

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

3 slices of prosciutto
5 pounds of pork shoulder
2/3 cup pineapple juice
Sea salt


Line your slow cooker with the slices of prosciutto.

Prosciutto | Slow Coooker

Place the pork shoulder on top of the prosciutto. Pour the pineapple juice over the pork. Liberally coat the pork with sea salt. Don’t be afraid of the salt. It flavors the pork beautifully and balances out the sweetness of the pineapple juice.

Pork Shoulder | Slow Cooker

Set your slow cooker on low and cook for 6 to 8 hours.

Remove the meat and set on a cutting board. Shred the meat with a couple of forks and adjust the seasoning with some of the remaining cooking liquid or more salt as needed.

Once the pork is seasoned to your liking, drain the remaining liquid from the pot and return the meat to the slow cooker to keep it warm until you’re ready to serve it.


What do you serve on the side? Well, I made this delish coconut mango black rice.


Coconut Mango Black Rice


I’ll post the recipe to that soon. Check back in the next week or two- or better yet, sign up to receive the recipe in your inbox. Enjoy!

Gluten-free, Dairy-free Chocolate Coconut Cookie Shake

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Chocolate Coconut Cookie Shake

We decided to drive through In ‘n Out today after church to grab a quick lunch. I was thankful because I was feeling a little under the weather and didn’t feel like making a big lunch at home. Plus, we’ve learned to love their “protein-style” burgers (this basically means same burger, but wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun). Even my husband who doesn’t have to be gluten-free actually prefers his burger “protein-style” now as well.

The problem though, is that In ‘n Out makes delicious chocolate shakes as well. They are very hard to resist. Of course, my son asked if he could have one since it had been “ages” since he’d had a shake. I promptly reminded him that he had a protein shake with breakfast this morning…how quickly they forget.  But I felt for him, the cold, chocolate creaminess was enticing me as well.

Then I remembered that I had a collection of items at home that I could use to make us a comparable, gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate shake. I proposed the solution. He hesitantly accepted and even agreed to help me make it. (Spoiler alert: both he and his brother loved it…)

We went to our fridge and cupboard and assembled the players charged with making us a frosty treat. Here is the line-up:

Trader Joe's Gluten-free, Dairy-free

Trader Joe’s has been fantastic about stocking more gluten-free and dairy-free versions of the foods we Americans enjoy on a daily basis. This is a store that is listening to the consumer and meeting the needs of those of us with dietary restrictions. And for that reason alone, I love this market. (Seriously, Trader Joe’s should be paying me to write this post. :) )

Here is the recipe. Enjoy! Let me know how it turned out for you. Did you use any other ingredients? I would love to hear your take on it!

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Chocolate Coconut Cookie Shake

Gluten-free, Dairy-free Chocolate Coconut Cookie Shake


8 ounces Trader Joe’s Vanilla Coconut Milk
5 Trader Joe’s Gluten-free Joe Joes’s
1 container of Trader Joe’s Vanilla Coconut Yogurt
2 scoops of Trader Joe’s Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream


Combine the ingredients in a high-speed blender.
Adjust to your desired thickness (i.e. add milk to send it out or more cookies or ice cream to thicken it)
Serve immediately.

Gluten-free Pasta Salad

Gluten-free Fusilli Pasta | Quinoa and Brown Rice Pasta

There have been many BBQ’s this summer where we have had nothing to eat but bun-less hot dogs (or burgers) and a piece of watermelon. Why?

Well, mainly because hosts who are not on any dietary restrictions don’t think to offer a variety of options. So true to the “Standard American Diet” (whose initials ironically spell “SAD”) every dish is either loaded with dairy or encrusted with wheat.

At least if the BBQ is potluck you are guaranteed to have at least one side dish you can enjoy…because you made it yourself.

So, that got me thinking. What could I bring to a potluck so that we, as gluten-free, dairy-free eaters, could have something other than plain weenies.

Here is the first recipe I came up with: Gluten-free Pasta Salad!

I wish I could say for sure that it is also dairy-free but depending on which brand of salad dressing you use, that may not be the case. Many bottled Italian dressings use parmesan cheese as an ingredient so read your labels carefully.

I used my favorite gluten-free pasta from Trader Joe’s. It’s made with quinoa and brown rice flours and holds up well drenched in dressing.

Gluten-free Fusilli Pasta | Quinoa and Brown Rice Pasta


Helpful hints:

1) Chop your veggies ahead of time and store together in a bowl with clear wrap. This will expedite your salad making process.

2) Experiment with different veggies and try lemon dressing instead if the Italian dressing

Gluten-free Pasta Salad


Gluten-free Pasta Salad

1 (16 ounce) package uncooked gluten-free fusilli pasta
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup orange bell pepper, chopped
1 cup cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
1 cup pitted black olives, sliced
2 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup basil, chopped

1 cup gluten-free Italian-style salad dressing like Wish-Bone House Italian Salad Dressing
(add more to taste).

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling water until al dente. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process and drain.

Mix the celery, bell pepper, cucumber, olives, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and onion together in large bowl.

Combine cooled pasta and vegetables together in large bowl. Pour Italian dressing over mixture, add basil and mix well.

Chill for one hour before serving.


Stay tuned for my dairy-free creamy potato salad!

Have a great summer!


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Bean and Bell Pepper Salad Recipe

Bean and Bell Pepper Salad | Gluten-free, Dairy-free

One thing I miss about being gluten-free is the feeling of being “stuffed”. I know — weird. Since our diet now consists of predominately whole foods, we can finish a meal, feel satiated but not completely stuffed. Of course, this is healthy but unusual in our American culture which is used to the bloated feeling that follows a meal high in processed carbohydrates.

It’s helpful to remember that wheat gives us carbohydrates, protein and fiber and it is those components that give us the “full belly” feeling. Since I was craving that feeling today, I came up with a gluten-free alternative. Beans! Beans are loaded with protein and fiber and do have some complex carbohydrates.

It’s hot out today in Southern California and since we were cooking on the grill for lunch, I decided to make a bean salad as a side dish.

Bean and Bell Pepper Salad | Gluten-free, Dairy-free

It was delicious – even the boys gobbled it up.

A few notes regarding this recipe:

1) Use the full celery stalk. Cut up the green leafy part too.
2) For added color and a little more zing, use a red onion. I didn’t have any today so I used white onion and it was still fabulous.
3) In the dressing you can use plain ol’ sugar or whatever sweetener your family is used to (I hope it’s natural :) ). But, I highly recommend you try the coconut palm sugar. It really adds a depth to the flavor of the dressing that other sweeteners won’t be able to replicate.
4) You can use olive oil instead of grapeseed oil but I like to get a variety of oils into our weekly diet so I went with grapeseed for it’s benefits.

Let me know if you tweaked this recipe in anyway. I’d love to hear your take on it!

Bean and Bell Pepper Salad
Serves 4 to 8.

1 15-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz can cut green beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 celery stalks, chopped fine
1/2 onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup canned fire roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1/2 cup fresh, finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

3 Tablespoons Bragg’s Organic, Raw, Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Organic Coconut Palm Sugar
3 Tablespoons  Grapeseed Oil
1 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

In a large bowl, mix the beans, celery, onion and parsley.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, oil, salt, and pepper. Add the dressing to the beans. Toss to coat.

Chill beans in the refrigerator for several hours, to allow the beans to soak up the flavor of the dressing. Serve cold.



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