With the first spoonful of our savory Tuscan Bean Soup you will be swept away to Tuscany admiring the sunflowers. This is the same recipe as our regular Tuscan Bean Soup using gluten-free pasta & broth in place of regular. It’s chock full of vegetables, delicious flavor & of course love! Serve as a main meal for either lunch or dinner and don't forget the toasted crusty bread to soak up every last drop. Enjoy!
1 (28-oz) can San Marzano tomatoes, crush with clean hands
1/4 cup EVOO
3 (15.5 oz) cans cannellini beans with liquid (divided into 3/4 and 1/4)
1 rounded tsp Hunt’s tomato paste with garlic & basil
1 leek, chopped (both white & green parts)
2 yellow onions, diced ( I was out of yellow onions so I substituted with red)
2 cups large celery stalks, large dice (about 3-4 ribs)
2 cups large carrots, large dice (about 5-6 peeled carrots)
8-10 garlic cloves, smashed then chopped (Add more or less to suit your taste.)
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 large bay leaves
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
3-4 handfuls baby spinach, torn by hand (escarole or kale may be substituted)
4 cups chicken broth (gluten-free)
4 cups beef broth (gluten-free)
1 small piece of rind from a block of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 ounces gluten-free Ditalini pasta (any small GF pasta may be substituted.)
Pecorino Romano, freshly grated cheese (Locatelli), or Parmigiano-Reggiano (not the stuff in the green container, please!)
In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, add the EVOO. When EVOO is hot enough add the leeks, onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and salt & pepper. Sauté on medium heat about 5 minutes.
Add garlic, spinach, cheese rind, and 3/4 of the canned beans. Cook for another 3 minutes on medium-low flame until fragrant. Using an immersion blender, blend the remaining 1/4 beans then add to the pot and stir.
Add the tomato paste and stir well.
Add the hand crushed tomatoes, both broths & stir well. Add 3 oz of GF ditalini to the soup. (If you’re making more than 3 oz of GF pasta, we recommend you cook it separately & add right before serving.)
Bring to a slow boil. Once it begins to boil, lower the heat to a simmer and simmer about 40-45 minutes or until vegetable are done.
While the soup is simmering, prepare the GF ditalini pasta following package directions.
Ladle soup into bowls & add the pasta. Sprinkle with grated Locatelli cheese (Pecorino Romano). Enjoy!
Note: Please make sure all your canned ingredients are gluten-free.
You can double this recipe for a big batch to freeze for later use. Just don’t add the pasta before freezing.
Ranch dressing is delicious on salads, cooked vegetables, chicken tenders, and as a dip for fresh vegetables. When my grandsons were little boys ranch dressing was the perfect way to get them to eat fresh vegetables. They couldn't get enough. Actually, this dressing is good on everything!!! Our homemade Balsamic Ranch dressing is so good and easy to make you will never buy store-bought again! 😋❤️
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
When ready to serve remove from refrigerator and pour over salad greens or vegetables. Enjoy !
Notes: Try adding blue cheese crumbles and bacon crumbles on top for an added touch…Delicious!
If you’re lucky enough to have a have a garden with an abundance of fresh vegetables, you must try making some Ciambotta (pronounced chim-botta)! Even if you don’t have a garden, grocery stores are full of a variety of fresh, local produce during the summer. It’s a delicious and nutritious way to use your harvest or take advantage of the fresh produce available now. Ciambotta can also be spelled giambotta, depending on the region of Italy. This version is a southern Italy farm dish. The great thing about this dish is you can use whatever veggies you like. The key is big, equal size cubes or chunks... and it’s naturally Gluten-Free. I served it with crusty whole wheat French bread drizzled with EVOO and Za’atar seasoning. It was delicious. Enjoy. 😋❤️
1 large yellow onion, cubed
8-10 cloves large garlic, peeled and diced
1/4 cup EVOO
4-5 golden Yukon potatoes, cubed
6 large Roma tomatoes, skin & seeds removed, cubed
2 medium eggplants, ends removed and cubed
2 medium zucchini, ends removed and cubed
1 large green bell pepper, washed, seeded & cut into big chunks
1 large red bell pepper, washed, seeded & cut into big chunks
1 large yellow or orange bell pepper, washed, seeded & cut into big chunks
2 handfuls of fresh spinach (optional)
1 jalapeño (I used jalapeño) or long Italian hot pepper (optional)
Salt & pepper, to taste
20 fresh basil leaves, torn right before adding
1 sprig Greek oregano, (optional)
Boil the Roma tomatoes for a few minutes until the skin starts to crack. Remove from boiling water and cool. Once cool enough to handle you can easily peel off the skin., Cut them in half, remove the seeds and cube.
In a minimum 6 qt deep Dutch oven, On medium-high, heat EVOO until it starts to shimmer.
Add the onions and garlic and turn several times until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeño pepper, zucchini, potatoes, give it a good turn.
Add the eggplants last. Turn well and cook about 10 minutes.
Add salt and black pepper to taste and tear the basil leaves, sprig of Greek oregano (if using) and add to pot. Stir together.
Lower flame to medium-low and cover. Cook about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Now is a good time to prepare any pasta or crusty bread.
For the bread: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Slice the Italian or French bread into 1/2-inch slices and place on foiled baking sheet. Drizzle each piece with EVOO then sprinkle with Za’atar seasoning, garlic powder, & a little sea salt.
Bake about 4 minutes until golden brown. (Bake when Ciambotta is just about done)
Serve in pasta dishes with crusty bread on the side or over pasta & garnish with fresh basil leaves.
Notes: Serve with crusty gluten-free bread to keep completely gluten-free or use Italian or French bread to soak up the juices! Can be served with pasta too.
I'm always looking for ways to use the herbs I'm growing in my garden. I have quite a bit of Thai basil which I've made delicious chicken salad and Thai basil Chicken with but I wanted to experiment with other dishes. I made a summertime bean salad and added quite a few Thai basil leaves to see how it tasted...we loved it. You're still getting protein through the beans and this dish delivers big time on flavor. Enjoy by itself in lettuce leaves or as a side dish with no cooking as an added bonus during the hot summer! Naturally Gluten-Free. Enjoy. 😋❤️
1 can (15 oz) Chickpeas, rinsed & drained
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 large red onion
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup EVOO
2 Tablespoon good balsamic vinegar
4 large cloves garlic, minced
ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4- 1/3 cup fresh Thai basil, chopped
In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, parsley, Thai basil, garlic & pepper. Slowly whisk in the EVOO & set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the rinsed & drained beans, celery, and red onion.
Pour the vinaigrette over the mixture and gently toss to coat evenly.
Garnish with a few Thai basil leaves.
Notes: Leftovers can be added to rice & cooked green beans for a delicious side to basil pesto chicken.
My Thai basil growing in hay bales
Summertime Bean Salad – Twiins Style mixed with brown rice & cooked cut green beans
When marinating chicken with Greek-inspired flavors the Mediterranean is brought to your dinner table and with it all the sunshine and joy for life that is associated with a beautiful outdoor dinner in the Greek Islands! This dish is so simple but packs huge flavor! Whether you want a quick family meal or a casual dinner with friends you will love it...Enjoy!😋❤️
2 large boneless chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise to make 4 pieces
2 tsp EVOO
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1½ tsp fresh Greek oregano, chopped (dried may be substituted, but use a lesser amount)
1½ tsp fresh dill, chopped ( dried may be substituted, but use a lesser amount)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3-4 Tablespoons 2% milk ( any milk works well)
1½ Tablespoons red onion, chopped
1 large tomato, sliced
Fresh oregano, chopped for garnish
Mixed salad greens with olives, cucumbers, red onion, thin sliced
Optional: Dolmas (stuffed grape leaves)
In a large bowl, combine 2 tsp EVOO, red wine vinegar, oregano, dill, garlic powder, salt & pepper.
Pound chicken between sheets of waxed paper to a 1/4” thickness. Cut each piece in half to yield approximately 6-8 pieces of chicken breast.
Add chicken breasts to the marinade, cover & refrigerate 30 minutes. (this step can be prepared ahead of time until ready for cooking.)
In a small bowl, combine the Feta cheese, garlic powder, 2% milk & chopped red onion. Using a fork, mash well to make a spread. Add additional milk if too thick until you reach desired consistency. (this step can be prepared ahead of time & refrigerated until ready to serve)
In a grill pan or large skillet drizzle 1 tsp of EVOO, then using a paper towel, coat pan.
Heat pan to medium-high. Once hot, place half the chicken pieces in the pan and cook until browned approximately 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan & set aside. Cook remaining chicken breasts and set aside.
Place mixed salad greens on a dinner plate then top with cooked chicken breast(s). Garnish the chicken with Feta cheese spread. Arrange tomato slices on the dish and garnish with fresh Greek oregano.
Preparation of Feta cheese spread
Marinated Chicken breasts in grill pan
Grilled chicken breasts set aside
Plated Grilled Greek Chicken breasts
Also can replace “burger night” meal or next days lunch in a sandwich
Notes: Recipe adapted from Weight Watchers. To enhance this Greek meal, drizzle salad greens with EVOO, red wine vinegar, add a little feta cheese, red onion, cucumber, and some Greek olives for a side salad. The creamy feta cheese spread is delicious on any vegetable or baked potato.
This isn’t just another meatloaf recipe! I have made many meatloaf variations throughout the years, but none have ever come close to this super easy, flavorful, moist, and absolutely delicious meatloaf that my daughter Tracy makes. I’ve been staying with my daughter while she is recovering from surgery and wanted to cook meals for her and, as she refers to him, her roommate John🤣. The only change I had to make was adapting it to be gluten-free for Jack so he could enjoy it too. I have to say it was the biggest hit. The glaze was just the right amount of sweet and tangy that made this meatloaf extra special. Enjoy !!😋 😋
In a large bowl, add the ground beef, bread crumbs, onion, milk, beaten eggs, 4 tablespoons ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, salt, garlic powder, dried onion flakes, celery seed, paprika, bouillon granules, and pepper. Using disposable gloves on your hands mix these ingredients together until well combined. Do not under-mix.
Add the meat mixture to a 9×13 inch roasting pan. Pat and form the meat into a loaf shape approximately 3-4 inches high.
In a small bowl, add 1/2 cup ketchup, the brown sugar, and vinegar. Stir well to combine. Pour the glaze on top of the meatloaf and place it on the center rack in the preheated oven.
Bake uncovered for 55 -65 minutes.
Let the meatloaf rest for 8-10 minutes before serving.
1. Homemade Gluten-free onion soup mix. Mix all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container. This will yield the equivalent of 2 envelopes of gluten-free dry onion soup mix.
2. If gluten isn’t an issue you may use any Lipton Onion Soup mix in place of the homemade version and regular plain breadcrumbs.
2. For a tasty meal, serve with creamy mashed potatoes and sautéed fresh spinach with garlic and EVOO
I was looking in my freezer to see what I could make for dinner without having to go the market. I found 2 small NY strip steaks that I defrosted for Gary to grill on the barbeque. I had most of the other ingredients for this delicious and healthy dinner. The best part...it's served all in one bowl. You can make this with what you have on hand, including chicken, beef, or lamb for the protein. The yogurt dressing is wonderful and blends all the flavors together. I could eat this dish every night of the week...it's that good. Give it a try.
For the Bowls:
1 lb. NY strip steak (may substitute with flank steak, sirloin steak, chicken breast or lamb)
2 tsp EVOO
salt, pepper, garlic powder (to season steak)
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped to your size liking (about 12 cups)
1 large cucumber, quartered & cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 medium red onion, finely sliced or chopped
1-pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
1 cup hummus (I used Sabra Roasted Pine Nut Hummus
& added 1 clove finely minced garlic)
1/2 cup crumbled fetta cheese
lemon wedges (optional)
For the Yogurt Dressing:
1 cup plain yogurt (I used Cabot Greek whole milk yogurt)
1 Tablespoon EVOO
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp fresh mint, chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried mint)
For the Dressing:
In a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup, combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk together. Place in the fridge until ready to use. This dressing can be stored up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
For the Bowls:
Preheat the grill to high heat (approximately 450ºF).
Pat the steak with paper towels until dry. Brush steaks with EVOO then sprinkle with salt, pepper & a little garlic powder.
When the grill is hot enough, place the steak on the grill for 3 minutes then flip and grill an additional 3 minutes for medium-rare or until an instant-read thermometer reads 140ºF. Grill longer for thicker steak. Our steaks were about 1-inch thick before grilling.
Remove steak from the grill and allow to rest for about 10 minutes. Slice thin against the grain.
While the steak is resting, divide the chopped lettuce between 4 bowls. Top with sliced steak, red onions, hummus, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese.
Spoon yogurt dressing on top and garnish with optional lemon wedges.
Notes: In place of slicing the red onion thin, you can cut them into 1-inch pieces & place on skewers with the tomatoes. Grill for about 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally until tomatoes start to blister & onions are softened.
Meatless Mediterranean Pasta with Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Tomatoes & Pignoli, Gluten-Free
Difficulty: Very Easy
After our holiday baking was over, we had pignoli left over so we came up with this delicious, healthy recipe to kickstart 2020. Our first recipe for the new year is a meatless Mediterranean dish. In spite of our husbands' carnivore appetites, this meatless dish satisfied them both...we were in heaven! This recipe delivers an exciting depth of flavor with a wonderful blending of ingredients. We think you and your family will love it.
3 pounds zucchini and yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise & sliced 1/2 inch thick
Kosher salt & pepper
1/3 cup pignoli (pine nuts)
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp red pepper flakes
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5 Tablespoons EVOO
1 pound gluten-free pasta (we used Le Veneziane gluten-Free Farfalle)
12 oz cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
Grated Pecorino Romano
After cutting the zucchini and summer squash, sprinkle with approximately 1 Tablespoon of kosher salt and let drain in a colander for 30 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels & wipe away residual salt. Set aside.
While squash is draining, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, lower flame to simmer until ready to cook pasta.
In a 12-inch non=stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of EVOO over high heat. Once it starts to smoke, add half the squash and cook until slightly charred, turning occasionally, approximately 5-6 minutes. Reduce heat if the skillet starts to overheat. Transfer to a large plate then repeat step 3 with the remaining half of squash and another tablespoon of EVOO. Transfer 2nd batch to plate and set aside.
Bring water to full boil and add salt then the pasta. Cook according to package directions, reserving 1 cup of cooked pasta water.
In the same skillet, heat another tablespoon of EVOO. Add pignoli and toast lightly, then add red onion, garlic, and pepper flakes. Cook approximately 1 minute until fragrant.
Drain pasta (reserve 1 cup of pasta water) then return pasta to the pot. Add the squash, tomatoes, pignoli mixture, vinegar, basil, and remaining 2 Tablespoons of EVOO. Mix well to combine.
Add enough reserved pasta water to keep moist consistency but not soupy. You may not need the whole cup. Lightly drizzle with EVOO and top with grated cheese.
Char the sliced squash
toast pignoli then add red onion, garlic and pepper flakes
Mix everything into the cooked pasta
Place on serving platter
Top with grated cheese & Enjoy
Note: If gluten is not an issue, use your favorite brand of pasta. If your family must have meat, feel free to add whatever they like.
Whenever we go out together for dinner we always order fried calamari if it's on the menu. Unfortunately for Jack, restaurants never make it gluten-free. This leaves him feeling left out and having to settle for soup or salad. We decided to test a gluten-free batch that he would enjoy at home. Turns out they were so good you can't tell the difference. So if any of your loved ones need to eat gluten-free, give this recipe a try. Who needs restaurants when you can serve up a tender batch in no time at all!
1 lb calamari – fresh or frozen & thawed.
3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Flour
2 Tablespoons dried parsley
1/2 tsp sea salt, more or less to taste
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
vegetable oil for frying
dipping sauce of your choice (Red Chili Pepper Spread, marinara sauce, chipotle mayo, etc.)
Rinse under cold water and dry the calamari well using paper towels or a clean dishtowel. Slice into 1/2-inch rings.
In a medium bowl, mix the gluten-free flour and seasonings. Combine well.
Toss rings into the flour mixture to coat well.
Fry small batches at a time in hot vegetable oil for 1½ – 2 minutes; don’t exceed 2 minutes or they will be overcooked & rubbery. They should be a pale golden color.
When cooked, remove quickly to paper towels to drain excess oil then repeat for the next batch.
Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce or eat them just as they are.
Sliced calamari rings & tentacles
Toss in seasoned gluten-free flour
Rings after flour coating
Frying the tentacles first
Frying the rings
Served warm with Red Chili Pepper Spread or your favorite dipping sauce