Category Archives: Gluten-Free

Guacamole + A New Way to Save Total Noms Recipes

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Before I get to talking about one of my favorite snacks on the planet, let me get personal for a second. There are 38 days until I get married. Thirty. Eight. Where did the time go? Five years ago, my honey and I were just starting to get to know each other- and now we’re preparing for what will be the biggest day of our lives. I can’t flipping wait!

OK, annoying wedding talk over- let’s dive into this guac. Literally.

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I don’t know what it is, but I am addicted to tortilla chips. Maybe it’s the salt, maybe it’s the crunch- but I cannot stop at just one chip. Whether they come from a bag, or are those amazing fresh hot ones sprinkled with coarse salt from the local Mexican joint, I will lose my cool entirely and go ham on them all. It can get embarrassing.

But really, can you blame me? Especially when there’s amazing dips to be paired. I’m a sucker for restaurant-style (NOT chunky) salsa, but I do love a nice bowl of fresh guacamole, and it couldn’t be easier to make.

The hardest part is buying avocados and waiting for them to ripen- the ones at my store are always rock hard, but after a day or two in the fruit basket they will soften up and be perfect for creamy, delicious guac!

Check out my guacamole recipe below!

Guacamole
 
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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1½ – 2 ripe avocados
  • ½ jalapeno pepper, diced finely
  • ½ plum tomato, diced
  • ¼ red onion, diced
  • 3-4 tbsp (loosely packed) cilantro, minced
  • juice of one lime
  • salt, to taste

Instructions
  1. Using a sharp knife, cut the avocado in half from top to bottom. Twist to separate, and remove the pit by whacking your knife (carefully!) into the pit and twisting to remove. Scoop out the avocado meat from the peel with a spoon and add to a bowl.
  2. Add the pepper, tomato, onion and cilantro to the avocado and using a fork or a potato masher, mix everything together until the avocado breaks down and starts to become creamy. Season with salt and sprinkle with the lime juice; then stir again and serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!

I’ve heard a bit of drama around the mix-ins for guacamole- I’m a big fan of keeping it simple, just some diced tomato, onion, jalapeno, and tons of cilantro and lime juice. Some people prefer garlic in theirs, some like fun things like mangoes and/or pomegranate seeds- whatever floats your boat is bound to be awesome, I think 🙂

Guacamole

I also am excited to announce a new way to save Total Noms recipes. In addition to pinning, liking, and tweeting my recipes to save for later, you can also save them directly to Ziplist, using the blue “Save” button in the top right underneath the photo in the recipe above. Ziplist is an amazing grocery list app that you can update and take on the go- it’s one of my everyday mobile apps that I rely on to get food on the table! Now, whenever you save one of my recipes to your Ziplist account, the ingredients from that recipe will get automatically added to your grocery list and the instructions will be there for you whenever you’re ready to start cooking. Pretty neat, huh?

And while we’re at it, have you signed up for my email list yet? It’s by far the easiest and best way to make sure you never miss a recipe.


Now tell me- What’s your favorite dip to bring and enjoy at a party?

Happy Eating 🙂
mally

Sauteed Chicken with Mustard Dill Sauce

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YOU GUYS! I have had an amazing past few days. On Saturday, my bridesmaids, friends and family threw me the most EPIC surprise bridal shower! Best of all, it was Total Noms themed!

That’s right, an entire event catered with Total Noms recipes- from Hummus Crusted Chicken and Quinoa Tabbouleh, to Grilled Zucchini Salad and Simple Sesame Noodles (and more!), I couldn’t believe how thoughtful and DELICIOUS everything was. Every detail was perfection- the setting in a gorgeous old house on the Hudson River, beautiful printed recipe cards for everyone, fresh potted herbs as favors, and best of all, a cupcake decorating contest at the end! 🙂

BridalShower

Honestly, the entire day was one of the best of my whole life. It was so sweet and wonderful having all my friends and family there as I start my new life with my future husband. I felt like a princess (did I mention there was a tiara, too?) and enjoyed every second. My bridesmaid Morgan was the resident photographer for the afternoon and is putting together a photo album from the day, so once I have those I will hopefully be able to post a link here.

Of course one of the greatest things about getting married is filling up that registry, and getting all the amazing kitchen gadgets that I have been pining for! I can’t thank my family and friends enough for making my kitchen even more stuffed with awesome pots, pans, plates, knives, bowls, and mixer attachments! Get excited, there’s a lot of fun stuff to come here now that I have all these goodies (can anyone say, “donut pan”?)!

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So about this chicken. What a knockout meal for a quick weeknight dinner. A rich mustard sauce spiked with dill and garlic + beautiful browned chicken makes for a happy couple at our house. I am a big fan of anything dijon mustard, and lately have been on a huge dill kick (blame it on those pickle chips I smuggled in from Canada last month!), so pairing the two was a foregone conclusion for me.

And side note- A few weeks back, Pompeian sent me a few bottles of delicious oils and vinegars to sample and try. I’ve been obsessed with this Pompeian Olivextra Premium Mediterranean Blend (not an affiliate link)- it’s actually a combo of olive oil and grapeseed oil. It is the perfect high-heat, all purpose cooking oil and it also works great blended with salad dressings. I used this to brown the chicken for the recipe, and highly recommend trying to find some for your own kitchen!

Sauteed Chicken with Mustard Dill Sauce
 
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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp good quality cooking oil (I use Pompeian Olivextra Olive + Grapeseed Oil blend)
  • 4 thin-cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or 2 regular chicken breasts, each butterflied)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200. In a skillet over medium heat, add the oil and allow to heat up. Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and salt and pepper both sides. Carefully place the chicken in the pan and allow to brown, flipping after 3-4 minutes. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until cooked through, then remove to an oven-proof dish while you make the sauce. You may need to cook the chicken in 2 batches. When you are done sauteeing, transfer the ovenproof dish with the chicken in it to the preheated oven to keep warm while you make the sauce.
  2. Keeping the same skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbsp butter and allow to melt. Add the minced garlic and allow to cook briefly, about 1-2 minutes until it starts to brown but not burn. Add the white wine to the pan and deglaze, using a spatula to scrape up the brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Add the mustard and remaining 1 tbsp butter, and stir until sauce becomes uniform. Finally, add the dill and stir again. Turn off heat and remove the chicken from the oven.
  3. Serve chicken topped with the mustard dill sauce. Enjoy!

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Whats your favorite go-to quick chicken dinner for weeknights?

Happy Eating 🙂
mally

Green Salad with Summer Fruits

salad_fruit-10I’m going to give you fair warning now- my future mother-in-law gave me 8 fresh mangoes last week (out the back of her trunk actually, like some underground deal), and since then, I’ve been on a crazy fruit binge. Summer berries and fruits are in their primetime right now, and my pantry and fridge are loaded with nectarines, blueberries, strawberries, and of course, these lovely mangoes. The end result is- you’ll be seeing a lot of fun fruity recipes on here for the next few weeks 🙂

This salad is anything but ordinary. It’s got the solid base of leafy greens, sure, but packed inside are juicy tangy bites of all my favorite fruits. Nutty sliced almonds round out the mix, and the lime juice dressing brings out a tart citrusy flavor that really unifies the whole deal. Your lunchtime will never be the same once you try this combo!

I was inspired to combine these ingredients after looking up “Mango” in one of my new favorite books, The Flavor Bible (Amazon Affiliate Link). Mangoes go swimmingly with almonds and lime, believe it or not- and I figured there was no better way to showcase this combination than in a light, refreshing salad!

Green Salad with Summer Fruits
 
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Serves: 1

Ingredients
  • 2 cups spinach, arugula, or a mix, chopped
  • ⅓ cup fresh blueberries
  • 6-8 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 2-3 tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1 tbsp neutral tasting oil (like grapeseed)
  • juice and zest of one lime

Instructions
  1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients except oil, zest and lime juice. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the oil, zest and lime juice, and drizzle over top of the salad. Toss again, serve and enjoy!

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No new wedding updates this week- however the weather forecast does look dismal for this weekend, when we’re supposed to be taking our engagement shoots. Hot, humid, and thunderstormy… I’m hoping we can find a gazebo to shoot under otherwise we’re going to have to postpone!

What are your weekend plans?

Happy Eating 🙂
mally

Cheesy Meatballs

Cheesy Meatballs

While there are a lot of great things about finding the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, there’s also a lot to consider when it comes to making that decision to take the plunge and go all in.

For example, what if your opinions differ on work-life balance? Do you both want kids? If so, how many? What about religion? And on the lighter (but I think just as important) side, are they neat or messy? Do they like the same movies and TV shows as you? When do they like to take their showers?

Relationships are about taking into account all these different preferences and quirks and creating a home life that is not just a compromise, but a well-oiled machine where both parties feel as though their needs and wants are being appreciated and valued. It is not easy. I am by no means an expert. But the fun of making a new life with your partner can often come through the discovery process about what works and what doesn’t. And of course, making time for the both of you to just enjoy being around each other is absolutely fundamental to any relationship.

One of my absolute favorite things to do with my fiance is going out date night at a restaurant. I don’t care if we just go to the bar down the street, or a 5-star steakhouse, or the taqueria downtown- I just LOVE going on dates (and not having to do the dishes…). We both have a wedding to think about so we are trying to save our pennies where we can, but there are nights where I just don’t feel like cooking- and all I want is a slice of pizza. Or a fish taco. Or chicken fingers. Or sushi. Or… ya get the idea.

We had an excellent date night last week (if I may say so myself) at a new Italian joint that opened a few blocks away from us in downtown Jersey City called Roman Nose. They are a cute little spot with outdoor seating and some of the BEST meatballs, pizza and pasta I’ve had in a while. We were able to get some info out of our waiter regarding the ingredients of their famous meatballs, which included a blend of ground beef, pork and veal, as well as the use of cheeeeeeese inside the balls! Similar to my favorite burger recipe, what’s not to love about including your favorite toppings inside the whole shebang to begin with?

Who said date nights couldn’t also be educational? 🙂

Cheesy Meatballs

So here’s my attempt at a little re-creation of these awesome balls… I loved using a combo of the ground beef and pork, and the cheese really brought the oomph flavorwise. I served these along side cavatappi pasta and my absolute favorite recipe for tomato sauce. Check out the recipe below!

Cheesy Meatballs
 
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A combination of parmesan and mozzarella cheeses transform these meatballs into a delicious treat alongside your favorite pasta and tomato sauce. Using a mixture of ground pork and ground beef really makes these something special for a flavorful classic dinner.
Author:
Serves: 2

Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground meat (I used half ground beef and half ground pork)
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a bowl, combine all ingredients except the olive oil, and mash together by hand or with a spoon. Form 6-8 2″-diameter balls and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Gently place the meatballs in the skillet and cook until brown and crispy, making sure to flip the meatballs every 4-5 minutes to get all sides brown.
  4. Transfer the meatballs to an ovenproof baking dish and bake for another 5-10 minutes to make sure they are cooked through.
  5. Serve alongside pasta and a good tomato sauce. Enjoy!

What’s your go-to move for date night?

Cheesy Meatballs

 

Happy eating 🙂
mally

Deep Dish Cookie Pie… with a Healthy Twist!

Deep Dish Cookie Pie… with a Healthy Twist!

Oh boy, do I have a treat for you all today.

Imagine a decadent chocolate chip cookie, perfectly soft and delicious. The chocolate chips are super chocolatey, the texture is rich and comforting, and oh yeah, it’s as big as a pie.

Now imagine that that deep dish cookie pie has no flour, eggs, or butter in it. Dream bubble popped, right? How could that even be possible?

Well my friends today is your lucky day… because I have the key for you right here, all thanks to one humble little legume- the magnificent chick pea!

It turns out that when blended with oats, apple sauce, vanilla and yes, some brown sugar, chickpeas help form a “dough” that is nearly identical in taste and texture to regular cookie dough- and this one is gluten-free and safe to eat right out of the food processor!

I first made this for a Super Bowl party earlier this year, and again this week for a co-worker’s birthday. I can tell you not one single person guessed it was made out of chickpeas- in fact everyone was shocked when I told them after!

If only for the sake of curiosity, you have to try making this cookie pie- and with a recipe and ingredients as simple as these, there’s really no excuse!

Deep Dish Cookie Pie… with a Healthy Twist!

Deep Dish Cookie Pie… with a Healthy Twist!
 
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2 cans white beans or garbanzos (drained and rinsed) (500g total, once drained) 1 cup quick oats (or certified-gf quick oats) ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce 3 tbsp oil (canola, veg, or coconut) 2 tsp pure vanilla extract ½ tsp baking soda 2 tsp baking powder ½ tsp salt 1 and ½ cups brown sugar 1 cup chocolate chips
Serves: 8

Ingredients
  • 2 15.5 oz cans of chickpeas
  • 1 cup oats (use gf oats to make this recipe gluten-free)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Place all ingredients except the chocolate chips in a food processor and puree until the mixture is very, very smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour into an oiled pie plate or 10″ springform pan and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Thank you to Chocolate-Covered Katie for this amazing recipe! I’ve also tried it by pouring it into ramekins and baking at the same temp and time for individual servings (instead of a whole pie). Either way it’s fantastic!

Deep Dish Cookie Pie… with a Healthy Twist!

How easy was that? And I guarantee your friends and family will not know there’s anything healthy in there until you tell them- if my vegetable/all-healthy-foods-hating fiance didn’t notice, yours won’t either 🙂

Happy eating 🙂
mally