Archive for Lunch


Red Potato and Green Bean Salad Recipe

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As much as I love the traditional potato salad, this is a wonderful alternative. The basil and dressing, made with balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard, give it a nice, fresh flavor. The lack of mayonnaise and the addition of green beans make me feel like I’m eating healthier, or at least a little lighter on the calories.  I found this recipe about a year ago on and modified it slightly for my own taste. It’s become one of my favorite vegetable salads to accompany grilled or barbecued meats. It makes a great side dish for pulled pork sandwiches.

Red Potato and Green Bean Salad


1 lb. red potatoes
1/2 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed and snapped
1/4 Cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 large red onion, chopped (about 1/2 Cup)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 Cup balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP Dijon mustard (I like to use whole, or coarse-grain mustard.)
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 dash Worcestershire sauce (Make sure it’s gluten-free. We use French’s brand.)
1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Place the potatoes in a large pot, and just cover with water. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  2. Add the green beans to the pot of cooking potatoes and cook both for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and pour off the water. Let them cool slightly until able to cut potatoes into quarters (or halves, depending on size).
  4. Place the potatoes and green beans in a large bowl. Add the fresh basil, red onion, salt and pepper. Stir gently and set aside.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and olive oil. Pour over the salad, and toss to coat.

Additional Notes:

  • To add a little more flavor, consider adding bacon. Cook 3-4 strips of bacon until crispy, then crumble, and sprinkle over the salad.
  • Makes about 8 servings.
  • I think this salad is best served warm or at room temperature. And that makes it good for taking on a picnic or to an event where there’s no refrigerator or cooler, which you might need to keep a traditional potato salad cold.

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Categories : Lunch, Salads
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img_3642xPlanning a large family gathering for Father’s Day? This recipe for Pulled Pork is so easy, but so delicious. A pork shoulder roast, or Boston butt, is cooked slowly, so that the meat literally falls apart with a fork. It’s great eaten right out of the slow-cooker, but fathers will like it even better with some BBQ sauce. Makes 12-16 servings.

Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork


6 lb. pork shoulder roast (bone-in)
1/4 Cup Cajun seasoning (I use Zatarain’s Creole seasoning.)
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 large onion, sliced
1 Quart (4 Cups) vegetable broth (Make sure it’s gluten-free. I use Pacific brand.)
2 TBSP Liquid Smoke
24 oz. barbecue sauce (optional)


  1. Peel and smash the garlic cloves. Slice the onion. Place garlic and onion into a 6-quart Slow Cooker.
  2. Sprinkle the Cajun seasoning on all sides of the pork, and rub it in to the meat. Place the pork in the slow-cooker, fat side up.
  3. Pour vegetable broth and liquid smoke over the pork.
  4. Cover the slow-cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  5. When cooking is complete, remove the pork from the slow-cooker and place into a large mixing (or serving) bowl. If the bone hasn’t already separated from the meat, remove it. Then shred the pork by holding it with one fork and pulling the meat apart with the second.
  6. If desired, mix 16 oz. of your favorite barbecue sauce into the pork.
  7. Serve pork as is, or place it on sandwich buns and top with some of the remaining 8 oz. of sauce.

Additional Notes:

  • There are other varieties of liquid smoke, but my favorite, and I think the most common, is hickory.
  • If you like your sandwich meat a little more moist, you may want to add a cup of the cooked broth to the pulled pork and barbecue sauce. Then, mix it all together.
  • The gluten-free buns in the above picture are Chebe frozen sandwich buns.

For more dinner ideas, visit What’s for Dinner? Wednesday at The Gluten-Free Homemaker.

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Southwestern Chicken Salad

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img_3445xI put this dinner together the other night while trying to clear the leftovers out of the refrigerator. It turned out so much better than I was expecting! Another quick and easy recipe that really doesn’t need directions, but sometimes we all need a little inspiration. For more dinner inspirations check out What’s For Dinner Wednesday at the Gluten-Free Homemaker.

Southwestern Chicken Salad


Mixed salad greens (I used a spring mix and baby spinach.)
Cilantro, chopped
Avocado, chopped (1/2 avocado per person)
Corn and Black Bean Salad (1/4 cup per person)
Slow-Cooked Mexican Chicken, shredded (1/2 cup per person)
Cheddar cheese, shredded (4 oz. per person)
Black olives, sliced
Salsa or Spicy Ranch Dressing


  1. Place your mixed salad greens on the bottom of your salad bowl. Sprinkle the cilantro on top.
  2. Then add the chicken, corn and black bean salad, and avocado.
  3. Top with cheese and black olives.
  4. To finish it, use salsa or Spicy Ranch dressing.

Additional Notes:

  • I was going to add some tortilla chips, but decided it really didn’t need it. It was filling enough (and tasty enough!) without chips.
  • You may also want to add diced tomatoes and a little lime juice.
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Sandwich Bread Alternatives

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I just got back from a long road trip with the family. During our trip I was contemplating alternatives for sandwich bread. I made a loaf of our favorite sandwich bread before we left to take with us, but it didn’t last the whole trip. So, we used some alternatives which are quite tasty. Next time you’re out of gluten-free sandwich bread and don’t have the time or desire to make some for today’s lunch, consider these alternatives:

img_3377xRice Paper/Spring Roll Wraps – Need to hydrate.
I’ve used these to make fried egg rolls, but this is my newest discovery for wrapping up sandwich fillings. These round paper-thin wraps are stiff and fragile until you hydrate them. You hydrate them by simply placing them in a plate of water. It only takes about 10 seconds. Take them out of the water before it gets too soggy and starts to disintegrate. Let the excess water drip off, then place on a clean plate, or a crisp linen towel. (At this point, the wrap should be flexible enough to roll up. If not, give it a few more seconds in the water.) Place your fillings in the center of the top third of the wrap. Fold the top over the fillings, then fold in the sides. Next, roll it toward you, tucking and tightening it as you go. You’ll notice that the wrap is slightly sticky and stretchy. Use parchment or wax paper to wrap each one if you need to transport or save for later. Serve as is, or cut in half and serve with dressing. I made some last week with grilled chicken strips, cheese sticks, cucumber sticks, avocado slices and a little mustard. My husband loved them! And so did I.

You can find these at many grocery stores on the shelves with Asian foods. If your grocery store doesn’t carry them, try an Asian food market or online.

Need more detailed instruction for wrapping rice paper rolls? Check out Viet World Kitchen. It also has tips for buying rice papers.

Rice Cakes
Most of you are probably familiar with these. Thick, round, light, but crunchy cakes with little taste. Probably too thick for actually sandwiching something between two, but works well with a variety of toppings: peanut butter, jelly, cream cheese, ham, tomato, egg salad, etc.

These are easy to find at any grocery store or online.

img_3368xCorn Thins – Great for kids.
Similar size and shape to rice cakes, but much thinner and much tastier! Think popcorn (without salt and butter) smashed into a thin round cake. My kids love to eat these for snacks, plain or with toppings. I have often used these to make them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Not easy to cut without crumbling, but you don’t need to. The size is perfect for eating as is. Other sandwich fillings: cream cheese and jelly, ham and cheese, bologna, etc. Consider eating for a quick breakfast too.

These are carried at a lot of grocery stores now. If yours doesn’t carry them, try a natural food market or online.

Corn Tortillas – Need a little heat.
When I first started the gluten-free diet, this is what I ate for lunch most days. My kids were too little to eat sandwiches, so I didn’t bother making a lot of bread even for myself. Instead I heated up ham and cheese in a corn tortilla. Quick and easy, which is what I needed with two little ones at home all day.

These do need a little heat to keep from falling apart, but it doesn’t take much.  For a quick sandwich, or quesadilla, lightly spray the tortilla with oil and put in a hot skillet over medium heat. Top it with a slice of cheese and ham or other sandwich filling. Let the cheese melt and fold over like an omelette. Quick and easy hot sandwich. Great for hot dogs, too!

I like to cook up a whole batch of tortillas and them keep them in the refrigerator until I need them (for a quick sandwich, quesadillas, enchiladas, tacos, taquitos, etc.). To cook a whole batch, heat up 1/4 – 1/2″ of corn oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, use tongs to place the tortillas in the oil. Five seconds on each side is usually enough to cook it without getting too crispy or soggy. Then, remove it from the oil and place on a rack or paper towels to drain excess oil.  Once they’ve cooled, stack them up and place into a zip-style bag for storing in the refrigerator. To use for sandwiches later, heat them on a hot, but dry skillet until they start to sizzle or leave it in a little longer if you like it crispy. For softer tortillas, just place it in the microwave for 5 seconds.

You should be able to find these at any grocery store.

Lettuce – Keep cool until time to eat.
Why not use lettuce to wrap your sandwich fillings? There are a variety of lettuces that would work for this, but my favorites are Cosmopolitan Lettuce (a cross between Romaine and Iceberg), Romaine, and Butter lettuce. Take a big leaf and place your fillings in the middle, fold it taco-style, and enjoy! Perfect for egg salad, ham and cheese, hamburgers, hot dogs and more.

Pancakes and Waffles – Gluten-free, of course!
I almost forgot to include these. If you’ve got these in your freezer, it’s as quick and easy as popping them into a toaster. Spread peanut butter and jelly on them, Nutella Hazelnut Spread, cream cheese and jelly or fresh fruit… you get the idea. If the pancakes are large enough, you could even roll them around a hot dog, or fold them over and use like a taco to fill with sandwich fixings. And, if you don’t have any pancakes or waffles in the freezer, it’s still faster to make them then bread.

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Categories : Lunch, Product Advisory
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Heather’s Favorite Egg Salad

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img_3258xThanks to Easter, I still have lots of hard-boiled eggs (in many colors 🙂 ) in my refrigerator. One of my favorite things to make with them is egg salad. A few years ago, I was in search of the tastiest egg salad recipe. I tried a few, but each one seemed to be lacking something. Perhaps it’s one of those recipes that you just have to adjust to your own liking. So, that’s just what I did. And fortunately, I wrote down the ingredients and amounts so I could duplicate it year after year. If you haven’t created your own recipe for egg salad yet, try starting with mine:

Heather’s Favorite Egg Salad


6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1/4 Cup mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard (I use coarse, or whole, grain.)
1/2 tsp prepared yellow mustard
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 TBSP sweet pickle relish
3 green onions, sliced (about a 1/4 Cup)
1/2 tsp dried dill weed
1/4 tsp celery seed
salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, yellow mustard, lemon juice, and relish.
  2. Then add eggs, green onions, dill weed, and celery seed.
  3. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper.

Additional Notes:

  • Serve your egg salad on bread, rolls, tossed greens, or whatever your preference. In the picture above, I have used Schar dinner rolls, sliced in half. I gently removed the center of the bread and placed a leaf of lettuce in the bottom. Then scooped egg salad on top. I thought it made a nice presentation and was oh so good!
  • Schar Classic White Rolls are wheat-free, gluten-free, and lactose free.  I found them on the shelves with other gluten-free items at Wegmans. Because they are not frozen, you can also purchase them online at We use the rolls for hamburgers, too.
  • For tips on hard-cooked eggs check out these websites: Anastasia’s Table and Kalyn’s Kitchen.
Categories : Lunch, Recipes, Salads
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