Non GMO Gluten Free Thanksgiving Dinner

Nov 25, 2013 by

dinner plate

Green beans, gluten free garlic toast, turkey with Pacific Foods organic cranberries, rutabagas, and yummy quinoa stuffing


Naturally Kristi is back for a day here and there. Today I am so excited to share my Non GMO Gluten Free Thanksgiving Dinner.

Since we enjoy Thanksgiving with our respective families, away from our home, I like to prepare an early Thanksgiving meal. This gets us into the spirit and it gives me food to bring with us to supplement our dietary needs.

Our meal was fabulous and we were able to share with impromptu family guests. It was perfect.

I apologize for my lousy photos. First of all, I am not much of a photographer and I also had guests in the kitchen as I was preparing the meal, so I couldn’t focus on photos. You get the point and the food was delicious!





Several months ago, I was lucky enough to win a medium size Big Green Egg ceramic grill. We never took the time to put it together, so it was finally the time on Sunday.

I purchased a fresh organic turkey from Costco. In my area, the price was $2.79/pound. This was half the price I paid last year for a fresh turkey from the farmer’s market. I felt a little guilty not supporting my local farmers for my holiday turkey, but it was wonderful to not have to pay the high price from last year.

My husband put the grill together, while my son picked up some apple and cherry smoking chips.

20131124-230131.jpg   20131124-230123.jpg











I washed and dried my 14# turkey. I would have loved to brine the bird, but didn’t plan ahead.

I applied the following rub from the How Sweet It Is blog:


3 TB organic brown sugar
1 1/2 TB smoked paprika
1 1/2 TSP chili powder
1 1/2 TSP garlic powder
1 1/2 TSP sea salt
1 1/2 TSP black pepper
1 TSP onion powder
1/2 TSP ground cumin
6 TB organic butter, melted

Combine all ingredients, except butter.Rub all the butter, covering entire turkey and under skin if you are savvy enough to separate it (I have trouble with that step!)
Spread the rub all over the bird (and under the skin, if you are able)
Put in disposable pan, with 2 cups organic chicken broth and some chunks of celery and onion.
If you have a rack, it might be good to put it on the rack. I cooked breast side down. It worked OK,
but seemed to get the breast meat a bit charred, so maybe next time I will do it the other way.
You can also roast your turkey in the oven.

Since this was our first time smoking with our Big Green Egg, I am not going to offer any direction, as we are still learning. We used 2 cups of a combination of apple and cherry chips for smoking (soaked for one hour)

We smoked the turkey for 2 1/2 hours keeping the temp between 250-300 degrees.
Since the turkey was organic, we were shooting for removing when internal temp was around 155 but it ended up being closer to 165 degrees. Still learning!

The turkey was AMAZING!!


Before smoking; rubbed and ready to go


Smoked and ready to enjoy


I made a Cider Bourbon gravy from How Sweet It is blog. It was OK, but not my favorite. Check it out and give it a try. I may have made a mistake while making it as I was chatting on the phone 🙂


Cider bourbon gravy

I also make mashed rutabagas (love them) and steamed green beans. But, my favorite thing I tried was Quinoa Stuffing. Yum, Yum! I am planning to make it again on Thanksgiving! Thank you to my friend Mary for sharing the recipe.


Quinoa stuffing; terrible picture, I know, but delicious

Quinoa Stuffing

1 cup organic celery, finely chopped1 cup organic onion, finely chopped
1 cup organic carrots, finely chopped
2 TB organic butter
1 cup organic quinoa (uncooked)
2 cups organic chicken broth (can also use vegetable broth)
1 cup cooked organic pork sausage (optional, but it really enhanced the dish)
1 1/2 TSP dried thyme (to taste)
1 1/2 TSP dried sage (to taste)
1/2 TSP black pepper (to taste)
1 1/2 tsp sea salt (to taste)

Saute celery, onions, and carrots in melted butter until tender. Add cooked sausage and spices and mix well for a 1-2 minutes. Add broth and quinoa. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Once all broth is absorbed, fluff with fork. Makes about 8 one cup servings.
I put the finished stuffing in the oven on 275 degrees to keep warm while the rest of the meal finished, it worked well. You could definitely make this ahead and keep warm in a crock pot or low temp oven. So good!








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Meal Monday: Homemade Basil Pesto

Jul 8, 2013 by

For Meal Monday, I am excited to share with you a delicious homemade basil pesto!

flag fruit kebobs

I hope everyone had a great Independence Day holiday. We had a wonderful long weekend and my garden is soaking up the warm weather; finally hot & sticky in Minnesota.

My family plays softball on summer holidays. This year we ended up playing kickball to include the younger ones. I also had a chance to snuggle the day away with my 5 month old niece, whom I adore.We also celebrated my Dad’s birthday; all in all, a wonderful day!


I made a few new things for the family meal. Everyone loved the fruit kebobs I made. My son is anaphylactic to bananas, so I substituted the bananas on the kebobs with Hail Merry Blonde (vanilla) Macaroons; delicious! I might try doing them with pineapple sometime too. I also tried making “Special K” bars gluten free, non-gmo and peanut free. I have been missing them! My first try garnered a “good” bar, not spectacular. I will keep working on it and post the recipe when it is perfected. I also need to come up with a name for the bars…any ideas? I can’t exactly call them Special K, when I don’t use that cereal, right?

Now, on to the homemade pesto. I know pesto is pretty easy to make, but I was excited to try this recipe when a friend shared that she uses this recipe with sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts. It turned out great. I was so excited to use the basil from my garden. Now, I am impatiently waiting for my plant to grow again, so I can make more pesto. I think I need a few more basil plants! My son INHALED the pesto, finishing up the double recipe I made by the next morning. I have mentioned the quinoa noodles before, but I can’t say enough how wonderful they are. Hard to find though; I have only found to buy them on Amazon. Worth the price, I promise!

basil pesto

Fresh basil from my garden


basil pesto ingredients

Basil pesto ingredients


Basil pesto pasta dinner

Basil pesto over Nature’s Earthly Choice quinoa noodles with some organic chicken. Schar multi grain ciabatta rolls, sliced thin and broiled with butter and garlic salt and a delicious organic salad. Yum!



Homemade Basil Pesto

Homemade Basil Pesto


  • 2/3 cup packed basil
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt. Pulse it in the food processor.


  1. Pulse in the food processor.
  2. Enjoy!


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Meal Monday: Gluten Free Calzones

Jun 10, 2013 by

Chebe Ham & Turkey Calzone

Meal Monday: Gluten Free Calzones

I know it is late, but it is still Monday! I have been having a heck of a time keeping up with the blog since school got out. Too busy having fun! Tonight I made Gluten Free Calzones and it was a hit! One of our favorite quick meals in the past was Ham/Turkey Calzones made with frozen bread dough. Obviously, those kinds of meals are a thing of the past. I needed to prepare a meal today that didn’t need meat pulled out of the freezer (oops, forgot to plan ahead.)

Last week, my order of Chebe Bread Original Cheese Bread Mix, Gluten Free, 7.5-Ounce Bags (Pack of 8) arrived and my son was really looking forward to me making something with the mix. I made the mix as rolls one night and tonight, I decided to adjust my recipe for Calzones to make them to meet our dietary requirements of gluten free, organic, and non-GMO. I like to stay away from cheese, but once in awhile, we do use it and my son seems to do OK with it.

Chebe is a Brazilian style cheese bread and their mix does not contain any potato starches/flours (which we can’t consume) or gums (which I don’t like the gummy texture.) It is also non-GMO, which I love! The mix is quick to mix up; just adding oil, eggs, cheese and water. Using the Subscribe & Save feature from Amazon, the price comes in under $2/box…I can live with that! You can buy the mix at local specialty stores, Vitacost, etc but I have found the best price to be on Amazon.

Chebe has a line of products, including an all purpose mix that could be used in place of the cheese bread if you are unable to eat dairy (which is part of the cheese bread mix.)
Chebe Bread All-Purpose Mix, Gluten Free, 7.5-Ounce Bags (Pack of 8)

On to the recipe…pretty easy actually. I doubled the recipe to feed two normal eaters and one very hungry teenager. We had a few pieces left over. I look forward to experimenting with other meats and a pizza calzone in the future. Pair with a salad, green beans, watermelon and you have a great meal!

Chebe Ham & Turkey Calzone

Rolled dough

Chebe Ham & Turkey Calzone

With fillings added






  • 1 box Chebe Cheese Bread mix, prepared as directed
  • Organic cheese slices (American, Swiss, a combination or any cheese you want)
  • Thin sliced deli meats (I used Trader Joe's smoked turkey and Applegate Farms Ham)
  • Green Onions
  • Pepper


  1. Roll out prepared dough between two pieces of parchment into large rectangle
  2. Layer cheese, meat, and green onions ( used 4-5 slices of each)
  3. Sprinkle with pepper
  4. Roll up, folding over edges of dough towards the center
  5. Make small perforations along the top of the rolled calzone to allow for steam
  6. Transfer to well sprayed or parchment lined pan (don't use foil, it will me!)
  7. Bake in 350 degree oven fro 40-45 minutes until browned.
  8. Enjoy!






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Meal Monday: Gluten Free Sloppy Joe Calzones

May 13, 2013 by

Gluten Free Sloppy Joe Calzones deliciousness ahead, are you ready? A yummy, gluten free Cheesy Chebe calzone packet filled with gluten free sloppy joe mixture. Non-gmo and delicious!

It was a nice Mother’s Day, even though I have been suffering for the last 6 days with incredible back pain. I hope it resolves soon. We had a gathering at my in-laws; it was nice to be together with everyone.

As with any gathering, food is a challenge for us. Usually, I try to figure out ahead of time what will be served so I can bring a comparable item that we can eat. Yesterday, sloppy joes was on tap.

Since, I have been laid up with my back, I had time to do some internet surfing and found a yummy recipe to try; I call them Gluten Free Sloppy Joe Calzones. I had ordered Chebe baking mixes from Gluten Free Saver awhile back (which, by the way, is a great way to try gluten free foods for a special price.) I hadn’t tried the mixes yet, so I was excited to have an opportunity to give one of them a try.


Gluten Free Sloppy Joe Calzone Gluten Free Sloppy Joe Calzone







Gluten Free Sloppy Joe Calzone 20130513-110806.jpg







I made the sloppy joe mix the night before and made up the “joe calzones” in the morning. I contemplated whether I should get everything ready the night before, but since I had never made the recipe before, I thought I better follow the recipe closely. In the future, I would be comfortable making up the “packets” ahead of time. My son inhaled 6 of the 8 sloppy joes..definitely a hit! I enjoyed them too and am thinking I could make any combination of “calzone” type meals with the Chebe mix. Thumbs up for an easy, portable meal. I think they would make a great lunch item too.

I LOVE the fact that the Chebe mix is free of a huge list of allergens, including potato (which is so hard to find gluten free) and is also non-GMO; yeah!

I am ordering up a case from Amazon now, this recipe was such a hit.


Adapted from a Simply Gluten-Free recipe

Gluten Free Sloppy Joe Calzones

Rating: 51

Gluten Free Sloppy Joe Calzones


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil – divided use
  • 1 small finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound organic ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 2 tablespoons gluten free Worcestershire Sauce
  • ¾ cup organic ketchup
  • 1 (7.5 ounce) package Chebe Bread Original Cheese Bread Mix, Gluten Free, 7.5-Ounce Bags (you can use Chebe All-Purpose Bread Mix for dairy-free)
  • 1 cup grated organic cheddar cheese (omit for dairy-free)
  • 2 large eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic; cook for another 30 seconds, stirring.
  5. Add the ground beef and break it up with a spatula. Cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the salt, pepper, chili powder, mustard powder and Worcestershire Sauce. Stir well.
  7. Add the ketchup and cook until the mixture is heated through
  8. In a large mixing bowl, combine the Chebe mix with the cheese (if using)
  9. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 eggs, and ¼ cup water
  10. Mix with a fork until combined; the mixture will be lumpy
  11. Dump the mixture onto a clean work surface and knead until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky.
  12. Break into eight equal sized pieces and roll them into balls.
  13. Place a piece of parchment paper on your work surface.
  14. Flatten one of the balls, top with another piece of paper and roll into a 6 inch circle.
  15. Place about 1/3 cup of the Sloppy Joe mixture onto half of the circle, leaving a ½ inch border.
  16. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling, press the edges together, sealing well.
  17. Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
  18. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the crusts are golden brown.




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Meal Monday: Porketta Roast

Apr 22, 2013 by

porketta roast raw

Uncooked porketta roast

One of our favorite meals is centered around a delicious porketta roast from Prairie Pride Farms. A porketta roast is a traditional seasoned Italian pork roast. The pigs from Prairie Pride, while not officially organic, are fed a non-GMO feed. Their pork is delicious and they sell from the St. Paul Farmer’s Market.

Anyway, their porketta roast is made with Italian spices and garlic rubbed on a boneless pork butt/shoulder roast. It is so easy to cook in a crock pot. I add a touch of organic apple juice for moistness and cook all day on low. The house smells amazing and the meat is tender and delightful in flavor.

I did find an interesting article about making a porketta roast if you are interested, The Quest for Porketta.



Our delicious porketta meal


Our meal was accompanied by steamed organic broccoli, a jumbo baked sweet potato and some of my favorite arborio rice. Typically, I make enough rice for us to enjoy another meal with the leftover pork and we do homemade “Chipotle” night. Yum!

I think one of the best ways to know if my family loves a meal is to have my husband say, “you should make this for my parents.” Sounds good!


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