Mini-Meatloaves & Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

So I move on with my food intolerances – I’ve now cut out soy.  seriously. not easy. But I am feeling better!

Here is a new family favorite that we can ALL enjoy.  The meatloaf recipe was derived from The Healthy Gluten-Free Life – Basically a gluten free cookbook that would be vegan if it wasn’t for the meat! 🙂  (no eggs, no dairy)

The potatoes and cauliflower is just something I came up with based on recipes I’ve read.  My kids and husband had no idea I snuck in an extra vegetable and I didn’t feel guilty serving this with “just” corn.  Win-Win!  Everyone clears their plate when this is served.



For the loaves:
½ yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs ground beef
1 ½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground pepper
1 tbsp gluten free Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup tomato sauce (you will use 15 oz total)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp dried basil
¾ cup almond meal (Trader Joe’s is the cheapest BY FAR!)
1 tbsp dried parsley
2 tbsp flax meal mixed with 1/3 cup hot water

For the Sauce:
3 tbsp tomato paste
remaining tomato sauce from 15 oz can
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
pepper to taste


  1. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, sauté onions and garlic until soft. About 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add beef, and remaining meat ingredients. Add cooked onions/garlic. Carefully (onions will be hot) stir and combine meat mixture until all ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Spray muffin pans with nonstick spray. Fill muffin pans, just to the tops, with the meat mixture. Press down slightly to level tops.
  4. In a small bowl, combine sauce ingredients.
  5. Place a small spoonful of sauce on top of each mini meatloaf. With the back of the spoon, spread the sauce evenly over each loaf.
  6. Fill any empty muffin cups halfway with water so meat bakes evenly. Bake in 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes, rotating trays halfway through. Meat should be cooked through and top edges just turning brown.

Cauliflower-Mashed Potatoes

Chicken Broth
4-5 Russet Potatoes
1 bag frozen cauliflower
Butter and/or Heavy Cream (or whatever you like to mash in your potatoes*)
Sea Salt
Garlic Powder

  1. Peel and cut potatoes into 1″ pieces.
  2. Add potatoes to pot. Cover with chicken broth.
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add cauliflower and simmer for another 10-12 minutes.
  5. Drain off excess liquid.
  6. Mash potatoes and cauliflower.
  7. Mix in butter/heavy cream
  8. Add sea salt and garlic powder to taste.

*I have added heavy cream and butter back into my diet. My nutritionist pointed out that my intolerance is to dairy protein and both cream and butter are just fat. 🙂  But she did recommend using only organic and grass-fed.

Microwave Cheesy Potatoes

In case you hadn’t realized, I’m really liking my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker!  I love that it goes in the microwave and the oven, and pretty enough for the table!  And the convenience of the microwave (and not using the stove) with 2 kids around is pretty awesome. Last night I made these cheesy potatoes in the microwave while the meatloaf baked in the oven.  I adapted the recipe for Cheesy Potatoes I found while googling “Deep Covered Baker recipes”. They were excellent and easy!

Microwave Cheesy PotatoesPin It

Microwave Cheesy Potatoes

2 lbs frozen hashbrowns
1 tbsp onion powder
1 can cream of chicken soup
4 tbsp butter, melted
8 oz sharp cheddar, grated
1 cup sour cream

Mix all ingredients, except butter and spread into Deep Covered Baker (or a microwavable glass dish with cover).  Drizzle butter over top. Microwave on HIGH for 30 minutes.

Dijon-Roasted New Potatoes

A Weight-Watchers Recipe. Very delicious.  Great Flavor!  Super easy to make!

Dijon-Roasted New Potatoes

1 spray(s) cooking spray
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp olive oil
3/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 pound(s) uncooked new potatoes, red or white, quartered or halved

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a 9- X 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together mustard, oil, paprika, salt, thyme and pepper; add potatoes and stir to coat.
  3. Transfer potatoes to prepared baking dish and roast 15 minutes; stir and roast until tender on inside, about 15 to 20 minutes more. Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving.

Italian Pasta Salad

I love a good pasta salad, but until last week I had never found my own recipe that I liked. I started with this recipe found at

I really liked the dressing but tweaked the makings of the actual salad a little.   And the recipe typed below is actually half of what I made, because it was a LOT of pasta salad!

Italian Pasta Salad

12 ounces rotini pasta
1 cup Italian-style salad dressing (I used Market Pantry Light Italian)
1 cup creamy Caesar salad dressing ( I used Ken’s Steakhouse Lite Creamy Caesar)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 carrots peeled and chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion, diced (i used yellow, because my red onion was bad when I cut into it)
turkey pepperoni (cut in half)
grape tomatoes
3 oz cubed mozzarella
1-2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1.     In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until al dente, adding carrots for last minute of cooking, rinse under cold water and drain.
2.     In a large bowl, combine the all ingredients. Allow to chill overnight.  In the morning, if you would prefer more dressing add more dressing. If you are running low on dressing, add a bit of olive oil and more Italian Seasoning.

Garlic and Cumin New Potatoes

I had steaks at home all ready to go when I found this recipe in my RSS feed the other day.  I had all the ingredients except the cilantro, which I don’t like so I just left it out when I made it. And let me tell you, these potatoes were excellent!  Maria and Chad agreed as well!  I’m pretty convinced they would be good roasted in the oven too!

Garlic and Cumin New Potatoes

12 unpeeled small red potatoes, cut into fourths
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon peppered seasoned salt

  1. Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Place potatoes in large bowl. Add remaining ingredients except cilantro; toss to coat. Place in grill basket (grill “wok”).
  2. Cover and grill potatoes over medium heat 10 to 15 minutes, shaking basket or stirring potatoes frequently, until tender.

Crockpot Freezer Rice

I stumbled across directions at Mommy Snacks on how to cook brown rice in the crockpot and freeze it.  I wasn’t sure if this was any easier than instant brown rice.  But now I think it’s more convenient than taking time to cook brown rice (even Instant) for any meal.  I really like being able to pull it out of the freezer as a side dish.  It definitely helps me get the timing of rice with my other dishes better, so everything is ready right around the same time.   Plus it’s great to pull out when I want to make Fried Rice when I have leftover Chicken or Pork.

Crockpot Freezer Rice

1 bag (lb) of brown rice
water (or chicken stock)
3 chicken bouillion cubes (eliminate if using chicken stock)
4 tbsp butter
crockpot liner (or cooking spray)

Line the crockpot with the liner or spray with cooking spray.

Empty the rice into the crockpot and cover with water (or chicken stock) chicken broth (or water) Add at least another inch of water to ensure it’s really covered.

Add the chicken bouillion cubes (unless using chicken stock) and butter.

Cook on high for 3-4 hours. Watching the last hour so it doesn’t get over done. (or too mushy)

Let cool and freeze in freezer bags. To reheat, thaw and reheat in microwave with butter.  (I don’t add butter when making it into fried rice)

Crockpot Cheesy Party Potatoes

Since we were hosting Easter dinner (midday dinner) and knowing the oven would mostly be monopolized by the ham, I decided to try making potatoes in the crockpot.  I found this recipe.  I used onion powder instead of an onion (because it was already late when I started prepping the night before). I also doubled the recipe and it filled my crockpot, right to the top.

They were very good, and I will definitely make these potatoes again!

Crockpot Cheesy Party Potatoes

2 lb. bag frozen cubed hash browns
6 ounces sour cream
10 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
1 can cream of chicken soup (or mushroom)
1 stick butter (or half)
1 teaspoon salt (or a little less)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 medium onion, chopped fine (or 1/2 tbsp onion powder)

Thaw potatoes. Melt butter in large bowl, then add in remaining
ingredients,then potatoes. Pour into sprayed crockpot. Heat on low for 4-6 hours,stirring occasionally (esp. if your c/p is hot like mine). Last time I made this, I usually double this recipe for a group of 20 or so. You can also bake this in the oven with cheese on top. I think it is 350 for 45 min to an hour. This freezes well after mixing/before baking.

Cornbread Muffins

I had chili on the menu for Sunday and decided to try making some cornbread muffins. I love cornbread and figured it was the perfect compliment for chili.

These were definitely good and very easy!

Cornbread Muffins

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease or line 12 muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, honey, eggs and salt. Mix in flour, cornmeal and baking powder; blend thoroughly. Stir in milk and corn. Pour or spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Broccoli and Tortellini Salad

Here we are. Week 1 of Whip It Up.  I know it’s going to be a busy week with the holiday and daycare being closed a couple days, so I wanted to get my new recipe out of the way. Plus I now have salad to take for lunch the next couple days!

The theme of the week is “Holiday” Favorites for the 4th of July holiday.  I decided to go with a pasta salad since I have never found a pasta salad that I want to make over and over. Plus I like a good broccoli/bacon salad! So I did some research and found this recipe.

Was the recipe easy to follow?

Yes, it’s basically cooking pasta and cutting up veggies! and a little mixing. I barely even measured!  Apparently the hard part for me was buying the groceries, because I bought ravioli* instead of tortellini! Oops.. oh well. I added an extra cup of corkscrew pasta to make up for it.  I did halve the recipe, so that I wasn’t eating it all week. I also cut way back on the sugar, because I thought the raisins would be sweet enough.  I also cut back on the onion once I had it diced up. I just didn’t want it to overpower and I think that was the right decision.

Did the dish taste good?

It was very good. Chad thought raisins sounded strange but he said that was probably the part he liked best.  Both of us ate it for dinner tonight, with nothing else.

Would you make it again?

Definitely. It’ll be a good salad to take to a picnic or serve at a barbecue. I will definitely try it with tortellini next time!

Broccoli and Tortellini Salad

Broccoli and Tortellini Salad

4 slices bacon
10 ounces fresh cheese-filled tortellini*
1 cup corkscrew pasta (or other shape)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2-3 tbsp white sugar
2 teaspoon cider vinegar
4 cups fresh broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped


  1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook tortellini in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Add the broccoli with about 30 seconds left to blanch. Drain, and rinse under cold water.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar to make the dressing.
  4. In a large bowl, combine broccoli, tortellini, bacon, raisins, sunflower seeds and red onion. Pour dressing over salad, and toss. (I didn’t add all the dressing, but saved some in case it “soaks” it up overnight.)

Honey-Mustard Chicken with Potato Wedges

Well, I signed up for the Whip It Up Challenge again this summer!  And I’m looking forward to the peer pressure of trying new recipes! It doesn’t start for a couple weeks, but here is one I tried last night!

I found it in a Rachel Ray magazine, but you can find the recipe here as well.

Was the recipe easy to follow?

Yes! It was very easy. I was able to prep the chicken and potatoes and entertain Maria at the same time (well, Curious George helped too!)  The only real change I made was that I just sprayed the potatoes with olive oil spray before putting them on the grill, instead of mixing them in the bowl with olive oil.

Did the dish taste good?

Yes, it was very very good. I didn’t serve it with chives or the lime wedges, because I forgot to go out and cut the chives out of my herb garden (which only has chives right now) while it was on the grill. And didn’t get around to slicing the 2nd lime.

Would you make it again?

Most definitely. It was very tasty and easy!! Chad and I both thought it was great. It was hard to tell with Maria, she is so hungry after daycare that she eats a ton so isn’t always hungry when we eat dinner. She just likes to sit with us and pretend to eat, I think.

Honey-Mustard Chicken with Potato Wedges

3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 limes, 1 juiced and 1 cut into 8 wedges
8 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
2 large baking potatoes (about 12 ounces)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or olive oil spray)
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

In a resealable plastic bag, combine the honey, mustard, oil and lime juice. Add the chicken and let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the potatoes and enough salted water to cover; bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes for 20 minutes, then drain and let cool slightly. Slice the potatoes lengthwise into 1-inch wedges. Transfer to a bowl and gently toss with the olive oil (or spray with olive oil spray); season with salt and pepper.

Preheat a grill to medium-high. Add the chicken and potatoes, cover the grill and cook for 10 minutes on each side.

Serve the chicken with the lime wedges and potatoes. Sprinkle the chives over the potatoes.

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