The Gluten-Free Gal’s Guide Penne with Shrimp and Tomato Sauce

(Makes 2 servings)


  • 20 Medium Shrimp
  • 2 tsp. Minced Garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
  • 1/4 c. White Wine
  • 1/4 c. Black Olives (sliced)
  • 1/4 c. Artichoke Hearts (sliced)
  • 1/2 Box Gluten Free Penne (I used a 12 oz. box of Ronzoni Gluten Free Penne)
  • Oil (enough to coat the bottom of your pan)
  • Salt (to preference)
  • Pepper (to preference)
  • Parmesan Cheese (optional)


  • Clean and prep the shrimp, removing the tails and veins.
  • Add oil to a frying pan and place on medium heat.
  • Add the minced garlic to the oil, and let it cook in the oil for about a minute.
  • Add the shrimp to the pan.
  • Squeeze the lemon over the shrimp, add the garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • Let the shrimp cook until they turn white.
  • Add the can of diced tomatoes, white wine, black olives, and artichoke hearts to the frying pan.
  • Lower the heat underneath the frying pan, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packaging.
  • Once cooked, plate the pasta and top with the sauce.
  • If desired, top with Parmesan Cheese.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Alex’s Bistro (Cooperstown, NY)

This past weekend, I finally did something I’ve been wanting to do for longer than I can remember.  I packed up my car with friends and gluten-free snacks, and made the long drive up to Cooperstown, NY.  After spending my whole life as a baseball lover and die-hard Yankees fan, I finally made the trip to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Now this is not a blog post about my trip and experience, as I could write a whole separate blog on that topic.  Instead, the focus is traveling, and the dining unknown.  Whenever I head somewhere new, I always have the same thought cross my mind, “what am I going to do about eating?”  When I said I packed my car with gluten-free snacks, I wasn’t kidding. The plan always included eating somewhere, but we didn’t have specifics for how the day would unfold, and decided to figure out where and when we would be eating in the moment.

After walking up Main Street in Cooperstown, we stumbled upon Alex’s Bistro, just down the street from the Hall of Fame.  Not only was the restaurant’s appearance inviting, posted outside the door was a menu with my favorite label, GF.  Several of the items were marked with a GF, indicating they were gluten free, so my group decided to stop in for lunch.

I was pleasantly surprised with the large number of gluten free items available, and took a while scanning the menu before selecting the Arugula Salad.  This delicious salad came with goat cheese, bing cherries, walnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette.  I also opted to top my salad with grilled chicken.  The friends that I was with ordered a variety of burgers and the falafel sandwich.  Everyone enjoyed their food, and it was just what we were looking for.

While I don’t live close to Cooperstown, it’s nice to know there is an eating option there for me when I make my next visit.

For more information, check out the restaurant’s website:


Made Good Granola Minis

I have always been a snacker.  One of the first things I do when I come home is raid the cabinets and the fridge looking for something to eat.  After becoming gluten free, my snack choices took on a whole new level of importance.  Not only was I making new snack choices, I was looking for portable snacks to keep on me at all time.  Being gluten free means you always run the risk of being left without something to eat.  I have adapted a lifestyle where if I go out for an evening, I always have a backup plan.  That’s right, this gluten free gal will not be caught at a wedding without a gluten free and filling snack in my clutch.

Made Good’s Granola Minis are the prefect snack, and they’re packed in a way that makes them portable!  According to the company’s website, they are available in 5 flavors: Strawberry, Apple Cinnamon, Chocolate Banana, Chocolate Chip, and Mixed Berry.  I purchased the Granola Minis at Costco, where they came in a large package containing 20 individual portions.  The package was a mixed variety pack containing 10 Chocolate Chip packages and 10 Mixed Berry packages.  Not only are Made Good Granola Minis certified gluten free, they are also free from peanut, dairy, tree nuts, egg, soy, sesame, wheat, and fish and shellfish, making them extremely allergy friendly.  They are also certified vegan, kosher parve, organic, and non-GMO.

I love these Granola Minis!  When I bought them, I expected them to be very crunchy.  Instead, they are soft little bites of goodness!  The chocolate has a rich flavor, and the mixed berry has delicious fruit chunks.  They are great as a stand alone snack, or an addition to a breakfast or lunch.  I really enjoy eating them alongside a yogurt.  The portion size is perfect to satisfy my snack craving, and they are great for keeping in my bag, just in case.  I can’t wait to try the rest of Made Goods flavors.

More information about Made Good Granola Minis can be found on the company website:


Joan’s GF Great Bakes Gluten-Free English Muffins

Going gluten free changed me.  Not only did it change what I was eating, but it changed my interests, and what I found myself getting excited about.  Prior to being gluten free, bread was bread.  I loved it, it was a staple in my diet, but it was bread.  Now, “regular” bread is the enemy, but a good gluten free bread is something worth getting excited about.  That’s right, I get excited about finding a good gluten free bread, and searching for these products has become a bit of a hobby of mine.

One of the products I recently became very excited about is Joan’s GF Great Bakes Gluten-Free English Muffins.  You know a product is good when it is discovered by someone who is not gluten free, and they buy them to eat for themselves too.  Whole Foods was sampling the product when my mom discovered them.  They were so good, she immediately bought some for herself and me.  I have since repurchased these delicious muffins at my local Whole Foods many times.

These frozen English muffins are perfect!  The flavor is spot on, and they maintain the texture you would want from a traditional English muffin.  Once toasted, the muffin has the perfect crunch on the outside, and I love eating these alongside scrambled eggs for a filling breakfast.  I’ve also used them to make breakfast sandwiches, or just toasted them to have as a snack.  After toasting the muffin, I have topped with many things like butter, cream cheese, jelly, (not all together!) and the muffin has held its firmness without getting soggy, like many gluten free breads do.  This is a great product that I highly recommend to all, gluten free or not.

Check out Joan’s Gluten Free Great Bakes on Facebook at JoansGF


Gluten Free “Mac” and Manchego Cheese

Disclaimer:  Despite the name Mac and Manchengo Cheese, I actually made this recipe using penne instead of the traditional macaroni.  This was simply a circumstance of what gluten-free pasta I had in my pantry at the time, and you can duplicate this recipe using any type of gluten-free pasta.

(Makes 2 Servings)


  • 2 c. Gluten Free Penne (Cooked) **I used Barilla’s Gluten Free Penne
  • 2 tbsp. Butter
  • 3/4 c. Milk
  • 1 c. Manchego Cheese (shredded)
  • 2 tbsp. Panko Bread Crumbs **I used 4C Gluten Free Panko Bread Crumbs



  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Following the directions on the package, cook the pasta.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the flour, and whisk together until smooth.
  5. Place the saucepan back on the heat, add the milk, and stir together.  Bring the mixture to a boil (make sure to watch carefully so it doesn’t boil over).
  6. Once boiling, add the cheese to the mixture, and stir until the cheese is fully melted.
  7. Drain the penne, and add to the cheese mixture.  Stir so that the penne is fully coated.
  8. Transfer the coated pasta into an oven safe baking dish (I used a mini-loaf pan since it was the right size for the amount I made, and what I had easily accessible).
  9. Sprinkle the gluten free Panko Bread Crumbs on top of the penne, and place in the oven.
  10. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the bread crumbs form a golden-brown crust.
  11. Let cool, serve, and enjoy!

Gluten Free Penne with Sausage-Tomato Sauce


  • 1 Box (12 oz.) Gluten Free Penne
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 2 lbs. Sweet Italian Sausage (I used Premio)
  • 1 35oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp. Dried Basil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive Oil (enough to coat your frying pan)
  • Parmesan Cheese (to add on top of your finished meal)



  1. Coat the bottom of a large frying pan with oil, and place on medium heat.
  2. Chop the onion, and add to the frying pan. Sauté the onion for a few minutes, until it becomes translucent.
  3. Add the sausage to the frying pan. Using your spatula, break your sausage up into small chunks, and mix with the onion.
  4. Cook the sausage and onions until the sausage begins to brown.
  5. Add the can of crushed tomatoes, oregano, and basil, to the frying pan.  Salt and pepper to preference, and mix so everything is blended.
  6. Lower the heat on the frying pan, and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Following the directions on the packaging, cook the penne.
  8. When the penne and sauce are done, plate the pasta, and add the sauce on top.
  9. Finish with your favorite Parmesan cheese.
  10. Serve, and enjoy!

Brazi Bites

Lately I have become completely obsessed with Brazi Bites.  These Brazilian Cheese Bread bites are absolutely incredible, and make the perfect snack or side.  They are little bites of cheesy goodness, and have become a staple in my diet.

So far, I have only tried the Cheddar and Parmesan variety, but they are also available in Garlic Asiago, Zesty Pepper Jack, and 3 Cheese Pizza.  I originally discovered these at Whole Foods, but have been seeing them at many of my local grocery stores.

Brazi Bites come frozen, and are quickly ready to eat after 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  They are light, fluffy, cheese bread bites of deliciousness, and enjoyed by all (those who are gluten free and those who are not) every time I serve them.

For more information, check out their website: