Fresh Caprese Salad {Gluten Free}

capreseThis gluten free girl sometimes really misses Italian food. I see angel hair Alfredo pasta and my mouth waters. The rich flavors just pervade my senses, and I miss consuming such creamy meals.

However, skipping the wheat laden bread is a better alternative than an upset stomach. So, I find ways to satisfy my Italian cravings. And the best way to do that is – eat a lovely bowl of Caprese Salad.

I can remember my first plate of this yummy salad, which is interesting. This was even before I knew about my gluten allergy. As you can tell, I am not lying about liking this dish.

There we were, my sweet family of four, eating on a mountaintop bistro in Santa Fe, New Mexico. And, little did I know, I would fall in love that day with – Caprese Salad.

tomatoes

These beauties were too pretty not to share!

Now that I am older, I make this as a quick dinner or treat for myself. It is heavenly.

So, if you are gluten free and missing out on your garlic and olive oil flavors, this is the dish for you!

You will need: 3 medium tomatoes, 1 ball of mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, olive oil and salt and pepper.

All you need to do is – get out a cutting board and chop up your pretty tomatoes. You can chop huge chunks or little chunks. The choice is really up to you.

Next, chop up your fresh basil leaves and ball of mozzarella. Mix up these pieces with the tomatoes in a larger bowl.

Sprinkle in some olive oil. The amount of drizzle is up to you. Then add some salt and pepper to taste.

You are done! This can be a little dinner or maybe a side salad with your main course. It is completely gluten free and very delicious. Munch on gluten free ladies!

You might also like this delish ‘Caprese Gluten Free Bread’ recipe too!

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Avocado Radish Toast {Gluten Free}

radishOkay – this combo may look a little kooky; but, believe me when I say – it is delicious. You will not want to stop eating this cute, dainty appetizer. Bring it to a party or just eat it as a healthy afternoon snack.

Its gluten free (used Udi’s gluten free bread) and gives you that little crunch you need. Simply toast the bread in the oven or toaster, spread the avocado on and add slices of yummy radishes.

It’s that easy. Really. AND – even more of a bonus: radishes are super good for you. It reduces pain and swelling, can aid in weight loss, helps hydration, eliminates mucus and clear the sinuses. You can read all the benefits here.

You will need: ½ avocado, 2 pieces of gluten free bread and 4 radishes.

After taking the bread out of the oven or toaster, simply cut the bread into little strips and place them on a pretty plate. In a bowl, mash up ½ an avocado with a fork and spread this goodness on to your bread strips. Slice radishes and arrange them on top of the mashed avocado.

Have fun with this dish. If you don’t like radishes, try another veggie on top. Maybe a diced red pepper! However, the radishes really give it a zesty, spicy taste.

It is melt in your mouth good. Don’t believe me, give it a try.

Rosemary Bread Bites {Gluten Free}

IMG_6853This is a surefire appetizer winner especially for you gluten free mavens!

Don’t get jealous of those Olive Garden breadsticks. Now, you can make your own in like 15 minutes.

This is a great way to use some of that gluten free pizza crust mix, you may have laying around at home. My problem is I will use ¾ of the package and have that awkward ¼ mix laying around.

Now, you don’t have to throw that not so cheap mixture away – use it to make a bread bite appetizer!

You will need: ¾ cup gluten free pizza bread crust mix (I used Bloomfield Farms Mix), ½ cup water, 1 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tbsp. dried rosemary, 1 tbsp. garlic powder, 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning and ¼ cup parmesan cheese.

In a bowl, pour in your gluten free mix and add in the water. Stir this up to create a pastey dough. Next add in the olive oil and stir it up again.

Add in the parmesan cheese and fold into the dough. It should make the dough thicker and not as runny. Sprinkle in the spices: rosemary, garlic and Italian seasoning. Let the dough sit for about 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 475. You need it hot to make your bread bites. And then spray a pan with some cooking spray. Take the dough and mash it down into the pan- creating a flat surface.

Once the oven is heated, pop it in there for about 18 minutes. After it’s baked to your liking – take it out and cut into little strips and serve with an olive oil and rosemary dip mixture. Yum.

Toasted Balsamic Caprese Bread {Gluten Free}

ImageHello taste explosion in your mouth! This bread is phenomenal. Sadly, I do not dine on a lot of Italian food – because of my gluten free lifestyle.

Corn pastas are great – and if you are craving some carbs – go for it; but, it’s nothing close to the real taste of thick, creamy pasta. Yum {melt in my mouth}, alas – skipping this is my lot in life.

However, Caprese Salad (naturally gluten free) is one of my favorite dishes. It satisfies that Italian craving and won’t mess up your stomach (for those with gluten sensitivity).

This Balsamic Caprese Bread combines the taste of bruschetta and that to-die-for mozzarella salad. This is perfect for appetizers or just a simple dinner.

You will need: 2 gluten free Udi’s hamburger buns (you are going to split these ½ in two), one ball of skim mozzarella, 4 grape tomatoes, 1 tsp. of low-fat butter *you can also use olive oil* (for each bun), balsamic vinegar and basil leaves.

First, separate each hamburger bun into two parts. You will use each side for your toast. Spread a little butter over the surface of all four pieces. No need to go crazy with butter portions. Sparingly is always better.

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Before I popped them in the oven!

Wash your basil leaves. I used about two leaves per piece of bread and just laid them on top of the bread.

Cut one grape tomato into three parts and lay these pieces across your bread pieces. You will use one grape tomato per piece of bread.

Cut the mozzarella ball into strips. I probably used just ¼ of the total ball of cheese. Layer your pieces of cheese on top of your other delicious toppings.

They are ready for the oven.

I used the broiler for my toast – so it took about 5 minutes on high to heat these babies up.

You will want to stand by the oven the whole time just to make sure they don’t burn. The broiler heats food up pretty fast – especially on high.

If you don’t want to use the broiler, set the oven to 350 and bake for about 10 minutes or until the bread and cheese is lightly brown.

Lastly, sprinkle balsamic vinegar over each piece. This completes the dish. I used fat-free dressing. And, don’t worry if a little bit drizzles on the plate. You will devour this up – and want to dip the bread into the excess vinegar. Enjoy!