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Jazzed Up Coconut-Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice.

Coconut-Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice With Ground Turkey & Baby Bell Peppers.


This is a jazzed up, protein-packed version of my Coconut-Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice. I made a big pot of this rice recently and brought it to lunch every day for a week. It is so delicious, filling and healthy.  The rice is so creamy from the coconut milk. I ate it with a few slices of avocado on the side – so good!

Makes ~8 cups of rice.


  • 2 cups dry brown rice
  • 2 cups light coconut milk
  • 2 cups regular coconut milk
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 1 large handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 package lean ground turkey (20 oz.)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups baby bell peppers, sliced (I used about 6 baby bell peppers)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • garlic salt
  • black pepper

Pour the coconut milk into a large pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Once the liquid is boiling, add in the rice and reduce the heat to a simmer. Put a lid on the pot and continue to simmer for ~30 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice.

While the rice is simmering, heat the olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat and cook the ground turkey for about 5-7 minutes until lightly browned, and then add in the onion and bell peppers. Continue to cook for about 12-15 minutes until the peppers/onions have softened and the turkey is cooked thoroughly.

After rice has absorbed all of the coconut milk, add in the lime juice, cilantro and ground turkey mixture. Add a generous dash of garlic salt and black pepper and stir well.






Betsy’s Baked “Fried” Pickles.

Baked, Gluten-Free “Fried” Pickles With Low-Fat Ranch Dip.


Fried pickles are popping up on more and more menus and if you’ve ever indulged in them, you know that they are simply to die for.  Unfortunately, they aren’t exactly good for you, so I decided to make a healthier version, baked instead of deep-fried, with a gluten-free breading. I’m not going to lie, nothing beats the taste of deep-fried pickles served with ranch dressing, but these are a close second and I felt much less guilty after eating these!

Serves 3-5.


Baked “Fried” Pickles

  • 1 1/2 cups dill pickle hamburger slices
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 3/4 cup Egg Beaters
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dry Italian seasoning
  • black pepper

Low-Fat Ranch Dip

  • 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 package dry Hidden Valley Ranch mix
  • black pepper

Coat a large non-stick baking sheet with 2-3 tbsp of olive oil (enough so that the whole pan has a generous coating) and put the baking sheet into a 400 degree oven for about 5-7 minutes to heat the oil.

While the baking sheet is heating, drain the dill pickles and use a paper towel to dab off any excess liquid.

In a bowl, combine the corn meal, garbanzo bean flour, dry Italian seasoning along with a generous dash of black pepper. Mix the ingredients up with a fork.  In a small bowl, add the Egg Beaters and whisk in the Frank’s Red Hot. Take half of the pickles, dipping them into the egg mixture. Then take the pickles and place them into the flour mixture, coating both sides. Put the breaded pickles on a plate and set aside. Repeat with the remainder of the pickles. Once all pickles are breaded, remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and line up the pickles evenly. Put the baking sheet back into the oven. After 10 minutes, remove them from the oven and flip the pickles to cook the other side for an additional 10 minutes.

While the pickles are in the oven, mix the sour cream, dry ranch mix and a dash of black pepper in a small mixing bowl.

When the pickles come out of the oven, serve them up piping hot with a dollop of the low-fat ranch dip.









Take Me Back To Taste of Peru.

Taste of Peru – Chicago, IL


Gareth and I saw this restaurant, Taste of Peru, featured on a TV show called Hungry Hound several years ago and I have wanted to go there ever since. We FINALLY made the trip there this summer (not sure why it took us so long!) and it was so incredibly delicious. It was so good, in fact, we went two weekends in a row for lunch! Nestled between a nail salon and a laundromat in a strip mall in Rogers Park, Taste of Peru is a no frills kind of place. But don’t let the exterior scare you away, the service is excellent and the food is amazing and authentic. When dining there, you absolutely have to order the Papa Rellena appetizer that was voted “Best in Town” by Hungry Hound. It was also a favorite of Guy Fieri when he visited the restaurant on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The combination of ingredients may sound a bit odd, but the flavor is fantastic. My favorite entrée we had was the Lomo Saltado, which is their #1 best-selling entrée. All of the food on the menu looks good, so my suggestion is to order a few things to explore the tastes of Peru! I think I may actually do this myself (again!) this weekend. Mmmmmm.


Papa Rellena: Mashed potato stuffed with a mixture of seasoned rib eye steak, walnuts, eggs, raisins, & olives.



Arroz Con Pollo: Peruvian-style chicken and rice. cooked in a cilantro-based sauce, the chicken absorbs the entire rice flavor from being cooked in the same pot.



Lomo Saltado: #1 Best Seller- Sautéed rib eye beef cut in strips, cooked with tomatoes, onions and French fries and served with white rice.



Seco De Cordero: Lamb cooked in red wine, beer, chile ancho, red peppers, pumpkin and served with white rice and beans.




Brussels Sprout, Salami & Jalapeno Hash.

Roasted Red Potatoes With Brussels Sprouts, Yellow Onion, Salami & Jalapeno.


This bold and spicy hash is filled with some of my favorite ingredients of all time. It’s a really versatile dish—you could eat it as a side dish at dinner, for a weekend brunch topped with an egg, or even mix it with lettuce to make a flavor packed salad! If you don’t like spicy foods, you can always substitute banana peppers instead of jalapeno and it will be just as yummy.

Serves ~5-7.


  • 10 small red potatoes, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups chopped Brussels sprouts (you can buy pre-chopped at Trader Joe’s)
  • 4 oz. Italian dry salami, chopped (I used Columbus sliced dry Italian salami which is gluten-free)
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced hot or mild jalapeno
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt/black pepper

In a large roasting pan, add the potatoes, Brussels sprouts, salami, onion, jalapeno and chopped garlic. Pour the olive oil over the ingredients and toss to combine. Season with a dash of salt/pepper and roast in a 425 degree oven for about 45 minutes.




Greek Salad With Avocado.

Tomato & Cucumber Salad With Avocado, Pepperoncini, & Feta.


I’ve been eating this salad all summer and have yet to get sick of it! It’s filled with different textures and flavors and is everything I look for in a salad. It’s crunchy, creamy, refreshing and tangy. It only takes minutes to make and is a great, healthy summer meal.

Serves 2.


  • 3 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup pepperoncini, sliced and de-seeded
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt/black pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and pour over the vinegar and olive oil. Season with a dash of salt and black pepper and toss well.



Mediterranean Pasta Salad.

Gluten-Free Pasta Salad with Artichokes, Cucumbers, Chickpeas, Roasted Red Peppers, Kalamata Olives & Feta.


I made this pasta salad for a barbecue at my sister’s house this summer and it was super yummy and easy to make. It’s filled with flavorful, bright ingredients and is also much healthier than mayonnaise based pasta salads.

Serves ~8.


  • 1 8-oz package gluten-free rotini pasta (or other shape that you prefer)
  • 1 medium cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers (you can find jarred in grocery stores)
  • 1/2 cup artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup herbed feta, crumbled (I found at Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • garlic salt
  • black pepper

Put the artichokes, olives and roasted red peppers into the food processor and pulse 3 times to do a rough chop.

Boil the pasta as directed on the package. Drain all excess water and the pasta back into the pot.

Stir in 3 tbsp olive oil to the cooked pasta and then add in the chopped ingredients, the cucumber, the feta, the chickpeas and the lemon juice. Add a dash of garlic salt/black pepper and toss well to combine the ingredients. You can serve this warm or at room temperature.





Banana Oat Raisin Squares

Gluten-Free, Low-Fat Banana Raisin Oat Squares.


I don’t bake often, but I saw a similar recipe to this on an Instagram fitness blog that I follow and was excited to bake these up! They may not be the prettiest, but they are a great, healthy, protein-packed breakfast or pre-workout snack. They are gluten-free and have no added oil, butter or sugar. I made enough to have for a whole week, but you could certainly scale the recipe down as well if you just want a few. These have given me a ton of energy to work out this week and I’ll definitely be making them again!


  • 5 bananas (over-ripe if possible)
  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • sprinkling of cinnamon

Peal and chop the bananas and put them in the microwave for about 1 minute to heat them up a bit. After they come out of the microwave, place them in your mixer on high-speed to blend them to a smooth consistency. Once there are no lumps or bumps, add in the eggs, egg whites, oats and raisins and continue to mix on medium speed. When everything is combined, pour the mixture into a large, shallow baking dish (or you could do a muffin pan if you prefer) and sprinkle on cinnamon over the top. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and firm to the touch.