Grilled Portobello Caprese Sandwich | Guest Recipe by Benjamin

One of the biggest challenges for me trying to reduce my gluten and wheat intake has been finding satisfying replacement for bread. Before switching my diet, I’d long been a bread obsessive and my greatest fear had always been to find strong substitutes so I could still enjoy my greatest love: Sandwiches. I had just about managed to create gluten-free versions of pizza, flatbreads and pasta, but a good sandwich recipe had eluded me for a while.

Enter today’s recipe.

This gluten-free vegetarian sandwich uses two hearty portobello mushrooms instead of bread to house beautiful fresh mozzarella and tomato pesto.While the portobello mushrooms might strike some people as a bit bland, their juices combine brilliantly with the mozarella. The two together make for a brilliant pile of melted cheese, packed full of flavors. Everything blends together perfectly.
Let’s get into it!

Grilled Portobello Caprese Sandwich

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes


2 large portobello mushrooms
2 tbsp dried tomato pesto
1 tsp crushed garlic
½ cup mozzarella cheese, sliced
½ roma tomato, sliced
4-6 large fresh basil leaves
¼ cup sliced pepperoncini peppers
½ cup roasted bell peppers
olive oil cooking spray (for the grill)


  1. Start by heating your grill on a medium heat.
  2. Use a spoon to clean out the insides of the mushroom, making sure not to break the skins.
  3. Split the pesto and crushed garlic between each mushroom, spreading as evenly as possible on the inside.
  4. Split the mozarella between each mushroom – don’t be afraid to be generous – and then place the sliced tomatoes and basil on one of the mushrooms. Top the other mushroom with the pepperoncini and bell peppers.
  5. Carefully put the two sides together and then place the sandwich on the grill.

Cook for 10 minutes on one side and then 10 minutes on the other. Remove from the grill and enjoy!

About the author:

Ben is a former semi-pro cyclist and big eater. Now he is just a big eater. He writes about food and drink for lazy chefs at The Online Grill.


Top Five Juice Nutrition Facts That Will Improve Your Life | Guest Post by David Hanson

Juicing is simply the process of extracting the liquid or juicy part of any kind of fruit that produces juice. In recent times, when the idea of juicing is becoming more popular, modern techniques of juicing now abound. You can now within the comfort of your home use a cold press juicer machine to squeeze out your delicious fruit drink.

My focus for this article is not on how you get extract juice from fruits, but to discuss juice nutrition facts that are important to your well-being. You will actually see how these nutritional facts will really make your life better; this is speaking in practical terms. Do you believe juice nutrition can truly contribute to healthy living? Let us find out anyways.

In no particular order, let us consider our 5 juice nutrition facts that will actually make your life better:

1. Allows you consume recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals

The nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables are many, but many of us still find it difficult to sacrifice our favorite kind of dishes for them. In many households, fruits and vegetables have been regulated to a weekly routine, rather than an everyday meal. The fact that juice extracts are sweeter and more convenient to consume means we can now consume enough vitamins and minerals every day. You can make it a habit to substitute your regular soft drinks or ice-creams for a delicious drink of fruit juice and your body will be thankful.

2. Your body is in a good athletic fit

There surely are no arguments about the benefits of fitness exercises. But there can be serious issues when the body is too stiff; it becomes hard to make all those flexible moves. What can be more frustrating than running out of gas after only a few minutes of workout?A tested replacement for performance enhancing drugs is the beet root. It can be taken as fruit juice extras. Its function is to improve muscle tolerance by aiding oxygen and blood movement in the muscles.

3. It can help boost your self-esteem

Looking good is everybody’s business; we all want to be the center of attraction in that formal or informal gathering. When you’re looking all radiant at the event, you are sure to grab the headlines. Oily foods can help you achieve this, but regular consumption of fresh cucumber with beet and carrot juice can. The nutrients from such fruit juice are good for the body. They will also help check your appetite for junk meals.

4. Fend off cancer more effectively

Like I mentioned earlier, people find it easier to consume the juice rather than actually eating the fruits and vegetables. Even if the juice will not absolutely do the functions eating the greens raw will do, it is better than taking nothing at all. For the cancer patients who need to refresh their body from the strain of chemotherapy, it is easier to swallow the juice for them.

5. It helps adjust to a fast-paced world easier

The speed at which every of our daily activities have to be carried out implies we have lesser time to cook meals. Fruit juice is your best bet while on the go, sometimes even helps you maintain the needed energy levels to keep you moving.

I hope these facts convince you about why you should seriously incorporate juice into your nutrition. This is even better, considering it is relatively inexpensive to maintain regular juice nutrition.

The question now is how you will go about your juice nutrition plan?

David is a freelance writer and juicing enthusiast.

Photo credit: Yes30 (cover)

Homemade Coconut Oil Baby Lotion | Guest Post by Catherine Marqueses

Homemade Coconut Oil Baby Lotion

Coconut oil is nothing, but amazing! Although it is just one ingredient, the health benefits it provides are too many to count. Seriously! Even babies can enjoy its perks!

Packed with Lauric acid that is also present in breast milk, coconut oil is undeniably safe for baby use. Apply it to dry and irritated skin and see the difference. You’ll be amazed, for sure. However, before you even do that, consider making this homemade coconut oil baby lotion.

Don’t worry. It is very easy to do.

What You Need:

What to Do:

  1. In a medium pan, melt the coconut oil in low heat. Set aside.
  2. Take a blender, if not a food processor. Along with the aloe vera gel and the essential oil of your choice, put the melted coconut oil and blend.
  3. Do it for a couple of minutes until a creamy texture is obtained.
  4. Scrape the mixture from the blender and store in a container with a tight fitting lid.
  5. Store at room temperature or keep refrigerated when not in use.

Bonus Tip. The key to its keep its creamy consistency is to refrigerate it. That way, coconut oil does not melt and affect the lotion’s texture.

How to Use:

Like store bought baby lotions, apply this coconut oil baby lotion to your baby every after bathing or as needed.

Recommended Essential Oils to Use

There are many different essential oils you can use for babies. Here are some that we recommend:

  • Lavender Essential Oil – Known for its antibacterial properties, lavender essential oil can be used to calm and soothe a baby’s delicate skin.
  • Chamomile Essential Oil – Chamomile essential oil works well for babies with constipation. And like lavender, it also has soothing and calming properties.
  • Citrus Essential Oil – Due to its mood-enhancing ability, citrus essential oil is widely used by parents to calm overactive kids.
  • Peppermint Essential Oil – Peppermint essential oil has properties that help alleviate fever and colds. But when using this, it is advised to dilute it first.
  • Tea Tree Essential Oil – Tea tree essential oil can be used to repel bugs and insects. It can also be used for treating cuts and burns.

The next time you run out of baby lotion, you don’t need to run to the store. Instead, go to the kitchen and whip up your own coconut oil baby lotion.

Catherine finds joy in the simplest things. Her passion for traveling is equally matched by her love for animals. Whenever she’s in the mood for experimenting, you can see her in the kitchen trying out new recipes, most likely desserts. She shares her expertise about nutritious and organic foods like coconut oil on her blog Free Coconut Recipes. Find out what she’s up to by following her social media accounts, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

A Little Gratitude for The Gluten Free “Fad”

Recently, I read an article about people choosing to live a gluten free lifestyle even though they don’t have Celiac disease. I can’t remember where I read it or what it was called. In summary, it cautioned people who don’t have Celiac to not choose gluten free food, because it will basically ruin their life. The authors were concerned about nutritional deficiencies and that non-Celiac people would pay more money for food for no reason. I see a lot of articles that question the value of going gluten free for those that don’t have to. I see a lot of articles making fun of people adopting a gluten free lifestyle simply because they’ve chosen to and not because they need to. But, I have a different perspective. As a person with Celiac I’m grateful for those people.

Why? Well, do any of you happen to remember the world before gluten free became a fad? Do you remember going to a restaurant where you could eat nothing except salad and the dressing you brought yourself? Do you remember when there were no gluten free bread, cakes, and cookies? Do you remember what it was like when people pitied you vehemently because there was quite literally nothing you could eat except meat and vegetables? Do you remember work luncheons that stressed you out because you had to be the freaky one that brought your own food or didn’t eat at all?

The gluten free food movement has really blossomed because of the wider base of people following a gluten free lifestyle. Let’s face it. There aren’t that many people with Celiac disease. Food companies, restaurants, etc. wouldn’t bother catering to the less than 1 percent of people with the disease. However, when going gluten free became a thing the options began to expand. Also, the more people have become aware of how food effects them, the more food allergies have become normalized. If you have a child with food allergies it’s considered much more normal now than it was twenty years ago when I was going to school. People are more aware. People are more sensitive. A conversation has been started. Is it perfect? No. But, it’s better than it used to be.

The gluten free food movement has really blossomed because of the wider base of people following a gluten free lifestyle.

So, I’m thankful for people who are exploring the idea of how food effects them. I’m grateful for people trying to educate themselves on food ingredients and health information surrounding food choices. I’m grateful for people who go gluten free even though they don’t have Celiac. I’m just grateful for the increased awareness, respect, and dialogue around the issue. What about you?

Alicia is a super mom, wife, competitive athlete, and freelance writer. Find out more about her everyday adventures by liking her on Facebook.

The Food Processor Family Cookbook by Nicki Sizemore of From Scratch Fast | Book Review

I am super excited to finally share this review with you, Nicki Sizemore is the author of this amazing cookbook and of the From Scratch Fast blog. Nicki and I made a blogger to blogger connection late last year which led to me receiving an advance copy of her debut cookbook: The Food Processor Family Cookbook and culminating in a podcast episode that we recorded two weeks ago. Continue reading

The Celiac Mom’s Guide to Holiday Hosting Part II| Thanksgiving

Hosting Thanksgiving. Those two words can create fear and dread in even the most seasoned of cooks. Throw in the fact that the meal has to be gluten free, and well, let’s just hang up the apron now, right? Wrong! I hosted Thanksgiving for 18, all gluten free, and got rave reviews. It. Can. Be. Done. Continue reading

The Celiac Mom’s Guide to A Gluten Free Holiday| Part I

The last two months of my life have been a complete blur. I’m sure the same can be said of everyone at holiday time. With Christmas being right on the heels of Thanksgiving, none of us really has time to come up for air. The cleaning and prepping for guests, keeping track of the multitude of school commitments and activities, and the shopping (oh, lawd, the shopping) is enough to make anyone’s head spin. Now add to that the meal planning and cooking and baking. For a family with no food restrictions, the food part of holidays takes some organization, planning and time, but it is doable. Pulling off the holidays gluten free is a whole other story.

We hosted 18 people on Thanksgiving and 21 on Christmas Eve. I have hosted this kind of crowd many times before because I have a big family, and I have always loved hosting these big get-togethers. When my daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease almost two years ago, I decided that celiac wasn’t going to stop us from hosting these holidays. I was committed to figuring out how to make delicious, gluten free holiday meals, where no one would miss the gluten. And according to my guests, which included cooks and caterers, I pulled it off . When so many recipes are requested that you spend most of dessert hour at your copier, you know you’ve succeeded.

The hardest part of hosting a gluten free holiday is having to cook and bake everything myself. Our house is gluten free, and I don’t take ANY cross contamination risks, so I can’t have anyone make anything to contribute to the meal. When I have prepared every dish, I can be confident that my daughter is 100% safe. In the past, I would have everyone bring a dish to pass and I’d order my pies and rolls. Just doing those two simple things made hosting large holiday gatherings easy. But those days are over. Doing it all is totally possible with careful planning, making a timeline and keeping a sense of humor.

This three part series will include my meal plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, with one post dedicated to my holiday baking. I will also share lots of product recommendations and tips and tricks for a delicious gluten free holiday. You see things all the time about hosting holidays, with shiny chefs smiling from their fancy kitchens, telling you you can do it, too! Anyone can do it if you are a chef with a staff chopping and measuring and prepping and planning. I am not a chef. I am not a baker. I am a regular mom with a fierce dedication to her celiac daughter.

Stay tuned for my first installment in “A Gluten Free Holiday” where I will talk about our Thanksgiving meal. Until then….happy eating!

Photo credit: UNHCR (cover) BigProUSA (inside photo)