Rosemary Grilled Chicken & Mushroom Sauce with Garlic Mashed Cauliflower (GF)

ChxA comforting, delicious, easy-to-fix dinner that’s sure to please the meat-and-potatoes crowd.

This recipe is from our Gluten-Free & Easy Meal Plan!

Rosemary Grilled Chicken & Mushroom Sauce

Yield: 4 servings         
Active Time: 10 min.      
Total Time: 30 min.

  • 4 chicken thighs, w/ skin & bone
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • dash of salt & black pepper
  • 4 stems fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup chicken broth*(GF)
  • 1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon* (GF)
  • 2 garlic clove
  • 2 med. shallot
  • 1 tbsp. potato starch
  • 1 cup red wine, dry
  • 1 lb. baby portobello mushrooms

Mise en Place

Remove and chop the rosemary leaves from the stems. Chop the bacon. Skin and crush the garlic. Skin and chop the shallot. Thinly slice the portobello mushrooms.

Prepare the Dish

Heat a grill pan over high heat. Drizzle chicken thighs with oil, season with black pepper and rosemary. Grill chicken 5 minutes on each side and remove from heat to rest for 5 minutes.

Place broth in a small bowl and cover. Heat in microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove broth from microwave. Add dried porcini to the dish and replace the cover. Steep porcinis in broth 5 to 10 minutes to reconstitute mushrooms. This may also be done on the stovetop. Simmer broth, and mushrooms for 10 minutes over low heat.

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In a medium non-stick skillet, add olive oil, sauté bacon, crushed garlic and chopped shallot over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add sliced portobello mushrooms to the pan and season with salt & black pepper.

Sauté portobello mushrooms 10 minutes, or until dark and tender. Add flour and cook 1 minute. Add red wine to the pan and reduce by 1/2, about 1 minute. Add reserved broth and porcini mushrooms to the pan and simmer together 1 to 2 minutes longer to combine. Slice chicken thighs, removing skin and bone and fan out on a plate. Ladle thick mushroom sauce down over sliced chicken and serve.

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Yield: 4 servings              Active Time: 15 min.       Total Time: 21 min.

  • 1 med. head cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp. lite cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt & black Pepper, to taste
  • 4 tsp. butter

Mise en Place

Bring cream cheese to room temperature. Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Skin and mince the garlic.

Prepare the Dish

Place rinsed cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl. No additional water is needed! Cover the bowl with microwave safe plastic wrap, leaving one corner open to vent. Microwave on high for four minutes.

In a food processor (or with a good old fashioned potato masher), puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, salt & black pepper until almost smooth.

Serve hot with butter.

* Gluten-Free Brand Recommendations
Chicken Broth – Pacific Foods
Bacon- Applegate Farms


National Oyster Day! Our twice-grilled oysters (and a little history)


If you know me at all, you know I have a passion for oysters that borders on obsession. I’ve written two novels and a cookbook centered around the tasty bi-valves, and have whiled away many a happy afternoon in the oysterbeds and markets of Oysterville doing “research”.

That said…I, of course, have to share one of my very favorite recipes with you on National Oyster Day!

A little history

Chinook Indians gathered for centuries along Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula to harvest oysters and other seafood.

They called it “tsako-te~hahsh-eetl” or “place of the red-topped grasses.”

In 1854, while thousands were streaming into California in hope of finding gold, a young sailor named R.H. Espy was searching for his own treasure far up the northern coast. He became lost while navigating Washington’s then uncharted Shoalwater Bay and, in a heavy fog, Espy and his men feared they would paddle out to sea and never be seen again.

Lucky for them, the local Indian Chief spotted them and led them safely to shore.

On that shore, Espy found his treasure…in the form of vast clusters of native oysters, growing along the unclaimed mudflats of the bay. In San Francisco, hungry treasure-hunters paid fifty-dollars a plate for oysters, and soon Espy staked his claim and hit his mother-lode.

The oystermen were paid in gold, and Oysterville became the second richest city on the West Coast.

Today, tiny Oysterville is a National Historic District, and fresh oysters can still be found in Shoalwater (now Willapa) Bay.

A number of small, family owned farms spurn the use of dredging a pesticides used by the larger corporations, and harvest fresh, deliciously organic oysters daily.

My family and I visit Oysterville often, and we love everything about this tiny town that time forgot. So much so, in fact, that two of my novels are based there. We get our oysters, hand-harvested, directly from the bay.

Here’s a favorite recipe of mine for those who truly love oysters…

Twice Grilled Oysters


2 dz med-small fresh oysters, in shell
¼ cup Tillamook butter
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp lemon pepper

Combine butter, garlic, and lemon pepper in pan.

Heat until simmering, stirring often, remove from heat and set aside.

Heat grill to med-high and scrub oysters under cold water with a wire brush.

Place oysters, cup side down*, on grill and close the lid.

Cook oysters 5-8 minutes, checking periodically. When an oyster has “popped” (the lid of the shell has opened, remove the oyster from the grill and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Reduce heat to med-low.

Remove the lid of each shell, cutting the oyster loose if necessary, and place cooked oyster in cup of shell, with about ½ of the remaining liquor.


Drizzle on teaspoon of seasoned butter over each oyster and return to the grill. Cover and allow to cook 10-15 minutes.

Finished oysters will be a deep grey with browned and blackened edges.

Remove from grill and allow to cool until the shells can be handled.




Re-grilling the oysters at a low heat with butter infuses them with a rich, nutty flavor that is completely unlike the taste of a “once cooked” oyster.

Tip: To make a unique and delicious spread, use chilled slow grilled oysters in your favorite cream-cheese based oyster spread recipe.

*To keep oysters upright on the grill, roll tinfoil into 1-inch diameter tubes and make a ring for each oyster to set in.


Chef Perry


Breakfast Quickies

Mini Quiche

Okay…first, the backstory…

A man goes into a restaurant and is seated. A particularly voluptuous waitress wearing a very short skirt comes to his table and asks, “What would you like, sir?” He looks at the menu and  then answers, “I’m in the mood for a  quickie.”

The waitress slaps him across the face with a resounding “SMACK!” and turns and walks away in disgust. After she regains her composure she returns and asks again, “Sir, let’s keep this professional, I’ll ask you one more time, what would you like for breakfast?” The man thoroughly checks the menu again and answers, “I’d really just like a quickie, please.”

Once again, the outraged waitress reaches over and slaps him across the face with another resounding “SMACK!” and storms away.

A man sitting at the next table leans over to the now bruised and bleeding diner and whispers, “Uh, Pal…I think it’s pronounced ‘quiche’.”

Sorry…I just love that joke.

On an only vaguely related note, my wife, Victoria, has to get up quite early in the morning, to commute to her job as a compliance specialist at a major electronics firm in Washington (we live in Oregon).

Uncomfortable with the idea of a “scoop of peanut butter” being breakfast as she heads out the door at o’dark-thirty each morning, I developed this easy, once-a-week, crust-less quiche recipe that ensures that m’lady has a healthy, tasty breakfast each morning.

Breakfast Quickies
Makes 12 Servings
10 Farm Fresh Eggs
1/2 cup 1% milk
1+ tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
2 tbps. butter, divided
1 sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Olive oil cooking spray
1 – 12 cup muffin pan

Preheat the oven to 350F

Mise en Place

Dine onion, fine, Mince garlic. Dice zucchini into 1/4 inch wedges. Grate the cheese.

Mini Quiche

Prepare the dish

Crack eggs into a bowl, add salt, pepper, and milk, and whisk until just blended (you want the yellow and white incorporated, but not foamy.) Set aside.

Melt 1 tbsp. of butter in a large, non-stick skillet. Add diced onions and a dash of salt, and saute 2-3 minutes over medium heat until just starting to brown (very lightly), add garlic and zucchini, and saute 10 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

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Add onion/zuke mixture, and cheese, to eggs, and stir to mix well.

Spray the cups of the muffin pan generously with olive oil cooking spray, and fill each cup around 3/4 full with egg mix – use a ladle, as opposed to pouring, to ensure that each cup gets an equal share of the veggies.

Mini Quiche

Bake your quickies for 15-20 minutes. They should be slightly browned on top, but not overcooked. Check for doneness with a toothpick (it should come away clean and dry when poked through the center).

Cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan. Then using a dinner knife, gently run the blade around the perimeter of each muffin to loosen, and plop them carefully on a plate to finish cooling. Allow to cook completely*, then wrap them individually in plastic wrap, and pop in the fridge for a quick grab-and-go breakfast.

In the morning, unwrap, nuke for a minute or two, and enjoy!

Nothin’ better than a breakfast quickie!**

-Chef Perry

*The reason you want them at room-temp before you wrap them is that, if you wrap them hot, the moisture in the eggs will create condensation on the inside of the wrap, and make your quickies soggy. Yuck.

**…I just couldn’t help myself…


Gluten Free Brown Rice Spaghetti (seriously)

 I’m not celiac, but when I saw “gluten-free brown rice spaghetti” in the bulk aisle at Winco (I was buying regularly spaghetti for some a ragu I was planning to reheat for lunch) I knew I had to do a taste test.

gluten free spaghetti

gluten free spaghetti

Frankly, I’m more than a little suspicious about a lot of “gluten-free” products (probably from being forced to try so many “diabetic-friendly” products, growing up), but I’ll keep this review short and sweet, and avoid gilding the lily as much as possible…

Worthy of note – I come from an Italian family, and three generations of chefs…I know pasta. My Nona’s Sunday gravy recipe is the best pasta sauce that has ever graced this lowly earth. So, I felt well positioned for a straight-up, non-biased taste test.

Here we go…

This stuff is great.


gluten free spaghetti

The brown rice pasta (bottom) is noticeably darker than it’s wheat cousin, but the general “raw” feel and snap are the same.

I cooked both in identically salted, simmering water. The generic pasta (right) took its typical 10 minutes; the brown-rice version (left) required 15 minutes.

gluten free spaghetti

The slightly longer cooking time produced a perfect al-dente pasta that, on the “plain pasta taste test” actually had a pleasantly mild, nutty flavor, similar to whole-wheat pasta, but without the chewy, gummy mouth-feel that I hate about those products.

Blindfolded, with my nose pinched, I’m not sure I could have told you, consistency-wise, which was which, and (and I can’t believe I’m saying this)…I actually liked the taste of the gluten-free stuff a little better than the regular spaghetti.

gluten free spaghetti

It added a more noticeable (in a good way) layer of flavor to the sauced dish, than the regular pasta does.

Now, I’m sure you noticed that the price on the GF label is a bit more than twice the price of the old stand-by, but let’s be realistic here, okay…we’re talking about a fraction more than an additional thirteen cents per serving.

As I’m sure most celiac shoppers will tell you…big whoop!

So, I gotta give brown-rice spaghetti two thumbs up. I was very pleasantly surprised, and won’t hesitate to recommend it in the future. If you’re trying to maintain a gluten-free lifestyle (and, if you are, be sure to check out our Gluten-Free & Easy Meal Plan)…this is a really good product to add to your shopping list.

‘Course, you could put my Nona’s pasta sauce on an old army boot, and it’s going to be awesome…just sayin’…

Chef Perry


Thai Shrimp Boat Recipe

Tom Yum Thai Shrimp Boats

I’ve been playing with Tom Yum flavors ever since taking a Thai Cooking class last fall. I love the spicy-sour combination of the chili and kaffir lime.

Tom yum is a clear soup from Laos and Thailand, and is characterized by its distinct hot and sour flavors, with fragrant herbs generously used in the broth. The basic broth is made of stock and fresh ingredients such as lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce and crushed chili peppers.

5 (800x662)Commercial tom yum paste, as used in this recipe, is made by crushing all the herb ingredients and stir frying in oil. Seasoning and other preservative ingredients are then added. The paste is bottled or packaged, and sold around the world. It’s probably not quite as authentic as making if from scratch from the ingredients above, but it tastes great and it’s sure a lot simpler!

My favorite tom yum soup (tom yam thale) includes seafood, including shrimp, and I wanted to see if I could create a fun, healthy, “tapas style” dish that incorporated those flavors in a completely different way.

Very happy with these results.


Chef Perry

Thai Shrimp Boats
Serves 2
1/2 lb large shrimp, cleaned and deviened
3in peice of lemongrass, crushed
1/2 cup Thai fish sauce
2 cups of water, as needed
salt and pepper to taste
6 whole romaine lettuce leaves (the smaller leaves inside a head of romaine), washed and trimmed
1 1/2 tsp Tom Yum soup paste
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 cucumber, peeled
1/2 cup Jicama (or daikon radish*), matchsticks
1 lime, quartered

*If you like a little pepper heat, use the daikon radish, otherwise, stick to the cooler jicama, the consistency of the two is very similar.

Mise en Place

6 (800x530)Cut core off the end of the heat of romaine separating leaves. Wash, dry and place in a bag in fridge for at least an hour to get cold and crisp.

Slightly crush lemongrass with the flat edge of a cleaver, or with a rolling pin (this releases the flavors).

Chop cilantro, and peel, Tom Yum Thai Shrimp Boatsdeseed, and matchstick the cucumbers. Peel jicama (or daikon) and cut into matchsticks. Quarter lime.

Prepare the dish

Place a large plate or platter in the freezer to cool.

Combine lemongrass, fish sauce, and enough water to make about 1 1/2 inch in the bottom of a steam pot. Bring to a boil.

Tom Yum Thai Shrimp Boats

Place shrimp in a single layer in the bottom of the steam basket, and insert basket into the pot.

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Tom Yum Thai Shrimp Boats

Cover and steam 2-3 minutes until shrimp are just pink through (slightly undercooked, as they’ll continue to cook. Remove from heat, and remove shrimp from steam basket to a single layer on the chilled plate.

Tom Yum Thai Shrimp Boats

Set aside to cool, 2-3 minutes, then chop each shrimp into 2-3 pieces.

8 (800x487)

Lay your chilled lettuce leaf boats on serving dish and spread a very thin film of Tom Yum paste (to taste…it’s strong!) down the center of each.

9 (800x544)

Fill with shrimp, cilantro, cucumber, and jicama. Sprinkle with lime juice.

Serve immediately.

Thai Shrimp Boats

Quick & Easy Meatball Pho

Quick and Easy Pork Meatball Pho

Easy Meatball Pho

The pho recipe from this week’s menu was so good, I just have to share it with everyone.

Man, I love pho…if God made anything better than this, He kept it for Himself…

-Chef Perry

Pork Meatball Pho

Pho (fuhh) is a Vietnamese noodle soup, usually served with beef (phở bò) or chicken (phở gà). 

A popular street and night food, pho originated in the early 20th century in northern Vietnam.

With the Vietnam war and the victory of the North Vietnamese, phở was brought to many countries by Vietnamese refugees fleeing Vietnam from the 1970s onwards. Pho is listed at number 28 on “World’s 50 most delicious foods” compiled by CNN Go in 2011.

This is one of my favorite dishes in the world, and it’s really good for you!


Yield: 2 servings        Active Time: 5 min.   Total Time: 28 min.

Pork Meatballs

  • 3/4 lb. ground pork
  • 3 sprigs Thai basil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. each: sea salt & black pepper


  • 10 sprigs cilantro
  • 4 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1 whole star anise pods
  • 1/2 med. yellow onion
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. Thai fish sauce
  • 4 oz. rice noodles

Pho “Salad”

  • 1 cup bean sprouts (mung beans)
  • 4 sprigs Thai basil
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 lime

Mise en Place

Finely chop Thai basil. Mince garlic. Chop cilantro. Thinly slice yellow and green onions. Quarter lime.


Add beef broth, ginger and yellow onion to a large pot. Add fish sauce, star anise, and soy sauce. Bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, combine the ground pork, Thai basil, garlic and salt & black pepper. Roll the meat mixture into 1 inch balls and set aside.

When the soup comes to a low simmer, drop the meatballs into the simmering soup. Simmer the meatballs gently (without boiling) for about 20 minutes. For a traditional presentation, remove the meatballs from the broth, allow to cook, slice, and return to broth. This step is optional.

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Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.


Place your rice noodles into a bowl and add boiling water. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes (depending on how thick your noodles are). Test for doneness.

Drain and rinse with cold water when done. Set aside.

Add some noodles to a bowl. Spoon the meatballs and broth over the noodles. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve hot and top soup with Pho Salad just before eating.

Optional toppings: jalapeno, sriracha hot pepper sauce, & hoisin sauce.



Gluten Free Tip: Cross Contamination

If not everyone in your home is gluten free it can be easy to cross contaminate when using a butter knife to spread mayonnaise, mustard and other spread type foods and condiments.

Squeeze bottles are a great way to avoid this and an expensive solution to buying the “squeezable” versions off the grocery store shelf,  is to buy squeeze bottles from a dollar store, or online, and pour your own stuff in them.

Eat great, eat safe!

Chef Maryse

Gluten-free specialist Maryse L. Blake, CHC, is also the healthy lifestyle blogger of The Healthy Momma is a certified holistic health coach. Diagnosed with Celiac disease over 5 years ago, she thrives to simplify the process of eating gluten free without sacrificing taste or nutrition.




Introduction to Gluten-Free Recommendations

Folks have asked me, Why do you recommend certain brands and products in the gluten free menus?

Fair question, and one with several answers. First of all, hautemealz.com is all about saving you time, so I’m hoping to eliminate your need to stand in the aisle and read label after label, to determine which brands and products are safe.

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