Recipe: Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey Sandwich

With the Thanksgiving holiday quickly approaching, I have been itching to find ways to eat the leftover turkey.  I know this may seem odd, as there is no leftover turkey yet, but I am anticipating leftovers, as we have never not had them.  I wanted to get creative this year and mix things up.  Yeah, turkey soup and mashed potato bowls are great, but I wanted to create a unique turkey sandwich.  I didn’t want anything complicated, just a different way to enjoy the fruits of our labor from Thanksgiving day. 

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Thanksgiving Turkey Sandwich

  • 2 slices Udi’s Cinnamon Raisin Bread
  • 2 tsps. Earth Balance coconut spread (butter or margarine can be substituted)
  • 1-2 ounces leftover turkey, thinly sliced
  • 1 slice Swiss cheese
  • 1-2 tsps. apple butter or Trader Joe’s apple cranberry butter (you could even use leftover cranberry sauce here)
  • 3-4 ultra thin slices of apple (I prefer Honeycrisp for the crunch factor)

1.  If your bread is frozen, warm slightly in the microwave and spread with butter or margarine. 

2.  Spray a frying pan with Pam and warm to medium.

3.  Place bread, butter side down in pan.  Layer with turkey, apple butter, apple slices, cheese and top slice of bread. 

4.  Cook evenly on both sides until bread is brown and cheese is melted. 

5.  Slice & enjoy!

  1. I used deli turkey for recipe testing purposes.
  2. Watch the bread closely while it is in the pan – the sugar in the raisins can make it burn.
  3. This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, etc.
  4. Not a fan of raisins?  Use one of Udi’s other gluten-free bread options: white, whole grain, or millet-chia.

I instantly fell in love with this combination!  The sweet & savory combination really came together nicely and the crisp apple slices were the perfect addition to the melty cheese.  I can’t wait to make this again!

**The bread used for review purposes in this recipe was sent to me free of charge. 



First things first.  I was going to do a “Wordless Wednesday” post, but as you all know, it is close to impossible for me to post a picture without “talking”.  Instead I decided to write a post with a lot of little tidbits of information, starting with the winners of the Riceworks giveaway.  I have sent an email to each of the winners listed below, so if you are one of these people, please make sure to respond back to me. 

Entry #11Brenda

Entry #5Laura Hanley

Entry #32Cheryl Free

Entry #22Sara W

Entry #14Colleen Mars

Katz Gluten Free is offering a one-day, $5 flat rate shipping deal!  Stock up on goodies for the holidays or order a free sample pack & just pay the shipping!  If your order is over $30, shipping is free! 


Amy’s Kitchen has introduced new gluten-free sandwich rounds!  They are fantastic!  Check out my review of them here


As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a coupon for a free Sabra product.  I picked up a package of the Classic Hummus to sample.  I had plans to smear the hummus on a quesadilla with some chicken or a Sunshine burger, but someone, ahem, Aaron, devoured the container before I was able to!  He said to make sure to mention that the hummus was so good that he ate it all in one sitting and didn’t share it with anyone else!  LOL!  Fortunately I have tried the Sabra hummus before, so I know that it is very good. 


Sabra has many different varieties of hummus:

In addition to hummus, Sabra also makes salsa, guacamole & some side dishes.  Here is what the FAQ had to say about the gluten-free status:


All of Sabra’s products meet broad standards of gluten free content of <20 ppm.

Sabra products can be purchased in grocery stores across the US

I started reading a new (to me) book the other day titled “The End of Normal” by Stephanie Madoff Mack.  I didn’t realize when I started reading what it was about, but quickly figured it out.

An explosive, heartbreaking memoir from the widow of Mark Madoff and daughter-in-law of Bernard Madoff, the first genuine inside story from a family member who has lived through — and survived — both the public crisis and her own deeply personal tragedy.

To be honest I didn’t follow a lot about what went on with Bernie Madoff.  Sometimes the news is overwhelming and I choose to live in my bubble world.  There are definitely times when I pay more attention, but this was not one of those times.  I bet you are wondering why I am writing about this, right?  Well, as I was reading last night, I discovered that Mark Madoff (son of Bernie, late husband of Stephanie) was on a gluten-free diet because he had Celiac Disease!  I had no idea.  Just thought that was a Gluten-Free is Life newsworthy tidbit.  I am about 4 chapters in and it is a pretty good book.  Probably helps that I didn’t really know the whole story of what went on, right?

Happy Wednesday!


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Race Recap: Buckeye Classic 10K

This past Sunday I ran a 10K race at Highbanks Metro Park.  Highbanks is notorious for the hills, which some have deemed “the cliffs of insanity”.  Some of the trail is paved, but most of the hills are dirt and gravel with fallen leaves scattered about.  The Buckeye Classic 10K is a race I have been hearing about for a couple of years, but was not able to run until this year for various reasons.  This race was made even better by the meet up of some friends from the Daily Mile Columbus group – RUN DMC.


I had been running one of my runs per week at Highbanks to prep for the hills.  I had no intentions of “racing” this race, but just having fun.  If you know me, you know how well that worked out, right?

Jessica & me before the race:


After warming up for a mile and taking pictures, we lined up at the start.  The weather was uncharacteristically warm for November in Columbus – 55 degrees.  WHAT?  No gloves, no ear muffs and shorts.  Love it!  The wind was a force to be reckoned with, though.  20 MPH winds make for tough finishes when they are coming right at you.

At 9:00 AM, we were off!  I started out way too fast, as per usual.  I will never learn.  I didn’t fret too much, though, this was “only” a 10K, not a half or a full marathon (ha…again, never underestimate going out slower than you think you should – it will always pay off).  Also, since this was run on a trail, it was tough to weave around the other runners.  I wanted my own space, so I passed some people.  First mile 9:08 – I managed to reel it in a bit.

Mile 2 started the hills.  I named the first hill in the race “the hill of death”.  It was steep and seemed to go on forever.  My pace obviously slowed and this mile was run at a 9:43 pace.

Miles 3-5 were up and down and even included steps.  It is sick when you think that running up steps is easier than the hills you are running, right?  If it wasn’t for another RUN DMC friend right in front of me on the hills, I may have slowed even more.  Thanks to Alissa for powering up them and I was just putting one foot in front of the other.  We occasionally passed each other back & forth.  I was thrilled when we started coming down the hills and couldn’t wait until we hit flat ground again.  Little did I know what was waiting down there.  Pace – mile 3 9:32; mile 4 9:30; mile 5 9:03.


This is me coming down out of the hills onto flat ground.  See the smile on my face?  It turns out that it wouldn’t be there for long.  LOL!  As soon as we were out of the shelter of the hills & woods, we were hit with strong winds.  I would estimate they were about 20 MPH, but I am not a meteorologist.  As we were coming along the final stretch it felt as I was standing still, though I was still working very hard.  I knew that I was at or above my maximum heart rate, as I felt like puking.  Somehow mile 6 ended up being run at a 8:59 pace – my legs were toast by this point!  Alissa came back up behind me at the very last minute and we sprinted in together!  It was great to cross the finish line with another RUN DMC friend!!  I sure hope someone got a picture of that!

I ended up finishing in 57:37!  My secret goal (that wasn’t really a goal…LOL) was to finish in under an hour.  I finished 175th out of 452 total people, 22nd in the 30-39 female group and 12th in the 35-30 female group.  My previous 10K PR was run on a flat course – 53:22, so I didn’t have a chance in hell of hitting that.  I can’t wait to run this race again next year!  Serious hill training must commence before that, though.

I concluded my day yesterday with yoga, though it took everything I had to drag myself there.  I was sound asleep when my alarm went off at 4:30 in the afternoon.  I knew I had to go to stretch out my legs or I would be paying for it all week.  I am thankful that I got up and went to class.  Not only did my legs feel fantastic afterwards, but my headache was gone, too!


Weekly Menu Plan–November 14, 2011

I promise it is November, though it certainly doesn’t feel like it.  Today the high is 70 and it is raining.  Yesterday was equally as mild, though super windy.  I’ll take warm & rain over cold & snowy/icy any day.  I am still feeling kind of icky due to sinus issues that I am sure the weather is not helping.  The up & down temperatures seem to mess with my head.  I started to use the neti pot again, so that should help. 

Another busy hockey practice and meeting week.  While I am looking forward to Thanksgiving & Christmas, I think I am looking forward to the break in routine more. 

Sunday – Pei Wei for the family after yoga.  I had a salad w/ Sunshine burger.  I was tired and just wanted to go to bed.

Monday – Rotisserie chicken, baked potatoes, steamed broccoli & salad

Tuesday – Easy enchilada bake, corn & salad

Wednesday – Grilled chicken alfredo over Schar gluten-free pasta, roasted green beans and salad

Thursday – Breakfast for dinner and fruit salad

Friday – Make your own pizza and salad

Saturday – Burgers, sweet potato puffs, roasted asparagus & salad

Last week I finally had a chance to make the pumpkin brownies I was craving.  Check them out here!


If you missed my “Surviving the Holidays” series, check the posts out here & here

Today is the last day to enter the Riceworks giveaway

Holidays & How to Survive Part II

Now that we have discussed the social side of the holidays, it is time to discuss the behind-the-scenes part – food.  If you are visiting family or friends for the holidays, planning meals can be a little harder than if you were hosting the meal yourself. 

First order of business is to find out what the host is planning to serve.  Ask what you can contribute to the meal.  If there won’t be many gluten-free options, make sure to bring something to share that you can eat, even better if it is a casserole or something substantial that will fill you up.  If it seems that the meal will be a cross contamination nightmare, consider bringing a meal you prepared at home to warm up at your destination.  Make your own version of your holiday meal at home and assemble your plate before you leave.  This option may not be possible if you are traveling a long distance or staying in a hotel.  If it seems that I won’t be able to eat most of the food being served and logistics prevent me from bringing my own meal, I will either eat before I go and enjoy a cocktail or coffee or I will eat a protein bar and then nibble on veggies or salad.  I always have bars, almonds or dried fruit stashed in my purse for emergencies.

If you are hosting, you have a lot more control.  If you can, make the entire meal gluten-free and your problems are solved.  It really doesn’t cost that much more to do it this way.  Cranberry sauce is cheap or easy to make from scratch.  Stuffing can be made out of cornbread or rice, which are both less expensive than using gluten-free bread.  Pies can be made crustless (check out Shirley’s crustless pumpkin pie) – not only are they gluten-free, but healthier & lower in calories!  Gravy can be thickened with cornstarch instead of flour, which is the way my grandmother always did it!  Skip the bread at the meal – it only fills you up and takes up space that can be filled with pie! 

Focus on friends and family and not so much on food.  Play board games or put some jigsaw puzzles together.  Consider making a list of questions in your head to ask your friends and family so that you learn one new thing about each person that you didn’t know before.  Breathe.  Remember to be thankful for all that you have.   

Don’t forget to head over to enter my

Riceworks giveaway.  The giveaway runs until Monday, November 14, 2011 at midnight.

Holidays & How to Survive Part I

The holidays are quickly sneaking up on us.  Thanksgiving is now only 13 days away.  I mostly know that because the new Muppet Movie – The Muppets – comes out on Thanksgiving, not because I am prepared for the holidays.  While the holidays are a great time to reunite and spend time with family & friends that we have not seen much of through the year, it is also a time of stress.  Stress can lead to overeating, drinking too much and being downright cranky.  Add trying to eat gluten-free safely to the mix and you may be ready for a vacation come January 1st. 

I received an email yesterday that caught my attention.  Specifically, this sentence:

How to Survive Holiday Gatherings and Avoid an Aneurysm

I had to giggle a little at first, then I thought that maybe I should read it.  Once I read it, I thought it may be worth sharing with you all.  It does have some good advice in it when it comes to dealing with other people.

How to Survive Holiday Gatherings and Avoid an Aneurysm
Tough Love Author Shares Tips for Disarming the Debbie Downers

For those of us from families built on Debbie Downer DNA, there’s only one direction a mood can go during holiday get-togethers and that’s down.
Sure, the running negative commentary, bubble-bursting barbs and rampant self-pity were funny coming from comedian Rachel Dratch on “Saturday Night Live’s” Debbie Downer sketches. But few of us can foresee our own Negative Nancys giving us a good belly laugh.
Whether you’re the smiley face among frowners, or a bit of a Depressing Dan yourself, there are tricks you can use to keep the table talk from getting lethal, says Paula Renaye, a professional life coach and author of The Hardline Self Help Handbook, “You can take control simply by thinking about what you choose to say – or not say,” Renaye says. “If you hear yourself criticizing, judging or complaining, you’re part of the problem. Happy, self-respecting people don’t find it necessary to dump on others to make themselves feel good.
“If someone else is the problem, simply don’t give them the ammunition they need,” she says. Instead try these tactics:

  • Do not say anything negative. Period. And no one-downing! One-downing is the opposite of one-upping. It’s the art of coming up with something worse when someone else talks about their problem. No matter what negative thing anyone says, or how much you agree with it or don’t, resist the urge to respond with a negative. Instead ….
  • Dodge, distract and detour. Turn things around with a question — a positive one. If you need to, make a “happy list” of questions before you go, so you’ll have some at the ready. And remember, there’s no law that says you have to answer a question just because someone asked it. With negative people, it’s best if you …
  • Do not talk about yourself. The only reason negative people care about what you’re up to is because they want something to ridicule, brag or gossip about to make themselves look or feel good. Don’t go there. Whether you just filed bankruptcy or won a Nobel Prize, keep it to yourself. No good can come of it. None. And why do you need to chatter like a chipmunk about yourself anyway? Might want to think on that one, too. Better to find some praise for someone else than to expect someone to praise you.
  • Do not share your woes. Even if you’re in a tough place and could really use a shoulder to cry on, don’t start laying your woes on a Negative Nell. Even in a weak moment, when you’ve had a terrible day, talking about it with a negative person is a bad idea. You might get a microsecond of sympathy, but that’s only so they can launch into telling you how much worse they have it. So, no talking about yourself unless you want to be the talk of the party, the family and the town.
  • Do your homework and become like Teflon. Think of the times people said things that made you feel bad or made you feel the need to defend or explain yourself. If you want to avoid going down that trail again, start hacking away at the jungle of your own emotions. Get over needing anyone’s approval or blessing. If you are still waiting for negative relatives to validate you, you’re in for a long wait. Don’t set yourself up to be miserable. Get over it and go prepared.

Once you get all of that down, make sure you are prepared.  Part II will be coming up soon and will detail how to “holiday” safely gluten-free without feeling like a burden to your hosts.

Don’t forget to head over to enter my Riceworks giveaway.  The giveaway runs until Monday, November 14, 2011 at midnight.

Riceworks Brown Rice Crisps Giveaway!

Recently I had a chance to sample & review the brown rice crisps made by Riceworks.  You can read my full review here and I’ll recap below.


We sampled 5 different varieties of the crisps:  Parmesan, sweet chili, tangy BBQ, sea salt & salsa fresca.  While each crisp was unique, they were all very good!  They didn’t last long either, always a way to tell if something was well liked.  In addition to the varieties listed above, Riceworks is rolling out a new product – Wild Riceworks, a combination of brown & wild rice crisps.

Riceworks has offered to give 5 of my readers each one coupon for a free bag of Riceworks crisps!  How cool is that?  All you have to do is follow the instructions below.

Continue reading

Kinnikinnick Streaming Cooking Class

Kinnikinnick is going to be streaming a live cooking class on their UStream channel & Facebook page.   Stress Free Holiday Appetizers & Desserts will air at 6:00 PM MST on Tuesday, November 15, 2011.  This is a great resource for those that have been newly diagnosed with Celiac Disease or for family members who are trying to learn to cook and gluten-free.



More from Kinnikinnick:

Demystify the art of whipping up fancy and elegant appetizers and desserts for the holiday season. Stress-free recipes that make it look like you fussed!

If you are unable to view the cooking class live, you can view archived classes on the UStream channel.  Some of the other archived classes include:

  • Quick & Easy Meals with a Southwestern Flair
  • Appetizers & Desserts Cooking Class
  • Cooking Class Part 2

I don’t know about you, but I always seem to make the same things over & over again for holiday meals.  I think classes like this can be great inspiration for creating new holiday recipes & menus.  While there is something to be said about tradition, there is nothing wrong with introducing a new dish or 2.

Kinnikinnick is one of those companies that I know I can always depend on.  They were one of the first gluten-free brands that I bought when I first began my journey and I still enjoy many of their products today!  Not only are their products widely distributed in the US and Canada, but their online shipping deal, $10 flat rate, is great when it is time to stock up!  Involvement in the gluten-free community is key.  Finding out what your customers like & want is the way to success and Kinnikinnick has paid close attention.

Some of my favorite Kinnikinnick products are the pizza crusts, pumpkin donuts and KinniToos cookies.  I can get most of their products locally except for the seasonal donuts.  What are your favorite Kinnikinnick products?  Do you stick with the same holiday menu year after year or do you like to change it up and add new recipes?

Tender Belly

Someone asked the other day on Facebook or Twitter, what I eat when my stomach is not 100%.  I definitely alter my diet, as my normal diet includes a lot of fruits & vegetables, and those don’t always sit well when my stomach is upset.  Sometimes a warm, flat Coca-Cola will settle things down, but when that fails or I am trying to start eating again, I need something more.  Here are some of my go-to gluten-free “comfort” foods:

  • Rice Chex
  • Brown rice
  • bananas
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Waffles
  • Rice cakes

The other day I was hesitant to eat my “normal” breakfast of a large fruit bowl and rice cakes, so I modified my breakfast.  I made half caffeinated coffee instead of full strength.  I opted for waffles with peanut butter & sliced banana instead of a large fruit bowl.  It was enough to fill me up and not anger the belly. 

This approach works well for both illness & glutenings.  I also try to avoid dairy as much as possible.  I do take Lactaid normally with cheese, ice cream, etc, though when my stomach is not 100%, I don’t like to rock the boat.  I aim for bland, low fiber, medium to high carbohydrates for the first meal or 2 to try to settle things down.  If that goes well, I progress with the next meal & snacks depending on how I am feeling.  

What is your go-to “comfort” food when you aren’t feeling well?

Good Monday Morning!

A little late on the menu plan – better late than never.  Yesterday I felt like I was getting sick.  My throat was a bit scratchy & sore, my tummy was blah and I just wanted to go back to bed and no, I didn’t drink too much wine the night before.  Hannah has had a sore throat/cold for over a week, so I thought I was getting what she had.  Today I seem to feel better, but haven’t eaten anything yet.  I did go to the gym and felt great, so I hope the trend continues.  I hate being sick, but will take a cold/sore throat over a stomach/GI virus any day. 

Hockey tryouts were this past weekend, so this week will be crazy with hockey practices, gymnastics and my yoga class.  Maybe Jon getting his driver’s license won’t be so bad after all?  Now is the time for me to really focus on meal planning, prepping in advance & using my crockpot.

Monday – Grilled chicken breast & broccoli stuffed baked potatoes & salad.  (I found some monster baking potatoes at Meijer yesterday and can’t wait to use them!)

Tuesday – Mexican pizzas (refried beans + turkey taco meat on a toasted corn tortilla), corn & salad.  I like to top mine with tomatoes, lettuce & avocado.

Wednesday – BBQ pulled pork (crock pot), sweet potato puffs, green beans & salad

Thursday – Pumpkin pancakes, turkey bacon & fruit

Friday – MYOP with Udi’s gluten-free crust and salad

Saturday – Take out


I am back on a baking kick.  I made pumpkin brownies & dark chocolate pumpkin bread yesterday, despite not feeling well.  I promised Jon that I would, so being the nice mom that I am, I made his goodies.  I hope to continue that trend this week, experimenting with some fun recipes!  I plan on sharing the super easy method for the pumpkin brownies this week! 

Also coming up this week – another fun giveaway!  If you like crunchy things, this giveaway is for you!

Week in Review

Udi’s gluten-free buns are now available in some Red Robin restaurants.

Jules Gluten Free is hosting a cookie swap – make sure to participate for a chance to win some awesome prizes!

The FDA hopes to publish a rule on gluten-free labeling within 3 months.

Pei Wei is offering a great BOGO deal!

Have a great week! 


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