Gluten-Free: Honey, Mustard and Wasabi Grilled Chicken Sandwiches

Wahoo! A menu plan meal photographed and ready to go. It was good too. I hope the rest of my plans turn out well. I’m using up the last of everything in the fridge, etc this week. And this chicken sandwich was a perfect hit after an hour of a Body-Step class that just about killed me. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking joining a Step Class. I have no rhythm and my friends *KNOW* I can’t dance to save my soul. At least I try, right?

Thankfully, I’m little better at grilling chicken then I am at Step Class. A teeny touch of heat combined with honey-mustard and a perfectly grilled chicken breast makes for the perfect sandwich. Eat it along side some fresh or grilled vegetables and some fresh blueberries mixed with low fat yogurt and you have the perfect, easy summer meal. Add five glasses of water and a few “what the hell was I thinking” moments and you have the perfect, easy after-Step-Class-Hell dinner too.

The grilling sauce for the chicken is easy. Most grilling sauces are. I love the zip of dijon mustard with something sweet (like a ginger preserve or apricot jam too!). This time I added a good squirt of prepared wasabi (a green, hot Japanese condiment often served with sushi – much like horseradish, only a different kind of heat).

While you can adjust the heat with the amount of wasabi you use, I strongly suggest that you make it relatively hot as the flavor will become more mild during grilling. You can also reserve some of the dressing to use on the sandwich wraps. We used a little bit of the dressing mixed with a tiny amount of mayo as the spread on the bread because the mayo cut the heat down a bit too. (My love preferred it full on SPICY too.)

Gluten-Free Honey, Mustard and Dijon Grilled Chicken Sandwiches
Makes 2 Sandwiches

1/2 prepared mock lavash bread cut into two pieces
2 chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry
olive oil (for drizzling)
salt/pepper to taste
1/3 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey or agave
1 Tablespoon prepared wasabi paste (or more, to taste)
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
fresh clover sprouts
fresh tomato slices
piquillo peppers


  1. Flatten the chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap (or in a plastic bag) until you have an even thickness (about 1/2″). Drizzle the chicken breasts (both sides) with olive oil and sprinkle with salt/pepper.
  2. Preheat your grill or grill pan.
  3. Mix together honey, mustard and wasabi. Taste and adjust heat/wasabi per your taste.
  4. Reserve a couple tablespoons for sandwich dressing. Mix this with the mayonnaise (1 Tablespoon or more as per your taste) and set aside.
  5. Generously brush the sauce on to the chicken breasts.
  6. Grill sauce side down for 4-6 minutes until golden AND generous brush on the sauce to the other side of the chicken breast.
  7. Flip the chicken and grill until golden. Apply the sauce one last time.
  8. Remove chicken from grill when the juices run clear and/or the breasts have an internal temperature of 160F.
  9. Make your sandwiches! Grilled chicken, mayo/mustard dressing/sauce, fresh clover sprouts, fresh tomato slices, piquillo peppers, etc.

BBQ Round-Up – Get out the stretchy pants!

The virtual BBQ party has left me with enough recipes and ideas to make it through every BBQ that crops up this summer. Seriously – you guys are amazing! Check out the goodies everyone brought! Oh, I love it!

The food filled many a virtual picnic table, although I think I’ll have to stay seated for a little while after grazing. The BBQ was a great way to get back in to the swing of blog posting after our family left. It’s taken me a little bit to get my mind organized and back on track. I tend to get absorbed in the commotion of the crowd of eight for some strange reason.

We had a lovely visit (even during the two days of plastic-wrapped windows for house painting!). And now it’s back to life… and adoption “autobiographical sketches” and such. (My goodness! If you have ever written an adoption autobiography, you know what kind of a typing-marathon we are involved in!)

But back to the BBQ. Food. It is, after all, why we are all a community and what brings people together. Family. Friends. We bond by food, regardless of culture. And the gluten-free world is bonded by food so very much more! We become bolder with our food choices and definitely with our questions/answers about in public. Like when I’m shopping and reading labels and people ask me what I’m reading for or they get excited if they know what I’m talking about when I ask if something is gluten-free. The smiles of recognition that covers our faces when we find a food-buddy.

Oh, how I wish this BBQ wasn’t just a virtual one! I wish my house could hold you all. (I think 10 might be our max, however. LOL) I know we could all spend hours together sharing stories, laughing, and eating with reckless abandon (thus my stretchy-pants comment above). Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

I think so too!

So here is what everyone brought to the BBQ online. (Please try not to drool on your screens. It’s rather unsightly for the next computer-user, ya know.)

A = Carrie (Ginger-Lemon Girl) brought an Apple-Mint Salad. I don’t know how she knew to kick off a Pacific Northwest BBQ with apples, but she called that one right. I love mint in things (surprising even myself, to be honest) so I can’t wait to try this. Oh, the million varieties of apples + mint? I’m in!

B = Rachel (The Crispy Cook) made a Broccoli Salad a la Grecque. This recipe looks delicious! She included feta cheese which adds a nice saltiness and zing to salads. I love feta or bleu cheese crumbled on our grilled potatoes in the summer, so I think this salad is right up my alley!

C = Natalie (Gluten Free Mommy) showed up with a scrumptious Cherry Clafouti which had me roaming around the kitchen saying “Clafouti” with a million different trills and intonations. I love her tips about pitting cherries with a straw… sure beats what I’ve been doing this summer with a paring knife! LOL

D = Mary Frances (Gluten Free Cooking School) did a little research and made some Diabolically Deviled Eggs. While she wasn’t a fan of her new pimento-cheese deviled eggs, there were takers at her house!

E = And for any of you deviled egg purists out there, no worries! Melanie (The GlutiGirls) brought some Deviled Eggs of her own. I was happy to see that I’m not the only one who pondered the idea of the Tupperware containers for Deviled Eggs.

Seeing both Mary France and Melanie make Deviled Eggs, it made me think we had a bit of a Tyler Florence Throw-Down, Gluten-Free style happening at the BBQ too!

F = Ginger (GF in GF and FL), bless her heart, kept it clean and brought some Freakin’ Awesome Tropical Chicken that Jen (From DelphiForums) dreamed up. I don’t have a picture to share of the dish, but I do have this lovely pilfered photo of Ginger & her cute kidlet, Jeffery! (Happy Belated Birthday, Jeffery!) (Read Gingers BEAUTIFUL post to her son on his birthday too.)

G = Lynn (GF Gastronaut) submitted a delectable recipe for Guacamole. (Sorry to have seen it late, Lynn!) I love avocadoes and a good fresh guacamole. This is a perfect treat! Bring on the chip bowl, gang! 🙂

H = Heather (GF Vegan Baby) brought some refreshing Honey Rooibos Tea and some Happiness Cookies. The tea looks delicious (especially today as I sit in the sun typing up the Round Up!).

I = A little more from the archives: Ice Cream Sandwiches would certainly go over well!

J = Jacie (Gluten Free Wiggs) made “Jacie’s Gruyere Apple Pie”, OH MY! That sounds so rich and delicious too.

K = Umm.. Kale? Kiwi? Ketchup? (Hey… some government agency used to think it counted as a vegetable for school kids! LOL)

L = Thomas (GFCF Experience) posted a great recipe for his “LIttle Grandma’s Swedish Cookies”. Growing up in Minnesota (semi-Scandinavia), I am quite familiar with the type of delicious cookie he posted. I can’t wait to try his GF version!

M = Karen (Gluten Free Sox) made Memphis-style Ribs that literally had me craving ribs as I read her description of the tender meat easily falling off the bone. The spice list looks wonderful. Yet another “make these before the winter rainy season hits again” recipe for us! That’s for sure!

N = Cheryl (Gluten Free Goodness) made her Nana’s Skillet Bread. Oh, I love skillet breads! It’s the perfect BBQ accompaniment to those ribs that Karen made.

O = Gaile (Fidgety Budgy) created an Oregon Pasta Salad with cherry tomatoes, gherkins, and salmon. YUM!

P = Jenny (Your Sugar and Spice) made a different kind of Pasta Salad with avocado (love avocado!), tuna, and tomatoes.

Yet another Throw-Down, Gluten-free style!

Q = Lauren (Celiac Teen) made a Quinoa side dish that looks tasty. I like that she cooked the quinoa in veggie broth. I love the flavor and texture of quinoa – it helps me make up for missing out on couscous which we used to eat frequently before the land of Celiac entered our lives.

R = Cassandra (Delightfully Gluten Free) made Rhubarb and Strawberry Crisp. If you have never tried rhubarb, I highly suggest this recipe as a beginning point. Rhubarb has a great tart falvor that combines beautifully with strawberries. And in a crisp? Forget about it! You won’t know what hit you but you WILL run off in search of a scoop of vanilla ice cream to eat along side it all!

S = Vicky recommended that we all try this Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Torta from Epicurious. It sure looks good. She said that they use this on Teff Wraps, etc and make the best BLT sandwiches as well with this as a basis. I think it’s a definite party recipe for us to try out. It looks beautiful!

T = Kay (Gluten Free Kay) delighted my eyes with this cute little Tomato Pie. To be honest, tomatoes are relatively new back in our diets (it’s a texture thing… what can I say?). But I love the taste of fresh tomatoes on our sandwich wraps or pizza/flats with basil and mozzarella. I think I will have to give this recipe a whirl with some delicious heirloom tomatoes from the local farmer’s market. (I’m not as green-thumbed as sweet Kay. But boy, do my dandelions grow well! LOL)

U = Sarah (Everyday GF) made some Upside-Down Cupcakes to appeal to the masses. I love this idea too. Mini upside-down cupcakes? Sure easier on our diets than having a huge cake sitting around the house!

V = Vittoria (Deliciously Gluten Free) made a Very Berry Cake that looks to die for too. My love is not big on sweets, but on berries? Berries in a cake? He’s all over it.

W = M-Elle (Cooking, UnCooking) made Watermelon Salsa! Seriously, I can’t wait until we find some good watermelon. I really want to try this recipe out. I think I’m intrigued by the flavor combinations and think it would be delicious on a taco salad made with chicken too. Man, I hope the watermelons start looking good soon! (They are a bit behind this year due to weather.)

X= Me! (Gluten Free Gobsmacked). I made some XXX Cookies. The XXX standing for Powdered Sugar – no worries! Nothing inappropriate. The dough is easy to work with and rather versatile. And India Tree makes some beautiful decorating candies, sugars and vegetable, all-natural food colorings for those of you who can/do use organic. (On a side note, I am amused by the number of XXX google hits that recipe got. Ah, the naive-side of me that thought they were all looking for sugar cookie recipes. LOL I know better now!)

Y = Steve (Gluten Free Steve) had the brilliant idea of bringing a Yummy Caprese Salad. This salad is easy to make and very fresh and delicious. The layers of mozzarella and tomato are delicious – even for me, a self-proclaimed tomato-newbie. Give it a whirl too! You be glad you tried this recipe too.

Z = I haven’t as yet posted a recipe for this, we make Zagablione (Here’s a picture of the Strawberry one we made and here’s a picture of a plain zagablione with fruit on top). There are a couple easy recipes online. You can find the basics of the strawberry recipe here. (Recipes should call for 1 egg yolk, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon marsala or grand marnier per person. Some call for much more (too much, IMHO) liquor which causes the zagablione to have a strong flavor and not set up as nicely.)

Okay – who’s hosting the next BBQ or party?

And is it just me, or are you guys thinking that a whole GF Community wouldn’t be such a bad place to vacation together either? Boy, that would be NICE!

I’ll be back soon with some new recipes for summer.. and am working my Menu Planning to be able to join the Monday Menu Planners occasionally. As of right now, I plan 4 days at a time. Not quite ready for the prime-time showing of you organized bloggers. LOL I’m working on it though!

Happy July and Gluten-Free BBQing and Eating to all!

Anyone up for a BBQ?

I am!

If only the weather would cooperate! It’s NOT pleasant. I’m cold! (I know, I should NOT complain about this as it could become QUITE hot when I’m home this summer…without air conditioning…and the house is wrapped in plastic (no windows to open) for the painters…bah!).

There are two+ weeks of school left before I will get a chance to catch my breath. I’m lost in the tornado that is the end of a school year for a teacher. It’s always a little bittersweet for me. I know my students really well by June and I hate to see the year end…but I’m so stinkin’ tired and have very little energy left to keep coming up with creative ways to engage their brains. I need a break. So do they.

This weekend the foreign exchange students (there are three girls here + one boy…plus one American student…OMG!!)) are coming for an overnight at our house. (What were we thinking?!?) We had hoped to be able to set them up outside, have a BBQ, build a fire in the fire pit and let them sit around, roasting marshmallows and talking until all hours of the night. However, the weather looks like it will be too chilly for a BBQ….maybe even too wet for a fire pit and roasting marshmallows. So we are moving inside for fondue and caramel popcorn (or peanut butter popcorn, which they love too).

However, I still want a BBQ.

And more importantly, as all parties at our house are gluten-free – I want a GF BBQ with Steve, Ginger, Carrie, Natalie, Jill, Seamaiden, Jeff, Lucy, Cassandra, MaryFrances, Dianne, Kay, The GlutiGirls, Thomas, Anna, Sheltie Girl, …. okay.. I feel like the magic mirror moment here could sweep me away. I’d better stop – but trust me, YOU ARE INVITED!

Let’s have a VIRTUAL Gluten-Free BBQ

Make something that you would bring to a BBQ in a park or at a friend’s house – and let’s have a party! Post your pictures, recipes, etc on your blog (or email them to me if you aren’t a blogger and I’ll help share your goodies) by July 7th and I’l post a round up for us all to share the goodies. I hope we can build a resource for everyone for the rest of the summer.

I truly excited to try and make a game out of this too. Do you remember the children’s game “I’m going on a picnic and I’m going to bring….”? The first person says something that begins with a letter A and then the second person says something that begins with a letter B, etc OH! We could have fun! So let’s add a wrinkle. Sign up and tell me which letter of the alphabet you want for your post too!

  • WHAT: A Virtual Gluten Free BBQ Party
  • WHO: YOU! (of course! Blogger or not – join the fun!)
  • HOW: Pick a letter of the alphabet (or not), create your picnic/BBQ dish (Like Apple Coleslaw = A, etc), take a picture, post your recipe/picture on your blog (or email it to me), post it or email it by July 7th and link back to me here.
  • LOGOS: Here are two logos for you to use with your post:

  • HOW DO YOU SIGN UP: Comment, babee, comment!

A shout out to Shauna

So… I am still home sick. Apparently when I want to get sick, I’m going to do it well and get it ALL!!! Wahoo! (Not really though.) This morning I opened my work email only to discover 68 unread messages (OMG OMG OMG) and as I began to plow through them with as many responses as I could. Dang. Next week is going to be a busy one for me.

So I did the only thing a girl can do in this situation. I made some toast, poured a glass of OJ and finished reading Shauna’s new book, “Gluten Free Girl”. Rarely do I get a chance to actually read a whole non-work related novel during the school year (non-vacation days, anyway) and I love to read. It was fun to get Shauna’s book in the mail a while back when it came out and I’ve flipping through it on/off since it arrived.

A little shout out to Shauna – Well done, Gluten-Free Girl!

When I was first diagnosed, I read a book called “Against the Grain” by Jax Peters Lowell. I liked Jax’s book – but only because I needed to see some other example of survival without denial of life at the time. At the onset, I dragged my love to a poor example of a “support” group meeting where we were the only people within 25 years of our age set either direction. The people in attendance listened to a speaker talk about testing for Celiac (and he made many inaccurate statements). What made it worse was the attitude they exuded when they talked about food. It was all very Eeyore-like. We didn’t go back.

What I learned by reading Jax’s book (which was published 4 short years before my diagnosis in 1996) was how quickly our knowledge of food and gluten has evolved – let alone our knowledge of Celiac Sprue. Many of the statements in Jax’s book may have been accurate at the time of her writing, but they were no longer applicable. Just like many of the statements the medical professional made at the support meeting – inaccurate and no longer true, but still being given to people who wanted new information.

Take this tidbit from the medical guy: “All Celiac patients will have positive blood test results.” Um. No. We don’t. I was diagnosed with a biopsy and have never had a positive blood test result for Celiac. At my latest physical and blood work follow-up, my doctor assured me that I am not an anomaly, but that it is common. The only “gold standard” of diagnosis of Celiac Sprue is in fact a biopsy for many cases. Fortunately, not everyone has to undergo a biopsy and they can have blood tests done that indicate the disease as well. (Ah well… there goes my last hold out hope… LOL – KIDDING!)

Enter stage left, a new book with a personal story of going gluten-free. Shauna takes you for a ride as she revisits her foodie-beginnings. And believe me you, this girl is a foodie. After reading what she digested as a youth, I can see why she jumped in to the foodie world with both feet and a backpack. My god, my mom would be proud of me when I tell her I read this book and couldn’t relate to the foods devoured in Shauna’s home. In fact, I don’t think my mom ever bought a loaf of “Wonderbread” even if I would have begged for it. LOL

The beauty of Shauna’s book is, however, instead of a finite list of things one MUST do or NOT do, there is information about grains, oils, salts, etc. Shauna’s book is joining my cooking resources in the kitchen. Oh sure, she has some interesting and delectable recipes within (many with twists of things she’s posted on her blog and others are just new), but the reality of Shauna’s book is this:


Shauna gives a list of the grains that we enjoy and explore like Amaranth, millet, quinoa, sorghum, etc. She gives us lists of shi-shi salts, oils, seasonings, etc that are worthy of exploration and entertainment. She has comfort recipes and recipes for easy entertainment. There’s something about her foodie-obsession that makes me realize what a huge benefit to our gluten-free community she is.

Think about this for a moment.

Living in Seattle – or any other metropolitan area, there is greater access to some basic food ideas and staples from all over the world. (I know I miss my Chicago groceries immensely!) I learned recently that my buddy Ginger was having a hard time finding spring roll wrapper sheets. This blew my mind. How can this be? Oh wait – totally different area of the country = totally different grocery access. It makes SOME sense, but it’s sad regardless.

Shauna has great access to a wide variety of foods, great experience and an easy writing style that will make people want to try the things she writes about. It will have you wondering just where you can buy a wide variety of high -quality olive oils in your town (I promise). And then the best part will happen – we will all start asking for these things to come to our towns.

Think of how radically your local grocer has changed since you were younger – the variety of produce, products, “ethnic” items, etc. It’s amazing, isn’t it? Why did it change? Because the populous and the consumers demanded it, craved it and thereby we created the change. Nothing is more evident to me than walking through the various grocery stores in Chicago – depending on the neighborhood and finding a drastic difference in what is available to purchase. All of the items are targeting the neighborhood population – which meant in some neighborhoods, I could find greens and in some, I couldn’t.

In my town, for example, we live practically in the middle of two Fred Meyer grocery stores. Each of these stores has a “Natural Foods” or “Gluten-free” section, but one store has a “gluten free section” that takes up nearly five sets of 8 shelves. The other, its sister store about 7 miles south, has a 5 shelf section for the same goods. What gives? Apparently one of these stores has a more active consumer group than the other – or so I imagine.

I’ve gotten more courageous now too. When I see the woman who stocks the “Natural Foods” (by the way, isn’t it CRAZY that a GROCERY store has to label some food as NATURAL?? Good lord, what the hell else are they selling? Oh yea. That’s a whole other topic too. LOL). Anyway, when I see her, I now stop and talk to her. The other day, she actually stopped me. Her brother had just been diagnosed with Celiac and she asked if I could help. You bet. I wrote down several places to start, books to read, foods to find, ingredients to have on hand at home, and websites to check. I think I’m going to have to start carrying some of this information around with me though. In the middle of my conversation with her, three more people stopped to tune in and ask similar questions.

I’m no expert. But how long have we been doing this? And how hard is that first year? Or couple years? Ok. I’ll help. I’ll start asking my grocers and food co-ops (who are really great, by the way) to get in items that are helpful and explore new ones. It’s worth it. We all benefit when the “Natural Food” aisles expand.

Funny, as I’m writing this my love called from work to check on me and ask me to call about our turkey. We ordered our turkey from a local butcher – a free-range, locally raised Turkey that they will brine for me tonight in kosher salt. Nothing else. No additives, nothing bizarre added to “maintain freshness”. It will be fabulous. I can’t wait. (Oh! I must be getting better – food is starting to sound good again!)

So, Shauna, thank you. Thank you for living out your glorious foodie ways in our gluten-free world. Thank you for sharing ideas, creative missives for the foodie in all of us, and your recipes. Thank you for sharing your love story with the Chef. And YES, Shauna, YES. Isn’t that what life is all about anyway?

As for the rest of us, may I just suggest that we continue to build the supportive communities that help us flourish, survive and dine on finger-licking (or fork-licking) good gluten-free delights. There are many things to be thankful of this holiday season. YES, there are.

Happy Gluten-Free Holidays to All –

By the way, Shauna has just posted an AWESOME round-up post of her own advice for a Gluten-Free Thanksgiving.  Check it out if you are working on your first one.  I will post your recipe round up pictures of your glorious Gluten-Free Holiday food here on the 30th.

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