Grain Free Sushi for Kids (fully cooked)

My love affair with sushi started when I was in high school. My boyfriend then, and his mom, took me to eat sushi at the one Japanese style restaurant we had in our small town of Kodiak. I had never tried it before (my parents were definitely not sushi eaters). When I received my meal, I couldn’t figure out what the little green paste-like substance was on my plate; they told me it was a form of avocado. “Eat it! You’ll love it!” they said.

I’m ashamed to admit I totally fell for it, and instantly regretted it. The green paste-like substance was wasabi, otherwise known as Japanese Horseradish.

I like Wikipedia’s explanation of wasabi best:

Its root is used as a condiment and has an extremely strong flavor. Its hotness is more akin to that of a hot mustard than that of the capsaicin in a chili pepper, producing vapours that stimulate the nasal passages more than the tongue.

I cried like a baby, drank water like I was dying, and swore revenge on my then-boyfriend and his mom (she is a doll, by the way… wasabi incident aside).

But I fell in love that night… not with the boyfriend, but with the food. It was amazing, fresh, the flavor combinations danced on my tongue and did the happy dance in my belly. Okay, maybe they didn’t do the happy dance, but you know what I’m saying…  ;)

I love sushi, and even wasabi has grown on me over the years; I’ve just learned less is more.

DSC_0510 (Medium)

The idea of making sushi rolls for the girls came to mind as I was desperately trying to figure out what to feed them one day at lunch. The fridge was running on near empty, but I had little bits left over of this and that. I decided to roll the “this and that” up in a sushi roll… thank God it was an instant hit!

These little rolls are the perfect whole food finger food (say that 10 times fast) that kids will love. Kylie was even asking if I could teach her how to make them the next time around (that’s a really good sign).

DSC_0514 (Medium)

DSC_0480 (Medium)

Ingredients are layered and now I’m ready to roll my sushi

Grain Free Sushi for Kids:

cooked turkey or chicken breast, cooled and cut into long thin strips
carrot sticks, thinly sliced
cucumber, cut into long thin pieces
avocado, sliced thinly
goat cheese, crumbled (optional)
sushi nori (I use this one)


  1. Cooked shrimp or fish would be an excellent substitute for the turkey or chicken breast.
  2. Use whatever veggies you like; be creative – there are no rules to this type of sushi making. You could even throw in slices of mango or other fruit.
  3. I am not an expert on sushi, nor am I am expert on sushi nori. I only use this particular brand (link above) because it’s what the Asian market worker recommended.
  4. Nori can be somewhat chewy. I recommend slicing the rolls extra thin for younger children (ages 3-5). Parents, please use discretion.


  1. Place a single piece of nori, rough side up, on a sushi rolling mat (you do not have to have a sushi mat to make these rolls; however, I highly recommend it).
  2. In a row across the mid-bottom, layer the ingredients on the nori similiar to what I have in the picture directly above. You’ll notice my ingredients are evenly distributed horizontally across the nori.
  3. Brush the top part of the nori with water.
  4. Starting with the side closest to you (the bottom), tightly roll the nori until it is closed (the sushi rolling mat is especially helpful for this) and press to seal.
  5. Using a wet knife, cut your sushi into 8 – 10 pieces. Serve immediately.

DSC_0487 (Medium)


This post is linked to Natural Living Monday, Tasteful Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Hearth & Soul Hop and Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Goat Cheese

My husband and I went on a date a few weeks ago. The restaurant we went to had these amazing dates… wrapped in bacon and stuffed with goat cheese (and they were even gluten free). They were to die for.

DSC_0191 (Medium)

Since then, I’ve wanted to recreate the bacon wrapped dates. I finally bought some bacon at the store yesterday, so these were first on my list to make!

These bacon wrapped dates make the perfect appetizer, especially for a special occasion! Don’t be afraid to double or triple the batch!

This recipe is linked to the GFE Virtual Support Group, the Gluten-Free Homemaker, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and Allergy Free Wednesdays.

Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Goat Cheese
Yields 12 servings

12 Medjool dates
6 pieces of bacon, preferably nitrate free & uncured
2-4 ounces of goat cheese
12 toothpicks (soaked in water for at least 20 minutes)

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees (F) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Slice open dates, remove the pits, and stuff with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon goat cheese.
  3. Cut the bacon in half so you have 12 pieces total.
  4. Wrap each date with a piece of bacon, and secure using a toothpick.
  5. Place the bacon wrapped dates on the parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 14 – 17 minutes, turning 2 or 3 times until the bacon is evenly browned.
  6. Allow dates to cool before eating, otherwise you will burn your mouth (they get very hot in the oven).




Goat Cheese Spread for Crackers or Veggies

We put our Christmas tree up this weekend.  We had a wonderful time as a family decorating the tree, but unpacking the ornaments is always an extra special treat for me.  When I was little, my Aunt owned a Hallmark store in Michigan, so every year she would send me and my brother ornaments.  As you can imagine, I now have a nice little collection of ornaments from my childhood.  They always bring back a flood of past Christmas memories when I unwrap them.  They are priceless!

1980 – Baby’s First Christmas (yes, this is mine!)

When this Eskimo ornament line came out my Aunt thought it was so funny because we lived in Alaska with all of the “Eskimos.”  She ended up sending us several ornaments from this line (and I love them all!).

Christmas ornaments are great (cheap) present ideas for the children in your life!

But as for Goat Cheese Spread…………..

This goat cheese spread is a favorite snack in our house, and it is super easy to make.  Here in the picture, I have it spread on Marys Gone Crackers, but you can use any cracker you like.  We also like to eat this spread with veggies.

A beautiful tray full of veggies, GF crackers, nuts, and goat cheese spread would be a perfect appetizer before your holiday meal.

For those of you who can have potatoes, I’d imagine this would be wonderful as a baked potato topping too!

Goat Cheese Spread for Crackers or Veggies

10.5 ounces of goat cheese (I use the Kirkland brand that can be found at Costco or Three Bears)

1 tablespoon dried chives

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (use onion powder if garlic cannot be tolerated)

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

pinch of sea salt

Stir together the above ingredients until well combined.  Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve.  This tastes even better if you allow it to refrigerate overnight.

Kitchen tip for those with arthritis – use your heavy duty mixer and let it do the hard work so your hands don’t have to.  




This recipe is also linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays and Simple Lives Thursdays.