Pesto chicken topped salad

Pesto Chicken 3-Ways

Pesto chicken topped salad

Pesto chicken topped salad

Pesto chicken 3-ways, maybe 4 or 5 or 6……

Hi everyone! I should have named this post herb pesto 3-ways and more. Pesto is so flavorful and versatile, I’m sure you will find other ways to use the leftovers. Actually, I made and egg white omelette this morning and dabbed on a teaspoon – yum! Interestingly, my uber picky eater eats pesto. I certainly won’t complain because I can get good mileage out of a batch and it’s very healthy! But, I find it curious that she will eat pesto, but not something simple as corn…. sigh. Onward!

We grow a lot of herbs and use those those all season in salads and all of my cooking. I’ve convinced the kids that herbs are essential  for making a dish look good and taste good. In addition, herbs are really healthy! I count them as vegetable in our house.

Even my picky eater will eat this - separate, of course

Even my picky eater will eat this – separate, of course

You mentioned healthy?

As mentioned, I treat herbs as a veggie. They are packed with nutritional value. Basil is a good source of vitamin A, C and K and has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Cilantro has much of the same vitamins but also boosts a few more minerals and helps lower bad cholesterol. Fresh oregano is a good source of minerals like potassium, iron and calcium is great for digestive health. Parsley is considered a “super food”. It packs a punch with vitamins A, C and K and minerals iron, magnesium, and potassium like the others but also supports kidney, urinary tract health and fights cancer. Most herbs are good sources of fiber and are low in calories, anti-inflammatory and nutrient dense. Pesto sauce is concentrating all those great properties into a meal.

 What’s in the pesto?

My pesto recipe is really a basic pesto recipe. I do not add garlic as that is not acceptable for TQ’s fructose malabsorption. Honestly, I don’t miss it. But, if you are a garlic fan, then certainly add a clove or two. Sometimes, I use garlic flavored olive oil to get that hint of garlic and it is quite tasty.  Otherwise, the key players are the 3 cup of freshly packed herbs. The herbs I use most are basil (traditional), parsley, cilantro, and oregano. My daughter is especially a big oregano fan. I also use 3-4 green onion tops. I think that rounds out the flavor and since we don’t use garlic it adds a little kick.

This recipe couldn’t be any simpler. I used my blender to pack in the herbs, olive oil, parmesan, juice of half of a lemon and salt and pepper to taste. I used 1/4 cup of pine nuts, but before you add them to the blender toast them in a pan for a few minutes. Place the pine nuts to a dry skillet over medium heat until they are fragrant,  toasty and slightly brown, Turn off the heat once they start browning, so they don’t burn. Add them to the blender. Blend all of the ingredients, start with a pulse of two to incorporate. Once blended, you are left with a lusciously beautiful green sauce that can be use in endless ways.

Luscious, vitamin packed pretty herb pesto

Luscious, vitamin packed pretty herb pesto

Let’s talk versatility…

I used about 3/4 cup of the prepared pesto to a zip bag along with 1 pound of chicken tenders. The chicken marinated in the bag (in the fridge) for several hours.  Make the pesto the night before and prep the chicken, and marinate so it will be ready when you get home in the evening. I cooked a large batch of chicken for leftovers possibilities. Our first evening meal was gluten free pasta tossed with pesto and the marinated chicken.

Pesto chicken tossed with pasta

Pesto chicken tossed with pasta

I made myself a salad topped with the chicken and drizzled a little touch of pesto as my dressing along with a few crumbles of goat cheese which I highly recommend. Our second meal included make your own sandwiches. Toppings included grilled red pepper, green lettuce, goat cheese and little extra pesto for the bread. They can be eaten warm or cold. Perfect for a quick weeknight meal!

Pesto chicken and veggie sandwich

Pesto chicken and veggie sandwich

I had mentioned topping my egg whites with the pesto but I also think this would be a really delicious topped on cubes of baked tofu, or combined to make a pesto tofu salad or wrap. I may try that and report back. It could be spread as a condiment on any sandwich veggie, turkey or grilled cheese. What ideas do you have? What should I do with my next batch?

Pesto chicken pasta artfully designed by my son :)

Pesto chicken pasta artfully designed by my son 🙂

Herb Pesto - low FODMAP style
Serves 16
Luscious, vitamin packed, pretty herb pesto versatile in many ways from a marinade for chicken, pasta sauce or topping for potatoes and veggies.
Write a review
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
92 calories
3 g
2 g
9 g
2 g
1 g
24 g
186 g
0 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 92
Calories from Fat 78
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
Saturated Fat 1g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 2mg
Sodium 186mg
Total Carbohydrates 3g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 0g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 3 cups Fresh herbs (basil, parsley,cilantro, oregano, chervil)
  2. 1/2 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1/4 cup Pine nuts - toasted
  4. 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  5. 3-4 Green onion tops
  6. 2 TB fresh lemon juice (half of a lemon)
  7. 1 tsp Salt (or to taste)
  8. Pepper to taste
  9. Optional garlic clove - but not low FODMAP
  1. Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from heat.
  2. Place herbs, lemon juice, green onions (and garlic, if using) in bowl of food processor or blender.
  3. Pulse a few times and scrape the sides with a spatula to make sure all is blending.
  4. Add parmesan cheese and pine nuts, pulse a few more times.
  5. Add olive oil in slow stream to allow sauce to emulsify.
  6. Enjoy endless ways: Marinate chicken or tofu, toss in pasta, serve on eggs, over potato, mix in veggies, serve on sandwiches, top on fish or seafood.......
  1. Gluten free
  2. Low FODMAP
  3. Low sugar

veggie stuffed zucchini

Quick weeknight meal – Gluten Free Stuffed Zucchini

One quick weeknight meal solution for fructose malabsorption  – Gluten free stuffed zucchini

Gluten free veggie and rice stuffed zucchini

Gluten free veggie and rice stuffed zucchini

Hi! Happy fall everyone. We all need solutions to quick weeknight meals. Food allergies make it difficult to “wing” dinner…. or any meal for that matter. However, aren’t we all faced with that dilemma from time to time? This quick recipe was one such “wing it” evening.  Surprisingly, it turned out really yummy! I wanted to share my find because this lends itself to a number of options. Tonight’s dinner featured stuffed gluten free veggie and rice stuffed zucchini.

Don’t panic! Putting this meal together is easier than you might think. I have a secret time saver…..


I found this packaged rice at Costco, read the ingredients and found that it was well tolerated by TQ. (We also bring this on trips for meals in a pinch when away from home) This rice only needs to be microwaved and it’s ready to eat. Nutritious, organic, wholesome – winner!

Here’s the scoop:


Start with 2 small zucchinis or summer squashes. Slice them lengthwise and with a teaspoon hollow out the flesh. Reserve the hollowed flesh in a bowl. Place the squash in a baking dish and sprinkle with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.



Meanwhile, in a saute pan, over medium heat add the reserved squash. Additional veggies can be added as well. I threw in a few leftover yellow tomatoes, a can of finely diced tomatoes in juice, a little red pepper and some herbs. Theseimg_3059 were mostly just leftover veggies from earlier in the week. Cook the vegetables for 5 minutes or so, until they are softened. Add the rice packet. Toss all of this yumminess together.

Fill the hollowed squashes with the rice and veggie mixture.  Top with lactose free cheese. I used Cabot Brand muenster cheese.


Time to bake! Pop them into the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the squash shell is soft. this whole meal can be done in a bout 30 minutes – winner.



gluten free veggie and rice stuffed zucchini

gluten free veggie and rice stuffed zucchini

Yum! Reasonably quick, VERY nutritious, full of healthy veggies, gluten free, easy on the tummies and well tolerated for TQ’s fructose malabsorption. Perfect for a Meatless Monday 🙂

Hope this finds you well and until next time, thanks for reading!





Food Allergy Snack Bag Ideas

Allergy-friendly snacks when away form home

Allergy-friendly snacks when away form home

One night at dinner, TQ asks: “You’re stuck on a desert island and you have a chance to save one thing, what will it be?” MK thought about it…… deliberated, and came up with something practical as she always does.  However, my quick reply was  “the snack bag!” We laughed…. seriously,  the snack bag really can be our lifesaver! Everyday after school there seems to be something going on…. soccer, volleyball, band practice, Dr. appointments (the list is endless) and of course, the first thing they say when they jump in the car is “I’m hungry.” I always have food-allergy snacks on hand in case we’re away from home for several hours because it can be difficult to just “grab” something on the run with TQ’s restrictions.



Snack bag contents


Skinny pop or other plain flavored popcorn

Homemade chex mix – made with gf corn and rice Chex cereal, gf pretzels, a few chocolate chips, sometimes oat clusters, sunflower or pepita seeds. I change it up with whatever I find in the pantry.

Gluten free pretzels

Gluten free crackers

Daily add-ins:

Greenish banana (not too ripe)

Lactose free cheese cubes

Homemade gf muffin or bread that might be leftover

The not-so-healthy snacks sometimes included depending on the day:

Yellow bag Lay’s potato chips

Plain Frito’s chips

Homemade gf cookie (see my Artful Baker page for sugar cookies)

Sweetarts or Smarties – sometimes used as digestive aid as well

Medicine bag always included with the snack bag:

Pictured below are some of the items that I always have on had in our little med bag. Epipen, zrytec for an allergy flare up, lactaid for unexpected encounter with milk products, FrucosAid for an unexpected encounter with high fructose containing foods, and Smarties for that same reason. Vacation or a longer stint out of town may require other helpful items such as an anti diarrheal medicine, pain reliever, decongestant, band aid, hand sanitizer or wipes.


Vacation is another topic that I could go into more detail. I’ll save those ideas for another day – like how to find appropriate restaurants and how to manage eating away from home. But, if you look closely at my box that I have packed here below you will see that I do have some interesting items.

This box was packed right before we left on vacation for a week. I included microwaveable rice packets for an emergency snack or meal. Beef jerky packets are also helpful in a pinch when it’s hard to stop for a meal. Find one that is not heavily seasoned and nitrate free.  Peanut packs were also included. I know, I know this post is about a food allergy safe bag – however, TQ is not allergic to peanuts, only tree nuts. So, in the case of a longer trip I do include those for a good source of  packable protein. MK will never allow me to pack the peanuts during the school year because she has friends with peanut allergies and she won’t risk getting them sick if they are in our car. (Gotta love that!) I felt I needed to explain my photo. 🙂

Vacation snack/supplement box

Vacation snack/supplement box

I hope this gives some ideas to those newly diagnosed with fructose malabsorption. Perhaps in the future, it will help to discuss some brand names that are working for us. Let me know your thoughts and if you have anything to add! I’m always looking for new ideas.