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Mexican Haystacks Trial: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free

July 6, 2012

I spotted this recipe for Mexican Haystacks on Whole and Free over a month ago, and have been wanting to make it ever since. Such an interesting twist on a classic. I’m glad that I finally got around to it this week.

The Changes

This recipe is already Joseph-safe. I cut the recipe in half for our smaller family, and made a couple changes to make things more palatable for our tastes (white rice for brown, and omitting the peppers)

rice, cilantro, salsa, garlic powder, ground turkey, mango, avocado

The Method

Cook rice in 2 cups of water. Meanwhile, brown turkey with garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste.

Since my husband hates chunks in his salsa, I pureed it, and then added it to the turkey and let it simmer until the rice was done.

When the rice is done, stir in chopped cilantro.

To assemble the haystacks, layer rice, meat, and toppings (avocado, mango, crushed chips) on a plate.

Mexican Haystacks

Adapted from Whole & Free

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free 


  • 1 cup dried rice cooked in 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cups salsa, pureed
  • 1 mango, chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • tortilla chips

Cook rice. Meanwhile, brown turkey with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Add pureed salsa, and bring to a boil. Simmer until rice is done. Stir cilantro into rice.

To serve, layer rice, meat, and toppings on a plate.

Makes 3-4 servings

cover copy copy


This recipe is featured in my cookbook The Best of the Rice of Life: Over 70 Gluten-free, Dairy-free, and Nut-free Recipes available now in print (Amazon, Create Space) and e-book (Kindle, iBooks, nook, Kobo and Smashwords).



What I Thought

My husband and I both thought that this was decent, though there were a couple ways it could have been better. First off, adding cheese (sorry Joseph! Maybe Daiya would suffice?) on my leftovers really pulled everything together. Second, I would like to experiment with making it with ground beef and enchilada sauce. Third, I would like to jazz up the rice more by adding more cilantro and lime juice, if my daughter (who normally eats rice by the cup full) didn’t avoid all rice that had been contaminated by the cilantro. My kids refused to eat anything on their plates other than rice and chips.

Shared on Allergy-Friendly Friday and Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Gluten-free Wednesday and Allergy-free Wednesday

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