Archive of ‘Gluten Free Food’ category

Grain-Free Lasagna

 

grainfreelasagna

I went to the local farmers market last Sunday to buy the last of the summer veggies (sniff, sniff) to make a lasagna. I was hoping to make something paleo/whole 30 approved, but I just couldn’t leave out the cheese! It just wouldn’t be right! I have seen a recipe that uses Greek yogurt in lieu of cheese, which I might try one day. For now, sorry guys, I didn’t want to disrespect Italians everywhere by leaving out an essential ingredient. Although, I’m probably already doing that by leaving out the pasta now that I’m actually thinking this through (sigh) Oh well, here’s how I made my pseudo-lasagna.

Ingredients:

1 small zucchinigrainfreelasagna4
1 small squash
1 medium eggplant
2 roma tomatoes
1 jar all natural marinara
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 lb. ground beef
1 tb garlic powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and thinly slice the vegetables length-wise and let them dry on a paper towel for a few minutes. While the vegetables are drying, brown the ground beef. After draining, add ¾ of the marinara sauce and the garlic powder to the ground beef. Add a bit of marinara sauce to the bottom of your casserole dish and then lay down the first layer of squash and zucchini. Add a couple spoonfuls of ricotta and evenly spread. Add a few tomato slices on top. Add 1 cup of the mozzarella on top. Next add the eggplant layer (I personally don’t use the 2 end slices that are primarily skin.) Add the remaining marinara sauce on top of the eggplant. Next, add the remaining tomatoes. Then add the remaining ricotta cheese. On top of the ricotta, you will add the meat/marinara mixture. Top with the remaining cup of mozzarella and place in the oven, covered, to bake for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the lid and let it bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown on the top.

Enjoy!

grainfreelasagna2

grainfreelasagna3

Whole 30 Recipes: Salmon

 

Whole30salmon

Salmon is one of mine and Patrick’s favorite meals. It’s full of antioxidants, vitamins and omega 3. It’s a fish that doesn’t have to be all dolled-up to be tasty, so it’s perfect for the Whole 30 diet!

Ingredients:
12 oz. salmon filet
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 lemon
2 garlic cloves minced
3 sprigs of rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup and place salmon skin side down on foil. Drizzle olive oil on the fish and add remaining ingredients placing rosemary sprigs directly on top of salmon. Bake in oven for 18 min or until fish is flaky when pierced with a fork.

Side dishes:
Potatoes: Cut up 2 medium sized potatoes and boil until soft. Add 1/4 C of coconut milk, 1 T of Ghee, 1 T parsley, and salt and pepper and mash with fork.

Okra: Always gotta have some okra! Add 1 T of either avocado oil or Ghee to pan over medium heat until melted. Cut okra and add to the pan. Sauté over medium heat with salt and pepper to taste until soft. The longer you cook, the less slimy it will become.

Bon appétit!

Whole 30 Recipes: Carnitas and Guac

 

whole30carnitas

This crock pot meal was a go-to for me! Whether it was with pork or chicken, it was easy to throw in the pot in the morning before work.  All I had to do when I got home was shred the meat and make the guacamole-easy peasy! (Side note: I kinda became obsessed with okra on this diet. I’ve always loved okra but for some reason, I craved it constantly during Whole 30! I always chopped it and threw it in the pan with some avocado oil.)

Ingredients:
Carnitas:
2 lb. pork shoulder (I chose bone-in with fat for extra flavor)
1 package taco seasoning (make your own w/ ground chili peppers, salt, onion)
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 garlic cloves; minced
1 ½ C water
1 tsp. oil of your choice (I recommend avocado oil)

Guac:
1 Avocado
1/3 C Pico de Gallo (equal parts diced onion, tomato, green pepper & jalapeno)
½ Lime
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

Directions:
Brown your pork shoulder in oil on all sides before putting it in the crockpot. Put all ingredients in crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours. Once thoroughly cooked, take a fork and pull apart the meat. Take out and throw away any bones and/or fat.

I like to mix the pork and guac together, and maybe throw them on some homemade sweet potato fries, but feel free to eat it however you like!

Photo below with chicken…and yes…okra :)

whole30shreddedchicken

Whole 30 Recipes: Blackened Shrimp and Brussels

 

blackenedshrimp

One of my favorite meals of the Whole 30 diet and super easy to make, you will love these blackened shrimp and brussels sprouts!

Ingredients:
1 lb large gulf shrimp (peeled and deveined)
½ lb brussels sprouts
1 T ghee
1-2 T blackening seasoning depending on spice level (I used Central Market blackened spice as it is all natural with no added sugars. It contains paprika, garlic, onion, salt, cayenne pepper, white pepper, black pepper, thyme and oregano)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
2 tsp Olive oil
Salt
Pepper

Brussels Sprouts:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash Brussels and drain. Cut them in half and remove any old leaves from the outside. Place in bowl and add olive oil. Mix so olive oil coats the Brussels sprouts. Spread out in pan cut side down. Season with salt and pepper. Place in oven and cook for about 20 min. Brussels should be brown on flat side when finished.

Shrimp:
Melt the ghee in a pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the garlic and blackening seasoning and sauté for about 30 seconds before adding the shrimp. Reduce heat to low and continue to stir to coat shrimp well and cook for about 8 minutes or until shrimp are thoroughly cooked. Do not over cook because shrimp will become tough. Once they turn white throughout, they are cooked.

I tossed the Brussels and shrimp in a bowl to mix them up and seasoned with salt and pepper as desired. Enjoy!

My Whole 30 Experience

 

whole30 pic

Wow-what a journey! I’ve been wanting to do the Whole 30 diet for awhile now, like over a year, but it was never the right time. Finally, I decided that it was never going to be the perfect time. There will always be parties, happy hours, holidays and work. It’s inevitable. So if I was ever going to do it, I had to just DO IT!

People asked me why I chose Whole 30, and while I normally don’t like to talk about my health issues, those are the main reasons I chose to do Whole 30. So, here are my very personal reasons:

  • I’ve had digestive issues for as long as I can remember. Since I was a little girl, my tummy always hurt after eating. Luckily, I found out about 6 years ago that I had Celiac Disease after having an upper endoscopy. Life without gluten made my digestive issues better, but I still had problems. I’ve always kinda thought that dairy was another problematic food for me but was too lazy to cut it out for a significant amount of time. So, Whole 30 was going to take care of that.
  • I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome several years ago and while luckily I have been blessed to not have many side effects associated with PCOS, I do have to watch my sugars since diabetes is commonly associated with it—another thing Whole 30 would help. I can say that (sorry to all the guys reading) my cycle was more normal than ever during the diet!
  • I read that the Whole 30 diet can help strengthen and support the immune system as well as reduce inflammation. About 3 years ago, I was diagnosed with Sjogren’s Disease, an autoimmune disorder where your white blood cells attack the moisture glands in your body. It causes saliva dysfunction, extreme fatigue, inflammation and digestive issues for me, so why not try a diet that could possibly help all that?!
  • I get emotionally attached to many things in life including food and drinks, and I believe in fasting for spiritual and emotional reasons. It’s a great way to step back and reprioritize. I did it as a way for me to distance myself from getting overly dependent on what I put in my stomach. All it takes is fasting from certain things (latte’s, oatmeal, glass of wine) to see how much I rely on those things to make me happy. True joy and contentment comes intrinsically from the Father, not external pleasures.
  • Because I know so many people that it has helped—people that wanted to lose weight, help allergies or illnesses, or gain energy!! And since I wanted all three of those, I thought, “Why not?!”

I was asked a lot of questions during and after the diet, so I’ve tried to include all of them here. If I forgot to address your question, feel free to comment below!

What was the most difficult part?

Planning! I’m a terrible planner in general—especially if it’s something I’m not thrilled about. This is a diet that really does take planning for it to be successful. I will admit, I probably did the least amount of planning possible, but I also ate a lot of the same foods. I’m a big leftovers girl anyway, so it didn’t bother me to eat many of the same foods. I found what I loved (okra, sweet potatoes, shredded chicken and guac, boiled eggs, salmon, brussels sprouts and salad) and stuck to it.

What did you miss most?

Social events! This diet definitely takes the happy out of happy hour :)! I’m a pretty social person, so not being able to go to dinners or happy hours was a bummer. I did go to a few and even threw a couple parties and I enjoyed the company, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it put a damper on the events. If you live in Dallas, I can tell you that I found HG Supply and Company Cafe were able to make Whole 30 compliant meals.

Any advice?

  1. Plan out your food for the week on the weekend and shop for everything you will need to cook it. If you’re like me, it’s hard to cook much after work, which leads to number two…
  2. The crockpot is your best friend! No really…it is! I used my crockpot more in the last 30 days than I have in the last 10 years! Yes, I know what you’re thinking…it’s time for a new crockpot. Shredded chicken and carnitas were my go to meals.
  3. Drink a lot of water! Make sure you are drinking more water than you are used to drinking. It will help your digestion during the diet, and I will bet money that your skin will look better than ever!
  4. Have an accountability partner. This diet is not easy and I can’t tell you the amount of people that told me to try just a bite or sip of something that wasn’t on my diet—frustrating! I personally have that all or nothing personality, so if I say I’m going to do something, you better believe I’m going to do it 110%! I guess in this case, stubbornness is a really great trait. I put my experience on social media because I knew it would hold me accountable.

How did you feel?

The first few days were the hardest. Withdrawing from sugar is crazy hard and not fun. I was pretty devoid of energy for the first 10 days. Thank goodness I work out in the mornings because there would have been no way I would have gone to my classes in the evening! By about 2:00 in the afternoon during those first 10 days, I hit a wall and just wanted to crawl in bed. However, once week 3 started, my energy levels really picked up! I can honestly say, that the last couple of weeks I had more energy that I’ve ever had and I slept really well at night.

How much weight did you lose?

Overall, I lost around 7-8 pounds. I believe the majority of that was lost in the first couple of weeks. I did not weigh myself during the 30 days except, after week one, I had a doctor appointment and the nurse annoyingly announced my weight out loud (Why do they do that???) I was 4 pounds down at that point so I know half of the weight was lost in the first part of the diet.

Any other positive changes?

I could tell a huge difference in the way my body looked at the end of the day. I guess I thought it was normal for my stomach to look and feel quite a bit bigger by the end of the day. Guess what? That’s not normal and what I didn’t realize is how bloated I was! So, less bloating meant a flatter tummy and a happier me! I felt so much better and didn’t feel sick in the evening-which I often tend to do.

If you are interested in more information about Whole 30 or have further questions, let me know! I’d love to help in any way I can and encourage you if you choose to try it! Cheers!

whole30selfie3

*These are my personal thoughts and experiences. No one person is exactly alike, so you might have different results and a different experience. Always consult your physician before making diet changes.

 

Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

 

blueberryvinaigrette

Ingredients:
1/4 C blueberries
1/4 C EVOO
1/4 C balsamic vinaigre (I used a chocolate balsamic vinaigre for a twist)
1/2 TB honey
1/2 TB Dijon mustard
1 small clove minced garlic

Directions:
Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. I put mine on a bed of spinach and kale with sliced strawberries, chèvre, sesame seeds, pepitas and cracked sea salt and pepper. It was amazing! Enjoy!

blueberryvinaigrettesalad

 

Spicy Mexican Casserole

 

spicy mexican 3

I’ve shared my Mexican casserole recipe before on the blog, but this is a different, spicier variation that uses ground beef instead of chicken. It does have a kick, but if you prefer it to not be as spicy, you don’t have to add jalapeños.

Ingredients
1 lb. ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
1 cup diced Jalapeños
2 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese
1 dozen corn tortillas
3 peppers chopped (I get one orange, one red, and one yellow for color)
1 medium onion chopped
1 large can of black beans
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 can Rotel
1 T butter

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put your black beans in a pot on medium low to cook. While those are cooking, brown your ground beef in a skillet and drain. Add seasoning packet, jalapeños and Rotel to ground beef. Put one layer of corn tortillas down in the casserole dish and layer the beef mix on top. Sauté your peppers and onions in butter and add that on top of the ground beef mix. Add 1 cup of cheese on top of peppers and onions. Put another layer of tortillas on top. Mash the black beans and sour cream together and layer that mixture on top of the tortillas. Add the remaining cup of cheese and put in oven for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

spicy mexican 2

spicy mexican 1

Potato Soup

 

potato soup 1

This is a hearty, easy to make soup that you can enjoy on those cold winter evenings. Caution: This is not a low calorie soup! You can always substitute the half and half for skim milk and skip the butter…but it won’t taste as yummy!

Ingredients:
4 Russet potatoes
½ stick butter
1 cup half and half
2 garlic cloves grated
1 tbs. parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

potato soup 2

Optional ingredients:
Shredded cheese
Green onion
Bacon bits

potato soup 3

Directions:

Peel and cut up 4 potatoes and put in pot. Add enough water so that the potatoes are covered. Boil potatoes until soft. Mash the potatoes a bit with a hand masher. Don’t mash completely, just enough to thicken the soup. You still want to have some potato chunks. Add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer on low for 15 minutes. Add your optional ingredients to your desired taste and enjoy!

Yields approximately 6 servings

Popcorn Bark

 

popcorn bark bagThis recipe is super quick, easy to prepare and fun to have around for the holidays!

Ingredients:

4 cups of popcorn
1 lb. of dark chocolate
½ cup of toffee bits
1 cup of Craisins
¼ cup of chia seeds
1 Tb. of sea salt

popcorn bark ingredients

Directions:

  1. Cover a 9” X 13” pan with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the chocolate using a double boiler.
  3. Spread the majority of the chocolate on the parchment paper. Leave about ½ cup for to drizzle on top.
  4. Throw on your popcorn, Craisins, toffee and chia seeds.
  5. Drizzle the remaining chocolate on top.
  6. Sprinkle the sea salt over all of it.
  7. Refrigerate for 1 hour before cutting.

popcorn bark

Deep Dish Ultra Rich Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

 

Phew…that’s a mouthful to say! This is the pie that I made while at my parents house for Thanksgiving, and it was delish!

Ingredients:
Crust:

  • 2½ cups GF flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup ice water

Filling:

  • 1 16-ounce bottle light corn syrup
  • 1½ cups packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons bourbon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cup chocolate chips
  • 3½ cups pecan pieces

bourbon pecan pie 1

Directions:

  1. Mix together flour and salt in food processor or large mixer. Add butter and mix until it resembles coarse meal. Gradually add in enough ice water until dough clumps form. Gather dough into a ball. Roll dough on lightly-floured surface until it’s 13-inches around. Transfer to a greased pie pan and chill for 25-30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine corn syrup, brown sugar and butter in a large bowl. Stir in eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, bourbon and salt with a wire whisk. Fold in chocolate chips and pecans.
  3. Pour mixture into pan lined with uncooked dough. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 2 hours. Cool completely.

As you can see I had a little extra filling, so I made a couple little crustless pies!

bourbon pecan pie 2

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