Gluten-Free Eats | Sweet Potato Hash

sweet potato hash

I am always searching for new recipes to try in the kitchen. I gather inspiration from blogs, magazines/cookbooks, and Pinterest of course. One pot meals that involve a combination of fresh and pantry staples are my favorite meals to make. While scrolling through my bloglovin’ feed recently, this sweet potato and bacon hash, caught my eye. It’s naturally gluten and dairy-free and if you leave out the bacon its vegetarian too!

Jordan and I actually eat a variation of this meal quite often, but with regular potatoes. The addition of sweet potatoes is a fun change. This meal has already been placed in our weekly dinner rotation. Once you gather the ingredients, it’s so simple to put together.

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How We Eat Gluten-Free

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I recently shared my go-to gluten and dairy-free snacks. Today, let’s discuss dinner. When I first eliminated dairy last year, I anticipated eating gluten-free would be highly inconvenient. But honestly, the change has been rather easy. I still miss certain meals (I’m looking at you, grilled cheese sandwiches), but on the whole, I don’t feel limited.

Jordan and I don’t eat separate meals. He will occasionally add cheese to something, but for dinner he eats gluten-free with me. I really appreciate that he’s willing to go on this food journey together.

If you dig around on the internet long enough, you’ll find reasons to eat everything and nothing. I’m not willing to go there. We eat vegetables and fruit without guilt and try to fill up on healthy fats. Food is personal and this space will remain non-judgmental. We have to listen to our bodies and eliminate or potentially add depending on our individual needs.

The meals I make center around soup, chili, and salads. Occasionally, I’ll roast a chicken with rice or quinoa on the side and I’ve been dabbling in gluten-free pasta/pizza, but those meals aren’t in regular rotation. We keep plenty of vegetables on hand and I love adding kale into soups for extra nutrition. I cook roughly three to four meals a week depending on our schedule. The other nights are a combination of leftovers, take out, and light meals like a smoothie and popcorn, which is what I ate earlier this week. One pot of soup carries us far!

These are a few of our favorites. What are your go-to meals?

Soup | Smoky White BeanButternut Squash & Bacon, White Bean & Tomato Vegetable

Chili/Stew | Spicy Chickpea Stew, Pumpkin White Bean Chili, Various Curry dishes (using Trader Joe’s sauce)

Salad | Kale, Black Bean, & Avocado Burrito Bowl, Black Bean Quinoa Salad, Honey Chipotle Chicken Bowl

I’m thinking of slowly adding feta cheese back into my diet. Greek salads are one of my favorites and that type of cheese doesn’t seem to be an acne trigger for me.

Brinner | If I’m stumped or needing a meal quick, we’ll eat breakfast for dinner: eggs, bacon, and sautéed potatoes mixed with some kale/tomatoes/zucchini, etc. Eggs in Purgatory (Shakshuka) is also a favorite.

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/ / Linking with Christie.

Shauna Niequist’s Breakfast Cookies

Shauna Niequist's Breakfast Cookies

Shauna Niequist writes on the importance of experiencing and encouraging community around the table in Bread & Wine. I assumed the recipes sprinkled throughout the book wouldn’t align with my current food restrictions. You can’t imagine my excitement when I realized Shauna’s family eats primarily gluten-free.

I find it easy to omit/substitute dairy, but converting a fully gluten based recipe to gluten-free isn’t quite the same. I finished reading with a long grocery list ready to tackle many of the dishes!

Continue reading “Shauna Niequist’s Breakfast Cookies”

A Short Cookie

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Jordan and I had dinner with friends last week. You know you are blessed with great friends when they accommodate dietary restrictions without batting an eye. We brought dessert and I debated for a while about what to make.

I love cookies. They are my favorite dessert; you won’t have to ask me twice if I want a cookie. 🙂 I’ve baked a few gluten-free cookies and they’ve been okay, but not amazing. There are so many flour varieties to play with and I don’t feel I’ve found the right combination yet.

All of a sudden I remembered no-bake cookies. I didn’t grow up with these cookies, but they were made regularly in Jordan’s home. No-bake cookies consist of oats and peanut butter, while not exactly allergen free, they hit all of my requirements! The bonus is, you don’t need any special flours or ingredients.

Ingredient

1 stick of butter (could sub coconut oil to keep it completely dairy-free)
2 cups sugar*
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 cup of milk (I used almond milk)
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put above ingredients through milk in a pan and stir until butter is melted. Then bring to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add the peanut butter and vanilla. Mix in oats to consistency (3-4 cups depending on how wet you want the dough to be).

Drop onto foil sheets until cooled. Store in an airtight container.

*I searched for a slightly healthier version and found one that used honey instead of sugar. Jordan requested his moms version (it was nice to bite into a familiar cookie) but next time I’d like to try this variety.

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Weekend Links / / Nuts & Seeds

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I’ve been spoiled the last couple of Saturdays by being off work! Jordan and I have enjoyed sleeping in and  making big breakfasts. Last Saturday, I went to brunch with a few friends at Adele’s in the Gulch. It was special to partake in a true weekend experience. I got to gab with old and new girlfriends all while eating really great food.

Adele’s shaved brussel sprout salad and famous JW chicken were excellent. One restaurant characteristic that is everywhere in Nashville is industrial garage style doors. I can’t wait for the weather to warm up, so we can enjoy that summer breeze.

What do Saturday mornings look like for you?

Honey Mustard Cashews / / I pinned this recipe months ago, but just got around to making it this week. I was concerned the nuts would burn, but they came out perfectly (and Jordan loves them). I now have my eye on this honey chai almond variation.

Mommy Wars / / Have you watched the Mommy Hood video from Similac? I’m not a mother, but I’ve witnessed friends become burdened by expectations and judgements from other moms (whether intentional or not). It’s disheartening. Everyone is doing their best. The debate over parenting styles reminds me of how important grades were when you are young. As time passes, being a straight “A” student in grade school ceases to matter.

Strawberry Chia Smoothie / / Until recently, the only Chia thing I knew about were Chia Pets! Chia seeds are rich in calcium and since I don’t eat dairy anymore, they can be an excellent addition to my regular diet.

Meal Planning / / Jana breaks down how she makes meal planning work for her family. We eat most of our meals at home, but I still struggle with keeping the right amount of food on hand. Jana overcame a problem that I relate to; our husbands love to eat different foods (dairy & gluten) and need variety in their meal schedule.

Closet Sale / / Susanna breaks down how to successfully run an Instagram Shop My Closet sale. I’ve noticed more and more people running small auctions on clothes they no longer need. Instagram hasn’t cracked down on the sales, so a commission fee isn’t required like Ebay. It’s fun to search #shopmycloset for great deals too!

Happy Weekend, all!

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/ / Linking with Meagan and Christina.

Gluten-Free On The Go

Gluten-Free On The Go

Right before Thanksgiving, I began eating gluten-free. You might remember that I stopped consuming dairy in the spring (with a few lapses here and there) and had a really hard time adjusting. I thought limiting another food group would really complicate my life. It’s interesting though because by removing cheese, the shift towards less gluten had already started.

Preparing gluten-free meals at home wasn’t my main concern. I was a bit baffled on what I would eat at work or as a quick on-the-go snack. I can’t rely on buying a breakfast sandwich if I forget my lunch, but I also don’t want to eat leftover chicken and potatoes at 10 in the morning.

Over the last few months I’ve honed in on the best quick and easy gluten-free snacks/meals. When I am in a hurry and don’t have time to prepare a full mea, I reach for one of these!

Gluten-free waffles / / Seriously guys, these are a life-saver. I either purchase the Trader Joe’s brand or Van’s, which I find at Kroger. They are low in sugar and only 100 calories a waffle. They are my toast substitute, so I might layer them with peanut butter or make an egg breakfast sandwich. These are the only gluten-free “bread” swap I keep on hand.

Kind, Luna, or Lara Bars / / I always keep a stash in my bag/car as a backup incase we are out and about and I can’t find any alternative. When I open at work, I always start my day with a bar. It’s quick and simple, which is exactly what I need at 4 am. The Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Lara Bar is my current favorite.

Hummus / / When I have access to a fridge, I bring hummus with me. It’s delicious and filling! Hummus is also the perfect appetizer to bring to a party. It’s allergy friendly and pairs perfectly with vegetables and chips.

Quick Cooking Oats / / I eat oatmeal almost every work day. Quick cooking outs are rolled oats that have been chopped into smaller pieces so they cook in about five minutes. McCann’s is my favorite brand, but I’ve found similar options at Trader Joe’s or even Aldi’s. McCann’s doesn’t claim to be gluten-free (oats are technically GF, but it’s whether or not the plant prepares other foods), so if you have a severe allergy you might need to look into their manufacture plant specifics. I mix my oats with fruit (dried or fresh) and a bit of honey.

Rice Cakes / / Banana, honey, and peanut butter sandwiches are one of my favorite combinations. Surprisingly, rice cakes work great as an alternative to bread for this sweet, salty, and crunchy snack.

Granola / / When I make a batch of granola, I bring it to work with me and eat it like trail mix. Sometimes I’ll add almond milk, but that isn’t necessary.

Do you have any GF snacks to add? Please share, I’d love to hear!

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The Ultimate Vegetable Soup

Vegetable Soup

Every now and then I find a real keeper of a recipe. I try to make a wide variety of meals and remix standard dishes, but not all of the recipes I attempt become repeats. We all need go-to meals to serve for guests or to whip up quickly during a busy week: meals that don’t require planning and are created from the pantry. During these cooler months of the year, I lean towards one-pot dishes for ease and convenience.

A couple of weeks ago, I was out of the house four nights in a row and didn’t plan properly for dinner. Typically, in the late afternoons, I start to conjure a few options for dinner. I needed to prepare a meal, but nothing was prepped. I did have plenty of vegetables that needed to be used, chicken broth and white beans; perfect ingredients for a vegetable soup.

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Pumpkin Apple Crisp

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Are there two foods more associated with autumn than pumpkin and apple? Every Thanksgiving my dad makes apple and pumpkin pie, but I never thought to combine the flavors. Along with the mass amounts of apples in my fridge, I’ve been hoarding Trader Joe’s canned pumpkin. They only keep them seasonally so I want to be prepared for when they leave the store! I’m not quite ready for this season to end (though retail stores like to think Christmas begins in November).
I had an event last week where I needed to bring a dessert and decided upon an apple crisp with a twist. Crisps are simple, easy and an excellent way to use up apples if you’ve been to an orchard. I searched on Pinterest for some inspiration (like I always do) and stumbled upon this recipe. Do you follow Minimalist Baker? Well, if you don’t you should start now! Most of the recipes by this husband and wife duo are vegan and/or grain-free with 10 ingredients or less. I’m not gluten-free at the moment, but I have many friends who are, so I’m always browsing their site for suggestions!
The pumpkin/apple filling comes from Minimalist Baker, but to better utilize ingredients I had on hand I used a different crisp recipe.
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4 1/2 – 5 cups sliced, peeled apples (I used granny smith)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg & ginger)
1/3 cup sugar (I used part brown sugar, part cane sugar)
2 Tbsp pumpkin butter* (or sub pumpkin puree and add a bit more sugar + cinnamon {this is what I did})
1 1/2 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
Cut apples, keep peels on or off, and toss together with the other ingredients. The longer you leave the apples and sugar resting, the more juices you’ll create. I should have let it sit longer (I gave it 30 minutes).

Crumble:

2 1/2 cups oats
5 tbsp almond flour/meal (or ground almonds) (I used all-purpose flour, though if I would have had almonds I would have ground them)
a pinch of salt
½ tsp vanilla
5 tbsp maple syrup or honey
5 tbsp cold-pressed coconut oil, room temperature

Mix dry ingredients, add in the wet, combine with your hands. Sprinkle evenly over top. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until the apples bubble and oats look golden brown.

Serve plain, with ice cream or coconut cream!

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Blue Apron Cooking / / Stir-Fried Chow Mein

This is not a sponsored post. I’m just a curious blogger! 

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Over the summer I noticed the company, Blue Apron, mentioned all over my Bloglovin’ feed. It seemed that everyone was trying them out.

As an avid blog reader for several years now, I take sponsored posts with a grain of salt (or ten). Blogging takes a lot of time and energy and if it can become someone’s full-time job, great! I won’t always buy into the “commercial” of whichever product is being promoted though. The concept of Blue Apron didn’t seem that economical or practical, especially since I like planning meals, grocery shopping, and cooking.

Than we moved into our small, one-bedroom apartment, where kitchen space is limited. While I enjoy cooking, I’m not great at keeping up with produce and random left-over ingredients (and I no longer have a pantry/closet). I was drawn to the idea that Blue Apron sends only what I need for each meal; No more fresh herbs going into the trash.

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As I’m writing this, I’ve cooked two out of the three meals delivered. Each meal is portioned out for two, but we’ve been able to stretch them to four. There are no upfront costs and skipping weeks is extremely easy (I used an offer code found online). I’m not sure how long I’ll use their service*, but I’ve enjoyed cooking meals outside my comfort zone! All the recipes are online for easy recreation.

Recipe / / Stir-Fried Chow Mein

This stir fry is exactly the type of meal I’d pin on Pinterest, but wouldn’t invest in the ingredients to make it regularly (or at all). We usually just get take-out when we have a hankering for asian food. Surprisingly, this meal was extremely simple to make. And quite delicious!

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So what about you? Would you ever consider Blue Apron or a similar service?

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*How great would it be to come home after traveling to a box full of fresh ingredients? Maybe that is the best use of this service.

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Pumpkin White Bean Chili

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When I got married at the ripe young age of 21, I was comfortable cooking but I had no real technique or rhythm in the kitchen. I spent the first summer of our marriage watching The Food Network and reading magazines; ripping out recipes I wanted to try and gleaning information from the chefs. Not many of those early recipes stuck, most were duds, but there is a basic chili I still make several times each year. There is nothing like a good pot of chili, simmering on the stove, that helps usher in the cooler months.

A couple of years ago, a dear friend passed down her recipe for pumpkin chili and it’s now become a favorite in our house. I love all things pumpkin (except the well-loved Pumpkin Spiced Latte, it’s me, not you, PSL) but usually those recipes lean on the sweet/dessert side. It’s nice to have a savory option!

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Adapted from this recipe.

Ingredients:

1/2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced (I only had granulated)
1 tsp chili powder
2 bay leaves
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
2 (15 oz cans) white beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil for 3-5 minutes, until the onions start to brown slightly. Add cumin and stir to combine. Add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer on low for about an hour, until it begins to thicken, stirring regularly. In my opinion chili/soups are always best the longer the flavors are able to meld together, so this makes for excellent leftovers.

Serve over rice or tortilla chips, but don’t forget the toppings!

Might I suggest…chopped cilantro and chives, sour cream, salsa, tomatoes, cheese, etc…

A few notes: I made this chili on the stove with my dutch oven, but it can easily be adapted for the crock pot (cook on high 4 hrs, low 6-8 hrs {add already cooked meat}). The original recipe calls for ground turkey, but I like it better with chicken browned on the stove; it creates a richer flavor. The meat can also easily be omitted.

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^ This meal is great for potlucks because it’s a bit unexpected, but so comforting.

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What are your favorite pumpkin recipes?

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