Tag Archives: gluten free

What I Ate Wednesday 4-29-15

Whew. I’m so glad I took these pictures on Monday before my world came crashing down yesterday. What is it about bad news that makes us want to stuff our faces with pizza and brownies?

And in my world?  It’s so weird that I grieve the loss of food for my children but all I want to do is eat. It’s actually a pretty guilty feeling…

So–yeah, my unpictured dinner from last night was a vegan pizza and coconut milk ice cream with gluten free cookie dough in it.  Sometimes, I praise God for the tiny little frozen organic section at Food Lion right by my house.

But anyhoo–back to Monday.

Y’all know in the deep south, things take a few more years to make it all the way over here.  All the rage in Cali and big cities is the Acai bowl (pronounced Ah-Sigh-ee // NOT Ah-Kigh).

I’ve been reading about them and seeing photos all over Instagram for a long time, but I actually just enjoyed my first bowl while in Nashville a few weeks ago at this beautiful little gem of a place called Franklin Juice Company.

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It tastes like a thicker fruit smoothie with amazing toppings–and there was hidden granola at the bottom.  If you’re looking to try one in the Augusta area, Humanitree House in Downtown has these 🙂

But I went to Whole Foods and got some frozen packets and tried to make a bowl–which ended up failing, so I turned it into a smoothie instead.  It was really good!

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Before I ate this, I sipped on warm lemon water–I just forgot to take a picture!

Mid-morning, I ate some Overnight Oats…no cooking required…recipe coming later this week!

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This kept me full until about 2-3 pm….I’ve been eating when hungry these days, not because the clock says it’s lunch time.  It is an absolutely freeing thing if you’ve never tried it!

I made a salad with tons of toppings–and even leftovers from lettuce tacos–all drenched in my favorite lemon tahini dressing.

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I drank jasmine green tea along with my salad.

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Next it was time for after school stuff-and to get ready for baseball.  I packed fruit for the boys and two oranges for me.

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I’ve been so enjoying baseball–even though it makes things difficult.  I love this special time with our boys!

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Beckham played with Butter (not our dog) and had a grand ole time.

It’s always CRAZY when we get home from baseball–especially when Andrew is playing softball some nights.  I got all the boys fed, bathed, and in bed–and baked some fries for me while I did that. I finally enjoyed them around 8:30 as I unwound from the day.  I wasn’t starving, and it was the perfect amount.  This was one small potato and 3 tiny ones (like the size of red potatoes) plus 3 dipping sauces, cause I’m a condiment lover. (organic ketchup, homemade whiskey bbq, and homemade honey mustard).

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Oh, and can’t forget the organic pickles.  THE best.  Yes, I buy pickles organic because regular pickles have high fructose corn syrup added AND yellow dyes that are harmful to our health.  I like my organic pickle juice not so yellow…. 😉

I ended the night with a few squares of dark chocolate, but you know me.  I ate them too fast to take a picture.  Dang chocolate!

Until next week! Love y’all!

 

 


Lemon & Lentil Greek Soup

This is a yummy, light soup for the Spring–but is also loaded full of vegetables and protein packed lentils.  Its light flavor comes from a hint of lemon and a strong dill and oregano spice.

Lemon & Lentil Greek StewPair this with a side salad, and you’ve got an easy, tasty meal!

I hope you enjoy!

Lemon & Lentil Greek Soup
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 russet potato, washed and diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 1 t dried dill
  • 1 t sea salt
  • dash of pepper
  • ¾ cup green French lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • zest from half a lemon
  • juice from half of lemon
  • 2 cups kale, washed and chopped
Instructions
  1. Put the olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Once heated, add the onion and sauté until soft, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, carrots, celery, zucchini, and potato.
  4. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add all spices and saute a few more minutes until fragrant.
  6. Add lentils and vegetable broth and stir.
  7. Increase heat and bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce back to medium-low, cover, and cook for about 30-35 minutes until lentils and potatoes are soft. You may need to stir occasionally.
  9. Add lemon zest, juice, and kale and stir until the kale is wilted.
  10. Serve warm and enjoy!

 

 


What I Ate Wednesday 4-15-15

It’s the week after Spring Break….and let me tell ya, I thoroughly enjoyed the break from a 6 am wake up call, lunches, packing bags, and being a personal taxi service.

We relaxed, and danced, and listened to music, and sang some music, and were lazy, and so much more.

These three faces…I didn’t see enough of them this week.  I honestly cherished the time with them. <3

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I didn’t do anything different with my food routines over Spring Break so I didn’t feel gross this week 🙂

Today, I started my morning like normal with a warm cup of water and the juice of half a lemon.  If you don’t have one of these handy lemon squeezers, you should get one!

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As I took the boys to school, I drank this juice…very sweet and tangy–a great combo! And LOOK–Turmeric is in this juice 🙂

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When I got hungry mid-morning (around 11am), I drank this Glowing Green Smoothie.  I’m participating in a 14 day challenge to drink one of these a day for 14 days.  I remember trying this recipe a few years ago, and I didn’t like it at all.  Now, I LOVE the taste and actually can’t wait to drink it each day.  This is evidence that taste buds DO CHANGE!

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I love juices because they give me extra servings of fruits and vegetables during the day as well as a boost of energy, but I also love smoothies because they contain very important fiber for my body!  I like mixing it up or drinking both in a day!

I wasn’t going to be able to eat lunch until around 1:30, so I ate a couple kale chips on the way to pick up the kids.  It’s definitely cheaper to make kale chips, but not always feasible with my schedule, so these are store bought, and oh so yummy!

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Once the kids were settled in to naps, I rested and made a large salad.  I forgot to make a salad dressing for the week  (ahh!!), so I made a quick lemon-tahini dressing by adding two large tablespoons of tahini, juice of a lemon, and salt to some romaine lettuce.

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For a mid-afternoon snack, I shared some strawberries with my sweet Beckham.  He’s had a couple of really good days–where he isn’t acting two–or even three.  Just a big ball of sweetness. And I’m loving it.  I’ll take any days like that I can get!

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Beckham ended up getting sick (is that why he was nice?!), so I had to keep dinner super simple.  He demanded his mama, and I’m totally ok with that!

Look how sweet this is….Sawyer brought him a blanket and some water and scratched his arm.  You know all those moments as a mother where you want to give up?  Most of the time I’m banging my head on the wall wondering if I’ve done anything right as a mother.  And then these moments happen.  The ones that matter….my heart is overjoyed!

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I was in the mood for potatoes, so I baked one sweet potato and two small russet potatoes to make french fries–paired with garlic aioli.

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I’m not scared of white potatoes like a lot of people are.  I like to eat REAL food–not out of a box–that is as close to nature as possible.  And white potatoes fit under that rule!

Most people consume white potatoes as deep fried french fries or potato chips–but when you take them away from the oil, they actually do have many health benefits.  They are rich in Vitamin B6, potassium, copper, Vitamin C and more.  Plus–even when you buy them organically–they are very inexpensive, can fill you up, have lots of fiber if you eat the skins, and are low in calories…

You can actually bake them without any oil, or just a drizzle if you prefer.  Since I love the sweet and salty thang, eating a regular potato with a sweet potato rocks my world.

I got Beckham in bed early so he could rest, and the other two boys were at their daddy’s baseball game, so I cuddled up with a couple (3 to be exact) of my favorite Chocolate-Banana Oat cookies!

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I did my exercises (I’m dong a 12 week program at home), relaxed on the couch, and enjoyed some down time.  I’m loving doing my routines (warm lemon water, a salad, fruit)…I’ve been feeling great!


What I Ate Wednesday 4-8-15

SPRING BREAK, YEAH!

It feels SO REFRESHING to sleep in just a tad and to have no lunches or bags to pack.  It really is glorious.

I started the morning working on some blog posts and drinking warm lemon water.

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Then, in an effort to write a recipe down for the amazing Neapolitan Nice Cream Smoothie, I made it again.  It’s so yummy and full of good stuff that will give you “healthy carbs”  [GASP!] and energy!

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Masters Week in Augusta is always awesome and always crazy.  I’m one of those girls who thrives off the chaos (surprise, surprise!) and loves all the visitors.  The end of the week usually gets exhausting, so I spent a lot of time resting today…The boys were playing with Easter eggs almost all day outside, so I spent some time catching up on Netflix and cleaning up the house.  Plus I took a shower.  I call that a successful day! 😉

For lunch, I ate this Kale Salad–one of my favorite simple recipes.

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Then, I snacked on Brazil nuts and watermelon….I love these two foods!

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And….

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We were headed to Rock Fore Dough–an awesome show for a great cause here in Augusta on Masters Week–to see McCall’s favorite country music artist and songwriter right now.  We had VIP and backstage passes, so I knew there would be tons of food–and if I ate meat, I would just eat what they had there (cause I’m not crazy obsessive about that kind of thing), but being a gluten-free vegan makes it very difficult because most options there have either butter, eggs, meat, or wheat in them.

I’m pretty used to it by now, so I always plan.  Preparation is key for me!

I made Sweet Potato Fries for the road with a simple honey-mustard sauce (made from Vegenaise, Coarse ground mustard, and raw honey).  I know some of you may be thinking that this doesn’t seem like a lot of food, but did you know that a sweet potato has approximately 4 grams of protein?  It filled me up until I got hungry again around 8!

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Sorry for the blurry picture….I tried to take one while riding in the car in Masters traffic [not driving!!].

We hung out backstage, and even had the courage to ask for a photo.  McCall was so excited…Me? I was just trying to be a good mom–you know–asking for a picture and all 😉

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When I got hungry again, I ate all of this:

It is 2 apples, a banana, an orange, and a bag of almonds.

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Yes, I was full. And yes, I was happy.  I feel such freedom now that food doesn’t rule me, and I truly have a found a balance to eat to live–not live to eat.

At the end of the night, Sam Hunt signed McCall’s hat–and McCall deemed this the best night ever!  It really made me happy that he had a special night.  We all kind of threw our normal worries away for the night and just lived it up.  I’m so thankful for the blessings in my life each day, whether big or small.  Life truly is good!

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Today, I’ve got to brave the crowds in Augusta to run some errands–wish me luck!

 


Asian Sesame Cauliflower

Chinese food is one of those things in a food group all by itself like Sriracha or Frank’s hot sauce or watermelon.  I’m not sure I could ever get tired of it!

Before I ate clean or before I became a vegan, Chinese take-out was the perfect Friday night ritual.  Saturdays were reserved for a couple DiGourno pizzas and Blockbuster movies.  Anyone remember that? 😉

After we mastered the Beer Battered Buffalo Wings, I realized that I could use that cauliflower base for anything that would normally call for battered chicken.

And then enter that genius moment.  CHINESE FOOD.  Up until this point, I was pretty happy with my lifestyle, but I just KNEW I had to figure this out, and my life might be complete.

Then, a quick google search proved I wasn’t the only genius.  In fact, many bloggers had their try at it. But we love our batter so much that we wanted to give it a shot.  Our own shot.  So here we go.

Asian Sesame Cauliflower

The cool thing about this sauce is that you can customize it.  This is just how I like mine to taste, but if you like yours sweeter, add more honey…a saltier flavor?  Add more soy sauce.  Then mess around in the kitchen.  And above all else, have fun!

But before we go there, can I share with you about our amazing Easter?  For many  years, my husband had one of those cruddy swing shift jobs.  I had gotten pretty used to playing Santa and Easter bunny all alone.  Our family unit was missing its most valuable member and we never felt complete.

For many months, Andrew and I prayed and prayed that God would bless him with a day job, ANYTHING that would allow us to be a family again.  We were facing a medical journey that was unbearable, we were exhausted, and quite honestly, we just missed each other.  By nature, I’m kind of a loner (shocker, I know!) but even I felt lonely.

He got used to getting turned down from jobs that we thought he was beyond qualified for, and we even settled for being willing to take any job that would get him home on nights, weekends, and holidays, no matter what the pay cut would be.

Long story short?  We were patient.  And God was faithful.  He blessed us beyond belief in all areas, beyond what we could ever imagine or fathom.  I guess his promises are true?! 🙂

All that to say–I really enjoyed our Easter as a family.  It was simple, but it was us–together–teaching our kids about having fun with the Easter bunny, but more importantly, about the impact Jesus’ death and resurrection has on our lives as believers.  It was just a beautiful day.

We started with a surprise….we got EGGED!  The eggs were filled with toys and money (SILVER COINS!!)….we felt so special!!! The kids believed it was the Easter bunny, so to whoever did this….If we’re in Nashville next year, it looks like you must travel to carry on the tradition 😉

Been Egged

PIcking up Eggs

[yes, the picture needs to be rotated, but I’m tired.  Forgive me? 😉 )

We had an amazing morning at church–and followed with a family meal at my parent’s house.  The kids all had their favorites, and I brought a kale salad, fruit bowl, and dessert.  Andrew ate sausage and chicken with my parents, and we all just co-existed beautifully.

Easter Meal

And because I’m me, I have to eat chocolate.  I always love doing a little something extra for a holiday, so I made these Cadbury Creme Eggs.  They really didn’t take long, plus I had fun.  That’s always a requirement for me 🙂

Cadbury Eggs

 

But, I know…back to CHINESE FOOD.

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Make it your own, have a blast, and invite me over! 🙂

 

A note:  When I make Chinese Food, I like to go all out–which means we actually fry these wings in a pan.  So you have that option-OR if you want to hold the fat and oil, feel free to bake them in the oven just like you do the Beer Battered Buffalo Bites. They will still be great–it just may not have that traditional Chinese food flavor.

Asian Sesame Cauliflower
 
Ingredients
Batter:
  • 1 small/medium cauliflower, cut into florets (if you get a large cauliflower, you may need more batter, or you don't have to use the whole thing--and save some for another use!) It will be about 6 cups of cauliflower
  • 1 cup plus 3 T gluten free all purpose flour blend
  • 1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t garlic powder
Sauce:
  • 2 T thickener like tapioca flour, arrowroot powder, or cornstarch
  • 1 cup vegetable broth, divided
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • juice of one orange
  • ½ cup organic tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ t ginger
To fry:
  • ½ cup (or more) of olive oil
  • *Alternate to bake at 450 degrees on a parchment lined sheet for 20 or so minutes or until golden brown, toss in sauce, and bake again for 5-10 minutes
Fried Rice:
  • 4 cups day old brown rice already cooked (you want this REALLY cold)
  • 2 T vegan butter or coconut oil
  • ½ cup frozen peas & carrots
  • ½ cup frozen organic corn
  • ¼ cup organic tamari (gluten free soy sauce), or more to taste
Toppings:
  • sesame seeds
  • green onions
Instructions
  1. Prepare the cauliflower, set aside.
  2. In a large pan, heat the oil (or preheat oven if using alternate method--directions in blog post notes) over medium heat.
  3. When the oil is ready, start putting some cauliflower in the batter and coat well.
  4. Using a fork, get a piece of battered cauliflower (draining excess) and place in pan. You want the batter thick so it stays on the cauliflower. If it's not, add more flour before continuing.
  5. Repeat until pan is full, but don't let the pieces touch.
  6. Let fry for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Using tongs, flip the cauliflower and cook for about 4-5 more minutes, or until they are fried to your liking.
  8. Repeat this process until all cauliflower is cooked. Add more oil if necessary.
  9. Using paper towels, wipe the oil out into a dish to discard later.
  10. In the same pan, put the thickener in along with ½ cup of the vegetable broth.
  11. With a whisk, stir until a thick roux is made. Add all other ingredients (except the last ½ cup of veggie broth) and stir until thickened, raising heat to create a boil--usually medium high.
  12. If you need more sauce, or don't want it so thick, gradually add more vegetable broth to your liking.
  13. Keep heating until the sauce is thick and sticky. Add the fried cauliflower to the pan and gently stir until well coated.
  14. Meanwhile, heat a wok over high heat. Add butter/coconut oil. Once melted, add the cold rice and spread out as much as you can. The key to fried rice is to let it sit for a few minutes so it will get crispy. Then you can stir and spread it back out to get as much of it charred as you can.
  15. Add vegetables and stir.
  16. Then add soy sauce and stir until well combined.
  17. Keep stirring the mixture until it is well cooked and smells like a Japanese restaurant 🙂
  18. Put a serving of rice on a plate, add some fried cauliflower on top, and top with green onions and/or sesame seeds.
  19. Relax and enjoy!
  20. Have your husband do the dishes 😉