Category Archives: Gluten Free

A Month of Paleo!

Yes, you heard it right. After A week straight of baking every cookie under the sun and trying to make excuses to bake some more, I couldn’t actually handle all of the sugar any more and decided to give paleo a try. My sister had been doing a paleo challenge for the month of January with her cross fit gym, which put the idea in my head.

I was sitting at home, feeling the sugar over load and wanting to do something to get in shape for the upcoming wedding, when I just up and left to go to Barnes N Noble to pick up some cookbooks, then to the supermarket for a complete over-haul of my pantry.

I ended up grabbing “The Paleo Solution” by Robb Wolf and Against All Grain, which is a cookbook by another blogger. The first aisle I walked down was the dairy aisle, with milk, cheeses, yogurts, butter, cream cheese. An aisle that I would most likely pick up all of the above was no longer an aisle that I wanted to even tempt myself with.

I bought what I considered to be paleo foods and headed home to read up. Robb Wolf’s book is a great reference to why paleo makes sense for your body. It really got me excited about trying the diet change.

What is the paleo diet?? In a short sentence, anything you can pick, hunt, or gather you can eat. No processed foods, no grains, no legumes, no dairy.

The paleo diet is really quite simple in what you are eating. So instead of painstakingly making a ‘food diary’ of sorts, here is a day of meals.

Breakfast:

IMG_2494

 

Peper and Onions, with spicy sausage and an over easy egg.

 

Lunch: 

IMG_2446

 

A sandwich without the bread. Roasted Red Peppers, Sliced Turkey, Avocado and Bacon.

 

Snack:

IMG_2460

 

A strawberry banana smoothie made with almond milk.

 

Dinner:

IMG_2576

 

Roasted chicken and steamed broccoli. I licked that roasted chicken clean it was so good.

 

So far, it really hasn’t been that bad. After reading Robb Wolf’s book, I decided that being the strict, “NOTHING NON-PALEO WILL CROSS THESE LIPS.” That I would go with the idea of 85% of the time, paleo choices will be made. 15% is a little more relaxed. I eat on the road quite a bit and there really isn’t a way for me to no eat out. This way, when my salad has a bit of cheese sprinkled on top, I won’t go nuts.

 

Have you ever decided to try a drastic diet change??

Rice Cakes, Boring to YUM!

Now I don’t want to take credit for this idea because it wasn’t me. Kaela introduced me to the idea of using a rice cake as almost an open faced sandwich instead of trying to choke down a dry, lightly salted rice cake. Let’s get real, if you eat them, you probably need a large glass of water to go with it. OR you are enjoying the caramel apple or some other sugary version of it.

Check out these yummy snacks:

Rice Cakes

They are delicious. Before the half marathon, Kaela pulled this snack out and it was perfect before our run.

It doesn’t really photograph well, but the sharpness of the cranberries goes really well with the rice cake and the cream cheese.

IMG_2148

 

I made this in my kitchen, and while I was placing the cranberries on it my sister, my mom and Brent all became curious. My sister loved it and Brent was pleasantly surprised. He’s the sceptic when I’m trying new things out and he actually liked it. 🙂

From there, bananas made it onto the cream cheese and it was topped off with a blueberry jam that is made with fresh wild blueberries from maine. It’s not a sweet jam at all. But the snack is extremely moist and filling.

IMG_2147

 

YUM.

And for something a bit sweeter, try taking the Apple Rice Cakes and top it off with peanut butter and sliced bananas. Brent’s response to this one, “You did good things.”

IMG_2152

 

I have to say, there will definitely be more experimenting when it comes to this snack. It is healthy, low calorie, low carb snack that I don’t feel guilty eating. And there are so many options when it comes to adding things on top that I don’t think it could get boring.

With the fall upon us, I am looking forward to trying a PUMPKIN flavored rice cake! Apples might be something to try on it as well. Raisins??

 

Have you ever taken a boring, bland snack and made something amazing with it??

Easy and Fresh Tomato Soup

Since moving up to Boston, Brent and I have been planning on buying a house simply because we are both absolutely sick of renting. I don’t really want to throw away rent money anymore and really want to put it into something that has some sort of return. We’ve been talking to some realtors just to get an idea of what is out there and where we stand. She suggested that we just go out and start looking at houses so we know exactly what we want. That way when it pops onto the market, we can swiftly take it off 🙂

Brent had emailed me with a house to consider last week, and the house looked perfect for what we were looking for. The only problem…the address. It was less than a mile from my parents house. I’m thinking we could just break out of the neighborhood that I grew up in. We went looking anyways…and it really gave us a good idea of how to look at the pictures online and translate it into actuality. I think if we were ready to buy a house, Brent would have been all over this one.

IMG_0040

 

It had a cute little backyard for BBQing, and around it, a perfect little Oreo pen.

IMG_0041

 

It was definitely a good idea to take a look at a house that we would consider buying, just to get an idea of what’s out there.

After I got back home from the open house, I went to work making some dinner. I wanted to make a soup and ended up making this Fresh Tomato Soup that was delicious and really light. I added some mashed potatoes to give it a little more weight and substance.

Fresh Tomato Soup

 

Ingredients:

3lbs Fresh Tomatoes (Any Kind)
1 Bulb of Garlic 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Thyme, Chopped Salt and Pepper to Taste
2 Potatoes 1 Tablespoon Parsley, Chopped
Parmesan Cheese to Top  1 1/2 Cup Chicken Broth

Directions:

1. Pierce your potatoes with a fork several times and place them on a baking sheet. Cut the top of the garlic bulb off and sprinkle about a teaspoon of olive oil over the bulb. Place it in tin foil and put it alongside the potatoes on the baking sheet. Bake the potatoes and garlic at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

IMG_0801 IMG_0804

 

2. While the potatoes and garlic are in the oven, spread out your tomatoes on a baking sheet, lined with tin foil. I used two different red tomatoes and some Sunburst tomatoes. You can take the stemmy heads off the tomatoes now, or after they bake. Whatever is easiest for you.

IMG_0811

 

3. Over the tomatoes, sprinkle olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and the chopped thyme. Then put them in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the skins split.

IMG_0813

IMG_0818

 

4. Once the skins have split on the tomatoes and a fork goes smoothly into the potatoes, it’s ready to start smashing. First, put a colander over a bowl, and smash the tomatoes. The juice will fall into the bowl below while keeping the chunks in the colander.

IMG_0821

 

5. In a large pot, smash the potatoes. Use the juice from the tomatoes to help the process.

IMG_0825

 

IMG_0827

 

6. Next, mash in the garlic from the roasted garlic bulb. They should be easy to just squeeze out of the cloves. Stir in the chopped parsley, the tomato chunks and even some more thyme if you would like. Finish it with a cup and a half of chicken broth. Let it heat for 10 minutes under low heat.

IMG_0830

 

IMG_0834

 

Serve it with some parmesan cheese on top and enjoy! The potatoes really help to add some substance to the soup without over doing it. The soup is extremely light and full of the tomato flavor. It doesn’t have the big chunks of tomato if you don’t want it to and it’s crazy healthy!! All good things!

IMG_0837

I was planning on keeping some for lunch the next day, but everyone kind of cleared it out. This soup will be making an appearance again. It’s very easy on the labor end, so when you don’t feel like making something, this is the perfect answer.

Do you like your tomato soup to be smooth or full of tomato chunks??

 

 

 

Banana Almond Oat Bread

A few weeks ago when I made the Baked Cranberry Almond Oatmeal Brent had made the suggestion of making a cinnamon banana version of it. There isn’t a banana bread out there that he doesn’t like and I have to agree. Of all of the breads out there, it has be one of my favorites. So, when he suggested it, I obviously thought it was a fantastic idea, and went to work on creating one.

I like it better than the cranberry almond, and others liked the cranberry almond better. I guess it really is up to your own taste. But the best part I think, is the fact that it is gluten free, so my youngest sister Bridget can enjoy it along with the rest of us. Now, the directions for each of them are the same so if you do like the pictures that go along with it…just head over to the Cranberry Almond.

Banana Almond Oat Bread

Ingredients:

2 Cups Oats 1/2 Cup Chopped Almonds
2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Cup Vanilla Yogurt 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Cup Milk 1 Banana Chopped
2 Tablespoon Honey 1 Egg
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Directions:

1. In a bowl, mix the oats, almonds, chia seeds, baking soda and cranberries.

2. Add in the egg, honey, yogurt, milk and honey. Stir until consistent throughout.

3. Bake it at 350 degrees for approximately 40 minutes in a greased bread pan.

As soon as the edges as browned and the center looks cooked through, it is good to go. Really kind of a simple recipe but the outcome is fantastic. It’s really healthy and filling.

I’m not even going to lie, I enjoyed it with another latte.

IMG_0036

Ever since Maggie introduce me to to them, I can’t get enough of it. They are light, and really not difficult to make. They get a bed reputation because the clean up is supposedly difficult and time consuming, but I don’t really find it tedious. I think it’s completely worth it to whip these guys up.

What are your thoughts on an at home latte??

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Brent is a big fan of anything buffalo flavored. ANYTHING. If you are staring at a menu, it’s not hard to guess what the man will get. So, I know this is a bit late, but for the Superbowl, I made a buffalo chicken dip with shredded chicken mixed into it. It’s super easy to make, and much healthier than you think!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

 

Ingredients:

1 8oz Package of Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
1 Rotisserie Chicken 2 Tablespoons Buffalo Sauce
Blue Cheese to top it off

 

Directions:

1. Peel the chicken off the rotisserie chicken and shred it into thinner pieces. Mix it with the room temperature cream cheese (just to make it mix in easier). Then add in the buffalo sauce. Add it in to your liking.

IMG_0084

 

 

2. Put it into a flat pan, I used a pie plate. You can top it with blue cheese. Then bake it for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. You want the top to brown slightly and it to be warmed throughout.

IMG_0096

 

 

I ended up doing it half and half with the blue cheese and half without because Brent isn’t the biggest fan of blue cheese. The dish was a hit though. It’s very simple, light tasting and over all one of the healthiest buffalo dips. Everyone really liked it and you can really make it as spicy as you would like!

 

If you are having some people over for a movie, a game or anything, this is a great dish. I’m positive this will be a winner because it is healthier for you, and packed with buffalo flavor.

 

What is your favorite dish for game time??

 

I love anything dippy. Chips and dip, veggies and dip. Munchy and dippy for me!