Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Thank You!



I have been watching in awe over the past few weeks as one of my Pinterest boards has jumped in popularity really, really, quickly. My Gluten Free Meal Plans board is a collection of all the weekly meal plans I post on the blog, and it is currently sitting at over 5,500 followers!

This is really exciting for me, and I'm thrilled to say that Pinterest has now chosen that board as one of the boards they recommend new users to follow.

And you know what? It's all thanks to you! Everyone who has followed my boards on Pinterest, pinned photos or pins to their own boards, repinned, etc. has helped to make make my Gluten Free Meal Plans board visible to others.


April Cookbook of the Month & Giveaway Winner

Before I get to the cookbook review, I want to give a huge congratulations to Alana J., the winner of the Blender Girl cookbook! Congratulations!

I chose The Blender Girl cookbook as April's cookbook of the month, and I'm so glad I did! This book is full of fun and easy gluten free and vegan recipes that anyone can make with the help of a blender.

While most recipes are liquid in nature, including smoothies, nut milks, soups, and dressings, not everything is of the liquid variety. In many cases, the sauce is the part made in the blender, while other ingredients are prepared in different ways.





Monday, April 28, 2014

Homemade Peanut Butter (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free)

I'm a big peanut butter fan, and I like to make stir fries and other dishes using peanut butter in the sauce, or peanut butter cookies for my kids, or I use it in smoothies.

Unfortunately, most conventional peanut butter brands are full of unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients, like white or cane sugar, icing sugar, molasses, diglycerides, hydrogenated oils or preservatives.

Even brands labelled "natural" aren't always free of these ingredients, as many of them are natural. Evaporated cane sugar is still sugar, hydrogenated palm or other oils are natural ingredients, but not healthy or even necessary. Many of those ingredients turn a healthy food option into an unhealthy, sugary treat better suited as a dessert food.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Gluten Free Weekly Meal Plan (April 28-May 2, 2014)

This week has been so crazy, that I haven't blogged since Monday's menu plan went up. That has happened to me...ever. Well, at least I now have newly sanded and painted kitchen cabinets to show for it! I have so much to post about, that I've got at least 10 drafts started, so be sure to check back often this week. The cookbook of the month review is coming up, my kombucha is ready, and I've got some incredible plans for Celiac Awareness Month!

For now, the menu plan. This week's meals are simple and quick to make. Enjoy!







Monday: Gluten Free Sun Dried Tomato, Spinach, and Ricotta Pasta (This is a variation of this recipe.)










Monday, April 21, 2014

Gluten Free Weekly Meal Plan (April 21-25, 2014)

Hello everyone! Easter weekend was a busy one at my house, and schools are closed on Easter Monday around  here, so I've been busy with the family all day and put together a pretty quick and simple meal plan. I hope your long weekend was incredible and that this is a great week ahead!






Monday: Simple Rice Noodle Soup (Broth, Garlic, Ginger, Rice Noodles. Garnish with Cilantro.)











Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

I love having moments in our busy lives where we're forced to slow down and enjoy time with loved ones,which can sometimes take a back seat to everything else we have going on. 

Easter is special because the long weekend allows us to have family time, but to also have a little time to ourselves. Plus, watching my little guys search for their eggs is so much fun!

After the awful Easter Egg Hunt at my son's school on Thursday, seeing his excitement this morning was fantastic.

His first question? Does the Easter Bunny know I'm gluten free? Once he was satisfied that everything was safe, he had a great time!



Thursday, April 17, 2014

An Easter Egg Hunt Gone Wrong: Gluten Free at School


I've held off writing this post for a few hours, hoping to let my anger and sadness calm down a bit, but I'm still upset and think this post needs to be written.

My son is 5 years old, and in junior kindergarten. He's the one in our family who MUST be gluten free. His school is well aware of his gluten free status, as he attended the preschool there from the time he was two. I send him to school with his lunch every day, and I provide the school with gluten free treats when there is a special event. His school doesn't allow students to bring food to class for birthdays or special occasions, which makes things a bit easier to handle.

Today, my son's teacher held an Easter Egg Hunt for the class. Each child had to find two eggs, labelled with their name and filled with candy. A cute idea, and the kids loved it. My kid loved it, until the hunt was over.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I'm Getting My Kombucha On with a Continuous Brew Kit from Get Kombucha!

A little over a week ago I received a Gold Continuous Brew Kit from GetKombucha.com. I can't tell you how excited I was when it landed on my doorstep!

I love when things are simple, and Get Kombucha makes brewing Kombucha easy with kits that come with everything you need to get started.

I was headed off to a conference that weekend, so I had to wait a week to get my tea brewing, staring longingly at the kit sitting on my counter, waiting to be used.






Monday, April 14, 2014

Contest: Win a copy of The Blender Girl Cookbook!

April's Cookbook of the Month is The Blender Girl cookbook, by Tess Masters! 

This book has been highly anticipated by many in the natural food community, and I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of it to try out for myself. I've already made some smoothies and the Chimichurri bowl was on this week's meal plan.

I know there are many of you would would also love to get their hands on a copy of this gorgeous book, which features all gluten free and vegan recipes. Heading into the warmer months, it's the perfect book to get back into the habit of eating lighter and healthier.




Sunday, April 13, 2014

Gluten Free Weekly Meal Plan (April 14-18, 2014)





Monday: Oven Baked BBQ Chicken Legs w/Roasted Vegetables (Everything bakes in the oven. Pour BBQ sauce over the chicken, toss the vegetables in olive oil, herbs, and salt. Bake until done.)





Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April's Cookbook of the Month: The Blender Girl

The Blender Girl

Super Easy, Super Healthy Meals, Snacks, Desserts & DrinksTess Masters


What’s your perfect blend?
 
On her wildly popular recipe blog, Tess Masters—aka, The Blender Girl—shares easy plant-based recipes that anyone can whip up fast in a blender. Tess’s lively, down-to-earth approach has attracted legions of fans looking for quick and fun ways to prepare healthy food. In The Blender Girl, Tess’s much-anticipated debut cookbook, she offers 100 whole-food recipes that are gluten-free and vegan, and rely on natural flavors and sweeteners. Many are also raw and nut-, soy-, corn-, and sugar-free. 
 
Smoothies, soups, and spreads are a given in a blender cookbook, but this surprisingly versatile collection also includes appetizers, salads, and main dishes with a blended component, like Fresh Spring Rolls with Orange-Almond SauceTwisted Caesar PleaserSpicy Chickpea Burgers with Portobello Buns and Greens, and I-Love-Veggies! Bake. And even though many of Tess’s smoothies and shakes taste like dessert—Apple Pie in a Glass,Raspberry-Lemon Cheesecake, or Tastes-Like-Ice- Cream Kale, anyone?—her actual desserts are out-of this-world good, from Chocolate-Chile Banana Spilly to Flourless Triple-Pecan Mousse Pie and Chai Rice Pudding. Best of all, every recipe can easily be adjusted to your personal taste: add an extra squeeze of this, another handful of that, or leave something out altogether— these dishes are super forgiving, so you can’t mess them up.
 
Details on the benefits of soaking, sprouting, and dehydrating; proper food combining; and eating raw, probiotic-rich, and alkaline ingredients round out this nutrient-dense guide. But you don’t have to understand the science of good nutrition to run with The Blender Girl—all you need is a blender and a sense of adventure. So dust off your machine and get ready to find your perfect blend.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Not for the Squeamish: The Effects of Being Glutened



Tonight's blog post was going to be a detailed recap of the Gluten Free Living Conference and all the wonderful people I met and information I learned that I want to pass on to you. Instead, I'm writing about my afternoon, because if you're the parent of a gluten free kid, this is probably a familiar story.

Sometime over the weekend, my son got glutened. No one is entirely sure when it happened, although my husband suspects it may have something to do with a piece of candy. If that last sentence makes no logical sense to you, welcome to my world. My 5 year old is generally so anxious about food that he always asks if it's gluten free.





Gluten Free Weekly Meal Plan (April 7-11, 2014)

Hello, and happy Monday! I was at the Gluten Free Living Conference in Orlando this weekend, so my husband handled the cooking for the week. I arrived home early this morning, so I'm just getting things in order after dropping my son at school, throwing in a load of laundry, and trying to stay awake after a long night! Here's what we're having for dinner at my house this week.






Monday: Roast Turkey Breast with Vegetables (We buy turkey breast on the bone, and roast it in the oven like any other roast. Add in some potatoes, carrots, or other root vegetables and pour in a bit of broth to keep everything juicy. One pot meal!)







Friday, April 4, 2014

I'm at the Gluten Free Living Conference

Good morning from Orlando! This weekend I'm attending the Gluten Free Living Conference in Orlando, Florida. The conference opens to the general public tomorrow, but today I'm attending the Blogger U portion, which is specifically geared to those of us who blog or write about gluten free living and Celiac Disease. Not only is this a fantastic opportunity for me to learn more about what I do, it's an amazing chance to get to know in person some of the people I've connected with over social media. This group of bloggers are committed to helping others live better lives while maintaining a gluten free lifestyle, and I think we'll all walk away from this conference having learned something new and with new connections.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Review: March's Cookbook of the Month

Gluten-Free, Hassle Free, Second Edition

A Simple, Sane, Dietitian-Approved Program For Eating Your Way Back to Health

Marlisa Brown, MS, RD, CDE, CDN

Gluten-Free, Hassle Free is a simple, friendly, easy-to-follow guide packed with everything you need to know to live gluten-free, including delicious recipes, and practical solutions, strategies, and shortcuts. A registered dietician and chef, Marlisa Brown makes going gluten-free a snap. Completely revised and updated throughout and filled with new material, this edition includes:
Over 150 quick and easy recipes, with nutritional information, including gluten-free holiday classics.
How to stock a gluten-free kitchen. If your child is gluten-free: practical advice, nutritious meals and tasty treats.

Quick and easy substitutions to make your favorite foods gluten-free. How to read and translate current labels-and how to find the hidden gluten in food. Tips for eating out and on the go, including fast food options. Gluten-free products and where to find them. How to eat a balanced gluten-free diet. Advice for dining out at home and abroad. Plus more meal plans, shopping lists, safe food lists, tips for creating your own gluten-free meals and much more (Description from NetGalley.)