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Monthly Archives: September 2015

Goodness Guacamole Greatness! Guacamole

Ok, ok, so long overdue yet, as promised….here is our delicious homemade guacamole recipe.  Homemade, fresh, gluten free, vegan and organic!  Need I say more?  There were many months when my diet was so limited that I ate this daily! Love it.  Guacamole

Check it out!

Easy Goodness Guac Greatness
Fresh, organic homemade guac in just minutes
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 ripe organic hass avocadoes
  2. 5 sprigs of fresh organic cilantro
  3. 1/8 tsp organic garlic salt
  4. pinch of Himalayan sea salt
  5. pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  6. handful of diced organic tomatoes
  7. handful of diced organic red onion
  8. 1/4 tsp freshly squeezed juice of a lime
Instructions
  1. Chop your onion and tomato. Halve your avocados and remove the pit. Spoon out the fruit halves into a small bowl. With a fork, smash the avocado until it reaches a smooth texture. Add in your diced onion and tomato along with remaining ingredients. Zest with lime juice last and stir. Refrigerate for 20 minutes and serve fresh with your favorite gluten free tortilla chip. See, told you it was easy!
Notes
  1. For a kid-friendly version, the tomato and onion is optional πŸ™‚
3 Whole Peas in our Gluten Free Pod http://www.3wholepeasinourgfpod.com/
 Here, we first smash the avocado….

Nobody said the "prep" was pretty!
Nobody said the “prep” was pretty!

Some of our favorite tortilla chips come from Trader Joe’s, however we also like to eat our guac grain free with carrots, celery and in actuality, any other veggie lying around the pod.  It is also great spread on your favorite deli sandwich or as a taco or taco salad topper.  Mmm-mmm.  We often find ourselves making two bowls.  One for us, and “P’s” kid-friendly version…see below

Serve it up!
Serve it up! (This is P’s- he doesn’t like the chunks of tomato and onion in his)

If you try the guacamole recipe, leave us a comment and let us know how you liked it!

Stress less, gluten free Travel 3 Tips for Stress Less, Gluten Free Traveling 3 Whole Peas (1)

When we travel as a family now, there is an entirely new dynamic entered into the equation….Where will we eat? And what CAN we eat?  We actually have to pack food now.  Ugh.  At first, travel with this new transition proved very stressful.  The very first road trip away, just before my actual diagnosis when I wasn’t feeling well, I literally packed coolers of cooked organic meals in preparation knowing that I wouldn’t be able to eat out, including lots of chicken and veggies. (You should have seen the car, lol!!!)  If I had to describe it in two words, “clown show”.  hah  Yet, this was the only way I could see myself being able to eat.  When it was time to stop for a bite, it was only a matter of finding a gas station with a microwave, or asking the restaurant we stopped at, to please heat my food.  Not ideal, but it worked.  Hey, a girl’s gotta eat!

 Once I ate my way through my two or three days of rationed, prepped food, I’d then have to make a stop to Whole Foods and stock up again.  Rotisserie chickens became my best friend.  It was after this road trip, that we were like, NEVER AGAIN!  It was tough.  Easier to stay home we said.  Yet months later, once I regained some foods back, travel prep became less and less time consuming.  Now, we just ensure we have enough snacks and high protein foods and healthy fats to power us through until we can find the closest allergy friendly/gluten free restaurants.  We do cave and give in on the organic foods when traveling.  It’s almost impossible not to.  All in all, we’ve finally got things figured out enough to the point where we can at least travel comfortably again.  

Just recently, we flew back home for my cousin’s wedding.  We were gone only 4 nights, yet I still felt compelled to pack a ton of snacks.  Here is “P” on the plane ride there…

 

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I stole mom’s ipad

I try to always pack suckers for “P” for take-off and again for landing.  It helps avoid the ear popping issue altogether, and the people around us never complain because it keeps him occupied and quiet as he enjoys the treat.  Win, win.  We buy Yummy Earth, “Organic Lollipops”.  Check them out at www.yummyearth.com.  The pops are certified organic, have no chemicals or dyes, are vegan, gluten free, wheat free, soy free, nut free, dairy free and allergen free.  The flavors are tasty, unique fun treats including Tooberry Blueberry, Wet-face Watermelon, Pomegranate Pucker, and my favorite Mango Tango.   They also sell delish fruit snacks and gummy bears.  

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View from the sky

Pictured below is our carry-on.  (Laugh)  It contains pretzels, in case they offer “P” pretzels on the plane, I’m prepared to substitute out these Snyder’s.  With kids, it’s easier to have an exact substitution to avoid issues when possible, although he’s getting pretty good understanding it all now that he’s older and eats what he can.  On the way there, we actually got lucky and they served peanuts instead.  A snack we can eat!  Anyhow, we also threw into the carry-on potato chips, Annie’s mac n’ cheese to go packs and their bunny grahams, Pamela’s gf chocolate chip cookies, beef jerky and my go-to, nogii bites for protein.  I also threw in some Trader Joe’s bagels and gluten free, dairy free muffins for the hotel in the morning.  This totally saves cost and hassle in the morning when everyone wakes up hungry and the continental breakfast doesn’t cater to gluten free people.  Once in a  great while, we get lucky and find gluten free bacon and/or eggs in the complimentary breakfast stations, sometimes even Chex cereal, but we never bank on it.  We usually always luck out and find some sort of fruit as well.  Needless to say, I pack breakfast anyways, better safe than sorry.  I have even packed gluten free oatmeal packets before and they worked out great!  Just add water to your bowl of oats and microwave!!  Instant breakfast.  

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Gluten Free Carry-on

The trip went really well.  The wedding venue even served the family our own gluten free meal and our packed snacks were sufficient to carry us through the days.  When you arrive you can stock up on rice milk or almond milk etc. at the local grocery store and even plant based butter if you’re dairy free IF your hotel has a fridge that is, most do these days.  I managed to find a local deli that had gluten free spinach wraps for lunch the day before the wedding and enjoyed gluten free carry out pizza the night before we headed out.  The wedding was beautiful and visiting family was over due.  Lastly, I’ve started using the app called iPitt.  Have you downloaded it?  You can set preferences up to let the app know what allergies you have and then simply scan the bar-code on products before you eat them and the app will tell you if it’s safe for you to eat or not.  I will say, I’m finding a lot of new products aren’t yet available yet on the new app, but they are working on it and adding items!   So, if you haven’t checked it out yet, it’s worth a look!

If from any of this you take away only three things for stress less, gluten free travel, I’d hope it to be:

  1. Pack your own snacks, including continental breakfast items.  If traveling by air, place them in a designated carry-on.
  2. Research gluten free restaurants at your destination ahead of time.  It makes finding dinner when you’re already over hungry so much more enjoyable and is just overall easier on everyone else in the party involved!!
  3. Stay at a hotel/resort (or someone’s house) with at least a fridge and microwave (kitchen is ideal however not a must).  You can always call ahead to ask on amenities.  This way, you can stock up on some of your basics and necessities at the grocery store when you arrive and still keep them fresh for duration of your stay.

Now, you can enjoy yourself, relax and have a blast!

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Good-bye Cousin!

On the flight home, they did offer up pretzels.  So, I enjoyed one of these Sargento snack packs and “P” enjoyed his gf pretzels.  Have you seen these packs out yet?  Cashews, cranberries and cheddar cheese cubes.  (We were flying at lunch time, and this kept me full and energized until we landed and we could find other food)  I recommend them in a pinch, just wish they came in organic.  A girl can dream.  πŸ™‚  

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Snack time!

How do you travel gluten free?

Home at last
Home at last

Grilled Green Apple and Cheddar on RyeGreen Apple andCheddaron Rye

So after “P” so carefully picked out some apples yesterday on our pumpkin adventure, I was looking for some creative ways to use up those beauties that didn’t require too much effort.  I had, after all, already spent nearly 2 hours in the kitchen perfecting and baking our new gluten free pumpkin cheesecake bread the day before!!  So worth it though!  Then of course, was the clean-up.  It never ends, right?!  

So today I couldn’t help but eye up some of the delicious fall apple recipe suggestions in October’s All You magazine issue lying on my counter.  Perhaps my car rider line read later that afternoon?  hmmm.  Anyhow, this delicious, crisp and cheesy, amazing sandwich recipe adaptation is inspired from that issue!   Dairy free?  Use Daiya cheese slices and still enjoy this treat!

Delish
sandwich Delish
Gluten Free Grilled Green Organic Apple and Cheddar on Rye
Serves 1
A crisp, cheesy grilled sandwich on rye. No one will ever know it's gluten free! Plus, dairy free option!!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
8 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
8 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 slices 3 Baker's Bread rye style
  2. 3 thinly cut slices organic mild cheddar (or Daiya cheese slices if dairy free)
  3. 3 thinly cut slices from organic green apple, cored and sliced
  4. 1 Tbsp plant based butter
  5. "Fancy Sauce"
  6. 1 Tbsp Dijon or regular mustard
  7. 1 Tbsp raspberry preserves
  8. 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  9. 1 tsp. lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Prepare sauce: Combine your mustard, raspberry preserves, EVOO and lemon juice in a small bowl. Mix together well.
  2. Spread your slices of bread with your butter to prepare for grilling. Place one slice, butter side down in fry pan and top with your sauce and add cheese. Next, layer the apple slices and top off with remaining bread slice, butter side up. Cook until cheese begins to melt and sandwich is toasted, flipping approx 4 minutes on each side. Serve up warm! Apples will be deliciously warm and tender inside, and crisp outside.
Notes
  1. This sandwich is fabulous in itself without the sauce as well.
Adapted from October 2015 issue, All You Magazine
3 Whole Peas in our Gluten Free Pod http://www.3wholepeasinourgfpod.com/
Here, our sandwich in fry pan grilling to delicious perfection
Here, our sandwich in fry pan grilling to delicious perfection

 I would have loved to add kale or arugula to my sandwich this day to tie in some greens, however I desperately needed to get to the grocery store and buy some more.  Hence, our picture is shown without it.  If you keep up on your produce better than I did this day, it would be great to top off the sandwich with and even add some color to the plate.  πŸ™‚

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Fall into this delicious Sweet Potato Soup Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Soup

What can’t be more enjoyable this season than your favorite warm, comfort food soups?  I’m going to share 2 of our favorite sweet potato soups with you on this very first day of Fall.  

In an attempt to shy away from starchy white potatoes, yet still get that satisfactory “potato soup” taste and feel, this first recipe really does the trick.  Plus, it uses two great hearty, healthy veggies, sweet potatoes and cauliflower.  I found this slow cooker recipe on peasandcrayons.com and it was creamy, (even when we adapted to dairy free) and pretty simple to make as promised.  What’s not to love?  Click her above link to view the original recipe and post now.  So yummy!

Chunky Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Soup
Serves 8
Delicious gluten free, dairy free comfort soup
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
5 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
5 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs fresh organic cauliflower, roughly chopped
  2. 2 lbs organic sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  3. 1 quart organic, gf chicken broth
  4. 1 large organic onion, diced
  5. 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  6. 4 stalks of organic green onion, chopped
  7. 1 tsp dried thyme
  8. 1 tsp paprika
  9. ΒΌ tsp salt, or to taste
  10. 2 cups organic soy milk (NOTE: can also use almond or rice milk, etc Choose based on your personal dietary need)
Instructions
  1. INSTRUCTIONS
  2. Set your 5 or 6 quart slow cooker to high and add cauliflower, sweet potato, veggie broth, onion, garlic, green onion, thyme, paprika, and salt.
  3. Cover and cook for 4-5 hours on high.
  4. Once veggies are tender, turn off the crock-pot and add your "milk".
  5. Mix in and serve!
Adapted from Jennifer @PeasandCrayons
3 Whole Peas in our Gluten Free Pod http://www.3wholepeasinourgfpod.com/
Jennifer from Peas and Crayons admitted to using almond milk before and assured that it still works great.  (I have not tried almond milk).  She shared that she still added the cream cheese however with her almond milk, so when I questioned if she thought it would still be okay without the cream cheese as well, she shared that “the potatoes thicken the soup quite nicely and it should be just as fabulous without it“.  So, I gave it a try in our dairy free recipe adaptation, and she was right, it was awesome without it!
Our prepped chopped organic ingredients
Our prepped chopped organic ingredients

 

We topped our soup with crumbled bacon and green onion….Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Soup

…and added in a yummy little, min-corn muffin (gluten free of course!).

 I hope you find time to give this soup a try!

Gluten Free Corn Muffins
Gluten Free Corn Muffins

 

The second soup we want to share, and my all time favorite paleo soup from my recovery days is Danielle Walker’s, Leftover Chicken Roast Soup.  

This one takes a little prep, yet is SO worth every bite!  The main “substance” ingredients include spinach, chicken, and of course, the sweet potatoes.  I honestly ate like 3 bowls of it the first time we ever made it.  We made this soup special while visiting home one weekend (so that I would have something gluten free, dairy free, etc. to enjoy while the rest of the extended family ate the regular prepared family meals).  Well, everybody wanted to eat my soup instead of their lunch, it was that good!  View Danielle’s post and recipe in link above.  I just may have to make this one again yet this week.  

What is your favorite fall soup?

Happy First Day of Fall! 

 

 

No Bakes, No Gluten No Bakes

Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar?
Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar?

What’s not to love about a No Bake cookie?  Fast, easy and well, just plain delicious.  This batch never sticks around too long in our pod.  In fact, these little bits of goodness seem to disappear the second they hit the wax paper.  
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No Bakes, No Gluten
Yields 12
An easy, delicious drop cookie No one will ever know they are gluten free!
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Prep Time
3 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
3 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 stick of butter (or plant based butter for vegan/dairy free)
  2. 1 cup of organic cane sugar
  3. 2 Tbs of Chatfield's vegan, non gmo unsweetened cocoa
  4. 1/4 cup organic soy milk (rice, almond milk substitutes etc. if soy free)
  5. 1/4 cup organic peanute butter (We like Earth Balance)
  6. 1 1/4 cups gf oats (we used Chex, Bob's Red Mill is also great)
  7. OPTIONAL: 1/4 c chopped nuts Obviously, avoid if nut free πŸ™‚
Instructions
  1. Melt butter, add sugar, cocoa and soy milk. Bring to a boil- let bubble for 1 1/2 min. This is very time sensitive to ensure recipe turns out. We recommend using a timer here. Then, remove from heat and quickly add peanut butter, gf oats, and optional chopped nuts. Mix well. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper. What a treat!!
3 Whole Peas in our Gluten Free Pod http://www.3wholepeasinourgfpod.com/
Secret ingredient
Secret ingredient

We love to use Chatfield’s cocoa powder in our adaptation.

 

mixing in the gf oats
mixing in the peanut butter and gf oats

A good, clean peanut butter and gluten free oats are a must!

 

Enjoy!
Enjoy!

With just 6 ingredients and no baking time, anyone can find time to make this one!


March 2016 024

 

Bar-b-q Chicken Pizza (gluten free w/ dairy free option)

9 times out of 10, our pod wants “regular pizza”, i.e. ham, pepperoni,  marinara, you know, pizza.  However there is that 1 time that we crave a variety, or specialty pizza.

I was super excited to see that CPK came out with a couple of their menu pizzas as gluten free frozen pizzas, however disappointed and deterred a little, okay a lot, by their price at our local grocery store, Cha-Ching$$!!  Yikes.  

If you like Bbq Chicken Pizza, I think this one is worth a try and gives CPK some competition.  The crust options…. cauliflower crust, like it.  A little time consuming, yes. Paleo crusts, yummy, most a little hard for me to enjoy however since I can’t have almond flour.  If you have a fave grain free crust, by all means use it!!  Also, on my “Italian” Pinterest board, you’ll find a variety of our favorite gluten free pizza crusts.  There is one crust out now that I recently pinned (paleo) and it looks WAY easier than cauliflower so it’s on my to do list to try that next.  Something about 5 minutes even?!  We’ll see!  Not following me on Pinterest yet?  Click the social media icon to the right and follow at least this board, if nothing else:) 

So this particular weekend day, we had just gotten back from the beach, were exhausted and wanted pizza fast.  Confession, I used up the gluten free Pillsbury pre-made pizza crust that had been sitting in our freezer for weeks.  No homemade this night.  We thawed it, rolled it and baked it in the oven before topping and firing up the grill.  image

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the prepared dough before rolling it out

Lately, we’ve been on a kick where we must grill our pizza. Ever done it?  If not, you need to!! It delivers a flavor that is crisp, warm and crunchy.  I have also found that just by using our pizza stone (Pampered Chef) it ensures a delicious, gluten free pizza in the oven as well.  It just somehow tastes better.  Just be sure to preheat the stone in the oven first before throwing the frozen pizza or homemade crust on. 

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The mozzarella cheese

At Trader Joe’s they always seem to offer some new organic or non-gmo varieties worth trying, like this mozzarella cheese made from milk of cows not treated with growth hormones.  Our prepared chicken came from Costco (also antibiotic free, remember we were hungry and in a hurry this night!) and the barbecue sauce we love in this pod is Rufus Teague Honey Sweet.  Soo amazing.  Any other fans out there?!  It is gluten free and full of flavor, minus the high fructose corn syrup and chemicals found in many store bought brands including Sweet Baby Ray’s.  You can order “The Teague” we like to call it, online on their website or amazon and I have even found it at Harris Teeter.  It is a little more pricier than most, but so worth it. 

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chicken, bacon, and onion ready for topping

When the crusts were cooked as according to the packaging on the dough tub, we pulled them out, used the barbecue sauce as our “marinara” and then topped the pizza with bacon, onion and of course the chicken and the mozzarella cheese last.  (Use Daiya dairy free cheese if you can’t tolerate dairy and still enjoy this pizza!  yay!  As always, check all ingredients in your toppings and sauces for any food allergies/sensitivities first.) 

Once the toppings were placed on….imagewe sprinkled the cheese last as I mentioned.  I must admit, surprisingly the Pillsbury delivered a fairly thicker crust than most store bought frozen, gluten free pizzas we’ve tried, or even homemade gluten free crusts we’ve prepped on our own for that matter.  It was a nice change.  Just wish ingredients were more “clean”.  Can’t win them all always, right?!

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                    Pizza is done!

 

 

 

 

Now if only I could go back to this backyard summer evening, and enjoy that pizza all over again.  Ahhh, I’ll have to make it again real soon. 

Live in a cooler climate this time of year?  That never stopped us.  We’ve grilled meals even in the snow before!  It’s never a bad time for grilling.  No excuse. πŸ™‚

The Mr. even enjoyed a libation with his dinner!imageWho says gluten free can’t be fun?!

ENJOY!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

“Just like mom used to make” gluten free, organic hamburger stroganoff Hamburger Stroganoff (3)

Hamburger Stroganoff (2)

When I was a kid, I always enjoyed a week long stay over the summer at my aunt’s house.  We did tons of fun activities together and got to spend time with each other.  When my cousins were born, I helped out with them and we have some really great memories with each other.  Inevitably, one of my cousins was always begging my aunt to make us hamburger stroganoff for dinner of all things when she would ask for dinner suggestions.  The easy recipe was affordable, fast to prep, and well, we kids actually all liked it.

stroganoff in pan (2)

In an effort to reinvent the dish for “P”, our super easy 4 ingredient, yes 4 INGREDIENT! organic recipe emerged.  All you need for our organic hamburger stroganoff is 1) grass fed ground beef 2) Pacific, or any other fav brand of organic gf cream of mushroom soup 3) organic sour cream and 4) your favorite non-gmo gf pasta.  That’s it!  Soo delicious!

(*see bottom note for possible dairy free option)

stroganoff ingredients (2)

Just Like Mom Used to Make Hamburger Stroganoff
Serves 4
A delicious comfort food that will guarantee you never buy from the box again
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 lb organic grass fed beef
  2. 1/2 tub organic sour cream
  3. 1 box gf cream of mushroom soup (We used Pacific organic)
  4. 1/2 bag of gf non-gmo corn pasta or 8 oz (any fave gf pasta could be substituted of course:)
Instructions
  1. Bring water in a pot to boil and add in your pasta. Allow to boil for 10 min unless otherwise specified on the bag. (Varies with pasta choice- quinoa, corn, lentil, etc) While pasta is boiling, ground hamburger in a separate pan until done. Drain and add the sour cream and mushroom soup. Stir. The mixture will be thick. Let it simmer for an additional 10 minutes to thin it out. When pasta is done, drain and serve. Add creamy stroganoff to the top and enjoy!
3 Whole Peas in our Gluten Free Pod http://www.3wholepeasinourgfpod.com/
 Let us know how you like it!  Tag your photos, 3 Whole Peas (#3wholepeas) on Twitter and Instagram.  πŸ™‚  Thanks for stopping by!

All served up!
All served up!

If you are avoiding dairy and can tolerate soy, you could always substitute the sour cream for the soy based version and find a mushroom soup that would agree with you, ie dairy free.  (I have not tried this version yet).  Good luck!

Fun Fall Treats, still gluten free Halloween image -3 whole peas

pax 4 card 2011
Turn back time moment!…. “P” having some fall fun in his wagon at just 18 months

 

It seems there are SO many recipes out there this time of year, it can almost be overwhelming!  When the family first went gluten free, I was afraid that holidays could no longer be all about the food.  Boy was I wrong!  In this post, you’ll see that the most basic treat ideas can be easily made gluten free and most have adaptable cleaner options if wanted.  

I decided to compile a bunch of our pod’s favorite fall treats here.  I hand-picked just for you from my Gluten Free Dessert pinterest board and my Kid’s Food and Treats board in order to save my followers some time hunting for them.  I hope that you can use this post as a resource.  It’s especially great for those searching for the perfect Fall kid treat, or even class party.  Gluten Free or not, anyone will LOVE these ideas!

Check out these festive pumpkin cups from The Glowing Fridge off of my pinterest GF desserts board…. Chocolate Pumpkin Cups  Now we know Reese’s peanut butter cups are gluten free, however we prefer Justin’s organic over Reese’s any day.  These cups, however are the perfect, clean, fall adaptation of everyone’s favorite peanut butter cup.  

Chocolate Pumpkin Cups - vegan + gf - These treats are delectable, guilt-free, easy and oh-so-amazing! From The Glowing Fridge:

Next, one of my favorite resources this time of year from Munchyy just in time for Trick-or-Treating….A Gluten Free Halloween Candy List, THANK YOU Munchyy!!  This definitely comes in handy at the end of the night on Halloween when you are weeding through the yes and no pile in the Trick-or-Treat bag.

Here's the ultimate gluten free halloween candy list that contains all the sweets that are safe to eat for anyone on a gluten free diet. Enjoy!:

 

Now, below are a few ways to tie some fruit into those kid’s Halloween eats this year!  They also make great healthier classroom party treats.

A new idea from Miss Candiquik..White Choclate Covered Strawberry Ghosts

Strawberry Ghosts -- are these cute! Love the little ghost "tails" on them #halloween #partyfood:

Aren’t they so cute?

Jack-o-Lantern Fruit Cups from SimpleeThrify.com (one of “P’s” favorites!)

Halloween is such a fun holiday; I love coming up with all sorts of fun and cute crafts and projects that I can do with or for my kids.:

Spooky Fruit Tray  All you need is bananas, chocolate chips, clementines and celery.  We like to use Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips.

Found on izeko.hubpages.com

From dosmallthingswithlove.com these apple smiles are sure to make your kiddos giggle.  Below is how ours turned out with Earth Balance peanut butter and flax and organic marshmallows and apple slices… YUM! 

November first week 2015 091

SNAKE TREAT For preschool last year I signed up for strawberries at the class Halloween party. On the top of the strawberry bowl, I placed this snake treat.  It was a hit!

Serve up a scary Halloween Sweet Snake simply by slicing bananas and strawberries. You can use any fruit you want!:

Image and post found on preschool-creative-learning.blogspot.com

Caramel Apple Nachos from ButterwithaSideofBread.com  I like to use a homemade caramel apple recipe to avoid the high fructose sugar and modified corn starch in most store bought brands.  Below is a paleo version from allergyfreealaska.com  called Liquid Gold  Of course, Enjoy Life choc chips!"Liquid Gold" a.k.a. Dairy Free Caramel Sauce (Paleo, vegan & refined sugar free).:

caramel apple nachos

 

This next one is SO easy.  Pumpkin mandarin orange fruit cups.  I’m eager to just do this on “P’s” everyday fruit cups in his school lunch next month just for a little surprise treat.  

Toddler Halloween Friend Gift OMG my chickens love these oranges! Even my babe with a ton of allergies can have them!:

Found on thesweatmanfamily.blogspot.com

And while I’m on the subject of school lunches….look at these ideas I’m eager to try for “P’s” school lunch one day.  Just use gf corn shells on this first one and it’s safe!  (For the eyes, I may have to check the ingredients to ensure they’re gf.  )  If you are dairy free, don’t forget about daiya before you rule these out!

Quesadilla mummies Found on kidsactivitiesblog.comQuesadilla Mummies. Fun after school treat!:

Love them!

Here’s how our gluten free ones with organic cheese turned out!!  (Our jello jiggles are paleo!  Recipe from againstallgrain.com)

November first week 2015 046

 

Jack-o-Lantern Burgers!  Could be made as sliders or regular cheeseburgers, simply use a gf bun or “P” likes to use Cape Cod waffle chips for his mini burgers.

pumpkin cheeseburgers:

image and idea found on princesspinkygirl.com

Healthy Halloween Lunch idea.  As always, use organic gf tomato soup and your fav gf bread, lunchmeat.  

Healthy Halloween Lunch:

Found on smallfryblog.com

Now back to the last fruit idea ....Spiderman Strawberries!  

Spiderman strawberries:

Image and idea Found on littlecook.es

 

My favorite healthy treats are up, but if you still want yet more fruit ideas for this time of year, believe it or not, there are yet more on my pin board under Kid’s Treats.  You can find more here.   Plus, there’s even some veggie tray ideas.

Time for the sugary sweets. 

These Witches Hats can be made with Gluten Free Joe Joe’s or even Glutino’s adaptation of Oreo cookies…no one will ever know, trust me!  

Halloween Witch hats - perfect for a halloween classroom treat - nut free and only takes 15 minutes to make!! #nutfreehalloweentreat #easydessert #halloweenclassparty:

Festive dipped marshmallow treats from Bombshell Bling

Spooky Halloween Marshmallow Dippers from Bombshell Bling - A perfect treat to make with kiddos for Halloween parties at home or for school!...:

Graveyard Pudding Cups from Party Pinching

Easy Halloween Treats for Your Classroom Parties!:

These look so fun and so easy!  Simply swap out oreos for gluten free Joe Joe’s or Glutino’s cookies.  DONE!

 

Fan of Rice Krispie Treats?  You’re in luck because there are TONS of fall spins on this traditional treat.  Here are a few adorable ideas and all can be made with gluten free rice krispies.  Yay!

These Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats can easily be made with gluten free rice krispies and again, no one will ever know!

Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats- Super fun Halloween snack or treat. Perfect for parties.:

Image and recipe from cincyshopper.com

Rice Krispie Ghosts from the idea room

Darling rice krispies ghosts. Fun favors for a Halloween party! #ghost #halloween:

Fan of Candy Corn?  Try these Candy Corn Rice Krispie Treats found on indulgy.com

candy corn halloween party ideas Check out our sexy spooky sale and get 25% off. www.shelbymason.com #bootights #sexyspooky:

 Have a Frankenstein fan?  This idea and image found on cleanandscentsible.comCute Frankenstein Rice Krispie Pops with Free Printable. // cleanandscentsible.com:

 

Who doesn’t love Glow-in-the-dark?!  This image from foodsnots.com is awesome! Glow in the dark cupcake frosting using tonic water and jello…  Of course, just use gf chocolate cupcakes and frosting.Glow in the dark cupcake frosting using tonic water and jello...excuse me?!?!?! i think i just became the coolest nanny, babysitter, aunt, role model, human ever.:

From foodsnots.com

Speaking of jello, I just have to share this too because it’s an awesome paleo version to make jello-jigglers.  It comes from yes, Danielle Walker.  Can’t get enough of her, right?!  Love her, and literally, 2 ingredients!!  Paleo Jello Recipe

 

“P” LOVES pretzels.  These Pumpkin Pretzels  from www.ButterwithaSideofBread.com obviously would be made with your fav gf pretzel before dipped in the chocolate.  I also found this idea on princesspinkygirl.com

Pretzel Pumpkins

Last, but not least for the edible treats, donuts!!  Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Holes!!  Heaven.  Who has the cider?

Gluten Free - Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Holes:

Image and recipe Found on agirldefloured.com

Okay, so looking for a class or party treat that doesn’t include sugar or involve food at all?  Here’s the perfect solution!  Playdough treat bags from onekriegertrick.com

Halloween Playdough Treat Bags:

If you happen to be avoiding the wheat flour in playdough, there’s a solution for that!  At onecreativemommy.com there is an awesome review of gluten free playdough recipes for you to read and choose from.   Which Gluten-Free Play Dough Recipe Works the Best? {Recipes and Review from OneCreativeMommy.com}

Well, hopefully you’ve left inspired to try out some new fun treats and maybe you’re enlightened to see that a gluten free fall isn’t so bad after all.  I can’t wait to see what you create!

Happy Fall!

Mommy and P Ranger
“P” (excuse me, Red Ranger) and I at Halloween Zoo Boo last year

 

The gluten free kitchen 5 simple steps to a gluten free kitchen

For September I’ve decided to feature the room in the pod where most all of my blog post inspiration comes from, where our gluten free school lunches get packed and where all of our clean and gluten free eating prep in general happens…the kitchen!  

Image result for image no gluten

Our kitchen doesn’t look any different from the average family’s kitchen EXCEPT when you look in the pantry…. okay the fridge, or even behind our cupboard doors.  haha  In fact, I once had a house guest say, “you have nothing to eat in your pantry, just a bunch of ingredients I don’t know what to do with” and it made me laugh because when we did go completely gluten free a while back, I literally threw everything in a box or can away. Goodbye Ritz crackers, goodbye Kraft mac and cheese, etc. etc.  Although it is true that I do have mostly produce lying around and some “ingredients” in the pantry, I feel like we now have a ton of healthy food options compared to what we used to eat!  (Funny how perspective changes). I’ve limited only one cupboard in the house to snacks for “P” and for the most part, they too are organic and yes, all are gluten free.  Our freezer and chest freezer contain lots of organic frozen vegetables to add with our dinners and a variety of frozen fruits to make delicious, nutritious smoothies.

imageThis is what I call our “temporary kitchen” until we make the move to buy our next home.  After relocating so far away during our last move, renting was a comfortable choice for us.  The counter space in this kitchen is accommodating and I can’t complain.  The Lecreuset tea kettle and Kitchen aid mixer came with us from our first home and I have to admit, they still get just as much use as they did at our old pod.  The extra cash to get these items was worth it.  (And yup, that is my go-to Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain cookbook pictured in the background).  It is not uncommon to find her grain-free CCC’s in our cookie jar:).  imageAs you can see, I was really into teal this summer.  Well, I suppose I’ve always been, but it seems to be making its way into my kitchen more and more.  See those cutie little labels on my containers?  Another must when I organized my pantry…. labels!!  The container jars (from IKEA) are not usually visibly out on the counter, however this day, I was getting ready to bake some grain free brownies.  So… the labels.  You see, when you use gf flours, including coconut, rice, arrowroot, tapioca, millet, as well as super-foods like chia and flax etc. these labels become a necessity.  There’s no more “wheat flour” for everything anymore.  Now, there’s tons of healthier choices with whole, ancient grains and power, nutrient rich foods.  Plus, there’s a whole new world and variety of pastas out there from lentil bean, black bean to quinoa pasta and more.  To keep track of each flour and pasta in an organized way for baking and cooking, this label system becomes crucial to an organized gluten free kitchen. 

Like the printables?  They came from my pinterest, “Organizing” board from diyncrafts.com.  There are 60+ labels to choose from!  Yup, they’re FREE!

Our toaster is stored in a pull out drawer.  Tip:  one entire side is designated and labeled for gluten free only.  When house guests are over, they have their own side to use and we don’t risk cross-contaminating our side.  

extra counter space
extra counter space

I’ll be the first to admit it, yes, we have a television in our kitchen.  There, now you know.  (Shhh:)  Since we are both “one cup of coffee in the morning” kind of drinkers (if at all), our mini Keurig does the trick for us.  Keep the bottom K-cup storage drawers stocked with Newman’s Own organic coffee and the fridge full of organic half and half, or organic coconut creamer and our morning is off on the right track.  When it’s not coffee for me, it’s probably organic Oregan Chai Tea or Tazo Chai Tea, mixed with organic vanilla soy milk.  Yum.image

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These are just a few pics of 1) my favorite sparkly dish in the house (thank you TJMaxx!:) and 2) our stoneware dinnerware by Rachel Ray.  Again, an amazon.com find.  It’s on sale right now!!

Dinnerware set
Dinnerware set

Going gluten free not only changed the way we ate, but also the tools we used to prep and cook our meals.  Switching to stainless steel (no cephalon or non stick anymore especially when I considered all the toxic chemicals I was cooking into my food that way, ick!) was in order.  I wanted an affordable, yet functional option and I found these T-fal from Amazon.com.  They have worked out real well for us.  For the most part, I do hand wash these pieces to ensure they will last even longer.  They are stainless steel and have a copper bottom to allow for even heating.  Makes a huge difference!

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Next, this functional piece was purchased for the last home and we moved it along to the sunny south, not regretting it for one second.  It gives us the functionality we want and still delivers yet more counter space when needed.  Plus, we attached this super cute and functional wine glass holder underneath to store our glasses out of the way.  The butcher block table and glass storage attachment piece both came from IKEA. 

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Why this photo you ask?  I like our kitchen to be functional.  These hooks make a great place for “P” to hang up his own backpack independently and we always know where to find it in the morning.  I can easily go through it at my convenience and look over his papers and notes when he gets home and even check if there is any homework for him. 

Okay, so now are you ready to see the food in our kitchen?  Here goes, unedited and real…don’t judge!! πŸ™‚

“Musts” in our home include organic bananas, avocados, and sweet potatoes.  This day, we happened to also have a tomato.image

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In the fridge:

The organic dairy for the boys….my eggs!

Produce:image“P” is on a grape and apple kick right now, although there are oranges and limes in there too.  Lettuce, carrots, onion, and cauliflower pictured below and most are great for soups plus cauliflower is great raw or cooked into cauliflower mash, or cauliflower rice.  imageHot dogs, more organic dairy for the boys. 

imageOur favorite Applegate hot dogs and more dairy for the boys.

Drinks… and our butter and syrup pictured below:)

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Top shelf has a lazy Susan that we purchased to allow for us to store more items with better functionality and visibility.  A great idea to try.  I like it so much I want to buy another for the next shelf down.  Then, for in our fridge door, some of our favorites include “P’s” organic lemonade, tahini, our variety of “milk”(no cow’s milk here), balsamic vinaigrette, and yay, French’s makes organic mustard now!  

I’ll admit, the pantry in our last home was far more organized than our current large closet pantry at the rental.  What is nice however, is that there is a huge closet to store our Costco stock piles now, whereas before we put the overflow on a garage shelf.  Either way, it is a work in progress to get the pantry closet organized in the way I used to have my old pantry.  Abby @Justagirlandherblog has been posting about some great kitchen printables and organizational tips lately, so I just may have to revisit that.  For now, here is our snack cupboard and the messier pantry up close and personal…

"P's" Gluten Free pull-out snack drawer
“P’s” Gluten Free pull-out snack drawer
Other pull-out drawer
Other pull-out drawer
Under the snack pull-out drawer
Under the snack pull-out drawer

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extra cereal in the pantry closet

 

Costco finds and misc.
Costco finds and misc.

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For school lunches
movie night?
movie night?
extra all purpose flour to have on hand
extra all purpose flour to have on hand
In love with this gum. Haven't met a flavor I didn't like yet.
In love with this gum. Haven’t met a flavor I didn’t like yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I find a photo of my last organized pantry I’ll be sure to post it because it is after all the goal to get my new temporary pantry looking just as organized, labels and all!  It really makes such a difference!

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Example of how we use the printable labels (placed on with packing tape)

Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for….

5 simple steps to a gluten free kitchen

3 Whole Peas Top 5 Simple Steps to a Gluten Free Kitchen:

  1. Throw away all gluten filled pantry items including spice blends and dressings that contain gluten as well as items in the fridge and freezer.  Throw away all wheat flours and breads.  Don’t want to “waste” the food? Donate to a church or family in need!  Check your oatmeal and any items containing barley and rye.  Kiss them goodbye!
  2. Purchase a variety of storage containers for gf flours, snacks and cereals.  Go to the grocery store and stock up!  Tip:  most gf bread is found in the freezer section πŸ™‚  The variety of flours can be overwhelming.  Start with a few and then you can always add more.  You’ll want to purchase lots of produce, healthy fats, protein packed foods like nuts and seeds, eggs, avocados and sweet potatoes.  Plus, ancient gf whole grains (if you’re not also going grain free).  I love to always have flax and chia on hand.
  3. Print out some free labels from a website you like and start organizing.  See my suggested site above if you don’t know where to start πŸ™‚
  4. Slowly over time you’ll want to toss those cephalon pots and pans and purchase stainless steel to replace them with.  Gluten can stick to and hide in your old pans from the days you used to eat it.  (Depending on how sensitive you are, this may or may not be an issue.)  
  5. Dedicate a spot in the kitchen where any family members can still prepare gluten containing foods if they are not following the gf diet.  (In our pod this works well as our home is entirely gluten free, however when guests come, they know where it’s safe to prep their foods at least).

Good luck with the transition!  You’re on your way to feeling healthier and more energetic just by eliminating this highly inflammatory food.  Yay!  Keep in mind, it takes about 6 weeks for your body to eliminate gluten and a whopping 6 months if you’re sensitive to it, before you’ll see your best results.  Don’t give up, you can do it!

Do you have a gluten free kitchen?  How do you organize it? 

 

 

SUPER EASY Paleo Chocolate Peanut Butter Power Nanner Ice Cream Chocolate, peanut butter nanner ice cream (1)

Banana based ice cream.  I had heard about, was intrigued by it and then, well, forgot all about it.  The pod likes to enjoy dairy free So Delicious ice cream often.  Of course, often times, I just make our own, either coconut or soy based with our Kitchen Aid ice cream mixer and attachment.  Then on Instagram one evening, I saw a post from KeeleyMcGuire blog depicting all the amazing flavors of banana based ice cream that she had just been shipped in the mail.  They looked soo good and they were from this awesome company www.nanacreme.com.  They carry so many flavors!!  

Check out their site!!

I personally had never heard of the company and immediately checked them out and looked to see what the store locator would show for my area.  I NEEDED some of this.  If you’re like me, you guessed it, there weren’t any locations nearby that had it. Boo.  Yes, I could order it and they do offer a really cool printable to request that your grocery store start to carry it.  Great idea!  I am definitely going to take them up on that!  But in the mean time, I would sit on it and brush the craving aside.  But not for long.

It was the next day when I said, well, I could just make it!  I recalled a pin on pinterest for easy, banana ice cream from My Life and Kids blog and knew I could try it.  Chocolate peanut butter ice cream was the flavor that was really calling my name however.  Hmm.  From here, my homemade chocolate peanut butter “nanner” ice cream emerged.  I almost nailed it on the first attempt, but it needed more chocolate flavor.  By the time I whipped up the second batch, it was perfect.  The biggest thing to remember when you get the urge to make nanner ice cream however, is that you have to plan ahead and slice and freeze your bananas ahead of time for the recipe to work properly.  Just sayin’. πŸ™‚  (If you make my recipe adaptation, there is just one more simple, plan-ahead step.)

sliced bananas ready to freeze
sliced bananas ready to freeze

 

Since I feel the homemade banana based ice cream is best served up fresh, I made the recipe to reflect a single serving size only.  Seriously, so yummy and SO super easy.  Of course you can double or triple accordingly if you want to make more.

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What’s great about the recipe is that I was even able to incorporate a subtle protein boost in it that goes unnoticed and doesn’t alter the delicious taste, yay.  Hemp hearts anyone?  Or, perhaps you’d like to also make nanner pops!   Proceed with caution carefully if you try the nanner pops however.  Personally, I had a really hard time getting mine out of the mold, so I’m going to try to use a different mold next time and update you on its success.  If you try nanner pops with success, leave me a comment on what you did!  I’d love to hear the feedback.

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My recipe is vegan, gluten free, dairy free (yes, and still chocolate!!!), refined sugar free, egg free, and I offer you a peanut free option if you have a peanut allergy.  The recipe IS full of flavor!  So, are you ready for the recipe already?  All of my subscribers this month will be e-mailed the recipe for FREE, straight to their inbox!  Look for it now!

Chocolate, peanut butter nanner ice cream (1)

Not signed up yet?  …Go ahead, what are you waiting for? πŸ™‚