Baked pumpkin seeds

Don’t throw them out!

The pumpkin innards might be ooky and gooky but it’s worth digging through them for the seeds. And since you are making a family activity of the carving, why not teach the kids about a healthy treat?

We used a cookie sheet with paper towels for the collection of the seeds, just so we had something to wipe them on when our fingers were sticky. Once all of the pumpkins were cleaned out, we rinsed the seeds in a draining basket under hot water and removed all of the remaining pulp.

Try to remove as much water as possible by patting with a paper towel or draining longer. I found the paper towel method to be cumbersome because they stuck to the towel.

Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray. I used canola. Then cover the sheet with pumpkin seeds, they may overlap. Then spray a good layer of canola oil on top as well and sprinkle with salt (and pepper, if you choose) or other seasoning like sriracha for hot ones.

Bake on 350 in the oven for 20-25 minutes and cool for 10 minutes. pumpkin seeds hand

 

 

Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest

I’ve been attending this gluten free food sampling Mecca since it started in Indy. In fact, when it started, it was not owned by Gluten free & more magazine. It was a local creation.

After the initiation years and public build-up, the magazine purchased the show and took over. However, things have changed.

While I still love the accessibility to new gluten free products, sampling before buying and the ability to take my kids somewhere they can eat, there are things that I miss about the old show.

1-The old show gave me the opportunity to sample gluten free alcohol and learn about some of the options on the market that were safe.

2-There were nearly three times the amount of vendors available to sample.

3-The old show didn’t have such a highly represented number of unrelated, non-food vendors.

On the up side, this show does encourage participation from companies that produce products that are free from additional allergens, in addition to gluten.

Perhaps there is a way they can strike a balance to keep numbers up? Did you attend? What are your thoughts?

Gluten free condiments

One of the things people ask me the most about eating is, “is there really gluten in condiments?”

Yes, sadly, there is. More often than not, wheat is used as a filler, binder and (I suppose) just for good measure. I also see a lot of barley malt, which is made from barley and therefore gluten containing, as well.

Add to it the arduous task of finding them free from high fructose corn syrup, artificial ingredients and (for our family) pineapple and you just might be eating that burger plain.

I have recently been privileged enough to get to try @batchno2 sauces. I have to admit, I thought eh, it’s catchup and mustard… what could be so great? Until I tried them. Not only are they naturally gluten free, made with only good ingredients and a local company, but they are also FANTASTIC. Seriously.

The tomato catsup reminds me of a snappy bbq sauce. It was so good that I used it as dressing on my sons salad. Don’t be too grossed out, he eats bbq sauce on everything and since he’s allergic to dairy, it cuts out all of the dressings he would otherwise enjoy. BTW, he loved it so much, he ate it all! (sadly, I didn’t get a photo before he dig in but he ate it again, the next night, on his burger) This won’t last long in our house!


Then I tried the ballpark mustard on a hotdog. It’s amazing how enjoyable mustard can be without all of the extra sugars and the addition of some turmeric.  Sadly, I have not previously been a big mustard fan. But I have now tried their whole grain mustard and I’m convinced that I can eat it on just about anything. If you are a little daring, you will find that their purple pride mustard is the perfect pairing for wine, cheese and gluten free crackers.

 

I love their commitment to healthy ingredients, vegan and gluten free statements of faith and omission of “the cheap stuff”. Give Batch No 2 a try! 

Gluten free D.C., Pt. 4

There is so much amazing gluten free ground to cover in D.C…. I didn’t scratch the surface of what they have to offer but I still managed to find some great eats!

There are distinctly areas of town for dining gluten free that provide more than chain type express joints, Alexandria proved to be one of those for us. We popped by on our way out of town and found these gems:

At Del Ray Pizzeria @delraypizzeria  they offer all of their pizza’s gluten free at the 10″ price. The crust is made locally by The Happy Tart. They were reasonably priced, great service and in a really cute eclectic part of town with free street parking. Bonus!

Like any reasonable family, we cruised over to Alexandria Cupcakes #alexandriacupcakes afterward to pick up dessert. They offered vanilla and chocolate gluten free cupcakes in a dedicated container, separate from the other cupcakes and they also offered a gluten free, vegan cupcake that was raspberry filled for my son. The cupcakes were made of coconut flour, they were moist and the icing was perfect (not too sweet).


What goes better with a cupcake than an iced matcha? A couple doors down from the cupcakes I found Killer ESP (Espresso, Sorbet and Pie). @killeresp   Not only did they have matcha lattes but I scored a raspberry turnover that was full of flavor, held together while I ate it and, oh, did I mention it too was gluten free? Today was a good day. 

On my way to the car I stopped in Misha’s Coffee House. @mishascoffeehouse  I love the inside of coffee houses, stores and bistros. There is always such a relaxed, inviting atmosphere and it’s always on my agenda to see if they have anything  gluten free. 


They had this rack of safely wrapped, individual portions of @katebakesbars treats which are not only gluten free but vegan! (I hear they have paleo versions too šŸ˜‰

I wish I could spend a week in Alexandria alone. Love the town. Love the eats! 

Gluten free salsa meal

Quick, grab your magic pot and follow me!

This dinner was super fast, easy and delicious. Sometimes I work for hours and end up with dinner that is just so-so. I feel so redeemed to try something like this and end up with a winner that will reside on our staples meal list for years to come.

Open your electric pressure cooker and add:

1C uncooked dry quinoa 

2C water

4 frozen chicken breasts

Cover with 1/2 jar of red salsa (of choice)

Cover with 1 jar green salsa

Pressure cook for 10 minutes. It may not look pretty but it tastes fantastic! The chicken is plump and flavorful and you can tear it apart with a fork.

Gluten free D.C. Eats, Pt. 2

If you are headed into downtown D.C., you will quickly notice that all of the buildings house a federal office of some sort.

Interestingly, you will not see places to eat. It’s actually very bizarre. It took us a few hours touring to realize that snack shacks were owned by The Government and food trucks lined the streets because those are the only options for refreshment, outside cafeterias in respective buildings, until you get outside the boundaries of DC and move into the neighboring cities housing businesses.

In need of some really good food, we ventured out to GCDC Grilled Cheese Bar and landed on a winner! The gluten free grilled cheese were made on @risebakerygf Rise Bakery bread. They are native to the DC area, and as I quickly found, supply many of the restaurants. They also made tots in a dedicated frier and you could get them with many different gluten free toppings, including chili.

 

Immediately after, we took a visit a couple streets over to the @wickedwaffle  Wicked Waffle. I could eat there every day! The waffles were light and fluffy, cut in half and topped with pretty much anything you can think of. They cooked ours on a separate tray and called out gluten free when they served it, for that extra peace of mind. They also had gluten free bars near the register for a take away quick snack.

 

Next we popped by one of my favorite bakeries (which we also visit in Chicago) @lepainquotidien Le Pain Quotidien USA, “the daily bread.” I found the triple chocolate cookies that the kids love and picked up a lemon poppyseed muffin for myself. This proved the be the best breakfast the following morning.

 

Last, I stopped by Pret Organic Coffee and tried one of their almond matcha lattes. While they didn’t offer any gluten free baked goods, they managed to shift my thinking when it comes to almond milk in my matcha. This was a distinct improvement in the ones I have tried in the past and I would highly recommend giving it a try!

For more info, check out pt. 3!

Easy gluten free stir fry

It’s literally pre made!

If you are like me and struggle to feed the kids something besides hot dogs, corn dogs and chicken nuggets (although there are some amazing gluten free options out there), this is a simple meal hack they will enjoy.

Trader Joe’s, Costco, Market District and many others have two things that can make dinner time super easy:

Fresh or frozen chicken breasts

Precut fresh or frozen vegetables

Throw the two together in a skillet (or wok, for those of us from the 80’s) and sprinkle in a sauce of your choice. We like Braggs aminos (gluten free soy sauce).

Toss and eat. 

Sometimes I just need a reminder that I don’t have to make dinner complicated in order to switch it up. 

Gluten free mushrooms

While I’m detoxing, I need extra flavor and extra veggies. This recipe combines both with flair!

Spray skillet with oil of choice

Wash and slice one basket whole fresh mushrooms

Place mushrooms in skillet over medium heat

Add 1/4c GF worchester sauce 

Add 1/8c Boar’s head spicy mustard

Simmer and turn until they darken.

Eat alone or add to a bowl of quinoa kale. I used Path of Life frozen mix from Costco below.

Sweet potato chickenĀ 

I love sweet potatoes!

I also love that they are allowed on a healthy, get fit menu. They can be used in so many ways and are abundant with natural sweetness.

In this recipe I tried something new, with what I had on hand and it turned out fabulous!

This is made in my //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=gftifshealtht-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B01B1VC13K&asins=B01B1VC13K&linkId=66a3b8ea209f1a8f15c24c4600e880d8&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true&price_color=e629dd&title_color=e633c8&bg_color=faf5fa” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Fagor pressure cooker, otherwise referred to as the “magic pot”. I consider it magic because of the meals that can be made in just minutes.

Add two cups of water to clean pot.

Peel and rinse 6-8 small sweet potatoes and add to pot.

Cover with 1/2 c applesauce

Add 4 frozen chicken breasts

Cover with a full jar of Trader Joe’s peach salsa

Cook on pressure setting for 10 minutes.


Voila!

Skinny fit… day 1

I’m on a 14 day journey to try out Skinny Fit Detox Tea. 

I’ve been wanting to do a cleanse and I liked the wholesome ingredients and lack of allergens and laxatives in this one. 


Upon opening the bag I was overwhelmed by the fresh berry smell and pleased to see mesh bags.


The taste is subtle, pleasing and easy to consume. It wasn’t mediciny, bitter or harsh. If anything it smelled more like berries than it tasted but it was good. 

I will be drinking this am and pm as it’s recommended once or twice daily. I will also be eating a Whole Foods, clean diet. Lord knows there’s no tea, detox or other magical cure that can work in its own. 

I’ve been eating “fun” for awhile now and my body has a lot to overcome. Let’s give this a go!