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 Subscription Box

So, I’ve tried them… various gluten free boxes with minimal products, stocked full of the same ole, same ole or worse… just a few measly samples. Ugh. 

When I had the option to try American Gluten Free @americanglutenfree I was skeptical because of these experiences. 

However, all I had to do was open the box to realize this was different. Very different. 

What a shock to see the box lipping full of products that were generous samples and even full size. Many of them were free from additional allergies too. (Which allowed me to share them with the kids). 

I was additionally surprised that they were healthy and delicious. Clearly, they take extra care in choosing who they partner with and take pride in delivering value to celiacs who need tasty and creative snack options!

If you want a fun surprise shipped to you without the hassle, check them out!

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 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. 

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!

Gluten free Gooey Delight

This is something that I created by accident. I admit it. Those things happen and sometimes they taste amazing!

Mix all ingredients below in bowl:

1 bag Brookes Naturals Brownie mix

2 egg whites (instead of the 3 eggs on the bag)

1 C applesauce (instead of the three eggs on the bag)

3/4C melted coconut oil (instead of butter on the bag)

Spray baking dish with coconut oil, add mixture above and bake for 20 minutes. Line top of brownies with square campfire marshmallows, end to end and bake for 4 minutes.

Pull out of oven and cool on counter (so marshmallows reduce in fluffiness). This will be a liquid consistency that is scoopable into a bowl. Great with ice cream!

To transport, cover with wax paper before a lid. Enjoy!

Gluten free treat bars

You know I love easy recipes!

Here’s one of my favorites for celiacs and non-Celiacs will love them too.

1 16 oz container Marshmallow fluff (I prefer this brand as it’s food coloring free)

1.5C Coconut oil

10oz (half a family size box) Cheerios (your choice of flavor) I use the original flavor because the fluff is so sweet and it’s a nice contrast.

Add-ins welcome: chocolate chips, sprinkles, nuts mini marshmallows, etc

Line baking dish with wax paper and spray with coconut oil (Critical if you want them to come out of the pan after cooling). 

Heat coconut oil over medium heat in large stock pot. When melted, add entire container of marshmallow fluff and stir continuously until entire container is warm (about 3 minutes) then add cheerios and stir until all cereal is coated. Immediately transfer onto the lined baking dish. 

If you use add-ins, sprinkle then on top now. Mini marshmallows can be placed in holes to help them melt slightly and stick in the texture.

For bars you need to chill for about 15-20 minutes in the refrigerator. Or you can consume warm by scooping with a spoon.


Cheerio!

Bubbles. Bubbles. Pop, please.

Normally, bubbles are fun, relaxing and even clean! However, spewing out of the dishwasher is not where I want to see them.

This morning my daughter did the dishes for me and added dawn instead of cascade. Suddenly, my dishwasher sounded like it had an upset stomach.

Upon asking for help from friends and googling, I found several solutions including salt, vinegar and olive oil. It wasn’t working but I felt like I should throw in a couple of eggs, a dash of vanilla and a cup of gf baking mix just to round things out. 

Another solution said to scoop out the bubbles, wipe things down and start again. One even said to wait a day! I have never known a bubbling agent to deactivate by sitting. Feeling frustrated, I tried one more suggestion and filled the dispenser on both sides with fabric softener and prayed. 

Within three minutes of turning on the rinse cycle the bubbles disappeared and the washer started draining again. What a relief!