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 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 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 soy ginger chicken

In an attempt to make creative, flavorful meals that are heathy… ugh, I’m exhausted at the thought… I created something new.

I bought the chicken leg pack at Costco…


Then I split it up and put half (3 bags) in the freezer. Then I opened the 3 remaining packs and put half of them (8) in a gallon ziplock bag with a coating of:


And let it marinade for two days, flipping every time I got in the fridge.

Then I cooked them in my Pampered Chef Rock Crock slow cooker on high for 3 hours.


And the result was tender and juicy chicken infused with the flavors of soy and ginger. 

Next time I would make twice as much chicken and marinade in two separate bags. 

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.

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 chicken 

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!

Gluten free at Six Flags??

My family loves amusement parks. In fact, my husband and I got married next to a resort destination one and rode roller coasters at our reception. 

Since the kids have grown tall enough to enjoy all the parks have to offer, we decided to purchase season passes this year at Six Flags Great America. Since we are from Indy, it’s a hike regardless of where we go but a four hour ride also allows us to tap into all Chicago has to offer.


While doing my online food research I read that the park had gluten free options but they didn’t give any specifics. Restaurants and snack shops were listed but no menus.


When I entered the park, they searched our bags. Presumably for weapons but according to the posted signs, it was also for food. No outside for or drinks are permissible.

I stopped at the info desk to inquire about gluten free food options and was told they have one dedicated frier on the whole park… all the way at the back in the kids zone. But they also had healthy fare locations that would offer some non-fried options too. 


Over the 4th of July weekend we found the park to be maxed out with people and the parking lot full to the outer edges, yet the gluten free cafe, kidopolous, was not open. The go fresh cafe offered a salad. Not exactly the full flavored gluten free menu I was expecting. At least they had unsweetened tea (just about the only non sugary drink option in the park). 

I found a frozen yogurt place on the map and found that it too was closed. In order to find nourishment we went to the nacho stand and I asked to read labels. Even with the long lines I found a nice young man that walked me through each ingredient. We ended up with corn chips, liquid cheese and sour cream. 

I also found a candy store that offered caramel apples. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t just sell me an apple for my son who’s dairy free, without charging me the full caramel apple price.

Truth is, they could make some tweaks in the park that would make more food available for celiacs, like changing the taco seasoning on their nachos to one without wheat (same for the pico). They could verify what the turkey legs are cooked in and make them gf. They could offer cut up fruit at some of their locations. Even a hot dog stand would be helpful (if they didn’t pre-bun them)!


Unless you are Buddy the Elf and can live on cotton candy, Icee’s, spongebob ice cream bars, caramel apples and rock candy, don’t assume you will be able to eat at Six Flags. 😦

@sixflags I’d be happy to help!