Celebrate National Toast Day!

For those of you who have been following with me for a long time, you know about my history with ulcerative colitis. When I was diagnosed at the age of 12, we (thanks, mama) began experimenting with diets to help with my symptoms, noting my trigger foods and also enlisting the help of naturopaths and other medical professionals. This, along with some other factors, swayed my decision to become a Registered Dietitian. I have been practicing as a RD since 2011.

Throughout the experimentation process, I learned a WHOLE LOT about myself and the foods/ingredients/etc. that triggered my symptoms to flare. When I was younger, it was harder for me to have the willpower or desire to manage these symptoms by eliminating certain foods from my diet, but now, it’s pretty much a no-brainer. I’ve learned that for me, my biggest trigger is gluten, followed by dairy and processed sugar. I know that if my gut is beginning to feel “off” that I need to really cut these foods back or out for a while until I get back on track. Sometimes I can eat these foods and feel perfectly fine, other times not so much.

I generally follow a low-gluten, low-dairy diet. My sweet tooth loves it’s chocolate but I am incredibly mindful when I am eating my sweet treats (which I do daily). I also work with a naturopath and take a variety of natural supplements.

I could go into this whole ordeal in full detail but this post would completely derail from the main intention of this post, so I’ll have to save it for another day.

Little Northern Bakehouse and National Toast Day

Recently, I was approached by Little Northern Bakehouse, a bakery that proudly uses non-GMO, whole-food, quality ingredients, to create delicious, certified gluten-free and vegan bread loaves. They asked me if I would want to help them celebrate National Toast Day on on February 23rd and offered me the chance to try their bread. Um….HECK YES!

I have fond memories of my mom making me toast with melty peanut butter and honey drizzled, or cinnamon sugar sprinkled over the top. MMMMMmmm. Even today I still love that snack and so do my kids.

Little Northern Bakehouse sent me two of their loaf varieties to try: Whole Grain and Cinnamon & Raisin.

Other products they offer: White Wide Slice Loaf, Millet & Chia Loaf, Seeds & Grain Loaf, Millet & Chia Hot Dog Buns, the Millet & Chia Buns and just recently added Sprouted Honey Oat Bread and Sprouted 7 Grain Bread (I REALLY want to try those ones). Learn more about their products on their website!

Cinnamon and Raisin Loaf

I jumped on the first chance I had to get that cinnamon raisin bread toasted up for myself and the kids. In about three minutes, I had the bread toasted up, and slathered with peanut butter. I gave the boys the option of banana slices as well, which Bode (now 4 years old) happily accepted. He adorned his with a single blueberry too, because why not?!

You could top this beauty with chia seeds, coconut flakes, nut butter of your choice, or vegan cream cheese and grapes (or full dairy cream cheese if you’re not vegan). My family is not vegan, so I am hoping to use some of this bread for French toast in the near future or a sweet and savory toasted egg sandwich?! YUM.

Whole Grain Wide Slice Loaf

Next, it was time to experiment with the whole grain bread. I gravitate towards the peanut butter always, but wanted to branch out and be more creative, so I grabbed myself a container of vegan cream cheese and got busy…

The delightful end-product included a heavy slather of cream cheese, English cucumber slices and everything but the bagel seasoning to finish it off. I cut it into four triangles before crunching into it because triangles are THE BEST way to eat bread. The creaminess of the cream cheese coupled with the crunch of the bread and the coolness of the cucumbers…absolutely perfect. I would love to use this toasted bread as a dunker for soup too. Tis’ the season for soup after all. Just kidding, any time of the year is soup season for me; my favorite!

I am always happy to find gluten-free products that I can enjoy without sacrificing flavor or texture. I am thankful that I was able to give these products a go and give my approval too!

Try it!

If you want to try some for yourself, you can use their handy “store locator” on their website to find out where to buy: Little Northern Bakehouse

Also, follow @BeautifullyNutty and @LittleNorthernBakehouse on Instagram to enter the sweepstakes for an opportunity to win a $1,000 gift card for “Brunch for a Year”!

Disclosure: I received free products from Little Northern Bakehouse for review. The review and opinions of the products are solely my own.

How are YOU going to celebrate National Toast Day?

Some Good Eats: BBQ Beef, Tacos, Tilapia

This post was meant to go up yesterday but sleep trumped the blog, SO here you get it today!

Even though I’m a day late with this, I’m still going to link up with Jenn’s WIAW. This of course is my version of WIAW, called What I’ve Been Eating Lately. This is an overview of some of my eats over the last week or so.

Let’s get started.

We celebrated Dana’s birthday with his parents and had one of my all-time favorite meals. Tacos. Ever since I was a little girl, when my mom would always ask me what I wanted for my birthday meal, I’d say 90% of the time my response would be tacos. Although it wasn’t my birthday this time around, Dana chose very wisely.

Before tacos though we noshed on some appetizers…

veggies and cheese and hummus

And then came the tacos…

tacosx

So good! I was disappointed in myself for loading up on so many crackers and cheese. I wasn’t able to enjoy too much of the tacos before being completely stuffed.

tacos

I prepared a semi-homemade meal made witg Annie’s gluten-free mac n’ cheese, sautéed broccoli, peas, salt and pepper, and one chicken, apple, and gouda sausage.

annie's mac n cheese

Fairlife, a lactose-free, protein-rich milk company, sent me some samples of chocolate milk, 2% milk, and skim milk. They also sent their core power protein drinks which I told them I would give to Dana and my brother to use as post-long run refuel.

I wasn’t actually planning on drinking the milk (I was going to give it all to Dana), but once I tried the chocolate milk, my plans changed. I couldn’t get enough of this stuff! Just like any chocolate milk, you still have to be careful with the sugar content, but I enjoy a half a cup here and there and it’s a great treat!

To read more about Fairlife: www.fairlife.com

fairlife chocolate milk

fairlife

A quick and simple lunch: black bean and cheese quesadilla with salsa and avocado. Is that not a perfect bite taken out of there? Didn’t even try. 😉

quesadilla

Dinner at mom and dads: tilapia, red beans and rice, and asparagus. I always forget how much I enjoy tilapia until my mom makes it for me. Then I remember. Num.

tilapia beans and rise

Eggs with spinach, mushrooms, red bell pepper, cheese, avocado and salsa. On the side, a super old hard (from the freezer) Udi’s gluten-free bun with jam. At least the eggs were good.

eggs

Amy’s organic split-pea soup. I really enjoy split-pea soup but never make it. I should really get on that, right Hannah?

amy's organic soup split pea soup

split pea soup

Goodie plates: hard-boiled egg with mustard, pickle, veggies and cottage cheese.

snack plate veggies egg pickle

And another Pinterest win. BBQ pulled beef with coleslaw courtesy of MyBakingAddiction.com. I followed the beef recipe to a T but not the coleslaw.

bbq beef and coleslaw

There you have it. Another look into some of my eats lately.

What have YOU been eating lately?

My Foodie To-Do List

It’s time for me to quit making excuses about getting busy in the kitchen. I miss being creative with my food, eating loads of veggies, and sharing recipes with you all. I’m going to work on getting back into the groove.

With the help of Pinterest and some of my previous blog posts, I have been inspired. I am adding the following food items to my foodie to-do list. My hope is that I can try to make something fun at least once a week, until I get back into the groove, then maybe more often than that.

Here’s what inspired me!

Portobello pizzas with tons of marinara sauce, veggies, and mozzarella cheese.

portobello pizza

My Veggie Nut Pizza again with lots of sauce, cheese, and veggies.

veggie nut pizza

My Thai Chicken Salad with Amazing Peanut Sauce

thai chicken salad

Broccoli and Cheese Soup from Peas and Crayons

broccoli cheese soup

Creamy cauliflower sauce over gluten-free brown rice or quinoa pasta and some broccoli and other veggies perhaps.

creamy cauliflower sauce

Polenta with Bolognese sauce

polenta with bolognese sauce

Buffalo chicken quesadillas

buffalo chicken quesadilla

Spinach Quinoa Scramble

  quinoa egg scramble

How’s that for a start? This lady needs to get back on track.

I need your advice: how do you get out of a cooking slump?

What’s on your foodie/recipe to-do list?

Gluten-Free Expo Goodies

On Sunday evening (sorry still catching up from the weekend), Dana and I went to a gluten-free mini expo at a restaurant called Ernie’s. Dana had read it in an email and mentioned it to me, and I thought it would be something fun to do on a Sunday evening. We made “reservations” for 5:30 and headed on over to Ernie’s.

We were greeted by one of the managers of the restaurant who was exuberant about his restaurant—I mean this in a very good way. He was thrilled first of all that we were there, and then continued to explain to us all of the gluten-free menu items available at Ernie’s. He sent us home with a menu and then encouraged us to gander over to the free sample area.

I was hoping that the actual vendors would be present and representing their brands, but it was the Ernie’s staff behind the counters instead. They were all very sweet and were versed in some of the product information, but they couldn’t answer all of my questions or really go in-depth about the products. Still, I was very happy with the Ernie’s team. They did a great job.

We began with GF cornbread and pancakes. Both were made from Bob’s Red Mill mixes. They had used the mix to make up three different flavors of cornbread: plain, chili, and jalapeño cheddar. I snagged a chili one.

Gluten free expo

The cornbread probably would have been really good if it was warm, but I ate it cold. It tasted okay, but nothing to write home about. The pancakes however were fresh off the griddle. The enthusiastic pancake flipper encouraged me to take as many as I wanted. She said she uses this mix at home and LOVES it. I like it when they can relate and tell me how they use the product. I really liked those pancakes and would maybe even buy the mix to have on hand at home.

On this plate: Bob’s Red Mill pancakes, cornbread, Lundberg Rice Chips, EnerG crackers with salmon dip, and Oikos Greek yogurt.

 

Gluten free expo

 

Mary’s Gone Crackers was also there and I was able to take home three different flavors of their crackers: black pepper, sea salt, and onion. So far I have only tried the black pepper and they are good…and spiiicccaaay (that one for you, ONW). I can handle a little heat. 😉 Mary’s also makes cookies, and I was sent home with a handful of those too.

Gluten free expo

The Celiac Foundation of Minnesota was there too and I actually knew the wonderful lady volunteering to represent the company! It was nice to catch up with her and she sent me home with a box mix for focaccia bread! Num!

 

Next stop was the GF beer lady. I was extremely anxious to try this stuff. I am not a huge beer drinker and the reason for that is I get bloated and feel terrible every time I drink it. Since I usually go for the red wine anyway, this isn’t a big loss for me, but there are time when drinking a beer is way easier than drinking a glass of wine.

They had a couple of different beers they were sampling; one was said to be very hoppy, and the other one was very light. I don’t do hoppy beer, so I tried the light one. The brand is called New Planet and they are based out of Boulder, CO. Of course they are! So many awesome companies are based out of Colorado!

I couldn’t find the ingredient label for this particular flavor online (they are temporarily out of stock) but I found the one for blonde ale, which I’m sure is fairly comparable:

Ingredients: Sorghum, corn extract, orange peel, hops, and yeast

Gluten free expo

I’m still trying to decipher if I have a slight intolerance to the starch from corn, as well as yeast, so I would need to be careful if I decided to buy this beer for myself. I really enjoyed the taste of it; It is extremely light and slightly sweet.

If you are an avid beer drinker, you may not like this beer, at least the Tread Lightly flavor. They do offer hoppier, heavier beers too so they can accomodate all.

I haven’t looked into pricing, but I have a feeling it’s a little steep. The chances of me actually buying this beer are fairly slim, BUT if I were to buy a GF beer, this would be the one I would choose because I got to sample it and I know I like it.

The next table over was the restaurant’s clam chowder. Being I’m not a huge fan of clam chowder to begin with, I wasn’t too crazy about it, but still, I tried it. You never know when the taste buds are going to change on you! I never give up on trying foods. I used to not like cake, now look at me. 😉

Next up was the dessert table full of GF chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and cornbread muffins.

Gluten free expo Gluten free expo Gluten free expo

I could have parked myself in front of that table for the remainder of the evening and been a happy girl. After all, we were the last group to go through and there were still mounds of desserts! But, I played it cool and stuck to one plate.

The had made cookies from two different chocolate chip cookie mixes; one was the French Meadow Bakery Mix, and I believe the other one was Bob’s Red Mill mix. One of them had a funky after-taste and because they weren’t labeled, I’m not sure which one it was. Oh well. I really enjoyed the brownies!

The next vendor over was from Daisy Blue which is an all-natural skin care line based out of Albert Lea, MN. They sell, soaps, lip balm, makeup, scented oils, lotions, and more. She sent me home with a lotion and hand soap sample and they both smell great!

The very last stop we made was the GF pasta bar. They had two brown rice pastas they were sampling with their homemade GF alfredo sauce. I used to LOVE alfredo sauce but I have grown out of it for some reason. Again, maybe because my brain connects the memory of my upset tummy from pasta alfredo from the past? Not sure. It tasted okay to me, but nothing I would order off of a restaurant menu.

The very last stop we had planned on making was to taste their GF chicken wings, but by the time we got over there they were all out. Not a huge loss to me because I’m not a huge wings fan (unless my mom makes them), but Dana was a little bummed.

At the end of the night, we were sent home with a bunch of free loot!

Gluten free expo

It was well worth the $6.00 we spent to get in. I had fun with it!

Although I’m not celiac and and not completely gluten intolerant, I know for certain I am gluten sensitive and finding brands that offer delicious GF products is something I am very excited about. No need to live a painful life when you know how to eliminate the culprits of the discomfort right?

Alright, we are officially caught up from the weekend! Now I can get on with the week. 🙂

HAPPY TUESDAY!

Do you have any favorite gluten-free products?!

Carrot Pizza Crust (Grain-Free)

Once again, where did the weekend go?!

I am pretty pumped about a new gadget that has joined the counter in our kitchen. We have a NutriBullet! It can make smoothies, dips, soups, and even has a milling blade attachment so you can grind your own spices, seeds, etc. Besides the fact that this bullet literally whips up a smoothie in seconds, I also love that it is super easy to clean. The blender works great and all, but it can be a little tedious to clean and it takes longer.

Yesterday, I just had to use it, so I made a smoothie for Dana and myself. I don’t have the exact measurements but I included pineapple, strawberries, banana, kale, flax-seed, aloe vera juice, and water.

smoothie nutribullet

It’s maybe not the prettiest smoothie you have ever seen but it was delicious! I am hoping I stay on this smoothie train for a while to get me out of my breakfast rut of peanut butter and banana. The fridge is stocked really well right now so I think I should be able to maintain a creative week of eats as long as I put my mind to it.

Aloe Vera Juice

I realize I have mentioned this aloe vera juice for a couple of weeks now and not really said anything about it. As you may recall, I am tackling a laundry list of natural remedies to try to combat this colitis thing. Along with those, I am always teaching myself to deal better with stress, I am sticking to a gluten-free diet for now, I have eliminated refined sugars (as best as I can), I am beginning to include fermented foods into my diet to help aid in the digestion process, and I am taking my prescribed GI meds.

I continue to do my research and found that aloe vera juice came up in a lot of my findings.   There is still more research that needs to be done, but some have found that aloe vera juice can help heal wounds (think about applying aloe vera to sunburn), and it can also reduce inflammation. It can also help boost the immune system. I am only taking a very small amount of it, and the taste is pretty unpalatable, so I have found that putting some into my smoothie masks the taste completely and is easier for me to stomach. (Note: I consulted with a medical professional before beginning aloe vera juice).

So that’s my little bit about aloe vera juice and btw I am feeling SO well. Moving on to dinner…

I was inspired by this recipe to make Carrot Crust Pizza! I have experimented with cauliflower crust pizza and veggie nut pizza crust, but never carrots. I can’t wait for the day when I can get my fingers on a good ol’ fashioned piece of pizza, but until that time comes, I’ll be making substitutes!

I began by washing six medium-sized carrots. I chopped them into big chunks and added them to a microwave safe bowl. I added about 1/3 cup of water, covered the bowl with plastic wrap, and microwaved for about 8 minutes or until I was able to pierce through the carrots with a fork.

Next, I food processed the carrots until almost smooth. I scraped the carrots onto a thin kitchen towel (you could use cheesecloth as well), folded up all four corners, and wrung out the liquid from the carrots into the sink. This was a major arm workout! There is a LOT of water in carrots.

I put the carrot mash back into the bowl and added one egg, 1/4 cup of cheese, and one grated garlic clove. I gave it a good mix.

On a baking pan lined with parchment paper, I spread out the carrots into a 1/4 inch layer.  I spritzed the top with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Next it went into a 400°F preheated oven for about 28 minutes.

carrot pizza

I removed the pizza from the oven when the outsides were starting to crisp up, and the center of the pizza was firm.

carrot pizza

Then I added the goodies! I added marinara sauce, cheese, red bell pepper, onion, olives, and mushrooms. Back into the oven it went for about five minutes. I finished by putting it under the broiler for three minutes.

carrot pizza carrot pizza carrot pizza

It was delicious! The crust wasn’t as crispy as I thought it would be, so I’m wondering if it should cook even longer? Either way, I really truly enjoyed this dish!

Carrot Pizza Crust (Grain-Free)
3.0 from 1 reviews
Print
Ingredients
  • 6 medium carrots, roughly chopped
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ¼ cup and ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 garlic clove, grated or minced
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ cup marinara sauce (no-sugar added)
  • 1 Tbsp parmesan cheese
  • toppings of choice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place parchment paper on cookie sheet. Set aside.
  2. Place carrots in a medium microwave safe bowl and add ⅓ cup of water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 7-9 minutes, or until carrots are fork tender. Remove from microwave and let cool slightly.
  3. Once cooled, place carrots in food processor and pulse until pureed.
  4. Scrape carrot puree onto cheesecloth or thin kitchen towel. Gather all corners and wring out excess water from the carrots into the sink.
  5. Add carrots back to the bowl, add ¼ cup cheese, egg, and grated garlic clove. Mix well.
  6. On prepared baking pan, spread carrot mixture to a ¼ inch thickness. Spray with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  7. Bake for 27-29 minutes or until outer crust begins to turn golden, and middle of pizza is firm.
  8. Remove from oven and add sauce, ½ cup cheddar cheese, parmesan, and toppings. Bake for 5 more minutes.
  9. Turn oven to broil and broil for 3-4 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven, slice, and enjoy warm!

Have a great day my friends!

Question of the day: Have you ever had any strange pizza? Have you made any yourself? 

Blueberry Lemon Bread & February Fitness Challenge Week 1 Recap

I’m finally nearing the end of this cold! By tomorrow I should be 100% back to normal.

After work yesterday I snuggled into my sweats and relaxed on the couch. I managed to eat my way through a good portion of this bag of trail mix while I vegged.

trail mix

Eventually I got tired of sitting around and put on a very slow and easy breath and stretch pilates On Demand. It felt great to stretch and move a little bit because I’ve been pretty inactive the past couple of days. I also managed to get my 1 minute plank-a-day in.

Speaking of plank-a-day, today ends week 1 of my February Fitness Challenge. My goal was to complete 3 strength train type workouts throughout the weeks during February as well as at least a 1 minute plank every day. Considering I was sick this past week, I am proud to say I still met my week 1 goal.

Strength Training Activities:

  1. Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred plus plank
  2. This leg workout with dumbbells plus plank
  3. A 30 Day Abs workout (from last month’s fitness challenge)

I’m hoping to make it to the gym this week and work it out there a bit. I haven’t been making too many appearances there lately.

Also, I NEED to start running again because I am officially registered for a 7K on St. Patty’s Day which is on March 17th. I am hoping the weather starts improving so I can make it outside, otherwise the treadmill will have to do. It’s time to get these legs-a-movin’!

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Blueberry Lemon Bread (Gluten-Free and SCD Friendly!)

This may sound strange to some, but when I am feeling slightly under the weather, I enjoy relaxing in the kitchen, and baking up something tasty and comforting. So, that is exactly what I did last night.

How does blueberry lemon bread sound? It’s made with almond flour too so it is 100% gluten-free! Check it out.

blueberry lemon bread

blueberry lemon bread

Blueberry Lemon Bread
Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, SCD
Cuisine: Breakfast
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • the juice of one lemon
  • the zest of one lemon
  • 1/3 cup ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a standard bread pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together applesauce, lemon juice, zest, banana, honey, eggs, and vanilla until well mixed.
  4. Add flour mixture into applesauce mixture, stir to combine.
  5. Stir in blueberries until just incorporated (do not overmix).
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.

The end result is a not-too-sweet blueberry bread with a subtle lemon flavor. Eat it plain, or toast it up and add a small smear of butter, peanut butter, or honey.

blueberry lemon bread blueberry lemon bread
Cooking and baking can be such a comfort!
Happy fabulous Friday to you all!
Do you find comfort in cooking and baking? 

Cocoa Cookie Bars with Peanut Butter Drizzle

Let me tell you, if there is something I do not enjoy, it is packing. When it comes time to pack, I do everything in my power to not do it. I distract myself with snacks, internet, exercise, cleaning, dancing, and anything else I can possibly think of to keep me from the daunting task.

I think when it comes down to it, the reason I don’t enjoy packing is because it takes me so darn long to figure out what I want to wear on any given day, so having to plan for an entire weekend or a week full of outfits becomes so grueling. Inevitably I end up packing too much of everything, but it’s because I just don’t know what I will want to wear at any given moment.

(FYI this was a photo taken during packing struggles before Colombia)

I also have to take into consideration how I might be feeling… bloated, normal, tight jeans, loose jeans? Am I going to be walking all day or can I wear heels? What’s the weather like? All of these things a woman must consider as she is packing. My husband will never understand as hard as he tries.

Needless to say, last night as I was finishing up packing for my trip to Atlanta, I first ate dinner (that’s usually a priority), it looked something like this but different since this is a recycled photo…

I then cleaned, tried packing, gave up after 2 minutes, worked out on the treadmill, distracted myself on the computer, tried packing again…you see the pattern. Poor Moose was probably so confused as I tore around the house. He may have offered me a chill pill at one point, but I wouldn’t know. I was too busy distracting myself.

Does he not look GINORMOUS kangaroo in this photo? No offense to him or anything. 

The good news is, I am all packed. I am SO ready to take on Georgia. Bring on the southern accents, peaches, and Coca Cola.

Cocoa Cookie Bars (Gluten-Free)

A couple of days ago I flashed a photo of a dessert I made. Remember this?

The original plan was to make cocoa cookies (gluten-free style), but as I mixed away, the dough was actually more of a batter, so I rolled with it and came up with what I like to call Cocoa Cookie Bars (since they were supposed to be cookies after all).

They are gluten-free, made with almond flour, low in sugar, and super simple. I used Peanut Butter & Co.’s Dark Chocolate Dreams to drizzle on top, but you could use any creamy peanut butter you would like!

Cocoa Cookie Bars with Peanut Butter Drizzle
Print
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups almond flour
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp. almond milk
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup Truvia
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Peanut butter drizzle (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat 9x9 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In small bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
  3. In medium bowl, beat together remaining ingredients except peanut butter.
  4. Add dry ingredients gradually into wet ingredients. Mix until combined.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of pan comes out clean.
  6. Drizzle with creamy peanut butter (place in microwave for 30 seconds and give it a stir to help with drizzling).

I hope you all have a fantastic day! I may or may not be checking in this weekend. If I don’t get a chance, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to filling you in on my latest adventure to Georgia when I return.

Guest Post: Favorite Soup & Chili Recipes

Hello, hello to all of Melanie’s awesome readers!

My name is Courtney and I write the blog Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life. I’m 28, a former elementary school teacher (you can read about that here if you’d like) and currently running my own online personal training business, Courtney’s Total Body Wellness.

I live up in Upstate, NY with my husband Jay and my kitty, Cody. Most of the time, if I’m not working on creating personal training plans, you’ll most likely find me blogging, baking goodies in the kitchen, or spending time with some of my favorite friends and family.

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I was so honored when Melanie asked me to guest post for her while she’s away in Colombia (how fun is THAT?!) that I couldn’t resist.

I know that Melanie tends to stick with mostly gluten-free choices when it comes to food, so I thought I’d share a couple of my favorite soup and chili recipes with you all today. Not only are they perfect for the fall (and quickly approaching, winter) weather, but they’re also gluten free. Win-win, right? Right!

First is my Pumpkin Black Bean Soup. I made this for the first time last year and have made it quite a few times ever since.

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I actually just bought all of the ingredients to make it again…I’m just waiting for the leftovers in my fridge to clear out so I have room. Oy vey.

Another favorite of mine is this Light ‘n Easy Cincinnati Chili. I LOVE this chili because it’s slightly different from most other chili’s I’ve had, thanks to a subtly sweet flavor from the cinnamon in the recipe.

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I serve it on top of spaghetti squash for a lightened up version of the real thing (which is usually served on pasta).

Last up is my Spinach Lentil Soup. It may not photograph well, but I promise you…it’s delicious.

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I actually really enjoy scooping up this soup with some crackers or tortilla chip “scoops” since it’s a little thicker. Either way, it’s awesome, and it makes a huge batch too, so you’ll have plenty of leftovers.

Hopefully you’ve found something that sparked your interest here, so feel free to check out the recipes, and I hope you love them all as much as I do!

Thanks again to the lovely Melanie for allowing me to invade her space today. clip_image005

Gluten Free Cereal Bowl

I owe my wonderful breakfast yesterday to my new and dear, fellow blogger, fellow Paleo’er friend, Shannon. While in Boston we swapped recipe ideas, and she shared a breakfast one with  me that I knew I had to try.

You ready for this?

In the bowl: blueberries (I actually used frozen then thawed because that is what I had on hand), a heaping handful of fresh Driscoll’s raspberries, a handful of chopped walnuts, chia seeds, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and a drizzle of honey.

photo

Oh my gosh. I loved this. It’s just like Shannon said, “it’s like eating a bowl of cereal, except Paleo style.” Coming from a gal who loves a heaping bowl of cereal with milk, I was happy to find an alternative that was more healthful and fit my lifestyle right now.

Lunch was eaten at work but it still deserved a photo because it was truly delicious. In the to-go Gladware container: mixed greens, mini bell peppers, olives, tomato, black beans, avocado, and Newman’s Own Lite Honey Mustard. Man, I’m good. Winking smile

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After work I headed over to hang out with my babes, Bets and Emmy (my cousins who I love to pieces). They were making cake balls for a family birthday party and were pretty hilarious in the process.

Em, don’t quit your day job to start making cake balls.

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I am so proud of both of them; they are both going through major career endeavors and have worked so hard to get where they are. Open-mouthed smile

Dinner last night was embarrassing being that it was completely unstructured.

When I got home I snacked on a handful of grape tomatoes from the garden which by the way have become completely out of hand. The branches are so long that they are falling into the next plant and pushing them over. We have A LOT of tomatoes. I’m not complaining though!

After the tomatoes, I moved on to a few large handfuls of trail mix. After the trail mix, I needed something salty of course, so I dug into the pickle jar. After that, I was full.

Not a very balanced meal at all. Well, wait a minute…grape tomatoes, nuts, raisins, pickles….yes there were chocolates in the trail mix, but overall, it could have been a lot worse.

I needed to get the body moving, body movin’ get your body movin’, so I harnessed on Moose’s new leash and went for a stroll through the neighborhood.

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When I say harnessed on his leash, I mean I harnessed it on myself. We bought a new leash for Moose that attaches to his collar like normal, and the other end of it attaches to a band that goes around the owner’s waist. It is hand’s free and has a bungee cord which allows enough give that I’m not being ripped out of my shoes if he sees a squirrel, but not so much give that he is ever too far away. I’ll try to remember to take a picture next time.

This was my first time using it on a walk with just Moose and me, without Dana, who he listens to a lot better than me. It went pretty well though I must say. I will definitely be doing it again. I would love to make that an evening routine. It was gorgeous out with the sun setting and the temperature cooling down.

It was the perfect way to end the night.

Now, I am off to tackle my Friday to-do list, and then we have a wedding to attend tonight, oh and did I mention my brother and his girlfriend are coming into town from up north? It is going to be a great weekend.

Have a beautiful day!

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It’s time for the Sneaky Pete’s Giveaway winner to be announced!

Random.org picked comment #2.

Congratulations Jamie A.! Jamie if you could email me at beautifullynutty@gmail.com with your full name and address I will have your beverages shipped right to your door!

Thank you everyone for participating!