"Simple" Supper…

LE SIGH…. Today was one of the longest days EVER! I worked on my feet for 9 hours at the health food store with one 30 minute break then came home and made dinner, did laundry, and am now finally sitting down to relax a little.
My breakfast was a bowl of GF oats mixed with 2 teaspoons of frozen banana puree (courtesy of my fabulous mother in law!), frozen blueberries, and cinnamon. Open wide!


I also enjoyed a side dish of watermelon.


Lunch for work was packed while my oats cooked. My tupperware contained spinach, broccoli, and leftover Channa Palak “Gross-ala” sweetened with a little Agave Nectar.

The agave was the golden ticket! It turned the “Gross-ala” in to “Yum-ala”! On my 30 minute break, I micro-steamed this concoction for 2 minutes. YUMMY!

GF Guy and I weren’t able to eat dinner until 10:00 PM. I didn’t get home until 8:45. Then, dinner had to be prepped, etc…. Comfort food was in order. Tonight, that meant pizza! I used my favorite pizza crust mix by Chebe.

This mix, like all Chebe mixes, is foolproof and delicious and already has the spices mixed in! You simply add 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of oil, and 4 tablespoons of milk (or milk substitute) to the prepared mix, roll it out, and bake. I use a small glass as my “rolling pin”!

hahahahaha Sometimes it’s about survival, my friends! 😀 After rolling out the dough, stab it with a fork to prevent air bubbles from forming and bake in a 375 degree oven until lightly browned. Remove from the oven, top with your favorite ingredients, and bake until heated through. We topped our pizza with the basics: Muir Glen Pizza Sauce, fresh Basil, and a 6 Italian Cheese blend.

Would you take a look at that crust?

Yummy, right?!

I ate HALF of the pizza! Don’t judge! I was a hungry, hungry bear! I cleansed my palate with a few cubes of watermelon, and am now contemplating chocolate chip cookies and milk!

I have soooo much to do tomorrow to prepare for our trip. Pray I’ll get some extra energy to accomplish everything!

Giveaway Goodness: Michelle, at Healing With Juices, is hosting an awesome, raw giveaway. Check out the goodies here!

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Sunday, Funday…

Just a typical Sunday… snack, work-out, breakfast, church, lunch at Tita’s, play in the kitchen, dinner, blog, done!
Snack: Greek Yogurt and Blackberry Parfait



Breakfast:
Green Monster- 1/2 banana, frozen mango, frozen grapes, one piece of kale, one handful of spinach 3/4 cup skim milk

Lunch: Chicken and Yellow Rice, Chicken and White Bean Soup, Salad, Watermelon and Cantalope (not picture)

Dinner: 2 Bowls of Rice Chex and more watermelon (again not pictured)

Two fun things happened in my kitchen today. This morning, I used what was left over in the blender from GF Guy and my Green Monsters to make popsicles! I am so excited about them!


Tonight’s kitchen playtime was my favorite kind! A family in my parent’s church is going through a very difficult time. I volunteered to cook a meal for them this week. Since I work both Monday and Tuesday and will be out of town Wednesday through Saturday for a friends wedding, I decided to make a casserole, Cozy Autumn Rice Bake with Beef and Cranberries. I borrowed this recipe from Karina’s Kitchen. This is the perfect make-ahead meal for a large family.

Cozy Autumn Rice Bake with Beef and Cranberries


Ingredients-
– 2 cups of long grain brown rice
– 2 pounds organic grass-fed ground beef
– 1 onion, peeled, roughly chopped
– 5 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 green bell pepper, cored, sliced
– 2 cups Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
– Italian dried herbs, to taste- basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary
– A dash of nutmeg
– A dash of cumin
– 1 14-0z can fire roasted diced tomatoes
– A good splash of balsamic vinegar
– 3/4 cup whole frozen cranberries, thawed
– 1/2 cup sliced kalamata black olives
– 2 tablespoons rinsed capers
– 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
– salt and pepper, to taste
– A splash of extra virgin olive oil
– feta cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a large lasagna pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Begin by cooking the 2 cups of brown rice according to package instructions.
Prep the vegetables and herbs.


In a large skillet, brown the ground beef. Drain the excess fat and set meat aside.
In another large skillet, saute the onions, garlic, pepper, and mushrooms until soft, about 5 minutes.


Add the dried herbs and spices to taste.
Add the tomatoes, vinegar, cranberries, olives, capers, fresh parsley, salt, and pepper. Combine and simmer until heated through.


Spoon the cooked brown rice into the prepared lasagna pan, drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and fluff with a fork.


Layer meat on top of rice.


Pour vegetable mixture on top of meat layer and sprinkle with feta cheese.


Cover with foil and bake about 1 hour until the center is hot.
***If you are making your casserole ahead of time and refrigerating it, like me, add an extra 20-30 minutes to the cooking time.***

Cooking for those in need is such a fun, fulfilling way to spend the evening. I hope they are as blessed eating this meal as I was to be able to prepare it for them.

Like I said earlier, I work all day tomorrow. GF Guy and I are planning on a simple supper of Homemade Pizza tomorrow night. Wait one minute! I just realized what I said… pizza with a homemade crust is considered simple. HAHAHAHAHA! Wow… we have a really strange view of “simple”! Well, putting that aside, pizza is our plan for tomorrow night. I hope everyone has a stress free Monday. I approach Mondays with this in mind:
It’s the start of a new week. You haven’t messed up or gotten in trouble for anything yet. You have a clean slate. What will you do to make the most of this opportunity?
Have a happy, blessed week!

Good Morning Giveaway…

Good Morning and Happy Sunday! The sun is shining, my coffee is warm, and I couldn’t be happier. Would you like to know the reason for my early morning joy? Well get excited!

Emily over at Curly Top is hosting the most fabulous giveaway EVER!!!!!!! She is giving away a blog makeover! Who doesn’t love a good makeover? She just redesigned Shelby’s blog header, and it looks A-MAZINGLY FABULOUS! Just to let all of you know, I totally plan on winning.

Just a little FYI! 😉 HAHAHAHAHA
Have a lovely day!

Man Food…


This month is my first time participating in the blogger event Go ahead honey, it’s gluten free! This month, the event is hosted by Carol at Simply… Gluten Free.The theme for the month of June… Man Food! I immediately thought of my Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Baked Beans BBQ Bonanaza.

PERFECT! Total “Man Food” and a real crowd pleaser.

Crockpot Pulled Pork

Ingredients:
Spice Rub:
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons table salt
1 tablespoon demura sugar
1 tablespoon ground black pepper

2 (3-4 pound) bone-in pork shoulders
½ teaspoon liquid smoke
1 cups Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce

Combine spices and rub all over pork shoulders. Wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate overnight or longer.
When ready to cook, place pork, liquid smoke, and 1/4 cup water in a slow cooker. Cook on low until fork tender, 8-10 hours.
Remove meat from crock pot and shred using two forks, or use your hands if you are feeling particularly “manly”.
Discard crock pot liquid and any removed pork fat.
Place shredded meat back in the crock pot, combine with 1 cup of Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce, and continue cooking on low for 30-60 minutes.

Gluten Free Hamburger Buns

Ingredients:

1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup potato starch
1/2 cup millet flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/ 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon instant dry yeast

1 1/4 to 1 1/3 cup warm water (at 110 to 115 degrees F)- I warmed it in the microwave about 1 minute
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Shape aluminum foil into 4-6 hamburger bun shaped molds and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Place on a cookie sheet and set aside.
Combine the warm water and agave nectar. Add the yeast, cover with saran wrap, and allow to proof.
Whisk together the dry ingredients.
Add the proofed yeast and the rest of the ingredients.
Beat until a smooth, cake-like batter forms.
Pour batter into bun molds, cover with a kitchen towel, and allow to rise for 20 minutes in a warm spot. (I preheat my oven to 200 degrees when I begin the process. Once the oven reaches 200 degrees, I immediately turn it off. By the time I am ready to let my bread rise the oven is at the optimum temperature.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the buns about 30 minutes, until they would hollow when tapped.
Allow to cool 10 minutes in molds before removing to a cooling rack.

Jenna’s Baked Beans

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 tablespoon ketchup
2 teaspoons ground mustard
1 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons hot sauce
16 oz tomato sauce
2 15 oz can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed

Preheat oven to 350
In a large, oven safe skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and sauté for about five minutes or until soft and translucent.
Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds more.
Add maple syrup, agave nectar, tomato sauce, salt, ground mustard, hot sauce and ketchup and simmer for five minutes.
Add beans and bay leaves, stir, then cover the skillet with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes, stirring once during the baking process.
Allow to cool and serve warm.

Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients:

1 sweet potato for every two people
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cumin
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cover a baking sheet with foil.
Cut potatoes into wedges and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and spices.
Bake about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until fries reach desired crispness.

Round out the meal with a nice, fresh salad… that is, if a salad is “manly” enough for you! 🙂
For desert, I recommend watermelon slices and a seed spitting contest. May the best man win!

Grassroots…

Hello! GF Guy and I hit up Grassroots after work tonight. Grassroots is an Organic, Vegan restaurant specializing in Raw Foods. The restaurant is a tiny little place in a not so nice area of Tampa. I was a little hesitant, but had heard so many A-MAZING reviews about this place, I just had to try it. GF Guy was very skeptical. In fact, he went to Chic-Fil-A this afternoon just to get some manly meat into his system! 😀 hahahaha He was a real trooper though. The inside was very low key and chill, but completely packed. A good sigh, right? We sat down and perused the menu for a few minutes. Surprisingly, we were both ready to order within 3 minutes! Man, we were decisive tonight! I ordered the Raw Vegan Sushi with gluten free soy sauce.

It was not only beautiful, but so fresh and clean tasting. Oh, and the wasabi… WOW! This was potent stuff. My entire face and chest turned red! It hurt so good! GF Guy ordered the “Cheezeburger”. It was a vegetarian burger with cashew cheese. He said it was actually good! I can’t wait to go back and try more fun raw, vegan yumminess! I am totally wiped. Work was long today, but I got more free gluten free goodies to try! I love the little perks of my job! 🙂 Good night everyone. If you are ever in my neck of the woods, I will take you to Grassroots for some goodness!

I Am a Mad Scientist…

Welcome to my lab. I have creation that will terrify some and intrigue others. Ladies and Gentlemen… I give you…

OAT-GURT!!!!!

My inspiration was Heather of Heather Eats Almond Butter. (Are you proud, Heather?!) I almost scrapped the whole project because it took my oats TWICE as long to ferment as hers. This was probably because I did not have a hot plate. Instead I stuck my little bowl, covered with a plate on my window sill and hoped for the best. To make Oat-Gurt, I placed 1/3 cup Gluten Free Rolled Oats and 3/4 cup water in a ceramic bowl, covered it with a plate, and placed it in a warm area (my window sill). Fifty-two hours later the oats had formed a “crust” on top and began to smell like Sourdough Bread.

They were finally ready! I cooked them in the microwave for 2 minutes at 70% power and 2 minutes at 30% power. Then, I stirred in a little PB2 and Homemade Apple Butter, sprinkled the top with cinnamon, and bravely took my first bite.

GF Guy captured my hesitant first bite. I was scared, people!
Here it is…
Going in for the kill…

It’s good!

Yummy!


I was seriously surprised that it tasted good. It was like a PB and almond butter sandwich on Sourdough bread! For all you brave souls out there, go ahead and try it! It’s a bit too much of a process for me to make often, but it was fun to try a new food! Thanks Heather!

Before the grand morning experiment, I ate a snack of Greek yogurt and blackberries

and hit the gym. GRRRRRR….

Look at those fierce muscles! hahahahaha
I also packed my lunch for work. I work from 12-7 today. My salad is HUGE!!!!
Green Leaf Lettuce, Spinach, Carrots, Broccoli, Quinoa, and Peach and Mango Salsa

After work, GF Guy and I are going to Grassroots for dinner! I AM SOOO EXCITED!!!! I can’t wait to post about the experience!
Have a Super Saturday, everyone!

Nearly Normal…

Hello! Today was nice and normal. I started with breakfast and one of my favorite past times, a crossword puzzle!

My breakfast bowl was comprised of Gluten Free oatmeal, cinnamon, and blueberries. Like I said earlier, nice and normal. I worked job #1 until noon, then I met GF Guy for some errand running and lunch. We decided to kick it old school and had PB & J sandwiches! Talk about nostalgic!

Our sandwiches were built on my Homemade Gluten Free bread and smeared with PB2 and Seedless Blackberry All Fruit spread. DE-LICIOUS! I didn’t get to work-out this AM, so after my food settled I hit the gym for a quick afternoon sweat session. It is seriously HOT in Florida, you guys! To rehydrate, I downed a Coconut Water.

Dinner was a twist on a recipe I borrowed from Lauren at Food For Living

Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts with a Shallot and White Wine Sauce

Ingredients:

– Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
– 2 ounces garlic and herb goat cheese
– 3 sundried tomatoes packed in oil, rinsed and chopped
– a handful of fresh basil, chopped
– salt and pepper
– 1 small shallot, diced
– 1/4 cup dry white wine
– 1/4 cup vegetable stock
– fresh basil, chopped (for garnish)

In a small bowl, blend together goat cheese, sundried tomatoes, and basil.
Cut a pocket in the thickest part of each chicken breast and stuff with the goat cheese mixture. Fold shut.
Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat a dash of Oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat.
Cook chicken in skillet until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes on each side.
Transfer chicken breasts to an oven safe dish and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until done, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, add a dash more oil to the skillet and reduce heat to medium.
Add shallot and cook until soft.
Add wine and scrape skillet to deglaze.
Reduce heat to low, add vegetable stock and a little salt and pepper, and simmer until just reduced, about 5 minutes.
Plate chicken, drizzle with sauce, and garnish with fresh basil.
Cheers!

I served this with quinoa and steamed broccoli. The meal was A-MAZING!!!! GF Guy and I both cleaned our plates.
I rounded off my night with a bowl of fresh organic peach slices and blackberries.

These blackberries were HUGE! Look at that thing!

It’s the size of a small planet!

Tomorrow, GF Guy is taking me out to dinner at Grassroots, a small vegan restaurant with lots of raw food options. I AM SO EXCITED!!!! I have been looking forward to it all week! I will be sure to take pictures!
Goodnight everyone! Have a great weekend!

The Scones Take the Cake…

THE SCONES WIN! THE SCONES WIN!

Based on the recipe poll results, which were unanimous, the Gluten Free Blueberry Scone recipe is the most coveted. These scones are not as dry as the typical scone. They are also not a super sweet dessert. The are a delicate, subtly sweet tea cake that pair perfectly with a hot cup of tea of coffee. This recipe is not Vegan, but can easily be made so. I will offer my substitution recommendations. Happy dunking!

Gluten Free Blueberry Scones:

Ingredients:

– 1 1/4 cups Sorghum Flour (or white rice flour)
– 1/2 cup Tapioca Flour/Starch
– 1 1/2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
– 3/4 teaspooon Baking Soda
– 1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
– 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
– 4 Tablespoon Demura Sugar
– 1 heaping teaspoon Cinnamon
– 4 Tablespoon (half a stick) Butter, cut in 1/2 inch pieces (keep cold),
(margarine for vegan)
– 2/3 cup Lowfat Plain Yogurt (non-dairy yogurt or 1/2 cup non-dairy milk for vegan)
– 1 large Egg (Egg Replacer for 1 Egg for vegan)
– 1/3 cup Frozen Blueberries
– 2 Tablespoons Milk (soy, rice or nut for vegan) for brushing on top

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with nonstick cooking spray).
In food processor place flours, cream of tartar, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, sugar, and cinnamon. Pulse on and off to combine the ingredients. Add cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
Combine the lightly beaten egg and yogurt. Pour over the flour mixture and process for about until the dough forms large curds. Scrape the dough into a bowl. Quickly, but gently fold in the frozen blueberries with a spatula.
On the baking sheet pat dough to into an 8 inch circle, 3/4 of an inch thick. Brush the top with the 2 tablespoons of milk.
Bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting into 8 wedges. (I used a pizza slicer.)

Cheers!

Happy Father’s Day Dinner…

Hello Loveys! How was your Thursday? Uneventful I hope.

Well, GF Guy and I got all dressed up to celebrate something special.

Can you guess what it was?

Tonight we were finally able to celebrate Father’s Day! Everyone, except my brothe because he’s at school, met at Maggiano’s for dinner. Maggiano’s is an upscale Italian restaurant with locations all over the United States. I know what you are thinking: Katrina, how could you possibly feel comfortable eating in an Italian chain restaurant?! The answer is, because Maggiano’s is A-MAZING! That’s why! Maggiano’s staff is extremely well trained in the protocol and procedures required to accommodate diners with dietary restrictions and food allergies. The chef comes out to your table, asks you what you would like for dinner, and makes it for you. It is that simple! They have gluten free pasta, and if any of the sauces contain gluten they will make you a fresh, safe batch of sauce! Also, if you dine at none peak hours, you can bring your own breadcrumbs and dairy free cheese and they will use them to make your meal, if need be! Isn’t that awesome?! Normally, I order something that isn’t even on the menu, gluten free pasta with lots of steamed vegetables and marinara sauce. This time, however, GF Guy and I split the Chicken and Apple Salad. The portions are HUGE, splitting them is highly recommended! Our salad was comprised of grilled chicken, iceburg lettuce, arugula, chives, grapes, celery, walnuts, and blue cheese dressing.


I skipped the walnuts and dressing and drizzled my portion of salad with Balsamic Vinegar. (I ate half a bag of crackers at 1:30… oops… so I wasn’t very hungry) My older sister and her husband ordered the Rigatoni “D” with gluten free pasta.

This dish contained Rigatoni pasta, herb roasted boneless chicken, mushrooms and onions, tossed in a light Marsala cream sauce. I tried a few bites of this, but was unimpressed. It wasn’t bad. I am just a marinara sauce kind of girl. Aside from the food, we had a wonderful time filled with laughter and family stories.

I love my daddy!!!!!!!!!!!! So, for all you gluten free diners out there, Maggiano’s is a wonderful choice for a safe, gluten free meal!
After dinner, GF Guy and I hit up Berryism for some Frozen Yogurt.

I ordered a 4 oz. child size original with kiwi and raspberries. It was the perfect amount of fro-yo and only about 100 calories, including mix-ins! Yummy!

My kitchen experiment from yesterday morning doesn’t seem to be working. I’m trying to make “Oat-gurt” a la Heather. I think it’s not fermenting because I don’t have a hot plate. If the oat-gurt doesn’t ferment tonight, I am going to have to call this experiment quits. LE SIGH… Cross your fingers for me!

So far the Gluten Free Blueberry Scones are sweeping the recipe poll. Don’t forget to vote for your recipe choice by midnight tonight!

Is It Bad?…

Is it bad that I ate the same thing for breakfast AND lunch?


I did eat a peach after my workout, though!

Gluten Free Nutrition:

I have a topic of some controversy in the Gluten Free world to discuss: Wheat Grass
Many people claim products containing Wheat Grass and Barley Grass are gluten free. Technically this is a true statement. However, there is a major cross contamination risk. The actually “grass” does not contain the protein gluten, but other parts of the plant do. In my opinion, the proximity is too close for comfort. It bothers me when I see a “gluten free” product that contains wheat grass as an ingredient. What are your thoughts/opinions of Wheat Grass and Barley Grass being marketed as gluten free?

Recipe Poll:

So far the Blueberry Scones are winning the recipe race! Get your votes in by midnight tonight! 🙂

Tonight:

Tonight we are taking my dad to a restaurant to celebrate Father’s Day. I can’t write down the name of it just in case he reads my blog before we leave. 🙂 It’s a surprise! However, I will be posting a restaurant review!