Monday, February 26, 2018

Let's Catch Up

If we were having coffee together this morning, we would definitely start our conversation talking about this Gluten Free (and vegan!!) Cinnamon Roll from JP's Pastry. We all know how hard it is to find a good gluten free cinnamon roll but it's no surprise to me that JP has figured it out. I would also tell you that I gave up dairy for Lent, so this cinnamon roll is an extra special treat!

After licking the icing off of our fingers - it's really too good to just wipe away with a napkin - I would tell you about the other gluten free and vegan treats that I picked up yesterday at the Triangle VegFest. 

These killer nachos with cashew nacho cheese:

 and this incredible donut: 

- yes, Sunday was a particularly tasty day for me. 

As coffee dates often go, we'd probably start talking about Mason. I would tell you that I can't believe he turned THREE at the end of January. 

Three has been super fun so far, and I'm enjoying his ability to hold more of a conversation with me. He asks lots of questions and while the WHY WHY WHY can get tiring, it's also neat that he's just trying to figure things out. 

Towards the end of our drinks I would most likely get a little bit quiet and you would probably ask how I've been doing since my Mom passed away on Christmas Eve. The two month mark just passed and I have yet to reach the depth of my grief. 

Losing my sweet mama has been incredibly hard. Grief is tough. Grief with a toddler is complicated. In a lot of ways I feel lucky that Mason keeps me so tethered to the present. It's nice to have hours of relief from the ache. But then when I'm by myself, usually in the car, the grief just floods my thoughts and emotions. 

It's honestly like I relive the moment where I realize she's really gone every single time I'm alone. It's devastating and exhausting and just really freaking sad to keep feeling that initial loss. Part of me wants to take a weekend away to just wallow in sadness to get my head above water, and the other part of me feels like maybe this is just what grief is, an ocean. Some days I'm floating on top of still waters basking in the sunshine and the simple truth that I'll be reunited with my mama in heaven, and other days I'm bobbing in the waves trying to catch my breath while my heart breaks. Hopefully with time I'll learn how to swim. 

Wiping tears away is so much easier when I'm sitting with a friend, even an internet one, and let's be honest, that cinnamon roll doesn't hurt either! 😉

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A Resolution for Lunch

For me, resolutions aren't just for the New Year.

I like to set small, approachable goals for myself throughout the year. Small steps, a little at a time, to help me reach some of my larger goals. Often times they're as simple as not eating a cheeseburger three times in one week....and other times they're a bit more work. 

Like getting that last toe off the wall in my handstand. 

Simple or hard, I like evaluating my day-to-day regularly and adjusting small areas to bring about more joy. 

Since Mason was born (nearly 3 years ago!!) I haven't spent as much time reflecting on myself. But now that my little babe is getting a bit bigger,

although forever my baby

I have more time to take care of myself! Which means that I just might be able to meet some of my other goals, which includes writing this blog (!!!) and making myself an actual lunch. 

So often I let a busy day get in the way of proper meals. I have a smoothie directly after bootcamp but then I skip breakfast and often lunch because I simply forget. By the time the afternoon rolls around, I'm starving - no surprise there!

Earlier in the year we made a big family decision (more on that soon!) and now I have a few days a week where I'm actually at home during lunch. Most days I busy myself with work and chores and still end up losing track of time. Before I know it, Mason is up from his nap and ready to play. 

But I'm resolved to make a change! Today was my first small step and it was a delicious one!

Equal parts salad and pizza - my kind of lunch! And while I hope to have more time soon to make something a bit more from scratch, this was super tasty and speedy too. Made all the more delicious by an impulse buy at Kroger:

Tessemae's Salad Toppers - so good! I've been a HUGE fan of the Tessemae's line of dressings for a long time, so as soon as I saw these toppers on the shelf I snatched them up!

Baby kale topped with red peppers, smoked gouda, lemon garlic dressing, and the sea salt bacon salad topper - the perfect accompaniment to a few slices of California Pizza Kitchen Gluten Free Margherita pizza. Small goal success!

And as for that handstand and getting my final toe off the wall, I hope to reach that small goal soon, on my way to the larger goal....a full handstand push-up!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The ULTIMATE Gluten Free Dinner

Food Events. Tasting Menus. Curated Drink & Dinner.

These are a few of my favorite things - AND unfortunately, these are also a few things that as a gluten free person, I rarely get to partake in.


Local friends rejoice! Our good friends at Durham Magazine have planned an event as part of their TASTE 2017 series that is just for us: The Ultimate Gluten Free Dinner!

When: FRIDAY APRIL 21, 2017  
Where: Primal Food & Spirits, Durham
Details: Join me for a three course served dinner by one of Durham’s most talented and charming chefs, Tim Lyons of Primal and Blu Seafood. Tim has put together a creative and flavorful gluten-free menu which will be paired with various ciders curated by Mattie Beason of Black Twig Cider House and breads from acclaimed gluten-free baker, Kaley Laird of Rhubarb in Asheville, NC. To finish off the evening, you will enjoy a wonderful dessert prepared by Joe Parker of JP’s Pastry, the Carolinas most renowned gluten-free pastry chef and my personal FAVE.

And the menu sounds AMAZING!

Deviled eggs with cider vinegar, smoked paprika aioli and candied bacon; Baked Camembert with pear and crostini - and those are just the appetizers!

See the full menu, including paired drinks HERE.

But you know I'm really and truly in it for the dessert:

So will I see you there? Let's eat, drink, and be gluten free - shoot me an email so we can plan to meet!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Personal Pan Cauliflower Pizza Crusts

Cauliflower Pizza is one of those recipes that has continued to stump me.

For one - it's not pizza. Right?! I mean, we all WANT it to be pizza but at the end of the day, it's just mashed up cauliflower with pizza spices. But put cheese on pretty much anything and I'll eat it happily - so I keep trying to find a recipe I like.

And don't get me wrong. I've enjoyed all the cauliflower pizzas I've made - the flavors are spot on - but I've never been able to make an actual pie that you could slice and eat without a fork. The edges always end up burnt and the middle ends up a bit soft.

Then I had what I am now calling a GENIUS idea (because it worked!) - make SMALLER pizzas.

In the spirit of my childhood, I dubbed these "personal pan" because they ended up being handheld and positively delicious!

Each crust was perfectly brown, crisp, and you guessed it...totally able to eaten without a fork. Finally!

The key to these and all cauliflower pizzas is removing the liquid from the steamed cauliflower. You have to let it cool completely (trust me on that!) and then scoop it in to a cheese cloth to be squeezed. Take your time and get out every last drop of moisture. The less moisture, the crisper your pizza - it's worth it.

I started making these early in the day. With Mason's help, I chopped the cauliflower in the food processor, steamed it in the microwave, and then let it cool completely for an hour. Then, just before dinner time, I squeezed out the moisture and added in the cheese and spices.

You bake the crust before topping it too - so definitely give yourself plenty of time to prepare.

This recipe ended up yielding 6 pizzas - 5 round, 1 rectangle - and I think that the next time I whip these up, I'll make them all in to rectangles. More like "french bread" pizzas and way easier to eat. 

I hope you enjoy a batch of your own - I will definitely be making these again soon!

Personal Pan Cauliflower Pizzas

Yields 6 small pizzas

You'll need:

One head cauliflower, cut in to florets
1/4 cup Cabot 50% Sharp Light (or your favorite skim mozzarella), grated
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Toppings of your choice: I used pizza sauce, Cabot, and turkey pepperoni. 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 

Chop your cauliflower in to florets and place in a food processor. Process until the cauliflower resembles rice - scraping down the sides a few times to ensure uniformity. Then place the cauliflower rice in a microwavable bowl, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool COMPLETELY.

Place the cooled cauliflower rice in cheese cloth and squeeze out any liquid. Continue to squeeze until no moisture drips out. You'll be left with what resembles a dough ball of cauliflower. 

Combine the now squeezed cauliflower with the remaining ingredients. Mix well with a spoon or your hands to completely combine. Spread this mixture on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in to your desired shape, using your fingers to press out the mixture. 

Bake the crusts for 10 - 15 minutes (check at 10) until the edges and tops are golden and crispy. Remove from the oven and add your toppings. Place back in the oven for 3-5 minutes - just until the cheese melts. 


Monday, January 9, 2017

Gluten Free Protein Crepes

I'm always looking for an easy breakfast that's ready in a matter of minutes. If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat (@glutenhatesme), then you already know that I am pretty much obsessed with Burn Bootcamp. I mean...I must be if I wake up at 4:30 am 5 days a week to get that workout in!

I have a small amount of caffeine and half a banana before bootcamp and come home at 6:30 am ready for a real breakfast packed full of protein. I typically go for a protein smoothie and two hardboiled eggs, but after eating the same meal for months....I needed a little break.

So I googled protein pancakes, expecting to find involved recipes and tons of gluten. Instead I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of gluten free AND super easy recipes there are! I found one that only had 4 ingredients and whipped a batch up using my blender. From the first bite I was HOOKED - holy moly these are good!

The "pancakes" are super thin, like crepes and even roll up easily. All last week I enjoyed them plain, no topping necessary. The flavor is almost like a cream cheese danish to me, with the combination of the cottage cheese and vanilla.

And since we were snowed in this past weekend, I decided to treat myself and topped a batch with sliced strawberries and a drizzle of chocolate nut butter - SO GOOD.

Each batch makes 3 fairly large (but thin) pancakes and paired with Al Fresco Chicken Bacon, is definitely enough to keep me full for a few hours. Try them - I know you'll love them! And as always - be sure to check any food labels before using new ingredients to ensure they're gluten free!

Protein Crepes

gluten free; low carb
inspired by The Fit Blog - original recipe found here

1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
1/3 cup egg whites (or the whites from 2 eggs)
1/4 cup Gluten Free Rolled Oats (I used Happy Rolled Oats from Bakery on Main)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Coconut Oil Cooking Spray (or your preferred spray)

Start by blending the cottage cheese and egg whites until smooth. Then add the oats and vanilla, once again blending until completely smooth.

Spray a non-stick fry pan with cooking spray and heat over medium. Cook pancakes until golden brown on both sides. Enjoy!

**Tip: I use the small cup blender attachment to my Ninja to whip these up quickly. It's the perfect size and that way I don't dirty my large blender!


Want to see more of my daily eats? I've started a daily food journal on Instagram Stories to motivate myself to eat healthier and to stay accountable. Check it out through the Instagram App, with the @glutenhatesme storyline on the top. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Spooky (Cheesy) GIVEAWAY!

Halloween is just around the corner, and in addition to thinking about Mason's costume,

We're going tiger this year since it's one of the animal sounds he almost always gets the first time!

I've also started planning what we want to hand out to trick-or-treaters this year.

For the past few years, I have had the absolute pleasure of partnering with my besties, Cabot Cheese, for Halloween. In lieu of sweet treats, I offer trick-or-treaters individually wrapped cheese snacks (snacking minis) and they're always a big hit with the kids and the adults!

They're so cute - AND they pack the perfect protein punch so you don't get a sugar crash!

This year, I've been given another awesome opportunity to share those snacking minis with you! One lucky winner will receive their own box of FREE cheese to share (or not!) AND a one-year subscription to ChopChop Magazine!

Cabot Cheese is partnering with ChopChopKids, an innovative non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire and teach kids to cook real food with their families. They believe that cooking and eating together as a family is a vital step in resolving the obesity and hunger epidemics. ChopChop Magazine, is a fun cooking magazine for families. 

As a new-ish Mom, I LOVE ChopChop Magazine! Even as a toddler, it's already a struggle to get Mason to eat a balanced healthy meal. If he had it his way, he'd eat fruit and hummus all day every day. Parrish and I have already started getting him in the kitchen to "help" and I'm definitely looking forward to the days when he can stir and whisk on his own. 

This is a QUICK GIVEAWAY, so enter today! The winner will be chosen Monday, October 24th at 8am EST!

To enter: 

1. Leave me a comment with your favorite Halloween costume from years past. 

Want more entries?

2. Tweet it! Blog it! Share on Instagram! Tell a friend! And then comment back here with how you shared this awesome giveaway!

Giveaway Sponsored by Cabot Cheese and ChopChopKids. 

Good luck!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Super Easy Oven Risotto

Since Mason was born, I think it's been pretty obvious that I've been in a food rut. 

I'm not really sure what to attribute this slump to, but I'm sure it has something to do with my life completely changing (for the better) the day that little babe was born. 

It's like I've honestly forgotten how to cook. Meals with more than a few steps just seem too hard. Also hard: even thinking of ideas for meals. Ugh. Hard. 

I need all the inspiration I can get. So in addition to Pinterest, I've started looking at blogs for meal ideas, including my own! It's hard to believe that I've been writing Gluten Hates Me for 8 years, and over that time, I've had some pretty yummy meals!

Including this:

Oven Chicken Risotto

A recipe from my bestie sister, I first blogged about this dish in January of 2012!

It's super easy to prepare and it reheats well - two of my favorite qualities in a recipe. But the best part of this recipe:

the pockets of cheese!!! I used Cabot's Seriously Sharp for this particular dish and it was oh so good!

You can customize the filling of this dish to meet your personal tastebuds. In 2013, I used caramelized onions and white beans with smoked gouda as my filling. My sister adds basil to her rendition, and I've even used sautéed mushrooms in the past instead of chicken. 

No matter what you choose, the base of the risotto will turn out perfectly every time, so feel free to experiment. It makes a big dish too, so you could serve 4 for dinner or have leftovers for lunch!

Gotta love leftovers!

I really can't recommend this recipe enough - try it, I know you'll love it!

Oven Chicken Risotto

You’ll need:

2 tbsp. butter

2 1/2 cups chicken broth (be sure it’s gluten free! I like the Pacific brand)

1 cup Arborio rice

1/2 small yellow onion, diced

8 oz. cheese, cubed (I used Cabot Seriously Sharp but mozzarella is great too!)

1 container cherry tomatoes, halved

1 bag spinach, roughly cut into smaller bite size bits

1 cup diced, cooked chicken (I use a rotisserie chicken – aka lazy man’s chicken)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large (and deep) brownie pan or roasting pan, add the butter and pop into the oven to melt. Once melted, add in the onion and give it a good stir.

Then add in the broth and rice. Stir to combine and then cover your pan with aluminum foil.

Bake for 35 minutes. While this bakes, prep the rest of your ingredients.

After the 35 minutes, remove the pan from the oven carefully, and remove the foil. Fluff the rice with a fork. The liquid should be sucked up and the rice cooked. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, stirring well to combine.

Pop back into the oven for another 5-10 minutes, to wilt your spinach and melt the mozzarella.