Monday, April 29, 2013

Gluten Free Cold Sesame Noodle Salad

I feel like I’m constantly talking about how important meal planning is for me…but I really can’t stress it enough.

It helps me make healthy choices, ensures that I have something that is safe for me to eat, and it helps me not have hunger meltdowns. Win, Win, Win.

Yes, it does take a little bit of time, but it’s worth it for me.

And I’m not saying that I ALWAYS feel like doing it. Yesterday was a prime example of lacking motivation. Parrish and I had a big, FUN weekend with MOH and friends. So by the time Sunday rolled around, all I wanted to do was lay around.

But I reminded myself of my busy week, AND all that I want to be able to accomplish. So meal planning it was, and since it’s going to be a busy week, there was food prep too!

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Starting on the left, homemade dressing for a kale salad later in the week, hummus for dippers, sliced peppers for dipping, Cold Sesame Noodle Salad, Roasted Asparagus, Roasted BBQ Chickpeas for snacking, tomatoes and lettuce for salads. Also in the back: kefir for smoothies and wheatgrass to give my juices a punch

I also have:

easy gluten free recipes 043fresh blueberries, raspberries, and plain Greek yogurt for breakfast add-ins.

Not pictured is some chopped Bok Choy, chopped Broccoli, and sliced turkey.

Pretty simple, and in all, the prep took about an hour and a half. Which is nothing when compared to how much time and sanity it will save me through out the week. Plus I caught up on The Office while I prepped!

It was mostly cleaning, chopping, and roasting. Easy enough. The only new addition is the Cold Sesame Noodle Salad:

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A few months ago, Nasoya contacted me and asked if I would like to write a review of their Pasta Zero Plus. I said yes, not realizing how busy my life was about to become. Long story short, I’m just now getting around to trying it AND I wish I had tried it sooner!

Each serving of pasta only has 20 calories and no fat. They’re gluten free and vegan, made from chickpea flour, the noodles basically absorb the flavor of whatever you toss them in!

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One IMPORTANT tip: Do not let the smell hinder you! When first opened, these noodles smell like fish. Don’t despair, simply rinse and then rinse again under cold water. In no way do they taste like fish or should they taste like fish. It must be a side effect from being packed in water.

Second tip: Pre-cut these noodles! They are incredibly long, so when you prepare them in a recipe, pre-cut the noodles before serving.

And third: don’t let the above two tips scare you! I will definitely be buying these noodles again. In fact, I will buy them to make Cold Sesame Noodle Salad again, because this recipe is TASTY!

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Gluten Free Cold Sesame Noodle Salad

inspired by Cold Asian Noodle Salad on Food Network

you’ll need:

-one package Nasoya Pasta Zero Plus; drained, rinsed twice and drained, cooked in a skillet on medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes or until dry; pre-cut into manageable size

1 cup red or yellow pepper strips, julienned

2 carrots, julienned

1 cup sunflower shoots or sprout of your choice

2 tbsp. red onion, minced ( you could substitute 3 scallions, minced)

1 cup bok choy, roughly chopped

1 tbsp. sesame seeds

The sauce:

1 tsp. sesame oil

2 tbsp. gluten free rice wine vinegar ( I used a garlic infused rice wine vinegar)

3 tbsp. gluten free tamari

1 tbsp. San-J Gluten Free Asian BBQ Sauce

2 tsp. Organicville Sriracha Sauce

Whisk together your sauce. Combine veggies with noodles and sesame seeds. Dress with sauce and toss to combine. You could also make it in a container with a lid and shake to combine.

Enjoy!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bite Size Gluten Free Poppers

Do you remember THIS veggie burger?

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The above veggie burger was first featured on the blog last September. You can read that post here.

It is without a doubt, the best veggie burger in the land. I absolutely LOVE the taste, texture, and nutritional facts.

So imagine my ABSOLUTE JOY when I found the above veggie burger in a new bite size form!

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Spotted in the freezer section of Whole Foods, I literally squealed out loud when I saw these. Folks that work in Whole Foods are probably pretty used to me squealing in the aisles, but I just get so excited about NEW foods!

I’m convinced that Hilary’s Eat Well can do no wrong! I absolutely LOVE everything they make!

I mean, check out these ingredients:

Water, Organic Whole Millet, Organic Whole Quinoa, Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil, Organic Sweet Potato, Organic Spinach, Organic Onion, Organic Psyllium Seed Husk Powder, Organic Arrowroot, Real Salt, Organic Garlic Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Sunflower Seed Oil

Two bites has just 40 calories, and are worth only 1 Weight Watcher Point.

And they’re crunchy. And moist. And super flavorful.

PLUS, y’all know how much I LOVE bite size food! Appetizers are the best. Bite size food is like eating at a party all day long!

Gluten Free Veggie Burger Poppers. Yes Please. They were the perfect light meal after a killer Zumba class on Tuesday. Six bites filled me right up without undoing everything I just worked towards an hour earlier at the gym!

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What Do You Do With a Sunflower Shoot

This past weekend, Parrish and I skipped the Downtown Durham Farmer’s Market. Instead, per the recommendation of some friends, we headed closer to home to the South Durham Farmer’s Market.

The South Durham market is much smaller, and lacks the Food Trucks that Parrish loves. BUT we enjoyed the smaller more intimate setting, and I personally thought that some of the stalls had better looking produce than the Downtown stalls.

We picked up some gluten free soups that I can’t wait to tell you about later this week. We also bought some beets for juicing, green garlic, eggs, and a bag full of sunflower shoots.

When I was choosing the meals for our menu this week on Sunday, I remembered the sunflower shoots.

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Fresh sprouts are so tender and crunchy. Even the NY Times recognizes their beauty! I knew I wanted to recreate a meal that I made…years ago!

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Heidi Swanson’s Ultimate Veggie Burger! What I love most about this recipe, is that you aren’t actually making a veggie burger. Instead, you are making a veggie burger BUN!

Take that gluten! We don’t even need you in this recipe!

You can find the recipe HERE on 101 Cookbooks.

If you’re just making it for two, just halve the recipe! That’s what I did. It makes three large sized veggie burgers.

You can stuff it with whatever you like! We chose robusto cheese, fresh guacamole, and sunflower shoots. Sunflower shoots are crispy, so the creamy guacamole was a perfect pairing. 

I can’t wait to make this again later in the summer when tomatoes are at their best.

The burger itself is packed with cilantro, onion, and lemon zest, so it’s full of flavor on it’s own.

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a chilly morning here in NC! I’m just thankful we’re not dealing with a blanket of snow like many of you around the US!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Gluten Free Sweet Potato and Kale Tacos

Meatless meals have been popping up more and more around the GHM house.

I don’t think it started intentionally, meaning I wasn’t trying to avoid meat. Instead, I was trying to add in more fruits and veggies to my everyday meals.

This past week I knew Parrish wanted tacos. I had a small amount of shrimp in the freezer. Enough for one, not two. And then I remembered these tacos I had at Dos Perros in Durham forever ago with my auntie.

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Kale and Sweet Potato Tacos!

Corn Tortillas with roasted chunks of sweet potato, garlic sautéed kale, cabot cheese, and a dollop of 0% fat Greek yogurt.

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This supper was an absolute success! Lots of flavor and great textures.

Not a success:

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Trader Joe’s frozen kale.

Our fridge is really low this week because we haven’t had a chance to make it to the grocery store. So I didn’t have fresh kale to work with. But then I remembered my frozen kale I had picked up from Trader Joe’s months ago. Perfect!

Or so I thought! Over HALF THE BAG was stalks. Seriously. Huge stalky stalks. Not TJ’s, not cool.

What about you?

What’s your favorite filling for your tacos?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Day of Reflection

Oh life.

Right?

Unexpected.

Life.

Filled with so much love and hatred; so much hope and disappointment; so beauty and so much ugliness, at the same time.

If you’re a long time reader, then you know that 2012 was a tough year for my family. We went through so much heart ache, so much life altering change, that some days it felt like we might break in half.

But faith saw me through. Faith lit my path, even when it was so faint that I still stumbled, it was there.

And I am once again relying on my faith to understand what happened in Boston yesterday. Senseless. Unnecessary. Disgusting. So much hard work, determination, and happiness, gone in an instant.

Life is so temporary. So unpredictable.

My thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by the bombings yesterday in Boston. I pray for your comfort. I pray for your strength. I pray for your foundation of faith, that it may hold you up in such life shattering times.

Surrounded by darkness. Empty of strength. Questioning. Grasping. God lifted me up. My personal faith that I built brick by brick with my own Bible and prayer, gave me a foundation to kneel on when I couldn’t stand.

My prayers are for you. My love is with you.

Monday, April 15, 2013

My On-the-Go Gluten Free Breakfast

Happy Monday!

It’s the start to another week, and once again I stuck to my plan and prepped a big portion of this week’s meals on Sunday.

I had to work all weekend, so I wasn’t able to prep as much as last week. Luckily I still have some cut veggies and grab and go fruit left over. So this week I was focused on breakfast.

I don’t know what it is about breakfast that always leaves me stumped.

I’m usually rushing out to go to the gym, and breakfast is more like an after thought. When really, it should be the first thought I have.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins to the rescue!

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Reporting for duty!

I divided the muffins into easy to grab containers, two muffins each. I’m excited to have something filling and delicious all week long. Thanks to my co-worker Katie for the inspiration!

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You can find the recipe here. They really are incredibly easy to make! Remember, I’m a lazy baker, so if I can make them so can you!

What about you?

What’s your go-to breakfast?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Creamy Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

Most nights during the week after supper, Parrish asks if I would mind if he played FIFA until “good tv” comes on. I always say no problem, because I know I need to write a blog post, and he has a point about the “good tv”.

But I wonder if secretly I want to be the cool wife who doesn’t care if her husband LOVES to play FIFA. Although, it genuinely doesn’t bother me – he doesn’t play for hours on end – but I will admit that I don’t understand the draw. But…I also don’t understand how to play any video game with a controller fancier than the original Nintendo.

Last night, I feel like I really was the cool wife. Because not only did he get to play FIFA, but I made HOMEMADE DRESSING for our supper salads! I mean…seriously. How cool am I?

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The dressing is a new recipe from our cooking class we took over the weekend. A cooking class that Parrish planned for me and him to take together as a birthday present…

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Cool husband = Cool wife

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Creamy Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

You’ll need:

4 garlic cloves

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup sherry vinegar

1 heaping tbsp. Dijon Mustard

1 tbsp honey

2 tbsp finely minced shallot

1/2 tsp. salt ; 1/4 tsp. pepper

1/2 cup heavy cream

Start by poaching the garlic in the olive oil. To do this, place the olive oil and the garlic in a small saucepan and allow to cook on the stove at medium low for about 20-25 minutes, or until the garlic softens and browns. Set aside to cool completely.

Once cool, remove the garlic carefully and roughly chop.

Combine vinegar, mustard, honey, garlic, shallot, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk well. Stir in cream and whisk until incorporated.

Now slowly whisk in the oil – just a slight stream – whisking constantly so that the oil incorporates with the cream.

Taste and serve!

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We enjoyed our dressing on a bed of spring mix, with roasted asparagus, pistachios, a poached egg, and bacon.

YUM!

You will absolutely LOVE this dressing! It’s got a vinaigrette bite with a creamy finish. Next time I’m going to substitute greek yogurt for the heavy cream, but I’ll be sure to have a back up in case it turns out horribly!

What about you?

Do you like making homemade dressing?

I always feel intimidated about making it, but am always glad when I do!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Gluten Free Kale and Quinoa Patties

It feels good to be back in my routine again.

Don’t get me wrong, birthdays are fun. Vacations are fun. But routines are also fun. Packed lunches and meal planning are fun. Well…at least, they’re fun to me!

So in the spirit of fun, I spent a big chunk of time yesterday buying groceries, prepping veggies for snacks, and juicing. I was already planning on making quinoa for lunches, and then I remembered this recipe:

gluten free kale and quinoa patties

for Kale and Quinoa Cakes.

I LOVE these cakes. Just like that, supper was decided!

Crispy, creamy, cheesy, with just the right amount of fiber.

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Plus, they’re super filling. AND they warm up great for lunch the next day!

I followed THIS RECIPE on Yummy Supper, except that I traded out the parmesan cheese for feta.

I recommend topping your patties with 0% Fat Greek Yogurt, avocado, cilantro, and hot sauce.

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Okay…you don’t have to use hot sauce. But if you do, it’ll be delicious!

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Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Another Broken Egg Café – Gluten Free

When I first realized that my 30th birthday was on a Monday, I was a little bit bummed. I knew it meant that I wouldn’t be able to celebrate with many of my friends and family from out of town.

BUT what I didn’t realize is that it meant I would get to celebrate ALL WEEKEND with my husband!! And what better way to celebrate than to hang out with your best friend all weekend?!

We had a busy weekend, with a memorable breakfast, an amazing cooking class, supper with my parents, rock climbing, and a baseball game.

Let’s start with the memorable breakfast:

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Thanks to my friend Catie, I found out that Durham has a local restaurant serving GLUTEN FREE PANCAKES!

Another Broken Egg Café:

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is a franchise. So if you have one in your area call and ask to be sure they carry this option. And if they don’t, encourage them! If our Durham location can do it, so can they!

I had the option to add berries as a topping, but I wanted to keep it simple.

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Cake-y, Doughy, Fluffy. DELICIOUS! I LOVED this pancake! And what a simple pleasure, to be able to order a pancake out in a restaurant!

Ultimately the JUMBO pancake did get the better of me…

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I tried and tried, but I couldn’t finish it! It was so yummy, but also incredibly filling! I was full for FIVE HOURS!!

That’s what I’m talking about!

I could definitely see splitting this with a friend. Add a side of bacon and a glass of OJ – perfection.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Happy Birthday to US

Happy Birthday to US


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30 years ago…my Mom was about to pop!

Happy Birthday to US!

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Having a twin brother has always been really special. As a child I had a constant playmate. We rarely fought. By looking through pictures, you’d think we spent more time holding hands!

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We typically shared everything. We’d play G.I .Joe’s together and have them come home to Barbie after a long day at war. (Barbie didn’t seem to mind the size difference)

As teenagers, we still had a lot of fun together. Weekends were spent playing video games or having movie marathons. It was nice to always have someone around who shared my sense of humor.

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Hard to believe that the picture above IS 12 years old! Eesh.

As an adult, being a twin is still fun. Hard but fun. My brother’s job keeps in Los Angeles, WAY over on the west coast. So I don’t get to see him as often as I would like, but I’m proud of him for being so successful.

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Happy Birthday Otto! We are officially THIRTY!

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Parrish and I are kicking off my birthday with a trip to the gym, and then we’re off to go rock climbing! Tonight we’re celebrating at our local baseball game: The Durham Bulls!

Have a great Monday!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Kicking Off My Birthday Weekend

You guys are the best.

The best thing about opening yourself up and admitting that you’re not perfect, admitting that everything isn’t all sunshine and roses, is that you then allow folks to be there for you.

Sweet emails, texts, and comments came flooding in yesterday as soon as my Not So Cheery post went up, and with each word of encouragement that stinky ol’ dark cloud got smaller and smaller.

It also helped that my work helped sponsor a super fun event last night:

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(The above beauty is OWM Volunteer and Full Time Fair Trade Warrior: Catie)

If you haven’t seen the documentary Girl Rising, I highly recommend checking it out! Here’s the trailer:

And you can find showings near you here.

Talk about perspective.

The event went really well; we sold 166 tickets for the show, and I was able to spend time with the amazing folks I work with. I love working at a Fair Trade non-profit. I mean what better people to spend time with, than people who actually care about the health and welfare of people they’ve never even met! FUN!

Also super fun, running in to blog reader Mary Beth at the showing! Hi Mary Beth Smile

And now today I’m kicking off my birthday weekend! Parrish and I have plans to go rock climbing this afternoon, then we’re going to a cooking class tomorrow. All leading up to Monday…

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which is opening day for the Durham Bulls! Woo Hoo!

And equally as good…I get to make this gluten free chocolate cake that has been winking at me inside the pantry!

Mmmm….chocolate cake! Quite possibly the most delicious looking picture on a box ever.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Perspective from Strangers

I feel like I’ve been in a CLOUD of negativity this week.

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I wish I could blame it on my allergies turned sinus and double ear infection, but in my heart I know that this negativity isn’t because of my health. Unfortunately it’s just IN ADDITION to that.

What’s causing the CLOUD? Who knows. Really. I don’t know. I can speculate that maybe it’s my looming BIG birthday. Now only 4 days away. Or it could be my lack of exercise this week due to my declining health.

I guess the cause doesn’t really matter. I can’t pin point it. Instead, I am determined to shake it off. And friends, God is ready for me to shake it off too!

Last night I was at Target waiting for my prescription. Due to an error at my doctor’s office, I ended up sitting and waiting for two hours. Typically I would be happy to spend two hours in Target. But not yesterday.

So I’m sitting on this bench and I can feel the cloud. I was feeling terrible, and was literally throwing myself a pity party. Then a woman just started talking to me.

She told me how her one year old daughter has the flu, and multiple pharmacies were out of the medicine she needs. She had driven around town only to wait for hours and get turned away. She had to miss work, and she lives pay check to pay check. She was frustrated and tired, but once she told me this, she started telling me funny stories about her daughter. Her face lit up and she started laughing as she relayed her daughter’s latest triumph. She wasn’t going to let her day get her down.

And it hit me. Perspective.

WHAM!

It is so easy to become completely self-involved. (Ummm…hello! I write a personal blog!) I could have sat on that bench and been selfish; I could have only thought about myself.

But God continues to open my heart AND my eyes. This world is FULL of other people. And there are WAY WORSE situations than double ear infections plaguing millions of people.

Perspective.

So take that negative CLOUD. Get outta here. Because today I choose to see the world for others. I choose to live my life to spread love, not negativity.

Today is a new day!

And I’m starting it out with an amazing bowl of Bakery of Main Gluten Free Oatmeal.

How are you starting your day?

Monday, April 1, 2013

The BEST Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Holy moly!

Can you believe it’s April already?!

Seriously. Time is FLYING by; I still feel like it should be February!

The plus side of it being April means that it’s only SEVEN days until my birthday! The negative side of that is that I only have SEVEN days left in my 20’s!

But – let’s not talk about my looming entry into the 30’s club. INSTEAD let’s talk about the dreamy weekend I had!

Saturday was a little bit of a work day, in that my co-worker and myself attended a city-wide event to represent One World Market.The event was a GIANT Easter Egg Hunt. We manned a table and ran a Fair Trade Hackey Sack game.

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Yes it was work, but with great weather who cares! Plus, I seriously love little kids. They would get so excited when they would score a point. So stinkin’ cute!

Parrish came along to help. The proximity of food trucks to the event may have had something to do with that, but either way, I am lucky to have such a supportive partner!

Sunday Parrish and I had a pretty laid back morning. Gluten free pancakes were made; Groceries for the week were bought.

After lunch Parrish and I headed to my parent’s house to celebrate Easter and have supper together. It was a great visit; I am so thankful to live within two hours of my parents!

LUCKILY we made it home in time to watch two of our favorite shows: The Walking Dead and The Game Thrones. It was sort of fitting that one show was ending while another one was beginning!

Parrish and I even planned a special treat for our night:

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King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Cookies with two scoops of vanilla bean ice cream!

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Seriously THE BEST gluten free cookie mix. Ever.

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I found it at Target (shocker) and I am blown away by how delicious it is! I used Enjoy Life chocolate chips for my mix-in, but you can choose whatever mix-in you like. I already have plans for an English Toffee cookie this Christmas!

So good!