- I can of Hatch Gluten Free Green Enchilalda Sauce
Gluten & Dairy Free Enchiladas!
Enchiladas are a perfect Cinco De Mayo treat! Just keep on reading for my super easy, protein packed, gluten and dairy free ground turkey enchiladas!
What You Will Need:
Top with vegan cheese, cilantro and remaining sauce. Bake covered for 20 minutes and uncovered for 10. Allow to cool and enjoy ! Have a Fantastic Cinco De Mayo that is FREE and Gluten and Dairy!
Gluten & Dairy Free Lunch and Food Prep!
When you have food allergies and intolerances, you are pretty much forced to bring food with you everywhere! I used to get discouraged about this, but over the past few years I have found ways to make preparing my meals a bit easier. About three years ago I wrote a very detailed post on packing gluten and dairy free lunches. You can read about that here. Since then, I have a found that the more meal prep that I do the better. I am now at a point where things are prepped in advance so all that I have to do is grab and go! Doing the following things have also helped me stay healthy and even lose 15 pounds! (A weight loss post coming soon). So here are a few of my tips that have really helped me prepare my lunches.
Tip #1 Wash and Chop Up Produce
This is going to sound terrible, but if I do not wash and chop up my produce, I sometimes forget about it :(. I HATE to be wasteful, but sometimes it completely slips my mind that I have a cantaloupe sitting there. The good thing however, is that I now prepare things as soon as I get home from the grocery store or the very next day. For things like berries and grapes, I soak them in a water & apple cider vinegar mixture and rinse them. It is AMAZING how much dirt is washed away. I also find that berries tend to last a bit longer. The next thing that I do is place the fruit in containers. This way, I know how much I am eating and it is super convenient. My husband also eats more produce because of this. The same goes for preparing my veggies. Below you will see a large salad that I throw together which makes grab and go super easy. I also made a kale quinoa salad with a side of blueberries and grapes. Two for me and two for the hubby. I should also mention that I also like to make soup or chili (when my stomach can handle it) and freeze small containers. Again, so easy to grab and go!
Tip # 2 Remember to add Variety
Far too often I see people making a week's worth of the same meals. If that works for you great, but I get bored very easily. There are certain things that I do not mind having more than once a week such as salad because salads can be varied, but I try to spice things up so that I do not feel limited. Above is a hummus veggie sandwich, a nut butter sandwich and a tuna salad. I do not eat sandwiches all of the time, but sometimes I crave one because I want to feel "normal." Fortunately, Costco sells a large bag of Udi's bread that is the same size as a gluten full loaf.
Tip # 3 Grab Some Containers!
I am going to start this off by saying that I LOVE glass containers, however, I am a teacher. I can not tell you how many times, a little kids wants to grab my lunch bag for me and then accidentally drops it, or knocks it off of the table. I also have difficulty finding partitioned glass containers, so I have quite a few BPA free plastic containers that work well for me and my husband. I should also mention that I do NOT like to spend a lot of money. I purchase things when they are on sale, or when I have a coupon, or both. There is no need to break the bank to purchase containers.
Rubbermaid lunch blocks are pretty darn neat! When I first saw them a few years ago, I refused to get them because they were pricey. My husband got me one and the other two were on sale (and I had a coupon to boot)! What makes these neat is that you can portion things separately with out things touching. They are also cool because you can warm one part up, and keep the other things cool, which is a limitation of all in one containers. I also have the lunchblox lunch bog (again on sale).
The purple sandwich container was $1 at Albertsons. I love this because a sandwich or wrap can go on top and there is a space for other things on the bottom. The salad tumblers are super great because you pack protein, vegan cheese and veggies on the bottom. Then top it with lettuce and you are good to go. There is a separate compartment for salad dressing so all you have to do is throw it in and shake. This is very convenient.
You will also see some of my water bottles. I love my mason jar tumblers to get my water in!
Tip # 4 Get Your Healthiest Meals in Early!
One thing that I strive to do that really helps me is to eat a healthy breakfast and lunch. I try to get in my fruits and veggies earlier in the day. This way I have a bit more freedom with dinner. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my fruits and veggies, but sometimes afternoons and evenings can be unpredictable. Although I prep things for dinner, stuff happens and I may not reach for veggies like a should. On these types of days, I know that I at least had a healthy start to my day.
So there you have it! Some of the things that help me prep healthy Gluten & Dairy Free lunches. If you would like to know more about how I prep breakfasts and dinners, let me know in the comments. As always, have a great gluten and dairy free day!
Let Food Be Thy Medicine...
Since starting this blog, so much has happened: I went from Culinary school to Grad school, we moved three times, changed jobs a few times and have had ups and downs with our health. One thing that I have learned is that food has a powerful impact on our lives. Sometimes we take this for granted, but over the past few years both my husband and I have taken healthier strides to keep our diet on the cleaner side. We are not perfect, but continue to take baby steps towards staying healthy. My next few posts will be focusing on the healthier side of gluten and dairy free living. To start, I would like to share the beginnings of this year's garden. We have planted a garden everywhere we have lived since we first got married. Fresh herbs in the store can get pricey and so can produce! We love having our own on hand. So far we have planted cilantro, Italian flat leaf parsley, basil, thyme, peppermint, sage, rosemary, lettuce, eggplant, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers and watermelon! Hopefully you will be inspired to start a garden! if you do not have very much space, go for a container garden. Hopefully your weather is conducive to beginning your garden so that you can have a fabulous gluten and dairy free day!
A Gluten, Dairy, Grain and Nut Free Christmas
October - December is my absolute FAVORITE time of year! The baking the crafts, the movies, the family time feels so awesome! We spent Christmas in the country, which was very relaxing.
One of the most awesome things about spending Christmas in the country, is the quite. Everyone slept so peacfylly. One of the neighbors brought two large beautiful bags of oranges over...they smell and taste like gluten & dairy free heaven. We had so many in fact that we decided to make some fresh pot pourrie in the slow cooker!
To do this, I lined the slow cooker with a "slow cooker liner" to make clean up a breeze. Next we filled the pot with fresh apple slices, orange peek, a few whole oranges, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, nutmeg and whole cloves. This concoction is literally holiday in a pot! The spells of Christmas and Autumn and wafting throughout the house.
For dessert, I decided to make Juli Bauer's Paleo Magic Brownie Bars. I have been having serious trouble with nuts and grains lately, and I have been a bit down about celebrating the holidays without my normal grain laden fare. However, Juli's site: paleomg.com never disappoints. She makes amazing recipes and this recipe in particular does not disappoint. My parents were my test tasters. They NEVER lie if they do not like something. They loved these. My dad actually had a few! Sometimes you need a treat that does not make you feel as if you are under any dietary restrictions. The only change I made was adding enjoylife chocolate chips ontop of the brownie layer. The recipe can be found here.
We made quite a few fun treats. My mom made rub balls (not gluten, grain, nut or dairy free). I made gluten & dairy free rice treats for some of the neighbors kids. I used envirokidz cereal and Christmas cookie cutters to shape them. I had fun making these and personally think they are adorable!
We also made a gluten, grain nut and partially dairy free chocolate house. I have never made a gingerbread house and although I would love to make one, I was a bit intimidated by making a gluten free one. Next year, I will be up for the challenge. Fortunately, I do not react if food touches dairy, so we were able to use enjoy life chips for the chocolate parts, and white candy melts for the top. We had such a blast making these!
I pray that God blesses you all with a fabulous 2014!
Gluten Free Tea
Did you know that not all tea is gluten free? When I first learn that after going GF I was in disbelief. Although many teas are naturally GF, if they are not process on lines that are dedicated GF they run the risk of cross contamination. Additionally many fiber or tummy teas include gluten in their formulas. However, there are a number of gluten free teas out there and here are some of my favorites.
I have recently moved and when I was in the process of packing my tea, I realized that I may be a little tea obsessed. You see, I have ALWAYS loved tea. I was totally the tea party with my grandmother kinda girl. When I got older though, I wouldn't buy it as often because lets face it, some teas can be a bit pricey. Fortunately, I have found so many on sale, which has fueled my addition.
I enjoy tea for a variety of reasons. Since I do not really drink sodas or sugary drinks apart from the occasional iced tea or GF DF hot cocoa, tea is my go to comfort drink. I also like more holistic approaches and think that tea has great properties for various ailments. Its great hot, cold, sweetened or unsweetened (which iw mainly how I roll). I usually only purchase tea that is clearly labeled gluten free, but I have a few that are not labeled but found out they were gf after calling the companies. So lets look at my tea shall we? Oh and don't judge me. I know I have a problem :).
I am an overgrown child during the holidays! Okay, there! I said it! I love Christmas treats, Just use cookie cutters and your favorite gluten and dairy free rice cereal treat recipe. I made these with Envirokids cereal.
Paleo Pumpkin Waffles
Paleo recipes can come in really handy for those of us who are gluten and dairy free. Since gluten and dairy are avoided when living the paleo lifestyle, I find that it makes it easier to discover delicious things that are Jaye Tee friendly. One of my favorite paleo sites is http://paleomg.com/. Juli Bauer is a amazing gal who knows how to make food taste very good! She makes food that people actually want to eat. In the fall she posted this lovely recipe and I thought it was amazing! Try it out and let me know what you think!
Gluten & Dairy Free Pound Cake
Pound cake is a fun summer treat! It is dense and great paired with summer fruit! This recipe was on the back of Bob's Redmill sweet rice flour bag and it is actually very good! It totally hit the spot for my pound cake craving. I used Earth Balance buttery spread, but I think I may try it with coconut oil next time to see how that works. It would be a great addition to any summer celebration or get together. Grilling the pound cake is another way to add more depth to the flavor. If you try this recipe let me know what you think!
Make Ahead Meals
If there was one thing that I miss about being able to have gluten it would be the convenience of going out to eat or being able to pick up a quick meal. It was easier for me when just dairy was out of the picture, but the absence of gluten makes things a bit more difficult. Not that I went out to eat alot, but there are those days (you know those days), when the day has been hard, you have no idea what to eat, and your stomach is constantly reminding you that its dinner time.... I loathe those days. I am a huge supporter of meal planning, but even a well thought out and detailed plan can not always prevent the days where you do not feel like cooking!
To remedy this in our house, I started making meals ahead of time.
Between work, school and daily obstacles, this makes it much harder to get dinner on the table than when I was simply doing one or the other.
Reasons for making meals ahead of time:
Last year when I started a new job, I literally realized three days after working, I completely failed to eat lunch and dinner because I was so busy. I just felt as if I did not have time to eat and my husband was forced to visit a few fast food and take out places for about a week. I find it a bit difficult to make dinner now that I am GF and DF because I make almost two of everything. I refuse to deprive my husband of certain things because lets just be honest folks, sometimes cheese just tastes better!
Six months after my Celiac diagnosis I began to see many blogs that discussed once a week, once a month, or freezer cooking. I was very intrigued and a bit skeptical, but decided to give it a try. Once I did, I honestly became hooked. It worked so well for us, that my husband always suggests that we do it.
The first time, I made three weeks worth of food. Not only was the food very delicious, but we saved soooooo much money on our monthly budget because we were not shopping every week or picking up quick meals because we already had some ready to go.
Unfortunately, there tends to be a stigma about cooking food ahead of time. Many people believe it will taste disgusting or they simply feel weird about it. Whenever I encounter people who feel this way, I ask them if they eat anything from the frozen food section. When they say yes...and they always do...I remind them that there truly is no difference. Whenever something tastes "off," it is usually because it was incorrectly handled or stored improperly. One of the first things that you learn in culinary school is about food storage, and freezing meals is not as horrible of a thing as many people think. I also read about people who say that they do not have the time or the room to do this, but as cliche as it sounds: "where there is a will, there is a way". Foods that freeze beautifully are:
I try to keep these meals healthy. Sometimes you find recipes that are loaded in calories and sugar. Try to come up with tasty and healthy recipes. I always pair many of these dishes with salad or some type of vegetable. It does not take very long to prepare.
I will provide a more detailed post about my healthy e but if you are interested, simply google freezer cooking or make ahead meals and tons of tips, tricks and recipes will pop up.Hopefully this will help you have an easier gluten and/or dairy free evening!
Last Minute Gluten/Dairy Free