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Blueberry-Rhubarb Chicken Salad (Paleo, Gluten free, Dairy free, Nut free)

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Blueberry-Rhubarb Chicken Salad (Paleo, Gluten free, Dairy free, Nut free)

Have you tried rhubarb yet? I met a nice woman at the farmer’s market the other day and we started talking about strawberries and how much we love making all different kinds of things with strawberries…pies, jams, etc., but then I mentioned rhubarb and how the tangy-sweet taste of rhubarb so perfectly compliments strawberries and she stopped talking. She had never tried rhubarb and admitted shyly that she’s afraid to. I thought that was so funny at the time, but then thinking back to that conversation, I think she voiced what a lot of us feel sometimes! How many times have you been to a farmer’s market, or even a grocery store and avoided the strange looking unknown vegetable or purple cauliflower because somewhere deep down you were a little afraid? That fear…of the unknown, of the “strange” or different…that’s real, and it holds us back, from achieving our health and fitness goals, from pursuing our dreams in life, and from trying that delicious rhubarb. I admit, it happens to me. But I want to encourage you to go out this summer to your local market and find and try something new! Buy it, google a recipe, or ask for my advice (if you’re desperate), and let me know how it goes!
Now…back to rhubarb. I was making my weekly batch of chicken salad (it’s a hands down favorite food of mine, always has been, even pre-paleo), and I just thought how delicious rhubarb would be in this, for both its flavor and its crunchy texture (similar to celery). Then I thought it would go so awesomely with a sweet and slightly tart fruit. Well, I was right! Now I can’t stop eating it, so I had to share the recipe. It’s the perfect summer salad. This recipe is originally nut-free, but if you enjoy nuts, I imagine some chopped pecans or walnuts would be great in it. I hope you enjoy it, and if this is your first experience with rhubarb then kudos to you for trying it!
Blueberry-Rhubarb Chicken Salad (Paleo, Gluten free, Dairy free, Nut free)
Ingredients
– 1/2 c rhubarb, diced
– 1 c dried blueberries (I use these)
– 4 c cooked chicken breasts, diced (I boil mine)
– 4 boiled egg whites, diced
Dressing
– 3/4 c mayonnaise (I use this or make my own)
-1T apple cider vinegar
– 2tsp honey
– 2 T chives, chopped
– salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Mix sauce ingredients together in small bowl. In large bowl throw together all other ingredients. Pour sauce into bowl with other ingredients and stir to combine. Refrigerate. It’s that simple! Serve on top of arugula or spinach, and maybe in a yummy wrap like this.

-Suzanne

Paleo Granola (grain free, refined sugar-free)

Paleo Granola (grain free, refined sugar-free)

When going full Paleo, cereal is often missed.  I admit it, I used to be a cereal eater.  And then I tried granola and never looked back. It was so much more filling, and if I found a kind that was both tasty and packed with protein, I thought I’d hit the jackpot! I loved granola: on yogurt, in milk, with vanilla ice cream…but when I finally became conscious of how grains were making me feel I said goodbye to granola and the whole cereal aisle.  Transitioning to Paleo wasn’t as difficult for me as I expected. It was a new challenge, and I accepted it. Not without effort, cravings of the foods from my past, bloated life, and a little adjustment period while I found the clean foods that worked best for me and my hectic lifestyle. But I soon realized that I was and am only limited by my culinary creativity! From this perspective numerous delicious recipes have been tried in our kitchen, fed to our children, and created through trial and error. This granola recipe was adapted from a few of my favorite Paleo blogs and tweaked and refined to create my own take on it.  It has been raved about by our clients and family, and serves as gifts to teachers and friends.

This is a staple in our house. I make it almost every week! You
seriously have to try it – it hits that snack craving: crunchy, sweet,
salty all in one! One warning though: make sure you watch this the
first couple of times you make it so that it doesn’t burn. I found
that cooking times vary from oven to oven. Cook a little less for a
chewy texture; a little more for crunchier.

Paleo Granola

– 2c sliced almonds
– 1c pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
– 1c sunflower seeds
– 1c chopped pecans
– 1c unsweetened shredded coconut
– 2/3c raw, local honey
– 1/2c maple syrup
– 1/2c coconut oil
– 1T cinnamon
– dash of salt

Mix everything together and spread half of it on parchment paper lined
baking sheet. Cook at 325 degrees for 18-25 minutes (time varies
depending on oven), stirring occasionally. When golden remove from
oven and let cool. Continue to stir as it cools. Do same with second
half. Enjoy!

-Suzanne

Homemade Bone Broth…really?

Bone Broth

Homemade Bone Broth…really?

Let me tell you about my latest endeavor. Making my own bone broth. I’ve read about the health benefits and have been curious, but I don’t do well with bones. As a child my parents never gave me meat on a bone. Seriously. It was always boneless meat. Even when we went to KFC (I’m from the south – don’t judge) they would make sure I got boneless chicken. So the idea of using chicken bones or a whole chicken to make something didn’t really appeal to me. Besides, my beloved Whole Foods sells bone broth, so there.

Then my husband got sick. Flu sick. And he never takes a day off. He had to work while feeling awful, which made me feel awful. And do you know what is great for colds/flus? Bone broth. So what better time to suck it up and face my aversion to bones? So I did.

Here’s the thing. Homemade bone broth has tremendous health benefits. It literally heals the lining of your gut. It aids in nutrient digestion, helps your body fight infection, and even contains glucosamine, which reduces inflammation and joint pain. Additionally it contains calcium and magnesium to help bones repair. What about store bought broth? Well, the stuff in stores typically contains MSG or other chemicals, and even if it doesn’t, the nutritional value doesn’t even compare to homemade. While you can use it in cooking, it lacks many of the health boosting benefits. Also, it’s ridiculously yummy, it’s cheaper to make your own, and it’s EASY. Take it from me, the bone hater.

Here’s how I make it:

Ingredients:

-Whole raw chicken, insides removed.

-2 celery stalks, cut in quarters

-2 large carrots, cut in quarters

-1 head of garlic, cut in half

-1 onion, peeled and cut in quarters

-1 bunch of parsley

-water

What to do:

Throw everything in crockpot. Fill pot with water, up to within 1 inch of top of pot. Cook on low 7-8 hours. Take chicken out and remove meat (if you don’t know how, there are awesome videos on YouTube. It’s very easy!). Save meat for later (maybe a chicken and veggie soup!). Put bones back in pot and cook on low for 12 or more hours. Strain broth through sieve or coffee filter. Can freeze to use in future recipes or use right away, if, for example, your husband is sick!

Enjoy making and using homemade bone broth, and let me know your experiences!