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Melissa-profile This is more than just a recipe blog. I am not a chef. I am a mom of four children, one of whom has an autoimmune disease, wife of a Crossfit junkie, and healthy food lover. I love learning about and cooking new, healthy and delicious food. This is simply me sharing the ways I take care of my family by being aware and mindful of the food I feed them and as a result making lots of Gluten Free & Paleo Recipes by Melissa.

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Chicken & Shrimp Lime Soup

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Big black storm clouds rumbled in last night bringing a heavy down pour of rain. The 100+ degree temperature of this last month of summer seemed to leave the ground sizzling as the big rain drops splashed down – like cool water in a hot skillet. The effect released all the aromas of sage and earth. It was delicious! (Although the littler kids didn’t appreciate the “growly” thunder.)
Chicken & Shrimp Lime Soup over quinoa or rice for dinner would go along with a night like this. It’s so light and refreshing, yet comforting and filling at the same time. In other words, perfect for the last days of summer and an effortless way to transition seasons. Of course, to me anything with shrimp gets my vote. Only about half of my kids love shrimp as much as the rest of us, but that just means I get what they don’t eat. What’s better than all that, is how quickly this dinner comes together. Since the chicken is already cooked it really only takes as long as the quinoa or rice to cook.
I made my homemade chicken bone broth, which I store in pre-measured containers in the freezer or that have been bottled in a pressure cooker, and then shred the meat from the whole roasted chicken I used to make the broth. There were so many levels of flavor going on! If you’re fresh out of whole roasted chicken, then left over grilled chicken works wonderfully too.

chicken shrimp lime soup


 Chicken & Shrimp Lime Soup

Over Quinoa or Rice

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 1 lb. chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 2 tbsp. organic butter, ghee, or coconut oil
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, stems removed and chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup red, orange, or yellow sweet bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 – 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2 limes, juiced + 1 tsp. zest
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • cayenne or chili powder, to taste
  • Sea salt or Himalayan Pink salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa or brown rice
Preparation:
Heat the butter or oil in the pot and add garlic and onions. Saute several minutes until they begin to caramelize before adding the chicken broth  and remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let everything simmer together while the quinoa or rice finishes cooking (about 20 – 30 minutes). Pour a ladle full of Lime Soup over top and enjoy as is or with some fresh avocado slices on top.
Enjoy!
Food Lamor by Melissa

 

 

 

Meatballs & Mushroom Marinara Sauce

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The kids are starting school and schedules are set with sports, music lessons, and whatever else keeps us busy. No matter what’s going on in our lives I always make sure we sit down to eat dinner together. It may have to be a little early or a little late to accommodate everyone’s schedules, but dinner as a family is not negotiable for us. I mean, where else would you find out about everything that happened at school, share our latest “knock-knock” jokes, or just enjoy the quiet of one another’s company?
Sometimes the long days of school and demands of everyday life can weigh you down like a backpack full of rocks. Dinner is a time to feed your hungry tummy while also feeding your soul a little with the company, compassion, and fun of family. No electronics or other distractions at the dinner table either. We have a tradition to get the dinner conversation rolling, it’s called “BEST & WORST”:
What was the BEST thing that happened today at school/work?
What was the WORST thing that happened today?
Everyone gets a turn. Everyone gets to celebrate all the bests. Everyone gets to sympathize and help them work through some of the worsts. It’s worked out pretty well for us. Of course, having a yummy dinner ready in time for everyone to join in the food and conversation is what makes it all work.
Thank you to the inventors of meatballs and the slow cooker! You have saved dinner from a rushed and irritated mommy, who by the end of the day acts and resembles sometimes far below the Martha Stewart standard…sometimes…occasionally….okay, a lot! I can make the meatballs and marinara days before, set it in the freezer and then in the morning on a busy day I can dump it in a Crock pot and let it simmer all day.
You really can’t go wrong with Meatballs and Marinara Sauce! No gluten or grains for us, so we enjoy it over spiral cut zucchini – otherwise known as “zoodles”, or maybe some spaghetti squash (here’s how I bake the perfect spaghetti squash), or sometimes just some cooked quinoa.

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 Ingredients

Marinara Sauce:
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 white or yellow onion, minced
1/2 pint baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
26 oz. can Italian-style tomatoes, diced
2 –  26 oz. cans tomato sauce
2 tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes in oil; here is a good organic, GF brand with great flavor
10 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
Sea salt & black pepper to taste
Meatballs:
1.5 lbs. organic ground beef
1/2 white or yellow onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
drizzle extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup beef bone broth
1 tbsp. dried parsley
sea salt and black pepper
Preparation:
Mushroom Marinara Sauce -
In a large pot heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and let it sizzle a minute. Toss in half the onion and the sliced mushrooms. Saute for several minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine, and allow to simmer.
Meatballs -
Combine the meat, onion, and garlic in a bowl. Stir in the garbanzo bean flour and remaining ingredients. Form into meatballs and brown in a skillet, turning to get all the sides.  Add to the Mushroom Marinara and allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes.
*If using a Crock pot you can just toss all the ingredients for the sauce into the slow cooker followed by the prepared meatballs. Cook on low heat for 4 – 6 hours. Remove the bay leaf before serving. 
Enjoy!

Food Lamor by Melissa

Make-Ahead School Treats For Kids With Food Allergies

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Oh boy, we’re getting ready for back to school and I think I’m more nervous than the kids. I had wanted to give homeschooling a try this year – for lots of reasons, but one of them being to make it easier for my 5 year old daughter to follow the very strict Specific Carbohydrate Diet (similar to Paleo) for her crohn’s/celiac disease. For lots of other reasons, we decided to give it another year and see how things go.
There is going to be lots of food in kindergarten…gluten and more…that she can’t go near. Her intense sensitivity doesn’t allow for any cross-contamination without it making her sick. She also won’t be able to have the pre-packaged snacks and goodies either, since most contain either gluten, grains of some kind, dairy, or loads of sugar.
The answer to keeping her (and my other kiddos) healthy and able to learn and grow is to make it and pack it! This sounds like a lot of work for me, but by spending one day making everything, I won’t have to worry about it again for a while.
After a day or two of prep and a spot in the school’s freezer with Miah’s name on it, as well as a good long talk with her teacher and a writen short novel about her diet plan at school, has put me a little more at ease.

Whenever there’s a treat, snack, or occasion for food the teacher can find something similar from Miah’s homemade stash of goodies.

* Even though the fruit leather doesn’t normally require refrigeration I chose to have them kept in the freezer along with everything else so they will stay good longer. Since there are no preservatives this is the safest way to ensure that all my prep work stays fresh and good to eat for anywhere from 3 – 6 months.
These treats can be used as a snack when everyone else has a package of fruit snacks, or for days when someone brings cupcakes for a birthday, there’s a class party, etc.

Make Ahead Treats For The Child With Food Allergies…

a.k.a  The Pre-Made, Teacher-Ready Snack Stash For My Child

 

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These treats are all dairy free, gluten free, grain free, soy free, peanut free, preservative free, and all but the cookies can be made nut free. (I’m sure you could make the cookies nut free too, I just haven’t experimented with that, so if you do let me know how they turn out!)

Cherry Chocolate Energy Bites

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chia Seed Fruit Leather

Homemade Fruit Snacks

In addition to all of these yummy things, here’s some super easy and healthy snacks to send to school with your littles for the everyday munchies….
Fruit:  
  • Fresh fruit like grapes, apple, pear, banana, peach, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, pomegranate, etc.
    • When pomegranates are in season a bag of the sweet little seeds make an excellent replacement for “fruit snacks”.
  • Pureed fruit-to-go like GoGo Squeez applesauce
  • Or dried fruit, such as raisins, pitted dates, cherries, banana or apple chips.
    •  Toss the dried fruit with some pecans or almonds, shelled sunflower seeds, and coconut flakes for a simple trail mix.
Veggies: 
  • Fresh veggies like, carrot sticks, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, snap peas or snow peas, etc.
  • Here are our favorite healthy ways to enjoy some pre-packaged veggies: (the following links will take you to the gluten free brands)
    Sweet Potato Chips
    Roasted Seaweed Snacks
     Kale Chips
I spent a day and made a batch or two of my homemade goodies, wrapped it up, and sealed it in a disposable container with my daughter’s name on it. Now I feel prepared and can breath easy….and just worry about all the normal school stuff…(sigh)
Enjoy!

Food Lamor by Melissa

Sunglasses Specific For Runners!

It’s been almost a month since my 1st marathon and I’m getting back to running and training. I’ve learned a lot of things since I started my fitness journey (while being a busy mom of four), and a lot about running races like an elite athlete. I had some great gear and support running my first 26.2, however, the one thing I wished I had most was sunglasses! How could I forget something like that, right?! Running with the sun glaring in your face can zap your energy and hurt your eyes.

Since then, I’ve looked around for some good sports glasses and I’m so excited to have heard about the Oakley PRIZM lenses! If you haven’t heard of them yet that’s probably because the pre-order launch is TODAY! 

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What are PRIZM Lenses?

PRIZM lenses are the first lenses that are “fined-tuned for specific activities”. That means that this brand new technology provides custom tint and highlights with specific colors for the sport you’re playing. This allows you to see with greater clarity and precision for your exact sport. Dang! I might have shaved some time off my marathon if I had these sooner.
My next race you may see me sporting a pair of these….
main_OO9009-07_flak-jacket_polished-white-prizm-road-xlj_001_64871_png_heroxlThese Oakley’s right here are coated with layers of tint and specific colors so that when you’re, say running through town with the sun in your face, the light is filtered and the right colors are enhances or diminished. No glare or need to squint or strain your eyes to see.
These glasses look cool, but the colors aren’t random. The developers of the PRIZM measured wavelengths of light found commonly in different sport settings: golf, water sports, baseball, road, trails, shooting, and even everyday use.  I have never heard of any eyewear being so meticulously specific. On top of being exact for your sport, you can also make them even more precise with your eyeglass prescription.  
How about my Ultra Runner friends who spend hours on trail runs through mountains and canyons?

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Yep, there’s a different lense with different colors and tints specifically for that too. How cool is that?!
I will definitely be looking into a pair for myself and if you’re as excited about them as I am you can pre-order yours now too.
Happy running everyone!

Food Lamor by Melissa

 

 

Healthy Homemade Fruit Snacks

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May I just say for my fellow mothers-of-children-with-special-diets: irately glaring at the snack aisle of the grocery store does nothing but add wrinkles to your forehead.
Once I got over my irritation, I decided to solicit the help from my more positive, thrifty, and creative side to make a snack that was not only healthy, but was certain to fit all the criteria for my special-diet-daughter.
Making your own Healthy Homemade Fruit Snacks can be economical (since you’re thrifty too and use fruit in season). Plus you know there will be no question that it’s made with “real fruit” (and a little veggies too) and will be safe and healthy for your kiddos.
These are made with gelatin, which has been proven to be very beneficial for skin, hair, nails, arthritis, bone health, and is very helpful to those with leaky gut or other intestinal problems…like crohn’s and/or celiac.
P.S. You can use an adorable mold like this flower one or just rub some coconut oil in the bottom of a bread pan and cut into cubes once it’s set.

Healthy Homemade Fruit Snacks

Strawberry, Pear, Carrot Fruit Snacks

*Organic ingredients are best whenever possible.
Ingredients:
Get creative when it comes to the many combinations you can put together with seasonal fruit and veggies:
Hot Pink Peach-Raspberry (with beet juice)
Green Apple (applesauce and spinach)
Kiwi-Mango with coconut water, etc.
If you have a juicer and/or a blender then the possibilites are endless! 
Preparation:
  • Prepare a large bread pan-sized pan with a little coconut oil rubbed on the bottom and sides or have your silicon mold out and ready.
  • Puree fruit and strain seeds if needed with a mesh strainer
  • In a small saucepan heat the water until it begins to boil.
  • While that’s working, in a bowl whisk the gelatin with the cold carrot juice.
  • Pour the boiling water into the carrot juice-gelatin mixture and quickly stir together.
  • Add the honey and pureed fruit and berries. Whisk everything together.
  • Pour into the mold or pan.
  • Place in the fridge for 2 hours to set before cutting into cubes or removing from mold. (You may need to place it in the freezer for about 20 minutes if using the mold to help them come out easier).
  • Store in small snack baggies in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Enjoy!

Food Lamor by Melissa