Welcome

Melissa-profile This is more than just a recipe blog. I am not a chef. I am not a nutritionist, dietitian, or anything else. I am a mom of a 4 year old daughter with celiac disease, wife of a Crossfit junkie, and healthy food lover. I love learning about and cooking new, healthy and delicious gluten free 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 Love} by Melissa.

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Marathon Training…I get it, IT’S HARD!

To the stay at home, work from home, work out of home, work 24/7 moms of young kids – you who really want to achieve a worthwhile goal like, say running a marathon, may I just say…I totally get it and IT’S HARD!
When you’re dying for a kick of endorphin’s, to sweat out some stress, to feel good, re-energize, to just have an hour alone and it doesn’t work out so well…I get it!
It’s not always as easy as waking up before the kids to get a run in. Because sometimes that means you’d have to get up at 3:30 a.m. to beat your husband out the door and be back before he needs to leave. Well, that won’t happen since you didn’t go to bed until 11:00 because you were folding laundry and enjoying the sounds of silence from the kid’s rooms. And then were up again at 1:00 to turn off all the lights someone left on during their sleep walking trip to the bathroom. Then again, to change sheets and sanitize for someone who didn’t make it.  And again for the toddler who thinks 5:00 a.m. is time to be awake. Of course, he won’t go back to sleep unless he’s snuggled into your chest while you sit in the most awkward position until you’re elbow falls asleep (you didn’t even know you’re elbow could fall sleep!)
The day goes by in a flurry of to-do lists, pick ups and clean ups, cook, work, nap time, play time, more work, homework, practice, how was your day’s, time to talk, time to listen, time to snuggle…. and when you finally get to bed that night you’re exhausted. But you’re still dying for a kick of endorphin’s, to sweat out some stress, to feel good, re-energize, to just have an hour alone. I get it!
So you trade babysitting with your neighbor, wrestle the toddler into the jogging stroller (even though you know you won’t make it far before he tries to escape), haul all the kids along with you to the gym, join a group for support, or maybe you tell yourself that you’ll just put it off for now. Someday it will get easier. You wait until the kids are older, the weather’s better, you’re in shape, you have more money, more time, fewer demands. You say, “someday I’ll run a marathon or live this dream or work toward that goal…someday.”

“There is a danger in the word “someday” when what it means is not this day. The thought, “someday I will” can be a thief of the opportunities of time and the blessings of eternity.” – Henry B. Eyring  

Listen, I get it. No matter what kind of “marathon” you have your sights set on, keep working for it. Keep trying, not for someday, but for today. Because someday will never happen today. The word someday will always refer to a future day. Don’t worry about how good you are or how much you can do today, just keep putting what’s most important first and doing what you can. Don’t give up! You and I may be holding each other up as we stubble across the finish line, or we may surprise ourselves and sprint to the end. What matters is that we commit and finish the race with a smile on our faces.
Happy running!

Food Lamor by Melissa

Barbecue Chicken Chili {clean eating & gluten free}

barbeque-chicken-chili-1

The weather has been a little bipolar lately. Warm and spring-like, followed by a fluke snowstorm, and now rain for three days straight. It’s the perfect weather for chili! I have this chili recipe I’ve made forever – whenever we’ve stayed at our family cabin or on a rainy day at home, but it calls for things like prepared barbecue sauce, ketchup, and brown sugar. Hello? Can we say sugar overload. I love the smokey, spicy, sweet flavors of barbecue sauce, but I don’t so much love high fructose corn syrup or the artificial colors and flavors. Even ketchup has a bunch of corn syrup in it.

Now that we eat clean, gluten free, mostly dairy free, and refined sugar is pretty much non-existent in our home, I needed a new chili recipe.

This made from scratch Barbecue Chicken Chili is a great one pot or Crock Pot meal. And it has bacon. Who doesn’t love bacon?!

FYI when shopping for ingredients:

*It’s important to use SMOKED paprika to get the right flavor. You won’t get the same taste with regular, sweet, or spicy paprika.

*Uncured bacon is actually cured but done so without the use of nitrates or nitrites. It’s usually cured with celery powder and/or sea salt which makes it much better for you. However, not all bacon is gluten free (cross contamination or other added flavors). Always read labels and if you’re not sure consult the manufacturer’s website.

barbeque-chicken-chili

Barbecue Chicken Chili

  • 1 lb. chicken, cubed
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 4 – 6 strips, uncured bacon (here’s one of my favorite gluten free brands)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth/stock
  • 1 large yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 8 oz. can tomato paste
  • 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • apple cider vinegar

Barbecue Chili Seasoning

In a separate bowl combine…

  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. ground mustard

In a large stew pot cook the bacon until it’s as crispy as you like. Remove to a paper towel. Once it’s cooled you can chop it into bite sized pieces. In the bacon grease saute the onion and garlic until they begin to soften and become translucent. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cut into chunks. Add the chicken chunks to the onions and garlic and cook until caramel/golden brown on the outside.

Pour in the chicken broth and scrape the bottom of the pot to get all the yummy bits off the bottom. Add in remaining ingredients, seasoning, and return the chopped bacon to the pot. Stir to combine. This can simmer for anywhere from 20 minutes on the stove to 4 hours in a Crock Pot. When you’re ready to eat just top it with some avocado chunks!

Enjoy!

Melissa-Signature

Homemade Green Hummus

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After school snack attack is a real problem around my house. The kids get home from school and in a whirlwind my sort of quiet, somewhat tidy home is strewn with backpacks, shoes, homework, jackets, and noise. The only thing that can calm the after school crazies is to wind down with a snack and maybe some outside time before we tackle homework.

Hummus is a such a great snack because it’s full of protein, fiber, and very filling. I usually put out a little cup of peanut butter too. The carrot sticks go in the hummus and the celery in the peanut butter.

What makes the hummus green, you ask?

…..Promise not to tell my kids?

It’s spinach (and a little cilantro too)! Yep, and you’d never taste it. My kids love green smoothies so I just tell them it’s green hummus and for some reason they don’t ask any other questions. This hummus is simple enough to make right in a blender or food processor and the color of the fresh spinach makes it look like a mischievous Leprechaun fixed it for them ;) It’s perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or any day you want to sneak a little more green in your family’s diet. 

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Green Hummus

  • 1  15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tbsp. lime or lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup Sesame Tahini sauce (you can find it here)
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup packed cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 + cup water

In a food processor combine the chickpeas, garlic, lime juice and half the water. Blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and any additional water as you blend until it reaches the thickness you prefer. Serve with veggie sticks, tortilla chips, or my favorite is to use it in place of other condiments on sandwiches or wraps. Yummy!

Enjoy!

Food Lamor by Melissa

Gluten Free Store-Bought Meals: Noodles!

 

Noodles are our family’s simple and quick way to get dinner done. However, when you’re eating gluten free you can’t just get any old box of pasta. Although there now are many more affordable gluten free pasta options, most gluten free pasta will be made of rice and corn. Since I try to switch up the monotony and keep our diets varied, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite Gluten Free Pastas that are not only delicious, cook up well, and are good for you too, but also give you a variety of “grains” to add to your diet.

#1  Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta Elbows

ancient harvest noodles

It’s also organic, non GMO, vegan, and made with the super food quinoa. These work great in any Italian inspired pasta night. This is the kind you just keep on hand all the time because it’s good for just about anything.

#2 Thai Kitchen Stir Fry Rice Noodles

rice noodlesThese are perfect for stir-fries like my Chicken Pad Thai. One of the nicest things is how fast they cook up. It really only takes a matter of minutes and they’re ready. Now you can get your Oriental food fix without risking cross-contamination or questionable ingredients.

#3 Gluten-Free Gnocchignocchi

Although you can make you’re own fairly simple, this potato pasta comes in handy when you just need to pour some spaghetti sauce over something. A bonus is that these are very filling so they’re perfect for a meatless meal.

#4 Vegetable Rice Pasta
 

veggie pasta

 

This pasta uses only veggies and rice flour to make a pasta that is perfect for anyone with allergies to dairy, egg, yeast, soy, nuts, as well as wheat. And they’re pretty colors too!

You can be creative when it comes to noodles and can make a quick and easy meal that the kids will love.

Enjoy!

Melissa-Signature

 

Gluten Free Store-Bought Meals: Chicken Sausage & Quinoa

Here’s chicken sausagedinner number two on my list of top store-bought fixings. This dinner takes about 15 minutes from start to finish! It comes in handy on those days when everyone’s in meltdown mode because they’re starving applegate sausage!

I have two favorite, gluten free, no nitrate, and overall good for you chicken sausages. First, is Roasted Red Pepper & Spinach from Casual Gourmet. I find these at – you guessed it – Costco!

I’ve also used Applegate Organics Fire Roasted Red Pepper Sausage. Both options work great, both are fully cooked, and both are good for you.

Chicken Sausage & Quinoa Dinner

1 package (4-6 sausages) roasted red pepper chicken sausage

1 onion, chopped

1 pint cherry tomatoes

5-8 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

handful fresh spinach

1.5 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed

3 cups chicken stock (homemade or a good store bought chicken stock)

Parmesan cheese

Bring chicken stock and quinoa to a boil, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. While that’s working, slice sausage into diagonal chunks and saute along with the onion. When the onion’s translucent and caramelized toss in the cherry tomatoes until they burst, followed by the basil and spinach. Fluff cooked quinoa with a fork and toss together with the sausage and veggies. Serve warm with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Photos by theorganickitchen.com and theglutenexchange.com

Enjoy!

Food Lamor by Melissa