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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Pan-Fried Sweet Potato Fries

Pan-Fried-Sweet-Potato-Fries

It’s hard to resist the smell of fries when you’re hungry. And whether you love it or not you can’t seem to get through childhood in America without them either! For lots of us though – whether from food allergies, an autoimmune disease like celiac, or just being health conscious – fast food isn’t always an option. So, when I want to give my kids all the wonderful experiences of hamburgers and fries without the health risks I make Pan-Fried Sweet Potato Fries!

This seriously is so quick and simple to make and will definitely hit the spot! I used an O’Henry white sweet potato. Normally I use the orange Covington, but the white is slightly less sweet and holds up a little better than their orange cousins.

Pan-Fried Sweet Potato Fries

1 – 2 medium to large sweet potatoes (white or orange flesh)

1 tbsp. organic coconut oil

ground Himalayan pink salt or sea salt to taste

* Change things up and season fries with your favorite spices like ground red pepper, garlic powder, and/or your favorite seasoning blend! Yummy!

Cut potatoes Julian style. Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet. Once the oil is sizzling hot, dump the fries in. Spread evening in the pan. Let them sit and sizzle for about 4 – 5 before shaking the pan to toss the fries, or you can use a spatula to turn them over. Season with salt and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, shaking the pan every now and then so they don’t burn. Depending on the thickness of the fries cook longer until they are tender. Serve warm with ketchup (here’s an Organic Ketchup with no refined sugar that we love!)

Enjoy!

Food Lamor by Melissa

Grilled Chicken Sweet Potato with Mango Vinaigrette

Loaded-Grilled-Chicken-Sweet-Potato-with-Mango-Vinegraite

 

Sundays after church when the sun is shining and you just feel good inside, you sometimes find yourself in the kitchen (hungry) and wanting something to eat that’s as beautiful and satisfying.

With the clean eating, gluten free, paleo diet we follow you would have thought I’d remember to throw something in the slow cooker before church so we weren’t all acting like scavengers when we got home. Oh well.

All the kids were helping themselves to hard boiled eggs, carrots, tomatoes, slices of turkey, apples, and whatever leftovers were hanging around. I was about to settle for a similar plateful when Alex pulled out some sweet potatoes and said grilled chicken sounded good to him. Sounds good to me too!

I piled the chicken on the baked sweet potato along with some steamed broccoli and a yummy spicy mango dressing. Just add some pureed mango to an old favorite vinaigrette recipe and you’ve got a loaded sweet potato that’s bursting with flavor and oh so satisfying and healthy!

Mango-vinegraitte

 Loaded Grilled Chicken Sweet Potato

1 sweet potato/yam, baked

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, grilled

salt and pepper or your favorite GF grill seasoning

1/2 cup broccoli florets, steamed

Crumbled feta or goat cheese

Spicy Mango Vinaigrette

3/4 cup vinegar (apple cider, white, rice, or red wine vinegar would all work fine though each would vary the flavor slightly.)

1/4 cup honey or agave nectar

1 & 1/2 cup oil (grapeseed or olive oil)

3/4 tsp. dry mustard

1 & 1/2 tsp. sea salt or Himalayan pink salt

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 purple onion, minced

1 cup mango chunks (frozen mango pieces, thawed or fresh mango)

Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a food processor or blender and pulse until everything is incorporated and there are no more mango chunks. Cover and set in the fridge to marinade for 30 minutes to overnight. Shake well before using. Drizzle over your loaded baked potato, chicken or salad.

Enjoy!

Food Lamor by Melissa

Clean Eating Teriyaki Salmon

teriyaki-salmon

If I’m ever feeling run down, the best pick me up isn’t a kick of sugar or caffeine (although the sugar is definitely a temptation!) It’s a meal that makes me feel like I’m indulging. Fish can make a meal fancy! While I feel like I’m indulging in fine dining, what I’m really doing is indulging on omega-3s, zinc, iron, selenium, vitamin D, and the natural anti-inflammatory characteristics of fish oil. *Chronic inflammation can wreak havoc on your body. Celiac, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s, and Addison’s disease are just a few examples of how serious inflammation can get.

So I made some fancy, yet super simple marinaded Teriyaki Salmon for dinner. Combine the sweet and savory fish with a tossed salad of warm roasted sweet potato and onion with fresh spinach topped with sprouted pumpkin seeds (or any salad or veggie you like).

Just remember when shopping for fish always pick a “wild caught” fish. This is the equivalent to eating an organic fish as opposed to one bred in a fish farm.


Clean Eating Teriyaki Salmon

 

  • 4 salmon fillets or steaks
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce (gluten free) or Organic Raw Coconut Aminos
  • 2 – 3 tbsp. honey or agave nectar
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger or 1 tsp. fresh minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
  • 3 sprigs cilantro
In a bowl, whisk the soy sauce or coconut aminos, honey, ginger, garlic, and herbs together. Rinse and pat the fish dry and place in a shallow bowl or sealable plastic bag. Pour the marinade over top. Set the fish in the fridge to marinade for at least 2 – 3 hours. Discard the marinade when done.
Heat a skillet with a little coconut oil. Place fillets in the hot pan and cook for 7 minutes per inch of thickness (measure at the thickest part of the fillet). You can flip them over about half way through to get a nice caramelized coating on both sides. Or place the fillets on some tin foil and cook on the grill for extra flavor.
Enjoy!
Melissa-Signature

Homemade Protein Powder {Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Soy Free}

 

homemade-protein-powder2

I’m having a protein shake. That’s healthy, right?

Have you ever really read the ingredients list on the back of one of those protein powder mixes or protein bars? You might be surprised by what you find. Ingredients are listed in order of greatest to least – the ingredient that comprises most of the product will be listed first, second, and so on.

The first few ingredients probably won’t seem too foreign – whey or soy protein, fructose or sugar, cocoa powder, etc. – but if you keep going you may not be able to pronounce many of the ingredients. The lower the quality of protein powder (i.e. cheap) the worse the ingredients. What surprised me even more was not only the vast array of artificial preservatives and food coloring, but the amount of refined sugar! Especially when sugar is the second ingredient listed. Sure it has 20 grams of protein per serving, but so does a can of tuna fish (25 grams, actually).

Lots of protein won’t cancel out lots of sugar, folks.

I’m generalizing a little, and don’t want to knock anyone’s success with a quality protein supplement (one free of preservatives, artificial colors, and artificial sweeteners). If you want to purchase a high quality, gluten free, soy free protein powder blend, PlantFusion has high quality and healthy ingredients at a reasonable price. You can get it here.

What’s wrong with soy?

I prefer to stay away from soy products as much as possible. Many of the powdered protein mixes rely on soy protein as a base as do many vegan foods. There have been many studies on the pros and cons of soy-based products. Personally, I lean more toward the cons and find that my body doesn’t like it much.

…soybean contains large quantities of natural toxins or “antinutrients.” First among them are potent enzyme inhibitors that block the action of trypsin and other enzymes needed for protein digestion.

These inhibitors are large, tightly folded proteins that are not completely deactivated during ordinary cooking. They can produce serious gastric distress, reduced protein digestion and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake. In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors cause enlargement and pathological conditions of the pancreas, including cancer.14 Soybeans also contain haemagglutinin, a clot-promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump together.

Read the full article here

So I decided, why not make my own!

I decided it may be cheaper to use what I’ve already got in the pantry and I won’t have any concerns about questionable ingredients. Besides, if I’m getting my butt kicked at the gym or on a long run I want to replenish my body with stuff it can really use to recover and get stronger. Not having all that excess sugar will also help if you’re trying to lose some extra weight or eat clean.

Instead of some complicated mixture of isolated proteins, I chose things I could find in my home that were already packing the protein. This is a base that when added to your favorite smoothie fixings (or made into protein balls) will up your protein intake in a healthy, real-food kind of way.  I broke it down and did a ton of research and found that this combination makes the best tasting, most protein packed combo.

You’ll get roughly the same protein amount per serving as those big overly priced fructose and preservative filled ones (approximately 18 grams in a 1/3 cup serving.) You do get more protein from the dairy powdered milk than the coconut milk so if using coconut milk just know that you’ll be closer to 14 grams of protein per serving. However, once you add in some PB2, a banana, and spinach in your smoothie you’ll have plenty of protein to get your day started and keep you full.

homemade-protein-powder2

Homemade Protein Powder

Makes about 9 servings of 1/3 cup

  • 1/2 cup oats (certified gluten free)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal (blanched is best)
  • 2/3 cup powdered milk (this brand is low in lactose) or 1 cup Coconut Milk Powder
  • 1/3 cup hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. flax seed

In a food processor combine the oats and pulse until it reaches a flour consistency. Add in remaining ingredients and pulse a few more times until everything is powdery smooth. Now you can leave it like that or you can add in some flavoring. FYI: if you opt to add in some PB2 powder you’ll be upping your protein even more, other wise everything else is just calorie free flavoring.

Optional Flavors:

Once everything’s blended together just put a lid on it and store in the fridge. The cool temperature will help your protein powder keep longer – no preservatives needed, thank you very much! Just take it out and scoop a 1/3 cup into your smoothie in the morning and return to the fridge. If you religiously have a smoothie every single morning, this one batch will last you just over a week.

Enjoy!

Food Lamor by Melissa

 

 

 

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