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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Frozen Blueberry Tart

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Remember those delicious Orange Creamsicles I made a while ago? I shared them with my friends on Good Things Utah. Well, when Miah asked me for a “Frozen” cake for her birthday those creamsicles sounded like they might, with a little tweaking, make an easy and yummy (and literal) frozen cake. It would need a crust on the bottom, so I guess it’s more of a frozen tart than a cake.

The crust is as simple as tossing almond flour, shredded coconut, and honey in a food processor. For the frozen filling I thought, blueberries to give it a blue tint (like Elsa’s ice castle, right?!) and add a little citrus would make it perfect. Well….let’s just say it took a little more tweaking than anticipated.

I’ll be honest the finished product looked beautiful, but was overly tart – especially for a half dozen 4 and 5 year old party guests who were less than impressed. The funny thing is….my kids agreed with them, shrugged their shoulders, and licked their plates clean anyway. Haha! They’ve gotten used to “mom’s mess ups” and have learned to just eat it and trust (or at the very least hope) that next time I’ll get it right. I guess that’s the price your family has to pay for a self-taught chef mother!

So after additional tweaking…I think I got it right!

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Fresh lemon juice, blueberry compote, and plenty of honey combined with the creamy goodness of coconut milk turned a simple 3 step frozen tart into a beautiful fuchsia – yeah, not blue – frozen treat. 

**Hint: Steps 2 and 3 can be done simultaneously, assuming you have two free hands for stirring and cuts the prep time down by half.

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Frozen Blueberry Tart

Step 1

Almond Coconut Crust

1 cup almond meal

1/2 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened)

2 tbsp. honey

1 tbsp. coconut oil (softened to liquid)

pinch ground sea salt or pink salt

In a food processor pulse the coconut flakes until they resemble crumbs. Add in the almond meal, honey, and oil. Pulse several more times. Press the crust evenly into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form cake pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the freezer while you finish steps 2 and 3.

Step 2

Blueberry Compote

1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

4 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. honey or raw organic sugar

zest of 1 lemon

In a small saucepan heat the blueberries, lemon juice, and honey until bubbling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for about 8-10 minutes until berries burst and it’s slightly reduced. Remove from heat, stir in the lemon zest, and pour into a bowl to cool.

Step 3

Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk

2 cans full fat coconut milk

2/3 cup honey or raw organic sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

pinch ground sea salt or pink salt

In a medium saucepan heat the coconut milk and honey. Bring to a low boil. Simmer, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes until it is slightly reduced and thickened.

Allow the coconut mixture to cool for several minutes before combining the blueberry compote to the sweetened condensed coconut milk. Stir together and pour into partially frozen crust. Cover with the plastic wrap again and return the pan to the freezer for 4 hours or overnight.

When you’re ready to eat, remove the pan from the freezer about 10 minutes before cutting. Gently run a knife along the edge to loosen before removing the spring form, cutting, and serving.

Enjoy!

Food Lamor by Melissa

Pork Chops with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

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We don’t always have meat with dinner. Usually twice a week we skip the meat and fill up on plant-based proteins like beans or maybe when dinner is rushed I throw together a simple gluten free pasta somthing. But when it’s not a meatless night, we like our meat! (and veggies).

Pork chops are so easy to make and easy to make taste delicious. Of course, my kids call every meat chicken, so whether you have pork, chicken, or steaks you really can use this recipe for just about anything. Just swap the chicken broth for beef broth when it applies.

Having said that, it’s also easy to overcook and end up with a dry or underseasoned piece of meat. If you’ve visited Food L’amor before then you’ve probably already learned my favorite way to cook most kinds of meat and fish: pan seared and then poached in broth. Searing in a healthy oil brings out tons of flavor and then simmered in broth or stock eliminates the issue of overly dry meat. Add to that sauteed mushrooms and dairy-free cream and….mmmm….so good!

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 Pork Chops With Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Serves 4

4 pork chops (bone in or out)

Sea salt or pink salt and black pepper

1 tbsp. lemon juice + 1/2 tsp. zest

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (or 1 tbsp. oil + 1 tbsp. organic butter or ghee)

2 cloves garlic, minced

small handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped or 2 tsp. dried parsley

1 pint baby portabella mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup cream (organic dairy creamer or a dairy-free creamer like this cashew cream by Michelle at Gluten Free Fix)

1/2 – 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth

Heat a large skillet dd olive oil and garlic until it sizzles. Add in the sliced mushrooms and sautee for several minutes until they soften and turn a darker brown then scoot them over and make room for the chops. Generously salt and pepper the chops on both sides. Place in the hot pan and sear on both sides – about 2 -4  minutes per side. Juice lemon and zest over top after the first side is cooked and sprinkle with parsley.

Don’t worry that the inside is still pink, it will finish in the poaching broth. Once both sides are seared, pour in the broth and cream. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the good stuff. Bring to a steady simmer and poach for 6 – 10 minutes depending on the thicken or until they are cooked through.

Serve pork chops with a scoop of the mushroom sauce.

Enjoy!

Food Lamor by Melissa

 

 

 

 

 

Why Sprout? What to Know About Sprouting

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When you think of sprouting you probably think of planting a seed in some dirt, add water, sunlight, and all that. What I’m talking about is only half the process, but can yield wonderful healthy results. When someone sprouts a seed, grain, bean or nut they are initiating the process of germination but not allowing it become a full blown plant.

Why Sprout?

Let me explain what I’ve learned:

Plants have survival mechanisms just like a gazelle has speed and the tiger has claws. Plants protect themselves from being eaten and ensuring the survival of their seeds by making it difficult or even poisonous to digest. When it comes to things like seeds and grains these deterrents are called anti-nutrients. The reason those who follow a strict Paleo diet don’t eat any form of grain is usually because they are very sensitive to these anti-nutrients and aren’t able to digest them well. (That’s what the plant intended!)

Luckily, we’ve come a long way since the stone age and even anciently people figured out how to get rid of those pesky anti-nutrients by sprouting the grain, seed, bean, or nut before consuming them.

No you don’t want a full grown plant (you’ll run into those same deterrents again and have some digestive troubles) you just want to trick the seed into beginning the process of germination.

seed-sproutingSee the seed with the white tail, second from the left? That’s what you’re looking for. That little tail tells you that the seed no longer has anti-nutrients to interfere with digestion, and not only that, but also has released all the vital nutrients the plant will need to grow. When you sprout the seed, nut, grain, or bean you get all those extra benefits and none of the gut irritating stuff.

What Can I Sprout?

There are plenty of naturally gluten free grains, seeds, and beans to sprout that you can then dry and grind into flours for baking, like:

  • Rice
  • amaranth
  • quinoa
  • millet
  • buckwheat
  • corn
  • beans (i.e. black beans, garbanzo bean, etc.)
  • lentils
  • sorghum
  • oats (certified gluten free oat groats, not rolls or processed oats)

And, of course, if you don’t have an intolerance or autoimmune reaction to gluten (celiac disease) you can sprout gluten containing grains like:

  • wheat
  • barley
  • einkorn
  • emmer
  • kamut
  • rye
  • spelt

You really can sprout just about anything. If you want something to top your salad with then you can sprout things like:

  • alfalfa
  • mung beans
  • wheatgrass
  • radish
  • green-leaf
  • pumpkin
  • sunflower

Things like the alfalfa, mung beans, wheatgrass, radish, and green-leaf sprouts are usually allowed to grow until they are a long shoot with a little bit of green.

How to Sprout in a Jar

There are lots of seed sprouting trays and accessories you can purchase, but for a simple and cheap way to sprout, you really only need a couple things: a quart wide mouth jar and a sprouting lid or wire strainer and a clean cloth.

  1. Place what you want to sprout into a quart canning jar – about half way full
  2. Pour filtered water into the jar until it covers the seeds by about 3 inches
  3. Put the sprouting lid on the jar or use a ring lid screwed on loosely over a clean cloth.
  4. Set in the a cool, dark pantry or cupboard overnight (10-12 hours)
  5. Drain the soaking water and rinse with filtered water, draining all remaining rinse water off as well.
  6. Return the cloth covering if using or just leave the sprouting lid on and lay soaked and drained seed jar on it’s side and set it back in the pantry.
  7. Repeat the rinsing and draining process every 3-4 hours for the next two or three days. The point is to keep the seeds moist so they start to germinate. (Don’t worry about waking up every 4 hours overnight. Just give it a good rinse right before going to bed and again first thing in the morning.)
  8. Once you see the seed begin to open and a tiny white tail then they are ready to be used. Or if sprouting something like mung beans, then allow for another couple days for the shoots to grow 2-3 inches.
    • You can  use a dehydrator to dry and then grind up sprouted grains, seeds, or nuts into flour.
      • Or
    • Store sprouted seeds in the fridge and toss in salads or add to breads and other baked goods.

 

Enjoy!

Food Lamor by Melissa

Pan-Fried Sweet Potato Fries

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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

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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