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.

First Time Visiting Food L'amor?

Spiced Pear Pie with Hazelnut Crust


I have to say I find it funny when people say things like, “oh, I’m not a good cook”, not because I don’t believe them, but because I used to say the exact same thing. When Alex and I were first married I could follow a recipe with a relatively successful outcome, but I was by no means a “good cook”. I forgot and left on the plastic wrap I’d covered the rolls with and baked it. Food was always stuck and burned to the pan, and some meals tasted almost as bad as they looked – almost. Lucky for me, if Alex didn’t have anything nice to say he shoveled it in his mouth anyway, smiled and said nothing at all.

I still have a long, long, long way to go before I would consider myself a “good cook”, but with practice I’ve managed to come up with some advanced-looking dishes, that secretly are pretty simple. Shh, don’t tell anyone. This comes in handy when fancy feasts and big get together s happen – like Thanksgiving.

This French inspired dessert will go perfect with your Thanksgiving meal – or whenever you’re in the mood for pie. This simple Paleo, gluten free dessert uses fresh pears sweetened with coconut sugar, dusted with spices, and just a hint of orange. All nestled into a pie crust made of ground hazelnuts. And no one will ever know you’re not a really “good cook” ;)



1 cup hazelnut flour

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 – 1/3 cup almond milk

2 tbsp. coconut oil

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. pure maple syrup, honey or coconut sugar

1 egg


4-5 large pears, peeled, cored, and sliced

1/3 cup water

2 tbsp. GF cornstarch or arrowroot starch

1 tbsp. Organic butter or Ghee

½ tbsp. orange juice

¼ cup coconut sugar

½ tbsp. Ground cinnamon

½ tsp. Ground nutmeg

¼ tsp. Ground clove

1-2 tsp. Orange zest 

Preheat oven to 400. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl except milk and stir to combine. Stir in the milk a little at a time until you reach the right consistency. The “dough” should be wet, but not too runny and should hold together when you press it into a ball. Lightly grease your 9.5″ pie pan with coconut oil or butter then begin evenly pressing the hazelnut dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake in your preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool while you make the filling. 

Peel, core, and slice pears. Add the orange juice, coconut sugar, and spices. Heat the butter in a skillet on medium heat. Dump pears in and allow them to simmer for about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

While the pears are busy, mix the starch with the water until it’s completely dissolved. Pour into the pears, stirring as it begins to bubble and thicken. This should take several more minutes. Remove from heat and pour into the prepared crust. Zest the orange on top for some nice color and flavor. The pear filling will thicken as it cools. Cover and store in the fridge.


Food Lamor by Melissa 

Quinoa & Roasted Vegetable Salad



“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.”
-William Cullen Bryant
[Indian Summer]

The sunlight glinted off the thin layer of frost this morning as I drove the kids to school. Autumn comes late in the dessert and I’m enjoying the burst of colors on the trees and cool, crisp air.

Thanksgiving is almost here and I think this colorful and tasty side dish may end up finding it’s way into our Thanksgiving spread. If you’re gluten free, following a strict diet like the Paleo or GAPS – or just want to switch things up – this savory quinoa with roasted butternut squash, onion, and mushrooms along with a bite of tart dried cranberries, hint of orange zest and fresh kale won’t disappoint.

My family and I ate every last bite of this dish tonight with dinner, the kids squabbling over who had more cranberries with every helping. Unlike the salad, the squabbling isn’t a seasonal thing. Oh, if only.



Quinoa & Roasted Vegetable Salad

4 cups broth (chicken, turkey, or vegetable)

2 cups quinoa, rinsed

2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme

2 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary

3-4 sprigs fresh parsley, leaves roughly chopped or 1 tsp. dried parsley

2 cups cubed butternut squash

1 pint sliced mushrooms

1 onion, diced

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

sea salt or Himalayan pink salt and black pepper to taste

1/2 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped (about 2 cups loosely packed)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/8 cup toasted pine nuts

1 tsp. orange zest


*Preheat the oven to 425.

*In a large saucepan bring the broth, quinoa, and herbs to a boil, reduce heat, put a lid on it, and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove rosemary and thyme stems then fluff with a fork.

*While the quinoa is simmering drizzle the squash, mushrooms, and onion with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread them out on a foil lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. The butternut squash should be tender and everything should have a nice caramelized look.

*Toss together the quinoa, roasted vegetables, kale, and cranberries. Sprinkle some toasted pine nuts and orange zest over top and serve warm.


Food Lamor by Melissa

How To Build A Gluten Free Home Store

It’s that time of year and everyone’s gearing up for Black Friday – all the best sales on electronics, toys, and other must-haves, but what about what everyone really must have? FOOD! 

How in the world do you build up enough food storage that’s, oh yeah, gluten free so that you can actually shop from your own pantry? I’ve found a way to start stocking up on certified gluten free food storage AND cut grocery bill costs by actually building a home store of food to use everyday through THRIVE. Do it all during the best time of the year to get the best deals – Black Friday!  Follow this link to start stocking up. Wait! Don’t go yet, keep reading to learn more…

Produce Medley

I’ve never considered myself a “prepper”, but I’ve always been taught to store enough water and food that my family could survive for at least 6 months to a year on our food storage – just in case. In case, a natural disaster occurs and we’re cut off from clean food and water supplies, sickness/epidemic, or just a loss of income. All these far-fetched “what if’s” kept me moderately concerned enough that I occasionally bought a #10 can of granola or  dehydrated soup mixes. Once I had about 9 or 10 assorted cans of sealed food with the claim that they would last 20 years (hopefully I’d never have to open  them), I checked it off my list of do-to’s and went about my business.

Then my little girl was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. In frustration and disbelief I went through my fridge and pantry after the diagnosis only to realize that a large majority of the food in my home contained or was contaminated with gluten. It all had to go. I cleaned and disinfected, replaced toasters and did everything necessary to create a safe, gluten free kitchen. Finally, I came to my food storage. My heart dropped.

“This product has been processed in a facility that also processes tree nuts, eggs, soy, wheat…” I didn’t need to read further.

Suddenly all those “what if’s” came rushing back into my mind…and I was terrified. What if we don’t have work, there’s an earthquake, epidemic, war, plaque of man-eating tomato bugs?! It didn’t matter what the emergency was, because at that moment I was only capable of feeding 2/3 of my children. There just wasn’t any economically plausible long term food storage options that were certified gluten free. Needless to say this realization left me with a constant nagging anxiety.

Fast forward a couple years and one more child and my anxiety over food storage still hadn’t ebbed any. I had taken some steps to try alleviate my worry and stock up on things like rice, dried beans, and canned food, but in all probability if one of those “what if’s” ever actually happened I wouldn’t have been able to feed my family for more than a month or two. To be honest, I couldn’t do much more to stock up. Thanks to our gluten free, clean eating diet our monthly food bill had shot through the roof.

Then I heard about THRIVE! Alex had called from work jabbering about freeze dried food that tastes amazing and “comes alive” in your mouth. I had no idea what he was talking about. Then he said the words I’d been needing to hear for the past two years, “Its certified gluten free!”

Thrive Banner

Certified Gluten Free Food Storage

You had me at “certified gluten free”. Really I would have been happy to just see the stamp of approval from a third party stating that this product is closely regulated and approved to be gluten free, but once I tasted it I was even more impressed. Real, fresh fruits and vegetables are picked when they’re ripe and flash frozen, removing the water, leaving long lasting, nutritious, and flavorful food. Sealed, THRIVE food can last just as long as any other #10 can of food storage, but I was amazed to learn that I didn’t just have to buy a dozen cans and check it off my list – hopefully never to be opened for 20+ years. I learned that I could stock up on food storage as well as use THRIVE food in my daily cooking to save money and still be following a gluten free, clean eating diet.

Here is a complete list of all the gluten free products available through THRIVE .  Certified Gluten Free List



Food delivered to your door without going over your monthly grocery bill was such a phenomenal concept to me. Not only can I build my emergency food storage, but by simply reallocating a portion of my monthly grocery bill and putting it toward THRIVE, I could shop online having healthy food delivered each month. Toss freeze dried corn, black beans, even salsa into my taco soup and cut out a ton of time spent soaking, chopping, and preparing while still enjoying all the same healthy benefits AND flavor!  Yes, once THRIVE food is reconstituted (water added back in) it actually does “come alive” and tastes just as fresh as it did when it was first picked.

I’ll post more with recipes and helpful tips for using THRIVE so check back soon!


Food Lamor by Melissa