As a mother of four (one with Celiac disease) and wife to an incredibly dedicated and busy guy who is not only a Crossfit junkie, but is now a Crossfit trainer, I make a lot of food (seriously understated). That’s a lot of gluten free, grain free, whole, unprocessed, organic, homemade…stuff to think about. But hey, there are some things that are worth the effort. I may have to make a reference from the movie my girls watch constantly (Frozen, of course) “some people are worth melting for.”
All I ever really wanted to be when I grew up was a mom. Sure I had and still have goals and aspirations for myself personally, but being a mom has always been my number one priority. I wanted to find this amazing guy who could make me laugh and love me so completely that no matter what happened we would tackle it hand in hand. We would be young as we raised our kids and love every minute of it.
Sounds like a fairy tale doesn’t it? That’s what I’ve always wanted and expected from the life I envisioned for myself. Here’s the thing though. The fairy tale doesn’t end in happily ever after as soon as you make that commitment of marriage. That’s just the beginning of part 2 of your life story! Maybe I was just a little naive and everyone else has already figured that out, but guess what else? Despite the ups and downs, the moves, the job changes, losing everything but each other and our kids, starting over, almost losing our youngest daughter to a Celiac crisis, a complete diet overhaul, more job changes, and moving…it’s been worth it.
Do you know what I’ve discovered over the last few years? It’s that happily ever after is a pretty relative term. Happiness in its simplest form is being at peace despite the circumstances of your present situation. It’s being okay with the imperfections, the mess, the not-so-happy predicaments we find ourselves in, but finding joy in the midst of it all anyway. Not in spite of it, but in it. Not a roll your eyes, grit your teeth, and pretend you’re fine superficial happiness, but a sincere inner peace.
That’s the happily ever after I want. That’s the happily ever after I’ve found. The kind that no matter what villains are lurking in the shadows we know we’re safe with people who love us enough to melt for us.
That’s why I make dinner from scratch (seasoned chicken, beans, guacamole, and tortillas) so everything is gluten free and there’s no worry of cross contamination. (Plus it’s more cost effective.) And I use a slow cooker so I don’t have to waist my time standing in the kitchen preparing food all day when I have my happily ever after to enjoy.
Make some gluten free quinoa tortillas or I use Maseca corn tortilla flour. You’ll find it in the Mexican food aisle or at a Hispanic specialty store. It says right on the bag that it’s gluten free. Directions for how to make the tortillas are also right on the back of the bag. We have to sing the “tortilla” song as the kids help me make them. (Mariachi band tune and silly impromptu rhyming lyrics about eating tortillas!)
Super Simple Guacamole:
2 avocado, pitted and sliced
juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. chili powder
few cilantro leaves
1-2 tbsp. fresh or bottle salsa
Combine and stir it all up, mashing the avocados a little as you go.
2-3 lbs. chicken breasts or tenders
sea salt and black pepper
1 cup fresh or bottled salsa
1/2 cup store bought or homemade Greek yogurt
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Stir the salsa and yogurt together and pour over chicken in the the crock pot. Put the lid on and forget about it until you’re ready to eat (4-6 hours). Then use a couple forks and shred the chicken up. Done.
Garlic Lime Black Beans:
1 lb. dry black beans
2 tsp. baking soda
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. sea salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 sprigs fresh cilantro
Rinse the dry beans then dump them in a pot and cover them with water. Add the baking soda and put a lid on. Bring to a boil and continue boil for about 20 minutes. Drain the water and refill the pot of beans with fresh water until it just covers them. This will get rid of extra starchiness and the baking soda helps the beans soften faster. Add the salt and garlic and return to a low simmer. Simmer for another 30-40 minutes then add the lime juice and cilantro.
Serve it all together with the warm tortillas, lettuce, extra salsa, lime, cilantro, and cheese if you like.