Barbecue Chicken Chili {clean eating & gluten free}

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. 

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Homemade Green Hummus

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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Gluten Free Thumbprint Cookies

  Valentines was one of my favorite holidays as a kid. I loved making secret gifts for everyone, getting love notes from mom, flowers from dad, and little special things from my friends. Inevitably, as you get older some valentines celebrations won't be as sweet- not every valentines, but at least one just to chalk up to experience. Not as a kid though! As a kid valentines is about sweets, heart shaped construction paper cut-outs, kindergarten crushes, and love notes. Here's a little something sweet to send to school in their lunch box along with that love note or to enjoy with whomever you love.

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Asian Sweet Pork Salad & Tangy Basil-Lime Dressing

The best thing about crock-pot dinners (besides the obvious low-maintenance) is that you usually end up with leftovers. One of the easiest and tastiest things to throw in a slow cooker is meat. The longer it cooks the more tender and flavorful it gets and my favorite for the crock-pot is pork.

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340 Hits
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Grain Free Crepes!

Want to know how long it's been since I made crepes? Years!!! My oldest son had to be reminded what a crepe was. Shameful, I know. Since our family started eating gluten free the idea of crepes was just a distant happy memory. I mean seriously, how do you make soft, pliable, delicate, delicious crepes with gritty gluten free flour blends or nut flours?

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490 Hits
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Southwestern Caprese Chicken

I sometimes get asked how I make meals that are gluten free, dairy free, and still appeal to kids. Well, the truth is...I don't try to make the meals appeal to my kids, I try to help my kids appeal to the meal. In other words, I've just gotten good at tricking them into eating whatever's for dinner.

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Chickpea & Spinach Salad

Chickpeas, spinach, some spiral cut carrots, sliced purple onion, chopped almonds, orange segments, and a simple dressing makes this salad...well, simple...and kind of addictive! It's so easy to keep munching on it and goes great with almost any dinner. Add some grilled chicken strips to turn it into a light dinner or just as is for lunch. Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) have a great creamy texture and are really filling. If you're like me and love salad but no matter how much you pile on you're still not full, then this legume should be your go-to. Adding chickpeas to salads will help you feel full and satisfied, not to mention adding lots of extra vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. This is also a great side to bring to a get together because the dressing it already on top...and because it looks so pretty! The dressing won't make it soggy either so it's okay to sit in the fridge for a couple days once it's dressed.

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Tomato Basil Soup - Dairy Free

We went to lunch at this cute restaurant called Breakfast At Tifiny's for grandma's 91st birthday. No kids, so I didn't have to worry about gluten and cross contamination. Just enjoyed a yummy French inspired meal...well, except for my soup, which was most definitely Italian inspired. Normally I like my tomato soup smooth and pureed, but the version I enjoyed at lunch that day wasn't. So I recreated the tomato basil soup a few days later for the kids. Tomato basil has always been a favorite, plus it's so simple to make and very versatile, naturally gluten free, and easily made dairy free as well. We like it with some salad and gluten free bread all on it's own one night, take the left overs and add some meat and veggies using it as a base for stew the next, or toss in some gluten free noodles and call it goulash. This is our favorite gluten free pasta.To make a dairy free heavy cream alternative you can choose from a couple options.

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Warm Italian Vegetable Salad

 

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Persimmon Salad with Lemon Fennel Dressing

  It's almost a new year, new resolutions, why not try something new too. Now that the holidays are past and everyone has sufficiently stuffed themselves, I felt the need for something a little lighter. I was gifted a half dozen persimmon fruits and some garlic dill cheese curds that were just screaming to be put together.   This was my first time eating this unusual tomato-look-alike fruit. Their soft peach-like texture and sweet, mild apple-ish flavor make them very versatile. I tossed mine together in a simple, light salad with a warm fennel, lemon, and olive oil dressing. The sweet from the fruit and the salty from the dressing and cheese blended together so nicely. Persimmons are usually in season between September and December so I must have gotten the last of the season.

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1106 Hits
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Grain-Free Cutout Cookies

 

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Candied Orange Pecans

 

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327 Hits
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Spiced Green Smoothie

We love the holidays don't we? The lights. The excitement. The food. Unfortunately, we live in a society that is pretty consumer driven with lots of preconceived notions about what you "have to have"  in order to experience the "perfect" holiday - Christmas or otherwise.Well, I'm attempting to slow down. Keep things simple. Experience my children and family, remembering the real reason for the season, and enjoy this beautiful time of year for all it's worth.I'm also trying to help my body do the same. Stress, refined sugars, and overeating can really put a lot of strain on our bodies. So, even though the weather outside is frightful, this Spiced Green Smoothie will be so delightful! (No? Doesn't work?) This smoothie is full of vitamins, protein, probiotics, fiber, and the spices of the season.

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Citrus-Basil Coconut Chicken

I love meals that involve one or two utensils and a skillet. They are so versatile and can be easily adjusted for however many seats are filled at the table - this is one of those meals. It's not just any old skillet chicken dinner though. This meal is Paleo worthy, gluten free, dairy free, and oh my goodness, so tasty! Tropical flavors come together in a unique way that makes this a dinner kids and adults will love! It's only 10 ingredients too (8 if you don't count the salt and pepper. Does S&P count as an ingredient or just a given in a dish like this? Your thoughts?).  Another bonus is that this dinner is ready in under 30 minutes, which is great for entertaining dinner guests or just entertaining your kids (gotta love that on a busy weekday). Serve with rice or quinoa and some veggies and you're done!

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Immune Booster Detox Smoothie

My CrossFit challenge is fast approaching the final challenge event and seeing the results from our 8 weeks of hard work. Finishing strong isn't just about what happens in the gym - diet is going to make a huge difference too. So I'm going to be doing lots of detox smoothies for the next week or so. Not only are smoothies great for weight-loss, but this one is also packed with immune boosting vitamins and minerals.This bad boy is a kick of vitamins and body purifying good stuff! I used my juicer for the carrots and oranges, or if you don't have one you can buy a bottle of Simply Orange juice and pure carrot juice.

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Soft Grain-Free Gingersnap Cookies

Run, run as fast as you can...to eat some soft gingersnap cookies that are gluten free, grain free, dairy free, super healthy, and delicious! Hmm, that doesn't quite have the same ring to it as the original.

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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. 

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Quinoa & Roasted Vegetable Salad

 

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes

Well, you knew it was coming. It was inevitable really. What, with it being pumpkin season and all, that I'd have to have a pumpkin pancake recipe show up eventually. Here it is! These pancakes taste like you're eating a pumpkin pie for breakfast and are so good for you too. They must have been good (and/or my kids were very hungry) because they were eaten so fast! We also added fun toppings like chopped pecans, sliced apples dusted with cinnamon, and whipped coconut cream on top... or just a little maple syrup works too.  

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Citrus Herb Brined Turkey

 The holiday season calls for amazing food and plenty of it. I'm so thankful for good food and family to share it with. If you're in charge of dinner, the turkey needs to be the flavorful star of the evening. The best way I've found to get that amazing juicy flavor throughout is with a brine bath. According to Google...Brine (verb): to soak in or saturate with salty water

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Melissa Cornwall has spent years researching and implementing nutritionally-based approaches to health and wellness. Her lifelong love of food and health evolved from a hobby to a passion when her daughter was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease.

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