Italian Roasted Potato Salad

  

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Watermelon Bruschetta With Marinated Basil Cucumbers & Feta

 Okay, don't these just look pretty? You could serve them up as a side to some Hawaiian Pork Shish Kabobs or Fired Up Pork Ribs or as an appetizer. I'm thinking a 4th of July picnic or barbecue may feel just a bit fancier and be a bit healthier with these Watermelon Bruschetta with Marinated Basil Cucumbers & Feta in place of a bag of chips. FYI: Just as fair warning, these yummy appetizers are, not surprisingly, a little messy between the watermelon juice and the cucumber marinade. Be sure to serve on a plate with adequate napkins. Start with your bruschetta. You'll need approximately one quarter of a medium-sized seedless watermelon, rinds removed and sliced into small 3/4 inch thick rectangles.Basil Cucumber Marinade 1 large or 2 small cucumbers quartered and chopped. About 2 cups worth1 small sweet onion, finely chopped (I used a Vidalia onion, but a sweet red onion works too) 1/4 cup raw honey1/3 cup apple cider vinegar1 tbsp. olive oil1/2 tsp. ground mustard1/2 tsp. sea salt1/4 black pepper1 garlic clove,  minced3 sprigs parsley, chopped (or 1 tbsp. dried parsley)5 basil leaves, roughly chopped (chopped extra if you have it for garnishing)Chop the cucumber and onion. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the marinade and whisk together. Pour over the cucumber and onion and stir. Put a lid on and set in the fridge for 1-3 hours to marinate. When you're ready to serve, set the watermelon bruschetta out on a plate and top each with a tablespoon of the cucumbers. Sprinkle a little crumbled feta cheese and the extra basil on top. This can serve a crowd, but is best cold so only put it all together when you're ready to eat. Enjoy! 

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Lemon Dill Asparagus

  Today the sky is azure blue. Birds are chirping a sonata of melodies each their own while a lizard does some vertical sunbathing on the back wall. Life in nature always seems so constant, so predictable, and peaceful. I sometimes watch the goings on of the usual wildlife that surround my home and think...I wish I had it that easy. Of course, then I'm reminded of all those Discovery Channel shows that delve into the "real" life of animals and suddenly I'm reminded that their existence isn't easy, just less complicated.

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Cantaloupe Caprese

 I get asked the question when people find out our family eats gluten free and minimal refined sugars, "So what do you eat? Vegetables?" Yes. Yes, we eat a lot of vegetables, but I promise there is so much more to food than wheat flours and sugar. There are so many more healthy options than "just vegetables" (although I do love me some vegetables.)Sometimes I have to get creative, but a lot of the time I just go with what's really simple. Here is my really simple, healthy, gluten free, sugar free, delicious snack or appetizer....Cantaloupe Caprese! It's the best when the cantaloupe is cold and sweet, the mozzarella is a little cooler than room temperature, and the basil is freshly picked. Skewer the cantaloupe, basil, and mozzarella onto a large toothpick or trimmed bamboo skewer. Bring to your next barbecue or get together for a yummy, healthy, and simple appetizer.Enjoy!  

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Summer Veggie and Herb Salad

  Fresh tomatoes still warm from the sun. Kale, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, and green onions crisp and bright green. Carrots that grow in funny shapes; some long and skinny, some as wide as they are tall. Fresh herbs like basil and parsley that grow so fast you can hardly keep up with them.  Homegrown veggies straight from the garden...these are a few of my favorite things. Summer is upon us and I can't wait! 

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Plum Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

 The first little sunburn of the year after an afternoon playing at the park reminds me that spring is coming to an end and summer is almost here. It also reminded me of this time a year ago, right after Miah was released from Primary Children's Hospital for Celiac crisis. They had just removed the PICC line that had been sending nutrients straight into her veins and she was finally gaining weight and eating again. My sweet neighbor at the time, Guilma - who also happened to be a chef and mother of a child with Crohn's disease - invited us over for a tea party and to teach me how to make some yummy gluten free dishes. She walked me through making tapioca rolls and spring rolls. We ate them all as we sipped raspberry tea sweetened with big globs of honey.  

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Gluten Free Cilantro Lime Coconut Quinoa

  "Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking." - Marcus Aurelius 

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Fresh Veggie Southwestern Salsa

  Need something quick and yummy for a get together? This is my go-to. It's super simple and is a great appetizer for your holiday dinner, a summer barbeque, or whenever. It's also a very tricky way to get your kids to eat their veggies since they can scoop them up with corn tortilla chips! (F.Y.I. just because it says "corn" chip, doesn't mean it's gluten free. Be sure to check where they were made or better yet, make your own out of some quinoa tortillas by adding a little extra coconut oil on the griddle and cooking them till they're crispy. Cut them in fourths and sprinkle with sea salt.) 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped 2-3 roma tomatoes, chopped 1 ripe avocado, pitted and chopped 1 bell pepper; red, green, yellow, or orange 1 cup frozen corn, thawed or grilled corn on the cob, corn cut off 1 green onion, sliced lime juice few sprigs fresh cilantro leaves dash or two smoked paprika sea salt and pepper to taste chili powder to taste This is such a simple throw-together that I never measure the spices. Just sprinkle, dash, stir, taste, and repeat until it tastes good to you. I chopped my veggies a little big, but chopping them smaller will make it a little easier to scoop.  This recipe was featured on Good Things Utah!  Enjoy!    

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Spring Herb Quinoa Salad

 Eating with the seasons doesn't just save you money, it's good for you too. There are lots of yummy springtime fruits and veggies that I personally am going to start enjoying right now! Lemons, cherries, peas, green onions, and fresh herbs are all combined with warm toasted quinoa, cooked in broth for a flavorful, light, healthy, gluten free, yummy salad that can be eaten warm or cold. This is perfect for your first barbeque of the season, Easter dinner, a get together, or whenever and since it tastes just as good warm or cold it's great to eat for lunch the next day. 

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Almandine Green Beans

 Sunday dinner at family's house is such a great tradition. It's nice to visit and all, but seriously - I won't lie - it's really nice to not have to cook. Alright, I can't really just sit back and relax, I do have four kids after all. This simple dish was part of one Sunday dinner menu and it was so yummy and simple I just had to share. I also learned something new; almandine means "garnished with almonds". It's sound fancy and smart too. ;)*This recipe serves four, but it's pretty easy to double for more hungry dinner guests.

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Swiss Chard Citrus Salad (Gluten Free)

  Staying on a budget while feeding an entire family healthy, gluten-free food is an art form. Okay, maybe more like a necessary obsession. I've found that the most convenient and inexpensive way to get quality, organic produce is from my local farmer's market or a food co-op where I can contribute a certain amount and then go pick up a big basket of fruits and vegetables at the end of the week. The co-op option is great, especially in the winter months. It's also pretty fun since I never know what surprises I'll find in my basket.

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Bacon Wrapped Shrimp In Sweet and Tangy Sauce

 It's super bowl time! Okay, so I'll admit I really don't care who's playing in the super bowl, but tradition demands that we get together with family or friends and watch it while eating yummy finger food. My hubby does care, though.  So I asked what he wanted for some super bowl appetizers. His response, bacon.  I knew exactly what he was thinking. At his brother's wedding reception they had bacon wrapped shrimp. Let's just say, I think the server carrying those around felt a little stalked and not just by my guy. So here's my version of bacon wrapped shrimp with a simple sweet and tangy sauce! Bacon doesn't exactly have a good rep for being healthy and it isn't just because of its high fat and sodium content. Most bacon, although not made using gluten has been cross contaminated with gluten. That's bad news for my daughter with Celiac. And bad for everyone is that most bacon has been cured using nitrates, which is known to cause cancer. Why do they still use this KNOWN carcinogen in food? I have no idea, but until it's illegal we, as consumers need to be aware and avoid these toxic chemicals. So in this bacon-lover's appetizer I used uncured bacon (which is still technically cured, but done so without the use of nitrates).  Since chemicals, growth hormones, and all that other yucky stuff likes to take up residence in the animal's fat, I used gluten free, organic, uncured bacon. *Just another side note. I wanted to use some kind of fruit juice as the natural sweet part to the sweet and tangy sauce, but since I was fresh out of apple juice I used some apple sauce I had hanging around. And you know what? I really liked that it thickened the sauce without me having to use a thickening agent like cornstarch. 

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Harvest Chicken Salad with Sweet Balsamic Dijon Dressing

Okay, I had a hard time naming this beauty. I wanted to call it Harvest Greens & Chicken Salad with Bacon, Toasted Pecans, Pomegranates, Apple, and Caramelized Onions with Sweet Garlic Balsamic Dijon Dressing....but it seemed a little long. Don't you think? This salad was so yummy I made it two nights in a row and no one even complained! It's hardy enough to stand alone as a meal or you could leave out the chicken and serve it as a side salad next to the turkey on Thanksgiving. It's a crowd pleaser so prepare to make a lot of it!Harvest Chicken Salad4-6 chicken breasts (about one per person)4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbledsalt & pepper1 onion, yellow or purple works fine, thinly sliced1 glove garlic, minced1 head red leaf lettuce1 bunch kale, stems removed1 apple (I like Fuji or Gala), cored and cubed1/2 cup pomegranate seeds or dried cranberrieshandful pecans, toastedcrumbled feta cheese (optional)Sweet Balsamic Dijon Dressing1 clove garlic, pressed2 tbsp. dijon mustard2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar1 tbsp. honey1/2 tsp. salt1/2 tsp. pepper1/3 cup olive oilHeat a large skillet. Lightly toast the pecans until they are warm and fragrant. Put them in a bowl for later and start cooking the bacon. Once the bacon is good and crispy, remove from pan to a paper towel. Drain off most of the bacon grease, leaving just a little bit in the pan to brown the chicken in. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Toss in the garlic along with chicken breasts. Once the chicken is browned and cooked through, pull them out of the pan and slice them into strips. Now toss the sliced onion into the hot pan (you may need to add a little olive oil). Turn on medium low and let them caramelize while you chop and prepare the rest of the salad. Combine all the dressing ingredients and shake until well mixed.Now put it all together. Toss the lettuce, kale, apple, pomegranate seeds, toasted pecans, and bacon together. Place chicken strips and some caramelized onion on top and drizzle with the dressing. Sooo yummy!Enjoy!

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Quinoa Pasta Broccoli Salad

Spring is in full force!  The blossoms on my enormous cherry trees in the back yard cover the branches and litter the grass beneath and the crab apple tree in front is the brightest fuchsia pink I've ever seen.   That means that people are uncovering the grills and firing them up once more. This gluten free, dairy free version of broccoli salad is a  yummy and filling side to serve at your next barbecue along side some Fired Up Pork Ribs! This salad can go together in a snap if you have planned ahead.  Make your own {Homemade} mayonnaise the day or two before for an even healthier, preservative free dish.  

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Sweet & Tangy Roasted Vegetable Side

 This dish is a perfect veggie side to your favorite main course. Plus, it also uses that yummy {Homemade} Balsamic Vinaigrette from the other day.  So go ahead and just double or triple the recipe and make a whole bottle of it.  It's simple, healthy and good on just about anything.  This easy roasted vegetable side uses good old brussel sprouts, some mini sweet red peppers and multi-colored carrots. All the colors add lots of extra vitamins and nutrients so it's important not to over roast these babies so you keep all that color and just a little crispness.   Sweet & Tangy Roasted Vegetable Side 1/2 lb. brussel sprouts, washed and halved if you like1/4 lb. mini sweet red peppers, stems removed and quartered lengthwise 4-6 multi-colored carrots (red, orange and yellow), washed, halved or quartered and cut into 2 inch sticks1 clove garlic, minced1 shallot, chopped3-4 fresh basil leaves, roughly choppedSea salt and pepper Balsamic Vinaigrette:1/4 cup balsamic vinegar1.5-2 tbsp. real maple syrup (I like this a little sweeter)1 Tbsp. coconut oil (softened) Prepare the veggies accordingly and preheat the oven to 425.  Toss brussel sprouts, peppers, carrots, garlic, shallot and a generously dust with salt and pepper. Pour combined balsamic vinaigrette over and toss to coat.  Spread everything out on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are browned and soft enough for your liking. Remove from oven and scoop into a serving dish.   Enjoy!
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Spinach Quinoa Salad with {Homemade} Balsamic Vinaigrette

 This little number is perfect for all these new years resolutions and eating smart.  This is a great lunch that is easy to pack to work or school and can be eaten warm or cold. 

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Orange-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

We're taking back thanksgiving and making it not only taste incredibly festive and delicious, but good for you too! Here's a healthy and amazingly yummy must-have for thanksgiving this year.  These sweet potatoes, or yams if you prefer, are baked with healthy coconut oil and glazed in a honey orange sauce.  No marshmallows needed to make these taters shout "happy thanksgiving!" Serves 4-6

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Waldorf Salad with {Homemade} Raspberry Vinaigrette

Okay, seriously is it possible not to sneak the kids Halloween candy they raked in?  When there's so many things vying for your time and attention how do you find the time to exercise and make healthy home cooked meals?  Is it even possible with the approaching holidays?  Sure it is, said the girl who just ate her fourth peanut butter cup. :)  But really it is possible to stay in shape, eat healthy and still snatch a few fun sized goodies when the kids aren't looking.How? Make it a priority and don't feel guilty if you fall a little short of your goal.  Just keep at it.  Here's what we do to keep us and our kiddos away from falling into sugar overload.  Let them pick out five of their favorite goodies then have them leave the rest out for the "switch witch". She'll take your candy, but she'll leave a cute little toy or game behind in its place. It's a tradition now and the kids never complain! 

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Caprese Portabella Bruschetta

There's a little restaurant tucked into an old building off Main street in St. George called Cappalletti's.  The food was authentic and amazing!  As an appetizer I had the caprese bruschetta on a crispy baguette, which was the inspired for this delicious recipe!  An Italian classic served in a guten free way.

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Quinoa Risotto Stuffed Vegetables

Alright, if you haven't noticed I like stuffed vegetable anything.  This yummy and healthy side or appetizer is so fun, easy and so good for you.  It will definitely be a hit!

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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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