10 minute Shrimp Scampi

10 minute Shrimp Scampi

I love plans, but to be honest, I think I love being spontaneous even more. I love the challenge of taking whatever ingredients I have on hand in the house and making something right on the spot. Now, having said that I am also a mother of four busy, hungry, and sometimes picky kids (lest you think I'm not a human), my joyful spontaneity in the kitchen is sometimes less than joyful and far more stressful. It's moments like this (and they happen far more often), that I am very grateful for meal prepping and my Instant Pot.  Thanks to a little prep ahead of time and the best invention ever, this dinner was ready to eat in about 10 minutes!

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Stuffed Acorn Squash with Orange Spiced Pecans

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Orange Spiced Pecans

 Hello beautiful!Yes, you...and this dish!If there's anything that makes me feel fed, both body and soul, it's healthy beautiful food. Have I mentioned that I love this time of year and it's bounty of produce? Fall is the ripe pinnacle of a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds that are all ready to be eaten. Harvesting the summer's spoils and getting our first taste of the winter crop too.Instead of the traditional brown sugar and butter baked into my acorn squash, I used a less refined sugar option of real maple syrup to make a sweet and tangy balsamic reduction baked into the squash. Then I topped it with some sauteed kale, onion, uncured bacon Orange Spiced Pecans, and raw sunflower seeds. Drizzle a little more of the sweet reduction over everything and...so satisfying. Just omit the bacon to keep it vegan and plant-based.My kids poured extra balsamic reduction on theirs. It's always fun to let them try something new and watch them discover that they actually like it. Of course, my philosophy is anything drizzled with balsamic reduction is going to be fabulous. Period. It's nice that my kids agree. Well...other than my 2 year old. He was not as open to the idea of something new and strange on his plate. However, if it came off my plate it tasted good. Haha! Oh well, whatever works, right? (P.S. you may want to double the balsamic reduction recipe in case you want extra too.)

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Simple Pickled Mint Cucumber Beets

Simple Pickled Mint Cucumber Beets

Having things prepped and ready to just grab out of the fridge, freezer, or pantry is so essential when you eat a clean, preservative free diet. One of the best ways to naturally preserve food, especially all the fresh summer produce, is by pickling them. This simple recipe can be tossed together into a jar and set in the fridge to use whenever you need a kick of tart pink goodness!

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Chili Lime Tilapia with Garlic Lime Butter

Chili Lime Tilapia with Garlic Lime Butter

The 4th of July is approaching fast and while everyone is gearing up for parades, county fairs, and late night firework shows you're probably also already wondering what you'll be grilling up before you head out for the festivities. Hotdogs and hamburgers are the standard and can be good in their own right, but I'm in the mood for some fish. Fish provides omega-3 fatty acids which has been proven to boost brain function, maintain healthy arteries, is low in calories and high in protein, but it also may help those with autoimmune diseases since it's easy to digest and full of all the rich vitamins, minerals, and natural goodness our bodies can't make on their own. You should be eating at least 3 servings of fish or shellfish per week. So, maybe it's time for everyone to get in the mood for fish more often. I used some wild caught Tilapia fillets for this savory yet light fish dish. However, any white ocean fish would work. Fresh trout or base would be just as delicious (or more so if you caught it the day of. It doesn't get fresher than that!)

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Oriental Chicken Salad & Sesame Dressing

Oriental Chicken Salad & Sesame Dressing

I saw a picture once with the caption, "gluten free, grain free, dairy free, soy free, refined sugar free, and vegan"....it was a sad looking piece of lettuce with a tomato slice on top. I had to laugh! (1. because it was clever, and 2. because it was so wrong!)

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Beets

Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Beets

The colors in this dish are so amazing! The more vibrant the natural colors of your fruits and veggies, the more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they hold. Dark oranges from the sweet potatoes means your getting lots of bete-carotene (vitamin A), along with vitamin C. flavanoids, lycopene, and potassium. The deep purple-red of the beets provides vitamins like A, B & C,  and minerals like magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron. Roast them together with sliced sweet onion, oil, and seasoning and...hello beautiful!   Another great thing about this simple dish is that it's great for camping! What?! Yep. Instead of the usual tin foil potatoes for your family camping trip, try wrapping some of these babies up and roasting in the coals. The fun part of doing the tin foil dinner is that each person can season their potatoes and beets how they like - sweet or spicy, simple herbs or a little bit of everything.

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Pork Chops with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Pork Chops with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

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 something. But when it's not a meatless night, we like our meat! (and veggies).

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Asian Sweet Pork Salad & Tangy Basil-Lime Dressing

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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Warm Italian Vegetable Salad

Warm Italian Vegetable Salad

 

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Grain-Free Cutout Cookies

Grain-Free Cutout Cookies

 

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Citrus-Basil Coconut Chicken

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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Citrus Herb Brined Turkey

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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What Are Fermented Vegetables & How To Make Them

What Are Fermented Vegetables & How To Make Them

I was never a huge fan of sauerkraut, and the closest I'd ever come to eating fermented vegetables were pickles. Then I found out some incredible health benefits to eating these sour veggies. I've already tried my hand at homemade Greek yogurt and dairy free coconut yogurt/kefir, but for whatever reason I was worried about attempting fermented vegetables.

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How To Cook The Perfect Spaghetti Squash

How To Cook The Perfect Spaghetti Squash

 If you haven't figured out how awesome spaghetti squash is, now is the time. If you want or need to eat gluten free, are following the Paleo or Fodmap diet, or just want to eat healthier in general, the trusty spaghetti squash is your friend. Once cooked it comes out like...well, spaghetti noodles. Not only are you upping your vegetable intake, but a spaghetti squash in season will probably be cheaper than a box of gluten free noodles (yay!)Funny enough, most of the time I hear the reason people don't eat more of this amazing squash is because they're not really sure how to prepare it. Yes, I've watched the tutorials too on how to cook one, but it wasn't until I accidently did it different that it turned out perfect and delicious. Now I prepare it like this all the time. How did it happen, you ask? Well, it all started a few years back when I tried cooking my first spaghetti squash to use in place of pasta. I may have skimmed the how-to a little too quickly that said I was supposed to cook the squash face down. I cooked it face up. After painstakingly scraping the tasteless, dried squash noodles from the skins I decided that next time I would add a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. So I did. And that turned out much better. Then one day when I was distracted with nerf gun projectiles and the endless struggle to find the matching Barbie shoe, I accidently set the oven hotter than usual. Halfway through cooking I realized my mistake and to alleviate the possibility of dried out squash noodles again, I turned it face down and lowered the heat. And....it turned out to be perfectly roasted, flavorful al dente squash noodles! And the moral of the story is...sometimes an accidentally mess up isn't a mess up at all, but the path to the perfection who've been seeking. (Pretty deep, I know.) Here's how to cook the perfect spaghetti squash...

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Marinated "Rockstar" Drumsticks (gluten free)

Marinated "Rockstar" Drumsticks (gluten free)

  Is chicken part of your weekly diet? Ours too.  I like to change it up and have chicken one night, pork, fish, or beef another (organic, free of hormones and antibiotics if you can)- except 1-3 days a week when I prepare a meatless meal. This saves money (because meat can be $$$), plus it's healthy to give it a rest and just eat veggies, beans, rice, or other gluten free grains once in a while.

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Tex-Mex Gluten Free Turkey Burgers

Tex-Mex Gluten Free Turkey Burgers

 Have you ever had a turkey burger? It's not just about the burger, it's about the toppings -- tomato, avocado, mango, sauteed onions and bell peppers! I kept mine dairy free, but you could certainly melt a slice of pepper jack cheese on top. 

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Bacon Wrapped Shrimp In Sweet and Tangy Sauce

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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Rosemary Citrus Salmon & Kale

Rosemary Citrus Salmon & Kale

So this turned out to be the yummiest dish!  I had to pat myself on the back :) This meal is so packed with vitamins, antioxidants, omega 3's and flavorful goodness it's crazy!  The trick to this incredibly moist, flavorful salmon is to pan sear it in some coconut oil and then loosely wrap it in tin foil with the edges pinched tightly closed.  Place it right on the burner to steam in all the flavors of the sweet citrus Oro Blanco grapefruit and earthy rosemary.  Set it on top of some garlic and citrus infused kale and oh my heavens!  Have I talked it up enough?

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Caprese Portabella Bruschetta

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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"Good Morning!" Green Smoothie

"Good Morning!" Green Smoothie
 

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Now that summer is coming to a close and school is gearing up to start it's the perfect time to power you're little learners and yourself with a power smoothie.  My dad is a religious green smoothie maker and since we recently moved closer, he's got me and my kids hooked on green smoothies too.  Yes, my kids LOVE this and look forward to their green smoothie every morning.  Even my 2 year old asks for her "dreen smoovie".   My dad likes to add carrots, broccoli and dried cranberries to his. Make yours with as many veggies and fruit as you like, but this is how I put mine together for a nice smooth smoothie...

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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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