Chicken & Shrimp Lime Soup

Big black storm clouds rumbled in last night bringing a heavy down pour of rain. The 100+ degree temperature of this last month of summer seemed to leave the ground sizzling as the big rain drops splashed down - like cool water in a hot skillet. The effect released all the aromas of sage and earth. It was delicious! (Although the littler kids didn't appreciate the "growly" thunder.)

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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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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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Clean Eating Taco Soup

 From the get-go I knew it was going to be a busy day, so I pulled out my trusty Crockpot and started throwing in ingredients for taco soup. I got a recipe for taco soup from one of those neighborhood recipe exchanges years ago. I can't find it anymore, but I remember it was really simple - cooked ground beef, canned vegetables and beans with a taco seasoning packet in a slow cooker and you've got yourself some taco soup. I thought about that recipes as I rummaged through the fridge and pantry.The taco soup I was making wouldn't involve quite so many cans, it may have taken a few extra minutes to slice vegetables and blend spices, but it would be gluten free, clean eating, healthy, and tasty."Clean eating" is a kind of a funny term for food if you think about it. I mean, I assume any edible product is made in a clean facility with proper sanitary regulations practiced. That's not what clean eating means though.What is Clean Eating?It means the food is as unprocessed as possible and free of artificial ingredients or production methods that drastically alter the original form (man-made, chemically altered,  or genetically engineered/modified). In other words grown organically. This doesn't just mean that you stick with whole foods, but also that the source of your whole foods has been grown without the use of pesticides or herbicides, animals are grass-fed, free-range, and not given growth hormones or antibiotics. Our clean eating list also includes gluten free too.In other words that packet of taco seasoning with it's preservatives and, yes, gluten fillers isn't clean eating.Does that seem like a lot to remember to you too?It did to me at first too. So I just started paying attention more to labels (something that I already did anyway when shopping for gluten free food). Here's my Clean Eating & Gluten Free Costco Shopping List to help narrow down some of the confusion at everyone's favorite warehouse store.I made my taco soup for our meatless Monday meal, but you can add some ground beef to yours if you like.

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Chilled Tomato Basil & Roasted Squash Soup (Gluten Free)

Soup seems like a silly thing to make in the heat of the summer...but not this soup. This soup utilizes fresh vegetables from your summer garden. And the best part is, it can be served chilled. I know what you may be thinking, "Umm, I don't do cold soup." Well, I used to think the same thing. Then, as I was enjoying some catered appetizers at a wedding reception recently I picked up a little bowl of cool tomato basil soup. And what do you know? I really liked it!So I set out to recreate my version of this cool summer soup that can also be served warm on a crisp fall night. The problem was I had eaten all but 4 of the fresh tomatoes I'd gotten from grandma's garden. As I paced around my kitchen, taking inventory of what I had to work with, I passed by for the upteenth time this week a huge banana squash that had been given to me. Hmmmm....this could work. I had been wondering how to get my kids to eat up this squash. Hiding it in a tasty soup could be just the trick. Turns out it, that was a good choice!* If you don't have a banana squash you could also use any other year round squash like butternut or cushaw. Or if you're making this in the fall try pumpkin or acorn squash. No matter what squash you use, follow the same roasting directions.I paired it up with some Seared Balsamic Chicken for a filling and healthy dinner. Yummy!

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Thai Coconut Carrot and Corn Soup (Gluten Free)

 

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Gluten Free Creamy Hummus Soup

 So you know when you have all these good intentions for making something homemade and yummy and it just doesn't turn out? Yeah, that happens to me all the time. I've had to learn to improvise so I don't waste food that didn't "turn out". That's what happened today with the hummus I was trying to make. Maybe it was because I was distracted by a fussy baby or the kids that were arguing over the rules of the board game they were trying to play. Whatever the reason the hummus was too garlicky and not the right consistency.

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{Homemade} White Bean Chili

"Is it spring yet?"  My kids and I are going a little stir crazy with all this wintry weather that just won't end! So to stay warm, full and healthy, why not heat things up with a little chili. Using whatever yummy leftover chicken you have hanging out in your fridge means you save money on your grocery bill and add even more yummy flavor. It's so fast and  easy to throw together, this chili may turn into one of your go-to dishes when you don't have much time, but a big appetite.

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Butternut Sage Soup with Toasted Pine Nuts

Happy Halloween everyone!  This holiday is so much fun with kids- the decorations, fall leaves and dressing up! It's the aftermath of Halloween that gets hairy though -the sugar crashed, sleep deprived kids the next day is what's really scary! So to help counteract the inevitable I always make a yummy and veggie filled soup to fill up on before the trick or treating begins.  We have a tradition of making our soup extra scary by turning it into "eyeball" soup! Just set a hard-boiled egg in the middle and an olive half on top! Healthy and simple.This soup is perfect for any busy day since you do all your prep in the morning and then let it simmer in your slow cooker all day. You and your little monsters will love it!

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Chickpea Chowder

 

So I have this philosophy on eating.  Call it eating healthy, moderation, saving money, call it what you like, but I like to have two to three days a week where I don't serve any meat.  Nothing against carnivores, but too much of anything can just be...well too much.  Before the invention of the refrigerator and preservatives people mostly ate a seasonal, vegetarian-based diet supplemented with meat.  And as a bonus, this chickpea chowder, unlike most chowders, has no dairy.  This one's for all the herbivorous, omnivores, and carnivores on a break :) 

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Root Vegetable Beef Stew

You've gotta love quick and simple Crockpot meals that are as healthy as they are delicious. This dinner is especially good on a day when you've got one million and three things to do and you were already exhausted before you even got up this morning.  Maybe knowing that you've got a healthy dinner waiting at home for you and your family will help you get through the day and check one thing off your to do list... one million and two :)

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Sprouted Indian Bean Soup

  

Once a week I try to do a meat free meal, and with kids it can be difficult to come up with something they'll eat.  So I was pleasantly surprised when I made this protein, fiber and vitamin packed simple bean soup...and they liked it! They scarfed it down and weren't asking for snacks before bed because it filled them up and kept them full.  Yay!

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{Homemade} Chick 'n Noodle

Chicken noodle soup is kind of the universal cure all.  It's the soup your mom gave you when you were sick and no matter what's wrong it just makes you feel better.  In my gluten free interpretation of this classic I've added some pureed cannellini beans as a thickener and to add that extra boost of flavor and make it a little more hardy.2 cans chicken broth4 cups water2 chicken breasts2 bay leafs1 carrots, sliced1 sweet potato, chopped1 small onion, chopped1 celery rib, sliced3 sprigs fresh parsley, choppedsea salt and pepper to taste1 can cannellini beans, drained and pureed2 cups gluten free egg noodles or prepared quinoa stirred in just before servingIn a large pot pour in broth, water and add chicken breasts, bay leafs and parsley.  Bring to a boil and cook for 5-10 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken breasts) until chicken is cooked through. While chicken cooks, cut up vegetables.  Remove chicken and set aside.  Keep the heat on while you add sweet potato,carrot, onion and celery.  Boil for another 5 minutes until veggies are a crisp tender.  Add egg noodles and salt and pepper.  Cook for another 6-7 minutes then turn down the heat and let it simmer.  While that works drain and puree beans in a food processor.  Stir beans into soup once noodles and veggies are done.  Serve hot with crackers.*  As it turns out mom was right about chicken soup being the best thing for when you're feeling under the weather.  "Pulmonary specialist and professor at the UCLA school of medicine, Dr. Irwin Ziment notes that chicken noodle soup contains drug-like agents similar to modern cold medicines.  Basically the amino acids released during the process of cooking the chicken resembles that of a drug called acetycysteine which is prescribed for those with bronchial problems."

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{Homemade} Southwestern Chili

 

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Butternut Pumpkin Soup

I would eat soup all year long, but soup + fall = heaven!  Especially this Butternut Pumpkin Soup.  For the full effect put on a sweat shirt and take a bowl full out to the porch on a crisp October day when the leafs are exploding with color. 

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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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