Sunwarrior Plant-Powered Protein Bars

Protein bars are a great way to have a snack, satisfy your sweet tooth, and fill your quota of protein. Have you ever noticed how, often, the commercial protein bars readily available are merely glorified candy bars with all that sugar they have to add to make them taste decent? Don't get me wrong, I have totally bought and devoured said protein bars during a long hike or when I'm in a hurry and need something to fill me up. But, I'd much rather make my own with quality ingredients.

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4342 Hits
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Healthy Grape Lime Rickey

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Surf N' Turf Veggie Fajitas

Meal prep dinner #2 coming at you. This bad boy goes from the bag into a hot skillet and is done so quick. It took me a few extra minutes since I made some Homemade Quinoa Tortillas to go along with it, but you could just as easily make some cauliflower rice or quinoa to go along with it...or just enjoy as is. I don't know who said healthy eating doesn't taste good, because it totally can. This meal is great for anyone following the Paleo or Keto diet, and even simply leaving out the meat and shrimp makes it vegan. So, it's versatile and yummy too. 

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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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1618 Hits
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Vegan White Bean Chili

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Vegetable Fajitas over Quinoa

​Look back with gratitude; look forward with faith.  It's New Years resolution time. I have so many goals, hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Often, we interpret healthy eating only with losing...
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1129 Hits
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Frozen Yogurt Slushy

 

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Peach Freezer Jam {No refined sugar & No pectin)


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{Homemade} Gluten free Banana Nut Bread

 


You know whenever you see the bananas on your counter start to go brown and get a little mushy that it's time to make banana bread! I may be biased, but my mom makes the best banana nut bread.  I was hesitant to mess with the perfection of her recipe. Obviously it needs to be gluten free so I'm going to have to make some changes anyway, but aside from that I've made a commitment to myself to significantly cut out refined sugars and over-processed foods from my family's diet. I was pleasantly surprised that by switching out a couple ingredients with healthier alternatives, the bread still tasted as good as mom's!

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{Homemade} Zucchini Muffins

This was a staple food item in our home growing up.  My mom, an avid gardener, always had more fresh zucchini than she needed and that meant lots of zucchini muffins.  So for me, late summer means zucchini muffins.  Since I'm prone to nostalgia, I don't venture too far from mom's classic zucchini muffin recipe, except that it's gluten free and no refined sugar.

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{Homemade} Pumpkin Surprise Muffins

Today my kids were asking for something "yummy" to snack on after school.  Sound familiar?  The after school snack rush is always eventful with my 7 year old frantically scavenging through the pantry and fridge.  He's convinced that if he doesn't eat in the next five seconds he will literally "starve to death".  So while they helped themselves to some "ants on a log" (only the best healthy kid snack ever: celery stick topped with peanut butter and raisins or "ants") I whipped up these pumpkin surprise muffins for when the peanut butter ran out.

Wondering what the surprise is?  Don't tell the kids, but these muffins have no refined sugar like most muffins, ground flax, and....(pause for effect)....pureed black beans in place of oil.  Yep, amazingly you don't taste the beans, but you get all the fiber, protein and vitamins anyway. These muffins are moist and filling.  Perfect for those starving growing 7 year-old's snack attack.  Just tell you're kids that the dark chocolate chips and crunchy walnuts are the surprise, they'll never know :)

P.S.  Don't you just love the tin foil instead of muffin liners.  Guess I better put that on my grocery list for next time :)

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Oatmeal Pancakes with Maple Peach Puree

Nothing says breakfast like steaming hot pancakes and making them healthy pancakes does nothing but make them taste even better.  Then top them with Maple Peach puree and you've got light, fluffy, sweet goodness to start your day off with. Makes 6-8 pancakes.

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Garlic Herb Tapioca Rolls

 
 
Everyone has been so helpful and concerned about our little family since the whole "Celiac crisis" took place and I am so grateful for good people who really care.  Like my amazing neighbor - who just so happens to be an accomplished chef, who caters at places like the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.  She came over one afternoon with a miniature tea set for my girls to play with, her youngest son for my son to play with, and ready to teach me how to make these super yummy and addictive tapioca rolls.  These gluten free, dairy free little guys go fast in this house, especially when I season them up to taste like the cheddar bay biscuits at Red Lobster!  The tapioca flour gives the inside a gooey cheesy effect that is so good!
 

Garlic Herb Tapioca Rolls

1 -1/4 cup milk (almond or rice milk)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
 
3 cups tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch)
1/2 cup amaranth flour or coconut flour
2 eggs, tempered
1 clove garlic, grated or finely minced
Fresh herbs, about 3-4 leafs or sprigs of each or any other combination you'd like, chopped:
thyme, parsley & basil
 
Heat milk, oil, and salt in a small sauce pan.  Bring to a boil and immediately pour over tapioca and amaranth flour. Temper eggs in a little of the boiled milk combo before adding to the bowl.  You don't want scrambled eggs in your rolls.  The dough should form into a sticky ball and don't worry if it takes the eggs a minutes to be incorporated, just keep stirring switching to a fork if that helps.  Stir in the garlic and chopped herbs.
 
 
Put the dough into the fridge to cool. It will thicken more as it cools.  Preheat oven to 400.  After it's cooled drop by the heaping tbsp. onto a lightly greased baking sheet or into a mini muffin tin.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the top is slightly golden brown and has formed a crust.  The inside will still be a little gooey, but that's okay.  They're best eaten right out of the oven.  If you won't eat them all in one sitting, then freeze the rest.
 
Enjoy!
 
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{Homemade} Gluten Free Sandwich Bread


As far as the Paleo diet goes (which we have loosely followed for some time now) even the word "bread" is a big no no. However, when it comes to my gluten free 3 year old, bread is a must! She has done an amazing job of adapting to a gluten free lifestyle and is very good about asking me before she eats something to be sure it's gluten free and not eating food when she's over at friends houses. However, she's still a 3 year old! And when her cousins pull out their PB&Js for lunch and she looks at me with those big brown eyes I will experiment and test until I get the best tasting gluten free bread I can come up with so she can have her PB&J and eat it too!

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{Homemade} Gluten Free Waffles


Here's another gluten free bread recipe that is yummy and will hit the spot at breakfast. Keeping this recipe healthy with egg whites and applesauce also helps give these waffles a light crisp outside and soft inside. Make a batch or two and freeze, then go straight from the freezer to the toaster and have gluten free waffles even on the busiest mornings.

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Make Your Own Gluten Free Flour Blends

Buying gluten free flour blends is not cheap! For anyone who has been restricted from eating gluten, this is something you probably already know all too well. Do you forgo eating baked goods or go over your grocery budget so you can? I had the same struggle after my daughter was diagnosed with Celiac disease. Read Our Story to understand why our whole family eats gluten free. After a lot of experimentation with different kinds of gluten free flours, research, and taste testing - lots of taste testing ;)  Here's some of my favorite blends and links for where to buy them for the best price. Because let's face it, eating gluten free isn't cheap! Don't worry, I promise you can have your bread, muffins, and cake...and eat it too, all while saving some money and staying on budget! 
I buy all my flours in bulk online. As soon as they're delivered I make my blends right in a gallon-sized bag. Shake it up to blend it, label, and stick it in the freezer. (As you can see I've been using my bean blend and need to make another blend batch). P.S. If you have Amazon prime you'll get free shipping for orders over a certain amount.

Once you have your blends prepared you can simply swap out cup for cup either the bean blend or GF flour blend with a recipe that calls for regular flour. You just may need to add an extra egg or 2 and reduce the liquid by 2 tablespoons. It's always a good idea to try the converted recipe once before you make it for a crowd.

The quinoa flour is in a bag too, because if you follow my link at the bottom for how to bake with quinoa flour you'll see that I baked it in a 215 degree oven for 2 hours before cooling and storing in the freezer. Baking quinoa flour before using it gets rid of the bitter taste, but makes it more susceptible to rancidity, so into the freezer it goes. In general, it's a good idea to keep all these flours in the fridge or freezer to allow them to keep longer. 

Light Gluten Free Flour Blend
*  This is the blend I use to make bread and waffles, but really it's a good all-purpose blend. 
2 cups Gluten Free Brown Rice Flour


1-2/3 cup Potato Starch


1-1/3 cup Tapioca Flour


1 cup toasted Quinoa Flour (Read here for how to toast it)

1 cup Gluten Free Corn Starch


3 tsp. Gum Xanthan

Combine all the ingredients for the flour blend in a gallon-sized ziploc bag. Seal it and shake until it's well mixed. You'll end up with 6 cups of this blend so you could make two batches of bread or put the remaining blend in the freezer for next time.

Bean Flour Blend
* This blend is perfect for sweet breads and muffins. 
2-1/2 cups Sprouted Garbanzo Bean Flour


2-1/2 cups potato starch

1-1/2 cups tapioca starch

2 cups brown rice flour

2-1/2 tsp. xanthan gum

 
Other Gluten Free Flours 
*These flours you don't need to blend ahead of time, but are great to use in cakes, cookies, or tortillas. It's important to eat a variety of grains and proteins, especially if you need to be gluten free (gluten is a protein). By eating lots of different "flours" it will provide you with all the necessary vitamins and proteins your body needs without overdoing it with one or two kinds exclusively. These flours are great for making things like these breakfast fruit tarts or pumpkin pecan pie.
Almond Flour/ meal


Coconut Flour


quinoa flour  (Here's some great tips for how to bake with quinoa flour)
*I put links to all the flours that I purchase and use. It took some time going through the different brands, but these are the ones that I've found work good and taste great!


Happy and healthy baking!!!

-Melissa

 
 

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Gluten Free Flaxseed Bread

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Gluten Free Amaranth Bread


 
Busy days with sports, science fair projects, springtime to-dos, and everyday must-dos call for chowder in a crockpot. Tonight I made my savory (and according to my friend Nicole, even better the next day) Chickpea Chowder. The problem, was that I had nothing to dunk and soak up all that yumminess. I used to make THE best focaccia bread from scratch that was perfect with a dish like this. So I had to come up with something dunk-worthy that was equally as savory on it's own.

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Gluten Free Applesauce Muffins

 
I got a message from one of my very best friends that she would be in town in the morning. It's been almost 2 years since the last time I'd seen her and I was excited to catch up and let's face it, anytime I can have an adult conversation it's like Christmas. So last night before bed I made these sweet gluten free applesauce muffins with buckwheat, brown rice, and oatmeal flour. Hardy enough to fill my kiddos up before school and less mess for me to clean up on an already busy morning. They turned out so yummy and were all eaten in less than 10 minutes! 

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Gluten Free Muffin Tin Rolls

I am forever in pursuit of easy, tasty, and healthy gluten free baked goods. My obsession is partly because I love bread, but mostly it's because of my daughter with an autoimmune disease. Following a gluten free diet may suddenly make enjoying baked goods seem like a long lost dream, or at the very least, way too complicated to bother with. Instead of using a cup of one kind of flour, now it takes a handful of different "flours" ranging from rice, to tapioca, to beans!

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Melissa Moore 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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