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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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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Walnut-Mint Pesto Shrimp Pasta

This is a perfect summer (or fall, winter, spring...whenever!) dish as it's light yet still hardy enough to fill you up.  I've never tried seafood that I haven't liked yet and shrimp is on my top 5 favs!  When this shrimp is poached in broth, paired up with gluten free linguine and tossed with this minty pesto it is so good!

1 box  (1 lb.) gluten free linguine pasta (like this Paleo pasta)

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Tilapia Tacos



Here's a little something to mix it up for Tuesday taco night.  These fish tacos are spicy, moist and super healthy for you.  And the best part about taco night is you get to mix and match the toppings to make it your own.

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Poached Salmon Indian Curry with Quinoa


 
Eating out with kids is always an adventure. And by adventure I mean the poor restaurant staff probably breathe a sigh of relief when we leave. It's not always that dramatic, but anyone with young kids know what I'm talking about. It can get a little hairy.

So, even though I love to give my kids the the experience of eating out every once in a while sometimes it's just as fun to make an ethnic restaurant style meal at home. It's fun to really go all out and have a whole themed dinner. The kids get to experience something new, learn about another culture, and I don't go all mama bear while interrogating the chef about their "gluten free" menu. 

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Clean Eating Teriyaki Salmon

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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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Sun-dried tomato and warm potato salad

 

My garden is starting to produce!  Yay, go me!  Those cute little yellow balls in there are my homegrown pear tomatoes!

2 chicken breasts, butterflied (cut in half horizontally)
4-6 red potatoes, quartered, skins on
1 onion, sliced
2-4 whole garlic cloves, smashed
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed & cut in half
1 pint cherry, grape or pear tomatoes
1 jar, 4 oz. gluten free sun-dried tomatoes (I used this blend that had some herbs in it)
garlic salt and pepper to taste
1 - 5 oz. container fresh baby spinach
graded Parmesan cheese to taste

 Preheat oven to 450. Fill one cookie sheet with potatoes, onions and 1-2 smashed garlic cloves.  Drizzle olive oil from sun-dried tomato jar onto veggies.  Pull out half of the sun-dried tomatoes, dice them up and throw them on there too.  Garlic salt and pepper to taste then toss to coat.  Bake for 15 minutes.
On another tray put asparagus, fresh tomatoes and remainder of smashed garlic cloves.  Do the same thing as before with the sun-dried tomatoes, drizzling veggies with the oil from the jar and adding rest tomatoes, diced,  followed by garlic salt and pepper.  Toss to coat.  Put in the oven with potatoes and bake for another half hour.
While that's cooking defrost chicken and butterfly cut (lay on cutting board and cut into chicken breast horizontally) Season with a salt and pepper then cook either in a skillet with a little olive oil or grill. Slice of chicken into strips.

When veggies are done cooking throw them all into a big bowl.  Add fresh spinach and toss gently until spinach begins to wilt.  Place chicken strips on top then grate the Parmesan over it all.

* "With the skin, one medium red potato (5.3 oz) contains 3g of dietary fiber per serving. That's the same amount of fiber found in many whole grain breads, pastas, and cereals. In addition to being beneficial to the digestive system, offering protection against colon cancer, and lowering cholesterol levels, fiber also gives potatoes their substance, helping you to feel fuller for longer.

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Stuffed Chili Rellenos

I always liked the idea of a chili relleno, but the usual deep fried poblano pepper stuffed with cheese just doesn't do it for me.  So here's my healthy version of a chili relleno, only this time lets stuff it with seasoned brown rice, veggies, and some ground turkey cooked up in a mango pico de gallo...then we'll top it with cheese.  Hold the deep fryer please!

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Dijon Chicken & Rice with Italian Crookneck Squash



Having my brother's family over for dinner is always eventful, especially when I have to consider food allergies and picky eaters.  So I came up with a dinner that took care of everyone.  This Dijon Chicken & Rice doesn't require a whole lot of fuss and won't cause much fuss even from the pickiest eaters.  Then my mom suggested some Italian Crookneck Squash to round things off.  I think it was a success :)

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{Homemade} Salsa


So I'm not as much of a "Holly Homemaker"  as my mom and, therefore this latest {homemade} is a small victory for me since I did it all on my own! Woot woot! Maybe for some of you bottling your own fruits and veggies is no biggie, but for me I was always worried I would mess up and ruin a lot of produce.  After watching my mom in action and reading lots of how-to's I finally got up the nerve to try it myself.  And I am so glad I did.  This salsa turned out AMAZING (If I do say so myself :) and wasn't as scary or as hard as I'd imagined.  So be brave my friends because having the skill to bottle your own food will liberate you and open up lots of money saving possibilities for  food storage.

This doesn't make a huge batch btw.  It yields about 5 pints which to me is way better to do small batches every now and then instead of one blitz salsa making weekend.  If you prefer the blitz then go ahead and double or quadruple the recipe.


Here's what you do:

1 1/2 quarts fresh tomatoes.  Core tomatoes then cut in half or in fourths.  If your tomatoes are really juicy you'll want to scoop out most of the seeds and excess juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and lay on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar. Preheat boiler.  Place sheet of tomatoes under broiler until tomato skins begin to wrinkle and blacken. About 3 minutes. Pull them out and let them cool down enough to touch.  Now peel the tomato and chop it into small pieces.

Dump all the chopped tomatoes and vinegar-tomato liquid into a large cooking pot. Now combine remaining ingredients.

1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 cups green or red bell peppers, chopped
2 garlic cloves, mined
1 - 12 oz. can tomato paste or tomato sauce if you don't want it as thick
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 tbsp. salt
1/2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves, chopped
2-4 tbsp. fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
6 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped

(Here's a quick F.Y.I on the jalapeno peppers.  The number of peppers will determine how hot your salsa is, but that's all dependent on how hot your peppers are to start with.  Usually you'll know their heat when you first cut into them by the burning sensation in your throat. If they're hot just to look at then you may want to use 4 and remove the seeds.  But if they're like the one's I picked from my parents garden, about as hot as a bell pepper, then you'll need to add more, seeds and all. Use your best judgement)

Bring the pot of salsa to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes to blend the flavors.  Ladle salsa into 5 sanitized pint jars.  (To sanitize jars just run them through the dish washer.  Don't open the door until you're ready to use them.)  Leave about a half and inch of space at the top and screw the lid on nice and tight. Place in a large cooking pot of water that is deep enough to have an inch of water over the jars. Put a lid on it and bring to a boil.  Boil for 20 minutes.  Remove from pot and let cool on the counter.  Store for 1 year in a cool dark room.

That's it!  Pretty painless and so worth it when you get a hanker'n for {homemade} salsa!


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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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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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Stuffed Smashed Potatoes

I love eating whole, unprocessed, real food. Eating gluten free and subsequently discovering all the wonderful benefits from eating food that is as close to it’s natural, original state has been an enlightening and …but let’s be honest here…sometimes I mourn for the loss of my ignorance. 
(*Beware: venting in process)

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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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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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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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Italian Roasted Potato Salad


  

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Gluten Free Zucchini Fritters


 
Summer and excessive amounts of zucchini go hand-in-hand! This time of year my kiddos are bound to find things like tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and zucchini hidden somewhere in their meal. The sneakier I am at hiding them, the better they are at eating them. Like in gluten free zucchini bread. So I decided to make some Gluten Free Zucchini Fritters and guess what? They didn't seem to notice that they were eating zucchini cakes!

I had made zucchini fritters years ago before going gluten free and as far and I can tell when making fritters there are two ways to go about it - sweet or savory. I chose savory, which involves flavors like fresh basil and parsley, parmesan cheese and garlic. Traditional fritters usually call for bread crumbs or flour to help hold everything together. So I used the next best, gluten free thing...oat flour.

Oat flour (made from gluten free oatmeal that has been ground into a flour-like consistency) acts just like wheat flour in most recipes. Unlike other gluten free flours you don't have to make an elaborate blend or add gums like guar gum or xanthan gum to make it stay together either. Plus, oats are full of fiber, antioxidants, boosts immune system, and so much more. If you're a nerd like me, you can read all about oats, one of world's healthiest foods here

Now for the fritters! (Makes 12+ zucchini fritters. About 3-4 inches across)

4 cups zucchini shredded, drained and squeezed dry

1 cup oat flour

2 eggs

2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

2 clove garlic

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

4-5 fresh basil leaves

3-4 sprigs fresh parsley, stems removed

2-3 tbsp. coconut oil

Grate the zucchini and place in a strainer in the sink or set in a bowl. Allow the water to drain off the zucchini for about 10 minutes. While it's draining you can pulse the oats in a food processor or blender until it becomes oat flour. Take a clean dish towel and squeeze out all the remaining liquid out of the zucchini. Add the zucchini, eggs, salt, pepper, garlic, parmesan, basil, and parsley to the oat flour in the food processor. Blend everything together until it's nice and evenly chopped and mixed.

Heat a nonstick skillet or griddle (preheated to 325) and drizzle on some of the coconut oil. Once the oil's hot take a spoonful of the fritter paste, shape into a patty (it will be sticky, that's okay), and get it cooking. It should only take about 5-6 minutes per side. Once both sides are a nice golden brown set them on a plate to cool. Serve warm.

Eat them as a side to some grilled chicken for dinner or place a slice of tomato and mozzarella in between two fritters and have a fritter bruschetta sandwich for lunch!
Enjoy!


      
 

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Fresh Fiesta Salad & Salsa Dressing


 
I love summer rain storms. They don't roll around often enough where I'm at, but when they do it's like heaven. In fact, I'm almost certain heaven smells like a summer rain. I take a deep breath and feel re-energized despite the sleepless night of a baby who's teething and an early morning because the kids want to find a good spot to watch the parade. Now that the blazing sun has evaporated any traces of the curling clouds and it's cooling rain and we're all tired from the parade starting 20 minutes late, I'm in need of another pick-me-up. Instead of caffeine or sugar I choose to nourish myself with fresh from the garden veggies. 

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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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