Gluten-Free Chocolate Macadamia Tortilla Torte

I’ll admit it, I’m a sweets gal, through and through. And sometimes at night there comes a time when you need a treat and your usual square of dark chocolate just isn’t going to cut it. A time when you want to sit on the couch, watch your favorite mindless entertainment and have something that is going to require more than 1 or 2 bites. But maybe you also don’t feel like making a batch of cookies or cupcakes. Enter this dessert- it can be customized using whatever you have on hand and is so delicious that your friends or family will want one too! That’s why this recipe serves 3, but can easily be customized to a single serving. Once heated in coconut oil, the tortillas have a fluffy and chewy texture and the combination of melted chocolate and nut butter is delicious! If you don’t have any chocolate on hand (sad!) you could use jam instead and call it breakfast… or you could make the recipe as written and call it breakfast too, no judgement here!

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Macadamia Tortilla Torte

Serves 3

Tortilla Torte Close-Up GGGF

Ingredients

  • 3 Large Gluten-Free Tortillas*
  • 3/4 T. Coconut Oil
  • 3 T. Cashew & Macadamia Nut Butter (Or any nut butter to your liking)
  • 2 T. Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
  • 1/4 C. + 2 T. Enjoy Life Chocolate chips

*Note: I recommend using Udi’s gluten-free tortillas versus a brown rice tortilla which tend to be drier and won’t become fluffy. If you aren’t gluten-free, you could easily use a flour tortilla!

Directions

  1. Cut 3-inch rounds from tortilla using cookie cutter, or glass, setting scraps aside.
  2. In a skillet, heat coconut oil on medium-high heat and pan fry tortilla rounds until golden brown on each side.
  3. Continue process until all tortilla rounds have been heated and place on paper towels to dry.
  4. In microwave, heat chocolate chips in bowl for 1 minute in 20 second increments or until melted.
  5. On first layer, spread macadamia nut butter on round
  6. Next, spread melted chocolate on tortilla round and sprinkle with shredded coconut.
  7. Stack rounds, alternating chocolate and nut butter tortillas until full stack of 5.
  8. Drizzle remaining chocolate and nut butter over stacks and top with coconut.

Paleo Mexican Chicken Zucchini Boats

One thing about living with food allergies is that sometimes they can seem to cut off access to various types of cuisines. For example, since finding out I had a severe corn allergy over a year ago, Mexican food has pretty much been off the table. Living in CA, I’ve always had excellent Mexican food options and especially when I lived in LA. One of my favorite food memories is senior year of college when my best friend Krae and I would meet at our favorite place, La Sirena Grill in El Segundo for endless chips and salsa, margaritas, the perfect burrito and girl talk. (If you find yourself in LA, I seriously recommend that place… it’s pretty much amazing and I would love to live vicariously through all of you!) But between the celiac and the corn allergy, Mexican food has kind of felt off-limits. One day, I decided to change that. After all, who says you need corn or a tortilla to have a fabulous Mexican meal? These zucchini boats are full of Mexican flavor and are gluten-free, corn-free, dairy-free, paleo and totally delicious!

Mexican Zucchini Boats GGGF

Ingredients

  • 5 Small-Medium Zucchini
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 1/4 C. Chopped Green Onion
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1/4 C. Cilantro, Chopped
  • 1/4 C. Salsa
  • 1 Package Frontera GF Key-Lime Cilantro Skillet Sauce*
  • 2 Chicken Breast Cutlets (About 1 Lb)
  • 1/2 t. Oregano
  • 1 t. Cumin
  • Olive Oil Spray

* 1 cup of any salsa will work, this skillet sauce is my favorite one though!

Directions

  1. Spray bottom of crockpot with any nonstick spray (helps immensely in the clean-up process) and put 1/4 of salsa on bottom of crockpot. Layer chicken cutlets in, adding salsa between them and on top. Don’t worry too much about the layering process here as all will combine when you shred. Place on High and cook for 3 hours.
  2. When chicken is cooked, shred with forks and set aside.
  3. Cut ends off zucchini and cut in half lengthwise. Hollow out inside of zucchini. People commonly use a melon ball scoop for this, but I used an apple corer and it worked like a dream, was fast and easy and ensured smooth boats! Set aside insides of zucchini that have been scooped out.
  4. Heat 4 Cups of Water in a bowl and drop zucchini boats in for 1 minute. You could do this with a pot of boiling water on the stove, but I just poured hot water into a bowl and it was so easy. Remove boats and set aside.
  5. Chop zucchini, onion and green pepper into fairy small pieces and set aside.
  6. Chop fresh cilantro until you have about 1/4 cup.
  7. Heat a large saucepan on the stove and 1 T. of olive oil. Add chipped onion and stir for about 3 minutes until they start to become translucent. Add garlic and cook for a minute more.
  8. Next, add green pepper, chopped zucchini and cilantro along with cumin and oregano. (If you want to up the spice factor, you could also add chili powder but my salsa had enough heat.) Cook for about 5 minutes and add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Add shredded chicken to mixture and stir to combine, cook on low to let flavors combine for a few minutes.
  10. Now it’s time to stuff the zucchini boats! First, spread 1/4 of salsa on the bottom of 9×12 pan.
  11. Use a spoon to fill the boats with the mixture until they are smooth and flat. Then, overstuff them by using rounded spoonfuls to pack on mixture. Carefully set in pan.
  12. Cover pan with foil and bake in a 400 degree oven for 35-40 minutes and garnish with chopped green onions.

Question:

What’s your favorite Mexican dish?

The BEST Paleo Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

Let’s face it. Is there anyone in the world who doesn’t like a good chocolate chip cookie? It’s a classic for a reason and the scent alone makes them instantly crave-able. There are a lot of amazing chocolate chip cookies out there, including in the gluten-free world. Unfortunately, a lot of them have sugar and shortening or vegan butter and those are ingredients I’d prefer not to put in my body. Enter- the paleo cookie. I can’t actually take credit for this recipe, as I got it from my amazing sister-in-law Julia, who started making this when she and my brother went paleo. Enter the night before Easter this year, when my brother had a craving for some delicious chocolate chip cookies and he and I whipped these up (ok, so he was mostly my sous chef, but an excellent one). ;) I’ve since made these cookies for various occasions and everyone loves them! I’m talking my Grandma (who’s weary of gluten-free things) as well as friends who had never even heard of paleo. They are a true winner and you’ll feel like one too when you make a batch of these!

Paleo Cookies & Milk GGGF

Paleo Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 C. Almond Meal
  • 1 C. Enjoy Life Mini Chips*
  • 1 C. Chopped Pecans
  • 1/4 t. Salt
  • 1/2 t. Baking Soda
  • 1/3 C. Honey
  • 2 T. Melted Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 t. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Egg

*Any chocolate chips will work, but I love these dairy-free/soy-free mini chips. Also, although tempting, don’t add the whole bag, as it will become difficult to get them to stick together.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix the dry ingredients (almond meal, salt, baking soda) together.

3. Add the chocolate chips and chopped pecans to the dry mixture and stir evenly.

4. In a separate bowl, heat oil and honey together to liquify in microwave for 30 seconds.

5. Whisk the wet ingredients together (honey, oil, vanilla extract and egg).

6. Make a crater in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the whisked wet ingredients.

7. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until thoroughly mixed.

Paleo Cookies Close-up

Gluten-Free Chicken Pho

One of the hard things about having celiac is that many restaurants that I used to enjoy are now off-limits. It’s not only that I can no longer eat certain foods, but there is such a high risk of cross-contamination which makes dining out scary sometimes. This means that those really good, hole in the wall-type restaurants are off limits now. One of my favorites were small Vietnamese restaurants to get a steaming hot bowl of pho. After missing that deliciousness for far too long, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own- and it couldn’t have turned out better!

This recipe is so easy and can be on the table in less than 30 minutes. I used some great store-bought products for the base but did add my own twist with a homemade hoison sauce. I’ll admit that this wasn’t the original plan. I tried to get hoison sauce at Sprouts and was surprised to find out that regular hoison sauce contains gluten in the form of soy sauce and fermented wheat protein. Another sneaky gluten source! But I wasn’t going to let that deter my craving for pho, so I created my own and I think it’s just as good!


Gluten-Free Hoison Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 8 T. Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (Coconut Aminos will also work if you can’t tolerate soy)
  • 4 T. Natural, Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • 2 T. Honey
  • 4 t. Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Clove Minced Garlic
  • 2  t. Siracha

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a small bowl, whisking to combine.

Chicken Pho-GGGF

Chicken Pho

Ingredients:

*Pacific Foods makes Chicken and Beef Pho bases as well, but I also prefer using Vegetable broths in my soups, even when I add chicken.

**I love these noodles because the ingredient list is so clean- Only rice flour and water!

Directions:

1. Cook 2 chicken breasts by any method you like ahead of time, I used the crock pot and it was so easy! When chicken breasts are hot, use two forks to shred.

2. Bring 4-5 quarts of water to a boil and add noodles, cooking for about 3 minutes at a boil.

3. Drain and rinse noodles and set aside.

4. Pout Pho base in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then add your noodles and chicken, let cook for about 5 minutes until flavors have combined.

5. Ladle into bowls and serve with bean sprouts, cilantro, mint, basil, siracha, lime and hoison sauce!


The Vietnamese restaurants I have visited don’t traditionally chop the herbs and only de-stem them. When adding them to your soup, you can tear pieces or enjoy them whole. The great part of this recipe is that everyone can customize it for their own taste by which ingredients they wish to add. It’s the perfect dish for a fun dinner but has only minimal prep so you can enjoy the evening with your family or guests!

Golden Globes Fashion and Pumpkin Chili

Hi lovelies! I hope that you all had a lovely weekend and had a fun time with your friends and family. I’ve been promising you recipes on GGG for a while now and today I’m finally delivering! I first made this pumpkin chili last week with my friends for an impromptu dinner party and it was a hit. Well last night I decided to make a batch again to enjoy while watching the Golden Globes and made a few changes that made it even better. But before we talk chili, I’ve got to talk fashion for a bit. Did any of you watch the Golden Globes last night? I always enjoy awards shows but I’ll admit, mostly for the fashion. “Who are you wearing” is the question I really care about during the evening and last night there were some definite hits and misses.

The Hits:

golden globes

These women didn’t take any huge fashion risks with their dresses but I think they all looked absolutely gorgeous. They defined classic elegance with simple silhouettes and classic colors. My favorite of these four looks though was definitely Kate Hudson. Not only does the woman seem to be aging backward, but her look was spot on for me in this fantastic Alexander McQueen dress. I also have to give a shoutout to Jennifer Lawrence as well who looked stunning in her coral dress- definitely my favorite red carpet look that she’s worn this season.

The Misses:

goldenglobesbad

Oh dear, where to begin. First of all, I think Jessica Chastain seems like a wonderful person and is a fantastic actress. But if I were her, I’d fire my stylist immediately. Her dress did nothing for her and I really wished someone would have fit that halter properly. But my real issue with the look was her hair- her hair stylist managed to age her and make her look as though she was balding. Poor Jess. I hesitated putting Lena Dunham on here because she really isn’t known for being a fashion plate, so I don’t generally expect to much from her. But- this dress was just bad. Next up, this dress was all wrong for the petite Julianne Hough and with such a pretty bodice, I wish this would have flowed into a more form fitting gown. Instead, it looks a little like a wedding dress gone bad. But hey, maybe this was her way of  signaling to Ryan Seacrest to put a ring on it. Lastly, Debra Messing. She has a great figure as well but this dress didn’t do her any favors with the parachute fabric on the bottom. I could have overlooked the dress though if it weren’t for the styling. The huge bangles on both wrists plus large earrings and a large dress, there was just way too much going on.

Now enough with the fashion, let’s talk food!

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Pumpkin Chili

Adapted from this Washington Post recipe

(Gluten-Free/Vegan/Corn-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can Black Beans
  • 1 Can Northern White Beans
  • 1 Can Kidney Beans
  • 1/2 C. Quinoa
  • 1 Orange Bell Pepper
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Medium Size White Onion
  • 1 Large Red Onion
  • 1 Can Pumpkin Puree
  • 28 oz. Canned Diced Tomatoes
  • 1.5 T. Tomato Paste
  • 4 C. Vegetable Broth (Check box to ensure it is gluten-free)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 T. Cumin
  • 1 T. Chili Powder
  • 1 t. Paprika
  • 1.5 t. Pepper
  • Dash of Cinnamon
  • Dash of All Spice
  • Dash of Salt
  • Dash of Red Pepper Flakes

Directions

  1. Chop onions, bell peppers and mince garlic.
  2. Using large pot, heat 1 T. olive oil and add the onions and bell peppers. Stir and let cook for about 5 minutes until the onions start to become translucent.
  3. In a separate pot, combine quinoa with 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Leave for 15 minutes until all water has been absorbed.
  4. In your large pot, add pumpkin, beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil.
  5. Add all spices to the large pot and reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. When quinoa is finished, combine to pot and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally.
  7. Garnish with avocado or cilantro and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I do and am already looking forward to having it for lunch!

Questions:

-Who was your best and worst dressed at the Golden Globes?

-Do you have a favorite chili recipe?

Scenes from the Weekend

Hi lovelies! I hope that you all had an absolutely wonderful weekend! It was pouring rain in the city this weekend but it seemed like things worked out perfectly and it always cleared up during times when I was out and about! Love when that happens! I had a full weekend that was the perfect combo of relaxing and fun.

-Daddy Jeff’s Birthday

It was Daddy Jeff’s birthday this weekend so we went out to celebrate on Friday night! It was so great to have an opportunity to celebrate Daddy Jeff because he really is the most incredible, most compassionate, sweetest dad! I am so, so lucky to have him in my life!

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-Gluten-Free/Vegan Pumpkin-Almond Butter Muffins!

Late Friday night I did a little baking so I could bring something special to brunch the next day. In addition to the gluten and dairy, my doctor’s have a few other things I can’t have so I knew it was best to make something out of the ingredients I could! I made a version of Chelsey’s “Pumpkin Surprise Muffins” but substituted almond butter for peanut butter and stevia for the sugar. I also added a little almond milk. Mine didn’t turn out quite as pretty as hers, but they sure tasted delicious!

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-Book Club Brunch

For the Girl’s Book club that I’m in, we usually have our meetings on Friday nights. This time our lovely host Biz decided to do things a little different and we did Brunch instead! It was so fun gathering together and getting to chat with all my friends over a delicious brunch. Oh and we talked about the book too! We read Gone Girl this month and it was so good! I’ll be sure to post a review soon!

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-The Most Exciting Surprise!

A huge highlight of my weekend was when my parents brought home a Vitamix! I cannot even tell you excited I was but will share that I may have been dancing around the kitchen squealing “we got a Vitamix!” I have wanted one so badly for the past two years and cannot wait to start using it. Smoothies, soups, pesto, nut butter, dairy free ice cream? I mean really the possibilities are endless!

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-Starting the Christmas Season off right

Yesterday I went to see the San Francisco Choral Artists perform their Christmas concert and it was just beautiful. They all had such powerful voices and the notes they could hit was awe-inspiring! One of my favorite songs was actually done without words and just with sounds which seems a little odd but was really cool! It was a great night!

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Questions:

-What did you do this weekend?

-Any recipes I must make using my new Vitamix??

Let’s Get Caught Up

Hi lovelies! Long time, no see! I’m so sorry about my extended absence and apologize for the lapse in blogging. At first, I was away because I was fighting a horrible cold/flu and after getting home from work, just wasn’t up to blogging as well and needed lots of chicken noodle soup and sleep. Then, sadly, I ended up in the hospital with abdominal issues. I don’t like to talk about my health struggles too much on the blog because there are some personal things I’d rather just not discuss. But maybe at some point, I’ll take the plunge and write about it. For now though, we’ll leave it that I was in a great deal of pain and despite still having intermittent pain, I’m back at work and doing better which is such a relief.

But that’s enough of that, instead I’d rather tell you about some fun things going on!

1. My Favorite New Recipe: Strawberry and Mozzarella Salad with Mint Pesto Drizzle

Often times I’ll take pictures on my phone of dishes I make or delicious restaurant meals… and then forget to post them. Earlier in the summer I decided to make the above recipe that I pinned as the perfect starter. As much as I love cheese, I don’t care for raw tomatoes so I’m not a big caprese fan. But when I found a way to have the cheese and combine it with two of my favorite things- strawberries and pesto? I was sold. This is absolutely delicious and fairly easy to make (if you are in a hurry you could always use pre-made pesto but you’ll miss out on the mint flavor!) The only substitutions I made were using truvia instead of sugar and using less oil!

2. Most Exciting Part of the Summer: My Brother’s Engagement!

We had special engagement ring cookies made!

My brother has been dating the beautiful, sweet Julia for almost two years now and they got engaged this summer! I couldn’t be happier that this wonderful couple is getting married and am so excited to be part of their big day (but more on that later.) My brother planned a wonderful proposal for Julia and then my mom and I planned a surprise post-proposal party with both our family and Julia’s family all gathered together. It was such a success and so much fun!

3. Can’t Wait For: My Upcoming LA Trip!

All the girls together Junior Year… hard to believe that was 4 years ago!

In a few weeks I’ll be headed back down to LA for my alumni weekend! I’ve been out of college for 2 years now and cannot wait to spend the weekend with all my best college girlfriends! It also happens to be the day after my birthday, so it will be so fun to celebrate and go to a fabulous dinner! Now I just have to start figuring out the perfect outfits ;)

Questions:

-Catch me up on what’s been going on with you!

-When’s the last time you saw your college friends?

-Have you ever been to an alumni event?