Paleo Quadruple Crunch Salad

Before I started cooking, I was known for my salad making abilities. People in the office used to see me assembling mountain high salads at lunch and always remarked how good they looked. Back then, my secret was in the toppings. I eat salads on a near daily basis and have a few favorites that I rotate, but this one is so good that I just had to share. This salad is also perfect for Fall as it features Granny Smith Apples which are perfectly crisp and deliciously tart these days. I also really recommend making the dressing that goes with it! I used to use bottled dressings but after finding out I had Celiac, I realized I didn’t like the taste of any gluten-free bottled dressings. Plus, once I saw the ingredient lists for those dressings, I decided to leave them behind and start making my own. I have a few favorites that I’ll be sure to share in upcoming posts, but this dressing works perfectly with this salad as it’s garlic-y, sweet and savory all at the same time. This is also a great one to impress guests with as it comes together quickly but tastes so delicious it will seem like restaurant-quality and will fit any audience as it’s naturally, gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo!

Paleo Quadruple Crunch Salad

Serves 4 Large, entrée size salads

Paleo Quad Crunch Salad GGGF

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 Bunch Lacinato Kale
  • 1 Bag Shredded Red Cabbage (or approx. 1 cup)
  • 2 Large Granny Smith Apples
  • 1/3 C. Roasted Unsalted Almonds

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/4 C. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 1/4 t. Honey
  • 1 1/4 t. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Meyer Lemon, juiced (or approx. 3 T)

Directions

1. After washing and drying the kale, remove kale leaves from the stem. If you haven’t done this before, hold the kale leaf by the stem with one hand, and using your other hand pull the leaves from the stem in an upward direction. It sounds more complicated than it is but I promise it’s really quite easy.

2. Cut your kale leaves into thin slices. I like to do this by layering a few leaves on top of each other, bunching them up a little and cutting them in small strips with a sharp chopping knife.

3. Next, cut your apples into matchsticks. This shape works perfectly with the salad and ensures the apples still keep their crunch factor.

4. Roughly chop almonds and combine all ingredients into a bowl.

5. Now it’s time for the dressing! First, juice a Meyer lemon in a bowl, so you have approximately 3 Tablespoons worth of juice.

6. Mince 2 garlic cloves and add to the lemon juice.

7. Next, combine honey and Dijon mustard with dressing.

8. Slowly add in olive oil, whisking the mixture together with a fork or whisk. At this point, I like to taste the dressing and make sure it’s got that perfect ratio of sweet and savory and make any adjustments as needed.

9. Pour dressing over salad and massage the dressing into the mixture with clean hands. This is a crucial part so don’t skip this step! By massaging the dressing into the kale, the cellulose structure breaks down and wilts the kale slightly so it is much softer (but still crunchy) and takes away the bitter taste.

10. Plate your salad and enjoy!

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

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!

photo(157)

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?

Healthy Summer Ratatouille

Hi lovelies! I hope that you all had an absolutely wonderful weekend! Mine was great as on Saturday I got to style the new LOFT Fall collection and take some pictures that I’ll reveal soon. The new merchandise is amazing with so many bold, rich colors and prints. I have a feeling that the gorgeous Bordeaux shade is going to be my favorite for the season. Then yesterday I got to attend the Indy Grand Prix in Sonoma with my fam! It was a fantastic race with even better company, and we ended the perfect Sunday by going to one of my favorite restaurants in Sonoma, where we went for my birthday last year.

Since I’ve been gone a lot recently, I haven’t been doing a whole lot of cooking at home. But the other night I knew that I wanted something fresh and easy while using up some of the produce I had in the refrigerator that was on its last leg. I decided to create an easy, healthy delicious meal.

Healthy Summer Ratatouille

Ingredients:

  • 2 Small Sweet White Onions
  • 2 Cloves Minced Garlic
  • 3 Zucchini
  • 3 Yellow Squash
  • 4 Carrots
  • 1 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 C. Tomato Basil Sauce/Marinara
  • 1 T. Dried Basil
  • 1 T. Thyme

Directions:

  1. Finely chop onion (should have about 2 cups worth chopped) and mince garlic
  2. In a large pot, combine olive oil, garlic and onion. Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Chop zucchini, yellow squash and carrots in chunks and add to pot. Let the veggies cook down for about 10-15 minutes or until soft.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste and add herbs, stirring until well combined.
  5. Add tomato sauce to coat all ingredients, allowing it to heat for about 5 minutes.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

This is such a delicious recipe and so incredibly easy. It tastes delicious on its own but I served mine over quick-cooking brown rice to create a complete meal. It would also be great with quinoa or even just a fresh, crusty bread. This would be also be the perfect, easy dish to make for unexpected company as it tastes much more complicated than it actually is to make!

Questions:

-What dishes do you make when your veggies are on their last leg?

-Do you like ratatouille?

Do You Know the Muffin (Wo)man?

Hi lovelies, I hope that you have had a wonderful weekend. I’m sorry for my absence last week- work was extremely busy and then I was down for the count with a horrible migraine. Luckily, I’m back up and running and happy to be back connecting with all of you!

I realized this weekend that there is something that I haven’t shared with you yet- my love of muffins. You all know that I love a carby breakfast, but what I never order but always want to, is a good muffin. My love started as a kid in Sacramento as many Sundays after church, my family would stop at this little cafe Muffins Etc. This place served up at least 20 different muffins, my favorite of which was the Cappuccino Chocolate Chip muffin. This was, without a doubt, the most delicious muffin I’ve ever had. It had the perfect amount of coffee flavor and was generously studded with chocolate chips. But then one day they were gone, and muffins weren’t trendy anymore. A sad for all.

Luckily, there were still those dense, enormous chocolate muffins with chocolate chips at school functions. But as I grew up and started watching what I ate, muffins were cut out. Then, as bakeries began to stock them again, they became extra large and containing as many calories as 2 meals! Scary! So what’s a muffin-loving girl who wants to avoid a muffin top to do? Why make her own! For my recent book club brunch, we were supposed to bring something healthy and delicious. I knew that muffins were on the docket, so I turned to some of my favorite blogs seeking out a healthy recipe.

Looking through (and pinning) so many recipes, I finally decided to make Skinny Taste’s Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins. Hailed by her husband as the best muffins he had ever had, I knew I picked a winner. These muffins are delicious and generously studded with blueberries (sense a theme here? I like my mix-ins aplenty!) Plus they are so easy to make and full of ingredients that most of you will have at home. They’re low in sugar, made with heart healthy oats and whole wheat flour, and each muffin is only 126 calories! Now that’s my kind of muffin. Make these and everyone will be a fan. Oh, and they make the perfect morning breakfast especially when slathered with almond butter.

Questions:

-Do you like muffins? What’s your favorite kind?

-What foods do you like that aren’t trendy?

-Have any other healthy muffin recipes? Link me!