Spinach Salad

This is the second salad featured in my “Salad Series”.  This simple Spinach Salad has organic spinach, spiralized carrots, roasted Brussels sprouts, slivered almonds and raisins.  It is an excellent base for additional ingredients such as meat, eggs, sweet potato or rice.  Without further ado… Read More

Black Sesame & Carrot Meatballs

I don’t have any problems getting my husband or son to eat vegetables (thankfully), but I still like to sneak them in my cooking when I can.  My husband likes a lot of vegetables, but he doesn’t like carrots!  Can you believe that?!  (It’s okay, I get more to myself that way 😉 )  I made these Black Sesame & Carrot Meatballs with him in mind; and you know what, he LOVED them!

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This recipe requires 8 simple ingredients and makes about 20 meatballs.  They are a flavorful, tasty way to use ground beef and get in a little extra nutrition.

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Grain-Free Chocolate Vegan Pancakes

Ever since my son went on an elimination diet (he removed eggs, dairy, chicken, and most nuts from December – February) I have been testing out vegan pancake recipes.  Some have turned out amazingly but I forgot to measure or write down the ingredients, some were total fails (like didn’t hold together) and some I actually managed to successfully cook and document.  This recipe is one of those successful moments.

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I started making him pancakes and waffles on the regular because it was the best healthy breakfast option I could think of.  I know what you’re thinking…pancakes and waffles aren’t healthy, especially daily.  But I beg to differ.  All the ones I have made are low in sugar, full of healthy fats and contain moderate amounts of protein.  Besides, when you are cooking by scratch, things tend to turn out healthier anyway (no preservatives, additives, dyes or stabilizers).

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These Grain-Free Chocolate Vegan Pancakes are free of many common allergens (gluten, dairy, egg, nuts and soy).  They have a soft texture, but hold together well.  This recipe only requires one bowl and 8 ingredients.  So let’s get to it!

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Pinnertest Food Intolerance Test (Part 1)

If you’ve been following me for a while, especially via Instagram, then you are probably aware that my son and I did food intolerance testing back in November 2016.  Around that time, my son was having digestive issues and had developed a small rash around his mouth.  My husband and I decided to take him to our chiropractor and get a food intolerance test done in hopes of improving his digestion and eliminating any irritants.  I too decided to test for my food intolerances – mostly out of curiosity since I didn’t have any issues that I was aware of.

The test we did only tested for 90 different foods but tested for IgG and IgA antibioties.  Our results varied.  My son’s test results showed that he was intolerant to: dairy, eggs, chicken, hazelnuts and amaranth.  My results showed I was intolerant to: brewers yeast, bakers yeast, crab, chicken, eggs, mushrooms, kidney beans, sugar cane, and some dairy (the level of intolerance varied with yeast, eggs and crab being the foods I have the highest antibody levels for).

For my son, we cut out all of the foods he was sensitive to for 3 months.  Because I was (and still am) pregnant, I didn’t want to do a full elimination diet.  But I have cut way back on yeast and mold containing foods: kombucha, any foods with vinegar (like mustard), soft cheeses, dried fruit, yeast-containing bread/crackers (although I eat gluten-free, some of these products have yeast).

With these dietary changes, my son’s digestion normalized, his constant runny nose disappeared and his skin rash improved.  I’ve been feeling great too!  Zero bloating, swelling (even with pregnancy) and no digestive issues.

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Pinnertest recently contacted me and asked if I was interested in trying out their food intolerance test kit.  Although I have already done testing, I knew this was something I wanted to partake in for a few reasons:

  • Pinnertest analyzes your blood sample against 200 different foods (more than the 90 tested by my chiropractor)
  • I am curious as to whether my results will change, or look similar to my first test
  • I want to get my husband tested for food intolerances (he frequently gets headaches and suffers from seasonal allergies, so I wonder if this might help)
  • I want to have an easily accessible test to review and share with you in case any one else is interested in food intolerance testing

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Pregnancy Update: Week 35

Five weeks have passed since my last pregnancy update, so here we are at 35 weeks!  Roughly 5 to go (I’m selfishly hoping he arrives a little early).

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Cinnamon Bun Protein Granola Bars

We use a decent amount of protein powder in our house.  I always love trying new brands and flavors and over the years have gradually made the switch from whey protein powders to [mostly] plant-based ones.  I prefer plant-based protein powders simply because they are easier on my stomach.  I have also had better success with plant-based protein powders when it comes to baking; they seem to handle heat better than animal-based ones.

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My favorite ways to use protein powder are in smoothies and eaten with kefir and berries.  When I bake with it, I often just make single serving mug cakes (like the one here) but I was in the mood for making my own protein bar, which is what led to this creation.  These Cinnamon Bun Protein Granola Bars are soft and similar to a granola bar, but contain a decent amount of protein and fat.  These protein granola bars do not contain any added sugars (sweetened from the protein powder and raisins) and are gluten free.  And yes, they taste like Cinnamon Buns!

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Garlic Mashed Potatoes

My husband’s favorite food: mashed potatoes.  Or at least it’s one of his top 5 favorite foods.  He calls it “real food ice cream”.  In other words, it’s like a healthy ice cream that is acceptable to eat during meal time.  (Haha, don’t know that I agree with him on this one!)

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But whether or not I agree that mashed potatoes are just as good as ice cream, what I can agree on is that these Garlic Mashed Potatoes were something else!  They had such a lovely flavor, which I mostly attribute to the type of potatoes I used: Yukon Gold Potatoes.  These potatoes have a sweeter, more buttery taste than your regular russet potato, but aren’t as sweet as sweet potato.  And once cooked, their texture is smooth, rather than crumbly, which morphs into the perfect mashed potato.

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This recipe is just 5 ingredients (4 if you’re not including water) and extremely easy to follow.  You don’t even need proper potato-mashing equipment to make these Garlic Mashed Potatoes!  (I mashed these with a fork.) Read More

Salted Rosemary Crackers

It has been too long since I’ve shared a cracker recipe.  Crackers are something that I used to eat all the time as a child (hello Cheez-Its, Wheat Thins and Ritz) but as I got older and more health conscious, I quit eating these types of foods.  Having a child, however, changed my outlook once again and we now buy crackers ALL THE TIME!  Thankfully there are many more options available, many of which are actually healthy.

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But healthy often coincides with expensive.  Some of my favorite crackers to purchase can cost up to $7 a box, and I often don’t want to spend money like that.  In-between waiting for my favorite brands to go on sale, I enjoy making my own crackers.  I have quite a few recipes already up on my blog (Carrot & Apricot Crackers, Kale & Carrot Crackers, Red Pepper & Kale Crackers, Grain-Free Graham Crackers) and this is another great one to add to the list.

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These Salted Rosemary Crackers are allergy-friendly, making them a great option for any child.  They have a flavorful rosemary taste and satisfying salty crunch.  This recipe is extremely easy to follow and requires less than 10 ingredients! Read More