Tag Archives: gluten free

Mid-week meal prep + menu ideas

Sunday seems like the most popular day to meal prep, but I seem to get my best work done on Tuesdays or Wednesdays or Thursdays… or days that aren’t Sunday.  Mid-week meal prep suits our current schedule, as Sunday nights are often reserved for commutes back to the city from the Cape, frantic searches for missing lunch boxes, and dining on popcorn and apple sauce (for me… don’t worry, the kids are always well fed) while I stare into a nearly empty fridge.  

I got all of this (fairly simple, hardly impressive) prep done during baby Nick’s hour and a half nap on Wednesday, with the exception of the muffins, which Grace and I made together this afternoon.

And with that… here’s what I prepped this week, along with a few (non-popcorn) menu ideas.

MID-WEEK MEAL PREP + MENU IDEAS

mid-week meal prep + menu ideas

In the pot: My 900th batch of Sprouted Kitchen’s everyday lentil soup.  I’m pretty sure it’s called everyday lentil soup because you’ll want to eat it every day (eternal thanks to my friend Laura for sharing the recipe).  If you’re in the market for some lemon pepper, I use Frontier Co-Op (found it at WFM) and love it.  (You know, as much as one could love lemon pepper… or whatever.)  Other things I love: this cast iron dutch oven.

For breakfasts and snacks, I made a few jars of Lee Holmes’ Energizing Chai Chia Breakfast Pudding from the Naturally, Danny Seo website (scroll down on this link for the recipe).  I skipped the stevia and used almonds and walnuts (no cashews in the house… that’s going to be the title of my next jam).  Semi-related: this magazine is so beautifully designed.

mid-week meal prep + menu ideas

These are my usual (meal prep) suspects: chopped vegetables, cooked quinoa + a salad (cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, Crave Brothers perline mozzarella, fresh basil).  I stocked up on these glass, 4 cup Pyrex containers at Target in February, but I believe they’re still available online.

mid-week meal prep + menu ideas

While the soup was simmering and I was chopping vegetables, I threw a few sweet potatoes in the oven (pierce with a fork, bake at 400 degrees F for 45-ish minutes). I like to reheat these and top with lentils and/or black beans, salsa and some shredded pepper jack for a quick and satisfying lunch or dinner.  The kids love them mashed up a bit with a pinch of cinnamon.

mid-week meal prep + menu ideas

And last, but not least, best my mini chef and I made a batch of mini flourless banana and chocolate chip muffins (and a half batch with blueberries instead of chocolate).  I goofed around with the recipe a bit and forgot to take notes, but I have a feeling we’ll be making these again very soon.  Like… maybe tomorrow.  In the meantime, I’ve heard good things about these recipes from Clean Food Crush and Averie Cooks (both are gluten free).

Oh… and popcorn.

Also On Tap for Today:

What is your favorite make-ahead meal?

Big Game breakfast: sweet potato + black bean hash

The “big game” is almost upon us (it’s up for debate, but most people are not allowed to use the official term in media… this peasant, yours truly, almost always plays it safe).  When it comes to football, I am basically Zoolander in a coal miner’s bar, whispering “Who’s winning the match?”  It would also not be unlike me to self-diagnose with the black lung… pop.

I used to watch the game specifically for the commercials, but then State Farm gave my soul the black lung with that series of ads about preventable accidents, delivered by the ghosts of dead children.  Or whatever that was.  All I know is, I had a newborn in my arms and didn’t breath for at least three whole minutes.

Sometimes I watch for the halftime show.  I wish Left Shark was the star every year.  But I have high hopes for Gaga.

This year, though, I am fairly invested in the actual game. The Patriots are my hometown team (as in, they play in my hometown) and the Falcon’s Matt Ryan played quarterback at BC (and went to school too, obvi)… while I was playing quarterback of breaking the microfiche machine in the art library on the other side of campus.

Now that you have all that wind up (including a Zoolander reference and a bit about a depressing insurance commercial), let’s talk about the most important part of football Sunday.  The food.  

You likely have your drinks, dips, snacks and sweets lined up.  But have you considered breakfast?  I’ve got an easy + delicious way to kick off (get it… like… sports…) the day.

Big Game breakfast: sweet potato + black bean hash with green apples

Serves 2, gluten-free + vegan

big game breakfast sweet potato black bean hash

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sweet potatoes, cubed + roasted
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup diced red pepper
  • 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed + drained 
  • 1 organic green apple, cored and diced (leave peel on)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • optional: cilantro greens, shredded cabbage, or arugula

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat, add diced onion and saute until soft
  2. Stir in peppers and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes before adding black beans, sweet potatoes, salt + pepper
  3. Remove from heat and stir in diced green apple
  4. Adjust seasoning if needed and top with greens, if you wish (my recipes aim to be polite…)

If you find yourself with leftovers, I have a feeling this hash would be a real winner on a plate of nachos.  Now that would be a touchdown.  Stop me.  Please.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on your football-watching menu?

What to eat when it’s freezing.

The Polar Vortex is baaaa-aaack.  So I made it some chili (vegetarian, obvi).  In my opinion, it’s what to eat when it’s freezing.

what to eat when its freezing

You can find my original recipe (a term I use lightly, mostly because it’s just like… sauté onions and garlic, add beans, add tomatoes, add whatever spices you have on hand, simmer, eat) here: vegetarian chili for lazy people.  

I topped today’s piping hot bowl with a handful of tortilla chips, some Fire Roasted Corn + Black Bean Salsa from Nola’s Fresh Foods.  Nola’s is made minutes from our place in Southie and is a 2015 Martha Stewart American Made award winner.  After receiving a complimentary sample a few weeks ago (delivered to my doorstep, no less), their salsa keeps ending up in our shopping cart.

As for the lime wedge and the useless miniature wooden spoon… they’re mostly there because chili looks like, you know… chili.  And I wanted to distract you from this.  Did it work?

But seriously.  Make yourself a bowl.

Also On Tap for Today:

How are you showing the Polar Vortex who’s boss?  Or like… what’s for dinner tonight?

 

Sweet potato toast with a kick.

When it comes to trends (and cool things, in general), I’m rarely on time.  I think sweet potato toast reached its peak coolness this summer, so it’s fitting I just popped my first batch out of the toaster in mid-October.  We’ll get to that in a second.  Let’s relish in my uncoolness a bit longer.

sweet potato toast

I was the last to read the first Harry Potter book and never got around to reading the others.  I did, however, watch all of the movies while icing my knees after marathon training runs.  I’m still not really clear on how things end.  Like, did Harry turn into a baby snake under a bench at a train station?  I realize this entire paragraph will horrify many of you.  I just can’t get with imaginary stuff.

Sun In: No.  The Titanic:  Never saw it.  Snapchat:  Still mostly a mystery to me.  Crop tops: I think everyone’s okay with me skipping that phase (a sales girl at Nordstrom did recommend I try one on a few months ago… I blessed her with all the power my postpartum body could muster).  

In some cases (see Sun In and Titanic), I wear my uncoolness like a badge of (midriff covering) honor.  But in other cases, I’m disappointed I didn’t catch on sooner.  Such is the case with the aforementioned sweet potato toast.  It’s really delicious.  And easy.  And gluten free. And all you need is a sweet potato.  And a toaster.  Ok, and a knife.

SWEET POTATO TOAST WITH A KICK

sweet potato toast

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • A toaster (I guess that’s less ingredient and more equipment, but whatev)

Suggested toppings:

  • 1/2 ripe avocado, mashed
  • Shredded cheese
  • Black beans
  • Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Pico de gallo 
  • Hot sauce

Directions:

  1. Wash sweet potato and slice lengthwise evenly (each slice should be approximately 1/4 inch wide)
  2. Arrange sweet potato slices in your toaster so that they don’t overlap; toast on the highest setting until slightly browned (this took about 10 minutes for me)
  3. Add toppings as you wish + enjoy

I finished my sweet potato toasts off with a bit of Poor Devil Pepper Co.’s Cajun Widow lacto fermented hot sauce, recently sent to me by my friends at Small Batch Daily.  This stuff is the real deal (read: hot) and added the perfect cajun kick.  It’s also organic, raw, probiotic and decidedly cool.  For once, I feel sort of ahead of the curve.  Maybe?

sweet potato toast

If you’re looking for similarly cool food items, I definitely recommend checking out Small Batch Daily’s shoppable Instagram feed (@smallbatchdaily). They release new small batch finds each Monday and Wednesday.  You can learn more by visiting their website.

Okay.  But seriously.  What happens to Harry?

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done lately?

What to eat in the summer | 4 favorite salads

Most days, my meal planning (if you can call it that) goes something like this:  

  • Consider what we have on the counter, in the cabinets, in the fridge and sprouting on the deck
  • Hold baby Nick with one hand, rummage with the other hand
  • Hope something miraculously falls out and a. doesn’t hit me or Nick in the head and b. somehow lands in my mouth and c. is delicious.  Oh, and nutritious.  

Unfortunately, I’ve yet to have a perfectly made summer salad fall into my mouth.  Or onto my head, for that matter.  As with most (all?) good things, it takes a bit of work.  But not much.  This is summer, after all.  If you’re wondering what to eat in the summer, I’ve got a few (simple, delicious) ideas.

WHAT TO EAT IN THE SUMMER | 4 FAVORITE SALADS

Mixed greens with pears, bleu cheese, walnuts + dried cranberries

what to eat in summer 1

This is really as easy as slicing a pear and throwing it, along with everything else, into a bowl.  I added a drizzle of Champagne vinaigrette because I like to pretend I’m fancy.  In reality: It’s well past noon and I haven’t showered yet.  Also, I just congratulated myself on wearing my “nice” sweat pants.  

Caprese salad

what to eat in summer 2

I basically eat this breakfast, lunch and dinner… all summer long.  The heirloom tomatoes are Canadian, but the mozzarella is from Rhode Island and the basil is from South Boston (more specifically: my deck).  So… it’s mostly #eatlocal.  Or whatever.

Both babes were asleep at the same time for an entire 11 minutes last week, so I made myself an extra pretty platter from which to dine solo while Nick was traveling.  That was a long sentence.  The salad didn’t last nearly as long.

Chopped salad with sprouts

what to eat in summer 3

I tend to chop a bunch of vegetables at the beginning of the week for easy salads such as this.  Instead of the usual greens, though, I used some Earth Salad (sprouted lentils, sprouted chickpeas and alfalfa sprouts) that I picked up at Whole Foods in the South End (it’s in the cooler next to the salad greens, alongside the cooked lentils). 

Heirloom tomato, lentil and arugula salad with green goddess dressing

Speaking of cooked lentils, I keep a package or two in the fridge because I am lazy like to avoid cooking as much as possible when it’s 90 degrees out.  And because I love making this salad.  And because I’m lazy.

I’m thrilled (and grateful!) that my recipe was included in Wayfair’s Simply Summer Recipes cookbook.  The cookbook is free to download and features over 100 pages of summer recipes created by bloggers and tested by Wayfair team members.  I love that they included their own notes after testing each dish.  I hope you’ll check it out!

In the meantime, I’m off to go shower.  Or eat another salad.  Or both.  Not at the same time.  OK.  Bye.  I love you.  And I love summer.  And cheese.  Bye.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • A favorite read: Sam’s weekly meal planning posts 
  • Closest thing to a wonder drug? Try exercise from The New York Times
  • Playing with Grace’s new water table (“All day!  All day long, mummy!  All day!  And when it’s dark!”)

What’s your ideal summer meal?

 

Chai + peanut butter protein bites

 

You guys.  I can’t stop making these balls.  And giggling about… balls.  I promise this recipe is more refined than my sense of humor.

chai and peanut butter protein bites

CHAI + PEANUT BUTTER PROTEIN BITES

Vegan, gluten-free… and like, cooking-free.  Which is to say, you don’t need to cook them.  Makes 10-15 protein bites (or balls, call ’em what you will).  

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix protein powder, nut butter and oats in your food processor or blender.
  2. Add agave nectar, vanilla, cinnamon and sea salt and pulse until dough is well combined.
  3. Move mixture to a small bowl and carefully stir in chocolate chips.  
  4. Roll dough into small balls and place in a parchment-lined container, store in the refrigerator.  Or just, like, eat them.

Recipe notes: You can use your favorite protein powder for this recipe — chocolate or vanilla would work great.  And feel free to use maple syrup in place of agave.  Oh, and you can omit the chocolate chips (thereby omitting the fun… but, hey) if you’d like.  

I used a brand-new blend from Bob’s Red Mill line of nutritional boosters and am completely hooked.  It’s made from pea protein powder, chicory root fiber, chia seeds, probiotics, and sweetened with monk fruit extract. It is gluten free, vegan, a good source of omega-3, an excellent source of iron, and high in protein and fiber.  

No weird chemicals.  No weird tastes.  Just balls. 

Disclaimer: I received complimentary samples of Bob’s Red Mill new nutritional boosters for an Instagram project (you can follow me here: @ElizabethEv) with Sweat Pink… but I didn’t want to keep this good stuff from you and just had to share it On Tap, too.

Also On Tap for Today:

Do you have a favorite broprotein powder?

Today: Peanut butter, cranberry + dark chocolate granola bars.

I recently found myself scrolling through the entirety of the Internet (it’s an uppercase word… until June 1…) for a good granola bar recipe and scanning the contents of our pantry, hoping the stars ingredients would align.  

gluten free peanut butter cranberry dark chocolate granola bars

It was 10:30 on Sunday night, and I had no business being awake, let alone attempting to make granola bars… but sometimes we get peer pressured into these things (i.e. I did it for the Mama Beasts Spring Challenge points…).  And in this case, the pressure paid off.

I should know better than to mess with baking recipes (unlike cooking, there’s some actual science and measuring involved) and you know I’d never be so bold as to question my queen Martha… but um… I messed with a Martha recipe (this one for peanut-butter granola bars — you’ll see I made a few changes, but used her recipe as a guide).  Mostly because I needed to work with what I had.  And because Martha seemed to have forgotten to include chocolate chips.  She’s got a lot going on.  

I’ve made these granola bars twice now (proof that they don’t take a lot of effort or time or thought, all things I seem to be perpetually lacking).  

I’m always looking for filling, mostly-healthy snacks and these turned out to be both.  And they don’t taste like an old shoe (always a plus).  That’s a terrible way of telling you they’re delicious.  They’re delicious.  

peanut butter cranberry dark chocolate granola bars

Homemade peanut butter, cranberry + dark chocolate granola bars

gluten free, makes approximately 12 bars

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats 
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sliced raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup nut butter
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips 
  • 1/4 cup palm sugar 
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg white
  • Pinch of sea salt (I use Maldon flakes)

Directions

  1. Prep work:   Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.  Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment or freezer paper, leaving a bit of overhang. 
  2. In a large bowl, mix oats, cranberries, almonds and dark chocolate.
  3. In a small sauce pan over low heat, mix nut butter, oil, and palm sugar until sugar dissolves.  Remove pan from heat and mix in egg white.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients and pour into prepared pan, pressing mixture evenly with a spatula.
  5. Top with a sprinkle of sea salt.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, allow to cool in pan (approximately 10 minutes).
  7. Remove baked granola (technically, they’re not bars… yet) from the pan, using the parchment or freezer paper and freeze overnight on a cookie sheet.
  8. Cut bars to desired size, store refrigerated.

Recipe notes:  You could include just about any nuts and dried fruit.  I don’t recommend skipping the chocolate.  (Because, really, why?)  You could throw caution to the wind and cut them after cooling, but I found freezing the bars really helped keep them from crumbling.  Martha’s recipe calls for light brown sugar, which you could use if you don’t have palm sugar on hand.  Similarly, you could substitute (1:1) coconut oil for vegetable oil.  The Maldon is definitely optional, but I have such a thing for salty/sweet.  I used 70% cocoa chocolate chips and Bob’s Red Mill gluten free rolled oats, but again, use what you have.

That’s basically my life’s motto at the moment… use what you have.  Or, like, order it from Amazon Prime.  Just kidding.  Kind of.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Very interesting read: The Evolution of Anxiety: Why We Worry and What to Do About It via lifehacker
  • Attempting to read an actual book (one that is not about “positive parenting” or “thriving toddlers” or “making your dog promise to live forever”) …I’m currently on page 13 and consider that a huge victory
  • Catching up on some postcrossing 

Today: Six minute hummus plate.

I promise, there is hummus under all that goodness.

When it’s approximately 9,012 degrees out, the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven or serve something hot ‘n heavy to friends and family.  These super easy hummus plates look gorgeous, they’re the perfect way to incorporate all the fresh produce available this time of year, and… they take, like six minutes to make.  

Granted, you could make your own hummus… but that’s more time spent in the kitchen and less time spent floating on a pool noodle.

Six minute hummus plate

Vegetarian, gluten free (contains dairy); Serves 1 pregnant woman named Elizabeth, or up to 6 people… sort of depends on the crowd.  

Ingredients:

  • 1 8 oz. container of hummus (I used a zingy lemon hummus from Whole Foods Market)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 (small) red onion, chopped
  • 2 (small) sweet bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 handful of fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon zest

Directions:

  • Minute one: Wash your hands.  Safety first, hummus second.
  • Minutes two-four: Chop your vegetables as instructed above.
  • Minute five: Evenly spread hummus in a shallow serving plate or platter (I used a ceramic tart pan).
  • Minute six: Artfully (or haphazardly, it’s totally up to you) top your hummus with feta, vegetables, dill, a little more feta, and some lemon zest.

It’s summer.  Everything should be this easy.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever made with a pool noodle?  I’m personally a big fan of tying one in a knot (so it looks like a pretzel), sitting on it, and pretending I can float upright.  So… there’s that.

 

Today: Ginger and mint lemonade.

I’m one of those people whose feelings end up in their stomach.

If I’m feeling nervous, excited, anxious, worried, anxious, afraid, unsettled, or irritated, my stomach has its own corresponding dance.  Your feelings may turn into headaches or that weird eyelid twitch, but regardless, our emotional things almost always manifest themselves as physical things.

With so much to see and do and wrap and taste and smell and feel (so much exciiiiiitement!) during the holiday season, I start to notice a pattern of my stomach feeling off more days than it’s on.  Once I’ve spent at least an hour on WebMD ruling out a very rare and very deadly parasite, I find that a cup of tea and little quiet time often does the trick.

When that’s not enough, I hit up nature’s medicine cabinet.  

Side bar: That would be such a cute name for a store. I would sell flowers and tea and make people happy. Except… never mind… “nature’s medicine cabinet” might be the name of a medical marijuana dispensary I saw on 60 Minutes.  Who knows.  

Back on topic: A little ginger, some citrus, a bit of mint… et voila

Ginger and mint lemonade - a delicious and refreshing drink perfect for soothing upset stomachs

Ginger and mint lemonade

While this ginger and mint lemonade serves as a fantastic stomach soother (and it’s sort of the perfect antidote the entire bowl of M&Ms I ate last night), it’s just as delicious and refreshing on those days when all is right in your world and in your body.

Oh, and (you know this already): Numbers are not my strong suit, so don’t worry too much about measuring.  As with just about every recipe I share, you’ll get by with some good estimating and tasting along the way.

Recipe yields approximately 4 servings and will keep refrigerated for up to 5 days

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup loose mint tea leaves (I used organic spearmint from David’s Tea)
  • 1/3 cup freshly chopped ginger
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (approximately 2 lemons)
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon slices for garnish

Directions:

  1. Mix tea leaves, agave nectar and grated ginger in a large bowl.
  2. Add boiling water and allow mixture to steep for 30 minutes.
  3. Strain tea mixture using a fine mesh strainer* into a large measuring cup (or bowl with a pouring spout thing) and press firmly to extract as much liquid as possible.
  4. Add lemon juice and cold water.
  5. Divide and store in covered glass jars.
  6. Refrigerate and shake well before serving.

*As you can see in the photo above, I used a fairly loose strainer and some errant tea leaves snuck in (all good in my book).  If you’d prefer to not have the feeling that something’s stuck between your two front teeth all day, I recommend a fine mesh strainer for Step 3.

Okay!  Back to the candy bowl excitement!

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your home remedy of choice?

Today: Heirloom tomato, lentil and arugula salad with green goddess dressing.

In my world, every Monday is Meatless Monday.  Same goes for, like… Tuesdays and Wednesdays, too.  In my home, however, the vegetarians no longer outnumber the carnivores.  Grace had her first few bites of steak last week, so… this cheese vegetarian stands alone.  

Delicious vegetarian  and gluten free recipe: Heirloom tomato, lentil and arugula salad with green goddess dressing.

But that’s neither here nor there.  After a few days of being on vacation (we had a lovely time, but please don’t be too jealous… it’s presently warmer and less rainy in Boston than it was in Fort Lauderdale last week), we’re settling back into our routines but I am continuing to eat like I’m on vacation.  I had the best salad at a little beachside restaurant last week and couldn’t wait to make my own version when we got home.  Salad first, unpack later.

You can use just about any base for this salad.  I used red lentils, but you might consider pearled couscous, quinoa or farro (which was part of the original dish, and although its not gluten free, it contains less gluten than wheat and is easier to digest, at least for this body).  As for the dressing, it’s probably worth noting that most green goddess recipes include anchovies or anchovy paste.  This one does not.  #savethefishes.  Just kidding.  Kind of.

Also.  Let’s be serious.  It’s just a salad.  A delicious one, yes.  But you probably don’t need to measure your ingredients.

Delicious vegetarian and gluten free recipe: heirloom tomato, lentil and arugula salad with green goddess dressing

Heirloom tomato, lentil and arugula salad with green goddess dressing

Serves two

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of red lentils, cooked (Quick and easy: Rinse and dry lentils, bring to boil in 2.5 cups of water, turn down for what heat and let simmer for approximately 15 minutes)
  • 4 cups of baby arugula
  • 2 cups of heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup of feta cheese

Directions:

  1. Allow lentils to cool slightly, and top with arugula and tomatoes.
  2. Add a bit of feta cheese and drizzle with green goddess dressing.
  3. Yes.  This is the most obvious recipe of all time.

Delicious vegetarian and gluten free recipe: heirloom tomato, lentil and arugula salad with green goddess dressing.

Vegetarian green goddess dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup green onions
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 TSP fresh dill
  • 1 TSP chives, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Juice from half a lemon (more, if needed)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Add garlic and herbs to your blender or food processor and blend until finely processed.
  2. Add yogurt, sour cream and lemon juice (a little at a time) and blend.
  3. Taste and season, as needed.
  4. Pretend you’re at a beachside restaurant.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your favorite vacation meal?  Do you go meatless on Mondays (or every other day that end in a ‘y’)?