gluten free

Roasted Harvest Veggies (GAPS/Paleo)

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harvest veggies

I fell in love with roasted veggies last year and had some sort of roasted vegetable almost every day for months. I really went crazy on the brussels sprouts. I brought some for Thanksgiving at my mom and dad’s house last year and I was worried there wouldn’t be enough for everyone, especially me! Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry about that because my grandpa and dad started making fun of me and my brussels sprouts. My mom, my son, and I were happy to eat them up :). So tasty.

The idea for these colorful roasted vegetables wasn’t mine. I saw them posted on Facebook sometime last year and thought they looked fabulous! So I looked on the internet for a recipe when I wanted to make them, but couldn’t find it. Whoever you are, I appreciate your idea :). Everyone I work with loves these.


*1/2 lb brussels sprouts, halved

*1/2 lb carrots, sliced about 1/4 inch thick

*1/2 lb cauliflower (about 1/2 head), cut into 1 inch pieces

*1 red onion, cut into chunks

*3 Tbsp melted butter or refined coconut oil

*sea salt (Celtic, Himalayan) to taste

Cut vegetables and spread a single layer on a large sheet pan. Drizzle with butter or coconut oil and toss vegetables to coat. Roast at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, stirring about halfway through.

So there it is, the vegetable dish I’ll be bringing this year to Thanksgiving. I hope I make enough for everybody :).

Brownie Bites with Mint Buttercream (GAPS/ Paleo)

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brownie bites mint buttercream 2

I don’t use my mini muffin pans often, they usually just collect dust. But when I got the idea for brownies and mint frosting, I knew they needed to be tiny :). Very rich!

I had a few mishaps with the frosting. I used palm shortening (yucky). I made the perfect tasting frosting that turned gray when I tried to color it (lovely). And I made some pretty decent tasting frosting that turned out the color of guacamole. It was kind of pretty but not too appetizing?

The brownies were easy, I just used this recipe from Grain Free Foodies. They always turn out wonderful!

Brownie Bites

*2/3 cup honey

*1/2 cup melted pasture butter (you can sub ghee or coconut oil and add 1/4 tsp sea salt)

*1 Tbsp vanilla extract

*3 pastured eggs, room temperature

*1 cup blanched almond flour (I like Honeyville)

*1/2 cup cocoa

*1/4 tsp. baking soda

Warm the butter and the honey until just melted. Add room temperature eggs and other wet ingredients and mix. Combine dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, Add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into lined mini muffin tins.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-16 minutes. Makes about 32.

Mint Buttercream

*1 Tbsp cold water + 1/2 tsp grassfed gelatin

*1/2 cup honey

*1 cup pasture butter, softened

*1 egg yolk

*1 Tbsp mint extract (see note!!!)

*dark green romaine juice, for color (optional)

In a small cup, sprinkle gelatin over cold water. When gelatin is softened, heat the mixture until liquid. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix honey, butter, egg yolk and mint extract. Add gelatin.  Using a hand mixer, beat on medium speed until smooth. Add romaine juice if using until the mixture is the color you want. Pipe the buttercream onto cooled brownie bites.

Important note: I used Simply Organic mint extract. I have a feeling if you use a different mint extract, you could need a different amount! Simply Organic contains sunflower oil and mint.

This is another re-creation of one of my mom’s famous recipes, mint frosted brownies. Thanks, Mom 🙂

Let me know how it goes!

This post was shared on Healing with Food Friday.

Cauliflower Soup Topped with Bacon and Basil Guacamole (GAPS/Paleo)

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cauliflower soup

I have a thing for basil guacamole and I put it on everything: salad, meat, veggies, or even a spoonful :). So when I made bacon burgers for my family last night, I decided to try some of the basil guacamole with my soup. Unbelievable.

I’ve also never tried cauliflower soup. It tastes like a cream soup without any cream, yum!

Cauliflower Soup

*2 Tbsp pasture butter or ghee

*1-2 cloves garlic (2 cloves if you love garlic)

*1/2 onion, chopped

*1 head  cauliflower, cut in pieces and steamed
*3 cups chicken broth.
*sea salt (Celtic, Himalayan) to taste
* 8 slices of  bacon (nitrate free, sugar free)
Cook the bacon in the oven at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Set aside. Cut or break into 1/4″ to 1/2″ inch pieces.
Steam cauliflower for 15-20 minutes and set aside. Heat the broth in a large saucepan.
In a small to medium skillet, melt butter or ghee and cook onions until soft. Add sea salt to taste and garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Put both the cauliflower and the onion mixture into the blender and blend until smooth. Add a little chicken broth if mixture is too thick to blend. Pour the cauliflower puree into the broth. Add sea salt  (I added almost 1 1/2 teaspoons, because my chicken broth wasn’t very salty) and mix. Serve soup with bacon pieces and basil guacamole.

Basil Guacamole

*3 large, ripe avocados, chopped
*1 clove garlic,  pressed or minced
*1 medium tomato, chopped (omit if avoiding nightshades)
*2 tsp fresh lemon juice
*2 green onions, chopped
*1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
*3/4  teaspoon sea salt (Celtic, Himalayan)
In a large mixing bowl, mash 1 of the chopped avocados with a fork. Add the remaining chopped avocados, the garlic, tomatoes, lime juice, lemon juice, green onions, basil, and sea salt. Stir to combine. This recipe might make more than you need for one soup recipe, so feel free to eat it with salad, meat, veggies, or even on a spoon like me  :).
Have fun and let me know how it goes!
This post was shared on Healing with Food Friday.

Erica: A Teenager Healing with the GAPS Diet! (Guest Post)

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This post is especially exciting to me! This girl is going to change some lives :).

Erica kindly agreed to share her story. She blogs at Edible Attitudes.


Erica’s story:

When I reflect on my childhood, I don’t remember a long period of time when I didn’t have some type of aliment. I never dealt with anything life threatening but everything was cumulative and seemly unconnected.

My first health problem was at the age of six months old when I had my first infection. Between the ages of two and three I was on continuous antibiotics because the ear infections would not go away. I began to notice environmental and food sensitivities to lactose, dust, pollen, and certain plants. In fourth grade, I began to have problems with my joints, specifically my ankles.

Seventh grade was when things began to rapidly spiral downwards. It started with my knees and ankles causing me a lot of pain. At the time I assumed it was because I am a softball catcher. But soon the joint inflammation spread and caused me to be in pain on a daily basis and everyday tasks were more difficult.

By the start of my sophomore year of high school, only 3 years later, I developed tendinitis in both knees and elbows, multiple fingers, left wrist, and right bicep.

My journey has taken a lot of work and sacrifice! I started seeing a functional medicine doctor in 2011 and was taken off gluten, dairy, corn, MSG, sugar, and soy. I took supplements that helped manage the joint inflammation. This helped a little bit but I still struggled with pain and multiple other health problems. I was frustrated and ready to change my diet again if necessary. I started the GAPS Intro Diet in November of 2012 with my mom and brother. This led to my first large and noticeable change in the joint inflammation. A few months prior I had developed a deep stabbing bone pain in my foot and within the first month of starting the GAPS Diet, it was gone. My knees also felt better and I could catch longer before having joint pain. Although GAPS was clearly helping, I still had pain, numerous other health problems, and couldn’t reintroduce foods without a flare up.

In April 2013, I was instructed by my doctor to remove salicylates from my diet because I had developed a sensitivity. My diet was limited to about 20 foods for four months.

It was hard, really hard at times, but it was totally worth it. In only a few weeks all my pain was gone. Completely gone for the first time in five years! I am 17 now and a senior in high school and am proud to say that I am free of joint inflammation. This spring and summer I played my first pain free softball seasons in five years. I no longer dread walking up and down stairs or biking or using a scissors or bending down to pick something up. Daily tasks aren’t painful anymore.

I assumed that the biggest change from modifying my diet would be physical, but it has actually been a mental transformation. I have learned to have perseverance, discipline, and self-motivation. I took responsibility for my health. It is not my parents’ responsibility to micro-manage everything I eat and do, it’s my body and I learned to step up and care for it. I have also learned life long lessons such as, people’s opinions shouldn’t matter to me. I know why I am changing my diet. I know that it works and that is enough for me.

I still have a restrictive diet because I am still working through other health problems, but I have been able to reintroduce salicylates without joint inflammation returning.

If I hadn’t been encouraged by my mom to change my diet and if I hadn’t taken responsibility, I can’t imagine how different my life would be now. Hardly anything about taking ownership of your health is easy, but it so worth it when you start to feel better and have a better quality of life.

If this sounds like you or someone you know and would like to read my whole story, you can purchase my book, A Teenager’s Perspective on Food Restrictions: A Practical Guide to Keep from Going Crazy. (Kindle version)

This post was shared on Healing with Food Friday.

Soft Gingerbread cookies (GAPS/Paleo)

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gingerbread cookies

I tried making gingerbread cookies using “date molasses“, but  Alaina  tasted them and said they were NOT yummy :(.

So we tried making a batch using honey instead. They’re a little too good!

These are NOT cookie cutter cookies.  You will have to make the shapes like you’re playing with playdough.


*2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened (or ghee)

*1/2 cup honey

*1 pastured egg + 1 egg white, room temperature

*2 Tbsp coconut aminos, room temperature

*2 3/4 cups almond flour ( I use Honeyville)

*1-2 Tbsp ginger (we used 2 and they were very gingery, the way we like them)

*2 tsp cinnamon

*1/4 tsp cloves

Cream together room temperature butter or ghee and honey. Add the egg and coconut aminos. Mix well. In a separate bowl, mix almond flour and spices. Mix wet and dry ingredients and refrigerate (at least 1 hour).

When dough is chilled, shape the dough any way you like. Alaina made Mike Wazowski :)Try to keep the shapes an even thickness of 1/3″ to 1/2″. Decorate with raisins (or pieces of raisins). Place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 14-16 minutes on the top rack of the oven (to prevent burning the bottom of the cookies). Let cookies cool before removing them from the cookie sheet. I’ve found that these are even better the next day.

Have fun! I can’t quit eating these!!!

This post was shared on Healing with Food Friday.

Honey Toffee Shortbread (GAPS/Paleo)

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toffee shortbread

I don’t think I have anything to say (which is rare, ask my friends!) So, here it is 🙂

Shortbread Thumbprints

*2  cups packed almond flour (I like Honeyville)

*3/4 to 1 tsp sea salt (Celtic, Himalayan)

*1/4 cup unsalted pasture butter -or- ghee

*1/4 cup honey

*1 pastured egg

Cream together room temperature butter or ghee and honey. Add the egg and salt and stir to combine. Add the almond flour and mix well. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Roll dough into 1″ balls and place on a cookie sheet. Put “thumbprints” in the cookies. Sometimes the dough cracks a little when you do the thumbprint, just stick it back together :) . It’s because almond flour doesn’t bind like grain flour. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes on the top rack of the oven (to prevent burning the bottom). This makes about 18 cookies.

Honey Toffee

*1/4 cup unsalted pasture butter

*2 Tbsp honey (1/8 cup)

*1/4 tsp sea salt (Celtic, Himalayan)

Put all ingredients in a sauce pan and cook on medium heat until bubbly. Turn to medium-low and continue stirring until temperature reaches 235-240 degrees. Remove from heat and let cool for a minute. Spoon into the thumbprints in the shortbread and let cool.

IMPORTANT: I’ve noticed something interesting about the salt in the shortbread recipe.  I love salt like most people with adrenal fatigue :).  But the cookies taste salty to me on the first day.  The flavors seem to blend perfectly the next day. Weird.  And make sure to use unsalted butter. I’ve had more than one person accidentally try it with salted butter and it was way too salty with the amount of salt added. It makes a difference!

Now that I’ve tweaked and perfected this recipe, it’s definitely one of my best!!!! Tell me how it goes.

Meatloaf 3 Ways (GAPS/Paleo)

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Copy (1 ) of meatloaf

I like blogging and cooking, but I also have a husband, a couple of kids, two cats, and a job in special ed. And I’m going to school to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. So while I love spending time in the kitchen, tonight it’s not going to happen. My go to meal when I have no time is meatloaf and some veggie, usually mashed cauliflower. My family doesn’t like the same thing all of the time, so I have three different ways I like to season the meatloaf.

Italian Seasoned

* 1 1/2 lbs ground meat (pork, beef, or turkey, any mix you like)

* 1/2 onion, finely chopped

* 1 1/2 tsp oregano

* 1 1/2 tsp basil

* 3/4 to 1 tsp sea salt (Celtic, Himalayan)

*1/4 c raw Parmesan (can be omitted)

* 1 clove of garlic, finely minced or pressed

Asian Seasoned

* 1 1/2 lbs ground meat (beef, turkey, pork)

* 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil

* 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced

* 2 green onions, chopped

* 1/4 tsp fish sauce (Red Boat is GAPS legal)

* 3/4 tsp sea salt (Celtic, Himalayan)

* 1 tsp honey  (optional)

“Breakfast Sausage” Seasoned

* 1 1/2 lbs ground meat (beef, turkey, pork, or mix)

* 1/2 onion, finely chopped

* 1 tsp sea salt (Celtic, Himalayan)

* 1 1/2 Tbsp rubbed sage

* 1 1/2 tsp thyme

* 1 tsp paprika

* 1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne (if you want it spicy)

* 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

Directions for any of the three

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Put the mixture into a loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest a few minutes to let some of the juices reabsorb.

If you absolutely need ketchup with your meatloaf (I don’t), here’s a recipe.

In case you’re wondering what the stuff at the bottom of the picture is, it’s some of my home fermented cortido (it’s like Mexican sauerkraut). And in case you’re wondering whether I’m really going to eat three pieces of meatloaf, the answer is yes :). I’m starving!