Brookie Cookie

Well, it turns out gluten free baking is my new thing.  (I either need to start running or stop eating because oh my, quarantine 15 may be a real thing!) My favorite baked good thus far are these amazing cookies!  They remind me a lot of my favorite Ooey Gooey Butter Cookies (Paula Deen) but they are a tad healthier?! They are called “Brookie Cookies” because they are thick and fudge-like a brownie but in the shape of a cookie.

I saw these in a Gluten Free group on Facebook and everyone loved them! Well, I can attest my crew devoured them and so did I!  You can use regular flour too of course, but I used GF.  It replaces butter with coconut oil, so you do have to enjoy coconut flavor for this recipe.

They do need to chill in the fridge so that you can roll them and bake, so just build that little bit of time in when baking!

Recipe here:

Brookie Cookie {Gluten Free!}

Let me know if you try them but don’t blame me if you can’t stop eating them!

Wellness Wednesday: Easy Sheet Pan BLT

I have been trying out some new recipes and thought I’d share one that literally just made last night!  My good friend Ann has been doing rounds of Whole30 for over a year now and has nothing but amazing things to say.  I have yet to bite that bullet, but I am playing around with the meals and food concepts a bit, especially since I have given up Gluten and am really trying to just eat real foods.  I also like to keep things simple around here as well as versatile.

This meal was SUPER easy delicious; I only wish that I made more!  Depending how you eat/serve, it can be Paleo or Whole30.

You will need:

Bacon (ideally Whole30 approved, mine was not #oops)

Cherry tomatoes

Chicken breasts

Lettuce

Compliant mayo (I actually used Primal Kitchen Ranch)

Sheet pans

Instructions:

Pre-Heat the oven to 400 degrees

Cut bacon into small pieces, place on one sheet. (Use kitchen scissors!)

Arrange chicken and tomatoes on another – salt and pepper

Bake for 25 minutes — I watched the bacon and took some out a few minutes before the timer went off, as I don’t like it too burnt/crispy.

I ate mine over a big salad w/ the Primal Kitchen Ranch.

I actually served my kiddos this as a traditional BLT — I toasted bread, used mayo and shredded the chicken, added lettuce and tomato and of course they went nuts for bacon.  At first Bradley gave it a thumbs down, but I told him this was dinner, he was welcome to pick it a part and eat what he wanted but this was it.  A few minutes later he told me he was kidding and that he liked it—kids!  I will say he took the tomatoes out.

Joe just had his with real Ranch dressing, no salad and no toast.  I bet I could have stirred it up in a pasta and he would have enjoyed it as well!

No leftovers and no complaints = winning!

Let me know if you try it!

The original recipe can be found here. 

 

 

Gluten Free Meal Ideas

So I am a little over 2 weeks into this “Gluten Free” business.  I am not claiming that I know everything, let alone anything hah!  But I do know that I am feeling better and to me, that’s most important! I will preface by saying that I’ve had some odd digestive issues over the last few years, and I’m pretty sure that 4 years ago I did all the “allergy testing” and all that came up was bee pollen.  Fast forward, I’ve done an Endoscopy, and an ultrasound and again, nothing shows up. (Yay! and what the heck?!)

That said, I would say that I eat sort of healthy–and I always know that my body does best with a lot of veggies, greens, lean proteins and some complex carbs.  What I have noticed though was that almost immediately after eating my stomach would hurt, like a burning pain up near my ribs.  I was tired and sluggish, like absolutely no energy.  That’s why I went to my Primary Care Dr. (no help other than offering Anti-Depression meds and off the cuff mentioning maybe try  going Gluten Free) my GI Dr, who tried to help but Prevacid made me feel worse, and my amazing Acupuncturist who is the only one giving me ANY relief. She is focusing in on where my “heat” is and says it has more to do with my hormones than anything…

So while my main goal is to eat whole, real, actual foods, I am such a foodie and I LOVE cooking!  So I thought I’d share some of what I’ve been eating that doesn’t seem to bother me (or bother me too much).  So far I have noticed I have lost a few pounds, but I am not even focusing on that because I’m so focused on my GUT health and how to just feel amazing again.

Breakfast Ideas:

Soft boiled Eggs

Spinach

Hashbrowns

Everything But the Bagel Seasoning

Gluten Free Toast

Coconut spread

Egg Whites

Turkey Bacon

Spinach

 

Oatmeal

With flaxseed or chia seed

Add fruit (blueberries)

*However, I’m noticing if I eat oats in the morning, I feel very bloated  (super– I know, but not cool!) So I’m not sure about the oats…

I tried these pancakes out on Sunday for the kiddos and I.  We LOVED them!

Snacks:

This is the bread I got to use, if I am craving it.  It’s great toasted w/ avocado and this EBTB seasoning.

GF waffles

Almond butter

Strawberries

Chia seeds

My acupuncturist actually said to eat more soy and tofu— I think I’m Progestrone dominant? So I do!

Edamame w/ sea salt and a yummy juice.

I found this Protein at Wegmans and it’s so good you guys! It’s a serious treat. I made it just like the back of the tub says.

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Lunch:

Usually leftovers in a salad or bowl format…

Here I had leftover chicken cubed, rolled in almond flour that I baked the night before. I added asparagus, turkey bacon and some GF Coleslaw salad dressing

Dinner:

I didn’t take a picture, but this was so good!! I love Tiffany Beaston on You Tube; she is GF and even a little dairy free, so this was a great meal everyone like it!!

If I’m making a traditional pasta dish, for example, Linguine with Clam sauce, I just full out make it for Brooke and Joe. It’s great for lunch or dinner leftovers.  Bradley eats butter noodles and I made myself a GF Pasta, cooked up some Tofu and used Braggs Nutritional Yeast, lemon & broccoli. I thought it was great!

The point being, it’s a bit of a 3 ring circus in my kitchen, it does take a little extra time, but I feel great!

Extra Firm Tofu cooked in coconut oil with sea salt is so yummy!!

I did try out the Martha Stewart Baked Scallops recipe. Brooke, Joe and I liked it! I used GF bread crumbs which I actually think are sweeter and taste great. I served over regular and GF pastas.  Bradley would not try it, so he had pasta, veggies and turkey meatloaf (below.)

Giada’s turkey meatloaf is a staple here. I actually didn’t have any feta cheese, so I used Goat and Bradley still ate it! We ate it right up for lunches and dinner.

Another easy sub is rice for pasta, as rice is GF.  Also Rice noodles! I made this Thai Peanut dinner last night and made my own with Brown Rice noodles.  Delish!

Aldi’s Grocery Haul

Happy Wednesday!

I decided to record a quick little video of what I just bought at our local Aldi’s.  If you haven’t shopped at one lately, or ever, you are missing out!! I can fill my cart and feed my family (and all of our crazy dietary needs) on a budget.  In today’s haul I spent $127 and I am certain that it would have been close to $300 at our other store.

As I have shared a little, I have been having weird digestive issues and stomach pains on and off for a few months.  Back in 2016 I felt very similar to this, had the same procedures done and somehow through diet, exercise and luck? I overcame my issues and haven’t really had any problems until this past October after our trip to NOLA.

Granted, I am now 38 and in a separate blog post I’ll go into more about this, but I am considered “Perimenopausal.” I know.

So, long story short, since my Endoscopy was totally fine (some stomach irritation)—Prevacid made me worse, and then my recent Ultrasound shows NO issues whatsoever, I feel as though I’m left to my own devices to figure out how to properly fuel my body and feel better.

Hence, about a week ago I’ve been trying to go Gluten and Dairy Free.  Now, I am not allergic to Gluten nor to I have an intolerance to dairy, but the pains and gas pressure in my stomach along with feeling bloated, tired, irritable and just miserable for a bit have caused me to say enough is enough!  In this haul I share some Gluten Free finds and also some great deals on things like Cage Free Organic Eggs.

My husband has Crohn’s and obviously my kids are little, so dinners are a bit of a 3 ring circus but I’m determined to help all of us live our best lives.

Do you have an Aldi favorite? I am obsessed with some of their GF chips and crackers dipped with hummus.  I’m not a huge sweets person, but I got some to try! I’ll report back later.

Enjoy!

 

PS

In the video I mention Tiffany Beaston–here is a link for her You Tube video and the “Marry Me Chicken”.  I just love her channel!

 

 

Weekend Wrap Up & Menu for the Week

Happy Monday!

I figured I’d share a few tidbits from our February break weekend as well as my menu for the week!  I am still doing Gluten Free (for me) but I’m experimenting a little with dairy… I’ve been watching a ton of You Tube videos of other healthy ladies who have had similar digestive issues as myself, and they have found that going GF and even Dairy Free has helped them feel so much better.  I have been feeling pretty well, but not 100%.  I’m not going to give up yet and since meds haven’t helped, I am simply listening to my body and trying to give it what it needs.

We’ll start with this week’s menu, shall we?  All recipes are linked!

Sheet Pan Beef & Broccoli

Shrimp Scampi (Instant Pot)

Baked Scallops

Veggie Quinoa Soup  (Slow Cooker)

Turkey Sweet Potato Chili

I saw Jordan Page post this recipe and I may try it for the kiddos.  Sometimes we have lots of fruit going quickly, so it maybe nice to Some of those may end up being lunches or just food for me, as Joe’s diet is low fiber and lots of carbs.  I’m getting used to the 3 ring circus that is dinner some nights.  I don’t expect my family to eat no gluten, and on pasta nights, I can either sub zucchini noodles (zoodles) or GF pasta or rice. Simple!  I am not one to give up carbs totally, so I’m trying to take on this GF thing as something new and exciting…rather than omg it’s so hard and more work.  Being pain free to me is 100% worth it!

As always, if need be there’s always these as back up options:

Taco Night (I use ground beef, turkey, or chicken and taco seasoning. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, avocado, rice, beans, tortilla shells.) It’s a fam fave.

Breakfast for dinner (usually waffles, pancakes or eggs)

Leftovers

Ok moving on to some randoms from the weekend!

I just LOVE this green juice.  It has a whole bunch of goodness in it and my body actually craves it.

Friday the boys got hair cuts and look so cute!

After that we hit up the Outlet Mall for some new clothes for Joe.  Mama may have scored a few things too!  This CK hoodie was on sale for $14.99. I LOVE the neon!

Miss Brooke insisted that we stop at Justice and she picked out a few things as well.  I already miss that she’s back in school full time.  She’s growing up so fast!

Saturday night was low key; Joe built us a fire and Holly snuggled near it.

These two pretended to like each other for a few minutes…

Sunday brought more sunshine and I felt the need to purge all the things.  While doing so, I watched this documentary on Netflix.  The power of our minds and how to heal our bodies.  It all fascinates me and I do believe in the power of our thoughts. Have you seen it?

Look at it still being LIGHT outside during dinner Sunday night!!  (Smoked/Grilled Wings for the win!!)

I gotta say I was awesome at my workouts last week! I made it to the gym 4x with the kiddos.  Saturday I did the bike and triceps/biceps.

I also baked my babies some chocolate chip cookies! I used the back of the Wegmans brand chocolate chips recipe. 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes had these babies crisping up! I took some out around the 8 minute mark so they’d be chewy for Joe. I had a tiny nibble, but don’t want to upset my stomach so I refrained.  Any good GF sweet treats you could share?

I also got to chat with my mom a little bit.  She just launched a blog for her Life Coaching business!  Check it out.

Mom’s Blog!

I hope all of you have a great week.  Remember: start before you are ready and that DONE is better than PERFECT.