Kale salad with sharp cheddar, apples and pine nuts

I haven’t always been a fan of kale. But this salad has been my go-to lunch lately. This combination is super flavorful and healthy. Sometimes I eat it with a baked sweet potato and it’s literally the tastiest lunch... it definitely beats eating cold gluten-free macaroni and cheese and half chewed strawberries from my daughters plate!

The coolest thing is that you can put the dressing on in the morning and by lunch you have the best dressed kale and it is not soggy. Even after 24 hours it still will not be soggy. It’s a great salad for traveling, to-go lunches or just about anytime! I  generally follow the recipe from The NY Times  except I substitute the sliced almonds for pine nuts. Almonds will work well or any nuts of your choice.

Kale salad with sharp cheddar, apples and pine nuts


4 cups very finely chopped or slivered curly kale or Russian kale (large stems removed)
3 tbs pine nuts (optional, toasted)
1 apple, sliced thinly or diced (I use gala or honey crisp)
2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cut in 1/4-inch dice or grated
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste
1 very small garlic clove, puréed
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan


Whisk together the lemon juice, salt, garlic and olive oil. In a large bowl, add dressing to the kale and toss well. Set aside in fridge until ready to serve (at least 15 minutes and up to 24 hrs).

When ready to eat, top salad with apples, pine nuts, cheddar cheese, sprinkle with Parmesan and serve up!


chocolate chip banana muffins

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

I am not going to lie, January is always my least favorite month of the year. This year has been particularly challenging. It has been dry and cold in Colorado, we've been sick for weeks on end and I am seriously sleep deprived. So I daydream of the beach. Warm sand. Sunshine. Cocktails on ice. Ahh.

To soften my January blues, I tend to bake and read (see below)!

These muffins are really for my kids. Child 1 doesn't eat much. Child 2 eats everything. So I sneak in bananas, apple sauce and almond flour to give them a nutritional boost.
Hope you enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

1 1/4 cups Pamelas Baking and Pancake Mix flour blend
1 large egg
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sugar or coconut sugar
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/8 cup applesauce or other fruit puree
1/8 cup almond flour
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together and spoon into greased muffin tins or lined muffin tins (fill about 2/3 full). Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Makes about 6-7 muffins.

Also on the menu:

Soba Noodle Stir Fry from the NYTimes.  In order to make this celiac/gluten free friendly, I am using coconut aminos or tamari and using 100% buckwheat noodles. This will ensure a safe gluten free meal!

And if you need a book to read while eating your delicious gluten-free muffins, pick up The Light We Lost, by Jill Santopolo. I could not step away and found so much to relate to in the book. It's a heartbreaking love story about Gabe and Lucy who meet on Sept. 11, 2001. Their lives go in different directions for 13 years but the love in their hearts never fades.

From Penguin Books
"Lucy is faced with a life-altering choice. But before she can make her decision, she must start her story—their story—at the very beginning.

Lucy and Gabe meet as seniors at Columbia University on a day that changes both of their lives forever. Together, they decide they want their lives to mean something, to matter. When they meet again a year later, it seems fated—perhaps they’ll find life’s meaning in each other. But then Gabe becomes a photojournalist assigned to the Middle East and Lucy pursues a career in New York. What follows is a thirteen-year journey of dreams, desires, jealousies, betrayals, and, ultimately, of love. Was it fate that brought them together? Is it choice that has kept them away? Their journey takes Lucy and Gabe continents apart, but never out of each other’s hearts."

Okay...back to cooking and not book reviewing :)  and a big CHEERS to the last day of January! 


Vegetable Coconut Curry

This recipe was recommended by my SIL to try out. It was definitely an easy way to eat a bowl of vegetables on a cold winter night. The sweet potato in this recipe elevates the flavor of the curry. I will surely be making this again.

Vegetable Coconut Curry

Vegetable Coconut Curry

(adapted from Harriet Emily blog)


1 medium sweet potato
1 medium baking/russet potato
10 stems broccoli or broccolini
2 tbs coconut oil
1 onion
1 or 2 red chili peppers- depending on spice (I only had green, but will use red next time!)
2 garlic cloves
1 zucchini
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp all spice
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp chile powder (add more if you like more spice)
1 cube of vegetable bouillion (make sure they are GF. I use Edward and Sons)
1 14oz can of diced tomatoes
1 14oz can of coconut milk
1/2 cup frozen peas- thawed
1/2 cup spinach

1. peel and chop the sweet potato and baking potato. Then, finely slice your onion, garlic and zucchini. De-seed and chop your chile. Set aside.

2. Fill a large pan with water, and bring to a boil on a medium-high heat. Add in the sweet potato and baking potato, and cook for 10 minutes.

While they cook, add the onion, garlic and chile into a large wok with the coconut oil, and place onto a medium heat. Fry for about 4 minutes, stirring to avoid browning. Then, add zucchini and cook about 2 minutes.

3. Next, add the cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, allspice, ginger, chile and bouillon cube into the pan with the onion mixture. Stir together, and then add the diced tomatoes and coconut milk. Now add the broccoli into the pan with the potatoes, and cook for their few remaining minutes.

4. When the potatoes have finished cooking, drain them and add them into the curry mixture. Reduce the curry to a low-medium heat, and cook for a further 15 minutes to thicken. Lastly add in the peas and the spinach, cook for about 2 more minutes.

5. Remove from heat and serve with rice! 
Vegetable Coconut Curry



Banana Chocolate PB Protein Muffins

I made these muffins for my daughter, who has a very very limited diet. I love food, so this is a big challenge in our house. I want her to have tasty and nutritious food that she will actually eat. Luckily these muffins were a success! She said to me..."Mommy, can I eat these EVERYDAY?!" They are moist, slightly sweet and a perfect snack. Hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

Banana Chocolate PB Protein Muffins


1 1/4 cups GF flour (I always have the best success with Pamelas Baking and Pancake Mix, made  with almond meal).
3 heaping tsp of chocolate peanut butter powder ( I like PBFit)
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 egg
1/3 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup coconut sugar (or regular sugar)
1/2 cup mashed banana
1/3 cup chocolate chips or nuts (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together and spoon into muffin tins that are lined with parchment paper baking cup liners. Fill 2/3 full. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. This recipe makes about 8 muffins.


Easy Strawberry Mango Salsa

Has it really been 4 months since my last post?! I have been cooking like a fool (and obviously not posting anything).  My little one is eating me out of house and home. It seems I buy more avocados than the store can keep in stock! Anyway, onto this amazing and fresh salsa...I have a feeling it's going to become a summer staple in our house. Tonight, it will go on grilled chicken for dinner with some broccoli on the side. Fresh, easy and flavorful! Hope you enjoy.

Easy Strawberry Mango Salsa

1 mango, peeled, cored and diced
1 cup strawberries, diced
1/4 cup red onion, minced
1/2 lime, juiced
handful of cilantro, chopped coarsely
1 small jalapeño, seeded and diced or 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (to taste for spiciness)

put all ingredients into a bowl and stir. Refrigerate until ready to use. Top on grilled chicken or salmon or eat with corn chips!



Gluten Free Black-Eyed Peas with Ham and Spinach

Happy New Year!

I haven't been able to put together any posts lately and it's not because I haven't been cooking. I have been cooking a whole bunch! My 9.5 month old baby is keeping my quite busy and is the best little eater ever (I started her on baby led weaning at about 7 months old). I feel like I am constantly in the kitchen (and the hubby is constantly doing dishes)!

This black eyed peas recipe was straight from the New York Times. It was so good that I can't wait to make it again! I didn't have collard greens so I used spinach, but either will work. I also made a box mix (gasp!) of gluten-free cornbread mix to round out the meal. Super easy and super good!


Gluten Free Black Eyed Peas with Ham and Spinach

2 pounds black-eyed peas, soaked overnight if possible
2 pounds smoked ham hock, meaty ham bone or slab bacon
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 large onion, peeled and stuck with 2 cloves
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 pounds collard greens, cut in 1-inch ribbons (about 8 cups)

Drain peas and put them in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add ham hock or bone (if using slab bacon, cut it into 2-inch chunks), cover with 10 cups water and turn heat to high. Add salt, onion stuck with cloves, bay leaf, black pepper and allspice.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Skim off and discard any foam that rises to the surface. Simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until peas are tender. Throughout cooking, add water as necessary, always keeping liquid level 1 inch above surface, stirring with wooden spoon occasionally. Turn off heat. Check broth for salt and adjust seasoning. Mixture should be fairly brothy. With a pair of tongs, remove ham hock, ham bone or bacon. Chop meat and skin in rough pieces and set aside.

Put a large wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil and heat until wavy. Add garlic and red pepper and let sizzle without browning. Add collard greens and stir to coat. Season with salt and add 1 cup water, stirring to help wilt greens. Add chopped ham and reduce heat to medium, then cover with lid slightly ajar and cook until greens are soft, about 20 minutes. Check seasoning.

To serve, put greens and meat in low soup bowls, then ladle over hot black-eyed peas. 


Gluten-free Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies

These fun cookies are simply delicious peanut butter cookies with a few decorations to appease my 3 year old. She is ALL about holiday decorating and loves cookies. I can't imagine why??!!

Gluten-free Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies


1⁄2 cup butter, softened
1⁄2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup  brown sugar (don't pack down)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups Pamela's baking and pancake mix

Gluten free chocolate covered pretzels (I used Glutino)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 

Cream together the butter and peanut butter. Mix in sugar, egg and vanilla, then add Pamela's Baking combine throughly. 
Form dough into 1-inch balls. To make reindeer-shaped cookies, pinch the bottom of the ball slightly to form a point, then gently flatten with your hand.

Bake in oven for 17-20 minutes. Edges should be light brown. Remove from oven and immediately (and gently) press two mini pretzels 

into the tops of the cookies for the reindeer's antlers. Press two brown M&Ms in for the eyes and one red M&M for the nose. Cool completely before removing from pan with spatula.



Gluten-free Andes Chocolate Mint Cookies

The kitchen is my happy place. When I'm stressed out, worn out, need a break from the kiddos, I like to do two things: cook something delightful or go on a run outside. Lately it seems I've done more baking than running and this blog has morphed into a cookie site. I promise to eat healthier in 2016 and run more (1/2 marathon?!) But until then...'Tis the season for holiday baking! I made these cookies with my four nephews in the house. Grab, grab, grab, grab went their little hands. Needless to say they were a hit!

Gluten-free Andes Chocolate Mint Cookies

1/2 cup white sugar
7tbs butter at room temperature
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups quality GF flour blend (I use Pamela's Baking and Pancake mix)
2 tbs cocoa powder
3/4 bag Andes Mint baking chips (about 7oz)


Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Cream butter and sugars together. Add vanilla and egg and beat together until light and fluffy. Add flour and cocoa powder. Mix thoroughly. Next add in Andes Mint baking chips.
Using a spoon or a small cookie scoop, make 1 tbs balls/scoops of dough and place on lightly greased or parchment lined cookie sheet (or use a sil-pat).

Bake for 10 minutes or until edges start to slightly darken. Let cool on a rack and then remove cookies from cookie sheet using a spatula. Makes about 24 cookies.

I'm sure St. Nick will love these cookies with a cold glass of milk or Baileys ;) Happy Holidays!


Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Double Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

made with love

These cookies are a mix of white chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, oats, and walnuts.
Perfect for the holidays!

8 tbs butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1 1/2 cup GF Flour (I use Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix for best results)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
1 cup GF oats

Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Cream butter and sugars together. Add vanilla and egg and beat together until well combined.  Add flour, cinnamon, chocolate chips, walnuts and oats. Mix thoroughly.

Using a spoon or a small cookie scoop, make 1 tbs balls/scoops of dough and place on lightly greased or parchment lined cookie sheet (or use a sil-pat).

Bake for 15 minutes or until edges start to golden. Let cool on a rack and then remove cookies from cookie sheet using a spatula. Makes about 24 cookies. Enjoy!

Double Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies


Gluten-Free Whole Meyer Lemon Almond Cake

Have I ever mentioned that I love baked goods? It's one of the reasons I run a few times a week. I run so I can eat cakey delicious sweets and not feel (too) guilty! Last week I picked up a bag of fresh Meyer lemons at the grocery store without any idea of what I was going to do with them. I pondered lemon bars but wasn't feeling it, so I settled on a lemon almond cake. This cake is made with a few simple ingredients and is certainly delicious and tangy! Hope you enjoy! Recipe was inspired by The View from the Great Island

 Gluten-Free Whole Meyer Lemon Almond Cake
4 large Meyer Lemons
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
3 cups almond meal
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbs vanilla bean paste

for the icing
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 to 2 tbs milk 

Preheat oven to 325F

Rinse lemons and put them in a saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes.
Drain the lemons and let them cool until you can handle them. Cut open and remove the seeds, but keep everything else. The WHOLE LEMON! Do this on a plate so you can retain the juices. Once you have removed all the seeds, put everything into a food processor or blender. 

Process until finely pureed. You will need roughly one cup of lemon puree for the cake.

Beat the eggs and the sugar until pale in color.
Add in the almond meal, baking powder, vanilla, and lemon puree. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Put batter into a greased and sugared (not floured) 9" springform pan. Smooth out the surface so it is even.
Bake for about 60 minutes, just until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then gently release the sides of the pan and remove the cake to finish cooling.
Make the icing while the cake is cooling. Combine the sugar with the butter, vanilla and milk. Beat until smooth and creamy. Adjust the texture by adding more sugar or milk. Spread the icing on the completely cooled cake.

the cooked lemons all chopped up!

The puree

the perfect slice