Sep 262014
 

Isn’t amazing how children open your eyes to the ever changing universe we live in? I must admit, I’m a creature of habit. I always have been up until the arrival of my son Christopher. All of a sudden order and structure, things I formerly cherished, went out the window. The exciting thing is that in exchange I realize the gift of constant change and growth arrived.

So in all honesty, I don’t think I was able to embrace chaos as a gift until more recently. I’m a first time mommy, and as first time mommies go, I had perhaps an unrealistic idea of what life would be like as a mommy. The good news is that my expectations were quickly adjusted. The truth is, children don’t give you any other choice. They live in the present moment. With that, each and every moment is fluid, unplanned, and experiential. What an amazing gift……when you take the time to sit back and look at it that way.

I realize my home isn’t in perfect order anymore. Yes, all too often I tell my husband to look inside the dryer for some clean socks. Yes, my clothes are often wrinkled. I honestly can’t remember the last time I even thought to pull out the iron. Is it likely that 99 days out of a hundred you will see my hair pulled up in a ponytail and partially wet? Oh yes….. But you know what? I’m blessed to have a beautiful opportunity to spend each day much more in the present moment than I ever have in my whole life as I explore our fascinating world with my son.

So for any of you mommies or daddies out there that might be feeling a bit overwhelmed by the chaotic lives we live, I hope you can sit back and see the gift in the chaos. It’s not easy at times, but it truly is a beautiful gift of living in the present moment.

 Posted by at 3:48 pm
May 272014
 

In our home, we pride ourselves on traditions for holidays. There is something very fun and special about tradition and food is often a good way to mark a holiday. So…..this year I decided it was time to design a fun family burger for Memorial Day. The result was awesome if I do say so myself. These burgers are flavorful, juicy, and have just the right amount of heat. Try them yourself and let me know what you think.

Kickin’ Chicken Burgers (gluten free) Recipe

Ingredients:

Homemade wing sauce (see below for recipe specifications, use full amount made in recipe)

2/3 cup of grated blue cheese

1 egg

1/4 cup Ian’s gluten free breadcrumbs

1 pound lean ground chicken breast

1 small Vidalia onion chopped finely

3 teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon onion powder

3 tablespoons of olive oil

Homemade wing sauce:

1/4 cup butter (unsalted)

2/3 cup Frank’s hot sauce

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

combine above three ingredients above in a pot and simmer on low heat till blended, let cool before using in recipe

Directions:

Beat egg in a large mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients with the exception of the olive oil. Use your hands to combine ingredients well and form into 4 large patties.

Place patties on a plate and wrap with tinfoil and refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours or overnight for favors to really saturate.

Heat olive oil in a skillet on the stovetop and cook 6 minutes on each side on high heat.

Serve the burgers on gluten free toasted buns accompanied by shredded lettuce and tomato slices on each bun.

Servings: 4

 

 

Apr 262014
 

I recently started getting a bi-weekly fresh produce box from Door to Door Organics, and I love it. I find myself exploring new vegetables in my cooking and it is great as it has gotten me out of the rut of making similar things all the time.

Anyhow, this week my box had fresh zucchini. This inspired me to create the recipe I am going to share with you. It was really yummy and was a big hit with my son who is just 15 months old and can be a bit picky about food sometimes.

Hope you enjoy this. It is healthy, gluten free and yummy so how can you go wrong?

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Recipe
Ingredients:
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup chicken broth (I use low sodium and fat free)
1 large orange pepper (cut in strips)
1/2 of a medium sweet onion (diced)
2 medium zucchini (cut in slices then halved)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
Sea salt to taste
1 tablespoon of oregano
1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese

Directions:
Prepare the quinoa by bringing it to boil in the chicken broth. Cook for approximately 13 minutes, make sure to reduce the heat to medium once it comes to a boil. When finished, remove from heat and spoon into a large mixing bowl.

Sauté all veggies and spices/herbs/salt in olive oil. I let it simmer till the onions were nicely browned, approximately 10 minutes. When cooked, remove from heat and add to your quinoa.

Lastly, stir the feta cheese into your still warm quinoa and veggies. Set aside for 15 minutes, then place in the refrigerator covered to cool for several hours before serving. This dish should be served cold.

Serves 4 as a side dish

Apr 032014
 

Somehow I have always associated Mexican food with being unhealthy…….the truth is it doesn’t have to be. I recently created this recipe that in addition to being tasty is also healthy and gluten free. I hope you enjoy it. I know both my husband and my 14 month old son did, and they can be tough customers!!!!!

Mexican Crockpot Chicken Recipe
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
16 oz. frozen tricolor peppers
12 oz. frozen sweet white corn
12 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons of sea salt
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 pounds of chicken breast, any fat trimmed
1 12-14oz. jar of your favorite salsa
1 cup chicken broth (I use low sodium, fat free, organic)

Side compliments:
Guacamole
Fresh veggies for dipping (your choice, I like carrots, celery and cucumber for this dish)
Gluten free chips of your choice (your choice, I like sweet potato or a jalapeño tortilla)

Instructions:
Use olive oil to treat your crockpot, ensuring nothing sticks. Place all ingredients up until the chicken breasts into your crock pot. Make sure to mix well.

Next place chicken breasts on top of your vegetable and spice mixture. Pour the entire jar of salsa evenly over your chicken breasts. Then pour chicken broth along the edge of the pot evenly distributed.

Cook on low heat for 5-6 hours or high heat 3-4 hours. You will know the dish is done by checking that your chicken is no longer pink in the center. Make sure to check at the thickest point in your chicken breast pieces.

When serving, remove chicken breasts first. Then use a draining spoon to serve the accompanying vegetables.

I like to serve this dish with the side compliments I mentioned above. Regardless, just guacamole alone served with this dish tastes excellent as an addition.

Servings 4

Feb 222014
 

imageWhen I get in the kitchen to bake, I have fun. It is one of the few places that I experiment freely (music being the other). Anyhow, with this approach to my baking sometimes I hit it out of the park, so to speak, and other times I work and refine what starts out okay.

This particular Friday I was inspired by a bunch of very ripe bananas sitting on my counter and my son’s appreciation for things that are soft, banana flavored, and sweet. I lucked out and this recipe was a true winner. Sooooooo yummy and yes, gluten free as usual.

I hope you try this one! It’s worth it. I whipped it up in 15 minutes and baked it in 30, so it’s a very efficient home baked good. Your going to notice something very cool about this recipe. There is no added sugar. So yes, there are bananas and chocolate chips, but those alone give this adequate sweetness without needing to add any sugar.

Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf Recipe
Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine ground sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gun
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 ripe bananas cut into bite size chunks
  • 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
  • Non-stick cooking spray

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 380F. Prepare a 10 inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Combine all ingredients in order from the ingredient list above with the exception of the bananas and chocolate chips. When combining ingredients use a fork or wire whisk to beat by hand, do not use a mixer as gluten free flours are sensitive.
  • Using a spoon stir in the bananas and chocolate chips.
  • Pour mixture into your loaf pan. Bake at 380F for 30 minutes.
  • Let cool a minimum of 1 hour before removing it from the pan.

8 servings

Feb 112014
 

It’s funny how the universe has a way of giving you what you need even if you didn’t know you needed it.

A few years ago, I found myself in a place I didn’t like. I realized I wasn’t living the life I wanted to live as I wasn’t being true to myself. Fortunately at the time, a friend suggested I read the Power of Now by Ekhert Tolle. I read the book slowly over a period of 6 months. It helped me slow down, get in touch with what I think of as the authentic me, and make some dramatic changes.

My life began moving in a whole new direction, a direction where life was more than achievements, work and the mighty dollar. Looking back now, these changes led me to realizing several of my childhood dreams that speak to who I am as a person. My life was transformed. I went from single, lonely and unhappy to married with a wonderful baby boy and deeply happy.

So if your sitting there and thinking, okay, that sounds too good to be true, I understand your skepticism. Looking back, I’m sure if someone told me that I would end up here based on reading a book that had a powerful impact on me, helping me return to living a life true to myself, I probably would have laughed.

Lately I have felt the need to revisit who I am. I think doing so is a good practice as we are all constantly evolving. Not to mention I find it easy to get caught up in the stress of daily living and lose sight of myself. Below I will share some of the self reflection questions I’m working on this week.

  • What makes you happy? Are you spending time doing things that make you happy?
  • Who are you today? Are you happy with this person? If not, why?
  • What are your hopes and dreams? Have you lost them? Can you sit back and allow yourself to creatively explore and reawaken them?

This is the first of several posts I plan to share in this vein of thinking. Here’s hoping you consider joining me on this journey in the coming weeks. I know that this isn’t an easy thing to do, but I believe it is worth the work. Being authentic is where inner peace and happiness lie.

Feb 042014
 

{46c715fe-47f0-41e4-9a0b-e86667ad2719}_7BWI’ll never forget my son lying on my chest for the first time in the hospital. It is a feeling that I cannot compare to anything in the entire world. Whether I realized it or not, from that moment on, my life no longer held the same meaning for me.

Having grown up with a less than perfect childhood (yes, the better part of our population fall into this category), I realize I had developed in my mind’s eye a picture of the perfect mom. In my mind, this woman held certain characteristics, virtues and performed specific tasks on a regular basis. This mom, whom I must call “Supermom” given her energizer bunny energy and ability to do everything her child possibly wants for him or her, is who as my newborn baby laid on my chest, I hoped and prayed I could be. Could I possibly place more pressure on myself?

I write this post because I know I’m not alone. I know that there are so many soon to be mommies and present day mommies who try to live up to an ideal that just is not attainable nor is it good for their own well-being and their families.

Looking back at my first year of mommyhood, I realize that placing unrealistically high expectations on myself did nothing but make me feel bad when I didn’t accomplish what I thought I should. Do I fall back into this expectation habit again on a regular basis? Yes, of course. However, what I have also realized is that what my son really needs is a mommy who is present and in the moment with him. If I am concerned with accomplishing things for him, I can’t truly appreciate him for who he is in each and every moment. These are moments that I will never be able to recreate. So……..rather than “Supermom,” I hope that I, along with all you other mommies out there, can be a mommy who is present and aware and enjoying their children.

 

Feb 032014
 

imageI recently purchased a crock pot and honestly, I can’t believe I waited this long. As a mom, this is honestly one of the best tools I have to get a healthy meal on the table almost any night of the week. In the coming months, you will see more recipes that I have developed for the crock pot. I wanted to start with one of my husband and baby’s absolute favorite, turkey chili.

Having just moved to Boulder, I had a chance to make this again last night for the big game. We were definitely disappointed that the Broncos were not at their best last night, but as you’ll see from my son’s face, that didn’t stop us from enjoying this yummy dish.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we always do. It is low fat and gluten free. I like to serve it with guacamole and gluten free taco chips, celery, and baby carrots.

Turkey Chili with a Kick
Step 1

Ingredients
1 pound ground turkey breast
Salt to taste
1 tbsp. ancho chili powder
1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
3 tbsp. olive oil

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Combine the ground turkey with all above listed ingredients. Use a fork to shred the turkey into crumbles. Brown the turkey in the skillet slightly undercooking it. I usually brown it for about 3-4 minutes.

Step 2

Ingredients
Olive oil to coat the crock pot
1 12 oz. can of tri color kidney beans, drained
1 medium Vidalia onion, diced
1 10 oz. bag of frozen sweet kernel corn
1 12 oz. bag of frozen tri color peppers
1 12 oz. can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 8 oz. can of tomato paste
3 tablespoons Worcester sauce (gluten free bottle of choice)
3 tablespoons of Red Hot sauce
2 teaspoons of salt
1 tablespoon of ancho chili powder
1 tablespoon cilantro
2 tablespoons of minced garlic

Coat the crock pot evenly with olive oil to ensure the ingredients don’t stick. Place all listed ingredients in step 2 in crock pot and mix well. Fold the browned turkey from step 1 into the newly mixed ingredients. Make sure to thoroughly mix the turkey with all ingredients. Place crock pot on low and cook for 3-4 hours.

Step 3

Ingredients
Low fat shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Cayenne pepper

Top each person’s chili with cheese and cayenne pepper to taste depending on spice preferences.

Servings 6-8

Jan 212014
 
Jari Schroderus / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

As I begin to write this post, I feel my hands tremble.

Some of you that know me personally know that I began suffering from an eating disorder at a very young age.  To this day I still fight this battle, sometimes winning and other times just remaining above water. I honestly thought becoming a mommy was somehow going to miraculously make things better. I truly believed in my heart that I would be able to accept my body in this new phase of life, knowing that I had brought a beautiful human being into this world. The truth is, there is no magic wand that erases the struggle.

When I look in the mirror, I don’t see what other people see. Some of you may understand what I mean, but for those of you who don’t, just imagine you went into a fun house at an amusement park and you look into one of the distorted mirrors. There are indeed good days where my vision seems more accurate, but I never know what kind of vision I am going to have on a given day. One look in the mirror can send me on a cascade down a spiraling path of sadness. It makes me so angry that I am impacted by this.

It seems nowadays almost any person, woman and/or man, has some form of an eating issue. Believe it or not, it is too often the person you don’t expect that is struggling more than anyone else. I truly hope that we can all strive to remember that we don’t know what another person is dealing with on any given day.

So tomorrow, like today, I will wake up and strive to find body acceptance. We each have our own personal struggles. What is your hidden struggle? Next time you start to judge someone else, will you stop and remember he or she may be having their own struggles?

 

 

Jan 102014
 

IMG_2718Hello from Boulder, CO. I can hardly believe I’m here. Never in a million years would I imagine that I would be living in a new city at this stage of my life just a year after having my first child. You really never can tell where life is going to lead you. So, here I am.

So many changes have occurred in my life in the last year. I can’t wait to share and explore with you all here in my new home city. My posts may shift a bit from time to time at this point. You can expect to continue to see gluten free recipe posts. I also hope to have more music to share with you as my creativity is sparked from the beauty of the mountains and sunshine surrounding me. I also plan to share with you pearls relative to what I am learning as a new mommy. I feel like everyday is filled with new wonders that I learn from my little man, Christopher. Lastly, I’m going to share my new city with all of you, my friends and readers. Stay tuned!!!

Now, before I sign off……I meet so many people here in Boulder that refer to this life change I have made as living “the dream.” I have to be honest, I never dreamed of relocating here, but now that I have arrived I feel in my heart that I am in the right place for me at this point in time. Who knows were the right place will be for me a year from now, but what I do know is for now, I’m very happy to be living “the dream.”