top 8 free Tag

Zesty, fresh & nutritious vegan Pad Thai. It’s a little bit of sweet, a little bit of sour, and slightly nutty without the nuts.

  Nut allergies suck!  There's no other way to say it. Although we have multiple life-threatening allergies in our home, this nut allergy is my least favorite for Xander to have.  I can avoid having nuts in my home, I can avoid baking with it, but it is so incredibly difficult to avoid coming into contact with it elsewhere.  Think of all the PB & J sandwiches out there! Or crackers, or cookies, or smoothies, not to mention the oil people fry their stuff in.  It's endless, especially when you include the variety of foods from other cultures such as Indian, African and Asian. Although I love the experience of trying these different global cuisines, but many are prepared in ways that are uncommon to us and if you throw in language barriers, then it can be even trickier.  Asian dishes (Korean, Japanese, Chinese & Thai) vary in ingredients but contain many of the top eight allergens, including peanuts.  Recently, I found out that fried egg rolls or spring rolls can be sealed with peanut butter!  I never would have thought that.  But of all the Asian cuisines, Thai food is heavy in peanut rich dishes. Nuts are incorporated for adding flavoring, thickening the sauce or garnishing, such as in Pad Thai. But don't give up hope! This Pad Thai recipe is to show you that you can easily recreate the dishes you loved without using nuts or any of the other top allergens.

How do you make an adult snow-cone? With coffee of course!

  Coffee,,, it's a pretty wonderful drink.  I can drink it hot or cold, but never lukewarm! Morning or late night or even somewhere in between.  It's by far my drink of choice. When I'm not drinking a cup of it,  I'm using it in my recipes!  Have you tried that before? Instead of using the liquid listed, substitute all or half of it with coffee or espresso.  It turns a morning smoothie into a protein packed perk-me-up!  Or a delicious cake into something spectacular.  It turns sweet icing into something decadent.  Basically, it turns great in to amazing! Do you know what else it makes extra special? ICE!  That's right, ice. Think of it as an adult snow-cone, and I don't mean the liquored up kind of sno-cone.  I mean the caffeine infused kind! A Coffee Granita.

Getting out of bed early isn't awesome, but this breakfast recipe from the new book Vegan Bowl Attack! by Jackie Sobon of Vegan Yack Attack IS!

  Bowl food. It's the latest craze! But while I was creating a Pinterest board for vegan bowl food, Jackie Sobon went ahead and created an awesome cookbook.  Darn it!  :)  Actually, I LOVE this cookbook.  It is filled with more than 100 one-dish, plant-based bowls that everyone can enjoy, vegan or not.  They're hearty, nutritious and delicious, and sure to please anyone.  Just take a look at that Apple Pie Smoothie Bowl, doesn't it look fun?.

Protein bites that taste like Heaven in your mouth. No bake, loaded with only "good for you" ingredients & Top 8 Free.

Have you ever just wanted something to eat? You don't know what that something is, but you've got to find it and will eat through the pantry in an effort to satisfy it.  Well friends, this is what your stomach has been longing for! This little blissful bite of protein, not only satisfies any sweet tooth, but it's perfect for all you snackers, breakfast-skippers, people on-the-go, non-cooks, protein junkies, food-allergy friends, & vegan foodies,,,,,REALLY! SunButter Craisin Protein Bites will satisfy any craving and you won't feel guilty if you eat 2 (because you will).

Rise and shine! You don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to enjoy fresh free-from muffins. Just add water and oil to Enjoy Life's ready-to-use mix, and breakfast is looking pretty delicious.

Baking on a restricted diet can be difficult at times... especially in the beginning. I remember how overwhelming it seemed when I had to learn how to read labels,  learn to bake all over again with substitutions, and then learn how to shop find new & safe brands to buy! Thankfully, I found Enjoy Life Foods early on. Enjoy Life Foods is one of my favorite allergy-friendly brands!  Their whole philosophy is about forfeiting the bad stuff without giving up taste or texture. Love that!  I always have in my pantry a few bags of their chocolate chips, a box or two of cookies and my son, Xander, loves their bars!   They recently came out with a few boxed mixes and so I just had to try them out. Typically, I would bake from scratch but sometimes, it's nice to have a mix handy (just in case), especially when you're new to baking allergy-friendly.

Gluten-free Cake with fresh blueberries will confuse your senses but delight your mouth.  As my oldest stated, "This smells like graham crackers, looks like a cookie but it's a cake!"

blueberry cake cover Sometimes, confusing your senses is a good thing!  You smell the spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger swirling through the house and it reminds you of graham crackers.  Then you see these 5 mini cake pans cooling and at first glance, the size of the pans and the fresh blueberries remind you of a large chocolate chip cookie.  BUT WAIT, it's actually cake!  Can that be right?  Is it actually blueberry banana cake that smells like graham crackers?  Yes, my friends, that is right. 

Eating dirt won't hurt you! Really!

Thanks to my friends at Enjoy Life Foods & So Delicious, you too can make your own allergy-friendly Dirt Cups. Trust me, this is quite a treat for the kiddos and if you don't have kids, that's ok too.  Nothing like making a dessert to make you feel young again. 

A few weeks ago I took my son, Xander on a fun little date night to celebrate my birthday.   My oldest was working, my daughter was at tumbling and the hubby, well, he was out of town and I just didn't feel like cooking, soooo, the little guy and I went out to celebrate,,,at WholeFoods. If you're thinking it's a pretty lame place to go, it really wasn’t.  We got to hang out, walk around, and pick exactly what we wanted to eat from a large selection of healthy foods.  The options were so much better than most restaurants we could have gone to.   X-man decided on the salad bar and loaded his plate high ($15 salad anyone?) and myself, I picked to eat from the Ramen Station and had their chef make me this amazing, spicy, bowl using tofu instead of chicken. The food was absolutely wonderful. Since that night, I’ve been craving their ramen bowl, in fact, I could probably eat it every night. The veggies were so fresh, the broth nice & light and that spice was a fun little treat to my palate.   Seeing that it'd be a little silly to go there for dinner everyday, I thought I'd give it a go and make it myself.  I am so glad I did! 

Thai Green Curry with Cauliflower

As I was making my menu for the week, I realized just how crazy busy my week actually was.  There is not even 1 night free, which isn’t unusual anymore.  Instead of freaking out, I remembered that I prayed for all of this.  The healthy kids, a wonderful husband, a job, a church we love, friends, etc.  Each of those bring much happiness, and much busyness.  There are athletic practices, music practices, church group, fundraiser dinners, church and even a Bieber concert thrown in there this week.

Instead of feeling defeated before the week has really begun, I go back to my menu and start trying to figure it out. I need to make dinners that are delicious, healthy, plant-based & easy.  Keyword here, EASY!   

I know I’m not the only one with busy nights, in fact, many of my friends and those I coach are constantly telling me how they eat out most nights and just can’t find the time to make a good “home-cooked” meal.  But trust me, but with a little planning, you can make a good-for-you meal just as quickly as it’d take you to drive somewhere and grabbing something to go.  And just in case you need a little extra help, here's my downloadable Weekly Menu Planner to make dinners a little easier for you. 

As for a recipe, well I have that too!  Whether you have had Thai food or not,  this Thai Green Curry with Cauliflower will take you on a little culinary adventure and is a perfect start to your meal planning. This is a wonderfully, rich & creamy dish, with just enough heat to make you smile.  Best of all, it's so, so easy to make and takes less than 30 minutes!