Basil Kissed Tomato Spinach Pasta

Gluten Free pasta with spinach and basilWell it’s Monday again, I still have basil, spinach and Tomatoes in the garden and some gluten free pasta in the kitchen. Can you guess what’s for dinner at my house? Correct, it is time for Basil Kissed Tomato Spinach Pasta. We never know just what to do at the end of the season with all the tomatoes we harvest and this year we were way to successful with the basil, so we will be sharing a few pasta recipes with you as we explore ways to enjoy the fruits of the harvest. If you didn’t have the chance to plant all these different items, a visit to your local farmers market over the next couple of weeks will yield all the fresh vegetables you wish.

This week we stopped at one of the farmers markets in our area to get some fresh lemon grass. We will dry some of it to enjoy as a tea over the cold months ahead. I also grabbed some fresh beets. That is a double win for us because we can pickle the beets to enjoy in a couple of weeks and we can use the beet greens in salads and smoothies over the next week. All the different types of squash are in the market now so that is another adventure for next week. Some of these we enjoy here because we don’t find them near our home in Mexico. There are other types of squash available there that we will write about once we return south.

assorted squash

We won’t be doing any canning this year because we are only about 60 days away from heading south to our winter home in Mexico. For those of you that are new to this blog, we have another website Http://RetirementLifeInMexico.com that we blog from a lot during the winter. Actually I want to think of a way to combine the two sites into one but I’m not sure just how to do that yet. We picked Mexico as a retirement home over 20 years ago but last year was the first chance that we had to enjoy it for a full 6 month stay. Now we are thinking of staying there year round and visiting the family here in the states during the rainy season in Mexico.

Mexico

My wife enjoying a hike in the foothills near Puerto Vallarta

It is such an unhurried lifestyle and there is a large English speaking population in and around Puerto Vallarta so that even with my limited Spanish, I never have a problem making myself understood.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Basil Kissed Tomato Spinach Pasta
 
You can use any pasta you choose for this recipe and it can be served hot as a main course or chilled as a salad.
Author:
Recipe type: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 5 medium size fresh ripe tomatoes, stemed chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 lb. fresh baby spinach
  • 1 lb. box gluten free pasta, cooked as directed on box, and kept hot
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
  • 2 ounces dry roasted pine nuts
Method
  1. In a very large skillet over medium heat, pour the olive oil, add the onions, and saute just until the onion softens, then add the garlic and cook together 1 minute longer, stirring.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste, then stir in the tomatoes and lower heat, simmering for 5 minutes.
  3. (Make sure you have the pasta started now so it's cooked and hot when the spinach mixture is done.)
  4. Add to the skillet the basil and fresh spinach and toss, cooking until the spinach wilts and the mixture is hot.
  5. When the spinach is wilted, add the hot drained pasta, and toss to combine.
  6. Sprinkle with pine nuts
  7. Grate Parmesan cheese on top of each serving for more flavor.

This is one of my favorite pasta dishes because you have a chance to use so many items from the garden. If you are still looking for a  Meatless meal for meatless Monday, make a little Basil Kissed Tomato Spinach Pasta and introduce the family to a real taste treat.

In the meantime, if you are enjoy Mexican food  check out Chef William’s Mexican Cookbook at http://chefwilliamlikes.me/Traditional Mexican Fiesta Recipes

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Seasoning Your Food

spices In The KitchenHere in Wisconsin it is time to start drying some of the herbs we raised this summer as we prepare for winter. Because herbs and spices have such an effect on the taste of the foods we enjoy we like to grow those we can, all year. Using Herbs and spices for Seasoning Your Food can work magic by changing a bland item into a culinary masterpiece.

Herbs, spices and other seasonings are a natural and healthy way to add a lot of flavor to your recipes without adding a lot of extra calories. With a little practice, you can create an endless variety of delicious recipes, such as Mediterranean-inspired favorites bursting with the fresh flavors of lemon, garlic and rosemary and spicy Mexican dishes featuring cilantro, cumin and chili powder.

making salsaOf course, your options won’t end there. A wide range of herbs, spices and seasonings are used throughout the world to make food taste better, and in some cases, last longer. Over time, certain flavors have come to represent the culinary identity of the areas where they originated. In large part, the seasonings you choose will define the direction of your own culinary development, as well.

With a little creativity, you can put a fresh spin on some of your favorite tried-and-true recipes by simply swapping out the herbs, spices and seasonings you use. For example, if you add fresh or dried basil or oregano to diced tomatoes, chopped onion and finely minced garlic, you have the makings of a wonderful red Italian pasta sauce. On the other hand, if you replace the basil and oregano with cilantro and lime juice, those same ingredients become the foundation for a fabulous homemade salsa recipe.

To help inspire you, the following chart shows some of the most popular culinary ingredients based on geographic region.

Most Popular Kitchen Seasonings From Around the World

Cuisine: Popular Herbs, Spices & Seasonings

Italian
basil, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, parsley and garlic             balsamic vinegar and olive oil

French
thyme, French tarragon, rosemary, basil, sage, mint, marjoram

fennelGreek
dill, lemon, oregano, fennel

Spanish
saffron, smoked and regular paprika, rosemary, thyme

German
mustard, rye, caraway seeds, borage

Mexican
cilantro, chili powder, cumin, Mexican oregano,garlic, annatto seed, coriander and epazote

Indian
curry powder, coriander, cumin, turmeric, ginger   garlic bulb

Chinese
five-spice powder, star anise, fennel seed, cloves, cinnamon, ginger

Thai
spices in the kitchen Thai basil, cumin, turmeric, lemon grass, cinnamon

Of course, this chart is far from comprehensive, but it can serve as a good reference point for assembling your own collection of must-have herbs, spices and seasonings.

Keep in mind, some herbs, spices and seasonings, such as salt, black pepper and garlic, have an almost universal appeal that isn’t limited by geographic borders. Chances are you will notice those items popping up in recipes from all over the world. As a result, you may want to keep an adequate supply of these basic ingredients in your own pantry or spice rack. I use freshly ground black pepper because the flavor is so much more intense that the already ground pepper you find in your local market. I also use sea salt and himalayan salt when seasoning our food because of the extra nutritional value they add to a dish over the table salt sold in most stores. You should be able to find almost all of the above products at your local health food store and even perhaps at your local supermarket. However if you can not find something, visit Chef Williams Nutrition Store If it is something I use I like to offer it to others. I make a few cents on each sale which helps support my blog post, and you get a great product to enjoy.

You will also see a lot of crossover among dishes from countries that border one another. For example, French, Italian, Greek and Spanish dishes often feature many of the same herbs, such as basil, rosemary, oregano and thyme. Of course, this isn’t surprising when you consider how these populations interacted with and melded together over the course of history. Depending on your personal tastes and cooking habits, these ingredients may be good to keep on hand, as well.

While assembling your own collection of herbs, spices and seasonings from around the world, remember you can save money by growing your own. Fresh herbs are super easy to grow from seed or from cuttings in your own garden and many can be brought indoors for rosemaryyear-round enjoyment. However, if growing fresh herbs isn’t your thing, many popular fresh and dried varieties are readily available. Dried herbs can be a great alternative to fresh, but take note of expiration dates and suggested storage methods. Dried herbs, spices and seasonings can be quite expensive, so buy smaller amounts at one time if you won’t be using them often. To learn how to get started  raising an indoor herb garden I posted an article that might help, you can read it at:  My Indoor Herb Garden It works for some herbs and it helps others such as rosemary remain fresh all year.

Salsa Roja Asada
 
If you don't peel the tomatoes after roasting, (and we don't in Mexico) you will have black specks in the salsa. They do not hurt the salsa at all.
Author:
Recipe type: salsa
Cuisine: Mexican
Ingredients
  • 6 medium tomatoes
  • ½ of a white onion, sliced into 4 slices
  • 2 large green jalapeno peppers, halved and seeded
  • 2 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • ½ teaspoon Mexican Oregano, crumbled
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
Method
  1. Fire up your grill and grill the tomatoes, onion slices, jalapenos and garlic, turning often until they all have charred spots on all sides.
  2. Remove the pieces to a plate as they are ready. Some will be ready much sooner than the others.
  3. When they are all finished , remove the outer skin of the garlic, then chop all the vegetables or give them a quick whirl in a food blender..
  4. In a small skillet, toast the oregano for a few seconds to get that aromatic smell, Add it to the salsa along with the cumin,salt, olive oil and vinegar. Mix well.

 

There are many great foods that only require a little rearranging to switch from one country to another….In this case, change the jalapenos with bell peppers, the cumin with basil and you have the makings of a nice pasta sauce….of course you can tweak it a little more, like changing the rice vinegar for balsamic vinegar, and maybe adding a few capers, it’s up to you. The Idea is that you can do so much by seasoning your foods a little different each time you are in the kitchen you will be surprised just how creative you can be…….so enjoy and create……In your kitchen You are the Chef.

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Taste The Food

Taste The FoodPerhaps the first step in eating right is to Taste The Food. Learn and remember the rule of halves; half of the pleasure of eating happens in the first bite and then it is reduced by half with each subsequent bite.

We can taste Sweet, Sour, Salty, bitter, Umami, Pungent, and the ancient Chinese considered spiciness as a taste. Temperature can also effect taste such as the heat from the capsaicin from hot peppers or the coolness of mint.

Step two is you want to focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. The     Fresh vegetableswhole grains can be gluten free grains so you can maintain whatever healthy lifestyle you have chosen as long as you make food your hobby as well as your support system.

Lets break that down a little.There is a reason that God put the nose just above the mouth. The senses of taste and smell work together to bring enjoyment and to alert us to danger when we are going to put something into our mouths. Most tastes come from odors we smell before we ever get near the food. When you walk into the kitchen and smell your favorite foods being cooking right away you start to feel a little hungry. Walk into another kitchen where they are preparing food that you really do not like and chances are you will turn and leave before ever getting near the stove or oven.

dessertThere are companies that put special food odors into packages that can spray an area every so often to trick people into thinking they are hungry for something that they were not even thinking about until they walk into the area. I once knew of a restaurant that had the scent of fresh baked apple pie set up so that when the waitress walked through the door from the kitchen it sprayed the dining area, it increased dessert sales by about 37 percent I was told. Another scent that will be people to thinking they want to eat is the smell of onions frying on the grill.

So how do we make this work for us? To me it looks like anything more than three or four bites of any item and you are no longer tasting it. Your mind might be remembering that first bit and that is tricking you into thinking you are still tasting as much as you did on the first bite. Or my theory is that we keep changing what we are tasting so that we keep       Fried Chickenchanging what is passing over our taste buds resulting in “new tastes” with each bite. An example I can think of is KFC. All the seasoning is on the skin. Some people eat the skin and then lose interest in the chicken and it falls to second place behind the mashed potatoes and gravy. What is the major taste in the gravy, black pepper…however when nobody is looking, they will go back to the bucket to get another pinch of skin even if they have not finished the chicken on their plate.  The message here is that everything is in the herbs and spices and how they are combined, when it comes to cooked foods.

Another example is sausage. The pork or chicken used all taste pretty much the same, but Savory Breakfast Sausagethe herbs and spices make for a very large selection of different tasting sausages. What flavors the sausage if not the pork or chicken? Sage, fennel seed, garlic, rosemary, thyme, black pepper and cayenne are some of the herbs and spices that flavor sausage.

For a nice easy recipe for breakfast sausage look here Chef Williams Breakfast sausage

As we age our taste buds start to diminish but we can avoid the loss of taste and make the meal a pleasure to look forward to. We start by getting away from processed foods that contain all kinds of chemicals that we don’t want to put into our bodies. By combining  herbs and spices to create healthy meals we will Taste The Food at every bite. We will be posting some recipes that will address that challenge starting later this week, so be sure and check back often. We look forward to your comments and will answer them so please let us know how you like the recipes.

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No Bake Energy Bar

Energy BarsToday we are going to make a No Bake Energy Bar. In Mexico during the summer it is sometimes almost always to hot to use the oven during the day. Actually we do our cooking outdoors in a special area that is open except for a roof to protect us from rain should an unexpected storm pass overhead.

I use the No Bake Energy Bar as a light bite along with a cup of tea about mid-day when I am on the go and do not want to Continue reading

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What is Clean Eating

Gluten freeToday we want to take up the subject What is Clean Eating and what is it all about. It is one of the hottest topics currently among food conscious individuals. This concept is not a diet but a lifestyle and generally involves eating food in their most natural state. It is about eating ‘whole’ or ‘real’ foods, that is, those that are unprocessed (or minimally processed), refined or handled with the aim of maximizing your energy and optimizing your Continue reading

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Gluten Free for Better Health

Wheat FreeAre You Ready to go gluten free for Better Health? It is a big step and for many the challenge can be almost as hard as it is to quit smoking. It takes a big commitment but in my view it is well worth the benefits.

Did you know that 83 percent of the people who have Celiac’s disease don’t know they have it? And millions of people have Continue reading

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The Wheat Free Challenge

wheat freeThere is what I call The Wheat Free Challenge or what could be considered the downside to going Wheat Free. I don’t really see it as a downside but there are adjustments one must make when they go completely gluten-free/wheat-free. There are some drawbacks and it is important to be aware of those before you make the decision to go wheat free. We are going to just dive right in and talk about the dark side of gluten free if it can be called such.

Nutrition Deficiencies

Going gluten free means that you’ll have to pay careful attention to your diet as you adjust

gluten free lifestyle

my table after a trip to a local farmers market

to your new lifestyle.. In addition to avoiding anything with wheat or gluten you’ll also need to make sure you’re getting the fat, fiber, and protein your body needs. You’ll want to make sure that you get enough vegetables and fruits along with nuts and other whole grains into your diet. That is really not hard to do if you plan your meals and snacks.

However, the biggest nutritional challenge may be getting Gluten free vitaminsenough vitamin B. Fortified breads and cereals are a primary source of B vitamins. B9 is also known as folic acid and is essential to prevent birth defects. Humans obtain B12 in the diet, either from animal sources (red meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products) or from fortified plant-based foods. That becomes a challenge if you don’t eat meat or dairy. To compensate for this potential deficiency, you’ll want to look into taking a gluten-free multivitamin-multimineral supplement.

A Lifetime Commitment

Once you eliminate gluten and wheat from your body, you want to keep it that way. Many wheat freepeople who start eating gluten after an elimination find that they’re even more sensitive to it. This happened to me. After several months gluten free, I had a hamburger at a cookout I attended and because they didn’t have gluten free hamburger rolls and I didn’t think it would be a big deal. Boy was I wrong. I lost my edge for days. I felt like I had the flu. It was enough to convince me that gluten wasn’t for me and that hamburger bun certainly wasn’t worth feeling like I did.

Social Stigma

The gluten free diet is nothing new. It’s been around for a long time as many people have an allergy to gluten. The difference is that it is mainstream now. When celebrities start talking about how great they feel without gluten, people start listening and they start talking. Be prepared for questions, judgments and many sighs. Strangers aren’t much of a problem, it’s when your friends and family roll their eyes that it becomes frustrating. Here’s the key to managing this, remember how good you feel. Think about the weight you’ve lost, the energy you’ve gained, and the health improvements you’re enjoying. Their opinion about what you eat or don’t eat really doesn’t matter.

Gluten Free is Pricey

Finally, if you start going down the store bought gluten free bread and treats path, be      cost of being wheat freeprepared to spend some bucks. A loaf of bread can cost you between five and six dollars and the add on at a pizza restaurant for a gluten free crust can be almost as much. You’re much better off not adding these items to your diet, at least not on a regular basis. Make your own gluten free treats with the flours and meals from the recipes we will be sharing with you over the coming months. They won’t spike your blood pressure or cause inflammation and the price is much cheaper than store bought goods.

There you have it, the major drawbacks to going gluten free. If you’re dealing with digestive challenges, weight gain, constant cravings, low energy, poor sleep and aches and pains that you just can’t seem to get rid of, then gluten is a likely culprit. All of these “drawbacks” will feel minor in comparison to your improved health and vitality.

In the last post in this series on the wheat free challenge and all that goes with it, we’ll wrap it up by talking about making the decision to commit to a gluten free and wheat free lifestyle. Following that we will return to posting recipes that will help you reach your goal. But before I go, If you are looking for a good source of B vitamins, have you ever thought of adding Kombucha tea to your diet?  Please take a look at this short video to learn more:

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Questions about Wheat Free Living

wheat free lifestyleHere are some of the Common Questions about Wheat Free Living that I come across from time to time from friends and family as well as other nutrition and weight loss enthusiasts. If you have other questions, please leave them in the comment section below the article and I will answer them as quickly as possible.

As you transition into a gluten free and wheat free lifestyle you’re going to get questions. Some of the questions are genuine. People really want to learn more about your choices and support you. They might also be considering making the change themselves. You may get some seemingly strange questions so the better prepared you are the easier it is to address their concernts.

Can You Eat Organic Wheat?

No. Organic wheat, as lovely as organic foods are, still contains gluten. And while it isn’t Fresh Baked BreadsGMO wheat, it has been bred for decades to be higher in gluten. The cross breeding has resulted in a grain that is much higher in gluten than it used to be. Additionally, if you’re sensitive to gluten it doesn’t really matter much if the gluten was treated with pesticides and chemical fertilizers. It’s still gluten.

I Thought Whole Grains Were Good For You.

Some of the components of whole grains are good for you. Fortunately, you can get fiber, healthy fats, and protein from other sources. There are also many whole grains that don’t contain gluten. They include amaranth, millet, buckwheat and quinoa. If you like whole grains but you can’t have or don’t want  gluten try some of the alternatives. And make sure you’re getting your fiber and healthy fats from other sources. Pistachios are an exceptional source of fiber and you can get your healthy fats from nuts, fish, or supplements.

Can’t You Ever Eat Gluten? Come On, A Bagel Isn’t Going To Kill You.

The truth is that there are some compelling reasons why you never want to eat gluten everything bagelagain. In the most serious cases if you have Celiac disease then a bagel can wreak havoc on your system. It’s definitely not worth it. Also, if you have other autoimmune diseases then a taste of gluten or wheat can cause a flare up.

If you’re sensitive to gluten or you were a gluten addict before going wheat free, then trying a bagel can send you on a downward spiral. Some people are more sensitive to wheat or gluten addiction. One bagel might turn into an entire day of gluten indulgence which can turn into a week and before you know it you’re right back where you started.

Finally, if you haven’t had gluten for some time and you indulge in that bagel or muffin, you might experience a serious flare up of symptoms. You can even experience some symptoms that you’ve never had before.  I’ve known some who just had to test the gluten ‘just to see’ and spent the next couple of days in the bathroom. Not fun.

Can you have gluten once in a while? You can do anything you want. Should you? Definitely not. Once you eliminate gluten and wheat from your diet, you’re better off to stay free of it. You have gone through a lot of work creating your new lifestyle and you feel much healthier now that your gluten free, so why take a chance of going back to the old way of life and all the problems gluten can add to your life.

Some might consider this a downside to going wheat free and in the next post we’ll take a look at other potential downsides. You’ll have the information you need to make the best decision for you, your health, and your goals. But before I go, I would like to share with you a short video about a no pain workout that I really enjoy…best of all I can do most of these when taking a short break from the computer…have a watch and see if you agree:

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BLT Salad with Avocado

Gluten Free BLT SaladToday the family wanted BLT sandwiches. We do that a couple of times each summer when the tomatoes are ripe on the vine. I made myself a BLT Salad With Avocado because I am eating gluten free and I did not want the sour dough bread that we use when we make BLTs. I think I got the better deal however I might get an argument about that as the family really enjoys these sandwiches when I make them.

5.0 from 1 reviews
BLT Salad with Avocado
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: International
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 6 ounces Hearts of Romain lettuce, washed, chopped
  • ½ avocado, peeled, diced into 1 inch squares
  • 4 slices extra thick bacon, fried crisp, diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 ounce cheese of your choice, diced
  • 2 ounces gluten free mayonnaise
  • 1 ounce skim milk
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Method
  1. Fry the bacon until it is medium well done, remove from pan onto paper towels. Pat off any excess fat.
  2. Dice bacon into 1//2 inch slices and put aside.
  3. Dice Romain lettuce into bite size pieces and place into a salad bowl.
  4. Peel and seed medium avocado, dice into ½ inch cubes add to lettuce.
  5. Slice tomato into quarters then slice the quarters into ½ inch pieces, place in bowl with lettuce.
  6. Slice the cheese into small squares and add to the salad
  7. Top the salad with the bacon pieces.
  8. Place the gluten free mayonnaise into a bowl, add the skim milk, sea salt and ground pepper,
  9. Using a whisk, whisk the mayonnaise mixture until smooth,
  10. Pour the mayonnaise dressing over the salad
  11. enjoy

As you can see, the family was able to enjoy the BLT’s the way they liked them and I was Making a BLTable to enjoy a gluten free BLT Salad with Avocado so I maintained my gluten free lifestyle without any special ingredients needed. Often times it is just that simple. So the next time you are visiting someone, just look around and thee is a good chance you will find enough gluten free foods to make a meal without anyone paying any attention to the fact that you chose to arrange your plate a little differently than they did.

This recipe is not part of the 11 article series on gluten free living that I have been writing about the past two weeks. It was my turn to make lunch today so I grabbed my camera when I went to the kitchen. The pictures were taken on the spot, no set up, no special lights. It is just an example of how easy it is to eat well and still eat gluten free if that is a lifestyle you choose. We will be offering some tasty gluten free dessert recipes sometime next week so be sure to check back often.

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The Wheat Free Life

Gluten FreePlanning Your New Wheat Free Life is a great help when getting started. Before long it will all become second nature to you but as with any new endeavor it takes a little time to adapt to the changes. Our son, the 35 year old martial art student that I mentioned in yesterdays article, has adjusted pretty well to replacing his “fast food” sandwiches with a healthier choice. The day before we started his clean eating program, he paid a visit to two different “Sub Shops” and had a large sandwich for lunch and another one around dinner time. Keeping him “eating clean” until his tournament will be easy because of his enthusiasm about the fight, but that only gives me about three and a half weeks to make the new clean eating lifestyle a habit with him.

So if your are ready to live a wheat free life, as I am sure you are, lets get started. Enthusiasm and excitement are a great start but we also need to get organized.  I can tell you from experience that the first time you slip up and eat wheat will happen because you did not plan ahead.

One mistake doesn’t mean all your prior efforts are wiped out but it’s not fun. You’ll likely experience a few side effects plus, there’s the pride factor to consider. You are indirectly making a statement to your friends that you have taken hold of your health.   After a few weeks of being wheat free you’re going to be quite proud of your new found health and your accomplishment. Slipping up because of poor planning is a huge bummer.

Let’s talk about good planning.

#1 Meal Planning

The first step, and this may sound too type A or too organized for some folks but bear with

wheat free

plan your meals

me, make a meal plan. Identify what you’re going to eat for every meal this week. Actually, I only plan three or four days out because I want my veggies as fresh as possible. This time of year there is a farmers market somewhere near almost seven days a week. But if you don’t have time to hit the farmers markets or supermarket twice a week, plan for the whole week.

Decide what you’re going to have for breakfast, lunch, dinner and definitely plan for snacks. That’s where you’re most likely to make a mistake.

If you’re terrible at planning for snacks you might like to make your own like I do. If not,  then consider buying a few raw bars. They’re made from nuts and dried fruit and are quite satisfying. Lara Bars, are one type of snack bar that you can buy in the store, but you will save a few dollars in the long run if you make your own healthy snack bars. It can be quite rewarding as long as you control how many you enjoy each day.

Choose recipes and make a list. When you go to the store, shop from your list. Steer clear of the processed food aisles and stick to the perimeter of the store – that’s where the produce is found. You’ll still have to read labels but there will be fewer to read.

#2 Enjoy Food

It’s important to think of food as something that’s enjoyable, particularly when you’re

gluten free

enjoy your food

eliminating something as prevalent as gluten. Some days you might feel like there’s nothing you can eat. Make eating a luxurious and delightful endeavor. So many people completely overlook this. They eat but they don’t dine. After the first two bites there is no taste to the food only they really do not notice because their minds have been trained to remember the taste of those first two bites until they have cleaned their plates.

Add fresh herbs to your meals. Eat foods you haven’t eaten before and enjoy produce that’s bright and colorful. There’s something fun about eating a purple potato or a purple carrot. Don’t hesitate to try new foods and explore. And remember to treat yourself to foods that you might miss. For example, I really like having a piece of bread in the morning for breakfast. In the beginning I found an apple and almond flour waffle recipe that helped satisfy that craving. Now I make my own gluten free “English Muffins”, their still not perfect but they are getting better and better every time I make them.

#3 Make it Easier On Yourself

I found that there were a handful of tips and tools that can make life much easier. For example, a crock-pot is a wonderful thing to have in the kitchen. You can put dinner in the pot in the morning and come home to a fully  cooked meal. That is really not to exciting to me, but I do have a few great recipes for the crock-pot that I will share with you soon.

When my wife was taking meals to work, on Sundays I would make a freezable batch of gluten free pancakes with different fruits in them. On the days that she was rushed to get everything done she needed to do, breakfast could be ready in a couple of seconds. Now, a couple of days a week we will make gluten free tortillas with almond and coconut flour so lunchtime sandwiches are simple too. I also purchase the coconut wraps you see on the top right of this page and keep them on hand for roll-ups. The trick is to create a  system and find tools that work for you.

In the next post we’re going to take a look at the one thing that trips most everyone up, going out to eat. But before I go, here is a little something you might enjoy:

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