Gluten Free Granola Bars

During the holidays the husband and I always seem to be traveling a bunch and it can be tricky finding healthy snacks on road trip or when visiting family and friends.  I have found some great gluten free granola bars over the past few months that we stock up on beforehand so we have snacks handy throughout our whole trip.  The husband (who’s not gluten free) actually loves all of these as well!

1. LARABAR

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LARABAR makes amazing gluten free granola bars.  Most of them only contain about 3-4 basic ingredients.  For example, the chocolate chip cook dough (my personal favorite) contains cashews, dates, chocolate chips and sea salt.  That’s it! I love being able to actually read and understand what the ingredients are in something I eat.  They always label whether each bar is gluten free and/or dairy free so you know exactly what you’re eating.

2. KIND Bars

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KIND Bars also have great gluten free, dairy free, NON-GMO labeling.  For those of you that like your granola bars to be a bit crunchy, these are the way to go.  My favorite one is their Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew.

3. NATURE’S PATH

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I love anything gluten free from this brand.  They have amazing cereals, buckwheat pancakes, granola bars and much more.  They have organic ingredients and label NON-GMO, so you really can’t go wrong with Nature’s Path.  A while back, before I went gluten free, the husband actually started getting their Sunrise Crunchy Vanilla cereal without even realizing it was gluten free!

4. BAKERY ON MAIN

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BAKERY ON MAIN has delicious, chewy granola bars with several flavor combinations like Chocolate Almond (my favorite), Apple Cinnamon and Peanut Butter Chocolate.  These can be found in health food stores like Whole Foods or if you live a Charlotte, a local health food store called Healthy Home Market carries them.

You should be able to find most of these brands Harris TeeterTrader Joe’s, or even some Walmart’s.

I hope this has helped any of you who are on the hunt for tasty, healthy, gluten free snacks!

-glutenfreemrs-

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Today I’m Thankful For…

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Today I’m thankful for my school and for the amazing people who work and volunteer here to make it such a great place to work.

Every year our PTO and parents graciously bring in enough pies so every teacher can take one home for Thanksgiving. Yeah. Amazing.

This is the part that gets me even more. Our PTO President baked me a GLUTEN FREE PIE!!! She came up to me earlier this week and said, “We’re making you a special gluten free pie to take home.”  It’s an apple crumble and it looks and smells amazing.

For someone to go out of their way to do something so special makes me feel so blessed and thankful.

We’ll see if I can make it until Thanksgiving to dig in. 😉

What and who are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Don’t just keep it to yourself, go tell somebody!

Here’s the recipe for you:

Apple Pie Crumble

Crust:
1 1/2 cups of GF oats
1/2 cup GF flour mix
1/3 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp. GF vanilla
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  In a separate bowl mix the vanilla and butter.  Add to the dry ingredients and mix well. Press firmly into the bottom and sides of a 9″ pie pan.  Reserve a handful for the topping.
Filling:
3 medium size Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. all spice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 1/2 Tbsp. corn starch
1/4 cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 375.  Put first 7 ingredients in a bowl, mix well.  Gently add the sugar.  Put in the unbaked pie crust and sprinkle with topping.  Bake 50 minutes.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

-glutenfreemrs-

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

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Every now and then the husband mentions (not so discretely) how much he loves pot roasts, so with having the day off for Veteran’s day, I thought it was the perfect day to make a roast in the crock pot!  I’ve done several before, but this one was my first gluten free pot roast.

Ingredients:

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*Photo bomb* (again!) Like I said before, this little furball never fails to sniff out any meat immediately after I pull it out of the fridge.

Ingredients:

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  • 2-2 1/2 lbs chuck roast/bottom round roast/tri tip roast (whatever you can find!)
  • 5 russet or 10-12 gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 5-6 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 heaping cup chicken or beef broth (gluten free)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  •  4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 heaping TBS Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper (then more to taste)
  • 2-3 TBS gluten free all purpose baking mix/flour
  • 4-5 TBS warm water
  • crock pot

Start by prepping your garlic, potatoes, onions and carrots.

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Heat the olive oil on medium high and brown all sides of your roast.  Should take about 5 minutes.  I love to use a cast iron skillet for this because it adds so much flavor, but any skillet will do!

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Transfer your browned roast into your crock pot.

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Add in your carrots, potatoes, garlic, onions, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, then pour in your broth.

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Close the lid and set your timer on low for 8 hours. (worth it!)

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8 hours later and voila! Looks and smells so good. I’m sure my poor furballs were tortured every minute of those 8 hours smelling the roast cook!

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Transfer your veggies to a dish and the roast to a cutting board so you can get all of your broth out to make the gravy! (best part)

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Mmmm. Come to momma!

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The meat will be so tender, you won’t even really need a knife to cut it.   Just break up the meat into long slices, then mix back into the veggies.  At this point, I would taste the meat and veggies to see if you need to add more S & P.  I ended up adding quite a bit more.

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Here comes the fun part! The husband came home just in time to do the gravy, and insisted on doing it this way.   Add the 2 TBS of flour and 4 TBS of warm water to a bowl, close the lid and…

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Shake it up!!  You have to make “the face” or it just won’t turn out! 😉  My mother in law has always done this because it prevents your flour from getting lumpy when it’s time to add it to the broth.  If you find that it looks a little dry, add a TBS of more warm water, or if it’s runny, add a TBS of more flour, then shake it up again!

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Transfer your remaining broth to a pot and keep warm on low.  Pour your flour/water mixture into the broth, whisking for several minutes until thickened.  Just in case you’re wondering, I’ve found that the gluten free flour thickens just as well as regular flour.  Arrowhead Mills is a great, NON-GMO brand that has many gluten free baking alternatives.

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Plate your food, then pour the gravy over each serving. (I was excited to finally use our gravy boat from our wedding registry!)

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Observe the creamy, savory goodness that is your pot roast.

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It’s a perfect fall dish to warm you up on a cold night!

Here’s all the details for ya:

Ingredients: Serves 4-5

  • 2-2 1/2 lbs chuck roast/bottom round roast/tri tip roast (whatever you can find!)
  • 5 russet or 10-12 gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 5-6 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 heaping cup chicken or beef broth (gluten free)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  •  4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 heaping TBS Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper (then more to taste)
  • 2-3 TBS gluten free all purpose baking mix/flour
  • 4-5 TBS warm water
  • crock pot

Instructions:

  1. Cut up garlic, potatoes, onions and carrots.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium high and brown all sides of roast, then transfer to the crock pot.
  3. Add in carrots, potatoes, garlic, onions, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, then pour in the broth.
  4. Cook in crock pot for 8 hours on low.
  5. Transfer veggies to a dish and roast to a cutting board.
  6. Transfer remaining juices from the roast into a pot on and keep warm on low heat.
  7. Cut roast into long slices then transfer to the dish with the veggies.
  8. Taste veggies and roast and add any needed salt and pepper.
  9. To make gravy: Shake up 2TBS flour and 4 TBS warm water in a small bowl with a lid until it becomes a paste.  (If it seems too dry, add 1 TBS of warm water, and if it’s too runny add 1 TBS of flour.)
  10. Whisk flour mixture into broth until it thickens up.
  11. Plate the roast and pour gravy over each serving.
  12. Eat!

Hope you enjoy this gluten free roast! Please feel free to leave comments or ask any questions you may have!  Happy eating!

-glutenfreemrs-

Zoe’s Kitchen

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Zoe’s Kitchen is a great restaurant that the husband and I frequent often.  They have fresh ingredients with a Mediterranean flare from Greek salads to hummus to kabobs.  Zoe’s Kitchen has a fun, family friendly atmosphere and reasonable prices for their fresh options.

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I love that they have a separate gluten free menu as well as 500 calorie, vegan and vegetarian menus!

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(Please disregard the three week old nail polish on my thumb!)  =o

I usually get a kabob meal because they give you the best bang for your buck.  If you are gluten free, make sure you definitely order from the separate menu because the sides listed with the entree items are different on the regular menu.  For instance, the shrimp kabobs normally come with a side of their rice pilaf, but since it’s not gluten free, the gluten free kabobs come with different side options, such as the braised white beans or potato salad.

Another thing I love about this place is their homemade Greek dressing that’s made daily!  Try not to use the whole bottle on your salad. 😉

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This time I ordered the shrimp kabobs from the gluten free menu and substituted the braised white beans for the potato salad (it’s soo good).  The kabobs come with an amazing cucumber raita, which is similar to tzatziki.  I also added a side of the roasted fresh vegetables (not pictured) which consisted of broccoli, carrots and onions.

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The husband and I have this thing where if he’s eating something containing gluten and it’s delicious, he tells me it’s “just plain awful.”  So for those of you who are not gluten free, he tells me their steak kabobs, pita bread and massive chocolate chip cookies are “just plain awful.” 😉

Zoe’s kitchen has lots to offer those who are gluten free, so if you have one near you, go check it out!

-glutenfreemrs-

Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza

Some nights you just don’t feel like cooking, and that’s where frozen pizza comes in!

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Gluten free products can sometimes have very disappointing flavors and textures, but I’ve found that Udi’s Gluten Free has some great tasting products that don’t feel like cardboard!  I love their bread for toast or sandwiches, their rolls for dinners and their cinnamon rolls for a sweet breakfast alternative! Yum! You can find the Udi’s brand in many different grocery stores from Food Lion to Whole Foods.  Some of Udi’s products have NON-GMO oils and ingredients, like their whole grain bread, but the pizza doesn’t have the NON-GMO certified label anywhere, so unfortunately it’s not.

I also like this product because it has REAL cheese instead of dairy-free soy cheese like some health food brands.  Eating large amounts of soy is known to impair proper thyroid function, and since I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, I just feel better about avoiding soy all together.

Fortunately the husband has been very open to eating gluten free with me at home, so for a quick, easy dinner we bought two boxes of Udi’s gluten free pizza, one cheese and one pepperoni.  The husband can demolish a whole pizza by himself without even blinking, so we always buy more than enough!

I usually add some sort of fresh veggie to frozen pizza, so this time I added slices of red bell pepper.

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Just follow the directions on the box:  bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes until the crust crisps up and is a golden brown color.

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Then, BAM, dinner’s ready!

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The crust is crispy with a hint of sweetness, the cheese is ooey gooey and the tomato sauce is very “herby” with tons of flavor.  It’s so good, I didn’t even feel the urge to douse it with Parmesan cheese or ranch.  (Pizza crust dipped in ranch is a guilty pleasure of mine!)

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The husband and I have definitely found our go-to frozen pizza!

Here’s a $1 off coupon for an Udi’s product as well as some gluten free coupons from some other gluten free companies!

Stayed tuned for my version of a recipe for flour less pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!

-glutenfreemrs-

The Tomato Head in Knoxville

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We went to a lovely wedding this weekend in Knoxville, TN.  Neither the husband nor I have ever been there before so we were excited to have the chance to explore a new city while up there for the wedding!

While at the reception, we were talking with a friend who mentioned some yummy places to get brunch in downtown Knoxville.  Since she’s gluten free as well, she mentioned a place called The Tomato Head that has lots of gluten free options and is very health oriented.  I said, “boom, we’re there.”

The downtown Knoxville area is very charming.  There were many people walking around the square, enjoying the crisp, fall weather and wide variety of restaurants.

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Once we were seated, we asked if they had a gluten free menu.  While they didn’t have a specific GF menu, our server was very knowledgeable about their gluten free options, from GF pizza crust to GF bread and tortillas.   One thing that really impressed me was their commitment to using organic and natural ingredients.

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Here’s the husband prior to his coffee. *sleepy eyes*

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With many of their menu items being gluten free, I had so many options to chose from.  Since ordering a sandwich at a restaurant is a luxury these days, I knew I wanted to order one of their unique brunch sandwiches.  I settled on the Annabelle sandwich with GF bread and the chorizo.

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One really cool option they had in the middle of the restaurant was a build your own omelet station. (not pictured) There were several chefs ready to create and cook your own personal omelet right before your eyes!

Then, came my Annabelle.

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Even though my taste buds weren’t functioning at their optimum (currently have a cold, boo) the flavors in this sandwich really blew me away.  When I’m cooking and eating, I really love for every single ingredient to be able to stand alone when it comes to flavor, so this really did it for me.  The combination of the savory chorizo, smoked chedder and roasted potatoes were complimented well by the sweet onions and tart granny smith apples.   And I can’t forget to mention the perfection that is their gluten free bread.  It felt light and fluffy like a biscuit, yet looked and tasted like an English muffin. So. Good.

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My sandwich also came with fresh fruit, which was a nice, fresh touch.

We were very impressed with everything about this restaurant and definitely will return again if we are in the area.

After eating, we did some more exploring downtown!

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Before we returning back to reality, we decided to make a little detour for lunch in downtown Hendersonville, NC. It’s a quaint little mountain town that will just steal your heart.

For lunch, we had some amazing Pad Thai at a local Asian joint called Lime Leaf. They have killer lunch specials, so if you’re ever in the area for lunch, check it out!

While strolling through downtown we stumbled upon one of my favorite ice cream stores, Kilwins.  Little did I know, the store owner has Celiac’s disease and the majority of their ice cream flavors are gluten free!! (with the exception of flavors with cookies, caramel, brownies, etc.)  They had a list printed out of all of their GF ice cream flavors to chose from.  Did you also know they use hormone and antibiotic free cream?!  Even though we had just finished our Thai, I got the Cappuccino Chocolate Chip!

You can always find room for a little ice cream! 😉

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If you would like to follow me on Facebook, my page is GlutenFreeMrs

‘Til next time!

-glutenfreemrs-

Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar

Last night we went out to eat, again! Eating out several times in one week is not something I prefer to do, but we met up with another couple from Elevation, so it was fun! We went to Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar, which is hands down our favorite burger joint in Charlotte.  They have a fun environment, unique flavor combinations and killer milkshakes.

In the past, their menu has labeled their meats as hormone free/grass fed, but I couldn’t seem to find it on the menu this time.  I wrote to them this morning, asking them to clear up the confusion. I’ll let you know what how they respond.

Bad Daddy’s has a gluten free menu, so that makes ordering pretty straightforward.  If you notice, the gluten free menu doesn’t have a bounty of options, so that tells you right there how many of their menu items actually contain gluten. What’s scary about that is think about all the hidden gluten you don’t even know about that’s in dressings, condiments, frying oil, etc.! So long sweet potato fries..I’ll stick to eating you at home.

I usually get a burger with a gluten free bun, but tonight I ordered the Stella’s Greek Salad, which has romaine lettuce, 6 oz chicken breast, tomato, red onion, Kalamata olives, cucumbers, Feta, radishes, pepperoncini peppers, chick peas and a Greek lemon oregano vinaigrette.  Very flavorful!

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Tonight, the husband and I are making a naturally gluten free meal at home! ‘Til then!

-glutenfreemrs-