Gluten & Dairy Free BAKED Meatballs

Makes 20 meatballs

1 lb grass-fed ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
2 minced garlic cloves
1 egg
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons organic ketchup
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon parsley 
Olive oil cooking spray (or just olive oil)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Spray large cookie sheet with olive oil spray or coat lightly 
Mix everything BUT the meat in a large mixing bowl 
Add the meat to the bowl and mix gently 
Form 1 inch balls

Bake 20 minutes 

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Easy Chicken Fajita Salad

I knew I wanted to do a one pan chicken and veggies meal because let’s be honest – one pan cooking is pretty awesome.  I pre-cut the peppers and onions as well as minced the garlic the other day storing them in a glass container, so that I wouldn’t have to do that when I was ready to make this meal.

All you do is preheat your oven to 400 degrees, spray a cookie sheet with olive oil spray (or you can coat with olive or coconut oil – totally your preference) and then spread out the peppers and onions topping with the chicken (I use organic chicken tenderloins).  Sprinkle with garlic, olive oil and some spices, toss and then throw in the oven for 10 minutes – toss around again – then cook for another 10 minutes.

Put the chicken and veggies on top of lettuce (this was a spring mix).  I added in some gluten-free spanish rice and boy was I satisfied and full and very happy there will be more for leftovers!

  • Recipe:Ingredients:
    1 1/2 lbs chicken tenderloins
    3 bell peppers sliced into strips – you choose the colors!
    1 medium onion sliced into strips
    3 minced garlic cloves
    2 teaspoons chili powder
    1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
    Salt and Pepper to taste
    Lettuce – your choice

    Directions:
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees
    Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil cooking spray or simply coat with a light layer of olive or coconut oil
    In a small bowl, mix the spices (including s&p)
    Spread the peppers and onion onto the baking sheet then top with the
    chicken
    Sprinkle garlic over food, drizzle with olive oil then toss everythingMake sure that everything is spread evenly and the chicken is not
    overlapping prior to putting in oven
    Put in oven for a total of 22 minutes tossing once halfway through
    Voila! Done! Add atop lettuce with a side of gluten-free rice if
    you would like and enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash with Baked Meatballs – Gluten & Dairy Free!

I knew that I wanted to try a new recipe today for a marinara sauce and put it on top of spaghetti squash, but I also knew that if I did not give my husband and son some meatballs I would not have myself some happy campers.   I did not anticipate how delicious these BAKED meatballs were going to end up tasting!  I have been trying to avoid meat for the most part because of the added hormones.  Even if I get grass-fed and organic, it is still an animal that produced hormones naturally and for me with endometriosis it is something I need to be careful with – but that’s for another write up.

The recipe for the marinara sauce is from the cook book “One Part Plant” by Jessica Murnane and is seriously so easy.  I am actually still in shock at how easy it was to make.  The only thing I added was some oregano because I personally love me some oregano in my sauce!

 

So I then looked on my “boards” in Pinterest and I find that I have a recipe for baked meatballs that CLAIMS to be EASY and DELICIOUS.  I am normally skeptical of anything that says easy, but will always give it a shot.  I tweaked the recipe (as I normally do – people hate that!) to make it gluten and dairy free which was super easy to do!  Just changed the regular bread crumbs to gluten-free breadcrumbs and instead of using parmesan cheese I used nutritional yeast (if you have never heard of that before I will write up something on that another time but it is a FANTASTIC substitute for a cheesy flavor (non-dairy) and has a ton of nutrients – don’t get grossed out by the name!).  I had to taste one to see what they tasted like.  I think I then ended up eating like 4 – they were too good!!

Now, I’m not the best photographer and I am learning very slowly but I figure you won’t be too harsh on me.  I know this picture doesn’t look like the food would be absolutely amazing, but I can tell you this – my husband ate a huge portion and my son LOVED the meatballs and they are my toughest critics!

 

Endo Birthday Girl

Happy Birthday to me!  Today I am 34 years old and to be honest with you – I am feeling it!  I am not feeling young and energetic, but rather tired and trying to smile through the pain I’ve been feeling a lot more lately because of my endometriosis.  This is exactly why I am so committed to sticking with what we call the endo diet.  People say “you can’t deprive yourself” or “It’s your birthday! Live a little!  No alcohol?  No cake?”, but they don’t live with pain everyday they believe can be changed with food and I do.

It isn’t like I wouldn’t love myself a nice espresso martini with baileys in a chocolate rimmed glass, and a box of Entenmann’s raspberry cheese danish.  I didn’t always eat this current way.  I completely understand that life gets in the way and sometimes you just want to do certain things, but on a daily basis if you want to feel better it is important to remember you have control over your choices when it comes to food.  I just want to be out of pain, and really – even if you don’t have endometriosis this kind of diet is what everyone should be at least trying to incorporate into their lives at some level.

So let’s talk about the cake! My daughter is a total sugar freak (she and my son are 18 months apart so I gave into so much more regarding the sugar – I will get a handle on it at some point soon but man is she feisty).  She and my son decided to bake a cake literally first thing this morning with my husband and then somehow they were diving into this mess at 10am.   I need to get my son in some pictures, but he is a little on the shy side which clearly my daughter is not.  How cute is this:


I did not partake in that cake, although it really did look delicious especially after those grubby little hands were all up in it don’t you think?  I did, however, explain to them that I loved the cake but it really was not good for my body.  Then of course my son, who is 4 and very analytic, wanted to know what was not good and that opened up the whole discussion about food dyes and flour, etc.  He may not understand everything but it is important to me to teach my children as much as possible as food because I’m not confident that is going to be happening in school.  I say “you can have that cake but you should know what is in it and why it is not good to eat it all the time and why you should definitely not eat a ton”.

Anyway!  My husband has been extremely supportive of the way that I am eating and he called all over the place where we live to try and find a gluten and dairy free cake.  Now, we live in a small town in CT so this is not really that common for places to carry but he never gives up and found this little beauty:

It may not have been the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth, but when a girl is trying to do what I am when it comes to diet it tastes pretty delicious.

Remember to celebrate you especially on your birthday!

 

Stop picking!

kids-leftovers

You will hear me time and time again stress the importance of planning, but remember – I am human and I sometimes don’t plan well either.  Today was sort of one of those days.  It is cold, dreary and just plain depressing to look out the window here in CT so it would have been totally easy for me to pick at my kids’ leftover chicken nuggets. Yes they are organic, but they are not gluten-free and really Julie? Chicken Nuggets for lunch and that’s it?  You’re just going to go down that road of picking then for the rest of the day!  This is the conversation I have with myself more often than I’d like to admit.

I hadn’t thought about lunch for myself and was starving.  I’m sure many of you reading this are in the same or boat or have been before.  I remembered that I had some lettuce in the fridge and looked to see what else. I didn’t really feel like just lettuce and some veggies so what kind of protein could I throw on top since I didn’t have anything … or so I thought!  Why not quickly boil up some hard boiled eggs? And figure out what else I could throw in that would be appetizing to me.

So I came up with the following:  a mix of kale and spinach, raw broccoli, carrots and a tomato with the hard boiled eggs.  Look how beautiful it came out if I do say so myself,  although I am clearly not a great photographer:

betterlunch

If you can’t whip something up in the middle of the day like I did for whatever reason then this is ESPECIALLY important when planning.  If you were to plan a salad like this for a few days for work then my suggestion would be to hard boil your eggs before your work week starts (make your life easier and peel them when you do this) and then put tomatoes and/or cucumbers in a separate bag so your lettuce doesn’t get soggy.  And of course put your salad dressing in a separate container.

Please feel free to post what you had for lunch today.  I’m more than happy to provide some feedback if you want!