tuna and soupI’ve discovered that when you’re “cleaning” up your meal choices, its important to keep variety AND flavor. I stumbled upon these two keepers last week and thought I’d share them with you.
First up is Basil-Lime Tuna. I probably lost some of you right there…but in our house everyone loves tuna. Every. Single. Person. This recipe earned extra points because I’ve been struggling in keeping the kids’ lunches exciting since one of our kiddos can not have wheat, soy or dairy…and they scarfed it down both times that I made it.
I kept close to the original recipe found here. I used dried basil because I forgot to pick up fresh basil at the store and I also added some tarragon…just because I adore tarragon with tuna. I hate mayonaisse, but I did add a tiny bit, just for a hint of creaminess. Straight olive oil left my mouth feeling “tacky”. I made it up the night before, except I didn’t added the cabbage and celery until the morning, when I was boxing up their lunches. What I loved about this salad was it had a great crunchy bite from the cabbage and celery. And the basil….wow….I never would have thought of putting basil with tuna, but it is delish. I send it straight up without any bread or crackers and my family loves it. This one will probably find its way on the lunch menu every week.
And then for double delight, I made this soup for dinner! It was a fantastic food day! Here is the original recipe for Roasted Corn Chowder. I changed mine up a bit because there is 1 thing that my kids ALWAYS wrinkle their noses up at – sweet potatoes. So instead of sweet potato, I used canned pumpkin. BAM! Even easier because no peeling or chopping required!😉 My kids are also not fans of big chunks of tomato, so instead of a whole can of both tomatoes and green chilis, I used about half a can of Rotel tomatoes, that include both. I thought I picked up the mild kind, but apparently not, because the one complaint I had from my kids was that it was a little too spicy. And instead of chopped Heirloom tomatoes, I added some red pepper….because everything tastes better with red pepper. And one last alteration, since fresh corn isn’t in season right now, I just used frozen. I was a little hesitant about a whole can of coconut milk, so I started with less…but by the time I was through adding spoonfuls of it to their bowls to cut the heat, I probably came close to using a whole can.

Both recipes were easy to throw together but would be equally as tasty if made ahead of time…and that’s a win in my book!
If you are looking for some allergen free recipes that don’t compromise on flavor, then you must give these a try!

Asian food. One of my favorite kinds of food to eat. I’m not adventurous with it, but I LOVE it because you can use any kind of meat, nearly ANY kind of veggie, throw in a rice or pasta and call it dinner! Quick, fresh and flavorful. And then we found out my 6 year old was intolerant of soy. ::sad face here:: I didn’t think eliminating soy would be a big deal. Turns out it wasn’t….it was a HUGE deal because soy is in nearly EVERY kind of asian food!
Today my smile has returned, thanks to COCONUT AMINOS. It is a soy sauce alternative made from aged coconut sap and you can read about it here. It took me a few tries to find a store that carried it and it is more expensive than soy sauce….but worth every penny to me. So in celebration of asian food returning to my kitchen, here is a great recipe for Thai Crunch Saladthai crunch salad. I made the recipe with a few alterations. I didn’t use jicama and instead of putting the chicken and snap peas IN the salad, I sauteed them together with a little of dressing and served them hot, along side the cold crunch salad. I used cashews because for some strange reason, that is the only nut my kids will eat in foods and I opted for olive oil, because that’s what I had on hand. I also added a little red pepper and red cabbage. Yummy and oh so flavorful….and COLORFUL! Enjoy!

espresso brownieMy family has been gluten free and dairy free for a few months now and I’m already sick of nut butters and nut flours. I mean, really….how many nuts can one person eat?!? So when I saw this brownie recipe on pinterest, I decided it was worth a try…with a few adjustments, of course!
You’ve heard of black bean brownies, right? Well, I thought they might make a great addition, as well as add some bulk so I could reduce the amount of nut butter. I also think a little hint of coffee is a great addition to ANY brownie recipe! Normally, I would just add some instant coffee granules or some fresh brewed espresso. But since I had neither, I used some whole beans and finely ground those babies up!
I love a fudgey, gooey brownie…and these were delish! Here is my take. (see original recipe here)

– 12oz jar creamy roasted almond butter
– 1/2 can black beans, drained, rinsed and pureed
– 2 eggs
– 1 cup honey
– 1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1 tsp instant coffee granules
– 1 cup chocolate chips (I like Kirkland brand because they are dairy free)

Mix it all in a bowl… gotta love a 1-bowl recipe! Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake at 325 degress for 35-40 minutes. They will be “soft” but will firm up as they cool.

href=”https://twoturnsofthepan.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/mango-slaw.jpg”>Mango Lime Slaw
2013. I turn 40 this year. And I’ve decided I’m tired of feeling like a 60 year old. So this is the year I’m working on reclaiming my health.
We kicked things off today and I spent hours over the weekend combing through recipes for a yummy menu for the week that would hopefully not leave me feeling deprived. I won’t bore you with the details of the paleo breakfast cookies that had great flavor but the texture felt like I was chewing waterlogged sandpaper…or the almond flour pretzels that seemed more like the salt dough ornaments that I accidently ate as a child. BUT, I have to share this coleslaw recipe! It was amazing! Admittedly, I was skeptical. Mostly because I HATE cabbagge. But this was so good! And now I’m wondering how is it that I’ve never tried napa cabbagge before?! Anyway, you MUST try this. It’s clean, refreshing and full of flavor. We had it with deer-key burgers….yup, I said deer-key. We had some deer meat given to us, so I did half venison and half turkey. Anything to stretch a buck! I also went to 2 stores and could not find fresh mint, so I substituted in some cilantro instead.
Here is the link for Mango Slaw with Cashews and Mint by Smitten Kitten. You’re welcome!

Quinoa. It’s one of my new favorite things. I like it hot. I like it cold. I like it savory. I like it sweet. Seriously, how have I lived my culinary life for so long without quinoa!
I recently came across a recipe for coconut quinoa pudding. You can check out the original recipe here. and the picture I’ve attached is from the original post.
I didn’t have unsweetened or dessicated coconut, or a whole vanilla bean, so I made a simpler version but was SHOCKED at how good it was! My only complaint was that in my rush I forgot to rinse the quinoa and so it had a slightly bitter aftertaste. Always rinse your quinoa! Here’s why.
Really, the possibilities are endless for toppings and pairings to go with this pudding. Fruit, nuts, whipped cream, chocolate….
We are eating sans refined white sugar right now, so I followed the directions on the recipe (except I had to cook mine for about 45 minutes until it bloomed) but used…
19oz of canned coconut milk
1/2 cup quinoa (don’t foget to rinse!)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
about 2 TBSP stevia (granuals)

That’s it…seriously good AND dairy free, gluten free and sugar free.

My family is officially one week into our “no-sugar” May and I’m happy to say we have SURVIVED, so far!😉
I’m continually scouring pinterest for new recipe ideas and saw one today for oatmeal squares that boasted no flour, no oil or butter. I instantly thought, “No good”….but still ran into the kitchen and made it immediately…with a few alterations😉 For the original recipe, link here. I’m happy to boast no flour, no oil/butter and no sugar! Now, if you are eating it along with one of the new Starbucks Frappuccino sugar bombs, then it may taste like well prepared dirt. But for me, who has only had small amounts of honey or real maple syrup for a week, it was heavenly.

I’m thinking these would work great for breakfast on the go, so I made mine in a jumbo muffin tin. It made six large but “short” muffin rounds. You will need….

1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats (I hit ’em for a few seconds in the magic bullet…just to slightly pulverize)
3 Truvia packets
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1-2 tablespoon(s) honey
1 large mashed banana
1/4 cup nut butter (I used natural peanut butter)

Mix together the oats, Truvia, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon.
Mix together the vanilla, milk, egg, honey, banana, and nut butter in a seperate bowl and then add into oat mixture. Mix just until combined.
Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 8 by 8 inch metal baking pan or jumbo muffin tins and bake at 350 F degrees for 20 minutes.

A few days ago I posted about our snack experiment with popcorn, peanut butter and hemp seeds…I was inspired to build a bit more off of that idea and came up with a winner. well, at least we all liked it!
Muddy Buddy Mix is that sinfully sweet treat that uses chex cereal coated with a mixture of melted chocolate chips and peanut butter and then topped with a generous dusting of powdered sugar. It’s delicious but I’m sure the amount of sugar in it is off the charts.
But since I’m a peanut butter and chocolate freak, I decided it was worth messing with. Granted, this isn’t sugar free, but uses only natural sugar. I kind of just started throwing things in, so I can’t say my measurements are exact, but here is what we came up with.

about 4-5 cups of popped corn
1/4 cup natural almond butter
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
2 Truvia packets
1/8 cup honey
1/8 cup real maple syrup
1/8 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
splash of water to thin out a bit

1/4 cup old fashioned oats
3 TBSP of hemp seeds
1 Truvia packet

I warmed the nut butters, syrup, honey, vanilla, truvia, cocoa and water in the microwave just long enough to get things moving (about 30-60 seconds) and then distributed it as evenly as I could over the popped corn. Then I “powdered” the oats, hemp seeds and remaining truvia packet in my magic bullet and used it to coat the popcorn mixture.

My chocolate-peanut butter cravings are satisfied for another day!😉

Serving up turkey burgers with…
red pepper
and a big ol fat fried onion ring

what do you like on your turkey burger?

I have this amazing friend Andrea Limbaugh who shared her baked oatmeal recipe with me. I made it last night and had to stop myself from eating half the pan… I think she credited skinnytaste.com as her sourse, so feel free to visit that site and give them some love.
I made some adjustments based on what was in my pantry and have included them.
You will need:
•2 medium ripe bananas, (the riper the better) sliced into 1/2″ pieces
•1 1/2 cup blueberries (I used blackberries)
•1/4 cup honey (I used real maple syrup)
•1 cup uncooked quick oats (I used old fashioned oats)
•1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I used very finely chopped almonds)
•1/2 tsp baking powder
•3/4 tsp cinnamon
•pinch of salt
•1 cup fat free milk (or any milk you desire)
•1 egg
•1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Lightly spray a 8 x 8″ or 9 x 9″ ceramic baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
Arrange the banana slices in a single layer on the bottom of the ceramic dish. Sprinkle half of the blueberries over the bananas, 1/4 tsp of the cinnamon, 1 tbsp of the honey and cover with foil. Bake 15 minutes, until the bananas get soft.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the oats, half of nuts, baking powder, remaining cinnamon, and salt; stir together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining honey, milk, egg, and vanilla extract.
Remove the bananas from the oven, then pour the oat mixture over the bananas and blueberries.

Pour the milk mixture over the oats, making sure to distribute the mixture as evenly as possible over the oats. Sprinkle the remaining blueberries and walnuts over the the top.

Bake the oatmeal for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the oatmeal has set. Serve warm from the oven.

** I made this the night before to save time in the morning and actually preferred the texture when it was straight out of the oven. The bananas and berries kind of just melted in your mouth. However, if you like more structure and firmness to your food, then you may prefer the texture after it is refrigerated and then reheated.
** the “add-ins” are endless – flax seed meal, hemp seeds, wheat germ, more nuts, more fruit…really it just depends on how you like it😉
** next time I’m eating it straight from the oven with just a scant bit of fresh cream drizzled over the top. seriously, yum.

I’d like to say that we aren’t missing sugar at all…but that would be like saying that the most recent popsicles I made with coconut milk, cocoa, stevia and avocado were amazing. but they weren’t amazing and neither is kicking sugar. I mean it will be…but not today:/
I have had it in my mind to just start eating loads of other garbage since I can’t have sugar, but working hard to keep balance in my approach and not go off the deep end! all I can say is, “Thank goodness for smoothies!”
I also tried a paleo pumpkin muffin recipe today that the kids immediately fussed about. My husband went to eat one and thought, “they can’t be that bad”…but his swiftly found the garbage can too. and yet here I am, eating crappy muffins and lousy avocado fudgesicles…because I can.
I will not be deterred though….the avocado gave great creaminess, so I will try again after some readjusting.
and who has a great muffin recipe that is sweetened with honey or fruit that they want to share? anyone?