Great Gluten-Free Finds…and my Go-To Sandwich Recipe

Gluten-free is the new thing, right? I hesitated to even write this blog post because it’s so trendy. But, I am truly allergic to wheat…and corn. (Don’t ask details…it’s not pretty). So finding anything resembling bread or pasta is tough for me. And expensive.

So imagine my joy finding a couple of tasty, healthy alternatives for pasta and bread lately! I decided, what the heck, it’s my blog, so I will share a couple of ideas you might use for a different twist on your regular dishes.

Zoodles. Where were these all of my life? Seriously…spiralized zucchini. And my go-to tool was about $10 on Amazon. It’s called a Vegetti and I included a link to the product. It’s super easy to use, cleaning is a breeze, and makes great noodles. I spin the zucchini in it, let it sit a few minutes with a teaspoon of oil added to it, and it’s ready to go for pasta dishes, pasta salads, etc. You get the vitamins and fiber in the zucchini, plus it’s lower in calories than heavy pasta noodles. Give it a try!

Vegetti Spiralizer

Sweet Potato Rounds

Have you heard about these? I Slice a sweet potato into circular rounds, approximately 1/2″ thick. Then I toast for two rounds in the toaster oven. All done! I love topping mine with avocado for a savory treat, or almond butter (of course) and cinnamon for something sweet. Sweet potatoes are chock full of vitamins and fiber too so it is a fun break from your regular toast routine.

Red Lentil Pasta


This. Is. Amazing! The only ingredient is red lentil flour. Since it’s made from a bean it’s much higher in protein than regular kinds of pasta. My favorite dish with this is a chicken and pasta soup. Plus, it’s less expensive than brown rice pasta. Win-win!

Bread

But, sometimes you need a sandwich. That is where this amazing bread makes me happy. It’s a Walmart brand bread made with ancient grains and is the best, softest, tastiest gluten-free bread I have tried. Expensive, but worth it for a treat. My favorite sandwich ever follows and I always use this yummy loaf.

Grilled Hummus and Cheese.

  1. 2 slices whole grain bread
  2. Olive Oil
  3. Really good cheese(I love sharp cheddar)
  4. Hummus (my favorite is Sabra Supremely Spicy)
  5. Caramelized onions(you can buy these as frozen cubes now or make them ahead in the slow cooker)

I put hummus on both insides of the bread and add my cheese and onions in. I warm a small skillet with some olive oil and cook away! I have added thinly sliced apples too. So delicious.

Do you have food allergies? What types of alternatives have you found to your favorite dishes to make them work for you? Let me know.

Overnight Oats Meet Smoothie Bowl

Okay, true confession: I want to be an oatmeal girl. I pin overnight oats recipes and I try them. I search for steel cut oats recipes you make in the in the slow cooker overnight. I add in all kinds of fruits or spices and scour recipes…but I just love smoothies and smoothie bowls. Oatmeal isn’t my thing.

Until now. The other day I saw a recipe on Pinterest for an oat smoothie bowl. The bowl itself was simple (the recipe was more about the homemade granola topping), so I took it, tweaked it, tried it, and LOVED it. It starts with an overnight oat base and is a game changer. Overnight Oats and a smoothie bowl? Yes, please!

So I am sharing my recipe. Feel free to play around with it. And be sure to tell me how it goes if you try it out.

Overnight Oats Green Goodness Smoothie Bowl

Overnight Oats:

  1. 1/3 cup rolled oats 
  2. 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  3. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
  4. 1/2 cup coconut milk
  5. Pinch of salt

Combine and let sit overnight.

Smoothie Bowl

  1. Overnight oats mixture 
  2. 1 or 2 frozen bananas
  3. 1 tablespoon peanut butter or nut butter
  4. 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional. My favorite is Designer Whey Vanilla Almond)
  5. 1/2 cup coconut milk 
  6. Large handful of greens(I used a mixture of spinach and kale)

      Ice as needed, depending on the texture you prefer.

Whirl away and top with fruit, granola, etc. Mine had fresh Rainer cherries and Bear Naked granola. I often make my own granola but haven’t since we moved.
Do you like overnight oats? Share your favorite recipes with me.

Fast Food 101

Work  has run late. The kids are cranky…or you are cranky, even though you have no kids! You just want to go home and eat, but there is no energy left to fix a thing. So you hit the fast food trail and consume your Big Mac with a huge sense of guilt.

Well, there is another way. I have few items that are always on hand for me so that I can have food ready in a flash. (I also have an obsession with my Slow Cooker and Instant Pot, but that will have to be another post sometime).

Items to always have on hand:

  1. Canned Beans
  2. Rice or Quinoa
  3. Sweet Potatoes
  4. Lettuce
  5. Crushed tomatoes
  6. Produce
  7. Eggs

I promise you that you can throw together a quick meal if you have these items on hand.  Here are a few of my favorite “fast food” alternatives.

Beans and Rice-can it get any simpler? There is even microwaveable rice ready in 90 seconds. I like to make a batch on the weekend to have on hand. I add in beans, salsa, any leftover meat, etc. Ready in a flash.

Eggs or Omelets-bear with me as it gets a bit odd, but I love having a scrambled egg on a bed of lettuce with other veggies thrown in. It sounds strange but try it and let me know what you think.

Food Bowl~food bowls are all the rage now. You throw in some protein, some complex carbohydrates, and some veggies and you have a quick, complete meal. I will steam broccoli, cook a white potato or sweet potato in the microwave (or throw vegetables in the oven, drizzled with olive oil, for about 20-30 minutes), and add in beans or any other leftover meat that is in my fridge. I sometimes top with a sauce(being a southern USA gal BBQ is a favorite, although I like tahini dressings, too) and sometimes just drizzle with a bit of lemon juice. So good.

Pasta-I don’t eat much pasta as I’m gluten free (mostly) due to a mild wheat reaction(I get a stuffy nose, go figure). But I love spiralizing zucchini and pouring a bit of pasta sauce over it! I also put pasta sauce on my baked potato or brown rice. The quickest pasta sauce in the world is opening a can of crushed tomatoes and adding some Italian seasoning and a bit of olive oil and heating it. My kids say it needs a bit of sugar as they are used to pasta sauces with added sugar, but I like it as is. Heck, they even sell crushed tomatoes with the Italian seasoning already in there.

Kitchen Sink Salad-pretty self-explanatory. You get some greens and clean out your fridge, adding in any protein, fruit, veggies, and a complex carb(yes, I add in rice or quinoa sometimes to my salads) and have a great, quick meal.

Those are a few of my go-to quick and easy recipes for nights when life gets in the way of cooking. What are some of your favorite meals, tips, and tricks for crazy evenings?  Let me know.

 

 

 

Smoothie Bowls!

I admitted my Almond Butter and dark chocolate obsession. I am also addicted to smoothie bowls. My go-to breakfast for sure. Quick, easy, and healthy-while satisfying my sweet tooth. 

Must bowls have lots of sugar via fruit. I love those but wanted something filling yet low in sugar. But still creamy and indulgent.

Enter frozen cauliflower. I have been experimenting with replacing frozen bananas with cauliflower and it’s great. Still creamy but with less sugar and a nutritional boost of a  cruciferous vegetable. Win-Win.

Here is a recipe I found via Simply Quinoa and tweaked to my liking. Check out Alyssa’s site for great recipes. 

Dark Chocolate Smoothie Bowl

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate coconut milk
  • 1 cup spinach or kale
  • 2 Tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder 
  • 1/2 scoop Designer Whey Chocolate Protein Powder (works fine without this)
  • 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower 
  • 1/2 cup frozen berries (cherries , strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or a combo)

Place in the order listed and blend until the consistency you like. If you don’t have a Blendtech(I have a refurbished one I love), Vitamix, or high powered blender, mix the liquid and greens together first and then add the other ingredients. I do this most of the time out of habit from owning a Magic Bullet and then Ninja and like how it eliminates any small particles of greens. 

Pour into a bowl and top with your favorite fruit, chia seeds granola, etc. My bowl had gluten-free granola with cacao nibs, peanut butter, and frozen blueberries. Yummy!

Why Almond Butter Babe?

After 25 years of exercising, making strides then having setbacks, and trying everything out there,  I realized how little I knew my body because of how much I listened to the “experts”. I heard other women talk about how they wanted to be healthy…but had no idea how or what that meant. And, quite frankly, having graduated two children from homeschool and having one who will be a junior next fall, I finally had time to blog. Thus Almond Butter Babe was born.

I love to exercise. After lots of trial and error, causing many injuries, weight gain, and frustration along the way, I am learning to listen to my body.  Nourish myself.  Live life and enjoy indulging. But it’s been a long journey.

I now know that it’s okay to love iced coffee and dark chocolate. To be obsessed with almond butter. That the best thing you can wear is your smile. I’ve discovered Self-confidence is what makes a woman shine, and that real food can taste fabulous.  And life is about far more than having that elusive six-pack.

So come back often. Share your thoughts. And let’s learn from one another.

Now excuse me while I get some iced coffee…and a bit of almond butter.