Acai Berry Bowl, Gluten-freePrint Recipe Print Recipe

 

It was right after I delivered Gray. I had a quick nap, I snuggled my brand new beautiful baby and then next thing I knew my sister was walking in with a large, icy cold acai bowl. It was in heaven! With all of it.

My first few weeks of motherhood, my sister never came empty handed. Eventually, I’d meet her at the shop, that was conveniently located right next to her office. We couldn’t stop. We didn’t even try. We even got BEN addicted to them!

 

 

The craving lasted MONTHS.

I was determined. It was time I replicated this acai bowl, at home. The first few times, it was too watery. I’m also not a huge banana fan so had to tweak a few times (adding frozen berries helped!) to find the right balance. My sister would literally spy on them as they made it at the shop and then text me.

It became a daily experiment.  No complaints.

 

 

I almost saved this recipe for warmer weather, but the craving has returned. And I’ve clearly welcomed it.

Now I just need to figure out how to make a portable version of this so I can take it to work…

 

 

Berry Acai Bowl, Gluten-free

makes 1 large bowl or 2 small bowls

Ingredients

  •  1 frozen acai packet – I like Sambazon, unsweetened or sweetened
  • 1 small banana, preferably frozen
  • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries
  • 4-5 medium frozen strawberries
  • 1/2-3/4 cup soy, almond or milk of choice

Toppings

  • coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • fresh berries or fruit, depending on the season or preference
  • gluten-free granola – currently liking this and this brand
  • chia seeds
  • ground flax seeds
  • and/or whatever else is in season or sounds good

Directions

note: I found the best results were removing the frozen acai packet, wrap in a dish towel and with a heavy object (such as a hammer or garlic press?), beat the crap out of it. Best to do it on a wooden cutting board or hard subject.

Add all the ingredients into the blender.  Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl or divide between two small bowls. Add toppings, as much or as little as you like.

Enjoy!

 

*gluten-free *dairy-free – depending on milk of choice

 

 

 

Pasta with Crispy Artichoke Hearts & ChickenPrint Recipe Print Recipe

 

I love the holidays.

I’m that person who starts watching Christmas movies the day after Thanksgiving  - and don’t stop until Christmas, maybe even a few days after, filling the house with decorations and searching for the perfect gifts – which didn’t happen this year… My dad and sister definitely won Santa.

My entire life, mom was what really made this holiday shine. The planning, the details, the thoughtfulness in everything she did. So as expected, this year was a little more tender.

 

 

Yes, we all know that we will never be able to duplicate the experiences and traditions that we had with mom, and that’s okay. Now, it’s about making new memories and celebrating the old. And that’s exactly what we did.

We had one Christmas adventure after the next, but what I loved the most was we ALL (my dad, sister & our little family) did it together. I’m always happy to feed my family, but being able to host and cook Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas breakfast, my heart was incredibly full. We stayed up late, we watched Christmas movies, drank more than we should have, and then I passed out blankets and pillows and had one big sleepover. So much love under one roof, it was pretty much perfect.

 

 

Now, the holiday hangover…

I packed up the last of the Christmas decorations, the lights have come down and all the presents are put away.

Coming off the holiday high, I totally crashed, emotionally. So, I put myself in the kitchen and had a little therapy session over chopping artichokes and the smell of fresh thyme.

I find after busy weekends (…or the holidays), pasta is my it’s-going-to-be-okay meal.

The inspiration of course, comes from mom. She use to make a similar pasta dish. She’d make it after holiday weekends and after all the “traditional” holiday meals were eaten. She’d crisp up the artichoke hearts and then add to a red sauce before topping with grilled swordfish. If I close my eyes, I can remember the evening perfectly.

Since I know her go-to flavors, I decided to make a version of her dish. I add a few of my own touches, but I very much feel my mom in this meal.

Ben and I sat at the empty table, a glass of red wine and a big bowl of this pasta. We talked about how special this past week had been, how we want to make the best of this next year, and then we thanked mom for everything that she has given us.

 

 

This recipe is sponsored by one my favorite company’s, DeLallo. They provided me with their gluten-free products (& compensation). They were also incredibly gracious to our family during our journey with mom. Again, I only work with company’s that I believe in and actually use – they’re absolutely one of them. Everything from the gluten-free pasta options, to the sauces, antipasti, etc. They are top notch.

 

Pasta with Artichoke Hearts & Chicken

serves 3 big or 4 smaller servings

Ingredients

  • 6-8 ounces Gluten-free Penne Rigate Pasta – I like DeLallo
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 chicken breasts, cut into bite-size cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts, drained & quartered – I used these
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup of your favorite tomato sauce
  • ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese to topping

Directions

Cook pasta according to the package. Best to cook al dente.

To cook the chicken – Over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon canola oil to a non-stick skillet. Add chicken pieces, 1/2 teaspoon salt and let brown before moving around with a spatula or wooden spoon. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked through.

Move the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Clean off skillet and then place back on the burner. On high heat, add 1 tablespoon canola oil. Add artichoke hearts and leave to “crisp up” for about 2 minutes. Using a spatula, move artichoke hearts around, let sit for another 2 minutes and continue until lightly browned and somewhat crispy. Reduce heat. Mix in the fresh thyme and garlic. Let the flavors cook for about 1 minute and add tomato sauce. Mix everything together.

Mix in the pasta and chicken back into skillet with the sauce and let everything heat through. Remove from heat and serve.

Top with ground pepper, toasted pine nuts and parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

 

*gluten-free

 

 

 

 

A Christmas tree huntPrint Recipe Print Recipe

Oh this smell. I want to bottle it up.

That and the newborn smell.

Which, funny enough, I had both right under my nose.

This past weekend, we met our friends, Ashley and her husband at the tree farm and she kindly took these photos of our little hunt. I’m usually the one behind the camera so it was nice to have these sweet captures! I love them so much, I just had to share.

 

This one feels like a winner, dad.

 

We’re very curious about this whole tree cutting down thing.

 

As Ben cut down our tree, Mason yells “OWIE!”.  Our future environmentalist. Nice.

No. Of course I would never laugh at my child…

 

Little heavy there, Mace?

 

He’s the best helper.

 

Our little family, and our little tree.

 

Let’s just pretend I did cut down our tree, k?

And while wearing child. Obviously.

 

 

Green Chili, Turkey & White Bean EnchiladasPrint Recipe Print Recipe

 

I can’t believe my maternity leave is coming to an end. My four months is FLYING by! Not okay.

I mean, I have until the first of January, but that’s basically tomorrow.

Not that I wouldn’t go back. I need to go back. I know myself, I’m just a better mama (AND wife!) when I have a job to go to.

But when I think about our new routine, how am I PHYSICALLY suppose to get a baby, a toddler and myself ready and out the door before 8am?

Then be awake enough to have adult conversations ALL DAY LONG…

THEN somehow get everyone back home and have dinner on the table before bedtime?! Then bedtime… Then do it all over again??

I just don’t see how this isn’t going to be complete chaos. Or how many times I’m going to show up to work without mascara, my shirt on backwards or my hair dripping wet and on top of my head. It is going to be complete chaos, isn’t it? Awesome. Someone please hook me up to a coffee drip, STAT.

 

 

Because I’m a crazy person, I’ve already started making freezer meals.

And of course these are the first on my list!

We’ve being eating these enchiladas ever since I got my hands on this cookbook. WE CANNOT STOP.

Just last week I doubled the batch so I could put a hefty tray of these right into the freezer. I’m now thinking I should have done two…

This would also be a great dish to give to someone who might need a little extra support – new baby, care-taking, etc.

 

 

I love mexican food, period. I can eat it all day long and I SWEAR I’m not pregnant. Oh my god, could you even imagine?? Forget it, don’t imagine. Moving on.

These are a nice change from the traditional enchiladas. White beans and ground turkey, plus some vegetables, oh yeah sign me up!

 

 

This cookbook is awesome.

I’ve probably made at least a dozen recipes from it already. Some of my favorites so far – Roasted Cherry, Coconut & Quinoa Breakfast bowls. Breakfast cookies. Chewy Granola Bars. Sour Cream and Onion Popcorn. And an awesome Wedge Salad! There’s still so many bookmarks left on the recipes I’m waiting to try.

I’m so freaking proud of you, Jess! Such a kick ass cookbook. <insert high-five emoji>

 

Green Chili Turkey & White Bean Enchiladas

Recipe adapted (to be gluten-free) from Seriously Delish Cookbook

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup canned white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/2 cups enchilada sauce
  • 6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, freshly grated
  • 8-10 corn tortillas (she used whole wheat)
  • 2 tablespoon chopped chives (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add the onions and peppers with a pinch of salt and toss to coat. Cook, stirring for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and green chilies. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.

Push the vegetables to the side of the skillet and add the ground turkey. Break it apart with a wooden spoon and cook it until the turkey is browned, 6-8 minutes. Add the cumin, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, remaining  1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and chicken stock to the skillet. Stir well to mix the turkey and vegetables together and reduce the heat to low. Add in the white beans. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce to the skillet along with 2 ounces of the cheese and stir it together. Turn off the heat.

Pour 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish and use a spoon to spread it evenly over the surface.

*If using corn tortillas – place in a small pan over medium heat. They need to be warmed slightly so they’ll “fold” without tearing. 

Spoon about one-quarter of the turkey filling into each tortilla and roll them up tightly. Place them in the baking dish, seam side down. Once all of the tortillas have been filled and rolled, pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the top and brush it to cover every portion of the tortillas. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Bake the enchiladas until the cheese is golden and the sauce is bubbling, 30-35 minutes.

Optional – top with freshly chopped chives.

Serve and enjoy!

 

*gluten-free