Mango Salsa

Are you looking for the perfect gluten free, dairy free summer side dish?

2 mangos, skinned and diced (about 2 cups)
2 cucumbers, skinned and diced (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
Juice of 2 limes
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Mix together and serve. Perfect served over fish, shrimp, or chicken (plain or as tacos)

Blue Apron Review: Is it safe for Gluten Free

A friend gifted me two meals from Blue Apron, so we were excited to give it a try.

We selected ordered the Carb Conscious Meal Prep ($72) since it had the fewest glutenous ingredients. A lot of the other meals had sides or pasta, orzo, couscous, or soy sauce based sauces which typically contain wheat. Our order included 2 servings of each:
• Seared Chicken & Lemon Mayo with Kale & Sweet Peppers
Chicken & Roasted Vegetables with Creamy Black Bean Sauce
• Salmon & Sautéed Vegetables with Tomatillo Sour Cream
• Roasted Salmon & Curry Ranch with Cabbage, Carrots & Peas

Pros:
*Meals were easy to prepare
*Good variety between the 4 meal prep options
*Since all ingredients came prepackaged, it was easy to omit “gluten” by leaving off items such as crispy fried onions
*Good sized portions, but would be easy enough to cook up some rice or potatoes to serve alongside if you wanted gluten free carbs

Cons:
*No clearly labeled gluten free options
*Some ingredients, such as the black bean sauce did not have ingredients listed, so we skipped them.

Additional Information:
* 8 servings for $72 ($9 a serving)
* Our first order arrived two days late and warm so the food was tossed out. The company never replied to our email, but they did credit our account so we could place another order free of charge. While I’m grateful for the credit, its frustrating to plan meals and end up with no food and a last minute run to the store.

GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS:
While we enjoyed our food without tummy troubles, I would be hesitant to do more business with Blue Apron until there is more clear labeling. If you are looking for SAFE, GLUTEN FREE MEAL DELIVERY SERVICES, check out the ones listed that we have tried and loved.

Splendid Spoon

1. Splendid Spoon – ALL VEGAN, ALL GLUTEN FREE prepared meals (soups, grain bowls, smoothie) arrive frozen. Use the link splendid.to/christina to save $25 on your first order which makes 10 meals (including shipping) $70

Epicured

2. Epicured – ALL GLUTEN FREE, LOW FODMAP prepared meals overnighted to arrive fresh. Restaurant style flavor (and higher pricing with meals between $13.99-22.99)

Modify Health

3. Modify Health – ALL GLUTEN FREE, LOW FODMAP prepared meals vacuum sealed and shipped overnighted to arrive fresh. Use the code GLUTENFREE10 when you order 8+ to get 4 of those meals for FREE.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Um hi, just flipped my calendar to May and realized Mother’s Day is May 10th….thats literally a week from now. Shopping in public is a big no and my brain literally has zero ideas. Luckily, JoJos sent an email today, order by May 5th and send your mama the mother load of delicious chocolate. Gluten free, dairy free, low in sugar….and so so so delicious! I’m currently devouring the peanut butter bites at an embarrassing rate.

Enough about me, lets talk about your mom. The mother day package is 6 bags for $25.99 PLUS you can use GLUTENFREE10 to get 10% off and FREE shipping. For less than $25, you can avoid the stores and send you mom the most epic box of chocolate. She might be so excited, she’d be willing to share with you, though I wouldn’t count on it and would probably just buy a box for yourself while you’re at it 😉 SHOP NOW

GLUTENFREE10 saves you an extra 10%

If anyone is shopping for me, I’d like someone else to cook and clean for the entire day, no fighting or whining from anyone, a whole lot of chocolate, and an hour outside to myself to read.

I want a whole lot of these sweet smiles for mother’s day
The Ultimate Mother’s Day Gift

Butter Cookies

Chocolate chip butter cookies

These cookies have few ingredients and were easy to whip up. The texture slightly reminded me of an italian wedding cookie. We added extra chocolate on top because …..well…..chocolate makes everything better and we put extra chocolate on everything.

1 cup butter, no substitutes
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour (I used King Arthurs)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup chocolate chips

Melt butter in a microwave and then stir in vanilla. Allow the mixture to cool completely. In a large bowl combine flour and sugar, then mix in butter and chocolate chips. The mixture may be a little crumbly. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Flatten the ball slightly and bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

The kids loved these, but I think I’ll stick with a more traditional chocolate chip recipe.

Plant Based Protein Bars

We go through a lot of bars in this house since we are usually always on the go. This quarantine has stopped our travel, but it certainly has not stopped our need for snacks.

These bars are perfect on the go. They hold up well when tossed in a bag and don’t melt. We love that they are full of probiotics, gluten and dairy free, and have 12 grams of plant based protein to keep us going.

Perfect on the go snacks

If you’re like the rest of the world, going to the grocery store right now feels like such a dreaded task. Luckily for you, you can shop online at lolasnacks.com to have these delicious bars sent to your door. Heck, service these with a smoothie and you’ve got one meal taken care of without ever having to turn on the stove.

Use GLUTENFREEFAMILYADVENTURES to save 20%

So many flavors to choose from.

Easy, grain free cookies

Gluten and dairy free peanut butter chocolate cookies

In our house, mama has a gluten allergy and the baby has a dairy allergy. In most cases we’ve adapted, but finding baked goods that fit both allergies can be a challenge. These naturally gluten free peanut butter cookies are one of my absolute favorites, but we had to find a chocolate substitute that was dairy free. In the past, I’ve rolled in dairy free chocolate chips like Enjoy Life or Pascha, but there’s something really satisfying about taking a bite into a big chunk of chocolate. When I tried JoJo’s new Peanut Butter Delight bars (now filled with peanut butter), I knew they’d be the perfect topper. Not only are these cookies decadently amazing, but they require few ingredients and are quick and easy to bake

1 cup of peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
JoJo’s peanut butter delight bars (use GLUTENFREE10 to save 10%)
optional: if your cookies are too runny, you can add 1/4 cup gluten free flour (I use King Arthurs)

Mix together peanut butter, brown sugar, and an egg. Add flour if the dough is too runny. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and bake on a cookie sheet at 350 for 8-10 minutes. They will still be soft when you pull them out but will firm up as they cool.

While cookies are in the oven, cut JoJos into 4 equal parts and place on top of the cookie as soon as they come out of the oven. Allow cookies to cool and enjoy!

Shop online and have these chocolate bars delivered to your home.
Use GLUTENFREE10 for 10% off and get free shipping on orders over $20
I love that these chocolate bars are gluten and dairy free so the whole family can enjoy them!
Don’t feel baking? Just eat one of these bad boys by itself and I promise you’ll be satisfied.

Greens for Breakfast

I love getting in all the greens with these @veggiesmadegreat broccoli cheddar veggie cakes on an open faced gluten free bagel. These bad boys are perfect on their own, but they make the perfect meal when combined with avocado, sprouts, and melted provolone.

  1. Toast your bagel
  2. Microwave your veggie cake
  3. Top your bagel with provolone, avocado, sprouts or any toppings you have on hand
  4. Enjoy this awesome (less than) 5 minute meal and do a little dance that there are no pans to wash.

Does the quarantine have your fridge looking a little bare? Don’t worry. These veggie cakes are filled with cheese and broccoli so there is no need to add anything extra. Just pop them in the microwave for 45 minutes (or in the toaster oven) and enjoy.

With three kids and 100 meals a day, I am excited for any healthy meal that can be made without any cleanup! Can I get an amen?

Check out https://veggiesmadegreatcommunity.socialmedialink.com/ to see if you can become a Veghead for the opportunity to get free products from Veggies Made Great #ad #veghead

Homeschooling through Africa

Some affiliate links are used throughout the post. I may receive compensation.

We are having so much fun learning around the world. This week’s journey took us through Africa. My son has always had a passion for animals and dreams of going on a safari so this week was his pick. We had so much fun exploring the folktales of Africa and observing animals and their adaptations to survive in the wild. We use Beast Academy as our math foundation (with prodigy and to do math for fluency support). The rest of our learning is done through literature. Join along as we explore Africa:

Media:
1. My children love exploring the world through the eyes of the adventurous, Bucket List Family. Watch as they travel through Tanzania. We love to watch these 10-25min clips during lunch or downtime when we’re looking for a break. The family does a great job of showing the natural landscape while encouraging children to be brave.

2. Tinga Tales was a fun to start our day each morning. Each child selected the tale for the day and we enjoyed the folktales as a foundation for conversations in reading, writing, and science.

3. Wild Kratts is always a favorite to explore animal adaptations and what a fun comparison to be used with Tinga Tales to compare and contrast the two styles of shows. Both are fiction with the intention to entertain, but Tinga Tales are folktales, while Wild Kratts aims to teach about real animals and their adaptations in a fictional story.
a. The Most Deadly Animals in Africa . You can also look up the following episodes (or books) that take place in the African Savanna depending on the animals you want to explore:

101: Mom of a Croc
103: Aardvark Town
110: Honey Seekers
117: Elephant in the Room
118: Let the Rhinos Roll!
123: Cheetah Racer
125: Mimic
126: Caracal-Minton
127: Zig-Zagged
130: The Food Chain Game
135: Quillber’s Birthday Present
140: Raptor Round-Up
201: Bad Hair Day
202: Race for the Hippo Disc
203: Creature Power Challenge
204: Termites vs. Tongues
206: Neck and Neck

Reading Book List:
Chapter books for independent reading:
Magic Treehouse: Lions at Lunchtime and Good Morning, Gorillas

Picture Books for read alouds:
Living in South Africa
Beatrice’s Goat 
Anansi The Spider
Count Your Way Through Kenya
Mama Miti
Planting the trees of Kenya
A Story A Story
Wangari Maathati: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees

Nonfiction:
1. Little Dreamers (story on Wangari)
2. The Atlas Obscura Explorers Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid 
3. Ready to Read: Living in South Africa


Art:
1. Use Picture Pie 2 to create a lion or an elephant using geometric shapes and vivid colors

Science:
1. Animal Atlas pg. 8-17 with focus on the Wildebeest, Sea Turtles, Fruit Bats, and African Sardines

2. A great way to explore animal adaptations is through the Who would Win Series, such as Who Would Win? Lions vs. Tiger. Children can predict the winner and then read about how they measure up to each other to see the real victor.

Writing:
1. After watching Tinga Tales daily, we brainstormed on different African animals that we could create our own Tinga Tale for. We discussed the different characteristics of each animal and silly ways they could have developed that characteristic. The brainstorming was done orally by the kids while I wrote down their ideas. On Thursday and Friday they wrote their own Tinga tales with colorful art to match their stories. We discussed how we used real facts to create a fictional story (fiction: animal, location, characteristcs nonfiction: why/how the characteristic came to be)

2. Create a Spider Story where a helpless animal is the underdog who outsmarts a more cunning animal. Day 1 brainstorm helpless animals and cunning animals. Select one of each and brainstorm a story.

Gluten & Dairy Free Cookies

I’ve had a gluten allergy for about 15 years, so we’ve got endless recipes for all of our favorite goodies but baby #3 came along and brought the challenge of a dairy allergy. So we’re slowing learning how to recreate our favorites, as well as discover new ones that are friendly to both of our tummies. These two are easy to make and don’t require a huge list of ingredients like many we’ve made in the past.

Triple Chocolate Cookies
1 Box Aldi Brownie Mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil/vegan butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup Pascha or Enjoy Life chocolate chips
1/2 cup Pascha white chocolate chips

Mix the brownie mix, oil, and eggs. Once mixed, add in chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

Note: the dough will feel very oily if you use vegetable oil, but once baked the cookies will lose their oily feel.

Gluten & Dairy free cookies

Peanut Butter Blossoms
1 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup gfdf flour (optional)
2bfree foods sunbutter cups

Mix the pb, egg, and sugar. Add flour if the dough is too runny. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Place chocolate on top of cookie immediately after pulling out of the oven.

As a mom of three, I hate having to hop from specialty store to store to find all of our gluten and dairy free needs. Want to make your shopping even easier? Check out Amazon groceries or Amazon Fresh – groceries delivered to your door!

Splendid Spoon Giveaway

The holiday season is upon us and we’re all caught up in the hustle and bustle. If you’re like me, you had amazing intentions but absolutely overbooked yourself this season and are ready to reset in 2020. I’ve been trying to prioritize my schedule and figure out what are my top priorities, as well as what are tasks that can be outsourced? There is only one of me and I’m learning time is more precious than money.

I love cooking, but lets be real…the monotony of daily prep gets old real quick, especially when there are multiple food allergies and picky eaters. On weeks that feel extra overbooked, I meal prep for the kids on Saturday/Sunday and reward myself with meals from Splendid Spoon. 5 smoothies (breakfast), 5 grain bowls/soups for lunch, and then we all eat the meal prepped foods for dinner. Sometimes I just need the break from my own cooking, because after awhile my ideas get stale.

Splendid Spoon is way more than just smoothies. Check out the new grain bowls.
Featured: Taco Bowl

Chocolate Cherry Smoothies, Tikka Masala, and the very best curry soup….all plant based, (mostly) organic, gluten free, and delivered to my door?! Whats not to love? I know there is hesitation about being a picky eater or fear of subscriptions, but luckily for you, Splendid Spoon has an online portal that makes skipping weeks, customizing your menu, and cancelling easy pease lemon squeezy.

I’m so in love with their meals, I’m going to help one of YOU win a free week’s worth. Head over to my Instagram from December 23-27th, 2019 and be sure to enter. Now, if you’re a giveaway hater like my husband, I’ve got something for you too :

use the link splendid.to/christina to get $25 off your first order. That means 5 bowls and 5 smoothies for $70!!

Smoothies delivered frozen so you can eat for the week or leave in the freezer and pull them out on your busiest days.

Seriously, what are you waiting for?

Treat yourself! You deserve a break in the kitchen and your body deserves something that tastes good and makes you feel good! CLICK HERE for your first discounted order.