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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup

Sometimes it is hard trying to figure out what to do with all those leftovers. If you are anything like my husband, you do not want to waste any food, ever! I can’t say that this is a bad thing. I used to be very wasteful but thanks to him I am not anymore. After our lovely turkey dinner, we had some leftover “crappy” sections. I call them crappy because I don’t like them. It was a leg and a thigh – all dark meat. Don’t get me wrong, it has a lot of flavor, I just don’t like that portion of the bird. Anyway – he was out hunting one evening and I knew he would need something hot to warm him up when he got home. I decided to make a turkey soup using those leftover pieces. It worked. I was able to use up all of the meat, flavor the soup and cut the meat into chunks large enough I could pick out what I didn’t want to eat. Everyone wins – plus we got rid of the leftovers! This makes about 6-8 servings.

1large cooked turkey leg (or other part of bird, bone in)
1 large cooked turkey thigh (or other part of bird, bone in)
4 cups of water or vegetable broth
½ cup chopped celery
1 ear of corn
¼ cup diced onion
½ cup chopped carrots
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp garlic salt
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp parsley
8 oz of GF pasta (I used rice penne pasta)
  •  In a large stockpot, sauté celery, carrots and onion for about 10 minutes or until soft. Add in water or broth, turkey pieces, corn, salts, pepper, sage and parsley. B
  • ring to boil and cook for about 20 minutes. Remove corn and turkey from pot. Cut corn from the cob and return to pot.
  • Cut pieces of the turkey meat into small chunks and return to pot. Add in pasta and return to boiling.
  • Cooking time will vary at this point, depending on your type of pasta. Just watch the soup closely until pasta is finished cooking. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Snowy Hand Print Jars

If you aren’t one for Black Friday shopping – like me –try this little craft with your kiddies instead! I love, love, love homemade gifts from my children. We have so much fun making them and they really are something you can treasure forever. At least one holiday a year, we try to make gifts for loved ones (usually it’s every holiday!). I had a TON of extra canning jars leftover from this summer and decided to get some use out of them. These are pretty easy to make and fun for the kids.

Canning jars, clean and dry (pick whatever size you like or need depending on children’s ages)
Frosted Spray Paint (you can find this at any hardware store or even Wal-Mart)
Thin, plastic covered wire (you can find it at hardware stores or craft stores)
Yarn, string, burlap, etc (something to tie a bow around the top of the jar)
Acrylic paint (whatever colors you like)
Paint Pens
Tea light candles (regular or flameless)
  • First, you need to spray paint your jars. You really only need to paint the outside and let it dry but you could try the inside too if you’d like.
  • After your jars have tried, put a little bit of acrylic paint onto a paper plate. Paint the child’s hand and have them gently place it on the jar (or you could let them have at it and paint whatever they want!). Let the handprints dry.
  • Paint a friendly message onto the jar if desired using the paint pens and let that dry.
  • Take the wire and wrap it around the threads on top of the jar, making a loop for the handle and securing it within the wire wrap. It doesn’t have to be real secure unless you are actually wanting to hang the jars using the handle.
  • Tie a bow using your type of string around the handle or the top of the jar. Put in a lit tea light candle and enjoy the subtle glow!

Turkey Pot Pie

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Here’s a quick and easy recipe for using up some leftover turkey and it is so much better for you than the frozen pot pies. I should call this the ultimate leftover pie. You can even simplify the crust if you’d like by using a premade crust (an extra from Thanksgiving Dinner maybe?). The best part though is the turkey is already made, the veggies are frozen or leftovers and the sauce is easy to make. This makes about 6 servings.

1 cup cooked turkey, cut into small chunks
½ cup cooked potatoes, mashed or cubed
12 oz or 1 ½ cups mixed veggies (frozen or leftovers – I used leftover green bean casserole, corn, carrots)
¼ cup diced onion
¼ cup diced celery
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup water or chicken broth
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp garlic salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp thyme
1 GF pie crust (alternate recipe below)
  • In a large skillet, sauté onion and celery in olive oil. Add in mixed veggies, turkey, parsley, salt, pepper and thyme. Cook until veggies are tender or about 10 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine broth and cornstarch until well blended. Pour into skillet mixture and bring to boiling, about 10 minutes.
  • In a deep dish pie plate, pour skillet mixture. Top with pie crust, piercing with a knife to allow heat to release.
  • Bake at 375°F for about 20 minutes or until crust starts to brown. Let cool about 10 minutes and serve.
GF Pot Pie Crust
This is different-just a forewarning. But it is still great and gives a flaky texture to this pot pie.

1 cup GF flour blend
½ avocado
¼ -1/2 cup water
¼ tsp salt
  • In a mixing bowl, combine flour, avocado, water and salt. Blend using a pastry knife until avocado is mashed and mixture is well blended, adding extra water if needed. Roll out on a floured surface into desired shape and use as you would any pie crust.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!! Black Friday Shopping Menu and easy recipes!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! May your day be blessed with great food, great people and great conversation. Remember to thank our wonderful Lord for this great day and all your blessings! If you are traveling – please stay safe! Also, if you are cooking – stay safe! Don’t think I haven’t heard of those crazy Thanksgiving Day accidents. I’m not one for Black Friday shopping – unless it involves me in my pajamas with a laptop. However, I know many people LOVE to do it. So I figured I would post a couple options that you can use tomorrow while you are out and about (or tonight!) Just remember, they are just things; don’t get crazy over a deal! Hopefully you find a good deal. Not me though – I’ll be snuggling my babies by the Christmas tree as my shopping is done!!
Obviously, you are going to want something quick and portable that you could possibly make ahead. So try these recipes:
You’re going to want a drink to wash all that down so try these:
How about a new recipe?? This is a filling and healthy smoothie.
BANANA MOCHA SMOOTHIE (for extra energy!-makes two servings; one for you, one for a friend!)

1 cup almond milk
Ice cubes (about a cup or however much you want!)
1 banana
½ cup strong coffee
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp chia seeds (optional but extra nutrition!)
1 Tbsp honey
  • In a blender (I used my Magic Bullet), combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into a travel mug and hit the door!
Are you a coffee drinker?? Try this one!

1 candy cane, crushed
3 cups strong, black coffee
1 tsp cocoa powder, unsweetened
1-2 tsp honey, depending on desired sweetness
1/3 cup vanilla almond milk
1 tsp non-dairy coffee creamer
1 shot of espresso, if desired
  • In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Heat using desired method, either over stove or in microwave. Pour into large travel mugs or coffee cups and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

BBQ Turkey Meatballs

Looking for a game day appetizer or even a holiday appetizer?? Try these little meatballs. They are quick and easy to make plus contain less fat and sugar than typical BBQ meatballs. Using a homemade BBQ sauce is also a good switch if you are watching your nutrition. This makes about 24 meatballs

1 lb ground turkey
1/3 cup GF bread crumbs
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic, minced
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp cumin
1 cup BBQ sauce
  • In a large bowl, combine turkey, bread crumbs, paprika, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin. Using your hands, mix together until ingredients are well combined. U
  • sing a cookie scoop, scoop meat mixture into balls and place into a greased muffin tin. This helps the meatballs keep their shape and also makes it pretty easy.
  • Bake meatballs at 350°F for about 20 minutes or until meat is cooked through. In a large saucepan, combine cooked meatballs and BBQ sauce and cook for about 10 minutes. You can also but the sauce and cooked meatballs in a crock pot to keep warm if serving for a large group. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

I know it’s fall and everyone is giving out recipes for pies, cakes, warm dishes, etc. Just because it is getting cooler outside doesn’t mean you can’t have a cool refreshing dessert sometimes to. Plus, my son’s go to dessert is either popsicles or ice cream – no matter what time of year it is. Anyway, I caved into his constant begging for ice cream but gave it a fall twist. I also added a little cheat by topping his with caramel sauce – of course that was the best part to him! To make this I used my YoNanas maker – it is awesome! It takes frozen bananas or other fruits and turns them into something wonderful! You could also make this using a high powered blender. Either way, grab a few extra ripe bananas at the grocery store and freeze them for future ice cream nights. This makes one serving

1 frozen banana, broke in half
¼ cup pumpkin puree
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp coconut sugar
1 Tbsp whipped cream, optional
1 tsp caramel syrup, optional
  • If using a blender, combine banana, pumpkin, cinnamon and sugar and blend well for about a minute or until smooth.
  • If using a YoNanas maker, take one half of the banana and put it in the maker. Start blending and add in pumpkin, cinnamon and sugar. Add second half of banana to maker and finish blending. Top bananas with whipped cream and caramel syrup if desired.
  • What I like best about using bananas to make “ice cream” is that it tastes so great and creamy that it feels like you are eating something not so great for you. The best part is you are not – simply natural fruits!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Meal Plan Week of 11/25/13-12/1/13

Good Monday Morning All!

I know I usually post my menus on Saturday’s but I found a really great website that hosts a “Menu Planning Monday”. Find this week's menu plans here!  It has so many great bloggers posting their menus for the week. The best part is they are all located in one place so you have plenty of choices when looking for some menu planning ideas. Anyway – this is my first post that will be found with the other Menu Planning Monday posts so check it out! The host site, has tons of good organizing ideas for your busy lives. I really like the menus and tips I’ve found here and hope you will too!

egg white
scrm egg
almond milk
beet salad
mac & 
chicken wrap
more turkey!
acorn squash
more sides!
spring rolls
pot pie
sw potato
more dessert!
PB celery
ice cream
PB celery
food! :)
GF granola

Cream of Mushroom Soup and Green Bean Casserole

Okay, here’s another “don’t look at the can, make it from scratch” recipe. This is so easy (not quite as easy as opening a can) and delicious! Try it; you will feel much better about adding it to you holiday dishes or just having a bowl of it. I made this so I could make a green bean casserole for Thanksgiving. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out but it was wonderful. I used a mixture of mushrooms but plain button mushroom will work just great. This makes about 2 cups.

1 8oz package of mushrooms (I used a button and portabella mix)
½ cup diced onions
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp potato starch
2 cups milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • In a large saucepan, sauté mushrooms, onions in olive oil until soft. Add in black pepper, garlic, salt, thyme and vinegar until well combined. Sprinkle over potato starch. Slowly add in milk, stirring constantly until mixture is smooth. The mixture will thicken as it cooks. If it gets too thick, add in milk or water. If it is too thin, sprinkle over a little bit more starch. Cook for about 10 minutes until you reach desired consistency. Serve as a soup or use in recipes that call for canned mushroom soup.

Use the cream of mushroom soup recipe to make a traditional Thanksgiving side dish.

1 recipe cream of mushroom soup
2 packages of frozen green beans (at least 20 ounces), cooked
½ cup onions, diced
½ cup mushrooms, diced
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 slices cheese (we use dairy free)
1 cup GF bread crumbs
  • In a large skillet, sauté mushrooms and onions in olive oil. Sprinkle over black pepper and sea salt. Cook until vegetables are crisp tender. In a 9x13 baking pan, place green beans and onion mixture. Pour mushroom soup over top of green beans and stir until combined. Top with sliced cheese and bread crumbs. Bake at 375°F for about 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread crumbs are slightly browned. This serves about 12-15.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving Menu Ideas

I can’t believe it is already time to post this. I’m a little nervous about the holidays this year. This will be the first year for a gluten-free Thanksgiving. Last year I was on a pretty strict diet, but I cheated a little and suffered the consequences. This year – none of that! I’m not nervous about the food. I’m nervous about the interactions during meal time. I definitely don’t want to hurt feelings or step on toes about not eating what the family cooks. However – I simply can’t afford to have a bad day due to poor diet choices. So here goes nothing (wish me luck!) As I’m sure many of you are doing, we are traveling some. We aren’t traveling far but we do have several dinners to go to or make. One thing I will miss this year – my mom’s pumpkin pie and my mother-in-law’s ham. Oh gosh… my mom always makes an extra pumpkin pie, just for me! I take it home; eat it again that night, for breakfast the next day, etc. We will have to work on an alternative but for now, no “Mom’s Famous” pumpkin pie for this girl. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t have to suffer or feel guilty about not eating holiday meals. There are many options out there; you just have to find what’s best for you. What we have decided to do is to just make our own “traveling” Thanksgiving dinner. I will make our own meal and take it to the dinners we are going to. For those coming to our house to eat, they can eat what we cook. If they don’t want to, they can bring their own. It’s not the best solution I’m sure, but it’s the best one we’ve come up with. I can’t touch, eat, or be around gluten. If anyone has other suggestions – I’m all for hearing about them! Anyway – I wanted to present some options to any of you having this same problem. Or if any of you are just wanting to try something new this holiday season, try one of the recipes below! Either way, it’s Thanksgiving and it’s a great time of year to be thankful for what we have. Whether you are doing a typical family tradition, or like us – trying something new, just remember how fortunate we all are. I sometimes find myself wondering why this happened to me, but at the end of the day I have to be thankful. I’m thankful God put me in this position to help me learn and challenge me. I have learned so much about taking care of my body and my health. My situation has also made me realize how fortunate it is to enjoy a meal with family. Something as simple as dinner can be taken away so quickly. Some may not be able to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner due to food allergies or illnesses. Others may simply not be able to afford it. Regardless, I am so very thankful for the opportunity to create a tasty, healthy meal on this wonderful day and I hope you all are too. Of course, I’m thankful for millions of other things but this is a food blog after all! Check out the full day’s menu options below and try some of the recipes – they should all be linked to the original posts complete with pictures. Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!


Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls (Maple or Original)
Banana Oatmeal Pancakes – my most popular! (for extra energy if you have having a late lunch)
Cinnamon Scones
Shrimp Dip
Veggie Pizza
Watermelon Mint Jam – served with crackers/chips
Smoked Chicken Antipasto
Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts - for an alternative to turkey
Made Over Mashed Potatoes
Balsamic Green Beans
Roasted Fall Veggies
Deceptive Mac & Cheese
Stuffed Acorn Squash (or stuffing)
Mushrooms, Onions & Swiss Chard
Butternut Pumpkin Biscuits
Red Wine Cranberry Sauce
Upside Down Apple Cake
Cranberry Pear Crisp with Lavender – my favorite!
Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies – for the kids!
Pumpkin Pie with Almond Crust – if you want to get real fancy
Apple Cider
Pumpkin Spiced Chai Latte
Strawberry Lemonade  - for the kids

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Kale Salad with Sesame Dressing

Kale is an odd vegetable. I’m not completely sold on it yet. I do like it certain ways but this was the first time I tried to cold/raw. It has a very distinct flavor and texture but it is packed full of nutrients.  This salad is very crisp and refreshing. It is also very simple to make. The dressing really accentuates the bold flavor of the kale. This would be a good, healthy addition to your holiday meal – swap it for something not so healthy (maybe the cheese ball??)

8 oz of fresh kale (organic is best)
½ cup shredded carrots
½ cup shredded cabbage (we used red)
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil (you really need this to get the full flavor)
¼ cup rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar or honey
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds (heat in a skillet for about 5 minutes to toast seeds)
  • In a large serving bowl, combine kale, carrots and cabbage.
  • In a small bowl, combine dressing ingredients.
  • Drizzle dressing over salad and refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sunny Breakfast Skillet

Today you get a double post!! It was Kid’s Choice night at dinner and my son, of course, picked “breakfast”! He requested eggs and strawberry waffles (waffle recipe will come later!). I decided to throw together this little dish and it is amazing. The potato pepper mix gives the eggs a nice bed to lay on with a little gravy in the middle. I always post breakfast recipes in the mornings but if you don’t know what you’ll need it is kind of hard to make it. Therefore, I decided to post this tonight so you can prepare to make it in the morning! This makes about 4 servings.

Hashbrown mix
2 medium sized potatoes, diced
1 medium bell pepper, diced
½ cup onion, diced
4 slices turkey bacon, diced
1 cup raw kale
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp butter or olive oil
1 Tbsp GF flour (or starch)
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp garlic salt
½ tsp parsley
1 cup almond milk
4 eggs
  • In a large skillet, sauté hashbrown mixture for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are cooked and slightly crisp.
  • In a small sauce pan, melt butter for gravy and add in flour, parsley, salt and pepper until you get a thick paste. Slowly add in milk and bring to boiling, stirring constantly until the gravy starts to thicken. Add more milk if necessary.
  • Move the hashrown mixture to one side of the skillet, crack eggs into skillet and cook on each side until you reach your desired egg (over easy, over medium, etc.)
  • Spoon hashbrown mixture onto serving plate, drizzle ¼ of the gravy mixture and top with a cooked egg.