National Trail Mix Day with Gluten Free Cheerios

It is Wednesday, August 31st– do you know what that means?? It’s National Trail Mix Day!!
As you may recall from my post on Cheerios a few months back, Cheerios created a process that separates the gluten and gluten-free grains in its oats, making the cereal gluten-free! Gluten free Cheerios are currently offered in Original, Honey Nut, Multi Grain, Apple Cinnamon, Chocolate and Frosted flavors, and also in a few, fun seasonal varieties!
Given it is National Trail Mix Day, and I love celebrating food holidays, I figured there is no better way to celebrate than with  Gluten Free Cheerios! I mean, I have boxes in just about every cabinet in my home. I took the Chocolate and Fruity Gluten Free Cheerios (1 Cup of each) and tossed in a few gluten-free, vegan marshmallows, as well as pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, dried cherries, and raisins! Essentially all of my favorite foods in one bowl! This serves 2 people, so mix it all together, throw it in two baggies or containers, and take your trail mix with you as you venture out and about for the day!
Not only is this the perfect grab-and-go snack, but it is a hearty breakfast option, as well as an appetizer! I hope you enjoy your trail mix as much as I did!
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Avocado Basil Pesto Sauce

What You Will Need:
1 Avocado
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Salt & Pepper
1-2 Garlic Cloves
Handful Basil
1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil

What You Will Do:
Blend the above ingredients in a blender until smooth!
Optional: Add 1/4 Cup Water

This recipe is excellent for vegans and carnivores. Depending on your mood, you can use the sauce over zoodles or gluten-free pasta. If you want to make the dish a bit more filling, add grilled shrimp or a protein of your choosing. For the vegans, add toasted pinenuts!

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Chocolate Covered Banana Pops!

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I love chocolate, specifically Enjoy Life Foods gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate. And I love bananas, so chocolate covered banana pops are kind of the ideal dessert. For the moms out there, this is the perfect after school snack for your kids, and for all the young 20 somethings, this is the perfect snack for when you’re in the mood to indulge. And if you’re anything like me… you’re always ready to indulge!

Enjoy Life chocolate comes in Mega Chunks, Mini Chips, and Dark Chocolate Morsels, and they have so many different uses! I like to snack on the morsels as is, but the chocolate is also so tasty when melted and used as a chocolate sauce. Making Chocolate Banana Pops is simple and really just requires two main ingredients- bananas and chocolate- and I recommend having some fun when it comes to the toppings!

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What You Will Need:
3 Bananas
1 Bag Enjoy Life Baking Chocolate
6  Popsicle Sticks
Enjoy Life Seed & Fruit Mixes and additional toppings!

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What You Will Do:
Cut bananas in half (perpendicular) so you have 6 halves. Insert Popsicle stick into each banana half, and freeze for 3 hours.
Melt chocolate in a separate bowl and pour into a tall glass.
Dip your frozen banana into the chocolate and coat it however much you please!
Roll chocolate covered banana across a plate of toppings. I suggest using Enjoy Life Seed & Fruit Mixes as a topping!
Eat immediately, or freeze again until you’re ready to eat!!

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This treat is super fun to make with kids and friends, and can be had at any time of day! To read more about Enjoy Life Foods Baking Chocolate, check out our product review, here!

Oh P.S., the Enjoy Life team launched a new line of mini cookies this month and I’m already obsessed! Everyone knows that the Enjoy Life soft and hard baked cookies are my favorite gluten-free cookies, and these bite-sized minis are only 100 calories per pack! They are the perfect mid-day snack or after-dinner treat 🙂 My favorite is, of course, the chocolate chip, but the sugar cookies are a close second!

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Sweet Potato Pizza

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Let’s face it, if you ask a gluten-free person what food they miss the most, they are likely to say pizza. Well, given the range of diets out there these days, and the fact that pizza isn’t the healthiest food, I’m always looking for unique, healthy ways to recreate my childhood joy. I know cauliflower crust is super popular, but often these cauliflower recipes contain dairy, and I’m dairy-free, too! Introducing the Sweet Potato Crust Pizza. Not only does it take on the texture of regular, gluten-filled pizza crust, but it’s colorful AND healthy! Not to mention, it’s gluten-free!

Oh and the best part, it only requires 4 ingredients to make the crust! Here’s how we do it.

What You Will Need:

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Sweet Potato Crust
1 Sweet Potato
2/3 cup of GF oats
1 Egg
Dash of Salt

Pizza 1:
Margarita
Tomato Sauce
Cheese (I went with vegan!)

Pizza 2:
Avocado Basil Pesto Sauce
1 Avocado
Handful Basil
1 Clove of Garlic
Dash of Salt and Pepper
Juice from ½ Lemon
¼ Cup water (optional)

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What You Will Do:
To make the sweet potato crust: Combine sweet potato chinks, gluten-free oats, egg, and salt in blender, and blend till smooth. On parchment paper, scoop our sweet potato blend and mold into a thin crust, and bake at 400 for 25 minutes.

Take out the crust, and dab with coconut oil. Place back in the oven for 10 minutes.

Crust is now finished! Add toppings for either Margarita or Avocado Pesto, and cook for 10 more minutes! Wah lah!

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To make Avocado Basil Pesto:

Combine avocado, basil, salt, pepper, juice from half lemon, and a garlic clove in a blender. If need be, add a quarter cup of water to make the sauce more liquid.

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This recipe is super simple to make, healthy, and a total must-try for any gluten-free person. It was also inspired by one of my favorite recipe websites, Pinch of Yum!

 

A Day in The Life

“What is a day in your life like?” Next to “What are your favorite gluten-free foods” and “What restaurant do you suggest for X occasion?” this is the most common question I’m asked. Maybe it’s because food-blogging as a full-time career is baffling to many, or maybe because people are intrigued by how unique and different each day of my life is. And THAT is my answer. Every day is so different! Given how vastly different my day to day is, I’ve realized it is super important to keep a few aspects of my day constant.

Breakfast

Growing up I was always told “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” and I couldn’t agree more. Right when I wake up, my hunger sets in and I start thinking about food. Currently, I’m on a banana and almond butter KICK! I always include protein in my breakfast, because I tend to run around all morning, and protein keeps me full and satiated. My other favorite breakfasts include: banana pancakes (one banana and two eggs), a trail mix of nuts and dried fruits, and egg whites with hash browns or sweet potato!

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Workout

Post breakfast, it’s time to workout. Working out wakes me up and clears my head before a busy day. Typically I go to the gym, and do 30 minutes on an elliptical, followed by an inclined power walk for 30 minutes, and a couple of ab exercises. I keep it simple! I also like to do SoulCycle once a week, and a hot yoga class (Modo Yoga and CorePower, to be specific). Since moving to LA, the city of driving, I’ve realized how I took walking for granted in NYC. So I now walk for an extra hour a day, about five times a week. Other popular LA workouts: Rise Nation, Cycle House, Studio MDR, Carrie’s Pilates Plus.

Lunch

NOBREAD Corp. consists mainly of two parts: recipe development and restaurant reviews. So for lunch, I’m either working on one of my recipes or I’m out checking out the gluten-free options at a local hotspot. I tend to do my restaurant reviews over lunch, as the restaurants are less-crowded then, and because I like natural light for my pictures! Natural light makes the food look even more appetizing than it is. My favorite LA lunch spots: Joan’s on Third, Stir Market, Rose Cafe Venice.

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Afternoons

I either spend my afternoons buried in my laptop at a coffee shop, or cooking away in my kitchen. While I cook, not only am I developing and tasting my recipes along the way, but I Snapchat, video, and photograph the recipe every step of the way. I mean, if it doesn’t appear on social media, it didn’t happen, right?? The coffee shop scene in Los Angeles is what made me fall in love with the city. Creatives, sitting at tables, both individual and communal, sharing ideas and collaborating is so awesome to see, and I look forward to who I am going to meet each time I go to a shop! Also, each coffee shop has a vibe that is unique to the neighborhood it’s in.

Dinner

I try my best to only dine out one meal a day. So if I’ve dined out at lunch, I cook dinner. And if I know I’m out to dinner and drinks, then I cook my lunch. For dinner, I end my day the way I started, with protein. I’ll either have salmon or lighter seafood such as shrimp and calamari accompanied by roasted vegetables (brussels sprouts are my favorite), and a starch or grain (99% of the time it’s sweet potato in some form). I’m a self-proclaimed avocado enthusiast, so on my meat and seafood-less nights, I can guarantee an avocado is involved. My favorite LA restaurants for dinner: Zinque, Gracias Madre, Eveleigh, Estrella.

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Post Dinner

I always say I am the perfect Libra, because my life is in perfect balance. At night, I either go to bed super early, say 9 or 10PM the latest, or I’m out and about… a bit too late. Well, I guess that’s means I live life on two extremes, oops! Regardless of if I stay in or go out, I always get 8 hours of sleep. It is THE most important part of the NOBREAD life.

I enjoy how different each day in my life is. I meet the coolest people, collaborate with creatives, and experience every part of the cities I travel to. When people ask me if they should leave their jobs to follow their passions, I always say “If you love something enough, and you put all your passion into it, you will make it work.”

BFree Foods Breakfast Sandwich

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You may remember that we wrote about BFree Foods and their incredible gluten-free offerings a month or so back. Selling wraps, rolls, bagels and more, all BFree products are free of wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts and soy, making them gluten-free, vegan and free from all major allergens! Before I went gluten-free, I was a HUGE bread eater, but since going GF, even though there are GF bread alternatives on the market, I’ve lost my bread addiction and cravings. I guess I haven’t quite found a bread that lives up to the quality I remember! Then I met BFree Foods bread.

The bread comes in two varieties: Brown Seeded and Soft White. Both are awesome, but I tend to favor the brown seeded for extra nutrients. Oh and guess what! The bread is just 70 calories a slice. YES, just 70! Not only is the bread half the calories of other GF breads, but it is also double the size. Total win. This morning as I rushed out to catch a flight back to NYC, I made my favorite breakfast sandwich using the bread, and I currently sit here on the plane typing away, happily in a food coma.

What You Will Need:
Two Slices Brown Seeded Loaf
3 Slices Turkey Bacon
1 Egg
1/2 Avocado
1/2 Tomato
Cheese! (Mine was vegan!)

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What You Will Do:

Well, there isn’t much to explain here. Pile your toppings on to the delicious gluten-free bread, and enjoy! I love a runny yolk, so I press my sandwich together tight until the yolk cracks. And just like that, you have a nutritious, protein packed, gluten-free sandwich at your fingertips!

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Be sure to check out BFree Foods website here, to learn more about the company and their products, and most importantly, to check out their store locator!! I’m super excited for BFree to make their mark here in the United States, and once you try their products for yourself, you’ll see why I’m so excited by my new find.

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I received SO much positive feedback on my post about Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies,  but also a few questions. “Peanuts are one of the most common allergens out there, can this recipe be done with Almond or Cashew Butter?” The answer is YES! And I’m tempted to say the Almond Butter recipe is a bit tastier, especially if you use Justin’s flavored Almond Butters like Honey, Maple, or Vanilla!

I also noted in my Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe that the bigger the cookie, the harder it was for the cookie to stay together, so this time around I decided to make smaller, bite sized cookies! The result? Firmer and crispier cookies that makes indulging fun and guilt-free.

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What You Will Need:
1 Cup Almond Butter (I used Justin’s Honey Almond Butter)
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp Baking Soda
Vegan Chocolate Chips of your choosing!

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What You Will Do:
Combine Almond butter, Brown Sugar, Egg, and Baking Soda in a large bowl.
Once mixed, add your chocolate chips and fold into the batter!
Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking tray and scoop quarter-size balls of batter onto the tray.
Bake on 350 for ~9 minutes for softer cookies, and ~11 minutes if you want crispier cookies!

That’s it! You’re done! This recipe yields 50-60 cookies with a 1-1.5″ diameter. It is the perfect after school snack for your kids and their friends, or for yourself when you desire a small, sweet bite after a meal.

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