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BUSH’S® Black Bean Fiesta™

Summer recipes are my absolute favorite. Grilled seafood and vegetables, avocado on everything, and that good ‘ol margarita that makes the meal complete. Well, there is one summer dish that is often overlooked, and today I’m bringing this delicious side recipe to center stage. BEANS! BUSH’S® Black Bean Fiesta™ to be exact.

BUSH’S® Black Beans are naturally gluten-free, only 120 calories per half cup serving, and have 7 grams of protein per serving! Oh, and the beans have just the right amount of spice!

Today I am making my classic summer lunch dish, and packing on a little bit of heat thanks to BUSH’s® Beans.

What You Will Need:
3-4 oz Wild Shrimp
1 Can BUSH’S® Black Bean Fiesta™
½ Avocado
Handful of Tortilla Chips
1/2T Avocado oil

What You Will Do:

Remove the BUSH’S® Black Bean Fiesta™ from the can and heat for 1-2 minutes in a microwave safe dish.
While your beans are baking, sauté 3-4oz defrosted or fresh Wild Shrimp in 1/2T avocado oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cook your shrimp for about 1-2 minutes on each side.
Plate your shrimp, along with the tortilla chips and mashed avocado.
Scoop about 1/3 can of BUSH’S® Black Bean Fiesta™ onto the plate, too!

Serve and enjoy!

Blondie Bars with Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

I’ve tried making blondies for years, but have yet to develop the perfect recipe. Well my friends, that all changed TODAY. Not only did these blondies come out just as I wanted them to, but they were delicious and totally allergy-free!! Feast your eyes on my new favorite recipe, courtesy of Enjoy Life Chocolate Chip Minis! 

You’ve seen me post Enjoy Life Baking Chocolate for YEARS now, and there is a reason for it. I am absolutely OBSESSED with it! The mini chips, dark chocolate morsels, and mega chunks are staples in my cabinets, and not only are they incredibly delicious, but the chocolate, as well as the entire Enjoy Life Foods brand, is entirely allergy-free.

I’m known to grab a handful of chocolate chips after each meal, but I also use the chocolate in just about every recipe I make. (i.e. the topping on my Classic Banana Bread and as the necessary coating for my Chocolate Avocado Marshmallow Cups)

What You Will Need:

  • 1 1/4 cup Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour 
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 Chia egg, (1T chia powder to 3T water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Enjoy Life Baking Chocolate

What You Will Do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix your GF flour, baking soda, salt and brown sugar.
In a separate bowl, mix your chia egg, HALF of the vegan butter, and vanilla.
Combine the two bowls and stir/whisk until totally blended.
**We added the second half of the vegan butter AS IT WAS NEEDED. I was hoping to only need 3/4 C, but I finally got the consistency I wanted after I used the full cup. 

Add your Enjoy Life Baking Chocolate minis!!
Lay parchment paper on a baking sheet or brownie pan, and dab with remaining vegan butter so the blondies don’t totally stick.
Spread dough on the parchment paper. We opted for a thin blondie versus thick.
Bake at 350 for ~17 minutes. Check in at the 15 minute mark. They COULD have been taken out then, but I wanted the bottom to be a little bit more crisp.

Let your blondie cool for ~15 minutes and then slice into bars!
Melt more Enjoy Life Baking Chocolate in the microwave, and drizzle it on top of the bars for more chocolatey goodness!

SERVE!

Links:

 

Matcha Pancakes

Kourtney Kardashian is my favorite Kardashian. Why? Because if you watch the show, then you know that she is my little gluten-free, dairy-free spirit animal! While her family makes fun of her alternative milks and salad combinations, I share in her enthusiasm! Today I am remaking my favorite Kourtney recipe, Matcha Pancakes.

What You Will Need:

1 Cup Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
2 Eggs
2/3 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup Organic Cane Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 Tablespoons Matcha Powder
1T Baking Powder
Pinch of salt

What You Will Do:
Combine eggs, almond milk, coconut oil, and vanilla into a large bowl.
Separately, combine GF Flour, sugar, matcha powder, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl.
Pour dry ingredients, slowly, into the bowl of wet ingredients.


Whisk until totally combined.
Spray coconut oil onto a pancake pan.
Pour batter onto the pan, aiming to make 4 pancakes at a time.
When pancake starts to bubble and the bottom firms, flip!
Cook on the opposite side for another 30 seconds to 1 minute.


Stack up your pancakes and add toppings! I love adding maple syrup and strawberries… their flavors compliment the vanilla and matcha so well!

This recipe will make about 12 pancakes, so make a half portion if only feeding 1-2 people!

Salmon Avocado “Un”Roll

SUSHI. I FRICKEN LOVE IT. But whenever I order sushi I am met with rolled eyes and a TON of questions.

“Wait, rice is gluten-free?”
“Doesn’t soy sauce have gluten??”
“You eat carbs??”

Yes, yes, and yes.
Rice, in its purest form, is gluten-free.
Soy Sauce has gluten, but tamari sauce is gluten-free and tastes exactly the same (and many restaurants carry it).
Yes, I LOVE my carbs. I also ALWAYS opt for white rice over brown, but that’s a story for another time.

Sushi is the one food category I always order when I am out, but never make on my own. Partially because I don’t have a sushi roller, and partially because even if I had one, making sushi isn’t worth the time and mess.

This Salmon Avocado “Un”roll is a take of my favorite sushi roll and will give you all of the sushi feels… without the mess!

What You Will Need:
1 Sushi Sheet (I use seasnax)
1/2 Cup white rice
3″ cucumber- peeled and cut
1/3 Avocado
3-4oz Wild Salmon
optional: gluten-free tamari soy sauce

What You Will Do:
Steam or boil your white rice and place it on top of the sushi sheet.
Layer on your sliced cucumber and avocado.
Sauté wild salmon and add it to the ‘roll.’
If you crave a bit of salt, add tamari!
Take a bite and enjoy!!

Three GREEN Smoothies I love right now!

If there is one thing to know about me, it is that I love smoothies. Breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner; I could have smoothies for them all! If you’ve been following me for a while, then you are quite familiar with my extensive smoothie recipe selection. Well, there are THREE, yes THREE, GREEN smoothies I have been enjoying all summer and they NEED to be added to your smoothie menus. I know summer is pretty much over, but better late than never, right? xx Nicole

  1. Collagen Packed and Refreshed 

1.5 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
2 scoops Vital Proteins Marine Collagen
1/2 Avocado
Handful of Spinach and Kale
1/4 Cup Raspberries
3 cucumber slices
Squeeze of Lemon

  1. Daily Harvest Cup- Banana & Greens

ADD:
Fill Daily Harvest Cup with Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1 Scoop Vital Proteins Vanilla Coconut Collagen

Use Code NOBREAD at Checkout on Daily Harvest for 3 free cups with your first order! 

  1. Hip, Hemp, and Vegan

1.5 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (I use Califia)
2T Vanilla Hemp Protein (I use Nutiva)
Handful of Spinach
1T Chia Seeds
½ Avocado
1/4 Cup Blueberries

L to R: Daily Harvest, Hip Hemp, Collagen Packed

The ‘Refreshing’ Smoothie with Vital Proteins

Last week I had the opportunity to go to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for my first time with the Vital Proteins team! A trip to Mexico and a healthy retreat sounded incongruous, but thanks to Vital Proteins collagen tubs everywhere, I made it work just fine! Mainly because I started each day with the smoothie recipe below. Enjoy!

What You Will Need:

1.5C Unsweetened Almond Milk
Handful of Spinach and Kale
Handful of Raspberries
3 cucumber slices
2 scoops @vitalproteins Marine Collagen
1/2 Avocado
Squeeze of Lemon

What You Will Do:

Add all ingredients to a blender, starting with your nut milk.
Blend on high until fully incorporated. Add a few ice cubes, too, for a colder smoothie!
Serve!

To purchase your Vital Proteins collagen, click here!

French Toast

When I think of French Toast I think of my brother. I was Queen of Pancakes, he was King of French Toast. It was his go-to order whenever we went to IHOP! Or should I call it IHOB!?

What makes French Toast so delicious is the fluffiness of the bread. Not until recently have I been interested in recreating the French Toast of my gluten-eating days, because I didn’t think gluten-free breads were that great (to be honest). Now, however, I have found many tasty gluten-free bread brands and I’ve been inspired to make GF French toast! And my god… I’m so happy I did!

What You Will Need:
4 slices gluten-free bread.
2 eggs
1/4 Cup Nut Milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Pinch salt
Coconut Oil for frying

Toppings: Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Banana Slices

What You Will Do:

In a small bowl, combine nut milk, whisked eggs, vanilla, and salt.

Dip each slice of bread into the mix, and coat it on both sides.
Heat coconut oil on a skillet.
Add your soaked bread slices to the skillet, and cook until crisp and brown. FLIP!
Cook the reverse side.


When your toast is your desired level of crisp and gold, remove and stack your French Toast.
Drizzle with maple syrup, cinnamon, and banana slices.
DEVOUR!!

Cacao Avocado Pudding

Growing up I had a pudding cup in my lunch bag every day. Which explains why I am a total chocaholic now! Since going gluten and dairy-free, I haven’t had pudding! Well, it dawned on me. I use avocados in my smoothies to make my smoothies extra creamy, so why not use them with a little cacao to make my dream pudding bowl. Four ingredients later, my dream pudding bowl had been made!
What You Will Need:
2 Avocados
1/2 Cup Cacao Powder
1/4C Maple Syrup
1/2C + 2T Unsweetened Almond Milk
Pinch of Salt
1tsp Vanilla
What You Will Do:
Slice two avocados and add to a blender or Vitamix.
Add Cacao Powder, Maple Syrup, Almond Milk, Salt, and Vanilla.

Blend on high, pausing here and there to scrape down the sides of the blender if need be.
Pour into a bowl, and add your toppings! I added Banana Slices and Cacao Nibs.
Enjoy!
 
I like my pudding as is, and use toppings as a way of adding sweetness to the pudding. But if you like things EXTRA sweet like my assistant, add a little more maple syrup on top and stir it in!
This recipe makes 4 servings! 

My Struggle with IBS

Hey everyone! LET’S TALK!

I was compensated by Salix Pharmaceuticals for this post. However, all opinions are my own.

It’s funny, as a blogger my job is to ‘get personal’ and share my life with y’all, but I often find myself trying to keep certain parts of my life private. Today I want to talk to you about a condition that I suffer from. As you know, I am gluten-free, but what you may not know is that I also have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

For those who don’t know, IBS is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder characterized by symptoms of abdominal pain and abnormal bowel habits, and it affects between 3% and 20% of Americans. In particular, IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D) affects more than 16 million Americans.

A few more facts!

Facts about IBS:

  • IBS affects about twice as many women as men.
  • Microbial imbalance has been linked to symptoms of IBS-D.
  • IBS is the 7th most common diagnosis by primary care physicians.
  • 67% of IBS sufferers experience symptoms for 1+ year before seeing a doctor.

I’m super excited to collaborate with Salix Pharmaceuticals to create IBS-D awareness. I guess the reason why I don’t talk much about my IBS is because it’s a bit awkward for me to discuss my intestinal symptoms and discomfort! It turns out that a lot of people feel embarrassed by their symptoms and wait more than a year before seeing a doctor.

Salix launched letstalk-2.com this past IBS Awareness Month, in April. The website informs visitors on when #2 is a problem, common triggers and causes, and offers tips on starting a conversation about IBS-D with your healthcare provider, because the talk shouldn’t be as uncomfortable as the symptoms!

What 2 Know Before You Go ‘2’ the Doctor:

  1. Write down your symptoms and triggers
  2. Make a list of all your medications
  3. Plan questions in advance, such as:
    • What is most likely the cause of my symptoms?
    • Should I change my diet and lifestyle?
    • What treatment options do you recommend?

To deal with my IBS, I’ve recently started taking fiber supplements and living a low FODMAP life.

If you think gluten-free is tricky, just wait until you try low FODMAP! FODMAP foods are appointed based on how their sugars and carbohydrates are broken down. Squash, zucchini, and carrots are low FODMAP favorites when it comes to veggies, my NOBREAD smoothies are all good to-go, and salmon and eggs are A-OK! But just imagine my devastation when I went low FODMAP and learned that only 1/8 avocado is allowed, and brussel sprouts are an absolute NO!! My IBS savior has been bone broth, which I wrote a whole blog post about here!

Check out some of my favorite low FODMAP meals! :

If you, too, suffer from IBS-D, do NOT fear! Talk to your doctor to determine what treatments options might be right for you.

My Go-To Smoothie Made with Vital Proteins

If you have followed me for long then you know that I am the queen of smoothies! Yes my title may be self-proclaimed, but I have tested and tried every kind of smoothie at every time of day, and my addiction isn’t because of their great flavor and taste, it is because I have discovered a way to make my smoothies nutrient packed! Oh, and because I am LOVING reaping the benefits!

Today I introduce you to my go-to smoothie made with the help of my go-to brand, Vital Proteins. I use Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides EVERY. DAY. in my smoothies. Why? Well collagen is known to heal leaky gut, improve hair and nail growth, improve skin elasticity, protect from heart disease, and protect your brain from Alzheimer’s and more! Since adding VP to my diet, not only has my digestion improved, but I’ve noticed SIGNIFICANT hair growth and my nails and bones are stronger than ever. TRUTH.

And if you’re not a smoothie person that’s okay!! You can simply add Vital Proteins to 8oz of water and drink it straight! The classic flavor has no taste, but the flavored lines including Vanilla Coconut, Melon Mint, Cucumber Aloe, and more will give your drink the perfect touch of taste. Vital Proteins started with their collagen peptides, and I’ve LOVED seeing their business develop to now include collagen creamers, bone broth powders, greens and veggies, beauty collagens, and more!

(use this post’s hyperlinks for your Vital Proteins purchase!)

The NOBREAD… aka My Vanilla Avocado Smoothie!

What You Will Need:
1.5 C Unsweetened Vanilla Nut Milk
1 Scoop Vanilla Coconut Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
Handful of Spinach
Handful of Blueberries
1T Chia Seeds
1/2 Avocado

What You Will Do:
Add all ingredients to a Vitamix or NutriBullet starting with your nut milk.
Blend on High for 30-45 seconds, or until the smoothie is totally blended.
Pour into a bowl and top with cacao nibs, coconut shavings, and a little almond butter or with fruit!
Serve and ENJOY!

Matcha Latte made with Califia Farms Creamer

When people think of NOBREAD and I, they think of smoothies and MATCHA LATTES.

…And I don’t hate it. Funny enough, until I mastered making matcha myself, I always bought my lattes at cafes. I mean I tried to make them myself! But they never turned out as good as the ones from my favorite cafes. Well thanks to Califia Farms nut milks and creamers, this matcha addict has learned how to master the craft.

What You Will Need:
1.5C Unsweetened Vanilla Califia Farms Milk
1-2T Califia Farms Almond Milk Creamer
1tsp Matcha or Turmeric… whichever suits your mood!

What You Will Do:

Heat your nut milk on the stove or in the microwave for 3 minutes. Add to blender.
Add your creamer and matcha OR turmeric.
Blend on high for 20 seconds or so, and serve!

Note: The cute little cinnamon decorations on top that you see in the photo below are made with the help of a latte stencil!!

 

Sweet Potato Smoothie Bowl made with Blender Bombs!

SWEET POTATO SMOOTHIE BOWL! Made with probably the coolest little creation ever, Blender Bombs by Hushup And Hustle!! Helen’s Blender Bombs are packed full of protein, fat, and fiber, so all you do when making your smoothie is take a ball, add some nut milk, and add your veggies! WATCH IT GO DOWN ON MY STORIES! My smoothies usually have 6-7 different ingredients in them, so using these bombs cuts down the amount of ingredients I need and the time it takes to make!

What do Blender Bomb’s consist of? My go-to is the classic flavor which consists of pecans, dates, local raw honey, flax seeds, hemp seeds, almonds, chia seeds, walnuts, and bee pollen!

Sweet Potato Smoothie Bowl: 

What You Will Need:
1.5 Cup Unsweetened Original Almond Milk
1 Medium Sweet Potato (~3/4 Cup Mashed)
1 Blender Bomb by Hushup and Hustle!
To Garnish: Cinnamon, Pecans, Cacao Nibs, and Coconut Shavings

What You Will Do:
Add all ingredients to a blender/vitamix etc, starting with your nut milk.
Blend on high until fully incorporated.