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Slow Cooker English Beef Stew (Gluten & Dairy Free)

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Saturday, October 03, 2015

I have wanted to make beef stew for a while now, but I am always hesitant to start since the cooking time is practically all day. Plus, there are so many different ways to make it. It gets a little intimidating!

Well, this weekend I decided to give my own twist a try and thank goodness I did. It was so simple to make and tasted delicious. Beef stew is really the perfect meal for a rainy day, so put a fire on, grab your cozy socks, and get cookin'.

Slow Cooker English Beef Stew (Gluten Free + Dairy Free)
serves 4


2 lbs stewing beef, cubed
1/4 cup gluten free all purpose flour
1 teaspoon + 1/2 tsp if needed sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups organic beef stock
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon + 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced
4 carrots, sliced
6 small (ish) red potatoes, cubed


Dice and prep all stew veggies.

In the crock-pot, mix flour, salt and pepper.

Add in beef and coat with flour mix.

Add in all other ingredients and give it a few good stirs.

Cook 4-5 hours on high or 10-12 hours on low.

Close to when it should be finished, give it a taste and see if it needs a bit more salt! Also, if you prefer more broth in your stew, add an additional 1/2 cup of beef broth. 

Cheesecake Factory's "Factory Chopped" Salad

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Saturday, October 03, 2015

Maybe you've already tried the factory chopped salad from Cheesecake Factory. And if you have, you totally understand why I crave this constantly. Every time I order it at the restaurant I always do the "skinnylicious" version of it (which basically just means it comes with a lighter dressing). I also usually get it without the blue cheese. It already has avocado, so it doesn't really need the extra fat. 

Here is the thing- people tend to order salads when they are trying to watch their figure. But honestly... you have to really substitute on most salads you order when you eat out if you are actually trying to have a healthy one. Most restaurant salads have around 700-900 calories. Yuck!

No thanks. I'd rather eat that juicy steak, personally.

Thanks to slimmed down options on menus these days, you are able to think twice about the meal you are going to order. 

Oh, and one other point... you CAN eat out. Anywhere for that matter. And you can mastermind healthy dishes just by swapping out certain ingredients. I have another post on that coming up soon...

Okay, let's make my homemade version of the best dang salad ever. This salad is brought to you by yours truly and everybody's favorite grocery store, Trader Joes.

Rosemary Flax Crackers

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Saturday, October 03, 2015

Every time I do yoga, I'm always inspired to eat more mindfully. Does that happen to you? I'm pretty sure I've never left a class craving a cheeseburger. But what I do crave is whole, simple foods- you know, foods that serve a purpose. After yoga, I used to always head to Prasad, one of my favorite places to eat in Portland, and I'd grab some of their flax crackers for a snack. I kept telling myself that I was going to try and recreate those crackers one day, and here I am. Only a year late, but I finally made some tasty crackers in my own kitchen (minus the raw part). 

I like them with some spicy hummus or even just a few turkey slices. And you've got to love the fact that they are gluten free, dairy free, paleo, and vegan. 

Homemade Flax Crackers

1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons of oil (I use macadamia or olive)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

*Sea salt, garlic, rosemary and cayenne to taste (you can really play around with the additives). 

Cinnamon Vanilla Protein Bars (GF/Vegan)

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

I get frustrated with protein bars. They either have too many unnecessary ingredients, a poor fat-carb-protein ratio, or so much dang sugar you might as well be eating a cookie. And let's face it, when you are short on time or just have no time at all, bars come in handy. So, have no fear. Make these bad boys in advance and keep them around all week. They are tasty, simple, and full of good-for-you ingredients. You're welcome! ; )

 Cinnamon Vanilla Protein Bars (gluten free/vegan)

Ingredients: 2 cups gluten free oats 1/2 cup almond meal 1/2 cup maple syrup 1 heaping scoop of vanilla protein powder (brown rice/or hemp) 1/2 c. chopped/pitted dates 1 tbs. almond butter 1/2 tsp sea salt 1 tsp vanilla 1 tsp (or 1 tbs) chia seeds 1 few shakes of cinnamon

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, combine the oats, almond flour, and protein powder. Blend well. Add in dates, maple syrup, almond butter and all other ingredients and blend thorougly. In a 8x8 pan lined with parchment paper, push mixture down pressing firmily into the pan. Bake for 20 minutes and let cool before cutting into bars. ENJOY!

Weekend Getaway: Bellingham, WA

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Sunday, September 20, 2015
The other weekend was a magical one. We left behind the 100 degree weather in Portland in search of a cool ocean breeze and the smell of salt water. Washington I tell ya; what a stunning state. 

We began our trek at the crack of dawn, hitting the road at 5:30am. Car: packed with snacks, pack n' plays, bottles, a tent, the stroller... this how we roll nowadays. Leaving early enough thankfully let us beat traffic. We stopped once for a mini stretch break outside of Seattle and then made our way towards Bellingham.

We decided to take the famous Chuckanut drive route into Bellingham. Think Portland's Forest Park drive meets the beginning part of the sea-to-sky highway in BC. Pure beauty.

Next stop: Food. We headed straight from our drive to Rock N Rye for some brunch. 

This place has the most amazing food and also has a great back patio to enjoy when the weather is nice.

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