Posts Tagged ‘gluten-free’

Over the course of any given day, I read maybe 5 or 6 health related posts. And they run the gamut of all topics, whether it is relating to how your hormones being out of whack can affect you day-to-day, or how adding hemp seeds to your smoothie adds extra protein. Every day I read articles, not because I have too, but because I want to. Health and wellness are very important topics to me and I want to soak up as much information as possible.

One little nugget of information that I have heard over and over again is “Spend Now or Spend Later”. You are probably wondering how this relates to health. Well, it’s easy:

Spend the money now on good, healthy, unprocessed food, or spend the money later on doctor’s bills.

I realize the statement can be seen as simplistic but I like the simplicity of it. Everyone knows that whole foods are better for you than processed foods and yet… we’ve all been guilty of not eating as healthfully as we should. But here’s the thing: I want to live a long and healthy life and I can’t do that if I am eating bad foods. And honestly, I don’t feel good when I don’t eat what’s good for my body. I mean, have you ever gone through the drive-thru of a fast food restaurant, ate the food, and then thought “Yeah, that was a bad idea”. Yup, we all have 🙂 More times than I care to remember… #roadtrips

I have noticed that as I have gotten older, I want to eat more healthfully. I actually crave fruits and vegetables. I do not crave junk food. Sure, I am not immune to cookies or chips and salsa, but if I want cookies, I make them at home so I know what’s in it. If I am buying store-bought salsa, I double-check the ingredients on the label, so that I know exactly what it is I am buying. I am more mindful than ever, of what I am putting into my body, especially since I have had to go gluten-free. I spend a lot of time in the produce section, more than any middle aisles where the processed food is.


My grocery bill may hover at amounts that could be seen as shocking, but our family chooses to invest in its health. We are choosing to “spend now” on quality food and quality ingredients. We do not want to “spend later” on doctor bills and the like.

Health and all of its lovely gifts is not something that I take for granted.

How are you guys doing with your grocery bills? Do you purchase organic foods? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

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Part of my recovery and also a 2016 goal, is to get healthy head to toe, inside and out. And although I’ve made the fun chocolaty recipes from Deliciously Ella and boy were they delicious, it was time to step out of the cacao box and make some fun and healthy veggie fun stuff! Ella’s book is chock full of healthy plant-based meals so if you have not purchased her book, you definitely should 🙂

This recipe is so good, that I seriously can’t believe how healthy it is! And it has cilantro which I absolutely lurrrrrrve… Nom, nom. Go ahead and make this recipe and tell me you don’t seriously fall in love with it 🙂


Quinoa Tabbouleh


  • 2 ¹⁄³ cups quinoa
  • 7 ounces fresh cilantro
  • 8 tomatoes
  • ¾ cup pine nuts (3½ ounces) **
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • salt and pepper


  • Place the quinoa in a sieve and rinse with cold water until the water that comes through is totally clear.
  • Place the quinoa in a saucepan with 4 cups boiling water. Let the quinoa boil for a minute or so; then let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes covered, until all the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy.
  • While the quinoa cooks, finely chop the cilantro. Then chop the tomatoes into small salsa-like squares.
  • Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan; this should take just a couple of minutes.
  • Once the quinoa has finished cooking, allow it to cool.
  • Mix in the cilantro, chopped tomato, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and toasted pine nuts before sprinkling it all with salt and pepper.

The dish is meant to be served cold and let me tell you, this dish tasted even better the next day!

**Regarding the pine nuts… I made this recipe exactly as Ella listed it in her book with the roasted pine nuts, but I have to tell you, I prefer the dish without them. Roasted pine nuts have a strong flavor for me, so if you don’t think you are on the pine nut bandwagon either, don’t worry, the dish tastes just fine without them 🙂

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Healthy brownies? Is that like unicorns, they don’t exist? Well I am here to tell you that these brownies are totally healthy, and they are real! (The jury is still out on that whole unicorn thing, though) 😉

For real though, these brownies are yummy and chocolaty. These brownies are nothing like the sugary confections in the store that are preservative-laden; these brownies are delicious, and I swear, you don’t even notice the sweet potato at all! These brownies are also good if you are on the road to upping your health game, but are still desiring a sweet treat 🙂


And yes, it is another recipe from Deliciously Ella. What can I say? That girl has mad cooking skills 😉

Sweet Potato Brownies


  • 2 medium-large sweet potatoes (about 10 ounces each)
  • 14 Medjool dates, pitted
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons ground almonds (about 3 ounces)
  • 4 tablespoons raw cacao powder**
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • pinch of salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F
  • Peel the sweet potatoes. Cut them into chunks and place into a steamer for about 20 minutes, until they become really soft.
  • Once they are perfectly soft and beginning to fall apart, remove them and add them to a food processor with the dates. Blend until a smooth, creamy mix forms.
  • Put the remaining ingredients into a bowl before mixing in the sweet potato and date combination. Stir well.
  • Place the mix into a parchment-paper lined baking dish and cook for 20-30 minutes, until you can pierce the brownie cake with a fork and pull it out dry. Remove the dish from the oven and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. This is really important, as the brownies need this time to stick together.

**Ella states in her recipe that if you do not have any raw cacao powder, that it is totally okay to use conventional cocoa powder; you will just need to double the quantity.

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I know for many people, they purchase someone’s cookbook with the best intentions. “I’m totally going to make every single recipe in this book!”, they say. And then the book collects dust…

But trust me when I say that if you make the recipes from Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward, you will not only make these recipes, you will be richly rewarded with the deliciousness of her recipes!

One her most beloved recipes is her Almond and Chia Energy Bites, and oh my goodness, are these puppies good! Seriously amazing and my husband and I ate quite a few of them before I forced the lid of the container on the rest of them, and put them away 😉

If you are looking for something super healthy to have as a snack, look no further than this recipe!


Almond and Chia Energy Bites


  • 1 ¹⁄³ cup of almonds (about 7 ounces)**
  • 14 ounces Medjool dates (about 20 dates)
  • 4 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds


  • Start by putting the almonds in a food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds, until they are nicely crushed.
  • Then pit the dates and add them, plus the other ingredients and 2 tablespoons water, to the processor and blend again until everything has mixed together perfectly and it is all nice and sticky.
  • Roll the mix into balls.
  • Place the balls in the freezer for an hour to set, then store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Makes about 20 balls.

** Ella states in her book that if you don’t like almonds, you can try swapping them with a different nut. But I definitely used almonds in this recipe and it was yummy 🙂

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Don’t let the title scare you seriously… Even if you could give a fig about gluten and whether you are eating it or not, you have got to try these cookies! Telling the truth here people, I made these cookies yesterday and my family has already barreled through half of them. And best of all, these oatmeal cookies have chocolate chips in them!!! YOU CANT GO WRONG WITH CHOCOLATE!!! ♥♥♥♥

Make these cookies and tell me you don’t ingest 10 of ’em by dinnertime 😉 You can also make these for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I suggest making a batch now to you know, um, taste-test them, and then um, make them again for an upcoming holiday 🙂


Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookies


  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 cups rolled oats (I used Trader Joe’s gluten-free oats)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 6 oz. chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup peanut butter


  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • In a large bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar, and butter and beat until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla, and baking soda and mix well. Add peanut butter and mix well. Stir in oats, chocolate chips, and nuts. Place a teaspoon* full of dough about 2 inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake 10-12 minutes until lightly browned around the edges.

*My teaspoon full was closer to a tablespoon full. Just thought I’d give full disclosure. They still baked normally 🙂

**Recipe adapted from Trader Joe’s own recipe

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I know, I know…probably at this point you are probably on pumpkin overload. If you have a social media account, that’s probably all it is inundated with! 🙂

But I came across this recipe that is really good, and the best part of it is, is that it is suggested that you eat it with apple and/or pear slices! I mean a dip where it’s recommended that you eat fruit with it? Heck yeah, I am down for that! Also, if you are not totally into the taste of pumpkin, that’s okay because it is not super strong in this recipe. But this dip is good and may become a fall staple in the Random Path household 😉



Spiced Pumpkin Dip



  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 8-oz package of cream cheese softened
  • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup, or more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon**
  • 2 apples sliced
  • 2 pears sliced


In a bowl combine pumpkin, cream cheese, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Whisk until blended. Serve with apples and pears. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to three days.

**The recipe called for half of a teaspoon but I used the wrong spoon and ended up putting a whole teaspoon. It didn’t make a difference in any way. The dip was still gobbled up! 🙂

—> Recipe adapted from Parents Magazine

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Well you all know my love for Ella Woodward’s cookbook Deliciously Ella, and I am back with another recipe of hers that is really yummy!


It is called an Apple and Honey Loaf and it is quite tasty. When I posted this picture on Instagram I wrote that anything where the recipe calls for apples, honey, and almonds, I am all over that! And it is true. Apples are my favorite fruit to eat, and I probably eat one almost every day. Fun fact: I couldn’t stand the taste of apples when I was pregnant, which just goes to show how screwed up your taste buds get when you are creating a human life, lol 🙂 Luckily, my daughter loves apples just as much as her mommy!

But I digress…

This recipe is super easy to make and I really think you’ll love it!

apple honey loaf

Apple and Honey Loaf


  • 3 heaped tablespoons of pureed apple
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 1 ripe banana peeled
  • 1 ¼ cups ground almonds (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 ¼ cups brown rice flour
  • coconut oil for greasing
  • 4 tablespoons of water


  • Preheat the oven to 400°
  • Place the apple puree, honey, and banana into a large mixing bowl and mash them together with a fork until you have a smooth mix.
  • Stir in the ground almonds, chia seeds, rice flour, and 4 tablespoons water and mix until smooth.
  • Grease a standard size loaf pan with coconut oil before pouring the mixture in and spreading it across. It is meant to be a long loaf and only 1 inch or so tall. (Don’t try to make the loaf too thick or else it won’t set. Seriously, I’ve made that mistake before. It really is only meant to be about 1 inch thick).
  • Bake for 50 minutes until the top turns a golden brown and you can pull a clean knife out of the middle of it.


**Recipe adapted from Deliciously Ella

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Yup, Spicy Roasted Chickpeas. Not a typo, not a mistake, all kinds of delicious!

A few months ago I picked up the cookbook Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward and I have been hooked by her lovely recipes! It is a plant-based cookbook and although I am not on a specific plant-based diet, I aspire to have more plant-based recipes in my repertoire and want to incorporate more good things and less bad things into my meals. This cookbook has definitely been a great investment 🙂

This particular recipe is one of my favorites and it shows because when I make these chickpeas, I have a hard time not eating them all in a day! You can either eat these by themselves or as Ella does, she sprinkles them in her salads and soups.


Picture from my Instagram feed

Picture from my Instagram feed

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas


  • 3 cups canned chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili flakes**
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  • Drain the chickpeas and place them on a large baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle the paprika, cumin, chili flakes and salt and pepper onto them and then drizzle over the maple syrup, lemon juice and some olive oil, stirring well to ensure that everything is evenly coated.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes, until the chickpeas are nice and crunchy.

Makes 1 large jar.

**The first time I made this, I added the 2 teaspoons of chili flakes. But since I like a little less spice, I now only add 1 teaspoon instead of the called for 2 teaspoons. Still spicy, just not as much 😉 It is up to you on how much of the chili flakes you are a fan of

⇒Recipe adapted from the book Deliciously Ella

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