Tag Archives: Food Blog

No Bake Almond Joy Bars | Gluten Free + Paleo

Ever since finding out that Maya can’t eat a LOT of foods, baking has become a lot harder…

BUT!  My mom found this amazing Raw Almond Joy Bar recipe from Rawmazing , and it was a HIT with everyone!!

It’s SO hard to decipher recipes that LOOK good from bloggers, but…don’t really taste good.  THESE TASTE AMAZING!!

GREAT for the holidays for those that are allergy challenged…or for special occasions 🙂


  1. Whisk all ingredients together and pour into oiled, parchment lined 8 x 8-inch glass pan. Set in refrigerator aside making topping. The bottom layer should be set up (but not completely hard) before adding the next layer.

Coconut Layer

  • 2 cups of dried, unsweetened, raw coconut
  • 2/3 cup coconut butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons raw agave nectar (or liquid sweetener of choice)
  • 1-2 teaspoons organic almond flavoring (not raw)
  1. Place coconut in medium bowl.
  2. Whisk coconut butter (not the same as coconut oil), agave and almond flavor. Pour over coconut and mix well.


  • 1/3 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
  1.  Sprinkle these on top of the coconut layer


  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter, softened
  1. Drizzle ganache over the top and refrigerate to set!


Cold Slow Cooker Chicken With Mango, Avocado, Spinach, Tomatoes, Peppers, and Quinoa

Yes, that’s a mouthful of a title, but it’s a flavor explosion in your mouth too!!

I tend to forget about my slow cooker in the summer, because…hot!  BUT…the biggest reason I use my slow cooker is because of it’s convenience factor.  THAT is needed all year round!

The other day, I knew I’d be running around all day and wouldn’t be getting home until right around dinner time.  Slow cooker to the rescue.

What you need…

  • 4-5 Chicken Breasts (I actually threw mine in frozen!)
  • 1 Medium yellow onion  diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Ginger
  • 1 Cup Organic Mango Nectar
  • 1 Large Mango
  • 1 Large Avocado
  • 1 Cup diced peppers (I used a yellow, orange, and red)
  • 1 Cup Cherry or grape tomatoes.  I used multi colored ones.
  • 4-5 cups baby spinach
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Cup uncooked quinoa

What you do…

  • Put Olive Oil, Garlic, Ginger, and Onion down and mix.
  • Lay Chicken Breasts on top.  Mine were frozen.  I’m sure if they were thawed, they might just be more tender!  BUT…if you don’t have time (as I never do)  you can put them in frozen as an FYI…
  • Pour the cup of Mango nectar (honestly, you could use orange juice too!  It all cooks away…
  • Here’s the odd/specific timing part.  You can totally mess around with this timing depending on when you will be home!  I started this in the morning.  Cooked it on high for 4 hours.   I added the quinoa about 30 minutes before it was done.   Then took the chicken out, chopped it (probably could have shredded it had it been on low for longer!).  I added the chicken back in to soak up a little more juice.
  • While it was still in warming mode, and right before I took it out, I added all the spinach and tossed it around.
  • Then I took it all out and placed it in a bowl to cool for a few hours.
  • Either earlier when it’s cooking or later depending on when you have time.  Dice the mango, avocado, peppers, and tomatoes.
  • Add all the diced fruits and vegetables on top, salt and pepper to taste, and serve!


Healthy Black Bean Chicken Enchiladas | (can be made gluten, dairy, and soy free)

Chicken enchiladas are pretty simple to make.  There are a bunch of different things you can throw in there, and let’s be honest…if it’s drenched in yummy sauce you can’t go wrong. 🙂

When Maya was 5 weeks old, she was diagnosed with a dairy and soy allergy.  Since I was breastfeeding…that meant no dairy or soy for me either :(.  Dairy isn’t so hard, but finding things that don’t have soy is REALLY HARD.  Making dinners was really hard (wait did I say that already?).  I had to get creative.  Did I mention I have two hungry teenage stepsons?  SO…I made this recipe just thinking of things that would taste good that didn’t have dairy and soy.

Maya is still what I’d call “dairy intollerant” (she gets really congested), but we have a little bit here and there and she does ok.  The entire recipe only has 1 cup of cottage cheese, and 1/2 a cup of shredded cheese.  Adds the perfect amount of creaminess to the enchiladas and a hint of cheese on top.

They are packed with low fat protein and taste delicious!  Blog Gluten Free Healthy Black Bean Chicken Enchiladas-1 Blog Healthy Black Bean Chicken Enchiladas-7


  • Bag of Tortillas.  I love these, and you could easily sub in any gluten free options.
  • 7-8 chicken breasts (depending on size)  Basically each enchilada has almost a full chicken breast!
  • Large jar or can of enchilada sauce.  I go back and forth between red and green.
  • Small yellow onion
  • Jar of diced chiles (they aren’t that spicy if you’re worried and add a great flavor and moisture to the mix)
  • Can of refried beans (I like to use black bean, but use whatever!)
  • 1 C low fat Cottage Cheese (I love the one that has Chive in it!) don’t use for dairy free
  • 1/2 C Shredded cheese don’t use for dairy free
  • 2 TBL of Olive Oil


  • Start boiling your water for the chicken.  I have NO idea why I boil the chicken!  I saw a friend do it once, and then have done it ever since when making enchiladas!  It’s easier, doesn’t have any added fat from cooking it with oil, and it requires less attention-WIN.
  • Add chicken and cook for 10-12 minutes (until they rise to the top)  They will cook more in the enchiladas, so you want to make sure you don’t overcook them.
  • Put olive oil large a non stick pan.  Add onions and stir for about 5 min (or until they start to get soft).
  • Once chicken is cooked, let it sit on a cutting board/plate/bowl.  You will want it to cool before you shred it (I’ve burned my fingers WAY too many times)  Oh, and note-if you have a dog…don’t let the chicken sit out on the counter.  Do I need to tell you what happened when I did that?? 😦
  • Dump refried beans, chilis, cottage cheese (opt out for dairy free)  into the pan with the onions.  You can add a little bit of your enchilada sauce to the mixture if you aren’t using the cottage cheese to make it a little moister.  Start finger shredding the chicken into this mixture and stir.  (or do it all in a big bowl)  Maya loved helping stir it all together!
  • Pour about 1/4 C of enchilada sauce into a 9×13 pan, so they don’t stick.
  • Scoop about a cup of mixture into each tortilla, roll and place (seam side down) into 9×13 pan.  Repeat until all tortillas are filled or you run out of mixture.
  • Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the rolled tortillas and add cheese on top (opt out for dairy free)
  • Bake at 350 for 20.  Garnish with avocado, some plain Greek Yogurt, salsa (or all three!)

Keeping it real…

I actually first wrote this post 2 and a half years ago, but hated the picture I took.  The kids were hangry haha.  SO, I never posted it.  I was super excited to find it in the archives after making it again for dinner on Monday!  This time I snapped a few slightly better rushed picture before we ate (oh, to have TIME!!), and had the post all ready to go-WIN!!

Here’s the first picture from 2.5 years ago with green sauce… 🙂Blog Healthy Chicken Enchiladas-9Enjoy!!


4 Ingredient Quinoa + Sun Butter + Maple Syrup + Hemp Seed Protein Balls

I may be alone here, but I don’t think I am.  As a busy mom, granola bars/protein bars are kind of a must to survive.  Both for us and our kids!!  Grab on the go.  Or in between snack that you want to feel ok giving them, BUT…so many have a LOT of ingredients that you may or may not be ok with, but you do it anyways, because….SURVIVAL.  And…they can be really expensive if you don’t buy them in bulk.  I’ve been dying to make my own, but it seemed like a LOT of work.  SO….I abbreviated my efforts and went simple.  As I do… 😉

One day, I’ll blog about a simple, inexpensive, healthy protein bar, but until then… 😉

These are not a dessert, although, I convinced Maya they were for a few nights haha.  More like a healthy snack to tide you over 🙂Blog Quinoa Sun Butter Hemp Seed Protein Balls-1 Blog Quinoa Sun Butter Hemp Seed Protein Balls-2Ingredients (Made 34 Balls)

  • 1 Cup uncooked Quinoa
  • 6 Tablespoons Sun Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Organic Pure Maple Syrup
  • 6 Tablespoons Hemp Seeds (for rolling-btw, OBSESSED with Hemp Seeds right now!!  If you’re interested in the health benefits, read here.  Oh, and they’re yummy!)

(All these ingredients I found at Costco.  NOT in any way sponsored, but just an easy “Mama cooking for the masses” FYI ;))


  • Cook Quinoa as directed (I did mine in my rice cooker and it took me 30 seconds of prep, but about 30-45 minutes to wait :))
  • Stir in Sun Butter and Maple SyrupBlog Quinoa Sun Butter Hemp Seed Protein Balls-3 The reward of licking the measuring cup…who could deny such a thing??!!Blog Quinoa Sun Butter Hemp Seed Protein Balls-4 Blog Quinoa Sun Butter Hemp Seed Protein Balls-5 Blog Quinoa Sun Butter Hemp Seed Protein Balls-6
  • Take 1 Tablespoon amounts and form into balls
  • Roll the balls in hemp seeds.Blog Quinoa Sun Butter Hemp Seed Protein Balls-7
  • Refrigerate for an hour in a air tight container and store for future snacking 🙂



Soft Boiled Eggs + Bacon on Avocado Toast…Breakfast for dinner!

Breakfast for dinner, you say?  Yes, please!  It’s healthy, easy, and delicious.

When the Huz is out of town, and we don’t have the boys Maya asks for this a lot, and I couldn’t be happier to make it 😉

I honestly think soft boiled eggs, bacon, and avocado each on their own make any dish better, so putting them all together in one dish??  Y-U-M-M-Y!Blog Soft Boiled Egg Bacon on Avocado Toast-1 Blog Soft Boiled Egg Bacon on Avocado Toast-2I don’t think there’s any big secret on how to make this, except maybe how to soft boil an egg.  I like doing it this way sometimes vs over easy in the frying pan.  There’s less mess to clean up, and it’s easier to cook multiple eggs.

  • Bring water to a boil.  Lightly place all eggs into the water and let boil for 7 minutes.  Remove all the eggs that you want to have a runny yolk, and run cold water over them.  If you have a toddler or anyone else that wants their eggs a little more cooked, leave those eggs in the water, but remove it from the heat.  While you are peeling your soft boiled eggs, they will continue to cook in the water.  Take the other ones out after another minute or two and you’ll get a yolk like this.

Blog Soft Boiled Egg Bacon on Avocado Toast-3Enjoy!dit-elle-Lauren

Baked Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Onion and…BACON!

Because really…everything is better with bacon haha.  At least when you have teenage boys and want them to eat vegetables 😉

Blog Baked Brussels Sprouts Cauliflower Broccoli Bacon Paleo Whole30-1

What you need…

  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 strand or bag of Brussels Sprouts
  • One Medium sized onion (really any kind would be good!)
  • 2 pieces of uncooked bacon
  • 1/2 cup of Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic (or more if you like!)
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to tasteBlog Baked Brussels Sprouts Cauliflower Broccoli Bacon Paleo Whole30-2

What to do…

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Cut both broccoli and cauliflower into bit sized pieces.
  • Cut ends of the Brussels Sprouts and peel off the outter layer.  Then cut in half.
  • Dice onion into 1/2 inch wedges.
  • Scatter all the veggies on a baking sheet.
  • Dice bacon into 1/2 by 1/4 inch slices and scatter over the veggies.
  • Mix Olive Oil, Garlic, and Lemon in a bowl.
  • Pour the mixture over the veggies and toss until they are all coated.  You may need a little extra olive oil to drizzle over.  Salt and pepper to liking.
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes.  I like mine a little more charred, but others don’t, so I do a happy medium 🙂Blog Baked Brussels Sprouts Cauliflower Broccoli Bacon Paleo Whole30-3Thanks to my mom for the inspiration!


Spaghetti Squash with Chicken Sausage, Carrots, and Avocado

I don’t know why it took me so long to try spaghetti squash, but now that I have…I’m hooked!!

I won’t lie and tell you that it tastes like pasta, or that you will never crave pasta again, but…it’s a great healthy alternative, and a great way to get your kiddos to eat veggies!

I’m pretty lucky that Maya will eat just about everything.  She will even sit down with a bowl of raw veggies as a snack!  The teenage boys are another matter.  I have to figure out ways to hide veggies in things.  The first few times I made this, I added about half a box of veggie pasta, and they devoured it!!  I made this version when it was just me and Maya.  She devoured it, and I think I might actually try it out on the boys!   Or…add some quinoa?  Really, you can add whatever you want or eat as is!

The avocado adds a creamy healthy fat.  I mean…what isn’t better with avocado on top??!Blog Whole 30 Paleo Spaghetti Squash with Carrots and Avocado-1 Blog Whole 30 Paleo Spaghetti Squash with Carrots and Avocado-2What you need…

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 4-5 Pre-cooked Chicken Sausages (I used True Story Organic Italian Chicken Sausages)
  • 1/2 a large yellow onion (or one small) diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Teaspoon crushed garlic (not necessary)
  • Large Handful of baby carrots sliced 4 ways lengthwise (use pre-shredded to save time!)
  • 1 Jar of your favorite Pasta Sauce (check labels if you are strict on paleo or whole 30)
  • 1 Large Avocado

What you do…

  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  • Cut the ends off your spaghetti squash, cut lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds.
  • Place it flesh side down in a pan that has about 1/4 of water.  I like to sprinkle sea salt and thyme in the water, because I swear the squash absorbs some of it!  You could use any kind of herb!  Cover with tin foil and bake for 35-40 minutes or until flesh is soft.
  • While the spaghetti squash is cooking, dice up your onions, and add it to a large pan with a little bit of olive oil and crushed garlic.
  • While the onions are cooking cut up your baby carrots, or add the shredded carrots in after the onions have been cooking for about 5 minutes.
  • While the onions and carrots are cooking, dice up your chicken sausage.
  • Add the chicken sausage into the mix and stir until hot.
  • Add the jar of pasta sauce and let it simmer until the spaghetti squash is done.
  • Once spaghetti squash is done, take it out and let it cool for about 5 minutes.  I usually am too impatient and just hold it with an oven mitt haha 🙂
  • Scrape the insides of the squash out into your pan.  You can get almost ALL the flesh out, leaving only a thin skin.
  • Toss it all together, and top with diced avocado!

Blog Whole 30 Paleo Spaghetti Squash with Carrots and Avocado-3It’s been so cold and blustery here in Seattle.  2 bowls of this, and a cozy blanket just sounded like heaven.  And..it was 🙂 Blog Whole 30 Paleo Spaghetti Squash with Carrots and Avocado-4 Blog Whole 30 Paleo Spaghetti Squash with Carrots and Avocado-5Ps- Don’t be afraid to let your children help you.  Maya wanted to help me stir, and at first I thought about all the different ways she could make a mess-PASTA SAUCE!  Then…I put an apron on her and let her.  Her exact words.

“Oh BOY!  This is AWESOME!!!”

Blog Cooking with Toddlers(taken with my phone)  And the hand behind her back??  LOVE!!!


Paleo No Bake Avocado Chocolate Mint Bars

I’ve been wanting to make an avocado mint concoction in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.  Ok, really, I just wanted it in general, and this seemed like a good excuse to finally do it!  I found this recipe for No-Bake Coconut Avocado Grasshopper Bars from Whole New Mom.  Turns out, she shared it from Raia’s Recipes.  I love how people share recipes all around, and obviously, I will always say where I got my idea, inspiration, or entire recipe!  I didn’t stray very far from her recipe, except I added more honey to mine, because the batter didn’t taste sweet enough 🙂  These are a light refreshing take, and leave you feeling not so guilty.

Teenager, toddler, and Huz approved-aka the trifecta WIN!Blog Paleo Vegetarian No Bake Avocado Chocolate Mint Bars-1 Blog Paleo Vegetarian No Bake Avocado Chocolate Mint Bars-2 Blog Paleo Vegetarian No Bake Avocado Chocolate Mint Bars-3Mint Layer Ingredients

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1/3 Cup Raw Honey
  • 6 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 1/2 Cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Peppermint Extract (although, I think next time I might do a little more)
  • dash of sea salt
Chocolate Layer Ingredients
  • 1/4 Cup coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Raw Honey
  • 1/4 Cup Cocao powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dash of sea salt, then I grinded some sea salt on the top after it was cooled.
Mint Layer Instructions

Line a 8×8 inch baking dish with foil. Place all ingredients in high powered blender or a food processor. Blend until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.  Smooth mixture into prepared dish and stick in the freezer while you make the chocolate layer.

Chocolate Layer Instructions

In small saucepan, melt coconut oil and honey over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients (ok, I forgot to do this and just dumped it all in at the same time!). Pour over chilled bottom layer and return to the freezer for about 15 minutes, or until the chocolate layer is hardened. Remove from foil and cut into bars. Store covered in the freezer.

Blog Paleo Vegetarian No Bake Avocado Chocolate Mint Bars-4Maya loves to push the pulsing button.  I totally remember loving to do the same thing when I baked with my mom! Blog Paleo Vegetarian No Bake Avocado Chocolate Mint Bars-5 Blog Paleo Vegetarian No Bake Avocado Chocolate Mint Bars-6 Blog Paleo Vegetarian No Bake Avocado Chocolate Mint Bars-7 Blog Paleo Vegetarian No Bake Avocado Chocolate Mint Bars-8But she loves licking the spatula even more!

As did I… 😉Blog Paleo Vegetarian No Bake Avocado Chocolate Mint Bars-9 Blog Paleo Vegetarian No Bake Avocado Chocolate Mint Bars-10Blog Paleo Vegetarian No Bake Avocado Chocolate Mint Bars-11 Blog Paleo Vegetarian No Bake Avocado Chocolate Mint Bars-12I’ve been having her help clean her own bowls lately, and it’s super cool! Blog Paleo Vegetarian No Bake Avocado Chocolate Mint Bars-13 Blog Paleo Vegetarian No Bake Avocado Chocolate Mint Bars-14And…a little keeping it real.  It’s not always easy photographing food with a toddler around!

hahaha 😉Blog OuttakeEnjoy!dit-elle-Lauren

Pulled Pork Sandwiches | Slowcooker does 90% of the work-win!

This recipe is in no way original (nor is it Paleo-sorry!), but it’s SO easy and good that I had to share.  The best part?  You take about 10 minutes to get it going in the morning/afternoon, your house smells delicious all day, and then you take about 10 minutes and it’s ready for dinner.  LOVE THAT!

Added bonus-Teenage sons and toddler girl approved 🙂blog Pulled Pork Sandwich


  • Pork Loin (amount depends on how many people you have to feed)
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Can of coke (or any regular sugared soft drink-most of it gets poured out after!)
  • 2-3 shredded carrots (I cheat and buy the shredded bags from Trader Joe’s :))
  • Jar of your favorite BBQ sauce


  • Chop onion and place in your slowcooker/crockpot
  • Place the Pork tenderloin on top of the onions
  • Pour the Coke/whatever soft drink you use over the top until it almost covers it.
  • Cook on low for 6+ hours (it won’t get dried out)
  • About an hour before it’s done (or less), add the shredded carrots (you don’t need the carrots.  I just added these the last time I made them for some extra veggies.)
  • When it’s done cooking, drain all but about 1 cup of the liquid.  Shred the pork and add BBQ sauce.

Serve on your favorite bun (we did ciabatta this last time), or serve on a salad for a low carb option!