thanksgiving & donuts!
What is it that they say? "The best laid plans..." I have been counting down to Thanksgiving for WEEKS. WEEKS. Maybe even months. Now that I have more of a handle on my diet, and cooking, I was so excited to go from my sisters to my husbands family armed with gluten-, dairy-, grain- and sugar free dishes that I could share and inspire with. I wanted to lead up to Thanksgiving with some great recipes to share with all of you. And then BAM! I caught the bug going around and spent Wednesday sick at work, Thanksgiving in the guest bed at my sisters between breakfast and Turkey dinner, and Black Friday in bed. Today I am still recovering, but I DID still manage to make a few delicious dishes for the holiday that I wanted to share. Luckily my appetite didn't wane, and I was armed with enough herbs and vitamins that I didn't lose taste of this delicious treats!
I was SO excited to make donuts. It's been a standing tradition since I met my husband, that on Thanksgiving or Black Friday morning we would get donuts. But since the store, and bakery, bought varieties are full of sugar, gluten, dairy and chemicals I wanted to attempt to make some that I could enjoy and share with the fam while everyone gathered to cook the turkey. I was nervous that they'd turn out bland, because I didn't use sugar, or too mealy, because of the almond flour. I was afraid that they frosting would be runny because I made my own version using coconut oil.
But none of that happened. They. Were. Absolutely. PHENOMENAL. Even my two-year old niece devoured one, her happy little face covered in chocolate. She's always my official taste tester. I figure if the littles like it, I must be doing something right. If you keep reading, you will find the recipe below. I do use NUTS & EGGS in this recipe. You may be able to use an egg replacer, but I can't guarantee how it would come out, and swapping out for a different flour will drastically change the taste and texture.
After breakfast I had to nap for a while, this darn cold got me good but I could still smell the amazing aromas in my sisters house. This year I wasn't able to eat as much of her menu as my dad did the turkey his traditional way and more family members attended, bringing their own dishes. So Mr. Charming and I brought a lot of our food from home. (He ate my menu with me and boycotted the "gluten food" in support. I adore that man.) Below is my scrumptious meal. For the first time since I changed my eating habits, it truly tasted like "Thanksgiving". I found organic jellied cranberry. I'm not a fan of whole, and though I don't like to eat a lot of canned food because of heavy metals, something about jellied cranberry just says comfy, Thanksgiving dinner to me. So Mr. Charming found me an organic canned one, with no corn syrup or funky preservative. My menu is below, to help you with choices for your other holiday meals this season. Make sure, that even though you are including traditional carb-y comfort foods, to also get plenty of vegetables and protein.
My menu included:
- White sweet potato with EB butter
- Organic cranberry sauce
- Turkey breast baked with EB butter, onion and organic herbs
- My Vanilla-Honey Carrots
- Lemon infused olive oil grilled green beans
After we enjoyed dinner at my sisters we loaded up our things in the car and Mr. Charming drove us to his cousins while I napped in the car. We met over there for more family time and dessert. I was particularly thankful for her big comfy couch where I got to rest my little head. I brought my apple pie. It's gluten and dairy free. There is rice starch in the crust, so it's not completely grain free, but I had already gotten the crust before my Dr's ordered changed so I just had a slice. I call it my "Thanksgiving splurge". Everyone does it, even us healthy-foodies. Again, we're only human. I added my lattice top crust and baked it with lots of cinnamon. And topped it off with a scoop of sugar-free coconut milk vanilla icecream. Mm. Mm. Mm. Then it was off to bed again.
Despite the cold bug, I had a beautiful Thanksgiving. I truly have so many blessings I am so, so thankful for. I will continue posting my Gratitude Photo Challenge that ended today. I am kind of sad it's over, it was a fun photo project that really brought focus to things we are thankful for. Thank you to those of you who joined in on instagram with #letsbegrateful. Hope you all had a wonderful, healthful Thanksgiving as well!
back to school
It's officially September, which means Back to School! When you throw school schedules in with work schedules, time is stretched to the max and students and families are shuffling to get out the door in the mornings - which tends to mean poor choices in meals, excercise and general care for your overall well being. With the Top 10 Quick Breakfast post being such a hit, I thought I would compose two more lists.
10 Easy Lunches For The College Student - Mr. Charming works a full time job and goes to school at night, so I like to make sure we have healthful choices at home that he can take with him to keep him full & focused throughout his day. We've made a personal choice to never grab fast food or conveinece item that has ingredients that are foreign to us, so it's important, when making this choice to have something on you so you don't go hungry. Click here to see the list.
The second list is for the Granola Mommies out there.
10 Easy Lunches for the Littles - With school comes the added worry of your childs nutrition. Especially for children with food allergies or sensitivies, its crucial that you pack your childs lunch so you know exactly what they are eating. Click here to see the list.
lots of new recipes!
My day started off like this. And all credit must go to Trader Joes for their new gluten & dairy free pancakes. I make 95% of my food fresh, cooking it myself, but sometimes on busy work mornings such as today a frozen pancake with minimal ingredients was a-ok to me. I sprinkled them with fresh, organic blueberries and I got organic, all natural chicken and maple sausage to go along with. Mmmm!
I must say I felt very balanced & accomplished today. I give all the praise to my heavenly father for that one because lately I've felt a little overwhelmed trying to keep up with two jobs, the house and relationships. Today I managed to:
I usually don't toot my own horn, but since I've wanted to spend a lot of this month in bed (partly due to my current ear infection and earlier this month due to hormonal and food issues) I have to give praise and thanks for super productive days. Especially since I'm currently trying to be more intentional on being a Proverbs 31 wifey and woman to those around me. Energy definitely comes in handy for that! So.. on to those new recipes! I posted a ton of new recipes this weekend with even more to come. The latest additions are all gluten & dairy-free with additional notations made on each recipe. If you have any dietary restriction recipe requests, let me know! Without further adieu.. bon appetite!
labor day pumpkin muffins
So, I am obessesed with fall and winter. Yes, I ADORE the beach and cute summery clothes, but it pretty much ends there. Even living on the beach, summer has always been my least favorite month. Except for my birthday. (June 20th, woot woot!) I adore birthdays. And celebrations. Parties of any kind really. Anyways. I wanted to make something that tasted like fall but that was healthy. I'm really excited to make healthy dishes for the holidays this year and wanted to start testing some out. Mr. Charming and I woke up the other morning and while he was cooking us up some organic eggs I made us coconut flour pumpkin muffins. Next time I will use almond flour, because for some reason I still can't get down with the strong sweetness in the coconut flour, but these were fun and would make a good addition to a Labor Day BBQ. (and even cuter when made with stars & stripes cupcake wrappers.) You can find the recipe here.
Anything warm and fluffy. Or warm and savory. Or made with pumpkins. Or squash. Or turkey. Makes me want to curl up with an old movie and countdown the days until Christmastime. <3 What's your favorite time of year and why? Send me your favorite Fall recipe and if its allergen friendly I will add it as a guest post! If it's not, I can show you how to adapt it to be!
10 quick & easy breakfasts
So, my good friend Karly (and mother of our adorable Godson, Elijah, seriously how cute is this kid??) requested that I come up with a list of quick breakfast ideas for a working mom on the go who has a toddler.
I thought about the mornings that even I, without any kids, have to throw a quick breakfast together to get out the door for work on time and I thought I could help out those who face this same predicament every morning. Or at least, most mornings. Below are the top 10 healthy, grab-and-go breakfasts I mix up in my week. Enjoy! P.S. I love your suggestions! Keep them coming.
chinese herbs: an intro
So, the beautiful Nosh & Nurture guest poster, Miss Kaity, touched on her experience when I first met her. It's a concept I wasn't familiar with and truth be told am still not very familiar with. However, I feel it fits closely with the family of massage, and eastern practices of just using things from the Earth, natural, beautiful things God placed here for us to care for our bodies so I've asked her to do a few blogs introducing us all to it, to better understand the philosophy behind it and incorporate some of the lessons into our own health journeys. Read Kaity's latest blog here.
I also wrote a review on the anti-inflammatory protein powder I get from my doctor to help internal inflammation (pictured above). It's called InflammaCORE and you can read the review on it here. That's lunch!
First off I want to welcome all the new Nosh & Nurture readers! :) Welcome! I hope you enjoy this little place I've made.
I adore mornings. (not too early of course.) But I do. To awaken with time to enjoy a good breakfast, connecting with God through prayer or a devotional (The Good Morning Lord app is my absolute favorite!) and thinking about and planning my day when there is so much hope, another clean slate, when I long to be productive. Some days I am, others not, but you musn't beat yourself up for the days you are not. I'm working hard to learn this. Not everyday is going to be a gold star day. A day when I've done the laundry, completed a day of work at the studio, finished an article, written a blog and cooked a gorgeous meal for Mr. Charming. While that is the hope that lies in every morning, sometimes, more often than not, that's not the picture that is painted at the end of my day.
And that's ok.
Do the best you can with the tools (and in my case, energy) you are given that day and let the rest go.
One way that I try to ensure a productive day, or at least morning, is having a protein filled breakfast. Whether it's through my anti-inflammatory protein shake, veggies, fruits, almonds, meats or eggs I try to always have a filling breakfast with no or minimal sugar. (mmmm!)
This morning I am enjoying my paleo breakfast bowl. My version of this is here. It's beyond delicious, filling and has no sugar. I paired it with a hot mug of unsweetened chocolate almond milk with a splash of coconut milk vanilla creamer (only 3g of sugar.) I try to make a habit out of getting energy from my beverages in the form of protein (almonds) instead of caffeine which my body cannot tolerate. The beauty of this recipe is you can include any type of veggie or herb you choose! Enjoy! And may everyone have a happy, healthy and productive Wednesday!
more sunday love.
So, since Mr. Charming and I had a day off together I decided to go big and whip up the amazing Paleo biscuits and gravy that you can find here. We got to sleep in a bit and I wanted to make us something yummy that would keep us full for more project: redecorate/renovate. (Mr. Charming is building a home theatre, while I am refinishing chairs for the kitchen) and as I was preparing them I realized we hadn't made this since our cabin trip last November! Insanity. Below are the ingredients I used in the biscuits and gravy. Have I mentioned how much I ADORE using almond meal to bake with?! I love the mealy, hearty consistency it gives my baked goods.
While I was waiting for these glorious little biscuits to bake so I could start the gravy...
... I decided to do some work on Nosh & Nurture and have a little snack. I didn't want to spoil my appetite but we were taking a slow, relaxing Sunday morning and I woke up hungry so I treated myself to a little coconut milk yogurt and organic strawberries. MMMM.
once the biscuits were done I started the gravy. It will always be a little thinner than one desires when cooking, so take it off the heat and let it sit for ten minutes to thicken. I usually will pop my biscuits back in the oven on warm for this. It is truly a delicious, hearty Sunday brunch. Perfect for rainy weather such as this. I also like to add a little jam to one of my biscuits. Trader Joe's has a jam that has NO added sugar! Just fruit juices and fruit! Hope you all have a beautiful Sunday that refreshes you!
a lovely sunday.
There are many reasons why I adore Sundays.
1. It's the one day Mr. Charming and I have off together and connecting to my husband is the second best thing I need to refresh & inspire me for the week.
2. The number one is our time with God. Getting to worship as husband and wife, spend time making our house a home as husband and wife, and spending quality time with friends and family sharing in community.
3. Delicious mornings sleeping in and having time to make breakfast more of an adventure and less of a grab-what-ya-can-and-kiss-me-quick-on-the-way-out-the-door-to-work breakfast. I love cooking with Mr. Charming, making healthy, organic meals and sitting down together sharing in prayer and our plans for the day.
This morning we made my Oat Pancakes, I added a few Enjoy Life dairy-free chocolate chips to them this morning as a treat since we've both been working so much and eating so clean lately. I served them with organic eggs. And because of the chocolate chips I didn't need to put ANYTHING on them. YUM!
After breakfast we spent the morning at Home Depot. Mr. Charming has an affinity for home projects and he is super handy at building and home design/decor. (Fun fact: he went to ASU for architecture!) He decided to work on building our home theatre (in the very beginning stages, I'll update as we go.) So I decided to deep clean the kitchen, which we are also redecorating. Here are some of the cute touches I've added to make it more "us". I am accenting with seafoam-y blue and coral. Which I LOVE! The Paleo Comfort Food cookbook was lent to me by a friend and it was SUCH a saving grace in the beginning of my food journey before I started experimenting with my own recipes. I also LOVE chalkboard labeled jars there are a lot of them throughout our kitchen/pantry.
Even though I stopped drinking coffee long ago, I still keep my coffee pot on hand for hosting dinners, holidays and for making tea. I also have an OBSESSION with coffee mugs. Seriously, I drive Mr. Charming kind of crazy. And yes. That is a central perk mug. I also have a slight obsession with FRIENDS.
Deep cleaning is hard work, but I think I ate something that didn't agree with me yesterday or the day before (I gave daiya cheese a try. Nutritional yeast. I'm not sure that was a great idea.. may have been the GF oats. Sometimes my body doesn't care for grains.) So I'm not feeling three meals a day right now, the pancakes kept me plenty full. But I was feeling snacky so I made a trail mix that was refreshing, crunchy and had a touch of sweet! It was so yummy! You can find the recipe here.
I hope you all have a blessed and beautiful Sunday! I also got some great recipe submissions from some of you and I will get those up soon. I just need to go over them and confirm they are gluten-dairy and grain free! Talk soon! Muah!
an egg-celent weekend!
Loving the energy levels of this weekend and I think my protein-packed organic eggs are due some thank you's! Yesterday I worked a half-day at the massage studio and finished up the day Spring Cleaning some of my home. I started my day with my wonderful Mr. Charming cooking me scrambled eggs and green bell pepper, to stay full a little longer I added a piece of coconut flour Paleo bread toasted and topped with almond butter. And because I still miss the comfort of a hot latte, I heated some unsweetened chocolate almond milk in one of my favorite "coffee mugs" and enjoyed breakfast before I had to be out the door.
The glorious deliciousness below was our pre-gym breakfast this morning. I wanted to make a variation of a breakfast burrito using gluten-free tapioca starch/rice flour tortillas, however, they fall apart easily so this tostada was born. Atop the yummy tortilla is organic eggs, avocado, cabbage and Trader Joe's peach salsa.
Spent the rest of the morning at the gym doing cardio and arms. I WILL be sore tomorrow. :D
Contact Mandi @ Nosh and Nurture
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Nosh & Nurture was born of this journey I am on to better the health of myself, my family and those around me. What started as a simple compilation of recipes has grown to a all-around lifestyle journal with ways to incorporate organic products into your home, pantry and beauty cabinet. I also include stories on pregnancy, new motherhood, travel, Proverbs 31 marriage, and spiritual health, as I am a Christian who couldn't do any of this without my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. For more of my story you can click here.
All recipes are gluten-free and dairy-free with a lot of soy-free, grain-free, sugar-free options.