Last week we had one of those moments.
You know those idyllic parenting moments you dream about and then you become parents and sometimes the moments you pictured in your head don't quite turn out because #reallife. Well this wasn't one of those. It was one of those beautiful, just-as-I-always-pictured-it moments and I am so thankful for God for the memories we got to make when we took our one year old to the pumpkin patch this year.
Grey adored EVERY part of the day at the "Pum Pum" Patch, that he so affectionately calls it, which in turn made ME enjoy every part of the day and made my mama heart extremely happy. He played in corn (yay sensory activity I didn't have to clean up, haha), fed a goat, rode a massive tire swing, slid down a huge slide with me and Mr. Charming, picked a baby pumpkin and ran until his cheeks turned pink and his legs grew tired.
Yes, it was a beautiful Fall day indeed. And for those of you in Arizona, we drove up to Dewey (just outside of Prescott) to Mortimer Farms and its by far my new favorite fall spot.
We've been trying to be more intentional this season. Intentional about our quality time together as a family, intentional about how we care for our marriage, our home, our bodies.
I've been doing a life changing Proverbs 31 Study this month and it's motivated me to spend more time with God, purge our home of things we don't need and up my game again in the kitchen to get nutritious, home cooked meals in me and the boys.
Even as a nutritionist, I was falling short (and can totally admit it) when it came to putting the best food on the table when I was in new mama territory.
This Quinoa bowl was ACTUALLY a total accident, as I had white quinoa in the freezer and my husband was on his way home for lunch and I wanted to give him something healthy as we're trying to keep our immune systems boosted and our calories down and this bowl was born.
And. It. Was. Gosh. Darn. Amazing.
The flavors came together SO beautifully. I love when you throw together what you have left in the fridge and you make an epic creation. This bowl needs to be made and enjoyed. The hot quinoa and roasted sweet potato with the crunchy cool tomatoes and avocado play with your senses, while the olive oil, sea salt and pepper enhance the natural flavors in the dish.
A simply and easy meal for any weeknight or lunch hour. Recipe below per usual.
Yesterday was just one of those good days.
When you wake up feeling super sunny after a good nights sleep (even with a new baby!) and you get good news throughout the day (like my French Toast being featured in the Today Show's weekly newsletter and that your mom is on the mend and going home soon) and you get to take the day at a slow pace and end it with some of your best friends who you haven't seen in months and enjoy good, good food.
Yes, one of those lovely days.
Thanking the Lord for a soul refresher for sure. After a week of stress at work and my mom being in the hospital, it was just what we needed.
Mr. Charming and I adore the couple we had over for our Friday Night Dinner last night. Our friends Karly and Zach and their adorable kiddos no longer live in AZ and we miss them terribly and soak in every moment we get to hang out with them. Karly and I have been friends for years. Before marriage. Before babies. And they are just those people who you just want to hug and beg to move back every time you see them because you just love doing life with them and love seeing their kiddos grow.
Yes, friends like that.
Friends like that, I've found as I get older, are harder and harder to come by, which is why nights like last night are so very special.
And speaking of special, I wanted to cook them something SUPER yum to warm our bellies as we let the kiddos play and caught up on what was going on in our lives. I TOTALLY meant to get photos of the evening, but we were having too much fun and the food was just too good and so after snapping photos of the food post-enjoyment, the cameras and phones were pushed aside and we just enjoyed.
Which I believe needs to happen in social situations more often. I don't even think I knew where my phone was all night. Which was a very refreshing break for me.
Their family eats like we do (gluten-free, dairy-free and clean) so it was easy to know that the ingredients I use are the same foods they eat at home. I was going to go easy at first and whip up a big pot of spaghetti, but then I found gluten-free breadcrumbs and vegan cheese, thus birthing my Reinvented Baked Ziti. SO good.
I made food enough to feed an army. You should see how much we had leftover, haha. So I cut my recipe in half to make a more normal family dinner amount. Just double it if, you too, want a truckload of ziti to feed your family for a week.
I am having a winter love affair with bowls of all kinds. From my dimensional breakfast bowls like this one, to my daily lunch bowls that satisfy the deepest hunger of a breastfeeding mama I can't get enough.
As we continue to host our Friday Night Dinners, this past week my hubs and I were running late and pretty tired after a long week of a healing baby so Mr. Charming and our friend got Chipotle. Instead of getting one of their bowls, I decided to make my own for more options.
Below is how I make my spicy, savory, ultra flavorful Chicken Burrito Bowl. So many textures, so many nuances of spice - a craveable must-have for your meal plan arsenal.
Think of the possibilities you could incorporate. You could omit the beans and rice, add salsa and more veggies to make it Whole 30 and Paleo friendly. Swap out the sauce for a creamy cashew cheese. To make it vegan, lose the mayo and chicken and add bell peppers and spiced tofu.
That's what I love most about bowls, the versatility.
If you try it, let me know how YOU made it your own!
dairy free - gluten free - soy free - nut free - egg free - kid friendly
I realize that I am sharing a traditional Mexican food staple on the Fourth Of July, which may be unorthodox for many food bloggers today. Many, if not all, are sharing BBQ favorites like chicken, kabobs and red, white and blue confections. But, I do what I want. And I want tortillas.
And tomorrow IS Taco Tuesday after all and I'm getting ready with these easy, soft and totally rollable gluten-free tortillas.
However, if you did come here today seeking a little American tradition, my Mini Apple Handpies are everything.
I searched far and wide for a gluten-free tortilla that wasn't filled with preservatives and that didn't contain corn or yeast, but that would still allow me to bend and roll it and fill it with whatever ingredients my little heart desired.
It was a fail time and time again. So, I decided to buy an inexpensive little crepe pan, a few ingredients and make them myself. And I'm so glad I finally did. I have used these for beef tacos, chicken fajitas, vegan cheese quesadillas (Daiya shreds pictured) as well as just rolled up with a little Earth Balance vegan butter.
They are so good for a meal or a snack and easy to pack up and take on the go.
Gluten Free Flour Tortillas
2 cups gluten-free flour blend (I use Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1)
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄4 cup avocado oil (or other comparable high heat oil)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1⁄2-3/4 cup warm water
Sift your gluten-free flour, sea salt, cream of tartar & baking soda into a large mixing bowl.
Add oil into dry mixture & mix with a spoon to combine.
Add the water, working the liquid into the dough until a large, doughy ball forms.
Wrap in plastic and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into 8-10 balls for taco size tortillas or 6-8 balls for burrito size and cover them again with a damp cloth.
Lightly dust a counter or pastry board w/extra GF flour & roll out each ball of dough into a circle or oval approximately 1/4" thick. (If you want nicely rounded tortillas, trim off any ragged edges & discard. Don't roll the dough out more than once or the tortillas will be tough.)
Heat an ungreased skillet or crepe pan over high heat for 5 minutes. Cook the tortillas 30 seconds on each side or until the dough looks dry & slightly wrinkled, with golden brown bubbles on both sides.
Wrap in damp tea towel to keep warm as the others cook.
Serve warm and enjoy!
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyNutrishDish #CollectiveBias
Spring is in the air and that means time outdoors with the family + crisp, cool recipes.
Our Miniature Schnauzer Charlie adores this time of year because he knows it means days at the dog park, road trips around the state and exploring the backyard to his little hearts content. I'm also enjoying the slower pace of spring as we are wrapping an issue of the magazine and summer will be a more leisurely time to play with the pups and nest to get ready for baby.
After spending an early morning at a local farm with the hubs perusing delicious goodies, it was time to return home for lunch and naps with the pup.
Many of you have been asking me, that when I'm not making Charlie's food from scratch, what I feed him. There are many seasons of life where one may not have the resources, the time or the funds to make homemade dog food to keep on hand. It's important to know what brand to trust to make sure your fur babies are getting the best, in not only flavor and texture, but in nutritional value. It's a delicate balance to ensure they're getting all of what they need.
We chose the DISH from Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® dry dog food line because, like we do, she uses whole ingredients in her recipes. Our pups are family to us and it's important, knowing what I do about food and what it can do for our bodies, that they also get the best of the best. It's formulated for all size dogs too, which makes it a match for our 13 year old senior lab as well.
I've been a fan of Rachael's for many years now, the heart she has for dogs and the quality of her product lines. Having my dogs on a wheat and corn free diet (like mama, like pups) I was ecstatic to see this new product emerge. Also free of soy, gluten, by-product, fillers or preservatives, I feel confident in knowing it's a food that can grow with him as he grows from puppy into a little man and into his senior years.
Once the pup was fed, it was time to whip up something for me and the hubs. With Sunday being our meal prep and plan for the week day, I wanted something cool, quick and easy. So I took cues from Charlie's decadent dish, the DISH Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe with Veggies & Fruit, to create the recipe below for my Spring Chicken Salad.
Using some of the same whole ingredients founds in Charlie's nosh - green apples, cranberries and chicken became the stars of our lunchtime fare. Serving it with my favorite gluten free brown rice crackers gave us the whole grains needed to round out our protein packed meal.
This salad is cool and refreshing and serves 2. The cranberries offer a welcome sweetness while the tart apple and spring greens lend a nice crunch.
It was the perfect compliment to the refreshing homemade lemonade we picked up at the farm this morning and I felt good knowing Charlie was enjoying a meal that was also packed with vitamins and minerals that his little energetic, growing body needs.
If you are wanting to make the switch or want to try DISH from Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® remember to gradually introduce the food by incorporating it into your current dog food over the course of 7-10 days. Slowly replace your dog’s current food with DISH until it’s completely switched over.
We found it at Target and it was simple to find, located in the Pet Supply and Dog Food section of the store. Many stores carry it, and you can check the store locator for a store near you.
Charlie adores this food and gets excited for mealtime, which shows me it's an authentic win in our household.
And for those of you who know my heart for dogs, Rachael’s personal proceeds are given to Rachael’s Rescue, an organization that was created to help shelter pets in need. She has donated over $10M to date towards food, medical supplies and treatments for these unfortunate animals. A win/win for my dogs and those without a home.
Have you tried DISH from Rachael Ray™ Nutrish®? Or, do you have an adorable photo of your pup to share with me? Leave it in the comments below or contact me. Seriously can never have enough cute dog photos on the internet in my opinion.
Do you have a favorite quick and easy go-to spring salad recipe? I'd love to try + taste! Share below!
Spring has sprung and that means family picnics, holidays beginning again and basking in my second trimester "glow".
I'm glad to have gotten back into the swing of working and taking care of our home again. The first trimester was rough on me. You can read about that here and here. But the nausea and fatigue has subsided and I feel productive again. (YAY!) There are many exciting things in the works for the blog & my nutrition business launch, as well as my role as Managing Editor for BASIC Magazine. We are wrapping our second issue, our Spring issue, and that's taken most of my time lately, I was even proofing in between prepping tonights delicious dinner.
With St. Patrick's Day just a couple of days away, I wanted something traditional that's easy for you all to prepare as well. Trader Joe's has an amazing pre-cooked Corned Beef right now that you just throw in the oven for 35 minutes and voila! you have dinner. We tasted it on a recent shopping trip and knew it had to be the star of our dinner to celebrate the Irish holiday.
I'm also thankful I have my appetite back. For so long I was too nauseous to eat much of anything, then it was weird random cravings, followed by a short lived (thank God) vegetable aversion and finally the baby has tapped into his or her mama's foodie style and now I'm back to craving all of my Paleo favorites. Eggs are still the star that make me feel the best.
We went with the traditional white fingerling potatoes to accompany the corned beef, even though white potatoes aren't my best friend some days. I've abstained from potatoes for the most part so we splurged tonight. They are best served warm with vegan butter, herbs and sea salt or paleo ketchup. If you are off white potato, try the corned beef with one of my following side dishes that would pair wonderfully with this traditional dish:
I also added my Maple Thyme Carrots for some added vegetable content in the dish.
And of course, it wouldn't be the full traditional meal without my Apple Cider Cabbage which you can prepare and cook while your main dish is in the oven. It has amazing cleansing benefits and adds a great nutrient boost.
I would love to know if you enjoyed if you tried any combination above or share what your favorite St. Pattie's Day meal is!
It's officially Fall. This fact means my palette begins to crave all the fall favorites. Soups, stews, turkey, sweet potatoes and all the traditional Thanksgiving-related fixings. However, living in Arizona, it's still reaching triple digits and it doesn't sound like the funnest afternoon to have my oven heating the house to temperatures that will melt us.
That's where my Thanksgiving-inspired salad comes in. This is one of my favorite go-to lunches right now. Super simple, crisp and cool, I still get to please my palette with falls favorite tastes. Juicy turkey breast? Check. Sweet, tart cranberries, check. And to top it off I pair this with a cool, savory side of bacon and sweet potato salad and boom, it's like Thanksgiving and summer made a love child.
A love child of crisp, cool, crunchy goodness that bursts with all the flavors of the holiday season.
Fresh turkey breast, shredded
1-2 C. Organic Romaine Lettuce
Steve's Paleo Goods Cranberries (no added sugar or corn syrup)
Toss & top with a cranberry vinaigrette or Apple Cider Vinegar & enjoy!
After Mr. Charming and I spent the day Dating Our City, we knew we wanted to end it with a lovely evening at home with a delicious meal. And we wanted to try something new.
There seems to be a new phenomenon in the Paleo world in the form of a new book. Being a part of the Paleo community, I'm probably more exposed to things of this nature than most, but I couldn't deny that a certain title kept coming up again and again and again. Paleo Takeout by Russ Crandall.
Russ Crandall, like many of us in the Paleo world, suffered health ailments that brought him to the realization that food can heal. Except he struggled with much more than the average 20-something. At the young age of twenty-five, Crandall suffered a stroke and has since used his struggles and his story to inspire others through food. A concept very near & dear to my heart.
Not only is his story inspiring, but he is hands on with his readers. Answering questions, helping to tweak recipes and touring to meet his fans and readers face to face. In the day and age we live in, it's so refreshing to still see that since of connection & community. And aside from all of the RAVE food reviews after people trying out his recipes, it was something endearing that made me RUSH out to pick up my own copy.
Now, here on Nosh & Nurture, I try to infuse a lot of "comfort" food and easy recipes here, to show you that you CAN cook healthy and fast at home. Russ shows us that delicious take-out doesn't have to be a thing of our past. With a background in food, he put together a curated collection of a delicious mix of foods from around the world that are typical 'fast food' eats - and then made them Paleo.
The first one I tried was a dish I've missed for nearly five years. Honey Sesame Chicken. I altered the recipe slightly to my specifications and needs, (ie: no sesame seeds pictured on mine) but I can tell you hands down that 1. It was 100% satisfying. 2. It was 1000% delicious and 3. I will be serving this at a dinner party in the very near future.
That third statement is huge. When it comes to hosting dinner parties I only ever serve food that is not only Paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar free, but I serve food that will pass off as the "real deal". Food that kids will not only eat but enjoy and foods that make people ask, "where can I get more of this?"
Mr. Charming and I will be trying many more of Mr. Crandall's recipes and I can tell you it's the best $20 I've spent in a long time.
For more information on Paleo Takeout visit his website here, or the facebook group here, where you can connect with all of us foodies who are trying out his book, page by delicious page.
P.S. this is not a sponsored post. Just a post by a fan who wants to hug this man for bringing crispy honey chicken back into my life.
I've been really, really bad at doing recipe testing and food photography lately. Finishing up school for my diploma in Personal Nutrition, working full time, trying to start our family & blogging gets to be a bit much (don't get me wrong, I LOVE what I do, but by the end of the day, I'd rather make something I know it quick and nutritious.
I'll get back to making more elaborate and yummy special stuff, but for tonight. Here's #WhatIAte.
When shopping at Sprouts over the weekend they had a box of Organic Turkey Patties in stock - just two ingredients: Organic Turkey & Rosemary. They were a bit pricey, but with multiple case studies, work and the blog - paying $10.99 for a whole box was worth it to me to make sure I'm eating protein over carbs when I'm in a time crunch.
I bought a pre-diced container of organic onion while I was there too. Makes it so easy to throw a handful into the pan while the meat is cooking (I did 8 minutes on each side for the patty, I like my meat a little more 'done' than most.)
My friend and I hit Whole Foods while we were in the area (the closest one is about 25 miles from me) and I found a bag of Paleo cranberries. Again just two ingredients - cranberries & pure apple juice for the preservative/sweetener. I rarely do dried fruit, but for some reason I was craving a salad with fruit on top so I added some along with fresh organic pear on a bed of butter lettuce and topped it all with Apple Cider Vinegar to give it a tangy kick that will help detox.
It's become one of my new favorite summer lunches. What is on your plate this season?
I love Chinese takeout. OK. Let me rephrase that, I LOVED Chinese takeout. I think it's probably been close to three or four years since I've gotten take-out because of how they prepare the food, so I make it a mission to recreate old loves on a regular basis, in a much healthier, more organic way.
I found a gluten-free, spaghetti squash recipe that I wanted to try, but it used brown sugar and spices that I couldn't have, and some other items that are on my list of can't's so I altered it to make my own version. I make this when Mr. Charming and I need a vegan meal to break up the week, but you can add seafood, chicken or steak if you wish.
We personally like to top ours with strips of fresh avocado. But what DON'T I like to top with avocado?
1 Spaghetti Squash
3 cloves of minced garlic
1-3 tsp of fresh grated ginger (use 1 and will have a stronger soy sauce/garlic flavor, using 2-3 with make it spicy and gingery, I go back and forth depending on my taste buds.)
1/2 C. gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos if you are avoiding soy
2 C. cole slaw lettuce mix
1 stalk of celery
2 TBSP. of olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut spaghetti squash open length wise and scoop out seeds. Place in a cake pan with open sides down and fill shallowly with water so that the cut open portion is submerged.
Place in oven and cook for 40-50 minutes until soft. While squash is cooking, dice onion and celery and sautee in olive oil over medium-high heat until warm, but not too soft. Toss in cabbage and cook for two to three minutes until fragrant. Set aside.
In a small bowl mix together soy sauce, minced garlic and grated ginger. Set aside.
Once squash is done put all ingredients into a wok or large pan over medium-high heat and mix until warm.
Serve immediately with chop sticks and top with any items of your choice. Shredded chicken, steak strips or avocado would be my top suggestions.
For an added touch: Try pairing the meal with these awesome gluten-free fortune cookies from the Instructables Blog.
Mandi's Tip: Replace the Cornstarch with Tapioca or Potato Starch. And use organic sugar in place of regular sugar.
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 health-palooza with ways to incorporate organic products into your home & beauty cabinet. I also include tips on 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.