Don’t Break the Bank! 5 Budget Friendly Gluten Free Meals

Now that the holidays have passed, we’re all broke, right? Just kidding (kinda). But if you are like us, you are definitely scaling back on “wants” and focusing more on the “needs.” With our lifestyle and active jobs, we definitely NEED to focus on REAL (gluten free) food to fuel us!

I often hear people say …. “but eating gluten free is so expensive, right?”

And you know what? It definitely can be unless you learn to shop right.

Once you know that, it’s actually, it’s quite affordable! All you need to learn are a few helpful tips!

Budget Friendly gluten Free meals - cottercrunch.com #glutenfree #pathToFit

Tips like….

  • Don’t (always) buy the prepackaged GF foods, stick with real food first if you can. We still like to try out new GF brands and ready made meals from time to time (like when traveling) but we try to focus mainly on REAL food. 
  • Stick with only a few carbs and rotate them. Try rice, polenta, potatoes quinoa, squash, plantains, fruit, and beans as your main carb source.

Texas Style Salmon and Pork Paella - cottercrunch

  • Use protein (like eggs) in various dishes.
  • Recycle ingredients from a meal (more on this below!)
  • Make your own snacks, and trail mix. Unless they are on sale at whole foods –> THEN TAKE ADVANTAGE! haha. 
  • Frozen veggies, use them, again and again!
  • Support local. They usually have great deals on produce anyway. I always check out the local finds at my whole foods as well. 
  • Shop the outer aisles, like produce,  butchery, seafood, dairy, etc. And if you scam the aisles twice through, you might find some sales you missed the first time around.
  • Extra fit tip –> I like to where my  fitness tracker (vivofit) to see how many extra steps I can get in at the store.  Hey, every little bit counts!

#pathToFit vivofit garmin

OKay, now let’s get to those meals! All these meals have been posted before except for one, which I will give the recipe for below. And all these meals have been used from leftover ingredients from previous meals. Meaning, the salmon leftover from one dinner was used the next day in another. Same with the veggies, turkey, etc. It’s best way (for us) to keep meals affordable but still delicious and nutritious!

This first one is great for a brunch or paired with soup.

Salmon Brussel Sprout English Muffin bake

salmon and brussel sprout english muffin bake!  Great for brunch

Not into fish? Here are few other Budget Friendly Gluten Free Dishes.

Gluten Spicy Pasta Carbonara with Hard Boiled eggs.

GF spicy pasta carbonara --> great for leffover pasta and quick to make! Budget friendly! www.cottercrunch.com #glutenfree #pasta

For the Vegetarians and for those frozen veggies —> Everything But the Kitchen Sink Soup 

Everything but the kitchen sink soup 2 (GF) - Vegan option. Budget friendly. #glutenfree www.cottercrunch.com @cottercrunch

For the One pot Crock Pot meals (vegan option) –> BBQ Lentil Stew 

BBQ Lentil Stew (Great for crock pot) and vegan option. www.cottercrunch.com #glutenfree #crockpot

For the Breakfast lovers and to use leftover meats/veggies —> Paleo Pumpkin Kale Turkey Frittata

paleo pumpkin Turkey Kale Frittata -budget friendly www.cottercrunch.com @LCCotter

 

See, when life hands you gluten free lemons, you make extra sweet gluten free lemonade! Okay, you get my point. Budget friendly meals can be delicious and nutritious, sometimes you just have to make the most with the BEST you got!

Do you budget meals? What’s your plan of attack at the grocery store?

Cheers,

The Sherpa Wife (LC)

Gluten Free Paella {Texas Style}

Two of my favorite dishes of all time are Paella and Texas Caviar. You know, the blended dish of black eyed peas and, corn, onion, and cilantro! Needless to say, I haven’t had corn or beans in a long time. Mainly for gut health reasons. Though each of us are so different in the way we can handle food, even the healthy real food, so I always like to share a variety of recipes! Plus I like talking about nutrition. You know me, I love a good reason to explain a recipe and it’s nutrients.

Like this one! The legumes/beans/peas! Is there a way for them to be “digested” properly?

We’ve definitely been trying them out more for their resistant fiber, or resistant starch. I’ve chatted about this in the past and would love to chat about it again now.

So, resistant starch is in several commonly consumed foods including raw potatoes, cooked and then cooled potatoes, green bananas, various legumes (beans), cashews and raw oats.

What do they do?

Resistant starch both feeds the friendly bacteria and indirectly feeds the cells in the colon by increasing the amount of butyrate. source

Butyrate is a short chain fatty acid that can help ease several digestive disorders. But you have to add in slowly and allow the gut flora to “adjust” accordingly, especially if you are already having gut issues.

Texas Salmon and Pork Paella (8 of 8)

But since the Kiwi is training for his last Ironman, I’m trying to keep his (our) blood sugar stable as well as increase his good carbs and beneficial gut flora! Legumes can help with all that (if your gut is healthy).Check out Dr. Alan Christianson great article on beans here.

We’ve been eating potato starch, potatoes, and plantains for a while now so i thought I’d venture more into the legumes for more types of resistant starch. Adding in a little each week to see how this helps with both our digestion, adrenals, and immunity. Lentils and Black eyed peas are a safe “segway” into beans if you are senstive. I also recommend soaking them first to help break down the phytic acid.

Okay okay, let’s get to this lucky recipe, shall we?

Texas Style Paella - cottercrunch

I’m feeling fancy, but frugal, so Texas style paella is the way to go! A Texas Caviar (Black eyed peas relish) combined with sizzlefish salmon and little bit of pork (bacon). I know the Spanish are mocking me right now, but hey, that’s okay. I’ll take my resistant fiber along with some spanish flare!

Easy Gluten Free Paella (Texas Style)

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cups of long-grain white rice
  • 1½ cups chicken or veggie stock
  • ½ cup of diced fresh or canned tomatoes, strained
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp chili pepper or cayenne
  • sea salt/ black pepper
  • ½ cup chopped zucchini
  • ⅓ cup chopped bacon or pork (optional)
  • 1 cup or about 6-8oz of cooked salmon (chopped)
  • 1 cup black eyed peas
  • lemon juice
  • Optional- chopped cilantro mixed in.
  • optional toppings- Avocado and/or roasted red bell peppers
Instructions
  1. First cook your rice in the broth. Once it’s ready, add in your tomatoes, garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil, cumin, and dash of salt.
  2. In another pan or large skillet, sautee your zucchini and onions with garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil, cayenne, and a dash of black pepper/sea salt. Once it’s about done, add in your cooked salmon, pork, and drained peas. Add a little lemon juice on top and stir in skillet until mixture is hot and everything is cooked through.
  3. Serve your rice first then salmon/pea mixture on top! Add cilantro or chili pepper and even avocado to garnish!
Notes
Note: You'll want to go ahead and grill or bake 2 small salmon fillets. I just bake mine or grill with a little olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper. Don't cook them all the way, just about 8 minutes on 400F. The rest of the cooking will be in the pan with the veggies.

If you are sensitive to peas, I would try soaking the black-eyed peas overnight in a large pot before cooking them. You can also just use canned peas and drain the juice.



Recipe by Lindsay at Cotter Crunch

texas style seafood and pork paella- cottercrunch

See, it’s easy! And it’s actually really good cold the next day.

Did you eat your black eyed peas this year? What’s your favorite way to eat iresistant fiber? Deep questions here ya’ll. 

;-)

Cheers,

The Sherpa Wife (LC)

 

Easy Gluten Free Paella (Texas Style)

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cups of long-grain white rice
  • 1½ cups chicken or veggie stock
  • ½ cup of diced fresh or canned tomatoes, strained
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp chili pepper or cayenne
  • sea salt/ black pepper
  • ½ cup chopped zucchini
  • ⅓ cup chopped bacon or pork (optional)
  • 1 cup or about 6-8oz of cooked salmon (chopped)
  • 1 cup black eyed peas
  • lemon juice
  • Optional- chopped cilantro mixed in.
  • optional toppings- Avocado and/or roasted red bell peppers
Instructions
  1. First cook your rice in the broth. Once it’s ready, add in your tomatoes, garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil, cumin, and dash of salt.
  2. In another pan or large skillet, sautee your zucchini and onions with garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil, cayenne, and a dash of black pepper/sea salt. Once it’s about done, add in your cooked salmon, pork, and drained peas. Add a little lemon juice on top and stir in skillet until mixture is hot and everything is cooked through.
  3. Serve your rice first then salmon/pea mixture on top! Add cilantro or chili pepper and even avocado to garnish!
Notes
Note: You'll want to go ahead and grill or bake 2 small salmon fillets. I just bake mine or grill with a little olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper. Don't cook them all the way, just about 8 minutes on 400F. The rest of the cooking will be in the pan with the veggies.

If you are sensitive to peas, I would try soaking the black-eyed peas overnight in a large pot before cooking them. You can also just use canned peas and drain the juice.



Recipe by Lindsay at Cotter Crunch

Ditching Resolutions for a Fun and Flavorful 2015

I was going to title this post…

How to Make Healthy Resolutions Fun, Flavorful, and Achievable.”

But I just couldn’t. I couldn’t bring myself to focus on resolutions. Why? Because I’m the worst at making resolutions, yet alone keep them.

I think this quote from my favorite wise woman sums it up for me.

We compare, we assume, we assess, we measure and most times walk away shaking our head at how woefully short our “me” falls compared to everyone else. How dangerous it is to hold up the intimate knowledge of our imperfections against the outside packaging of others.

If I make a resolution, I beat myself up or compare myself to others if I don’t keep them. Which defeats the whole purpose. I learned that the hard way, years ago!

So instead, I focus on INTENTIONS. To me, intentions give me a DAILY purpose, not a deadline.

how to make healthy intentions achievable, flavorful, and FUN

 So let’s talk healthy. I know, it’s a common word so often misused. Wouldn’t you agree? What’s healthy to you, might not be healthy to me, and vice versa. But either way, HEALTHY should be defined as daily principles that make you feel your best; physcially and mentally.

Simple. Achievable. Purposeful.

Healthy Food Intentions Ideas

  • Add more color to your meals.
  • Try out a new vegetable/fruit/herb weekly
  • Adding in more VARIETY of good fats to your diet.

duck fat, eggs, and basil

I think that’s a good start. And you know what? All these things can make your HEALTHY quite FLAVORFUL.

For exmaple. here’s a simple yet flavorful recipe that adds in a variety of good fats (avocado and salmon) more use of vegetables, and well.. it’s FUN! Try it out for your next Taco tuesday!

P.S check out Sizzlefish for more fish recipes! 

Avocado Salmon Taco Boats

Serves: 3 taco boats

Recipe from Lindsay at Cotter Crunch
Ingredients
  • Organic GMO free Corn tortilla cups (you can use taco shells too)
  • 1 cup cooked salmon (chopped). I like to use leftover sizzlefish salmon.
  • steamed green beans
  • greens or spinach (slightly steamed)
  • avocado slices
  • Creamy dill or cilantro yogurt dressing.
  • ground pepper
  • Optional : curry powder
Instructions
  1. Heat your tortilla cups in microwave or in oven for just a few seconds until warm and toasted. Fill each cup (boat) with your greens and then add your salmon and avocado slices on top. Drizzle with dressing and add fresh ground pepper and curry powder (if desired).
  2. Note -> or you can bake tortillas in muffin pan to form cups!
  3. Super easy leftover lunch or light meal!

Okay, so we’ve got a simple yet healthy “intention” with food and diet. But what about fitness?

Again, this is where it can be easy to compare. You see countless pictures on social media of people hammering it out at the gym for hours, training for marathons, fitness competitions, etc. And if you are like me, you’re married to a man who spends hours a day training.  It’s easy to feel, well… like a slacker.

Ouch. That’s a whole lotta wrong intentions right there. Let’s shift away from comparing other’s goals and make ours more realistic and FUN.

Healthy Fitness Intentions Ideas

  • Sign up for a few FUN 5k runs with your friends.
  • Recruite friends or family to take your favorite fitness class with you once a week.
  • Just move more! That’s why i love the Garmin vivofit. It reminds me to get in my steps, easy!

vivofit garmin

Be a cheerleader to others goals and they will cheer you on right back!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAre you ditching resolutions this year? What are your Healthy “Intentions”?

Cheers,

LC

Grain Free Winter Spice Plantain Bites

What makes a recipe successful? I actually think about that a lot when cooking and/or recipe creating. And you know what? To me, it’s about 3 things.

  1. Does this recipe benefit someone NUTRITIONALLY?
  2. Does this recipe make someone WANT to cook/ bake or just feel INSPIRED in the kitchen?
  3. Does this recipe make you want more (meaning taste)!?

Which is why I created Healthy Bites in the first place. To be able to fuel myself, my family, and others with nutritionally dense gluten free snacks. And to inspire others to make them for their kids, their loved ones, themselves. They are usually pretty easy to make, simple directions, always gluten free, and oh so tasty!

Grain Free Winter spice  Healthy protein Bites www.cottercrunch.com

 

This month’s flavor has that same purpose and function, but in an extra special way. It’s nourishing for these winter months.

I created this healthy bites flavor using my favorite winter spices.

Cinnamon, Clove, Ground Anise – > all healing spices with anti-inflammatory properties. a Which means you can keep that immune system working like a charm!

I also made them grain free (with plantain flour) and added in molasses (for that sweet flavor and a boost in iron).

WINTER SPICE plantain Healthy Bites 4 (4 of 1)

 

Winter Spice Plantain bites (GF)

Grain Free Winter Spice Plantain Bites

Serves: 33-36

Ingredients
  • 1 cup coconut or almond flour
  • ½ cup plantain flour or ground plantain chips. you can also use protein powder instead if you don't have plantain flour
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ⅓ -1/2 cup nut butter of choice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cloves (ground)
  • ¼ to ½ tsp ground anise --> optional. you can use nutmeg instead
  • ½ tsp butter or vanilla extract
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 tbsp molasses
Instructions
  1. First, grind up your plantain chips. Then just mix up dry ingredients and add in nut butter, extract, and, molasses, and honey. Mix well, then roll into balls/bites. Freeze right away then use Vanilla Protein Powder or use coconut flour/sugar to roll bites in after frozen. Store in fridge or freezer to maintain freshness. Makes around 34-36 bites, give or take.
  2. NOTE –> if your batter is dry, you might need to add more honey and/or nut butter to keep batter from being to dry.
Notes
recipe by Lindsay at Cotter Crunch

And now comes the “successful” recipe part. I want you all to be able to make these yourself or try them yourself, so I am giving away a batch of Healthy Bites, a $100 gift card to whole foods (thanks to #pathToFit Garmin/Whole Foods) so that you can go buy the ingredients yourself, plus other healthy items and groceries. I’m also going to throw in my Healthy Bites ebook, just for kicks. Sound good?

winter spice plantain Healthy Bites 2 (4 of 1)

Open to US and Canada Residents! Ebook is open to ALL!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Okay, best of luck and thanks for always supporting!

Cheers,

LC

 

Grain Free Winter Spice Plantain Bites

Holiday Healthy Bites Round Up

Merry Christmas Eve! If you are reading this, then you probably are a master at the Holidays and have your to do list completed. Well done! If you’re like me… I’m still scrounging and fitting in one more class with my boot campers, so wish me luck!

But after all that is said and done, go relax and enjoy your holiday! And when you find yourself with a stocking full or goodies; like chocolates, baking supplies, coffee, granolas, cookies, trail mix, etc. then go do yourself a favor and make one  of these Healthy Bites recipes and share with others!

GF Holiday Healthy Bites Round UP

All these healthy bites are made with ingredients you probably have already or will receive as gifts! They might not all be Holiday flavored, but they sure do fit in with gift of health!

 Cocoa Cherry Cashew Pistachio Bites –> for when you get a bag full of trail mix or pistachio nuts in your stocking. Plus these are paleo/vegan! And check out all the bites in the link up from this post!

Cherry Cocoa Pistachio Bites

 Gluten Free Muesli Bites —> For when you receive another jar of oatmeal cookie or muesli mix and you just can’t handle another jar of Overnight oats. Haha! Posted this recipe as a guest post on Family Sport Life, so check it out!

museli mix

Bourbon PB Gingerbread Bites —> so you can have an excuse to drink more bourbon and eat it too!

bourbon PB gingerbread bites (4 of 1)

Coconut Latte Bites –> For when every sibling you have gets you a starbucks gift card for Christmas. Stock up on WHOLE BEANS!

coconut-vanilla-latte-Healthy-Bites-bites_thumb.jpg

Personal Pancake Batter Bites —> for when you took advantage of their Black Friday Sale and now are loving all things FLAPJACKED!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

And last but not least, Cookie Crumb Bites —> for when you the bag of Holiday cookies are now cookie crumbs that you just can’t seem to let go of! I posted this recipes as a guest post on Trainer Paige’s site and just had to share here again! It’ s a must make!

cookie crumb protein bites (4 of 1)

Gluten Free Cookie Crumb Protein Bites
recipe by Lindsay at Cotter Crunch
Ingredients
  • ⅔ regular peanut flour (can use coconut flour or almond meal)
  • ¼ heaping cup protein powder of choice
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup coconut butter or other nut butter (I use vanilla sweet spreads)
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • ¼- 1/3 cup favorite GF cookie (crumbs) (i used an Udis Gluten Free snickerdoodle)
  • optional : add in white chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, etc.
Instructions
  1. This recipe is super easy because you don’t need to grind anything! just mix up dry ingredients first, then add in peanut butter, extract, and honey. Mix well, then roll into balls/bites. Freeze right away then store in fridge or freezer to maintain freshness. Makes around 20 bites, give or take.
  2. NOTE –> if you add in more coconut or have a thick protein powder, you might need to add more honey and/or nut butter to keep batter from being to dry.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! I’m finishing up the last bit of work with Sizzlefish and then hope to refocus, rest, and rescharge for new beginnings in 2015!

cotters iholiday

Now get rollin!

Cheers!

The Crazy Cotters

 

Dairy Free SUPER Fruitcake Smoothie {Paleo}

When I was a kid, I used to get giddy when we hit the last 5 days till Christmas. It meant school was out and I hadn’t a worry in the world. Plus I knew I was on the nice list. I was a goody two shoes, so Santa loved me! ;-)

Well, today that giddy feeling is kinda still there, but along with it is a feeling of being rushed. Like an “oh crap I haven’t bought any gifts yet” kind of feeling. And an “oh my gosh why are these lines SO LONG let’s hurry it up people” kind of feeling. I know you can relate, right?

Yes, I am that woman. The last minute shopper. One who rushes to get it all done in one or two days! I blame my husband. He’s super low key and saves everything to last minute, and over the course of our 7 year marriage, I’ve adapted to his ways…. hence Crazy Cotter Syndrome.

Okay okay, I don’t blame everything on him, but I do blame myself. Being caught up in “life” obligations can be distracting. It can can cause me to miss this whole “HOLIDAY” season. It can cause me to STRESS instead of slow down and DE-STRESS. It can cause me to forget to rest and digest.

Rest and Digest –> physically and mentally. Take a day, or two, or three, to digest REAL food. To let the nervous system calm down from all the hustle and bustle. To digest the SEASON (the slower the better).

This past weekend I took “DIGEST ” day.  And to kick it off, I focused on MAXIMIZING my nutrients with a festive SUPER “fruitcake” smoothie.

super fruitcake smoothie (paleo)

What’s in my SUPER FRUITCAKE smoothie?

super fruitcake smoothie (Paleo 2)

  • Grass fed Beef Gelatin ->  helps soothe the colon so that nutrients may be absorbed and reduce any reflux caused my acid binding foods. Plus did you know that it actually has an ANTI-STRESS effect? It’s TRUE!
  • Pumpkin – Vitamin A and Fiber
  • Banana- Potassium
  • Cocoa – Unsweetened. Packed with Antioxidants
  • Chocolate Nuttzo – Good Fat and Omegas (plus the brazil nuts have serotonin –> good for adrenals)
  • Coconut Milk – Dairy Free and Good Source of Saturated Fat (the good kind)
  • Blueberry Bai 5 – An antioxidant drink with Coffee Fruit (don’t worry, doesn’t taste like coffee, it’s the fruit in which the bean is grown). Coffee fruit is a amazing SUPER FRUIT rich in antioxidants and helps fight free radicals. Remember, free radicals cause cell damage. Free radicals are caused by… well… STRESS.

bai 5

See, a fruitcake in a DELICIOUS and NUTRITIOUS form!

Dairy Free SUPER Fruitcake Smoothie {Paleo}

Serving size: 1

Ingredients
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup coconut or almond milk
  • ½ frozen banana
  • ½ cup blueberry Bai 5 drink (Or Blueberry Juice)
  • 1-2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp chocolate almond or hazelnut butter (I used Nuttzo)
  • 2 tbsp grass feed beef gelatin -- The one that dissolves, not gels. (or whey protein if you prefer)
  • optional add in --> frozen berries
Instructions
  1. Add liquid ingredients to blender. Then add in your fruit and puree and protein. Blend and serve! YUM!
Notes
Recipe by Lindsay at Cotter Crunch

You diggin this yet? If not, you so should! Trust me!

super fruitcake smoothie 2 (4 of 1)

Alright friends, time to tackle the last bit of shopping. I’m feeling energized and FESTIVE! The countdown to Christmas is on, bring it!

Favorite festive smoothie? Are you taking time to digest during the Holiday season? 

Stay thirsty, HEALTHY, and have a marvelous Monday!

Looking for More MEATLESS Monday recipes? Check out Deborah and Tina’s Link up!

LC (aka Crazy Cotter)

 

Grain Free Orange Maple Holiday Cookies

My Holiday gifts usually consists of food. Let’s face it, I’m frugal but also like to feed people. That’s allowed, right? Well, the Christmas is a perfect example. I have family and friends who like to receive Healthy Bites. Easy, I make a big batch for Holiday Parties, etc. But I also have friends who are more than gluten free. They are grain free or paleo or dairy free, etc. Hey, I’m all of those at times as well. Just depends on the week!

orange maple ginger cookies- cottercrunch (PALEO)

orange ginger maple (4 of 1)

Needless to say, I wanted to make sure those friends could enjoy an allergy friendly treat this Holiday season. Hence these cookies.

paleo orange maple cookies

To be honest, I winged the recipe. And to be honest, I loved them! But I wanted to make sure they were up to PALEO PAR so I had 2 other honest friends try them before I gifted them.

Results?

orange maple ginger cookies - Cottercrunch

APPROVED. Not too sweet. Refreshing. And the ones with icing were a bonus!

Grain Free Orange Maple Holiday Cookies

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 20

Ingredients
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup potato starch or arrowroot
  • ½ tbsp baking soda
  • dash of salt
  • ½ tsp each --> clove and cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ¼ cup maple syrup or xylitol to keep low sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup sparkling orange juice (feel free to use fresh orange juice if you don't have sparkling)
  • ¼ cup coconut or almond milk
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter (I used sweet spreads maple flavor)
  • orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • optional -- Orange stevia liquid (3-4 drop fulls)
  • optional icing -
  • coconut oil
  • vanilla protein powder
  • cinnamon
  • maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Combine all your dry ingredients and seasonings in a large bowl. Make sure they are finely mixed. In another bowl, whisk your egg and milk. Gently fold into the dry ingredients and beat on low, then stir in your sparkling drink , coconut butter, and maple syrup (or sugar if you are using it). All while beating on low or with mixer.
  2. The batter will be THICK but keep beat until all is mixed. Then add in your extract and mix again.
  3. Roll into a dough ball and place in wax paper in fridge for 2-4 hrs.
  4. Once that is set, roll out your dough with a floured rolling pan. Use cookie cutters to cut into 20 or so cookies. place on greased baking sheet and bake at 375F for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. If you want them extra crispy, I would bake for 2-3 minutes longer.
  6. Remove and let the cookies cool.
  7. Once cooled you have the option of using icing. I mixed a ¼ cup coconut oil with ¼ cup maple syrup, a little vanilla, and cinnamon. Coated each cookie with the mixture them sprinkled with extra orange peel or orange zest and vanilla protein powder. You can easily use powdered sugar instead.
  8. If you want these cookies to be more sweet, then use extra maple syrup and icing!
Notes
Recipe by Lindsay at Cotter Crunch


Oh, and did you see that special ingredient listed?

Yep –> it’s a sparkling fruit drink. Bai Bubbles Blood Orange to be exact. When added in with that maple coconut butter and orange zest, it creates a killer combo! More on that drink later.

bai bubbles

Okay Okay, I so i might have healthified these cookies to the max, but trust me,  you can make them extra sugary… if you so dare. ;-)

Favorite Holiday Cookie? Do you healthify things for friends or yourself?

Cheers!

LC

 

Soothing Coconut Cranberry Smoothie {For Gut Health}

I love the Holidays! I do, really! But I will be the first to admit, no matter how hard I try, I still have my moments of exhaustion and stress. It’s my own doing. And I’m learning to say NO more and slow down. My body is the first to tell me to do so.

If you’re like me, you carry stress in your gut. If you’re like me, your gut lining may take a beating and need some TLC. This means I need to focus on eating NOURISHING HEALING foods, yoga, and easing back on intense exercise. These are KEY to helping the body manage acute stress.

coconut cranberry cleansing smoothie 2 (4 of 1)

IMG_4822

If you’re like my husband (aka the Kiwi), his stress comes from big career decisions while still in the middle of training for an Ironman. WHOA! That’s a lot of physical stress!

Either way, stress is stress. Mental or physical. And FOOD can help heal and repair when the body starts to break down. The rest is up to you to take ACTION and slow down. AM i right? YES!

 

coconut cranberry cleansing smoothie (4 of 1)

Two of my favorite foods for gut health and coconut and cranberries. You can read up on why I love Coconut MCT oil Here, so let’s focus on the other… CRANBERRIES!

Unsweetened Cranberries rank right up there with berries when it comes to antioxidant content! Antioxidants are essential to for combating the free radicals that can damage our DNA.  Free radicals attack the body when it is ….. STRESSED (physical or emotional).

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Raw Cranberries also provide you with an array of nutrients, including digestion-aiding enzymes. In fact, a new study has been linked cranberries to helping prevent attachment of bacteria to the stomach lining, similar to what it does for the urinary tract. This is good news for those who are prone to stomach ulcers. Source.

coconut cranberry smoothie 4 (4 of 1)

Okay, so we’ve talked about cranberries, and coconut. Now let’s talk about this smoothie recipe and what else I add to it to make it good for the gut.

Soothing Coconut Cranberry Smoothie {For Gut Health}
Ingredients
  • 1 cup frozen unsweetened cranberries
  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk
  • ½ banana (Optional)
  • 1 tbsp MCT Coconut oil
  • 1 Scoop Vegan or Whey Protein (I Used the My Cotter Creation Vanilla with digestive enzymes and L- Glutamine)
  • ½ tsp Vanilla extract
  • dash of cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!
  2. See link below for My Mix Protein info!
Notes
if you are unable to consume protein powder (for dietary purposes), then sub in coconut yogurt or kefir to get in probiotics.

Recipe By Lindsay @ Cotter Crunch

You’ve got your coconut, you’ve got your cranberries, now let’s about how to get in more probiotics, enzymes, and protein!

This is where  MyMix  come into play! I really enjoy this product and what the company is about. They really do TAILOR to your dietary needs. Basically, you create your own nutrition supplement (pre or post workout).

My Mix Protein

I created two custom nutrition mix powders with specific supplements and allergy friendly combos that we need each day. One is vegan (with hemp and probotics) the other is more paleo friendly with grass fed 100% whey protein, a B vitamin complex for energy, a digestive enzyme and L-Glutamine (to help absorb our nutrients more). Both great for muscle repair GUT health. I like to alternate plant/animal protein so that the body get’s a variety of nutrients.

If you’re interested in trying out my personal COTTER CREATION mixes, check out these links below. It will take you straight to the store. Use Code CCRUNCH10 for 10% off

Now go blend this and stay stress free! ;-)

coconut cranberry cleansing smoothie 3 (4 of 1)

Disclaimer: My Mix allowed me to create my personal protein mixes free of charge. We love them! Yes, that is our honest opinion. Always!

What’s your go to HEALING food?

Do you ever use unsweetened cranberries in more than a sauce? If not, it’s time to start!

Cheers,

LC

Paleo Cocoa Hazelnut Bread with Molasses

Bread.. oh bread. How I love the smell of baking bread, or anything sweet for that matter. And can I tell yo something? 80% of the time, the gluten free food/treats I bake are for the Kiwi. Don’t get me wrong, I eat them too, but I mean I make things I know he will love (flavor wise). Then again, there isn’t much that man won’t eat. Which makes my job easy!

That other 20% of the time, I make something that is MY FAVORITE and then completely hoard it. Okay, I give him a few pieces, then hide the rest. Come on, you know you’ve done that before.

paleo cocoa molasses hazelnut bread (4 of 1)

Well, this bread is my craving. My dark chocolate, nutty, molasses craving. And it’s grain free because that’s what my body wanted.

Paleo Cocoa Hazelnut Breads

This bread.. it’s rich, in the best possible way. And if you warm it up, add butter or coconut butter, and drizzle with more molasses or dark chocolate sauce, you’re totally allowed to lick the plate.

paleo cocoa molasses hazelnut bread 7 (4 of 1)

This bread… I probably make again soon for the Holidays, and the hoard more. Hey, sometimes a Sherpa Wife needs to be selfish. Oh and that I did!

Paleo Cocoa Hazelnut Bread with Molasses

Serving size: 8-9 slices

Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup coconut or tigernut flour
  • 1 cup plantain flour (you can use other GF flour here or oat flour if you don't have plantain flour)
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • ½ cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ tbsp baking soda
  • dash of sea salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 2-3 tbsp molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Optional --> to make sweet feel free to add in stevia baking sugar or ½ cup coconut sugar/brown sugar, etc.
  • Optional --> for extra protein add in ¼ cup gelatin powder
Instructions
  1. Mix your dry ingredients first in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk your eggs and milk. Pour into bowl with dry mix. Add in your hazelnuts and molasses and beat or mix until batter is smooth. Pour into an oiled bread pan and bake at 350F for about 25-35 minutes. Check center of bread at 25 minutes to see how it's baking. If you are using a different flour, it could take longer/shorter.
  2. Once cooled, drizzle with extra molasses, cocoa powder, and chopped hazelnuts to top!
  3. Makes about 8-9 slices.
Notes
Recipe via Lindsay @ CotterCrunch.com

Make this, share if you’d like, or selfishly save it all for YOU! Santa won’t put you on the naughty list quite yet, I promise.

paleo cocoa molasses hazelnut bread 6 (4 of 1)

Do you hide food from your family? Favorite way to use Molasses?

Cheers!

The Selfish Sherpa Wife

 

Why White Rice Makes a Nice Recovery Food

Questions I get asked a lot —>

Is white rice Paleo? Shouldn’t I eat brown rice instead? Shouldn’t I avoid carbs at night? Isn’t white rice high on the Glycemic Index?

And truth is…. IT DEPENDS. It depends on the person, their gut health, their activity levels, and the way they prepare grains. Yep, it depends.

In all honesty, I prefer to eat my carbs in the form of plantains, potato, or squash. But you see, I’m married to man who runs his but off for a living. And who already started training for an 2015 Ironman. Which means it’s bulking season at our house. No, not the muscle kind. The BULK cooking kind. And rice is EASY to make in batches and use in SO MANY WAYS!

Let’s talk about why rice is nice (for recovery), shall we?

white rice dishes for recovery

Rice is calorically dense so you can replace calories without having to scarf down a bunch of food, especially if you don’t feel like eating much after a workout. White rice has a high glycemic index which helps to get those calories in fast and restore glycogen. Most endurance athletes need to consume food with high Glycemic Index (GI) to restore glycogen level FAST and white rice increases blood sugar level which then increases the GI.

Hence why I make RICE BOWLS for post swim breakfast. It’s best to soak your rice before cooking.

Soaking allows the nutrients in grains to become more digestible and more easily absorbed. Similar process to that of beans and lentils it, soaking for hours or overnight breaks down the enzymes from the grain that inhibits absorption.

This one has white rice, dried fruit, seeds, berries, kefir yogurt, and coconut butter (sweet spreads cinnamon roll flavor)

rice and kefir bowl

I also soak rice in coconut milk or other cultured products-such as kefir, and buttermilk– they provide the beneficial bacteria, such as lactobacilli, which can actually help pre-digest the grain for you

Now you know why I love coconut rice bowls too!

coconut-fig-rice-pudding.jpg

Speaking of bacteria… cold rice is also resistant starch. Which means it can help feed your good bacteria in your gut. Rice Cakes are ideal for snacking in between workouts or to use when you have a heavy week of training. Keeps you fueled and can potentially boostsyour immunity while doing so! That’s if you practice good recovery in ALL areas (not just food). Great to feed kids who are busy playing sports as well!

My favorite rice cake recipes are the mango vanilla rice cakes, bacon rice cakes (for savory craving), and Cherry Vanilla.

Remember these?

Mango Vanilla Rice Cakes
Ingredients
  • One 7oz bag of dried mango (can also use Apricots or fig)
  • 4-5 cups of white rice (preferably sticky rice)
  • 2 scoops (about 60 grams) protein Powder
  • honey or maple syrup (this can be however much or little you want here)
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • ⅓ cup almonds
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • butter or coconut to mix into rice after cooking
  • Optional – shredded coconut for topping or filling.
Instructions
  1. First, rinse your rice and let it soak for 20 minutes. Then cook according to directions in a large pot or rice cooker.
  2. Note: Rice cooker works better for stickiness.
  3. Once the rice is cooked, transfer to a large bowl and mix in a few tablespoons of coconut butter or butter and your protein powder. Then add in a fair amount of honey. I think I mixed in at least ¼ cup. Once that’s done, set aside and let it get sticky.
  4. While your rice is sitting, blend your filling, the mango, almonds, and optional coconut. Set aside.
  5. Next, place foil in a 9×3 casserole dish. Spread half your rice on the dish and press down to make it even. Then add in your filling and spread it out evenly. Drizzle your almond butter on top of the filling. I actually added in a little molasses as well. That’s why the picture below has dark colors. But molasses is not needed in the recipe. Just FYI
  6. mango vanilla almond rice cakes 3
  7. Once done with the filling, add the rest of your rice and press down to make even and flat. Bake at 375F for about 35-40 minutes. Just depends on your oven. Let it cool.
  8. Once cooled, you can either remove foil and slice into squares, or cut with foil and wrap them up to go right then.
  9. Makes about 12-16 squares depending on your cutting technique.

And these?

honey-bacon-and-vanilla-honey-bacon-rice-cakes_thumb.jpg

I make the cherry Vanilla Rice Cakes the same way I do the Mango Vanilla, but use coconut butter instead of almond butter and then roll them into balls and bake versus in a square pan.

cherry vanilla rice cakes

Rice is an ideal dinner or recovery meal as well! It’s a fast uptake carbs which you can then mix with quality proteins, and fats to refuel your body quickly for tomorrow. Try mixing it with lamb, plantains,  zucchini, MCT oil or butter, spinach, and turmeric and you’ve got yourself the perfect anti-inflammatory meal!

Grilled-Lamb-with-Turmeric-and-steamed-spinach.jpg
Or switch out your meat for fish and make it rich in Omegas! which is also great for recovery! That reminds me, I need to post my  Sriracha Salmon recipe soon, yes?

Sriracha salmon

Well, are you sick of me talking about rice? Nah.. never! Rice is nice. ;-)

What’s your take? Do you eat white rice in your diet?

Cheers!

LC

Only 3 more days to enter the Bourbon PB Gingerbread bite giveaway with A Loving Spoon Nut butter! See HERE TO ENTER!