Protein Packed Berry Cheesecake Smoothie

A healthy gluten free berry Cheesecake, does that exist? Well, I found a leap hole. It’s a blended version. A delicious and nutritious smoothie that’s protein packed and full of antioxidants.  I’ll take this cake with a whole lotta goodness!

berry cheesecake smoothie- taste like cake and is super healthy and nutritious! great treat for any time of day!

10 days ago I was about to leave for New Zealand. Bags were packed, I finished teaching my last class at the gym, and the house was clean. Until I looked in the fridge.

Berries, cottage cheese, coconut milk, banana….


Uh oh. These cannot be thrown away or go to waste. Should i throw it all in my freezer (amongst the rest of my food I’m saving?) Oh no, not my precious cultured organic dairy, my antioxidant rich berries, my creamy coconut milk. They might get freezer burn and too icy. You get my dilemma, right?

berry cheesecake smoothie- taste like cake and is super healthy and nutritious! great treat for any time of day!.

I needed to do something with them ASAP! Luckily my obsession with all things berry took over and I blended up a protein rich smoothie sans protein powder. Oh my heavens, this was delicious! And yes, it did taste like cheesecake, but I will get to that in a minute.

First, let’s talk about the cottage cheese. We love the organic cultured Nancy’s brand. It’s the only cottage cheese brand that settles well due to the natural fermentation. Consider it the kefir of cottage cheese! It’s tangy. It’s rich. It’s my favorite.

In my opinion, I would consider this smoothie “primal” for sure. The benefits of the cultured organic cottage cheese are amazing i tolerated well. It provides beneficial bacteria for the gut, complete amino acids, and calcium.

And you know what? It adds a nice protein kick to a smoothie. Hence this recipe.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Healthy Berry Cheesecake Protein Smoothie
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: smoothie
Serves: 1
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • ½ cup organic cottage cheese (or coconut kefir/yogurt for vegans)
  • 1 cup coconut or almond milk
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour or almond flour
  • ¼ tsp butter extract
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ banana
  • (optional add ins -> hemp protein, vanilla whey, honey, etc).
  1. first blend up all your fruit and milk. Scoop in cottage cheese or yogurt and blend again. Add in cinnamon and extracts, blend one last time.
  2. Serve up!
don't have frozen berries? try using a strawberry yogurt or dried fruit instead.


Looking to make it vegan or dairy free. no prob! The extracts and extra ingredients help with the real “cake” taste. Plus I gotcha covered with the protein, just add in a scope or two of your favorite pea or hemp protein. Trust me when I say you’ll be hooked. As in, you’re gonna be making this recipe all Spring! Plus it’s just pretty to look at, right?

berry cheesecake smoothie- taste like cake and is super healthy and nutritious! great treat for any time of day!.

Okay okay, enough dairy talk, go make this! And while you are it, go buy yourself some butter extract, it does wonders!


berry cheesecake smoothie to go

5 days and counting until Ironman New Zealand, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, I’m enjoying all the downtime, the picture taking, and the delicious local food and wine. It truly is our home away from home.

What’s your favorite smoothie combo sans protein powder?

Happy Meatless Monday!






Bacon Gouda Chive Dip with Secret SUPERFOOD Ingredient!

Bacon and cheese. Who doesn’t love that combo? This bacon and smoked Gouda dip with chives comes together in no time and is the perfect for an appetizer or snack! But there’s a secret superfood ingredient you might want to add. So keep reading!

Bacon and cheese. Who doesn't love that combo? This bacon and smoked Gouda dip with chives comes together in no time and is the perfect for an appetizer or snack! But there's a secret superfood ingredient you might want to add

This recipe is totally opposite of Monday’s vegan post, but hey, we are lovers all food (gluten free), including Bacon and cheese. So my fellow bacon lovers, wipe that drool. But first, write down this recipe. Okay, really though, I need to explain a few things before you do.

Bacon and cheese. Who doesn't love that combo? This bacon and smoked Gouda dip with chives comes together in no time and is the perfect for an appetizer or snack! But there's a secret superfood ingredient you might want to add.

Heavenly Bacon and Gouda dip! Plus a secret superfood ingredient you'll want to check out. the perfect for an appetizer or gluten free snack! www.cottercrunch. com.

You see, this recipe is tasty and all, but it has purpose, just like all my recipes. The (optional) superfood secret in this recipe is not popular in our current American diet, but boy it should be! It’s the most potent superfood out there and EXTREMELY good for endurance athletes or those fighting adrenal fatigue. Which is why I brought some with me to New Zealand for the kiwi. He has Ironman New Zealand in 10 days; therefore we are making sure his nutrients and adrenals are IN CHECK!

Hence this….

epic bars

Thanks to Epic Bar for supplying the goods!

Okay don’t run off yet, hear me out.

So what makes liver so AMAZING (nutrition wise)? Well, it contains more nutrients, gram for gram, than any other food source out there.

List below -> Source

  • An excellent source of high-quality protein. 
  • Nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A
  • All the B vitamins in abundance, particularly vitamin B12
  • One of our best sources of folic acid
  • A highly usable form of iron
  • Trace elements such as copper, zinc and chromium; liver is our best source of copper
  • An unidentified anti-fatigue factor
  • CoQ10, a nutrient that is especially important for cardio-vascular function
  •  A good source of purines, nitrogen-containing compounds that serve as precursors for DNA and RNA.

Bacon and cheese. Who doesn't love that combo? This bacon and smoked Gouda dip with chives comes together in no time and is the perfect for an appetizer or snack! But there's a secret superfood ingredient you might want to add

Have i convinced you yet? Well, even if you don’t add dried beef liver to this recipe, you can still eat in and enjoy as is. The nitrate free bacon is from whole foods and the smoked gouda is actually raw cheese from our local farmers market. We love our local dairy farmer and the benefits of raw cheese. Raw milk/cheese is definitely easier to digest for those who are lactose intolerant. But I highly recommend getting to know your local dairy farmer and visiting their farm to see how clean it is, etc. Most of the time the farms are IMMACULATE and super safe for raw dairy.

Now that you have cheese on the brain, here’s the recipe!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Bacon Cheese and Chive Dip (gluten free)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Bacon and cheese. Who doesn't love that combo? This bacon and smoked Gouda dip with chives comes together in no time and is the perfect for an appetizer or snack! But there's a secret superfood ingredient you might want to add.
Recipe type: dip
Serves: 3
  • ¼ cup avocado or cold pressed olive oil
  • 3oz smoked gouda
  • ⅔ cup crumbled feta or parmesan
  • 2 tbsp shredded carrot (optional) I used a carrot relish
  • ½ tsp chili pepper
  • dash of paprika
  • ¼ tsp garlic (minced)
  • dash of sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tsp honey mustard
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp spicy beef jerky, or dried liver bars (chopped) --> OPTIONAL. we love EPIC bars for this.
  • 1 oz (about 45 grams) nitrate free bacon
  1. First chop all your ingredients. Set aside. Soften your cheese or make sure it is at room temp for easy blending. Cook your bacon (or use bacon bits) and save a little of the bacon grease. Once cooked, chop both bacon and cheese into smaller pieces.
  2. Place cheese and chopped meats in a food processor and then slowly add in your oil while mixing. Once blended, add in your chive, seasonings, mustard, and vegetables (if using). Blend again.
  3. If you want your dip more smooth, add in a tbsp or so of cheese. If you like it more chunky (like above), omit extra cheese.
  4. Garnish with extra chive.
Tip --> save your bacon grease! it's great for cooking or sautéing vegetables for another dish. keep it covered in fridge for when you are ready to cook.

Alright ya’ll, time to get back in the kitchen, the Kiwi Kitchen that is.

Have you ever tried raw cheese? what about liver?

Come on fess up! it’s good for you!








Curried Red Lentil and Potato Lettuce Wraps {Vegan/GF}

How about a delicious and nutritious Meatless Monday dish to start off the week? Well, today you are in luck! Emily form Zen and Spice is here to share an amazing Lentil Wrap dish that’s not only gluten free, but vegan too. Oh and looks amazing!

Red Lentil Potato Curry Wraps - a tasty, healthy dish that's not only gluten free, but vegan too. Packed full of fiber and spice!

Hi readers of Cotter Crunch! My name is Emily, and I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and healthy living blogger over at Zen & Spice. I’m a food lover and nutrition enthusiast who has a fascination for cooking, gardening, practicing yoga and embracing the mind body connection. On my blog you’ll find healthy recipes, motivation strategies, meditation tips, and things that make me happy. I live in Dallas, Texas with my boyfriend, Nick, and our five-month-old schnoodle puppy.

emilyhein poc

I have been a huge fan of Lindsay’s blog for a long time now! I love her fitness tips– always inspires me to get back in the gym or to try new workouts. Her gluten free recipes are fantastic and I do recommend my celiac patients to visit her site! I am happy to be here today sharing a recipe and getting to know Lindsay’s readers!

One of my major goals for 2015 is to eat more holistically & mindfully. To me, this means making more meals meatless (to save money and help out the environment), and more meals gluten free (having IBS makes digesting gluten difficult). Beans & lentils are cheap, fiber rich, and easy to make! I’ve been on a mission to learn how to cook beans and lentils and make them taste amazing. Today’s recipe is definitely tasty.

Red Lentil Potato Curry Wraps - a tasty, healthy dish that's not only gluten free, but vegan too. Packed full of fiber and spice!

While developing this recipe for Cotter Crunch, I had a couple different ideas for the lettuce wrap filling. I knew I wanted to use red lentils but wasn’t sure what else to combine with. Well, funny story. We recently adopted a little schnoodle puppy (he’s five months old now) and I wanted to take him to the dog park for the first time (what does this have to do with lettuce wraps? hang tight!).

I knew there was a dog park down the street by our apartment, but wasn’t sure how far down the street it was. So, I had the bright idea of walking there to “get some steps in”. Long story short, it ended up being a 3 1/2 mile walk and it wasn’t until we were half way there I realized this. It was too late to turn around so I just kept going. Don’t worry, I held the little guy the whole time or else he probably wouldn’t have made it to the dog park.

Anyway, after a SEVEN mile round trip (I contemplated calling a taxi for a ride back but thought I’d look like an idiot dropping me off right down the street), we finally made it back to the apartment and I was FAMISHED. That was the night I was taste testing this lentil recipe and I thought, lentils and lettuce are not going to hold me over right now. So I added a bunch of diced potatoes and carrots to bulk it up. For some reason walking seven miles prompted me to season with curry and the apartment smelled so heavenly. I’ll just say I ate my fill of these lettuce wraps and was quite satisfied! Then I took a bath and went straight to bed.

Red Lentil Potato Curry Wraps - a tasty, healthy dish that's not only gluten free, but vegan too. Packed full of fiber and spice!

This was one of the first recipes where I’ve used my curry seasoning. I’m looking forward to exploring other ways to use it! If you have a good curry recipe, leave a link to it in a comment!

Here’s the recipe:

4.5 from 2 reviews
Curried Red Lentil & Potato Lettuce Wraps {Vegan/GF}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • Serves 2
  • ½ cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ Tbsp curry seasoning
  • 2-3 Yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • butter lettuce pieces, washed and patted dry
  • lime wedges
  1. Wash the lentils. Place them in a sieve and rinse thoroughly.
  2. Heat the olive oil oil in a large saucepan. Place it over medium heat and let the oil completely heat up.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute.
  4. Add the curry powder, potatoes, and carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the lentils, broth, salt and pepper.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. When finished, serve on butter lettuce pieces with a squirt of fresh lime juice.

Thanks for letting me guest post, Lindsay! I’m looking forward to meeting your readers!

What’s your favorite vegan gluten free dish? 

Connect with me on social media!






For the LOVE of Carbs! Tomato, Onion, and Egg Buckwheat Penne

Super easy and delicious Tomato Egg Onion Penne with buckwheat pasta. Buckwheat is not really wheat, but a seed. It’s a great gluten free substitute for your regular pasta and doesn’t turn to mush like the other corn or rice pasta. Okay, I’ll explain more below. Keep reading!

Delicious Tomato and Egg Buckwheat Penne. A super easy gluten free and dairy free pasta dish that's perfect for those who are new to gluten free or are looking for a healthier pasta/carb alternative!

Oh carbs, it’s such a confusing topic, no? But I will say this. We enjoy carbs! Gluten free of course. And depending on the amount of training or what the body needs, we shift the amount of carbs eat, the type we eat (grain free and pseudograins that are gluten free), and when we eat them. I don’t believe in a diet plan, but more “feedback” from the adrenals and the body. This is especially true when my husband is doing high volume or high intensity training. Um, which is now.

So here we are. Needing to feed the adrenals. Trying to not eat too much grain but also needing more than normal. Hence the buckwheat. Gosh i love buckwheat. It’s the best kind of pseudograins if you ask me. Probably because it’s not really a grain, but a seed, from the rhubarb plant. For those with healthy hormones and guts, buckwheat is well tolerated, especially if it’s soaked or fermented. Buckwheat also contain significant amounts of protein and a significant levels of other nutrients (especially B vitamins and iron).

Delicious Tomato and Egg Buckwheat Penne. A super easy gluten free and dairy free pasta dish that's perfect for those who are new to gluten free or are looking for a healthier pasta/carb alternative! www.cottercrunch.comOne last tip and trick for this super easy and healthy dish —>   USE EGG YOLK vs cheese if you can’t handle dairy! Yes, that’s how we add in more good fats and Choline without the dairy. Hard boiled or soft boiled egg crumbled on top melts into the tomato pasta and makes it creamy. Shhh… don’t share my trick. It’s a Sherpa Wife move, for sure! Note: I found the Penne Pasta at Safeway but you can also buy spirals here.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Gluten Free Tomato, Onion, and Egg Penne
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: pasta (GF)
Serves: 4-6
  • 10oz bag of buckwheat penne pasta
  • 6oz tomato paste
  • ⅓ cup diced white onion
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
  • ¼ cup diced pepper or celery works too
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 hard boiled egg yolks
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp each of sea salt and black pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika or chili pepper
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • optional add ins- sausage, chicken, shrimp, tofu. All work great.
  1. First sauté your onions and peppers (or celery) in 1 tbsp olive oil with garlic. Once they are almost cooked, set aside. Then boil you penne pasta, drain, and add in the rest of your olive oil. Mix well. Crack an egg into the pasta and mix. Then add in your tomato paste, seasonings, and the rest of your onion/pepper/garlic mix. Stir until egg yolk in cooked through. Feel free to add in sausage or a protein here too! It's great with venison meat.
  2. Serve our pasta and crumble hard boiled egg on top with any extra chili pepper or red onion.

Delicious Tomato and Egg Buckwheat Penne. A super easy gluten free and dairy free pasta dish that's perfect for those who are new to gluten free or are looking for a healthier pasta/carb alternative!

Alright, bottom line, buckwheat is great to experiment with for active kids, athletes, etc. So are carbs! Oh for the love of carbs!

Interested in learning more about gluten free grains? I’ve posted a lot on my Gut Health and Nutrition Pinterest board. Take a look!

Follow Lindsay – Cotter Crunch’s board Gut Health & Nutrition on Pinterest.

That being said, go make this for your Valentine, but maybe go easy on the onions, right? LOL!

Favorite Gluten free pasta? Happy LOVE weekend!


Refuel with Real Food! Nutty Chocolate Mesquite Cookies {Dairy Free Option}

What’s the best thing to eat post workout? Gosh, now there’s a question I get almost every day. It’s also an answer that is so individualized, you know?

Depends on the work out, the nutrient needs, their food allergies or sensitivities, and so on and so on. But if I could sum up my answer in three words, I would say eat real food.

gluten free and dairy free chocolate mesquite cookies! Great for a post workout snack or breakfast on the goal! Nutrient dense and full of sweetsmokey flavor! @cottercrunch

That means refuel with food that brings real nourishment from real ingredients; a good balance of carbs real sugar, a little bit protein, and preferably some minerals to replenish the adrenals.

Which is why I love making post workout cookies. You can tailor them to your own needs. I make these a lot for my husband when he’s training for any endurance sport. Right now he’s tackling another ironman. The post workout window to refuel is crucial.

gluten free and dairy free chocolate mesquite cookies! Great for a post workout snack or breakfast on the goal! Nutrient dense and full of sweetsmokey flavor! @cottercrunch

So what’s so special about these cookies? What makes them great for after a long ride a hard workout? It’s the ingredients; simple but nutrient dense. Let me explain.

  • Gluten free rice flour — gluten free carbs to replenish glycogen storage
  • Dairy free chocolate chips or cocoa nibs — made from cocoa liquor (non alcoholic) and cane sugar (natural sugars).
  • Potato flour — resistant starch
  • Coconut butter/oil — healthy MCT fats for energy
  • Mesquite powder — the super food plant powder that is packed with mineral such as calcium, iron, lysine, manganese, zinc, and potassium. It’s also high in protein, low on the glycemic index, and digests relatively slowly which is great for regulating blood sugar.

gluten free and dairy free chocolate mesquite cookies! Great for a post workout snack or breakfast on the goal! Nutrient dense and full of sweetsmokey flavor! @cottercrunch

But I also love mesquite flavor combined with chocolate because it gives it an salty smoked flavor. And I don’t know about you, but after a workout or long run, I want salt and sweet. The best of both worlds, yes?

5.0 from 3 reviews
Gluten and dairy Free Nutty Chocolate Mesquite Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12-14
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 ¼ cup rice or GF oat flour
  • 1-2 tbsp potato flour
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar (or cane sugar)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or butter (I melted brownie sweet spreads coconut butter)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp mesquite powder
  • ¼ tsp Caramel extract (optional)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coconut or almond milk
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped salted or roasted nuts
  • ¼ cup enjoy life dairy free chocolate chips (you can use regular chocolate chips too)
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • Optional add ins : shredded coconut, cocoa powder, dried fruit.
  1. Directions:
  2. Preheat oven to 350F. Next, heat your milk for 90 seconds (I learned this trick from Biju the chef), melt in your coconut oil and mix together. In another bowl, combine your dry ingredients. Whisk in your milk and egg then fold in your chocolate chips. Mix and then let the dough cool off in the freezer or fridge for about 20 minutes. Once cooled, roll into balls and place on greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle more sugar and nuts on top if you like. Bake for about 15 minutes.
  3. Let the cookies cool. Makes around a dozen or so.

gluten free and dairy free chocolate mesquite cookies! Great for a post workout snack or breakfast on the goal! Nutrient dense and full of sweetsmokey flavor! @cottercrunch

Okay Okay, so you might be wondering…. Uh, can’t I just eat these cookies anytime?

You sure can! They are a great snack for kids or for breakfast on the go. Multi-purpose baking here folks!

So tell me, what’s your favorite post workout snack?

Do you use mesquite powder at all? You should… just sayin.






Learn more about living gluten free! Visit

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi’s Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine.

Feel free to comment below or on my site comment box! Thanks for reading.

Spicy Surf and Turf Caesar Salad Recipe Plus Health Benefits of Cooking with Curry During Winter

This curry spiced surf and turf caesar salad is a healthy dish great for spicing up your salads while keeping your immune system strong! Easy to make and my version is gluten free of course! 

This curry spiced surf and turf caesar salad is a healthy dish great for spicin' up your salads while keeping your immune system strong! Easy to make and my version is gluten free of course!

I will confess. The kiwi and I are not romantic. In fact, we’re quite boring. But hey, that’s us, right? We spend a lot of date nights in because

  • A- I like to cook, it’s my therapy and my excuse to have wine. Ahem… guilty.
  • B – The Kiwi has a lot of long rides and runs during the weekend, so I try to make meals that will be quick but nutrient dense.

One of my favorite meals to make on a cold weekend night is this Spicy Caesar, but let me tell you why it’s good during cold months.

This curry spiced surf and turf caesar salad is a healthy dish great for spicin' up your salads while keeping your immune system strong! Easy to make and my version is gluten free of course!

For one, the Steak and Shrimp are great sources of Iron and Amino acids, we need that for muscle regeneration.

But the Curry, oh yes, it’s magical! Curry powder is actually a mixture of several spices –> turmeric, fenugreek, curry leaves and even coriander. Curry has many health benefits, but the one benefits that I really APPRECIATE during the colder months is it’s effect it has on joint care and blood circulation in the body!  If regularly consumed, it can help reduce stiffness that often occurs in the joints and muscles during winter. And if you’ve ever trained for a marathon or triathlon or anything for that matter during the winter months, then you’ll definitely know that feeling. Am I right?

So, a little curry every day is a great way to spice up dishes and loosen up those joints. Yep, we’re curry obsessed.

This curry spiced surf and turf caesar salad is a healthy dish great for spicin' up your salads while keeping your immune system strong! Easy to make and my version is gluten free of course!

Okay okay, enough nutrition talk, let’s get to the recipe. Oh my goodness is sooooo good and so easy!

5.0 from 5 reviews
Spicy Surf and Turf Caesar Salad Recipe (gluten free)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2-3
  • 6-8 oz steak fillet (or two 4 ounce fillet)
  • 10-12 medium shrimp
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • lime juice
  • ¼ tsp each black pepper and sea salt
  • 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp garlic powder or minced
  • 1 bag of iceberg lettuce
  • hard shredded parmesan
  • 1-2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 cup black rice
  • Caesar dressing of choice
  1. First prepare your rice. This is optional but it gives a nice crunch to the salad. I make the black rice ahead of time and use a vegetable broth with a pinch or two of chili pepper when steaming/boiling. Black rice usually takes about 30 minutes or so in rice cooker.
  2. While rice is cooking, prepare your proteins. In a small bowl, combine your oil and your seasoning. Mix together. Then coat the steaks and the shrimp in the marinade with the curry and balsamic vinegar. Place steaks in the over at 400F for 20-25 minutes. The last 15 minutes or so, add your shrimp. Broil the last minute. If the steaks are extra thick, they might need longer time.
  3. Once everything this cooked, combine a little bit of rice with the steak/shrimp and toss together with more curry and black pepper if you'd like. Place on a bed of lettuce, sprinkle with parmesan, lime juice, and drizzle with your dressing. It's delish!
to make dairy free and paleo, omit the cheese. I also like using this paleo recipe for the dressing

And if you actually use chop sticks to eat the salad, you get bonus points because it’s hard and takes a lot of patience when you are hungry. Just sayin…

surf and turf ceasar curry salad ! Creamy and spicy and perfect quick dinner or date night in! Gluten free too!

What’s your favorite way to use curry? I’d love more ideas, always!

Happy weekend, happy training, happy EATING!

And stay warm.



p.s. I have another FAB gadget giveaway this weekend. And the Healthy Bites/Lovegrown giveaway ends Monday. WHOA! Go enter!

Gluten Free Triple Berry Chocolate Cake Bites!

Um.. Can we just talk about this month’s healthy bites flavor for a second? Total “amazeballs” and I never use that word. In fact, I loathe it. But I must confess, these bites…they are AMAZING and I’ve been hoarding them like no other! I know, shame on me.

triple berry cocoa cake bites _ Gluten free and great for valentines day! @cottercrunch

But I couldn’t help myself. You wanna know what else? I’m not even a huge chocolate berry combo fan. Yet I can’t get enough of these.

They remind me of flourless cake. The dark chocolate decadent kind with berries on top. Now that I like. Must be the cake texture. Which is why I named these Triple Berry Chocolate Cake bites. Swoon!

triple berry choc cake bites - cottercrunch #glutenfree valentines day treats!

But wait, it gets better! These bites are total LOVE bites, made with LOVEGROWN Foods limited edition Chocolate Strawberry Heart Power O’s. That’s what makes the third berry complete, and that’s what makes them have a cake like texture.

love grown power Os -heart cereal

When you grind up the cereal, it makes a base for the cocoa powder, freeze dried berries, dark chocolate nut butter, and almond meal, and chocolate chips. Um… you see? Utterly addicting combo!

triple berry cocoa cake bites (GF)

And I get to give it away! Yep, a box of healthy bites and a box of Love Grown Foods Chocolate Strawberry Heart Cereal. Both gluten free and dairy free, yet sweet and satisfying. Let’s not forget to mention –> FULL OF LOVE!

Okay okay, let’s get to the recipe and then to the giveaway, open to US and Canada, whoop whoop!

4.9 from 8 reviews
Gluten Free Triple Berry Chocolate Cake Bites
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert or snack
Serves: 30-32
  • 1 cup coconut or almond flour
  • ⅓ cup ground strawberry Power O's cereal (you can use vanilla or berry protein powder instead if you don't have the cereal, or ground banana chips)
  • ¼ cup crushed freeze dried berries (raspberry and blueberry) Feel free to use regular dried as well
  • ⅓ -1/2 cup chocolate nut butter of choice (I used Dark chocolate Nuttzo)
  • ¼ cup Enjoy Life GF/DF chocolate chips
  • 2-3 tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • ½ tsp raspberry extract
  • ½ tsp butter or vanilla extract (optional)
  • ½ or more cup honey or maple syrup
  1. First, grind up your cereal if you are using it. Then just mix up dry ingredients and add in nut butter, extract, and, crushed berries, and honey. Mix well, then roll into balls/bites. Freeze right away then use cocoa Powder after frozen. That's optional for extra chocolate taste! Store in fridge or freezer to maintain freshness. Makes around 32-35 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.
if you are wanting paleo, just leave out the cereal. or replace it with ⅓ cup almond meal. It works great either way!

This giveaway is ending Monday the 9th, so hurry and enter and go make these treats for you special Valentine! Okay, enough Corny Cotter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Favorite Valentines Day Treat to Make?





Gluten Free Honey Basil Buttermilk Squares

Are you ready for another Super Bowl recipe?! Just kidding! I’m sure you’ve got every recipe planned by now. I married a man who doesn’t watch football (gasp!). Our sports watching consists of cycling, sailing, rugby, triathlon, and swimming (gotta love foreigners and their favorite sports!). But I did grow up with three brothers who were all huge Dallas Cowboys fans, so I feel like I put in my dues already with the sport. Am I right?!

Okay Okay, let’s talk snacking and food. What are you bring to your Super Bowl party? Or are you hosting? Either way, I think it’s great to bring at least one healthy dish or something to even out the cheese and chocolate consumption. Or at least something some what healthy to slather the cheese, dip, and chocolate with!

#gluten free HONEY BASIL BUTTERMILK SQUARES. great for snacks, with soup, or breakfast! @cottercrunch #baking

I am usually the one in charge of salads and veggie trays because I’m the “nutritionist” in the family. Typical, right? But surprisingly, all the veggies usually get eaten, along with the ranch (buttermilk that is)! But this year I am contributing another snacky bread/bar item that will pair well with Chili and are kid friendly! And yes, it will include buttermilk.. minus the ranch.


HONEY BASIL BUTTERMILK SQUARES - gluten free and great for snacking, with soup, and more! #healthy @cottercrunch #baking

Buttermilk Squares (bars). I made these a while back for a Love Grown Foods Recipe contest and could not stop eating them with soups, chili, you name it! Lightly sweetened yet still buttery. It reminded me of my grandma’s sweet jiffy cornbread in a way.

Gluten Free Honey Basil Buttermilk Squares
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • · 1 ½ cup honey Power O's cereal (or you can use ½ cup of brown rice or chickpea flour)
  • · 1-2 tbsp chopped basil
  • · dash of sea salt
  • · 2 tsp baking soda
  • · ⅔ cup buttermilk pancake mix (we used Flapjacked)
  • · 2 tbsp honey
  • · ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • · 6-8oz cup almond, coconut milk, or buttermilk
  • · If you are not using Flapjacked mix, then I would add in 1 egg or 3 egg whites (whisked) to make it more fluffy!
  1. First, grind up your cereal to make a flour. You can use any oat, bean, rice, or corn based cerael to make the flour. We love using Lovegrown Foods power O's. Then mix all your dry ingredients first, then fold in your eggs (if you are using them) and milk. Whisk until smooth. Add in your honey and stir again. Pour into a small square brownie pan or bread pan and bake at 350F for 35 minutes or so. (I used a really small casserole dish)
  2. Remove from oven at let cool. Then drizzle with more honey and basil leaves.
  3. Makes about 6 squares.

The good thing is that these bars are UBER easy to make for anytime of year and are great with any meal. Want one for breakfast? Here ya go, take one!


Well.. I’m off to decide who to route for. Because I have no clue, and I’m pretty sure I’ll just watch the commercials. Who you routin’ for?

Favorite way to use buttermilk? Do tell! I’m all about it these days.

Cheers and have a wonderful relaxing weekend!





One Dish Fish and Veggie Bake {Paleo Friendly}

One dish meals. Oh goodness, we love them! I mean, throw everything in a pot or pan, cook, serve, bam! You’re done.  And if you’re like us, maybe you make a couple of dishes and save some for the next day? Leftovers for lunch is like GOLD!

Really though, one dish meals can save you a ton of time in the kitchen and make week night dinners delicious and healthy.

One Dish Baked Fish an veggie potato bake! #paleo friendly. Easy week night dinner. Healthy and delicious! @cottercrunch

When I cook one dish meals, I focus on making them balanced. This means healthy fats, protein, carbs, and flavor. Hey, good taste has to be included, right? You don’t want a one dish meal without flavor, that would be a waste. Flavoring is KEY to make the whole dish come together.

One dish fish and veggie bake - @Cottercrunch Now I know what you’re thinking…. fish, again? How in the world do you flavor fish along with all the other ingredients in the ONE DISH?

Here’s my fish dish trick. —> Try pairing light fish (like cod or haddock) with a starchy vegetable and then add a more fats by roasted the potatoes in ghee, duck fat, or butter. (optional). Or choose a fatty fish (like salmon) to go with a fruit grain (like wild rice or quinoa) and keep the veggies more green based, like spinach, kale, etc. I use lemon and olive oil to keep the flavor light with more fatty fish.

one dish cod and veggie bake #paleo Easy dinner!

5.0 from 2 reviews
One Dish Fish and Veggie Bake {Paleo Friendly}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
  • ½ cup diced onion and celery (1/4 cup each)
  • 1½ cup to 2 cups shaved Brussel sprouts
  • ¼ tsp chili pepper or paprika
  • dash of sea salt and black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic.
  • 3 cups diced potatoes
  • 2 cod fillets (4oz-5oz) - Or other white fish. I use sizzlefish Cod
  • ¼ cup honey mustard dressing
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • lemon juice
  • feta cheese or goat cheese to top (optional)
  • 1 tbsp butter, ghee, or duck fat
  1. First, lightly pan fry your potatoes in sea salt and duck fat. cook until slightly tender but not all the way cooked. Next, coat your fillets in a mustard dressing and lemon juice then set aside. Combine your veggies and potatoes together, mix with balsamic vinegar and the rest of your seasoning. Place your fish fillets in a casserole dish, add your veggies and potatoes on top along with feta cheese. Bake at 450F for 15-17 minutes. Broil the last minute to make Brussel sprouts crispy!

Both of these styles of fish dishes are great for those looking to refuel after a workout or for growing kids! A good source of omegas, glycogen from the rice/potatoes, and antioxidants from the veggies.

Mmm k. Who’s hungry?

One dish fish and veggie bake - Week night meals made easy! #paleo friendly and delicious! @cottercrunch

What’s your go to one dish meal? I’d love more ideas!






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
  • 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
  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!
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. 



The Sherpa Wife (LC)