Grain-Free Quinoa Granola

Doesn’t this granola look like the stuff that you put in a bird feeder? Bird seed granola, that’s what I should have called it. Okay, I’m kidding. Please still be my friend, and eat my granola.

Grain-Free Quinoa Granola

I think this granola is my new favorite. I know, every time I come up with a new granola recipe, it always ends up being my favorite. But for realz, this batch was gone within just a few days.

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Grain-Free Quinoa Granola

This granola is perfect for breakfast, or a little afternoon snack. It is very nutrient dense because it is full of super seeds. We have everything from quinoa, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds. It is naturally sweetened with honey, has a subtle coconut flavor, and is made extra crunchy from the almonds. And trust me, if you like crunchy, crispy things, you will LOVE this. I can never seem to get my oat granolas to be quite as crunchy as I’d like them to be, but this one is right on the money. The quinoa is uncooked before roasting, so that is where most of your crunch comes from.

Grain-Free Quinoa Granola

Grain-Free Quinoa Granola

It is filling, crunchy, nutty, sweet and so satisfying. I think my favorite way to enjoy it is to eat it like cereal with a little banana or raisins and almond milk. It was great during the summer months, and now it can easily transition into my fall breakfasts. Throw some chopped apple and raisins on there and you’re good to go!

Grain-Free Quinoa Granola

 

 

Grain-Free Quinoa Granola

Yield: Makes about 3 1/2-4 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup flax seeds
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • small pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a fine mesh strainer, rinse your quinoa very well with cold water. Let it drain for a few minutes so it is not too wet.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add the quinoa, pumpkin seeds, almonds, flax and cinnamon and stir to combine.
  4. Pour the honey and coconut oil over the mixture and stir until evenly combined and well coated.
  5. On a large, lined baking sheet, spread the granola mixture out into an even layer.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, it is done when the granola is slightly brown all over.
  7. Remove from the oven and let it cool for at least 10-15 minutes before stirring it. This will give it time to harden a bit.
  8. Once cooled, gently break up the layer of granola with your hands or a wooden spoon. I like to leave it in chunks, but break it up to your desired consistency.

Notes

Adapted from Gimme Some Oven

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16 [Healthier] Gluten-Free Sweet Treats

You guys know how I always like to health-ify my baked goods, desserts and sweet treats in some way. I decided that it would be fun to do a little recipe roundup of some of my favorite recipes from the archives that will satisfy any sweet tooth.

1. [Grain-Free] Almond Coconut Mini Bundt Cakes with Chocolate Glaze

16 [Healthier] Gluten-Free Sweet Treats

2. [Vegan] Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

16 [Healthier] Gluten-Free Sweet Treats

3. [Grain-Free] Chocolate Donuts with Peanut Butter Maple Glaze

16 [Healthier] Gluten-Free Sweet Treats

4. Raw [Vegan] Chocolate Mousse Pie

16 [Healthier] Gluten-Free Sweet Treats

5. [3-Ingredient] Banana Nutella Cookies

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6. Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding

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7. Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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8. Healthy Chocolate Peppermint Bark

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9. [Healthier} Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

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10. Cranberry Coconut Protein Balls

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11. Cranberry Lemon Cookies

cranberry lemon cookies

12. [Grain-Free] Cinnamon Banana Bread

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13. Mocha Protein Frappe

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14. Raw Brownie Bites

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15. Raw Coconut Cacao Almond Cookies

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16. Skillet Apple Crisp

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Noodle-less Zucchini Pesto Lasagna

You guys, I took this glorious pesto that I made the other day and smeared it all over some zucchini and made us lasagna.

Noodle-less Zucchini Pesto Lasagna

It. Is. SO. Good. And surprisingly, even husband approved. This recipe is the kind of thing that Kenny likes to call “girl food”. I guess because it’s light, and won’t leave you wanting to take a nap like regular lasagna would. This lasagna is FULL of vegetables, like basically 90% of it is veg. But somehow it is still so comforting, it’s a win win.

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So, let’s talk about all of the crazy substitutions that are going on here. We have zucchini instead of noodles, which means less carbs, more vitamins and good stuff. We have pesto instead of tomato sauce, which of course is just subbing a veg for a veg, but this pesto makes it folks. Seriously. It is stuffed with spinach and parsley, so you are getting a huge amount of green goodness here. Then we layer on some ground turkey for protein, roasted red pepper for a little color and fun, and goat cheese instead of mozzarella. Dairy sensitive friends, I got your back.

Noodle-less Zucchini Pesto Lasagna

I will definitely be making this again, especially since Kenny likes it. The only piece of advice I will give you is to be patient when you cut into it. It will fall apart a little because all of the fillings are not encased by big noodles. But not to fear, just reassemble it a little and stuff it in your pie hole. The deliciousness will make up for it.

Noodle-less Zucchini Pesto Lasagna

 

 

Noodle-less Zucchini Pesto Lasagna

Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sized zucchini (cut in to thin strips, lengthwise)
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 batch of pesto
  • 3/4 cup roasted red peppers (drained and chopped)
  • 5 oz goat cheese
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil and turkey, season with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally, cook for about 5 minutes, until the turkey is slightly brown. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  3. In a 9x13 casserole dish, smear about 1/4 cup of the pesto on the bottom of the dish. Lay out one even layer of zucchini strips to cover the bottom.
  4. Then sprinkle about half of the turkey over the zucchini, followed by about half of the red peppers and about 1 oz of goat cheese.
  5. Then keep layering in this order. Pesto, zucchini, turkey, peppers, goat cheese. You will end up with a third layer of zucchini on top.
  6. Smear the rest of the pesto all over the top layer of zucchini, covering everything, then sprinkle the rest of the goat cheese over the top. Cover with foil, and bake for about 35 minutes.
  7. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes to brown the top a little bit.
  8. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting it.
  9. Serve and enjoy!
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Spinach + Parsley Pesto

This is such a simple recipe, I almost didn’t dedicate an entire post to it. But, I wanted to because on Friday I am going to bring you an amazing grain-free lasagna recipe using this pesto in place of a tomato sauce. Boom, get excited!

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Of all of the pestos I have made, this is definitely pretty high up on my favorites list. Of course, my all-time favorite will always be made with basil, nothing beats basil. But, this one with spinach and parsley is pretty darn good. I kept it vegan by subbing in some nutritional yeast instead of a regular parmesan, and I really like the subtle cheesy/nutty flavor it gives. I also went with walnuts to change up the classic flavor even more. And let’s face it, pine nuts are flippin’ expensive. #aintnobodygottimeforthat

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All you need is –> spinach, parsley, walnuts, nutritional yeast (optional) and extra virgin olive oil. That’s it! I bet you have all of that in your kitchen right now. You will not regret making your own pesto, it is easy and quick. Homemade > store-bought. Every time.

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I can’t wait for you to see this pesto in the lasagna on Friday! Stay tuned!

 

Spinach + Parsley Pesto

Yield: About 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups spinach leaves, lightly packed
  • 1 cup parsley, lightly packed
  • 1/2-3/4 cup walnuts
  • 1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine the spinach, parsley, walnuts, yeast, salt and pepper. Pulse a couple of times to break up the leaves.
  2. While the processor is running, slowly stream in the olive oil and let it get to a pesto-like consistency. You can add more oil to thin it out if desired.
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Moroccan Roasted Chickpea Salad

It’s Monday, so let’s start it off with a salad!

Okay, don’t hate me. It’s a salad full of carbs. That’s right, I knew I’d get you back on the salad train.

Moroccan Roasted Chickpea Salad

I saw this chicken salad on Bev’s blog (have you seen her babies?!?! THE ROLLS!!) a while back, and I finally got around to recreating it. I decided to get a little crazy and replace the chicken with chickpeas, and add a couple of extra fun things in there too. I went with sweet potatoes, almonds, spinach, goat cheese and cranberries to accompany my chickpeas.

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The spice mix that goes into the marinade for the chickpeas is basically the bomb. We have cinnamon, paprika, cumin, lemon, honey, soy sauce and olive oil. You could actually eat them just like that in the salad, but I wanted to roast them and get that great crispy crunch. Does ‘crispy crunch’ even make sense? Whatever, you catch my drift.

Moroccan Roasted Chickpea Salad

This salad pretty much has it all –> greens, healthy carbs, protein, sweet, savory, crunchy, creamy, spice-rific. Oy, there I go making up words again.

This is totally husband approved, he actually said that this is “one of the best salads you’ve ever made.” Um, whoa.

 

Moroccan Roasted Chickpea Salad

Yield: Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 4-5 cups spinach leaves
  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped into small pieces
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/3-1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • ~5 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • Chickpea Marinade
  • 2 tbsp GF soy sauce
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • pinch of black pepper
  • Lemon Vinaigrette
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • small pinch of salt and black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or foil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the marinade and whisk until combined. Add the chickpeas to the bowl and toss to combine. Pour the chickpeas onto a baking sheet and let sit for about 10 minutes.
  3. Place the chopped sweet potato on a baking sheet and drizzle with about 1 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Toss to coat.
  4. Place both baking sheets in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes, until the chickpeas are slightly brown and crispy and the potato is slightly brown and cooked through.
  5. To assemble the salad, place the spinach onto a large serving plate or bowl, layer on the potatoes and chickpeas, then sprinkle the almonds, cranberries and goat cheese over the top.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients and pour over the salad.
  7. Serve and enjoy!
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Fig, Peach + Arugula Salad with Lemon Honey Vinaigrette

I’ve been such a slacker with recipe posts over the last few days. I’m right in the middle of a huge site redesign right now, and apparently I’ve been putting all of my attention and energy towards that. It is way harder than I ever thought, and I have no idea why I thought I could do it all by myself, but I know that I’ll feel so dang accomplished when all of this is finished. I can’t wait for you guys to see the new site!

Fig, Peach and Arugula Salad with Lemon Honey Vinaigrette

I’ve been living on super easy meals like this salad lately. I just make sure to keep the fridge stocked with fruits and veggies so that I’m able to throw together a salad or stir-fry in a flash. I am loving figs right now, and they are only going to be in season for a little while longer, so I’m eating as many as I can. And we all know how obsessed I am with peaches, so why not use them together in a salad.

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And this vinaigrette, I could drink it.

Gross. Please still be my friend.

Fig, Peach + Arugula Salad with Lemon Honey Vinaigrette

It has lemon, honey and just the right amount of red wine vinegar. It is sour, sweet, tart, and does some amazing things for this already delicious salad. Throw some walnuts and goat cheese on there and you’re SET.

Fig, Peach + Arugula Salad with Lemon Honey Vinaigrette

 

 

Fig, Peach + Arugula Salad with Lemon Honey Vinaigrette

Yield: Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 large peach, cut into thin wedges
  • 4 fresh figs, quartered
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4-1/3 cup walnuts
  • Lemon Honey Vinaigrette
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • small pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.
  2. To assemble the salad, divide the arugula between two bowls, then layer on the peaches and figs onto each salad.
  3. Top with goat cheese, walnuts and vinaigrette.
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Chocolate Raspberry Protein Smoothie

I know I keep saying it, but I’m seriously hoarding the last of the summer berries right now. I’ve been putting berries in everything. I just can’t help myself.

Chocolate Raspberry Protein Smoothie

This chocolate protein smoothie is full of raspberries and super refreshing. It tastes like a chocolate milkshake with a tangy twist. Raspberries provide you with tons of antioxidants to keep your skin and hair looking amazing, as well as fiber to keep your digestive system happy. They are pretty low in sugar, so you are basically drinking a low sugar milkshake. Score.

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The ingredients for this smoothie are pretty minimal, along with the berries, I included a banana, spinach and flax. Tons of superfoods are happening today. This is the perfect post-workout shake to replenish your muscles with some protein and carbs. Enjoy the chocolate goodness!

Chocolate Raspberry Protein Smoothie

 

 

Chocolate Raspberry Protein Smoothie

Yield: Makes 1 large or 2 medium smoothies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh (or frozen) raspberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 serving chocolate protein powder (or 1-2 tbsp cacao if not using protein)
  • 1 tbsp flax meal
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup almond milk

Instructions

  1. Put all of the ingredients into a high powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
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[Apothecary Extracts] 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil – Review

Have you guys ever used tea tree oil before? You should definitely try it! Tea Tree oil can be used in everything from skin care, household cleaners, hair care, hygiene products and first aid remedies. It really is a miracle worker, so when the folks at Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil contacted me about trying their product, I was immediately excited.

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I’ve used tea tree oil in the past in my skin care regimen, and I can really see a difference in my breakouts when I’m using it on a consistent basis. One thing I didn’t know was that not all essential oils are created equal. Some suppliers dilute their oils to save money, but this results in an inferior product and come cause unwanted side effects. 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil is the only brand of tea tree oil that openly shares its test results with the public, and that definitely makes me feel good about the quality.

They are only sold on Amazon, and are very reasonable priced. A little bit of tea tree oil goes a long way, so this bottle will definitely last me a long time. I wanted to try it in several ways to really be able to tell you guys about the benefits of this oil. I had never used it as a household cleaner before, so I was excited to start cleaning with it.

When you order, they send you a recipe guide with 53 recipes(!!!) for using the oil. Seriously, there are SO many things that I never knew you could use this for! I made the simple household cleaner, and absolutely loved it. I used lemon essential oil to give a nice smell, but you could use whatever you want.

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All-Purpose Household Cleaner

2 tsp Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil
2 cups distilled water
6 oz white vinegar
20 drops lemon essential oil
1 spray bottle

Mix everything in the spray bottle and give it a gentle shake.

I also used it for skin care, which is definitely my favorite way to use it. I made a green clay mask and mixed it with the oil, and I couldn’t even believe how much better my skin looked after just one use. I have done this mask once/week for the last three weeks, and I can absolutely tell a difference in my skin. My breakouts are much better, and my pores are smaller and less clogged with dirt and oil. Tea tree oil works to kill bacteria, so it is perfect for acne prone skin.

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Green Clay Mask with Tea Tree Oil

1 tbsp green clay powder
1-2 tbsp water
3-4 drops Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil

In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients with a spoon until it becomes a paste. Using your fingers, rub the mask all over your face, and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

 

I love the fact that this brand is very pure and they do not dilute their product, which makes me feel like I’m not wasting my time by using it. I would definitely recommend it to anyone.

 

*Thank you to Apothecary Extracts for giving me the opportunity to try your product. I was given the product for free, but not compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own, and I really do love this product!

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Thursday Things – Game Day Food

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It’s almost game day at Texas Tech! It feels like we JUST got done with last season, and it’s already starting again. The guys have been working so hard all year, and I can’t wait to see how this season shakes out. GUNS UP!

I thought it would be fun to do a little roundup of tailgate and game day foods for today’s Thursday Things. Enjoy!

Peanut butter cup oatmeal cookie sandwiches
”Peanut butter” and jelly ice cream
Oat & pecan blueberry crisp
Cookies and cream no-bake chex bars
Baked rosemary beet chips
Pepperoni pizza potato skins
Paleo & vegan spinach artichoke dip
Chicken skewers & satay sauce
Quinoa sausage balls
Paleo herb dinner rolls
Mexican street corn
Loaded nachos with vegan ‘cheese’ sauce

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Breakfast Quinoa with Figs and Honey

I love quinoa any time of day. I normally eat it in some sort of savory capacity for lunch of dinner, but I’ve been eating it for breakfast more and more. It is DE-licious when paired with sweet things like honey, maple syrup or fruit. This superfood quinoa breakfast bowl is one of my favorite ways to eat it.

Breakfast Quinoa with Figs and Honey

Breakfast Quinoa with Figs and Honey

Because figs are in season, I decided that I had to pair fresh figs with some quinoa and honey for breakfast. Figs + honey are basically a match made in Heaven. And when you throw some roasted almonds and cinnamon on top, you pretty much have the perfect breakfast.

Breakfast Quinoa with Figs and Honey

I think I’ve eaten some version of this recipe practically everyday for the last 2 weeks, and I’m not even close to getting tired of it.

Take advantage of the short time that figs are in season, they are SO delicious right now!

 

Breakfast Quinoa with Figs and Honey

Yield: Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (3/4 cups dry quinoa + 1 1/2 cups water)
  • 1-2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4-6 fresh figs, quartered
  • 1/2 cup roasted almonds

Instructions

  1. You can either eat the quinoa cold or warm.
  2. Divide the quinoa between two bowls, drizzle honey and cinnamon, and top with figs and almonds.
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