Monday: Sweet Potato Coconut Curry– This is a perfect, quick, vegan meal. I plan to use white potatoes instead of sweet, because I already have some…and I’ve been reminded by my husband that, “We eat sweet potatoes a lot.” Which in his language means, “Stop fixing sweet potatoes.”

Tuesday: Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Miso Dressing– Don’t have shrimp, and don’t want to buy any? That’s ok. This will be great with any kind of protein (including beans to make this vegetarian).

Wednesday: Leftovers- It’s that time again. Clean out the fridge and freezer! You can try and play this off by putting each meal in a separate serving dish, and call it a buffet. I don’t know how that would make anything better, but at least you have the night off!

Thursday: BBQ and Coleslaw- You can make any kind of bbq you and your family enjoy. I’m going to go the jackfruit route, but use the recipe for this BBQ sauce. Jackfruit has a meaty texture and the look of pulled pork. I ordered a large bag from Vegan Essentials. Much easier than tracking down a store that carries fresh jackfruit, and then attempting to break it down myself.

As for coleslaw, I really don’t use a recipe. I buy pre-shredded coleslaw, and add some green onion. Then, I mix a good dollop (or more, depending on how many I’m trying to feed) of mayo (classic, homemade, or vegan) with about 1 TBSP lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, a squirt of mustard, salt, pepper, and a few drops of liquid stevia (sounds strange, but you really need a tiny bit of sweetness to balance out the fat and acid).

Friday: Spicy Ramen with Tofu– I’m going to begin by cutting the miso paste recipe in half. You only use half for this recipe anyway, and what happens if you’re not in love with it, and then you’re stuck with a buttload? I’m also going to use shiritaki noodles instead of ramen. If you don’t have either, linguini or spaghetti will also work here. If you/yours aren’t pumped about tofu- don’t use it! Try out a different protein.

Saturday: Pizza- Pizza is needed for normalcy and happiness in life. It’s also my husband’s lifeblood, and he can’t go more than a few days without a hit.

Sunday: It’s the Super Bowl, so let’s face it…there will be snacks. But, you can make a healthy dinner to fill up on before kickoff, so you’re not starving.

Monday: Spring Rolls: Fast, easy, and healthy. Chop up a whole mess of vegetables (and use what’s leftover for the rest of the week), wrap the veggies in rice paper, dip in peanut sauce. Add any protein you like, or skip it.

Tuesday: Avocado Salmon Rice Bowls:  This is a very simple recipe, and the link is no longer working! So, rub salmon filets with salt, pepper, lime juice, and a little honey (really, any seasonings that you like). Bake at 400° for 20 minutes. Make some rice, and  while you’re at it, make extra rice or quinoa for the week. Smash up some avocados with some cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper…and toss a little of everything into a bowl.

Wednesday: Anything-Goes Kale Salad: There’s a plan here! Using leftovers from Monday and Tuesday, you have dinner for Wednesday!

Thursday: Whole 30 Mango Chicken with Coconut Cauliflower “Rice”: Sounds good to me. I  keep frozen organic mango on hand, so I plan to thaw some and puree it, as opposed to buying mango or orange juice (which we won’t drink). To save time, buy pre-riced cauliflower. It’s everywhere now.

Friday:Gluten free Butternut Squash Falafel Salad Bowls : Bear with me on this one….I’m using this more as an idea, than a recipe. There are a lot of steps and a lot of elements to this..and I plan to skip most of them.

1) Not making the falafels. Instead, I’m using pre-made organic veggie tots      that I got from Costco.  Veggie burgers would also work here.

2) Not frying the shallots. Stomach can’t handle them, and it’s just another step.

3) Using the grain that I made earlier in the week.

Boom. That just saved at least an hour.

Saturday: Crock Pot Fajitas: Again, an idea. Use any kind of protein you like, or sub portobello mushrooms for the meat.

Sunday: Chicken Shawarma : This chicken rub is so delicious. Try and get the chicken (or tofu or jackfruit) marinating as early as you can in the day. If you’re not into pitas, serve atop any grain, cauliflower rice, or make into a big a$$ salad.

Happy short week!

Monday: Look around and put something together. This is how people have been fixing dinner since day one! No one wants to venture out on a cold day off. I know you have food in your house, and there’s an easy formula for putting it all together to make a whole, nutritious meal: Vegetables+Carb+Protein= Meal. So many possibilities. I have rice, quinoa, and gluten free pasta (made from brown rice) on hand. You could also use potatoes, or cauliflower “rice” as your base. I also have a bunch of roasted vegetables that I made this weekend, as well as some frozen shrimp. Those things will all be lovingly tossed together, and served to a husband, who will probably sneer at it’s lack of beef and potatoes.

Tuesday: Indian Chicken Coconut Korma: I’m 99% sure this would be successful in a crock pot. You could even put chicken and some broth in the crock pot, cook that and use it all week, and add the cooked chicken to the end of this recipe. If you serve this with rice or naan, you’ll take away it’s Paleo-ness. That’s fine with me, but, I’ll choose one or the other to keep this lower carb.

Wednesday: Mustard Roasted Potatoes and Apples with lean protein of your choice: This is an easy one-pan meal. If you plan to serve this with fish or chicken, you could add the protein to the pan when you add the apples (you may need to cut the chicken into smaller pieces to ensure everything is cooked at the same time).

Thursday: Vegan Bowls with Parsley Cashew Pesto: The pesto is the only part of the recipe that “needs” to be followed. So, make the pesto, and serve with a healthy grain and whatever vegetables you have on-hand. Tofu or meat can easily be added to increase your protein.

Friday: Butternut Squash Chicken Skillet: This recipe is Paleo and Whole 30…so, it has the potential to be a little bland. To ensure that this is flavorful, try marinating the chicken in the spices and letting that stay in the fridge all day (you could even take all of the ingredients, put in a bag, and let it all marinate all day). This could be made on the stovetop if you don’t have a cast iron skillet. If you don’t have one- get one! You can buy them from Amazon (very inexpensive, and so easy to take care of).

Saturday: Polenta Stacks with Squash and Cashew Cream with a protein, if you’d like: Don’t be discouraged when you look at this recipe. Personally, I will use the brand of polenta that I already have in my cabinet. You can also purchase pre-made polenta (in tubes), and that will cut off a lot of time. This does take a little planning, though. The polenta will need to set up, so make it earlier in the day. To save time and money, I’m going to skip the delicata squash, and use the organic frozen butternut squash I already have.

Sunday: Freebie!

Some weeks are a struggle for me to find recipes that sound good. 99.9% of the time, these are the meals we’re eating for dinner too. Really, the only times I deviate is when we’re traveling. Finding recipes and reading them to figure out which ingredients I need, is how I grocery shop. I’m a big planner and list-follower. I will say that living back in the states makes it a little harder remain on script. I mean, if I didn’t improvise last week, I never would have picked the one bag of organic “Sour Patch Kids” that was marked for 50 cents. I know there was only one, because I dug through the rest in a ravenous mania. Annnnnnyway. This week, I am ready to eat all of these meals. I hope at least one peaks your interest.

Monday: Sweet and Salty Fall Harvest Salad–  Gluten free, easily made vegan. This salad is one of the greatest things I have ever eaten. It’s just so delicious. There are a couple of changes that I make to make it a lil bit healthier/easier….

1- Buy pre-cut butternut squash. Huge time saver. I used frozen last week, and that worked well too (boiled, drained, and then roasted in the oven).

2- Substitute the butter for coconut oil or ghee, and substitute the brown sugar for coconut palm sugar.

3- Use dried cranberries with no added sugar or oil, or (what I do) use chopped dates instead. Dates have no added sugar, and are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

4- Use goat cheese, or use a dairy free cheese to keep this vegan. I’m really loving Treeline Cheese, which I just found out is made in the city where my dad grew up. Huh. Small world.

Tuesday: Tuna Wasabi Ginger Burgers- This is a recipe I saw Gwyneth make back in the day. It’s a favorite of ours, and I hope you like it to.

Serves 4-ACTIVE PREPARATION TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL PREPARATION TIME: 15 Minutes plus at least 1 hour chilling
The patties can be pre-formed and refrigerated.

1 teaspoon wasabi powder (or prepared wasabi)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon water
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1 Tbsp peeled and finely minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp peeled and finely minced garlic
1 ½ Tbsp oil, plus more for cooking
1 pound highest quality tuna, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
4  buns
½ cup Soy & Sesame Mayo (recipe to follow)
Handful fresh arugula

 

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the wasabi, mustard, water,  pepper, salt, ginger, garlic, and oil in a food processor.

Pulse it all together to make a flavorful paste. Add the tuna and pulse just to combine—be careful not to overprocess the tuna as you want your burgers to have texture.
Form the mixture into 4 burgers and set in the refrigerator for at least an hour (up to overnight) to let the flavors really settle in.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add the shallots and sauté for about 10 minutes, until they get soft and sweet and a little brown. Reserve.
Preheat your grill or grill pan over high heat. Rub the tuna burgers with a little oil and grill for 2 or 3 minutes a side, to desired doneness. Grill the buns alongside the burgers. Spread the buns with the mayo, pile on the sautéed shallots and a bit of arugula and tuck in the burgers. 

 
Soy and Sesame Mayo

INGREDIENTS:
½ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

Wednesday: Low Carb Mexican Tamale Skillet Pie– Gluten free- You can really simplify this and use a store bought cornbread mix and enchilada sauce. Serve with a side salad and guac to bump up that veggie game.

Thursday: Spicy Shrimp with Cauliflower Mash and Kale– This just checks a lot of boxes for me. And finally, a cauliflower mash that doesn’t seem awful.

Friday: Pizza! What can I say? Those Domino’s commercials are really getting to me. For some reason, pizza and Friday just go together. So many options. Maybe have yourself a Joey special (Friends reference, anyone?). Have you tried Cappello’s pizza? You can order from their website, and can also find which stores close to you carry their products. They sell grain free pizza (paleo)…as well as pasta and cookie dough.

Saturday: Spicy Sushi Bowl– This is vegan, but you could easily add meat. You can also make the mayo using store-bought, by replacing the tofu with mayo and mixing in the rest of the ingredients. Add/take away whatever vegetables are fresh and look good to you.

Sunday: Homemades! Relax; it’s Sunday. Why not toss a bunch of stuff in the crock pot and call it good?

I don’t know who I am these days. I was actually happy this past weekend that it wasn’t blazing hot. I am excited to decorate for Halloween. I want a caramel apple in a bad way. I’m tired of flashing my guns in tank tops. Is this growth? Have I been brainwashed? The rest of Americans love Autumn, so…I guess I’ll try to get on board. But, I’ll warn you: As soon as it’s below 50°F, I’m going to bitch and moan.

We’ve got some fall flavors poppin this week. I’m still trying to hold on with some of the recipes, though. Enjoy!

Monday: Baked Sushi Tofu Bowls– Gluten free and vegan, but feel free to use chicken or shrimp instead of the tofu. If you can’t find wasabi powder, I think wasabi paste would work just as well.

Tuesday: Salad Bar- Get ready to feel healthy AF. Now’s the time to bust out everything in the fridge. Just remember to keep it clean with homemade dressing, and go easy on the bacon and cheese.

Wednesday: Whole 30 Jerk Chicken and Mango Avocado Salsa– I think I’m going to cook the chicken (with the marinade) in a crock pot. I prefer the mouth-feel of shredded chicken, and whenever I try and cook chicken in a skillet I end up cutting into it to make sure it’s cooked.

Thursday: Low Carb Crab Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce– I think that about sums it up. If you don’t need to eat gluten free, you can use cracker crumbs, bread crumbs, or flour instead of the coconut flour. To keep this low carb, serve with a salad &/or cauliflower rice. Or, bust out a bun for a crab cake sandwich.

Friday: Pumpkin, Spinach, and Walnut Spaghetti– Vegan and gluten free. I’m seeing a lot of pre-cut squash at the grocery lately….this saves lots of time, fingers, and sanity. As you know, I think brown rice pasta is just fine to eat, but if you think pasta is the root of all evil, try substituting spaghetti squash.

Saturday: Honey Mustard Salmon and Rosemary– I bet the only thing you need to buy is the salmon! But, I think this recipe could easily be used with chicken.

Sunday: Homemades!!!! Today, I’ll be making a favorite….Garbage Free “Chik-Fil-A.”

This is kind of a strange time of year. It’s still hot, but doesn’t feel like summer. Fall is a little over a week away, but stews and pumpkins seem far off. I’ll try and come up with a balance for you.

Monday: Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce- The beauty of spring rolls is that you can put anything you have into them, and they’ll taste delicious. You can use any recipe for peanut sauce, or pre-made sauce, or use my recipe:

In a small saucepan combine  1/4 cup peanut butter (only peanuts as the ingredient), 3 tablespoons liquid aminos/coconut aminos/tamari/soy sauce, 3 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons coconut or sesame oil, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, and 5-10 drops pure liquid stevia. Heat until everything is combined and slightly thickened,  stirring frequently. Makes about 2/3 cup.

Tuesday: Cilantro Sweet Corn Soup– Vegan and gluten free. Soup! I know. But this sounds good, so sue me. Feel free to add shredded chicken, black beans, use dairy milk…aka milk. I’m going to halve this recipe, because I can only eat soup one time. And, really, soup is a means to eat bread, so I’m going to try out this Gluten Free Cornbread Muffin recipe.

Wednesday: Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna Salad– Ahi can be expensive, so you can use chicken or salmon instead. Obviously with chicken, you can’t sear it and go on with your day. You can sear it with the sesame seeds, and then finish it off in the oven.

Thursday: Coconut Shrimp Laksa– Ok, this is kinda soupy too. But, there are noodles and spiciness and other excuses. You can definitely leave the shrimp out and use vegetable broth to make this vegan. I also add shredded carrots and thin strips of red bell peppers to increase the vegetables.

Friday: Steamed Butternut Squash over Quinoa with Southwestern Tahini Sauce– Gluten free and vegan. This is one of my favorite meals. The tahini sauce is so delicious. I have used sweet potatoes instead- like a charm. I also add carrots and peppers to this too. Whatever you have on hand to bulk it up with vegetables. I also put all of the vegetables on a pan and roast them together (instead of steaming the squash on it’s own.)

Saturday: Bunless Grilled Chicken BLTs– Simple, but tasty. You could go super healthy and serve this next to quinoa or brown rice, or, enjoy life and serve with a side of pasta salad or roasted potatoes.

Sunday: Homemades! Enjoy your day!

 

 

An entire week of salads…but these salads will not leave you hungry (and there’s meat for the carnivores). I love salads because there are so many options, and it is minimal work. You can take a day to prep all of your vegetables if you want, and mix and match all week, or you can test out some of these babies. If the thought of making dressings doesn’t do it for you, just use olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and some sea salt.  So, get a couple of more hands to help with the washing and chopping, and don’t turn your oven on for a week.

Monday: Low Carb Pad Thai Salad– You’ll definitely need to multiply this recipe to serve a family. If you don’t have a spiralizer, just use shredded carrots and thin pieces of zucchini. You can leave out the chicken and fish sauce to make this vegan (replace the fish sauce with more soy sauce).

Tuesday: Rainbow Chicken Salad with Almond Honey Mustard Dressing–  This is summer in a bowl, my friends. I’d add some strawberries, but that’s just because I like food that tastes good.  To save time, you could buy a rotisserie chicken.

Wednesday: Ginger roasted Pumpkin Quinoa Salad– Changing it up a little 🙂 It’s not exactly pumpkin weather, so you can use sweet potatoes or butternut squash. Again, you CAN roast this in the oven, but you can also cut whatever you’re using up in small pieces and pan fry. Again, you can multiply this recipe to serve more- and quinoa dishes freeze very well.  ***While you’re making quinoa, make extra for Saturday’s dinner.***

Thursday: Tahini Kale salad with Crispy Chickpeas–  Gluten free and vegan.  Ok, I lied a little….you CAN cook the chickpeas in the oven, but you don’t have to. You can get a similar result from making sure the chickpeas are very dry, and pan frying in a small amount of oil. If you don’t like/can’t find kale, try spinach or romaine lettuce. If you do use kale…make sure you massage it. I know….but, the key to raw kale tasting good it to break down some of it’s fibers. My tip is to take 1tbsp of the oil (that’s meant for the dressing), pour it on the kale, and massage it for a few minutes. Then continue with the recipe.

Friday: Shrimp Cobb Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette– Feel free to leave out the meat/use a different kind of meat. The Emeril’s seasoning is also not imperative- just use something spicy.

Saturday: Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing–  Gluten free and vegan. This just tastes so good, and that’s all I can say. The recipe is written with modifications, so there’s an option for everyone. You could also use this as a side dish, and serve this with grilled chicken or salmon.

Sunday: Lentil Taco Salad– Vegan and Gluten Free…although, you can skip the lentils and use grass-fed ground beef if you prefer. You’ll see how to put the salad together when you scroll down- however it’s for a single salad (why?). So, just use the same ingredients, but multiply for each person being served.

 

This is my last post that will be written in Germany. We head back to America tomorrow morning! My excitement level is akin to a child on Christmas morning, whose birthday is also on Christmas, who knows they’re getting a Power Wheel and a puppy, and that there’s  an ice cream buffet for each meal of the day.

“If you are depressed you are living in the past.

If you are anxious you are living in the future.

If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

~Lau Tzu

Just gonna leave you with that for today…

 

Monday: Southwest Pepper Jack Salad with Creamy Avocado Salsa Dressing– Naturally gluten free; can be vegan if you substitute the milk for non-dairy milk, and the sour cream with non dairy sour cream/yogurt, tofu, or coconut cream. You can easily add chicken or shrimp to this for added protein. The dressing does have a few ingredients…but just toss it all in a blender, and it’ll be done before you know it.

Tuesday: Crockpot Thai Chicken Quinoa Bowls– Crockpot meals are clutch in the summer…you can make a healthy, filling meal without heating up the house. This recipe is gluten free if you use g-free soy sauce, and is dairy free if you replace the greek yogurt for a dairy free version.  ***Make extra quinoa, and use for Friday’s dinner.***

Wednesday: Creamy Chili Sauce with Zucchini and Spinach Pasta– Vegan, use g-free pasta for gluten free. This is not a difficult recipe, but when you look at the actual recipe you’ll see a lot of explanation. That’s good! The author is very thorough. I don’t have cashew milk, so I’ll substitute coconut milk…fingers crossed that it turns out! Of course if you consume dairy- just use the milk you have.

Thursday: Baked Teriyaki Portobellos– This can not get any easier….2 ingredients! I plan to use these whole and make sandwiches with them.

Friday: Banh Mi Bowls– Gluten free and Paleo- Buy shredded carrots instead of DIY’ing it. I’ve never seen lemongrass paste, so just buy fresh or jarred and chop it up as small as you can (it’s not enough to bother with the Vitamix or food processor), if you’re going for a cauliflower rice option- buy it frozen.

Saturday: Cook out!  Throw something on the grill and keep the heat outside. Marinate vegetables, meat, tofu, etc. Be careful that you’re not taking this healthy meal and turning it into a sugar-fest with your marinades. Check out this pack of condiments and dressings that are organic and Whole 30 approved: Tessamae’s Organic Whole 30 Pack. You get 8 bottles for $52. You’ll get 15% off your first purchase, and you can Subscribe and Save, which will also lower the cost.

Sunday: Pulled pork with Green Chile Slaw– Another crockpot recipe. This recipe calls for guajillo peppers. I have no idea what that means. If you do, snaps to you. Just use jalapeno. It’ll be fine. You can lighten the slaw up a bit by using half mayo half yogurt. You can also substitute a few drops of stevia for the honey. This would be great with tortillas, rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, lettuce wraps. Lots of healthy choices.

I work it out

You know what’s really easy to not do? Exercise. And the more you neglect it, the easier it becomes to just forget about its existence and live in a blissful state of ignorance until you put on jeans. Screw you, jeans. You truth-telling ambassadors of Autumn. Anyway. We must participate in some form of exercise, as it really is essential for physical and mental health. There are two keys for being successful in any exercise regimen: enjoyment and time. Both can be a bit tricky, because this can involve trial and error.

Let’s use me as an example. I am inherently lazy. There is nothing I love more than laying around watching Investigation Discovery or The Golden Girls. I could literally do this 16 hours a day. However…I also love food. And I also love wine. Mmmmm, and brownies. And sugar cookies with frosting. Man, those are so good. And, you know, french fries with fry sauce are some next level shizz. So, clearly, something has to give. Thus, I exercise. I didn’t start, “working out,” until my early 20’s…and then I would spend a lot of time on the Elliptical…because? I don’t know why. But I hated it, so it became really easy to just not do. This also led me to the realization that I detest going to the gym. Through lots of trial and error, I have come to find a regimen that works for me. I like to combine walking/hiking, lifting (for my upper body), Pilates, and Yoga. I do not do each one of these every day. But, I do try and do something every day. I enjoy each of these activities, and I feel the best, and feel that I look the best when I am able to maintain my routine. Weekends are not structured, and are definitely lighter…or, nothing at all- which is also essential for muscle recuperation.

Like I said, I do not like going to the gym…and I really don’t like paying for exercise. Years ago I bought a Pilates reformer on Groupon, and it was some of the best money I’ve ever spent. Yoga mats- chump change. Shoes to walk in…you need those anyway. The weightlifting  rack…ok, that was in investment. But think of all the gas money saved! And the fact that I know exactly who has sweat on our bench, makes it worth it.

Right now, I’m in a transitional phase, and don’t have access to my usual gear. Weather permitting, I still like to get outside everyday for a walk. On days when that’s not feasible, I like to supplement with this video by Relentless Jake. It’s low impact and only 25 minutes, but you will be sweaty and tired at the end of it. I find Jake to be relatable…he messes up, falls over, gets tired. He’s goofy, but not on an annoying Tony Horton level. I do this workout with 5lb weights…by round three I want to toss them out the window.

YouTube is an incredible resource for Yoga and Pilates. My favorite Yoga channels are Yoga with Adriene and Brett Larkin Yoga. Again, I find Adriene to be relatable. She’s great at explanations for beginners, and not too…yoga-y (you don’t have to imagine yourself as a grain of sand in the bottom of the ocean). She also offers (free) programs like 30 Days of Yoga and Yoga Camp. Now, Brett Larkin Yoga will leave you a sweaty mess. She is no joke. I just signed up for her Chakra Challenge (again, free) that begins on September 12. Sign up and do it with me!!! Another great (free) Yoga series…especially for beginners is 30 Days of Yoga with Erin Motz. Each video is only about 15 minutes, and it’s a great way to see if you actually like yoga. I just started Erin’s Bad Yogi Perfect Body Yoga Program. This one is not free, but it’s a structured 8 week program, and I needed something to keep me in line until my life is once again organized. The “Perfect Body,” refers to creating the healthiest version of the body you already have, fyi. As for Pilates…there are lots of reformer-free workouts available. Fitness Blender has a good video…it’s an hour, though. But, there are so many 30 minute workouts available.

The whole point of this incessant rambling is: You have the time and the resources to exercise. You just have to prioritize! I know that there are tons of obstacles that can get in the way, but you have to figure out a way to get around them. Don’t have 30 minutes? Well, do 10 minutes, pause the video, and come back when you can. This doesn’t have to be difficult, and there are so many options that cost nothing.  You don’t have to kill yourself for hours a day. There are other ways to get in shape besides running and HIIT. If you ever hear me say that I went running or did a burpee, have me committed. Clearly aliens have taken over my body and I am a shell of my former self.

Does this still sound daunting? Well, contact me and I’ll help you through it!

Y’all: It’s July (pretty sure you know how to read a calendar). Let’s get this month started with some healthy meals! Mmmmkay???

Monday: Happy 4th of July! Hopefully you’re enjoying a sun-filled; easy-paced; red, white and blue accessorized day. The cops will be out today making sure that you’re eating something on a bun and having an icy cold beer. It’s mandatory; don’t fight it. If you have the bun, beer, AND some kind of pie- you have reached the Americana Trifecta and will have good luck and fortune all summer long. Looking for some tasty gluten free buns and beer??? I got you. Udi’s is always a great bun option….but don’t forget to toast them! This step is seriously crucial. Canyon Bakehouse is also a great brand (they also have amazing Everything Bagels that freeze very well).  I love beer. So, the past 5 years have been a struggle. Gluten free beer can be so watery and tasteless. But, through lots of tasting…I can share my favorite 3 brands: Omission, Estrella Daura Damm, and Green’s. All of these can be purchased at Total Wine. You can go online, and see what’s available at your Total Wine…they’ll even tell you what aisle it’s in.  Even if you’re not gluten free, buy a 6 pack and keep it in the fridge just in case. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to find out that you can have beer with your friends!

Tuesday: Peanut Chicken Zucchini Noodles–  Be sure to use g-free soy sauce; the chicken can easily be taken out to make this vegan. Want to reduce the fat and sugar? Sub peanut butter powder (I like Naked PB) for the peanut butter, OR use pb that only contains peanuts, and replace the honey with about 10 drops of pure stevia. To save lot of time, and to prevent the onset of Carpal Tunnel, buy shredded carrots and cabbage (a bag of coleslaw mix would do the trick). You can also buy pre-spiralized zucchini. Obviously you can double this recipe.

Wednesday: Vegan Chickpea Tikka Masala– Vegan and gluten free. I know that this has a lot of ingredients- don’t be scared! It’s mainly a lot of spices, and you’ll be happy you used them! They give such a deep, delicious flavor. And if you present this dish in the pineapple? We’ll all be cheering for you.

Thursday: Basil Chicken Salad– Gluten free can be paleo and Whole 30- This can’t get easier…BUT…y’all know I’m not an advocate of low-fat options. You could use all yogurt (dairy or non-dairy), but go for the full fat option. The whole recipe has 3 Tbsp….it’s fine. Sir Kensington’s mayo (they also have a vegan option now) or Primal Kitchen mayo are great. Or, you can make your own: Homemade Paleo/Whole 30 approved mayo. Eat this chicken salad with lettuce wraps to keep it low carb, or use up those leftover buns from Monday.

Friday: Pumpkin, Spinach, & Walnut Pasta: Gluten free and vegan- This recipe actually uses butternut squash, not a pumpkin. I say, cube the whole thing, and use the other half for tomorrow’s dinner. You could also use sweet potato instead. Quinoa could also be used instead of pasta. As for gluten free pasta, my favorite is the Vitacost brand.  The ingredients are brown rice and rice bran. So many g-free pastas have many starches and sugars added. Vitacost.com is my favorite. They have just about everything you’ll ever need. Their brand is always non GMO and BPA free. They have sales all the time.

Saturday: Low Carb Butternut & Nut Butter Curry– Gluten free, vegan, paleo- Use whatever nut butter you have open. I have a bit of cashew butter that needs to be used up, so that’s what I’ll sub. Peanut butter would also work…you really won’t taste it; it’s more for a creamy mouth-feel. PB will undo the paleo-ness, though. Buy frozen cauliflower rice to save time. Or use rice or quinoa if you don’t like cauliflower.

Sunday: Grilled Adobo Chicken Burgers– Gluten free and paleo (with no buns). When I read this recipe I was like, “Where’s the effin’ adobo?!” So, I plan to add 1-2 of the chilies in adobo sauce and some of the adobo sauce to the chicken mixture. Turkey would also be a great alternative here. That’s what I plan to use, as I normally grind up my own chicken (the ground chicken brand that I have access to is…in a word: DISGUSTING), and since all of my kitchen supplies are gone- ground turkey is where it’s at. Also, I plan to make this into a burger bowl. SO, lots of lettuce as a base, with the normal burger toppings. That way we reduce the carbs, allowing you to enjoy some crispy baked fries 🙂 As a reminder: after cutting your potatoes soak them in water (you can even do this overnight) to remove as much starch as possible. Make sure to drain them and dry them thoroughly before baking at 425° for about 40 min. The only oil you need is a teensy bit sprayed on the foil, so they don’t stick.