Taco Seasoning (Gluten Free)

Are you tired of sodium and gluten filled mixes? Half the ingredients you can’t even pronounce. It can can very frustrating! I have been making my own homemade mixes for years. Like my “Shake and Bake” Chicken mix as well as my “Hamburger Helper” mix (coming soon).

I haven’t posted too many of my mixes because I frankly hadn’t thought about it until I received an email asking for some. I will continue to add my convenience foods to my growing list of recipes. I hope you enjoy my gluten free, sodium reduced, chemical free Taco Seasoning.

Gluten Free Taco Seasoning

Taco Seasoning (Gluten Free)

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. mustard powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (more if desired)

1/2 tsp. chili pepper flakes

1/2 tsp. sea salt (or salt and pepper to taste)

1/2 tsp.black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and add to one pound of browned ground meat along with 1/2 cup water. Cook until water is absorbed.



Cashew Cranberry Quinoa Salad with Maple Citrus Dressing (Gluten Free/ Dairy Free/ Vegan Option)

April can be a wondrous time of year with flowers blooming, grass turning green and everything coming alive. Hmm, this year everything is taking its dear sweet time. That is probably because Mother Nature has been in a grumpy mood and has blanketed us with winter up until the last week.

Cashew Cranberry Quinoa Salad w Maple Citrus Dressing

This time of year vegetables are not in season and can get quite expensive. It can be a bit difficult, as well as costly to be able to have a great salad for lunch. The combination of crunchy nuts and vegetables along with the sweet tangy flavour of the dressing brings this salad alive.

There are flavours for everyone!  I have brought this salad to gathering and everyone loved it!!

Cashew Cranb Quinoa Salad


This is a deliciously, hearty salad that is great as a side or a meal.

Cashew Cran Quinoa Salad

Cashew Cranberry Quinoa Salad with Maple Citrus Dressing (Gluten Free/ Dairy Free/ Vegan Option)


1/2 c. red quinoa**- uncooked

1 medium carrot- peeled and shredded

2 c. mixed chopped vegetables (I have used broccoli, cucumber, peppers)

2 green onions/scallions- chopped (or diced red onion)

2/3 c. raw cashews (desired nuts or omit if nut allergy)

1/2 c. raw sunflower seeds (or other seeds)

1/3 c. dried cranberries

Optional if not vegan- 1 1/2 c. chicken- cooked and shredded

Maple Citrus Dressing:

1 lemon squeezed (approx. 2 Tbsp.)

1 lime squeezed (approx. 1 Tbsp)

3 Tbsp. maple syrup (or raw honey if not vegan)

3 Tbsp. olive oil (or desired mild oil)

1 tsp. sea salt

Rinse and cook quinoa as per directions and set aside to cool.

Mix all your vegetables except for your cashews into your cooled quinoa and mix.

Whisk together dressing and pour over salad. Mix well. Makes 6 cups of salad without the chicken. If adding chicken add now. Add cashews just before serving for optimum crunchiness.

Store sealed container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Quinoa Salad With Chicken

** You can absolutely use regular quinoa. I just thought that the red looked pretty.

Other Salads You May Enjoy:

Quinoa and Vegetable Salad

Tomato Basil Rainbow Salad

Brushetta Quinoa Salad

Mexican Quinoa Salad

Broccoli Salad

Shared On: Real Food Recipe Round Up , Motivational Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Fat Tuesday, In and Out of the Kitchen, Waste Not Want NotGluten Free Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays,

Apple Spice Cake (Gluten Free/ Dairy Free/ Refined Sugar Free/ Egg Free/ Vegan)

Most of you know that my all time favourite flavour is chocolate! What’s not to love? Plus chocolate is made from a cocoa bean and a bean is a vegetable which makes it good for you!! ;)

One the other hand, my second favourite flavour would be cinnamon! Cinnamon has some wonderful health benefits such as lowering LDL cholesterol (which is your bad cholesterol), may help in lowering blood sugar, as well as many other benefits.

Other than the health benefits of cinnamon, it just tastes great!! Add cloves, ginger and nutmeg and you have a mouthful of yummy goodness!

This cake is my first that has worked out beautifully without eggs, which is fantastic for those who need to lower their consumption or not be able to have eggs at all. If you are fine with eggs then you can use them instead.

Either way, be ready for a delicious mixture of cinnamon, spice and apples!

Vegan Apple Spice Cake

Apple Spice Cake (Gluten Free/ Dairy Free/ Refined Sugar Free/ Egg Free/ Vegan)

For cake batter:

1 c. gluten free flour mix

1/2 c. sorghum flour (or additional 1/2 c. gluten free flour)

3/4 tsp. xanthan gum

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. sea salt

2/3 c. palm sugar

1 tsp. ground cloves

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

2 gel eggs- 2 Tbsp. ground chia plus 6 Tbsp. water (or 2 eggs if tolerable)

1/3 c. coconut oil-melted ( or other mild oil)

1 1/4 c. milk alternative (I used coconut milk)

1 tsp. vanilla

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

For Apple Mixture:

4 c. peeled and sliced apples (I used Empire)

3 Tbsp. palm sugar

2 Tbsp gluten free flour mix

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 Tbsp. lemon juice


1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 Tbsp. palm sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 9 inch spring form pan.

In a small bowl, mix together ground chia and water to make gel eggs, set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour mix, sorghum, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, xanthan gum, sea salt, palm sugar, and spices. Set aside.

In a large bowl beat together gel eggs, oil, milk alternative, vanilla and lemon juice. Add in dry mixture. Beat on low for 30 seconds, then scrape sides of bowl and beat on medium for 2 minutes. Set aside.

In another large bowl, mix together sliced apples and second amount of palm sugar, flour mix, cinnamon and lemon juice.

Put half your batter into the bottom of the greased spring form pan and spread evenly. Top with apple mixture. Put remaining batter on top of apples and spread evenly.

Mix together remaining palm sugar and cinnamon for topping. Sprinkle topping over batter.

Bake cake for 55-65 minutes, until toothpick come out clean and center of cake has firmed up like the outside.

Apple Spice Cake- Vegan, Gluten Free

Let cool 30 minutes Then slice and enjoy! Serve warm or cool. Freezes well.

Cake is excellent on it’s own, but to dress it up a bit more top with Whipped Coconut Cream.

Apple Spice Cake with Coconut Cream

 Other desserts you may enjoy:

Pumpkin Cake with Cashew Icing

Apple Pie with Shortbread Crust

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Caramel Apple Flan

Almond Cake

Chocolate Cake

Apple Crisp

Shared On: Real Food Recipe Round Up, Mix It Up Monday, Mostly Homemade Monday, In and Out of the Kitchen, Fat Tuesday, Waste Not Want Not, Allergy Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Wellness Wednesday, Gluten Free Fridays, Real Food Fridays, Whole Food Fridays, Healthy Vegan Fridays

“Shake and Bake” Chicken (Grain Free /Gluten Free/ Paleo)

I was going over my menu ideas one day, when I was reminiscing about meals that I used to make pre-allergies. Not that all of these meals were the healthiest, but they were convenient and they tasted great! One of those dinners would include shake and bake mixes.  Throw the mixture into a bag, add your meat then shake it and bake it. Perfect! Right?

Well as those days are long gone between allergies and even knowing the chemical and sodium content of the pre-made mixes. I had also stopped uses those mixes a while before finding out about my food allergies. I just couldn’t use them anymore.

So as I said, I was reminiscing about meals and thought about making a nice healthy, grain free version of shake and bake. This crisps up nicely with chicken and pork chops.


Almond Shake & Bake Chicken

 Almond “Shake and Bake” Chicken (Grain Free/ Gluten Free)

10 chicken pieces (I use legs)

2 tsp. mustard powder

2 tsp. dried thyme or basil

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1/2 tsp. sea salt (optional)

2 Tbsp. almond flour/ meal or sesame seeds for nut free

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. This is option, but it does save on cleaning.

Place all the spices and almond flour into a large zip lock bag.

I remove the skin from my chicken, but that is up to you. Place chicken into bag and shake until chicken is completely coated.

Shake n Bake Chicken-Grain Free

Place chicken onto rack to reach desired crispness. Cook for 40-45 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked with an internal temperature reaching 165 degrees.

Shake and Bake Chicken -Grain Free

Also works great on pork chops. Pictured with sesame seeds instead of almond flour.

Paleo 'Shake&Bake' Pork Chops

Other Dinners Ideas:

Sausage and Pepper Stir Fry

Ginger Apple Pork Roast

Garlic Chicken Asparagus

Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Sweet Beef and Veggie Stir Fry

Shared On: Fat Tuesday, Real Food Recipe Round Up, Motivational Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Mostly Homemade Mondays, In and Out Of the Kitchen, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Wellness Wednesday, Gluten Free Fridays, Whole Food Fridays, Get Him Fed, Foodie Friends Friday


Chocolatey Avocado Chickpea Cookies (Gluten Free/ Grain Free/ Egg Free/ Dairy Free/ Refined Sugar Free)

Many of you have tried chocolate chip chickpea cookies. No one can ever guess that the secret ingredient is chickpeas. You can feed your kids these cookies happily knowing that they have the extra protein of chickpeas, as well as almond butter.

I have a dear friend that I am trying to make healthier treats for. She loves the chocolate chip chickpea cookies. She is also a huge fan of chocolate in general :) She loves these!

I wanted to add more protein as well as healthy fats from avocados. Mix in raw cacao and you add even more protein, magnesium, antioxidants, heart healthy fats as well as other essential minerals.

I’ve been told by many people that these wonderful little cookies have the aroma and flavour of two bite brownies. Not bad for being packed full of good healthy ingredients.

Chocolatey Avocado Chickpea Cookies

Chocolatey Avocado Chickpea Cookies (Gluten Free/ Grain Free/ Egg Free/ Dairy Free/ Refined Sugar Free)

1 c. cooked, rinsed chickpeas

1/2 c. nut or seed butter (I have used almond and peanut butters)

2 ripe avocados- pits and skin removed

1/3 c. honey or maple syrup for vegan

2 tsp. vanilla

1/3 c. raw cacao or cocoa

1 1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/3 c. dairy free chopped dark chocolate (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place all ingredients except dark chocolate into food processor. Pulse until smooth and blended.

Add chocolate if using. Pulse a couple of times until mixed through.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using two teaspoons or a one inch scoop line dough onto cookie sheets leaving approximately one inch between each. Bake for 13-15 minutes for soft cookies and 15-17 for firmer.

Chocolate Avocado Chickpea Cookies

Store in a sealed container on counter for up to five days or in the freezer.

You may also like:

Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

Cranapple Breakfast Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Shared On: Fat Tuesday, Wellness Weekend, Gluten Free Round Up, Homegrown and Healthy, Motivational Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free Fridays, Real Food Fridays, Foodie Friends Friday, Healing With Food, Whole Food Fridays, Waste Not Want Not, Healthy Vegan Fridays



Ginger Apple Pork Roast (Paleo)

I get really tired of figuring out what is for dinner…

Do you ever get into a rut of what you are making for dinner? I know that I do. I end up making many of the same things over and over. One day I was day dreaming about putting different flavours together. The apple, onion, pepper and carrots give this dish a sweetness, along with the ginger and black pepper bite. This has become one of my new favourites!

The combination of apple and veggies along with the freshly grated ginger give this dish distinct and fabulous flavour!

Ginger Apple Pork Roast- Paleo

Ginger Apple Pork Roast (Paleo)

2 apples- sliced (I have used empire and gala)

2 onions- sliced

1 red pepper- sliced (optional)

2 inch piece ginger-peeled and grated

4 medium carrots- peeled and sliced

4-5 lb. pork tenderloin

freshly cracked black pepper

To the bottom of your slow cooker, add one of your sliced apples (I leave the skin on), one onion and half red pepper. Cover with half your grated ginger and approximately one teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper. Place roast on top. Arrange carrots around roast. Top with remaining apple, onion, red pepper, ginger and pepper. Add 1/2 cup water.

Ginger Apple Pork Roast

Put slow cooker on low for 5-6 hours.  Test roast with a meat thermometer and make sure the temperature is at least 160 degrees.

Ginger Apple Pork Roast-2


Take roast out of slow cooker, cover with foil and let rest for 15  minutes before cutting.

Shared On: Fat Tuesday, Gluten Free Round Up, In and Out of the Kitchen, Tasty Tuesday, Waste Not Want Not, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free Fridays, Whole Foods Friday, Get Him Fed, Healing With Food, Foodie Friends Friday

Fudgy Mud Clusters (Gluten Free/ Dairy Free/ Refined Sugar Free/ No Bake/ Egg Free)

Do you ever eat something, then think back into your childhood and have a great memory? These cookies do just that for my husband. He remembers being with his siblings and making these cookies. Funny thing is that most of the time, they would just grab a spoon and eat them right out of the pot.
There are so many different names for these cookies… Mud clusters, frogs, No-bake chocolate cookies… Whatever you want to call them, there is one thing for sure. They taste great and are simple to make!
Fudgy No-Bake Mud Clusters
Mud Clusters (Gluten Free/ No-Bake/ Dairy Free/ Egg Free/ Refined Sugar Free)
1 c. palm sugar
1/2 c. coconut oil (or butter if dairy is tolerated)
1/2 c. milk alternative ( I use coconut milk)
3 c. gluten free oats
1 c. unsweetened coconut
6 Tbsp. raw cacao or cocoa
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. vanilla
In a medium size pot on medium heat, add sugar, coconut oil and milk and bring mixture to a boil stirring constantly. Boil for up to one minute. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Mix and drop by spoonfuls ( I use a one inch scoop) onto parchment paper. Wet hands and help form clusters if necessary.

Mud Clusters


Chill cookies one at least one hour. Store cookies in the fridge for up to one week.

Makes approximately 36 one inch cookies. These cookies freeze well.

Fudgy Mud Clusters

Shard On: MMM Link Up, Tasty Tuesdays, Gluten Free Tuesdays, Waste Not Want Not, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free Fridays, Whole Foods Friday, Thats Fresh Friday, Wellness Weekend, Wellness Wednesday

More great cookie recipes:
Chocolatey Avocado Chickpea Cookies
Gingerbread Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cut Out “Sugar” Cookies
Grain Free Spice Cookies

Healthy Chia Seed Cereal (Nut Free/ Gluten Free/ Vegan)

I have made my Chia Nut Cereal many times since I first started making it. I always have some in my refrigerator and I eat it several times a week. It is great to have a healthy cereal on hand for a quick, yet filling breakfast.

I decided lately to vary my recipe by making it nut free. Still filled with protein, fiber, omegas and great taste, this cereal will keep you going.

Chia Seed Cereal-Nut Free

Healthy Chia Seed Cereal (Nut Free/ Gluten Free/ Vegan)

1 1/2 c. chia seeds

1 c. hemp hearts

1  1/2 c. sunflower seeds

1 c. pumpkin seeds

1/4 c. dried cranberries- chopped

1/4 c. coconut flakes (optional)

2 tsp. dried cinnamon

2 tsp. dried ginger

Mix all ingredients together and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

For a serving use 2 Tbsp. of cereal and mix 4 Tbsp of desired milk alternative or with yogurt.

Chia Seed Cereal

For other great breakfasts try:

Veggie and Sausage Egg Cups

Sweet Potato Bacon Hash

Asparagus Crustless Quiche

Cranapple Breakfast Cookies

Grain Free Waffles

Berry Smoothie

Apple Quinoa Breakfast


Shared On: Vegan Breakfast Ideas, Gluten Free Fridays, Healing with Food, Gluten Free Round Up, In and Out of the Kitchen, Gluten Free Tuesday, Waste Not Want Not, Allergy Free , Wednesday, Gluten Free Fridays, Raw Foods Thursdays, Wellness Wednesday

Thyme Pot Roast with Carrots (Grain Free/ Paleo)

Is there anything better than smelling a roast cooking? Okay maybe cookies. :) But we shouldn’t have cookies for dinner, so back to our roast. This is one of those recipes that has a dual purpose. For your first meal you have your roast, onions, and carrots with say a mixed green salad. Your second meal is a big pot of beef vegetable soup!

Thyme Pot Roast with Carrots

Thyme Rump Roast with Carrots (Grain Free/ Paleo) 

3-4 lb. rump/ outside round/ or blade roast (preferably grass fed)

1 medium onion- diced

5-6 medium carrots- peeled and cut up

2-3 ribs celery- cut up

2 Tbsp. coconut or olive oil

2 cloves garlic minced

2 tsp. dry thyme (or 2 Tbsp. fresh)

2 c. beef stock (preferably homemade)

Preheat 300 degrees

In a large dutch oven, melt coconut oil and add roast topped with garlic and dill. Set burner to medium high heat and brown roast on all sides- approximately 2-3 minutes a side; remove from pot and set aside.

Add vegetables into dutch oven and brown for five minutes. Add stock and deglaze pan, stirring around the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Return roast to pan and place vegetables around roast.   Cover roast and vegetables with lid and cook in oven for 2-3 hours depending on size of roast and depending on how you like your roast cooked. Check with a meat thermometer-120-130 for rare, 130-140  for medium and 150-165 for well done.

When roast reaches desired doneness, remove from oven and let rest on cutting board wrapped in foil for 30-40 minutes for the juices to settle. Then carve meat..


To make gravy: After you remove roast, place dutch oven onto burner on medium heat. Whisk 1 Tbsp. tapioca starch with 2 Tbsp. cold water. Whisk mixture into hot beef drippings. Stir until thickened. Remove from heat. Sea salt and pepper to taste.


Thyme Roast w Carrots-Paleo

If you have two or three pieces of beef left over after your meal, along with some gravy, save it to make beef vegetable soup.

Shared On: Gluten Free Fridays, Real Food Fridays, Whole Foods Fridays, Gluten Free Round Up, Mix It Up Monday, Teach Me Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, In and Out of the Kitchen, Waste Not Want Not, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesday

Lava Cake with Chocolate Sauce(Gluten Free/ Grain Free/ Dairy Free)

As many of you know, I LOVE CHOCOLATE !!! But you already knew that didn’t you?

With Valentine’s Day on Friday why go out for dinner? The restaurants are going to be ridiculously busy, not to mention expensive. We don’t go out for dinner for Valentine’s. Instead I make a nice dinner and dessert. It is much more romantic and intimate to spend the evening at home.

Put out a nice table cloth, maybe candles, or have a picnic on the floor. I usually bbq steak, but we have had so much snow this year that I can’t get to my bbq. So I will pick from one of my favourites.

Grain Free Cabbage Rolls

Sweet Beef and Veggie Stir Fry 

Chicken Wings or Ribs with Honey Garlic Sauce

Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Meat Lasagna

Bacon Wrapped Chicken

Or pick one of your favourites to make. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just spend the time together!

The best part is to make a great dessert!!!

Grain Free Lava Cake

Lava Cake (Gluten Free/ Grain Free/ Dairy Free/ Paleo)

6 oz. Dark Chocolate(dairy free) Plus 6 extra squares

2 eggs plus 1 egg white

1/3 coconut oil or butter(if dairy is tolerated)

1/4 c. honey or maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

1/3 c. apple sauce

2 Tbsp. coconut flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In double boiler** melt chocolate and coconut oil/ butter. Take off heat; add vanilla.
In another bowl beat eggs and honey, stir in melted chocolate, then apple sauce, then flour.
Grease 6 ramekins with coconut oil and dust with 1/4 tsp. cocoa. Put batter half way up muffin tins. Put in square of dark chocolate, then top up batter.    Makes 6 cakes.

Bake for 9-10 minutes, the sides will be somewhat firm but the middle soft.
Let cool 5 minutes. Loosen edges with sharp knife, place plate over ramekin and invert/flip over. Your cake should come out clean, but if it doesn’t just cover it with sauce and no one will know ;) Top with whipped coconut cream. or caramel sauce or

Chocolate Sauce:

Melt together over low heat:

1/4 c. coconut oil or butter(if dairy is tolerated)

1/4 c. honey or maple syrup

1/4 c. raw cacao or cocoa

1/4 c. milk alternative

Pour sauce over lava cake.

Lava Cake with Chocolate Sauce

I have frozen these. Defrost, warm slightly in microwave or 250 oven for five minutes and cover with sauce.

**  If you do not have a double boiler you can use a small sauce pan and a larger metal bowl for the top.

 Shared On:  Food on Friday, Gluten Free Fridays. Whole Foods Friday, MMM Link Up, Gluten Free Round Up, In and Out of the Kitchen, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesday, Fat Tuesday, Food Allergy Love Fest

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