The easiest overnight oats ever

IMG_9445I have a very, very strong belief in breakfast. Regardless of what the recent breakfast-haters say, a satisfying early meal sets me up for success–especially after a morning workout! In the winter, I like to mix things up, but in the summer I have the same thing every day: overnight oats. Even after a hard track workout, this stuff keeps me completely full until lunch. Sayonara, morning snacking! The basic gist is that you combine oats, a liquid, and some other add-ins in a jar, let it sit overnight, and the oats soften up and soak up the liquid overnight. I’ve found this is way easier on my stomach even then cooked oatmeal.

I’ve tried a bunch of different recipes and have adapted them to a foolproof, incredibly easy one that uses pantry staples and minimizes the nut milk/extra dairy milk you’ll find in other recipes. This recipe is gluten free, low in dairy (just the yogurt has it, and I’m sure you could sub for a dairy-free one), low in sugar, and DELISH.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats (not quick cooking, gluten free if needed)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4-1/3 cup Greek yogurt (I like Cabot’s full fat)
  • Half of a banana, thinly sliced
  • A sprinkle of chia seeds
  • A drizzle of maple syrup or honey
  • A good shake of salt
  • A drizzle of vanilla

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a jar or empty Talenti container. Put on the lid, shake it up, and leave in the fridge overnight. These will easily keep for a couple of days.
  • Top with whatever you like! My favorites are fresh or frozen berries and a big scoop of peanut butter.

Happy breakfasting!!

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Breaking out of the breakfast rut: five new favorites

Dear world: my name is Leah, and I am an oatmeal addict. Overnight, in a bar, stovetop, instant, baked–you name it, I’ve tried it. But recently, I have been trying to break out of my breakfast rut. Thanks to some of my favorite bloggers, I found five delicious new ways to get out of my routine. You guys, there’s a whole world of amazing breakfast out there–if you’re a fellow oatmeal addict, give one of these recipes a whirl!

image1Muesli: I’m cheating a little bit, because this has oats in it, but my mom and I have been loving Uproot from Oregon’s breakfast muesli recipe. If you haven’t tried muesli, you totally should–it’s a tasty mix of oats, nuts, seeds, and grains that you soak in milk overnight and top with fruit to gobble up in the morning. One of my new mason jar faves.

Grain-free porridge: I actually got it into my head that I was eating so much oatmeal it was giving me tummy troubles, so when I saw this oatmeal alternative from Gluten Free Palate, I was stoked. Turns out oats and I are still friends, but this porridge and I are friends too! It’s hearty, easy to make (it’s basically homemade instant hot cereal), and tastes surprisingly great given that it’s grain-free and refined-sugar free. If you’re short on time, give this one a go and make it in bulk ahead of time.

image2Giant single-serve pancake: Yeah ok, I saw the photos of this one and was instantly sold… bananas + berries + peanut butter = YUM. Also, there are FIVE ingredients in this bad boy! You can’t really beat that. It does use coconut flour, which is not generally my favorite, but if you follow the instructions and use just a tiny bit, it holds the pancake together without giving it any weird spongy texture. Perfect brekkie for one!

Easy paleo pancakes: Lexi’s Clean Kitchen is one of my favorite blogs for a reason–her recipes just plain always work. These fluffy paleo (I know, I know) pancakes are really really close in texture to the real thing! They are still a little thin for my liking, but the flavor is bomb and they’re super easy to make. Blueberries or chocolate chips are not optional.

image5Cinnamon raisin bread: I super love Taylor’s blog, and love it even more now that she is no longer strictly paleo (sorry kids, I kinda think paleo is for the birds, but thanks for all the gluten free recipes!) This bread is just divine–cinnamonny, dense, and slightly sweet–perfect toasted up with some nut butter on top. Be sure to read the comments and bake for 45 minutes instead of 30. Warning: if you toast this at work, you make everyone in your office insanely jealous. #sorrynotsorry

Have you ever gotten stuck in a breakfast rut? Got any other amazing recipes for me to try?

What to buy at Trader Joe’s

First off, thanks to everyone who entered the Love with Food snack box giveaway–a big congrats to the winners, Holly and Leesa!

Now, on to the topic at hand. One thing I’ve been loving in the past few years is the expanded grocery store options in Boston (especially since Wegman’s has moved in–hurrah!) but my absolute favorite is Trader Joe’s. They have a great mix of traditional groceries and unique prepared foods, and they do a fabulous job with their gluten free items. They’re all clearly marked and there’s quite a variety, from snacks to fresh baked goods to fruits, veggies, and dairy products. In no particular order, here are my 10 favorite gf TJ’s finds!

  • Pumpkin Pancake Mix: Oh sweet lawd these pancakes… they are fluffy, sweet, and have the perfect amount of pumpkin flavor. These babies were a favorite among gluten freebies and gluttons alike in my house. I stocked up back in the fall when they were in stores but they’re sadly gone now (seasonal item). Hopefully they’ll be back!
  • Oats: TJ’s has really great reasonably priced certified gluten free oats–they’re a staple of my diet and it’s great to know I can always stock up. I highly recommend trying out the flourless oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back of the bag–they’re delish.
  • Snickerdoodles: Are you a fan of moist, cakey, chewy, cinnamon-y cookies? Then these soft-baked gems are about to become your new favorite treats. They’re hands-down some of the best packaged gf cookies I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a lot!) Plus they’re vegan, if that’s your jam. Don’t miss ‘em!

    Trader Joe's Snickerdoodles
    Source
  • Sweet Potato Chips: TJ’s is basically the mecca of snacks, but their sweet potato chips are my number one salty snack favorite. Yes, they’re chips, but they’re not super processed and have some real veggie flavor to them. This makes them healthy, right? Great. Moving on…
  • Peach Salsa: This is certainly the perfect accompaniment to my sweet potato chips, but if you’re a sweet salsa fan this stuff can literally go on anything: fish, burgers, rice, burrito bowls, nachos–sky’s the limit. I like to combine this with the corn salsa for a unique and yummy treat.
  • Powerberries: In the not at all healthy category–these nummy little dark chocolate treats are an incredibly yummy treat. They’re little morsels of chocolate-covered fruit pieces–we love them as hiking snacks or as an after-dinner treat. Just be careful, because they’re addictive. You have been warned.
  • Soy Ice Cream: While I thank my lucky stars that I’m not at all dairy-intolerant, I absolutely love this cherry chocolate chip soy ice cream. It has big chunks of both fruit and dark chocolate, and has the traditional texture without any funky soy flavor.
  • Frozen Paneer Tikka Masala with Basmati Rice: This is one of my favorite go-to frozen dinner options (and I don’t love processed frozen foods in general). The ingredient list is short and pronounceable, and I like that each package has one single serving with rice–lots of packaged Indian food is multiple servings and you have to BYO rice on the side. The flavors are great and it’s enough food to fill me up–not an easy feat 😉

    Source
  • Two Buck Chuck: I can’t leave TJ’s without grabbing a bottle of this el-cheapo vino. It’s pretty darn good and you just can’t beat the price!! My faves are the Shiraz and the Cabernet. I’m a classy lady.
  • Udi’s, Luna Bars, and Larabars: I love always being able to stock up on my favorite tried and true brands, and TJ’s carries a great selection of these three.

Do you shop at Trader Joe’s? If so, what are your favorite items?

Love with Food by G-Free Foodie Box Review and GIVEAWAY

Happy Friday, guys! I’m stoked to be hosting my very first giveaway on this this ‘lil old blog–especially because I’m giving away such an awesome prize.foodie box 1

I was recently asked to review the G-Free Foodie Box from Love with Food–and I could not have been more excited. As they say on their website: “Love With Food helps you discover new organic or all-natural snacks delivered to your door every month. Every month, Love With Food members will receive a curated box of unique, hard-to-find tasty snacks which varies based on seasonal themes. For every box sold, we donate a meal to several food banks such as the Feeding America Network and Share Our Strength – No Kid Hungry. Join us to help end child hunger one meal at a time!” Delicious snacks AND you get to contribute to a good cause? Sold.

The background: Love with Food’s gluten free box comes with 8-12 snacks that are “totally gluten-free and also organic or all-natural, with no artificial junk.”

The money: The gluten-free box runs you $24.50 a month.

foodie 2The goods: Here’s a shot of everything I got in my box. My favorite item was definitely the Key Lime White Chocolate Cookies from WOW Baking Company. These were some of the most moist, tasty GF cookies I’ve ever had! The flavor is distinct but not overpowering, and the cookies are small enough you can have one or two without feeling super guilty.

I also loved this new-to-me pancake mix from Cup4Cup–the pancakes were incredibly fluffy and just the right amount of sweet!  The sample package made three generous servings of pancakes.

The Baked Mac n’ Cheese Puffs from Snikiddy were also great–I have a real weakness for Cheetos, and these took care of the salty craving without the scary orange coloring and all of those pesky chemicals. The only “meh” for me was the pancakessunflower butter cup from Sun Cups–the flavor was pretty bland and the chocolate was a little bit on the bitter side.

The verdict: The price tag is a little bit high, but you absolutely get your money’s worth of snacks in the box. While I generally try to avoid buying processed baked goods and salty snack foods, I loved that the box came with plenty of relatively healthy options from small companies I might not find at the grocery story. I think this box is perfect for those of you who are on-the-go snackers, and especially anyone with kids at home. If you’re new to eating gluten free, this would also be a great introductory subscription (and a FAB gift if you have Celiac friends/family!)

Are you interested in trying out your own G-Free Foodie Box? Love with Food has graciously offered to give away TWO boxes to MyGFBoston readers! Enter below!

Click here to enter!

Disclaimer: I was provided with a G-Free Foodie Box to review. All opinions are my own.

Leah

My favorite blogs, part two: the best gluten free food blogs

Hey friends–in the midst of all of this snow, has anyone else been doing a ton of cooking and baking? I know I have! In that vein, I’m thrilled to be sharing the second installment of my favorite blogs series. Today I’m going all GF and sharing the best gluten free blogs with all of you. There are many more out there that are worth reading, but these ones are by far and away my favorites to read and to cook from. I hope you enjoy!

LCK's Pumpkin Biscuits!Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

Lexi is a local gal who posts all kinds of delicious gluten free/paleo recipes. While I don’t generally jump on board with the paleo trend, the recipes on LCK are simple, foolproof, and actually healthy–they don’t fall into the paleo trap of always being centered around bacon fat and unusual, hard to find ingredients. Don’t miss out on these incredibly easy paleo pumpkin biscuits–they’re moist and delicious! I also highly recommend following Lexi on Instagram so that you can see pictures of her adorable new dog.

Fit Foodie Finds and The Healthy Maven

10624611_10100241095599318_3611018261325638305_nThese ladies are buddies in real life, so I’m listing them together. They’re young, fit gals who blog prolifically and post creative, gluten free recipes along with some fun extras on fitness and fashion. Definitely pay attention to the comments to see how people play around and make these recipes work best. I love this duo and can’t wait to read more from them! I especially love Lee at FFF’s easy homemade marinara sauce (pictured here) and Davida at THM’s no-bake cinnamon roll protein bars!

Iowa Girl Eats

This one is an all-around solid food blog with yummy, well-tested recipes that are relatively simple and family-friendly. Kristin also posts just the right amount of adorable baby photos without turning her food blog into a baby blog. While some food bloggers can get a little bit too “out there” with their recipe creation, the food on IGE always looks like what I would want waiting for me when I get home from a long day at work. I’ve made this creamy garlic parmesan quinoa more times than I can count–it’s the perfect side dish!

Deconstructed Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Gluten Hates Me

April was one of the first gluten free bloggers I happened upon. She has been blogging for years and provides wonderful gluten free lifestyle tips and links to fabulous recipes she and her adorable hubby have tried and loved. GHM is not a “food blog” per se, but more of a chronicle of one gal’s efforts to manage her Celiac disease, stay healthy, and enjoy life (complete with puppies and a brand new baby! Congrats April!!) Do not miss these quinoa cakes or this spaghetti squash carbonara–both are fabulous.

So… Let’s Hang Out

Even if you never make a single one of her recipes (which you totally should)–you MUST follow Gina just to read her hilarious posts. This girl is just so dang funny! You won’t be able to get through a post without cracking a smile. On top of that, her recipes are healthy (but not too healthy), interesting (but not too complicated), and dang frigging delish. Don’t miss her maple sriracha Brussels sprouts–nomnomnom.

If you want to follow my adventures as I explore the gluten free blogosphere, follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter! Keep an eye out for more blogs to follow as the series continues.

Leah

Brazilian Cheese Bread–naturally gluten free

Happy snow storm to all of my fellow Bostonians! I for one am THRILLED about all of the snow–in addition to the skiing I plan to do this weekend, the snow day gave me a chance to try out some new recipes. I’m so excited to share my favorite one with you today. I have been seeing recipes for Brazilian cheese bread or pao de queijo all over the gluten free interwebs for a while now, and was jazzed to try it myself. I made some adjustments to this recipe from Bewitching Kitchen, and the result was fantastic and super easy. These little popover-like muffins are gooey, chewy, and cheesy–we ate them fresh out of the oven and I had to stop myself from nomming on the whole tray.

breads

Notes: The original recipe calls for farmer’s cheese, but I had cottage on hand and it worked perfectly. Also, you can use a mini muffin tin if you have one and make twice as many teeny tiny breads.

Brazilian Cheese Bread
Adapted from Bewitching Kitchen!
Yield: 10 breads (you could probably made 12 slightly smaller breads)

1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup cottage cheese, with the liquid drained off
1 tbsp. grated parmesan
1/2 tsp. salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease your muffin tin and set aside. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape the sides of the blender to incorporate all of the tapioca starch. Fill the muffin cups ⅔ to ¾ of the way, and then bake for 20-22 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.

Enjoy the snow and all of the comfort food!

Leah

Being grateful for the little things

Living a gluten free lifestyle can get mega frustrating sometimes. Like when I order something that looks totally safe from a menu and it comes out with a big crumbly cookie shoved into it (be careful at Max Brenner!) Or when my friend’s college buddies use up my entire bag of GF bread to make sandwiches during a ski weekend. Or when I walk into the office kitchen to find every single surface covered in crumbs.

But sometimes, life throws you a really awesome gluten free surprise. So in the spirit of the new year, here are a few amazing things to be thankful for every time they come your way.

  1. A bread basket surprise: one of the toughest things about eating out GF is when you’re super hungry and the bread basket comes out. Commence hanger. Restaurants who have a GF bread option? #winning!

    Was served this delish focaccia at Elixir in White River Junction, Vermont--they're fabulous.
    Was served this delish focaccia at Elixir in White River Junction, Vermont–they’re fabulous.
  1. A just because surprise: you happened to be driving by a gluten free bakery and bought me a cookie?? You have won my undying love and affection forever.

    Thanks, coworkers :)
    Thanks, coworkers 🙂
  1. A dinner party surprise: I don’t like to make a huge deal about my dietary restrictions in groups. It’s awkward and uncomfortable. But I have some amazing friends who totally get it, and will make sure that some or all of the meal is GF/tell me exactly what I can or can’t eat without me having to describe my digestive function to all the other dinner party attendees. You guys are the best.
  1. A fellow Celiac surprise: Not being the only Celiac in the room is always lovely. Big ups to my GF besties (old and new)–thanks for being there and making me feel like I’m not alone!

    My GFF E and I went to Costa Rica and it was awesome. We ate all of the gluten free things.
  1. A restaurant surprise: I have occasionally stumbled upon a restaurant or bakery that unbeknownst to me has a huge GF menu and/or totally understands how to prepare delicious food without cross contamination. Like when my favorite brunch places (The Friendly Toast and Sound Bites) first casually offered to serve gluten free toast with my omelette and potatoes. Um, yes please!

    You and your pancakes forever have my heart, Friendly Toast
    You and your pancakes forever have my heart, Friendly Toast

I want to hear from you! What gluten free surprises make you the happiest? What are the little things you’re feeling most grateful for?

Gluten free chili

Ok, Boston–I’m finally giving up the ghost and admitting that winter is around the corner. Cold weather always makes me crave one thing: a big, heaping bowl of chili. Chili is the ultimate comfort food for me since it was one of our go-to recipes growing up. The thing I love most about chili is just how dang versatile it is–we used to eat ours vegetarian so that we could have cheese on top (ah the joys of keeping kosher) but now I love my chili with some lean ground meat or turkey. I’ll share the basic recipe we’ve used for years, and then offer up some ways to alter it.

DSC_1018

Note: I like my chili to be pretty thick–there will be no watery or soupy chili up in my house. This recipe makes a sturdy, hearty chili, but if you like a thinner/more soup-like texture, feel free to cut down on the rice (or quinoa, whatever floats your boat).

The easiest chili ingredients!
The easiest chili ingredients!

Chili a la David (this is what my mom’s recipe card says)

1/2 cup rice, 1 cup water

1 tbsp. oil

1 onion, sliced

2 tbsp. chili powder (for medium, 1.5 for mild or 3 for hot)

1 dash garlic powder

1 8 oz. can tomato sauce

1 can kidney beans including the liquid

2 tbsp. white vinegar

Directions

Cook rice. Saute onions in oil and stir in cooked rice. Add spices and then beans and sauce. Put over low heat for 45 min or so, til it thickens up. Makes 3 small servings (we usually double it).

IMG_2950

How easy AND affordable is that?? I bet you have most of the ingredients sitting in your pantry! This is the basic, vegetarian (and incidentally also free of gluten and dairy) version. Here are my tips, tricks, and additions if you want to get all fancy with it:

  1. Dress it up! Serve with chips, cornbread, or a green salad. My favorite toppings are cheddar cheese (family favorite: Cabot seriously sharp), chopped scallions/chives, greek yogurt, or sour cream. The sky’s the limit–go crazy here!!

    Topped with cheese and avo, and accompanied by cornbread, because YUM.
    Topped with cheese and avo, and accompanied by cornbread, because YUM.
  2. Add it in! If you’re cooking for kids or picky grown-ups, chili is a great way to sneak in some extra veggies. I’ve added sweet potato (pre-cooked), kale, peppers, butternut squash, zucchini, and spinach, but pretty much anything would work. Add them in close to the end of the cooking time so they don’t get too mushy.

    Sneaking some extra tomatoes in (shh don't tell)
    Sneaking some extra tomatoes in (shh don’t tell)
  3. Get spicy! The basic recipe tastes amazing, but I’ve tweaked it over the years to increase the depth of flavor and spice. I like to add a couple of shakes of red pepper flakes (perhaps my all-time favorite spice) while the onions are sauteeing. One of my GFFs suggested adding a couple of tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder–a definite “wow” factor if mole is your thing. Also, the brand of chili powder you use makes a big difference. To really treat yo self, try Penzey’s.
  4. Pump up the protein! Adding meat into the recipe is a great way to switch things up. I recommend half a pound or so of ground meat of your choice. You vegetarians can also use fake meat crumbles and never know the difference, but keep in mind most brands are not gluten free. Curse you, Morningstar!
  5. Get creative! Pretty much everything in this recipe is super replaceable. I’ve subbed the rice for brown rice or quinoa (or a mix) and used black beans, lentils, white beans, or light kidney beans as substitutes for the kidney beans.

Happy chili eating!

– Leah

Eat out, gluten free, anywhere!

Like most social media lovin’ foodies, when I have a fabulous meal at a restaurant, I love to share it. Isn’t that what Instagram is for, after all?? (Follow me here if you want to see all of my daily adventures @leahohh!) Today, however, I’m going to give you a much broader sense of the types of restaurants that usually are good choices for us gluten free folks. I’ll throw in my personal Boston recommendations, but hopefully these tips can help you out wherever your lives and travels happen to take you!

Salads: I have very mixed opinions about this, but if you don’t have much of a say in where you’re eating, the salad section of the menu is your best bet. No, I’m not a health nut all of the time, and yes, it sometimes makes me viscerally angry when my only option at a restaurant is to eat rabbit food. I run a lot, which means I’m hungry a lot. Heck, I’m hungry anyway. I do not want to be the girl miserably gnawing on lettuce while you chow down on your chicken fingers and fries (or soft and doughy pizza, or drippy cheesy panini… anyway, I digress). But sometimes you do what you have to do and order salad. I officially give you permission to chase that salad with a giant ice cream covered in hot fudge. You’re welcome. MyGFBoston recommendations: Sweetgreen or Life Alive (duh) or my recent discovery: this Cambridge Commons breakfast salad.

It's still health food even if it has bacon on it, right?
It’s still health food even if it has bacon on it, right?

Mexican: Great Mexican restaurants abound in Boston, and lucky for us, they tend to have lots of amazing naturally GF options. In fact, once you get over the fact that you can’t have a burrito, you’ll notice that Mexican menus tend to be mostly GF–from corn tortillas, rice, beans, veggies, and meat to guac, salsa, and cheese, these are some safe menus! When can we ever say that?? So vamanos a los restaurantes mexicanos. MyGFBoston recommendation: The Painted Burro, or these glorious nachos from Sunset Cantina.

Mmm nachos and margs...
Nachos and margs, my favorite game day treat

Restaurants with gluten free menus: Before you go smacking your forehead and giving me a big ole DUH, let me explain. There is nothing in the world as glorious as being handed a separate gluten free menu when you didn’t know there was one. Of course, having a GF menu doesn’t necessarily mean that things are safe to eat (frustrating but true) but it is a great starting point. Especially if you know you’re super sensitive, take care to call ahead of time and ensure that separate utensils and prep areas are being used. MyGFBoston recommendation: Zaftigs or Not Your Average Joe’s.

That would be my pre-dinner roll and a giant puddle of olive oil and cheese.
That would be my pre-dinner roll and a giant puddle of olive oil and cheese.

Sushi: Sushi is a quick and healthy option, and as long as you steer clear of anything breaded/tempura-ed or anything that comes with sauce on it, it’s pretty much naturally gluten free. Soy sauce, however, is not! So bring your own (I love Little Soya!) or ask–sometimes they’ll have some around. MyGFBoston recommendation: Oishii Sushi or Genki Ya.

I hope these tips help you the next time you’re trying to decide where to eat out! Are there any other kinds of restaurants you’ve found to be particularly GF friendly? Other Boston faves?

It’s my birthday and I’ll eat what I want to!

Hello friends–and greetings from the land of being in your late twenties! That’s right, I’ve reached the ripe old age of 27, and now that I’ve reached the age of wisdom I think I know what birthdays are all about: eating delicious treats all week long!

Props to my friend C for getting me the best birthday card ever.
Props to my friend C for getting me the best birthday card ever.

Despite the fact that I just started classes and a new job, I did 27 up right. My actual birthday was on a Wednesday, so rather then hauling the crew out on a weeknight I requested a family sushi making party. We’ve been making sushi for years, and I have to say we do a bang-up job.

Salmon avocado rolls!
Salmon avocado rolls!

It’s definitely a little bit time-consuming but making sushi at home is actually pretty easy–keep an eye out for my super simple sushi tutorial in an upcoming post! Plus it saves you a TON of money versus going out, and you’re able to be 100% sure everything is gluten free.

More of the feast, featuring tuna, cuke, carrot, and scallion.
More of the feast, featuring tuna, cuke, carrot, and scallion.

We capped things off with a couple of bites of an assortment of gluten free cupcakes from Treat Cupcake Bar. I loved that they make so many flavors gluten free–although the red velvet were a little bit dry and pasty. I highly recommend the oreo cookie and the pumpkin pie!!

Treats from Treat!
Treats from Treat!

After taking a day to digest, I had some friends over for wine and cake on Friday night. Basically I wanted an excuse to play around with the recipes in my new America’s Test Kitchen How Can It Be Gluten Free cookbook. I’ve been craving a good carrot cake, so I dove right in.

Can we finish taking pictures so I can dive headfirst into this cake??
Can we finish taking pictures so I can dive headfirst into this cake??

Damn, was it fantastic! Moist, not too dense, sweet, and covered in cream cheese frosting–just the way I like it. I had heard great things about the ATK book and it didn’t disappoint.

Carrot cake-y amazingness.
Carrot cake-y amazingness.

All in all, it was a fabulous birthday week filled with great eats! How do you celebrate your birthday? Is everyone as food-focused as I am? Is anyone else as super impressed with the ATK cookbook as I am??