Friday, April 24, 2015

My Daily Gluten-Free Grub

When I first found out that I have Celiac Disease, I had no idea what to eat. I started looking for gluten-free snack ideas and meal ideas all over Pinterest. I googled "Is _____ gluten-free?" so many times my head hurts thinking about it.

So I wanted to show you guys what I eat most every day to possibly help some other people out on their gluten-free journey.
If this provides you some new ideas for gluten-free food, great!
If you just wanna see what I eat everyday as a dietitian, have at it! :)

5:00 AM 
I stumble into the kitchen and make myself some coffee, which includes coffee from my designated gluten-free Keurig, milk, a little creamer for flavor, and a little sugar. I'm new to the coffee world, so yes, I know that I don't need all that extra stuff in my coffee, but hey, baby steps.

6:00 AM - Breakfast
This has been my usual breakfast for a few weeks now. I was always used to eating cereal for breakfast, but I realized that with all the nutrients that I am not getting because I don't eat wheat, I needed to step up my breakfast game.

Egg Mug is super quick and easy! A triangle of laughing cow cheese gives it some extra creaminess. And I never thought I would like kale, but it actually isn't too bad. I actually ENJOY it! After breakfast, I take my vitamins. I've really been taking a lot of vitamins since I realized that I have not been absorbing nutrients for quite some time.

If I'm craving cereal, I beef-it-up with some other stuff to make it worth my while. That's really been my goal since eating gluten-free.

10:00 AM - Snack 
Around 10, I usually start getting hungry. I prefer to eat cottage cheese with something mixed in (my favorite being PB2 powdered peanut butter, chocolate chips, and flaxseeds. YUM-O!), or I eat cottage cheese with fruit on the side.

If I am pressed for time that morning (because I don't always remember to plan my lunch the night before - oops!),  I will just grab a KIND bar, or a Larabar.
This is my new favorite flavor of KIND - Blueberry Vanilla and Cashew.

12:30-1 PM - Lunch
We eat lunch whenever we get done seeing our patients for that day. It can be anywhere from 11:30 to 2PM like it was yesterday. If I miss my snack for any reason, I might be asking my patients if I can share some of their lunch tray with them. JK, it's not gluten-free. And that's wrong. Moving on....

Lunch can either be a planned outing to Taco Mama around the corner (rare, but delicious), or most often it is something I brought from home.
The other day I made this yummy blueberry salad in a jar! It was DE-LISH.

Or it could be leftovers (my favorite leftovers are Tomatillo Chicken and Green Chile Rice!)from supper the night before. Or it could be Protein-Packed Chicken Salad! I love eating this chicken salad with Pecan Nut-Thins (aka my favorite gluten-free cracker)!

I usually finish lunch off with some fruit. And lots of water.

For the record, I usually drink 3 of the 32 oz cups at work each day.  Plus at home, I usually drink about 4 or 5 of the 16 oz mason jars. Therefore I usually drink over 150 oz of water every day. And yes I am aware that you can drink TOO much water, but my body has always drank (drunk? drankin'?) this much water. I crave water. I know, it's odd.

Optional Snack - 3PM

This snack usually only happens if I am STARVING. But honestly, this snack almost never happens.

Dinner - 5:30 PM

Dinner is usually planned out according to the meal plan I make for 2 weeks worth of meals prior to our grocery store trip. It can kinda vary depending on if we come home late from work, if it's Wednesday and we have our prayer service at church, or if it's been a long week and there needs to be no cooking involved or we might burn down the apartment complex.... that's probably frowned upon.

So I did make these yummy Chicken Verde Enchiladas one night with corn tortillas and they were good! I had never cooked enchiladas before so I figured it was worth a shot. Recipe to come soon!

If no cooking needs to be involved, I usually throw together a salad, like this black bean salad. I ALWAYS have black beans on hand and usually whip up either a black bean salad, black bean burrito bowl, or black beans nachos in about, ohhhh,  30 seconds. It's my go to.

One night after having Taco Mama at lunch that day, I threw together this Blueberry Salad and topped it with some sweet poppy seed dressing. Perfect light dinner after a heavy lunch.

After Dinner
So if it's been a long week or it's a special occasion, I will splurge and get my favorite treat from Nothing Bundt Cakes.  It's their Gluten-Free Bundt Cake. I have never had any reactions when I have eaten it in the past. It is my most favorite thing to receive as a gift from my sweet hubby!

{I will not sit here and attempt to say that I am not an emotional eater. I am. But I just try to limit the indulgences to special circumstances.}

So that's typically what I eat in a typical day! Hope this helps somebody out there not feel quite as helpless as I did when I first started eating gluten-free!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Tomatillo Chicken and Green Chile Rice

So I just found out in December that I have what is called Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease that prevents nutrients from food from being absorbed in your small intestine. This stoppage of nutrient absorption is triggered by gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.

I'm sure you've seen all the "gluten-free" things at the store or the gluten-free diets that are advertised to "help you lose weight" and other sort of fad-ish thing. I've even heard people say, "Well I'm not sure what gluten is but it must taste good because they are taking it out of everything." As a dietitian, that statement makes me chuckle.

I have always been, and probably even more so now, been of the opinion (based on scientific evidence) that unless you have an intolerance, allergy, or medical reason, you do not need to cut out gluten from your diet. Going gluten-free can actually make you GAIN weight and you LOSE some very valuable nutrient sources.

But anyway, due to the above statement, I am going gluten-free since my gut basically goes into anaphylactic shock every time I eat the tiniest bit of gluten. And it hurts and causes lots of very painful symptoms.

Since December, I have had to get really creative finding gluten-free recipes that will be delicious so that Kyle doesn't feel like he's missing out while trying to care for my new restriction.

This chicken does NOT disappoint in the flavor department. Neither does this cheesy delicious rice.

I originally found the chicken recipe on Pinterest from THIS website. SO you know in usual fashion I made it my own. I made it a little healthier and corrected a few ingredients that I wasn't sure were gluten-free or not. I'm still learning all the ins-and-outs of gluten-free-ness.

All that's required for this chicken is to mix everything up the night before, let it marinate overnight, and then pop it in the oven when I get home from work. I definitely like easy.

Then this rice.


My aunt made a version of this at Christmas when we were visiting. It was SOOOO good, but, as usual, I am always thinking how to repeat it and make it better. 

So I made a few changes to the original recipe and made it super yummy and super cheesy! 

And may I just say, the leftovers are almost better than the real thing. My co-workers were very jealous of my delicious tasting food. 

{As per common sense, always check to make sure the ingredients you are using are gluten-free.}

I hope you enjoy these yummy recipes as much as we did! Check them out below or over on the recipe page!

Much love, 

Tomatillo Chicken

by Kelli Gilbert
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: bake entree gluten-free chicken
Ingredients (6 servings)
  • 6 oz plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 package ranch dressing mix
  • 2½ teaspoons garlic
  • 1 tbsp cilantro
  • 3 tomatillos, husked and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon lime juice
  • 1-2 lbs. chicken tenderloins
Blend together all ingredients except chicken until almost smooth.
Place chicken tenderloins into a flat casserole dish. Top with 1 cup of marinade.
Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or overnight (overnight is best!).
Preheat oven to 375.
Get rid of marinade and place chicken tenderloins side by side in a shallow casserole dish. Top with additional marinade to just cover the top of chicken and keep moist while cooking.
Bake 25-30 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
Top with additional dressing and serve with rice, I recommend green chile rice, if desired.
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Green Chile Rice

by Kelli Gilbert
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
Keywords: bake side gluten-free
Ingredients (Serves 6-8)
  • 4 cups cooked white rice
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • A dash of heavy whipping cream or milk
  • 2 4oz cans diced green chiles
  • 6 oz shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 4 oz shredded pepper jack cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.
Pour into a lightly greased 2 quart casserole dish.
Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes until cheese is bubbly.
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Popcorn Frenzy!

{This post is prior to my gluten-free days. Please use caution when following this recipe if you must eat gluten-free. Always check individual ingredients to ensure they're gluten-free before consuming.} 

Confession: I LOVE popcorn. 

All kinds: Salty. Sweet. Savory. Delicious. 

I have always loved popcorn. Well, since early college days... It was a super easy snack while studying or late at night when boredom would set in.

That was the bagged stuff.

NOW, we have an air popper, which is the best thing since sliced bread.

It's like popcorn on demand. 

We tried an oil-based popper. It was horrible. Terrible. It tasted like rubber. 

Speaking of rubber, don't buy any type of kernels besides Orville Redenbacher. Store brand and Pop Secret are both less superior to Orville's deliciousness. You wouldn't think you can tell a difference with popcorn, but you really can. And we actually prefer the white corn to the yellow corn. 

So here's a few topping ideas to try once you go buy your air-popper, which of course, is the best ~$20 you'll spend this week. Follow the directions that come with your popper first, then try these delicious toppings. 

Buffalo Popcorn (Kyle's favorite): 
1) Put your freshly popped popcorn in a big bowl.
2) In a small bowl, combine a couple of TBSP of melted butter (more butter = less spicy) with 1-2 TBSP of buffalo sauce.
3) Pour mixture over popcorn. Stir until well coated.

Now you can do 2 possible things here:
"Wet Buffalo"
4) Top with shredded cheese and eat.
"Dry Buffalo"
4) Spread popcorn on a foil-covered cookie sheet. Place in 350 degree preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Once out of oven, top with shredded cheese.

Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn:
1) Place freshly popped popcorn in a big bowl.
2) In a small sauce pan, combine 1 TBSP ground cinnamon, 1 TBSP vanilla extract, 4-5 TBSP butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar until melted and bubbly.
3) Pour over popcorn and stir until well combined.
4) Place popcorn on foil-covered cookie sheet and place in 350 degree preheated oven for 15 minutes.
5) Let popcorn sit in oven for 15 minutes.
6) Enjoy!

Movie Theater Popcorn:
1) Place freshly popped popcorn in bowl.
2) Pour 4-5 TBSP melted butter. Toss to coat.
3) Sprinkle a little salt over the top.
4) Enjoy!

And lastly, my personal favorite,
Parmesan Popcorn (or as Kyle calls it 'Boring popcorn'):
1) Place freshly popped popcorn in a bowl.
2) Pour 1-2 TBSP melted butter over popcorn. Toss to coat.
3) Sprinkle a little salt on top. Toss to coat.
4) Sprinkle 3 TBSP of parmesan over popcorn. Toss to coat.
5) Enjoy!

That's all folks.

What's your favorite kind of popcorn?


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Protein-Packed Chicken Salad

{This post is prior to my gluten-free days. Please use caution when following this recipe if you must eat gluten-free. Always check individual ingredients to ensure they're gluten-free before consuming.}

This Chicken Salad is the bomb dot com. 

I love taking this in my lunch to work. This plus a few Ritz Crackers and either some fruit or a sugar-free Jello cup. Man, it's like a mid-day get-away.

Don't laugh at my boring lunches. They are delicious.

I came up with this recipe last summer. Every newly married southern girl needs to know how to make chicken salad. 

But I had no clue where to start.

So I looked up many recipes. Did lots of research. I knew what I wanted in it: grapes, cranberries, and greek yogurt. I also knew that I didn't want a ton of mayo because that's just not healthy.

I threw it all together in a bowl and voila!

It's protein-packed with walnuts, greek yogurt, and chicken. This recipes also has lots less fat than your typical southern chicken salad since it is made with greek yogurt in place of most of the mayo.

And just think, if you want to add apple pieces or pecans to your chicken salad, you can do that. Ain't nobody stopping you from stepping outside the box!

Check out the recipe HERE! 

I am looking forward to hearing about all your tasty add-ins!

Protein-Packed Chicken Salad

by Kelli Gilbert
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: no-bake entree salad chicken American Southern spring summer
Ingredients (4 servings)
  • 1 10 oz can of chicken
  • 1 cup celery
  • 1 cup red grapes, halved
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 6 oz of greek yogurt
  • ~1 tsp dill, dried
  • ~1/2 tsp onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
Combine in a bowl. Stir together and enjoy!
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Sunday, July 6, 2014

New Blog Name and Other New Stuff

Welcome to my new and improved blog!

It needed a change. A facelift. A new identity.
And I wanted to be able to blog about my crafts that I do.

So I had to change the name. Food from my Thoughts was accurate, most everything I make comes from my creativity. But since crafts aren't food unless you're two, that would not have been a very accurate name.

Therefore, The Krafty Kitchen was born. 

In the Krafty Kitchen, I will bring new healthy recipes and fun, easy crafts that I have created or found to you through my blog.

It brings my favorite things together: eating, crafting, and writing. It's gonna be fun!

But let's be honest, just because I've changed a few things around, doesn't mean I can promise that I will blog more.

I will be happy if I blog twice a month, which to some people is NOTHING. However, I will do my best to post either a recipe or craft at least twice a month.

If I have extra time, I might even get to three posts in a month. But let's not get crazy. 

So hope you like the new look. Let me know if I can make it easier to read or operate. I'm open to suggestions!

Looking forward to bringing you new posts!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Orange Peel Chicken

{This post is prior to my gluten-free days. Please use caution when following this recipe if you must eat gluten-free. Always check individual ingredients to ensure they're gluten-free before consuming.}

So apparently I haven't blogged since April 15th.
How has it been that long?!

Since April 15th, I have taken a new job and gotten an adorable puppy. Those things sound so easy and trivial, but good grief, both of these things have rocked my world.

But I mean look how cute she is! 
Except at 4:45am, that's not so cute. 

Anyway, I needed to find new recipes to make for dinner that were easy and quick. So I decided to attempt a Chinese entree.

We had Orange Peel Chicken at P.F. Chang's the other day and it was delicious. The perfect blend of chicken and orange-y-ness. 

So I found this recipe on All Recipes and adapted it a little, served it over Oven Baked Brown Rice
It turned out delicious! And leftovers were just as good. 

Just a hint of spice and a great citrus flavor! Fantastic! 

Much Love, 

Orange Peel Chicken

by Kelli Gilbert
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: saute entree chicken Chinese
Ingredients (Serves 4)
    For the Sauce
    • 1/3 cup warm water
    • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
    • Juice of 1 orange
    • 4 cloves of garlic
    • 1/4 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
    • 2 TBSP soy sauce
    • 1 TBSP white vinegar
    • 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
    • Zest of one orange
    For the Chicken
    • 2 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken (I used cutlets), sliced into 2 inch pieces or cubed
    In a bowl, stir together all sauce ingredients until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is well combined.
    Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and cook the chicken until the outside is golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.
    Pour sauce mixture over the chicken, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover the skillet. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    Whisk together 2 spoonfuls of flour together with ~1 TBSP of water. Add a little at a time of the mixture to the sauce to thicken it. Add a little, stir. Add a little, stir. Once desired texture is achieved, let chicken and sauce simmer for about 10 minutes.
    Serve over brown rice, preferably my Oven Baked Brown Rice.
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    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

    Mexican Quinoa

    {This post is prior to my gluten-free days. Please use caution when following this recipe if you must eat gluten-free. Always check individual ingredients to ensure they're gluten-free before consuming.}

    So I totally made this up. Literally, it is food from my thoughts.
    And it's delicious.

    I have this thing for Mexican food. I could eat it at every single meal.
    Every single day.
    365 days a year.
    Which is what I did for many years of my college life.

    That is until my tomato allergy brought that to a complete halt.

    So now, I enjoy coming up with recipes that give me the Mexican-y flavor and deliciousness without the possibility of a hospital visit and numerous medical bills.
    It's a fun balance to manage. 

    Did I mention there's no meat in this? Oh I didn't. 
    Well hey, there's no meat.
    Not because it's "cool."
    Not because it's "environmentally friendly."
    Not because it's "trendy."

    It has no meat because eating one meatless meal a week can help save money on the grocery bill AND it's good for your heart (aka. cardiovascular health). The protein in this dish comes from the black beans, quinoa, and cheese.

    It makes nutritional sense. Which, of course, is what I care about. 

    Simple? Check!   Delicious? Check!   Nutritious? Triple Check!

    Get the recipe HERE or below!

    Much Love,

    Mexican Quinoa

    by Kelli Gilbert
    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    Cook Time: 30 minutes
    Keywords: bake entree vegetarian meat-free veggie Mexican
    Ingredients (Serves 6-8)
    • 2 cups of cooked quinoa, cooked in chicken broth
    • 2 cans black bean, drained and rinsed
    • 1 can mexicorn, drained
    • 3/4 of a red bell pepper
    • 1 can diced green chiles, drained
    • 1/4 cup medium green salsa
    • 1 packet taco seasoning
    • 1/2 - 1 cup chicken broth
    • 1 cup Sharp cheddar cheese for top of casserole
    • Pepper jack cheese and sour cream to serve
    Preheat oven to 350. Cook quinoa in chicken broth per package instructions while you chop up veggies and open all cans.
    Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until well mixed.
    Place in greased 8x11 casserole dish and top with sharp cheddar cheese.
    Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until edges are brown and bubbly. To serve, top with pepper jack cheese and sour cream.
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