The Healthy Mind Cookbook – Review

Eating for brain health?  I’ll drink eat to that!  I was very excited to read this new cookbook from Rebecca Katz.


9781607742975About the Book (from the website):

In The Healthy Mind Cookbook, Rebecca Katz has harnessed the latest research on the brain to identify the foods that can improve the brain’s ability to control cognition, emotion, and physical function—all of which dictate memory and mood. She then translates the very best of brain science into the kitchen, using delicious nutrient-dense foods as a tool for promoting a healthy mind from childhood through the golden years. 

With a culinary pharmacy listing the benefits of key ingredients, complete nutritional details for each dish, and flavor-packed recipes for every meal of the day, including Avocado and Citrus Salad, Sweet Potato Hash, Turkish Lamb Sliders, and Chocolate Cherry Walnut Truffles, The Healthy Mind Cookbook will help lift the fog of everyday life so you can reach your full physical and mental potential.


Oh, my.  The recipes look AMAZING.  The pictures are absolutely beautiful.  There are so many wonderful, delicious meal options, even for me with all of my dietary needs.  I love that the author(s) include an introduction, explaining some of the science behind the book, without taking up too much time and space.  It seems that a lot of health cookbooks are filled halfway with the science and reasoning, and then you’ve only got half a book left for a few recipes.  This book provides information, but not overwhelmingly so, and the focus is on creating good recipes.  I cannot wait to try some myself, especially the tonics and elixirs.  Food-wise, I think the Quinoa Turkey Meatballs and the Meyer Lemon Pudding recipes will be the first that I try.


* I received a complimentary copy of the book from Blogging for Books for the purposes of this review.  NO monetary compensation was received.  The opinions are mine alone.


Gluten Free BLTs – or BLAs, Rather… 8 comments

So, remember how I went to Walmart and checked out their gluten free demos and products?  Well, I REMEMBER.  Boy, do I remember.  I remember coming directly home from the store and EATING THAT BREAD!! :)






I purchased Udi’s new Country Seeded Bread.  I was going to make a BLT, but sadly the tomatoes were not looking great…something about it being winter, or something.  😉  So, instead I made a BLA – Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado sandwich, and I threw in a little cheese for good measure!   I used uncured turkey bacon, since it’s the only kind I’m allowed on my diet.

Grilled Cheese with Avocado


I cooked my bacon and then toasted my sandwich in coconut oil.  Added my avocado and lettuce, and BAM.  I ate that beauty right up!


I like Udi’s bread in general, but I definitely prefer it warmed up, whether toasted or simply heated in a microwave for a few seconds.  It tasted like a regular sandwich.  It’s been a LONG TIME since I’d had a sandwich, and I’m not going to lie, it totally made my day.



I’m SO glad that Walmart is now carrying these gluten free items! :)  You can bet I’ll be back to try more products soon.

BakeItFun Baking Mat Review/Roasted Chickpeas Recipe 5 comments

I am in a war with my debt. I’m focusing all my efforts on getting my family completely out of debt. 2014 was very unkind to us, financially, and I plan on doing whatever it takes to remedy that! I’ve shared a lot of different things I do, particularly in the kitchen, to save money, but this is a new and unexpected one (at least unexpected for me). resize_8e962b06c4b02396b38bca3d0f57c6fc32a18e18caa1c8b978a48f0937dc768b4dda6dd2256256 I go through parchment paper like crazy. Ever since going gluten free, I’ve used it a lot, and I’m so sick of the expense! I heard about this BakeItFun silicone baking mat and the claims that it can eliminate my need for parchment paper or foil. I decided it was worth trying out, you know, see if it would actually work well and save me some money.


I’m thrilled to say that it works really well.  It’s been SO easy to clean off and reuse, and I’ve made several different “batches” of food with it.  I started with my roasted chickpeas, and it worked beautifully.  One thing I like about it is that it has measurements on the sides.  I tend to just eyeball things when I’m baking and spacing, but it’s nice to have measurements if I’m wanting a cookie or something to turn out just right, and I don’t want pieces of dough to cook together.  It also provides a visual (as you can see in the above picture) that you can use if you want perfect spacing!  Right now it’s on sale for 73% off at, so it may be worth looking into.  I don’t know how long the discount will last.


More about the mat:


1. STOP WASTING MONEY Buy your BakeitFun Premium silicone baking mat Now And Eliminate the Need for Parchment Paper or Aluminum Foil. Re-use it up to 2000, think about how much less trash you’ll make.

2. DURABLE AND RESISTANT Multipurpose uses, perfect for cooking anything, Sugar Candy, Melted Cheese, Garlic and Cookies. Stop being afraid of buying cheap smelly silicone baking mats. Oven, Dishwasher and Microwave safe.

3. SAVE TIME Get your food from freezer to the oven. Then rinse it off and forget about scrubbing sheets.

4. SAFE MATERIALS Made from fiberglass coated with food grade silicone, this non-stick silicone baking mat offers multipurpose uses for preparing, cooking, and heating up food. FDA and LFGB approved. It’s 100% BPA free.

5. BAKE WITH YOUR KIDS BakeitFun makes cooking fun for all ages! Turn a simple task in the kitchen into a fun and exciting moment with your kids – they’ll be thankful later!



I’ve loved using it and am very happy to be able to save money and not buy that dang parchment paper anymore.  I am also thrilled to have a huge batch of roasted chickpeas ready and available for my snacking pleasure now. :)




Roasted Chickpeas

  • 3 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp sweetener (I use stevia or nectresse)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

Mix the ingredients together and store in a small jar or bowl.  To roast the chickpeas, either open a can of chickpeas or cook some from scratch in your slow cooker.  Drain the chickpeas well and pat dry with a clean towel.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  In a bowl, combine the chickpeas with a drizzle of olive oil (about 1 Tbsp per 2 cups of beans).  Mix well and spread out onto a baking sheet.  Sprinkle generously with the seasoning mix to taste.  Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes.  After the first 30 minutes in the oven, check on them and stir.  Roast until they are crunchy.  So good!

**No monetary compensation was received. I received the product in exchange for an honest review. The opinions are mine alone.

Roasted Chickpeas



Gluten Free Crunchy Chicken Bites 2 comments

Crunch to the crunch, baby.


I love a good crunch to my chicken “nuggets”.  It’s something I had to give up over the summer when I started on my anti-inflammatory diet.    Well, in the last 2 months I’ve been allowed to slowly add new foods back into my diet, one at a time.  And while nuts are allowed, they just weren’t giving me the classic crunch I was looking for.

Crunchy Chicken Bites

So I cheated.


Actually, not TOTALLY.  As of this week, I am officially allowed to test out foods of my choosing.  But instead of picking a one-ingredient food, I chose to test out Rice Chex.


I know, I’m a cheater.  But oh, I SO enjoyed it!  I made me some CRUNCHY chicken, baby!  Dipped the chicken pieces in some gluten free flour, then in some egg, and then in the finely crushed Rice Chex pieces.  Fried those puppies up and enjoyed them thoroughly.  This is most definitely a “sometimes” food, as Cookie Monster says.  But man oh man, I’ll definitely enjoy it when sometimes comes!


Gluten Free Crunchy Chicken Bites


  • 1lb Chicken breast (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour (I used buckwheat)
  • 1 cup Rice Chex (crushed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Coconut or Olive oil (for cooking)


Step 1
Get out 3 separate bowls. In the first, mix the flour and seasonings. In the second, beat the egg. In the third, add the crushed Rice Chex.
Step 2
Heat olive oil or coconut oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
Step 3
Dip chicken pieces first in flour mixture, and then in egg mixture, and finally in the Rice Chex. Add to the hot pan and cook for about 2 minutes per side, or until the chicken is cooked through. It'll be crispy and delicious!







Steak and Potato Stew – Frugal Friday 2 comments

I know, I know.


Steak and Potato Stew sounds suspiciously a lot like Beef Stew – and technically, it probably is pretty close to the same thing.  I don’t know, because I’ve never read a recipe for beef stew.


I’ve been making a lot of soups, stews, and one-pot dishes lately, simply to make the meat stretch.  Because, have you SEEN the prices of meat lately?  Yeah, me too.  It’s especially fun over here, because I’ve been required by my doctor to eat protein at every meal.  And he specifically told me that it means MEAT and BEANS.  Nuts don’t even count!  Flaxseed doesn’t even count!  So, you know, I’m eating a lot of meat and beans.


At least beans are still pretty cheap, right?


Anyway, that is where this stew idea came from.  I had no clue what to cook for dinner but I knew we were low on meat and it needed to be stretched.  Here’s how it came together:

This gluten free Steak and Potato Stew is awesome!

I ain’t lying, this is good.

You could do this in a crockpot and really let that meat get tender, but I didn’t have a ton of time, and so I simply coated the meat in some cornstarch and coconut flour and then seared it in some olive oil over high heat to hold those juices in and to brown the meat quickly.  Then I let it simmer for a little bit in the stew.  The pieces were cut small so they cooked quickly.


The creamy Dijon mustard is optional.  I personally love the extra flavor it provided.


Steak and Potato Stew

Serves 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Soup


  • 1 quart chickensStock ((preferably homemade))
  • 2 Medium potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 2 Medium carrots (peeled and diced)
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 cup almond milk ((or regular milk if you can have it))
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2lb steak (diced thin)
  • 1 garlic cloved (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon creamy Dijon mustard ((optional))


Step 1
In a large saucepan, heat the chicken stock over medium heat. Add the potatoes and carrots right away, and allow it to come to a boil.
Step 2
Reduce heat to medium-low, allow the potatoes and carrots to simmer for 10-15 minutes until tender.
Step 3
In the meantime, slice and dice your steak nice and little. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In a shallow dish combine the cornstarch and coconut flour, add the steak and coat evenly.
Step 4
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add the minced garlic. Immediately follow with the steak. Only add enough steak to cover the pan in one layer. Brown on both sides at the high heat, about 2-3 minutes total. Remove the steak from the pan. Repeat with remaining steak if needed.
Step 5
Add the almond milk to the skillet and stir with a whisk, making sure to scrape up the little bits of meat on the bottom. The mixture should thicken. If you want it thicker, you can add some of the leftover cornstarch/coconut flour mix to the skillet and thicken it further.
Step 6
Once the potatoes and carrots are tender, add the meat and the almond milk mixture to the saucepan, as well as the onion powder. Add in the mustard, if using, and stir it in. Season the broth to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired. Optionally, you can also season with oregano or dill.
Step 7
Simmer for a few minutes more until the stew is thick and hot. Serve with crackers if you'd like. Enjoying it is mandatory!


*Linked at Gluten Free Wednesday!


Gluten Free Quinoa-Crusted Chicken 2 comments

This is a quinoa-crusted chicken that is perfect for those that are gluten, dairy, peanut, or sugar free.

I discovered this recipe over at The Baking Beauties, and I adapted it for my own needs, since there are a few ingredients in the original recipe that I have to avoid.  I’ll share my adapted recipe below.

 Quinoa-Crusted Chicken - Delicious!

SO good, seriously!  When my 7-year old heard the word “quinoa”, he told me twice, “don’t forget Mom, that I don’t like quinoa!!”  ha ha….but he ate it right up, along with the rest of the family.

I have since had a negative reaction to eggs, and so the next time I make it I’ll probably omit the egg, but I’ve left it in this recipe for now.  I’m making a big freezer batch of this chicken tonight!!

This was lovely served with brown rice and fresh fruit on the side.

*To get the recipe for the Mango-Chili Sauce you see on top, GO HERE.

Quinoa Crusted Chicken - Amazing!

*Linked at Gluten Free Wednesdays


Mango-Crusted Chicken

Serves 4
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Allergy Egg
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable
Website The Baking Beauties
Quinoa Crusted Chicken - Gluten, Dairy, Peanut, Soy, and Sugar free.


  • 2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into strips)
  • 1.5 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons water


Step 1
Put cooked and cooled quinoa in a large shallow dish. Add paprika, cumin, and 1/2 tsp sea salt, gently combine.
Step 2
In another shallow dish, combine the brown rice flour with the pepper and 1/4 tsp sea salt.
Step 3
In a 3rd dish, whisk together the egg and water.
Step 4
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Step 5
Line up the chicken, flour mixture, egg mixture, and quinoa mixture on your counter (in that order).
Step 6
Dip the chicken strips first into the flour mixture, and then into the egg mixture, and finally into the quinoa mixture. Press the quinoa onto the chicken.
Step 7
Lay the strips of chicken on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, or until completely done (length of cooking time will depend on how thick the strips have been cut).
Step 8
If freezing, transfer the strips to the freezer and flash freeze. Transfer strips to a freezer bag, and label. To reheat, take as many as you'd like and pop into the microwave until hot, or bake in a 400 degree F oven for 5-10 minutes, until heated through.



Quinoa, Lettuce and Bacon Salad – AIP


Anti Inflammatory Diet – An eating plan designed to reduce chronic inflammation, a key factor in a host of health problems and several major diseases.  (See more info HERE)


Here is another recipe that is safe for anti-inflammatory purposes. It is free of gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, sugar, and peanuts, some of the most common food allergens.

To Make:

Cook up a batch of Quinoa.

IMG_20140711_125413While that is cooking, drain a can of chickpeas and pan-roast them a bit. Add some uncured turkey bacon (I get mine at Costco) near the end and heat it up.

When the quinoa is ready, add the chickpeas and turkey bacon.  Add some torn lettuce and some olive oil with lemon juice (I use this Lemon Dill Dressing).  Stir to combine and enjoy!


Quinoa Lettuce and Bacon Salad

Serves 4
Cook time 25 minutes
Allergy Egg, Fish, Milk, Peanuts, Shellfish, Soy, Tree Nuts, Wheat
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Salad
Enjoy this salad as a full meal.


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 can chickpeas (drained)
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning of your choice ((Italian, salt and pepper, etc))
  • 2 thin slices uncured turkey bacon
  • 1 handful green leaf lettuce (torn)
  • 1-2 tablespoon Lemon Dill Dressing ((See link above))


Step 1
Cook the quinoa according to package directions. You will use 2 cups cooked for this recipe.
Step 2
While quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the can of drained chickpeas and seasoning; heat, stirring often, for 15 minutes.
Step 3
Chop the turkey bacon into bite-sized pieces and add to the skillet; cook for 3-5 more minutes.
Step 4
In a serving bowl, combine the quinoa and chickpea/bacon mix. Add the torn lettuce and gently toss.
Step 5
Drizzle the Lemon Dill dressing (or you can simply use a bit of olive oil and lemon juice), toss gently into the salad.
Step 6


Salmon with Mango-Avocado Salsa – Anti Inflammatory (Allergen Free)

This Anti-Inflammatory Diet I’ve been on (as part of a treatment plan my doctor put together for me) has forced me to think outside the box when it comes to meals….which, if I’m honest, is probably a good thing!

What is the anti-inflammatory diet?  It’s basically a diet designed to cut any foods that are known to cause inflammation out.  My diet has been personalized based on my test results and right now I am NOT allowed to eat any of the following foods, or any foods with these ingredients in them:

  • Dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, margarine, shortening)

  • Eggs

  • Gluten (wheat, oats, rye, barley)

  • Tomatoes

  • Dehydrated Fruit

  • Rice, corn, potatoes (white, red, yellow) – this is to help me with my blood sugar level, as I was found to have pre-diabetes.

  • alcohol

  • Coffee, black tea, and soda

  • Fruit juices

  • Iodized (table) salt

  • Sugar and natural and artificial sweeteners – no sweeteners of ANY kind are allowed

  • Soy products

  • Peanuts

  • Beef, pork, shellfish, cold cuts, bacon, hot dogs, canned meat, sausage

So…today I ate a saSalmon and Salad with Mango-Avocado "Salsa" - AIPlad (like every other day, ha ha), but decided I wanted to try something new with the salmon.



SO very easy, fast, and I loved it!  Gluten, dairy, soy, peanut, egg, sugar free!

Salmon with Mango-Avocado Salsa

 4-oz salmon fillet, de-boned
1 tsp coconut oil
pinch of oregano
1/4 avocado
1/4 mango
pinch of sea salt

In a skillet over medium heat, heat up the coconut oil and add the salmon.  Sprinkle with the oregano, and cover with a tight-fitting lid.  Cook until flaky, about 5-7 minutes.

Meanwhile, dice up the avocado and mango.  Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.  Plate the salmon and put the mango-avocado “salsa” over the top.  Serve with a salad on the side.


Linked at Gluten Free Wednesdays

Gluten Free Brazilian Cheese Rolls

Oh my gosh.  Yes, it’s true.  GLUTEN FREE BRAZILIAN CHEESE ROLLS.

Gluten Free Brazilian Cheese Rolls - Better on a Budget

I LOVE these things, and holy cow, I’m glad I discovered them.  I actually had never had one BEFORE going gluten free, so I couldn’t tell you exactly how they compare, but I can tell you that compared to the store bought gf cheese rolls, they are wonderful.  And they don’t cost $10 for a dozen.  Score! 😀

I wish I was exaggerating when I say that I ate an entire batch in 2 days, I really do.  But alas, it’s the truth.  I don’t make these often simply for the fact that I cannot stop eating them.

Get the recipe HERE at Gluten Free Yummy!

Gluten Free Brazilian Cheese Rolls - So Good!!  Better on a Budget*Linked at Gluten Free Wednesday!

Gluten Free Indian Fry Bread (for Navajo Tacos)

I remember going to local carnivals and smelling the delicious fry bread to go with Navajo tacos as a kid…and as an adult.  When I was younger, I never ate them because “we weren’t there to spend money”, and so you can bet the first time I was in charge of my own cash flow, I bought a Navajo Taco at the carnival.

Then, dang it, I discovered my inability to correctly process gluten, and I haven’t had one since….until tonight.

See, we took our kiddos to the local carnival (actually I dropped them off with my hubby and went home to be sick, lol) and all those delicious memories came back to me.  When the kids requested tacos for dinner, I had one thought:  No problem, as long as I can make them Navajo Tacos.

I discovered a good-looking recipe on Pinterest, and after making a few adjustments to match what ingredients I had on hand, this lovely new meal was born.

Gluten Free Navajo TacosThe husband and kids (who are not gluten free) all said that it tasted like regular fry bread!  Success. :)  *note – these are best when fresh from the pan!

Indian Fry Bread (for Navajo Tacos)
(Adapted from Successfully Gluten Free)

1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup potato starch
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp ground flax seed
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup + 1 Tbsp milk
Oil for frying

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add the milk and mix well.  The dough will be sticky; gluten free dough tends to be.  Heat oil (an inch or so) in a skillet over medium heat.  When it’s hot, oil your fingers a bit to keep the dough from sticking and grab a bit of dough.  Flatten it out into a disk about 1/2 inch thick and lay it gently in the hot oil.  Heat until golden brown, then flip and do the same for the other side.  It takes about a minute per side.  Enjoy as the base for a Navajo Taco, or as a scone with honey butter and powdered sugar on top.  Yum!

Gluten Free Indian Fry Bread - YUM!

This recipe has been shared on Gluten Free Wednesdays.