Friday, June 3, 2011

Fast n' Easy Fridays: Vegetable Tacos

Last week I started a new job and it has been insane.   Leaving early, staying late and so many meetings, I’m lucky if I see my desk before 5pm.  Planning out careful breakfasts, snacks and lunches is a thing of the past.  I haven’t had a minute to sleep, let alone cook or write a blog post!  With that in mind, Fast n’ Easy Fridays is probably more important than ever!  Here’s a very fast dinner option that is healthy, fresh and of course, vegan and gluten free.

Small note:  For all of you non-vegans out there:  These tacos are great when combined with Fish (we like Tilapia) and Goat Cheese.  I’m still on the Whole Foods Healthy Challenge, so I had to pass, but through this challenged I’ve learned that a non-meat diet is not conducive to my (already very restricted) dietary lifestyle, so I’ll be excited to add some fish to this recipe very soon!

Vegetable Tacos:
1 peeled Jicama – cut into cubes (see Helpful Tip below for peeling)
1 avocado, sliced
½ cup shredded red cabbage
2 cups spinach
1 cup baby tomatoes
1 lime, juiced
Gluten Free Corn Tortilla shells

Cut up all vegetables and place on Corn Tortilla.  Liberally squeeze lime juice on taco and eat.  Fast, healthy and easy!

Helpful tip:  I love jicama and have been known to eat it like an apple.  But, it is such a pain to peel!  Don’t use a potato peeler which can take upwards of an hour due to Jicama’s thick skin.  Instead, cut the top off, and make a slit just below the peel.  Jicama has a distinct ‘grain’ and if you peel back the skin in the direction of the grain, it will come up easily.  Just keep cutting little slits under the peel and peeling back with your fingers in the direction of the ‘grain’.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Enjoy Life's New Chocolate Products!

Who doesn’t love chocolate?  As long as it’s dark chocolate, it’s one of the very few ‘desserts’ that (should) not have any gluten or dairy.  Still, it’s important to always read the label when picking out a new brand.  Although milk is completely unnecessary in dark chocolate, a lot of companies add dairy anyways.  Additionally, I am sensitive to vanilla and soy, so I try to steer clear from chocolate with vanilla or soy lecithin listed as an ingredient.  This is actually really hard!  I usually stick to Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate bars which are the only ones I’ve found that meet all of my dietary restrictions, but it’s a pain when a recipe calls for chocolate chips.  That’s why I was so excited to find Enjoy Life’s new semi-sweet Chocolate Chunks.

All of Enjoy Life products are made in a dedicated nut and gluten-free facility and certified gluten-free by the Gluten Free Certification Organization.  All products are free of the top 8 allergens, including wheat, dairy, egg and soy.  Even though the bag clearly says dairy, soy and gluten free, I admit I still read the label.  Some habits will never die!  It’s so exciting to find a product that you can really trust and don’t have to worry about any hidden allergens.  Plus, they taste really good!  I added them to the buckwheat banana pancakes I made this weekend and couldn’t help eating them straight out of the bag.  Girlfriend couldn’t keep her hands off either and sprinkled the chips into Enjoy Life Double Chocolate Crunch Granola as an extra chocolaty dessert (which was a bit too much chocolate overload for me!).

Which brings me to my next chocolate ‘dessert’ find for the week.  Enjoy Life Double Chocolate Crunch Granola is so good!  It tastes kind of like Cocoa Pebbles or Cocoa Puffs and it’s hard to believe that it is gluten free and has some health benefits as well, with 4 grams of Fiber per serving.  I usually think of breakfast when I hear granola and I think in my younger days, I definitely would have dug into this granola for breakfast.  These days, this is the perfect sweet treat when I get one of my frequent chocolate cravings.  Unfortunately, I can’t partake in this granola too freely, because its main ingredient is rice which I am sensitive to.  I can have in small doses every other week or so, but any more than that and I will have a pounding headache lasting for up to 4 days.  It was hard to stop myself from eating the entire bag, but that wasn’t really an issue since Girlfriend also loved this granola and it was gone in about 3 days…

On a side note, I also tried Enjoy Life new Crunchy chocolate chip cookies and they were delicious!  You can pick up all of these products at Whole Foods and at certain Jewel’s in the IL area.  To find a store near you, check out