Loaded Sloppy Joes (an evolution in veggies) – gluten free

Loaded Sloppy Joes (an evolution in veggies) – gluten free

I have never been a huge fan of sloppy joes.  I would make them occasionally, but if I had ground beef to use, it would rarely be my first choice.  Now we make what we call “loaded sloppy joes”  all the time. It started with me having some celery that need used up, so I diced a bunch and tossed it in, and the next time I added zuchinni, until slowly, our sloppy joes became about 3/4 veggies to a 1/4 meat.  I am always looking for shortcuts, for one pot meals, and this is a simple way to get a lot of vegetables in the main course.

Last summer when farmers markets/and our garden produce was ample, I made sloppy joe veggie packets and froze them.  So literally, I could just grab the vegetables out of the freezer, sautee, brown the meat and make a quick sauce….super simple dinner.  Even though our garden isn’t producing yet, we were craving this simple meal this week and our EarthFare just had grass-fed beef on sale, so I had some on hand.  The vegetable options are endless, but we typically use: onions, carrots, zuchinni, bell peppers, and celery.



You can also serve the finished dish in a variety of ways.  Sometimes, I use gluten free bread, sometimes lettuce wraps, and other times, I serve it over rice.  Use your imagination, there are a lot of ways to serve this quick, veggie loaded dish!  I also use plain tomato sauce as my base, because I don’t like it super sweet, you can always substitute ketchup, but take that into account when you are adding your maple syrup in.



Loaded Sloppy Joes (an evolution in veggies) – gluten free
Recipe Type: Main Dish
Author: The Sprouted Life
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2-3 medium zucchini, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced (we like red and yellow)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 – 2 lbs of ground beef (you can also use ground chicken, turkey or pork
  • 1 – can of plain organic tomato sauce (15 oz)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of dijon mustard
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of maple syrup (add more if want a sweeter dish)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Dice all your vegetables into small chunks (if kids are picky, dicing smaller helps hide them in the sauce)
  2. Sautee your vegetable combo, garlic and olive oil in a large skillet, until vegetables soften
  3. Add in ground beef and brown
  4. When beef is browened, drain off any extra grease
  5. Add in tomato sauce, maple syrup and mustard (adjust maple syrup for desired sweetness)
  6. Salt & pepper to taste
  7. Serve over lettuce wraps, toasted bread or rice.


Loaded Potato Soup – Gluten Free (Optional Dairy Free)

Loaded Potato Soup – Gluten Free (Optional Dairy Free)

Finally, winter is coming to an end finally here in Indiana! We are looking forward to garden fresh veggies and lots of grilling, but since we keep having cold weather spells randomly, soups are still in our regular recipe lineup.  Potato soup is one of our family’s favorite.  We have gone through periods in time when some of our household is dairy free and overall we keep our dairy intake pretty low.  So I make my entire soup dairy free, and then people can choose whether or not they want to add cheese.  It’s a simple alternative to the traditional dairy based potato soup, that is both hearty and filling and since organic potatoes have been on sale at our Earth Fare for less that $0.70/lb, it is pretty budget friendly.

I typically use my own homemade bone broth as my main base, but when I am out, I use Pacific brand (which is gluten free).potatosoup

Loaded Potato Soup – Gluten Free (Optional Dairy Free)
Recipe Type: The Sprouted Life
  • 1 carton of organic chicken broth or 1 quart jar
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2-3 cups of unsweetened flax milk or almond milk
  • 1 bunch of celery
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 pounds organic potatoes
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • browned bacon, shredded cheese and chopped green onions as garnish
  1. Dice potatoes into little square chunks and boil until tender, but not mushy (I add a generous amount of celtic sea salt to water to help season the potatoes)
  2. While potatoes are boiling, dice up celery and onion into little pieces and sautee in olive oil until tender.
  3. When celery and onions are tender, pour chicken broth and water into the pot and bring to a simmer
  4. Ladle out a few cups of celery/onion/broth and puree in a high speed blender to help thicken.
  5. Return to pot and pour in drained potatoes and 2-3 cups of flax milk and heat for a few more minutes, while adding salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Don’t over cook/boil or the potatoes will get mushy
  7. Serve! and top with bacon, chopped green onions and shredded cheese if you want


What a “gluten-free” holiday looks like in our house + paleo date-pecan cinnamon rolls

What a “gluten-free” holiday looks like in our house + paleo date-pecan cinnamon rolls

I get asked a lot how we handle the holidays being gluten-free. Let’s face it, most holiday memories include big fat crescent rolls, sugar cookies, casseroles, pies and many more gluten filled items.

My new motto: simplicity.

I simply do not try to recreate all those items…I find that all that does is stress me out, leaves me in carb and sugar shock and a lot of the items will never compare to their gluten- filled counter parts. So instead, my husband and I came up with a simple holiday menu that included items that we could prep the night before.

I thought I would share what our Christmas day menu looked like. It was fresh and not over-loaded with carbs, but yet included items like a paleo date-pecan cinnamon roll that my three boys absolutely loved. We ate a late breakfast and an early dinner, cutting our meals down to two instead of three. And I ran out Christmas Eve afternoon to our local Earth Fare to get any remaining fresh ingredient. We has ordered their holiday deal that featured a beautiful cut of fresh standing rib roast, so we had to run in already to pick that up.

Breakfast was fully prepped on Christmas Eve and included a breakfast casserole and paleo cinnamon rolls.


Potato-Egg Breakfast Casserole:

The breakfast casserole was made with shredded potatoes, instead of bread. I first boiled the potatoes, chilled them and ran them through my food processor with the shredder blade. I layered the potatoes on the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan and topped with 12 whisked eggs, 1 cup of almond milk, 2 cups of shredded cheese, bacon pieces and chopped green onions. All I had to do Christmas morning was pop it into the oven at 350 for about 45-50 minutes.


this is what my youngest son, thought of the cinnamon rolls!


Paleo Date-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls:

*Recipe below.

We also made these the night before and had them on a baking sheet in the fridge ready to pop into the oven.


Dinner Menu:

  • Standing Rib Roast
  • Grilled Zucchini and Asparagus
  • Roasted potato wedges with Italian herbs
  • Sparkling cider just for fun

We have made it a tradition to buy a nice cut of meat; either steaks or prime rib and either grill veggies or roast them (depending on Indiana weather). It makes dinner, simple, yet full of flavor.

What a “gluten-free” holiday looks like in our house + paleo date-pecan cinnamon rolls
Recipe Type: Dessert/Pastry
Author: The Sprouted Life
Serves: 12
  • Dough:
  • 2 cups of almond flour
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch of sea salt
  • Filling:
  • 6-8 large Dates, Soaked in hot water for 30 minutes
  • ½ cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  1. Soak your dates in hot water for about 30 minutes.
  2. Add hydrated dates a few teaspoons of date water and cinnamon to a mini food processor and puree. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the wet ingredients (egg, coconut oil & vanilla) in a medium bowl.
  4. Add the combined dry ingredients (almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt) and stir well to combine.
  5. Roll out the dough on parchment paper and create a long rectangle.
  6. Spread the date and cinnamon mixture evenly across the rolled out dough and sprinkle with finely chopped pecan pieces.
  7. Using the parchment paper to help, carefully roll up the dough into a log.
  8. Using a sharp knife cut 1-inch thick rolls.
  9. Preheat oven to 325
  10. Place sliced cinnamon rolls on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
  11. Bake for about 15-18 minutes until begin to lightly brown*
  12. Remove from oven and drizzle with glaze and more finely chopped pecans. (For the gaze, I just whisked a little almond milk with coconut sugar).
  13. Best served warm!
  14. *Our rolls took a little longer to bake, because I refrigerated them over-night and put them into the oven still cold.
  15. **These will not rise and puff up like a traditional cinnamon roll.


Sauerkraut and Meatballs – A Gluten Free Family Favorite

Sauerkraut and Meatballs – A Gluten Free Family Favorite

We are in full swing of a new schedule this year, as my oldest started kindergarten in August.  I am not the most scheduled person and am learning to adapt to a set daily schedule, while trying to balance a 3 year old (who misses his big brother), a super active 1 year old and my freelance design work, yet still make sure that I am feeding my family well.  I am also now having to think ahead about packing lunches five days a week (lunch in our house is almost always dinner leftovers).  Hearty, filling dishes that I can prep in my pockets of free time are now the main items on our dinner menu.  I thought I would share a family favorite today.  Their is nothing wildly original about this recipe (I learned it from my mother-in-law).  It is simple and straight forward, yet delicious and filling and I can pack it the next day in my son’s goodbyn for lunch.

It is so simplistic that the ingredients are usually just ground beef, rice and sauerkraut.  Our local EarthFare has been having their grass-fed ground beef on sale fairly often, making this dish even more affordable.  Because their grass-fed ground beef is so lean, I have been adding a pound of ground pork to the recipe. My favorite sauerkraut for this recipe is Eden Organic.  I have been making this dish up in the morning, and then just pulling it out of the fridge and popping it on the stove an hour before dinner.


Sauerkraut and Meatballs – A Gluten Free Family Favorite
Recipe Type: Main Dish
Author: The Sprouted Life
  • 2 lbs of grass-fed ground beed
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 jar of sauerkraut
  • 1 cup of white rice (we prefer Lundberg Organic Basmati)
  • 1/2-1 cup of water or beef broth
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Combine ground beef, ground pork, one cup of rice and a pinch of salt and pepper
  2. Layer bottom of a heavy dutch oven with sauerkraut
  3. Roll handful size meatballs and layer the bottom of the pan, then add another Layer of sauerkraut and add in remaining meatballs
  4. Top with remaining sauerkraut.
  5. Pour about a cup of water or beef broth in the pan (this varies a little with how much liquid was in the jar of sauerkraut)
  6. Cover and cook on stove at medium/medium high heat for about an hour. It will be simmering pretty good and I always check it halfway through to make sure there is enough liquid in the pan for the rice to absorb.
  7. Enjoy!
chunky chicken salad – a summer favorite

chunky chicken salad – a summer favorite

During the summer we keep our freezer stocked full of chicken breasts ready for grilling (we stock up when Earth Fare runs their $2.99 chicken breast special) and make a lot of simple grilled chicken meals.  One of our summer favorites is a fresh chunky chicken salad, loaded with grilled chicken, toasted pecans & almonds, celery and green onions.  It’s a simple meal, but it’s also quick (which is perfect for our busy summers) and packed full of flavor.

Our favorite way to serve it is over fresh salad greens and tomatoes, but a lot of times I make sandwiches for the kids, with toasted Udi’s gluten free bread or in a Food for Life Brown Rice Wrap.  On days that we are super busy, I will grab a rotisserie chicken from Earth Fare and just chop that up (they are currently, featuring their chickens for $5 on Fridays).


chunky chicken salad – a summer favorite
Recipe Type: lunch or dinner
Author: the sprouted life
  • 4 large chicken breasts drizzled with olive oil and Simply Organic Lemon Pepper or Penzey’s Bicentennial Rub. (or 6 cups chopped rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 heaping tsp. coconut oil
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3/4-1 cup organic mayo (I use Spectrum organic)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • salad greens
  • roma tomatoes
  1. Toss chicken breast in olive oil and seasoning of choice (our favorites are Simply Organic Lemon Pepper or Penzey’s Bicentennial Rub).
  2. grill chicken, set aside to cool.
  3. Toast pecans and almonds over low heat in coconut oil and lightly salt.
  4. In a large bowl combine chopped green onion, celery, almonds, pecans and diced chicken. Then stir in mayo, I use about 3/4 a cup, but adjust depending to how creamy you like your chicken salad.
  5. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  6. Serve over fresh salad greens and chopped tomatoes
  7. enjoy!


Salmon and Veggie Packets

Salmon and Veggie Packets

Spring and summer are my favorite times of the year.  I love fresh seasonal vegetables and meals seem to be inherently lighter.  A quick easy dinner that we like to throw together are baked salmon packets.  The are easy and literally your entire meal is baked all together in a little parchment paper pouch.  I really try to buy wild caught salmon whenever I can get it on sale and our local Earth Fare had it on sale for $8.99/lb the other day, yay!  You can use any combination of vegetables but our favorite is a combination of carrots, zucchini and asparagus (of course these are missing zucchini because I forgot to buy it on my shopping trip).

The most difficult part about making this meal is keeping my 5 year old from eating all the veggies as I cut them. Seriously, these are such a simple, yet satisfying meal…perfect for busy summer nights.  I was actually prepping these before my son’s baseball game so that I could just throw them in the oven when we got home.


Salmon and Veggie Packets
Recipe Type: Main Dish
Author: The Sprouted Life
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb wild caught salmon (cut into 4 equal pieces)
  • 4 – carrots
  • 2 – medium zucchini
  • 1 – bunch of asparagus
  • (or any combination of fresh vegetables, sugar snap peas, green beans and yellow squash work well also)
  • olive oil
  • lemon pepper seasoning (I use Simply Organic)
  • salt & pepper
  1. Julienne cut all your vegetables and divide into four servings.
  2. Place each serving of the vegetables on a parchment paper square, and drizzle with a little olive oil and a little salt & pepper.
  3. Place each fresh piece of salmon on top of the vegetables and drizzle with a little more olive oil and lemon pepper seasoning.
  4. seal the parchment paper into packets and staple shut.
  5. back at 400 degrees for approx. 15 mins. (can vary depending on thickness of the salmon)
  6. enjoy!
  7. *Vegetables will still be a little crunchy, so if you like your vegetables cooked more, I would suggest blanching them for 2-3 minutes prior to baking