A Favorite Quick Lunch – Zucchini Pizza Boats (gluten-free)

A Favorite Quick Lunch – Zucchini Pizza Boats (gluten-free)

Pizza is a favorite to almost all kids.  Our family loves pizza night, but being a completely gluten-free family, homemade pizza is both expensive and a little time consuming (and pre-made gluten free pizza…well, many resemble cardboard). So one of our favorite variations are zucchini pizza boats.  These are quick, lighter than regular pizza and much more budget friendly.  There are a million combinations of ingredients you can use for the toppings, but this recipe is my kids favorite and a much quicker option because you are using pepperoni and not having to prep any other meats.

Our basic ones we make are literally 4 ingredients: zucchini or yellow squash, pizza sauce, uncured pepperoni and mozzarella cheese. These are a great option for kids lunches, they are quick and easy and a much healthier alternative to regular pizza.

The trick to bulking up the filling is to use the inside of the zucchini that you carve out.  I carve out my zucchini to less than an 1/4 inch thickness and then chop all the insides into small cubes, mix with pizza sauce and small diced pepperoni (or meat of choice) and then refill into the zucchini.




A Favorite Quick Lunch – Zucchini Pizza Boats (gluten-free)
Author: The Sprouted Life
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 5 medium zucchini or yellow squash
  • 1 can of organic pizza sauce (Muir Glen is our favorite)
  • 1 package of uncured pepperoni (Applegate farms is our favorite)
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese
  1. Chop zucchini in half and trim of both ends.
  2. With a knife carve out the inside of the zucchini leaving less than about a 1/4 inch thickness all the way around.
  3. Remove insides of each zucchini and dice into small cubes and set aside in a bowl.
  4. Chop pepperoni into small pieces and add into bowl of zucchini.
  5. Mix in can of pizza sauce.
  6. Spread each boat onto a cookie sheet and fill with mixed toppings and then top with mozzarella.
  7. Bake for approximately 20 minutes at 375 degrees until cheese is melted and starting to brown.
  8. Enjoy!


Paleo Chocolate Pudding with Grass-Fed Gelatin

Paleo Chocolate Pudding with Grass-Fed Gelatin

Chocolate is the weakness in our house.  The other night we were craving a quick dessert and I am always trying to find new ways to incorporate grass-fed gelatin into our diets. So I whipped up a quick pudding and it was loved by everyone in our house, especially my two year old!  The ingredients are pretty simple and can be easily found at any grocery store (with the exception of the grass-fed gelatin) Our favorite is Vital Proteins.  If you need a quick chocolate fix, try this one out!


Paleo Chocolate Pudding with Grass-Fed Gelatin
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 c. unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 c. gluten free, dairy free chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks
  • 3 Tbsp high-quality gelatin
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Heat the coconut milk on medium-low in a heavy-bottomed pot. You want to warm it enough to dissolve the gelatin but not boil. Add the chocolate and whisk constantly until it melts.
  • Once the chocolate has melted, whisk in the gelatin by slowly pouring as you whisk. If you just dump the whole tablespoon in, it’ll get clumpy.
  • Turn off the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract.
  • Pour into your desired glasses or cups and chill for at least 2 hours or until set.
  1. Heat the coconut milk and almond milk on medium heat, until warm.
  2. Add in the cocoa powder and chocolate chips until melted.
  3. Once the chocolate has melted, remove from heat and whisk in the gelatin and vanilla.
  4. Gelatin will clump if you don’t pour it in slowly, I cheat by pouring my entire pudding mixture into my vita-mix and blending on low.
  5. Pour into pint sized glass and chill in the fridge for at least one hour or until it sets up.


Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Sheet Cake (Gluten-free & Dairy-free)

Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Sheet Cake (Gluten-free & Dairy-free)

As summer came to close, so did our fabulous season of zucchini.  I decided I needed to create one last baked item with our remaining supply.  Chocolate is always a favorite in our house and a cake sounded just perfect.  This is a pretty quick and easy recipe, the steps can look like a lot, but they are easy to follow.  This cake is pretty similar to a traditional Texas sheet cake, but it is altered to work with a gluten-free flour blend.  I prefer King Arthur’s Gluten-free flour blend (I buy mine from our local Earth Fare), but most gluten-free blends will work. What I love about the combination of zucchini in this recipe, is that it helps keeps the cake moist, which can be a common problem with gluten free baked goods.  This recipe also freezes really well.



Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Sheet Cake (Gluten-free & Dairy-free)
Author: The Sprouted Life
  • CAKE
  • 3 c. King Arthur gluten-free flour mix
  • 1.5 c. vvaporated cane sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 c. melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c. almond milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 c. shredded zucchini
  • 1 c. chocolate chips (gluten free & dairy free)
  • 3 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c. coconut oil
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 c. almond milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  1. In a large bowl, mix the gluten free flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the coconut oil and whisk in the cocoa powder.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk into the dry ingredients, also adding in eggs, almond milk, vanilla and zucchini.
  4. Stir until well combines and then pour into a greased half-sheet pan.
  5. Bake for 18-22 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a knife pulls out cleanly.
  6. Remove from oven and set aside to frost.
  7. To create the frosting, melt coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  8. Add in cocoa powder and almond milk and whisk until well combined.
  9. Pour hot chocolate mixture over powdered sugar and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
  10. Pour icing over hot cake and spread it into a thin layer.
  11. Enjoy!


strawberry rhubarb – chocolate tart (paleo, gluten free & dairy free)

strawberry rhubarb – chocolate tart (paleo, gluten free & dairy free)

We had a pile of fresh rhubarb and fresh strawberries in front of us and we knew we wanted a dessert, but a crisp didn’t sound good.  I looked at my husband and told him to figure out a compote style layer with the fruit and I would figure out the other layers.  I right away grabbed my spring form pan, lined it with parchment paper and whipped up a almond flour (which was on sale this week at EarthFare) and coconut flour crust (it’s a common recipe that floats around in the paleo baking world).  While that was baking, I started tossing chocolate and coconut milk in a pan to cook to make a chocolate cream layer.  I tossed in Grassfed gelatin into the chocolate layer and into the compote layer to help it thicken up.  We use grassfed gelatin for it’s gut healing properties, but any type gelatin would work (our favorite is Vital Proteins, but I also like Great Lakes Brand).

Our first time making this, I just threw some gelatin into the cooking fruit.  I know better, but I did it anyway, resulting in clumps of gelatin.  So we threw the whole mixture into our blender to fix that. What I envisioned as a “compote” layer of cooked fruit, became more of a smooth gelatin like layer, which ended up working perfectly.  Our last minute, randomly thrown together dessert, ended up being a wonderful combination of flavors and has been made more than once this summer and was even made for Fathers Day to share with my family.


strawberry rhubarb – chocolate tart (paleo, gluten free & dairy free)
  • For the Crust:
  • 1.5 cups of almond flour
  • 3/4 cup of shredded coconut
  • 2 Tbsp. of melted coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp. of maple syrup or honey
  • pinch of sea salt
  • For the Chocolate Cream Layer:
  • 1 can of full fat coconut milk
  • 8 oz dark chocolate chips (for dairy free, make sure you check them)
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp. grassfed gelatin
  • For the Strawberry Rhubarb Gelatin Layer:
  • 4 cups strawberries, chopped
  • 2 cups rhubarb, chopped
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. grassfed gelatin
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. combine almond flour, coconut, coconut oil, maple syrup and sea salt in a food processor and pulse together until it begins to clump.
  3. press dough into a spring form pan that has the bottom lined with a piece of parchment paper.
  4. Bake for 12 -15 minutes until the crust is slightly browned.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool.
  6. move on to making the chocolate layer, by warming the coconut milk up in a pan on medium heat.
  7. When the milk is warm, whisk in the cocoa powder, maple syrup and the chocolate chips.
  8. Remove from heat and sprinkle the surface with your gelatin, add it slowly and let it absorb in off the surface and whisk it in before adding more. *you do not want to just dump it in, or you will end up with clumps* **if you do get clumps, just run the chocolate mixer through your blender.**
  9. Once the gelatin is incorporated, pour the chocolate layer into the crust and place in the fridge.
  10. Then move on to the strawberry rhubarb layer.
  11. On medium- low heat, start cooking down the strawberries, rhubarb, water and maple syrup.
  12. I let it cook down for about 20 minutes, until the fruit was starting to break down.
  13. slowly add in the gelatin and then pour entire mix into your blender and gently blend until mixture is smooth. I let cool for a about 15 minutes in the blender.
  14. Pour fruit mixture on top of chocolate layer and place back into the fridge to set up. I let mine sit for at least 2 hours.
  15. When it is chilled, release the spring form pan and cut into slices.


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.


Pecan Oat Stawberry Rhubarb Crisp (Gluten Free)

Pecan Oat Stawberry Rhubarb Crisp (Gluten Free)

I am one of those people who loves spring.  I barely survive winters in Indiana and can not wait for green grass, blossoms on trees and signs of life spouting out of the ground.  Along with spring and early summer comes an over abundance of two of my favorite foods – strawberries and rhubarb.

We grow strawberries along the side of our house (below are some pictures from last years harvest).  They are obviously not ready yet for this year, but there has been a lot of really tasty strawberries on sale recently at our local Earth Fare. So I picked up some fresh strawberries and rhubarb to satisfy my early spring cravings.






If you have read previous posts on my blog, you know I create a lot of crisps, because they are so easy to make and you don’t have to be exact. Typically in gluten free baking, being exact really matters and honestly, I don’t really like to measure things.  This recipe is a simple combination of pecan pieces, gluten free rolled oats, tapioca starch and coconut oil.  Many celiacs can not tolerate oats, but I can in small amounts as long as they are not cross-contaminated. I use Bob Red Mills certified gluten free oats in my baking. This recipe is also pretty tart as I like to highlight the rhubarb and keep my sugar content lower.



Pecan Oat Stawberry Rhubarb Crisp (Gluten Free)
Author: The Sprouted Life
  • 8-10 cups of strawberries (cut is halves)
  • 4 cups of chopped rhubarb
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup evaporated cane sugar (depending on desired sweetness)
  • 1 1/4 cups gluten free rolled oats (I grind to coarse in my Vita Mix)
  • 1 cup chopped pecan pieces (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. later chopped strawberries and rhubarb in a 13 x 9 pan
  2. sprinkle with an 1/8 of cup of evaporated cane sugar
  3. in a different bowl, mix together coarsely ground rolled oats, pecans, tapioca, coconut sugar stir.
  4. slowly pour in coconut oil and vanilla and incorporate until topping starts to clump.
  5. sprinkle topping evenly across the strawberry rhubarb layer.
  6. bake for 10-15 minutes at 400 (watching to make sure it doesn’t burn topping) and then reduce the heat to 300 and bake for about 45 minutes, until topping is lightly brown and strawberry rhubarb layer is bubbling.
  7. **you can increase sugar amounts if you do not like the tartness of rhubarb.
  8. **you can also add in additional add ins, like chia seeds, ground flax seed or even coconut. if you do you may need to increase the coconut oil slightly so everything is fully incorporated

two of the notes that I put in the recipe:

**you can increase sugar amounts if you do not like the tartness of rhubarb.
**you can also add in additional add ins, if you do you may need to increase the coconut oil slightly so everything is fully incorporated

I change up our crisp recipes all the time, sometimes I toss in some chai and flax seed, especially if I am going to give it to my kids as breakfast, (I want the higher fiber content) or add coconut, or almond flour etc.  You can be pretty flexible.

I can’t wait to see what this year’s garden harvest of strawberries brings!