Simple Mills: Healthful and Really, Honestly Delicious

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Simple Mills Pumpkin mix

I love baking. I love having the cookbook open, flour on my hands, measuring each ingredient and anxiously peering in the oven waiting for it to be done. But deciding on a recipe, making sure I have all of the ingredients, cleanup, etc. take time and sometimes I am busy and/or just don’t feel like it. The friends who I wanted to bring a baked good made with love instead get flowers purchased with love because if I can’t bring them something I know is good, no dice.

Truthfully, I have never been a big fan of box mixes because I don’t love consuming things that I can’t pronounce or have no clue what they are. That’s why I was willing to try Simple Mills. The ingredients are clearly listed- they’re simple and, most importantly, all inside the mix. No measuring, no running to the store because you forgot something. All mixes use almond flour, which is a nice switch from traditional flours and if you’re gluten free, jackpot. I knew the true test of Simple Mills was going to be the pumpkin muffins because if we are all being honest, “gluten-free pumpkin muffins” sounds like code for “dry tasteless block of orange.”

Simple Mills Pumpkin

Verdict: more like “pillow of pumpkin glory.” You guys. These muffins were good. Really, really good. Moist, lots of flavor and super easy to make. I added bittersweet chocolate to half of the batter because I didn’t want these little guys to be too virtuous. The muffins were great with the chocolate and the ones sans chocolate were delicious solo or with a little almond butter.

I love bringing hostess gifts with something the hosts can eat the following morning. Someone did it for us once and it was genius- after cooking and cleaning up the night before, I woke up hungry but not ready for leftovers and certainly not about to cook something else. These Simple Mills muffins are going to be tucked in our little gift for the Friendsgiving we are attending tomorrow and I am really excited to have an alternative to baking from scratch this holiday season. Healthful and genuinely delicious is a prized combination: two genuine thumbs up from my kitchen.

Simple Mills Pumpkin Muffins

{Disclosure: the team at Simple Mills sent me the muffin mix gratis and all opinions are my own.}


GP’s It’s All Good

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Striped bass with cucumber-clementine salsa & ginger sesame seed carrots.

Belgian waffles (gluten/sugar/dairy-free)

Turkey meatballs and homemade marinara sauce.

Sold American.

After a co-workers recommendation and a weekend cooking through it, I have fallen hook, line and sinker for Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good cookbook. It’s entirely focused on clean eating and almost everything is gluten free, which is great for us trying to take it easy on all things wheat. Also great is the prologue, in which I learned a ton about ingredients and their health benefits.

Everything I made last weekend was possibly the best things to come from our kitchen and I went into this week feeling fantastic. People talk a lot of shit about GP but I love her and this cookbook of healthy, flavorful goodness just seals the deal. Homegirl can sing, act, blog, cook and bring this goodness into my home, all while coming up with phrases like conscious uncoupling. Fine. By. Me.

Up next: sweet potato and five spice muffins.


Gluten-Free Update

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I am 13 days into my month of being gluten-free. I have read blogs and books, learning about what isn’t entirely made out of wheat and tried a lot of new recipes, hitting veggies hard. And I’ve got to tell you, I am feeling so much better. Of course, it could be a combination of holiday cocktail’ing being over and not stuffing my face with copious amounts of carbs and sugar but I have absolutely noticed my stomach feeling better and having more energy in general.

My favorite discovery (aside from feeling better)? Spaghetti squash! It really, truly has the consistency of spaghetti and it was so good topped with sautéed veggies and cherry tomatoes. Polenta with homemade marinara sauce was a close second. Next up? Gluten-free baking. Stay tuned.


Back Away from the Wine and Cookies

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I love the holidays and subsequent edible merriment but I must say, after our NYE feast, I was ready to take a hiatus from all of the less than clean eating I have been doing. I love wine, I love fun dinners out and I need a break. For the month of January, I am rocking a gluten free and no refined sugar way of eating to see if it makes a difference in how I feel. Food is fuel and if I am not feeling energized and great, my fuel must be off.

Yesterday, I made these tacos from Sincerely Caroline, who is a great gluten free resource (and really lovely person). This morning was gluten free oatmeal with chia seeds, berries and almond milk. It’s actually been a lot of fun to research recipes and learn some new things. Some intentional choices and backing away from the wine and cookies can’t hurt.

Any websites, recipes or blogs you love for gluten free or healthy eating are more than welcome!