Lemon Bars

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I’ve never been a huge lemon bars fan, but this spring I had tons and tons of lemons from my CSA box so I decided to try something new.  Oh my goodness.  These are amazing!  We enjoyed several batches ourselves as well as shared with friends who quickly devoured them.  This is a new favorite dessert!  They are so flavorful and light that you’ll want to eat the whole batch at once.  Don’t, because these are so good, they are meant to be savored slowly, preferably with a good cup of tea.  🙂

Ingredients–Crust:

1 1/2 C almond flour
1/2 t sea salt
2 T melted butter
1 T honey
1 T vanilla extract

Ingredients–Topping:

1/4 C melted butter
1/4 C honey
3 large eggs
1/2 C freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8 inch square baking dish and dust with almond flour.  To make the crust, combine almond flour and salt in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl, whisk together butter, honey, and vanilla.  Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined.  Press the dough into the prepared baking dish.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden.

While the crust bakes, make the topping.  In a blender or food processor, combine butter, honey, eggs, and lemon juice.  Process until smooth.  Remove crust from oven.  Pour topping over crust.  Bake 15-20 minutes until the top is golden.  Let cool in the baking dish for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours to set.  Cut into bars and serve.

http://www.comfytummy.com

Pizza Salad

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My comfort food prior to going gluten/grain free was pizza, particularly a Papa John’s pizza dipped in cheese sauce.  Yummm!  I don’t think anything will measure up to a Papa John’s pizza but this dish does a great job of capturing the flavors of pizza.  We’ve now eaten this twice for dinner and have greatly enjoyed it.

Ingredients:

Meat, could be a pepperoni slices, ground beef, or our favorite–turkey sausage
2 bell peppers, chopped or sliced
1 eggplant, diced
1 red onion, diced
6 oz mushrooms, sliced
Chili flakes, to taste
Olive oil
Black or green olives roughly chopped
Banana peppers, roughly chopped
Fresh basil, torn into small pieces
3 T pizza sauce
1 T red wine vinegar
Any other pizza-like topping  you’d like… the “pie” is the limit (Haha!)

Preparation:

Over medium-high heat, saute the meat until crispy.  Remove from the pan.  Add olive oil, peppers, onion, eggplant, and mushrooms to the pan.  Let all the ingredients cook until they’ve softened and caramelized.  Add the veggie mixture to the meat, along with the chili flakes, olives, banana peppers, and basil.

For the dressing, whisk pizza sauce, vinegar, and 1/4 c of olive oil together.  Drizzle over the pizza salad and toss to combine.  Serve the salad hot, but cold pizza salad is good too!

http://www.health-bent.com

Crockpot Honey Apple Pork Loin

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This is a super fast and yummy crock pot dish!  The pork was very tender and fell apart at a fork’s touch.  The texture reminded me of the pulled pork BBQ my Mom makes in Virginia.  Yum!

Ingredients:

Pork Loin
3 Sliced Apples
4 T Honey
2 T Cinnamon
Salt to taste

Preparation: 

Lay the apple slices from 2 apples at the bottom of the crockpot and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Cut slits in the pork loin (approx 1/2″-3/4″).  Drizzle some honey into the slits and then place apple slices into the slits.  Place the pork loin into the crockpot on top of the apples.  Drizzle the top with the remainder of the honey.  Place the rest of the apples on top.  Then sprinkle the whole thing with cinnamon.  Cook on low for 7 hours.

http://mycrossfitpaleojourney.wordpress.com

Montrose Wine & Kebabs

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Montrose is an adorable little town just north of our home in Glendale.  We love wandering the streets, shopping in the boutiques and most of all, eating in the unique local restaurants.  We’ve never had a fail at a restaurant in Montrose and last night we tried another win!  I have noticed Montrose Wine & Kebabs for awhile.  It sits on the second story of a building and has a beautiful patio overlooking downtown Montrose.  Since last night was such a beautiful night, we decided to check it out!

The restaurant is an Armenian run place with Armenian/Mediterranean decor and food.  One of the owners came over to our table soon after we sat down.  I asked him what his favorite meal is at the restaurant in which he replied with a series of questions for me.  Do I gravitate towards beef or chicken? Do I like whole pieces of meat or ground meats?  He then said, you should order the Beef Shish Kabobs with grilled veggies.  Now, that’s how I like to order my food!  Josh ordered the Chicken Lula Kabob with mini potatoes.  We expressed our concern about gluten in the sauce of the food and the owner said not to worry, we only use fresh seasoning and marinate the meats in onions.

The owner then brought us some radishes, basil leaves, and feta cheese.  It appeared to be a take on the Caprese salad…  I was skeptical about eating raw radishes, but this combination was awesome! Pretty soon our entrees were ready…wow.  Josh and I were both amazed at how flavorful our meals were!  They were beautiful displays of tender meats and seasonal veggies with the perfect blend of spices to not overshadow the entree.

We left Montrose Wine & Kebabs extremely satisfied and determined to return soon.  If you like healthy, flavorful, and affordable Mediterranean food then this is the place for you.

Thanks Montrose Wine & Kebabs for a delightful meal!!

Avocado Caprese Salad

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One of the best appetizers of the summer is a caprese salad.  Fresh basil… Ripe tomato… Avocado….

Avocado? Wait a second, isn’t that last ingredient mozzarella?

While I love the gooey yummy taste of mozzarella, my stomach does not.  I have been making caprese salads with only tomatoes and basil for years now, but at a party last month I heard of a great alternative for mozzarella cheese, avocado!  The creamy texture and calming taste of avocado fits in super well with the basil and tomato, so much so that you don’t miss the mozzarella.

Ingredients:

1 bunch of fresh basil leaves, washed
1 ripe tomato, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
1/4 C olive oil
1/4 C balsamic vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preparation:

Arrange the basil, tomato and basil leaves artistically on your platter.  Drip olive oil & balsamic vinegar across the tops of the veggies and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!!!

–Me

Easy Crock-Pot Fajitas

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I love crock pot meals…they are so easy and have little work involved besides dumping the stuff in the crock pot.  Sadly, I often am disappointed in crock pot recipes.  We don’t use ingredients with preservatives, artificial flavors, and chemicals which means that many crock pot recipes don’t work for us.  And the recipes I do find many times disappoint in flavor.  But today, I am happy to announce a GOOD crock pot recipe!

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts
1 onion, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
1 lime, squeezed
2 T cumin
2 T chili powder
1 C water

Preparation:

Put everything in the crock pot with the vegetables first.  Set it on low for 8 hours.  Shred chicken.  It’s done!  We wrapped our fajitas with lettuce and added some shredded cheddar cheese and avocado slices.  Delicious!!!

RelishSCDblogspot.com

Ye Olde King’s Head English Pub

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When we were in London we visited a pub and had a classic British drink called Pimm’s. From our first sips, we both loved this fruit liqueur. It has the perfect amount of sweet mixed with an exciting flavor of fruit. It has been nearly a year since our London excursion, and I have still missed the taste of Pimm’s. Until…last weekend!
Josh and I were wondering Santa Monica enjoying views like this…
And this…
When we discovered…The Ye Olde King’s Head English Pub! While I am no expert on British pubs, this place had the feel of an authentic British pub. The decor… the food choices… and most authentic, the accents! At least half of the people dining in the restaurant were British and the majority of the servers were British. A little taste of London in Santa Monica!

Delicious Pimm’s:

I encourage you to check it out. You may just be transported across the pond!