5 Ingredient #GlutenFree Apple Pies

Recently, I shared a super easy and friggen delicious recipe for chocolate-chip mini cheesecakes. These were devoured in our house before you could blink, and I wanted to share another recipe I came up with for the Pillsbury gluten free pastry dough! Seriously, I am in love with this line.

I originally came up with this recipe one evening when trying to figure out what to make for the college girls I have over to my house weekly for Bible study. One of the girls is guten-free and since moving into her college dorm, she has struggled with the lack of delicious options available to her. Boy, do I know how that goes.

5 Ingredient Gluten Free Mini Apple Pies // erinlauray.com

Remember to purchase the Pillsbury gluten free pastry dough for this recipe. At only $4.99, its the best option for DELICIOUS baked yummy goodness. I loved it long before having this opportunity :) When I first heard about Pillsbury coming out with these options, I was seriously thrilled. Kind of teary, I’ll be honest. Because when you haven’t had a GOOD pie or cookie in a long time…it makes you cry a little. I mean, y’all, I haven’t had a hot buttery slice of french bread in almost three years. :/

Its rough for sure, but when things like this come out, it makes the gluten free world a bit brighter. And with my #simplify word of the year, I am out to find what works and get rid of the rest. And to further simplify, this recipe is only five ingredients!


  • 5-6 small green apples, cored, peeled, and chopped
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 2 T gluten free all purpose flour
  • 5 T unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tub Pillsbury Gluten Free Pastry Dough

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. And then right quick, take a small mixing bowl and combine the brown sugar, flour, and butter. Set aside [yes, its going to get crumblier as it sits but it will still be pretty creamy]. Then take the green apples and peel & core them. After that, chop them up into little pieces. Place those in another mixing bowl and set aside.

5 Ingredient Gluten Free Mini Apple Pies // erinlauray.com 5 Ingredient Gluten Free Mini Apple Pies // erinlauray.com

Take the dough and using your fingers, press the dough into each cup. Just the same as pressing pie dough into a pie pan, make sure it isn’t too thick and not too thin :)

5 Ingredient Gluten Free Mini Apple Pies // erinlauray.com

Now, you’re going to add the apples in. Just level to the top of the cup is fine. You don’t want it overflowing because the sugar topping will melt everywhere if it has no where to go!

5 Ingredient Gluten Free Mini Apple Pies // erinlauray.com 5 Ingredient Gluten Free Mini Apple Pies // erinlauray.com

Then add a scoop of the sugar mix to the top of each pie. This is going to melt into the pie and be just divine. Just make sure to not do too much. I’d say using a large spoon, a good scoop is okay. You can see in the picture.

5 Ingredient Gluten Free Mini Apple Pies // erinlauray.com

Then bake. Because these are minis, you aren’t going to follow the time on the Pillsbury container. Only bake for 15 minutes or until edges of the crusts begin to golden. Once they’re ready, let them sit for a couple minutes to stop bubbling. Then, they should pop right our of your tin.

5 Ingredient Gluten Free Mini Apple Pies // erinlauray.com

When you cut into them, the inside will melt everywhere and holy goodness its amazing. :) Good with some vanilla ice cream, maybe? :)

5 Ingredient Gluten Free Mini Apple Pies // erinlauray.com

Thank you to Pillsbury for sponsoring this post! I really am excited that I got to work with a brand and product that is something I believe in and truly love. All opinions and statements are mine. Go to Pillsbury’s website for more info on their new gluten free products and visit their Pinterest board for more fun recipes!

When Food is the Enemy

When Food is the Enemy - Gluten Intolerance // erinlauray.com

Its been two and a half years since I started my gluten free journey. It all started with innocently reading an article on gluten intolerance. But this simple act started a domino effect that lead to the difficult discovery of my own gluten intolerance.

What are the symptoms of gluten intolerance?

Did you know that is is suspected that one in THREE Americans has a gluten intolerance?? It makes sense to me when symptoms for gluten intolerance look like this:

  • constipation [going poo less than three times a day/after each meal is actually considered constipation]
  • gas and bloating, often painful, after meals
  • Keratosis Pilaris [those icky bumps on the backs of your arms]
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle/joint pain and/or inflammation
  • Brain “fog” or the inability to concentrate
  • Irritability
  • Other autoimmune diagnosis like: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis
  • Anxiety
  • Weight gain

Does that seem like a list of stuff that people would think was just normal due to their lifestyle? I think so. And because gluten is something that people don’t really understand, its often hard for them to pinpoint what is really causing these symptoms. Food has become their enemy, and they don’t even know it.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. This isn’t only bread products. Barley is used to brew soy sauce. Wheat starch is used as a thickening agent in hair products, vitamins, and more. You would be surprised where gluten is found! Medications, vitamins, hair products, make-up, syrups, seasonings, sauces, prepackaged meals, and more. Becoming gluten free is a big commitment, but I promise, the relief you will feel is WELL worth it. I won’t lie, though. It sucks. Sometimes I hate that I have to live this way. I LOVE that there are products out there to help me live a more normal lifestyle, but it is super hard [especially during the holidays] to not be able to eat things that every single person around you is consuming.

It can also be hard to live on a tight grocery budget when a gluten free loaf of bread that is half the size of the conventional loaf costs up to three times as much [my favorite brand is $5.99 a loaf]. There are many difficulties to having this allergy. But that is what it is. An allergy. If you or a family member had a dangerous peanut allergy, you’d be more than happy to accommodate and spend what you needed to in order to keep them safe, right? Same with gluten. It can be deadly. It can be very dangerous. The constant break down of your intestine by consuming gluten can often lead to intestinal disorders, cancers, and other awful things.

So what now?

Have I completely freaked you out now? :) I didn’t mean to if I did. I hope this informs you and helps you make the decision about whether or not you need to eliminate gluten from your life. I often advise people to purchase Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s book The GFree Diet. It is a great starting point to learn what gluten is, where it is found, what it is called on ingredient labels [believe it or not, there is not a law for labeling gluten, so its often very difficult to find complicated chemical names for gluten on labels], and how to live with your new lifestyle. I also really like the Gluten Free on a Shoestring blog and her cookbooks, Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap and Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread: (Biscuits, Bagels, Buns, and More).

But first, you need to find out if you have a gluten intolerance. You can ask your doctor if you want, but because there are no financial benefits for them doing the testing for Celiac Disease [and often they are very skeptical], they often will put off your concerns. Not all doctors do this, but it is an experience by a vast majority in the gluten intolerance community.

An easier way to find out if you have a gluten intolerance is the elimination diet. Eliminate ALL foods containing gluten for 2-3 weeks. If your symptoms go away [all of mine went away in 4 weeks, and I lost 20 pounds over my first three gluten free months], there is good evidence that you have a gluten intolerance. If you do not know what things in your house have gluten and which are safe, just eliminate everything and eat very simply. Sounds drastic, but in order to feel healthy, its necessary!

What I did was eat steamed vegetables and baked chicken that was seasoned with plain salt and pepper for lunch and dinner and purchased a known gluten free cereal [Chex is a good one] for breakfast. Other than that, I did not eat anything else for 4 weeks. I felt amazing!! And all my symptoms went away!

After that, I felt that I was allergic to gluten and decided that this would be my lifestyle. I did research on which brands clearly label their products if they contain gluten, purged my pantry of items containing gluten [it was too much of a temptation], talked to my hubby about what I needed in his support and what gluten intolerance was, and started researching gluten free recipes!

One misconception of gluten free eating is that you don’t have any other options than steamed veggies and baked chicken. Not true! Now, I am able to convert to gluten free most conventional recipes I want to try and am embarking on the scary field of gluten free baking. :) I mean, its not scary, but boy does it have a learning curve!! Its not easy to bake gluten free, but I want to master it! I want to eat pie and cookies and bread and cakes and more without “fudging.”

Still have questions?

I am an OPEN book. Ask me anything! The gross, complicated, and normal. Comment below or if its more private, email me at erin [at] erinlauray [dot] com. :)

Do you have a gluten intolerance? Any tips? Whats your story??


Lessons Learned

Yesterday, I came to a very serious realization. My food doesn’t love me. A little over a year ago in April of 2011, I started a gluten-free journey. It all began when a gfree friend shared an article on signs and symptoms of the sensitivity. After reading it, I felt like I had finally found the answer! I had long struggled with digestion and other issues — often felt uncomfortable after meals, lots of pain, and several other discomforts — so hearing about gluten sensitivity was like music to my ears.

I quickly began researching and becoming more knowledgeable about this new lifestyle. I was determined to feel better and was excited to get started. The journey has been rough. In the beginning, it was really hard to assert myself at restaurants, was hard spending the extra money on the much more expensive gluten free options, and I often felt extremely hungry because I didn’t prepare myself (and my pantry) for the difficulty it was to be gluten free.

Why did I stick with it if it was so hard? Because I felt great! I couldn’t believe the difference — more energy, no more headaches, tummy aches, felt comfortably full, no more unbuttoning my pants in the car after a dinner out — it was WONDERFUL!

Fast forward to about six months into living gluten free. Family started visiting us in Texas and we were eating out more often. I got pregnant in July 2011 which vamped up my cravings and longings for things I couldn’t have. By October of 2011, I had completely fallen off the train. I tried to convince myself that some gluten-containing items didn’t bother me. And some didn’t. Like whole grain — if it didn’t have enriched, bleached, etc. in it, I was “fine.” All the while I was building up a lie in myself that I wasn’t really gluten sensitive, I was just sensitive to white flour.


Fast forward again now to the present. We are now 12 weeks postpartum, I am “detoxing” from a medication I was taking since 6 weeks postpartum, and my body is finally balancing out. Enter gluten sensitivity symptoms again. Now I have no scientific evidence for this whatsoever — a Google search for it did not return much information — but I believe that the chemical balance of my body during pregnancy affected my ability/inability to consume gluten. The idea that I could eat whole grain foods was, I believe, a product of the changes that my body experienced during pregnancy. Since I’m not a doctor, this idea could be completely inaccurate. Regardless, I still believed that I wasn’t as sensitive during pregnancy as I had originally thought I was before pregnancy. I continued to consume gluten containing products and now am suffering severe consequences.

All of my symptoms I had said goodbye to with my gluten-free diet have now returned. In full force, I might add! I have been uncomfortable for the past week and have felt really silly. How could I have ever thought that I could eat gluten again? I guess I was in denial and was craving those yummy treats that always give me a belly ache.

SO. Lesson learned. I am now back on a completely gluten-free diet. I am excited to feel better again. again. ;) I feel silly about it because after all the research I had done on Celiac and gluten sensitivity, you’d think this would be a no-brainer for me. But I guess the irrational mind of a pregnant woman can reason any which way. I had convinced myself that I could eat whatever I wanted. Blech. I was wrong.

So thank you for allowing me to voice my mistakes and share with you the ever-challenging journey of living gluten-free. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below! I’d love to help clarify things for you, help you in your journey, and just open a conversation about it! ;) Happy Thursday!


Food allergies and needing help…

So yesterday I grocery shopped and was super excited about the fact that I basically skipped all my splurges in the store and just got what we needed…what was on the list! lol – no extra snacks, just the pre-planned ones, no Doritos, cookies, etc.

Last night, I raved to my husband about all the healthy (healthier) things I had picked up and how I resisted temptation. My meal plan included healthy dinners and by golly, I was determined to do just that! (While also saving a little money…we’re trying to pay our credit card down – which is already a pretty low balance considering the national average – and so skipping my usual splurges helped slash our grocery bill – down to $48 this week! Okay…rabbit trail…back on track…)

While snacking on roasted, dried edamame, I made pan-fried tofu with garlic sauteed kale over quinoa for dinner. It was DEE-LICIOUS! My husband loved it, heck, even my toddler had a couple of bites. I have had all three of these ingredients several times and pretty regularly…except the tofu. I eat tofu probably more than the average person – I order it in restaurants, make it at home occasionally, etc. – but it is not a regular part of my diet. Rewind to college when I worked at Starbucks. I would get some drinks with soy milk because I liked the taste combined with the flavors and coffee. It always gave me a teeny-tiny case of heartburn and my throat would feel a teensy-bit itchy. Not enough to swell, make me feel uncomfortable or anything, just enough to notice after it happened a few times. I did once suspect a food allergy there, but brushed it off after leaving Starbucks since I probably wouldn’t be getting soy milk as often.

Okay fast forward back to today. Or last night really. About an hour or so after dinner, I started getting crampy pains in my stomach (don’t worry…it was totally not baby related…and a warning here too that it may get to be a little TMI for you who care). Kind of like gas pains but also just an upset stomach. I figured I had eaten too fast or something. My husband was out playing basketball with the boys, so I just lay down on the couch and start reading to relax. But as I lie there, it starts to get worse. Thinking it is just gas, I shift positions. Lying, sitting, standing, crouching, and reclining all do not work. I am uncomfortable, now in a lot of pain, and wondering what the heck happened? (For my gluten-free pals, I checked everything and made sure I wasn’t “glutened” and everything was fine, so I ruled that out.)

Since a shower always calms my body when I’m not feeling well, I opt for one. I’m in there for like an entire hour and feel a little better. But as soon as that warm water stops flowing over me and I step out, the pain returns in full force. I groan and quickly dress in my pajamas and slide into bed. I try reading some more to distract myself from the war that my intestines are having with whatever is bothering it, but it just gets progressively worse. So I try to fall asleep, hoping when I wake that it will all be gone. I wake about a half hour later to my husband getting home and he is instantly concerned. At this point, I feel like I am going to be sick on top of all the distress my body is in. He goes in to shower, and luckily I fall asleep again. Unfortunately, about an hour after that, I wake up again. The pain isn’t going away at all!

I can hear the huge bubbles moving around inside me, can feel the pressure of my intestines pushing up on my ribcage, and wonder if I had an allergic reaction to something. I toss and turn, pray hard that my body gets rid of whatever is causing me so much pain, and finally drift off to sleep again. I toss and turn all night, wake occasionally, but luckily, I wake this morning and my body is finally at peace. Stomach a little sensitive and I’m a smidgen bloated, but otherwise I am fine.

Does anyone see the pattern here?


SOY. I had snacked on edamame before dinner, eaten a good portion size of it at dinner, and got immediate reaction once my food hit my digestive system. For anyone with food allergies, does this sound right to you? I am not 100% sure, as I don’t have a family doctor right now, and my usual one that I trust lives 1,100 miles away.

So the reason I am writing this post is to ask your help! If you have a food allergy or sensitivity, would you help me piece this puzzle together? Do you think it was the soy? I have kale all the time, eat quinoa all the time, but only have tofu occasionally. Anyway, for now, I am tossing my other package of tofu and staying away from it!!! I don’t EVER want to feel like that again!!! And of course, since I am pregnant, I don’t want to cause any harm to myself or the baby either.

Anyone have any advice? personal story?

Meal Plan

I had a great idea for a post today that I was going to post this afternoon, but I am going to save it until tomorrow now…I have SO much to do today! Grocery shop, finish two orders, mail three orders, buy materials for third order, and try to keep a sane toddler and a calm mama throughout all that! I have to lug my poor girl along with me for all of this today; hopefully she won’t hate me by bedtime!! heehee

So here is my dinner meal plan for the week…I’ve enjoyed sharing this with you every so often because I get to share with you some awesome recipes I’ve found floating around the blog-osphere. ;)

Leftover chicken enchiladas {YUM!}
Egg burritos {I have a Christmas get-together so hubby basically has to fend for himself ;)}
Cheesy Veggie Chowder
Coconut Chicken and Oven Roasted Baby Carrots + one day eating leftovers
Southwestern Quinoa Salad + one day eating leftovers

Lunches for me will be primarily “green monster” smoothies. These pack so many great nutrients and hide some veggies…and they are so delicious!! I make a double portion (32 ounces) and freeze half so I only have to make smoothies three or so times a week. You can include pretty much ANYTHING you want in these: strawberries, oranges, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, bananas, kiwi, grapefruit {I LOVE pink!}, cherries, grapes, etc. based on your tastes and then toss in a couple fist fulls of spinach and another veggie that is full of nutrients and *voila!* you’ve got yourself a nutrient packed delicious meal. I also add flax seed oil, protein powder, and even recently bought some chia seeds to add some major health impact in these delicious green lovelies. :)

I hate to admit it, but I do not eat breakfast. Most of the time, my stomach feels too sensitive in the morning to eat breakfast. It either makes me feel nauseated or extremely hungry and then I over-eat or snack. Sometimes, I eat my smoothie for breakfast. This doesn’t bother me, but whatever…anyway…I also want to try this recipe this week for Cinnamon Buns :) Yum!!

Breakfast and lunches for Jael:

Oatmeal with raisins x 3 (she loves this!)
Organic cereal w/ half banana
Organic cereal w/ 1/2 cup cut up berry (strawberries, blueberries, and/or blackberries)
Toast with Nut Butter
Breakfast with mom & dad {Cinnamon Buns}

Apple sandwiches x 2 {apple slices, nut butter, and (opt) raisins}
Pinwheels x 2 {whole wheat tortilla, cream cheese, and lunchmeat; OR nut butter and banana slices}
Nut butter and jelly on whole grain bread x 2
Smoothie with mama and a cheese stick

I also use this site for snack ideas for her :)

So there you go! Hope you were inspired, got an idea, or just enjoyed hearing what I’m cookin’ up over here ;) Have a great day!!

xoxo – erin

Gluten-Free Strawberry Cheesecake Pie

I must say, if I were not a mother, I would still make this for myself on Sunday. :) Sounds so delicious, is SUPER easy, and gluten-free! Woohoo! :) Recipe is courtesy of Carol at Simply Gluten Free.

Strawberry Cheesecake Pie
Serves 8

Pie Crust:
2 c. pecans
1 T granulated sugar
1 small pinch of kosher or sea salt
6 T unsalted butter, melted

8 oz. cream cheese @ room temperature
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 T lemon juice
1 t finely grated lemon zest
2 c. heavy cream

2 lbs. strawberries, stems removed
2 T seedless strawberry (or other berry) preserves

To make pie crust:
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly coat a 9-inch pie plate with oil.
2. Pulse nuts, sugar, and salt in a food processor until ground. Add the melted butter and pulse until combined.
3. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown and fairly set (it will firm as it cools). Let cool.

To make the filling:
1. In the bowl of and electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the lemon juice and zest and mix well.
2. In another bowl, whip the cream using the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form.
3. Sir in a big scoop of the whipped cream into the cheese mixture. Then gently fold in the rest of the cheese mixture.
4. Spoon into the cooled pie crust. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
This can be made up to one day in advance.

To make the topping:
1. Arrange the berries on the pie.
2. Warm the preserves and drizzle over the berries. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to a few hours.

I am so happy to share this with y’all because I’m finding it to be SO hard to find a recipe worth trying that is good for us gluten-intolerants. Many times, the recipe calls for expensive or rare ingredients, so I am hesitant to try it because I don’t want to waste my money on something I may not end up liking. *Enter Strawberry Cheesecake Pie* :) This will put a smile on your face, make your tummy (and intestines) love you, and is a cool summer/spring dessert everyone, Celiac and non, will love.


I made this wonderful dessert and here are the pics of the final product :)

The yummy gooeyness :)
Tada! :) So proud! :)

GFree On A Budget

Gosh, that title holds SO much information, I cannot cover it all. BUT, I will try to let you into my world and show you just how I feed my family (non-gfree) and myself (gfree) on a “budget,” and want to *disclaimer* here that I am still tweaking said budget to find the right amount where we still save but are able to purchase gfree items (that tend to be more costly). For the past few weeks, I have been busting my budget, trying to switch my pantry over, but this week I worked pretty hard to find deals and save more money. My current budget had been raised to $60 a week prior to my gluten-free “switch.” Last week, I spent $100 (yikes! I felt so bad about this!), but this week I was able to get it down to $80. Small steps, my friends! But I am excited for getting my gfree budget under control.

Okay, lets get started! :)
First off, I meal plan. Period. I never have a week where there are not at least 5 but most of the time 6 meals planned. I have a meal planning calendar (a calendar picked up in the $1 section at Target ;) that hangs on our pantry door where all our food is stored that lists daily dinner plans. Lunch is not planned because Jael eats like 5x a day, Joseph packs his lunch, and I shamefully will admit that lunch is not always a priority for me. Working on it, but dinner has been the biggest cost, so I plan it out.
I also must say here that going gluten free has really opened my eyes to nutrition and to learning what is good for my body (and my family’s too). It really holds me accountable to eat healthier, portion my food, and read labels. You wouldn’t believe how much junk is in the “healthy” stuff sold at grocery stores. So, saying this, it makes it easier to meal plan because it simplifies my ingredients. Instead of eating breaded chicken or pre-seasoned fish fillets, I purchase plain meat and season it myself (to ensure the exclusion of gluten-ous substances). This makes things cheaper and easier. Instead of being able to grab something fast food because I don’t feel like cooking, I am forced to cook what I have planned because I don’t have the luxury of a burger and fries anymore. Believe me, it SUPER stinks sometimes, but it is well worth it. The weight I am losing and the way I feel overshadows the craving for a Sonic Burger. :) But I can have a Coke which is gluten-free. yay. :) And fruit (or veggies) is always a nice refreshing snack that is naturally gluten-free. I have been addicted to refrigerated oranges and grapefruits. yum.
Anyway, on to my gluten-free on a budget. As I stated before, eating simple ingredients costs less. So when I have baked chicken only seasoned by salt and pepper, with a side of steamed veggies and rice, this is both cheap and naturally gluten free. Sure, doing this at first may seem bland and boring, but as you get used to not eating foods containing gluten (and getting them out of your house), you’ll be able to venture out more. Another thing I do regarding meal planning is that I take old family favorites of ours and just modify them. Since Joseph and I already eat pretty healthy, this wasn’t very hard since most of the recipes I have contained naturally gluten-free foods (with an average of two ingredients needing modification to gluten-free). Since gluten was modestly sneaking into our foods prior to my life change, this was how I was being “glutened” on a regular basis. Some examples of ingredients that need to be modified: seasonings, salad dressings, pre-seasoned meats, sauces, pasta, bread, etc. There are FAR more, but those are some examples.
Another thing I have been working on to be more budget friendly is to work harder on getting the foods containing gluten that my husband eats at a lower price. Fortunately, these foods consistently have a plethora of coupons available, so this isn’t hard. I have also been working on getting non-food items (cleaning supplies, toiletries, diapers, etc.) at lower and lower prices (or even free!). This gives me more money to work with since I can now spend it on items that I cannot get at rock-bottom prices (gluten-free items are expensive sometimes and not too often have coupons available). So lets say that 30% of my grocery budget is for non-food items. If I can get this down to 10-15%, I have an extra 15-20% of my budget to use on items that are going to cost a bit more. And that is a good thing :)
I also make sure my dear hubby knows that gfree treats are off limits. :) Of course, I say this with a smile, lol, but he is aware that unless I offer a gfree cookie, he isn’t allowed into my gfree snack stash. I am not trying to be a stinker here, but if we share all the gfree snacks and meal ingredients and then they’re gone, I have nothing, but he still has the gluten-containing ingredients and snacks. Not fair. So, with just one person eating the gfree cookies, meal bars, bread, etc., they last longer. And that saves money. :)
I am sure I will have more to say on this topic, as I am determined to be the gluten-free savings and couponing super mom…okay, that was slightly exaggerating…but only slightly ;) But I am determined to make this new life change (diet) work with my savings. I don’t have a lot of money, so its important to our family.
Here are a few deals I got this week that you can get too! (Some of these items are not on sale, but are the cheapest price I have found for the item so far.)
Strawberries, sale 4/$5…in Az, sale 2/$3 (produce tends to vary by region)
House Foods tofu, 2 @ sale 99¢/ea
Rudi’s Gluten-Free bread, sale 2/$7
Glutino GFree Candy Bar, 5pk, $4.79 – $1/1 Glutino = $3.79
Chēbē GFree Cinnamon Roll Mix, sale $2.29
CLIF Gfree breakfast bar, 2 @ sale 99¢/ea
Pirates Booty, 2 @ $2.69/ea (Tom Thumb/Safeway and most other grocers I have seen sell this for $2.99…score!)
Bell peppers (all colors), 2 @ sale 99¢/ea
Walgreens – No Gfree ideas here, but I was excited for the savings… ;)
Transaction 1: Bic Soleil 3 pk razors, sale $5.99 receive $2 in Register Rewards = $3.99 – $3/1 coupon = 99¢
Transaction 2: Blue Diamond almonds, sale $3.59 and Buy One Get One Free – $2 Register Reward from previous transaction = $1.59 – 75¢/2 coupon = 84¢
Total Spent at Walgreens: $4.08
Total Savings at Walgreens: $10.84
Once I receive the bread maker I previously wrote about, I will be able to make my own bread, cinnamon rolls, etc. for cheaper than buying brand name gfree bread. This will also save me money!
I hope this shed a little light on how to live gfree on a budget. Believe me, I have had SO much support with this, many friends who have helped me learn the ropes, given suggestions and recipes, and just prayed for me. It helps to have someone who knows what you’re going through! If you need anything, don’t hesitate to contact me! :)
How do you save money? Do you have any dietary/health needs that require you to be strategic with your grocery shopping? Any tips not mentioned here? Please share! :)

Yummy Chicken & Black Bean Green Enchilada Rice Bake

I made this last night, and for those of you who know my husband well, he is not a big fan of leftovers. But this was a super HIT, and he took it for lunch today ;) I was accidentally “glutened” by this meal, however, because who would think that green enchilada sauce would have gluten in it? Well, it does…“natural flavor: contains wheat” was listed on the back, and I didn’t see it :( No wonder I feel a tad achy today, really tired, and woke up with a headache…boo. :( So, I insert a warning for all my gluten-intolerant friends, this is NOT a gluten-free meal. Anyway, my husband loved it, so if you aren’t gluten-free, try it out, its delicious!
Chicken & Black Bean Green Enchilada Rice Bake
2 c. long grain rice, cooked
2 1/2 c. cooked & shredded chicken breast
One 15 oz. can mild green chile enchilada sauce
4 oz can sliced black olives
One 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 t. black pepper
1 t. kosher salt
1 t. ground cumin
One 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (or you can use Mexican style, which is great too!)
1. Preheat oven to 350° and spray a 9×13″ baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Place chicken, enchilada sauce, olives, tomatoes, sour cream, salt, pepper, and cumin into large bowl, mixing to combine.
3. Pour cooked rice into prepared baking dish and layer beans on top of rice. Pour chicken mixture over rice and top evenly with cheese.
4. Bake 30-35 mins, until cheese is melted and rice is hot.
Enjoy! If I find a gluten-free green enchilada sauce (or make my own), I will make this again. I think this would also be delicious with some corn tortilla chips too :) yum.
Thanks Picky Palate !

Kale Chips – Prepare to Be Addicted!!

Okay, so this recipe is SOOOO ridiculously easy, ANYONE could do it. And they taste like heaven…if heaven tasted like toasty, roasty kale with kosher salt and olive oil. Be still my heart…..er…stomach…anyway…
One bunch of kale
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Preheat your oven to 350°. Rinse with cool water and thoroughly pat dry the kale.
Pull the “leaves” off the kale and place in large bowl and toss the rib. Make sure to really check the folds of your leaves, as they can be really dirty!
Gently massage kale with 2 tbsp. olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt. Be careful to not use too much salt because the kale is salty itself. Just a sprinkle is enough. :)

Place kale on cookie sheet. Bake ten minutes.
The kale will look brown/purple, but it is AMAZING.

Best part is…they’re naturally gluten free!! Enjoy!

Gluten Free Resource!

I just found this website today explaining in a very simple way what gluten and gluten intolerance is. Please visit it if you are doing any research on the topic! :)

Make sure to scroll down and read each article under this link. The “Answers From a Gluten Doctor” series is phenomenal. And don’t hesitate to message me or comment here about your thoughts, questions, and even concerns! BUT remember what I said yesterday, please be courteous of mine and others’ feelings! Thanks!
I also want to thank everyone for the support and helpful information. I even had a friend (you know who you are, amazing lady!) who sent me 5 or 6 emails with resources and recipes. Boy did that make my day! :)
Stay tuned for more on my Gluten Free journey!