Cooking is the ultimate sensory experience. From the smell of fresh fruits and veggies, to the sound of sizzling pans, to the taste of perfectly melded flavors, I think there is nothing else I’d rather do than cook.

I love walking up and down the aisles of the grocery stores and fresh markets seeing what’s in season. As I see each thing, my mind begins to plan and put flavors together. It’s the nerdy, foodie kind of excitement.

In the last 6 weeks, I have been forced to see and experience food in a whole new way. By eliminating “fillers” like breads and grains (as well as all forms of sugar), I have had to get creative. I’ve had to figure out how to let veggies and meats stand on their own. It’s been a challenge that I happily accepted, and I’m honestly surprised by what I’ve found.

Grain-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free food doesn’t have to be boring. Go crazy with spices! Try foreign cuisine!

Bottom line, by getting a little creative, you can find some amazing and healthy options for you and your family…and they won’t break the bank.

Cauliflower Fried “Rice” :: This stuff is legit! I, like most people, love fried rice, and this recipe doesn’t make you feel as though you’re skimping on flavor! Plus, it’s inexpensive, is totally customizable, and can be either a side or a main dish. I originally got the recipe from here, but I changed it slightly so that it would fit into my diet plan.

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  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 shallot (or red onion), chopped
  • 1 cup peas
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 2 Tbsp Gluten Free soy sauce
Take cauliflower and cut florets into pieces that fit into a food processor or blender. Put in the blender and pulse until the texture is like a rice. Set aside. Cook 2 eggs, set aside. Cook 2 slices of bacon, set aside. Keeping the bacon grease in the pan, add in the veggies and cook until tender, adding back in the chopped eggs and bacon, as well as the soy sauce. Cook for another 5 minutes, and serve! (I like this on its own, but it’s also good with glazed chicken breasts as well.)
Chili :: Chili is one of those things that you make a million different ways, and it pretty much never gets old. It can have a variety of different meats (or no meat), veggies, spices, and beans. I am pretty sure that every time I make chili, it’s slightly different than the last batch. Plus, chili is inexpensive to make, can be made ahead of time, gets better as it sits in the fridge, and can be topped with everything! That said, here is the recipe that I have made the last few times and I’ve been pretty faithful using the same ingredients.chili_110909P1020437
  • 2 cans beans (I use Black or Pinto depending on what flavor I’d like)
  • 1 jar green chili salsa
  • 1 can green chilis
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound ground bison (bison is super lean, but lean beef works too)
  • 1 pound ground chorizo (adds spice and fat)
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayanne pepper
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 tbsp chipotle powder
Take all ingredients and add to a crockpot set on med heat (mine goes by hours, so 6-8 should be a great temp), stir and taste regularly adding more spice as desired. I like my chili medium spicy, so I add as I go so I don’t overdue it. Also, the liquid will reduce down, so if you like soupy, it’s okay to add extra water. Serve hot with chopped avocado.
Braised Short Ribs w/ Cauliflower Mash & Grilled Brussel Sprouts ::  Originally, I got this recipe from the amazing cooking prowess that is the Pioneer Woman. Her short ribs I have made on more than 1 occasion, and they are fall-off-the-bone good. That being said, here is her recipe for those short ribs. I follow it to the last detail. As far as the mash, she serves hers with creamy mashed potatoes, and I used a cauliflower mash instead.  This is a super hearty dish, and my hubby barely noticed that we weren’t eating potatoes.

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Cauliflower Mash

  • 1 Large head cauliflower
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • fresh chives, chopped
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • olive oil as needed

Cut up cauliflower and add to salted, boiling water. Cook until tender. Drain the water and add cauliflower, butter, and herbs to a blender, and puree. Add olive oil as needed to get them creamier. Serve under short ribs.

Grilled Brussel Sprouts

  • 1/2 bag of large brussel sprouts
  • 2 Tsbp olive oil
  • 2 Tsbp balsamic vinegar

Cut brussel sprouts into quarters. Heat a skillet to med-high heat with olive oil. Toss in sprouts and sauté until fork tender. Add in balsamic vinegar and turn heat up to high. Cook until sprouts have a good caramelization on them. Serve.

 

Do you have any gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free recipes that you’d like to share? Please add them into the comments below!

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