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I've tried A LOT of rice recipes. Some have turned out well, others... not so much. This is by far my favorite rice recipe I've found and perfected. It's a perfect addition to that weekly Mexican meal!

Easy Mexican Rice *Gluten Free*
3TBS of Olive Oil
1 cup of brown rice (long grain)
1tsp of minced garlic
1/2tsp of kosher
1/2tsp cumin
1/2cup of tomato sauce
14oz of chicken broth

In a decent sized deep pot. Heat olive oil.
Add rice and cook till slightly brown. Stirring every so often so not to burn the rice to the pan.
Next, add garlic, salt, and cumin and cook till fragrant (about 2-3minutes).
Then add the tomato sauce and chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
Stir and cover and cook till the liquid is absorbed. Check on it and stir from time to time.



I've become less and less of someone who makes resolutions every new year. Instead I use the new year to reset and strive to living and eating better. This year I think I am going to strive more to eat more vegan/plant based meals during the week. More then I already do. We will see how it goes but I'm hopeing for the best!
What You'll Need
1 Onion chopped
1 can Black Beans drained
2 cups Chicken Broth (while I haven't tried it I suppose you could use veggie broth as well for a vegan meal)
1 cup Tomato Sauce
1 cup Salsa
1 tbsp taco seasoning, I used my homemade recipe, add more if you want more spice
2 cups Uncooked Traditional or Gluten Free Pasta - any small type, I find shells to be the best -
Salt to Taste
 Dairy and Gluten Free Black Bean Taco Skillet
How to Make It
In a very deep pan or pot, saute onion in a good amount of olive oil.
After about a minute or two add the Beef Crumbles and cook till warm
Mix in Black Beans, Mexican Seasoning, Chicken Broth, Tomato Sauce, and Salsa. Bring mixture to a boil.
Once the mixture is boiling add uncooked pasta, mix well, and cover.
Cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes check the tenderness of pasta. If pasta is not tender cook for a couple more minutes.
Serve with whatever taco toppings you typically enjoy. Such as DF cheese, sour cream, lettuce, and chips.
Black Bean Taco Skillet Gluten and Dairy Free

Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to refresh and get ready for the new year! What better way to start than with a brand new set of calendars? 

To help get the new year started off right, FTD created these floral printable calendars to help you stay organized for the year ahead. Each month has a unique watercolor floral design, and comes in two sizes: 8.5” x 11” and 11” x 17”. They’re perfect for either hanging up on your wall, or putting directly on your desktop to add a spot of color to your workspace! 

Free 2017 Floral Calendars from FTD
I LOVE these calendars. A few post back I talked about my meal planning process and I shared how much I love these printables! They are perfect to put up on the fridge and for writing in your weekly (or biweekly) meal plans.  

Start off your new year and new year of meal planning with these FREE calendars! 

*discloser* FTD contacted me and asked for my help sharing their new 2017 printable calendars. They were kind enough to write the opening to this post but under the photo the opinions are 100% mine own. 


Do you have a desert recipe you've perfected so much that it's the only recipe you make every christmas/holiday??

*raises hand*  
Me! That's me! 

I've said in the past. I am NOT a baker. Add in the fact that whatever I make has to be gluten free is just a recipe for disaster(haha, see what I did there)! So when I found this recipe for GLUTEN and DAIRY FREE peanut butter truffles with only 4 ingredients! I about fell out of my computer chair.
I've made them every year since I found the recipe and they are such a crowd pleaser.
Let's also talk about how amazing peanut butter is!
I love this article by Positive Health Wellness about the health benefits of peanut butter:
4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Truffles
|Gluten Free | Dairy Free |
Peanut Butter Truffles

1/2 cup of peanut butter
1/2  cup of powdered sugar
1/4 cup of crushed GF/DF pretzels - My personal favorite is Snyders -

Peanut Butter Truffles Gluten and Dairy Free


  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Add all the ingredients together EXCEPT the chocolate chips.

  • make sure to not crush the pretzels too fine. It will help give your truffles a nice crunch.

  • Roll the peanut butter mixture into balls and place on parchment paper
  • Place in freezer for 30 minutes to harden.
  • When its time to pull them out. Melt your chocolate over boiling water or if you are short on time, melt in a microwave safe dish.
  • Using a fork, roll each ball in the chocolate till completely covered and place back on backing sheet and parchment paper.
  • Place the sheet back in the freezer to set then keep in the refrigerator so they don't harden to much.
  • Enjoy!

  • Peanut Butter Truffles Gluten and Dairy free


    I am a part of Mambo Sprouts blogger program. I was sent these probiotics and compensated by Mambo Sprouts in exchange for a review.  Opinions are 100% my own. 

    Probiotic's are so important for everyday life! They help our little bodies function more effectively and fight off any germs the world send our way. And for those of us that already have gut issues due to food allergies, taking this little power packed goodies helps make our guts more happy.

    I had the opportunity to try new Pb8 Probiotic vegetarian capsule supplements. These capsules to not contain milk, gluten, soy and are stored in BPA-Free Bottles! Woot Woot! All my favorite things.
     PB8 Probiotic Review and Giveaway

    I notice after about a week of taking them daily after I ate lunch that I was digesting food MUCH better and was less bloated (which is always an issue for me).
    I am usually very good about taking supplements but a probiotic is one I am always lacking in keeping stocked in our fridge. My biggest issue with probiotics in the past is they can be VERY expensive, however I am super impressed at the price of these supplements! And they are available just about everywhere! Online and in store (find where to buy here)

    Guess what? The wonderful people over at Mambo Sprouts want to give one of my lucky readers 6 bottles of Pb8 Probiotics!
    Enter Below!
     PB8 Probiotic Review and Giveaway
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Giveaway ends on 11/17/16 at 12am! I'll announce the winner on this post next week.
    U.S entries only

    As a part of the StonyField clean plate blogger program, I was given a gift card to donate to the charity of my choice. Opinions are 100% my own. 

    StonyField, being the wonderful company that they are, gave me the awesome opportunity to pay it forward this Christmas season by providing a way to donate to my favorite charity.
    I chose the rescue that brought us our sweet little boy Bruno, Florida Pointer Rescue. Baby Bruno
    (photo via FPR)
    On December 6, 2014 Steve and I went to an adoption day run by Florida Pointer Rescue to look at dogs. We had one in mind that we saw online, but when we arrived that dog had been already been rescued by a different family. We walked down the line of kennels and saw this little ball of brown cuddled up in the corner of a kennel. Steve picked him up and the rest is history.
    Paying It forward with StonyField

    I think supporting local rescues is a great thing. They do so much and provide so much joy to people that they sometimes get overlooked. They also keep sweet puppies and dogs from spending their days locked up in a shelters and kill shelters.

    If Florida Pointer Rescue never picked up our little pup he would have never been a part of our lives. 
    What people don't know is that Bruno has actually be a great comfort for my husband who is an army veteran.
    While Bruno is in no way trained to by a military service dog, I don't deny the fact he is aware when my husband needs him and has been so beneficial to his mental health. As a wife, that is a great blessing.
    Sometimes nothing is better then the love of a dog and Bruno definitely has a lot of love to give.
    Paying It Forward with StonyField
    So, Thank you Florida Pointer Rescue, I hope the couple of pounds of dog food and treats I was able to send you was a blessing to you and your pups this holiday season! May you continue to bless families with lifelong doggie companions!
    And thank you StonyField for giving me the opportunity to give back to a rescue that give so much to others.
    Pay It Forward

    Another DANG good crock pot recipe for y'all! This one is so easy there is not much else to say! 
    simple ingredients = amazing flavor!
     Crock Pot Mongolian Chicken
    1lbs of chicken, cubed, coated in 1/4 cup of Corn Starch 
    2 TBLS of Olive Oil
    Minced Garlic 
    1/2 Cup of Gluten Free Soy Sauce
    1/2 Cup of Water
    1/2 cup of Brown Sugar (or coconut sugar)
    1 Cup of shredded carrots

    In a bowl or plastic bag add cubed chicken with corn starch and coat. 
    Whisk together all the ingredients in crock pot except chicken. Then add chicken and mix all together.
    Place on low for 4-5 hours.
    Serve over White Rice


    As a Stonyfield blogger, I was compensated for writing this post as part of my agreement with Stonyfield.  All opinions and thoughts are all mine. 

    The title of my blog is not a lie.  I love the simple things in life. Things like chocolate, peanut butter, and brownies. Combine them together and you get this lovely masterpiece!

    I recently had the opportunity to try King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour and decided to use it with recipe. Five years ago I would have had to buy all different kinds of flours in order to make my own gluten free all purpose flour, but now, thanks to King Arthur, life is much simpler. All the ingredients I need, condensed into one sweet little package to use in just about any recipe!

     Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

    Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
    (Inspired by)
    9oz of Greek yogurt
    1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of almond milk
    1 egg
    1 egg white
    3/4 cup of King Arthurs Gluten Free Measure for Measure
    3/4 cup of Dutch-process cocoa powder*
    1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unrefined or coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
    1/4 cup of honey
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup of enjoy life chocolate chips
    1/2 cup of natural or regular peanut butter
    Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
    • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8" x 8" pan with baking spray.
    • Add all of the of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips and peanut butter and mix together. I used a hand mixer to mix the ingredients together.
    • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.
    • Microwave the peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl until it's easy to spread. Drop spoonfuls of peanut butter onto the batter and create a swirl effect using a knife or toothpick.
    • Bake for 23 - 27 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. 
    • Cool completely in the pan and then cut. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
      • *(I used cacao, which looking back I would have used less then 3/4cup)
    Gluten Free Peanut Butter Brownies
    By the way... I LOVED using the Lavooon spoons and the Silpat Mat. They made creating this recipe so easy and simple! The would be the perfect pairing for that Christmas Cook on your list this year!

    Do you have a favorite simple recipe you like to make? Mine will always be brownies! 

    I don't know about you, but I feel as though I am SURROUNDED by sickness. It is just that time of year when stuffy noses occur and sinuses are all a mess.
    It can be easy to raid the medicine cabinet and take a swig of some nasty dyed cold and flu medicine (I know I have). However, we should prepare our bodies for those icky cold and flu germs by adding some great immune boosters to our diet and supplements! 

    Here are a few things that I do to boost up my body and maybe there is something here for you too! 
    Natural Ways to Fight off Sickness

    Hand Sanitize -
    Ask anyone that I work with and they will tell you I'm addicted to sanitizing my hands. Even though they think I'm crazy, I believe it really helps keep the germs at bay. I know some sanitizes can be harsh on your hands but here's a good list of non-toxic ones you can find in your local grocery and or health food store! -

    Herb Supplements -
    I think herb supplements are the way to go when it come's to building up your immune system. My person favorites are Elderberry and Echinacea and here is why...
    ElderBerry - boost immune system function, protect against bacteria and infection, slow down the spread of cancer, moderate the digestive process, prevent the development of diabetes, reduce the pain and speed associated with autoimmune diseases, help with weight loss, lower blood pressure, and alleviate allergies (via).
    Echinacea -stimulates the overall activity of the cells responsible for fighting all kinds of infection. It is a great way to combat cold and flu. 
    Both of these can be taken in supplement form which is what I prefer. But I've also seen these offered in liquid and even lozenges form. 

    Natural or Organic Cough and Night Time Syrup -
    This may seem hard to find but it really isn't. My favorite is Maty's which you can find in many major retailers. I know I can find some right around the corner at my local CVS! Woot Woot! 

    Drink some tea -
    It is FINALLY cool enough here in Florida to drink tea and not sweat while drinking. I drink tea when I can. Mostly Chamomile and Roobius which both have great benefits for immune boosting. Find the type of tea you like, see if its great to fend off those colds, and drink up! 

    Diffuse those oils -
    I don't really diffuse as often as I should anymore. However, I've been trying to do it more often just to get some good oils floating through the air. Use essential oils such as Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Sweet Orange and Thyme. My personal favorites are Sweet Orange and Lavender!

    Do you have any great tips for fighting germs this cold and flu season!?
    I'd love to hear them! 


    Meal planning. Let's face it, we act like it a fun thing to do but it 90% of the time it is stressful, troublesome, and (sometimes) time consuming.
    Whether you are planning for 5 days a week or 2, meal planning is important. 
    I thought instead of giving you tips on how to meal plan, I would just show (or write) you straight up what my meal planning process looks like.
     How I meal plan
    I plan meals (mostly dinners) for two weeks. This works for me because I tend to spend less in one big trip then in two. Now, during those two weeks I may go to the store to pick up an item or two but I still stay fairly under budget and get a majority of what I need in that first big trip.

    My budget for those two weeks is between $80-$100. Do I stay in that bracket on my biweekly shopping trip? No? It depends on the week. Some trips I need organic olive oil and other big organic items which is expensive and jacks up my grocery bill. Some weeks I spend under that because I have stocked up on items the trip before. It fluctuates. 

    On the Thursday before my biweekly shopping trip I sit down with a cute calendar (my favorite printable is here) and start scrolling through new recipes I may have pinned over the two weeks onto my "Time To Eat" pinterest board.  I like to cook 1-2 new meals during the two weeks. Spice up life a little. If I haven't pinned much I'll look into my recipe book full of recipes I've already made and see what I have stored up in there.

    OH I guess I should talk about our eating habits before we dive into shopping lists and such. I say our diet is 80/20 - 80% vegetarian/vegan/plant-based and 20% Meat (chicken or fish). 
    Here is my stance on meat - I am not against meat as long as they are humanly raised and fed properly (aka grass fed/organic/no hormones). I grew up on a farm and we raised meat cows so I know what it takes for them to be raised and raise correctly. I don't like the industrial aspect of the U.S meat industry so I just don't support it.

    -I don't eat or cook pork ever. It is just a preference.
    -I RARELY eat beef. Only at christmas when we get a roast from our old local butcher do I eat beef (and usually not that much). I grew up eating from that butcher shop and know the cows come from the field behind it so I know they are treated well. ;)
    -When it comes to chicken I really try to buy organic, humanly raised, antibiotic and hormone free chicken. Though my local grocery only has limited amounts of that so I usually can only get local antibiotic and hormone free. Which is better then nothing. But since that's all I can get we only eat it once a week at most.
    -Any fish I buy is wild caught. I never by farmed. Its usually Mahi Mahi, Tuna, or Salmon (on RARE occasions cause salmon is expensive wild caught) 

    Ok moving on.... 

    So like I said our diet is 80/20. I cook 2 out of the 5 days a week. That may not seem like a lot but Mondays and Tuesdays we have church commitments, Wednesday and Thursday I cook, and Fridays are usually pizza or take out. 
    So out of those 2 days, on a good week, I try to make both vegetarian/vegan/plant-based. But, if we have stocked up on good chicken or fish, I will use one of those days to have a meat meal. I also try to eliminate dairy from the meal as much as possible. I'll sub a lot of meals with vegan alternatives but there are some days that I allow dairy.

    So here is an example of our menu for the next two weeks 
    Monday - Class (we usually grab some rice bowls at our local Moes)
    Tuesday - Leftovers 
    Wednesday - Crock Pot Enchilada Quinoa
    Thursday - Sweet Potato BBQ Burgers with Mac+Cheese (Annies GF) and Green Beans 
    Monday - Class 
    Tuesday - Leftovers
    Wednesday - Baked Teriyaki Chicken with Broccoli and White Rice 
    Thursday - Crock Pot Veggie Lasagna 

    Next comes grocery list shopping. I use this list pad that you can buy on amazon. It works perfect for me. I usually go through every recipe and write what items I need from the store for those recipes. Then I move on the staple items I know we will need from week to week.

    Right before I head out to the store I make sure to updated my coupon book with new coupons from sites like and mambo sprouts. As well as digital coupons that my store offers.

    Then I go shopping! You can check out my simple organic shopping tips and tricks for shopping here! 

    Got questions?? I'd love to answer them! Leave a comment below!