Summer Pasta Salad with Tomato-Basil Vinaigrette

FullSizeRender

I wish I were a really good food photographer. You’ve seen those pictures- the ones where your mouth waters and you just want run and go make whatever it is your looking at! Well, I don’t have that talent, but this recipe was too good not to share! It’s adapted from a Young Living recipe that they used during the 2016 International Grand Convention Product Expo. Enjoy!

Salad Ingredients:
* 3 cups of Gluten Free Brown Rice Rotini Pasta cooked Al Dente (or gluten free pasta of your choice)
* Diced Peppers (I used Yellow, Red and Green and did half of each one)
* Pint of Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
* Gluten Free Pepperonis
* Any other raw veggies you would like to add
* Goat’s Milk Cheese (the kind with no milk added)

Tomato-Basil Vinaigrette:
* 1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar ( I’ve read online that there is debate on which vinegar are gluten free, so just make sure to look up the brand you are buying)
* 1/2 cup Olive Oil
* 1/4 Cup Sundried Tomatoes (Not a must for the recipe. I left these out and it tasted fine)
* 1 Roma Tomato, cut into 5 medium- think slices
* 1/2 – 1 seeded Jalapeno Pepper
* 1 tsp salt
* 2-3 drops Young Living Basil Vitality essential oil
* Pepper to taste

Instructions:

1) Blend all Vinaigrette ingredients except Basil Vitality on high until smooth and creamy.
2) Place in a small mixing bowl and whisk in Basil Vitality essential oil.
3) Pour Vinaigrette and Salad ingredients over pasta and mix thoroughly
4) Top with Goat’s Milk Cheese
5) Can be served warm, room temp or chilled

{This was made for a party so adapt the pasta amount as needed. I don’t have different measurements for the Vinaigrette, but you an store it in the fridge in a glass container or mason jar}

{For more information on Young Living Essential Oils and how you can buy any of the oils listed click here}

2016 Young Living Convention -Mona Farm

I just got back from the 2016 Young Living Grand Convention and I want to do a full recap soon, but first I wanted to share with you all the pictures from the Mona Farm!

The weather was so beautiful and thankfully the farm wasn’t overly crowded!

Aren’t the views of the mountain just gorgeous!

While we were at the farm they were distilling Juniper and Blue Yarrow. The smell was amazing!

And of course, I can’t forget the Lavender Field. This field is one they have set up for guest to see and take pictures in. There is a field across the road where they actually do the planting and going on the Lavender we use.

There is so much to do at the farm! If you are ever there you MUST try the Lavender Lemonade- it is wonderful!

Blueberry Scones

Blueberry Scones for the Win!!! Ya’ll, this is the first thing I have been excited about since starting the elimination diet! I’m not really a breakfast person, and when I do eat breakfast, I like it to be sweet- cereal, cinnamon roll, Burger King Hersey Sunday Pie (don’t judge). But because I have to take medication in the morning, I have to eat breakfast. This weekend I came across this Paleo Lemon Blueberry Scone recipe and can I just say- it has hit the spot the past few mornings!!

IMG_8632 Cropped

It’s so simple to make! All you need is

  • 3 cups Almond Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • You can also add lemon to it by using the zest of 1 lemon and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    1) You want to preheat your oven to 325 degrees
    2) Add Almond Flour, Baking soda, salt and lemon zest (if you’re using it) to a bowl and combine
    3) Next you want to make a wall in the center and add your wet ingredients and stir until well combined. Then fold in the blueberries.
    4) Next scoop out the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can make these as big or small as you want. The directions say they should be about 1 inch thick and should make about 10. I did mine a little smaller and they made 14. You can flatten them out by wetting your fingers with warm water and patting them down.
    5) Bake for 18-20 minutes until the tops get golden.
    6) Let them cool on a baking rack. To store, wrap in freezer paper and freeze. To reheat, preheat oven to 300 degrees and then bake them/ warm them up for 15 minutes.

    I had one for breakfast on Monday and they were good but they needed a little something extra- whip cream! But since I can’t have that I had to improvise. So I may Coconut Whip Cream

    1) Take a can of full fat coconut milk and leave in the fridge over night.
    2) Turn upside down, open can and pour out the milk. The solid coconut will be at the bottom.
    3) Whip with a mixer or hand mixer until fluffy, anywhere from a few minutes to 10 minutes (the key to getting it fluffy like whip cream is to put your mixing bowl and wire mixer in the fridge for about an hour)
    4) You can add in sugar and vanilla extract to make it sweeter, but I left it plain and just stored in in the fridge.

    I like to warm one up each morning, put some dairy free butter on it, drizzle a little honey and then top with the coconut whip cream. They are so good, you may want more than one-but make sure to keep an eye on the calorie count, since almond flour can be high in calories.

    Elimination Diet Q&A

    eliminationdiet5

    This week starts week four of my elimination diet! It’s been rough, but everyone has been so supportive and great!
    I’ve received a few questions so I thought I would write everything out in case you had some of the same questions!

    Why all the test to go on an elimination diet, couldn’t you have just cut out food yourself?
    I’ve tried this a few times and here is what I’ve ran into. With an autoimmune disease that specifically effects the thyroid, I read anything from just go gluten free all the way to only eat autoimmune paleo. And there are A LOT of things in between. I really wanted to find how my body was handling food and what my body would react to! And I’m glad I did! I figured I would have to go gluten free for the elimination diet, but my test showed my body reacts to Tapioca and Amaranth- both found in gluten free flours and goods. So if I wouldn’t have had the test done, I would have been putting things in my body that it was constantly reacting too.

    Why did you pick the nutritionist you did?
    I’ve talked to a few people about nutritionist and they have given me great recommendations. I ultimately decided to go with Jessica at Simple Steps Nutrition for a few main reasons: 1) She also has an autoimmune disease and thyroid problems, so she knows exactly what I am doing through and how I feel 2) She is familiar with Young Living Essential Oils so I was very comfortable discussing the oils I am using with her 3) She did a 20 minute free call to make sure we were both on the same page and to talk about my goals. During that call there were a few things that she said that really sealed the deal- the first being that she was going to perform the extensive test needed to truly test my gut and the second being that she doesn’t up-charge for these test. She charges you her cost, plus shipping and some other little fees. If you have ever priced some of these test then you know they can be expensive!

    How long do you have to stay on the elimination diet?
    Three months! I’ll be honest, some days it seems like it will be over in no time and all and then other days it feels like a lifetime! After three months, I can slowly start introducing foods on my “No” list back into my diet. With a few restrictions- 1) No dairy at all 2) Limit gluten as much as possible/ try to go gluten free if I can 3) Limit sugar and sodas 4) If I feel my body having a reaction to the food (headache, stomach cramps, things like that) then stay off those foods. I will retest again after the 3 months to make sure my gut has healed.

    How do you go out to eat?
    Very carefully! I good news is, I’m not allergic to any of these foods- so cross contamination isn’t as big of a deal for me. Most restaurants have an allergen menu and I study that before I go to the restaurant. I make sure to tell the waitress I can’t have gluten or dairy when I order and I order everything with no seasoning and butter. My favorite place to eat so far is Henry’s. We have been eating there for years and know the wait staff and I’m very comfortable with how they prepare my food! 90% of the time I’m eating plain shrimp and veggies. Every now and then I’ll have a steak somewhere-but I’m picky about where (because let’s be honest, no one wants to pay $15 for a bland steak so Henry’s is pretty much my go to for a steak)

    Have you cheated any?
    I have- There are sometimes that I feel if I have to drink another glass of water I will throw up. So I will order a sweet tea, take my medication with it and leave it at that. Normally it’s only about 1/2 a glass. And this is only once a week- if that. Also, I have four chemicals on my “No” list and two of those chemicals are pretty much found in all foods. (They are chemicals that are found in food as it starts to age or ripen- think ripe veggies, or aged meats and vinegar). So I’ve been able to try different foods that have these chemicals in them and see how I react. Like today- I had homemade pickles with my Gluten Free black bean burger patty- Bad Idea!! They were good, but the headache I’ve had for the past three hours after eating them wasn’t worth it!

    So- that’s about all! If you have any questions feel free to ask!

    The little duplex on Third

    IMG_7991

    Anyone who knows me and Scott, knows we love a good fixer upper. When we were looking for houses, no electricity and holes in the roof were the norm. Both of us have always wanted to be involved in renovation and restoration some how. When I was doing my radio and television internships in college, when I was asked what I wanted to do it was always the same answer- host a renovation show on HGTV. Scott and I have been looking at different rental properties to fix up since late last year. When we walked into the little duplex on Third we knew it would be our first project!

    Isn’t it just the cutest! The house was built in 1941 and still has the original hardwood floors, fireplaces, even bathroom tile! The place hasn’t been touch in almost ten years and one unit was pretty much demolished.

    We still have a lot of work to do! First order of business is

  • Take all the plaster off the walls and ceiling
  • Take out the bathroom tile (this breaks my heart, but there is MAJOR water damage in the bathrooms
  • Fix the holes in the bathroom floor
  • Figure out the central air and heat situation
  • Fix the wood boards on the outside of the house
  • Take down the walls between the dining room, living room and kitchen(check!! Scott took care of this over the weekend!)
  • I’m ready to get the demo done with and start on the next phase. I quickly learned that demo is not my thing! I can’t wait to share with you some of my ideas for the new space!