Gluten Free Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad

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I’m always trying to think of easy, healthy lunch ideas that I can make a lot of. Things that I can throw into containers and that will feed us all week. We’ve been stuck on this one for several weeks now, just because it makes a lot, it keeps in containers rather well, it’s so versatile, it’s tasty, and healthy! I call it “Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad”, as you can throw in just about anything but the kitchen sink.

I’ll give you the base, then also some “throw in” ideas. You can really make it your own based on your tastes. There’s no right or wrong!

**To make it as healthy as possible, buy organic, non-gmo when you can!

Gluten Free Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad

Here’s what you need:

Base

  • 16oz package Brown Rice Pasta (cooked)
  • 8 – 10oz jar Olive Bruschetta (basically olive salad)
  • 1 T. Nutritional Yeast (this is the kind I use: Bragg Nutritional Yeast)
  • 1 T. Turmeric
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Throw In Ideas

  • Grated Carrots
  • Chopped Green Onions
  • Several Handfuls of Fresh Mixed Greens
  • Sliced Bell Peppers
  • Chopped Celery
  • Chopped Onions
  • Minced Garlic
  • Chopped Parsley
  • Sliced Mushrooms
  • Toasted Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds
  • Walnuts
  • If you’re wanting to add even more protein, Grilled Chicken works really well with it too.

 

Here’s what you do:

  • Cook Pasta.
  • Drain and rinse with cold water.
  • Add to a large bowl.
  • Add Olive Bruschetta, Turmeric, Salt and Pepper, then mix well.
  • Add in all of your other “throw in” ingredients.
  • Stir well with wooden spoon.
  • Refrigerate several hours (even better overnight).
  • Enjoy!

“Bird Seed” Granola

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Many of you have heard me refer to my “Bird Seed” and have asked for the recipe, so I thought I would share it here.

Initially, this started out as primarily just pumpkin and sunflower seeds, which is where my little nickname came from. I was trying an elimination diet to see if I had any food allergies that were causing a skin rash. On this elimination diet (which was pretty brutal I might add) there wasn’t much that I could have. No nuts, corn, soy, gluten, dairy, citrus fruits, nightshade vegetables, coffee, chocolate, wine, etc… This “Bird Seed” was “legal”, so I pretty much became addicted to it, and still am. In fact, I’m having some right now! 😀

I didn’t really see any pattern related to what I was eating and the rash, so I started adding things back (Hallelujah!) and adapted the original recipe to include a little more goodness. This is still gluten and dairy free as those are two things I won’t be adding back to my diet. I haven’t had dairy in years and years because I discovered it triggered migraines, and gluten is just bad, bad, bad!

I typically enjoy mine for breakfast with mixed berries and coconut yogurt, but it’s also delicious with vanilla coconut milk as a cereal, or just to eat plain!

So, here’s how to make some delicious, gluten free, dairy free, low sugar Bird Seed! **It’s best to buy organic ingredients when you can!**

 

Bird Seed Granola

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 Cups Raw Sunflower Seeds
  • 1 Cup Raw Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1 Cup Walnuts (or other nuts of your choosing)
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Flakes
  • 1/2 Cup Gluten Free Oats
  • 3 T Chia Seeds
  • 1 heaping tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/4 to 1/3 Cup Raw Honey (depending on how sweet you want it)
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil (melted)

Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Preheat oven to 300.
  • Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine all ingredients into a food processor fitted with an “S” blade. *
  • Turn on to medium/high speed and let it run until you have a coarse mixture.
  • Transfer to cookie sheet and spread it out evenly.
  • Bake for 30-60 minutes – stirring every 15 minutes. **
  • Once your Bird Seed is golden brown, turn off the oven and leave it inside until the oven is cool.
  • Remove from oven and enjoy! 🙂

*If you have a smaller food processor, chop the ingredients in batches, and place each batch into a large bowl. Once all ingredients have been chopped, then stir well before spreading it onto the cookie sheet.

**Oven temps vary, therefore; you may have to bake shorter or longer depending on yours. It’s important to check every 15 minutes and stir it around as it has a tendency to burn if you don’t. 😉