Peruvian Chicken Vegetable Quinoa Soup

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Three weeks ago, high on adrenaline and eager to drive far, far away from the hellish heat of Texas, I posted here about my upcoming road trip.  I have a retraction to make, as  I was so excited to drive to Colorado and New Mexico with my son, that I may have glorified the whole travel by car thing.  This ugly realization set in on day two of our journey after an unfortunately loud Amber Alert was automatically texted to my phone at 2:30 IN THE MORNING, jolting my sensitive baby and me out of a deep sleep.  I’m all for being notified of children that have been abducted, but REALLY–how am I going to be able to help from my bed in the middle of the night?!  What followed was a few hours of tossing and turning, listening to my child talk to himself and call out to me over and over again until I made the brilliant decision to check out of the hotel super early and just get on down the road.  Only problem was I had left my suitcase sitting in the lobby and didn’t notice it was missing until we were an hour down said road.

It was at this exact moment that I decided to start drinking coffee (and not even the good stuff!) again after a three month hiatus.  Let me tell you what really helped keep me alert (and therefore, alive) though.   It was my tiny bottle of peppermint essential oil that I had decided to grab on my way out the door at the last minute.   I inhaled it like a delinquent teenager addicted to glue sniffing and also dabbed it onto my temples and the nape of my neck.  Boy, did it burn.  But that icy-cool burning sensation kept me awake!  And like a dutiful public servant, I left a trail of minty freshness at every disgusting rest stop along the way.  Despite the extreme fatigue, though, overall it was a gorgeous drive and when Spotify wasn’t being spotty, we happily zoomed along to one heck of a playlist. Continue reading

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Strawberry-Walnut Muffins

Strawberry-Walnut Muffins

These gems are gluten, dairy and soy-free and they are perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast or packed in a lunchbox for a sweet, yet healthy, treat! I love to make these this time of year when the organic strawberries are bountiful and, therefore, a tad more affordable. Starring alongside the lovely vitamin c and fiber-rich berries are walnuts(super-food alert!). Packed with Omega-3’s (anti-inflammatory), vitamin E, B vitamins, important minerals like selenium and zinc, they add a little crunch and complement the tang of the berries quite nicely. I hope you will make these and let me know how they turn out!

Here’s the recipe:

2 1/3 Gluten-Free Flour Blend
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. guar gum
1 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
3/4 C. sugar (organic cane)
1/2 C. sunflower oil
1 t. orange zest (optional)
2 large eggs
1 6 oz. container So Delicious Strawberry or Vanilla Yogurt
1/3 C. So Delicious Coconut Milk (unsweetened)
1 t. vanilla
1 1/3 C. diced organic strawberries
1/2 C. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Spray one standard muffin tin with your choice of oil. (I use coconut oil)

Combine first six ingredients in a bowl. Whisk well. In a separate bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, oil, yogurt, coconut milk, vanilla and orange zest. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, adding strawberries and walnuts at the same time. Fill muffin cups almost to the top and bake for approx. 25 min or until just firm and springy to the touch and lightly golden on top. Allow to cool in the muffin tins for 5 min. and then transfer to a rack to cool. Enjoy! These will freeze well, but do not refrigerate.  Yield: about 15 muffins