Thursday, October 13, 2016

Making Time for Lunch

Happy Wednesday! As a new mom, I find that one of the hardest tasks is having enough time to make lunch. It sounds so simple, but when your little one needs your undivided attention, carving out time to prepare anything complicated is unrealistic! For the past several weeks, I've relied on quick and easy to prepare lunches or have just thrown together random ingredients and called it a day - PB and J, I'm lookin' at you.

I was recently challenged by SkinnyPop to share a few lunch packing tips for people with allergies. Did you know SkinnyPop is free of all of the major allergens? I didn't! This knowledge and this challenge couldn't have come at a better time for two reasons....

1. My daughter was just diagnosed with a milk protein allergy and since I'm breastfeeding, that means saying goodbye to the dairy in my diet.
2. I've been struggling with lunches myself lately!

I brainstormed for awhile and came up with several helpful tips that have helped me in the past with going gluten-free and will continue to help as I embark on this new dairy free lifestyle as well. If you've dealing with a recently diagnosed allergy for yourself or your child, these tips will be helpful for you as well! Food allergies are tricky but they can be managed without having to miss too many of your favorite foods.

Know Your Labels/Known Products Can Change
  • The most important tip of all. Check your labels. Check your labels. Check your labels. Products change all the time and even though the product was once allergen free, doesn't mean that it still is, as manufacturing processes can always change. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 requires major allergens to be listed on the label, but you should still familiarize yourself with the lingo for your specific allergen - for dairy allergies, this cheat sheet is particularly helpful.
Explore your Alternatives
  • Swap out the allergen containing foods for other options in your favorite recipes. Can't have peanut butter? Try sunflower seed butter on that sandwich. Can't use heavy cream? Try coconut cream. Allergic to eggs and can't use mayo? Try avocado. Did you say goodbye to gluten? Try chickpea or oat flour in your baked goods instead. Missing cheese? Try almond or cashew cheeze on crackers as an alternative.  
Think Simple  
  • Pick your protein, add some veggies and wrap it all up. I love using wraps for quick and easy lunches and I'm sharing one of my easy recipes below. Other options? Pick your protein, add some veggies, something for crunch like gluten-free pretzels or skinny pop and hummus for dipping. 
Double Dip
  • Make dinners work for lunches. I love cooking chicken in the slow cooker - it's easy and quick. Throw in your protein, add a sauce, set it and forget it. Make that dinner do double duty. I'll serve the chicken with veggies for dinner, then use the leftovers in corn tortillas the next day for easy tacos at lunch. 
Now, onto the recipe....!

If my kitchen walls could talk: This wrap is so adaptable and is free of dairy, soy, wheat, peanuts and tree nuts. Remember, check your labels as cross contamination could be an issue pending the brands used. Want to take this wrap over the top? Try substituting other flavors of hummus - roasted red pepper or garlic would be divine! Vegan? Swap out the bacon for tempeh. Vegetarian? Feel free to swap out the bacon for sharp cheddar cheese. Mmmm. Serve with a side of chopped veggies - I love bell peppers with this wrap - and if you're so inclined, a side of SkinnyPop! I'm dying to try the white cheddar flavor - especially after learning that it's dairy free!

Required kitchen tools: Baking Sheet

BAH Wrap 


1 brown rice tortilla
3 strips bacon, crispy
1/2 avocado, sliced
2-4 tbsp hummus

1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place bacon slices on baking sheet and cook 10-12 minutes or until desired crispness is achieved.
2. Wet two paper towels and place tortilla between them, microwave for 30 seconds.
3. Spread hummus on tortilla, top with bacon and avocado.
4. Gently fold the bottom of the tortilla up, then the sides, then roll as shown in the image above. Feast!

What's your favorite allergen free lunch or snack? Share with me in the comments below! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Fall Fashion Favorites

Happy Tuesday! Don't you just love fall? One of my favorite things about fall is fashion. Give me all the blanket scarves, puffer vests, flannel and boots. I just can't help myself and every year I'm adding favorites to my collection. I love the cooler weather and the opportunity to layer up!

Today, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite pieces from my closet, along with those I'm craving. Blanket scarves are one of my closet staples - my newest favorite is this one. These black pumps were perfect for our first post-baby date night. This structured tote was one of my recent Nordstrom Rack finds and while I couldn't find this exact color, I've linked several others below. I don't think I've left the house in the past two years without this bracelet; it helps brighten up any outfit. My over the knee boots are a great dupe for this pricey pair; mine are from last season (sorry!) but these and these are similar.

I'm currently craving a red and black checked flannel - it would be so cute with a black puffer vest, over the knee boots and jeans - the perfect outfit to wear on a girls trip to the zoo with the little ones or a trip to the pumpkin patch! The herringbone vest is one of my closet staples, but I'm on the lookout for a cream one. While we're at it, can all of these blanket scarves magically appear in my closet? That would be fantastic ;)

What's your favorite fall fashion trend?

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Easy Spinach Quiche

Having a newborn means I'm all about simple and quick meals. Today, it's all about simplicity with this spinach cheese quiche. Just combine a few ingredients, throw them into frozen pie shells, bake and go. It's genius and the results are divine. I hope you enjoy it!

If my kitchen walls could talk: This recipe is easily adaptable - feel free to swap out any of the veggies, cheeses or meats for your favorites! It also freezes well. Simply cut into slices after baking, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze in a gallon sized bag.

Helpful kitchen tools: Nesting Bowls, Baking Sheet 

Simple Spinach Quiche


8 eggs
2 cups cheddar cheese
2 cups 2% milk
1 cup spinach, thawed and drained
8 slices bacon, crisp and crumbled
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 frozen pie crusts, gluten-free if necessary

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, whisk eggs until combined. Add cheddar cheese, milk, spinach, paprika and black pepper, stirring to combine. Mix in cooked bacon crumbles.
3. Place pie crusts onto baking sheet filling evenly with egg mixture. Gently cover edges of pie crust with foil to prevent burning. Bake for 45 minutes until lightly set.

What's your favorite breakfast?