The Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Files: Breakfast Egg Scramble

Spinach and egg scramble

Did I ever tell y’all that I up and went gluten-free? I’ve been dairy-free for almost 8 months now but this gluten-free thing is new. Elle’s eczema got worse (yep, I’m still pumping and giving her my breast milk) and worse and her pediatrician said that I should try going gluten-free for 2 weeks to see if her skin cleared up. And guess what? Her skin DID clear up. And so began my gluten-free life.

I’m going to be featuring a few of my dishes with y’all in case some of you are also eating the same way. And  honestly, even after I stop breastfeeding, I think I’ll continue the gluten-free life. Reading Wheat Belly has enlightened me on a loooooot. Epsoso is also being supportive and limiting dairy and gluten too.

Breakfast

Even though I love my gluten-free cereals, I’ve been wanting to slowly cut processed foods out of my diet and have fresher ingredients ALL the time.

Can’t get any easier than this. I toss in 2 cups of spinach, 2 eggs and season with just a dash of salt and pepper. Sometimes Esposo adds smoked turkey and bam, a complete and tasty meal that only took 5 minutes to scramble up. For some added sweetness, I’ll have an apple or peach on the side.

And that’s that!

Food Yum: My newest favorite salad…tabbouleh

I’ve got a little more time in my hands so I think I’m going to start re-cranking out more Food Yum posts. My eating habits have been changing over the past few months and when I tell folx about ‘em, they always want to know what kind of recipes I make. 

Long time readers know of Clumps of Mascara know that I don’t make a dang thing in my house. Except green smoothies or sweet potatoes. I also make homemade baby food but actual meals for actual adults? Yeah no. Esposo has been the chef in our house since we’ve been married. Even when we dated, he would come over to my house and whip up delicious meals for me to eat. Lately we have both been on a weight loss mission (sigh…again) and we are both gluten-free. I’ve been dairy-free for 7 months and the thought giving up bread would be the death of me. But actually, it isn’t. Reading the book Wheat Belly really put things into perspective for me and loosing 4 lbs without trying confirmed it. Wheat is no bueno and we’ve been trying to find a ton of alternatives for it.

You’ve heard of tabbouleh, haven’t you?

Quinoa Tabbouleh

This traditional Levantine Arab dish consists of primarily parsley, bulgar wheat and tomatoes. Easy, right? You can spice it up by adding onion, a splash of lemon, garlic powder, salt and pepper but we’ve found that simplest is best. Esposo whipped this up for the first time a few months ago and I’m hooked. He know HAS to make it at least once every 2 weeks.

In this batch we added sunflower greens…our newest and favorite green. I’ve never been much of a salad eater but tabbouleh is addicting. And so so flavorful. And so so  easy to make. To make it gluten-free we swapped bulgar wheat for quinoa. A good batch will last in the fridge for 3-5 days and that’s usually enough for us both to have 2 servings a day.

Tabbouleh

Basically tabbouleh is amazing. Try it soon, y’all. You’ll thank me! Here’s the recipe that we used. I definitely prefer it without cucumbers though. I love veggies but I loathe cukes. Yucky.

Any salad lovers in the house?

Food Yum: Avu Avu Restaurant Review + giveaway

[NOTE: This post is written by Esposo. He was invited to a media event at the restaurant Avu Avu. Jealous doesn't even begin to describe how I'm feeling looking at these pictures. By the way, he took the pictures too. Talented chap, isn't it? I'll keep him.  Carry on!-B]
Avu AVU

It’s good to be the king.

And kingly is how I felt upon entering the warm and inviting (if a tad dark) dining room at Avu-Avu. It’s not often I get greeted by a pretty hostess, given a colorful lai, and given a tasty tropical drink all within my first five minutes. It’s not quite the Hawaiian vacation I’ve been dreaming of, but that’ll do, pig. That’ll do.

Now all of this might have been because I was there as part of a group of social media allstars dubbed the #AvuAvuCrew, but I’d like to think it’s all part of the usual package. As I sat down with Droolius, Tasty Chomps, Eating Orlando and more, I couldn’t wait for the rest of my intro to the Buena Vista Palace’s new Polynesian concept.

DSC_0019

To be blunt, this meal was amazing. Instead of doing things in typical restaurant fashion, Avu-Avu serves their dishes family style and gives you unlimited access to the goods. (Waistline’s beware!) We started out nice and easy with edamame dip and tropical chips to snack on alongside our the previously mentioned cocktail. Then we got down to business. And by business I mean PORK.

DSC_0020

The Monsoon Platter may look like your typical Chinese/Hawaiian combo of potstickers and rib bites, but wait until you taste the guava chai barbecue sauce. Out of this world. No, that is not a typo. No, I’m not crazy. Yes, guava CHAI. Stop looking at me like that.

I know it sounds strange, but that sauce (which I need bottled, STAT) is only the tip of the iceberg. Each protein on the menu is paired with an innovative sauce or marinade using flavor profiles I’ve never seen before.

Expertly grilled skewers featuring Coffee Colada chicken breast, Root Beer BBQ pork, and Kalbi Marinated sirloin will have you asking for extras and needing to be wheeled out the door.

DSC_0045

And did I fail to mention that the Monsoon Platter comes with a trio of tasty dipping sauces? Just make sure to only use them on the chicken potstickers or I shall be forced to thrash you.

DSC_0024

To accompany these finely flamed feastables there was a tossed salad featuring toasted coconut and rice crackers with a carrot ginger vinaigrette as well as steaming bowls of stir fried udon noodles with lemon garlic broccoli. I know what you’re thinking, but fear not: the noodles weren’t at all greasy and the broccoli was expertly steamed so that it still had some bite to it. No limp lifeless veggies will be found here.

DSC_0030

DSC_0050

That’s not to say there were no negatives at all. The Citrus Ginger shrimp was kind of disappointing after all the greatness surrounding it, and it seems as though the cooks prefer to grill the Kalbi Marinated Sirloin on the rare side. That’s just fine for a predator like myself, but if you’re one of the masses who’s afraid to let his beef “moo” as it comes to the table, make sure to let your server know your preferred doneness.

As we closed out the night, all missteps were forgiven as dessert was served. Caramelized Pineapple Coconut Milk Cake was quite the mouthful to say and to eat, but eating it was an unforeseen pleasure.

DSC_0054

You see, I don’t like coconut. Never have. Never will. But THIS concoction had me wishing I hadn’t been quite so enthusiastic about the guava chai rib bites. A rich, but not too rich yellow cake, laced with pineapple chunks, and bathing in a bowl of coconut milk was just what the doctor ordered and a perfect way to end the meal. Especially when I had the brilliant idea of dumping some of the milk sauce into my coffee. Yum.

At $29.95 a head and unlimited eats, I’d say that Avu Avu definitely goes into the “win” column. The food prep was top notch, the staff gracious and inviting, and the sauces were insanely good.

DSC_0038

The only thing I’d suggest is that they start selling that guava chai rib sauce before I’m forced to raid coroporate headquarters for the secret recipe.

 

Want to win a dinner for 2 at Avu Avu? Shoot an email to Brittany@ClumpsOfMascara.com with the subject: Feed Me. I’ll be giving a gift certificate away. I’ll be choosing a winner on April 28th at 8 PM EST.

Surprise! Green Giant Does Veggie Chips!

Confession: I’m a snacker. And I’m a snacker who likes crunch but I very rarely munch on potato chips. Honestly, it’s really hard to break the habit of buying and eating those things so I don’t even entertain the idea of buying them. I’m a lover of pita chips and the like and you know, pretzels – snacks that are lightly salted and give off a nice crunch with every bite.

Wellllllls, look who is taking their veggies to the crunchy snack aisle.

DSC_6880

Surprise! Green Giant! I know, right? I mean, I grew up eating their frozen vegetables and I think it’s some kind of awesome that they are spreading their wings and trying out veggies in snack form. Okay yeah, let’s face it – real veggies are always a better snack option but shoot, sometimes you just need some crunch. And a crunch that doesn’t that doesn’t break the calorie bank would be dope too.

DSC_6882

Enter these Veggie Snack Chips in Roasted Veggie Tortilla with Zesty Cheddar and Multigrain  Sweet Potato Chips  with Sea Salt.

DSC_6887

Through the Clever Girls Collective I was able to test drive these and of course I rolled with the Sweet Potato Chips first. Y’all know how much I adore those orange roots of happiness. Green Giant’s version of sweet potato chips weren’t half bad.

They are thin with a nice crunch and the sea saltness was there but it wasn’t TOO salty. I popped a chip in Esposo’s mouth and he thought they weren’t salty enough. But what does he know? :cool:

And then there were the Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chips.

DSC_6894

I could only eat a few of these because I’m on a dairy-free diet. I loved how the zesty cheddar-ness wasn’t so…cheddar-y. Esposo loved these the best. Obviously, both are dynamic choices over traditional potato chips but man, those sweet potato chips have my heart. I love love loooove them. Green Giant totally surprised me with this one. And speaking of surprises, they’ve got a ton of them on their YouTube channel. If you run into these at your grocery store, lemme know!

Any veggie chips lovers in the house?

 

Thank you to The Green Giant™ for being a sponsor. Show the Giant your surprise talent at www.facebook.com/greengiant.

Yummy Food from Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival

Back in the day I used to consider myself an amateur photographer. My specialties were landscapes, babies and food. First trimester sickies robbed me off that hobby but now I’m back! I’ve pulled out my cameras and now I can’t stop taking pictures. Such was the case when I went to Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival last week.  I am totally one of those annoying people who take picture before they eat. But come oooon. Just look at that waffle!

If you’re an adventurous food lover, you HAVE to visit’ Epcot’s Food & Wine festival. Several kiosks are located throughout the park that allow visitors to purchase yummy eats (and drinks) inspired by various countries. And the food is AMAZING. Oh! That waffle? It came from Belgium. It’s a Belgium Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream. I love waffles and I didn’t expect much but it was absolutely delectable.

TMI Tuesday: Raising vegetarian children.

So I’ve been getting a lot of TMI Tuesday suggestions that involve something I have zero experience in. Raising kids. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I know how to change a diaper, hold a newborn correctly and can entertain toddlers into sugar-free naps. And while Clumps will never morph into a Mommy blog when I do have kids, I still love featuring Mommy-baby  topics because there are so mommies out there.

Plus, the more I learn from your mommies, the less of a screw up parent I will be. :D

Okay, no. I’m kidding. My kids will be freaking awesome having a beauty bloggin’ rockstar as a Mom and a musical computer geek as their Dad. But this post isn’t about my uterus and its production of bebes. This post is about a penny pinchin’ Mommy (and also one of my BFFs!) and her mission to provide her 13 month old daughter and 3-year old son with nourishing food.

Gaetane recently launched her blog Seeds of Mommy Soul. Show her some love and tell her B sent you!

___________________

On Tuesday, I finally decided to buy a few grocery items for the kids. I simply do not like grocery shopping, especially with my two handfuls of children. Now that my daughter is mobile, she has a major issue with anyone trying to hold her hand in public. Little did they know, I had a plan AND I was sticking to it.

I buckled them into the double shopping cart of Target (which I love by the way) and after 1.5 hours we accomplished our mission. Being that we are a vegetarian-based household, we are limited (surprisingly, huh?) on organic vegetarian foods. Don’t get me wrong, I do have my cravings for fatty foods like Burger King fries but we limit on what we buy in our household. Our children have a right to a healthy lifestyle. The kids are only accustomed to eating a very wide range of hearty vegetarian dishes and because they are kids, they are now asking for sweets and snacks. My son verbalizes and my daughter always simply wants what her older brother is having.

Addaeyomi and Anaiziya’s top 5 snacks:

*Archer Farm’s blue corn tortilla chips and salsa dip
*Earth’s Best baby food
*Simply Lemonade
*Honest Kids juice packs
*Archer Farms Strawberry fruit strips

You may have noticed the picture of the Ackee. Well, it was on sale and I simply love Ackee.

All these items were on sale and/or I used coupons for greater savings. Even if they were not on sale I would still purchase these items because my children love them. I do believe children should be children and enjoy eating snacks. On the other hand, I do not believe we should drown our children in unhealthy eating habits that will affect them in the future.

We as parents, care givers, aunts, uncles, and even friends should make sure that we educate our children on healthy eating habits. We cannot expect our children to eat healthy if we are not reflecting that as well. So next time you go grocery shopping, and your children are screaming at the top of their lungs for candy, look to the fruit strips as an alternate. It’s just as flavorful and is better for them.

Check out more of Gaetane’s parenting musings over at her blog Seeds of Mommy Soul. And if any of your mommies (or daddies) out there would like to submit hilarious stories, adorable pictures or shocking parenting revelations to Clumps, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email at Brittany@ClumpsOfMascara.com.

What are your thoughts on raising vegetarian or vegan kiddies?

Palette Lovin': Black Opal Hana’s Pot of Gold

Is it just me or do you think of leprechauns when you think of a pot of gold too? Leprechauns freak me out, y’all. Seriously. Somehow, I’ve managed to not get freaked out over this darling little palette of wondrous eyeshadow. This is an online exclusive so if you find yourself heavily lusting over it, you may need to go ahead and get your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone ready.

Pretty, uh?

Palettes that are trios are always my favorite because I feel that’s just the right amount of colors you’ll need to crank out a decent look. Sometimes those palettes with 10+ shades leave you all confused with deciding what goes where, but this palette is easy.


And don’t you adore how they’ve embellished with shadows with the letter B?


I’m so honored that Black Opal thought so much of me that they put my initial on the shadows. Oh wait. The B stands for Black Opal. Oh yeah.

I knew that.

Each shadow is silky and pops nicely on my skin.

But you know me. If I plan on wearing eyeshadow, I HAVE to wear an eyeshadow base. The thing about these is — you don’t have to wear a colored base. If you’re like me and love Urban Decay Primer Potion or Too Faced Shadow Insurance, a dab of one of those on each lid is really all you need. The shadow has produced a nice intense look while not being too over the top.

Which I did a bit sloppily but you get the idea. Another darling attribute about this palette? It’s so slim and portable. It’s smaller than my phone…

…which means if I do need to touch up for Happy Hour (lol – like I’m a drinker…), it won’t take up too much space in my purse. Win, win, win. A pretty hot deal for only $7.95. Grab it with the quickness on Black Opal’s website.

And in food news, last week Esposo made the most delectable batch of Thai coconut curry soup.

It was so good, y’all. Sooooo good. This was his first time making it and he blew it out of the park. Normally when I go to Thai restaurants, I order Tom Kha Gai with tofu and his version was much better. I found the recipe on Pinterest – where I find most of our recipe ideas. That’s how it works in our house. I find the recipes and Esposo cooks. I mean yeahhhh, I can cook but Esposo is like a culinary wiz in the kitchen yo.

Meanwhile in Tile Land, I can scrub the MESS out of  bathtub. Yeah boi!