Simple Recipes

Make 2018 your best year ever

Time to dump the old and jump into new, NEW YEAR 2018.  Here are some simple ways to make 2018 your best year ever.

Healthy Snacks: ENZO Mini Bars (only 80 Calories), fresh fruit and veggies, popcorn (without the butter), handful of nuts and seeds, hummus and celery or carrots, salami and fig spread, goat cheese stuffed dates... mmm, I'm ready for a snack now.

Jump start weight loss with ZOVA Workout and Fitness (an APPLE design winner) from the apple iPhone app store. 15 minute workouts I can handle.

Meal Prep: Make a delicious meal every night of the week and take the guess work out what you need with  HELLO FRESH, PLATED, Marlyspoon has teamed up with Martha Stewart, or AMAZON for Meal Kit Delivery options.  

Of course you don't need fancy meal delivery services to cook and eat healthy, checkout these simple recipes with what you already have at home, Only have 3 ingredient? Try PALEOHACKS or CROCKPOT, most recipes are gluten free.

Organization: Last on my best year ever list, tools that HELP keep me stay organized and efficient: DROPBOX, GMAIL with IFTTT.  

Happy BEST YEAR EVER 2018,

Mary (LOLA's Mom)


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Brunch or dessert, this gluten free tart is simple to make and delicious.
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Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe

Gluten free pie crust with 1 simple ingredient
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Gluten Free STUFFING

Gluten free stuffing with a granola crunch!
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Veterans Day

A day to HONOR all the Men and Women who have served our great nation and those who made the greatest sacrifice to keep our county free.  So many things are happening this weekend to honor our Veterans.  From free food to flash mobs, check it out below.

50 Veterans Day dining deals for military personel.

Enjoy Veteran's Day a one of our Country's National Park. Parks will not charge an entrance fee to visitors on Nov. 11 and Nov. 12. Here is a list of all the happenings at National Parks this weekend.

9 ways to pay tribute this Veterans Day in Washington DC.

Check out the WEST POINT GLEE CLUB Flash Mob in Chicago!



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Don't let hunger turn you hangry

Don't let hunger turn you handry
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Try this in your Lunch Box

Okay, so whats for Lunch?  Try these SIMPLE options in your Lunch Box

1.    Plant food

Salad vegetables in a sandwich or wrap. Remember the most important thing is that you eat mostly minimally processed, wholesome, natural foods. 

•    In a sandwich or wrap:  Lettuce, tomato (seeds removed so the wrap won’t go soggy), cucumber, grated carrot, sliced or grated beetroot, roast capsicum. But if your child won’t eat salad in their sandwich: try putting them separately.
•    In a smoothie – blend a few fresh veggies with a little fresh fruit and pour into a thermos that will keep it cool until lunchtime. Or you can whip up a protein-rich smoothie with milk, yoghurt and berries.
•    Raw veggies with a dip, e.g. carrot, celery & cucumber sticks with hummus.
•   Fruit – either whole, or I find my kids almost always eat it if I chop into bite sized pieces & pop into a ziploc bag or container.
•    Carton of fruit in fruit juice (not syrup).

•    The Nathan Bar with Blueberries and Almonds.


2.    Protein 

You need protein at every meal to help regulate appetite, provide amino acids for growth and development, and to provide the micronutrients that accompany protein-rich foods.  Here are some great tips:

•    Cook extra meat at dinner, slice and have ready in the fridge for sandwiches/wraps & salads.
•    Poach a couple of chicken breasts on Sunday, slice and keep in the fridge.
•   Cold Cuts are popular but are high in salt as well as preservatives. Try Brands like Applegate, that are less processed and limit it to no more than 2 times a week.
•    Cheese provides high quality protein and is an excellent source of calcium. Add to sandwiches/wraps or give as a stick to have with sliced apple or pear, or with a couple of grainy crackers or oatcakes.
•    Canned tuna or salmon – dress with a little extra virgin olive oil and lemon, or ‘proper’ mayonnaise made with extra virgin olive oil.
•    Smoked salmon or trout – is high in salt but a terrific source of protein and an excellent source of long chain omega-3 fats essential for brain development (canned salmon will also provide these). Provided there aren’t too many other high salt foods, these are often popular with kids.
•    Eggs – hard-boiled and added to sandwiches/wraps or salads. Or simply wrap in cling film as a snack.
•    Yogurt – many parents are concerned about the amount of sugar in fruit yogurts, however bear in mind that the grams on the side of the pack include the sugar in the milk, the fruit and the added sugar.  The best option is to mix fresh (or frozen) fruit with natural yogurt, but for convenience try YOKIDS – Most Yogurts are low GI, rich in calcium and high quality protein.
•    Milk is an excellent protein and calcium rich drink.  Transporting it in the lunchbox is the tricky bit, especially with very active kids!  You can freeze a carton of milk and it will have defrosted and still be cold by lunchtime. If you can find suitable refillable containers, that is likely to be your best bet.  If your child won’t drink plain milk, try making homemade flavoured milks (where you can control how it is sweetened) or smoothies with milk, yogurt and fruit. but watch out for milks that contain CARRAGEENAN
•    For dairy-free diets you can substitute oat, rice or almond milks.

• The  ENZO mini bars - almond and cashew  with 2g of plant protein.


2.    Smart Carbs

The trick is to get the right ones – those that will deliver sustained energy, plus loads of fiber and nutrients. Here are a few ideas:

•    Wholegrain, low-GI breads & wraps.
•    Beans, chickpeas & lentils – these can be added to soups or salads, however I also add beans to tuna mayonnaise sandwich fillings.
•    Non GMO Sweet corn – great in sandwiches, soups & salads.
•    Pasta (wholegrain, but regular pasta is still low GI), brown rice, freekeh or quinoa can all be used in soups or whipped up into a salad.
•    Wholegrain, air-popped corn.
•    Homemade muffins using wholegrain flours are terrific – you can make savoury ones with vegies, or sweet ones with fruit. You can simply use wholegrain wheat flour, or experiment with the new kids on the block such as lupin, teff or green banana flour. These all have nutritional benefits and will lower the GI of the muffins.

•  The  Ruby - Just Cranberry Bar made with whole grain gluten free oats, seeds, dried fruit and honey is the perfect bar for anyone with a nut allergy.

3.    Good Fat

You need fat (especially the omega-3 fats found in fish) to help to slow down the absorption of the carbs in the meal, so lunch will keep them fuller for longer rather than have them fading by 2pm. Here are a few ideas as to how to get good fats into the lunchbox:

•    Extra virgin olive oil – to dress a pasta, rice or quinoa salad or to make a homemade super healthy mayo.
•    Hummus, mashed avocado, pesto, and tahini are terrific in sandwiches/wraps.
•    Remember you will also get some fat from meats, cheese and other full fat dairy foods, and oily fish such as salmon or trout.
• The Lola  Bar with cranberries and almonds.


4.    Water

•   Don't forget a refillable bottle of water you can drink from throughout the day. Be sure to empty this at the end of the day, wash and refill fresh each day. Water helps keep skin looking bright.


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Homemade Dairy Free Ice Cream

Oh! I can't call it Ice Cream...Dairy Free CLEAN frozen dessert!

This was so simple that anyone dairy free who loves ice cream should give it a try. I used my cuisinart ice cream maker to give it more air.  I got the idea during a hot night while I was think of what to do with all the gluten free oats I had left over from an event.

The idea hit me like a snow ball.  Soak the oats, stain off the water, add sugar and pour into ice-cream maker.


I decided to make my own oat flour by grinding my gluten free oats into an oat flour, but it is just as easy to buy oat flour.

To make your own oat flour, grind Gluten Free Oats in blender, grinder or nutribullet until it is a powder.  I suggest blending it at least 3 times to get it the oats to a fine flour like consistency.


pour boiling water into oat flour and sugar, add vanilla. Stir and let sit for 3 minutes.

Next get out your electric egg beaters

 beat for 2 minutes and then let sit for 5 minutes.

Here is a step I missed... to make this non dairy frozen dessert a little bit creamier, strain the mixture through a sieve.

Next pour into ice cream maker, turn on and wait 30 minutes


The kids said it tasted like frozen oatmeal, but it definitely had an ice-cream consistency and they each devoured 2 bowls.  I'm pretty sure this recipe will be a win win for anyone looking for allergy friendly non dairy ice cream.

I think I will be a bit more creative next time and add some inclusions like chocolate chips, frozen blueberries, cinnamon, or caramel.

If you eat this frozen dessert right out of the ice-cream maker it will be the consistency of a very soft soft serve or thick milk shake. I wanted it to be a bit harder and stuck it in the freezer for 2 hours before serving it to the kids.

You know it's good when you don't have to cover up taste with chocolate syrup!


Here's the recipe...Adapted from Cast Iron Vegan blog:

2 cups oat flour

1 cup raw sugar

3 cups boiling water

1 tsp pure vanilla extract



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Spring sports: how to fuel and hydrate your athlete.

Spring Sports have official begun and you will find me at a soccer or lacrosse field at least 6 days a week now....

Make sure your athlete starts with a good breakfast and hydrates with water through out the day.

It's important for student-athletes, or any athlete for that mater, to stay consistently fueled with complex carbohydrates and good protein like nuts and seeds that aren't processed or derived from something else.   Michelle Wie - golfing phenom shares 6 things that keep her fueled and focused at

It's also important to keep this in mind: Snacks are fuel, not treats, not rewards. They provide an energy source your athlete can draw on. Therefore, you want this to be “premium” fuel – not low-octane.

When you have an athlete who competes all day long in events like competitive swimming, tennis matches, soccer tournaments, etc., you have to be prepared. The last thing you want is for your athlete to eat candy out of the concession stand.  Keep you snack bag packed and handy for those moments.

Natural protein found in yoghurt, cheese sticks, nuts and seeds, and jerky are great, but muscles rely on carbohydrates for fuel.  Look for a variety of snacks like Lola Granola Bars, bananas, carrots, boiled eggs, string cheese, jerky, and trail mixes to keep your athlete's performance tip-top.  You can also check out for other snack ideas.

To prevent cramping stay hydrated with water, and try to avoid sugary sports drinks.

If you are competing throughout the day and need to replace electrolytes, try all natural coconut water or make your own clean and simple electrolyte sports drink with this simple recipe:

Honey OrangeADE

1/2 cup Orange Juice

4 cups Water

2 tbsp Raw Local Honey

1/4 tsp Sea Salt


1/4 c Lime Juice

1/2 c Lemon Juice

4 cups Water

2 tbsp Pure Cane Sugar

1/4 tsp Sea Salt


*This recipe =  2 sports water bottles (use a 2-quart pitcher when making it)

*To dissolve the honey/sugar, I boil 1/2 cup water to dissolve sugar/honey, then add in 3 1/2 cups cold water.


To make a gallon:

1 1/4 cups Juice (orange, lemon-lime)

14 3/4 cups Water

6 tbsp Honey or Pure Cane Sugar

3/4 tsp Sea Salt



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Smoothie Stashes

Does you smoothie mustache resemble a 1980's Pro Wrestler like Hulk Hogan, Ravishing Rick Rude, The Iron Sheik, Lou Albano or Mean Gene Okerlund?

Lola sports the Hulk Hogan mustache straw when she sucks down her blueberry smoothie before school.  


Whether you are a Pro Wrestler, runner or kid rushing off to school, start your day off right with a complete breakfast of complex carbohydrates, fruit, and protein.  Below is a Simple Delicious Blueberry Smoothie recipe with everything you need for a clean simple good breakfast or you could just grab a Nathan Blueberry Almond Lola Granola Bar...LOL!


Lola's Simple Blueberry Smoothie.

1/2 cup Fresh Blueberries, 1 Banana, 1 cup Pineapple Juice, 1/4c Oat Flour, 3 mint leaves.



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