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Friday, December 28, 2012

Dinner Recipes Simple and Flexible for Gluten and Dairy Free Families

So I am on a mission!  It has been on my heart to really dive deeply into my bag of tools and put together the best recipes that can be made gluten and dairy free, and that are flexible.  What do I mean by flexible?  I mean I can use them for dinner one night (and convert, if necessary, into something the children will eat) and then completely transform them into a new dinner later in the week.  One of the biggest objections I hear from people around being healthy is that it is expensive.  By choosing recipes that can be used in a variety of ways we can save so much time and money… and that makes any mommy happy.  I want to be the best steward of the money God has blessed me with, so this is a labor of love to create meal plans that can restore some peace of mind and help me save more so I can give more.  

Today I really feel I have stumbled upon one of those recipes.  This recipe comes out of The Healthy Edge Cookbook and is super easy and loaded with good stuff for the family.  Now moms, I strongly suggest getting a chopper that allows you to easily chop and dice vegetables, it will save you so much time.  I am speaking of a hand chopper that you just place the pepper on and then chop and it is done!  Now the best part isn’t the recipe, it is what you can do with it to make sure your whole family enjoys it!  Also, see below to learn how to turn this simple dinner, into multiple meals/ snacks throughout the week. I suggest making a double batch and freezing part of this so you can put it in a crock pot in a few weeks as an easy meal when you are feeling a little over loaded.  We need go to meals that are healthy, not just convenient.  

STEP #1:  Make Quick Southwestern Chili  
pg. 121 of The Healthy Edge Cookbook

What you'll need:
  • 1 lb organic, grass fed beef combined with 1 lb organic ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
  • 3 cans low-sodium diced organic tomatoes* (14 oz each)
  • 1 can mild green chilies* (4-5 oz)
  • 1 organic green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 organic red pepper, chopped
  • 2 cans low-sodium black beans* (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt 
  1.  In a medium or large stock pot, brown the ground turkey or gound beef with onions and garlic over medium-high heat
  2. Add remaining ingredients and stir
  3. Bring mixture to just before boiling, cover and reduce heat to medium-low for 20 minutes
*Contact manufacture to ensure product is gluten-free

Step #2: Make Your Kids Love It!  Even the picky ones!

Do you have a toddler or a picky child that doesn’t like chunks of things?  Or maybe they just don’t like to look at onion and peppers and all that good stuff?  Here is a trick. 

Use a mini chopper to puree this up for young children to a very fine mixture that can easily be eaten, and to a texture that they will enjoy.

Secondly, I use the same mini chopper on the low setting by just pulsing it a few times until the vegetables are very small and it looks almost like a sloppy joe consistency.  I serve this to my 8 year old with some vegan cheese on top and she loves it!  She doesn’t like chunks of things but loves it this way (weird).  

 Now if they still do not like it you can puree it up more and serve over a gluten free spaghetti… it makes an amazing marinara sauce which is the second use I have for this recipe.

Step #3: Learn to Use the Flexibility of the Dish
Scramble eggs and add Quick Southwestern Chile to make an amazing filling for tortillas or seaweed wraps.  Add one egg per person. Perfect for lunch or dinner at the end of the week!
More ways to use include...
  •  Make a double patch and freeze half… pull out of freezer in a few weeks and pop in the crock pot on low to warm up throughout the day!
  •  Puree up and make a marinara sauce for spaghetti this week or freeze for later.
  • Add cumin and use a Vitamix or mini-chopper to make into taco meat and serve with corn tortillas and vegan cheese (I prefer Daiya brand)
  •  Serve leftovers on a bed of spinach with avocado and tomatoes for an adult lunch.
  •   Puree extra and keep for a week to feed toddlers a simple lunch… add a serving of fruit.
  •    Eat as leftover for lunch anytime!


  1. Thank you, April for taking on this mission! This recipe has always been one of my favorites, and I really appreciate the suggestions for making additional meals out of it! This will save me so much time and keep my whole family enjoying this delicious dish in a variety of ways!

  2. I forgot to say that dairy free and gluten free is our way of life, so this is amazingly supportive! Thank you so much!


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