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June 2014

orange-herb amazing sourdough bread {grain-free sourdough bread recipe}

as our journey toward whole health continues as a family, the hardest things i’ve struggled with, food-wise, are breads and desserts.  funny enough, growing up i was never a “sweets” girl.  the more i read about thyroid functioning, adrenal issues, and other health sensitivities, the more i realize that beyond incorporating more whole foods into our diet (translate: get back to green and colorful stuff!), i need to find some alternatives that we really enjoy.

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enter: grain-free sourdough bread.


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ok, traditional sourdough bread may be my all-time favorite food group.  no red wine, dark chocolate, or arugula needed – just give me the sourdough.  with some salted butter, please.

gluten-free sourdough recipe a


here’s the thing, though – it doesn’t make me feel good.  i eat it, then i’m all puffy and unhappy.  so when i found this recipe from my beloved blogger, the urban poser, i had to try it.  i was nervous – it looks like a lot of work, and not cheap.  but can i tell you?  it was worth. every. effort.  (definitely click over to her blog to get hints that will really help you in the process!)

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ultimately, i found an easy-to-follow version of the recipe here at the saffron girl (another beautiful food blogger), which i then tweaked to make my herbed version.  full disclosure: these photographs might appear to be herb-less.  that’s because our first batch was true to the original recipe.  which, by the way, does not need herbs.  but because i can’t leave any recipe untouched…

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here’s my version of this insanely delicious bread.  which you must make now.  please promise you will.  kiss me later.

{grain-free sourdough bread recipe}

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 13 hours

Yield: 1 full loaf

Gluten-free, grain-free sourdough herb bread.


  • 2 3/4 cups ground, raw cashews (see note)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 20-30 billion probiotic strains (we used a powdered probiotic we give our children to reach this amount)
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • coconut oil (we used this one for amazing flavor variation!)


  1. To make a starter, grind the cashews and water in your food processor. (I tried this in my high-speed blender first, and for this recipe, it was NOT a good idea - it globbed up and was very hard to remove. I prefer this food processor instead.
  2. Pour the cashew mixture into a glass bowl and add probiotic powder. Stir with a non-metal spoon and cover with tightly sealed lid or plastic wrap.
  3. Place the bowl in your oven with the light (NOT the heat) turned on, and let sit overnight. Again, see The Urban Poser's version for wonderful culturing tips.
  4. Once your mixture has cultured for 12-24 hours, preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  5. Grease a standard size bread pan and line with parchment paper, overlapping on the sides.
  6. In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites just until soft peaks form.
  7. Meanwhile, stir egg yolks, 1 tablespoon water, baking soda, herbs, and salt into the cashew mixture.
  8. Gengly fold egg whites, 1/3 at a time, into the cashew misture. Do not over-mix.
  9. Pour your batter into the pan - it should be 3/4 full to achieve the proper height; we doubled our recipe.
  10. If desired, mix an additional yolk with 1 teaspoon water, and brush gently onto top of batter, to create a shiny crust.
  11. Bake at 300 degrees for 40 minutes, and use a cake tester or toothpick to test center for doneness. (We doubled the recipe so it took 48 minutes.)
  12. When bread is baked through, increase temperature to 375 degrees for an additional five minutes to brown the top of the bread.
  13. *Very important: COMPLETELY cool your bread before removing from pan and slicing. We did ours early the first time, and while it was RIDICULOUS AWESOME, it also crumbled to bits.


one. happy. consumer.

grain free sourdough recipe a

grain free sourdough recipe b


do you have a foodie “weakness?”  a favorite healthful version of it?  please share – i’d love to give yours a try!


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grilled salmon greek pitas {Greek salmon recipe}

i’ve made a discovery.  simple and true: if there’s less mess, i’m more likely to cook something delicious.  if there’s less mess, the food tastes better.  if there’s less mess, there’s more time for fun after the meal.

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i used to cook “traditional” food, and that included spaghetti, meatloaf, pot pies, shepherd’s pie, and meals made in foil packets.  it’s not a new concept, but somewhere along the way, i started craving unusual flavors, my self-diagnosed ADD kicked in, and i “got creative” with my cooking.  which is good, except when my wanting to be creative leads to a huge mess in the kitchen, or to the occasional disaster-resulting-in-pizza-night, or when my need to try something new paralyzes me into making nothing.

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this month, Reynolds provided allrecipes allstars with samples of their traditional and non-stick foil to try new recipes.  back to basics, i served up two foil-pouch cooked meals to my hungry crew.  the first was this grilled salmon Greek pita.

it’s a simple recipe, really.  ingredients are “clean” and fresh and full of flavor.  and when it’s done cooking, there’s a fairly-clean pan, a little ball of foil, a few dishes, and a little family that has time for games before calling it a night.  that’s a meal that will make it into what my husband calls the “never-ending-rotation.”  🙂
here’s a recipe for you to print.
Grilled Salmon Greek Pitas


  • 1 pound fresh or frozen skinless salmon fillet
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 6 Greek pita flatbreads (for a grain-free option, try large butter lettuce leaves)
  • 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup fresh cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 5.3 ounce container plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh snipped basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh snipped dill weed


  1. Thaw fish if frozen.
  2. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  4. Tear off an 18x18-inch sheet of Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil.
  5. Place onion in the center of the sheet.
  6. Top with salmon.
  7. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and black pepper.
  8. Top with lemon slices.
  9. Bring up foil sides. Double-fold top and ends to seal packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside.
  10. Stack flatbreads; wrap tightly in heavy duty aluminum foil.
  11. Grill salmon packet over medium-high heat in covered grill 12 to 14 minutes or until fish begins to flake when tested with a fork and vegetables are tender.
  12. Add the flatbread packet to the grill for the last 5 minutes of cooking to warm through, turning once.
  13. Remove all from grill.
  14. Open packets carefully by cutting along top folds with a sharp knife, allowing steam to escape. Then open top of foil. Discard lemon slices.
  15. Use two forks to pull the salmon apart into chunks.
  16. Assemble pita sandwiches by topping with the salmon, onions, lettuce, and tomatoes.
  17. Fold in half to serve.
  18. In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, basil, and dill. Serve over pita sandwiches.
*special notes:
we doubled our recipe.  “little” family of seven and all.
our grill is still nonexistent.  long story short: it rusted pitifully in the salt air from living near the beach.  we might be moving, so we’re holding off on replacing it.  instead, i prepared this under the broiler, flipping the packets after 8 minutes and repeating an additional 8 minutes, adding the packet of pita pockets for the last 6 minutes.  worked like a charm; this fish was moist and flaky, the pitas just warmed.  i recommend opening the foil to test the fish for flakiness before serving.  🙂
 salmon pita pockets_weba
do you have a favorite “old-school-made-new” recipe?  a tip for less mess, faster meals, or meals that call your crew to the table?  i’d love to hear – share in the comments below.
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expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of myself. To learn more about the Allrecipes Allstar program visit, Allrecipes Allstars.
for more recipes from Reynolds, visit the Meal Magic Collection of recipes.

the fight {book review – Christian fiction}

there are days when i feel like i’m in tune with all i’m called to do and be, when things flow near-seamlessly from one moment to the next, and i’m ultra-aware of a sense of my “place” in this world.


realistically, though, there are many days when i feel lost-and-wandering, keenly sensitive to the brokenness in and around me.  i feel like i’m wading through too-deep waters, struggling to stay upright, nervous the water is rising.  or i feel like i’m battling some unseen force, fist-for-fist, just trying to survive the day, and wondering where in the world is the One who called me to live victoriously.  i wonder, in those moments, just what living victoriously even means.


recently, i was given a copy of The Fight by Luke Wordley, a boxing book, of all things, to review.  although i’m not thinking i would’ve picked out a boxing book if i saw it on a shelf, the description of the story line drew me in.  a mama of four boys, two of them teenaged, i watch firsthand the battle into manhood, and i know that fists merely play out what happens in the heart.


immediately, i was drawn into the story of sam, a teen near-broken by the circumstances of his seemingly helpless life, and jerry, a faith-filled husband, father, and boxing trainer, and how the lives of these men collide.  each walking through his own individual crises, their relationship through the sport of boxing is yet another tool used by God to shape them to see Him for all Glory, and to empower them to shine light into their individual, and joint, worlds.


will i ever step into an arena to watch a boxing match?  unlikely.  (though i do have four sons, and every mama learns, never say never.)  did i spend several days, cathartic, knowing just what it feels like to fight man, thinking that’s the true enemy, missing the point that our Creator battles silently for our souls (battled, perhaps more correctly – the war is won, current skirmishes are for more of our transformed hearts…)?  absolutely.  can i relate to pummeling my own fists against the proverbial punching bag, beating my head against the wall in frustration when it seems there are no answers to struggles in this life?  yep.  i couldn’t put this one down, and i’ve passed it to my boys.  i can’t wait to hear what they think.


spoiler alert: i didn’t particularly love every aspect of this book.  one character, to me, was left a little undeveloped, and the character’s ending actions left me hungry for more for him.  i think that’s true to life, though… we can’t control outcome, we can only pray for God to put to good use even our mistakes, and we have to realize those mistakes will, by the nature of His allowing us to live free, have repercussions.


are you interested in reading The Fight?  I’ve added it to my amazon store; i earn a small commission if you purchase it there.  it’s worth the time to read, and you’ll want to pass it on.  it’s a discussion starter, and i’d love to know your thoughts (share in the comments below)!


would you like to win your own copy?  Luke and his publishers at Tyndale have graciously agreed to give away a copy of this book to one of my readers!  sign up below for several chances to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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