A Well Balanced Blog

Gluten Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies

Gluten Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

You guys, this is the first time I've ever attempted to create a cookie recipe. Don't get me wrong -- I love cookies. I just don't make them all that much. Because I'm kinda lazy.

Cookies take so much more time and precision! I mean, you have to refrigerate the dough, make sure the cookies are all the same size, separate them properly on the cookie sheet, make multiple batches, put the cookie sheets in the freezer in between batches so the cookies don't spread too much from the heat, wait just the right amount of time before setting them on cooling racks, etc.

Oh wait. Turns out I'm not lazy, I'm crazy uptight and particular about cookie baking. Shocker. And yeah ... since I know that about myself, I usually don't bake cookies because I know how painful I am and I just can't deal.

But today, I wanted cookies. Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies to be exact. This was a creation based on what I had in the pantry, so they are gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free. Well, except for the chocolate chips. Y'all, oh my goodness gracious they smell heavenly. Like I could totally be wearing an apron and be that mythical Pinterest mom who has fresh cookies made when the kids come home from school. Wait. Do I even own an apron???

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten free oats
  • 1 cup fine almond flour
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients (except chocolate chips) in a bowl.
  3. Combine maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and egg. Add to dry mixture and mix until throughly combined.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Refrigerate dough for about 30 minutes. (You can skip this, but it makes the dough easier to manage ... 'cause it's pretty sticky.)
  6. Place rounded tablespoons of dough onto a baking sheet with parchment paper. (Your fingers will get messy but it's totally worth it.)
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 17-20 minutes. About halfway through the baking time, use the bottom of a glass to flatten the cookies a bit.
  8. Let cool completely, otherwise the cookies will fall apart. They will harden to perfection during the cooling time.
  9. Y'all, these are GOOD. Enjoy!
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Gluten Free Berry Tart with Shortbread Crust

Gluten Free Berry Tart with Shortbread Crust

Gluten Free Berry Tart with Shortbread Crust

Sometimes it takes me 3 or 4 (or 17) times to get a recipe right. And then occasionally, you have those magical moments where you throw some ingredients together and it comes out OHMYGOODNESS SO YUMMY AND PERFECT on the very first try. And you guys, the shortbread crust for this berry tart is one of those unicorn recipes. Pretty sure I'm going to be using it in a lot of upcoming creations!

Ok, here's the deal on this berry tart. You can make it Paleo if you use coconut oil instead of butter. But if you do eat butter, then use butter! It's a shortbread crust, so hello -- BUTTER. You can also toss the berries in coconut sugar if it needs to be strict Paleo. It's still going to be delish.

I know berry tarts typically have a yogurt or cream filling, but there's something really simple and nice about just using fresh berries. Despite the buttery crust, this is a really light dessert that is oh so satisfying for that sweet tooth without being a gut bomb. If you need something more, top it with whipped cream (or coconut cream) or go crazy with some vanilla ice cream.

Lastly, if you want that first slice to be served up perfectly, you're going to want to use a true tart or springform pan where you can remove the sides. Otherwise, it's a bit challenging to get that crust to slice without falling apart. But as my husband said after he took his first bite ... "Who cares what it looks like after you take the Instagram pic?" I love that man. He gets me.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (can use coconut oil for paleo)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 cups mixed berries
  • 2-3 tablespoons raw cane sugar

Instructions

  1. Combine almond flour, coconut flour, and sea salt in mixing bowl.
  2. Add beaten egg, melted butter, and maple syrup. Mix with spoon until combined.
  3. Press into greased tart pan (or pie dish, 8x8 square pan, 8-inch springform pan). I use a small piece of parchment paper to make it as even as possible! Try to press it up the sides of the pan, too.
  4. Use a fork to pierce the crust in a few places.
  5. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes or until cooked through and edges are starting to brown.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool.
  7. While shortbread crust is baking, wash and cut berries if needed. Toss in a bowl with the raw cane sugar and let sit for the sweetness to develop.
  8. Once crust is cooled, pour berries into pan and spread out.
  9. OHMYGOODNESS. Isn't it so pretty??? Feel free to add some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. I mean, it can't hurt.
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My Safer Sunscreen Recommendations

Ohhhhh,​ ​sunscreen.​​ ​Doesn’t​ ​it​ ​seem​ ​as​ ​if​ ​all​ ​the​ ​information​ ​we​ ​get​ ​about sun​ ​safety​ ​is​ ​conflicting?​ ​Don’t​ ​go​ ​in​ ​the​ ​sun,​ ​it’s​ ​dangerous!​ ​Go​ ​in​ ​the​ ​sun, you​ ​need​ ​to​ ​make​ ​Vitamin​ ​D!​ ​Too​ ​much​ ​sun​...

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Simple Paleo Egg Salad

Simple Paleo Egg Salad

Simple Paleo Egg Salad

Raise your hand if you grew up eating egg salad sandwiches the week after Easter. And not just regular egg salad, the kind with rainbow colors because the dye seeped through the shells and colored up the whites. Back then I thought it was so cool. Pink egg salad?!? Sign me up. But now I am super grossed out by what kind of weird food dyes and chemicals I ingested post-Easter week.

Even though egg salad gets tons of press around Easter, I actually eat this on the regular. We always have hard boiled eggs in our fridge for quick snacks and meals, so I mix up this egg salad almost weekly. I usually eat it with some raw carrots, Siete chips, and a few grapes on the side. YUM.

On a side note, this egg salad recipe is a mix of what I grew up with and the kind my husband ate as a kid. Finding an egg salad recipe that worked for both of us was almost as bad as deciding on a church! A Catholic and a Baptist completely at a standstill about egg salad -- sweet or savory? Serious decisions, you guys. So just like church, we compromised and go sweet AND savory. (Yes, I totally compared egg salad to religious faith.) Hope y'all like it! And do me a favor -- don't use the eggs with the food dye. Please.

Ingredients

  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 tablespoon paleo approved mayo (I use Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Mayo)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt (or regular sea salt)
  • 1 tsp finely chopped onion
  • 1 good squirt of regular yellow mustard (think French's)
  • Dash of paprika
  • 1-2 teaspoons of organic sweet pickle relish (skip for true Paleo or use dill pickle relish)

Instructions

  1. Chop up boiled eggs and place in mixing bowl.
  2. Add mayo, pickle relish, garlic salt, paprika, onion, mustard, and cracked pepper.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Y'all, that's it.
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Basic Cauliflower Rice

Basic Cauliflower Rice

Basic Cauliflower Rice

I distinctly remember the first time my husband made cauliflower rice. We were living in Alabama, and he had agreed to do a Whole30 with his sister. Outwardly, I was super supportive! Internally I was rolling my eyes and thinking, "This is going to be totally gross. Gag." Clearly I still have the mind of a 15-year-old girl.

Y'all, cauliflower rice is delicious! Okay, it's totally not rice. Like at all. But it's a really yummy seasoned veggie that tricks your body into thinking it's getting a starchy carb. And you can walk away from the table not feeling like you have a brick in your stomach.

Fun fact: My 13-year-old prefers cauliflower rice over regular rice. He won't even touch regular rice, not even at a restaurant. BOOM. Be still my nutritional therapist's heart. I'm totally rocking this parenting gig.

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower head, chopped in food processor or one 16 oz. bag of riced cauliflower (Trader Joe's is the best IMO!)
  • 2-3 tablespoons ghee, butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, or olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Sea Salt
  • Cracked pepper
  • Minced garlic, optional

Instructions

  1. Put cauliflower florets in food processor and chop until course. Avoid using the cauliflower stalk (I think it has a funny taste) and make sure not to chop too finely or your rice will be mushy!
  2. You can totally skip the above step if your lucky self has access to Trader Joe's riced cauliflower.
  3. Heat your fat of choice over medium heat until shimmering, then add the onion (and minced garlic if using). Stir often until onion is soft and translucent.
  4. Add riced cauliflower and stir until well mixed with onions and fat.
  5. Season with sea salt and cracked pepper.
  6. Cover and cook for about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Don't overcook because then it's mushy!
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Choosing Safer Self Care

My life is crazy. I wear a ton of hats (literally and figuratively because I live in Alaska!), so I feel like I’m always running from one thing to another with no downtime in between.  I pretty much live on coffee and brightly colored sticky notes.    Sound familiar?...

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Paleo Sweet Vodka Cream Pasta Sauce

Paleo Sweet Vodka Cream Pasta Sauce

Paleo Sweet Vodka Cream Pasta Sauce

So I totally stole this basic recipe from Rachael Ray about 11 years ago when we lived in Ohio. I made my own little tweaks to make it a huge hit in our house, and we ate it ALL THE TIME. John was only 2 years old at the time, and we lived in this adorable little house in the heart of Oakwood. The entire neighborhood was like a Norman Rockwell painting -- cute houses with porches, parks on every corner, women pushing strollers and kids playing outside. My husband was doing a year of school so he was home all the time (literally the only year like that EVER in our lives). And I was only 31 years old ... take me back, y'all!!!

I digress. Back to the pasta sauce. You guys, this stuff is just delicious. Honestly, you could serve it as soup and everyone would love it. We rarely eat real pasta anymore, but I will bust out some gluten free pasta or spaghetti squash just to eat this sauce. You can add some ground meat or meatballs to give it some more protein, or you can just go vegetarian with this meal. Regardless, it's delicious. Go make it. Plus, it sounds impressive when you tell people that you make your pasta sauce from scratch.

Ingredients

  • Avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or ghee
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 good sized shallots, minced
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 cup bone broth (or chicken broth)
  • 2 cans of crushed tomatoes (approx. 32 oz, I use Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes)
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • Sea salt & cracked pepper
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • Fresh basil for topping

Instructions

  1. Heat a little of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic, shallots, and butter or ghee. Saute shallots for about 3-5 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add vodka to the pan, then let it reduce by about half (2-3 minutes).
  4. Add bone broth, tomatoes, and tomato paste. Stir to combine and bring sauce to a bubble.
  5. Reduce heat to bring it to a simmer.
  6. Add honey and season with salt and pepper. Let simmer for about 20-30 minutes to develop flavor.
  7. Stir coconut milk into sauce. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat.
  8. Blend with an immersion blender if smoother consistency is desired.
  9. Serve over pasta or spaghetti squash and top with ribboned basil, YUM!
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The Best Shredded Beef

The Best Shredded Beef

The Best Shredded Beef

What can I say? It's shredded beef. Beef is yummy. And did I mention it's Whole30 approved AND paleo friendly?

This shredded beef is delicious and the possibilities are endless. Serve it on top of a big salad, enjoy it with salsa and guacamole in some Taco Tuesday festivities, or add a little BBQ sauce for some sliders. Or my personal favorite, just eat it straight out of the crock pot with your fingers. Enjoy, y'all!

Ingredients

  • 2-3 lb. chuck roast (I use grass fed, but choose a cut that's on sale because they're all good!)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup bone broth (chicken or beef broth can be used)
  • 1 large onion

Instructions

  1. Put meat in large crockpot.
  2. Mix spices together and then rub over all sides of beef.
  3. Roughly chop the onion and place it on top of the beef.
  4. Pour bone broth on top.
  5. Set crock pot on low for 8-10 hours. The longer, the better!
  6. Beef will shred easily and pretty much melt in your mouth.
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Hey Girl, Hey!

I’m Amanda! I’m a Pilates & Barre Master Trainer, Nutritional Therapy Consultant, Director with Beautycounter, military wife, and mother of two very energetic boys.

I’ve given up the unrealistic notion of being awesome at everything and embraced the idea of just keeping the important stuff well balanced.

My life is not nearly as cool as my Pinterest boards, you guys. But I do try to live a healthy life and make better choices for my family. If you have any interest in doing the same, please stick around! Read More…

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