Cooking is Therapy for the Soul

I don’t know about you but cooking is one of my favorite things to do, I’m a regular ole house wife these days (said with a huge smile across my face, cause I really love it). From the planning and prep to the cooking and enjoying, it is such a stress relieving activity. I found a great article called Kitchen Therapy: Cooking Up Mental Well-Being, it’s a short but good read that touches on the mental benefits of cooking!d5632f03476de17a0393b20961d930d2

I must admit that I was really great about planning out our meals during our first year of marriage, but that second year not so much. When we lived in California, I use to get out the cook books and plan two weeks worth of meals and write out all the ingredients I needed from the store for my grocery run. When we moved to North Carolina, I started making  a list of the things we were out of that I know we eat a lot and occasionally wrote out ingredients for meals. I am gonna be honest we ate a lot of taco soup, mini meatloaves, tacos, chicken or fish and rice last year. On the plus side I never heard any complaints. However this year, during our long “see you soon”, I have decided I am going to get back into the habit of planning out two weeks of meals and the ingredients needed, along with spicing things up a little bit with some new dishes, and veggies with lunch and dinner. Confession, as much as I enjoy cooking, I am not amazing at multitasking (cooking mutliple items at a time), I usually end up plating the food and realizing I totally forgot the veggie.

This is the year for improvement! So lets get into the really good stuff! All the cooking things I’ll be sharing are gluten free. I went mostly gluten free in 2014 and haven’t looked back, well except for the occasional donut, but I pay dearly when I overdo it, with sinus congestion, headaches, and irritability! I do not have an “allergy” to gluten that is life threatening, but I was experiencing “seasonal allergy” sinus issues and did some research to help me feel better, and what you eat matters! To read more about my reasons for cutting out gluten click here!

Here are a few things I’ve made and enjoyed lately.

Tacos, one of my go to food choices! Sometimes we do chicken fajita style as well, I think this might be one of my favorite meals….we eat it a lot!

Something new I made over the weekend was this amazing One Pan Pesto Chicken and Veggies

Another new side dish I made was cauliflower “rice”, the recipe came from my against all grain cookbook (I have the one to the very right “meals made simple”).

While searching for the cauliflower “rice” recipe (with no luck), I found a new recipe that I can’t wait to try this week called Beef Cauliflower Fried Rice, but I’m gonna use chicken instead of beef!

I don’t have any tips for cooking but I can tell you, keep trying. Learning is good for the mind, and on the plus if you mess it up, you’ll know better next time. 🙂 Also Pinterest recipes can be amazing or they can be total flops, so don’t be to hard on yourself when they don’t turn out. I have had my share of pinterest fails, as frustrating as it can be, just throw that recipe out or modify to make it better! We’ve had our share of, “It might be gross but this is what’s for dinner, I won’t make it again…Sorry” moments. Thankfully my hubby can always find the bright side to my cooking, or fibs and tells me “it’s not that bad” when I am eating that same thing and know it’s not that great either. Thank God for a loving husband, who appreciates the thought and love I put into making our meals!

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Pinterest & Cooking

I have always enjoyed to bake and cook since I was young. However since being married, I really love cooking and testing out new recipes! I have several cookbooks and have bookmarked my favorite recipes so far: mini meatloaves, stuffed peppers, baked chicken with brussels sprouts and carrots, and cheesy chicken rices bake. I have also found that Pinterest is an oasis of recipes, whatever your heart might desire, or in my case yesterday a place to search for recipes that contain items I currently had on-hand. My search of potatoes and hamburger turned up a whole bunch of yummy looking food, but this Poor Man’s stew just caught my eye, probably because it feels like fall out now!Jacksonville NC Photographer, Jacksonville kids photography, Jacksonville family photographyIt also was a plus that it contained items I had on-hand, except the tomato paste. I substituted a can of petite diced tomatoes that I blended up to be a little more paste-like and added a little less water than the recipe called for. It turned out delicious and I got the husband seal of approval to make it again! I have so many more Pinterest recipes that I need to make off my food board,  but last week I made the zucchini pizza bites (I pinned on my gluten free board) and they are yummy too!

I’d love to hear what your favorite recipes are, or something new you’ve tried that should be shared, so leave a comment below!