gluten free

Gluten Free Maple Walnut Bars

Gluten-Free Maple Walnut Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

I have been so full all week. Ben and I went on a road trip, hitting Boston, Providence, and New York, and it should come as no surprise that our days were planned largely around our food excursions. We’ve been eating some amazing things, but let’s just say that I feel like my skinny jeans are feeling a little tighter than usual.

One thing that can be tricky about a food trip as someone who has a gluten sensitivity is that it can be very hard to turn down delicious-looking dishes and desserts when everyone else seems to be enjoying them so much. I’m very grateful and lucky that I don’t have Celiac’s, but eating gluten does give me some stomach troubles, so ultimately I have to ask myself whether or not eating the food in question will be worth the tummy ache later on.

And with a food trip? It usually was. Yikes.

Gluten Free Maple Walnut Bars

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Honey Sesame Ginger Chicken

Often times, when I make baked goods or cook something that requires longer than a microwavable dinner during exam time, people will ask me: “How do you find the time to do that?”

And I wouldn’t say I’m proud of the fact that I will frequently prioritize a batch of cookies over studying for an upcoming midterm, but I will say this:

For me, making time for food is a key part of keeping in touch with reality and happiness. You know that all-too-famous Parks & Rec quote: “TREAT YO’SELF?”

That’s how I want to approach food. Not as simply fuel or an obligation, but as something that I—and the people around me—can enjoy. And being able to make time for that is important, not just for the sake of eating, but for the sake of my sanity. Because midterms will do that to ya.

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Healthy Rice Gratin With Roasted Tomatoes and Mushrooms

In a perfect world, our refrigerators would be stocked with exactly the right ingredients whenever a recipe idea strikes. We’d magically have just enough butter for a new cookie recipe, we’d somehow have cans of cooked chickpeas (I’m so tired of forgetting to soak those little suckers…) when we randomly started craving hummus, and we’d have all the right vegetables we’d want to use in a new dish we’ve been meaning to create.

But we don’t live in a perfect world, unfortunately, and too many times have I been dying to make a cheesecake only to realize that I have neither cream cheese nor graham crackers. Too many times have I opened my fridge, thinking that I had enough heavy cream for the recipe I had in mind—only to be sorely disappointed.

While that might sound a little sad, I promise you won’t feel that way with this dish. The nice thing about a gratin is that it’s customizable (is that a word?) for whatever’s in your fridge. I really wanted to use zucchinis and yellow squash, but we were totally out. So I did my best to improvise. And the best part? It still wound up being filling, delicious, and healthy!

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