Apple Crisp (Gluten/Dairy-Free)


Raise your hand if you love Apple Crisp!! Mmmmmmm…

Just a couple words of caution for you before we dive in to this recipe though…

Be sure to slice the apples very, very thinly…or they won’t be as tender as you’d like.

If you use the coconut oil option below, use caution with your serving sizes!!! The hubby and I eat coconut oil frequently, but we discovered the hard way that our systems couldn’t quite handle us polishing off 3/4 of this pan together this morning on an empty stomach! Ooops! That was a miserable lesson to learn! Trust me.

One solution would be to use the butter option, of course…but we’ll be sure to just eat dessert-sized portions next time instead of enjoying this dish as our entire breakfast. Yikes!

Today was our first time making this recipe with so much topping. We used to use half as much topping. So cutting the topping ingredients in half would be another way to reduce the amount of coconut oil involved. We always used to eat the entire batch when we used half as much topping…and we never had any issues…but we do prefer the added “crunch” of having more topping. Hmmmm….decisions, decisions. LOL! 


Apple Crisp Recipe

Makes about 4-6 servings


Apple filling ingredients:
2 TBSP honey
1 TBSP water
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 cups peeled apples, sliced very thinly (about 3 medium apples – we use Fuji variety)

Topping ingredients:
1 cup butter or coconut oil, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp sea salt
2 cup quick oats

*Get yourself a copy of our Natural Grocery Shopping Guide for our tips on selecting the most additive-free versions of every ingredient used in our recipes.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9″ x 9″ casserole pan.


Stir honey and water together in a medium mixing bowl until honey dissolves.

Add cinnamon, salt and vanilla; and stir.

Mix apples in (hands work best for this), and toss until evenly coated.

Pour mixture into casserole dish.


Re-using the same bowl… mix cinnamon, sugar, softened butter or coconut oil, and salt together. Add oats and mix until evenly coated (again, hands work best for this).

Sprinkle topping mixture on top of apples.

Bake for 35-40 minutes (keep an eye on it every 5 minutes or so after the 30 minute mark to check for doneness, as ovens vary). You want the apples to be very tender and the topping to be golden brown (but not burnt).

Let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving so you don’t burn your face off. Hee, hee!






Chinese Five Spice Quinoa


We LOVE fried rice, but soy sauce sometimes makes me not feel so great (presumably because it contains glutamate), so now we generally make THIS dish, instead.

(If you prefer rice, feel free to use that instead of quinoa by the way).

And now we love this dish even more than traditional fried rice!

Chinese Five Spice seasoning is delicious if you’ve never tried it!!! It’s a delightful blend of: cinnamon, fennel, cloves, star anise and pepper. MMMmmmmm…..mmmmmmmmmm!!!!

This dish is tasty eaten leftover and COLD, too! We often eat it that way for breakfast the next day for something different. 🙂

Serves 4


1 cup uncooked quinoa (or rice)
2 TBSP coconut oil (or cooking oil of your choice)
1 medium or large onion, chopped or diced
1 1/2 cups freshly diced carrots
4-6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice Powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 eggs, beaten
4 large green onions, thinly sliced


Cook quinoa or rice according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a huge skillet. Add onion and carrots and sauté to desired tenderness. Add garlic and sauté just 1 more minute.

Scoot veggies to one side of the pan, and scramble the eggs on the other side. When eggs are cooked through, stir together to combine.

When quinoa or rice is done cooking, add it to the skillet. Add all seasonings (and a bit more oil if needed), and stir to combine. Cook until heated through.

Then add green onions, and cook for about 1 more minute just until they are heated through.

Serve with Baked Cabbage or a side dish of your choice.


Baked Cabbage


Serves 4


8 cups freshly sliced cabbage (about 1 medium head)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (or oil of your choice)
1 tsp sea salt


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Scatter the cabbage in a large ungreased casserole pan.

Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt.

Toss with hands until well combined.

Cover with foil, and bake for about 20-25 minutes.

Remove foil and stir. Continue baking uncovered until pieces of the cabbage begin to lightly brown (about 5-10 more minutes).

Note – This will cook down to about 4 cups of cabbage.

Instant Pot BBQ Ribs

instant pot ribs

Oh my gosh! I was soooooooooo intimidated the first time we tried to make ribs at home.

But I’m soooooooooooo glad we did! It’s so much cheaper than going out for them, annnnnnnnnd we can control the quality of our ingredients, so…score!!!

In case you also find the idea intimidating, I’ve included LOTS of photos at the end of this post, so you will feel like you know what you’re doing. Ha!

Oh, and we use a 6-quart Instant Pot, so be sure to adjust this recipe if you have a different size.

This recipe takes a total of about an hour in the Instant Pot (including pressurizing and releasing time), and then we like to throw the ribs on the outdoor grill for a bit to brown them up, too! Totally worth it!!! Yum!!!


Instant Pot BBQ Ribs

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2.5 lbs pork loin back ribs

Homemade Dry Rub:
2 TBSP Paprika
1 TBSP freshly ground black pepper
1 TBSP sea salt
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 TBSP chili powder
1/2 TBSP garlic granules
1/2 TBSP onion granules
1/2 TBSP cayenne pepper (reduce or eliminate this if you don’t like spiciness)

1 cup water (for a 6-qt Instant Pot)
1 batch of our homemade BBQ Sauce


  1. Mix dry rub ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of the Instant Pot, and place the metal trivet in the pot.
  3. Rinse the ribs to remove any debris.
  4. Remove the thin membrane on the back (bony) side of the ribs by peeling up one edge and slowly pulling it down the entire length of the rack. Discard membrane in the trash.
  5. Rub both sides (and all edges) of the ribs generously with the dry rub. It’s a LOT of seasoning mix, but you should definitely use it ALL.
  6. Curl the rack of ribs on its side (as shown in the photos below), and place it in the pot on the trivet.
  7. Shut the lid, and set it for High pressure for 25 minutes. (It will take about 15 minutes to get to pressure. Then, the 25 minutes will start counting down.)
  8. Allow pressure to release naturally for 20 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, make the homemade BBQ sauce if you don’t already have it on hand. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Lower the heat and keep uncovered at a very low boil (simmer) for about 30 minutes, until thickened. Makes about 2 cups.
  10. Preheat an outdoor grill to High heat. Lay the ribs on the grill. Baste one side of the ribs with BBQ sauce, and grill for a few minutes. Flip the ribs over, and repeat on the other side. Repeat this process once more, if necessary, basting each time. We use about half of the batch of BBQ sauce during cooking. Then, we use the rest for dipping when we eat!
  11. Let the ribs rest, uncovered, for about 10 minutes to cool down before serving. Serve with extra BBQ sauce for dipping.

We enjoy serving these ribs with cornbread, skillet taters, and our homemade Apple-Cilantro Coleslaw.