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What Is Gluten?

We are thrilled to be welcoming Meghan as our Health & Gluten Free Contributor here at New Nostalgia.  Meghan will be here once a month on Saturday sharing her knowledge of all things gluten free, from tips to recipes.  She has much to share in the area of health, and I know you will enjoy her warmth and knowledge as much as I do.

Meghan newsom
Meghan Newsom
Health & Gluten Free Contributor

Meghan’s site: make.

 You can follow her here:

I am so honored and excited to be a part of New Nostalgia, and the New Nostalgia contributing team! Amy is such a blessing to me, as I know she is to all of you wonderful readers who stop by. I wanted to take a little minute to introduce myself, so you can know a little bit about me and why I am so passionate about eating a plant based, whole foods, gluten free diet.

Meghan Newsom

My name is Meghan, and I write over at After battling with sickness for many many years (and still am!) it was discovered that I have Celiac Disease. The only “cure” for this disease is by following a strict gluten-free diet. I also am allergic to casein, so our diet quickly changed from vegetarian to gluten free and vegan! Due to my health issues, I have also learned how to live a more natural and holistic lifestyle. I do not believe that everyone needs to/ or SHOULD adapt a gluten-free lifestyle, BUT I DO believe that everyone can benefit from a plant based and whole foods diet!!  If you want to learn a bit more about me, you can do so here.

You have heard the word “gluten” more and more lately, and are most likely wondering what it is! By definition, gluten is “is the generic name for certain types of proteins contained in the common cereal grains wheat, barley, rye and their derivatives. The good news is that all fresh fruits, vegetables, beef, chicken, fish, lamb, pork and dairy products are naturally gluten-free.” Source.

If you do not suffer from gluten allergies/intolerances or Celiac Disease, you most likely know someone in your life that does. If you suspect you may have an intolerance to gluten, you can find a great list of symptoms here

The word “gluten” is being heard more recently because doctors are becoming more aware of its effect on people’s health, thus they are able to diagnose gluten intolerances and Celiac Disease now more than ever! Simply adhering to a gluten-free diet can eliminate almost all, if not ALL of the symptoms related to the disease. Pretty cool, huh? 

It is not my mission to convert you all to eating a gluten free diet! By no means! Most people digest the protein found in gluten quite well, and should not take it out of their diets. In fact, gluten-free products have much more sugar and fats in them vs. their glutenous counterparts, so if you are looking for a weight loss diet this is not for you. 

I do, however,  think it is so important that all of us become more aware of a gluten-free diet, and the HUGE issue of cross contamination while cooking gluten free, because many of you may have friends and/or family members who must adhere to this diet! Meals are such an important part of community and our culture, and when people are not able to partake in corporate meals it limits their ability to take part in something beautiful. It is my hope to equip you with enough simple knowledge so that you will be able to cook and host those friends and family members who cannot have gluten in their diets- and you will be confident in doing so!! 

The recipes I am going to be sharing with you are all gluten free and mostly vegan. The cool thing is that most of them can be made with gluten (if you do not need to adhere to the diet) and are all whole foods and plant based! I am not a baker, so you will not be finding beautifully baked gluten free products on here from me. I am actually a horrible gluten free baker and try to stick with as many boxed mixes as I can:). 

Until next month, let me know if you have any questions (you can feel free to email me!) and I will try my best to answer them. I’ll be back next month with a tasty gluten free recipe. 


HOME/ How-Tos/ RECIPES/ Simplifying

My Favorite Way To Cut An Orange

Knife Cutting An Orange Into Slices
My kids think I am the only one on the planet that can cut an orange “properly.” I love that they think that. Their friends also tell me they love how I cut oranges. Then adults started telling me the same thing, which is when I started to believe there was something special about how I do it.


Hmmm…who woulda thunk it?


In this post I’ll show you my favorite way to cut an orange so you can see just how simple it is to get those picture perfect slices.

Continue Reading…

Healthy Eating/ How-Tos/ RECIPES

The Simplicity Of Sprouting

**This is a guest post written by Kelly from The Morris Tribe.  Enjoy~
During the winter months, I truly miss the fresh produce from my garden.  I also resent the high prices of mediocre produce at the store!  Sprouting is an option that has worked very well for our family and may be something you might want to consider.  Not only is it inexpensive and highly nutritious, but it’s fun!
Sprouting is like having your own little garden in your kitchen all winter long.  Your supply of sprouts keep coming every few days, just about the time it takes to eat your last batch.  They require only a sunny window and two rinses a day, how easy is that?
All of the energy that a plant requires to produce a full-sized plant is released when a seed germinates, or sprouts.  This time in the life cycle of a seed is the best time to consume them. 
The nutritional value of sprouts is just short of ridiculous, read here.  They are a wonderful supplement to your winter repertoire.  I count on them to help my family with building immunity during cold/flu season.

 Sprout People is a great source of information about what seeds are best to sprout and gives this nutritional info for sprouts:

Nutritional info:
Vitamins A, B, C, E and K
Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc
Carotene, Chlorophyll
Amino Acids
Trace Elements
Protein: up to 35%
You’ll need a mason jar, a lid ring and some cheesecloth.  You can purchase a sprouting lid for a wide-mouth mason jar here for just a few bucks.  I prefer a plastic lid myself.  The most important thing to remember is that it needs to be clean!  I like to put my jar in the dishwasher to sterilize it.
For high-quality, organic sprouting seeds, check around your town.  I usually purchase my alfalfa seeds at the health food store, but they are available at grocery stores and on-line as well.  A small package of seeds will cost just a few bucks and will last a year or longer as you only need a tablespoon of seeds at a time.
You’ll want to soak your seeds in a few inches of water overnight.  The next morning, rinse them thoroughly.  That’s it!  Just set your jar near a sunny window and watch them grow!  Rinse them again that night.  Be sure to drain the seeds well, you don’t want excess water in the jar.
The next morning, rinse them again and then once more at night. 
By day 3, you’ll be getting pretty excited as your sprouts will have germinated and will be close to ready.  Just rinse your sprouts every morning and evening thoroughly.
You might want to take a taste of your sprouts on day 3 or 4 and see how you like them.  Their taste will change just a bit from day to day, you can establish what day you like them best.
Once they are complete, you’ll want to rinse them well enough to get the hulls off.  Then store them in a sealed container in the frig. 
I like to just munch on them myself, but they also make a great addition to sandwiches.  I have used them them in smoothies, the kids will be none the wiser!  A strong flavored fruit like blueberries or blackberries will insure that.
The Sprouting Book” by Ann Wigmore is an excellent resource on sprouting and fairly inexpensive as well. Being an older book, I’m quite sure you could get it from the library. 
 Kelly Morris is a wife and mother to 9 children, 6 biological and 3 adopted, living in small town Ohio.  She can often be found blogging, writing, reading, cooking, gardening, digital scrapbooking and drinking good coffee.  Kelly authors “The Morristribe: Creating Balance for Busy Moms” and loves helping other moms find balance in their lives.
*** Kelly made this super helpful video on the sprouting process.  Once I saw on this video & how simple it is, I felt way less intimidated by sprouting.  It is EASY!  
Thanks, Kelly, for this great post and for being such a great friend to me!

How To Eat A Pomegranate

I am still receiving meals from my church due to my diagnosis and fight with breast cancer.  The meals come at least 5 days a week, there are a total of 22 people signed up to bring at least 90 meals!  Isn’t that such a beautiful thing?  I can’t tell you how wonderful it has been.  Yes, there are days I could cook for my family, but there are many days that circumstances would make it hard.  Doctors appointments, chemo treatments that take most of my day, weakness from chemo, weakness from low blood counts, a cold that I just got done fighting, etc.  It has also saved us a ton of grocery money, which has freed money up so that I could to buy healthy groceries for my breakfasts, lunches and snacks.

A couple days ago, my pastor’s wife, Tanya, brought an amazing meal, along with a pomegranate.  I have always wanted to try one, and I knew they were super healthy, so I was excited!  She explained how to get the seeds out in order to eat them, as I was pretty much clueless!  The technique she told me to use is on the video below.

Nutritional Benefits
Pomegranates have very high content of punicalagins, a potent anti-oxidant component found to be responsible for its superior health benefits.
Amazingly, researches indicate that the capacity of anti-oxidant in this fruit is two or three times higher than that of red wine and green tea.
The level of anti-oxidant is even higher than those of other fruits known to have high-levels of anti-oxidant, including blueberries, cranberries and oranges.  This was attributed to the very high polyphenol content in the fruit.
They are also a good source of vitamin B (riboflavin, thiamin and niacin), vitamin C, calcium and phosphorus.  These combination and other minerals in pomegranates cause a powerful synergy that prevents and reverses many diseases.
Pomegranates are very, very good for you and can be used a few different ways.

You pop the seeds in your mouth, which is a super fun, crunchy snack. If the crunch is not your thing, many people just pop them in their mouths, suck the juice out, then spit out the seed.

 Here are a few other ideas from Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce:

Hummus Crown
Sprinkle a generous amount of pomegranate seeds on homemade or store-bought hummus.  Serve with crackers, thinly sliced French bread, or toasted pita bread.
PBP Sandwich
Omit the jelly on a peanut butter sandwich.  Instead, top peanut butter with a layer of pomegranate seeds.
Pomegranate Vinaigrette with Mint
Make a mixed green salad topped with this easy dressing.  In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, combine 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon cider vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Stir to combine.  Add 13 cup pomegranate seeds and 1 Tablespoon minced fresh mint or 1 teaspoon dried mint; stir to combine.  Use just enough dressing to lightly coat leaves.
Chocolate Ruby Slippers
Chocolate and pomegranate seeds make great partners; the chocolate is smooth and the seeds are both crunchy and juicy.  To make this simple “candy”, melt 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips over simmering water in a double boiler.  Stir frequently/ the idea is to melt the chocolate without getting it hot (it will melt when it is just warm).  Remove top part of double boiler and set on counter top.  Stir in 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds.  Using two teaspoons (one to scoop and the other to push mixture off), place 14 small mounds on baking sheet lined with wax paper.  Chill. Serve with in 24 hours for best flavor and texture.

Brunch/ How-Tos/ RECIPES

How To Make A Simple Omelette


I was in the mood for an omelette but needed a bit of inspiration. I watched the Jamie Oliver video below, and using  his technique I made myself an omelet and it was sooo good!

Even though it is early November, my tomato plant is still producing tomatoes, and I have a pepper plant that is still going, too.

 I chopped 1/4 of a tomato and 1 small orange sweet pepper, briefly sauteed them in some olive oil, and set them aside to use as filling for my omelet.  I also shredded some cheddar cheese.  It was by far the yummiest omelette I have ever eaten!


How To Make an Omelette


Basic Omelette

1 tablespoon butter

2 eggs

2 teaspoons water


~beat eggs and water in a bowl, just until mixed, not too frothy.

~add a bit of salt and pepper, to taste

~heat butter in the pan over medium heat.  Add eggs.

~gently push eggs from edge of pan towards middle while still runny

~tilt pan to fill in gaps

~cook until set on bottom and slightly shiny on top.

~fold over, slide onto plate.



{see filling ideas below}

Omelette Filling Ideas

Omelette Fillings

cheese, {swiss, cheddar, feta, etc}

onions or green onions

bell peppers


meat {ham, bacon, sausage, chicken, turkey}



fresh herbs

feta cheese






{make sure your toppings are prepared ahead of time, as omelettes cook quickly}



How-Tos/ RECIPES/ Sides

Crockpot Homemade Applesauce

Guest Post by: Katie at The Cutting Back Kitchen

By the time September hits, I have had more than my fill of summer, and I am ushering in the fall season.  The fall decorations come out, pumpkin lattes become all too often indulgence, I anxiously await the changing leaves, and the fall recipes make their yearly appearance.
I love fall recipes, and this applesauce is no exception!  If you have never made homemade applesauce, it is a must this year.  The taste exceeds the store bought variety by a mile.
The great thing about homemade applesauce is that you can enjoy it all year long; it doesn’t have to be just a “fall recipe”.  Every fall I buy about 20-30 pounds of apples and feed the freezer.  I take one day to peel, cook, and package up the yummy stuff in freezer bags, and we enjoy it all year!
3 pound bag of apples (peeled, cored, and sliced)
2-3 tablespoons brown sugar (or other sweetener)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup water
Place your apple slices in the bottom of a Crockpot.  (If you don’t have a Crockpot, you can make it on the stove.) Top with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Add the water. (I always just make sure to add enough water to cover the bottom of the Crockpot.)    Cook the applesauce on low for 4-6 hours or until apples are tender.  Once the apples are tender, mash them with a potato masher for a chunkier consistency.  For a smoother consistency, mix in blender.
This is more an idea, than an exact recipe you need to stick to.  I try to keep mine pretty low in sugar, but if you like yours sweeter add some more.  Sometimes I add a handful of frozen berries to add some color and lend a slightly different flavor.  Get creative!
Freezing Instructions
I just package mine in quart sized freezer bags.   Thaw and enjoy!

Katie blogs at The Cutting Back Kitchen.  Her passion is helping women serve up big flavors on a bland budget.  There you will read all about her newest recipes, couponing adventures, freezer cooking frenzies, and really…everything that is kitchen related!


An Easy Way To Chop An Egg


Many of you may know this fun little trick, but it is one that makes me so happy I thought I would share it anyway!

I was at a deli about 10 yrs ago, taking a lunch break in the middle of a very long day of hair styling.  I ordered an egg salad sandwich, and was told I would have to wait a minute for her to mix up a new batch.  I stood and watched her whip out an egg slicer and chop up a dozen eggs using this method, in no time.  I had used one of these egg slicers to slice an egg, but had never thought about turning the egg sideways to slice a second time-it makes perfect little matchstick like egg pieces.  These are great for egg salad and any recipe that calls for chopped egg or just simply to top a salad.

egg slicer

Sliced egg

chopped egg with an egg slicer

The Ecko brand egg slicer I have pictured above is quite flimsy and the wires break easily, I would not recommend it.

This one from Amazon got great reviews.  It is a bit pricier, but after having 3 break on me, I am ready for a quality egg slicer.  This can be used to slice strawberries & mushrooms, and areviewer said she has even used it to slice a chunk of mozzarella cheese.

What are your favorite ways to use hard boiled eggs?

Want to know the perfect way to hard boil an egg? See this post.