Gluten Free at Sea World

How to eat gluten free at sea world San AntonioIt can be hard to eat gluten free at Sea World or really any time you are out and about.  Most people with food allergies carry some sort of snack with them at all times, which is a good idea.  Of course I just want to be able to freely enjoy a day at Sea World with my family without getting a migraine or packing my own lunch.  One of the biggest drawbacks to packing my own lunch at Sea World is that I have to leave it in my car. Frankly the thought of walking back out through the hot parking lot to eat lunch in my car is not very appealing.  I have a feeling that I would end up just leaving the park at that point.

If you are ordering special items, or just don’t want to wait forever it is best to eat during non peak times. This way you can enjoy your meal and not worry about contamination due to hurried workers.

So what can you eat that’s gluten free at Sea World?

Frankly, not all that much UNLESS you eat at Shamu’s Smokehouse. Shamu’s Smokehouse is the designated allergen friendly dining facility, man that was a mouth full. Since BBQ and gluten free generally go great together this isn’t really a surprise. This is without a doubt my favorite place to eat at Sea World and a great choice if you eat Paleo too.  I’ve been told conflicting information about whether or not their BBQ sauce has gluten in it so I just stay away from it.  The special allergen information book the cashier has said the BBQ sauce is gluten free but the chef told me it is not gluten free.  Since I’ve been glutened at Sea World before I figure it’s better to be safe than sorry. All of their meats are gluten free so order away, but be sure to let the chef know your food allergies so they can handle your meat in a special area. As far as gluten free sides, you can get fruit.  Yep, just fruit. if you are planning on possibly eating more than one meal at Sea World or think you may want two servings of meat I’d go for the All Day Dinning Deal (explained below). Shamu’s smokehouse also offers prepacked gluten free to go items that I have not tried.

Gluten Free Sea World PizzaIf your family isn’t big on meat you can also dine gluten free at Rosita’s Cafe Pizza and Pasta Buffet.  The salad and salad dressings are all gluten free, though you may want to double check the dressings when you go since vendor can easily change.  You can also order special personal gluten free pizza. At the cashier stand ask to speak with a manager or chef to order your pizza.  I recommend ordering at least two pizzas, this a a buffet so it won’t cost you more.  You can only get cheese on your gluten free pizza to ensure there is no cross contamination.  Each gluten free pizza will come out in it’s own sealed package with a pizza cutter. I loved the care they took in making sure I stay safe!  Your pizza will take about 20 minutes to come out so either go to Rosa’s ahead of your family or enjoy some salad while the rest of our group grubs on the pizza buffet.  As far as taste, eh. Some of my pizza was good and some of the dough was raw.  I haven’t gone back and tried the pizza again but I’ll keep you updated.Gluten free Sea world Rositas

You can also enjoy popcorn and cotton candy but I would double check before ordering.

I highly recommend Sea World’s All Day Dining Deal. Prices may change but right now adults are $29.99 and children 3-9 are $16.99.  Season passholders get a 20% discount. You will be able to eat Seafire Grille, Sea Star Market, Shamu’s Smokehouse (except for ribs ad sampler plates), Rio Grille, Azul Treats (limited menu), and Rosita’s Cafe. with the wristband you get 1 entrée platter, 1 additional side item or dessert, and 1 fountain soft drink, iced tea, or 20 oz. bottled water each time through the line. You can go back as many times as you want!  Do you know how much water alone costs?  This is big savings from regular prices if you are planning on eating more than one meal at Sea World.

 

Ice Chest Lunch- Shrimp Pasta Salad Recipe

I have a confession to make.  I’ve never been to Schlitterbahn Water Park. Gasp! I know, I know.  I hear it’s a blast and you can even bring in your own ice chest with a lunch. For someone as frugal as me being able to bring your own lunch is big deal, especially now that I’m eating gluten free. Bringing in your own ice chest lunch also means your family will spend less time waiting in lines and more time having fun. At Schlitterbahn they don’t nickle and dime you, parking is free, you can bring your own food, the ticket to get is all you have to pay. After going to several other amusement parks this summer I can’t begin to tell you how much money this saves you.

Full disclosure for sharing this the wonderful people at Schlitterbahn in conjunction with US family guide are going to give me tickets to check out all Schlitterbahn has to offer.  I can’t wait to bring Little Man along with my ice chest lunch and tell you all about it.

Ice Chest Lunch #BahnCoolerSo what am I going to pack in my ice chest?

#1 Water. It’s hot in New Braunfels so we need to drink lots of water.  No one wants to cut the day short because they are dehydrated. Freezing a few bottles of water overnight will help keep your other items cold along with providing a refreshing drink when it gets hot. Fun fact: it’s easy to get dehydrated when spending the day in water.  Pack more than you think you will drink

#2 Ice Pack: Again, it’s Texas and your lunch is going to get hot without an ice pack

#3 Gummies:  We don’t normally eat gummies but packing a small treat will keep Little Man from asking to buy something.

#4 Fruit: We can’t go anywhere with at least one piece of fruit. This ice chest has both apples and cherries. Nutritious and delicious.

#5 Shrimp Pasta Salad:  Recipe below. This easy recipe can be made gluten free or not depending on the type of pasta you use. This is the kind of recipe that is better the next day so make it the night before and toss it in the ice chest when you are ready to go.Shrimp Pasta Salad Ice Chest Lunch #BahnCooler

Don’t forget the forks and napkins!

Ice Chest Lunch- Shrimp Pasta Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 cups small pasta (penne, macaroni, spiral, etc) cooked and cooled. I used gluten free pasta but you can use whatever you want.
  • 1/4 cup mayo, I use homemade mayo
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 2 cups Baby Shrimp, if using frozen defrost and drain
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper

What to Do

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Let sit at least 1 hour
  3. Enjoy!
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Baked Mexican Chicken Recipe

baked Chipotle Mexican Chicken with Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

My Baked Chipotle Mexican Chicken recipe came from ingredients I already had in my pantry.  Some of my best, and worst, recipes come from throwing ingredients I already have together.  Unfortunately most of these spontaneous recipes are hard to recreate since they involve a pinch of this and a dash of that.  I decided to write this one down as I made it in case it turned out as good as I was hoping. In the end this chicken dish came out tasting a lot like carnitas, which I absolutely love.

I used chicken thighs in my recipe but that’s only because I bought them on sale for a great deal.  You could easily use chicken breast meat but it may not be quite as tender.

Serve over Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice (the most popular recipe on this site) for a healthy meal.  If you are looking for an easy dish that’s also Paleo, gluten free and Whole30 friendly you have got to try this recipe out.

Baked Chipotle Mexican Chicken Recipe

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken Dark meat will be more tender but you can use white meat too.
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced (use fresh garlic)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1tsp Oregano
  • 1tsp Peprika
  • 1 small can Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 small can Chipotle Peppers in adobe sauce

What to Do

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Remove chipotle peppers from the can and chop them. Add at least 1 tablespoon of pepprs to your dish depending on how spice you family enjoys their food. I used a bout 3/4 of the can.
  3. In a 13x9 dish mix together all ingredients except the chicken until well combined.
  4. Cut chicken into two inch pieces and add to the 13/9 dish
  5. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes.
  6. Leaving the foil on let the chicken sit while you make the Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice . If you aren't making the rice let this dish sit for about 10 minutes.
  7. Serve over cauliflower rice
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Baked chipotle mexican chickenLet me know what you think.change anything to make this Mexican chicken recipe better?  I love feedback.

Last Day of Preschool

Last Day of PreschoolLittle Man graduated preschool!  Yes I do think it’s ridiculous he “graduated” since he really just got older but nonetheless he looked adorable in his cap and gown. He was so happy for his last day of preschool.  All Little Man can talk about is going to kindergarten.

I’m a little torn about Little Man getting so big.  Sure I want him to grow up but I also want him to remain my little boy.  Oh the life of a mom.  The hubby doesn’t seem to get my concern when I say “he’s getting so big.”  Ben normally tells me that I want him to grow up, learn things and become independent.  He laughs at me when I say Little Man is big.  That is until they showed his baby picture then a picture of him now at graduation!  Ben turned to be and said, “you’re right he is getting big.”  I really wanted to day a big fat I told you so but I refrained for the sake of the moment.Becoming a preschool graduateLook at that picture!  I know someday I’ll be looking at his high school graduation picture reminiscing about how little he is in all of these pictures.  For now Little Man seems so grown up.  The school director asked each little graduate what they want to be when they grow up.  Little man said the same thing he has said all year, that he wants to be a teacher.  I’m pretty sure he only wants to be a teacher so he can be in charge but it was still cute.

Of course we had to take family pictures at his graduation ceremony.  I love the one where he is looking at his aunt.

Family preschool graduationThis is just the beginning.  We have so many milestones to look forward to and many more achievements to celebrate. So off he goes, done with preschool and ready to take on kindergarten.Last Day of Preschool- Oh the places he'll goTo quote Dr. Suess, “Oh the places you’ll go.”  I can’t wait to watch and see what lies ahead.

Homemade Coconut Milk and Coconut Cream Recipe

Homemade coconut milk recipe

Homemade coconut milk and coconut cream have been in my diet since doing Whole30 a few months ago. I’ve learned dairy isn’t really my friend since then but whether you’re dairy free or not you’re sure to enjoy homemade coconut milk.  No matter the kind of eating plan you follow, Paleo, Whole30, lactose free or whatever, coconut milk is sure to make a delicious and healthy addition.

Like most foods once you make it yourself you will never go back to canned again.  You know that taste that canned coconut milk has, that taste that isn’t coconut but something else. That’s guar gum or some other stabilizing agent.  It’s not necessarily bad but when you leave it out you get an amazingly fresh taste that will leave you wondering why you ever liked canned coconut milk.

You will need some special kitchen gadgets, but if you make a lot of food at home you probably already have them.  I use my food processor which works pretty well but if you have a Vitamix or other high power blender you’ll be better off.  You’ll also need a fine mesh strainer, cheese cloth or nut milk bag. Beyond that all you need is shredded coconut and water. I’ve successfully made homemade coconut milk with fresh coconut that I grated myself, unsweetened dried coconut and frozen shredded cocnonut so feel free to pick whichever one you can find.

Simply blend the coconut and water together, strain and your done!  Easy peasey.

Homemade Coconut Milk

Little Man couldn’t wait for me to finish my photo session before drinking the coconut milk!

Easy Homemade Coconut Milk and Coconut Cream Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Unsweetened Shredded Coconut- fresh, frozen or dried
  • 4 cups Warm Water

What to Do

  1. If you have a big enough blender or food processor you can do this all in one batch. If not you will need to split it up into batches.
  2. Add the shredded coconut to your food processor or high power blender then pour in the warm water.
  3. Mix on high for several minutes until is looks white and frothy.
  4. While the coconut milk is mixing place fine mesh colander, cheese cloth or nut milk bag over a large bowl.
  5. Pour milk over strainer. and press to get all the milk out.
  6. Enjoy right away or refrigerate in an airtight container.
  7. You can dry the leftover coconut and use it to make coconut flour or all sorts of other things.
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Do you know the best part of homemade coconut milk? Fresh coconut cream. Yum!  I store my homemade coconut milk in canning jars simply because I always have them and they are easy to pour from. After a day or even  few hours in the refrigerator you will notice the coconut milk separate.  The coconut cream will rise to the top.  You can scoop this out and use it.  I love coconut dream and fresh berries.  Mmm.  The coconut milk leftover is still usable, it simply has less fat, think whole milk versus 2%. Of course if you want to use full fat coconut milk simply shake up the jar.

Top 10 Road Trip Essentials

Top 10 Road Trip EssentialsSummer’s coming and for many of you that means it’s time for a family road trip.  Don’t be afraid.  Road trips don’t have to mean fighting, whining and cruddy food.  I’ve compiled my top 10 road trip essentials to make your trip more fun for everyone.

With most of our family in California and us in Texas road trips are a common occurrence.  We fly a lot but have done more than our share of driving cross country.  We’ve driven just as a couple, with a kid, with a dog, and with extended family.  Most of our road trips are about getting somewhere.  We don’t often stop to see sites along the way but even if your family makes frequent stops my road trip essentials will make your trip more pleasant.

  1. Pack twice as many snacks as you think you need.  There is no such thing as too many snacks when you are traveling.  The last thing you want to do is have to buy snacks from a gas station. Pop some popcorn before you leave home and keep it in big ziplock bags. Other good snacks are a bag of apples, a bunch of bananas, granola bars, lara bars, nuts,  and applesauce pouches
  2. Water.  Even though you are only sitting it’s easy to get dehydrated. Bring reusable water bottles and store bought bottled water. You may have to pee more often but everyone will feel better.  Which brings us to number 3.
  3. Pee every time you stop for gas.  No “I don’t have to go” allowed.  If you stop the car everyone need to try and pee. This will stop most of the unplanned potty breaks and kids peeing on the side of the road.  I realize this means you will have to take your kids in a convenience store but be strong and buy nothing.
  4. Electronics with headphones. Even if your family loves to talk at some point everyone needs some alone time.  This is where the electronics come in.  Personally, I get car sick if I read or look down at something but Little Man loves to play on his Kindle or daddy’s iPad on road trips.  Don’t start with the electronics out if you are going on a long trip.  Spend some time enjoying the ride then when arguments or boredom strike bust out the electronics.  Remember your car charger!
  5. Podcasts or audio books.  Since I can’t look down in the car as a passenger or am often driving podcasts and audio books are my entertainment.  When you are in the middle of nowhere with no radio reception or you’ve heard the same song 20 times in and hour you’ll thank me. You can even get an audio book the whole family will enjoy.
  6. Plastic grocery bags for trash.  Keep several of these.  There will be trash and you don’t want it on the floor of your car.
  7. An easily accessible change of clothes for everyone.  You never know what’s going to happen and you don’t want to be unpacking your trunk or roof when your kid is covered in who knows what.
  8. Toys for the kids- I let my son take a small backpack with whatever toys he wants.
  9. Dramamine.  I get motion sick, so as the passenger I take this before I even leave.  You never know then the ride might become too much and someone’s stomach starts to turn.  Better safe than sorry.
  10. Pillows and blankets. Sleeping in the car is a lot easier when you can lean our head on a pillow.  Blankets are good for staying warm , keeping the sun off you during the day, and covering our head so the night lights aren’t so distraction.

What are your road trip essentials?

Weigh in Wednesday 4/9

Weigh in Wednesday: reach your goals with Lisa Branam

Welcome to Weigh in Wednesday where we help one another reach our goals in health, work and family.  We all have struggles, successes and failures along the way. You don’t need to do this alone.

Let’s do this! Start by making some goals and join me for Weigh in Wednesday. Short term goals need to be tangible. Feel better or be healthy are too vague. Be specific. Your short term goals should help you reach your long term goal. These can be changed and modified.

                       Short Term Mini Goal                                Long Term Goal
Health Clean eating and run 3 times a week          Wear a size 6 again
Work Post 3 times a week                                  Grow my blog into business
Family 30 minutes a day outdoors                 Spend more focused time w/ family

So, how are things going?:

  • Health: I adjusted my short term goals a bit.  Due to a scheduling conflict I’m not going to be able to do the half marathon with my girlfriends in November.  I actually ran this week.  The hubby and I went to a local park with trails and a steep hill.  It was way more fun than running on the treadmill but much harder due to the steep hill.
  • Family: With this beautiful weather it hasn’t been hard to get outside.

Continue the conversation by following me on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

How are you doing reaching your goals? Leave a comment or link up.
Have a post about reaching your goals? Link up with us.

WeighInWednesday

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Weigh in Wednesday 4/2

Weigh in Wednesday: reach your goals with Lisa Branam

Welcome to Weigh in Wednesday! Each Wednesday we get together an reevaluate our goals.  It’s a little check in and out time to motivate and help one another. Feel free to jump in at any time.  It’s never too late to reach your goals.

Let’s do this! Start by making some goals and join me for Weigh in Wednesday. Short term goals need to be tangible. Feel better or be healthy are too vague. Be specific. Your short term goals should help you reach your long term goal. These can be changed and modified.

                                Short Term Mini Goal                                                            Long Term Goal
Health Keep up Whole30 & training schedule for 1/2 marathon              Wear a size 6 again
Work Post 3 times a week                                                                     Grow my blog into business
Family 30 minutes a day outdoors                                             Spend more focused time w/ family

So, how are things going?:

  • Health: I have not been keeping up with whole3o, mostly on the sugar aspect, but I have been keeping things Paleo for the most part.  The occasional cheese is my weakness.
  • Work: I haven’t had much going on here but I ‘ve been a busy bee over at my other site Schertz Family Fun.
  • Family: With this beautiful weather it hasn’t been hard to get outside.

Continue the conversation by following me on Facebook and Twitter.

How are you doing reaching your goals? Leave a comment or link up.
Have a post about reaching your goals? Link up with us.

WeighInWednesday

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Weigh in Wednesday 3/26

Weigh in Wednesday: reach your goals with Lisa BranamI know its been a few weeks but welcome back to Weigh in Wednesday!  I’m sure you can guess from my missed weeks how well, or not, I’ve done.  Hopefully you’ve done better than me with your goals the last few weeks

Let’s do this! Start by making some goals and join me for Weigh in Wednesday. Short term goals need to be tangible. Feel better or be healthy are too vague. Be specific. Your short term goals should help you reach your long term goal. These can be changed and modified.

                        Short Term Mini                            Goal Long Term Goal
Health Keep up Whole30 & training schedule for 1/2 marathon Wear a size 6 again
Work Post 3 times a week                      Grow my blog into business
Family 30 minutes a day outdoors     Spend more focused time w/ family

So, how are things going?:

  • Health: I’ve only run a few times in the last 2 weeks.  In fact my missed runs had out me way back on my training.  The 2 miles I did last week killed me, when a few weeks before they were easy.  I guess I learned what happens when you stop working out.  Back on the horse, or actually pavement.
  • Work: I think it’s obvious from my lack of Weigh in Wednesday posts that I haven’t been keeping up my schedule.
  • Family: On the plus side while I’ve been ignoring my blog and health I have been spending lots of focused time with my family.  Yay for a win!

Continue the conversation by following me on Facebook and Twitter.

How are you doing reaching your goals? Leave a comment or link up.
Have a post about reaching your goals? Link up with us.

WeighInWednesday

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Simple Salsa Recipe

Simple Salsa RecipeDon’t you just love salsa?  From chips and salsa to scrambled eggs with salsa I can’t get enough of this spicy condiment.

While doing Whole30 and reading labels like crazy I realized that many commercial salsas have sugar in them, or even high fructose corn syrup, along with a myriad of other ingredients to preserve freshness that probably aren’t too good for you.  This is totally ridiculous and completely unnecessary. Luckily I have a simple salsa recipe that will have you ditching even the best store bought salsa.

If you are looking for a new salad dressing recipe mix this simple salsa with some homemade ranch to crate an amazing salsa ranch dressing. You’ll thank me later.

Simple Salsa Recipe

10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Jalapeno
  • ½ Onion
  • 4 Tomatoes
  • ½ Bunch Cilantro
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • Juice of 1-2 Limes

What to Do

  1. Deseed the Jalapeno and taste a small piece. This will help you secede how hot the Jalapeno is and how hot your salsa is going to be. Remember you can always add more jalapeno to make your salsa spicier but you can’t make it less spicy.
  2. Add half the jalapeno (unless your jalapeno is super mild or your family loves spicy then feel free to add more) and onion to the food processor. Pulse until you have diced pieces.
  3. Quarter the tomatoes and add them to the food processor along with the cilantro. Pulse until well blended. This is salsa not pico de gallo. It should fairly smooth.
  4. Add salt and lime juice. Pulse a few times to combine.
  5. Enjoy right away or wait at least an hour for the flavors to really meld.

Notes

Store in a recycled jar or other airtight container.

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I keep my salsa in canning jars or old spaghetti jars to make it easy to pour and store in the fridge.  If you can stand the wait this salsa is better after it was sat for a couple of hours.

If you eat tortilla chips don’t forget to make some perfect baked tortilla chips.  You’ll thank me later.Simple Homemade Salsa