Latin-Asian Fusion Tacos

shrimp taco accoutrements

Growing up in San Diego, eating Mexican food was a way of life. Being just 30 minutes away  from the US-Mexico border definitely had its perks; not only were there great hole-in-the-wall Mexican food joints everywhere, but they were almost always delicious and authentic. Tostadas, quesadillas, and burritos are consequently some of my all-time favorite dishes. And let’s not forget the ultimate hand-held Mexican favorite…. the taco. My mouth is watering as I write this…. tacos give me life.

As a teenager, I had no trouble downing mouthfuls of oozing, cheesy tacos, burritos and quesadillas rolled up in glutenous, freshly-made flour tortillas. As an adult, however, the dairy and gluten combo is my biggest inflammation trigger, so I avoid it at all costs. Just the other night, feeling cocky, I thought it would be ok to do a group order at a local woodfired pizza place I love. After ingesting a flour-crust pizza with the most mouth-watering burrata on top, I started to feel it. First, in my hands, and then it slowly but surely spread to my feet and up through my lower leg. The swelling… the uncomfortable itchy sensation began, followed by the horrible, relentless swelling. I sat there amongst friends, in agonizing discomfort for the remainder of the evening. As I pretended to be having a great time, I was helplessly rolling my ankles under the table, trying desperately and unsuccessfully to relieve the swelling. It took three more days of recovery before my legs resumed their normal size.

Every time I re-expose myself to the triggers it seems to cause a bigger, more uncomfortable and prolonged reaction. It. is. the. worst. Needless to say, the cheesy, gluten-laced Mexican food of my youth is now out of the question.

These days, I get my taco kicks with brown rice – or 100% corn – tortillas and avoid adding cheese. To keep things flavorful, delicious and healthy, I add ingredients like sriracha, lime, chili flakes, garlic and even kimchi for a Latin-Asian fusion. Latin-Asian fusion recipes are THE BEST, in my opinion, because they combine some of the most delicious seasonings and flavors into one mouthwatering dish.

When I make Latin-fusion tacos, I also like to use plenty of fresh veggies with a good dose of seasoning to up my fiber and vitamin content. The below recipe is for chicken, but it can also be used with beef, fish and shrimp – the beauty is in its versatility, and I switch it up based on which proteins I’ve purchased in our current week’s groceries. Let me know what you think if you try out the recipe!

Ingredients (Recipe serves 3-4):

For the Chicken / Shrimp / Fish / Ground Beef or Turkey (Protein!) in a 1 lb serving:

  • Half a bunch of chopped cilantroShrimp tacos 1.jpg
  • Juice of two limes
  • 2 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground hot pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 TBLs organic honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbls butter to cook in

For the Taco & Accoutrements:

  • Rice or corn-based gluten-free tacos
  • 1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 head of cabbage, julienned
  • thinly sliced radishes
  • 1 lime, quartered (each serving gets a lime wedge to squeeze freshly over their tacos)
  • 3 ripe avocados / juice of 1 lime / 1 tsp salt / 1/2 tsp pepper / 1/2 tsp ground chili flakes / 2 tsp olive oil / 1 finely diced clove of garlic / 2 TBLs chopped cilantro for the epic guacamole


  1. Combine ingredients for your protein marinade & cook in the butter. For ground beef or turkey, also add in one half chopped red onion.
  2. While the protein of choice is cooking, make the epic guacamole & chop remaining accoutrements for the tacos
  3. When all is done, combine into the taco shell and enjoy!

Blow-Your-Mind-Delicious Chocolate Rice Crispy Treat Recipe

Healthy rice crispy treats cacaoMind. Blown. As I write this I’m licking the last of the chocolate from my fingertips, savoring every last little morsel of these rice crispy treats.

It all started innocently enough when I spotted a box of One Degree Organic Foods ‘Veganic Sprouted Brown Rice Cacao Crisps‘ at Whole Foods. Intrigued, I picked it up since I’ve been into all sorts of sprouted non-gluten grains lately. Then, I just so happened to pass through the aisle that contained the gluten-free bags of giant puffed marshmallows. You could say it was a lightbulb moment, and the inspiration was degree sprouted brown rice chocolate crispy treats

I promised Miss A that we would try out a chocolate rice crispy treat recipe soon, and after three days of being constantly hounded by the little persuader I caved. My next task was to find a good, healthy recipe – but all the options were either too commercial (the name brand rice krispy cereal with jet-puffs and nothing healthy added) or a little too healthy for the ingredients I had on hand (some recipes called for no marshmallows at all… blasphemy!). So, as per usual, I set out to make something myself, and this time I struck gold.

This recipe has all the ease of the commercial rice crispy treats, but it contains all organic, healthier versions of the traditional ingredients, plus a few healthy twists that make the treat-guilt melt riiiiight away. The crisps are sprouted brown rice with cacao, the marshmallows are the all-natural, simple kind (I use Elyon marshmallows, which can be found here). The chocolate drizzle on top is from organic, 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips, and I added organic coconut oil, organic sprouted hemp seeds, and organic chia seeds to the mix for a good fat, omega 3 and protein punch.

Side Note: My husband, who usually wrinkles his nose up when I make my healthy-hybrid versions of desserts (he claims the old school, full fat and sugar versions reign supreme), has been sneaking these chocolate rice crispy treats every time he passes the pan. For me, that is the true litmus test of a successful dessert, and with this one, I can proudly declare: mission accomplished.

Healthy brown rice cacao chocolate crispy treats recipeIngredients:

  • 2.5 bags of Elyon marshmallows (or 18 oz of other natural brand marshmallow)
  • 1 box of organic sprouted brown rice cacao rice crisps (I used the One Degree Organic Foods brand, which is insanely crunchy and delicious; I highly recommend it – it can be found here)
  • 1/4 cup organic chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup organic sprouted hemp seeds
  • 4 Tbls butter
  • 2 Tbls organic coconut oil
  • 1 cup organic 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp organic vanilla extract



  1. Melt 4 Tbls butter in a large panBrown rice chocolate crispy treats recipe
  2. If making the chocolate drizzle for the topping, spoon out one of the melted Tbls of butter into a small pot on the side
  3. Rip marshmallows into halves or thirds and add them to the butter, stirring over low-medium heat until marshmallows are fully melted and incorporated with butter
  4. Add 1 Tbls coconut oil and stir into marshmallow mixture
  5. Add chia seeds and hemp seeds to the marshmallow mixture and stir to incorporate
  6. Add cacao rice crisps to the mixture and fold them in until evenly distributed.
  7. Press into a 9×13″ baking pan (it makes it easier if you line with wax paper or aluminum foil, and grease with butter or coconut oil so they slide out. I made the mistake of NOT doing this, and I spent a good 20 minutes peeling each one off the tin foil base and inspecting them to ensure I wasn’t giving my kids a side of foil with their rice crispy treat). Another tip: don’t pack them down too much, since the less you pack them the fluffier they are when cooled.
  8. If you want to make them even more decadent, melt the chocolate chips over very low heat with the butter in the small pan; add 1 Tbls coconut oil and the vanilla extract
  9. Allow rice crispy treats to cool, and for an extra delicious touch drizzle the chocolate mixture over the top
  10. Devour – they are so, so good.


Vanilla, Cinnamon & Yogurt Fruit Dip

A and D eating healthy yogurt dip - gut and glamourToday my daughter wanted to eat apple for her afternoon snack, and asked if I had any dip to jazz things up. Unfortunately, since we are getting ready to move back to Los Angeles, my fridge & cupboards are a little bare these days. The usual suspects, almond butter and peanut butter, had been gobbled up last week, and the only dippable thing left that wouldn’t taste terrible with an apple was some greek yogurt.

‘But wait!’ you may cry, ‘Yogurt is dairy. And your kids are intolerant to dairy!’ Interestingly, the only dairy that my kiddos can digest without skin or tummy troubles include plain, probiotic-rich yogurt (not to be confused with faux ‘strawberry’, sugar-laden Yoplait containers), and organic (or grass fed) butter and ghee. Though I am normally extremely dairy-averse, plain, cultured yogurt is super gut-friendly, teeming with beneficial bacteria that keep us healthy and our immune systems in tip top shape. And a high quality (i.e. organic and/or grass fed) butter and ghee are excellent gut healers, providing the fats we need to utilize the vitamins and minerals in our diet and heal the intestinal lining.

Adding sugar to the yogurt wasn’t an option, since sugar seems to exacerbate the midges’ eczema (and miss A’s mood, in particular) – even honey. My favorite trick for making our morning oatmeal seem sweet without sugar is adding vanilla extract and a good dose of cinnamon, and this factoid served as inspiration for my yogurt dip.

This is so darn easy, I’m hesitant to even call it a ‘recipe,’ but I just had to share it because it turned out crazy delicious. Though you do not have to use the Fage brand, I haven’t been able to find another Greek yogurt as creamy and thick, and the rich, full texture tricks your brain into being even more satisfied with this tasty treat. Miss A and Dino-licious agreed…. they both demanded seconds and I had to whip up another batch. We tried this dip with freshly sliced Gala apples, but I imagine it would be equally delicious with pears, peaches and even cantaloupe or honeydew melon. Enjoy!

Healthy Yogurt Fruit Dip by Gut & Glamourcinnamon vanilla healthy greek yogurt dip recipe


  • 1 cup Fage Greek yogurt, or other super thick Greek, cultured plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract (I prefer the organic Madagascar vanilla extract with no alcohol, which I find at Whole Foods)


  1. Not even sure why I need them for this one since it’s so simple but…. Put ingredients in a bowl together and mix with a spoon until fully blended. Then gobble it up with some fruit, and repeat if your kids are crazy hungry food monsters like mine. Yum!






The Best Gluten Free Orzo Pasta Salad

Gluten free orzo pasta salad recipe - gut and glamourWhen I lived and studied abroad in London a decade ago, I used to consume an entire Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza (a legit medium size, not ‘personal pan pizza’ size, mind you) in one sitting. It was my ultimate hangover cure and the perfect cheap, greasy fuel to get me through a day sitting on the couch and writing my final papers. Though at the time I had no inkling of how eating such a terrible diet day-in and day-out would impact my future health, in hindsight I marvel at my naivete and optimistic thinking. Just because I was not overweight did not mean that I had any business eating the way I did.

Indeed, the first of my serious gut issues began while living in our lovely little cramped flat above Bedford Square. I figured it was food poisoning from something I ate, but the weeks of stomach pain and gut trouble followed by months of eczema and acne were clues to a much deeper issue that had only just begun to manifest itself in my 21 year old body. It took me nearly another ten years to find my way to the diet and lifestyle changes that healed my body, and my journey is still being written as I discover more and more nuances about how my body reacts to certain foods and substances.

Today, I am still struggling to embrace a gluten-free, dairy-free lifestyle (a far cry from my former cheesy pizza-loving self), and my biggest challenge has been finding recipes that are satisfying, delicious, and still contain no gluten and no dairy. Many recipes I’ve tried have been hit-or-miss, though the biggest misses are usually in the form of pre-made or pre-packaged dairy or gluten free items. It’s as if someone ground up chalk and potato starch, then glued the two together with every possible gum/guar combination and decided to call it gluten free food. The best, most delicious gluten-free foods are naturally gluten free. Well-prepared, seasoned and cooked vegetables, meats and gluten-free grains really CAN be tasty if you have the right recipe. Here is my favorite recipe for gluten-free orzo pasta salad that is chock-full of gut-healing veggies…. and bacon. Because bacon is delicious, and in the quest to heal one’s gut, high quality animal fat is friend, not foe. And of course, because bacon is delicious…. damn delicious.

I love this recipe because it makes enough to feed my family of four for two meals. There’s nothing better than having a delicious leftover meal on hand that only gets better in the fridge – especially when you have a busy young family.

Ingredients (try to use organic whenever possible to keep your gut healthy!):

  • 2 small packets of Delallo gluten free orzo
  • 3-4 large carrots, washed, peeled & diced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 6 – 8 slices of thick, cooked bacon, chopped into bacon-bit size pieces (I like to cook mine on a rack above a baking pan in the oven, so most of the grease burns off and it gets a slight crisp without burning)
  • Sea salt & pepper generously; to taste
  • Garlic powder & chili pepper flakes for additional flavor, if desired (1/8 – 1/4 tsp each)
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely diced
  • Half a red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pitted and chopped kalamata olives
  • 1 cup sweet cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 large cucumber, chopped
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1.5 TBLs apple cider vinegar
  • 2 TBLs olive oil


  1. Cook orzo & drain, set aside to cool in a large bowl
  2. Add veggies, spices, herbs, lemon, olive oil & vinegar to the cooled orzo, and toss together.
  3. Garnish with extra cilantro if desired (as in photo) – enjoy!