How to Use Fresh Herbs: Gut healthy Pesto

How to Use Fresh Herbs: Gut healthy Pesto

Gluten fre

We’ve all been there.

You buy cilantro for one recipe, then you are stuck with an entire bunch. Or maybe you got the itch to grow a basil plant this summer, and now you’ve tried everything to use it up. Don’t throw the extra out!

I’ve definitely made the mistake before of thinking that I can skip out on using fresh herbs in a recipe. The end product always seems to be missing something. It might be missing something more than just flavor.  These little plants are packed with antioxidants and essential nutrients!  One tablespoon of Oregano has 4x more antioxidants than blueberries. Antioxidants destroy free radicals helping prevent damage caused by chronic diseases like heart disease.  Herbs are a concentrated way to add extra nutrients to any dish. Thyme and Cilantro have more immune boosting Vitamin C than our favorite citrus fruits.

You don’t have to be a culinary expert to add herbs. If you’re like us, you’ve bought something like parsley or thyme for one recipe, and after that tasty meal- you were left with a bunch of leaves and wondering how to use fresh herbs. Or maybe you’ve got a thriving basil plant in your home or some ever-spreading mint in your garden that keeps on giving! We’ve done some gathering and put together some great ideas for your leftover herbs and listed them below. Putting them to use is a great way to add some more micronutrients to your diet, and cut back on food waste too. 

Here are a few of our favorite Pesto recipes: 

The Best Pesto
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  • 1 Cup Spinach
  • 1 Cup Basil
  • 3/4 Cup Walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2/3 cup olive oil


  1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a food processor, add remaining ingredients except olive oil. Add olive oil until desired consistency is achieved.



Looking for a Low FODMAP Alternative?

Check out our Low FODMAP Pesto

Low FODMAP Pesto

Low FODMAP Pesto

Low FODMAP Pesto with Spaghetti Squash
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  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • 1/2 Fennel Bulb
  • 2 Cups Cilantro, Firmly Packed
  • 1 Cup Fresh Basil
  • 1/4 Cup Green Onion, Chopped (green parts only)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 Cup Macadamia Nuts
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salt and pepper to Taste
  • 1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes
  • Pine Nuts & Parmesan Cheese Optional


  2. Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Cut spaghetti squash in half discard seeds, place in a baking dish with 1/2 inch of water rind side up. 
  3. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes, or until you can easily lift the strands.Let cool for 20 minutes.
  4. Heat oil over medium heat and add fennel and green onions. Saute until soft. 
  5. Meanwhile combine cilantro, basil, paprika, nuts, olive oil, lemon juice and zest from lemon and salt and pepper to a mixer, and make pesto. 
  6. Remove spaghetti squash strands and toss with pesto, and fennel mixture.

Gluten Free Kansas City Eats

Gluten Free Kansas City Eats

Gluten fre

Whether you’re trialing a gluten-free diet, have a family member with an allergy, or are a seasoned pro with Celiac, finding nourishing gluten-free food on-the-go can be a frustrating challenge. Fortunately, Kansas City has plenty of tasty options for all. You just need to know where to look. To help with that, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite stops and shops in the KC area that offer an array of gluten-free Kansas City options for you or your loved ones—because living with dietary restrictions should never mean having to go hungry.

Burgers & More


Unforked | Kansas City, Overland Park

Offering lunch, dinner, and desserts, this local favorite supports seasonal, local ingredients first—favoring quality over all else. With a diverse menu offering many gluten-free options, Unforked is sure to be a favorite for the whole family. (Our current favorite? The “Thai Dye Burger” on a GF bun!)


Iron Horse Bar & Grill | Leawood

With an amazing outdoor patio, live entertainment, and open late—Iron Horse is more than your typical bar and grill. Their gourmet food is the real draw, with an entire dedicated gluten-free menu, tasty enough for anyone to enjoy. 


Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que | Multiple Locations

Who doesn’t love Kansas City Bar-B-Que? A local tradition, gluten-free Kansas City eaters can enjoy some of the best BBQ in the city at Joe’s, which features a gluten-free bun that can be substituted with any cut of meat. Make sure to specify your restriction with your server. 



Kansas City Gluten Free PizzaPizza


Spin! Pizza | Multiple Locations

Spin! was created by local entrepreneurs with world-class pizza, sandwiches, salads, beer, and wine in mind. With a menu crafted by a James Beard award-winning chef, it has become a true local favorite. The best part? They offer TWO different types of gluten-free pizza crust to choose from, and they’re both delicious!


Minsky’s Pizza | Multiple Locations

Not only does Minsky’s make amazing pizza, but it has received GREAT Kitchens training from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. All employees are trained to assure the prevention of cross-contamination of any kind. Minsky’s is a great choice for peace of mind for those with a strict intolerance.


Waldo Pizza | Kansas City

A local favorite, Waldo Pizza has an entire dedicated gluten-free menu that includes tasty specialty pies with a unique twist. From the “Ratatouille” to the “BFD (Breakfast for Dinner),” we haven’t found a gluten-free pie here that we don’t like.


Stone Canyon Pizza | Parkville, Gladstone

Another great option for gluten-free eaters, Stone Canyon Pizza offers multiple options for gluten-free crust. With specials on a weekly basis and options other than pizza as well, it’s sure to be a great choice for the whole family. 


Baked Goods & Desserts


Morgana’s Gluten-Free Bakery |Raytown

When Morgana was diagnosed in 1997, switching to a gluten-free diet was difficult. She remembers the first pre-made gluten-free bread she tried—and it tasted like Styrofoam. Taking matters into her own hands, Morgana opened up shop in Raytown with a mission to make gluten-free eaters feel normal. This store is currently preorder only with pick-ups on Saturdays, so be sure to place your order in advance. 


Emily Kate’s Bakery | Multiple Pick-Up Locations

Born from a family with gluten allergies, this bakery is entirely gluten-free! From tasty cornbread to gorgeous designer cakes, Emily Kate’s is a must-stop for gluten free in Kansas City. Since it is a custom-order bakery, make sure to check out their website and call ahead beforehand. 


The Littlest Bake Shop | Kansas City

The Littlest Bake Shop is Kansas City’s first gluten-free & vegan dedicated bakery. With scratch-made, local and seasonal offerings and organic coffee and tea, it’s sure to be a favorite for all- dietary restrictive or otherwise. Due to COVID-19, this bake shop is pick-up only on Fridays and Saturdays, but worth the planning. Visit their website to order- we recommend the six-inch churro cake (if you can snag one before they sell out)!


Pour Coffeehouse | Olathe

Pour Coffeehouse is the perfect stop for anyone looking to get some work done, mingle with friends, or just relax. Offering a dedicated gluten-free pastry menu in addition to traditional desserts, breakfasts, sandwiches,  coffees, teas, and more—the options at Pour Coffeehouse are seemingly endless. Their gluten-free pop-tart is worth the drive. Call ahead and place an order or drop in and hang out for a bit- you won’t be disappointed!

Miscellaneous Eats


The Mixx | Kansas City, Overland Park

This restaurant defines fresh in a hurry, with options for (just about) any dietary need. Everything is prepped from scratch and sourced with integrity. From soups and salads to quinoa bowls and wraps, you are sure to find a satisfying and nourishing gluten-free meal at The Mixx.


Billie’s Grocery | Kansas City

Billie’s Grocery is a “dietary and lifestyle-friendly” restaurant and bakery in the heart of Kansas City. They are especially accommodating for gluten-free diets. From smoothies to cocktails, a bakery that caters, and events and cooking classes throughout the year, Billie’s-Grocery is a gluten-free Kansas City must-see. 


Enjoy Pure Food + Drink | Leawood

Seeing a need for healthier food in our on-the-go culture, Staci Cross, founder of Enjoy Pure Food + Drink, opened this restaurant to help keep KC nourished in the “cleanest way possible”. With an emphasis on positive energy amongst the staff, and an effort to source local organic food as much as possible, this is a great stop for a variety of gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options.

Going gluten-free can be tough, but whether it’s you, a friend, or a loved one, keep in mind that it gets easier—especially when you find accommodating places in the area that are both nourishing and delicious. Not to mention it can improve quality of life if dealing with an allergy or intolerance. Remember to always specify with your server or manager that you have an allergy or intolerance. 


New to cutting out gluten, and still have questions about what you can and can’t eat, or suspect you may be suffering from a gluten or other food intolerance? We can help with that and more. Book with us for an in-person or online session today so we can get you back to feeling your best. Did we miss your favorite gluten-free spot in Kansas City? Give them a shout out below. 

Smoky Rosemary Chickpea Soup

Smoky Rosemary Chickpea Soup

chickpea soup

When I’m not busy making chickpeas into cookie dough dip, I am dreaming of other ways to use them. I always prefer a thick creamy soup over a thin broth soup. My favorite soup growing up was clam chowder. I have a secret, almost all of the soups in our house are creamy and dairy-free because I use beans or chickpeas to thicken them. It is so easy. No tempering the milk or adding flour at just the right time, just simple simmering and melding of flavors.

This chickpea soup has the perfect amount of smoky-ness from the chipotle pepper, but not too much spice. This recipe comes together for a quick weeknight dish with minimal chopping since you will be pureeing everything. I usually use my immersion blender so it a one-pot meal too. Sometimes I’ll toss in some grilled chicken to hearty up this soup a bit more.

I shared the step-by-step instructions for making this recipe in my last virtual cooking party. To join me for my next cooking party grab your seat, and check out all the details here


Smoky Rosemary Chickpea Soup
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  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Onion, Chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 2 Sprigs Rosemary, Coarsely Chopped
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Chipotle Pepper and 2 Teaspoons Adobo Sauce
  • 3 Cans Chickpeas, rinsed & drained
  • 3 Cups Broth
  • 1 Lemon


  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large stock pot. Add onion and saute until soft. Add garlic, rosemary, and crushed red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add chipotle pepper, chickpeas and broth - brith to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes. Transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Squeeze lemon juice of 1/2 lemon over soup and stir through.
  4. Add chicken to make it a complete meal.

Snack Your Way to a Healthy Gut

Snack Your Way to a Healthy Gut

Disclosure: This post and recipe was created in partnership with Kansas Soybean, Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Pork Association, I was compensated for my time, all opinions are my own.

Santa Carbs is coming to town. Sorry protein, we’re talking about fiber today. I get it, I like balanced blood sugars too, but I also like a happy microbiome. Our gut bacteria feed off of the fibers found in food. The average American eats about 10 grams of fiber, but we need 25+ grams of fiber each day. It’s not only about the number though, our gut benefits from a wide variety of different fibers. Fiber is found in foods like fruits, veggies, beans and even popcorn! Talk about gut healthy snacks, you can inch your way toward the 25 grams goal with each cup of popcorn containing about 4 grams of fiber. Popcorn is naturally gluten-free, non-GMO and can easily be made dairy free (I recommend popping with coconut oil).

Kansas Farms: Eat Local 

If you have spent anytime driving through the Kansas farmland, you may have spotted popping corn and not even known it! I love supporting local Kansas businesses, which includes Kansas farms too! I chatted with Kim of Papa Baldy’s, a local Kansas farm, about what it takes to get popcorn from the field to becoming a gut healthy snack food. 


Popping corn seeds are planted and watched very carefully. Popping corn is a lot more fragile than the corn we grow for animal feed or for delightful sweet corn. Kim and her family know the popping corn is ready to harvest when they microwave an entire ear of corn in a paper sack. If it pops then it’s ready. Once the field is ready, the popping corn is harvested right from the fields. They use special technology to separate out each and every kernel to make sure that it is just right. Then Kim and her family weigh and bag every single kernel with love. The variety that Kim grows is called mushroom popcorn. It produces big smooth kernels that are used by gourmet poppers because it is less likely to break and any flavoring you add has more surface to coat. 

Connecting With Famers

A normal ear of corn size compared to a popping corn ear.
popping corn

Over the last several years, I have loved partnering with Kansas Soybean, Kansas Farm Bureau, and Kansas Pork to meet Midwest farmers. That is a little more difficult this year, but farmers are still out there growing food for us. Kim and her family are a small operation of only a handful of people including her in-laws. They grow other crops besides popcorn, but Kim and her family wanted to have a bigger connection with the families they are serving. That is when they decided to start growing popcorn. Having that face-to-face (or rather FaceTime) connection with the farmers that grow my food makes me so appreciative for the hard work that goes into it. Now I know, any time I pick up a loaf of bread I may be eating something grown by Kim and her family, but I know for sure when I pop a bowl of popcorn that it was hand packaged by Kim! Want to connect more with Kim and her family? Check out her Facebook and Instagram.

One of Kim’s favorite traditions is sharing popcorn with her family. Today I’m sharing my take on her family favorite cinnamon popcorn recipe. I know it will quickly become a festive favorite in your house too!

Cinnamon Popcorn
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  • 5-6 cups of popcorn (1/2 cup unpopped)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 (9oz) bag of red hot candies


  1. Pop the corn using your chosen popping method.
  2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  3. Put the popped corn on a cookie cooling rack on a cookie sheet so that the unpopped kernels fall out and don’t get in the mix.
  4. Put the popped corn in a large bowl.
  5. In a saucepan on the stove, bring to boil the butter, maple syrup and red hot candies.
  6. Boil for 5 minutes stirring constantly until the red hots have become part of the liquid syrup mixture.
  7. Pour the hot liquid syrup mixture over the popped corn and stir it until all of the popcorn is coated.
  8. Pour the coated popcorn onto a large cookie sheet that has been greased.
  9. Stir every 15 minutes for 1 hour while in the oven.
  10. After an hour, pour the popcorn out onto wax paper and let cool.
  11. Enjoy!

Check out these other gut healthy snacks: 

Connect with Kim and order your own Papa Baldy’s popcorn on her facebook and instagram

Black Bat Hummus & Ghost Tortilla Chips

Black Bat Hummus & Ghost Tortilla Chips

Among my friends I am known for one thing, ok maybe two things; my love for all things Halloween and my black bean hummus. This year I decided to combine those two things by adding some Halloween flair in black bat hummus. It uses smokey chipotle peppers for a subtle spice and rich flavor. I loved adding a few additional accessories to make it spooky. We’ve been known to eat this hummus straight from the bowl, but we love to dip it too. For dippers, veggies and tortilla chips are always our go to choice, but why dip regular tortilla chips when you can dip ghost tortilla chips? These chips are so easy to make and personalize to your style. It only takes ghost cookie cutters and your favorite tortillas.


Here are a few additional variations you can make to this easy recipe: 
1. Tortillas:  You can use either flour or corn tortillas. I have tried both and they are equally delicious. The corn tortillas are a little crispier if you prefer that.

2. Oven or Air fryer: I really love using my air fryer for convenience. If you have an air fryer, I recommend placing enough ghosts to fill the bottom of your pan and adding a rack or something to keep them in place, without that they will blow around and cook unevenly. If you are baking them in the oven they take a few minutes extra, but the end result is the same

3. Water or oil: This is really a personal preference. They are very similar, as you might expect, there is a certain richness to adding a little bit of oil.

Have fun and add your own style with these fun dippers. You can also add your own spices before making them.

Black Bat Hummus and Ghost Tortilla Chips make a great addition to any Char-BOO-Terie Board too!