Over 4 years ago, I started my family out on a food intervention journey. By removing dairy, glutens, GMO’s and more, I had hoped to create a healthier, better life for my children.
I’m proud to say that I have done that. I can look at what my girls eat and what they like and feel good about shepherding their nutrition to give them better health and less reactions. I’ve even relaxed a bit on this idea.
But it was challenging. I’m not much of a cook, and the difficulties of gluten free bread and breakfast products eluded me! Eggs are fine but not every day, and my kids needed to eat something!
So did I.
When I think back all those years ago, I remember we did not have as many food options as we do today, but one of the earliest foods I tried was Van’s waffles. They were easy, delicious, and helped me get on this journey with less effort than reinventing my entire kitchen! I always feel a debt of gratitude when I think of these treats, because they not only allowed me to feed my kids easily at the start of my personal kitchen revolution, they helped me learn to make better choices for myself as well.
Van’s has a full complement of Non-GMO Verified or USDA Organic certified waffles, including 4 certified gluten free varieties. Ready to make your new food life eating better easy? Van’s is your breakfast (and snack) solution. And look how much fun your kids can have with them on winter days:
So easy and so delicious! Now, I’m not saying that you should always and only do toaster-ready food. But you can happily lead up to the time the when you’re ready to learn real cooking skills and honest-to-goodness gluten free baking. There’s more to both those skills than you might think!
In the meanwhile, be creative with what you CAN eat! Ready to try a recipe? I’ll admit I had not considered recipes with waffles, but I’m totally intrigued by this idea. Check out:
Cheesy Chimichurri Waffle Paninis from Laylita’s Recipes
- 1 small bunch of parsley, leaves only
- 6 basil leaves
- Leaves from 3-4 oregano sprigs
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2-3 green onions or scallions, chopped
- 1 fresh small red chile, deveined and deseeded, finely diced – can also use 1-2 teaspoons of dried red chili flakes
- 2 tbs vinegar, can use white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of lime juice
- 4-6 tablespoons of olive oil, adjust to taste and based on how thick you want the sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 yellow or purple onions, peeled and cut into thick slices
- 1-2 bell peppers, any color, seeds removed and cut into strips
- 1~2 tbs of olive oil
- 1 eggplant, cut into thick slices
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of thyme
- Salt and pepper
- Van’s Totally Natural Gluten Free Waffles, 2 for each panini
- Cheese slices, 2-3 for each panini
- Turkey slices, 2-3 for each panini
- Crumbled goat cheese
- Arugula leaves, can also use spinach, baby kale or watercress
Chimichurri sauce preparation
- Combine the herbs, crushed garlic, green onions, chili in a mini food processor), pulse until all the ingredients are finely chopped. Add the vinegar, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, pulse gently a few times until the ingredients are mixed well.
- Taste and adjust salt/pepper or chili powder as needed. You can also adjust the amount of vinegar and olive oil based on the acidity level that you prefer.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pan.
- Add the sliced onions and bell peppers, stir to coat with oil. Continue cooking for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the onions and peppers are caramelized. Stir occasionally at first and more frequently towards the end to keep them from burning.
- Remove from heat and save until ready to prepare the paninis.
- Place the eggplant slices on paper towels and sprinkle them with salt, let them rest for about 15-20 minutes. Flip them over and repeat the process on the other side.
- Pat them dry and place them in a bowl, toss them with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper.
- Cook them on a hot grill (or on the panini grill), until nicely grilled on each side. Save them until ready to prepare the paninis.
- Pre-heat the panini grill, you can also use a stovetop grill pan or a regular skillet if you don’t have a panini grill.
- Toast the waffles as you would regularly, but on a lighter setting.
- Spread some chimichurri sauce on each waffle.
- Place the waffles on the panini grill, add a layer of cheese, followed by a layer of turkey or grilled eggplant, add some caramelized onions and/or bell peppers, top with another layer of turkey and cheese. If you want it extra cheese you can add an additional layer of cheese or crumbled goat cheese for the eggplant panini.
Add some arugula leaves on top and then add another waffle on top to form the panini.
- Close the panini grill top and grill until the cheese melts and the waffles are start to brown. If preparing them in a pan, use a spatula to press down on the top of waffle, and then gently flip it over when the cheese start to melt on the bottom and cook on the other side – pressing down with a spatula – until done.
- Serve the waffle paninis immediately, if you have any leftover chimichurri sauce you can serve it with the paninis.
Now that looks delicious!
What’s even better? How about a giveaway? Van’s is giving away a $130 prize package that includes $25 worth of Van’s Foods coupons, a Van’s tote, water bottle and a $100 Visa gift card! Enter below and good luck!
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