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It’s summer in Southern California and that means surfing! Nicholas enjoyed a week of Surf Camp and the weather couldn’t have been better. It’s also time to list my 7 Recipes I love for July.

These are the ones we have been enjoying this month, and I hope you will too!

1. Creamy Cashew Pasta Salad  – what is it about cold pasta salad and summer? They just go together, beautifully. And, a GFCF version is even better!

2. Shredded Beef Tacos – my son asked me to make “tacos like they have at Chipotle” and this recipe really delivers.  It can be made in a crock pot too, so it doesn’t heat up your kitchen.  My husband and Nicholas couldn’t stop raving about these!

3. Coconut Cajun Shrimp – I’ll admit it…I have a definite weakness for recipes that include both coconut AND shrimp! This one is extra special because it’s spicy to boot.

4. Gluten-Free Crepes – yes, you can make crepes with coconut flour! Another fun item for summer because you can stuff them full of all the fruit that is in season now.

5. Paleo Hungry Man Sweet Potato Casserole – another hearty meal that you can cook in the crock pot. Crock pot cooking is really great for summer, especially if you are very busy.  Dinner is waiting for you in the evening, after a little bit of prep in the morning; fabulous!

6. Asian Chicken Skewers with Spicy Peanut Sauce – chicken on a stick…doesn’t that just scream SUMMER? I’ve seen the prepared, marinated skewers at the store and realized there’s too much junk in the marinade (including MSG and gluten usually). So, I was so thrilled to see such a yummy recipe to make my own.

7. Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free Donuts – “But, Mom! I really miss donuts!” Nicholas was super excited to find out that he could eat these donuts and not violate the GFCF Diet.

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I thought I’d change things up this week and do a restaurant recommendation. Believe it or not, Chipotle Mexican Grill has actually been around since 1993, but I admit that it’s really just gotten onto my own radar. They have many locations in the USA, Canada, and the UK.  There are many things to love about Chipotle – almost everything is gluten-free, their meat has no antibiotics in them, and all the produce is organic. It’s a fast-food restaurant where you can actually eat healthy!

For the gluten-intolerant, here’s a look at their allergen menu. However, the only item that has gluten is the flour tortillas. Imagine, going to a restaurant and not having to worry about gluten for the large majority of the menu; it definitely makes it fun to order food there! The fact that all the produce is organic and the meats have no antibiotics is just icing on the (figurative) cake.

Last night, I took Nicholas to Chipotle for his birthday dinner. He loves to order the Taco Kit on the kids menu – two hardshell tacos, his choice of meat (uually Barbacoa, the spicy choice), beans, and guacamole. Since we are also dairy-free, we always splurge to get the additional guacamole (believe me, it’s worth it!), in lieu of cheese and/or sour cream. I ordered two hardshell tacos for me as well, but I chose the carnitas topped with generous dollops of guacamole. Sometimes, I will order the taco salad which is salad, meat, rice, and guacamole (in my version, at least). I skipped this last night because my son is not able to have rice at this time and he does get upset if we eat something in front of him that he isn’t allowed to eat.

Nicholas and I thoroughly enjoyed our dinner from Chipotle Mexican Grill last night. I definitely recommend Chipotle as a terrific option for dining if you have to avoid gluten and other allergens. The food is tasty and healthy and with many locations to serve you – it’s the perfect choice for a dinner (or lunch) out!

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