Founder & Editor of The Balanced Platter
Amy Green, M.Ed., is a work-at-home mom and wife. Her passion is feeding her family well and helping people discover that healthy food is delicious! She is also the cook behind the popular food blog, Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free and the best selling author of Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free: 180 Easy & Delicious Recipes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less. She has been a guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio, Good Morning Texas, Fox 4 News Dallas, Talk 980 Radio USA, write for Gluten-Free Living and Living Without, and has been featured in Living Without, Clean Eating Magazine, Reader’s Digest Canada, D Magazine, and The Plano Profile.
For more information, contact Amy at Amy (at) ssandgf (dot) com.
Heather never imagined she would be writing about food or healthy eating nine years ago. While eating the Standard American Diet in 2004, she learned that gluten intolerance ran in her family and was tested. After receiving positive results, she eliminated gluten from her diet and almost immediately felt like a new person. Her lifelong migraines disappeared, she felt energetic, and she knew that this was the start to a new healthy future.
Heather started Gluten-Free Cat as a way to share her story and to help others find alternatives to gluten. Starting out with gluten-free product and restaurant reviews, she quickly learned that gluten-free did not necessarily mean “healthy”. She began cooking and realized that the best gluten-free meals were homemade and naturally gluten free. Eliminating wheat opened up an entire world of food options that she never knew existed, so she began to experiment with new grains, vegetables, and fruits.
Heather describes herself as a whole foods eater and enjoys creating vegan, vegetarian, and raw dishes and sharing them at Gluten-Free Cat. She strives to find balance in healthy eating, her jobs as Kindergarten teacher and part-time fitness instructor, blogging, and in loving her family well.
Ricki Heller is a whole foods chef, educator, and author of the Canadian bestseller Sweet Freedom: Desserts You’ll Love without Wheat, Eggs, Dairy or Refined Sugar (one of only three cookbooks recommended on Ellen DeGeneres’ website) as well as three e-cookbooks.
Ricki writes the popular food blog Diet, Dessert and Dogs, recently nominated as one of SHAPE Magazine’s “Best Healthy Eating Blogs” for 2011. On the blog, Ricki chronicles her ongoing challenges with candida, offers entertaining anecdotes about her life, shares sugar-free, vegan, whole-foods recipes and provides a platform for her two chatty lab-border collie cross dogs, Elsie and Chaser.
Ricki’s writing and recipes have been featured in Clean Eating Magazine, Canadian Living Magazine, OneGreenPlanet.com, The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, CrazySexyLife.com as well as other publications. She has appeared on CTV’s Canada AM, City TV’s Breakfast Television, Rogers’ daytime, In the Know and York Region Living, and has been a regular presenter at events and expos across the Toronto area, including the annual Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival and the Women’s Health Matters Forum and Expo. She also teaches nutrition at Seneca College in Toronto.
Ricki lives just outside Toronto with her husband and two dogs.
Hallie Klecker authors the gluten-free food blog Daily Bites, where she shares her enthusiasm for cooking with whole, natural, unrefined foods. Hallie is also the author of The Pure Kitchen, a gluten- and dairy-free cookbook that spotlights pure and wholesome ingredients. After experiencing health issues for several years, Hallie eliminated gluten and dairy from her diet in 2008 and, as a result, has never felt better. Through living free of gluten and dairy and emphasizing natural, unrefined foods in her diet, Hallie has discovered that eating healthfully does not equal boring meals or a pantry stocked with hard-to-find ingredients. Hallie teaches natural foods cooking classes in the greater Madison area and was formerly a personal chef. She received her Nutrition Educator Certification from Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts and her Personal Chef Certification from the Culinary Business Academy. She lives near Madison, Wisconsin.
For as long as Alta can recall, she’s had a fascination for food and cooking. As a child, she was in the kitchen with her mother, asking to help, and tasting carrots, onions, or tomatoes as she chopped them for a salad, asking about the necessity of various ingredients in chocolate chip cookie dough, and learning the meaning of “stiff, but not dry” when referring to egg whites whipped for an angel food cake.
When her father made his appearance in the kitchen, Alta learned the powerful impact that spices had on rounding out, or dramatically changing, the flavor of a dish. She didn’t grow up with extravagant meals by any stretch, but as a child, she learned that with a little creativity, a delicious meal can be had, even on a budget. That philosophy stays with Alta in the kitchen even today.
As a young adult, her meals mostly consisted of ramen noodles, macaroni and cheese, or Special K for dinner. Once she tired of all of that, she attempted various dishes, and started to cook recipes from books. There were times when she called good ol’ Mom up to ask her questions (“Mom, what exactly is in your meatloaf? What about that goulash stuff you used to make for us?”) Alta gives credit to those family members who were subjected to the results of her first attempts. Although they were mostly successful, there were definitely a few nights of “less-than-pleasurable” eating. But it wasn’t until fairly recently that she decided to venture outside of her comfort zone in the kitchen, and attempt to learn and build on her knowledge, and document those successful recipes along the way.
Since June 2009, Alta’s blog Tasty Eats At Home has been gluten-free, and will continue to be gluten-free. She made a decision to eliminate gluten from her diet in an effort to eliminate a lot of the symptoms she had been experiencing for years. (Read more about this here). She then eliminated dairy in July 2010. Now, if she eats the smallest amount of gluten, those symptoms return in a flash. She is elated to have found the “enemy”. Although Alta is not a professional, she can figure out how to make a cake, bread, cookies, and other delicious treats gluten-free! Her goal is to share with you delicious, gluten-free food that can bring your heart joy and nourish your body, one recipe at a time.
Tess Masters is an Australian actor, presenter and voice over artist living in Los Angeles, CA.
Her alter-ego “The Blender Girl” writes a quirky blog called Healthy Blender Recipes, sharing super quick and easy vegetarian, vegan, and raw recipes using a blender, mixer or food processor.
Tess uses blending as a metaphor for life: combining different ideas and concepts; notes and flavours; and philosophies and cultures in order to find a healthy balance for happiness. So “blend and live” was born, and she started blogging two years ago.
All of her healthy recipes are gluten free, and utilise whole foods and natural flavourings and sweeteners. Many of the recipes are also dairy free, egg free, nut free, and soy free. You can search for recipes for specific diets or food allergies by using the handy clickable icons on her website.
In 2011, Tess joined Chow.Com by filming a series of blender-inspired videos for their “Chow Tips” series. She also writes the new eco food blog for Go Green America TV, and is a regular recipe contributor to Super Raw Life Magazine and Super Living. She and her recipes have been featured on many sites around the world, including Chow, Epicurious, Glamour and many others. Most recently Zeste magazine in Canada featured Healthy Blender Recipes as one of their favourite allergy free blogs.
Tess has a very busy work schedule in film, t.v, radio, commercials, animation, video games, and narration, but also enjoys writing and recipe development. Most recently, she created a series of recipes using the Square One Organics products, and a series of anti-cancer smoothies for the Thrive Alive Foundation. She is passionate about green issues; connecting with people in the wellness community; and is delighted to be joining the fabulous team at Balanced Platter.
Karen’s mission from the beginning has always been to make gluten-free better than what came before by creating baked goods that have the same taste, texture, and appearance as their gluten-based inspirations. She’s also worked tirelessly to get gluten-free accepted as a bona-fide culinary movement. In 2006, she shipped all her gluten-free flours over to France where she was the pastry chef of a chateau in Nans Sous Ste. Anne, France and without telling the patrons, everything she served them was gluten-free and she got a standing ovation every night. When she returned to the states, Blackbird Bakery was born.
Her work has been featured in publications such as the New York Times, Yoga Journal, and Culture Map. One of Karen’s greatest passions is to teach others how to “embrace their own culinary renaissance” by learning how to confidently bake gluten-free through her blog, during speaking engagements, and her in her cookbooks.
An avid yoga practitioner, Karen also believes in the importance of living a balanced, vibrant life, and uses her experiences on the mat to infuse her baking with a healthy touch. Karen believes in using the freshest seasonal fruits and vegetables by sourcing her ingredients from local farmers, just as she did while cooking in France. Not only are these foods bursting with nutrients, they also happen to taste better, allowing her recipes reflect a true farm to table philosophy.
Alyssa Rimmer is the quinoa obsessed girl behind the gluten-free blog, the Queen of Quinoa. She loves experimenting with nutritious and whole-food ingredients, and seeks to encourage the everyday home chef that cooking and eating gluten-free can not only be healthy, but also delicious and fun.
After struggling with stomach issues throughout her college years, Alyssa decided enough was enough and took her health into her own hands. She started by removing gluten from her diet and hasn’t looked back since. Two happy years have passed and her stomach issues have practically disappeared. Living gluten-free has also helped her to truly discover her passion for cooking and she has embraced her new lifestyle with open arms.
With the Queen of Quinoa, Alyssa shares her gluten-free recipes, many of which are focused on the superfood quinoa, and discusses her journey to living a more fulfilled and healthy life. She now also cooks refined sugar-free and although not all her of recipes are vegan, she has loved learning and experimenting with vegan baking. She lives in Burlington, Vermont where she is surrounded by fresh, local produce and is always inspired by the fabulous seasonal ingredients that make this state so special. She is excited to share her recipes with you, as she helps to uncover the amazing world of quinoa.
Danielle Rouse is the creative energy behind the allergy friendly recipe blog, Fresh4Five Real Food | Fresh Ideas. This mother of three has a passion for nutrition and cooking with fresh and wholesome ingredients. Danielle has become an expert at developing recipes to meet the complex dietary needs of her family.
In 2009, her youngest son was diagnosed with multiple food intolerances. It turned out to be what Danielle calls “A blessing in disguise” as it opened her eyes to her own food intolerances and completely changed her entire family’s way of eating; for the better. Since witnessing amazing overall health improvement in her family, Danielle yearned to learn more about the connection between our food and our health. She enrolled in the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in January 2013, studying to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. She can’t wait to follow her dream and use her new education to help others on their journey to health and wellness.
On Fresh4Five Danielle shares an array of family friendly recipes that are among other things, free of Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Nuts and Paleo Friendly
Meg van der Kruik
Meg van der Kruik is the blogger, photographer, and recipe developer behind Beard & Bonnet, a gluten-free vegetarian blog that celebrates style, design, food, and family. Her gluten-free journey started in 2012 when her then 15 month old son’s life-long chronic health issues were linked to a gluten intolerance. Within a week of eliminating gluten from her son’s diet all of his symptoms and ailments were rapidly vanishing and the medications that he had been taking since he was 4 months old were no longer needed after a month.
Along with her husband, she’s also one half of the duo behind award-winning eco-design studio Union Eighteen whose recycled rugs have garnered international acclaim. Her goal is to show others that gluten-free, vegetarian living can be easy and fulfilling, not to mention delicious!