Friday, November 30, 2012

50 Ways to Say Goodbye

WELCOME TO FRIDAY!!!  First, I hope there's no copyright infringements in regards to today's post title.  If you know what I'm talking about, isn't that fun?!  My kids love it, we all sing along and everyone wants to dance.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, well, there will be a link at the bottom for you to follow.  As you probably know, around here, we're pretty much music enthusiasts.  We all love, love, love music, almost more than we love good food.   All of my kids have grown up listening to music.  I used to be that mom who wanted every moment of the day filled with Bach, Mozart and the fullness of a grand piano so my children would be genius's.   That ended about 10 minutes into the idea.  Since then a stream of 90's bands have filled my house and my kids have picked their favorites.  Sometimes they look at me like I'm crazy, and sometimes they beg for a song to be played again.  My oldest got to hang out with Parachute AND the Goo Goo Dolls last year.  His first concert ever, he won a back stage meet and greet, and while we were grabbing dinner, met John outside on the sidewalk (yes, I have pictures!)   I cannot even begin to tell you how good Goo was to him.  The whole band was genuinely excited to see him, and since it was his first concert I was trying not to be "too much."  It was a great night and we had a lot of fun.

Now.  For reality.  Let's start at the beginning (the second part of today's post title.)  Yesterday was pretty crazy.  I woke up and got moving pretty quickly, drama after drama kept happening with the kids and before I know it, I'm running late.  Rushing into class, I get there about 5 minutes after class starts and feverishly start working on my (impossible) test.  Everyone is stressed, the tension in the room is palpable.  We finish the test and the class erupts into the hallway with sighs of frustration and defeat.  The common complaint was no matter how hard you studied, the test was just very complicated.  No one felt very good about it.  Onto lunch and the next test - the final.  We had no class the week before so Thursday's class was about last week's material, then we would take the final right afterward.   Here we are again, angst riddled and tense, studying the material and hoping for the best.  Luckily, after that one, everyone's moods lifted.  We ran out, excited and ready to get onto the weekend, however, I still had another test.  I rushed home to let the babysitter go, and the next thing I know I'm pouring through my work.  Took the test and finally cleared one more thing from my list. At this point, I'm exhausted and ready for the day to be done.  I get the kids to bed, and beeline for the shower.  And here, my good readers, is where it all goes down hill.  I start up the shower, and get in, and all the days aches and cares and worries start to swirl right down the drain with the yummy warm milk soap suds.  The water is steamy hot and melting away the stress and tensions.  I start washing my hair when suddenly it hits me... the water isn't quite so hot anymore... hmm.  Ok.  Maybe one of the kids left the faucet on in the other bathroom.  Ok, whatever.  Keep washing, but notice, it's getting a bit cooler.... and a bit cooler... and OMG HURRY UP AND RINSE OFF BECAUSE IT'S GOING TO BE ICE IN ABOUT 3.2 MINUTES!!!!  And now I'm RUSHING like a prize horse in the Kentucky Derby.  As I rinse finally and slam off the water, it goes to ice temperature and I jump out of the shower.  Grabbing a towel and shivering and thinking... this is NOT what I needed today, I proceed to go down the list of what's wrong.  Perhaps the breaker tripped?  Maybe the water IS on somewhere else?  Maybe there's a coil out?   I don't have time for this though, I have doctors appointments and another class tomorrow morning.  I head to bed, get deep into sleep and then hear beeping.... beeping... beeping.  We lost power.  Fun. 

Long story short... the power came back and after today's running, the wonderful appliance man showed up... and then I started singing 50 Ways To Say Goodbye... because for real, no lie... she's dead. 

They're bringing my new water heater... on Wednesday.  Yeah......... 

I think this calls for something delicious!  

We should call it, "No Hot Shower Salad" 

Or just simply: 

Cold Shrimp Salad

4 Servings of your favorite gluten free pasta OR brown/long grain rice 
12-14 medium shrimp cooked but tails removed - can be chopped
1 stalk of celery - diced
1 avocado, diced or mashed
1-2 cups homemade mayonnaise (or store bought whatever you like)
1/2 lime (squeezed - use the juice)
red pepper flakes (to taste... no more than about 1 tsp)
2 tsp dill seed
2 tsp paprika
2-3 oz of shredded parmesan romano
1/2 lb of cooked sweet peas (cold)
2 cold, chopped hard boiled eggs
OPTIONAL: 2 tbsp milk if needed if dressing is too thick

Place pasta, shrimp, eggs, and peas in a large serving dish.   Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl or salad dressing bottle until well combined.  If you do not like mayonnaise (I don't blame you), you can use plain, unsweetened greek yogurt as a substitute.   I start with a cup, and as I add things, I'll add more to make it thicker or to cover better.  If you just like a hint, or 'dip', you can just use a cup, if you want the whole salad covered, then use 2 cups.  Pour your 'dressing' over your pasta mixture and serve COLD.  You can even place them all in the fridge (covered) for a while to chill.  However, this salad needs to be kept cold, AND needs to be eaten immediately.  The avocado, mayo, milk combo do not last for long and you'll have a brown mess the next day.  Serve this up right as everyone is sitting down to dinner.  It's delicious, flavorful, and healthy (mostly!)

And it's cold.  Just like the shower.  =)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Welcome to the Holidays!

Well, it's begun.  The insanity everyone calls the "holiday season".   We celebrate Christmas around here, and typically Christmas BEGINS on the 24th and goes until January 8.   It's not unusual for our tree to go up around the 20th and just when the radio quits playing carols, that's when our festivities begin with big meals, presents, visitors and the festive mood of family and celebration.  Unfortunately for us, the rest of the world goes back to reality on Jan. 2 (sometimes on Dec. 26) and then we look crazy still wearing our red and green and singing "Silent Night."   This makes for a strenuous relationship with the outside world.  So, more and more every year our little Christmas only lasts a few days.  Some people really get into it and do gifts every day, some celebrate on the day then again on the 8th.  I think a lot of people just wish it would go away by the time the 25th rolls around.   We used to do the grandparents one night, other grand parents another night, our family another night, friends another night, you get the idea.  Nowadays, it kinda fades into the past once we hit Dec. 25 at 1:00 p.m.

One big tradition that I've always had is Monkey Bread for Christmas morning breakfast.   I've been making Monkey Bread for about 15 years.   Imagine my absolute crushing disappointment to not be able to eat it.  The first year I couldn't have it, I refused to cook anyway, because I was so emo about not being able to eat anything I loved.  Well, that did NOT fly with the kids.  They wanted their classic Christmas breakfast.  The next year I broke down and made the whole thing (thinking, falsely that now I had things in my arsenal and I'd be fine with it.)  Wrong.  I ate quite a few bites of it.  And then got sick.  However, it was really good!  While it lasted.....

Do I have a great gluten free alternative to Monkey Bread?  Not yet.  You just cannot replicate the chewy, gooey, smooth texture of wheat and sugar in a sugar free, wheat free dish.  It just (mostly) doesn't happen.
However.  I do have something that IS delicious, sweet, gluten and added sugar free that perhaps may become a NEW Christmas tradition breakfast!  This dish does have fruit in it, and if you're avoiding that because of natural sugars then, I'll have more coming up that you can try.  So, don't panic yet.  But for  now, we're going to be using pears.

I LOVE pears.  I made pear everything one year, pear lemon, pear ginger, pear chocolate (YUM), pear orange, pear cinnamon, pear apple cranberry.  You name it, I made it.  This particular recipe I did come up with on my own however, if you find that your Aunt Martha made this in 1967, please don't call me and say I must have broken into her house and stole the family recipe.  I wish I was that good.  No, this came to me in a pear craving.  That's it.  Unless Aunt Martha answered my telepathic cravings with her recipe in my head... well then I got it from her.

Ginger Pear Cobbler

5-6  ripe pears chopped (not brown though)
28g (1oz) grated fresh ginger **NOTE
pinch salt
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 tsp cinnamon
4g (1/8 oz) vanilla extract
1/2 tsp NuNaturals Stevia or 10-14 drops liquid (or NONE at all if your pears are sweet!)
2 tBsp lemon juice
26g (1oz) chopped almonds
26g (1oz) craisins (optional - remember regular grocery store adds sugar, Wholefoods has a kind with no added sugar)

(yes I see the disparity of the 28g/1oz of ginger and 26g/1oz almonds - this kinda gets my argument of we need to go back to metric but what do I know.  I like ginger, I eeked a bit more into the mix.)   =)

56g (2oz) crushed almonds
1tsp salt
56g (2oz) sugar free maple syrup
56g (2oz) room temp or softened butter (or coconut oil)

**Note:  something I learned the hard way.  Fresh ginger is kinda solid feeling, like a carrot.  Older... aging ginger can get soft.  I have nothing G rated to compare that too... OH like a twizzler!  For a bunch of people who are eating sugar free, I'll be really impressed if you remember what twizzlers feel like.  LET'S just say, more like the texture of an aging tomato?  I'm not doing any better huh?  Either way... OLD ginger is HOT, and very juicy, it tastes great, however, fresh works better here.  It's sweeter, easier to grate and has very good flavor without being overpowering.

***Note:  Some people find they react to oats.  If you make sure you are using gluten free oats, sometimes you will find you can tolerate them... sometimes not.   Either way, if you are able to tolerate oats, make sure you get gluten free.  They are farmed and processed differently as to avoid wheat cross contamination.  I ALWAYS advocate for GMO free and organic.


First, chop your pears into 1/2 to 1" cubes into a bowl and pour the lemon juice over them, fold gently.  Add everything else (not topping,) fold that in as well.

Now.  Here is where you have a VERY, VERY difficult choice.  IF you are a raw foodie and you want to eat this can.... follow the directions for raw.  If you want this warm and bubbly and crispy on top out of the oven... follow the regular directions.  Really, it depends on if you can wait and let it set all night and risk waking up to find an empty pan in your fridge, or if you want to pull it out of the oven and turn around to get a plate and find the pan empty and still piping hot.  Your call.

Preheat your oven to 425f.  Butter a glass 8x8 pan and pour in your pear mixture.  In separate bowl, mix your dry ingredients for topping, then add in the wet ingredients, mixing with a fork until crumbly (I recommend using butter here.)  Crumble the mixture over your pears.  Bake uncovered for 25 minutes.  Try to let it cool at least 5 minutes, serve with heavy cream poured over the top.

Pour your pear mixture into a glass 8x8 pan.  In a separate bowl mix your dry ingredients for topping, then add wet ingredients (coconut oil works here but not quite as flavorful as butter.)   Mix with a fork till crumbly.  Pour over the pear mixture and PRESS together (not too much, don't squish the pears.)  However, you do want to create kind of a cookie 'cover' for the pears.   Place in refrigerator covered to let flavors meld!  Chill overnight or until you can't stand it any longer.  Eat from pan.  I mean... serves about 8 - if you're super generous....
(you can still pour cream over it, it's delicious!)

Here's the real problem.  Because the cobbler was hot out of the oven... I got pictures of it.  The other one.. well, it didn't last long enough to get a picture.  In fact... the topping never met the pears - or the refrigerator for that matter.  We just ate it from the bowl with a spoon and then a spoonful of pears,  spoonful of topping, spoonful of pears, spoonful of topping.... well, you get the idea.  It didn't last.

So, here's hoping you can blow the kids out of the water with this healthy and delicious breakfast!  Or just hide in your room with 2 bowls and a spoon and lock the door.


Here's all the stages!  I was able to chase my kids away long enough to get decent pics!  HAPPY HOLIDAYS and enjoy!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Under Construction

This blog has been live an entire year!  I have so many recipes yet to share and so many things I'd like to post and am currently working on my own website, that may or may not merge into this.  When you pick up one healthy lifestyle, it starts to bleed into everything else.   Not that my diet was the starting point.  Years ago, it started with something everyone would pretty much consider normal and simple and it branched from there.  I started looking for healthier foods, healthier living, healthier mentalities and interactions.   I'm sure you've heard the phrase "toxic relationship."  It basically refers to someone who promotes instability, drama, unhealthy lifestyle or spirituality, or a general malaise in your life.  As facets of this life became shining or bright for me, others dimmed a bit.  That included some people to an extent.  What used to be important is no longer, simple things became simpler, and important things became championed.  I believe most of us go through this transition in life, and sometimes, sometimes, I feel like it may be easier for women who are very connected to life around them.  For many, it's easy to make changes for her baby: the woman who quits smoking while pregnant, or starts watching what she eats.   These things can ultimately lead you down a path you never thought you'd find yourself on.  I have talked to men that had these type of awakenings, with their kids, or with situations that were eye opening.  I'm not being exclusive, just noting that's where I see it often.

That being said, had someone asked me at 15 when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder if I would be blogging about food and going to conferences for women, I would have laughed at them and told them, "I just want a better job so I can get a nice car."   It's easy to be a part of the system,  it's even easier to fall victim to it.  So, as we all navigate this rocky road of reality and dreams, we find our niche and do what we feel called to do.

In this case, I'm on my road, and since you're kinda following with me here, if you're interested in the recipes or you like what you see, subscribe for updates and make sure to check back once a week to see what's going on.  I am working on an index of all the recipes arranged according to type, sweet, savory, snack, or meal.  I may integrate into my website (which is built around natural and peaceful beginnings of life and family living) or I may keep my food separate from my kids - which is almost always a great idea, otherwise, we end up with banana pudding dripping from the ceiling.... across the room from the table.

Also, I made a cheesecake today!  Yes, another one.  And after my weekend with these mama-mazing women, I have realized I don't do quite as much with dairy free as some would like, I will attempt to focus some more on this.  I'm a dairy addict, and it IS a cause of swelling sometimes.  If you have arthritis, have tried gluten free the next step might be to go dairy free.  At this point, you wonder, WHAT DO I EAT??  Well, that's what we're working on here!  No, cheesecake does not fall into that category, unless... it's a dairy free cheesecake (yes, I have a recipe for that!)  I've also found a gluten free, dairy free lemon curd recipe as well!  We have great things coming, don't worry, there's something for everyone.

As for today's cheesecake?  Well.  It's ridiculously delicious.  Check back and see if I can be convinced to part with this wonderful recipe in time for the upcoming winter holidays!

Perhaps you'd like to try these recipes this year as part of your Thanksgiving dinner:

Upside down sweet potato pie
Green beans and cranberries
Spinache artichoke dip
New York Cheesecake

Enjoy! Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Since I will not be here Friday, I will be posting today in a feeble attempt to keep this crazy train going.  I have a lot of fun with this blog and of course I love food so much,  that to stop blogging would be akin to stop breathing, except that sometimes I get distracted and I don't write whereas, mostly, I do not get so distracted I stop breathing.  Actually.....

Anyway!  So today's topic on a food blog, is manners.   I have kids.  I bet you or someone like you (ahem) has kids.   Maybe your neighbor has kids?  I'm sure you must know someone who has kids.  Kids tend to get sick a lot too and sometimes, perhaps this person is a little... unwell? (ahem)   Either way, kids are a great example usually of people who need manners.   However, I'm sure we've all met that ONE person who is genuinely full of himself, thinks he owns the world and doesn't owe anyone anything, especially courtesy.  This person could be compared to a child with his impetuousness, lack of discipline, and general lack of respect for the general public around him.  When everyone else starts to get angry, he tends to get bent over everyone's "irrational" behavior.   You see, we're supposed to be grateful, praising the gods for their hand me down.  Or whatever bone they threw.  So, today's lesson is based in the real world, where us normal folks live.


Please:  paired with a request:  Please pass the peas.

I'm sorry / my apologies:  usually following a mistake or misunderstanding:   I'm sorry we didn't post the stipulations of the contract you signed and then proceeded with the business deal anyway.

Thank you:  gratitude for a good deed received:  Thank you for purchasing things from me, when you could go to someone else and be just as overjoyed.

Excuse me:  sometimes coupled with "I'm sorry", continued clarification of error:  Excuse me for my mistake, I will try my best to rectify the situation.

Most situations and misunderstandings can be generally smoothed over by a general use of manners.  Sometimes it takes a little more effort to prevent a downfall, however, the work is totally worth getting everyone back to good.

Tuesday was a little rough for my friend J and I.  She's the one with the awesome pictures of Johnny at the Goo's concerts.  I stole them fair and square right off her camera.  {I'm sorry for stealing your pictures and posting them on my website.  Since you read my website, I'm probably busted.  - I'm using my newly learned manners.}  J is a great understanding friend, so imagine my surprise when Tuesday rolled around and our combined disappointment led to a long day of upset and sadness over a miscommunication.

Let's just say, we ran into an unexpected glitch in our fanatic and frantic race for our beloved past time, only to find out, it wasn't exactly what they said it would be.

We're recovering.  Don't worry!

In the spirit of learning new manners, getting on with life and knowing, we all have our ups and downs, I'll post a very simple recipe that will go great with some onion and chive sour cream and a little movie pick me up.  A nice snack that can be paired with some cheese or would make a great side with a burger.  It's gluten free, but has natural sugars.  I don't usually use potatoes on this site, however, this is very similar.  Sometimes you just have one of those days where you need a simple salty snack, but without the icky additives and worries about,  "what did they put in this."

Snackable Plantain chips

1-2  BARELY yellow plantains (basically - you want them yellow enough that you can still peel them without cutting the peel off like when they are green, but not with brown on them - which makes them sweet)
fine ground sea salt for sprinkling
1 lime, quartered

Heat your grill (I LOVE mine - you can see it HERE - I very much recommend it.) to 300-325f.  Grease the very liberally with butter.  You don't need the plantains to sit in a 1/2 inch pool of it, but not just a simple swipe with butter either, you want to see bubbles.  Slice the plantains anyway you like, but keep them somewhat thin.  Not potato chip thin.  Sprinkle both sides with a bit of salt.   Heat on grill till warm brown on both sides, about 20 minutes.  It takes a WHILE, about 10 min a side.   If you get to 10 min, and yours are not brown - let them be a little bit longer.  If you get to 10 min and they are burned, your heat is TOO high.  Low and slow.  You'll get a wonderfully crunchy on the outside, smooth on the inside, salty, chiplike snack, which everyone can enjoy, with no additives, chemicals or preservatives.  After removing from heat, sqeeze with a little bit of lime and serve with cheese dip or onion chive sour cream.

As for J and I.  Well,  we just look at this whole situation and our attitude now is, "I'll believe you when......"

(again, the blurriness is a little awkward for a food blog, I had to take these with my iPad.  Faith in my camera restored....)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Best. Monday. Ever.

Of course.  You knew this was coming.   You did.  And you knew the day it was here, my blog would explode in a veritable panic of musical happiness....


Ok. Ok.  Australia.  You can quit gloating now.   They went there first and my best friend and I were just crushed.  We could not believe one of our favorite bands was abandoning the U.S.  I mean, we totally understand, that Australia is beautiful and the people are awesome... but we want to go to the concerts too and can't afford to fly to Australia!  Well.  It's our turn now!

So, my food blog has just been overthrown by a musical rant.  We'll be seeing them in Baltimore in February, then Tampa and Orlando in March.  They say they are going to be doing more over the summer with the major cities, so perhaps we'll get exponentially lucky and get to see them again.  I'm in the market for front row seats, so all of you awesome people out there who are friends with MB20 and read my blog, just write anytime and hook me up!

Anytime now....

Still waiting....


Anyway.  In celebration of more music awesomeness for this year (2011 was filled with Goo Goo Dolls and I have the pictures, video, audio, backstage passes, signed set lists, and stage paraphernalia to prove it!)
It's taken me almost an hour to write this post as my imagination pulls me to loud crowds, standing in line, being so excited I thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest and chase the lead singer across the stage.  I'm lost in daydreams about what front row with MB20 would be like and if I'd survive the heart attack from being that close.   I have lofty goals of up close pictures of Rob Thomas.... sigh.  I probably need to get out more.

I would VERY MUCH love to give you the most awesome celebratory recipe today so we can all party on with MB20, however.  However.  I did something this weekend that would make everyone here completely drool on themselves.  It was THE best recipe I've come up with since probably a week ago.  I know I don't post all the time, but I'm constantly searching for ingredients, recipes, ideas, and inspirations for different things.  I like to test them a few times and then post.  I had a great idea once, tried it, and it flopped so badly, it left a bad taste in my mouth (lol literally) and I decided it wasn't such a great idea after all.  Glad I hadn't already just passed it onto you (since it LOOKED wildly successful!  It did NOT taste that way.)

I'll tone it down a bit from my near panic flailing excitement and talk about breakfast.

Do you struggle with breakfast food?  Eggs.  Check.   Eggs.  Check.   Egss with cheese.  Sigh.  Is there anything else for breakfast that's gluten free and sugar free?  Have you seen cereal lately?  It's packed with the rice flours and potato starches and SUGAR that we were talking about on Friday.  That is NOT a great way to start a great day.  I find a good breakfast needs protein obviously, but eggs have gotten old.

Here is a great morning starter, fairly easy to throw together, and if you wanted to, you could add any number of your favorite items to it.

Morning Burst Yogurt

1 cup plain, unsweeted organic yogurt (Greek works fine too, I can't remember the kind I usually buy, but use Stoneyfield regularly also)
1/4 cup almonds (salted roasted or raw, however you like them)
10 drops liquid stevia (14-18 for Greek if you like)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut (grated fresh, or dried)
OPTIONAL:  you can throw in a handful of berries if you like, or some craisins - REMEMBER!  Craisins have ADDED SUGAR!   Unless you buy the non sugared from Wholefoods, the ones at the regular stores do HAVE SUGAR.  Be really sparing with these.  Or do not use them.

Mix and enjoy!  I love to add a cup of hot white tea to my breakfast.  Give it a try!

(oops.  Ignore my school-laced, messy desk for this photo, it was morning.  You know what that means right?  My brain wasn't functioning yet.  I'm so proud of myself for having a clear picture that you can actually see the food.....)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Treat

I was so excited last night!  I had something great I was going to post today, something earth shatteringly amazing, something no one could miss, something so beyond wonderful - that I forgot.
Seriously, how old am I?  Senility is slipping in.

So, instead of an incredibly noteworthy word performance today, you must settle for the blank stare of doom.  That moment when all thought seeps out of your head and your eyes glass over and all you can think is, "I used to know what I was talking about."

Mostly it  must be school.  I've been very concentrated on learning, memorizing and 100 word essay'ing my way through class so I can pass and move on.  I'd love to take the II part next semester, but things are already looking busy.  I need to focus more on the kids education; this is a great year for them... 3rd and 6th grade.  As soon as the books arrive, I'm actually thinking of bumping my 6th grader to 7th, simply because he's done most of what was required (but I switched programs).   My 3rd grader is a great inspiration in procrastination and free spirit but he has a knack for math and that's ok with me.   Also, opportunity has arisen to get my yoga instructor certification, and as long as it works out with my other school, perhaps I can make it work.   I'm already getting really tired, so I want to make sure next year is a more even balance and perhaps I can take things one at a time, instead of all at once.

In honor of today's no brainer post.  I'd like to introduce yet another gluten free pizza schematic.  If you'll notice other gluten free websites and blogs sometimes take another recipe (say, pizza crust) copy the whole recipe, and then instead of flour, they write "your favorite gluten free baking mix."

I'm very sorry.

This does not fly with me.

It actually became a pet peeve of mine after I was first diagnosed and found two things:  1. TONS of recipes did the above 'swap' and  2. within 6 months of being diagnosed with celiac disease, most people GAIN 30 lbs.  T-H-I-R-T-Y  The articles and experts caution that celiac diet is NOT a weight loss diet.  I'm going to argue that.  I'm not arguing that it IS a weight loss diet.  I'm arguing it's NOT A DIET.   If you are incorporating rice starch, potato starch, tapioca starch or "your favorite gluten free baking mix" - that is not a diet at all, you're not eating anything healthy or brain/muscle/bone building.  You might as well sit down at every meal and eat a snickers bar and call your day gluten free (that statement alone is controversial, as some say it's cross contaminated others say it's a safe candy bar - that's not my point.)   My point is that all those starches = simple sugars.  They have NO redeeming qualities or health benefits at all other than bypassing the food allergy.

If you've noticed on my blog, you will NEVER find rice starches, potato starches or baking mixes used in my recipes.  I use almond flour, garbanzo flour, cheeses, nuts, butter and vegetables.  I try to avoid grains.  This is a disclaimer to today's recipe.  I try.  Sometimes, you just really need something crispy or sweet and oats and corn tend to be perfect for those things.  Remember, if you're buying oats or corn, make sure it's non-GMO and specifically says "gluten free."  These items have actually been farmed differently and are not cross contaminated during harvest or processing.

Use whole foods, or process your own as you need to.  There are a lot of raw recipes that used soaked cashews which are thrown in a food processor and made into butter... this is still a 'whole' food.  There are no additives, preservatives or any kind of cell splicing going on here... except I guess the physical breakdown of the nut itself.  We'll get more into this as we go.  I tried a 'raw' recipe the other day and got rave reviews.  I'm going to do my usual magic on it to remove the sugars and (it was already healthy gluten free! YAY!) then pass it on to you and let you give it a try.


Getting back to Friday.  Since today is such a great day for pizza, I'm going to give you a new one to try!  There are TONS of pizza recipes online.  No matter where you go, there's the cauliflower crust, the potato/rice starch crust, the no crust casserole type, the veggie base type, the gross soggy try gluten free biscuits kind.  Whatever.

You're going to love this one.  The brainchild of a wonderful weekend, only having a few groceries and a craving for pizza.   If you're driving by Pizza Chain Inc tonight and the kids are yelling for pizza, you know you're going to end up craving it after filling the car, the house and every inch of your nose with that incredible smell.  Here you go, thank me after a great pizza night!

 Weekend Pizza

1 box of whole grain corn taco shells or tortilla rounds (make sure it's gf, preferably made with whole grain stone ground corn, no additives, no preservatives.)
2 fresh tomatoes
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
2 cups of Italian shredded cheese or mozzarella (your choice)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
basil (fresh or dried)
garlic (fresh or dried)
OPTIONAL:  meat of your choice (sausage, burger, bacon, steak strips, ham, prosciutto, etc.)

Heat oven to 400f.  You'll need a pan with ventilation through it, like a pizza pan with holes or that nice top part of your roaster pan.  This is not an advertisement, it's just to give you an idea.  If you're using the taco shells, break them in 1/2 like little 1/2 moons.  Place as many as you can fit on the pan.  If you're using the tortilla rounds, just lay them out.  Next sprinkle a little parmesan and Italian cheese mix to cover each shell lightly, if you want more cheese, go for it, however, don't make the pile too thick or it will never cook.  I put about 3 taBlespoons of cheese for each shell.  Next sprinkle with garlic (crushed and chopped if fresh) and basil (torn up if fresh).  Next slice the tomatoes AS THIN AS POSSIBLE without adding skin from your fingertips to the one or two slices on each taco shell, or 3-4 for the tortillas.   Try to get them almost paperthin, we're kinda going for a margarita style.  Finally, add the meat of your choice or none at all. I usually do one or two slices per taco shell, 3-4 for tortillas.
Pop in the oven for about 7-10 minutes (mine takes 8).  You're looking for brown bubbly cheese, and nice crispy edges.
I don't even wait for mine to cool usually, I just shove them in my mouth as fast as possible because I'm starving and they are delicious and crispy like a thin crust pizza.  Then I burn my mouth and I go running for a glass of water... So, just be warned, you may have an unhealthy urge to eat faster than physics allows.  Don't fall for it!! It's a tarp!  ahem.  Sorry, the gamer in me just got loose again.

Enjoy and have a GREAT weekend!

(Apologies in advance for the blurry first picture and then the no followup with the spinach pizza...I imagine the day I was taking these, I must have been starving, hence, the no after pictures.  You get the idea.  I just got a different day, different pizza!)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sick Day

I have been working and/or going to school all day, every day, since Monday.  Operating between the hours of 7a.m. and 11p.m, 12a.m., 1a.m, 2a.m.... you get the idea.  Well, I finally did it:  dragged myself into a flu. Running around trying to do everything, getting up early and going to bed late, not to mention sneaking candy out of the Halloween buckets did not result in healthy energetic me.  My head got groggy, my sinus filled up, my nose started to drip, headache followed and pretty soon I was almost in tears just from showering because my joints hurt so badly.  I'm sure you understand if you have chronic pain or disease how debilitating a simple cold can be, and when you live with joint pain and you get the flu, sometimes, there's just no possible way to accomplish movement.

With that in mind, and hopefully a nice bright healthy sunrise on the horizon, I threw together a simple, fast "pick me up soup."  Consider this the soup to throw in what you have, and don't worry about what you don't.  Try to go heavy on the garlic and ginger, if it's spicy warm, it will help soothe your throat and kick up  your immunities.

Meanwhile, get some rest, do NOT surf Pinterest all day and dream of how lovely your house will look when you win the million dollar lottery and how many nice things off Etsy you'll own - I assure you, this will not make you feel better - yes, experience talking here!  Pick up a book (I finally settled on my new crochet book,) indulge in your favorite tv series (lots of good ones nowadays,) and lay in bed or sleep.   When you need some food, toss together this healthy and warm soup, give yourself a break and know... someday, when the kids move out, the house will be spotless.

Before we get started:  drink lots of water.  And, as I list the ingredients DO NOT cringe and shun them!  If you are sick you need quick foods!  Healthy CAN be quick but shortcuts aren't always the best route (remember the microwave?!)

Pick Me Up Soup

1-2 cans of large chunk organic chicken (OKOK DON'T PANIC!)  if you don't have cooked chicken in the house, maybe this can be a fallback.  It's not terrible!  Just quick.  However, I buy "packets" of organic chicken at costco, they cook up pretty fast and I can refreeze them in bags already cooked.  That is another option.  About 4-8 ounces of cooked, cut up chicken.  That's the important part.  If you're allergic, use turkey, or no meat.  We're flexible, we're sick.  It's ok.

4-6 cups of water (heated to a low boil)
2-4 ounces of shredded ginger
2-4 cloves of garlic -  crushed or chopped (garlic powder works also! GO FOR SIMPLE! whatever works, if using powder - about 2 taBlespoons
1 bag of frozen mixed veggies (organic is great, fresh is better, BUT we don't have a lot of time to chop, saute and wait around and we are sick, go for simple!)
1 taBlespoon of coconut oil (good oils for the brain function
2 taBlespoons of Organic Better Than Bouillon  - this is my favorite kitchen shortcut in the world... it tastes SO incredible, comes in vegetarian, but I use chicken flavor, has no gluten and tastes wonderful, add a little more if you want stronger flavor.
1 can of white beans, any kind you like or have laying around
2 teaspoons of fresh cracked pepper
You can throw in a few dashes of basil (or torn up leaves) if you like,
and some dried celery flakes if you like that sort of thing
throw in onion... dried flakes, or powder whatever you have about a taBlespoon.
OPTIONAL! very optional - one egg (with a separate bowl of cold water mixed with 1 TSP cornstarch.)  I'll tell you what that's all about

Here we go!

Get all of your spices together, oil and the bouillion, put them in the water and continue to low boil,  IF you want the egg... you're going to scramble it in a small bowl...Pour the cornstarch first and stir 3 minutes, then add the beaten egg slowly "dropping" drips of it into the boiling water and swirling gently with a spoon.  Next pour the veggies, chicken and beans into the soup.  Boil for 5 minutes or until piping hot and serve.  Whatever flavor you like the most... add as much as you like.  My measurements are for reference, if you love ginger (and I know someone who LOVES ginger) then put more.  If you hate onion, don't add onion.  This soup will work for you!

Easy, fast, simple, PICK ME UP soup!  Perfect for sore throats, sluggish colds and generally not having the energy to stand in the kitchen for an hour and cook.

And it's healthy.


Because really?

We didn't use the microwave.  =)