Friday, November 05, 2010
...but I think they are tasty. Especially with pico de gallo.
Hello! I wanted to let you all know how I have been progressing on this gluten-free stuff.
First off though, I have been lying around on the couch for the past two days with a temperature of 103. I could sometimes make it move down to 101, but it kept jumping back up. I turned to my best friend for advice. (Having a bit of trouble with my health insurance right now!) She has been sick so much she could practically be a doctor besides the fact that sheís like a walking pharmacy! Following her orders I have successfully kept my temp down to its usual 97 degrees for about 12 hours now.
I sadly must admit that I have still been eating too many frozen dinners in lieu of finding meals that are gluten-free, meat-free, dairy-free, and soy-free. (Oh yeah, and try finding recipes that take those things into consideration that DON'T include mushrooms, squash or coconut. YUCK!) I havenít eaten meat in forever, my body canít handle dairy (except for yogurt) and the more I read about (unfermented) soy Iíd rather stay away. So basically, Iím incredibly difficult when it comes to food!
I have been getting cookbooks from the library so I can plan out a weekís worth of meals with whole foods that take into account my food intolerances and preferences. It hasnít been easy, but hereís what I have so far to try this next week (which would have been this week if I hadnít gotten sick!)
Black Bean Burgers (I know I used to make these, but the recipe will have been revamped to be gluten-free)
Pumpkin Enchiladas (homemade enchilada sauce and CORN tortillas)
Protein Potatoes (basically mashed potatoes with a few surprises)
Avocado Bean Salad
and Yam and Bean Burritos.
But all this talk is boring, so here is some food that already meets my requirements!
This is a bowl at the Laughing Planet Cafť in Portland aptly named the Steamed Rice, Beans, and Veggies bowl.
I know it looks like a big pile of vegetables, but there are pinto beans and brown rice under there too, really!
The tomatillo salsa really kicks the flavors up a notch. Oh and the pico de gallo doesnít hurt ;)
Yay something I can eat!
But I thought about it and this would SUPER simple to make at home. So I made up some pico de gallo, which I was super lazy about and will definitely be chopping finer next time.
I reheated some pre-made brown rice and pinto beans.
And topped everything with steamed broccoli and carrots.
I think I am making this (blank)-free cooking too hard on myself! But sometimes it just seems easier to grab a can of
And dump it into a bowl.
By the way, if you do happen to do this and realize that there is more liquid than you would like, please use a strainer! Otherwise you will be annoyed like I was when I dumped a good quarter of it in the sink. Trust me, you can clean a strainer. And if you have a dishwasher like I do, thereís no excuse!
Keep well everyone and if you do get sick follow your doctorís (or trusted friendís) advice, if you know they know what they are talking about!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Okay, Iím not really sure how to start this, but let me just apologize for being M.I.A. lately!
So where have I been?
Well, a lot of placesÖand nowhere all at the same time! I have been alternating between feeling sick and being in pain for years now. I have gone from being on my parentís health insurance, to not having any, to being on my husbandís, to losing it, to finally having some again! This last round of doctor visits has finally yielded a possible answer.
Celiac disease. I have tried explaining it to multiple people and every time I think ďsilly yak.Ē But the pain and discomfort is anything but silly! Basically, celiac is an autoimmune disorder that affects the small intestine. There is no cure, but there is one effective treatment - a lifelong gluten-free diet. Simple, right?
Well, as Iím finding out, not exactly. The problem with gluten is that it seems to be everywhere! It is used as a binder in many foods. But itís not just that, it can be found in beauty products like lotions, shampoos, makeup and even toothpaste. Even foods that are naturally gluten-free can become contaminated with gluten.
I have even found products that proclaim GLUTEN-FREE happily on the front and ďprocessed in a factory that also processes wheat productsĒ on the back. Gluten-free crackers that go down the same conveyor belt as regular ones are no longer gluten-free! With some online research I can find out that some of the companies put it on there for liability reasons, but they do actually use separate equipment.
I have to admit that I am completely overwhelmed in this. I have no idea what Iím doing! I have some recipes to try, but I donít have most of the ingredients for them.
I have basically started this gluten-free journey with eating way more processed foods than I was before. Pretty much seeing what says gluten-free on it and eating that. I just feel so completely out of my comfort zone without being able to lean on the whole grains I know and love!
I donít eat meat and my stomach can only handle limited dairy, so trying to get in enough protein has been interesting! My stomach is testy if I eat too much soy or beans in a sitting. AGH! FrustrationÖ
So my food has been a pretty big repetition of the following:
Breakfast Quinoa (Yummy! Too bad, eating this a couple of days in a row made my stomach burn like someone threw a match down my throat. Ugh)
(recipe by Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point: www.healthytippingpoint.com/breakfas
FSTG chips, of course
Cut up veggies and hummus
Zing Bars (I have tried the chocolate peanut butter and the chocolate chip. The one in the picture tastes way better, but has whey in it, which my stomach doesn't always appreciate).
Vanís Frozen Waffles (Definitely not the same as regular waffles, I really have no idea why anyone would want to go on a gluten-free diet unless they really have to!)
Amyís is a brand I trust and they have numerous gluten-free items. Some have been good, others not so much.
Amyís Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Enchilada Dinner (doesnít look that great, but it actually tastes really, really good).
Amyís Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Burrito (the best gluten-free thing I have tried. Iím not really sure what the tortilla is made out of, but it actually tastes good!)
Amyís Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Pizza (while the sauce and toppings are amazing, I really, really, REALLY miss soft chewy crust. The crust on this is crunchy and tastes too much like corn for some reason).
Dinner last night was what my husband and I called the ďbean wrapĒ dinner. But, now that I canít have my soft, chewy flour tortilla (corn tortillas are NOT the same!!) I just went without.
Here is my pile of bean mush (aka black beans, greek yogurt, green onions, bell pepper, lemon juice, cumin and other spices)
Looks much prettier when it is in a tortilla with the lettuce! Lol
On the side I had steamed broccoli, cauliflower, brown rice and salsa. At least I know I can cook one thing that works!
Next up I will try something with this Udiís bread I bought.
Definitely wasnít cheap! Luckily a friend gave me some coupons and another one told me how good it is. So hopefully thatís a good sign!
I have been told to invest in a bread machine. Which is probably true, but I have already bought some new pans, a new toaster, and some new plastic containers.
Throughout this week I will be going through the process of decontaminating my kitchen. I want to have one full cupboard dedicated to my gluten-free food and cooking ware that is free of gluten contamination. The holidays will definitely be an interesting experienceÖ.
Ok, thatís all I have for now. Iím sorry I donít have any new, fun recipes to share with you! But, hopefully soon I will.
Had you heard of celiac before? Is anyone else having to live gluten-free?
Sunday, September 19, 2010
I had a GREAT Saturday! Got to go out to Sweet Tomatoes with my husband, had a fun time at church, and got all of my grocery shopping done for the week at the farmerís market and New Seasons.
But before all of that we went to the Portland VegFest!
If you are in the Portland (Oregon) area, check out the second day of the Portland VegFest today at the convention center! (More info here: nwveg.org/vegfest.php )
There were over 100 vendors passing out free samples of raw, vegetarian or vegan food. I tried almost every single thing (I didnít even try to track the food I ate. There were too many random bites of so many different kinds of food!) The only things I stayed away from were the fake meats. I donít like how they try to taste like meat (I donít eat meat because I HATE it) and I know that they arenít clean. There are a lot of chemicals involved when trying to take something without meat and make it taste like meat!
Special shout-out to Genesis Juices. I didnít get a picture of them, but the apple-ginger juice I tried was out of this world! I have got to find where I can get more!
I didnít get as many pictures as I would have liked because of how many people there were, but here are a few highlights I wanted to share with you.
Yay! Weíre almost to the front of the line!
Before it got so busy.
Sorry for the blurry picture but this vegan marshmallow was too good not to share!
Aubrey holds our swag bag while trying a vegan sausage patty.
The faux meats were Aubrey-approved! Not all of them, but his absolute favorite one was a seasoned tofu bite from Papa Gís Deli.
Raw Squash Hummus (I hate squash, but this was really good!)
THE BEST beans I have ever eaten! Refried black beans that are in various stores around here.
Oh! I also stayed away from the milk alternatives. I donít like milk or any milk-like liquid. But Aubrey was impressed with this hemp milk.
Looking through the brochure of Daveís Killer Bread while waiting in line to try the Sin Dawg.
Sin Dawg = sinfully good! Eaten in moderation!! Or chowed down on with cinnamony remants on your cheeks...
Vega Smoothie Mixes Ė not great on their own, but would be awesome in a smoothie!
Mango Sorbet bar from Turtle Mountain
After enjoying my ďdessertĒ we saw that another convention was going on next door.
We walked in to the free event and received another bag to gather up more free stuff!
Stopped by the Luna tent.
Free samples of spray sunscreen, hand sanitizer, lotionsÖIím there!
They were going to do a kickboxing demonstration near this line to try and win gift cards to P.F. Changís. So we got in line to kill time. I spun the wheel and won a $15 gift card. Aubrey took his turn and won a free kidís meal. But, when he told the girl running it that we donít have kids she let him spin again. Then he won a $10 gift card!
So now we have $25 to spendÖ.I have never been there before. I looked through the menu they had and I have no idea what Iíd actually get there, but it should be a fun adventure!
After trying so many raw, vegan and vegetarian foods I was feeling pumped full of energy.
Donít mind me!
We still havenít gone through everything we got, but here is a sample of what we took home!
This doesnít count all of the food we snacked on throughout the day before coming home!
Here are some up close shots.
We were so wiped from everything that I almost fell asleep at church. Had to come home and hop in bed.
Now Iím off to teach the three-year-oldís! Luckily I am well-rested and wonít fall asleep on them!
I hope you are able to check out events like this near you! It was a LOT of fun.
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
I keep reading and hearing about how wonderful roasted vegetables taste and yet the amount of time they need to cook has put me off from trying them. (Often 30-50 minutes in the oven!)
Well, I finally decided to do it and go all out!
First up I bought some eggplant.
I sliced them, and then drizzled on olive oil, salt, pepper, and a mix of other spices.
Baked in the oven preheated to 400 degrees for 14 minutes per side.
These were okay, but definitely very chewy. Then again, the recipe I used said they would be! Here it is dipped in my favorite condiment Ė mustard!
Next up I bought a parsnip. I have never had one before and I really loved it raw. Itís like a carrot, except a bit sweeter.
I cut it up into pieces and did the same thing (drizzled with olive oil, salt, pepper, and other spices).
Cooked for 40 minutes at 400 degrees, tossing them around every 10 minutes or so.
I actually didnít like these. They were way too sweet. Probably why I still havenít tried sweet potato fries. I donít like my French fries to be sweet! A very strange thing since I have the biggest sweet tooth ever. But some foods just need to be savory.
Next up was a purple cauliflower Aubrey spotted at the farmerís market.
Isnít it pretty?
Covered with the usual suspects. Roasted at 400 degrees for 30 minutes (although I will probably do it longer next time).
This was my favorite! I can finally understand why people like roasting so much! AlthoughÖI donít know if I would do it on a regular basis as I truly am that lazy when it comes to cooking when I want to eat!
While the cauliflower was roasting I stir-fried a mixture of other veggies with some fresh garlic and olive oil.
Added the stir-fried veggies and roasted cauliflower together with some brown rice on the side.
I later decided I truly love brown rice mixed with salsa, even if it doesnít quite fit with the mood of the rest of the meal. It is simply the best way to eat brown rice!
It was a great meal and filling. Although I realized later I should have cooked up some edamame (which is still sitting in my freezer after buying it weeks ago) for some protein. I will try it one day, I promise!
Have you ever had roasted veggies? Do you have any favorites that I should try?
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