Archives for: May 2005
Hooray! It has been too long since my last cooking day! I am so pleased with how today turned out. I was able to take care of everyone as well as get outside for a good 30 minute walk in the sunshine! In fact, after this blog, I am headed back outside.
I have been wanting to make beef jerky for a long, long time. Portable and versatile - it's my kind of O friendly food. I chose to use :
1 pound of ground beef
I chose to use ground beef because it saved time (no marinading overnight needed) and it is cheap (one has to worry about throwing it all away the very first time!) I used the following kitchen tools:
two pizza pans with holes in the bottom
Defrost the ground beef completely. (Defrosting it in the fridge is the safer method.) Sprinkle the salt, pepper, garlic and cayenne pepper over the block of meat as liberally as you like. In my son's case, I seasoned it rather lightly. I think his taste buds are more sensitive than the rest of the family. Crumble and mix the ground beef well together with your spatula or mixing spoon. Set aside.
Cover the bottom of your oven with foil. (Cover it well! The foil will hopefully catch the grease drippings and prevent a smoke filled kitchen. Of course, I had to learn this the hard way!) Preheat your oven to 250 degrees and spray or brush your pizza pans with olive oil or some other non-stick coating.
Place the ground beef between two sheets of wax paper. Take your rolling pin and roll out the hamburger flat. Be careful not to let the hamburger squeeze out from under the wax paper. Using the spatula or some other cutting instrument, cut out short or long strips about one half inch wide. Place the strips on top of the vented pizza pan, making sure air can flow around the strips. Place the pizza pan in the oven and continue until all the ground beef is used up. Using a thermometer, check the oven temperature. If the oven temp is at least 160 degrees (it certainly should be), then lower the temp to 170 degrees. ( According to my info, 160 degrees will kill any unwanted bacteria. I chose 170 degrees to be on the safe side. )
Now, you can keep the oven shut or keep the oven propped open with a wooden spoon, pencil, etc. Air circulation is important, so if you decide to keep your oven mostly shut, then temporarily open the oven during the drying process a few times. During the very last hour of cooking time, leave the oven propped slightly open (3 to 4 inches at least) by sticking a wooden spoon or a pencil in the crook of the door on the side.
When the meat has dried out on top, flip the meat over to allow the bottom to get crispy and dry. Cooking time varies depending on your thickness of meat, etc. My batch took five hours. Pat the meat completely dry and once it has completely cooled, place in a ziplock bag. I allowed mine to cool for a couple of hours before sticking the bag in the fridge. I have heard from different sources that some people simply keep it in a dry cool cabinet and some folks keep theirs in the fridge. I am choosing to keep mine in the fridge.
If you have any questions, I will post the "beef jerky" website on my next blog. I am also going to try and make turkey jerky and see what happens. Both kids would be happy, munching on these delicious bits in the car. What I found to be terrific and efficient, is that this allows me to work on other items while it is drying.
I also made some simple oatmeal raisin and flax seed muffins this morning. I hope to finish up the day by making sweet potato bread in my bread machine. I will use gluten free flour with the sweet potatoes, and ergo have an item two of us can eat.
I guess that is my big discovery for the day. A non secretors and O secretors can have sweet potatoes. They can also have "healthy soda." I know my little guy will be thrilled to be able to eat what his big brother eats, so I may concentrate on friendly combo foods for awhile. A non secretors can also handle a lot more fish than secretors. Happy eating, everyone.
I made two major discoveries yesterday. I have been feeding my little guy too much fiber, and gluten is very much EVERYWHERE.
Certainly, I knew to look for the 'gluten free' labels and I knew to call those 1-800 numbers. I even marched into Happy Wok and inspected their supplies (our favorite fast food chinese resteraunt who caters to individual orders.) By the way, thumbs up to Happy Wok for allowing me to read all of the ingredients in their Chicken Fried Rice. It is possible to order this item without oil, sugar, salt, msg, etc and it still tastes pretty decent. The oil used on their cooking area is soybean oil (hmmm) which is probably an avoid, but since he doesn't react to it, this is a nice compromise.
But I did not know that gluten can be found in the following:
Some herbal teas
Textured Vegetable Protein
Alcohol based soy sauces or alcohol based vanilla
Some curry powders
Red # 40 (I was allowing a lollipop now and then. No more.)
Dry Roasted Nuts (ergo many peanut butters are a problem)
Some shampoos, lotions and soaps
I was suprised at the Canola Oil - for I said "even the organic cold pressed kind?" Yep. Although I think I may just call the company on that one. In fact, during the next grocery shopping trip, I am going to bring a cell phone into the store and call companies right then and there. Meanwhile, my little guy is a very happy and healthy camper at the moment.
July 1st is my goal. I hope that we will truly possess a gluten free kitchen by then. Take care, everyone.
I am not computer savvy. Try as I might, I keep getting e-mails returned. I want everyone to know that I do respond to questions SOONER or LATER. I appreciate the input and I hope that I can help others along the way. So - here's the point: Forget the bounced e-mail - I'll just answer a couple of things here.
#1) Dr. D'damo is an A himself. Ergo, he has an amazing amount of personal insight into this lifestyle. If he has hope for the future, so should you! By the way, we need to take care of both our bodies and our spirits. Please pay attention to both and ask for help wherever you can.
#2) I am far from perfect. One of my biggest imperfections is that I try too hard. For example: I followed the 'gourmet' menu straight out of Cook for Your Blood Type book. For someone who can harldy boil an egg, that was an utterly ridiculous decision! I make things harder than they need to be. For whatever reason, I am simply in too much of a hurry and I need to take baby steps.
I hope that my "mothering" escapades produce chuckles and feelings of "I've been there, too!" I know that it helps me to hear about other parenting challenges. Mothers Unite!
Now for a change of topic........
I want to share what I have recently learned. Food allergies are EXTREMELY tricky. An individual can eat something on Monday and be perfectly fine. But when they eat the exact same thing again the following Monday, the body can then choose to revolt. That's why I want to recommend once again the "Allergy Cooking... and the Elimination Diet" book which I personally purchased from Barnes and Nobles. I also discovered that there is a simple blood test which can check for a comprised immune system.
That's news to me! I have suspected that my little guy falls easily to all invaders (he saw a doctor 16 times during the 2004 year for short term illnesses.) But now we can look for proof! Even if I am wrong, it will help relieve my worries. I am also meeting with a nutritionist tomorrow. She is going to help me plan a menu which covers all of the important bases. Now, I did do this once before with my BTD practioner, but I was unaware at the time of any possible gluten allergies. In fact, I am still not sure. But my insurance will cover this visit, thanks to the referral from our pediatric GI doc.
It is a shame in some ways, because I would rather be paying my btd practioner. On the other hand, I am not walking into that appointment blind. I am going to be bringing the "Live Right for Your Type" book and we are going to menu plan within a very compliant BTD fashion. The pedriatric GI doc mentioned that because my little guy has so many food allergies, it would be easy to accidently lead him into a vitamin or mineral deficiency. Great.
The hopeful side of me says that maybe,,,, just maybe I have been planning appropriately all along. The doubting side says that it would be nice to have some reassurance. Either way, I feel like I have covered all the bases, and if he does experience any unpleasant side effects, I will take a little comfort in knowing that I have done everything I possibly could have.
Now it is just time for trial and error and patience. Ha!!! I want my answers now
I was imagining a beautiful summer day where the wind would roll down the grassy plains and the sun would warm the skin on my face. I was imagining a beautiful meadow dotted with wild flowers where multiple scents combined lightly and effortlessly. I was imagining a time of peace and tranquility where my thoughts were allowed to bloom…..
And then came the shriek. Oh my God, my little one must have finally escaped his crib and broken his neck. I could hear his cries as I raced up the stairs, my stress levels skyrocketing and my guilt factor rising rapidly.
“I pooped,” he said.
“You scared me!” I said as I hugged him and scanned the area for blood.
Whew, I sighed. Thank goodness he just needed a diaper change. I mean HE REALLY needed a diaper change. The gluten free sesame bar that he had devoured the night before did not get digested. Oh well, at least it wasn’t the big D. At least he wasn’t in pain. As soon as he was cleaned up, he rolled over and snuggled into his blanket. Hmmm. All is right with the world.
We see the specialist again tomorrow. Forgive me, I can’t remember what I have or have not shared previously, but to make a long story very short – the doctors are missing something. Let’s cross our fingers and hope that SOMEBODY can explain to me why his body is having such trouble functioning (stomach cramps, constipation, gas, the big D and hives – not to mention his weak immune system and his affinity for short term illness.) Ok, that’s another topic another day.
Take care everyone.
It was one of those days. My gluten free muffins looked like deflated tires. Sadly, they tasted that way too. We were low on groceries and I was low on ideas. Yet, everyone was still hungry and there was no 'extra' money in the till. I decided that it was imperative to zip on over to the grocery store just to pick up one or two items. I hate doing that, because it is such a waste of time. I simply wasn't organized enough to pick up what I really needed. But hey, the outing might just cheer me up.
So off we go to the local store. As I reached in the car to hoist my 35 pound toddler out of his car seat, I noticed a large wet spot at the bottom of his chair. Then I noticed the smell. Oh!! How could his diaper have leaked and why did it have to leak right then? At this point, one has to start laughing. Fate didn't want me in that store at that precise moment. So, back in he goes (thank goodness he didn't throw a tantrum and struggle) and back home we went.
I had reached the point where it was time to stop struggling against the tide. All of my plans and good intentions needed to wait. After plopping the little one in the tub, it was time to throw something together for lunch.
Here's where it finally gets better. I sauteed some onions and garlic together. Then I sprinkled some "Italian seasonings" by Mcormick onto the onion. It immediately started to smell heavenly. At this point I was starting to melt into aromatherapy. Next, I poured in one cup of Swanson Natural Goodness Chicken broth (by the way, I called them. Yes, it is gluten free.) and I brought one cup of brown rice to a boil. I also poured in a large helping of leftover root soup (rutabagas, carrots, onion, garlic, etc.) Did I mention I threw in some freshly sliced mushrooms? Anyway, 40 minutes later, I sprinkled a little more Italian seasoning in, just a little salt, and a can of sardines.
My toddler and I loved it. It was sweet and spicy. And I had never tasted anything like it in my life. To summarize:
and the most important ingredient of all: Italian seasonings by Mcmormick. (Wow. What a difference a few seasonings make!)
The rest of the day didn't seem so bad. As for my O? He asked for a grilled cheese sandwhich on Ezekiel bread. I served him spicy beef along with a dark green salad for dinner to make up for his neutral lunch. The A's had this leftover fish stew for dinner along with some pears. Thank God it is Saturday. It is time to slow down.
My computer has not been cooperating. I am not certain if my e-mails are being sent to their intended destinations. Thank you -- for the gluten free pancake advice. I worked on them today and was happy with the outcome.
Creamy hot rice cereal or rice flour
1 cup of vanilla rice milk
a little brown sugar
a dash of sea salt
I just poured this into my blender - dry ingredients first. Then I mixed the dry and added the wet. I decided that the thicker batter turned out better, so I just kept adding cornmeal until it seemed right. I preheated my pancake grill and brushed it liberally with olive oil. It seems to work better than ghee. I dropped the mixture by tablespoons and cooked it for one or two minutes. Once you flip them, they cook up quickly.
Side note I am assuming that my son is an A nonsecretor. According to typebase 4, corn is an avoid. Yet, when I tested him using the elimination diet method, I did not see any negative reaction to corn. I also discovered that he can NOT handle bannanas. Until I have evidence otherwise, my gluten free recipes will probably contain corn. *
Another side note** My two year old saw a doctor 16 times during the 2004 year. He saw a doctor 9 times during 2005. (6 months). Daycare germs aside, I suspect that this number is relatively high. Does anyone have the stats on the average number of doctor visits for a kid who attends day care? We are getting ready to go back to his "specialist" and have a big heart to heart. (The specialist gave up on a diagnosis previously.) Let's see what he thinks once all of my new data is presented.
Now I believe that sweet potatoes are a neutral for a non-secretor. I can't wait to try sweet potato pancakes!! Until then.........
Something has jinxed me today. My computer has stalled my attempts to do research at every turn. Hmmm, I better listen to this omen, and try again tomorrow!
I have one very important thing to report today. During the weekend, I devoured a pork sausage pizza. Thirty minutes afterward, I noticed that my skin had become very blotchy. My parents, whom I was shopping with, noticed it as well. Twenty four hours later, my body gave me a very clear signal. (I am too embarrased to go into details.) But it screamed at me for eating that pork. If you are curious, you can e-mail me privately and I will tell you. Why?
Why would I share an embarrasing moment?
Because I can't help but think "Aha! Here is where I see the practical everyday proof behind Dadamo's microscope." It is like the American who can suddenly understand Spanish for the first time.
Our body is talking to us; if only we could just listen.
I think this one is even gluten free, but I need to doublecheck on that. It was one of those mornings where I had to substitute- and was delighted to discover that it tastes great! If you are an A secretor, then this is beneficial. If you are a non-secretor, then it is a neutral - so serve it with a big helping of beneficial fruit!
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups of buckwheat flour
2 cups of dried cherries
1 cup of carob flavored rice milk
4 1/2 tsp of gluten free baking powder
a dash of cinnamon
a dash of allspice
a dash of sea salt
brown sugar - as much or as little as you prefer.
Preheat oven to 350 or 400 degrees. At 350, plan on 25 minutes, about 15 or 20 at 400 degrees. Combine dry ingredients including dried cherries. Beat eggs and combine wet ingredients in a different bowl. Add wet to dry and fold batter until all the flour has been moistened. Bake using lined muffin tins. They look like chocolate muffins and are very fluffy! We loved them!
The O had vension breakfast sausage with spinach, black pepper, salt, and a little cayenne pepper. I reheated it from yesterday and added a slice of shredded moz. cheese. He also had one red apple and a muffin. His beverage included grape "soda" (my healthy version).
The A's had muffins, coffee (just mom), watermelon slices and blueberries. My little one is still sick. There is a virus which hit 3 school kids within our street. This nasty virus produces a fever which lasts for five days. That's right, five full days! I feel so badly for him. He is getting as much liquid as he wants to drink and as much garlic as I can get down him. I really don't know what else to do for him. When he refused his tylenol last night (fever of 102), I listened to him. I know that stuff is hard on his liver and his fever was lower than it was before. Where do you draw the line and say - ok - this is the time I need to use conventional rememdies and this is the time I use 'natural' ones?
So much to learn. (Please forgive typing errors - this is a fast one.)
I just got his test results this morning. My little O is a secretor! Part of the reason that I am so happy is due to the fact that I guessed correctly. You see, my oldest son can handle soymilk and likes the taste of spelt. There are other little signs such as strong teeth, his like of O secretor neutral spices, etc. It’s also nice to know that my method of collecting his saliva did not invalidate the results. It took us three separate tries over a period of six hours. I asked him to spit into a wide mouthed cup, gathered the spit with a syringe, and then had to place it in the fridge until 3 ml had been gathered. I was afraid that contaminants would ruin the sample or collecting it at different times might interfere. Now that I know it did not, I have hope for my two year old. It will certainly take me a day or two to collect 3 ml from him.
I have placed my two year old on a lactose free, gluten free, soy free diet. This is more than difficult. To sum it up:
Cooking pumpkin gluten free pancakes was a disaster.
Cooking gluten free pancakes is difficult.
Buying gluten free products at the supermarket is a like going on a treasure hunt!
I have decided to give myself a break and just do the best that I can. Thank God for pumpkin muffins and frozen foods! By the way, I discovered “Ask Karen” sponsored by the USDA. She is a virtual teacher who has all the answers to your food safety questions. It is ok to defrost raw meat, cook it thoroughly, and then refreeze. That will save me a huge amount of time. Right now I have 7 or 8 venison servings for the O in the freezer (with spinach on the inside!) and 5 or 6 turkey servings (also with spinach!) for the A’s.
I will continue to make big salads for myself and feel assured that my kids are getting their veggies through their meat! In my two year old’s case this really matters, as too much meat causes him pain. It can’t get any more opposite in my house! Take care everyone.
Well, my intentions were quite good. (Only beneficial breakfasts and lunches for myself and my children along with neutral dinners were supposed to be on the menu.) We aren't far off. Leftovers accumulated more than I had anticipated and I just hate wasting food. We ended up with a neutral breakfast here and there. I could have solved this problem if I had been able to freeze more individual portions for use at a later date.
Now I have researched this question once before, but I think I would like to take a survey:
Is it safe to defrost frozen raw meat, cook it thoroughly, and then freeze it again?
I buy frozen ground turkey at the store and frozen ground beef. These would make excellent meatballs or "sausages" for my kids. Both are also quite easy to reheat and serve at home. But is it safe???????
Holy moly, did I screw that one up! I tried to make my own version of pumpkin pancakes using gluten free flours. I used way too much pumpkin and nothing held together. Instead of dumping this huge amount of batter down the drain, I poured quite a bit of buckwheat flour into it and threw the rest into muffin tins. Both kids liked the muffins and not all of my time or money was wasted!
At this point I am ready to make a pre-assembled pancake mix. I like amaranth, millet, and arrowroot starch or "powder" as my base. I haven't tried to add ground walnuts yet but I fear the ground nuts may spoil before my flours do. Anyway, the recipe on the back of Bob's Red Mill Aramanth flour is a good one - but since I couldn't find tapioca flour, millet works just fine. These gluten free pancakes turn out small, but they could hold up as "flatbreads" or sandwhich bread if you will.
I also had a ground turkey disaster. I pureed two many vegetables and the 'turkey burgers' would not hold together. I turned my ruined turkey burgers into browned ground turkey and threw it into some tupperware for later use. It dawned on me that it was the perfect consistency for a tuna salad or "turkey" salad sandwhich. I think it would have made a good veggie dip too. Take care everyone.
I need to give credit where credit is due. Thanks Suzanne! I bought some carbonated water, black cherry juice and some 100% pure apple juice and mixed it all together. I didn't tell my son that it was healthy soda, I just handed it to him on a warm 70 degree day. After he had drunk a good bit, I asked him, "Do you like it?"
He looks at me and says, "yeah, I do."
"That's mom's healthy homemade soda you are drinking."
"I like it! I like it!"
"Yep, and since it is healthy, you can have as much as you want."
Later, I wavered on that decision as he seemed to have plenty of energy after drinking that soda!
Tonight, after dinner, he asked Dad to make him some of Mom's healthy soda. Dad made a face which implied "what are you talking about?", but he did it anyway. My son coached him on the ingriedents. It warms my heart to hear him ask about it.
Overall we are doing well. I was able to stick to my Beneficial Breakfast and Lunch rule. My five year old has caught strep throat, and didn't eat dinner at all. On top of that, both he and my husband contracted food poisoning from the buffalo steak. (stomach cramps, - the kind where nothing stops them for 30 minutes and you just drive around on the interstate until your child stops screaming).
I was pretty upset at first and was ready to take the last of the meat back to the butcher. But my husband said that the first buffalo steak was just fine and there is no telling whether the next one will be safe or contaminated. Either way, since it is not a favorite meat for either O, I am getting rid of it. It proves a point everyone on the forum has been repeating...... know your source.
Today, I cooked scrambled eggs with lots and lots of onion, garlic and shredded carrots (food processor made it fast and easy). I also cooked amaranth and millet pancakes. The O can barely eat due to his sore throat so I didn't worry about cooking a complete meal for him. The bannana bread recipe off of this website is fantastic! I think it might considered a bannana cake - but I decreased the sugar and increased the walnuts. Gluten free and beneficial and portable and freezeable! What else can a mom ask for? Take care everyone.
My two year old is really the one I desperately need to take this test, but I figured that I would try to collect the older one's first. With a little luck, the younger brother will want to do what the older brother is doing.
I have to admit. This isn't easy. I also wanted to spread the word. Two different sources from NAP have confirmed that the saliva (forgive spelling errors please) test is accurate no matter what the age of the customer. I am bribing my five year old with avoids (hey, you gotta do what you gotta do) in order to guarantee his cooperation. I am also giving him breaks inbetween "spit collection" and refridgerating the partial sample until I collect enough. I hope this doesn't invalidate the results. But I think we will definately be able to get his test out to Airborne today.
The two year old strategy will be different. He produces a lot of saliva when he sucks his thumb. I hope I will be able to collect enough within the appropriate time period. I am not very confident at this point. If I fail, I might just keep the kit and try again when he is older. There is such a difference between being an A secretor and an A non secretor. If you are a non secretor, there are many more meats one might be able to tolerate and fewer grains.
Yea!! We did it! Sunday was a great day. At the end of the day, the A's were at 90% beneficial foods, and 10% neutral. My O ended with 90% beneficial, 7 % neutral, and 3% avoid. (Ketchup from Hunt's and fruit snacks). After a few minutes of "discussion", I understand his preferences and have adjusted accordingly. I have also discovered that Dr. Phil's little suggestion works wonders!
For example, this morning I cooked a broccoli/ rice soup for the A's. My little guy was not pleased to see so much green on his breakfast plate! I also served 2 slices of red apple, half a glass of carob rice milk and another sippy cup of water. At snack time, he was served 1/2 box of raisins. Needles to say, he was quite hungry by lunch time. I presented the broccoli rice soup along with the other 1/2 box of raisins.
He ate it without complaint! If you are a mother, you will understand how this can be so stressful! You don't know how many times bowls of food have gone flying across the kitchen floor! I am also excited because it's easy to make a big batch of 'base' soup, and then add little things to slightly alter the taste at each meal. The first serving was just soup. The second serving was the same soup reheated with leftover white bean dip added. The third and final serving will be with a can of salmon added.
The first time a dish is cooked, the original soup pot is cooled completely and placed in the fridge. The second serving is taken out of the pot and placed in a fresh, smaller soup pot for reheating. The last and final serving is from the original soup pot once again.
** I should mention that I believe certain folks would say -- that's not safe! Take it out of the cooking dish and put it in tupperware! They may be right. But if crockpots and be cooled down completely and then put into the fridge, I would think that a large soup pot could as well. Anyway, I am not certain. *
My five year old also ate his morning hamburger/hidden vegetable burger without complaint. I allow the ketchup until I can finally make my own or find some at the health food store. I also allow dessert to be whatever they choose, as long as the serving size is within guidelines. I sent bannana bread to school with him. I really debated whether this would be considered a neutral vs beneficial, but in the end I used 5 bannanas and increased the amount of walnuts in the recipe.
Tonight is a busy night. We are invited to a six year old's birthday party. I bought some gluten free cookies for the two year old who will be attending. Dinner will be neutral and fast - creamy hot rice cereal with frozen blueberries for the A's - and Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel bread or hamburger for the O.
Both kids love blueberries, and I think I will serve raw carrots as the afternoon snack.
Thanks for letting me ramble! It's a new system - but I like it so far. Take care.
My two year old approached me while I was typing one of my blogs, grabbed the power cord to my lap top and bit down. I freaked, yelled something unintelligible, and grabbed the power cord out of his mouth.
What possessed him to bite? This morning, he grabbed one of my can openers (with a sharp point used to puncture cans of juice), and pounded on our lovely wooden kitchen table. Again, I ask you, what inspired him?
He is obviously feeling better.
My five year old went to the circus last night with his father. They had a marvelous time, ate lots of junk food, and arrived home past the usual bed time. This morning, my oldest child was completely stuffed up. Was this caused by the animals at the circus? Was it caused by the rainy weather we are having? Or was it caused by the junk food that he ate at the circus? Very interesting......................
Benefiical leftovers were served this morning along with a "pluot" and dried cherries. It was a fast and easy breakfast! It also incorporated a parenting benefit that I had heard about, but never really tried before. Dr. Phil once mentioned that if your child refuses to taste new food (healthy food, mind you), a parent could try serving the exact same meal over and over and over again. No fighting, no yelling, no persuading - simply place the plate in front of the child. If he refuses to try it, so "ok honey, but that is all there is" and place it back in the fridge. Then, serve it again (either reheated or fresh - depending on the type of food it is) and again and again, until the child makes a valid attempt at eating it.
The two year old is eating more of the green minestrone soup each time. The five year old is not thrilled with my healthy hamburgers, but he is eating them. Let's see what lunch brings.
Take care, everyone.