Archives for: June 2005
Ka Boom! Crack! It was quite a thunderstorm which hit our area last night. Ten minutes into the storm, we lost power. Since it was right around dinner time, we decided to take a drive away from the storm and eat dinner at the closest Happy Wok or buffet.
Three hours later with the power restored and the kids in bed, I thought "Oh no! My chicken is defrosted completely and I don't know if it will be safe to cook for dinner tomorrow night." (*So who wants to waste money or good food, anyway?) Well, forget tradition! I will use serve it for breakfast along with some pineapple.
I was worried the kids would balk or that even serving it for breakfast might not be the safest idea in the world. But it looked and smelled unspoilt, so I grilled it up and seasoned it with some simple steak salt and placed soy sauce at the table. Neither child wanted the soy sauce, but both children loved having chicken for breakfast.
For lunch, I tried a new lentil salad recipe (lemon juice, walnuts, dried cherries, salt, lentils, olive oil, etc). Unfortunately I didn't like it. Thank you frozen Ezekiel bread and frozen gluten free Rice Almond bread. I quickly whipped up some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches along with one grilled cheese sandwich. Ah well, I will search this recipe site for better lentil recipes.
More than once I have had no choice but to allow an avoid into my son's diet (celiac). With multiple food allergies, it is becoming more and more difficult to stay 100 % btd compliant. I am feeling a little stressed about his health, and I hate to see us back track after so much progress. Eventually I just have to conclude that I simply don't have enough time to research the perfect menu. So, concurrent with Erika's and Suzanne's recent blogs, I think I need to be at peace with our beneficials.
I will continue to hope that I can find a calcium enriched totally compliant beverage for my 2 year A nonsecretor celiac, but I will not be sweating it out anymore!
On the bright side, my 2 year old has much more energy than before the gluten free diet and my five year old is eating fresh blueberries for the first time in his life. Life is pretty good.
With beautiful 90 degree weather, working all day in the kitchen is not as glamourous as it used to be. However, I still have cooking ideas rolling around in my head, so I will share those with you.
#1) If you are going to make waffles or pancakes, then make bread using your bread machine at the exact same time.
#2) Make those neutral dishes a little healthier by adding beneficial ingredients. Try sauteeing onions and garlic and adding them to northern beans. Add a little salt, olive oil, and plenty of green PEAS or blackeye peas to the mix. (I haven't tried this, but I think the flavor of peas and beans would work together.)
Oh dear, I was just informed that if I want to get my daily walk in for the day, that I must take it NOW. Be back soon.
My sons and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I found it very convenient to fix, as I did not know exactly what time dinner would be served. There is a two-hour window here, and it tasted delicious whether one cooks it for 6 hours or for 8.
Two frozen Cornish hens (if my hubby had been with us at dinner, I would have used two crock pots and cooked four hens)
One can of gluten free chicken broth (or water or white wine)
Freshly ground black pepper (an avoid, but ok in small amounts)
Chili pepper (avoid for an A secretor, you can leave it out or add it to individual dishes)
Arrowroot powder as a thickener (optional)
Set your crock-pot to low. Pour in some olive oil and then add onions and garlic. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, chili pepper, basil, and thyme. Add the bay leaf. Add frozen hens into crock-pot any way they will fit! Pour in your chicken broth (plain water is also ok, or certain types of wine) and then add carrots. Sprinkle liberally with all of your spices but leave out the garlic and bay leaf. Adjust top to fit snugly and walk away for six hours.
Using a meat thermometer, test for doneness. I found ours to be done at six hours, but kept on cooking for seven. It’s almost easier to use clean fingers to tear the meat off of the bones versus the traditional fork and knife.
I saved the broth and can’t wait to use it tomorrow with some white rice. I have a spinach salad I need to make as well, so that will work for my “must have greens” addiction.
The kids loved it! Good eats everyone.
Thank you for that tip! I have to admit, my soy sauce, white beans, rice pasta and at the last minute - pea concoction did not please my taste buds! I will try grinding the white beans up with mustard powder and olive oil on a rice cake (gluten free.) I do miss some of my old grains, but it is so hard to pull out three seperate loaves of bread and then spread them with something everyone likes. I think I need another "muffin mania" morning. It would be easy to make three different yet compliant muffins for everyone and store them in our freezer.
I ran across another spice combo that I am going to try tomorrow.
and of course - white northern beans. I am having trouble imagining this one, so we will see. Thanks everyone!
Thank you, my friend from Belgium! Your encouraging words left a big bright spot in my day! I am wrestling with what all families experience at one time or another. It's time for me to expand my roles and take on even more responsibility. Or, it's time for my husband to redefine his roles as our family grows and evolves. In the end, I suspect we will both have to adapt and compromise!
I have been able to prepare meals which encompass all four traditional food groups. We had leftover venision sausage, chicken sausage, pumpkin bread, grapefruit, bannanas and plums for breakfast. Drinks included healthy soda for the kids (prune juice, apple juice and carbonated water - good for both an O secretor and an A non secretor). Mom, of course, starts the day with lemon water and then switches to coffee after the meal.
Lunch today included more of the same leftovers with new fruit thrown in (grapes and leftover grapefruit.) Dinner will include the last of the meat along with sauteed onion and collard greens. Dad won't go for that so I will ask him what kind of veggie he might like. We also have some gala apples that would work with the collard greens, so I will slice those up.
My experiment for tomorrow will be preparing my rice noodles, northern beans and soy sauce. Very simple, but I don't know what to do with white northern beans. I will, however, know what to do with them by the end of the week, because I have already cooked a week's worth in my crockpot! Take care everyone.
I just stumbled across Shelton's gluten free turkey web site. Eureka! During those times when I cannot get to the local grocery store, I now have another resource. I have heard about Shelton's for a long time, but I did not realize what a multitude of products they now produce. The turkey jerky looks very interesting, and thanks to the local school district charging 2.70 for every hot lunch, it is actually less expensive to buy gluten free, antibiotic free, turkey jerky from California! Hooray! No guilt for overspending can be found here! Portable meat is on the way! (Pardon my rambling.)
I cooked up a big batch of white northern beans last night. I plan on cooking rice pasta, veggies, and then adding the beans in with some type of spice. And of course, the question is - which spices? I look forward to experimenting this week. Any suggestions?
Happy Father's Day to all Dad's out there (including my own!) May you all be blessed with sunshine and plenty of time to fish! Take care.
It's an issue that everyone faces at some point in their life. I like what I have accomplished, but how can I keep it going as life demands more and more of my time? How can I keep my children away from the "hot lunches" that the school system provides as more of my time is devoted to earning a paycheck?
How do I find the time to shop properly and visit various health food stores or farmer's markets?
How do I continue to excersise, clean the house, support my children's individual needs and make time for a relationship with my husband?
These lines of thought are inspired by the fact that I took last weekend off. I spent two and a half days acting as if I were single again. Then I dove head first into a week filled with summer classes and the normal deadlines. I also fell off of the wagon and reverted back to some of my older habits (too much coffee, not enough veggies or fruit.)
On a good note, I am incorporating collard greens back into my life. I sauteed one leaf with onion, added chopped up leftover salmon patties and threw in some eggs. It was a very tasty and very nutrition packed version of scrambled eggs.
Lunch was a classic black bean dip with - you guessed it - a chopped up collard green leaf instead of the traditional parsely or cilantro. The traditional chip was replaced with a salted rice cake. Snack will hopefully be a slice of toast with coffee, and dinner will be fish with a rice/veggie combo. I am also craving grapefruit so that will be thrown in there somewhere.
So the thought hits me-- who is going to take over some of these chores when I start spending time at "work?" Who is going to cook my children's lunch or grocery shop properly? Why have I scheduled myself to work seven days a week, and everytime I take a 'day off', life is such a scramble?
I am so silly. Our summer deadlines are different and I am feeling off balance. I just need some time to think, and I will figure it all out. Here I come, second cup of coffee. Good eats everyone.
Holy moly! I just found a 55 page book entitled "partial listing of mainstream gluten free products available through the chicago area" sponsored by the Wheaton Gluten free support group. Fifty five pages! Certainly, its not BTD compliant or milk free, soy free, etc - but the point is - I can now buy so many more things at the store without needing to call every 1-800 phone number on the package. I feel like doing cartwheels!!!
I also just recently learned about an Organic resteraunt in Rockford, IL called Halsa on East Riverside. I like to cook for my family, but on those days when I simply don't have time or the energy, I should find it easier to buy those convenient "back up" products. And things like birthday parties and family outings, do not have to exclude my little guy now - thanks to this 55 page book. Amazing.
Both kids have been with me all week. Breakfast included grapefruit, strawberries, Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin Toast for the O and gluten free corn crunch for the little A. (Dadamo and I differ on this one. He states no corn for the A non-secretor, but I just havent seen any evidence that corn bothers my little guy, yet.) I can honestly say that the corn crunch gluten free cereal is a very empty source of nutrition! I tried to make up for it by offering raisins as a snack: rice noodles, and pinto beans for lunch. I seasoned the rice noodles by using gluten free Swanson chicken broth, salt, a little pepper, a little goat cheese and corriander. My O was offered grilled cheese using Ezekiel Sesame Bread and mozerella. The same fruit was offered to him as well along with Chocolate soymilk.
I am about to switch my gluten allergy kid over from rice milk to almond nut milk. All milk products are enriched so I don't have to worry about the calcium intake. If I were in charge of dinner, I would lean heavily on the veggies. But I am not. I am taking a couple of days off and leaving Dad in charge. He is pretty well versed on what gluten free people can eat, and I have my kitchen organized and labeled. My next challenge will be focusing on fish for lunch (one meal for both kids.) I would still like to make both breakfast and lunch beneficial while allowing dinner to be a neutral. What is really going to be interesting, is the fact that I am NOT making Sunday my cooking day. Ergo, I won't have anything quick and easy ready to roll out Monday. Sometimes, necessity is the mother of all invention! Take care everyone.
It has been difficult transitioning my husband from the old eating habits toward the new healthier BTD lifestyle. In fact, it was such a struggle for so long, that I gave up. I focused on pleasing my children's taste buds while sticking to healthy eating principles. But tonight, I feel as if I accomplished something important. While negotiating the dinner menu, my hubby and I decided to cook the following:
Rice corkscrew pasta
red onion, garlic, carrots, celery
pinto bean dip
Hunts spagetti sauce
Leftover ground beef
iceberg lettuce salad with green leafy lettuce mixed in
The A's enjoyed the pasta with the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and the pinto bean dip. (I had not planned on mixing this all together. I had planned on carrot strips with pinto bean dip. But when I accidently sauteed too much red onion, I creatively threw in the bean dip to soften the overwhelming taste of the red onion. And what do you know, it tasted quite good!)
The O's enjoyed the pasta, ground beef, and traditional Hunt's spagetti sauce. Both of them ate a little bit of salad with French dressing. While I did not like the Hunt's sauce (corn syrup, I believe) or the dressing, I have to admit that this meal is an improvement over the usual fare. If this kind of base meal works for both Mom and Dad, that just maybe I have found a way to slowly transition them into my "healthy" realm. Let's think about the possibilities for a moment:
Black bean, celery, corn with rice pasta Vs. Tomato sauce, beef and pasta
Pinto bean, celery, carrots, onion, garlic pasta Vs. stroganof like sauce, beef and pasta
Chicken, onion, garlic, spice and pasta Vs. Chicken, garlic, cheesy sauce and pasta
I may have to use the sauces my husband prefers until I can figure out how to make tasty alternatives. But the possibilities have got me thinking..........
It was a very peaceful supper. (Of course, my five year old wouldn't touch a thing. He can't stand 'crumbly meat'.) But it was nice anyway. Good eats, everyone.......
It dawned on me this morning that it would be fruitless to bake my usual muffins in this 85 degree heat. In fact, many of the recipes that I could prepare in my sleep no longer offer practical planning solutions. Aha! Summer is finally here! I have been waiting forever! Now that heat plays a factor, here are some of my thoughts:
Dig out those frozen drink recipes
Dig out that waffle maker
Dig out the crockpot
Figure out how to use our outdoor grill
And of course.....
Keep on using the stove top and steamer as needed.
I also spent the morning reorganizing my kitchen cabinets. The gluten free books suggest that you dedicate one shelf cabinet, one freezer shelf, and one refridgerator shelf to completely gluten free food. This will help Dad, babysitters, and grandparents cope with the gluten free situation. It's also helpful to me, because it becomes quite obvious when supplies run low.
It dawned on me that the same exact system would help with the blood type diet, too. It would help teach the kids which foods are "beneficial" long before there are able to read. If your children can actually reach 'their' shelf without help, it also promotes their self esteem. I have labeled my little guy's shelf with Elmo and Cookie Monster Stickers. I think my older child will probably pick out dinosaur stickers. Seeing my kids get excited about "their" food warms my heart.
I chose to sleep on the floor of my toddler's bedroom last night. I made the mistake of allowing him to eat only meat for supper. I fixed green beans along with turkey burgers, (no bun) but he wolfed down the burgers and completely ignored the veggie. Now, I knew better. I knew that I should have stopped his intake of meat and guided him toward other foods. But, I was busy just keeping up with the flow so I didn't bother. At about 10 o'clock, I started to hear him cry. He didn't actually wake up, but it was obvious from watching him that SOMETHING was interfering with his sleep. After going back to bed and getting back up again (more crying), I moved my blanket and pillow to his room. A few soft words and a gentle rub on the back helped him get back to sleep. He cried out a couple of more times during the night but didn't wake.
Several hours into the day, he had his first constipation diaper. One hour later he had the big "D". I turned to my husband and said "This child has trouble absorbing and digesting his food. Eating only meat would constipate any child, but it wouldn't cause this much pain." My husband agreed. We just have to be very diligent and we have to teach him to eat from all food groups at every meal. On the short term, my toddler may refuse to cooperate and go to bed hungry. But, as a mother, I have to start teaching him about the long term right now.
Ok, enough! I hope my readers are still here......
I cooked two batches of gluten free waffles and browned up some defrosted hamburger meat for later use. I also cooked some pumpkin raisin cranberry bread using the bread machine.
2 cups rice flour
4 tsp baking powder
brown sugar - as much or as little as you like
1 - 2 cups nut milk
3 tbl olive oil
Mix the dry. Beat the egg and add the wet. Better the waffle batter be too thick than thin. You'll figure it out after the first batch. Reheat in toaster if possible.
Buckwheat, rice, aramanth, millet waffles
Use the exact same recipe but use more buckwheat flour. Add cinnamon and allspice. If you choose to substitue water for the nut milk, watch out - if it gets too thin your waffles will not pop out of the 'non stick ' waffle maker. They will tear apart instead (the voice of experience......)
I used the pumpkin millet cookie recipe for the bread machine. I haven't tasted it yet so the jury is still out on whether it worked or not. My "master cookbook" idea is working nicely - but it does have a twist that I didn't forsee. For example, my first recipe was turkey cutlets. Since I didn't have any, I just make turkey burgers instead. So now I will take that page out of my notebook and place it in the back section. And since it is too hot to cook "applesauce meatloaf", then I will try grilling applesauce burgers. It all works out in the end.
Take care everyone.
The boys and I had so much fun today. We visited several garage sales, the local farmer's market, and the grandparents! I was delighted to discover "honey sticks". These handmade portable sticks are simply honey enclosed in plastic -see -thru straws which have been sealed at the end. Children (or adults are asked to simply chomp on one end to break open the plastic seal and then suck out the honey. It takes a little effort and coordination, which is perfect. Both kids sucked on their honey sticks and were as happy as can be. Plus, since the honey does NOT pour out of it's stick, my toddler could dump it upside down to his heart's content - without making any mess. Certainly, he could have squeezed that stick purposely and smeared it everywhere had he been naughty - but an innocent child will not 'accidently' create a mess. We managed to enjoy two of them before I decided I was pressing my luck!
Lunch was interesting today. For my O, I warmed up homemade beef jerky sticks on the indoor grill and melted some mozerella cheese on top. I peeled a couple of large carrots and also offered apples on the side. For the A's, I sauteed a little onion, minced garlic with salt. Then I 'rejuventated' some leftover rice noodles (simply a little water back into a small stovetop pan) and added cooked pinto beans along with curry powder. Everybody ate well and I used up leftovers. So here are my tips for the day
(a bit redundant tip I fear, but worth remembering):
Make a week's worth of rice noodles, store in fridge and 'rejuvenate' when needed
Make a week's worth of plain pinto beans in your crockpot overnight.
Make one BIG meat serving you can freeze or keep around for one week.
(meatballs,meatloaf,beef jerky, O friendly chilli, etc.)
Use that bread machine to make A/O friendly breads!
It really helps to plan ahead (and have a can of Shelton's gluten free Turkey Chilli as emergency backup!) Take care, everyone.
Finally - a little confirmation! My long lost relative just informed me that he is a Celiac. Boom. That's all I needed to know. You see, there is a one in ten chance that somebody else within the family will also suffer from Celiac Disease. My little guy just happens to be nine spots down the blood line from my uncle. So , moms, even if the traditional tests keep saying "no", but you feel like something is wrong, trust your inner voice. By sticking to a gluten free diet, I will be preventing my son from suffering from a host of future medical problems. I am going to stick to my guns.