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.
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.