Thursday, March 22, 2012

Quick kitchen tip

I saw this tip on Pinterest . I have no idea if I pinned it or not but I remembered it. You take a rotisserie chicken and skin and debone it. Throw the meat in a stand mixer bowl and it shreds it in only a minute or two. Well, I guess if you use the word shredding loosely, that's true. It definitely breaks it down and much quicker than I can do it. Maybe I did it a little too long because it came out more like ground chicken. But it still worked and saved me a ton of time so I am not complaining, just informing. I put bones and extra tissues in one pile which I freeze until I have enough to make a batch of chicken broth. The skin, I actually give to my dogs as a treat. So nothing is wasted and takes only about 10 minutes total when counting skinning and boning (not counting clean up). which doesn't take too long either.

Pinterest is really quite a wonderful invention! I see so many neat ideas that I wouldn't have found otherwise. Rotisserie chicken gets used a lot here since I am not home enough to roast a chicken. I have tried it in the crock pot and it just doesn't come out very moist. I am all about finding ways to make cooking quicker.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

spicy, dairy free, cheese

I am just over a week into the dairy free portion of my experiment. I bought some almond milk, really not thinking it was going to be that good from what I've heard. It is definitely different than cow's milk, as one would guess, but it's pretty good. I haven't had any on it's own, just with food so I can't tell you if I like it alone or not. I can tell you I don't like cow's milk on it's own so I've never been in the habit of drinking it alone anyway. It's surprisingly creamy feeling. It only has35 calories a cup. I liked that.

On my weekly menu is enchiladas. I like cheese with mine so I looked at a bag of dairy free cheese. It's a small bag for $6 something and the ingredient list didn't look that great to me so I didn't get any.

Having done the raw diet before, I had heard about cashew cheese but never made it. I have an online friend who recently made some so I was ready to try it! But her's was fermented and I didn't think far enough ahead to do that...I didn't think far enough ahead to soak the cashews. Oh well. Such is life.

I didn't follow a recipe. I looked at a few recipes and took what I liked and used it. I added cashews, minced garlic, pepper, chili powder, paprika, lemon juice and water into the blender and let her rip.

I had little chunks in my cheese but I think soaking the cashews would have taken care of that. Here's what it looks like. I used paprika to change it to more orange...but that only worked a little.

It's thick like cream cheese. You can make it thinner or thicker according to how much water you put in it. I gave it a hesitant taste but was's pretty good! It's not identical to dairy cheese, as one would guess. No one would be fooled in a blindfolded taste test but it is good in its own way.

Hey, I just realized I ate this spicy meal without my nose melting! Cool! I haven't been able to eat anything without my nose running like crazy in a few months now. Change is a good thing!

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the enchilada guts were black beans, salsa verde and mashed sweet potatoes. Corn tortillas are gluten free.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

gluten free flax wrap

The book Adam has been reading about wheat (the one that made his decided to give up wheat for 30 days) has a few recipes in the back. I was stumped for dinner one night and the recipe for wraps looked good so I whipped one up. A couple problems though...I don't have a microwave and I was out of eggs. So I had to improvise a bit. Here's the recipe from the book. I'll write about my changes.

Flax wrap

3 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon water
1 large egg

1. Mix together the ground flaxseeds, baking powder, onion powder, paprika and salt in a small bowl. Stir in the 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Beat in the egg and 1 tablespoon water until blended.

2. Grease a microwave-safe glass or plastic pie pan with coconut oil. Pour in the batter and spread evenly over the bottom. Microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes until cooked. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Since I didn't have an egg, I used a "chia egg". I had heard of it but never tried it since I usually have eggs around. Chia seeds are what is used for chia pets. They are actually super nutritious. When mixed with water, they become very gelatenous. You can see how it's forming a layer around the seeds. After a few minutes, it was just one big an egg.

Now, to address the second issue, I used an electric griddle instead of a microwave, guessing on the temp. One thing is that as soon as it hit the griddle, it was bubbling and it made it hard to stretch it out to make a bigger wrap. It took a lot longer to firm up on the griddle than the microwave. I am guessing it probably cooked for about 10 minutes. I flipped it about halfway through. It broke down the center but it was still moldable so I squished it back together and it cooked in one piece.

I will be making these again...and when I do, I will cut the coconut oil in half. It really didn't need that much.

Once it was finished, I filled it with shredded carrots, lettuce, tomatoes and guacamole. Yum! Can I have another??

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

diet update and a yummy sugar free/dairy free ice cream

So here's a little update on my diet. It's still evolving and probably always will be. I had given up white flour and sugar back in August. I didn't expect that I would feel so much better after giving it up. I knew it would be good for me long term but I didn't realize what a difference it would make in the present. Well, I fell off the band wagon when I went to visit family in Sept./Oct. I finally got the will power up to give up sugar again in early December. But I wasn't ready to give up the flour again. It is just too hard.

I didn't really notice a difference when giving up sugar (but have stuck it out these few months since). In fact, by late December, during all the days of festive eating (minus sugary stuff), my body was overloaded by everything and I think was trying to self destruct! I was in so much pain! Literally, every time I took a step, it felt like my body was going to explode. Walking the dogs was really a form of torture for me! That's when I decided I needed to get serious about finding out what was giving my body such a hard time. My first thought was wheat, or gluten. Since I had given up white flour, and really restricted the amount of wheat flour products I was having too and that's when I felt good, it made sense.

I didn't give up white or wheat flour right away. I just tried to switch to more veggies while weaning myself off flour. For a month, I did that and logged my food and how I felt. This will be for the GI doctor later (still doing that most days). Things got a bit better but there was still a lot of pain and discomfort...some days were worse than others. Then after a month (and a few days since I was having a hard time saying goodbye to wheat) I went gluten free.

It's been difficult. I really love bread and that gluten free bread out there is not bread. I really crave bread sometimes! Fresh from the oven, still steaming, with some butter and apple butter. Oh yes, this is the stuff dreams are made of. ;o) But I made the switch. And I have done pretty well, if I do say so myself.

I was hoping for more progress in my health improvement...and quicker too! But it wasn't as fast as last time or as pronounced. But I do definitely see an improvement! I am no longer in pain the vast majority of the time. I do still get really uncomfortable at times...and other issues I have been dealing with are not quite fixed. But overall, I feel so much better that I am willing to give up yummy bread forever to never again feel like I did, it's that much of a difference.

I still feel like I can improve more...the last of my symptoms can be taken care of. At least I hope so. So on Monday, I have also gone dairy free. It's a month long trial I'm doing. If it makes no difference, I will go back to consuming dairy since it's another thing I love. But if it helps, I will also cut it out.

It is difficult to be on such a restricted diet! But I do know there are still a lot of foods that I love that I can eat so I try to concentrate on that instead and not be too bummed when I learn yet another thing I like is now on my no no list.

In honor of that, I am a dessert person. It's unrealistic for me to believe I can go through life without indulging in a dessert every now and then. I have found a few things so far that I can eat and feel like I am not too deprived. Here's one of my most recent finds.

All it takes is a frozen banana, a scoop of almond butter (or peanut butter), a scoop of cocoa and some coconut milk. Oh, and a handful of ice cubes. I didn't really measure anything. Then I blended it up in my blender. The first time I made it, I made it with cream and it came out very silky smooth, like moouse. This time, with the coconut milk, it was more liquidy but same taste. Yum! So good and perfectly healthy!

A little update on Adam: He has given up wheat...not gluten, just wheat. He is allowing small amounts in things like soy sauce, salad dressing, things with maltodextrin, caramel coloring/flavoring, and other ingredient labels that gluten free people can't eat. He is hoping it helps him with his tiredness level. He says he will do it for a month and see how he feels before deciding either way. Crazy! I was shocked when he told me that. He lives on pasta and bread so it will be interesting to see him cope as he gets further along. He hasn't cut out sugar either so he can still have things like no bake cookies...he's been really thinking about that. lol Anyway, I hope he sees an improvement because it would be relly good for him to not be so tired all the time.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

fun with crayons

I got this idea from Pinterest. I love that place! So many ideas!! This was supposed to be my youngest nephew's Christmas present. Well, he's not my youngest nephew now, but at the time he was at Christmas time. Anyway, I didn't have enoug time to get everything done before Christmas and still spend time with visiting family so I let this one fall to the wayside since he's only a few months old and wouldn't know he wasn't getting his present anyway.

Originally, his mom wanted me to make a very colorful quilt, so colorful that there was nothing it wouldn't match. I decided that I didn't want to make a quilt to hang on a wall for a couple of years then be put in a box, forgotten forever. It's too much work for that. So, this was my next's colorful, much more colorful than I probably could have made a quilt.

I had to organize the crayons by color. That part probably took about 20-30 minutes. Then I hot glued them into place on a canvas. That part took the longest. At this point, I quit working on it for about a week or two.

But I finally decided to tackle it and get it out of my house and off my to-do list. I thought this part was going to take the longest but it went pretty quickly. I was warned about flying wax so I put up a painter's cloth and got to work. I didn't grab my camera at first. I thought it would take a while to heat up the crayons enough to start dripping but it started within a couple minutes so I had to jump up and grab my camera.

It was actually fun watching it drip and spill.

This is my favorite section. Some wax flew...but that was about the extent of it.

Merry Christmas, Samerus!
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