Category Archives: Recipes

These recipes all follow my personal diet: no gluten, wheat, dairy, casein, eggs, walnuts, almonds, pecans, bananas, or avocados. Even though many of these foods are in fact healthy for you for various reasons I have to avoid them, so all recipes included will follow these restrictions. The best part is that I’ve tasted them all and will only post recipes that taste great, so enjoy!

How to Replace Eggs

How to Replace Eggs

Not only can I not eat gluten, but I also can’t eat eggs. Many gluten free breads, pastries, cakes, and muffins that are pre-made have eggs or egg whites in them. And most gluten free baking mixes call for eggs.

So, how can I eat these baked goods? My secret is Ener-G Egg Replacer.
Its a GF product, that is a powder. You simply mix 1 1/2 teaspoons of the powder with 2 tablespoons water, which equals 1 egg.

How does it taste?
If I didn’t tell you I used this substitute in a normal recipe instead of eggs, you’d never know. I use this egg replacer in recipes where eggs are used to leaven.

Where can you buy it?
Most local health food stores carry it. You’ll most likely pay anywhere from $5 to $10 for it, but it lasts a long time because you only use such a small portion at a time.

What is it made of?
Its made of potato starch, tapioca flour, leavening (calcium lactate, calcium carbonate, citirc acid), sodium carboxymethylcellulose, methylcellulose. Calcium lactate is not dairy dervived. It does not contain lactose.

This product does NOT contain: Any ingredients produced using biotechnology, gluten, wheat, nuts, preservatives, artificial flavorings, sugar, cholesterol, dairy, or any eggs or animal protein.

Hope this helps some of you enjoy foods you otherwise couldn’t eat!

Coconut Sorbet

Coconut Sorbet

Even though its a cold, blustery day I thought I’d share this recipe for Coconut Sorbet.
Since I don’t eat dairy, a creamy ice cream treat always hits the spot. Sorbet is one option for those who don’t eat dairy, but this sorbet has that creamy texture like real ice cream because it uses cream of coconut as the base.
I make this tasty treat year round in my ice cream maker (automatic). Enjoy this delicious treat…In fact I’m enjoying it as I post!

Ingredients:
1 can cream of coconut, sweetened
1 (equal to can amount of water)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*Make sure you use cream of coconut, not coconut milk or coconut cream…I’ve made both these mistakes and it does not turn out well.

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together. Pour mixture into ice cream maker. Mix in ice cream maker for 20 minutes. Place in freezer for 6 hours. Then serve with lime zest or chocolate chips, whatever. Enjoy!

* Recipe Source: Cuisine Art Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker Recipes

Slow Cooker Chunky Chili

Slow Cooker Chunky Chili

Because its a winter wonderland here today I thought what could be a better recipe to share than chili?
And not just any chili, but Slow Cooker Chunky Chili!
This chili is certain to warm you right up during these cold winter days and you throw all the ingredients in your slow cooker and when you come home, its hot and ready to enjoy.

Ingredients:
1 pound 90% lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cans (16 oz. each) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup prepared salsa

Directions:
1. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add beef and onions, cook until beef is browned and onion is tender. Drain fat.
2. Place beef mixture, chili powder, tomatoes, beans and salsa into slow cooker; stir.
3. Cover and cook on low 5 to 6 hours or until flavors are blended. Stir occasionally if possible.

I’ve cooked it for 4 hours on high before, but stir more often. A double batch works great for lots of left overs.
I serve this delicious chili with Bob’s Red Mill brand cornbread….Mmmmm Good!

* Recipe Source: Rival Crock Pot Slow Cooker Recipes

Stir-Fried Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Stir-Fried Turkey Lettuce Wraps

I love this recipe for lettuce wraps. Its a perfect quick and fun to eat dinner for a Friday night eating in rather than ordering take-out! It not only, follows my restricted diet (no gluten, egg, dairy, etc.), but its a really light meal that’s low in fat, but filled with tons of flavor. Hope you’ll enjoy these lettuce wraps sometime this weekend!

Ingredients:
1/4 cup soy sauce (GF)
4 teaspoons fish sauce (this stuff is especially pungent, but does add good flavor to the meal, I suggest only using 2 teaspoons though)
4 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small jalapeno or serrano chile, seeded and finely chopped
1 pound ground turkey (lean)
2 large heads Bibb, Boston, or Iceberg lettuce, leaves separated
Rice or oriental rice noodles, limes, and sliced/ peeled carrots and green onions for filling options

Directions:
1. In small bowl combine soy sauce, fish sauce, and sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Set sauce aside.
2. Heat a large skillet or wok on high heat until hot. Add oil and swirl to coat skillet. Add shallot, ginger, garlic, and chile and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add turkey and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until almost cooked through, 5 minutes. Add half the sauce to skillet and stir until meat s cooked through, about 2 minutes. Serve in lettuce leaves with filling options and sauce.

Gluten Free: How to Go GF and Not Go Hungry, Tip 3

Gluten Free: How to Go GF and Not Go Hungry, Tip 3

Tip 3: Know your GF substitutes!

So, you find out you have to go GF and you think I’ll never eat pasta, pizza, bread, cakes, cookies, or pastries again!
Thanks to the huge rise in the availability of GF products you can eat all of these things, just with substitute products.

What is a GF substitute/ product?
GF substitutes and products are processed in factories apart from where they can be contaminated by gluten.
GF substitutes replace the wheat, rye, and barley flour in a product with alternate flours. The alternate flours generally include rice, bean, tapioca, corn, and potato flours. The trick is that generally these flours must be used in combination to achieve the proper texture.

  • You can buy the flours individually and blend your own as specified in a GF cookbook to use in recipes
  • Buy a GF All Purpose Flour to use as a replacement for wheat flour in a recipe
  • Or buy a pre-package GF mix for whatever you want to make

I use all 3 of these methods, but the easiest is to just buy a GF mix for brownies, corn muffins, bread, cookies, oatmeal, etc. My favorite brand of GF mixes and flours is Bob’s Red Mill, but there are a lot of brands making GF products now.

GF pasta is generally made from brown rice and is available at grocery stores that have a health food/ GF aisle. Don’t over cook it and cook with the lid off.

GF cereals, oats, and pancake/ waffle mixes are great options for breakfast.

Hope these GF options help add more great food to your diet!

Gluten Free: How to Go GF and Not Go Hungry, Tip 2

Gluten Free: How to Go GF and Not Go Hungry, Tip 2

Tip 2: Add new foods into your diet.

I’m a firm believer that whenever you cut foods out of your diet you have to add new foods into your diet.
Constantly thinking about all the foods you can’t eat can be seriously depressing on any sort of restricted diet.
So, instead of thinking about what you can’t eat, think about the foods that you can eat.
If the staples of your diet were pizza, spaghetti, sandwiches, muffins, bagels, and chicken fingers and you have to go GF, you’re going to have to introduce yourself to new foods.

First, I suggest trying dishes from other countries.
Maybe you’re the all American meat and potatoes eater, but there is a whole world full of food out there. I’ve always enjoyed ethnic cuisine, but when I found out about all my food restrictions I started paying more attention to what was in various ethnic dishes.
I’ve found that with my restricted diet authentic Thai food, Mexican food, Nicaraguan Food, Indian food, and Japanese food has a lot to offer me. Thai food uses a lot of coconut milk rather than cow’s milk and uses a lot of meat, veggies and rice. Mexican food uses a lot of corn rather than wheat…and on and on. I can’t eat every dish from these countries, but more than many others have to offer.
So, if you’re GF and tired of eating salads why not look up recipes and make dishes from one of these countries, or find an authentic ethnic restaurant in your area. You never know what you could love!

Second, I suggest trying unusually fruits or veggies that seem foreign to you.
I like shopping at groceries that have a huge selections of fresh produce. Every couple weeks I generally like to buy a fruit or veggie that I’ve never had before. Most of the time ‘ll look up how to cook it, peal it, eat it online. If I dislike it, I’m generally out less than $1. But, if I like it then I’ve found a whole new food to add to my diet.

Third, I suggest trying fruits and veggies you disliked as a kid.
Find recipes to make with these foods that enhance the flavor of the food. If you hated green beans as a kid, but your mom only made green beans from a can or cooked fresh ones until they were mush, try them again.
Try fresh green beans sauteed with salt, pepper, garlic, and lemon juice.

Gluten Free: How to Go GF and Not Go Hungry!

Gluten Free: How to Go GF and Not Go Hungry!

Many people get really upset when they find out the extensive list of foods they have to cut out when going GF.
They think no more bread, pasta, pastries, pizza, cookies, cakes…There’s no way I can do that! I’ll be hungry all the time!

I’m here to tell you that you can go GF, eat great food, and not go hungry!
Here are some tips to show you how. Here’s Tip #1…Stay tuned for more tips to come.

Tip 1: Change the way you think about food.
In the past when deciding what to eat your qualifications may have been as follows; It has to taste good.
Think about this mindset though…Eating food just because of taste, only satisfies one part of your body: the taste buds.
But your taste buds are only such a small part of your body.
If that food only satisfies your taste buds, but doesn’t provide your body with anything else that’s kind of a silly reason to eat it and yet many people’s diets are focused solely on what tastes good.

I agree that you should enjoy the taste of the food you eat, but you also have to look at why we need to really eat.
The main reason we have to eat is to fuel our bodies.

Going GF or going on a diet to lose weight often means cutting out many of the foods that you love because they taste good, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll never eat tasty food again.
You just have more qualifications for your food now. Your food must:

  • Fuel your body to its highest functioning potential (meaning GF)
  • Not cause inflammation or an autoimmune response in your body (meaning GF)
  • Taste good

Stay tuned for more tips to come!

Black-Eyed Pea Salsa

Black-Eyed Pea Salsa

Its a southern tradition to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Eve, as good luck in the year to come. This year for New Year’s Eve I wanted to use black-eyed peas in some dish because its tradition, but one that people would actually eat and enjoy.

So, my criteria for a recipe was as follows: it had to include black-eyed peas, it had to be tasty enough that people would eat it and enjoy it, and it had to follow my restricted diet. This is the recipe I made and it was a hit!

The great part about this recipe is that its a salsa and the black-eyed peas add some protein. The left overs are great as a filling in a tortilla as a snack or part of a lunch. The black-eyed peas make it more filling too. This has become a new favorite for me!

Ingredients:
1 can (15 oz.) black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained (I used dried black-eyed peas, soaked and cooked them)
4 green onions chopped
2 tablespoons white sugar (I only used 1 Tablespoon)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 roma (plum) tomatoes chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro chopped
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
minced jalapeno pepper to taste (optional)

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together. Cover and chill at least 6 hours, then serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

Recipe Source: www.allrecipes.com/Recipe/Black-Eyed-Pea-Dip-2/Detail.aspx

Gluten Free: Where’s the Gluten?

Gluten Free: Where’s the Gluten?

Do you notice that your face or stomach area is swollen or looks puffy?
Do you have eczema or skin rashes that never seem to go away?

If you said yes to one of these questions and nothing has seemed to help then you may benefit from a Gluten Free diet!

If you’ve decided to go GF you may be confused as to what foods have gluten in them. So, here’s an extensive break down list.
Please DO NOT let this list scare you! I’ll be following this post in the days and weeks to come with foods, products, and recipes to add into your diet because there are so many things out there you’ll just have to become aware of.

I suggest printing the list and putting it on a note card and carrying it with you at all times in your wallet or purse.

Obvious Sources of Gluten:
Bagels                                            Barley
Biscuits                                          Bran
Bread                                             Cake
Cookies                                          Crackers
Croutons                                       Cupcakes
Doughnuts                                    Flour
Graham Crackers                        Gluten
Muffins                                          Noodles
Pancakes                                       Pasta
Pastries                                         Pie
Pretzels                                         Rye
Tortillas                                        Waffles
Wheat flour, germ, starch

Less Obvious Sources of Gluten:
Unless otherwise noted on the packaging these do or may contain gluten
Alcohol                                         Graham Flour
Couscous                                     Durum
Kamut                                          Malt syrup, extract
Malt Vinegar                              Matzo Meal
Muesli                                          Oats, Oatmeal, Oat Bran
Semolina                                     Spelt
Triticale                                       BBQ Sauce
Groats                                          Beer
Ice Cream                                    Ketchup
Lunch Meats                               Brewer’s Yeast
Mustard                                       Caramel Coloring
Cereal Binding                           Pharmaceuticals
Cheese                                          Chewing Gum
Rice Milks or Syrups                 Sauces
Chocolate                                    Sausages
Couscous                                     Sherbet
Shortening                                  Einkorn
Soup                                             Farina
Soy Milk or sauce                      Vitamins
French Fries                               Whole Meal Flour
Gliadin                                         Yogurt (also frozen)
Soy Milk or Sauce                      Farro

Common Additives that May be Hidden Gluten Sources:
Bouillon                                       Maltose
Caramel  Coloring                     Modified Food Starch
Coloring                                      Mono and diglycerides
Dextrin                                        MSG
Emulsifiers                                 Natural Flavorings
Fillers                                          Seasoning Blends
Flavor Extracts                          Soy Sauce or shoyu
Hydrolyzed plant                      Stabilizers
or vegetable protein                 Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
Maltodextrin

Gluten Free

Gluten Free

Most likely everyone has heard someone they know say they are “Going Gluten Free.” Unless you’ve been following a gluten free (GF) diet for a while or care for someone who follows a GF diet you may be curious as to what this GF thing really is.

In this new segment, Gluten Free, I’ll be demystifying this topic, telling my personal experience with going GF, as well as providing resources, product ideas, and recipes for those following GF diets.

So, first things first…Let’s demystify this GF thing!

What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein that’s found in wheat, barley, and rye. It’s not a grain itself, but is a component of these grains. Gluten is an elastic protein that causes baked goods to bind and makes them light and fluffy.

Why are so many people avoiding gluten?
Gluten itself is not inherently bad for you, but for people who have Celiac or simply have an intolerance to gluten its bad for them. Gluten intolerance and Celiac used to be very hard to diagnose because the symptoms can be synonymous with so many other ailments and diseases. Awareness of these issues has grown tremendously in the last few years and many people are now discovering that they simply “Feel Better” when following a GF diet.

What is Celiac and how is it different that having a gluten intolerance?
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness describes Celiac Disease as such: “Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. What does this mean? Essentially the body is attacking itself every time a person with celiac consumes gluten.”
www.celiaccentral.org/Celiac-Disease/21/

Celiac is determined genetically, meaning that if you have a family member that has it, you’re more likely to have it. Your doctor can see the first signs through a blood test.

Some people may not be able to digest gluten well, but do not necessarily have Celiac. These people are considered gluten intolerant. Gluten tends to be a very inflammatory food, which is one reason that many people feel better when they avoid it.

What are some of the symptoms of Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance?
There are a wide variety of ways that gluten can affect your body. Some of the symptoms of Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance include digestive issues (gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, intestinal pain), fatigue, joint pain, poor weight gain, delayed growth, infertility, depression, thyroid disease, skin rash (eczema). For a Celaic Disease Symptom Checker visit www.celiaccentral.org/disease-symptoms-checklist/

Do you think you or someone you know may benefit from a gluten-free diet?
Do you know you’d benefit from a GF diet but think its too hard?
Don’t stress…I’ll point you in the right direction and give you great resources, recipes, and tips.
Hope you’ll keep following for more info to come in the weeks to follow!