Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Peeps...

I have a really funny "before" picture taken last summer of me walking my Aunt's dog on the beach. My sister says it looks like a papararzzi picture of when they are chasing the star for the 'fattie' picture. Yea...not posting that one. A few of you who did a diet challenge with Val last fall have seen it. If you join me I might just show you...or I might not.

Anyway, I love the above picture of me and two good friends Brenda and Elizabeth at Christmas but I want to loose some of those belly pounds that have packed on especially over this last year. I have a few BF's and these are the two I have known the longest. So, this is my 'before' picture. Anyone else want to share??

Went grocery shopping yesterday with menu made and list in hand. And when I got home I changed the menu! That is one thing I like about this diet- it is very adaptable to what I want to eat and what I have in the house. Good food!

PS...I have a secret desire to be a redhead which is why I surround myself with them.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Stepping on the Scale and Kid Tip

I already modified my menu on the fly yesterday and ended up making a variation on a theme for dinner. The salad had arugula mix with goat cheese, avocado, beets and a few pine nuts with lemon/EVOO dressing. I have a spiral slicer and as they say, you get what you pay for. Half way through making beet spirals, it bit the dust and I ended up making diced beets instead. When buying my slicer, I didn't really find a 'good one' on the market so if anyone has any ideas, toss them my way.

KID TIP: Roasted beets are so yummy when sprinkled with some EVOO and salt. Then roast them at 400F for 20 minutes or so. I buy the golden beets when I can find them and my son gobbles them up. They are not as strong as red beets and don't leave a nasty mess all over the kitchen. I 'sell' them as being similar to french fries.

Above is my mid-day snack. I found out though that smoked salmon is out of the picture. I had tried a small bite on Christmas but after eating them yesterday I started wheezing. Not a good way to start out a diet! Bummer..because I love smoked salmon. After while I'll probably try canned salmon to see if it was the 'smoke' or the salmon. This was even additive free! Oh well- still plenty of good stuff I can it!

Today I probably won't vary to much from yesterday since we are digging through the leftovers. I did however make some chocolate covered frozen bananas!!! Although I am sure making a daily meal out of them would not be advised, at the end of dinner, if I am still 100 calories away from 400, i can include those from time to time.

I did make myself step on the scale. If you want to join in on the fun, comment or email me and I'll tell you my starting point. I plan to post a 'before' picture tomorrow.

Flat Belly Diet...GFCF

OK...starting the Flat Belly Diet today. I don't have all the ingredients to do the 'official' 4 day start so I am just re-structuring my meals until I get to the grocery. The thing I love about this is that I eat this way already and it is very GFCF-able. Also, I think I can make a serving for four as indicated in may recipes, and Mark can eat three of them. Or I'll have an extra serving left over for lunch. It is a good way of eating.

I was able to take the general 'rules,' go into my fridge, and make breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. You can get the book, go to the website for the official rules but basically...

Eat 4 times a day
Eat every 4 hours
Eat 400 calories every meal
Eat a MUFA with every meal. (Monounsaturated Fatty Acid.)

Today's journey includes:

2 Eggs fried in EVOO served with a toasted rice tortilla and bit of butter

Gigantic arugula, pear and prosciutto salad with EVOO/lemon dressing

GF crackers with smoked salmon and avocado. Veggies and hummus

Repeat of lunch. (I have oodles of leftovers. I don't plan to do repeats every day.)

I don't agree with 100% with the ideas in the book. They suggest buying cartons of egg whites. I eat whole foods as much as possible and think that the yolks have a ton of good ingredients. They use a fair amount of cheese and milk with meals for protein in the book. I have some goat cheeses that I eat from time to time. But I need protein for breakfast so I think I will be modifying even the 'quick start' which includes cereal and milk each say for breakfast. But there are oodles of meal and snack ideas that either 'fit' or are adaptable for me.

I'll provide pictures as I go along too. And I am giving myself a prize. After I loose X lbs, I plan to buy myself a Vitamix. I have wanted this for quite some time. And the pounds I need to loose are not a small number. I used to want to loose that 5 or 10... its more than that.

If you want to join up with me... post a comment. Could be fun!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Holiday Baking-Banana Bread

About a year ago Penny posted a wonderful 'template' for making GFCF quick breads. Today my holiday baking was 7 mini-loaves of banana bread! Here is the recipe I use, more or less, for a gigantic batch of batter.

Grease and flour (see note) 7 or 8 small loaf pans or two large pans.

Blend well the wet ingredients
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
6 eggs
6 bananas

Mix together
1 package Trader Joe Gluten Free Pancake flour mix (minus the flour used to coat the pans.)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda

Add dry ingredients to wet.

Bake at 350 for approximately 40 minutes to an hour.

  • I grease and flour the pans using the pancake mix. There is just the right amount to coat the pans and make the recipe in one 18 oz. package. Don't skip this step.
  • I use Spectrum Organic All Veg Shortening. I tried 'buttery sticks' and much prefer the shortening.
  • I have tried doing without eggs. They are 'ok' but if you can do eggs, I recommend that. Especially if you are going to give them away as gifts.
  • I freeze bananas. Then when ready to use I partially thaw them in the microwave. The riper, the better.
  • The loaves go from gooey to DONE very quickly. After 40minutes check frequently with a toothpick or knife.

The video below is for your stimming pleasure.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

GFCF Thanksgiving

Here we are again...THANKSGIVING....CHRISTMAS.. which means..STUFFING, COOKIES, MASHED POTATOES WITH OODLES OF BUTTER.... What's a GFCF family to do??!!!

There are lots of ways to make the holidays a 'treat' without having to give in to bad flavor and soggy stuffing. I was watching Rachel Ray Thanksgiving in 60 and realized that I could make most of what she had in her episode with very few adjustments. The pumpkin soup could use GF flour for the roux and the cream could be replaced by coconut milk. You could even make the squash soup I just posted here on this blog in it's place. I have found stuffing difficult with gluten free breads because it tends to get soggy. I like her stuffin' muffins because I think they would dry out easier and make for a better gf muffin.

Everyone in the food world is talking about Gluten free...and it is not a fad. It is seriously helping so many people feel well again! Even Martha's blog is talking about it here on her post about Thanksgiving and special diets.

Aut2Bhome has a wonderful collection of GFCF recipes. The pictures on this post have disappeared but the food is still very yummy.

I am going to post our Christmas dinner that we did last year (Beef Tenderloin!) and some gfcf Christmas crafts over the next few weeks.

Squash Soup

I tried making this soup the other day with canned pumpkin and canned butternut squash. It wasn't even close to the same. I ended up not eating it. Add liquids to your liking. Make it think, thick, more coconut taste...whatever.

Cook 2 butternut squashes. (you can use other types of squash.)
saute 1/2 onion
Add cooked squash
Add chicken broth (I added about 1 cup)
Add coconut milk (I added about 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk. If you add lite, which is fine, you will probably want less broth.)
Add a dash (1 TBS) of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
Salt and Pepper to taste.
You could add cinnamon, nutmeg etc... but I personally like it with just salt and pepper.

Top with toasted pine nuts.

You can find coconut milk in the Asian section of any grocery store. My favorite brands however are 365 or Trader Joe.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

J's Amazing Oatmeal Cookies

My friend J gave me this amazing recipe for GF oatmeal cookies. I actually didn't read to the bottom of her email and have never put them in the freezer although I made an extra batch of dough that I will probably stick there. I also have never added cinnamon or anything else but I am sure that would be yummy! As a note, oatmeal and oat flour is NOT gluten free however Bob's Red Mill makes GF oats. Take them for a whirl in the blender to make the oats into the oat flour.

Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 cup margarine---I'm going to try to make them this week with coconut oi instead and see how it goes...
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup loose brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tbs water, 1 1/2 tbs oil, 1 tsp baking powder mixed together (or egg replacer for one egg)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cup quick oats
1 1/2 cup oat flour
If you are making oatmeal cookies, add 1 tsp. cinnamon and/or raisins, dried cherries, or dried apples. If you are making choc. chip cookies skip the cinnamon and just stir in GFCF choc chips.
Cream together wet ingredients, stir in dry. If it seems really wet, add a little extra flour. Scoop small amounts (about a tsp) onto cookie sheet and pack tightly. Put the cookie sheet in the freezer for about ten minutes then bake for 7-9 minutes at 325 degrees or until set. Let them cool well on cookie sheet before removing. Makes about 2.5 dozen.
I know it sounds weird to stick them in the freezer and then the oven, but for some reason it helps them hold together better without any eggs.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Son Eats Spinach!!!

Ok he drinks it. And don't tell him! One of my favorite food blogs is Happy Foody. Going 100% (or even 50%) raw is probably outside the realm of possibility; however she inspires me to at least eat a bit more 'green.' I have started making 'green smoothies' each day for the entire clan. To start off I have put frozen blueberries in the mix which makes the smoothies purple which is a little less off putting. I mix frozen strawberries and blueberries and a frozen banana with a bit of water to blend. Then I add a couple of handfuls of baby spinach with some additional water and some agave. If you have a 'regular' blender, you need to let it go for quite some time and there might be the occasional spinach leaf that you come across. I am thinking about the purchase of a Vitamix which will not only make great green smoothies but much much more. They cost quite a bit of cabbage though. But I have heard they are a mean machine.

Now don't be scared!!!! I was...but I went for it. And they are delicious. There are many different recipes you can find online and it is great for extra greens you have lying around. Plus, can you get your kid to eat spinach any other way???!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Vitamix Giveaway!!!!!!

You can find a free Vitamix Giveaway here!!!! on Jessie Hawkins blog.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Andrew's Birthday Cake design....

Here is Andrew's design for a birthday cake.
Yes he wants it to say Happy Bday (not Birthday.)
Notice the 'Gold tooth.)
Press the button to see us drawing it using the FB graffiti feature

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Val's Weight Loss Challenge.... and back to school lunches!

I decided to participate in Val's weight loss challenge. I am in a blogging rut on my other blog even though I had two running ideas going including Top Ten Assumptions and the melding of autism and hearing impairment. So I think I'll take a break from the heavy stuff and blog on the weight loss and the 'Extreme Makeover" I am doing on the house. (Later on that in another post.)

My goals for this week are to stay away from the chips: Lays and Chocolate. I also need to drink more water and go for regular walks. A massage on Tuesday won't hurt either!

I just picked up a book today, Japanese Meals On the Go Bento Boxes. GFCF lunches are always so much better when you have FUN with them and go 'outside the box' and just forget the sandwiches. There are lots of places to pick up 'to go' Bento Boxes including Laptop Lunches where I ordered mine. I noticed that Pottery Barn Kids had some interesting looking ones and with this being back to school time I am sure you can find great options at Walmart or Target. The Pottery Barn and Laptop Lunches boxes are phthalate, BPA and lead free. The Laptop Lunches comes with a little cookbook with plenty of ideas! You can see one thing we put together here. There are oodles of ideas on the internet and in blogs!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cream of Chicken Coconut Soup- sans moo milk

Dying for something creamy the other night I whipped the following soup together. Red curry paste is nothing like curry powder. So if you think you wont like it...just try it. Or sub another spice.

cook 16 oz Chicken (thighs) in (approx) 16-20 oz chicken broth. (almost a full Costco size box.)
cut up the chicken after cooked. Scissors make easy work of this! I just stick them in the pot and snip away.

Add 15 oz can light coconut milk, 2 cups peppers (I dumped in a bag of frozen peppers from TJs.) Add other veggies at will. I used frozen corn but (frozen) spinach would be great as well and I noticed some online recipes added corn. Add 1TB of red curry paste. Simmer for a few minutes and enjoy! Oh..Add cilantro as an afterthought...if you like it!

Although this doesn't freeze well, it is wonderful if you store in the fridge for the week and warm it up in the mircowave.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bento Boxes

I found this at Whole Foods but you can buy it online at Laptop Lunches. With gluten and casein free meals, a sandwich is often not the lunch food of choice. One Laptop Lunch lunchbox holds lunch for Andrew and myself with usually an apple or something extra on the side. In here we have:

  • leftover salad
  • cold roasted sweet potatoes
  • rice crackers
  • hummus
  • peas

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hamburger Green Bean Coconut Curry

Those of you who know me know that I am 'good enough gal' and could never write a cookbook because I could not test out the recipes to the degree required. So...that said....I had hamburger and green beans on the fridge. What to do..what to do. DH does not do well with a ton of tomatoes so I didn't want to do the traditional 'stewish' dish. I love coconut milk. You can easily make this dish with frozen green beans...and chicken instead of the ground beef. I would use the curry PASTE and not powder but I'm guessing green curry paste would work as well as the red.

Brown 1 1/2 lb ground beef. Drain to minimize the fat. Brown 1 or 2 onions and 1 1/2 lbs green beans. Put ground beef back in pan and add 1 can (15 oz) tomatoes. (I partially drained these.) Add 1 (15 oz) can coconut milk. Add red curry PASTE to taste. I added probably 1 TBS. Let it cook down 'a bit' and serve on top of brown rice.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pomegranate Cashew Chicken

I combined two recipes last night to make a fantastic dish. As always, my measurements are not exact and entirely various types of chicken, loose on the liquid measurements, add more or less nuts....etc....

Brown eight bone in chicken thighs in a pan and remove to a large baking dish. (I did these four at a time.) Saute one onion in pan and brown 1 cup of cashews. Add 3/4 cup pomegranate juice and 3/4 cup chicken broth. Let it cook down. Add a dash of cinnamon and a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses. Top the chicken thighs with this mixture, cover and cook 'until done.' (I cooked it for approximately 40 minutes at 350 F. Chicken thighs do not get 'over done' as chicken breasts do. )

Serve this on top of brown rice. I also made 'fake mashed potatoes' made from cauliflower instead of potatoes.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Recipes I want to try....

There are all sorts of recipes I read online that I want to I will start a list here. The first blog I am looking at is Lori4SquareMom's Place...this is a flowing document...every changing. feel free to leave a comment on one you would recommend....gfcfefsf friendly please ;)

Cabbage Patch Stew (Crockpot)
Pear and Apple Crisp
Chipolte-Lime Chicken Thighs Jamaican Rice and Peas (Slow Cooker)
Sesame Red Curry Chicken with Bok Choy and Sweet Coconut Rice
Crockpot Gyro
Koren Short Ribs
SuperDuper Spaghetti Sauce

Koren Short Ribs

Sesame Red Curry Chicken with Bok Choy and Sweet Coconut Rice

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Another crockpot winner- Sri Lanka Chicken

I have been flipping through OLD Christmas magazines in an effort to trash most of them. I came across a baked Sri Lanka Chicken Curry in the 1993 December Bon Appetit which I fully intended to make as written but given the schedule that day decided to do in the crockpot- with other modifications of course.

8 bonless chicken thighs (or ANY type of chicken..bone in, out...whatever)
2 cups (more or less) of chicken broth
1 14 oz can lite coconut milk
curry powder (to taste..they all have different flavors)
crushed red pepper (1/8- 1/4 tsp approximately. more if you like things hotter.)
dried onion (not the nasty dip mix)..or fresh chopped onions.
Salt as needed. The chicken broth adds

Cook for about 8 hours on low. If my chicken is frozen I cook it on high for an hour and flip it to low. Thirty minutes or so before done, add diced red pepper and fresh or frozen spinach. If you wish for a thicker sauce, mix cornstarch and water and add to the mixture before serving and stir until thickened. Add fresh cilantro as desired before serving. Serve over rice.

Ginger was also called for in the recipe and I think that would be wonderful but DH does not like ginger one bit...thus I left it out.