Sunday, October 14, 2012

Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets

Cooked up a batch of chicken nuggets the other night based very loosely off this recipe for Gluten Free Nuggets.  I dipped in egg instead of butter and added spices (pepper, lots of garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning). Added potatoes rolled in homemade seasoning salt and olive oil and called it french fries.

Everybody asked for seconds (even the child recovering from the stomach bug).   Sedryn ate more than daddy and he learned to sign "more" just for this occasion.  Sweetness!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Soaked (?!) Baked Oatmeal

I made this for dinner tonight.  Well, to be fair, I started this about 20 hours ago.  It called for soaked grains.

You see, as I've given up bread and most grains most of the time (rice and pasta still come out 1-2 times a week and we make tortillas as a family on Sundays), I've noticed that when I do have grains I go from barely able to hold up my jeans to bloating over the top of my jeans very quickly.

Grains are actually pretty hard to digest!  My family isn't ready to go 100% grain free at this time (not feasible... you should see the amount of food my 3 toddlers put down!), but there are some ways that can make grains easier to digest.  Soaking and using sour dough are two of the best (from what I've read) because they break down the phytic acid (an anti-nutrient.  Plants produce this so you're more likely to pass the seed unharmed through your digestive tract... ahem).

So I tried this recipe for soaked baked oatmeal today.  Yum!  Not too sweet (I used less sweetener), and I added 5 chopped apples to the batter.  Sort of like a mix between apple crisp and apple cake.  The girls both asked for seconds.  I'll be making this again regularly!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Natamycin? Not my sin? Whose, then?

Looks like natamycin is a natural ingredient, produced by a bacteria.  So this one is okay.  But not my favorite ingredient (which I might have to say is "cream".  mmmm.)   The EU only allows it in sausage and cheese.  We Americans haven't restricted it's use as far as I have read.

Powdered Cellulose? In my cheese?

Powdered cellulose sounds okay.  Sounds like they took the green stuff from plants, dried it, and blasted it in a food processor.  Nope.  Not looking good, Mr. Powdered Cellulose.  You just got kicked out of our diet.  Ouch.  How does that make you feel?

It's not bad for you.  You can keep eating it.  The government and nutritionists actually agree on that.  But it is synthetic.  Goodbye, shredded cheese.  I'll make you myself.  And put you in cozy freezer bags.  And tuck you in my lovely freezer.

Vegetable Rennet? What?

It's a naturally occurring enzyme.  As long is it lists a source (vegetable/animal), it is natural.  There's also genetically engineered rennet, which we are avoiding if possible.

Fiesta Taco Casserole by Betty Crocker

I made this dish for our small group last night:

I had to do some editing, obviously.  It took a while to find canned beans and chili that were all natural.  Salsa was a little easier, but I was at the regular grocery store.

Cheese was also an issue.  We're currently eating Trader Joe's shredded cheese, but I didn't look at the ingredients until today.  I'll have to do a bit of research to see if we can continue eating cheese or not!

This dish was super yummy, and I definitely reccomend serving it with tortilla chips since it's a bit saucy and the contrast of textures is great!

We ate Santita's Only $2.00 Tortilla Chips.  It still surprises me when I buy something that is all natural and there's no label that says "All Natural" on it.

Fruit Pectin? What's Pectin?

Fruit pectin is in all of my jelly.  I found this recipe about how to make it:

So yes, it's natural.  Yes, you can make it.  No, I won't be making it.  Yes, we will be eating it.

Potassium Sorbate?? Say What?

Potassium Sorbate is in every jar of jelly/jam in my house.  So we haven't had an PB&J.  I finally decided to look it up.  Is it natural?  If so, why the unnatural name?

Here's a video I found about some research done on potassium sorbate:

The conclusion of the researchers is that Potassium Sorbate is a genotoxic and mutagenic compound.
Genotoxic: damaging to DNA: pertaining to agents known to damage DNA, thereby causing mutations, which can result in cancer.
Mutagenic: An agent, such as a chemical, ultraviolet light, or a radioactive element, that can induce or increase the frequency of mutation in an organism

How about PS in a positive light?

"consumption of potassium sorbate is non-toxic -- even when taken in large quantities -- and breaks down in the body as water and carbon dioxide"

Read more:

Either way, we're not eating it.  It's synthetic.

Processed Sugar Free Dessert

I was making truffles for dessert tonight for small group.  Um... my truffle mixture (unsweetened cocoa, a bunch of honey, and coconut cream) turned out more like chocolate ganache.  What's a girl to do?  Bake a cake to go with it of course!

So here's what I found.  Maple Breakfast Cake. 

Thoughts:  this truly was a Breakfast Cake.  Great soaking up a plate of milk.  Slight hints of cinnamon and maple: but not sweet dessert-like.  The chocolate ganache made this cake dessert.  But still... with a plate of milk and a squirt of maple syrup... an excellent breakfast could be had.  :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Birthday Dinner

We went to Cafe Rivera tonight.  I got what I always get: Goat Cheese Chicken over Pecorino-Infused rice with The Best Green Beans Ever.  Plus we ordered fries as an appetizer because they also have The Best Ketchup Ever.  (It's Cuban Ketchup.  It's so good.  You might just order ketchup and a spoon the next time you go.)
I also tried some of the Hubby's yucca fries.  AMAZING!  And not just because of the ketchup!

After dinner we headed to the coffee shop for a cappucino and a slice of pumpkin bread.  I just assumed it was all natural since they bake their stuff in house.  Hopefully I was right!

Birthday Lunch

Well, I was out this morning for Bible Study so I'm went out to lunch with the kids at Whole Foods!  Mmmm.  Here is what we ordered:
Cooked shrimp sushi
Pepperoni pizza
Cupcakes for the kids
Chocolate pyramid for me!

It was all delicious!

I was disappointed with the store, though.  I thought I could shop there and just buy anything.  It turns out they have artificial flavors and preservatives in a lot of items - especially in cereal!  I had to look at 9 boxes before I found an acceptable cereal.  I'm moving on to Earth Fare.

Crock pot Sweet and Salty Pork

First, I'm not good at recipe writing.  I'm a cook/create on the fly kind of gal... so if I post a 'recipe' here, it can only sort of loosely be called that.

This is what's in the crock pot right now.

Sweet and Salty Pork

Pork loin or pork butt
Enough water to almost cover
A good splash of Tamari sauce (real fermented soy sauce and usually Gluten Free)
A shake of ground mustard (or a squirt of prepared mustard)
A good shake of garlic powder (everything is better with garlic powder...)
Generous slurp of honey

Toss in the crock pot and cook on low for at least 6 hours.  I just sampled a little... yummy....

On a mission

I'm taking this whole food journey a little differently than Karen.  I have been gradually decreasing the amount of unpronounceable preservatives and additives all summer long.  The last thing to go was that loaf of cheap spongy bread-substance.  I used to make all of my own bread and while I loved doing it, with 3 under 4 and the shear amount of bread we go through in a week... it just wasn't feasible to pick up bread making again.  So early last month we ran out of our freezer stash of bread and just quit right there.

Today for lunch for the kiddos:
Half an avocado, some cottage cheese, and a handful of grapes.
Some cottage cheese and leftover green bean mixture (carmelized onions, 1 tomato, some chili powder), and a handful of grapes.
Derek: leftover soup and a frozen smoothie

Honestly, feeding Derek lunch has been the hardest part of this journey so far.  It gets easier... but it's still hard if we don't have leftovers!

My personal mission is to rid my home of processed sugar during this time: only maple syrup, honey, and molasses (yum) allowed.  I feel like processed sugar is influencing my moods, energy levels, and often my 'rewards' for getting something done.  None of those are good influences.

Yesterday and today were epic fails, but not because I have any of that in the house.  All the failures were from stuff we ate while out, the free cookies from the grocery store (not sure how to break that bad habit), the free cupcakes from joining the club at the cupcake store where I buy my milk, and the goodies at Ladies bible study.  Here's to better self-control for me... and a strategy for saying no to those free cookies...

Birthday Breakfast

I refuse to eat "good" food today - it's my birthday!  So for breakfast, I'm having some delicious Trader Joe's Steel Cut Oatmeal (from the freezer section) with dried cranberries and a little maple syrup!  I also discovered that Starbucks' Pumpkin Bread is all natural!  (Their scones are not; neither is the blueberry oat bar.)  I also found a recipe for a homemade, all natural pumpkin spice latte!!  Yay!

I just went with the oatmeal but the pumpkin spice latte is on the list to make.  I just have to make a plan for all the canned pumpkin I don't use in my latte...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Creamy, Chunky Potato Sausage Soup

Dinner: Golden Potato Soup - with a few modifications.  I made enough to serve 8.  I substituted corn for celery.  I used a magic trick to mix the flour and milk (get out your magic tupperware and wand.  Pour milk into tupperware.  Add flour.  Put down wand.  Put lid on  tupperware.  Shake it like you do when you zumba!  Pour mixture into soup.)  I didn't use ham - I used sausage.  And, of course, I added garlic powder. Which should be in practically every savory dish, so add it if in doubt.
My hubby added Frank's Original to spice it up.
Definitely a keeper!  Kids liked it, we loved it!

Refrigerator Lunch

For lunch today, I served thin-sliced apples with melted peanut butter on the side for dipping.  We also ate yogurt (Trader Joe's).  And a Trader Joe's granola bar.  Overall, it was a fairly yummy lunch.  I would say definitely better than good.

What do you love to make for lunch?

Breakfast in a muffin liner

We tried Scrambled Egg Sausage Muffins today.  I wasn't a big fan.  They taste like you think they will - like scrambled eggs that are overdone (because they are baked) with sausage and cheese inside.  I do not think I overcooked these - I think that this is what eggs baked in the oven with no milk added taste like.

Highlights about this recipe:
Gluten Free
Sugar Free

Do you have a delicious breakfast recipe?  I'd love to try it!  Post it in the comments section, please!