Saturday, October 15, 2011

Banana bread with Chia and Flaxseeds

I love banana bread and have been craving it! I made some the other day but it turned out terrible! I don't know if I didn't add enough of a certain ingredient or what, but it was crumbly and it tasted "healthy", not appetizing at all! Yuck! I woke up this morning determined to make my own banana bread. I wanted it to be healthy/healthful, but I hate that "healthy" know, the taste of the smell of any health food store.

So, here you go!

3/4 C. organic raw butter
2/3 C. organic can sugar
4 VERY ripe bananas
3 eggs at room temperature
1/2 C. milk (I wanted to use raw milk in this recipe, but I opted to use almond milk instead.)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 C. GF all purpose flour.I used Mrs. Glee's All-Purpose Performance Blend
1/4 tsp. Himalayan salt crystals
2 tsp. raw chia seeds
2 tsp. raw whole flaxseeds

Grease a 9x5 bread pan. Pre-heat oven to 350*.
In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Once creamed, add in banana, eggs and milk. Mix well until well blended! No chunks of banana. It will creamy.
Add flour, salt, chia and flaxseed into the creamy mixture until well mixed.
Pour mixture into the bread pan. There will be left overs, which I poured into cupcake pans. I made 6 extra little cakes :)
The cupcakes bake fast! I left them in for 23 minutes. The bread pan took 55 minutes.

IF you have any leftovers, store in a container in the fridge.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Salisbury Steak with lemon garlic herb potatoes and green beans

YUMMO! And it was so easy to make from scratch!

Salisbury Steak:
1 lb. ground organic beef
1/3 C. minced onions
1/4 C. gluten free bread crumbs. (I toasted a lot of my Udi's white bread until it was super crispy. I crumbled it up and added Italian spices, garlic, sea salt and pepper)
1 organic egg, slightly beaten
Sea salt

1 white onion sliced into rings
1 tsp. organic cane sugar
2 C. beef broth (I used Edward and Sons. It's GF and vegan. The vegan part doesn't matter since I used an entire lb of meat lol)
3 cloves garlic - minced
3 TBLS. tomato paste
Dried thyme
2 TBLS. gluten free all purpose flour
a few squirts of red wine vinegar
Parmesan cheese

In a mixing bowl, mid together all ingredients for the steak - beef, onions, bread crumbs, egg, sea salt, pepper. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium-low heat and add your EVOO. Form the meat into steak patties and cook - 7-8 minutes each side.
While the meat is cooking, simmer together the beef broth, sugar, garlic, tomato paste, thyme, red wine vinegar and onion slices. After about 15 minutes, sprinkle in the flour and stir constantly so it thickens up a bit. Allow to simmer on low

Potatoes and Green Beans
6 large potatoes - sliced
1 1/2 lbs. fresh green beans - snapped in half
4  cloves garlic
Dried basil
Sea Salt
Lemon juice

In a large stock pot, heat the EVOO. Add minced garlic then potatoes. Let cook for a bit. Add sea salt, pepper, basil and lemon juice. Stirring to get potatoes coated well. Around the last 10 minutes add green beans. I like a crispier green bean so I don't overcook. Coat green beans well. Serve :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Progress Report

Going on 2 weeks here. Subtle, yet MAJOR changes have come about since putting my son on this diet. My husband, who was a bit skeptical in the beginning, has even noticed a difference. My husband is such a connected, caring, loving and involved father to our children. When I told him that not only would we be eating a a bit differently, but also it might up our grocery bill maybe $30 a week extra, he didn't hesitate at all and said anything to cure our son. You see, we don't have health insurance. It is a choice we have made. We don't see medical doctors and we don't use lab/man created medicines. The only way I could see having health insurance being of benefit to our family is using it to see our Chiropractor on a more regular basis than we already do. Really though, it costs $35 a visit for my husband and me and $20 for our children. Think about this, if we were paying $500 a month on health insurance, we would still have a co-pay of $50 a visit. I know this because we use to fall victim into the health insurance scam. It works out better this way, plus we are saving $500 a month!

Anyway, back to my point. Spending a little extra money a week on food that WILL cure my son is well worth it. We have already made certain sacrifices in order for me to be a stay at home mother -- a stay at home mother who home schools our children, at that. Life could be easier if I put my oldest in government operated school systems and put my younger two in daycare. Life could be a LOT easier if I registered our family more so with the state and got all of us on Hoosier Healthwise. Lord knows we would all qualify! We won't though because it is no one else's responsibility to care for my children but my own.

In reality though, I haven't spent more on groceries than usual. Last week's grocery trip cost me around $70.

All gluten free.

Our usual grocery bill normally comes out to be around $60-70 a week at the grocery store. And then I usually spend an additional $40 at the farm, where I get my beef, in season produce, raw cheeses, raw milk, raw yogurt and jams, honey, etc. 

Onto the progress!

As I have mentioned in a previous blog, Iain is talking more. His speech seems to be improving daily! He is speaking in full on sentences. He is more alert and actually GIVES eye contact as he is speaking to you or if you are speaking to him. This is MAJOR! When I would get down on his level, I would literally have to hold his face in my hands in my hands and ask him to give me eye contact. He would for a second and then look away when I would begin to talk. It was so frustrating! Now I don't have to do that. I just say his name and he looks directly in my eyes. We can have a conversation without him getting so distracted or without me getting frustrated. 

Another difference we have noticed is that he isn't AS sensitive to light and noises. When we are at home, he doesn't cover his ears when we flush the toilet. When we are at a store and he has to use the restroom, he will still cover his ears from flushing those toilets. That's okay. There's improvement :) We had a nice day together as a family yesterday. We went to Nashville, IN to enjoy the beautiful Fall day. It was bright and sunny out. Iain didn't have any issues being out in the sun. He was in a GREAT mood! He ran, jumped, skipped...he was a normal little boy who enjoyed collecting rocks and picking flowers. I'm so thankful to my friend, Heather, who showed me the path of gluten free(dom)!  As a side note, I still have been headache free - except when my friend was in town and I went a little crazy when we went out to eat. Pastas, pizzas, desserts...oh, it was amazing. But, the next day I struggled with a migraine. A migraine that was on the verge of putting me into bed  in a dark room with a cold wash cloth over my face. Also, since I have discovered that my headaches are caused by GLUTEN, I have cut out my Coca-Cola addiction. I have been coke free for 4 days now. *shakes* *twitches* No, not really. I haven't had any side effects from cutting it out cold turkey. No need to because it wasn't the lack of caffeine effecting me.

My beautiful family - taken in Nashville yesterday :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Delicious homemade chicken, bacon, artichoke, ranch pizza

Okay, not COMPLETELY homemade. I did use Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free pizza crust mix. But, I did have to mix it, let it set and all that good stuff, so technically it is homemade, right???? :D

1 lb. chicken breast - cooked and seasoned with Italian herbs, sea salt, pepper and a little bit of lemon juice. (I LOVE flavor. If it's bland, I'm not interested. Give me spices, or don't bother) Cut into bite size pieces
An Artichoke or two - steamed and chopped
8 slices of GF turkey bacon
White or red onion chopped
1 bag of Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix (I made it eggless so I added 2 Tbls. of Flaxseed Meal and 6 Tbls. water only because I ran out of eggs this morning and the farm was closed today)
Raw butter cheese - shredded (or any cheese will do, but we're talking health here! Raw cheese is healthy and delicious!)
Homemade ranch dressing -

  • 1 C. buttermilk
  • 1 C. Mayonnaise 
  • 1 C. raw, Greek style yogurt
  • 1 tsp each of dill, oregano and garlic (I added more dill)
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper
Follow instructions on the bag of pizza crust mix. I added extra herbs and spices. I'm not fooling around when I say I have to have flavor. I cannot stand bland food. It's such a waste! While the dough is rising, cook your chicken and bacon. You will want your bacon to be a bit on the crispy side. I don't eat pork. I gave that up a while back. Turkey bacon is an excellent alternative and it tastes better, too. Steam your artichokes. And chop up your onions. The ranch dressing should already be prepared a day in advance. 

I baked my pizza in my cast iron skillet. There are so many great health benefits to cooking with cast iron. Throw out your Teflon junk pans. You're poisoning yourself! Literally. Anyway, before putting my dough in the pan, I drizzled some olive oil and crushed garlic to the bottom. WHOA! It was amazing!

Add toppings in this order: Ranch dressing, onions, cheese, chicken, turkey bacon, artichoke, and top with more cheese. I don't really like TOO much cheese. I maybe used a total of 6 oz. of shredded cheese on the 16" pizza.

So, it really wasn't TOO healthy of a pizza. I could have added more veggies to it. Eh. It was tasty and now I have found my favorite GF crust. It was even better then regular crust.

Okay, and I was able to salvage the stove liner from the kitchen fire last week:


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I almost burnt down my kitchen, but at least I got something tasty out of it!

Today I had a little bit of a mishap. I am terrified of fires. In fact, I have this fear of dying in a fire or drowning in a shallow body of water. Hmmm, I'm thinking I might need to get this analyzed a little more. Anyway, I wanted to make the children something different than the usual oatmeal, fruit and turkey bacon. I kind of get bored making the same thing over and over and over and get the hint. I didn't tell them what I was going to serve them, I just put it on a plate and told them to chow down. Surprisingly, no negative comments or saying, "I'm full" after one bite. My daughter ate every single bit of it up. My son, on the other hand, didn't want the red bell peppers, so my daughter happily took those off his hands.

Turkey links (GF, SF and MSG free), organic peach slices, organic red bell peppers, organic kiwi slices.

The only thing that my son ate differently was that he wanted a banana and raw cheese along with his turkey links, kiwi and peaches. I was okay with that. Everything was eaten and I had to even make myself a breakfast. Normally, I just wait until they're done eating so I can eat their left overs. *Rarely* do they ever eat an entire plate of food.

Then lunch time rolled around. I have never ever had anything catch on fire. Wait. I take that back. One time when I was 5 or 6, I had this genius idea to take a small piece of scrap paper and see if a lit candle would have any type of reaction. Derp. It had a scary reaction, indeed. The tiny piece of paper, that couldn't have bigger than 4" x 4" went up so fast! Maybe that's where my fear of dying in a fire stems from? Who knows. Anyway, that was over 20 years ago. I haven't caught anything on fire in 20 years! *pats self on back* My dear, sweet princess requested fried rice. I can make a mean "flied lice" (I'm Asian, what do you expect?), except for today. -.- I turned on the stove, started to heat my olive oil, added my carrots and celery and POOF! My stove caught on fire! My children heard probably every "curse" word in the book come out of my mouth. My 7 month old was under my feet so I quickly scooped him up and literally tossed him on the couch. I don't do well under pressure and I proved that to myself today. I grabbed my phone - that was in the other room, while my stove is on fire, and call my MOM! WHAT THE HELL COULD MY MOM HAVE DONE?! And to make it worse, I called her house. She works on Tuesday's. HA! I hung up and literally ran in circles around my kitchen island trying to figure out what to do. I turned on some fans. Then I took a stock pot and covered the big flame up and took some smaller pot covers and used those. Hey! My brain was thinking. It worked! My house was is smokey and it stinks. I'm diffusing some peppermint essential oils which seem to be helping a little bit. After that fiasco was over, I calmed down and finished making the fried rice. 

3 C. rice - cooked
Braggs Liquid Aminos
Organic carrots - chopped
Organic celery - chopped
Organic zucchini - chopped
2 eggs - scrambled
Pickled Ginger
Sea salt

  • Cook rice and set aside.
  • In a stock pot, warm EVOO on medium-low heat. Add carrots and celery. DON'T CATCH KITCHEN ON FIRE!
  • Once the veggies are a little soft, add the zucchini, rice, sea salt, pepper and allow to cook for a bit Add the Braggs Liquid Aminos. Don't over cook.
  • Once all ingredients are warmed up, add the scrambled egg and pickled ginger. Allow to cook for 5-10 more minutes. 
  • Serve :)
Some other alternatives: Add chicken, beef, shrimp, pork, whatever. Also, get creative in the veggie department! I usually add onions and peas to the mix, but didn't have peas this time around. Did you know that some frozen veggies have gluten added to them? Pretty messed up. I guess it's fresh of nothing for us now. You can also add fresh minced garlic and/or fresh grated ginger, too. Play it up! The more colorful a dish is, the happier your body will be :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Take a "chill pill"

Today a friend of mine said the following to me, "Don't take this the wrong way and get mad at me. I'm just sayin' that you should chill out. I don't want you to die of a heart attack because you stress out over a single meal."

For some reason, I felt hurt by this statement. I started second guessing myself and wondered if I really was creating "personal drama" like he said I was doing. I mean, am I just blowing this whole thing out of proportion? Is my son really JUST being a 3 year old? Is my mommy instinct off a little bit? It has never failed me once, why would it all of a sudden be out of tune now? It really bothered me. I went out to dinner  tonight with my mom, her husband and my uncle and all I could keep thinking about were the words that were said. "Chill out." "Personal drama." All these silly things kept going through my mind.

I was without my son at dinner and could have easily indulged into the gluttonous of delicious gluten, but had to remain strong for him. I knew at that exact moment that the hurtful words spoken earlier today were  stumbling blocks that I needed to leap over. I declined the bun my burger came on, didn't order french fries because I knew I would use ketchup and was selective with my drink choice. All gluten free...all delicious and healthier-ish. (Give a girl a break! I needed to have that medium steak burger more than you could even imagine.)

I came home and expressed my feelings to my husband. I needed his reassurance, even though I KNEW what we are doing is working! It IS working! In these past 5 days of cutting out gluten, there have been improvements. Not just with my son, but with me, too! I'll get to that in a bit. Anyway, my husband spoke the words that I needed to hear. Food can either heal you or kill you. The foods we choose to eat are going to heal us. This was spoken into existence. For the record, I don't care how anyone else chooses to eat. I don't care if you are eating McDonald's Big Macs with a Diet Coke and an apple pie for every single meal of the day. I. Do. Not. Care. What I DO care about is my family and I will do everything and anything it takes to make sure they are healthy and well taken care of. I understand that our life-style is a bit different then most people's, but it works for *us*. I choose to find a better way for everything. It's in my nature to seek out better options, to live a better life, to do better in everything. I have never been the type of person to give my children, or even myself, a pill to mask issues. Never. I am a true believer in nature's gifts to us. That being said, we have had much success going gluten free! I will continue to do this and so will my children, and I will also refuse to allow anyone to try and degrade my choices for doing so.

Improvement: It has only been 5 days since we have started, but I have noticed some interesting changes. My son is starting to talk more. His words are becoming more clear. He is starting to speak in sentences - legible sentences to not just me, but more people are starting to understand him, including the worker at the eye doctor's tonight. He is also taking better naps. It use to be a struggle to put him down for a nap, so I practically gave up and had the attitude of, if he isn't tired or wanting to take a nap, then I won't force him. We all suffered from it. Now, he has been going down for naps around 2:00pm. I nurse him and tell him that it's time to lay down. He does without a struggle. His tantrums aren't nearly as bad. Oh my gosh! Some days I would lock myself in the bathroom just to get a quick breather in. The tantrums were out of control. Now, these tantrums still aren't all peaches and sunshine, but there is an improvement. Those have been the big improvements I have noticed with him.

Now, with me, I haven't had a single head ache! This is big! I thought my headaches were caused by caffeine addiction. This morning I experimented a little bit just to see if it was just some awesome fluke, so I waited a long time before making my super strong pot of coffee. I waited until 1 pm until I made a pot and I didn't make it nearly as strong. (Think Denny's coffee - ya know, really really weak, practically water.) I still didn't have a headache by the time I made it, but I brewed it because I was craving the flavor. As I do my junkie eye twitch. Normally, I would have had a migraine by this point. Seriously, if I don't get my fix by 10 am, I'm doooooooooomed! Nadda. Nothing. Zilch! This is big time here! All this time I thought it was a caffeine addiction. Who would have thought it was something simple like GLUTEN! That sneaky little bastard of an ingredient!

So, there you have it! I won't chill out because I'm seeing results. I will continue to fight for my children because *I* am their biggest advocate and no one else loves them the way I do. And as far as me stressing out to the point of giving me a "heart attack", I have no worries that will happen. I hear Cayenne pepper can stop that almost immediately. *wink*

Sunday, September 18, 2011

RAW Fruit Leather - yum yum yum!

I have always wanted to make fruit leather - especially RAW fruit leather, but never had any motivation. Why would I spend all that time making it when I could buy a tiny piece of leather at the store for a gazillion dollars?! Pfft. *end sarcasm*
I bought a BUNCH of fresh, organic fruit and while it is delicious and yummy and all those other adjectives, I needed to make "treats" for Iain so he wouldn't feel so left out. I've cut out all candies in the house. Surprisingly, Iain has had no issues with it! Thank goodness because he loves his sweets. So, alas, here is the recipe for our raw fruit leather.

3 large, organic peaches - cut and cubed
1 large, organic mango - cut and cubed
1 lbs. organic strawberries - cut
2 TBLS. raw, organic (local) honey

In a food processor, add all ingredients and puree it.

Then spread it onto a tray and place in your dehydrator. 

Be sure to smooth the puree out evenly or else it won't dehydrate evenly. 

In order for your fruit leather to remain in it's "raw" state, keep your temperature at or under 118*. I dehydrated my fruit leather at 105*. It took 39 hours for it to fully dehydrate. 


There you go! So simple. And it is really tasty! I had to keep it up and hidden away from my children because they kept wanting more. I cut them into individual strips and wrapped them in saran wrap - think "Fruit Roll-Ups". I have a feeling that these are going to go fast so as we speak I have another tray in the dehydrator. This time I'm doing mango, carrot and kiwi! The puree tasted good! :)