Thursday, December 30, 2010

Eating Out

We haven't really gone 'out' to eat since Rob was diagnosed in August.  However we have found a few fast food options that we love:

Carl's Jr/Hardees Low Carb $6 Burger No Sauces

KFC: Grilled Double Down Sandwich

In N Out Burger: Double Double Protein Style No Sauces extra pickles :-) (If you tell them you have a wheat sensitivity they actually cook your burgers on a separate grill from the rest of the me that is VERY impressive).

So yes you can still enjoy fast food and maintain your Sugar/Grain free Diet.  Hmmm........Now I am hungry lol!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fried Rice

Rob can have BROWN rice on limited occassion we found a 'favorite' recipe
We have found though that it takes FOREVER to cook this way, so we are going to start cooking the rice most of the way then like last 20 minutes or so add the rest of the ingredients.

1 Small Onion Chopped
1 Clove Garlic Minced
1/4 Cup Butter Or Margarine
1 Cup Uncooked Regular Rice
2 Cups Cold Water
2 Teaspoons Dry Instant Chicken Bouillon
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Dry Mustard
2 Medium Stalks Celery Chopped
2 Tablespoons Cut Parsley

Serving Size 6
165 Calories Per Serving
5 Grams Of Fat

Cooking Directions:
In a large 3 quart saucepan stir onion and garlic into the butter until the onion is tender. Stir in the remaining ingredients except the parsley. Heat to a roaring boil. Stirring a few times. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, Cover and simmer 14 minutes. Remove from heat, Lightly Fold or stir in the parsley with a fork. Cover back up and let steam cook for another 10 minutes. Serve warm

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Grain Free Lasagna

We made Grainfree Lasagna the other day
Rob made the Lasagna with his Pasta Maker out of Sorghum Flour

Then for the layers we made:
1# ground beef seasoned with Garlic, Onion, Salt, Pepper, Italian Seasonings
2 small cats of Tomato Sauce
1 can Tomato Paste
1 can Diced Tomatoes
Then we had cottage cheese/spinach
Mozzarella & Colby Jack Cheese
Made Several Layers

Easy & oh so yum!

Socca Bread Turkey Stuffing

We used our Socca Bread/Pizza Crust for the bread
(we made a quadruple batch)
Then dried it out using the oven on low
Cut into cubes

Basically followed a 'basic' cornbread recipe
& added the following
Salt, Pepper, Sage, Thyme, Celery, Chicken Broth
Then baked on 350 for about an hour- hour & 1/2

Thin Mint Cookies

To make thin mints we used our basic Sugar Cookie recipe (see below) added to the mixture
Cocoa (We used Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa & regular) about 1/4 cup each
Peppermint Oil (candy oil) to taste (start small amounts it doesn't take a lot)
Roll out super thin about 1/16" think cut out into shape, we did rounds (we used the pumpkin pie spice cap that was sitting there lol), then bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.  You are wanting them slightly crispy.   Let Cool
For chocolate coating we used melted Sugar Free Dark Chocolate discs mixed in a little bit of coconut oil melted to keep the chocolate thinner.  Then we kept in the fridge until it was time to eat/give away so they didn't melt.

Sugar Cookie
2 cups almond flour or meal
¼ cup coconut flour (helps bind)
¼ cup Quinoa Flour (keeps it moist)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg white
1 cup sugar or substitute (we use Zsweet)
1 teaspoon Vanilla
½ cup butter or coconut oil

Sugar Cookies we cooked for 10 minutes at 350
***to make a crisp butter cookie omit egg white & baking soda)
This is our *base* sugar cookie recipe.
You can add different flavorings such as brown sugar, molasses, chocolate chips, nuts etc and have Chocolate chip cookies.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chocolate Covered Cake Doughnuts

Vanilla (Yellow) Cupcakes

3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons coconut milk
3 eggs
1/3 cup sugar or substitute (we use Zsweet mixed with Sugar Twin)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sifted coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Blend together butter, eggs, sugar, salt, coconut milk & vanilla.  Combine coconut flour with baking powder & whisk into batter until there are no lumps.  Pour batter into greased muffin cups.  Bake at 400 degrees F (205 C) for 15 minutes.  Top with frosting of your choice.  Makes 6 cupcakes.  
For the 'doughnuts' we used a mini bundt cake pan.  

Melted sugar free dark & milk chocolate discs with a little bit of coconut oil (to thin it down, but the coconut oil sets back up so it's not too thin once dried).

Monday, December 20, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup Peanut Butter (we use 365 Peanut Butter from Whole Foods --> It has the BEST flavored Natural Peanut butter we have found)
1 cup Sugar (substitute we used 1/2cup ZSweet & 1/2 cup Sugar Twin)
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes

Coconut Butter Cookies

Coconut Butter Cookies:
(recipe from Cooking With Coconut Flour by Bruce Fife

1/2 cup Butter
1 Cup Sugar 
(we used 1/2 cup ZSweet & 1/2 cup Sugar Twin)
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sifted coconut flour
2 cups grated or flaked coconut (we used unsweetened)
***If you are at High Elevation (around 5000 feet) you may need to add more moisture (you can add about a tablespoon of coconut milk).

Mix together butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Stir in coconut flour & coconut.  Drop spoon-size mounds 1 inch apart on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 18-20 minutes (we did 15 minutes & flattened the mounds down a little) or until golden brown.  Remove from cookie sheet immediately & cool on wire rack.  Makes about 2 dozen cookies. 

We dipped them in Sugar free dark & milk chocolate combo melted w/just a little bit of coconut oil.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Macaroni & Cheese

Guess it would help if I posted the recipe lol
Since Rob can have Brown Rice on occassion, we used some "Brown Rice, Tomato & Spinach Rotini pasta" that we found at walmart, then we added some Velveeta Cheese, a little Heavy Cream for some creamy taste.  It was really good.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Besan (Gram Flour) Puda (Dosa)

Rob was searching for recipes again and found this recipe for a tortilla type shell. It turned out AWESOME!

Here's where he found the recipe, there is also an instructional video:

Makes 5 pudas.

  • 1 cup besan (gram flour) (aka Chickpea/Garbanzo Bean flour)
  • 1/4 cup rice flour (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (we used Sea Salt)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies (chop very finely or you will have large chunks)
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (Italian squash)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (green coriander)  We didn't use Cilantro)
  • About 6 tablespoons of oil to cook
  1. Shred the zucchini with the skin and keep aside.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients togather In a bowl, besan (gram flour), rice flour which helps for the crispness, salt, and cumin seeds.
  3. Add the water slowly to make a smooth batter batter should be consistency of pancake batter or Dosa batter.
  4. Next add the chopped green chilies, chopped cilantro (green coriander) and shredded zucchini. Mix well.
  5. Use a non-stick skillet and place on medium-high heat. To check if the skillet is ready, put a few drops of water on it. If the water sizzles right away, the skillet is ready.
  6. Next pour about 1/2 cup of the mixture on the skillet and spread evenly with a back of spoon. Starting from the center, spread in circular motion outwards until it is evenly spread about 7 inch circles.
  7. When batter start drying. Put 1 teaspoon of oil and spread over gently, using a flat spatula. Lift the puda from one side using a flat spatula (A flat spatula makes it easy to flip the puda). Flip the puda when it turns golden-brown.
  8. Next, press the puda lightly with the spatula all around so the puda cooks evenly. The puda should be golden brown on both sides to ensure it is crispy.
Spresd the batter quick, otherwise batter start drying and cannot be spread.
Serving Suggestions:
  1. You can serve the puda with yogurt, chutney, spicy pickles, or ketchup.
  2. You can also fold the puda with shredded cheddar cheese, sliced tomatoes, or roasted vegetables.
  1. Zucchini can be replaced with finely chopped spinach, shredded potatoes, or very finely shredded cabbage.
  2. If you make the puda without vegetables, do not use rice flour. This will cause the pudas to be very dry.
  3. If you don’t have cilantro, you may replace with ground coriander powder. If you don’t have green chilies, you may replace with red chilly powder or flakes.

Dropping about 1/3 cup of mixture on hot griddle

Spreading the mixture around

Spreading the mixture around:

All Browned up

It's a Quesadilla

Soft Taco :-)

Soft Taco

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chicken Nuggets & Nachos!

Nachos aka Papadum, basically same recipe as the Bhaji just different way of cooking

Chicken Bhaji

Onion Rings

Onion Bhaji

Chickpea Flour/Garbanzo Flour/Besan Flour (pronounced Basin) is the nectar of the Gods :-)  It is AMAZING and you can do so much with it.  We discovered if a few months ago when we were testing out pizza dough recipes.  Well Rob has been experimenting this morning & made Onion Rings this morning.   This is what it is called 'officially'

So see you can be grain/sugar free and still enjoy yummy foods!  Rob is the MASTER of making our meals delic, and I just LOVE that about him.

The recipe is really simply
Besan (chickpea flour)
Seasonings (he used garlic/onion, cumin)
you can also add Baking Powder to make it a little fluffier.  (We use our baking powder substitute).

He has also made turnips bhaji, jicama bhaji

Here's an indian recipe for it:

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cream of Mushroom Soup Chicken w/rice

So Rob can have brown rice on occasion (about once a month) and I wanted something different for dinner so I made one of our 'old' staples we used to eat once a week, but haven't had since August.  Cream of Mushroom Soup Chicken w/rice.

I used our Cream of Mushroom Soup (homemade) recipe we had in the freezer
Cream of Mushroom Soup Recipe
2 Cups Cooked Brown Rice
2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts cubed & cooked (seasoned with garlic/onion powder, salt/pepper)
1/2-1 cup Chicken Stock
Thickened with Arrowroot

Easy peasy & yummy for my tummy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rosemary Pizza Crust

Rob is a pizza addict, HE LOVES pizza.  We have been having it every weekend, we had a recipe we had liked but something in it wasn't agreeing with Rob so he searched and found a couple of recipes that he combined.  So far it's the best recipe!  We have even talked about making a 'cornbread' type bread to have with chili (minus corn of course).

Rosemary (Socca) Pizza Crust

This tasty chickpea-base flat bread is part of the staple fast food diet of the residents of both Nice on the French Riviera and its neighbour Genoa on the Italian Riviera.
There is even an historical rivalry between these two cities regarding ownership of the recipe for this irresistible pizza-like bread. Socca is quick and simple to make and it is an ideal substitute for cereal and grain based breads. Socca is traditionally made in a wood-burning oven using a copper pan, but it is just as good when made in a very hot oven at home.

1 C   chickpea flour (available in health food, Indian and Middle Eastern shops)
1 C   room temperature water
2   Tbs virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp baking powder (optional, as this is not a traditional ingredient, but it does lighten the bread slightly if added)  We used our substitution 
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1   Tbs onion powder
1   tsp ground dried rosemary

Chickpea batter: Sift the chickpea flour into a large mixing bowl and add salt,
pepper and baking powder (if using). Gradually pour in the water, whisking
constantly to eliminate lumps. Then slowly stir in half the olive oil and mix thoroughly
for a minute or two until a runny dough has formed. Add the rosemary and any other
additional ingredients, then cover and set aside while the oven warms, or better still

To cook: Preheat oven to very hot (220C-240C or 430F-470F), then heat a dry, round 50cm (20 inch) pizza dish, or equivalent, for about 5 minutes. Remove and spread the remaining oil evenly over the hot dish. Then pour in the batter, spread out thinly, and immediately bake for 8-10 minutes until bread is firm and starting to brown. Remove the socca bread from the oven, lightly brush the top with olive oil and place under a hot broiler for about a minute until the top turns a golden color and there are a few slightly burnt tips. Slice into pizza like wedges and serve hot.
This delicious bread is meant to be peppery-hot, with a distinct rosemary flavour.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

We made this into a Cheesecake pie :-) Very yummy!

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

* 1 recipe shortbread crust (see recipe below)
* 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
* 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
* 2 eggs
* 1 15 ounce can pumpkin
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* Dried Coconut Flakes(optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch pan with coconut oil.
Press shortbread dough into prepared pan with corn starch dusted fingers (double recipe if you want a thicker crust). If needed, refrigerate for a few minutes until firm.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg just until creamy. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add pumpkin and salt and beat until just blended.
Pour over crust and top with coconut flakes if using. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. Filling should be set but still jiggle slightly if you shake the pan. Cool then refrigerate until cold before enjoying.

Substitute for Sweetened Condensed Milk
1c. instant dry milk (solid)
2/3 cup Sugar substititute
1/3c boiling water
3 T melted butter

In blender, combine instant dry milk, sugar, boiling water and melted butter. Blend until smooth. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. Yields approximately 14 ounces (a little less), about the same as a store bought can

Gluten Free Shortbread Crust:

* 1/2 cup butter, at room temp
* 1/4 cup sugar or substitute
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 tablespoons coconut flour
* 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons corn starch (we used Arrowroot Flour)
* 1/2 cup brown rice flour

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy; add vanilla. Beat in remaining ingredients until a dough forms. Use as directed.

 This Post is Linked to:  Slightly Indulgent Tueday

Monday, November 1, 2010

Do you have to give something up in order to 'diet'?

A blog I read, Maes Monkey Biz (Mariann) wrote this blog, and it really got me thinking. Mae's Monkey Biz: Is Giving Up Something Always the Right Road?: "I am not sure what it was this evening, but something got me thinking. Does Dieting mean Giving Up Something? Or Should it mean that rathe..."

Here was my comment:
My hubby & I recently had to give up Grains & Sugar, not by choice, but because his health & life depends on it. He's diabetic & grain intolerant (inflammatory process). It has been VERY VERY hard at times, one of his favorite foods in Potatoes & he can't have those anymore, but we are slowly finding alternatives to the things we love, tonight we had grain & sugar free pumpkin cheesecake. I know how hard it is to give stuff up and I have done it in the past with trying to low carb etc, but going grain & sugar free hard as it has been, has been one of the best things for my hubby & his health. I think if you truly want to give something up, you can, I just think there needs to be substitutions if that was your 'food crutch' so to speak.

& more of my thoughts on this:
I think a lot of times the reasons diets fail in general is too many people try to give up the foods they love then life or stress happens and you end up going overboard and oftentimes gain more weight back than what you lost. At least that is my pattern. I think if something is truly your 'crutch' or your comfort food, find a healthier alternative. I think it is 'healthier' to think if dieting as a lifestyle change as that is what my hubby and I have done, we no longer have to go down the candy aisle at the grocery store to grab what isnt' good for us anyway, didn't have to worry about eating the leftover halloween candy as we didn't buy any (we only had the doorbell ring like twice so no biggy). Yes we do still eat candy but it is sugar free, sweetened with sugar alcohols or splenda. We are VERY thankful for Russell Stovers (I think that's what it's called) for their wide variety of sugar free candies. It's nice to have a sweet sometimes. Is it frustrating to go to the grocery stores, YES definitely almost every time we go, as we have to check the label on EVERYTHING now and so much stuff has unnecessary CRAP in it, stuff that is not good for you, and not really needed, I mean seriously why do they need to put Sugar in breakfast sausage if it's not maple flavored? GRRR! But it has taught us a lot and helped us be more resourceful in what we eat/cook etc. It's been great as far as that goes.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Who says we can't have your cake and eat it too?

Well since most frostings have sugar in them, we haven't been able to find one without, Rob made us Chocolate Cake today, using our Coconut/Almond Pancake Mix Recipe Found Here:  He added about 1/8-1/4 cup of Cocoa using Special Dark Cocoa, then a little extra sweetener (ZSweet).  Then for the frosting it is any Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe, except for storebought powdered sugar which he can't have he made his own using ZSweet/Arrowroot Powder.  For each cup of sugar (Zsweet) you are going to make Powdered sugar out of then add 1-2 Tablespoons of a starch (arrowroot).  He made it powdered in a coffee/spice grinder :-)  Then he added Cocoa to it.  It's REALLY yummy!  We cooked it in a sandwich maker in our office :-)  So the only calories in the icings if from the butter/cream cheese.

For simplicity here's the recipe all in one spot:
Cake Ingredients:
2 eggs
2 T Virgin coconut oil or butter, melted
2 T milk (can use coconut milk)
2 T Stevia or Zsweet
1/4 t salt
1 T sifted coconut flour
2 T Almond Flour
1/2 t baking powder or substitution (1 part Baking Soda, 2 parts Cream of Tartar. 2 parts Starch (we used Arrowroot flour)
capful or Vanilla
1/8-1/4 cup of Cocoa using Special Dark Cocoa
Blend together eggs, oil, milk, sugar & salt. Combine coconut & almond flours with baking powder & thoroughly mix into batter. Heat 1 T coconut oil in a skillet (we've found about 375 on an electric skillet works well for pancakes. Spoon batter onto hot skillet making pancakes about 2 & 1/2 to 3" in diameter. Batter will be thick, but will flatten out when cooking. Makes about 8 pancakes.

Chocolate Frosting *adjust ingredients as needed to taste
1 package cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar (1 cup of ZSweet, 2 T arrowroot powder, blended in blender or coffee/spice grinder).
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder

  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Grain Free Pizza Crust!

Rob has been wanting pizza for a while, but since pizza crust has grains in it we haven't been able to find it.  Well he went to walmart this morning and came home with all the toppings/cheese etc for pizza...I think it was a hint :-)  So we found a pizza crust recipe that is grain free!   It turned out WAY yummy, but the next time we want to try and let the dough rise a little first.  For toppings we had homemade pizza sauce (1 can tomato sauce, seasoned with garlic/onion powder, italian seasoning, and parmasan cheese), sharp cheddar & mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, bratwurst (sausage) seasoned, olives, sauteed mushrooms and more cheese.  We love toppings!


This crispy pizza crust tastes so delicious that your guests won't know it's wheat and gluten-free.
You can hold a slice in your hand and it won't crumble! You may also shape the dough into four individual pizzas.


1 tablespoon - Gluten-free dry yeast
2/3 cup - Brown rice flour or bean flour
1/2 cup - Tapioca flour
2 tablespoons - Dry milk powder or non-dairy milk powder*
2 teaspoons - Xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon - Salt
1 teaspoon - Unflavored gelatin powder
1 teaspoon - Italian herb seasoning
2/3 cup - Warm water (105 degrees F)
1/2 teaspoon - Sugar or 1/4 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon - Olive oil
1 teaspoon - Cider vinegar
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In medium bowl using regular beaters (not dough hooks), blend the yeast, flours, dry milk powder, xanthan gum, salt, gelatin powder, and Italian herb seasoning on low speed. Add warm water, sugar (or honey), olive oil, and vinegar. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. (If the mixer bounces around the bowl, the dough is too stiff. Add water if necessary, one tablespoon at a time, until dough does not resist beaters.) The dough will resemble soft bread dough. (You may also mix in bread machine on dough setting.)
Put mixture into 12-inch pizza pan or on baking sheet (for thin, crispy crust), 11 x 7-inch pan (for deep dish version) that has been coated with cooking spray. Liberally sprinkle rice flour onto dough, then press dough into pan, continuing to sprinkle dough with flour to prevent sticking to your hands. Make edges thicker to contain the toppings. Bake the pizza crust for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Spread pizza crust with your favorite sauce and toppings. Bake for another 20-25 minutes or until top is nicely browned.
Serves 6.

Crust only: Calories 138, Fat 1 g, % Fat Cal 8%, Protein 2 g, Carbohydrate 30 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 286 mg, Fiber 2 g Exchanges - Carbohydrate 2, Fat 1/4
* Dairy Alternative: 2 tablespoons tapioca flour or sweet rice flour in place of the 2 tablespoons dry milk powder or non-dairy milk powder. However, the crust won't brown as nicely. Source: Special Diet Solutions - Carol Fenster, Ph.D.

Entire meal on a waffle iron

Monday, September 20, 2010

Coconut & Almond Flour Pancakes

Today's Variation:  Coconut/Almond Flour Waffles
Coconut Flour Pancakes
2 eggs
2 T virgin coconut oil or butter, melted
2 T milk (can use coconut milk)
1 t sugar (we used Zsweet instead)
1/4 t salt
1 T sifted Coconut Flour
2 T Almond Flour
1/2 t baking powder (we used this substitution)
capful of Vanilla

Blend together eggs, oil, milk, sugar & salt.  Combine coconut & almond flours with baking powder & thoroughly mix into batter.  Heat 1 T coconut oil in a skillet (we've found about 375 on an electric skillet works well for pancakes.  Spoon batter onto hot skillet making pancakes about 2 & 1/2 to 3" in diameter.  Batter will be thick, but will flatten out when cooking.  Makes about 8 pancakes.

***We quadrupled the recipe and it made us several yummy waffles.

Today we are having Strawberry or Raspberry Freezer jam on it:
Strawberry or Raspberry Freezer Jam
1 16oz bag of strawberries or Strawberries took a hand blender to them
Agave Syrup to taste sweetness
Ultra Gel Modified Food Starch (thickener), as we didn't want to use Pectin as we didn't think it would set up right without sugar.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Coconut Flour Pancakes

Coconut Flour Pancakes
2 eggs
2 T virgin coconut oil or butter, melted
2 T milk (can use coconut milk)
1 t sugar (we used Zsweet instead)
1/4 t salt
2 T sifted Coconut Flour
1/2 t baking powder (we used this substitution)
capful of Vanilla

Blend together eggs, oil, milk, sugar & salt.  Combine coconut flour with baking powder & thoroughly mix into batter.  Heat 1 T coconut oil in a skillet (we've found about 375 on an electric skillet works well for pancakes.  Spoon batter onto hot skillet making pancakes about 2 & 1/2 to 3" in diameter.  Batter will be thick, but will flatten out when cooking.  Makes about 8 pancakes. 

***We quadrupled the recipe and it made us several yummy waffles.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lemon Garlic Dill Tilapia

Tonight for dinner we had Tilapia Fillets with Cheesy Brococli & a nice Salad complete with tomatoes, cucumbers & feta cheese!
For the tilapia fillets we sauteed them in butter, with a little lemon, garlic & onion powder, salt & pepper, and dill.  It was VERY good!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Lessons Learned

All the news of Rob's health finally hit me today, have had a VERY upset tummy :-( I know we will get through this together, but it's still so worrisome.....and I'm a worrier, I get it from my Grandma Briggs & my Mom :-) Makes me wonder what lesson HE wants us to learn from this besides quit eating crappy foods full ...of bad things...hmmm...I think that's it! What a wakeup call though.

It is now 11pm and I have taken a nice hot bubble bath, soaked for about an hour and a half, even dozed off for a bit, until my cat Mercedes was either lapping the water or sniffing my ear...scared me to death lol.  My tummy still hurts and is upset, feels like someone is kicking me in the gut repeatedly.  (No I'm not pregnant).  Rob suggested some sleepytime herbal tea, so am going to go make me a's hoping it works!

Steak Fajitas

Tonight for dinner we had Steak Faijitas
Sirloin Steaks Cut into thin strips & cooked in pan w/a little EVOO & 
Fajita Seasoning (we had McCormick but it's getting tossed as after I used it I checked and it has cornstarch in it EEEK!!!)  Does anyone have a great Fajita Seasoning Recipe?
 --Saute' 1/2 an onion & Bell Pepper again using Fajita Seasoning
I also added some cheese to it.  

Then we also had Green Beans/Diced Tomatoes/Bacon again easy as pie...can of green beans, can of diced tomatoes, crumble bacon in with it.  Rob tells me we normally put onion in it as well, but I will remember next time.  We can't forget the salad...with shredded carrots, radish and Ranch Vinaigrette dressing :-)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Which Sweetener to use?

So the Dr told us not to use Sugar, Splenda, Sweet N Low or Aspartame sweeteners, he also told us not to use Agave as he said it causes never issues (still researching on that one), but to use Xylitol (which is toxic to animals so not sure I want it in my house) or Stevia. Here is an article ab out Xylitol and dogs:  Besides Xylitol is a sugar alcohol and those really do not agree with my tummy (gives me EXTREMELY stinky gas)  So it looks like we have some research to do, we just bought a gallon of Agave on Monday :-(  We love the taste of it, and the fact that it doesn't have an aftertaste.  We did buy a 'pure' Stevia Extract where 1 teaspoon = 1 cup of Sugar and yes it's true it is that strong.  But it's like $20 for 3oz, so we'll see.  Which sweetener do you use?  I'd love to hear from you :-)

Most sweeteners have calories and carbohydrate — Examples are table sugar (sucrose), honey, brown sugar, molasses, fructose, maple syrup, cane sugar, agave nectar and confectioners sugar.
Sugar alcohols
Reduced-calorie sweeteners or "sugar alcohols" include erythritol, hydrogenated starch hydrolysates, isomalt, lactitol, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol. Sugar alcohols contain fewer calories and less carbohydrate than the other sweeteners. The calorie content ranges from 0.2 calories per gram to 3.4 calories per gram (compared to 4 calories per gram for sugar). Many of these are used in foods labeled as "no sugar added" such as ice creams, cookies, puddings, and candy.
Artificial sweeteners
Low-calorie or artificial sweeteners such as ascelfume potassium, aspartame, saccharin and sucralose. You’ll find these in many food products including diet soda, baked products, light yogurt and candy.
Rebaudioside A (rebiana also known as reb-A) is the sweetener derived from the stevia plant and is considered generally recognized as safe for use as a general purpose sweetener. This means the FDA has permitted the sweetener to be sold as a food additive and you may see it sold or listed on labels with brand names such as Truvia and PureVia.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Results Are In....

We went to the Dr today to talk about Rob's bloodtest results and the results were not so good....
1-  Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
2-  Fatty Liver Disease
3-  Microalbuminuria (early kidney disease/damage) Only showing up in urine right now his BUN/Crea levels were both low or low normal.
4-  High Cholesterol not the 'regular kind' but the LDL & HDL are either high/low
5-  High Triglycerides
6-  Severely Vitamin D Deficient "Critically Low"
7-  Heart Attack Risk Extremely High (C Reactive Protein)
8-  High Hemoglobin ALC which means his Glucose has been consistently high over the past 3 months.
9-  Chronic Inflammation  (Elevated WBC but no other CBC levels were elevated)
10-  Insulin Resistant

The Dr does think the Fatty Liver Disease, & Kidney Disease, Cholesterol are reversible with dietary changes (that we've already made), and supplements, and medications.  Now mind you Rob had previously been going to a different PCP Dr who didn't give a rat's butt about his health, Dr. Jones (Alpine Clinic) has been all the supplements and stuff he wants Rob on are about $300 a month!  Eeek!  The good news is our insurance covered 100% a great glucose tester, the test strips, the lancets, so that was nice, and the 2 new prescriptions he was put on are on the Walmart $4.00.  The Dr seemed most concerned with the EXTREMELY low Vit D (5 normal is 80-100) which puts him extremely high risk for lots of things like Rickets, Cancer and more.  The Low Vitamin D explains several of his issues: poor wound healing, increased muscle, joint, back pain, depression, diabetes, allergies, inflammation, high blood pressure, it also puts him at 3x the risk of Multiple Sclerosis.  If you haven't ever been tested for Vit D, I would strongly recommend it, I am deficient as well and feel much better since taking it.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Who said grain free had to be bland & tasteless?

My husband works the graveyard shift so we often have 'dinner' for breakfast this morning was no different, and my hubby graciously fixed everything by himself....what a guy!  We had steak, sauteed mushrooms (yummy), steamed broccoli w/cheese sauce, and garden salad w/homemade dressings.

We made Homemade Barbeque Sauce yesterday without sugar, it turned out really good, so tonight for dinner we are having:

Barbeque Chicken
Quinoa Pilaf
Steamed Veggies
Garden Salad w/homemade dressing

This was my first time cooking with Quinoa and eating it, it turned out really good, I didn't have a green onion or almonds so I substituted a little dried chopped onion and that worked well.  It really tasted good especially since we can't have Rice or Pasta (grains).  This new way of eating is teaching us how to flavor/season our foods a lot better.  Which is exciting and fun.  I don't know who is having more fun, Rob or I.  It's great trying new recipes and substituting things so we can have them.

1/2 cup carrot, diced                             6  cups quinoa, cooked (basic recipe)
1/2 cup green onion, diced                   1/4  cup olive oil
1/4 cup celery,  diced                            2  cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup green pepper, diced                    1  cup almonds, sliced
1/4 cup sweet red pepper, diced           1/4  tsp oregano
salt to taste

Sauté chopped vegetables in olive oil until clear, yet crisp: stir in oregano. Add sautéed vegetables to cooked, hot quinoa, mixing well. Add salt to taste. Dry-roast almonds in heavy skillet until lightly golden. Add almonds and mix. Serves 6-8. Quinoa pilaf served as a side dish with fish or chicken is delicious. Vary the pilaf using your favorite vegetables, or by cooking the quinoa in chicken, fish or vegetable stock instead of water.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cream of Mushroom Soup

We tweaked the recipe found in Betty Crocker's cookbook
1 lb Fresh Mushrooms
1/3 cup Butter (or margarine)
3 T Flour (we used arrowroot flour)
1/2 t salt
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1 can (14oz) chicken broth (we used previously made chicken stock)
1 T dry sherry (if desired)
Freshly ground pepper

Our Tweaks:
1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
1 teaspoon onion powder
Additional salt to taste once cooking
Additional Arrowroot flour to thicken so it was more 'creamy'

1.  Slice enough mushrooms to measure 1 cup, chop remaining mushrooms

2.  In 3 qt saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Cook sliced and chopped mushrooms in butter about 10 minutes (we added salt, minced garlic & onion powder here), stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are golden brown.  Sprinkle with flour & salt.  Cook stirring constantly until thickened.

3.  Gradually stir in whipping cream & broth heat until hot.  Stir in sherry.  Sprinkly with pepper.

Buckwheat Pasta Noodles & Mac N Cheese

Homemade Buckwheat Flour Noodles:
Equal Parts of
Buckwheat Flour/Tapioca Flour (we added 1/2 cup each)
1 Egg
1 teaspoon xanthan gum ---> the secret ingredient ;-)
1/2 eggshell of water (we had to add about double that)
**We think it may need an extra egg next time as it went soft & slimey, but still yummy!

Macaroni & Cheese
1/2" chunk off Velveeta Cheese,
1/4 cup of milk cook in microwave until cheese is melted.
We also added a little bit of pepper but that's optional :-)

Raspberry Vinaigrette

Raspberry Vinaigrette
3 T Rice Vinegar
1/3 cup of light flavor olive oil
2 T raspberry freezer jam
1 t dijon mustard
1/4 italian seasoning
1/4 t black pepper

Oriental Dressing

1/2 cup vegetable oil (we used light flavor olive oil as we can't have veggie oil)
1/3 cup Light Agave
1/4 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (we used 3 T rice vinegar for more of a kick)
1 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard (we added 3/4 teaspoon instead)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon dried minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gun (optional)

1. In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients.

2. Cover and chill.

Makes 1 & 1/4 cup

Grain Free Buckwheat Pancakes

1 c Buckwheat Flour
1/4 c tapioca flour
1 teaspoon Xanthum Gum
1 tsp Baking Powder (grain free)
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg beaten
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp melted butter (or margarine --> margarine is inflammatory so we had to switch to butter)

***It thickens pretty quickly so may have to add a little more water here and there for 'easy' pouring.

Preheat griddle or large skillet (if electric) to 375 degrees F.  Grease lightly with oil.  Griddle is ready when small drops of water sizzle & disappear almost immediately.

Mix dry ingredients together; add egg, milk and butter or margarine, beating well after each addition.

Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto hot griddle. Cook 1 to 1½ minutes, turning when edges look cooked and bubbles begin to break on the surface. Continue to cook 1 to 1½ minutes or until golden brown.
Serve immediately.

Agave Syrup:
1 cup Agave Nectar
1/2 teaspoon Maple Extract

Orange Syrup:
1 Orange Juiced
Zest of Orange
Agave Nectar
Squirt of Lemon Juice
Ultra Gel (Modified Food Starch)

Strawberry or Raspberry Freezer Jam
1 16oz bag of strawberries or Strawberries took a hand blender to them
Agave Syrup to taste sweetness
Ultra Gel Modified Food Starch (thickener), as we didn't want to use Pectin as we didn't think it would set up right without sugar.

They puffed up extremely well and were very yummy!

Grain Free Baking Powder

Well we have starting exploring a bit, and since Baking Powder has Cornstarch in it we wanted to come up with something else, so we found this blog post:
And made our own grain free Baking Powder.  Using
1 part Baking Soda
2 parts Cream of Tartar
2 parts Starch (we used Arrowroot flour) 

The more we become conscientious about searching for things the more amazed I am at how many 'commonly used items' contain grain, such as Baking Powder.  But I am also excited and grateful we can find substitutions.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Seasoned Pork Chops

Since we can't use breadcrumbs any more (grains), I tried something new tonight, I tweaked this recipe:  I used our flour combo (Arrowroot, Buckwheat & Quinoa Flours Combo) and added the following:
1/2 t Onion Powder
1/2 t Garlic Powder
1/2 t Basil
1/2 t Parsley Flakes
1/2 t Italian Seasoning
1/4 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper (my hubby LOVES pepper)

The only thing I left out of the recipe was sugar, by accident, I forgot, I was going to add some agave to the egg mixture to give a slight sweetness to the mixture.   I also added the basil as I found it in another bread crumb recipe.

Then dredged the meat in eggs & then coated with the flour seasoning, and fried with Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the stove top.  It turned out pretty good....I'll let you know what hubby thought of it.

We also had Mixed Veggies, (I picked out & tossed the corn individually --> in the future we will buy the mixes without corn we had just bought this on Saturday) & a Garden Salad w/Romaine/Spring Mix, shredded carrots, shredded radishes, cheese, and a chopped fresh garden tomato.  See living Grain Free can be yummy!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Harvest Pumpkin Spice Cake

Here is our first 'tweaked' recipe:  Even though they say 'bars' they turn out more like a cake. 

Here are our 'tweaks'
Bars/Cake Recipe:
4 Eggs
2 Cups Granulated Sugar (we used 1 & 1/2 cup Blue Agave Dark Syrup)
1 Cup Vegetable Oil (we used 1/2 cup Grapeseed Oil--> even before this we have never used the full amount of oil called for in cakes as we like a 'lighter' textured cake)
1 Can (15oz) Pumpkin (not the pie filling)
2 Cups All Purpose Flour (we used 2 cups of flour mixture (buckwheat, quinoa, & arrowroot)
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cloves
1 cup raisins (if desired)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (if desired) we used 1/2 cup Almond Meal Instead of Walnuts
***We also added Pumpkin Pie Spice to the mix (not sure how much just added to taste)
In tasting it after it was cooked we probably will add a little more Agave next time as well as a little more Pumpkin Spice, but it turned out delicious!

We did not make the frosting so no tweaks there (we didn't have any cream cheese)
1. Heat Oven to 350 degrees Lightly Grease Bottom & Sides of 15x10x1" pan (we used normal cake pan) and used an Olive Oil Spray to grease pan.  We also floured the pan with our above flour mixture.  In large bowl beat eggs, sugar (agave), oil & pumpkin until smooth.  Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger & cloves.  Fold in Raisins.  Spread in Pan.

2.  Bake 25-30 Minutes (Because we used Agave which is 'wet' and has an easy 'browning' temp, we cut the temp back to 325 and cooked for about 60 minutes total, but checked every 10minutes after 30 minutes.

The Journey Begins...

So it has been a tough few days.  On Tuesday we cleaned out a good portion of our pantry, and donated the items we won't be eating any more to Rob's brother Jim.  It was a lot of food as we had just stocked up several times in the past few weeks.  Among the things we gave away were rice, rice-a-roni's, instant potatoes, augratin potatoes in a box, cereals, breads, flour, cake mixes, tortilla chips, tortillas, some crackers.  It was about 6 boxes worth, and we probably have a good 2 or 3 more boxes that we have found.  We also shouldn't eat Margarine so had to switch to butter, we had 2 large tubs of margarine spread so we'll see if his brother wants that or not.   Then Yesterday we went to Good Earth, Rob was really struggling with wanting a piece of his Birthday Cake we had picked up on Monday from Costco (Carrot Cake w/filling), and so we went to go get some of the ingredients to make a cake at home.  We picked up several types of grain free flours Buckwheat, Almond, Tapioca, some Agave Nectar, found some Cod Liver Oil, that doesn't have a nasty fish taste since Rob is supposed to take that now too.  We came home and made a cake. 
We are Rob & Heather, have been happily married for 8 years. Well the day before (August 23rd, 2010) Rob's 40th Birthday we got some scary news from the Dr, he felt that Rob is sensitive/allergic to grains and they were creating a constant inflammatory process in his body. So this is our journey to be Healthy while Living Grain Free! What exactly is a grain free diet? Click Here to see what a Grain Free Diet is All About

Favorite Substitutions

These are some of our favorite substitutions:
When we say we use Baking Powder we use a substitution
Baking Powder Substitution
Our Favorite Sugar Substitute: ZSweet Natural Sweetener
Replacement for regular flour