Category Archives: Gluten-Free

Strawberry Spinach Salad With Maple Glazed Pecans

Adaptability.  It’s all about adaptability.  Take this sweet, crunchy and showy salad, perfect for any get-together, originally from my mother-in-law’s recipe book.  Awesome salad, but originally quite refined.   Substitute maple syrup for white sugar and olive oil for vegetable oil, and voila!  You’ve thrown refinement to the wind!  And retained good taste and stunning looks.  Lookin’ good, girl.  Lookin’ good.  Love the makeover.

The steps, when written out, look a little long, but I hate to leave anything to chance.  The salad is delicious, always goes over well at potlucks, and isn’t hard to make.

Don’t be afraid to adapt.  Don’t be afraid to adapt recipes.  Eat real.  Eat well.  Live well.

P.S.  Salad shown without the delicious poppy seed dressing.  Can’t remember why.

strawberry pecan salad 3

INGREDIENTS

For the salad:

1 pound of fresh baby spinach or spinach chopped into bite sized pieces

1 cup of celery, diced small

1 quart of fresh strawberries, sliced or quartered

For the glazed pecans:

½ cup maple syrup

1 ½ cup whole pecans

For the poppy seed dressing:

⅔ cup white apple cider vinegar

½ cup maple syrup (you may like a little more than I do)

3-4 green onions (with tops), chopped

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons dry mustard

2 cups olive oil

3 tablespoons poppy seeds

INSTRUCTIONS

First, place the spinach, diced celery, and fresh-sliced strawberries in your prettiest glass serving bowl.  Set aside.  You can even do this the day before for convenience.

Second, glaze the pecans:

  1. Lay out a large sheet of waxed paper, about the size of a cookie sheet, and grease it well with a little coconut oil or olive oil.  Alternatively, you may use a silicone baking mat which will not need greased.
  2. Put the maple syrup and pecans in a large, heavy skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for about 7-8 minutes.  Time will vary, but cook the pecans until the syrup caramelizes and gets sticky and bubbly.  Err on the side of overcooking (but do not burn).
  3. Remove the pecans with a slotted spoon to the greased waxed paper or silicone sheet.
  4. Allow to cool.
  5. Break up into pieces to sprinkle onto the salad.  Set aside.  You may also do this the day before and store separately.

Third, make the poppy seed dressing:

  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a food processor or blender. (Do not yet add the olive oil or poppy seeds.)  Blend until smooth.
  2. With the food processor still running, add the 2 cups of oil in a slow, steady stream until smooth and thick. The dressing will be a light green color.
  3. Fold in the poppy seeds.
  4. Chill.  (You may have extra dressing.  The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for about ten days, although it will thicken due to the cold.  Allow it to come to room temperature for a thinner consistency.)

Finally, put the salad all together:

  1. Top the salad mix in the pretty bowl with the glazed pecans.
  2. Drizzle on the poppy seed dressing just before serving, using only as much dressing as you desire.
  3. Toss the salad to mix.  Serve.  (Alternatively, serve the dressing on the side, and any leftovers will keep better.)

Family “gustar” report:  The whole family votes thumbs up for this salad.

I hope you try this recipe and love it as much as we all do!  Please, give real food a try!

Terri

NINE Fantastic Tips to Get and Keep Your (Stubborn) Family Eating Whole, Real Food

MG Diet Disgust Photo 1

Originally, my family initially cut out all processed foods, grains, and dairy for my health, but the unexpected improvements to each family member that followed were eye-opening!

My family wasn’t exactly clapping or panting eagerly like bushy-tailed puppies to eat in this new way. Pant. Pant. Pant. “What’s for supper tonight, Mom? We’re so excited to eat cut apples and oranges for dessert again.” Pant, pant.

Uh, no.

Instead of cute puppies, think Jurassic Park—where that little, deadly dinosaur, the dilophosaurus, would stare, posture, and then spit and attack swiftly. That’s more like it…

So how can you keep the dilophosauruses from spitting in your face and killing your efforts? How can you get panting puppies drooling over dinner?

Sheer tenacity. Don’t give up and use every tactic in the book. Listen to me. Insulin pumps and bypass grafts aren’t pretty. Your family can dig in their heels in denial till they’re knee deep in China, but the fact of the matter is that diet matters

Check out my NINE TIPS to get and keep your family eating good, real, whole foods by clicking here to go to the full article, “Does Your Family Have Diet Disgust?” It’s in Molly Green Magazine, and they display it with such nice graphics.  Below, I’ve given teasers from each of the methods.  So, if you have a moment, click on over and read them in their entirety!  All the photos here come from Molly Green Magazine (click here to see the magazine cover).

(As always, you know I care about people feeling good and functioning well so they can live their lives with fullness, richness, and contentment.  And I’d write no matter what, but from Molly Green Magazine, I do get a free membership for contributing.)

1.  The Cry-and-Speak Method

If you’ve stood with your head bowed, scraping what you thought was a perfectly good meal (which required effort to make!) into the trash while the cupboards are raided for some immediate post-dinner potato chips… (more)

2.  The Raised-Voice Method

…Sometimes, don’t ask me why, people just don’t think you’re serious until you raise your voice… (more)

3.  The Long-Route Method

What about eating out… (more)

4.  The Hiding Method

People like familiarity, and hey, we should have the comfort we expect in our own homes… (more)

5.  The Out-of-Groceries Method

…You’ll be reminded ten times when you’re out of crackers, and you just say, “Okay. Thanks for telling me.” You don’t need to say more. And you don’t need to buy any more either… (more)

6.  The Don’t-Mention-It Method

My kids informed me that they wished I hadn’t told them we were changing our diet. They suggested that if I had done it slowly and methodically, they probably would not have noticed… (more)

7.  The Involvement Method

If your husband doesn’t normally eat fruit, before you head to the store, ask him, “Which fruit do you want me to get for you…You’ll be surprised what a pointed question like that does to the psychology… (more)

8.  The Recognizing-Needs Method

It’s normal to have some food absolutes. Foods you can’t live without. (And foods you can’t live with!) Identify those for each family member, and allow for those, especially at first… (more)

9.  The Familiar Method

Make familiar recipes that require no or only subtle changes to be healthy. Some recipes are super easy to adapt! The recipes that don’t taste the same when adapted? Skip those for a few months or more. Come back to them later and try them again; you’ll be surprised how taste buds adapt. Some people just need familiar foods, not exotic experiments… (more)

 

What do you think?  Do you use these methods?  What I’d leave out?

Eat well.  Be well.  And if you were following the last few posts, you know I have to say, “Think well.”

Warmest wishes.

Whole Grain Copycat Muffin

Grain-free gluten-free flax muffinsThis hearty muffin goes great with eggs for breakfast or with your soup for lunch!  It reminds me of a bran muffin, and the chia and sunflower seeds give it a whole grain like crunch!  It is not a sweet muffin, but the recipe can easily be adapted (omit the chia and sunflower seeds) to make this into a lemon poppy seed or orange-walnut cranberry muffin if you’re adventurous!  All yummy!

Sometimes when recipes I try from the internet don’t work out, I wonder what gives!  So I like to try to be clear in my directions; I want you to get the same results I do.  When I measured the dry ingredients, I was very particular for this recipe.  I gently tapped the measuring cups on the kitchen counter to get the flax and arrowroot powder to settle down.  Then I filled the cups again to the top and tapped again, leveling off if needed with a flat knife.  I have made this muffin with maple syrup, almond milk, and palm shortening substitutions.  I prefer to make this in our blender, but I’ve also made it with an electric hand mixer.  All of these variations work (the palm shortening requires lots of immersion), but the recipe as typed up below is what we prefer best and is the most tasty.

Whole Grain Copycat Muffin

Makes 10-12 muffins

1 cup of finely ground golden flax
1/2 cup arrowroot powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 T whole chia seeds
2 T chopped sunflower seeds
3 eggs
1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup of olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. In the blender, blend together all of the wet ingredients.  (This may alternatively be done with an electric hand mixer or immersion stick blender.  Mix until the wet ingredients are well-blended and bubbly.)
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the blender and blend until well mixed.
  5. Pour into lined muffin tins.  I fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full.  I get 10-12 muffins.
  6. Bake for approximately 15 minutes.  Ovens vary greatly so monitor and check for doneness with a toothpick or knife inserted in the center.

Family “gustar” report:  6/6.  I was happy the now finicky toddler ate them!  My husband liked them drizzled with a little honey.  The older kids liked them plain.

I hope you have a wonderful day today!  I hope it is filled with peace that comes from inside!  Listen to the clues your body and mind give you to make changes to develop a life full of gratitude and joy!

Signing off,

Terri

What Could Joint Pain Have in Common with ADHD?

wpid-IMAG0804.jpgOne of my daughters is sensitive to gluten.  I knew it made her seasonal allergies worse, but I didn’t realize some of its other effects until she shared them with me.  When she did, it tore my heart out.  She said, “Mom, when I eat that stuff, it makes me really sad.  I cry and I can’t fall to sleep at night.”  Whoa.

Research indicates that one in 133 people have celiac disease (a serious, destructive autoimmune disorder to gluten) in the USA and 6% have gluten-sensitivity (The exact mechanism is still being determined but it does not appear to be destructive like celiac disease–but symptoms may be just as uncomfortable!).  The proteins in gluten are very, very, very difficult proteins for our bodies to digest.  So what?  Haven’t they always been?  Well, this has become more problematic in our current time as the bacteria we humans rely on to guard our gut linings have been terrorized by antibiotics, food preservatives, and reliance on processed foods.  When the proteins are not broken down properly, our immune systems can be triggered in different ways.  Some people’s bodies handle this in stride.  Others do not, and each person will have his own unique response resulting in different symptoms.

Please remember, my articles are never intended for medical advice.  I observe.  I study.  I read.  I write up what I think is interesting and others may benefit from reading.  It’s your job to be safe, talk to your doctor, and be a diligent bulldog for your health.

Three Reasons Doctors Shun the Gluten-Free Idea 

If gluten is such an issue, why doesn’t your doctor tell you about it?  There are a few reasons.  One, it is easy to dismiss a gluten-free diet because research on atypical celiac presentation and gluten-sensitivity is slow to trickle down to doctors practicing in the community.  They aren’t going to jump on the bandwagon simply for some article that shows up in your USA Today.  However, research studies and case reports abound on the negative effects of gluten and other wheat proteins and the changing face of celiac disease.  Alessio Fasano, MD and colleagues have made amazing discoveries about celiac disease, gluten-sensitivity, wheat allergy, and gluten in general.  Your decision on wheat would be remiss if you didn’t consider Dr. Fasano’s work.  On the other hand, he is fairly conservative, but I think that is what has allowed his ideas to surface so quickly and to be well-received by the stubborn medical community.

Secondly, gluten problems can appear so differently from person to person!  Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity can cause diverse symptoms, and frustratingly there is no objective test for gluten sensitivity.  Nowadays, celiac disease is presenting with strange, atypical symptoms which doctors are not prepared to identify!  It’s a tough gluten-disorder diagnostic world!  I have a friend whose mother was diagnosed with celiac disease a couple of years ago–and her mom is in her 70s!  No doctor was thinking of this until the poor woman drove to the Mayo ER and said, “I’m not leaving this hospital till you figure out what’s wrong with me!”

And thirdly, the glut of gluten-free processed food products on the market targeting susceptible consumers is preposterous and attack-worthy.  People associate gluten-free with healthy.  No.  Gluten-free oranges are healthy.  Gluten-free broccoli is healthy.  Gluten-free shrimp are healthy.  But gluten-free bread and gluten-free cookies are not.

And lastly (I know I said “a few,” but I just thought of this one.), most patients and most doctors think a gluten-free lifestyle is too hard.

What Symptoms Would I Look for to Consider a Gluten-Disorder?

What kind of symptoms would a gluten-sensitive person experience?  I’ve listed some.  Maybe you’ll see something here on your health record or that of a loved one.  My list is not conclusive.  I realize now I left off skin disorders, like eczema.

    • Joint pain and swelling: Gluten-sensitive people may present with pain and swelling in one or more joints. The understanding of how and why this happens is not clear yet. The symptoms may not occur right away after gluten is eaten (It can take several days.), and this delayed onset can make diagnosis confusing. Besides causing joints to become painful and swollen, gluten can also make known arthritis more painful, including rheumatoid arthritis.
    • Stomach troubles: Some people will have irritable bowel symptoms with stomach pain, bloating, and diarrhea. Others will simply have stubborn constipation. It is not understood why some people get diarrhea and others get constipation, but recent studies show that a gluten-free diet can help these digestive symptoms.
    • Fibromyalgia and fatigue symptoms: Sometimes people develop painful muscles as a negative response to gluten. The severe muscle aches can be debilitating and receive a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, usually accompanied by chronic fatigue. Gluten-removal for some people helps eliminate or reduce this chronic pain and fatigue. Severe fatigue and tiredness can occur, too, without the muscle aches, and again, gluten removal wonderfully helps some people regain their vitality.
    • Headaches: Some people will get headaches with gluten exposure, but in addition, they may also have dizziness and a “fogginess” in their head that they cannot shake no matter how much sleep or caffeine they get. Imagine their satisfaction when they wake up headache-free and clear-headed for the first time in years.
    • ADHD and autism symptoms: Removing gluten from a child’s diet is challenging in today’s world, but studies do suggest that removal can help ADHD and autism symptoms. However, in autism, the studies are done most often with a combination of gluten and dairy removal, and so it is hard to attribute the improvement to gluten over dairy.
    • Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive compulsive disorder: There is no doubt that the diagnosis of mental illness is tragically on the rise. Amazingly, some people find relief from these mental illnesses with simple dietary changes such as gluten removal. But how many people with depression or anxiety are prescribed dietary changes such as a gluten-free diet? Not many. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder (a disease which alternates between high, energetic, sometimes delusional symptoms and extreme depression), schizophrenia, and obsessive compulsive disorder (a disease where a person has repetitive thoughts and actions they cannot remove from their minds) may be the prime symptoms for some gluten-sensitive individuals.  Personally, I know a bipolar patient who told me, “I am NOT giving up my morning toast, Terri.”  Okay then.

If you have chronic, troubling symptoms, don’t wait for your doctor to tell you that you have gluten-sensitivity or atypical celiac disease.  Ask your doctor to please evaluate you or your child for celiac disease and then ask if it is safe for you to proceed to a gluten-free diet.  Don’t be deterred if your doctor dismisses your concern and belittles your endeavors.  Your doctor may think going gluten-free will not work–and maybe it will not–but there is plenty of research to support your trial.  But first make sure there is not celiac disease!  A celiac patient should not even use the same toaster that has toasted gluten-containing products!  A celiac patient must know where “maltodextrin” came from.

Closing

What questions do you have?  I know this diet stuff is confusing and immensely complex.  And I know that’s a part of what makes people throw their hands up and go eat whatever their little, ol’ tongues desire.  I understand that.  I get it.  But I also know the statistics, and I know that gluten affects some of my own family members.  So does my daughter ever eat gluten?  She does, usually on vacation or at birthdays or potlucks.  She acknowledges an unusual passion for gluten products, and she has asked me (I did not suggest it.  I lead by example and try to teach my kids information and good observation so they can make good decisions their whole lives through.  I hope my daughters never have eating disorders and intend to do all I can to promote a positive relationship to food.) to help her moderate portions and to not order certain things on vacation or special dinners out.  She is becoming her own health advocate.  Please become yours.

Terri

PS:  My take on gluten and grains is much, much more complex than these mere 1000 words allow.  But I hope this article raises awareness that gluten can definitely be a problem!  (Of course, so can other foods as well.  And this leads us to leaky gut.  And so on.  This stuff is so fascinating.)

Sources:

  1. Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity and Autoimmunity: A Case Report.  Isasi C, Colmenero I, Casco F, et al.  European Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine.   EJCRIM.  2014;1
  2. Spectrum of gluten-related disorders: consensus on new nomenclature and classification.  Sapone A, Bai JC, Ciacci C, et al.  BMC Medicine.  2012. 10:13.
  3. Neurologic and Psychiatric Manifestations of Celiac Disease and Gluten-Sensitivity. Jackson JR, Eaton WW, Cascella NG, et al.  Psychiatric Quarterly.  March 2012, Volume 83, Issue 1, pp91-102.
  4. Fibromyalgia and non-gluten sensitivity: a description with remission of fibromyalgia.  Isasi C, Colmenero I, Casco F, et al.  Rheumatology International.  2014; 34 (11):  1607-1612.
  5. Fasano, Alessio and Susie Flaherty.  Gluten Freedom.  Wiley, 2014.

Super Easy and Delicious Pork Recipe

I love the simplicity of crock pots, but (although I love moist meat) I get tired of wet meat.  So here’s a recipe with the simplicity and moist reliability of a crock pot but the fabulous taste and crust of a slow roasting in the oven!  This recipe–this one’s a keeper!  My family gobbles this dish up every time.  It requires little prep time, and it cooks while you go about the business of the day.  You must get the cut called “pork butt” or “Boston butt” (I know, such an attractive name.), or you’ll have a dried out disaster.  A pork tenderloin roast won’t appreciate being treated this way.

This recipe, my baked cod recipe, and our paprika chicken recipe are three recipes that never fail in my house.

Bostonbuttroast

Roast Boston Butt

4 lb. pork butt or Boston butt

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

 

  1. Preheat oven to 275˚ F.
  1. Mix spices together.
  1. Lay Boston butt out on a cutting board and vigorously rub spices all over it.
  1. Place Boston butt into 9 x13 glass dish with the fat side up and slow roast it for 6 hours.
  1. Remove from oven and use 2 forks to tear meat apart.
  1. Serve immediately. It is delicious as is, but it is also good with a BBQ sauce or mustard.

Family “gustar” report:  It’s a 6/6 in my house.  I’ve even made this when visiting back home for a family Mother’s Day gathering including my mom and dad, my in-laws, and my sisters.  They all really enjoyed it.  I like it best plain, but one of my sisters likes it with our BBQ sauce.

Closing

Merry, merry Christmas!  I hope this recipe idea makes your holiday planning a little easier!  It is another recipe featured in one of Molly Green’s Bite Sized Guides:  Holiday Cooking–A gluten-free, Dairy-free Celebration, which I helped co-author.

You deserve to eat right for your body.  You deserve that.  You deserve to feel as good as you can feel.  So, choose that.  It’s your choice.  It’s not anyone else’s.  Don’t wake up one day wondering how all those simple, bad choices landed you in a life you feel you didn’t choose.

Terri

Three Days of Thanksgiving: Turkey Take Two

Gonna’ have some dry turkey-bird staring back at you tomorrow night?  Yippee!  Yay!  Lunch for three days!  (Groan.)  How can I turn this into something that people really like?  Well, here’s a leftover turkey recipe for you!  It’s easy!  Fun!  Delicious (and nutritious)!  Go ahead–clip this one for the rest of the year, too!  Boiled chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken instead of turkey tastes absolutely fabulous in this simple dish.  My family loves it, and it is definitely a recipe I fall back on routinely.

I don’t mind either way, but if you liked the recipes from the last few days, they’re put together in a nice format in Holiday Cooking–A Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Celebration.  (But again, I don’t get anything from it.  And you know I’d share any of those recipes in that e-book if you asked.)turkeytake23

Turkey Take Two

3 cups of chopped, leftover turkey

1 small onion, diced

½ cup sliced almonds

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 ¼ cup mayonnaise

½ cup frozen peas

½ cup chopped fresh spinach (may omit)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 cup crushed potato chips or sweet potato chips

 

  1.  Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2.  Mix all of the ingredients together except the potato chips.
  3.  Spread  into a medium-sized casserole dish and bake uncovered for 20 minutes.
  4.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle the potato chips evenly over the top.
  5.  Place back in the oven and bake 10 more minutes until the chips are lightly browned.

Family “gustar” report:  The score is 6 of 6.  Love this casserole.  I’ve made it and frozen it too.  It smells divine in the oven!

I wish you a very, very Happy Thanksgiving!  I am thankful you take time to read some of my posts.  Changing what we ate changed a lot in our family.  I can’t communicate that loudly and firmly enough.  I simply had no idea that food has real side effects which vary from person to person.  The holidays find me and the kids working hard to find that balance between food that we know keeps us feeling best and food that seems to call our names, even in our dreams.  It’s not until you drastically walk a different path in a healthy way with food that you realize how off course society as a whole has gotten with the required substance.

Eat well.  But think of your teensy, tiny little cells plugging away for you, all day, all night.  Give ’em the food they deserve.  You’ll feel better for it!

Terri

Other Thanksgiving recipes on the blog:

Cranberry Gelatin Salad

Sweet Potato Casserole

Pecan Pie (easy crust recipe included)

Green Bean Casserole

 

Three Days of Thanksgiving: Perfect Maple Pecan Pie and Pressed Pie Crust in a Pinch

Simply 100% pecan perfection!  Definite yum factor of “awesome!”  If you haven’t made pecan pie with maple syrup, you must try it!  Both pecans and maple syrup are native to the United States–pecans from the Southeast and maple syrup from the Northeast.  Maple syrup and pecans just go together.  I love this pie.

The only question left unanswered:  “Should I chop the pecans or leave them whole?” Try it both ways.  They’ll both be good.

As a bonus, I’ve also shared my pie crust recipe.  It’s kind of unique.  It is not a roll-out recipe, and it is really so much fun to make with kids.

pecanpie4_picmonkeyed

 

Perfect Maple Pecan Pie 

1 9” pie shell, unbaked 

2 cups of maple syrup

8 ounces (2 cups) of pecans (whole, chopped, or halved–your preference)

1 tablespoon of tapioca flour or arrowroot flour

3 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons of olive oil

 

  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F.
  2. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the maple syrup to a boil over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes. It will get very frothy, so adjust the heat to make sure that it does not boil over. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.  Set aside.
  3.  In a small bowl, mix the pecans and tapioca flour together well.  Set aside.
  4.  In a large bowl, combine and beat together the reduced maple syrup, eggs, vanilla, salt, and  oil until well mixed.
  5.  Add the pecans and stir well.
  6.  Pour into the unbaked pie shell and bake for 15 minutes at 375˚F.
  7.  Reduce heat to 350˚F and bake for 20 minutes.
  8.  Let cool before serving.

The above recipe is in the Bite-Sized Guide I wrote up for Molly Green Magazine.  But I have a bonus recipe to share in case you forgot the pie shell!

Pressed Pie Crust in a Pinch

This is a fast, easy way to make a delicious pie crust.  My mom is known for her pies and especially her flaky crust recipe.  Humorously, the woman who gave her the pie crust recipe long ago was quite embarrassed about the recipe, because it’s not a roll-out crust.  She made my mom promise to never tell anyone where the recipe came from!  Crazy!  This adaption to gluten-free loses none of the simplicity but does lose some of the flakiness.  However, I still like it better than a store-bought crust.  It’s a GREAT recipe to do with kids because it’s so easy!

1 cup of gluten-free flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)

Pinch of salt

Milk alternative, 3 tablespoons

Olive oil (see below for amount, it’s kind of unusual)

  1.  Place the gluten-free flour in a medium-sized bowl with the pinch of salt.
  2.  The next step is kind of strange.  Read closely:  In a 1/2 cup sized measuring cup, place three tablespoons of milk alternative.  Then, in the exact same measuring cup with the milk alternative STILL in there, add olive oil to fill the cup up to the 1/2 cup mark.
  3. Add the milk/oil mixture to the gluten-free flour.  Mix well with a fork and then use your hands to mix it even better and form a nice dough.
  4. Break off little bits of the dough and scatter all around the edges of the pie plate and in the middle of the plate.
  5. Use your fingers and hands to smash together all those little balls you put in there.  And also to push the dough up high up and over the edge so you can flute it.  Press and press until the dough has no holes or gaps.
  6. Then, pinch the edges to make a nice little flute as seen in my photo.
  7. Fill with filling and bake!

SUPER EASY!  And fun!

Family “gustar report”:  The whole family approves!

Wishing you a joyous and content holiday.

Terri

Three Days of Thanksgiving: Green Bean Casserole with Crunchy Onions

A bit of mushroom soup (homemade, of course).  Some green beans (home canned, if you have ’em).  And some hand-cut French fried onions.  (My kids call them onions from heaven.)  And Thanksgiving can proceed.  Right?  No cans needed!

If someone in your family needs to eliminate gluten, dairy, or preservatives, and they are very sad about giving up traditional Thanksgiving foods, then this recipe is for them.  It’s a little extra work, but love always is.  That’s what makes it special.

Take a look…

greenbeancasserole1

Does it look like you remember?

Traditional-Style Green Bean Casserole

Topping:

  • 3 smallish onions, sliced very thinly
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoon salt, divided use
  • 1 ½ cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
  • Pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying

Casserole:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 cup of fresh, finely chopped Portabella mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca or arrowroot powder
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups cooked and drained green beans

French fried onion topping:

  1. For the topping, mix together in a medium-sized bowl the coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, and ½ teaspoon salt.  Soak the onions in the mixture for an hour.  Stir occasionally.
  2.  Mix together Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a large baggie.
  3.  Drain the onions well in a strainer and place in the baggie and shake to coat well.  Try very hard to break up clumps so all the rings are mostly coated.
  4.  Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium-sized saucepan until an onion dropped in sizzles and spatters.  If your oil isn’t hot enough, you’ll have goopy mess.  If it’s too hot, you’ll burn the delectable rings.  Use enough olive oil to come up to 1-2 inches high in the pan.  You may need to periodically add more, always waiting for the oil to return to the proper temperature.
  5. When the oil is hot enough, fry the onions in single-layer batches until they are light golden- brown.  
  6. Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions to a paper-towel lined plate.  Set aside.

For the casserole:

  1. Saute the onion and mushrooms in olive oil over low heat for 15 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle with tapioca starch (or arrowroot) and stir.
  3. Add the chicken stock and stir until it just reaches a boil.  Remove from heat.
  4. Add in the coconut milk, salt, and pepper.  The mixture should be thick like soup.
  5. Place green beans in a large bowl, pour mushroom mixture over, and mix well.
  6. Transfer to a casserole dish and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.
  7. Cover with French fried onions and bake an additional 10 more minutes.  If using stored French fried onions (see below), you may need to bake longer, until the rings are just crisped up again.

Variations and information:

  • Canned green beans work well here.  No worries!
  • To save time: make the French fried onions ahead of time, storing them in a single-layer in the refrigerator on a paper-towel lined plate until needed for the casserole.
  • Use more green beans if you like your green bean casserole less soupy and less moist.  Eyeball it.  Maybe 5 cups.
  • I haven’t tried, but I’ll bet this will work with other gluten-free flours.  Mix up your own for 100% homemade!
  • Add a little garlic and/or onion powder into the soup mixture if you’d like.
  • Add a little cashew cream to the green bean mixture to make it richer.  (A recipe is in the Molly Green e-cookbook I worked on.)
  • I haven’t tried it, but you could try using the GF flour to thicken the soup rather than arrowroot or tapioca–but no guarantees since I haven’t tried it!

Family “gustar” report:  It scores a 6 out of 6.  Even the baby gets in on the action!  My husband says the fresh mushrooms make it the best.  My kids love the onion rings.  But there’s NEVER green bean casserole left.

There’s more recipes like this in the Molly Green Bite-Sized guide (e-cookbook) I helped put together for Molly Green Magazine.  I’ll be bringing you two more recipes in this little Three Days of Thanksgiving!  Then, I won’t bother your in-box for a while.  I hope you have a great day!

Terri

Helpful Holiday Recipes

The five-week holiday Diet Death March is coming up, but I want you to come out of the holidays feeling shiny and bright that first week of January!  I worked with my sister, daughters, and Molly Green Magazine to put together a holiday e-cookbook to showcase both traditional, beloved holiday recipes tweaked for food intolerances and to introduce some new ones too.

Wordpress Recipe Collage

Some of these are “purist” recipes, meaning any Paleo or vegan food snob (no offense intended whatsoever) will find them acceptable, and others are simply compromises to get a cleaner, less allergenic replica that tastes great on the table.  All of them taste delightful, and I tried to make sure that any substitutions that I knew worked were mentioned (for example, maple syrup in place of honey or the use of different flours).  Also, I tried not to leave any instructions left to chance so that each person would get the same result I did.  (Fingers crossed.)

The Recipes

I’m attached to food and I know I’m not alone.  It’s easy to say, “Turn over a new leaf.  Leave those old ‘bad’ foods behind.”  But for some of us, that’s like saying, “Leave all your happy memories behind.”  So the goal was to create a group of recipes that would help keep restricted dieters feeling physically good while also giving them the tether cord to holidays past.  We tried to put a spectrum of recipes together with various food intolerance considerations.  All recipes are gluten-free and dairy-free, and we tried to make sure there were egg-free and nut-free options as well.  I will try to feature a few of the recipes here on the blog this holiday season so you may get a taste too for free.  The one I am most excited to share is green bean casserole with French fried onions.  But if you want the whole kit and caboodle, the e-cookbook recipes include:

  • Cozy Hot Cocoa and Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte or Steamer
  • Bread Machine Coffee Cake, Chocolate Bark, Decadent Chocolate Mousse, Peanut Butter Buckeyes, Perfect Maple Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Ready-to-Roll Sugar Cookies, Sweet Cashew Cream, Sweet Potato Casserole, and Sweet Cashew Cream
  • Baked Apples, Butternut Squash Soup, Corn Casserole, Cranberry Gelatin Salad, Favorite Roasted Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Mexican Layer Dip, Savory Cashew Cream, Strawberry Spinach Salad with Glazed Pecans, Green Goddess Dip Veggie Tray, and Zuppa Toscana
  • Crock Pot Wings, Granny’s BBQ Meatballs, One Pan Breakfast Skillet, Roast Boston Butt, and Turkey Take Two

(Please note that all the recipes are not pictured in the photo above.)

Food Shouldn’t Hurt:  An Excerpt from Our Introduction

Wordpress MG Cookbook 2“…As much as the holidays are full of family and food–for many, they are also full of struggle with their diet. Food shouldn’t hurt, but for those with allergies and intolerances, finding things to eat at a gathering can be a nightmare. Many favorite holiday dishes are loaded with dairy, gluten, eggs, and unnatural sweeteners that can wreak havoc on the body. However, that doesn’t mean that these dishes need to be completely abandoned.  In this eBook you’ll find both new takes on old classics and original recipes to work into your holiday lineup. From hot cocoa to corn casserole, we’ve got you covered with honestly good food presented in a real, honest way.  Our hope is that novice and experienced cooks alike may be able to use this cookbook to create wholesome holiday meals that can be enjoyed by individuals with food intolerances and allergies. We hope that the recipes found in these pages will invoke holiday cheer in those who may have thought they would never see a pie or casserole on their holiday table again…”

In Closing

If you’ve been here long, you know I want you to succeed.  You also know that I try to answer every question as thoroughly as I can.  If you see any recipes mentioned above that you’d like to know more about, please let me know.  Food is the foundation of all health–heart health, brain health, mental health, immune health–all health.  I encourage people to eat whole, real foods as fresh as they can get them (including fats and oils).  Then, observe for side effects from foods and tweak accordingly.

I hope your November and December months are truly a blessing to your heart.  Be well.  Seek wellness.  When it comes to your diet, you may have a bad day, but you can choose that tomorrow will start a new day.

Terri

Addendum:  I do not get any proceeds.  I do get a membership to Molly Green for writing a quarterly article for Molly Green Magazine.

Hemp Bars

Hemp barsHemp seed.  I picked it up for a recipe I wanted to try and discovered it’s a useful little seed.  It is typically imported from Canada because the USA wouldn’t allow farmers to grow it.  It has exceptionally miniscule levels of a marijuana-like substance.  About like poppy seeds and opium probably.  Once I found out how much we liked it, I tried to talk my farmer dad into growing hemp instead of soybeans and corn, since the USA has recently legalized its growth.  No go for the farm boy who was drafted in the flowery era to head off to Vietnam.

These bars are a twist-off from some bars that a beautiful neighbor brought us.  The original was called “Dr. Oz Energy Bars” and used oats.  Here is my family’s version.

Hemp Bars

2 cups of hemp seed
1 cup of peanut butter
6 T honey or maple syrup
2/3 cup chopped dried fruit (we like dates, raisins, cranberries, and cherries)
2 t vanilla
1/4 cup of chocolate chips (or sunflower seeds instead)

Mix all ingredients together well.  Press into an 8″X8″ pan.  Refrigerate for two or more hours.  Cut into bars.  Best served chilled to hold their shape best.

Closing:

I also have found that hemp makes a great “cereal” when mixed with fresh fruit, cinnamon and nutmeg, and a “milk.”  My kids like to do this.  It also works well for me to make cobbler topping, kind of like you would do for an oatmeal topping.  I was really excited to discover that use!  Hemp seed has a chewy, nutty type of flavor.  Unlike other nuts and seeds, you’re not supposed to soak it.  The bad news about hemp is that it’s awful darn expensive.

Have you tried hemp seed in your home?  Do you think my dad should grow hemp or corn and soybeans?  Is your diet going the way you want?  Can you tell a difference when it does?

Lastly, I am working on this site, to make it more aesthetically pleasing.  But, functionality is most important to me.  So, if you notice the site loads more slowly, will you kindly tell me in the comments?

Food imaging done by my girls.

Have a super weekend!

Terri