Monthly Archives: November 2011

Jambalaya that won’t bust your Waistline

I love love love spicy cozy meals when it gets cold outside. And between my dietary restrictions and wanting to not bulk up on calories I have a hard time finding good food. I found this on a few websites and kept altering it until it tasted so good that even the men in my life find this a tasty tasty treat for a cold winter day! Even though it doesn’t start with a rue (calories and gluten make that not possible) this works so well… it’s easy and I love it! Weight Loss and health…YAY!

Chicken & Turkey Sausage Jambalaya

Low Calorie Jambalaya!

Ingredients
1 spray cooking spray
1 Turkey Kilbasa – already cooked
1 large onion(s), chopped
2 stalks of chopped celery
1 Jalapeno (if you like spice)
1 small chopped green pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp table seasoning salt
1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
2 cloves minced garlic cloves
2 medium skinless chicken breasts
28 oz canned tomatoes, whole, plum, peeled with juice
1 small can V8 juice
2 cups fat-free chicken broth
1 cup uncooked white rice, long-grain
1/4 tsp of hot sauce (to taste, I love to use Franks Louisiana Hot Sauce)

Instructions
Spray a nonstick sauce pan with the cooking spray. Over high heat cook onion, celery, jalapeno and green pepper; saute until tender.
Then, add Sausage and raw Cubed chicken. Cook until Chicken is mostly cooked through (white all the way through)
Reduce heat and stir in cayenne, thyme, salt, pepper and garlic; saute until garlic is fragrant.
Stir in tomatoes, broth, V8 or other tomato juice and rice. Bring to a simmer, cover and let cook until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.

About 1 1/4 cups per serving. ** If you leave it over night add the V8 or water before heating. The rice sucks up all the juice! This is also great frozen and reheated when needed.

Big Cheese!

Cheese, yes I miss my cheese. The ooey, gooey, melty cheese stringing off a sandwich or quesadilla and I take a bite. Yum! To be honest I find myself cheating here and there, but really the payment in belly ache time usually isn’t worth it.
I know they make all kinds of lactose free cheeses, but they melt like plastic on a heater, and taste about as good as that smells. So I just chalked up the cheese issue as a give it up food and, well,  gave it up.

But in the last few years, there seems to have been a lot more emphasis placed on those that must “go without”  and companies found a new market to gain. Vegan/Lactose intolerant folks…and now they have come up with a melty, ooey gooey cheesy goodness that works and tastes good. Thanks to the suggestions of one of my favorite bloggers, Chakabox, I found this little slice of heaven, Daiya Cheese!

So if you find yourself wanting to shy away from the melted plastic on your dairy free items, check this product out. You won’t be disappointed!

Wine not Whine :)

Wine tasting, one of my very favorite things to do! I was lucky enough to host a wine tasting at my home for Silver Bell Winery, a new winery in the great Northwest!

Diane and Alan from Silver Bell came to our home, set up a nice display and gave us history on the grapes and good sized pours of each of their six wines! My only job, to make sure that there was food for all the wine tasters. Now as you probably know the traditional foods for wine tasting are completely unapproved by my gut, so I had to make some alterations.  I had the cheese and crackers of course, plus my guests brought some other yummy salads (Thanks for my friend Heather the Salad Queen, it was tasty and safe for me!) and cheese puffs. But to fit into my diet I also had the below items:

Rice Crackers
Tofu cream cheese with a Pepper Jam over the top
Chicken Taquitos wrapped in corn tortillas
Veggie Platter with a home made vinaigrette
Grapes
Popcorn

All in all it was good. I did have a few slices of cheese because it was just too overwhelming to have all those cheesy options…but I only had a few sinces I had other treats I could eat! Great wine and Great food…. Success! Plus I did some of my Christmas Shopping from my own home!

Silver Bell Winery!

Paradise Eating at Avalon!

I was lucky enough to be invited to the pre-screening of Breaking Dawn last night with one of my good girlfriends. But so we would get to catch up before the movie based on a book we both devoured, we decided to go out and grab a bite! Easy, we both live in West Seattle so we picked Avalon!

We were greeted warmly and informed, there would be a band. We chose a seat further away, so we could chat and listen. The band was fantastic! (they do this on Thursday nights, I highly recommend it!)  When it came to the menu I wasn’t sure what to do, but I had met one of the owners during my previous visit about a month ago and she told me to ask next time I was in. I ate things I shouldn’t that night! WOOPS…(but boy was that Duck Flatbread good. if you can have gluten and cheese. GO EAT THIS!)

Our waiter arrived and I told him about my dietary restrictions AND that I don’t really eat much seafood because I dont’ care for the stuff. He smiled told me what I could have and I picked the vegetable Risotto. He confirmed with the kitchen that it wouldn’t even have a hint of butter. “No Problem” I was told!

Delicious vegetable Risotto!

Now one may suspect that taking all the yummy fats and cream out of Risotto lessens the experience. Well, I’m not sure what the team at Avalon did but my meal was truly excellent. My Gluten/Dairy eating friend loved the bread and her Seafood Risotto!

After my meal I met the owner Deborah and she reiterated that they are always happy to work with someones dietary restrictions. So Go there…no matter what your food issues are I have 100% faith that they can work with you!

Other than Breaking Dawn being one of the very worst movies ever made (Although it did make us laugh out loud a few times due to it’s cheesiness and absurdity!), it was a great success, very tasty and easy peasy for me. (I’m guessing my dinner was about 10 points for the Risotto and 4 for the amazing vino!)

Gaining the Good with the Bad

I have been happy about getting my body into better shape, about being more comfortable asking for what I need while eating out and creating healthier foods that work for my body. These are all wins for me…and I felt good about this weekend I figured out how to make some great twice baked potatoes within my foods, adding soy cream cheese and soy sour cream to fluff them up. It worked really well. Then I topped my guests twice baked potatoes with cheese but left mine as it was. It was so tasty! The recipe is at the end of this post.

Twice Baked Potatoes (only dairy is cheese on this one! Go cheese free!)

Then last night, I was at my mothers, and I had rice pasta with her famous home made spaghetti sauce!  What a great gluten free meal…but the sad part… I weighed in today 😦

Yep, you got it. I gained .25lbs this past week. I know that isn’t much, but clearly I need to get a better handle on it. Either that or I can believe that the pasta made me heavy and next week I’ll have lost 2 lbs, one for each of these weeks. I hope there is weight loss next week.  Right now I’m feeling a bit deflated.

Twice Baked Potatoes (Gluten and Dairy free)

Ingredients:
3 baking potatoes (Baked already)
1/2 C Tofutti cream cheese (softened to room temp)
1/2 C Tofutti Sour Cream (at room temp)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil (I used garlic olive oil)
4 chopped green onions
1 tsp Seasoning Salt
1 tsp Garlic Salt
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes (to taste)
4 slices of cooked bacon chopped
2 C Grated Cheddar Cheese (for guests)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350. Cut baked potatoes in half and scoop out the insides. Add all the following ingredients except the cheese. Mix them well with a mixer or by hand. Do this until the potato is smooth. Once smooth scoop the potato mixture into the potato skins. Then top with cheese for any dairy eaters. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until warmed all the way through, and cheese is melted on any dairy eaters potato.

Let cool and Enjoy!

All Hail the Kale!

This weekend I was on a trip with Brandon and another couple. We were talking about making a shared dinner when Kale came up.  I remembered hearing about Kale chips and thought that sounded like a healthy, low calorie snaky trick.  I asked my friends to pick up the kale on their trip to the store. Sadly, they were back too late and I had started dinner and was well past kale making time.

But don’t fret! I’m back at home today and after munching popcorn with Brandon last night, I thought I’d try making these chips before subjecting Brandon to that green veggie. I baked them up and Good lord I LOVE THEM! In my mind, the crunch satisfies the desire for chips but it’s all healthy!

Here is how you go about this easy snack for Kale Chips!

You need:
Olive oil or butter
Seasoning Salt or Garlic Salt
Kale

1. Preheat your oven to 350

2. Put parchment paper down and grease it up (butter, olive oil or I use a olive oil mister to keep them from sticking but to control the amount of oil.)

3. Cut the spines out of your Kale and arrange them in bite size pieces onto the parchment paper like below:

Kale Ready to be made Chips

4. Mist the top of them and sprinkle seasoning salt or garlic salt

5. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Watch for the tips to get slighly brown. There is about a 30 second window between perfect and burned flavor. Watch them carefully. If you take them out early they will still be a bit soggy…or

Here is the end product. SO SO Good!

Crispy Crunchy Kale1

Captain Picky Pants Eats Out

Last night was girls night out. So, I had to take on the eating out challenge on again.  We walked into Daniels in South Lake Union with my girlfriends with some hesitancy in having to deal with food outside of my home. I have been to Daniels many times and enjoy their food, but never when I was paying any attention to my allergies or weight. I always worry since I really hate being a bother and seeming like Captain Picky Pants. But because of this blog, I got some courage and I decided to give it a gluten/dairy free go again.

The waitress came to our table flipping her long brown hair over her shoulder and my stomach turned into a knot. It was my time to step up and ask my “picky pants” gluten and dairy free question.  To my surprise, not only did the waitress smile and say “Of Course!” But she also rambled off exactly what on the menu was and was not gluten and dairy free. I looked at her in awe, then I tested her knowledge because this seemed WAY too easy.  I asked “What about the Steak Tar Tar?” And she got a big smile on her heart shaped face and said “No, that won’t work for you.  It has soy sauce in it.” Again, curious I asked “But the Tuna you mentioned has ponzu. Doesn’t that have gluten.” Again, she clarified that she knew their menu inside and out, their ponzu had no gluten.

Seared Tuna! *Image from slowfoodkitchen.com

Done and done! I got the wonderful low calorie seared tuna and, as my waitress mentioned, removed the won ton wrappers to the side of the plate. It was not only a fantastic, low calorie meal and a fun evening with my friends, but it was yet another great experience.  Now I can not help but wonder, was I just overly sensitive before or has public view changed so much that I am no longer seen as picky, but as someone they wish to help? I’m not sure but I love the help and the ease of eating out!