Monthly Archives: June 2012

No Need to Miss Breakfast!

A friend of mine from high school and I reconnected a while back because she too is eating gluten free. We found one another again a while back on Facebook and this commonality gave us something to chat about. I was new at the time and she was many years into the struggle. So she recommended I hit up Trader Joe’s and give a lot of their well marked Gluten Free stuff a try. I did and find so many great treasures in rices and my BELOVED rice crackers. Seriously,have you tried the Savory Thin Min rice crackers from Trader Joes…HOLY COW… they are so good my nieces and nephews and friend always eat them up…choosing them over the wheaty ones… but I digress.

Back to the one I forgot for a while then discovered again recently. A friend of mine was coming into town from Denmark and I thought it would be nice to have some foods for her gorgeous 3 year old Cecilie.  Now the wee one is not gluten free but there I was at the store and I ran across the gluten free pancakes. I grabbed the box and promptly forgot… we didn’t eat them when my friends were in town. Then I discovered them in my freezer a few days ago. I grabbed a packet, popped the coaster sized pancakes in the toaster, let them go topped with maple syrup. Delicious!  I honestly couldn’t tell they were gluten free…they weren’t super heavy or grainy, they were perfect and fluffy. AND I just dropped them in the toaster! Yup…it rocked. SO if you want something easy, give these a go. Seriously yummy…and portion controlled 🙂
Another win! WOOP WOOP!

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Stroganoff Brilliance

One of the many foods I have missed are my creamy delicious dinner. My mother made the best Beef Stroganoff. In fact I used to request that for my birthday dinner…in June. My mother refused since it was “off season” so I had to always come up with a second option or wait until it was cold out.

Turkey Stroganoff, I know it may look a bit…interesting but IT’S SO GOOD!

Now I can do whatever I want, but her recipe takes hours and has all kinds of gluten and Dairy… since I’m watching what I eat for both health and Gluten/Dairy issues this is something I skipped until I ran across a food blogger that was new to me…Skinnyms.com. I don’t know about you but I’m always hesitant with new recipe sites since some are…um..well… uh…how to put it delicately?  Ah forget delicate, some have “healthy” recipes that resemble cardboard more than meals. Horrible…but I gave Skinnyms.com a shot and WOW… she wasn’t kidding. This is great. I made a few modifications to her recipe since it had dairy in it and I always have to tinker…but wow.. it’s super super good! Check this out:

Ground Turkey Stroganoff

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground lean turkey
  • 1 diced onion
  • 4 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup fat free chicken broth
  • 1/2 C tomato sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • Seasoning Salt to taste
  • 1 cup dairy free sour cream (or she used plain greek yogert)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Directions

Put tomato sauce, chicken broth, salt, pepper, onion powder, balsamic and garlic salt into a crockpot and stir up. Turn crockpot on low.

 Spray a large skillet with nonstick spray and  cook ground turkey until it loses its pink color, drain off any fat and add to the slow cooker. Spray pan again with your nonstick spray  sauté mushrooms and onions with a sprinkling of Seasoning salt over medium-low heat until tender.

Add mushroom/onion mixture to the slow cooker the remaining. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours. Combine Greek yogurt with cornstarch, add to Stroganoff and continue cooking 30 minutes. Serve over gluten free pasta, white or brown rice.

Serving size 1 cup of sauce. 6 Points per cup.  Rice or pasta is extra points.

Enjoy! So GOOD!

The Tooth Twooth

teeth three years ago

teeth three years ago (Photo credit: darwin.wins)

“Is there a relationship between Gluten Intolerance and dental issues?” is a questions I found myself wandering around asking anyone and everyone when my jaw went into fits of pain.

Last August (2011) I  had a simple crown put on a tooth that had just gotten a new filling that was very large.  Well being a redhead, I had trouble getting numb, and so I ended up with three injections of Novocaine in two different flavors…or types. Ever since then I had horrible pain in my teeth and jaw. When I say horrible pain, I’m not sure that covers it.  It felt like one of two, sometimes both things. Either someone was trying to rip my jaw off my face, or they were pulling my teeth out slowly with pliers moving from tooth to tooth without warning Oh and don’t forget a jaw joint that felt like I spent the last decade chewing a whole pack of hubba bubba..sore.  Not pleasant, and no one could help. Not my dentist who gave me a night guard that didn’t help, Not our holistic doctor who gave me weird h

erbs that tasted bad and did NOTHING to stop the pain, not then endodontist who thought two root canals MAY reduce the pain a little,  not my regular doctor… nothing. Then I got a cold, and oddly enough a combination of Advil and sudafed not only dulled the pain but cut it almost entirely.  HUH?  My oral surgeon took that hint and diagnosed me with Nuropathy and set me up with a plan to “untrain” the nerves from over reacting like a silent movie star.

Yeah, that was scarey because the pain was so intense…. and because often there is no resolution or cure. After about 8 months of taking Advil, Sudafed and an anti-depressant trying to retrain my nerves to let up I saw a change, a big one…finally.  I also during this time did a fair amount of research and found many articles (like a few I mention below) that link gluten intolerance and ignoring it to teeth, gums and jaw issues.

It was pretty hellish but I’m almost off of all the meds and my nerves have learned to relax. I promised my teeth/jaw no more trips to the Dentist that didn’t believe I was hard to get numb… and they agreed to stop sending a gazillion gladiators to battle on each and every little nerve ending.

For me it was un-training the nerves, but since I had been gluten cheating a lot, I think getting that on track helped a lot. And if you read stories online you can find a lot of peopel that SWEAR about a link.  So if you have gluten issues and tooth pain, consider looking into it… but if that doesn’t work don’t give up keep asking doctors and other medical people…keep reading. I’m making my way out of the woods leaving the nasty fighters behind!

A few resources I read:

http://www.living-gluten-free.com/tooth.html

http://www.deardoctor.com/inside-the-magazine/issue-10/gluten-dental-problems/

All Scream for Ice Cream!

I can’t  even begin to imagine my life without my friends. Not only because of all the great times, laughs and support they provide, but in their endless help is invaluable. My diet still embarrasses me often, in my thinking that I am an annoying “problem” but my friends have assured me time and time again that no, it’s not a problem, it’s a delightful challenge.

Last night one even said  something to the effect of “You know it’s awesome when I find something that you haven’t heard of that you can eat it’s like  Oh Yeah” visualize this being said with a nice celebratory arm pump decorated with a huge gorgeous grin! This made me smile.

And why were we talking about this as we munched on corn chips in a tofutti sour cream/salsa mix (aka Secret Sauce), followed by an awesome chicken and rice recipe? Because there was a new discovery for dessert for me! Oh yes, Almond Milk ice cream topped with brandied peaches (home made of course). I was beside myself with joy. Only a few short months ago I was introduced (by the arm pumper) to Coconut Milk Ice cream which is a delight, but another option with different flavors. ROCK ON! Just in time for Summer!

So delicious is seriously SO DELICIOUS!

So what is my point, aside from the fact that ice cream made from Coconut or Almond milk is yummy and that good friends are awesome?  Well, it’s that maybe the only person you’re a true problem child to is yourself? And if anyone else gets annoyed, ignore them… they’re mean 😉  Seriously, who wants their friends to be sick? Those Meanie bah neenie sucka fools.  That’s who…and who needs them! 😉  So thanks ladies, last night was a much needed good reminder for me…

Wheatless-ish Barley

Last night I was happily enjoying my crockpot chicken over lettuce, while my boyfriend was eating it over rice. I asked for a bite, because he had it over my favorite brown rice from Trader Joe’s, the one with lots of texture called “Brown Rice Medley”.  And of course once I had dodged the cheese he had added, I got a nice ricey, chickeny nummy bite!  I loved it. Then he asked “what are the little round kinda crunchy things.” I  wasn’t sure so I grabbed the package and much to my surprise it was barley.

Trader Joe’s ‘ Brown Rice Medley”

Ah barley, the much debated “can you eat it if you’re gluten free” question.  I have read many sites and what I’ve decided to believe is that, if you are a Celiac, it’s not a good idea. If you have gluten allergies (meaning you can have trace amounts without issue) then it’s usually all good. I’m allergic and have never had issues with barley.

The reason I have found that it does cause issues for Celiacs, is the same reason some doctors advise Celiacs not to travel to countries like Tibet (an allergy to a country because they grow so much wheat! I had never heard this before.)  The reason to avoid barley if you are sensitive to cross contamination is because barley and wheat are grown in the same fields and often processed in the same plants.  So the barley would most likely have trace amounts that could cause big upsets in a Celiacs system.

So that is my research for the day. I eat barley with no issue, but it’s one to be careful of and consider if you have a Celiac, or a super sensitive system to wheat.

Chicken in the Crock!

It’s a bit chilly and gray here this fine Seattle morning. If I weren’t looking directly at a calendar for work already I would have guessed it may be March or April, but no, it’s not. It’s June… the snowing in the passes kind of June.

I sure hope the weather gets better this summer, but to lighten up my mood I thought since it’ll be a busy work afternoon I’d get something going on the Crockpot. I dug around and combined some recipes from Gina and Skinnytaste, Allrecipes and the Food Network to come up with this nice Gluten and Diary free hopefully yummy dish.  Yes yes, it is a bit risky putting this up but the recipes I combined all had good comments so I’m confident. I’ll post a picture later today… It smells wonderful!

I added some salsa and put it over chopped lettuce. SO GOOD!

Spicy Crockpot Chicken

Main Ingredients:

  • 1- 15 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
  • 1.5 C black, navy, pinto or kidney beans (drained)
  • 1 C corn (frozen or canned- drained)
  • 1 can chicken broth (Fat Free)
  • 1/2 tsp Tapateo (or hot sauce of your choice)
  • 1/2 tsp Chipolte Chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 1.5 LBS chicken breast
  • Seasoning salt to taste (I love Lowreys but any will do)

Optional:

  • Cheese (for the dairy eaters or dairy free cheese of your choice)
  • Green onions chopped
  • Chopped Cilantro

Serve Over:

  • Chopped Iceburg lettuce
  • Rice (brown or white)
  • Pasta (Gluteny or GF?)

Mix all the ingredients except the chicken, Tapateo and the salt in the crockpot.  Season the chicken with the Seasoning Salt and Tapateo and place it in the crockpot.  Set on low for about 8-10 hours or High for 5-6.  If you like shredded chicken, pull it out and shred it about 1/2 hour before the end of your crockpot cooking or you can serve a full chicken breast over the lettuce, rice or pasta no problem.  Then top it with your favorite or all of the Cilantro, green onions and cheese. Viola – dinner is served!

Have a great day! 🙂