Sweet Potato Salad

For Easter we decided to do some BBQ ribs with homemade sauce.  We love potato salad with our ribs, they kind of just go together like PB&J.   But we can’t have potatoes.     No problem we just made a sweet potato salad instead.   Not bad.

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Sweet Potato Salad

Ingredients

4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 medium apples, small cubed (I use 1 red 2 greed)
6-8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (you can add more or less)
1/4- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion (you can add more or less)
3 tablespoons minced fresh or dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper
1/3 cup EVOO
2 tablespoons each of Pomegranate balsamic vinegar & red cooking wine

Directions

Place sweet potatoes in a pan and cover with water. Bring to a
boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or just until
tender. Potatoes need to be slightly al dente or they will just turn to mush

Transfer to a large bowl; cool to room temperature. Add the apples,
bacon, onion, parsley, salt and pepper to the potatoes. In a small
bowl, whisk oil,vinegar & wine. Pour over salad; toss gently to coat.
Chill until serving. Feeds a hungry crowd.

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Very Unique Meatloaf

Looking to find a good meatloaf recipe that didn’t take ketchup or sugars or too many preservatives was getting frustrated and we wanted it to be as healthy as possible with our new style of eating so I came up with the following recipe.   First few bites I saw strange and confused looks on the families face and they admitted that it was nothing like what they expected, however the more bites they took the better they enjoyed it.   I am not a meat eater, no way no how, but I really enjoyed this meal.   Pair it with mashed cauliflower (mock mashed potatoes)  and veggies are in the meat but you can always add more on the side if you wish.

1 large onion minced ~ 1 red bell pepper minced ~

Place them in a food processor (I tend to mince the veggies in my meatloaf so picky kids don’t pick things out or complain too much) and mince fairly fine.   Drain off the excess juice (don’t pat dry you want moister).

add the veggies to a big bowl and add:

1 tsp sea salt ~ 1 tsp black pepper ~ 1 tsp thyme ~ 1 tsp garlic powder ~ 2 Tbsp coconut oil ~1 Tbsp tomato paste ~ 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce.

Mix that all up very well.

Add in 2 large eggs or an egg substitute.   I used ener-G egg replacer due to egg allergies.

then add in 1 lb chicken sausage (no added sugar) and 1 lb of ground turkey or chicken.

I just got all in the bowl and mixed with my hands to get it all combined very well.    Then plopped it into a pan and topped with the remainder of tomato paste.

bake at 325 for 90 minutes.    after an hour you are going to want to suck out some of the grease.  Due to the sausage there will be quite a bit and if you let it sit in the grease you are going to get a very soggy loaf.

 

Happy eating.

 

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Sauteed Radishes

I have to write this little post because honestly I have heard about sauteing radishes but never could come to terms why someone would take a beautiful round red radish and ruin it by cooking it.   There is just some veggies I like raw, turnips, radishes and carrots to name a few.  but tonight I was searching for food and I wanted something warm and all we had was salad stuff, so in lieu of lettuce I took a deep breath and cut up shallots and radishes.

My heart sunk, literally it sunk as I put them in my hot pan of coconut oil and let them saute up.    I am not going to lie it was a depressing sight for me to watch these beautiful vegetables lose some of their brightness.    I added my chicken shreds and some sprinkling of red coral sea salt and browned and served in a bowl.

My first bite caught me off guard.   I took another bite and pretty soon I was scarfing this down and enjoying each bite.  I enjoyed it so much that I didn’t even stop to take a photo of the wonderful meal.  I will make it again so I am sure to get a photo soon.

My diet consists lately (food allergies galore) of meat and veggie stir fry’s.  but I have sensitivities to so many veggies that I am limited so I have to make do with what I can actually eat.

If you have the same get up about warm radishes, let me help you out.   You will never enjoy a new taste sensation like this.    Its one of those things you just got to try once out of curiosity.   I think I have been sitting on the fear of warm radishes for about 4 years now.   I can’t believe I have been missing out.  The best thing is it will be different each time because some radishes are sweeter, mild and some are down right spicy.

My next fear to conquer is chia pudding, but that will have to wait until I can have sugar, cocoa and a few other things again.    But I am definitely going to try.

what funny things have you thought would be totally awful but they turned out good???????

by the way never ever ever dip green olives in chocolate, I did learn that the hard way, talk about something that will produce instant gag……….that combo does for sure.

 

Keep eating healthy, until next time  Selah

 

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Guest Blogger – Rusty Gregory

Recently my whole life changed again.   My life revolves around eating carefully due to Celiac disease as well as watching the foods that bother my thyroid, gallbladder and my coumadin.    Recently added was a very long list of foods that were bothering me along with the candida diet again.     So my food choices are scarce and silly me I hate meat which makes this even harder.   So I was excited to hear from Rusty and the topic of his blog.     Please make sure you read through it and take some time to visit his site for lots more good stuff.    I found this very helpful and I know you will too.  Thank you Rusty for doing this article.

 

The Five Biggest Challenges to Eliminating Gluten, Grains and Sugar

Over the last several years, there has been a lot of attention drawn to the harmful effects of gluten on our health. Recently, all grains and sugar have been added to that list. Foods that were once accepted as “healthy” or “not that bad for you” are being attacked by our growing obesity, cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes epidemics. Many of these foods have become a staple in our diet which aid in the ease and convenience factor of our overly stressed, little-time-for-food-planning, lifestyle. Unfortunately, these foods are well ingrained (no pun intended) into our busy lives and therefore, can be difficult to eliminate. But, rest assured, there is a way to leave the gluten, grains and sugar behind and still enjoy the foods you love.
Remember, when you eliminate all grains from your diet, you’re removing all of the gluten and some of the carbohydrates. But, when you add sugar to that elimination list, you are ridding yourself of what is responsible for many of the diseases and ailments that plague our country. Here are the five biggest challenges most people face when they choose to pass on the foods that wreak havoc on their health.
1. Overcoming Carb Addiction. Let’s face it, carbohydrates are addicting and grains and sugar ARE carbohydrates. Multiple studies indicate that processed carbohydrates reward the pleasure center in the brain. This reward strongly encourages overeating. I think you get the point.
2. Stress. One of the first things people do when they are stressed out is reach for a plate of pasta, cup of macaroni-and-cheese or bowl of ice cream. Once you have eliminated grains and sugar from your diet, you no longer will seek food as a stress reliever. This will open the door to healthier options to dealing with your stress, such as exercise and relaxation techniques.
3. Speed / Convenience. In our fast-paced, over-booked world, we often find ourselves choosing the fastest and easiest route to eating a meal. Unfortunately, this usually comes in the form of shakes, french fries and buns; not to mention grain-fed meat and conventionally grown vegetables, but that’s for another blog. Making the time and planning ahead is essential to success when eliminating these foods from your diet.
4. Lack of Information. The most challenging aspect of the no-grain, no-sugar lifestyle is the paradigm shift that must occur in order to “buy” into the system. For most people, it is difficult to accept that the information on diet and nutrition over the last fifty years is seriously flawed. However, once you come to the understanding of how sugar effects body fat storage and disease along with wheat/gluten and all grains on gut health, auto-immune disease and type 2 diabetes and dementia, it becomes much easier to make the leap in paradigms. (I have written about this on my blog at Rusty’s Blog).
5. Focusing on the Diet’s Sacrifices Instead of its Benefits. Whether it is an excuse or a legitimate concern, the response I commonly hear from people prior to eliminating gluten, grains and sugar is, “There is no way I could do without my bread and ice cream.” Most people choose to focus on the sacrifices of their efforts rather than the health benefits that will come their way once they make the change. Developing a greater understanding of the harmful effects of gluten, grains and sugar is essential to changing your focus and staying on track with your new, healthy diet.

About the Author
Rusty Gregory, MS, CSCS, CWC, is a personal fitness trainer, wellness coach, and a dailyRx Contributing Expert. He received his master’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Michigan and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Certified Wellness Coach. Rusty is the author of Living Wheat-Free for Dummies and Self-Care Reform: How to Discover Your Own Path to Good Health. To learn more, visit http://www.RustyGregory.com.

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Food Allergies Vs Food Sensitivities

The last few months have been a roller coaster ride for me. Not a fun ride but one of those roller coasters you wish you could just get off of because its making you so very sick and when it’s over you spend the rest of your days throwing up.
Since 1994 I have had a love/hate relationship with food. Years of tummy troubles, brain fog, weakness and fatigue. I would be good one day and the next I wouldn’t be able to function to save my life. In 2006 I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. Problem solved or so I thought. I felt good for a while but ended up back on the same roller coaster ride. Fast forward to 2014 (I don’t want to bore you) I reached my limit and I was either going to get off the roller coaster or die jumping off it because I just couldn’t handle it any more. Pain, bloating, gallbladder issues, heart palpitations, fatigue, grumpiness, brain fog to name just a few of my daily battles.
I had no idea that food, the very food that should be sustaining my life was taking my life. When I got all my tests back I was terrified I would starve. I thought I could never eat again. But after I ranted and raved and cried and yes threw a fit on the floor and plunged into a day or two depression I got up and decided to learn instead of just assume.
What I have are food sensitivities, they are not all food allergies. Whew! Okay what does that mean?

food allergies/intolerance/sensitivity is explained here. It’s a pretty long article and again I don’t want to bore you.
http://www.customfitnutrition.net/allergy.html 

So right now I have three things going against me. Well I have a lot more but for the sake of not going into 20 years of medical history I am going to stick with food.
Things that I am ALLERGIC to: Egg white, Soy, White Navy beans.
(Yes that was my reaction too! what? White navy beans, I never even seen a white navy bean)
I however have food SENSITIVITY to: Amaranth, Apricots, asparagus, barley, bran, brazil nuts, Brussels sprouts, buckwheat, carob, cashew, celery, clams, cloves cocoa, coffee, corn, Dairy, flaxseed, ginkgo biloba, horseradish, malts, melons, millet, oats, okra, orange, oyster, papaya, pecan, poppy seed, pumpkin, rye, squash, tapioca, turnip, walnuts, wheat, whey yeast,

The doctor explained that I may have tested sensitive because they are foods I eat all the time but coffee and okra are the only things on there that I eat a lot of so not sure how I became sensitive to all the rest. Okay when I do eat I eat lots; like Brussels sprouts, don’t even try to stop me when I start. And the gluten well I haven’t eaten that in 8 years. So they are foods that my body doesn’t like but one day may be okay with them again, well except gluten because of the Celiac Disease.

But here is the twist, I also have a candida infection so along with all the foods listen above, all those I can’t have because of Celiac I also have to eliminate all sugar, fruits high in sugar, starchy veggies, shellfish, mushrooms, vinegar, oils, peanuts and yeast.

On with my story. I have eliminated all these items from my diet. I need to do it for 8-12 weeks. I then can add in the level one sensitivities one at a time every two weeks as long as I don’t show symptoms. I may be able to add the last one back in by the time I reach 99. Not really but it sure feels that way.

I am a foodie, I love food and I thought my life was over with celiac disease. But I with the Grace of God managed and rearranged. I know I will manage again by the Grace of God but He is going to have to work overtime on this one because I am still in the poor me stage and have no idea what to do.
I just want to eat.
I just want freedom to eat.
I’m not picky; I have been eating the same protein bar now for 30 days because I can’t tolerate any other foods. But the protein bar was taken away because it had flax plus it was the culprit in upsetting my gallbladder so bad.
Ever feel like you just can’t win?
My prayers every day will be Please God find me food to eat.

Thanks for reading. Hopefully this info helps someone who just can’t seem to get well and doctors have no idea! Try testing for food sensitivities and allergies. I am hoping this changes my entire life.

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Amanda’s Own Confections

I found the most wonderful site today, and I am absolutely thrilled about it.

Amanda’s Own confections is like paradise for those who have food allergies.   Normally I rely on Enjoy life as they are also free of the top 8 allergens but they never have special treats for holidays.    You have to go see her site and look at all the goodies she has produced for special occasions.

I myself just put in an order for Easter.   My son for the first time in his 8 years is going to get a chocolate Easter bunny!   did you catch that FIRST time in 8 years.   He has never gotten a chocolate bunny or Easter shaped treats in his basket.  Up until now I couldn’t find any.  I am so excited now to order for all the holidays.

As soon as I get the products and Easter passes I will write a review on them.   My son only eats  certain foods (my picky boy) so I am excited to see what he thinks and of course the rest of us will all weigh in as well.  I have me, my son and my daughter who have food allergies who are very picky on things.   It must taste good to pass our approval.   then you have my husband and my other daughter with no food allergies, they are important because they taste test and tell me if it tastes as good as any allergy filled treat.  (after 8 years allergy free its hard sometimes for us to remember what other things taste like.)

I am just so super excited I cannot even tell you what this means to me.   An actual Easter bunny in my son’s basket.   I am just on cloud 9 today.

More to this when the tasting begins.   but til then go check out her site, its amazing.   I know you won’t be disappointed with all that she offers.   

 

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Immaculate Cookies

I found Immaculate gluten free chocolate chunk cookies in the dairy department of our local store.   It is pre-made cookie dough that you just take out of the package and place on a cookie sheet.   One package $6.50 makes 12 jumbo cookies.   I however chopped each cookie into 4 pieces to make 48 little cookies.   They were cute little cookies but only one bite cookies so it was almost like you didn’t get a cookie.  but at the high price I wanted more than 12 cookies, next time I will just have 12 or 24 cookies.

here is what I loved about these cookies:

1. I could go to my store and buy a ready made cookie dough that I can just place on a cookie sheet to bake and eat.

2.  I could freeze these and just take out 1 or 2 cookies as needed for special occasions in the lunch box for my son.

3.  they are gluten/dairy/soy free every thing I need.

4.  Easy, and the taste was good.  Not extraordinary however very addicting.  Nothing beats a warm gooey cookie and they got the approval of my most picky critic (my son).

 

Here is what I didn’t like:

1.   the cost.   55 cents per cookie isn’t bad but for $6.50 I could buy boxed cookies that would go around a little further.   but they wouldn’t have the homemade warm gooey taste.  so not really a big deterrent.

 

Over all I really liked these cookies and I will buy and make again.  I just loved how easy they were.   The Betty Crocker boxed cookies still takes effort to stir up and the pilsbury tub cookie dough still has to be formed and placed but these you just take out a hunk and bake.  they are already done for you and cook up to a nice warm gooey cookie that goes good with a glass of almond milk.

I am really wanting some right now but the kiddos have already dived into them so will have to go buy some more later.

photo 1 photo 2

 

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Mini Tostada Cups

My son recently got into tostadas.   Its a pain in the neck to keep spreading the beans and the cheese and the sauce on them so I thought lets see if we can simplify the process.

I took yellow corn tortillas (any tortilla will work) and I also used a brown rice tortilla.  I liked the result the same with both of them.

Using a circular cookie cutter I cut out a big circle.  It was large enough that when I stuffed it in a muffin pan the edges raised above the muffin cup.   I then put a dollop of re-fried beans in it and topped with a safe sauce (he likes taco bell packets) I baked in the oven at 350 degrees until bubbly hot then topped them with daiya cheese and let the cheese melt on top while they cooled down for eating.

I also experimented with other types that everyone else would eat, a dab of beans, a dab of ground beef, salsa and onions then topped with cheddar cheese and let bake.  the cheese got crispy and the flavors all melted together.

this is a recipe I would do again.

But what do you do with all the scraps from the leftover tortillas?   glad you asked!   You have your deep fryer going and make fresh tortilla chips (odd shaped ones but useable) that can be used for dinner with guacamole or salsa or stored for later use.

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Regrowing Food

photoGrowing up in Kansas and Colorado one of the things I did not want when I grew up was to live on a farm.   I detest gardening (mainly because of the bugs and dirt) and taking care of farm animals.    Of course back then I had a momma who did all the gardening and the washing and the fixing and such.      I was quite happy with my life with no gardening until of course now when our family has so many food allergies to worry about.   (note:  I am going in for a complete work up of food allergies you may see a whole new blog soon depending on my findings.  It will still be gluten free but it may be go 100% dairy, soy and other things as well)

I would now give anything to grow all my own foods, to raise all the meats and eggs and I would love to garden.  Sadly I have no where to do it right now.   We are thinking about putting a raised garden in the back someday but it would be very expensive since our back yard goes up small mountain.  Lots of landscaping, lots of investment but so worth it in the end.  Also we would need some kind of heated greenhouse since 6 months out of the year its too cold for anything to grow.

With all this in mind I started a table top garden.   I wanted to start out easy but will be increasing my items soon to include onions and whatever I can research to grow.    You should already know I have a pineapple growing, its doing well but will be years before it produces fruit.   but my lettuce and celery wow those are just doing well.

All you do is take the ends and put them in a cup of water (about 1/4 the way up the stem) and keep it watered and it goes to town.   the photo is 3 days growth.  If I have a few of these going I can have fresh salad all the time.  I am tickled that I actually grew something and I will be putting these in bigger pots with dirt soon I think or I may just leave them in cups on my window sill.  Not sure yet, I didn’t think it would work so didn’t plan ahead.   I have tons of windows and if I can just put a pot of veggies in a sunbeam that would be great, I can have a mini garden inside the house.

What do you think about that, have you tried something like this before?  I would love to know your thoughts on this.

 

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Mediterranean Snacks, Baked Lentil Chips

Mediterranean Snacks

Baked Lentil chips, Parmesan Garlic flavored.

This is a gluten free lentil chip, with 130 calories per serving of 1 ounce.   The ingredient list is long and I tend to stick with things with minimal ingredients but they say that it has 60% less fat than regular potato chips and is a good source of fiber.

first thing I noticed was this is a very messy snack.  Don’t even attempt to eat this in your car or on the go.  I was sitting at the table and it still got everywhere.   Still now I can smell the strong smell of garlic and Parmesan.  Not a bad thing if you like that flavor combo, which I didn’t.   I found the two flavors very overpowering and a citrus aftertaste that was so strong I felt like I was eating vinegar chips.    I just did not enjoy these at all.  I also felt a little sick to my tummy after eating them.

they have other flavors I would be willing to try but for these I was done almost as soon as I started.  I ate the full 1 ounce slowly to give them the benefit of my doubt because I know all people are different with different tastes.  but I couldn’t get over the fact of how messy they were and how over powering the taste was.  It was hard to eat the chip through the flavor.   I couldn’t even tell you if the chip had a nice crunch it was just that disguised by the flavoring.

So I have to say sorry to Mediterranean foods, I will not be buying these lentil chips again although I will eventually try the other flavors.

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