Monday, October 14, 2019

Meatless Monday - Are you Hungry

Sorry it's been so long since posting - I was off doing book tours and signings for my book published just before summer.  So let's catch up!

For my "meatless Monday" I'm going to feature a meat-free lunch and dinner recipe.  The lunch uses some pre-made products and cooks in minutes, perfect to make up before work to stick in a little cooler to reheat for lunch or to have on a short break at home on "off" or "telework" days.

Dinner uses things you likely have around the house.  Not only is it quick to make it's SUPER cheap - like a QUARTER per serving when you buy your beans and pasta in bulk.

Breakfast was a smoothie made with a a green  apple, some green grapes, spring water, a big handful of spinach and some protein powder. It was really refreshing. I also packed some cut up raw veggies and an apple for an afternoon snack.
Lunch was Gardein mandarin orange crispy chicken.  I got these for 4 bags  for $10 at the store on sale which works out to just a little over a buck per recommended serving. These are my all time favorite vegetarian products for having the taste and texture of  cooked meat without a lot of ingredients I can't pronounce (and they have a great bean burger). Seriously, look at the ingredient list of some other well known brands of "veggie meats - it's a science experiment! This offering has gluten but for those of you sensitive or intolerant, Gardein has several products which are gluten free and very tasty.

Main Ingredients: water, soy protein, wheat gluten, expeller pressed canola oil, wheat, amaranth, millet, quinoa, yeast, vegetable gum, potato starch, sea salt, natural flavors from plant sources, onion powder, vinegar, garlic powder, pea protein, carrot fiber, beetroot fiber, paprika, turmeric and natural smoke flavoring. I'm sensitive to soy, but eating it just once a week doesn't bother my IBS, I just can't eat it daily.  The sauce is sweetened with mandarin and tangerine juice concentrate and chopped orange peel. This blows the Ailuropoda melanoleuca Express fast-food orange chicken out of the water, considering how healthy it is.
It cooks up in a pan in a little olive oil in just six minutes (or you can bake in the oven for 15-18 min.)  The sauce is in a little packet you just heat up in a coffee cup full of hot water.  I served with some quinoa I made in the microwave.  The package says "serves 3" but my husband and I, when eating together, split the bag when it's the orange chicken because we just love it.

With the quinoa (and a small side salad) lunch was in at less than 400 calories with 21 grams of complete protein.
Dinner was lentil pasta sauce.  I used a jar of pasta sauce I got on sale for .99 cents to which I added extra basil and some caramelized onion (optional for those of you who don't eat onion), a shake or two of crushed red pepper, a drop of honey and two cups of cooked lentils.  (rinse and simmer 20 minutes, and you have lentils!).

I tossed it with some cooked spaghetti with just a tiny sprinkle of cheese and a side of cooked carrots. The leftover sauce also freezes well for a quick meal another day.

The days protein was around 50 grams with the protein powder in the smoothie, enough for a woman of my weight on a day I wasn't very physically active.  Note:  If you want to know how much protein you need, for other than a very active person -  convert your weight to kilograms and multiply that by .8 to get the grams.

It was also high in fiber and low in saturated fat, a win win that won't have you missing the meat.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Bacon and Blueberries - Gluten-Free

Blueberry muffins and bacon - one of my favorite breakfasts. Muffins made with Otto's Cassava flour (made out of the yucca plant) Gluten free (yes, blood work revealed that gluten was NOT my friend) high in fiber and calcium and light as a feather (bought on Amazon) They do NOT taste "gluten-free" with that sometimes course texture gluten-free gets. They do tend to use a bit more liquid than when working with regular flour so here is the recipe. Otto's website has a bunch of great recipes (seriously, try the copycat Chick Fila chicken strips).

Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, or ghee, softened
2 egg yolks
1 and 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 and 1/2 cups Otto's Naturals - Cassava Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup to 1 cup full-fat coconut milk or regular milk
1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice
3/4 cup dry fresh blueberries
2 egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 C for my Canadian friend). Prepare a muffin pan with liners.

In a small bowl, combine milk and vinegar. Stir and let sit for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter, until fluffy. Add in the egg yolks and mix thoroughly. Set the egg whites aside
Stir in lemon juice and zest.

In a separate bowl, combine Otto's Naturals - Cassava flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Slowly add milk mixture and flour mixture to the large bowl of ingredients. When mixed, stir in berries.

Beat the egg whites and gently fold in. Fill muffin pan and bake for about 15-18 minutes.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Fluffy AND Gluten Free

Folks, I'm really loving my Otto's gluten/nut/soy free Cassava flour (I can't do  the popular gluten-free almond flour as almonds are on my "hit list" from my IBS blood sensitivity test.)  Casssava also has 12 grams of fiber per cup and more calcium and B vitamins than regular flour.

They taste just like my regular fluffy pancakes, it just took a slight tweak to the recipe.

Otto's is made out of the yucca plant (excluding the peel) and acts just like regular flour in most recipes, just lacking the gluten and it doesn't have that artificial taste of most commercial "gluten-free" products. I've tried other brands and Otto's just simply can't be beaten.
In a large bowl mix:
1 cup Otto's cassava flour (I bought mine on Amazon)
1 tsp. no sodium baking soda (Hains)
1/2 teaspoon low sodium salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon sugar.

In another bowl mix:
1/2 cup goat milk yogurt
1/2 cup spring water or goat milk
1 splash of vanilla
1 large egg (whisked)

then slowly stream in 2 Tablespoons melted butter.

Mix wet ingredients into dry.  Stirring until combined.

You want the batter to be slightly thicker than cake batter, but less thick than brownie batter.  I ended up adding an additional l/4 cup water.

Using a small measuring cup to place batter on the oiled griddle, cook the pancakes on a slightly lower heat than regular pancakes cooking until browned on both sides. Keep them fairly small (about 4-5 inches across).  Makes 10-12. Served with Kerrygold butter and pure maple syrup.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Gluten Free with Cassava Flour

Since a blood test determined I was gluten sensitive and I found that typical wheat products trigger my IBS I've been playing around with a number of gluten-free recipes and mixes.  All were pretty good but they did not taste the same way as using regular white flour. Plus I'm also sensitive to almonds so the popular gluten-free almond flour was out and my husband HATES coconut so that is out as well if we're both going to eat it.

Then I found Otto's  Cassava Flour.  It's gluten free, nut free, grain, and soy free, and it works just like flour in most recipes.   I have tried other brands but NONE were as smooth and mellow tasting as Otto's.

It's made out of the yucca plant which has been around for centuries and that use the entire root (minus the peel) to make the flour, they don't just extract the starch and add xanthan gum or fillers.  An added benefit - a cup of flour has 12 grams of fiber and calcium that wheat doesn't have!

I made my Swedish waffles with it this morning and my husband did not recognize that it was "gluten-free" (he can normally tell.).  He just said "new recipe?  These are really good!"

Gluten Free Swedish Waffles

In bowl mix 1 cup Otto Cassava Flour
1 tsp. sodium free baking powder
1/2 tsp. low sodium salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 Tablespoon sugar

In another bowl whisk (adding the butter in slowly)
1 cup milk - room temperature
splash of vanilla,
1 egg - room temperature
2 Tablespoons melted butter (NOTE:  f you are watching your fat you can reduce to 1 Tablespoon and just use a little extra non-stick spray on the waffle iron - they will taste the same).

Mix wet and dry.  The Cassava flour requires a bit more stirring than regular flour to get a smooth texture.  Place 1/3 cup batter in a Swedish waffle iron and cook until done.

Monday, May 6, 2019

What I've Learned About Aging and Healthy Eating

It was the early 60's.  My Brother won the barbecue in a contest.  For the photo op it was raining and the potato was raw.  But I think we nailed the photo!

1. My goal for 2019 was to lose 10 pounds. Only have 14 to go.
2. I ate salad for dinner. Mostly croutons & tomatoes. Really just one big round crouton covered with tomato sauce. And cheese. FINE, it was a pizza.  I ate a pizza, are you happy now ?
3. How to  prepare Tofu:
Throw it in the trash
Grill some meat, chicken or fish
4. I just did a week's worth of cardio after walking into a spider web.
5. I don't mean to brag, but I finished my 14-day diet food supply in 3 hours and 20 minutes.
6. A recent study has found women who carry a little extra weight live longer than men who mention it.
7. Kids today don't know how easy they have it. When I was young, I had to walk 9 feet through the shag carpet to change the TV channel.
8. Remember back when we were kids and every time it was five below zero outside they closed school? Yeah, Me neither.
9. I may not be that funny or athletic or good looking or smart or talented. I forgot where I was going with this.
10. I love being over 60, I learn something new every day and forget something old.
11. November 4, 2018, marked the end of Daylight Saving Time. Hope you didn't forget to set your bathroom scale back 10 pounds on Saturday night.
12. Just remember, once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed.
13.  Things I've learned from social media:  I followed a diet - it didn't follow me back, so I unfollowed it.