Category Archives: Recipes

Shake Up Your Morning

It was in September that I saw my OBGYN about intense ovulation and menstrual pain. It had been several months of this so I wanted answers. I started to assume it was the endometriosis my mom may have so “kindly” passed down to me.

After an ultrasound, I received a phone call from another doctor telling me that I had a cyst on my ovary the size of a baseball!

A BASEBALL! I freaked out… ain’t gonna lie… especially when they then instructed me that I should have blood work done to double check…cancer levels… That was it! I quickly lost it!

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Then, the doctor went right into talking about having to monitor it for a few months and then discussed going on the pill or even surgery.  That was not a good night for me or my husband to say the least. (It was also the night I found out he would be traveling to Paris for business without me….double whammy!!)

After I gathered myself again, I turned to prayer, believing everything would be okay.  Instead, of my typical reaction of panic, panic and more panic.   I consciously chose to train my brain to believe that: I. WOULD. BE. TOTALLY. OKAY. AND. HEALTHY.

A week later, the blood work came back with the wonderful news that my inflammation number was in the normal range.   So now it was just waiting game until I would be rechecked in a couple months. Therefore, I reached out to a holistic doctor about what I could do. She gave some supplements to help decrease estrogen levels and also suggested lots of cruciferous vegetables and as many greens as possible. Sadly, she also recommended that I cut out alcohol and dairy for 30 days. Noooo not the wine!

So, I loaded up on broccoli and cauliflower in my lunches and dinners.  Riced cauliflower was my best friend in my stir frys, salads, and even soups. I already wasn’t eating dairy during the week, only on the weekends with pizza.  With liquor, I stopped the random glass of wine during the week, only a glass or two on the weekends.  But as far as the other greens…. how many greens could I actually eat? That is when I decided to play around with morning shakes, finding my favorite green one.

I called it my morning “Shake Up” or as my daughter calls it, a green “milk shake.”

And here it is… with some variations. I like to vary it up too.  My husband turned me into a creature of habit, or maybe I always was one.  Regardless, variety is important so I try my hardest to vary it up.

SHAKE IT UP RECIPE #1

  1. ice cubes (a couple handfuls)
  2. 2 Tablespoons almond butter
  3. 1 cup almond milk or Silk’s Protein Milk (almond, cashew, pea)
  4. 2 dates (You can add up to 4.  I keep it light for sugar purposes)
  5. 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  6. 1 Tablespoon flax seeds
  7. 1 Tablespoon – a good sourced Cacao powder (optional)
  8. A teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)
  9. a cup of spinach or kale (I usually stick to spinach although lately I’m on a kale kick)
  10. 1-2 stalks of celery or even cucumber
  11. Maca powder (optional)
  12. Organic protein powder (optional)

Directions:  Combine and blend well. We use a Vitamix to blend. (It was by far one of my best purchases as far as kitchen items.)

Two months later, when I was retested, the cyst was almost completely undetectable.  Thank you God! Thank you for shakin’ it up and making my faith grow even more.  Thank you for those morning shakes that kick start my days right, even as we rush out of the house with the Vitamix still dirty in the sink.

 

Butternut Squash Soup

While I don’t always eat it, I love soup and get into little kicks of making it every weekend.  Since it has been unbearably cold lately, soups have stolen the spot from salads as my lunch.

After some experimenting, here is my new favorite butternut squash soup recipe.

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Total Time: an hour

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

3 cups vegetable stock/ vegetable broth

Olive oil

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 apple, cored and chopped

1 yellow onion

1-2 butternut squashes (I usually use 1.5 for the soap and the other .5 for another meal)

2 garlic cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon sage

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

optional – nutmeg

1/2- 1 cup of So Delicious boxed unsweetened coconut milk

1 bag of riced cauliflower

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut the butternut squash in halves and sprinkle lightly with olive oil. Place face down in the oven for about 45 minutes at 400 degrees or until soft.
  2. Chop the other vegetables.
  3. Saute the onions and garlic with some olive oil for 3-5 minutes. (Optional)
  4. Add the vegetable stock or broth, carrots, onion, apple, and all the spices into a pot on the stove.   Cook on a medium heat for about 30 minutes.
  5. When the butternut squash is done.   Spoon out the squash and put into the pot on the stove.
  6. Mix in the coconut milk.
  7. Blend it all in a blender.  Our favorite is the Vitamix.
  8. After it is all blended, pour back into the original pot and add the rice cauliflower for texture until it is warmed up and ready to go.
  9. Add some paprika and cilantro to the top or even some crumbled organic turkey bacon (Optional)
  10. Enjoy!

Delicious! Now, I am excited for my lunch for the next couple days and the best part is…. with a crazy busy week coming up, I don’t need to do a single thing but heat it up.

Do you have a favorite soup? If so, what kind?  I am always up for a new soup recipe to try out.

 Give this one a try, but of course modify it to your dietary needs and taste buds.  It will not disappoint even on a counter that still needs to be cleared…

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Replacements Over Recipes

We spent a lot of that first year or two after TJ’s diagnosis, avoiding, avoiding, and more avoiding. It was easier and safer for us to just do our own thing and not have to worry about food allergies, skin reactions, cross contamination, and other people’s ignorance to it. However, despite what I once believed, avoiding was not the best option for us.

Let me explain…

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To start, we are homebodies who like to get out sometimes. Since TJ still has not eaten food other than what we’ve made or bought, we make sure to be prepared beforehand. This may mean…packing his favorite foods, contacting the parent before a birthday party or a family member before a family gathering or holiday.

For preschool, I ask for a monthly list of special events where treats would be given or food would be present. We also kept a bag of Oreos, a treat he rarely has but loves, for the times that somehow slip through the cracks or an impromptu kind of party.

Whatever it is, it helps us ensure that we have alternatives that are dairy, egg and peanut free and that TJ is included as much as possible.

(Look for an upcoming post on some of our favorite store-bought party options for when baking does not fit into our schedule.)

In all the allergy free recipes we’ve tried, TJ and I have had the most success with replacing ingredients, instead of full recipes. Here is what I mean:

You can make anything just as tasty, if not tastier peanut, egg and dairy free or whatever allergen you have… it just calls for some creativity.

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To start, we like to find actual recipes that contain even his allergies and then we replace with safe products and work our magic.

One of our creations in 2018 was stuffing for Thanksgiving but it would be delicious to add to any dinner throughout the year. Our entire family devoured it too. Of course, letting TJ have his portion first.

Here is the beauty:

Stuffing

(Dairy, Egg & Peanut Free)

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Oven temperatures: 300 degrees then 350 degrees

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 of a loaf of organic honey bread
  • 4 Tablespoons – organic Earth’s Balance spread
  • 3/4 cup of diced celery
  • 3/4 cup of diced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 package of turkey sausage (We used Applegate’s chicken and apple version)
  • 1 and 1/4 cup of vegan vegetable stock (We used the Kitchen Basics brand.)
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 Tablespoon sage
  • 1 Tablespoon parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Chop bread into cubes and toast the bread cubes in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  2.  Once out of the oven, turn the oven to 350 degrees.  Melt Earth’s Balance then saute onions, celery and garlic until soft.  (about 10 minutes)
  3. Add veggies to bread cubes in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Don’t wash pan, but remove the veggies, and add sausage and cook.  Then, cut it into bite-size pieces.
  5.  Add chicken or vegetable broth/stock, applesauce, and the spices to bread cube mixture.   Mix until moist.
  6. Transfer into a greased oven pan/tray.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes.

 
Let us know what you think. Let us know if and how you switched it up and made it your own.  We hope you enjoy!

And remember even though our kitchen counter may never be cleared off, we are continuing to smile our way through the mess one recipe at a time…

 

stuffing

Allergic Living’s Gluten-Free Cranberry and Banana Loaf

Check out the following recipe from Allergic Living‘s site and smile on with us this Christmas Eve…

 

Gluten-Free Cranberry and Banana Loaf

Source: http://allergicliving.com/

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Allergic Living’s Gluten-Free & Allergy-Friendly Holiday Snacks, Baking Finds and Party Foods

Allergic Living published the following, excellent resource to help with holiday baking and parties.   Check it out and smile on with us to a delicious and allergy-friendly holiday…

 

Gluten-Free & Allergy-Friendly Holiday Snacks, Baking Finds and Party Foods

Source: http://allergicliving.com/

Allergen-Friendly Holiday Buckeyes

A friend just sent me the following recipe for an allergy-friendly holiday dessert.   Since it made our bellies growl and faces smile, we needed to share…

http://www.superhealthykids.com/allergen-friendly-holiday-buckeyes/

Source: http://www.superhealthykids.com/

Making The Holidays Happy AND Allergy-Friendly