WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Sweet Potato Whoopie Pies. (Gluten free, soy free, corn free, nut free, dairy free, )



We really miss pumpkin. Sweet potatoes though make a pretty good substitution. We use sweet potato puree pretty regularly so I have gotten in the habit of freezing 1 cup portions to keep on hand in the freezer. Not quite as much moisture or tenderness, but still very very tasty. For once I had more coconut yogurt then I could use and decided to just mix some of the yogurt with corn-free powdered sugar for a filling.. it turned out well and reminds us just a little bit of cream cheese which was an added bonus! Despite the guar gum and sweet potato these were still a touch delicate and not quite as dense as a pumpkin cookie. Simply means they need to be eaten more quickly! :-)

2 1/4 cup all purpose gluten free flour
1 teaspoon guar gum(or psyllium husk powder)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon clove(cinnamon or a pumpkin spice blend would work great too!)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder(homemade for safest corn free option)
1/2 teaspoon pink himalayan salt(use what is safe for you)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar(1 tablespoon plantation blackstrap to 1 cup C&H organic cane makes 1 cup not packed so double up)
1/2 cup organic Tropical Traditions palm shortening
1/2 cup pureed cooked sweet potato
1/4 cup homemade coconut milk
1 egg(I think an egg replacer would work well with this recipe)
1 teaspoon homemade vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350


1) Mix vanilla,egg,coconut milk, sweet potato,palm shortening and brown sugar until smooth.

2) Add rest of ingredients and mix until blended.

3) Place by the spoonful(about a tablespoon)about 2 inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

4) Bake 9-10 minutes. Allow to cool. Glaze or fill.


We used strained homemade coconut yogurt plus enough corn-free powdered sugar to thicken it as a creamy filling for our cookies. You could use 7 minute frosting, any frosting of your choice, marshmallow creme,maybe some coconut milk ice cream? You could also just use a simple glaze instead of making sandwiches.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Genetic Testing at Kiosk Near You!

You go to the mall and stop by the G-Kiosk. Rub a test strip across your tongue and deposit it..pick an option. 1) basic risk factors. 2) preparing to get pregnant 3)life lengthening tips 4)Full scan including all disease risks. 5)Epigenetic changes since your last visit... 5 minutes later a printout pops out and you are on your merry way.


Your whole genetic self, like a snapshot in front of you.

It is important to know yourself, inside and out.


There is a key card that comes with your printout. You quickly scan your results and you are on your way to better health.



So we don't have it yet, but I see it coming soon enough. I cannot wait!


Would it not be terrific to know what foods work best for your body?

Would it not be terrific to quickly compare your genetic's with your partner to help decide child planning?

Would it not be terrific to know if you had been exposed to toxins?(epigenetic)

Would it not be terrific to know which medicines were safe or dangerous?

Whether you would fair better in heat or cold? Humid or dry?

To know you are higher risk for certain cancers? Might help you decide whether that bacon was worth it..

To whether or not you were immune to certain infectious disease? Or whether the vaccines would cause disability in you? No vaccines needed for you!

To prevent diseases like Mitochondrial Disease, MCAS, Autism, MS and so many others that toxins contribute to????

To know if your microbiome needed a quick tune up(serving of homemade Kraut anyone?)

Of course we will always need Genetic Specialists, we are far too complex to not need them.. but it would create a new Professional, a genetic consultant who could help you plan nutrition or exercise or workplace exposures or what you needed to eat for an optimal pregnancy based on your very own and very individual genetics.


Companies like 23 and me are bringing us that much closer to better lives. To more affordable and accessible healthcare.

Our basic selves that we have access to that we don't have to rely on Drs, hospitals and Specialists.. It would be better for them too! They would reduce their patient load to only those that truly need their help and where environment changes would not matter. We would be healthier in general and need fewer Drs.. Our Drs. are terribly overworked. It can take a year to get into the right Specialist.. with the ability to access our own information in a fast and timely matter it would make their job easier. A person might even find that they don't need the Dr, that they just need to avoid green beans or quit taking motrin.


Empowered.

If this type of technology was available when Abby was a baby? I bet she would be finishing her Masters right now.. dating, working.. instead of home bound and ill. We could have avoided so much and created a very special and targeted diet that was safe for her and prevented so much damage.


How many Abby's are out there?

A genetic Kiosk machine could prevent permanent disabilities in MILLIONS.


People would have the power to make the right choices for their bodies, that in itself would be a breakthrough for mankind. Our weary medical system could scale back, they would have more time and more resources to accurately diagnosis and treat the far fewer patients that needed them.


Yep, when the option pops up for me to buy stocks in the G-Kiosk? I am going ALL-IN.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Teff and Sweet Potato Gnocchi(dairy free, soy free, corn free, gluten free, rice free)


Certainly not the classic gnocchi but a very tasty version. No ricotta and no parmesan cheese. Closer to a "noodle" cut into gnocchi shapes. Sometimes something a little heavy is what we want to eat. These are heavy but the sweet potato offer a tenderness that makes them work very well. Teff is just good stuff. It has a nutty flavor and it is incredibly nutrient dense. Derek tries to avoid rice flours and starches when possible so these were right up his alley. Mine are kind of clunky, but they still taste great! Just try to make them into equal size pieces for more even cooking.



Sweet Potato Teff Gnocchi

1 cup of mashed(still warm) sweet potato
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon pink himalayan salt(or safe for you salt)
2 cups of Teff Company teff flour(more on hand for adding as needed and flouring the board)


Mix the warm sweet potato with egg, salt and first cup of flour. Keep adding teff flour until you have a soft dough you can roll. Better your dough a little too soft and sticky then to add too much flour.

Roll into ropes aprox 1 inch diameter on a well floured board. Cut into 1 inch pieces and press fork prongs to one side. Place on a lightly floured board.

Bring water to a boil, add Teff/sweet potato gnocchi- remove to strain when they float.


We made a basic white sauce with shallots,mushrooms,thyme and baby bok choy. I used homemade chicken stock for the liquid and I also added in homemade coconut yogurt to offer some richness.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Bunny Tail Cupcakes: gluten free, corn free, dairy free, soy free, nut free, color and chemical free....




I saw these on pinterest last year and swore I would make a clean and safe version for Abby. Considering my lack of artistic ability, we were pretty pleased how these turned out. Which means, the average person could make them far prettier then mine.


I used The Sasha Cake recipe for the cupcakes, just reduced the time to 18-20 minutes.


I made a quick icing (palm shortening, corn-free powdered sugar, homemade vanilla extra, dash of pink himalayan salt,homemade coconut milk) to top the cupcakes and I promptly dipped them in Tropical Traditions shredded coconut.


I used my recipe minus the granulated sugar in the recipe for The Cookie Filling that make all Cookies Wonderful to shape the bunny tails and feet. I rolled the bunny tails in the shredded coconut before placing on the cupcake.


Lastly, I mixed some hibiscus flower powder with hot water, and corn-free powdered sugar(homemade is safest)to make the pink for decorating the feet. (raspberries,cherries,strawberries can all provide a nice bit of red juice to color icing) I used the smallest tip I had for an icing bag.


Overall, I have to say this one was easy. A little time consuming but definitely glad we did it this year!



Friday, March 27, 2015

Chewy Coconut Cookies(gluten free, dairy free, corn free, soy free, nut free)



Easy, fast and I always have the ingredients on hand. These keep really well and are sturdy enough to travel for a snack. These are crisp on the edges and soft and chewy for the centers. Cookies just don't get much easier.




1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour(depending on the amount of starch in your blend you may need to add an additional tablespoon or 2)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon pink himalayan salt(or what is safe for you)
1/2 cup Tropical Traditions organic Palm Shortening
1/2 cup packed brown sugar(domino's organic cane plus organic Plantation blackstrap molasses)
1/2 cup domino's organic cane sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon homemade vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups Tropical Traditions flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350

In large bowl cream sugars, egg, vanilla, and palm shortening.

Add flour, baking soda,salt and mix well. Add coconut flakes.

Place on parchment lined cookie sheet by the teaspoonful. Give plenty of space between cookies as they spread.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before storing.



NOTE: there are huge variables in gluten free flours, from types to even name brands. I always do a "trial" cookie before proceeding with a full batch. With this recipe if anything you "might" need to add an additional tablespoon or so of gf flour to the batter to get the right texture. They are meant to be flat- crisp edges, and chewy centers.

Rosemary Coconut Yogurt Lima Beans(gluten free, soy free, corn free, dairy free,egg free)



I used to hate lima beans. My Mom would buy the frozen veggie blend and those were grainy and hard lima beans! I suspect a couple generations of children who had to eat those grainy lima's probably cringe at the thought of eating them. I am so glad I decided to cook the dried lima beans in the pressure cooker, they are truly transformed into an amazing soft and buttery texture.

"Lima beans contain the trace mineral, molybdenum, a component of the enzyme sulfite oxidase, which is responsible for detoxifying sulfites. While we should all avoid sulfites having a good store in our bodies of molybdenum can help our bodies handle it better. Lima beans are an excellent source of molybdenum and a very good source of dietary fiber, copper, and manganese. Lima beans are good sources of folate, phosphorus, protein, potassium, vitamin B1, iron, magnesium, and vitamin B6." (read more at the website "The World's Healthiest Foods")


Rosemary Coconut Yogurt Lima Beans:

1 cup homemade chicken broth(there isn't a corn-free store bought)
1 cup homemade coconut yogurt
1 finely minced shallot
3 Tablespoons fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon pink himalayan salt(or what is safe for you)
2 cups well cooked lima beans(I soak dried overnight and cook in the pressure cooker for 15-20)
grapeseed oil or coconut oil(to saute the shallot)
1 Tablespoon potato or arrowroot starch plus water
(paprika to serve if wanted)


In saucepan saute shallot in oil until tender.

Add rosemary and cook until fragrant(just a minute or so)

Add chicken broth, bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes- just enough to infuse the broth with the tasty rosemary flavor.

In a cup mix potato starch and about 1/3 cup water. Pour in a bit at a time to the boiling broth to thicken slightly.

Mix in yogurt,lima beans and salt.

Serve.

(serve with grain to complete the protein)


Monday, March 23, 2015

Leftover Corn-Free Cornbread Bake(gluten free, corn free, dairy free, soy and nut free)


I love corn free cornbread- it truly is BETTER then cornbread. Tastes better, better texture and works better as a leftover!


We made too much the other day so I cut it and threw it in the freezer. I found that I can take a few pieces out a time and it reheats very well. We were in the mood for a casserole or bread pudding and all I had was leftover corn-free cornbread and we were shocked by how easy and how good the flavors worked together it this dish!

Corn-free Cornbread Bake:(recipe for Corn-Free Cornbread)


2 cups of stale cubed corn free cornbread(I freeze our leftovers and thaw it before cubing)
4 eggs
1 cup homemade coconut yogurt
1/2 teaspoon dried or fresh organic thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt(we use pink himalayan but use what is safe for you)
1 finely minced and sauteed organic shallot(or onion or leek)
1 cup of sliced and sauteed organic button mushrooms.


Preheat oven to 350

Grease baking dish(casserole, single serves, or loaf pan)

Place corn-free cornbread cubes in bottom of baking dish.

In bowl mix eggs,yogurt,salt,thyme well and set aside.


Saute the shallots and mushroom and pour them over the top of the corn-free cornbread cubes.

Pour egg mixture over the top of the mushrooms and cubes.

Bake for 30-40 minutes. Serve hot.

(egg in general doesn't reheat well).


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March:

You know, sometimes you don't realize how well things are rolling until you run into trouble.


Overall Abby has been stable- not great, but not bad either. Little issues that are just going to be a part of her life, but in general she was on a pretty good run. With the longer periods of stable we don't seem to see as many truly good days with her but on a positive we sure don't get as many bad days.. It all balances out.


About 2 weeks ago she tumbled into a flare.. the bladder pain and bleeding, the odd sleep schedule,GI issues, the proteinuria, muscle pain and headaches and the odd hickey like rashes are on her skin.


We have gone over again and again what could have possibly triggered this one, and for the life of us we just cannot pinpoint anything in particular. Either some cold/virus since we have passed a few around and Derek has been back and forth to France which means who knows what type of fun bugs he was exposed to on the plane or there or could be just the season change. It really has been an unusual Houston spring this year. Late and cooler and wetter then the last few years. Certainly plenty of pollen the last few days as well. Sometimes once she is in a flare, any little trigger can continue to keep her flared until we can empty out the bucket.


During a flare, we just have learned to sit back and wait it out. Usually after a few days we start seeing some small improvements, at least enough to settle that worry that is growing deep in the pit of my stomach that maybe this time something really bad is going to break with her. But, again and again her body does it's magic and bounces out the flare just in the nick of time.


This time she is 2 weeks into a good flare and no signs of improvement. Last week I was getting anxious. I kept saying to myself - don't worry, any day now things will settle out. But, while she was no worse over the weekend she still isn't on the mend yet.


I hated to do but we went ahead and had her get labs done. Usually when we panic the labs come back fine! So, we are kind of hoping her body gets tricked into behaving with this flare as well.


The pollen should be be settling down and the spring will be over in a blink of an eye, so hopefully she will be back to a nice steady stable quicker then the labs take coming back.


I remember when the girls were little and would be sick and run a fever. After a few days I knew it was time to take them and let the Dr. take a look, and wouldn't you know it, but 5 out of 10 times by the time we actually got to the Dr. office the fever would be gone and they would be all sorts of bouncy and ready to roll! We are hoping for the same thing this time around- we called her bodies bluff! :-)

Overall though she hasn't lost any foods recently- which is a huge relief. She is still tolerating the peanuts but in small amounts. I suspect the fat content and just that nuts are difficult to digest keep her from enjoying more then a bit at a time. But hey, a bit is better then none!

Abby turns 20 in April. Crazy since she is our "baby'. Hoping the flare will be over and she will have a nice healthy 20th birthday!



Sunday, March 15, 2015

Red Bean Paste:



Red Bean Paste is an all time Abby favorite! However, it is very difficult to find it "clean" or safe in a can.


To our joy it is incredibly easy to make. Usually darker colored beans aren't something she tolerates but the adzuki beans just seem to work for her, maybe because we add sugar when we make it into a paste?


Abby will spread it on a biscuit,pancake, instead of jam, in a crepe, even coconut ice cream and of course it makes a terrific filling for a cookie!


Full of iron,potassium and folic acid. No fat,good carbs- if you want to try to increase some value to a "treat" this is a terrific way to do it.


4 oz(half a bag)Adzuki beans(asian markets,international markets, and Amazon)
Water
1 cup organic C&H cane Sugar.




Soak the beans overnight.


Drain. I cook ours in the pressure cooker until they are beyond soft.


Reserve the starchy water you cooked them in.

Place well cooked beans in the blender. Add reserved bean water and blend until as smooth as you can get them. I make mine pretty soupy as I find it helps with the end result. So add enough of the reserved bean water to make a texture that is thinner then crepe batter.


Pour pureed bean into a pot. Add sugar. Bring to boil and reduce temperature to as low as possible to maintain a very slow simmer.

Stirring now and then(especially as it get's thicker you need to stir more) keep cooking until it is reduced to a paste texture. It will slightly thicken as it cools. Depending on how much of the bean cooking liquid you added this part of the process can take a few hours.


Store in the fridge for 2 weeks. Or freezes well.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Coconut Tamarind Bars(Gluten free, dairy free, corn free, soy free, nut and seed free)



Think Coconut Lemon Bar when you are trying to figure out what these will taste like. Tamarind isn't quite as crisp for flavor, but it actually reminds us a lot more of sweet tart candy. Even if you can eat lemon, you might just like the tamarind better!

Since losing lemon last year Abby has really mourned it. She has done well with Tamarind but we are hesitant to use it too often, we work hard to resist the temptation to eat it much more frequently and dutifully keep in on a long rotation! Not easy though, we adore tamarind in everything. So on days like today when I go all out using tamarind everyone is very happy in our family.

From Mercola: "Similar to the natural gums and pectins found in other foods, the sticky pulp referred to earlier contains non-starch polysaccharides, which contribute to its dietary fiber content. They bind with bile to help flush waste through the colon, decreasing the chances of it sticking around.

Each 100 grams of tamarind contain 36% of the thiamin, 35% of the iron, 23% of magnesium and 16% of the phosphorus recommended for a day's worth of nutrition. Other prominent nutrients include niacin, calcium, vitamin C, copper, and pyridoxine.

Tamarinds also contain high levels of tartaric acid, just as citrus fruits contain citric acid, providing not just a zing to the taste buds, but evidence of powerful antioxidant action zapping harmful free radicals floating through your system.

Other phytochemicals found in tamarinds include limonene, geraniol (a natural antioxidant with a rose-like scent), safrole (a natural oil also found in sassafras), cinnamic acid, methyl salicylate (a plant essence with counter-irritant properties), pyrazine, and alkyl­thiazoles (natural flavors and fragrances derived from plants and vegetables). Each brings its own flavor and/or healing property to the fruit's overall make-up."


We have had good luck buying the tamarind already shelled and compressed into blocks of the fruit.(Asian Markets, Latin Markets and Amazon of course!) You will still have to strain it to remove the seeds and veins but from my own experience it is gobs easier then shelling,removing veins and seeds from each pod individually. We did start by using the individual pods since anything "processed" is a concern for cross contaminates, but knock on wood, the blocks of tamarind have been safe.




1 cup all-purpose gluten free flour
1/2 cup cornfree powdered sugar(homemade is safest!)
1/2 teaspoon pink himalayan salt(or whatever is safe for you)
1/2 cup Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil


For the filling:

4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups organic C&H cane sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup tamarind puree (see below)
3/4 cup shredded Tropical Traditions coconut


1/4 cup corn-free powdered sugar to top the bars.



FOR CRUST:

Preheat oven to 350

Line an 8x8 pan with parchment(really the easiest they tend to stick!)


In large bowl combine flour,powdered sugar, and salt. Cut the coconut oil into the flour combo. Press firmly into pan lined with parchment paper.

Bake crust for 20 minutes.

FOR FILLING:
(reduce oven temperature to 325 after crust has baked)


In large bowl combine eggs, sugar, flour, tamarind puree, and coconut.

When crust is finished baking, pour tamarind mix over the crust.

Reduce oven heat to 325

Bake for 25-30 minutes until set. Don't over bake.

Sprinkle with corn-free powdered sugar. Allow to chill completely. We cut into this batch before it was fully chilled and it resulted in slightly messy though still delicious bars.

MAKING TAMARIND PUREE:

I buy the blocks of tamarind paste at the Asian market(on amazon as well). It is the whole fruit compressed into a block. I cut about 1/2 block into small pieces. Then I place in a bowl and cover with equal amounts of boiling hot water. Allow to soak for 10-15 minutes. Stir vigorously until it becomes more paste like. Place through fine strainer in order to remove any stems, veins and seeds. Measure out 3/4 cup tamarind for the bars. You can store remaining puree in the fridge.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Junk Free Rice A Roni(dairy free, soy free, chemical free)



Junk free and gluten free, and best of all corn-free Rice A Roni! This is really very easy to make. Use whatever safe rice you have. Use whatever safe noodle you have. We have a fine vermicelli styled all rice noodle we found at the asian market but I know there are lots of options out there. King Soba has organic noodles that are a bit thicker(more like spaghetti)but broken into small pieces would work as well. I find that the all rice noodles did not brown as well as wheat noodles, but the rice started to get a bit golden so I knew it was done.

Junk Free Rice A Roni!

1 cup uncooked rice(I used a basmati that is safe for us,careful when buying rice! Avoid Enriched it is always CORN Tainted)
1/2 cup small pieces(about 1/2 inch in length) of rice pasta(thin like vermicelli, I found ours at the Asian Market)
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
2 1/2 cup homemade chicken broth
1/4 finely minced or grated yellow onion
1 clove finely minced or grated garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1-2 teaspoons pink himalayan salt(or your safe salt)
2 Tablespoons Tropical Traditions coconut oil


To prepare:

Melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in pot.
Saute garlic and onion until soft.
Add Rice and noodles Saute for a couple minutes or until pasta or rice starts to turn golden brown.
Add parsley,thyme and salt.
Add 2 1/2 chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Serve.

NOTE: You could use onion powder instead of fresh onion and the same for garlic. But we find it safer to either dry and grind our own, or I simply use a fine grater and grate the onion and garlic into the dish.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Chickpea Ginger Cupcakes with Blackstrap Molasses Frosting( gluten free, dairy free, soy free, corn free)



I had leftover soft chickpeas in the fridge that really needed to be used. I thought about making some hummus(well, our version of hummus) but I started thinking about how smooth and silky hummus is and started to wonder if it could be made into a sweet filling. It turned out surprisingly delicious! We do love red bean paste around here so we might be a little more open minded then some when it comes to using beans, but chickpea and ginger went very well together and the smooth puree made a terrific filling for a simple cupcake. Since I was on a roll for adding some nutrition to a cupcake I opted to make some BlackStrap molasses icing. So far from healthfood, but a tasty food with some nutrition- works for us!




Ginger Cupcake:

1 1/2 cups Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon guar gum
2 teaspoons homemade baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt(safe for you)
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
3/4 cup organic C&H granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon homemade vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut milk

Preheat oven to 350

In large bowl combine flour,guar gum,baking powder,salt. Then mix in everything else until well blended.

Line cupcake pan. Divide batter between cupcakes(makes 12 cupcakes)

Bake for 18-20 minutes.

cool.



Chickpea filling:

1 cup very well cooked and cool chickpeas(mushy is best!)
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons ground ginger
water.


In high speed blender combine chickpeas,honey and ginger. Use just enough water to puree smoothly- you want something a little thinner then hummus but not much. Make sure you puree until very smooth and silky.

OPTION: Instead of honey and ground ginger you can use ginger syrup if you have some prepared in your fridge already.


Black strap Molasses Frosting:

1/3 cup palm shortening
3 cups corn-free powdered sugar (homemade is safest!)
1 teaspoon homemade vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. Plantation blackstrap Molasses
2 Tbsp. coconut milk

In large bowl cream shortening, 1 cup of the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Add molasses and more sugar and then coconut milk- alternating.

 
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