Celiac and Me

After waiting months (due to a busy schedule) I finally went in for my test results. And it turns out I don’t just have a gluten allergy but (drum roll please) Celiac Disease.  After reviewing different sites, checking into symptoms, and what my body has been going through, I had a pretty good idea I would be joining the percentage of people with Celiac. So this was not a shock for me. When having a gluten allergy or Celiac Disease the treatment is similar. NO GLUTEN. The difference between the allergy and disease is that Celiac is an autoimmune disease. The problem is my body is attacking itself. So, here I am with Celiac Disease and still gluten-free.

My doc prescribed me a variety of vitamins, a probiotic, and a gluten-free diet. EPA, DHA, malabsorption, deficiency, nutrients, autoantibodies, villa, intestines, vitamins, and gut were some of the words being crammed into my head. After reviewing everything I had clear idea of what was going on in my gut. What a mess! But on the bright side… I am still here alive and kicking! I have to go back in six months for more test to see if my vitamin’s have improved.

I walked out of the doc’s office singing, lyrics to a Puff Daddy song, “Can’t nobody hold me down… ohh no, I got to keep on movin” in my head. And moving I went… to the health food store.

Lesson learned: Don’t wait forever to get test results back! I will not be making this mistake again… EVER!

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Chicken Bowl with Black Bean Salsa

What a busy day! I spent most of the morning at my Grandparent’s house, driving around doing errands. Followed by physical therapy for my knee (I had ACL surgery last November and still recovering). After all the driving around and working out I finally made it home!

Cleaning up I had realized I didn’t know what to make for dinner! I had not planned anything that morning so I had to come up with something quick. I tossed some chicken into a pot to cook while I thought of what to make. You can make just about anything with chicken… right?

After checking the fridge for produce I decided to toss together a chicken bowl. I cleaned some rice and put it in my rice cooker (love my rice cooker). Going back to the fridge I pulling out tomatoes, a red onion, cilantro, a white chili, and jalapeno. After chopping them I opened a can of black beans added them to the mix. It was starting to look really pretty. Mixing up my black bean salsa and added salt and pepper to taste.

Once my chicken done (reaching 160 degrees) I removed it from the pot and started to shred and season.

When the rice was finished I scooped some out and placing it in my bowl. Layering it with the shredded chicken and salsa. I had an avocado so I cut it up and added it to my mountain of goodies. Yum! My meal was complete. Quick, easy, and refreshing. I think next time I might try to add some lime juice to the shredded chicken. I was even thinking of cooking an egg over medium (in place of shredded chicken) with the black bean salsa. But I will leave that for another day.

Ingredients:

1 Can Black Beans (I used low sodium)
3 Tomatoes
1 White Chili
1 Jalapeno
1 Red Onion
3 Chicken Breast
2 Avocado
1 Bundle of Fresh Cilantro
Season Salt of your choice
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:

1. Place chicken breast into stock pot, adding water and cook on medium heat.
2. Wash white rice. I used 2 cups and placed it in my rice cooker adding water as directed on cooker.
3. While the chicken is cooking chop tomatoes (salt and pepper them), white chili, jalapeno, red onion, and cilantro.
4. Open a can of black beans and rinse in colander.
5. Combine all the chopped ingredients and black beans together. Toss and season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. When chicken has reached 160 degrees remove from pot. Place in a separate bowl and begin to shred.
7. Season chicken with your season salt of choice. (I used garlic salt, garlic powder, and fresh cracked pepper.)
8. Core and remove the meat from the avocado and cute into slices or squares.
9. When the rice has finished it is now time to put together your bowl.
10. Placing rice as the first layer, add the chicken, black bean salsa, and top off with the avocados.
11. Enjoy!

Dinner in Downtown

Photo taken at Yard House Downtown San Diego, California

After a long crazy week my husband and I decided to have dinner in Downtown, San Diego. Meeting up with friends we made our way to Yard House. Having three sailors in our party, happy hour at an establishment offering a variety of beers on tap made it an obvious pick. Walking through the door I was getting ready to jump, doge, and zigzag from gluten like in an obstacle course. As soon as our server came out take our drink order I informed her of my gluten intolerance. My fellow friends were still drooling over the larger beer menu, the server said she would get me their G-free menu. The menu listed plenty of options and what to omit if you have a certain allergy. I went ahead and ordered the chicken sandwich (hold the bun), side of veggies, and Wyder’s raspberry cider. I am a huge fan of cider and very happy that it’s gluten free! My husband and friends ordered half yard of dark beers.

While we were laughing over conversation the manager came out to speak with me. I was really suprised by this. She said that my server told her I was gluten free. She wanted me to know that my order would be taken care of to provide me with a safe meal. Also asking if I had tried some of the gluten free beer they offer. I told her that I was enjoying a lovely glass of cider but hadn’t tried the beer yet. She offered me a bottle free of charge so I could try it since it’s not on tap. We were all impressed with the amount of care they were taking with  my meal; making me feel very comfortable.

Moments later the manager came out with a really cute bottle of Brunehaut Amber Ale, gluten free beer. I was super excited to taste it. I use to love a tall glass of beer at the end of the week. After pouring I took a few sips and was delighted by the flavor! It tasted just like real beer! Pyramid Hefeweizen use to be my beer of choice. Since waving good bye I haven’t welcomed another beer to my glass. But I will now happily welcome Brunehaut. My husband and his friends were interested in tasting a G-free beer so I let them share a taste in my old cider glass. They are fans of darker beers and stronger flavors but were impressed by this little bottle. They said it was a little light for them but it did have a good flavor to it and would have never guessed that it was G-free.

A few beers later and out came out food. My chicken sandwich with bacon, cheese, avocado, wrapped in lettuce, and a side of steamed veggies found its way to me. My meal tasted wonderful; followed by a sip of beer you just can’t go wrong. Our server came out to make sure that every was alright with my order and if we needed anymore drinks. It was really great how much attention they gave my meal. I will gladly visit Yard House in San Diego again.

A special thanks to their wonderful staff for giving my meal a little extra love.

Chicken Lime Cilantro Soup

 

During a late night market trip my husband and I wondered into the Mexican isle. We were looking at the ingredients of canned menudo for gluten. While I was picking up different cans my husband was amazed by a huge can of  hominy. After deciding not to buy any menudo I headed off to the ice cream isle leaving my husband and his hominy can. Picking up some Breyer’s ice cream I turned to see my husband still holding the can of hominy. He really wanted to buy this large can of  hominy; so I decided to try to make a dinner out of it.

Once home I talked with my sister about putting together a chicken lime hominy soup. We tossed some ideas at each about garlic, vegetable broth, and spinach. After speaking with her I jotted down a few ideas from our conversation to give me an outline when cooking.

And here is our creation; a  yummy bowl of fresh chicken lime cilantro soup!  I loved the fresh lime flavor with the hominy and chicken. I added the red pepper flakes for a little heat without changing the flavor of the soup. My husband and I were both really happy at how yummy this soup came out. This soup was great even during the heat of a California summer. I can only imagine how good it would taste during the winter.  I don’t know why my husband wanted that big can of hominy but I am sure glad he did!

Ingredients:

3 Chicken Breasts
1 ½ cups of Vegetable Broth
3 Cans Chicken Broth (low sodium)
1 Teaspoons. Olive oil
4 Garlic Cloves
5 Fresh Limes
2 ½ Large Onions
3 Tablespoons Dried Cilantro
1 Large can White Hominy
1 Package Frozen Spinach
Season salt
Sea Salt and Pepper to Taste
Garlic Salt to taste
1 Bundle Fresh Cilantro as Garnish
Red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. Boil chicken in a pot and let cook until chicken reached a temperature of 160.
  2. While the chicken is cooking chop onions in chunks, finely chop garlic, and fresh cilantro.
  3. Prepare frozen spinach as directed on package.
  4. When chicken has reached 160 degrees remove from pot.
  5. After cooled shred and season chicken with pepper and season salt.
  6. Remove the chicken broth from pot into a separate container to be used later.
  7. Taking the pot used to boil the chicken bring it back to a medium heat.
  8. Add olive oil to the pot after heated add chopped garlic and chopped onions (1/2 cup to serve uncooked with meal). Let onions sweat for a bit.
  9. Before adding the shredded chicken squeeze the juice of 3 limes into the garlic onion mix.
  10. Add seasoned chicken into pot and stir coating the chicken.
  11. Combine hominy, spinach, dried cilantro, vegetable broth, cans of chicken broth, and 2 cups fresh chicken broth to the pot. (the chicken broth made while boiling came out a bit watery. That is why I had to open some cans of chicken broth.)
  12. Add garlic and sea salt to taste
  13. Let cook on medium heat for 30 min. Taste and season while cooking.
  14. When the soup is ready to serve slice the remaining 2 limes in halves. Place limes, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped onions, and red pepper flakes into small bowls and placing on table.

Add goodies from bowls on soup with a little fresh squeeze of lime into soup. Be careful when adding the red pepper flakes they are hot… and enjoy!

Portobello Mushroom Pizza

Mushroom Pizza with Sauce

It’s another hot day here in sunny California and the question is what to make for dinner?

On days when it reaches 109 degreese I don’t feel like eating anything to heavy. I decided to try a portobello mushroom pizza after being inspired from A Food Centric Life’s Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms With Roast Tomatoes and Goat Cheese. Since I have never cooked portobello mushroom before I needed some help with how to season the mushroom and cooking time. I went ahead and added my own toppings to the mushroom with what I had handy. For the original recipe refer to  A Food Centric Life and check out  Sally Cameron’s wonderful creations!

Ingredients:

Fresh Mushroom Pizza

4 Portobello Mushrooms

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

1 Large garlic clove, finely chopped

Salt and Pepper, to Taste

Toppings:

1 Mozzarella Ball

1 Pack of Pepperonis

1 Can of Black Olives Drained

1/2 Onion

1 Fresh Tomato Sliced

1 Jar of Gluten Free Pizza Sauce

Few leaves of Basil

Directions:

The first part of this recipe is straight from A Food Centric Life.

  1. Clean the mushrooms by gently wiping the outside of the caps with a damp paper towel or brushing any dirt off with a soft brush. Next, pop out the stems by pushing them from side to side until the snap out. Then with a teaspoon, scrape the gills out until the underside is mostly clean. Place them on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet. (view A Food Centric Life for how to photos.)
  2. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, shallot and garlic.  Brush mushroom caps inside and out with the olive oil mixture (or plain olive oil). Sprinkle each cap with salt and pepper.
  3. Pre-heat the broiler. With the oven rack on the second to the top level, broil the mushrooms for 3-5 minutes until they are hot and the edges are starting to brown. They will start to release moisture and get juicy. Remove from the oven.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 375

Here is where I added my own pizza twist. I decided to make a fresh style pizza and a pizza sauce one.

  1. Fresh Pizza- After removing the mushrooms from the oven I layered it with a slice of tomato, mozzeralla, balck olives, sliced onion, and another tomato. (don’t forget to salt and pepper your tomato.)
  2. Pizza Sauce- I put one tablespoon of pizza sauce, mozzarella, pepperonis, black olives, and sliced onions on the mushroom.
  3. (Now this part was an experiment) I put the tray back in the oven until I saw the cheese melting. This took about 15 minutes.
  4. After removing them from the oven I added a few pieces of fresh basil to the tops and they were ready to serve.

I made this dish for my mom and sister and they were in love with it. The fresh pizza and pizza sauce mushrooms had two unique flavors. My mom preferred the pizza sauce one and my sister was torn between the two. They both agreed that the fresh one was light and not to filling. But they were really taken with the pizza sauce one. They said that it tasted just like having all goodies of a pizza without the bread. It was a little heavier but full of flavor.

I really enjoyed the flavor of the portobello mushroom recipe from A Food Centric Life. You could really taste the garlic and it complemented the other ingredients nicely. It was so juicy! This will be a recipe I make again and again.  I love pizza and this just might keep me satisfied.

 

Beware of Bread Crumbs!

If you are living in a household of G-free and non G-free people BEWARE OUT FOR BREAD CRUMBS! I know sounds totally not so scary. But a few little bread crumbs on the table, counter, or anywhere can really mess you up.

With that being said my brother-in-law sent me this really great link to a blog that informs you how to set up a gluten free pantry and kitchen. It has some really great tips for those living in a mixed gluten household. Here is the link below and enjoy!

http://elegantlyglutenfree.com/how-i-set-up-my-gluten-free-diet-pantry-and-kitchen

Open Faced Hummus Sandwich

Image courtesy of http://www.eatliverun.com

I find some of the best blogs on pinterest. While looking for new recipes to try i came along a picture of a open faced hummus sandwich. After clicking on the pic I was sent to the blog but sadly whoever pinned it from this blog just did the picutre and not the recpiep page. When looking through all the amazing recpies this blog had to offer I still couldnt find the one I wanted. So just based on the picture I tried to mimic the sandwich.

(Not until after I made the sandwiched did I find the recipe. I can’t wait to try Eat Live Run‘s recipe next time.)

I noticed that  Eat Live Run used a tomato but I decided to use red bell peppers because that is what I had in the kitchen. And I wasn’t sure what kind of hummus was used so I used a spicy one. I thought the bit of heat would be a good complement with the cool flavor of avocados.

Ingredients:

3 ripe avocados

2  red bell peppers

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 container store bought spicy hummus (you can use regular)

gluten free bread (I used Kinnikinnick brand)

1 lemon

pinch of salt

pinch of pepper

Directions:

Sorry for not taking pics when making this dish. But it was so quick and easy that it was finished before I knew it. Clicking on the image above will provide helpful images from Eat Live Run.

Wash, core, and slice your bell peppers while you heat a pan with a teaspoon of olive oil in it. Once the oil is heated start to saute your peppers. While those are cooking working on the avocados. Take the meat out of the avocados into a small bowl. Add a squze of lemon, salt, and pepper to taste. Samsh the avocados with a fork until it is chunky. Toast your bread and open your pack of hummus. When the bell peppers are soft and ready take your slice of toasted gluten free bread and get ready to make your sandwich. Take one slice of bread and layer the hummus, avocados, bell peppers and serve.

Thank you again to Eat Live Run for this super yummy recipe! This sandwich was perfect on a hot summer day.