Top 5 Gadgets for your Kitchen

Sundays are my big prep days for the week. I take out my favorite appliances and gadgets to prepare sauces, salad dressings and anything else that I want to eat for the week. I make an extra effort to prepare a big meal for dinner so that we can plan to have leftovers for lunches. After dinner, I prep my lunches for the week and try to make sure they are all food sensitivity friendly!
 
There is nothing worse than being at work and not feeling well, rushing to the bathroom, or just wanting to curl up in bed and be a hermit. Anybody else feel me on that one?
 
Last Sunday I was thinking about all the appliances and gadgets that I use and thought I would share them with you guys!
 
So here are my favs (in no particular order):

1. Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer

I got this mixer from my parents a couple years ago. It’s beautiful, lime green, and I use it almost every week. Most stand mixers (especially Kitchen Aid) will come with many mixing attachments.
 
The paddle attachment is for making standard cookie, brownie and cake mixes. I don’t make these foods too often but I do appreciate some good desserts like everyone else.
 
The hook attachment is to knead breads and pizza dough. I make these at least once a month! We don’t buy sandwich bread anymore because of all the ingredients and we don’t order pizzas because I can’t eat tomatoes, garlic or cheese so it’s best to make our own!
 
The whisk attachment is for whipping. Last year I made homemade marshmallows for 4th of July because my Dad was not able to eat regular marshmallows due to his food sensitivities. This was a fun but messy project! Maybe I will post a recipe in the future!
 
Recipes that I make using my kitchen aid stand mixer: Crusty Dutch Oven Bread
 

2. Silicon Mat

Have you ever used a silicon mat? This was another amazing gift! When I opened it on Christmas, I was expecting to see (link silicon baking mat). I wanted to put it in the oven to bake on instead of wax paper or foil. Instead I got this mat (link to my mat) and it is so much better!
 
There are ruler guides on the edges, little tips about conversions, etc.
 
I use this mat to roll out bread dough, make cookies on Christmas, and shape my pizza dough into whatever sizes that I need – personal pizzas or big pizzas! And so many other things. Definitely a keeper in my book 😊.
 
Recipes that I make using my silicon mat: Homemade Thick Crust Pizza
 

3. Immersion Blender

Last year was a big year for kitchen appliances. This immersion blender was on my list for a while! I love making soups and sauces this blender saves you from having to transport items into a blender in batches. Saves on time and clean up! Win-Win! They are not that costly either, I believe this one was only about $____
 
Recipes that I make using my immersion blender: 6-Ingredient Zucchini Pizza Bites, 5-Ingredient Cauliflower Soup
 

4. Food Processor/Blender combo

A couple years ago I bought this food processor/blender combo and it has been great! My old food processor was very small and it was hard to make a lot of things in it. My new one isn’t huge but it is big enough to make hummus, no bake bars, sauces, and other recipes!
 
Everyone knows what to do with a blender – SMOOTHIES! Smoothies are great, especially on hot days. I have also made banana ice cream and other fruit purees, but the food processor is great for these too!
 
Recipes that I make using a food processor/blender: Vegan Protein Bars – Cherry and Apricot,  
 

5. Crockpot

The crockpot is our saving grace during the work week. Making bulk meals is key so that I have leftovers to take to work throughout the week. With food sensitivities and a sensitive stomach, it is almost impossible to go out to eat or buy food from the work cafeteria. Not knowing how the food is prepared or the ingredients in them makes its hard to know how you will tolerate the meal. Usually this means that you have to spend extra time in the kitchen every day preparing food for the next day. I like to make my protein in the crockpot – pulled chicken, pork or beef and even “rotisserie” chicken. My grains and vegetables are easy to prepare but the protein is what I find takes the longest! And I am all about making things easier!
 
Recipes that I make using my crockpot: Crock-pot Whole Chicken, Crockpot Quinoa Enchilada
Save the PDF of our Top 5 Kitchen Gadgets for a Food Sensitivity Friendly Kitchen!

Products we use:


What’s your favorite kitchen appliance?

Enjoy!

 

Mustard

Mustard: The Magic in this Secret Sauce

Mustard Did you know mustard is a relative of cabbage, broccoli and radishes?

This family of vegetables is the Brassica family and has very potent health benefits and mustard has been one of favorites to focus on lately. I have been finding places to put ground mustard, mustard greens, and even yellow mustard on foods whenever I can. Let me tell you why!

Benefits of Mustard Greens

Mustard greens appear in the top four vegetables that are especially high in phenols. Phenols are chemical compounds that have strong inhibitory effects against the mutation of cells and formation of cancer. Other cancer fighting compounds in mustard greens are antioxidants. These substances prevent cell damage that leads to mutations in DNA and can be very dangerous to the body.

Mustard greens also has benefits directly in your liver and your blood. They are potent detoxifiers and can cleanse the liver and the blood by pulling environmental toxins from the blood stream, neutralize heavy metals and help eliminate pesticides from your body.

 

Other benefits of mustard greens:
  • High in fiber, which can help control cholesterol levels by interfering with absorption in the gut. Fiber also helps lower the amount of toxins in your digestive tract by lowering high blood pressure
  • High in vitamin K, which is a major vitamin important in bone building, blood clotting and removing calcium from places that it shouldn’t be.
  • Over 50% of your daily vitamin C in 1 cup of mustard greens, which is important in the body’s repair process. Vitamin C can help prevent cell damage, maintain healthy tissue build collagen and maintain blood vessels.

NOTE: If you are taking a blood thinner (warfarin/coumadin) talk with your doctor before consuming foods high in vitamin K.

 

Benefits of Mustard Seed

Mustard seed is used as whole seeds or ground up into a fine powder, which is what gives the mustard condiment its spicy taste.

Mustard seed, like other vegetables in the Brassica family, contain a phytonutrient called glucosinolates as well as an enzyme called myrosinase. When this phytonutrient and enzyme come together during the chopping, chewing, or grinding process they form another phytonutrient called isothiocyanates.

Glucosinolates + myrosinase = isothiocyanates

Eating high amounts of these phytonutrients have been shown in animal studies to inhibit the growth of cancer calls and protect against the formation of new cells.

This benefit only applies in the raw vegetable/spice. When heated, the myrosinase enzyme is denatured (killed off) and the vegetable does not have a chance to create isothiocyanates. For this reason, anytime I cook a vegetable in the Brassica family, I have been adding mustard powder after cooking. This readds the myrosinase enzyme back into the food so that it can work with the glucosinolates to create isothiocyanates.

Mustard seeds are also a great source of other nutrients:

  • 1 Tablespoon of Mustard powder has 25% of your daily needs of selenium. This mineral helps reduce the severity of asthma, helps prevent cancer and decreases symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
  •  There is a higher amount of omega-3 fatty acids compared to omega-6 fatty acids which is an unusual find in our food supply. Omega-3 fatty acids have numerous anti-inflammatory benefits and on average we are getting more omega-6 fats in our diets than we really need.

 

A couple of ways to start adding mustard to your day!

Sprinkle mustard seed on your cooked Brassica vegetables: cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale.

Add whole mustard seed to a coleslaw recipe.

Add some Dijon mustard to your favorite vinaigrette dressing.

Use Rachel Schultz’ recipe and mix Dijon mustard with maple syrup for a marinade on chicken

Marinade salmon fillets in Dijon mustard and white wine.

Resources:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=106

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/spices-and-herbs/194/2

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/10/17/mustard-greens-seeds-health-benefits.aspx

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/bk-1992-0506.ch001

https://draxe.com/mustard-greens-nutrition/

Eggs as Functional Food

Eggs as a Functional Food – Why They Should Be Part of Your Diet

Eggs as Functional Food

Eggs can be a delicious and nutritious part of a healthy diet. In fact, if your diet allows, I would argue that they should be a regular part of your healthy diet. In moderation, of course.

Let’s talk about eggs as a functional food. A functional food is a food that has positive effects on health beyond basic nutrition.

 

First, What Are the Basics?

Eggs are in expensive and a moderate source of calories that provide significant nutrition. Here’s the breakdown for 1 large egg (or about 50g).

nutrition facts eggs

This nutrition label shows that eggs are a good source of protein and unsaturated fat and contain no carbohydrates. Despite this facts, eggs get a lot of grief for their high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol. We used to think there was a link between egg consumption and increased risk of heart disease, now it appears that research is unclear but that eggs can be part of a healthy diet.

 

Fast forward to present time:

Now we know, for most of the population, dietary cholesterol, like in eggs, has very little effect on blood cholesterol levels and heart disease. When buying eggs, we now can buy omega-3 enriched eggs from chickens that have been fed a diet high in flax seed. One omega-3 enriched egg has the equivalent of about 400-450mg of omega-3 fats (a combination of DHA and EPA). The correct dose for you is dependent on your age, size, and health status but this is a good place to start.

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids have great anti-inflammatory capabilities which is important because so many of today’s diseases are rooted in inflammation. Omega-3’s can reduce the risk and symptoms of diseases like heart attack, stroke, several forms of cancer and various autoimmune diseases.

 

 

What Are the Other Advantages to Eating Eggs?

Some of the important components found in eggs are zinc, biotin, carotenoids, lecithin and choline many of which are deficient in our SAD diet (standard American diet). Let’s break these down to understand their roles in preventing chronic and infectious diseases through their antimicrobial, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant and anti-hypertensive properties.

 

Lecithin is an important component of the cells in our body. It plays a direct role in antioxidant activity by decreasing damage to our cell membranes by reactive oxygen species, like free radicals, which are responsible for many diseases including cancer, inflammatory joint diseases (arthritis), diabetes, and most degenerative diseases.

 

Eggs are one of few food sources that contain high concentrations of choline. This vitamin-like nutrient is important for chemical messengers in our brain, called neurotransmitters, and plays an essential role in normal brain development. They are important for far more than just our brain. Choline also plays a role in fat metabolism could lead to fatty liver in someone who is choline deficient. The American Medical Association has recently voted to include choline in prenatal vitamins to reduce the risk of birth defects.

 

Carotenoids are pigments that give egg yolk its natural yellow color. Your body cannot make the carotenoids in eggs and relies on dietary intake. Other places to get carotenoids are vegetables. This makes egg consumption especially important for those people who consume low amounts of vegetables. Carotenoids help improve vision and reduce the risk of macular degeneration and age-related cataracts. I always remember my grandpa telling me to eat carrots if I wanted to keep my eye sight 😊. I guess I could have also eaten more eggs!

 

Over 300 different enzymes in the body rely on zinc to complete their chemical reactions. It is also very important in the structure of proteins and cell walls. If zinc is deficient, these processes can’t take place. It is estimated that 2 billion people worldwide have a milder zinc deficiency. This is also important because zinc interacts with many other nutrients like copper, calcium, folate and iron.

 

Don’t eat your eggs raw.  Eggs are a great source of biotin – they provide approx. ¼ of the recommended intake for the day. There is an enzyme in egg whites, avidin, that binds to the biotin in eggs and does not allow your body to absorb it. Trust me, you want to reach your biotin intake because they play an important role in metabolism of carbohydrates, protein and fat. It also plays a major role in the health of our hair, skin and nails.

 

Looking for ways to incorporate more eggs into your diet? 

Try adding eggs to your chicken fried rice or make my favorite breakfast: a poached egg with grits

 

Resources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4303863/

https://www.drweil.com/vitamins-supplements-herbs/vitamins/fish-oil-and-omega-3/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7619452

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2726758/

Homemade fudgesicles

Dairy Free Fudgesicles – customize your own!

Homemade fudgesicles

Now that its summer we all want ice cream, right?

I always thought I hated chocolate ice cream but one thing I love is fudgesicles in the summer time! Who am I kidding, how could I hate chocolate ice cream?

Brandon and I keep hearing the ice cream truck pass by our house but I swear it makes sure that we are not outside because we are usually outside most days of the week and he never drives by when we want him too!

This weekend I got creative and tailored a standard fudgesicle recipe to my food sensitivity results and then I got to thinking. How can I make this even more customize-able!? I want everyone to be able to eat fudgesicles if their heart desires.

what your heart desires

And fudgesicles make me happy.

 

But I guess, I do like other desserts too – like this sorbet 🙂

Dairy Free Fudgesicles
 
These fudgesicles are super chocolaty and perfect for a hot summer day!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • ½ C cocoa powder or carob powder
  • ¾ C allowed granulated sweetener
  • 2 Tbsp allowed liquid sweetener
  • 1 tsp flavor extract
  • 2 C allowed milk
Instructions
  1. In a pot, whisk together the granulated sugar and cocoa or carob powder.
  2. Add the liquid sweetener and flavor of your choice.
  3. Turn the stove on medium heat and pour in your milk.
  4. Whisk until chocolate and sugar are dissolved. The mixture does not have to boil but the heat helps it dissolve better.
  5. Pour into popsicle molds.
  6. Place in freezer until solid.
  7. Enjoy!
Notes
Nutrition information is not provided due alterations that can be made to accommodate food sensitivities.

 

Alternatives:
Milk: whole fat coconut milk or 2% or whole cow’s milk – you need some fat!
Granulated sweetener: cane sugar, blonde coconut sugar, beet sugar
Liquid sweetener: corn syrup, brown rice syrup, honey, maple syrup, cassava syrup, coconut nectar, homemade simple syrup – I use this recipe to make my simple syrup
Chocolate: you can also use carob powder for a caffeine free version!
Flavor Extract: vanilla, almond, mint would all be great flavors – I would use ½ tsp if you use mint because it is strong.


Products:


Enjoy!

fudgesicle

Comparing Milks and Making Your Own Milk Alternatives

June is national dairy month so in the spirit of this month let’s take a look at the different milk options that are available. This is a big conversation with my food sensitivity clients and we really try to make milk out of pretty much anything! Even if you are not a milk drinker per say (like me) it is always nice to have a type of milk around for smoothies, baking and cereals.

Before we started getting creative and blending up everything into milks we only had cow’s milk, well I guess goats milk too but that is not very common.

 

Cow’s Milk

Cow’s milk comes in many varieties: whole, 2%, 1%, skim (fat-free) and lactose-free. The component that makes each of them different is their fat content and therefore the calories as well.

Each type of cow’s milk has the same protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals however, choosing fat-free milk will affect the absorption of some of the vitamins that require fat (vitamins A, D, E and K).

Lactose-free milk is processed in a way that breaks down the lactose sugar that is found naturally in milk. It still has all of the nutrients listed above. About 65% of the population is lactose intolerant, meaning they do not make adequate amounts of the enzyme, lactase, to break down the milk sugar. Symptoms of a lactose intolerance include abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, nausea, and diarrhea 30 minutes to 2 hours after consuming a lactose-containing product. For these people, lactose-free milk would be a great option.

 

Soy Milk

Soy milk is made from soybeans and water. It is a plant-based milk and therefore it is free of cholesterol and very low in saturated fat. It is naturally lactose free.

Soy is a controversial topic because of its estrogenic effects but the current thought is that it is still ok in moderate doses. I would limit to 1 serving of non-GMO organic soy per day but I have heard others say 2-3 servings per day.

Too much soy can be a problem for those with thyroid conditions and may prove harmful for women with a history of estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer. Other than that, moderate consumption of soy products are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and can be part of a heart healthy diet.

There is a great recipe from Rasa Malaysia (hint: its only soybeans + water)

 

Don’t have time to make your own? Here are a couple brands that I recommend to make your lives easier 😊. They are all made from whole, organic non-gmo soybeans and water.

  • Westsoy organic unsweetened soy milk
  • Edensoy organic unsweetened soy milk
  • Pacific organic unsweetened soy milk

 

Almond Milk

Almond milk made from almonds and water. It is lower in calories than most other milks and also free of saturated fat. It is naturally lactose free.

Even though whole almonds are a good source of protein, almond milk is not a good source of protein or calcium.

Store bought almond milk often contains carrageenan, a thickener and emulsifier. Some studies have linked carrageenan to increased inflammation in the body and often stomach problems.

Since it is not recommended to buy the cartons of almond milk at the store, here is a very simple recipe from Danette May to make your own!

 

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is made from unsulfured, unsweetened coconut meat and water. It is a plant-based milk however, it does contain more fat than other milk alternatives. It is naturally lactose free.

The type of fat found in coconut milk is medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which have gained in popularity over the past several years.

Just like other store bought milk alternatives, coconut milk often contains added thickeners and other ingredients like carrageenan which has its negative effects.

Making your own coconut milk is as easy as 1-2… that’s it! Wellness Mama has a great recipe that I use!

If you choose to skim off the fat from your coconut milk you can make it into a wonderful coconut whipped cream for dessert.

 

Rice Milk

Rice milk is made from rice and water. It has very little protein and fat but is higher in carbohydrates than the milk alternatives discussed above.

This is a good choice for those who are lactose intolerant and/or have allergies to milk, soy, or nuts.

Rice does contain higher levels of arsenic that is taken up from the soil while it is growing. Because of this it is not recommended to rely on only rice and rice products. Be sure to focus on consuming a variety of other grains throughout your day.

As with other store bought milks, you can expect to see added thickeners and preservatives to improve shelf life and consistency. For this reason it is best to make your own and it is very easy!

Money Saving Mom  has a great recipe that helps you plan ahead so that you don’t have to cook rice every time you want to make your milk!

 

Other Milk Alternatives

If none of those sounds appetizing or work with your food sensitivities here are 9 other milks that you can make at home!

Sunflower seed milk

pecan milk

oat milk

banana milk

cashew milk

hemp seed milk

flax milk

hazelnut milk

pea milk

 

Resources:

My dietetic degree

https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/lactose-intolerance

https://www.healthyeating.org/Milk-Dairy/Nutrients-in-Milk-Cheese-Yogurt/Nutrients-in-Milk.aspx

http://www.pcrm.org/health/cancer-resources/ask/ask-the-expert-soy

https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/food-safety/is-carrageenan-safe/

Grain-free, Egg-free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Grain-free, Egg-free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Grain-free, Egg-free Chocolate Chip CookiesWe have finally arrived in sunny Arizona! Here is a picture that I took on our drive. Wegrain-free, egg-free choc chip cookies took a wrong turn and ended up on 50+ miles of switchback road through the mountains. It was getting dark so this was not a fun part! We made a short stop to let our cars cool down and this was the view that we had :).

Isn’t it pretty!

Yesterday I put my kitchen gadgets away and got organized so naturally the first thing I did this morning was bake chocolate chip cookies (isn’t that what anyone else would do?).
 
This drive was not easy – 27 hours total! We split it up over 3 days but sitting for so long really tested my patience… and my hip flexors. I brought a couple healthy snacks like pistachios, dried apricots and corn nuts.
Side note: Yes, I know corn nuts are not healthy. 

http://www.feelgoodrd.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Safe-Snacks-for-road-trip.png


Meals were difficult because on road trips you’re expected to eat fast food, right? I brought food with me but that only lasted so long. I tried to pick the best foods for me which consisted of hamburgers, French fries and unsweetened ice tea. Based on my food sensitivities, that was the best option. I know that I can handle bread, beef and potatoes. The frying oil was questionable but all went well!
 
Some may ask why didn’t I get a salad? And the answer is that I have a lot of foods that cause my IBS to flare up, several of them are the proverbial “healthy” foods. There are so many ingredients in a salad, not to mention the dressing. At a minimum there is lettuce, tomato, cucumber, carrots. Then you add salad dressing, which is an oil, vinegar, and a boat load of spices – which typically includes garlic. In this short list, I am sensitive to tomato, carrots and garlic. These are some of my biggest triggers so I went the safe route and ate a hamburger and French fries.
 
Now back to cookies!
Our pantry is sparse right now but I managed to alter a recipe from The Food Fanatic to meet my food sensitivities as well as my clients.

Grain-free, Egg-free Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • ¼ C coconut oil (solid)
  • ¼ C allowed liquid sweetener
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 5 Tbsp coconut flour
  • ¼ C almond flour
  • ¼ allowed chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together solid coconut oil, allowed liquid sweetener, vanilla and salt.
  3. Add baking soda, coconut flour, almond flour and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chip cookies.
  4. Let cookie dough sit for 5-10 minutes so that coconut flour can absorb the moisture.
  5. Place cookie dough on prepared baking sheet in 1.5-2 tsp portions. Using your finger, spread out the cookie dough (they don’t spread like traditional cookies)
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Let sit on baking sheet for about 5 minutes before moving to cooling rack. These cookies will be soft right out but as they cool they become chewy and delicious.
Notes
Nutrition information is not provided due alterations that can be made to accommodate food sensitivities.

 

Alternatives:
Allowed liquid sweetener – honey, maple syrup, rice bran syrup, tapioca syrup, corn syrup
Almond flour – try cassava flour or make your own sunflower seed flour


Products:


What is your favorite sensitivity-friendly cookie recipe?

Enjoy!

10 Food Sensitivity Safe Snacks For Your Next Road Trip

10 Food Sensitivity Safe Snacks For Your Next Road Trip

Are you getting ready to travel soon or do you spend a lot of time on the road? When I went through my food sensitivity diet it was my biggest struggle. I was on the road ALL THE TIME and had to pack every little thing that I was going to eat. Then, I’ll admit, I got lazy so the question was: what were food sensitivity safe snacks for my road trips??

 

Fast forward a couple years…

 

Brandon and I were on a road trip and my first thought was to pack any food that I had an interest in eating so that we didn’t have to stop at a grocery store. On our way home I had already eaten everything so now I was stuck. I was back to thinking… what were food sensitivity safe snacks for my road trips??

Sometimes we want to be like everyone else and buy food at the gas station or convenient store and forget about our food sensitivities (IBS in my case). Am I right?!

During this trip I spent some time looking around the gas station and taking pictures of every food that I could find that had minimal ingredients. The other criteria was that the ingredients were on the MRT Food Sensitivity blood test.

I’m going to warn you now…

NOT ALL THESE ARE HEALTHY FOODS!

But hear me out… on a road trip I would rather eat unhealthy food (like fritos) and not deal with a stomach ache, feel like I need to rush to the bathroom, etc. I would make that choice any day rather than eat the healthy food that makes me feel miserable!

Below I listed all the foods that I found on my search and their ingredients so you don’t think I’m crazy 😊. They have no preservatives or additives.

 

Gas Station/convenient store10 Food Sensitivity Safe Snack Foods For Your Next Road Trip

Fritos Original – Ingredients: corn, corn oil, salt. No preservatives.

Blue Diamond Whole Natural Almonds – Ingredients: almonds

David Original Sunflower Seeds – Ingredients: sunflower seeds, salt

Banana – Ingredients: banana (obviously!)

Orange – Ingredients: orange (again, duh!)

Wonderful Roasted and Salted Pistachios – Ingredients: pistachios, salt

Original Skinny Pop Popcorn – Ingredients:  popcorn, sunflower oil, salt

Corn Nuts – Ingredients: corn, corn oil, salt

 

If your friends/family like to stop at Starbucks on your road trips you can still get a snack there too!

Starbucks

That’s it Bar – Ingredients: apple, blueberry. These bars come in a ton of flavors that are all just apple + another fruit so if blueberries don’t work for you then maybe another bar will.

Moon cheese – Ingredients: cheddar cheese. These come in 2 other flavors but cheddar is the only flavor that we test for on the MRT food sensitivity test.

 

Major take away: The plainer the better.

Never buy something with an additional flavor because it will most likely have additional preservatives for anti-caking and possibly food dyes to make them visually appealing.

 

I hope this little list helps you on your next road trip! If you find any other foods I would love to hear about them. I am always looking for new recommendations for clients to make their lives easier and as normal as possible while still feeling their best!

 

What is your favorite road trip snack?

Zucchini Pizza Bites

6-Ingredient Zucchini Pizza Bites

Zucchini Pizza BitesHappy National Pizza Week!

Until now I didn’t know National Pizza Week existed but I can’t say I’m sad about it! This gave me an excuse to create a new healthy “pizza”-like recipe. So below I bring you ~ Zucchini Pizza Bites with Sauteed Onion Puree and Goat Cheese

I know you can’t wait for this recipe.
Keep reading or just scroll down to the recipe – I won’t be mad!

Throughout the years I have experimented with different carriers (crusts) for pizza and different sauces – some have been better than others. I’ve made my own pizza dough, eggplant pizza, zucchini pizza, cauliflower pizza, quinoa pizza bites, pesto pizza, bbq chicken pizza – ya dah ya dah ya dah. I love pizza because there are endless possibilities. No matter what your food restrictions are I’m confident that we can find a pizza that works for you!

carrier + delicious sauce + cheese = Pizza

My zucchini pizza bites are a take on the standard zucchini pizza but with my food-sensitivity-accommodating twist!

Here are some of the food sensitivities I avoid when attempting to make pizza:

  • Tomatoes – There are a lot of ‘no-mato’ sauces for people who are sensitive to nightshade vegetables. Different varieties are made with beets, carrots, red bell peppers, etc. I can’t say that I have ever had them but have been wanting to make beet ketchup soon! Stay tuned!
  • Garlic – To find recipes without garlic is nearly impossible most of the time. One trick that I use is to search “Low-FODMAP – insert food here” – i.e Low FODMAP pizza sauce, etc. This is a great place to start and then you can narrow down after that.
  • Olives – This eliminates olive oil. Depending on their use, it is pretty easy to replace the requested oil with any allowed oil. In my recipes I try to list the oil as “allowed oil” unless a specific oil is needed for flavor or texture – like sesame oil, which has a very strong flavor.

Anywho…

I made a New Years Resolution to myself to pay close attention to my food sensitivities because my symptoms of IBS are getting worse again – which happens when you get careless – oops! The worst thing about it is that I have total control over it but for several months had chosen to ignore it – I blame the holidays. Being able to control my symptoms and feeling good everyday makes it all worth it!

 

Here’s to the New Year, New Year’s Resolutions and Pizza 🙂

6-Ingredient Zucchini Pizza Bites
 
Enjoy this 6-ingredient pizza bite recipe! Great for an appetizer at a family get together or just make a full plate for yourself!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp allowed oil
  • 1 Zucchini - cut diagonally into ¼-inch slices
  • 1 Yellow onion - sliced
  • ¼ Cup chicken/vegetable broth
  • 1oz Goat cheese
  • Fresh oregano - chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat allowed oil in pan. Sautee onions until soft and golden brown - about 10-12 minutes
  2. Place sauteed onions and ¼ cup broth into blender and blend until smooth. I used my immersion blender which worked great!
  3. Place zucchini slices in the pan that was used to sautee onions. Cook each side for 2-3 minutes. The zucchini should be lightly browned on each side but not soft.
  4. To assemble pizza put a dollop of onion puree on top of the cooked zucchini (You can put as much or as little as you would like depending on your taste!), place crumbled goat cheese on top of onion puree and garnish with chopped oregano.
Notes
Nutrition information is not provided due alterations that can be made to accommodate food sensitivities.

 

Alternatives:
Carrier – I bet this would taste AH-mazing on a wheat or gluten free traditional pizza crust, eggplant rounds, yellow squash slices, or cauliflower crust
Toppings – you can use any variety of cheese like gruyere. Pair it with sauteed mushrooms!

 


Products:

Here is another great recipe that you can make with an immersion blender: 5-Ingredient Cauliflower Soup


What’s your favorite kind of pizza?

Enjoy!

Maple Almond Fudge

Maple Almond Fudge

Maple Almond FudgeWell as much as I tried I couldn’t hold on to fall very long. Leaves are covering the street and its been nasty cold lately (like 60’s and rainy cold)! Being in Chicago it will only get worse but I was enjoying the nice summer we had. Come Fall I always think of hot beverages (I mostly drink hot water… I know, weird.) I do have a weakness for fudge – the nerd in me wants to call it my kryptonite – but maybe that’s because I just finished binge watching Supergirl on Netflix.

Anyhow, I came across a fudge recipe the other day and just had to make it! This fudge recipe called for coconut oil, cashew butter and honey which sounded amazing but because of my sensitivity to fructose that was not going to happen. Honey is 100% fructose! So, I modified it! I love having an understanding of food and being comfortable changing ingredients because it opens up the world of food! You can make pretty much anything you want 🙂

Well, through my modifications I came up with Maple Almond Fudge – yumm!

Maple Almond Fudge
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup almond butter
Instructions
  1. Melt coconut oil on low heat in a small pot.
  2. Add maple syrup and almond butter.
  3. Stir until smooth and all incorporated.
  4. Pour into small pan or individual cups and place in refrigerator to solidify.
Notes
Nutrition information is not provided due alterations that can be made to accommodate food sensitivities.

 

Alternatives:
Nut butter – any allowed nut butter can be used!
Sweetener – maple syrup, honey, or brown rice syrup can be used to sweeten these babies 🙂

**Coconut oil is an important ingredient – this is what keeps the fudge solid. You can use coconut butter in its place if you have it on hand!


Products:


Did you make any variations? We would love to know what you tried!

Enjoy!

Life before LEAP – No. 1

Meet Sheryl!

Sheryl is a 45 year old school teacher and single mother of two girls. She just wanted to be a good role model for her kids but didn’t know where to begin. She did not have the energy to workout and had a hard time losing weight. Sheryl suffered from IBS, acid reflux and chronic brain fog. When she came to me she was nervous because she didn’t cook much and didn’t know much about food. After we received her results we looked through some cookbooks and discussed how to modify recipes so that they worked for her. Sheryl cut out wheat from her diet – probably the hardest thing anyone has to to because it is so prominent in our lives. But she found that by doing this she had more energy. She enjoyed cooking with her girls and teaching them about food and recipes and even started taking her girls to the gym!

Here is Sheryl’s story.

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Look for more to come!

Interested in my story? I too suffered from IBS and used LEAP to help me find symptom relief and allow me to live my life! Read my story here.