Going Gluten and GMO-Grain Free


Easy, slow-cooker chili

This chili is so easy and so good. It is meaty, chunky, and has a slight kick! If you prefer a less spicy version, try using half the chili powder or omitting it completely, depending on your taste buds.

Ingredients:

1 15-16 oz. can kidney beans*
1 15-16 oz. can pinto beans*
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes*
1 1/2 pound of ground meat (grass-fed beef, turkey, or chicken)
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced (I used half of a yellow and half of an orange for more color)
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes

Directions:

Brown the ground meat in a skillet and drain if necessary. Drain beans. Add all ingredients to slow cooker, stir thoroughly, and cook for 4-5 hours on medium setting.

Serve with shredded cheese, green onions, or sour cream if desired.

We ate two huge bowls of this for dinner last night and then used the leftovers this evening for chili fries.

*As always, remember to choose canned items carefully. I prefer organic, with no salt or unnecessary ingredients added. I stock up on the Whole Foods 365 brand organic beans and tomatoes (diced, paste, and sauce) when they are on sale.

For chili fries:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Line two rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper

Cut two large Yukon potatoes into 1/2 inch strips

In large, covered bowl, toss with two tablespoons EVOO and seasoning salt

Place in single layer on cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes; turning once at 15 minutes

Place fries in bowl and top with re-heated chili

Serves two

**My cookie sheets will not fit side-by-side on one oven rack so I position one rack in the center and the other closer to the top. At the 15 minute turn, I switch racks. This ensures they will cook evenly.

First appointment with a new doctor….

After all of my preparation, my doctor’s appointment is just around the corner. I randomly selected an in-network doctor and just as much as I am going into this knowing nothing about her, she has no clue what she has gotten into having me as a patient. I only hope she has the patience and skills it is going to take to help me. I hope I will have made her job at least a little easier with the “packet” I have put together for her. It includes prior medical records, photos of my different rashes at their worst, and the laundry list of ailments and concerns I have. Makes me feel quite neurotic but I refuse to leave another doctors appointment feeling like I was rushed and not taken seriously. No more wasted co-pays!

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Stuffed Bell Peppers
July 9, 2010, 7:17 pm
Filed under: Main Dishes, Recipes | Tags: , ,

These bell peppers were a huge hit! And best of all, they are great leftover. The hubby and I both had them for dinner one night and lunch the next day. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:
6 medium bell peppers
1 cup uncooked, well-rinsed quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
1 medium carrot
1 small zucchini
1 celery stalk
2 green onions
1 lb lean turkey meat
1 cup diced yellow onions
2 cloves diced garlic
15-16 oz can of tomato sauce
Parsley, black pepper, sea salt, and red pepper flakes to taste

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling water, parboil the peppers until just tender; 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and allow to dry on paper towels.
Combine quinoa, broth, carrots, zucchini, celery, and green onions in medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.
While quinoa is cooking: In a large skillet, combine meat, yellow onions, garlic, and seasonings over medium-high heat. Cook until meat is just browned. Add almost entire can of tomato sauce (reserve a few tablespoons for later). Reduce heat to low and stir well. Cook 2 to 3 minutes. Combine meat with quinoa.
Pour reserved tomato sauce and a few tablespoons of water in the bottom of a deep, oven-safe dish; just enough to cover the bottom of the pan, about 1/8 inch deep.

Use a large spoon to stuff bell peppers with quinoa/meat mixture and place them “standing-up” in the baking dish. Bake until peppers are tender and filling is heated through; about 25 minutes.

Let rest for 5-10 minutes and serve!



It’s pronounced Keen-wah
July 6, 2010, 7:40 pm
Filed under: Dairy free, Egg-free, Main Dishes, Recipes, Sides | Tags: ,

I have a new obsession with quinoa. I find it versatile, light, and easy-to-digest. Not to mention, it is a complete protein with an essential amino acid balance that is close to perfect. Some varieties of quinoa are over 20 percent protein! More commonly found with a 16 percent protein content, quinoa still far surpasses other grains in protein power. It can replace rice in almost any recipe and is great in cold salads. AND it is super easy to make… just make sure to rinse it well before cooking!

Here is a recipe I threw together for dinner:

Quinoa Pilaf with Sausage

1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
2 green onions
1 carrot
1 zucchini
4 sausages (I use fully cooked chicken sausage)
Salt and Italian seasoning to taste

Dice all veggies

*I used the veggies that I had on hand but this recipe should work with just about anything. Peas anyone?

Combine quinoa, broth, and veggies in medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.

While quinoa is cooking, cut fully cooked sausage length-wise and then into bite-size chunks. Lightly brown sausage in a skillet.

Add sausage to quinoa and season to taste (A dash of salt and a teaspoon of Italian herbs does it for me).

Serves 2-3 as a main dish; would work well as a side dish also!

Keep an eye out for another quinoa recipe later this week.



Preparation is key!
July 2, 2010, 9:19 am
Filed under: Finding the cause

As I was replying to Amanda’s comment on my last post, I realized that a new post had been sparked.

Thanks for your great comment and advice, Amanda! This one’s for you!

I’ve suspected eczema for sometime now… but have been told repeatedly by doctors that it isn’t the case. Although, with most of the doctors visits I’ve had in the past I was highly unprepared. One of the hardest parts in the diagnosis process has been that my symptoms come and go and are more visible right after eating and showering. It is almost impossible to “make” myself have a reaction so that the doctor can see it with his or her own eyes. Now that I am REALLY serious about finding the cause of these ailments, I have thought a lot about how I can better prepare for a first visit with my next doctor.

Some of my ideas are:

Gathering recent (and old, if significant) medical records

Taking pictures of the outbreaks as they occur

Listing the different types of reactions and making a note of when they occur most often
I have definitely considered doing an elimination diet. I’m just a little confused on where and how to start. Right now, I am working on finding a doctor who will be able to help me gather a list of “safe” foods. My main problem with compiling this list is that I suspect some fruits and veggies are the cause of these ailments. Did any of you who have tried this process include any grains in your diet when first starting or were those completely eliminated? What foods did you start out eating? How often do you introduce a new food?

I completely agree with Amanda’s idea about the food cravings being linked to the intolerance we suffer from. For the longest time, I was “addicted” to oatmeal in the morning. It is fast, filling, and could be stored in my desk drawer at work. Come to find out, I am severely allergic to oats! Similar story with shrimp… I had my food allergy test done on a Friday and that weekend I had shrimp three times! Shrimp skewers, shrimp tempura, and shrimp cocktail. By Monday afternoon, when the doctor called with the results, I was doubled-over in pain. I can’t remember for sure, but it is a good possibility that I had oatmeal for breakfast that morning too!