Friday, October 28, 2011

A bit of Cuban Flavor :)

One of my hubby's favorite foods growing up in a Cuban household is "Platanos Tachinos".
These are Plantain bananas that have been fried twice.
And I found out after doing some on-line research that plantains are actually anti-inflammatory and have lots of great health benefits!  I knew I had to add them to our diet. These are delicious and very quick and easy to prepare.

Platanos Tachinos
2 Green plantain bananas
olive oil
coarse sea salt

First of all, use only green plantains. If they have begun to yellow, they will not work with this recipe. Green plantains are not sweet and remind me of potatoes.
Peel plantains. Cut into 3/4 to 1" slices. Pour about 1" of olive oil into heavy frying pan. When the oil is hot, (340 degrees) not smoking, add plantains and fry 3 minutes. Remove from the oil to a cutting board layered with paper towels. I use the smooth side of my meat hammer to pound the fried banana chunks into flat discs. It usually only takes one well placed hit from above. This is a great way to work out any aggression as well! Re-heat the oil and return the discs to the hot oil and fry for another 3 minutes. Remove from oil and sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt.

                                                     Aye Que Bueno!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's getting better every day!

Grilled Free Range chicken breast with grilled red peppers and onions, organic refried black beans, organic avocado and plantain chips with sea salt.

Free Range Organic eggs, Free Range Turkey sausage, Coconut flour blueberry muffin and Organic avocado with green tea.

This is what I ate last night and this morning. It's definately getting easier to  find yummy ways to prepare the foods that won't cause an auto-immune response in my body. I told my husband the other night that this is the best possible diet I could ever be on because it's like when you are training a puppy with a rolled up newspaper.........if I eat something hurts me physically....ALOT! Like getting hit with a rolled up newspaper! The pain I experienced with Fibro used to vary from maybe an 8 to 10 (on a 1 to 10 scale) on a daily basis. Pain was normal for me. For the past 15 years I've lived with it. So now that my pain is between a 1 and 4 most days, I am doing my very best to make sure that I eat only the foods that will heal me and not hurt me. On my good days I almost forget that I'm sick.....almost :)
Inflamation causes pain. So it makes sense to eat anti-inflamatory foods. You can find great articles and food lists over at 
Just type anti-inflamatory foods in the search box.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Oh So Tasty Quick and Easy Vegetable Meatball Soup

I'm really feeling a shift in my attitude from focusing on the awesome things " I can" eat and not all the things "I can't" eat. I needed a easy recipe for a soup that I could keep in the fridge for a quick lunch or dinner during the week. Being prepared is half the battle. So I came up with this super quick and easy and Oh So Tasty Meatball Soup recipe.

Vegetable & Meatball Soup

32 oz Free Range Organic Chicken Broth
1 lb Grass Fed Organic ground beef
14.5 oz can Organic diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1/2 of a 1 lb bag of frozen Organic peas & carrots
1/2 of a 1 lb bag of frozen Organic cut green beans
1/2 head of Organic cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
1 tblsp Italian Herb seasoning
1 tsp Sea Salt

Mix Italian Herbs and sea salt into ground beef and form into small meatballs. Brown the meatballs in a pan until cooked through. Add all remaining ingredients, including cooked meatballs to a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered about 30 minutes until vegetables are cooked through. That's it.....easy and super yummy!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Coconut Flour G/F D/F C/F Brownies!

I'm so excited about coconut flour! It doesn't taste like coconut and it has more than double the fiber of other flours. And because I can't have tree nuts, almond flour is out of the question for me. One of the most amazing things about coconut flour to me is that it takes so little to make something wonderful! This recipe only takes 1/2 cup of flour and it makes an 8 x 8 pan of brownies! The texture and taste is fantastic! You won't be disappointed :)

Coconut Flour Brownies
(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Corn Free)

1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup cocoa powder
6 eggs
1 cup coconut crystals (natural sugar alternative)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sifted coconut flour
Ghirardelli Semi Sweet Chocolate Baking Chips (optional)

In a saucepan at low heat, blend together coconut oil and cocoa powder. Remove from heat and let cool. In a bowl, mix together eggs, coconut crystals, salt and vanilla. Stir in cocoa mixture. Whisk coconut flour into batter until there are no lumps. Pour batter into greased 8 x 8 x 2 pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips across the top and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Italian Chicken & Rice Soup :)

I make lunch for our family of 11 every Sunday after church. With my new diet and my daughter in law with Celiac and my 2 oldest grandsons g/f and casein free, I'm constantly looking for meals everyone can enjoy together. This quick and easy soup was a big hit with everyone!

Italian Chicken & Rice Soup

2- boneless Organic Free Range chicken breasts - cut into bite sized pieces.
2 - 32 oz containers Organic Free Range Chicken broth
1 - 26 oz Organic meatless spaghetti sauce
2 - large  Organic zucchini - diced
3 to 4 cups cooked rice (depending on how thick you like your soup. I added 4 cups)

In a large pot combine chicken, zucchini and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until chicken pieces are cooked through. Add spaghetti sauce and cooked rice and heat through, about 10 minutes. Makes 10 - 12 servings.

I served this with french bread for those who can eat gluten, and made coconut flour honey biscuits for the g/f crowd. I'll share that recipe next time.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Little Pancake Therapy :)

As I continue down this road towards health, I find myself struggling with sadness that has been hard to shake. The realization that I can never have coffee or cheesecake again is hard to take. So much of who I am in wrapped up in the foods I make. I've always shown my love for others through food. I enjoy baking and preparing meals for my family and friends. It seems that every important event in life involves sharing a meal together. Right now I feel like someone took my brand new box of 64 crayons and took out all the colors and just left me brown and gray. I know this will pass, but I'm trying to be honest about how I'm feeling right now. I guess my job will be finding some new colors for my crayon box.......

 This morning I made some coconut flour pancakes. I thought they were really good. I'm not going to say they are better than buttermilk pancakes slathered in butter and maple syrup, but that's no longer an option for me, so I am happy to have these as the alternative. I drizzled a tiny bit of honey over the top, but next time I'm going to cut up some fresh strawberries.

Coconut Flour Mini Pancakes
( They do not taste like coconut)

2 eggs
2 tblsp coconut oil, melted
2 tblsp coconut milk
1 tsp coconut crystals (or sugar)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tblsp sifted coconut flour
1/4 Hain (corn free) baking powder

Blend together eggs, oil, coconut milk, sugar, salt & cinnamon. Combine coconut flour with the baking powder and thoroghly mix into batter. Spray pan with olive oil and spoon batter onto hot pan making pancakes about 2 1/2" to 3" inches in diameter. Batter will be thick, but will flatten out when cooking. Makes about 8 pancakes.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Who takes care of YOU?

This morning's breakfast : Coconut flour muffins, hormone free turkey sausage, fresh strawberries and green tea.
I don't know about you, but if I'm told that my hubby or children, or grandchildren have a specific need or want.......
that's all you had to say.

Consider it done.

 It makes me happy to find ways to serve them.
I have no problem baking g/f cupcakes for my little grandsons and daughter in law. But what I've come to realize through this whole process of healing my body through nutrition is that I really don't want to take the time to do these things for myself. Most of my meals when I'm alone are eaten in front of my computer screen or out of a zip lock baggie while I'm driving somewhere. I'm annoyed that I have to actually prepare foods that are only going to be consumed by me. Why is that? I feel that God is teaching me so much through all of this. Maybe by the time this is all over and I settle into my new lifestyle I will have come to a new appreciation of who I am and my own sense of worth.

"For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful; I know that full well. 
 Psalm 139:13-14

Monday, October 3, 2011

Goodbye Tree Nuts......I'll miss you

I am constantly amazed at the workings of the body.......
or in my case, the malfunctions of this body.
My immune system apparently reacts adversely to these delicious little tidbits of goodness. I found out quite by accident that tree nuts cause me extreme pain. The funny thing is that since I started my new way of eating a few months back, I've been eating nuts as snacks and substituting Almond milk for regular milk in my morning smoothies. I have been having such incredible pain in my hip joints and knees that walking and finding a comfortable position to sleep in was almost impossible. Then quite by accident, I had a nut free day and guess what? I slept like a stone and woke up being able to walk normally first thing in the morning! Who knew? I never would have made that connection. I've had this pain before. I've struggled with Fibro "flare ups" for years so I didn't even think about eating almonds or cashews as the cause of this crazy flare up. I went online and found post after post of people just like me who found that eliminating tree nuts from their diet alleviated their joint pain.  Even though I loves me some almonds, cashews and hazelnuts (can you say Nutella?) I will happily give them up forever to be able to walk without pain. So right now I'm enjoying a hot cup of Zen tea and some tasty muffins still warm from the oven.
Yep.......I can live with this :)