Post 90 – What’s cooking

photo 3(32)

In my last post, I declared my intention to following a low FODMAP diet – no onions, garlic, stone fruits, avocados, wheat, lactose… the list goes on. I was determined to stick to this diet for the sake of feeling better and I was determined to share all of these creative and exciting recipes with you, but that hasn’t happened. I have been eating low FODMAP (with a few moments of weakness here and there), but I have mostly been relying on resources for recipes from other people’s blogs so I have not been re-posting them here. Keeping meals simple (but still delicious) has been my focus, as well as eating slowly, deliberately, and smaller, more frequent meals.

I am also continually reminded that nothing exists in isolation to the rest of the world. While certain foods may trigger my symptoms, there are other factors that play a role as well – stress, good relationships or lack of good relationships, satisfaction with life, and good or bad habits. Not everything can be improved with a quick change of diet and so I have begun to consider these other outside aspects as well in searching for ultimate health. I’m sorry that I haven’t shared exciting recipes or revelations, but I appreciate you sticking with me despite my challenges.

Despite not being able to always cook and eat what I love, I have still been cooking for others. Here are some photos of what I’ve been up to lately. For a food truck’s staff party that I catered:

photo 2(35)My signature pasta salad, potato and chive salad, summer fruit salad, roasted skirt steak with herb butter, and spinach, peach and feta salad with sweet onion dressing.

 

photo 1(38)

My mom’s brownie recipe (on a larger scale)

photo 4(22)

For the family whose home I cook in three times a week…

photo 2(34)Baked pork potstickers – made in mini muffin pans for ease of cooking and fun eating for kids. They turned out great!

photo 1(37)With some green peas and dipping sauce on the side

 

photo 3(31)Green veggie risotto with chicken sausages. Yum!

 

And last but not least, I have started doing some health and nutrition centered bulletin boards at the school where I work to provide some colorful and educational information about food. Here is my September board:

photo 4(21)Unfortunately I think the picture I took is a little crooked, but I am happy with how it turned out!

Have a wonderful weekend. Fall is coming!

 

Post 68 – Gluten free Baking Day

Snow days: a good excuse to bake and cook all day (if that’s what you like to do of course!). So today that’s exactly what I did.

First I sent Sam off to work with some coffee cake streusel muffins. I figured since I got the day off and he didn’t, I should reward him and his fellow employees for going to work despite the nasty weather. Next I used the overripe bananas to make myself a treat: gluten free banana muffins. (Side note: Thanks to my GERD issues, I have decided to go gluten-free for a few weeks as an experiment. It’s tough saying no to homemade chocolate chip cake and ham and cheese croissants, but luckily in this day and age gluten free is totally do-able.) I made these muffins with coconut flour and almond meal and the bananas kept them nice and moist.

photo 2(8)

Recipe adapted from here. I baked them for half the amount of time and left out the chocolate chips.

photo 3(9)Great texture and flavor – chewy and crunchy, just like I like.

Next I made dessert, also gluten free. First you start with some chocolate…

photo 3(8)

Now close your eyes and don’t look while I add the secret ingredient.

 

 

 

photo 4(3)

photo 1(10)

Ok you can open them now 🙂

photo 2(9)Spread out into a greased loaf pan, dot with chocolate chips and bake.

photo 1(11)Mmm fudgy, dare I say, healthy brownies.

Truth be told, they were slightly disappointing. I found them to be a little too thick and dry (the batter was really more like dough) so I might sub out milk for the Greek yogurt next time or add another egg. I will have to experiment with this recipe again. Recipe found here.

I continued my day of baking in another house, cooking for my favorite twin toddlers. Though I know they love chicken nuggets, I have been slightly disappointed in the latest chicken nuggets I’ve made for them. Their mom also commented (kindly) that she thought they’d eat more of them if they were a little more golden brown. So I switched recipes to achieve a better flavor and color and I’m hoping this one will be a hit! They come from a healthy comfort food cookbook and have a nice color, flavor, and crunch. I’ll share the recipe below. Hopefully the twins will like them.

The chicken nuggets ready to bake

The chicken nuggets ready to bake

photo 1(12)

And ta – da!

photo 3(10)Cheesy and crunchy and golden!

And here are their chicken nugget lunches. I have learned that in general these guys don’t eat a lot (they do have very small bodies to feed) so I try to keep lunch portions small. Lately I’ve been using the cutters their mom bought to make fun-shaped fruits and veggies. Why eat regular carrot slices when they can look like flowers?

photo 4(4)

I also made them pizza rolls for dinner, which is one of their favorites, so I know these guys will eat well tonight.

Now <sigh> the only thing left to make is dinner for Sam and me. Ah well, I do enjoy a good day spent in the kitchen at least.

Crispy Chicken Nuggets

adapted from 150 Healthiest Comfort Foods on Earth

1.5 lb. chicken breast, tenders, or fillets, cut into bite-size pieces

1 egg

1/2 tsp. salt, divided

2 cups cornflake cereal (gluten and sugar free if possible)

1/4 cup + 2 T. grated parmesan

1.5 T. flax seed meal

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare two sheet pans lined with parchment paper, sprayed, or lightly oiled. In a wide dish, mix egg and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. In a processor pulse corn flakes until fine, then add in cheese, flax, the remainder of salt, garlic, and pepper. Pulse to mix. Alternatively crush in a plastic bag with a rolling pin. Pour into a wide dish. Dip chicken cubes into the egg and salt mixture and then bread in the cornflake mixture. Place on cookie sheet. When all nuggets are breaded, put the cookie sheets in the oven and bake until heated through and golden – about 15 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken cubes. Be sure to test the temperature to reach 165 especially if feeding to small children! Cool slightly and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

photo 3(10)

On another note, one year ago I started this blog! How much has happened in a year and how fast time flies! Thanks to all of you who follow my adventures. I am grateful to you all.