GF/DF Taco Soup

There’s nothing more comforting than soup in the winter months. Combine it with the flavor of Mexican food and how can you go wrong? I love food to taste like something distinct. Bland food is boring. Check out this zippy taco soup that is both gluten and dairy free.

1 carton GF beef broth
1 can crushed stewed tomatoes with juice
1T lemon juice
3 chicken breasts, grilled and cubed
4oz bag frozen white corn
1T garlic
4oz bag frozen diced onions
1/2C sliced jalapenos (with juice, if you like more zip)
3 corn tortillas, fried in oil and cup in strips with pizza cutter
1/2C black bean salsa
1/2 Trader Joe’s Taco seasoning packet

Mix in crock pot and let warm for 2 hours. Top with Daiya cheese and serve.

GF/DF Quinoa Tabouleh

I love(d) tabouleh. I didn’t find out I had celiac until I was 26 so I was used to eating it. I literally grew up on it. So, when I had the opportunity to recreate it gluten free, I jumped at it. This is a fresh, healthy, natural salad that can serve as a meal too.

The quinoa to “all other ingredients” ratio is really personal taste. If you find there is too much, cut back. If you like more of the protein so it can stand alone as a meal, add more.

2C Quinoa (cooked, cool rinsed and drained)
2 scallions chopped
2 cucumbers peeled and chopped (could also be de-seeded, if you choose)
2C Chopped fresh mushrooms
16oz can sliced black olives
1 pint grape tomatoes halved
1/2bunch parsley (chopped)
1/4C mint leaves (chopped)
1C lemon juice
1/3C oil (olive, avocado, flavored) I like blood orange flavor from the Olive Branch
1/2C lime juice
Salt/pepper to taste

GF/DF Morning Carb Delight

Carbs can be so comforting. Not to mention casseroles. Finding a breakfast casserole for allergies can be challenging however, this one involves one of my favorite comfort foods, tater tots. Try it out and see what you think.

Spray casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray (I use trader joe’s coconut oil)
Dump one bag of tater tots (20oz or larger) into the dish
One package pre-cooked chopped ham pieces (I use Kirkland precooked ham steak)
Add one cup shredded Daiya cheese (or regular if you aren’t dairy free)
Add 10 eggs (works best if you crack them in a bowl and whip first but not required)
Add 1/2 cup egg whites (I use them from a container to avoid waste)
Add 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite milk)
salt, pepper, onion powder and Wild Tree Rancher steak rub to taste (maybe 1/2t each)

Let set over night covered.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes and let cool.

Looks great with a fresh sprinkle of cheese on top, hot out of the oven.
And our family likes a little Cholula sauce on top.

Gluten Free Easy Apple Bake

Easy. Fast. Food. But not fast food. Home made. This is my favorite combo. Check out this one for a treat that your kids will love.

3 apples cored and sliced
(I like pampered chef’s peeler/corer/slicer)
1 packet gf instant brown sugar oatmeal
(there are several great ones, we used Bakery on Main)
1/4 stick earth balance (non dairy) butter cut in slices

Add all ingredients to an oven safe dish and bake for 30 minutes at 350.
Makes enough for 2.

Easy Chicken Salad (GF/DF)

Either in a bowl or on some gluten free bread, this is a satisfying meal. Kids even like it!

1 Rotisserie Chicken cut-up and deboned (or 4 cooked chicken breasts)
1C Pecans chopped
2 Celery Stalks chopped
2C grapes halved
1/2C “Just Mayo” brand mayonnaise
1/4C dill
1t garlic

Mix and let set to chill.

Cinni-Fun Buns (Gluten/Dairy Free)

This morning I decided to make a quick breakfast treat for the kids. I don’t have much time in the morning for extras so I put my coffee on to brew and grabbed a box of Chebe Mix.

Chebe’s Cinnamon Roll Mix claims to yield 12-15 rolls but I get about 9-10 from a box.
Like with most mixes, I use their recipe as a guideline. The one below is my twist for keeping it dairy and egg yolk free as well.

Preheat the oven to 375
Grab a bowl for mix ingredients and grease a cookie sheet for rolling.

1box Chebe mix
2t baking powder
3tbsp oil
2 egg whites
1/4 c applesauce
2 T almond milk

Knead dough with hands until all dry ingredients are mixed and place it on the cookie sheet. Roll out flat.

1/4C coconut sugar
1/4C sugar in the raw
1/4C coconut flakes
Handfull of pecans
1T Cinnamon
1T melted Earth Balance (dairy free) butter

Take above mix and press it evenly into the rolled out dough and roll from the widest edge. Cut about 1.5″ apart and place on cookie sheet. Cook for 15 minutes and watch closely. If they overcook, the outside edge will get very hard. Pull out of the oven immediately.

If you choose, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Granny’s Gluten Free Tater Soup

An old favorite can always be made anew and allergy friendly.

It’s a new day. We can take our favorites from childhood and amend to make them safe. Gluten free. Dairy free. Egg free. Peanut free. Rice free. Wheat free. Pineapple free. Those are just ours. Yours might be slightly different but it’s all doable!

I love easy. My recipes don’t usually include a bunch of prep. I like to get going and eat… so, let’s get going!

2 cups pre-cooked cooked ham cubed
1 package button mushrooms
5 large potatoes peeled and cubed (if you prefer skin on, go for it)
1 large onion cubed
1 stick earth balance butter (dairy free)
1 box gluten free chicken broth
2 cups unsweetened unflavored almond milk (or your choice: almond, soy, coconut, etc.)
2T Wildtree rancher steak rub seasoning (or your preferred mix)

Dump it all in the crock pot in the morning on low, enjoy in the evening.
Hearty. Warm. Reminds me of snuggle time at granny’s.

Our path, healing.

Every person, will have a unique story. It’s a part of who we are.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I was terrified. I was excited. I was elated. I anticipated the arrival of one of the most amazing miracles ever. And I was terrified. I kept asking myself how that child going to get out. Not that I didn’t know. I mean, the mechanics of it were obvious but… how would it happen?

Being it that position early on, the last thing you want to hear is that “women have been doing it for thousands of years” and it all works out. What I didn’t know at the time is a detail that I carry with me every day now. A detail that has applied to so many things in life. Simply put, God’s timing is right. It’s good. And it’s intentional.

You see, by the time that I was ready to give birth I was uncomfortable. I was tired of having another human taking up space in my stomach, on my bladder and between my ribs. I was ready. However it was going to happen, it just needed to. I didn’t have the worry because I was focused on where I was at in the process.

It’s a process. Regardless of what “it” is. When I was newly pregnant, not nauseous and housing a peanut size child in my tummy, I was focused on the end of the process. All of which would be completely irrelevant to my situation ten months later.

Most of our situations in life are this way. Thinking back to when I started my gut healing process, like most people, I wanted to be well. I wanted to feel better. I wanted to eat what I was used to eating. But I couldn’t have it all. Jumping forward ten months I was in a brand new situation. First (an most important) I felt better. Whew! Who cares what food I have to give up if I can feel better.

With renewed energy levels, my head clear of the mushy cloud that had engulfed my previous thoughts, I was renewed. Just like when I held that brand new baby in my arms, it was a new chapter I couldn’t previously see. God creates a plan, a process and it is good. We may not understand how we will get from here to there but he does.

Nothin to it, but to do it.

It sucks. And it’s hard. Quite possibly the hardest thing you have ever done.

Making the choice to eat gluten free for your health is a big change. There’s no doubt that sometimes people opt for stomach pain and vomiting in order to eat the coveted donut. But at some point, you must realize that the pain inflicted upon your body is voluntary. That’s right, you might as well be poking yourself in the eye with a stick. You are doing it to yourself. Stop it already.

I have countless conversations with people who laugh sheepishly and sigh. Only to say, “my doctor told me I should be gluten free”. Just this week I had a conversation with a friend who was in a ton of pain. Joint swelling. Can’t sleep. Miserable pain. Indeed, her doctor told her to go gluten free.

It’s time. Start small and don’t use the many options for gluten free products on the market. Go old school. Start clean. Eat fruit, veggies and lean meats. Your body needs to recoup and cleanse from years of processed food. This will also give you time to read up on the thousands of names for gluten and all the places it’s hidden.

Even if you can’t see the results immediately, try it. Stick with it for at least three months (without cheating). This isn’t the latest weight craze, cheating will only recontaminate your body and impede the healing process. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. However, I do have a smidgen of common sense and I can tell you from personal experience that getting gluten in your body can take up to a week to work itself out.

It’s not for everyone, and I would not suggest everyone go gluten free. It can do more harm than good if you aren’t allergic, intolerant or suffering from Celiac. But if your doctor has told you to try it and you choose to suffer instead, you have one person to blame.

There are amazing resources online, in books and by connecting with people (either online or in your community via support groups) who have Celiac and can lead you through the process. My favorite starter book is the G-Free diet by Elizabeth Hasselbeck. You have a community of people here to support you, we eat like this every day. It is possible and you can do it!

I can’t eat that, no I won’t.

Back to school is a time when parents around the world buy new character themed backpacks, tennis shoes two sizes larger and pour that first glass of wine while waiting for the familiar rattle of the bus to pass by.

However, parents of kids with food allergies face tougher preparation. Regardless of the age of your child, you must first equip them with personal advocacy. This isn’t so daunting at the age of twelve or fifteen but with a five year old, you are placing a lot of faith in the system.

Kids are taught to listen, follow directions and go with the flow. They need to learn these valuable lessons. Life isn’t about them and their special needs, or is it?

Both of my kids learned in kindergarten that they had allergies that previously didn’t represent themselves. Both children had to learn that I would not be with them at school and they needed to speak up, ask questions and refuse food. Whoa. Do you mean defy the system? Yes, that is exactly what I am saying.

My son was sick three times in kindergarten from being fed things that he wasn’t supposed to eat. The challenge for kids is being able to have a voice in an environment where they are seen as defiant if they do.

People ponder the best way to send kids to school when they have allergies. I say arm them with knowledge and your support. Send them with a lunch filled with yummy alternatives to the normal elementary options, teach them it’s ok to say no when their health is on the line and give them permission to go to the nurse for support.

The more your children know about why they can’t eat it, what it does to their body and how you are their advocate, the more they will be comfortable doing the same in your absence.