Saturday, November 2, 2013

Beef Posole

1 lb shredded beef (leftover roast)
2 onions diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 cans Hatch fire roasted chiles
4 cans hominy (2 yellow, 2 white, drained and rinsed)
2 cans fire roasted tomatoes
2 teaspoons Better Than Boullion, beef
Black pepper, to taste
Epazote, 2 tsp
Cumin, 2 tsp
Oregano, 2 tsp
Olive Oil
Water (about 6 cups)

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil, when soft add remaining ingredients and let simmer 15-30 minutes.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Pasta Modo Mio

Fetticcini Modo Mio was one of my husband's favorite dishes at an Italian restaurant we used to frequent in Texas. He was asking if I remembered what it was this morning, so I found a copy of the menu online and created a Diana-friendly version.


1/2 lb diced ham steak (locally processed with no preservatives)
1 jar pasta sauce
8 oz plain soft goat cheese
1 package mushrooms
1 jar artichoke hearts
1-2 jalapenos, diced
1 onion, diced
1 tbs garlic, minced
8 oz gluten-free pasta


1. Cook ham until browned. Add veggies and saute until cooked.

2. Add sauce and goat cheese, cook until combined and heated through.

3. Serve over cooked pasta.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Green Beans and New Potatoes

This recipe comes from my long-time friend, Liz. It's so simple and so delicious.


Green beans (enough to feed family)
Small red potatoes (enough to feed family)


1. Snap green beans and place into salted water. Bring to a boil and drain. Repeat.
2. On third boil add new potatoes to salted water with green beans and cook until potatoes are done.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Spaghetti Bolognese

1/2 lb grass-fed ground beef
3-4 cups chopped veggies
1 jar pasta sauce
8 oz soft goat cheese
1 box gluten-free pasta
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

1. Brown meat. Add veggies and saute until just tender.
2. Add sauce and goat cheese, cook until cheese is incorporated into sauce and heated through.
3. Cook pasta according to directions. Add to sauce and toss.
4. Serve with grated Percorino Romano.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Picadillo Brown Rice Crust Quiche


4 links of chorizo removed from casings and cooked like ground meat (can use 1 lb ground meat)
1 large or 2 medium/small onions, diced
1 bulb of garlic, chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
4 Anaheim peppers, diced
6 small red potatoes, diced

Brown Rice Crust:

2 cups cooked brown rice (I really like California Brown Basmati, supposedly lower to no arsenic levels)
1 egg


1/2 picadillo mixture
4 oz goat cheese
6 eggs

1. Brown meat. Add veggies and cook until just soft. Season with, habanero, salt and pepper to taste. You may also sweeten with some honey.

2. In a greased pan add brown rice crust mixture.

3. Mix the 1/2 picadillo mixture with goat cheese until combined. Mix in eggs until combined. Pour over rice mixture and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes (less brown) or 400 for 30 minutes (more brown).

Freeze remaining picadillo mixture for a future meal, like a frittata, mixed with rice or tacos/burritos. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Buckwheat Pancakes and Blueberry Syrup

I've read several places that one of the healthiest foods you can eat is buckwheat pancakes and blueberry syrup. My husband and I don't handle carbs well, so I wanted to find a low-glycemic version of each.

First I made the 100% buckwheat version of the pancakes from Simply Recipes. The changes I made were almond milk for the buttermilk and coconut sugar for the regular sugar.

Then I made a version of this Blueberry Sauce. The changes I made to it were one bag of frozen blueberries and a tablespoon of ground cinnamon since my cinnamon sticks were a few years old.

I have to say I'm a huge fan. They were not overly sweet and had lots of flavor. Now waiting to see if we have any type of blood sugar crash later.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Stir Fry

1/2 lb meat (ground or shredded pork, beef or chicken)
1 1/2 c leafy greens sliced/torn (spinach, bok choy, kale)
1 onion sliced
2 c sliced veggies (mushrooms, carrots, bell pepper, squash)
1 tbs sesame seed
2 tbs sesame oil
1/4 c gf soy sauce
3 tbs sugar (white sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar, honey)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tbs cooking oil
salt and pepper to taste
2-4 cups cooked rice

1. Cook meat in cooking oil.

2. Add onion and sliced veggies, saute until barely soft.

3. Add leafy greens and garlic, saute until soft.

4. Add sesame seed, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, salt and pepper. Toss to combine and cook for a minute or two. Serve over rice.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Grasshoppers, Weeds and Compost

I want to start documenting and becoming more serious about gardening. My garden this year isn't going to be what most people consider a traditional summer garden. I prefer to grow from Fall to Spring because our summers here in SE OK are brutal and just a few minutes in the heat triggers horrible migraines for me.

What I want to experiment with for myself are trying to naturally deter grasshoppers, kill weeds, and replenish my garden bed soil.

Grasshoppers: I found my first grasshopper yesterday and I immediately spread diatomaceous earth. I didn't see any grasshoppers today but I did find a lizard and frog in the garden.

Weeds and grass: I'm using grain vinegar to see how it affects grains and grass around my garden beds. This patch is looking a little wilted after two days of vinegar being sprayed on it.

Replenishing the soil. Once my fall/spring garden is spent, I want to plant a summer cover crop and apply compost to the soil so I can plant again in the fall. I started this compost bin in May 2012 and it started to have some beautiful compost by fall, but an armadillo found the bin and cleaned it out searching for larvae. I add shredded paper, kitchen scraps, gardening scraps and leaves. I haven't added manure yet to this batch.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Vegetable Minestrone Soup

Tomorrow is payday and the fridge and pantry are looking a little bare, so tonight I'm making another version of veggie soup (my first version is a roasted veggie soup that I need to post a recipe for). I spent some time in the garden this morning thinning out the carrots and Swiss chard so the carrots have more space to grow bigger as we are coming into spring and the Swiss chard can focus it's energy on new growth since I recently transplanted them. I also had some tomatoes, turnips, and jalapeno left over from the Fort Smith farmer's market. In the freezer I had a quart of white beans I cooked earlier in the winter, and in the pantry there were a couple cans of chickpeas. It all comes together to make an incredibly yummy soup!!! The ingredients are completely flexible based on what you have on hand. In some research, Minestrone traditionally has a bean based broth and contains whatever vegetables are in season.


Onion, diced
Garlic, minced
Carrots, diced
Turnips, diced
Jalapeno, diced
Tomatoes, diced
Swiss Chard, chopped if needed
White Beans, previously cooked and frozen
Chickpeas, canned, drained and rinsed
Salt and Pepper to taste
Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base
Olive Oil

Heat olive oil, onion and garlic in a stock pot with a pinch of salt and pepper. Once fragrant and starting to turn clear, add carrots, jalapeno and turnips. Cook for a few minutes more to help enhance flavors. Then add remaining ingredients, enough water to cover and season to taste. Bring to a soft boil, reduce heat and simmer for at least half an hour.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Gluten and Lactose-Free Creamy Chicken Poblano with Rice

Since I discovered I'm sensitive to dairy and gluten, I was really sad over not being able to have cream sauce. Tonight I nailed a gluten and lactose-free cream sauce!

2 tbs rice flour
2 tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
6 poblanos, roasted and chopped
1 tbs minced garlic
4 oz soft goat cheese
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 cups cooked chopped or shredded chicken
4 cups cooked rice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Over medium heat, combine rice flour and oil and cook until bubbling. Add onion, poblano and garlic until onion and garlic are soft. Add goat cheese, almond milk, and chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until cheese melts and sauce is thickened. Serve over rice.

To make vegan omit goat cheese and chicken.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chicken and Tomatillos on Rice

I adore tomatillos and this is going to become a favorite in our household. 

2 cups chicken diced or shredded
2 lbs tomatillos diced
1 onion diced
1 jalapeno diced
1 tsp garlic diced
1 tbs lime juice
Olive oil
4 cups cooked rice

Cook the chicken if not precooked (I buy a whole chicken and separate the meat into 3 parts). Remove from skillet and set aside.

Add the tomatillos, onion, garlic and jalapeno to a skillet with olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the tomatillos begin to reduce and become saucy. Add chicken to skillet and continue to cook until tomatillos have completely cooked down and are no longer bright green.

Serve over rice.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Broiled Salmon with Brown Rice and Broccoli

Broiled Salmon is becoming one of my favorite quick meals. I have found that I can change out the sauce and have a completely different meal. I can also buy wild caught salmon for inexpensive ($4 for 4 filets at Aldi), frozen broccoli ($1 at Aldi) and brown Basmati rice ($3-4 for 2 lb of Lundberg at, $2 with the amount of rice I use for the two of us (1.5 c uncooked). Then I use a honey based sauce each time and maybe use about $1-2 worth of local honey. Bringing the total of the meal under $10. I have two sauces I've created so far that are gluten-free and I'll add more sauces to the list at the end as I create them.

Cooked brown rice (as much as you need for who you are feeding, I make 3 c cooked)
Bag of frozen broccoli
Salmon filets (however many you need for the people you are feeding)
Sauce of your choice (see options below)

I allow an hour for the rice to cook if I need to cook it first. When the rice is done (I like to let it sit for at least 15 minutes after cooking), I broil the frozen salmon for about 5-10 minutes on each side, steam the broccoli (I'm lazy and do the steam in the bag even though I know it's not the healthiest way to cook it, I could try broiling it with the salmon), and make the sauce. It all comes together in about 15 minutes. Then I plate the rice with the broccoli and salmon, then drizzle with the sauce.

Honey-Soy Sauce

Liquid aminos
Vinegar (white wine, rice or apple cider)
Sesame seeds and green onions for garnish

I do about 3 parts honey to 1 part liquid aminos and .5 part vinegar. I eyeball it and mix it until I happy with the taste. I usually start with 1/4 c of honey and go from there.

Honey Mustard Sauce

Yellow Mustard
Dijon Mustard
Coarse Ground Mustard

I start with about 1/4 c of honey, then add a tablespoon of each mustard and add whatever I think is needed until I'm happy with the taste.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sourdough Bread

A link was shared with me in an Endometriosis nutrition group on Facebook about how people who are gluten-intolerant can sometimes tolerate real sourdough. I want to give it a try, so I'm bookmarking the links for myself here and anyone else who wants to read more about it.

Top 10 reasons to eat real sourdough bread even if you're gluten-intolerant

Sourdough Bread and Starter Recipe

King Arthur Flour Wholemeal Flour

Fermented Bread

More Sourdough Info

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Veggie Quiche with Brown Rice Crust

Veggie quiche with a brown rice crust is something I fall back on about once a week when I've been busy working all day and need something easy for dinner. It does take a while to cook, but the actual prep time is minimal.

1 cup dried brown rice (to make 2 cups cooked)
2 cups water with 1-2 tsp chicken base or 2 cups chicken broth
4 oz goat, sheep or raw milk cheese
5-6 eggs
2-3 cups frozen veggies, thawed (I eyeball this. Most common veggies are broccoli, spinach, asparagus)
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil

Cook the brown rice with the water and base or broth. To cook brown rice, bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes until water is absorbed. (Even easier make more rice than you need and keep it in the fridge or freezer for future use.)

Combine the rice with 1 egg, a pinch of cheese (if using shredded, if using cream goat cheese I skip the cheese in the rice), salt and pepper to taste.

Grease a square baking dish with olive oil and spread the rice mixture in the bottom.

Then combine the remaining eggs with the remaining cheese, veggies and salt and pepper to taste. Spread over rice mixture and bake at 400 for 30 minutes.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tomato and White Bean Soup

I'm testing a recipe from The Gluten-Free Vegan and this is my simplified version of it.


1 lb white beans cooked
3-4 cans diced no salt added tomatoes
2 onions diced
2-4 roasted red peppers, diced (1-2 jars)
1 tbsp garlic minced
1 tsp basil
Dash red pepper flakes
Olive Oil
Vegetable Base


Cook the beans according to directions (or use equal number of cans white beans and diced tomatoes). About the time the beans begin to soften (about 2 hours of cooking after doing an hour long quick soak), saute the onion, garlic, basil, red pepper flakes, dash of salt and pepper in olive oil. Add saute mix to beans with diced tomatoes, roasted red peppers and vegetable base (to taste). Let simmer at least half an hour or until beans are completely softened. I usually let it simmer a couple hours.

I'll be serving with cornbread.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Yesterday while Tony and I were out playing Ingress in Fort Smith, we stopped by the farmer's market and a guy was selling local, grass-fed Dexter heritage beef, so I bought a variety of cuts including some ground. I'm so excited that I get to make one of my favorites tonight, stuffed bell peppers!

6 red bell peppers
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 lb ground beef
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 onion diced
Onion powder
Garlic powder

While rice is cooking, brown beef with onions.

When rice and beef are done cooking, mix together with tomato sauce and seasonings to taste (I usually use a tablespoon of each with a pinch of salt and pepper).

Stuff peppers and bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes, until peppers are soft.

*If you want to do a vegan version, substitute black beans for the beef. That was my backup plan if I wasn't able to get ground beef.
*A dear friend recommends cooking the rice with a little beef broth for some added flavor.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Lazy Chiles Rellenos or Poblano Quiche

I came across this recipe for Lazy Chiles Rellenos from The Pioneer Woman and I created my own version to it to make it lactose-free. Tony loves this recipe and begs me regularly to make it.

6 poblano peppers, broiled and chopped
4 eggs
4 oz shredded goat, sheep or raw milk cheese
1 cup non-dairy milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil (to grease pan)
Corn tortillas or leftover rice (combine rice with an additional egg, a pinch of cheese, salt and pepper)

First, broil the poblanos on a cookie sheet lined with foil until they start to blacken. After one side is done flip them and broil the second side. Once the peppers are blackened (but not burned all the way through, I did that last night when my mom called) let them cool for a few minutes and place in a plastic bag or covered bowl to steam. After 15-30 minutes while wearing plastic gloves, peel the outer, charred skin and deseed the peppers.

Next, roughly chop the peppers and mix with the eggs, milk and cheese with a little salt and pepper to taste.

Finally, grease a square baking dish and lay out the corn tortillas or rice as the crust, then cover in egg mixture.

Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Beans with Turkey Bacon and Cornbread

I needed to make something for dinner tonight that would last us a few nights since I'll be running errands the next two days. So I picked up a bag of small red beans at the Mexican market in Fort Smith and a package of turkey bacon (Applegate Natural Turkey Bacon) that I found at the natural food store that is gluten and casein-free, no nitrates, msg, etc. Very yummy stuff, the beans have an amazing flavor.

Here are the directions I followed for cooking the dried beans: How To Cook Beans.

The recipe I used to flavor the beans: Pinto Beans with Bacon and Jalapenos.

And finally the cornbread recipe I'm trying out. I am out of honey, so I used a tablespoon of organic, raw sugar. I also replaced the milk with unsweetened almond milk and the butter with olive oil: 100% Cornmeal Gluten-Free Cornbread.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Gluten and Lactose-Free Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Tony and I LOVE Buffalo Chicken Pizza, but being gluten and lactose intolerant makes pizza difficult for me. I was thrilled to find goat cheddar and raw milk cheddar at Aldi's and Bob's Red Mill Pizza Crust packages.

As I type this Tony is asking if I want anything besides the chicken and cheese on the pizza. We debate celery but decide against it. I told him we are allowed to splurge from time to time and not have veggies at dinner. He says there are peppers in the hot sauce and vinegar which are derived from vegetables so they must count. I'll let you decide. Thankfully we had salad for lunch with a Spring baby greens mix and tomato.

For the crust, I'm not happy with the yeast packet that is included and I keep jars on hand for when we try making gluten-free bread so I use that instead. I also mix the 1 1/4 cups water (microwaved for 45 seconds, it should be between 105 and 110F) with 1/4 tsp sugar and 4 1/2 tsp yeast (modification from a pizza crust recipe in my pre-gluten-free days) and let it ferment for 6-8 minutes. I add the yeast-water mixture to the rest of the ingredients and mix until combined. I don't let the dough rise for 20 minutes like the recipe says to do. We tried it once and it didn't seem to make a difference. Otherwise, follow the recipe on the package of crust mix. 


Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Mix
2 packets or 4 1/2 tsp yeast
1/4 tsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 eggs
8 oz raw milk, goat or sheep hard cheese (I find cheddar styles at Aldi from time to time)
Organic or non-grain fed, free range chicken
1 bottle Frank's Hot Sauce

While making the crust, cook the chicken in some of the hot sauce, leaving enough to use as the pizza sauce, then shred or dice. Top the pizza with hot sauce, cheese and chicken, bake for 15-18 minutes.

An afterthought, if you really want blue cheese, Roquefort is a blue cheese made from sheep milk.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

From time to time I get wicked sugar cravings or I really miss ice cream since I don't handle dairy well. When this happens Tony is the sweetest husband ever and makes a smoothie for us that satisfies whatever it is that I want. It is dairy free and uses frozen banana to give it a soft frozen consistency that I can eat with a spoon and feel like I'm having ice cream.

In a blender combine:

3 frozen bananas (over ripe and sliced into half inch pieces prior to freezing)
4 tbsp low sugar, low sodium natural or organic peanut butter
2-4 cups dark chocolate almond milk (start with 2 cups and increase until desired consistency)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Chickpea and Spinach Curry

I've modified this recipe a little from the book Endometriosis: A Guide to Healing Through Nutrition. The original recipe calls for (sheep or goat) yogurt, but since that's difficult to find I'm using coconut milk, added a little vegetable base for flavor, and spices for nutritional purposes.

2 onions diced
1 tsp ginger grated or chopped
1 clove garlic chopped (1 tsp minced)
1 tsp curry powder (I think I used a tbsp)
1 can coconut milk
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 - 15oz can no salt added diced tomatoes
2 - 15 oz cans chickpeas rinsed
8 oz (half bag) frozen spinach
2 tbsp olive oil (cold pressed is recommended for Endo)
Salt (small pinch)
Black pepper
1 tsp Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base

Over medium heat, sautee onions, ginger and garlic in oil with a pinch of salt and black pepper. When onions are soft, add curry powder and cayenne to taste and cook for a few more minutes. (I read that black pepper, tumeric and cayenne enhance each others nutritional properties, so I always cook with them together when possible).

Add tomato paste, tomatoes, chickpeas and spinach and cook until spinach is heated through. Add coconut milk and vegetable base and cook another 5 minutes to let flavors come together.

Serve alone or over brown rice.

A note on canned tomatoes, rumor is Hunts is in the process of transitioning to BPA free cans.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Food Journey

Over the past few years I have gradually been making changes to the way my husband and I eat. I've been posting updates on Facebook but not really blogging about it and yesterday I had two requests to start a food blog. Instead of starting yet another blog, I decided to divide this blog into different sections to make it easier for people to find what they are looking for. Family can check out the progress we're making on the house while friends can see what is going on with our diet or look for the household cleaner recipes I use. I am going to continue to keep my business blog for Penguinuity separate, but I should add a link to it.

I think I'll keep this post to how we got to where we are today with our diet. For years, Tony and I thought we could eat anything we wanted. Between IT jobs (Tony is a Network Administrator), he drove a water truck for the oil fields and had to have regular physicals in order to keep his license. Between not doing well on some of the physicals and oil field work slowing down in 2009 after Obama took office and creating a huge dent in our budget, I had to start making changes. That year I learned to use meat as a seasoning in my cooking rather than as the main dish. I began to bulk up meals with rice and oats. Then in 2010, I started selling handmade bags at a local farmer's market. Each Saturday I would leave with a lot of produce the other vendors would share with me and I challenged myself to start cooking one meatless meal a week after hearing about Meatless Mondays.

As we became accustomed to vegetarian meals, I increased the frequency from one meal a week to two, then three, four and five. By the summer of 2011, we were eating meat once or twice a week. That is when I introduced vegan meals to our diet after watching Forks Over Knives. I did the same as the vegetarian meals and started with one a week and gradually increased it until we were eating four to five vegan meals a week with one vegetarian and one meat (usually salmon or tuna).

I have been cooking this way for over a year now. Some things have happened over this past year though. First, in January 2012 I was diagnosed with Endometriosis. I was not aware of it being an auto-immune disease until October when I was talking to a friend with the disease and began seeing a specialist. A book was recommended to me, Endometriosis: A Guide to Healing Through Nutrition. The book suggested giving up gluten; cow dairy; conventional (confined, grain-fed) meats such as pork, beef and chicken. I had already discovered that I was sensitive to dairy and had given up conventional meat, but the thought of giving up gluten devastated me. A couple weeks after my consultation with the Endo specialist, I had a physical done with a new primary care physician (PCP). When the blood work came back all the numbers were excellent except my Triglycerides, blood sugar and vitamin D levels. The PCP told me she believes I'm pre-diabetic and need to give up sugar and carbs. I wasn't aware until that appointment that Triglycerides are a measure of sugar (carbs) in the body and those numbers have been the worst for Tony over the years often being so high they can't get a reading.

This news threw a huge wrench into how I cooked. I was relying on homemade bread as one of my main staples. It was cheap and I believed healthy. I talked to Tony about it and we decided to give up gluten. I will not lie, I cried. It has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I immediately decided to make a list of what I could eat when I was away from home running errands (grilled chicken salads and omelets are the easiest to find). The first 10 days were a nightmare. I went through horrible withdrawal. I had headaches (not migraines), nausea, pain and I was starving all the time. On day 11 though, I felt amazing. I had all kinds of energy and my daily migraines and Fibromyalgia pain were significantly reduced. The daily pain had been a 7-9 on a pain scale of 10 before going gluten-free, then it dropped to 2-3 on the pain scale.

I am now at 3 months of doing gluten-free and overall I feel significantly better and on the occasion that gluten does sneak in, I am miserable. Forget pizza, the next day I feel like I have the mother of all sinus infections and the Fibromyalgia pain flares up. French fries and bread give me migraines. Before going gluten-free, I couldn't handle weather changes. As soon as the pressure would drop, I'd be in so much pain between the Fibromyalgia and migraines I could hardly move. Now I'm unable to predict the weather like I could before. I'm still not 100% pain free. I still have about one migraine a week, some nerve pain and Endo pain.

In the coming days and weeks I will discuss various diets I have researched, share recipes I have success with, and continue to give updates on how things are going. The dear friend who introduced me to the Endo specialist in addition to suffering from Endo is battling a rare form of thyroid cancer and diabetes, so Gena, I hope this blog helps!!! We can do this!!!

Update (3/4/2013): I've noticed I do have a minor reaction to raw milk dairy, it causes some congestion and a little pain although it's incredibly minor compared to conventional (bovine) dairy.