Polenta with vegetables

Polenta is a corn-meal porridge. You can top polenta with anything you like which makes it a delicious options for breakfast, lunch and even dinner.

Polenta is identified as a yellow corn-meal. The way it’s process produces a more whole form of what many know as grits and contains 6 g of fiber. ( The most popular form of grits only have .7 g – yet I believe there is a white corn that can be used to create white polenta “grits” which reserves the whole kernels.

If cooking on the stove-top it takes about 30 minutes. Use 1 cup of polenta to 6 cups of water.

But I prefer the much easier option of using an Instant Pot. This recipe makes 4 – 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup polenta
  • 6 cups water or broth

Vegetable Toppings:  (in photo)

  • `1 bell pepper
  • 2 stalks green onion
  • 8 ounces mushrooms
  • 4 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cups spinach
  • Salt, pepper and crushed red pepper (optional)

Directions: (for Instant Pot)

  1. Add polenta, water and sprinkle with a little salt (optional) into Instant Pot and stir.
  2. Cook for 10 minutes (manually set or use ‘Rice’ button).
  3. After time is up, Press ‘Cancel’ to switch to ‘Off’ and allow natural pressure release (usually 10/15 minutes).
  4. Stir to combine water and corn-meal. Using a whisk makes this easier.

Cooking Vegetables:

  1. Heat griddle or pan on stove-top.
  2. Add 1 tsp of oil and/or 2 TBS water to the pan.
  3. Add all vegetables except for spinach and stir-fry (stir-steam) until desired tenderness, sprinkle with seasonings of choice.
  4. Remove vegetables to a plate, turn off heat, add spinach and allow to wilt. (Adding a bit of water to create steam will help spinach wilt.)

Serve by adding polenta to a dish and topping with the vegetables.

Buckwheat and Millet Pancakes

This is my go-to recipe for breakfast (in addition to a morning smoothie which I usually have while cooking pancakes). Notice there aren’t any sweeteners, gums or extra fillers in this gluten-free recipe. Just the basic ingredients and I enjoy them with unsulphured molasses, a touch of maple syrup and cold-pressed flax seed oil (an optional boost of Omega-3’s).

Ingredients:
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup millet flour
2 TBS ground flax seeds (can add up to 4 TBS)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
2 cups nut milk (or water will work just as well)
2 tsp baking powder

Directions:

  1. Heat a hot griddle or skillet over low to medium heat.
  2. Mix all ingredients together well, except for the baking powder
  3. Allow to sit about 2 – 3 minutes for the flax seeds to help bind the mixture. (The ground flax seeds is a plant-based substitution for eggs.)
  4. Add a bit more nut milk or water to attain the consistency needed to pour the pancake batter onto a griddle.
  5. Add baking powder and mix slightly. ( You can add another tablespoon of water to help the powder dissolve easily.)
  6. Add just a touch of oil if needed(I prefer coconut oil when needed) to your griddle or skillet.
  7. Cook the pancakes. (They should be easy to pour from the bowl and form round circles on the cooking surface. If not, you can use a spoon to spread a bit or add more liquid).

Note: I make my own buckwheat and millet flours using a Vitamix grain container that has a specific blade for grinding grains.

Suggestion: Mix all the dry ingredients together and store in an airtight container. To use, add liquid of choice in 1:1 ratio of dry mix. Allow to sit for 1 minute. Then, if using, add lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Cook on hot griddle.

PB Quinoa and Oat Bars (Low FODMAP)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (peanut butter smooth style without salt)
  • 1/8 cup brown rice syrup (maple syrup or other sweetener)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (coconut palm sugar)
  • ¾ cup, 20 grams rice cakes, crushed
  • 1 cup (90 g) oats (soaked would be best)
  • 2/3 cup (100 g) quinoa, soaked (quinoa uncooked)
  • 1 TBS chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 TBS ground flax seeds
  • 3 TBS water
  • 1/3 cup (30 g) walnuts
  • 1 TBS sunflower seeds (or pumpkin seed
  • 1 TBS coconut oil (or similar oil)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and oil baking (6 in x 8 in) dish with coconut oil.
  2. Mix ground flax seeds with the water and set aside.
  3. Melt first three ingredients together, add flax seed mixture.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and stir well.
  5. Press mixture into pan.
  6. Bake about 12 – 15 minutes.

NOTE: This bars contain oats and sugar, so my recommendation is – do not eat more than 2 at a time.

Mid-day Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 packed cup of Kale

1/2 slice of 1 inch thick pineapple

1/2 of peeled pickling cucumber

1/2 small nectarine or peach*

1 knob ginger (you can juice using garlic press)

2 coconut milk* ice cubes

1 1/2 cups water


*High FODMAP food – remove from ingredients to achieve a Low FODMAP recipe.


Directions:
Put all ingredients into a high-speed blender such as the Vitamix and process until you reach your desired consistency.

Makes about 12 ounces.

My “Go To” Get Going Green Smoothie

Lately, this has been my “go to” morning smoothie to “get going”.

Ingredients:
2 cups water
1/2 avocado
1 stalk celery
2 TBS nut butter
2 Medjool dates
1 TBS hemp protein
1/2 frozen banana (or add a couple of ice cubes)
1 scoop green “super food” powder

Directions:
Add all ingredients to a high speed blender. I use a Vitamix – it’s my favorite.

Options:
1. Use fresh vegetable/fruit juice or coconut water in place of water
2. I’ve been using organic cashew butter, but I also like almond butter. Almonds are the only alkaline nut and, by the way, cashews aren’t actually nuts.
3. Use different fruits such as blueberries, mangos, pineapple in place of a banana
4. Add even more “green power” by adding fresh leafy greens (spinach, kale, salad mixes)  – you might want to add a a little more liquid if you do.

Below are the results from a calorie counting program.

Calories: The calculations show 574 Calories. I need all the “healthy” calories I can get. But, if you want less calories, start my removing the nut butter before any avocado.

Orange You Happy Smoothie

This morning it took me a while to get around to preparing my first meal around 11 am. I had already had 32 ounces of water (mixed with barley green powder and 1/2 of a lemon which has now become my regular morning routine.) But at this hour of the morning,  I felt like I wanted more than just juice. So I mixed together this quick smoothie.

You can use frozen pineapple, mango* and/or blueberries which are easy to find in the frozen food section of the grocery store these days. Actually, I purchase most of my blueberries frozen because that’s almost the only way I find organic berries. But I prefer fresh pineapple and fresh mango, especially the Ataulfo mangos that are plentiful in the beginning of summer time.

This recipe will make 28 – 32 ounces and can easily be doubled.

Ingredients:
3 oranges
1 – 2 cups of pineapple (slices or chunks, and any of its juices)
1 mango*
5 mint leaves
1 cup blueberries

*High FODMAP food – remove from ingredients to achieve a Low FODMAP recipe.

Directions:

  1. Juice oranges (I used a manual juice press)
  2. Peel and remove seed from mango
  3. Toss all ingredients into a high speed blender (I use my all-time favorite, the Vitamix)
Optional Add-ins:
I added a handful of greens (kale & spinach are my favorite).

Apple Breakfast Bowl

For almost 2 months this has been my daily breakfast. Additionally, I either have a glass of fresh green juice or I use a green powder mixed with water. It’s hydrating, sweet and satisfying. It only requires a little preparation. To make the mornings easier, you can mix all the ingredients the night before, except for the apples (because they oxidize quickly and you want them to be as fresh as possible).
Apple Breakfast Bowl
Ingredients:
  • 1 large apple, chopped into bite-size pieces (like a Fuji, or two smaller ones) – about 300g
  • Carrots, shredded (about two medium size) – 130 g
  • Celery (1 to 2 stalks) – 50 grams
  • Chia Seeds – 2 TBS, preferably soaked in water
  • 1 TBS Nut Butter (I prefer almond butter)
  • 1 Date, chopped (or an equivalent amount of raisins)
  • Cinnamon – 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger, powder – 1/8 tsp (or juice of 1 small knob pressed using garlic press)
  • Shredded Coconut, unsweetened – 3 TBS
Directions:
  1. Mix all ingredients together and enjoy.
Options:
  1. If you need more calories, add more apple, dates (66 calories each) or nut butter (100 calories per TBS).
  2. If you don’t have nut butter, you can simply sprinkle the breakfast with chopped nuts
  3. Add coconut water (or coconut cream – more calories) to make it easier to mix in the nut butter.
  4. When I’m really in a hurry or I am traveling, I simply use my favorite Larabar in place of the nuts/nut butter, dates and coconut.

Calories and nutrients calculated using http://www.caloriecount.com/

Minty Orange But Green Smoothie

I have mostly been posting all of my food creations via Instagram, but I realize that many still prefer a website to search and view recipes more easily. So I will try to post recipes here also when I Instagram them. Instagram is just a bit quicker.

This was my morning breakfast smoothie….well, what was left of it when I decided to take a photo. I believe the recipe made about two cups.


Juice the following:
2 large leaves of kale
1 small apple
1 small “pickling sized” cucumber
2 stalks of celery
1 whole orange, peeled and broken into sedments

Blend juice with the following:
1 whole orange, peeled and cut in half
1/4 cup frozen mango
1 mint leaf

Cool, sweet and refreshing. REAL YUMMY!

Homemade Vegan Protein Smoothie

I have been looking into the possibility of buying a protein powder to supplement my nutrients and caloric intake. Yet, after reading the ingredients on multiple different protein powder brands, I decided to make my own.

The reason I had problems with most protein powder mixes is mostly due to my Candida Overgrowth.  I can’t have sugars, and also I need to avoid whey and most grains due to Leaky Gut (most likely caused by Candida). Also, many protein powders have added vitamins in forms that I don’t need or don’t want to ingest. I’m already taking vitamin supplements that I specifically need, so I don’t need it included in my protein smoothie.

So here is the homemade vegan protein smoothie that I came up with.

Create your own homemade vegan protein smoothie using any combination of the ingredients below.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of water (or fresh juice*)
  • 2 – 3 ice cubes
  • 1 – 2 stalks celery
  • 1 green apple, cut into quarters
  • 1 cup spinach (or kale)
  • 1 tsp Spirilina (optional)
  • 1 tsp Barley Grass (optional)
  • Other Fruit (such as bananas*)
  • 3 TBS Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein

Instructions:
  1. Add ingredients into a blender (a high speed one such as the Vitamix works nicely) in the order listed.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Notes:

Items marked with an asterisk (*) are NOT RECOMMENDED for Candida Free Diet.

Oatmeal Options

Oatmeal is my preferred breakfast food. Unfortunately it’s not allowed on the Candida Free or SCD/GAPS healing diets.  So I just make it for my husband instead.

It’s fast and easy to prepare and can be flavored anyway you like.  I add 1/2 cup of rolled oats (gluten free) and 1/8 tsp salt to 1 cup of water and allow to cook just until it starts to boil.  (You can easily double this recipe.)

Then I turn off the heat and with a little stirring it’s done.  Oatmeal cooked in this manner will be creamy, but if you want more cream you can add almond milk.  I haven’t purchased almond milk in the store for over 5 years, I didn’t buy it often, but I don’t remember it being as creamy as the one I make on my own. You should try some home made almond milk.

Oatmeal with Creamy Almond Milk, Raisins, Cinnamon and Coconut Oil

So, sometimes I have oatmeal with almond milk, raisins, cinnamon and coconut oil.

Then if I want a more “fruity” version.  I add fruit (like strawberries or blueberries), dates/raisins a little water (or almond milk) and sometimes cashews (if I want added protein) to the Vitamix and mix until smooth and creamy.

Oatmeal with Blueberry Sauce

So, my goal is to use fresh natural sugars to sweeten my oatmeal. My daughter who likes oatmeal and totally loves blueberries thinks it’s the best flavored oatmeal she’s ever had (much better tasting and surely better for us than any boxed version).

The basic oatmeal recipe can easily be doubled. Also, make sure to cook over low heat so it doesn’t burn.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/8 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1 cup water

Instructions:
  1. Add all ingredients to a pot over low heat for creamy oatmeal or wait for water to boil to keep oats separate.
  2. Stir frequently
  3. Enjoy with some recipe add-ins.

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