Popcorn (Stovetop)

Ingredients:
1/2       cup popcorn kernels
Possible toppings:
sea salt
turmeric
nutritional yeast
cinnamon
Directions (air popped):
1.    Pop the kernels in your air-popper, following directions for use.
2.    Melt coconut oil & drizzle it on the popped corn.
3.    Sprinkle with turmeric & salt. Enjoy!
I use a POPCO Popcorn Popper to make popcorn. I am not normally an advocate of the microwave, but when it comes to making popcorn I am. I can make oil-free popcorn easily using this popper.

Important note: I only recommend air popped or a microwave popper so that your popcorn can be prepared without oil. Oils add calories and extra fats of a type that works against the liver.

Directions (microwave popper): 

1.    Add kernels to popper (and any other desired ingredients)
2.    Cover with lid
3.    Put in microwave and press the ‘popcorn’ button (about 2 and 1/2 minutes)
4.  Eat directly from the bowl or transfer to another heat safe bowl.
    NOTES: Oil-free popcorn is ideal because oils can cause adverse reactions for those with IBS.  In fact, it’s not recommended that you eat popcorn while experiencing painful IBS symptoms, but once you get your symptoms under control, popcorn makes a good snack. Most can have up to 7 cups popped.


    Since popcorn is a grain it should be avoided while on all healing diets. Yet, popcorn is a great REAL FOOD snack when prepared at home using fresh, NON-GMO, and organic ingredients. It was the most difficult grain for me to “give up” while healing, but it was definitely worth the wait.

    3.2.2708

    Kale Chips “Your Way”

    Potato chips are not currently in my diet because potatoes should be avoided on the GAPS, SCD and Candida Free Diets. So, when I want something crunchy other than my homemade crackers, I make kale chips. I’m saving so much money by making them on my own also.

    Additionally, I prefer to make them myself because I know exactly what I’ve put into them and I can “mix it up” based on my own preference. Ideally for best results, you should use a dehydrator – but an oven will work too.

    These are YOUR home-made Kale Chips. So many of the ingredients listed below are optional including the nuts, but they do add a special crunch when used in a recipe. Add seasonings/spices to taste and any combination that you like (keep them light, will be stronger once dehydrated) Listed below are some that I use often.

    Ingredients:
    • Dehydrator (or Oven set to it’s lowest setting. 200 degrees Celsius is the max temperature)
    • 1 bunch of washed kale, not necessary to fully dry the leaves
    • (I’ve used both “common” kale and “lacinato” kale)
    • 1/4 – 1/2 cup nuts or seeds (Most commonly used ones: Walnuts, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds. Nuts are optional, but most commercial recipes use them to create a denser crunchiness.)
    • garlic powder to taste
    • turmeric
    • cayenne pepper
    • onion powder
    • curry powder
    • 1/4 cup (yellow, orange or red) bell peppers or tomato (these add liquid to the mixture in addition to the oil)
    • salt to taste
    • nutritional yeast will give it a cheesy flavor – use about 2 TBS or even more 

    Instructions:
    1. Add everything except for kale to a blender or food processor.
    2. Taste your recipe. Remember the flavor will be a bit stronger when dehydrated.
    3. Add just enough water, if needed, to enable you to pour your flavor mixture over the washed kale – kale does not need to be dried. The water will evaporate.
    4. Massage the mixture into the kale. They might begin to look a bit wilted, but that’s OK.
    5. Spread the kale onto the dehydrator and dehydrate between 105 and 135 degrees Celsius.
    6. (At 135 degrees Celsius, the kale will be ready in 2 – 3 hours. Yet, many raw food proponents suggest keeping temperature under 115 degrees Celsius.)

    Notes:

    Here is one specific flavor combination that I enjoyed recently:
    1/4 cup walnuts + 3 TBS almond meal (mix with water to form nut butter/paste)

    Other recipe ideas:1. Nutritional yeast is really tasty with cashew nuts plus other seasonings
    2. Sunflower seeds and sesame seeds (keep whole) with coconut oil (no olive oil) plus other seasonings 3. Add Stevia for sweetness (perhaps if you are going for a B-B-Q flavor combination)

     
    ANOTHER OPTION: You can add some Kale to one of the flavor mixtures which includes nuts and spread the paste onto a baking sheet to make homemade crunchy crackers. By adding nutritional yeast and a little cayenne, you just might end up with some "Cheez-It" type snacks.

    My dehydrator is by Nesco. I purchased it from Kohl’s for about $35 (year 2012) or less when I used my Kohl’s coupon. I haven’t had the privilege of trying an Excalibur dehydrator. But this one does just fine.

    Infuse water with fruits and veggies

    Looking for an alternative to juicing? Well not really an alternative because juicers perform very specific jobs, but here is another option for getting some good nutrients. Nothing like a cool drink of water, right?

    I like to infuse my water with fruits and veggies from time to time when I feel like I need a real thirst quencher. I normally use cucumbers, but since I didn’t have any – this was my combination today.

    This combination is safe for Candida Dieters once they have passed the first 3 weeks of absolutely NO FRUIT! (Green apples and berries are allowed after 3 weeks.)

    Ingredients:

    • 2 celery sticks
    • 1/2 green apple
    • 1/4 cup blue berries
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 2 cups filtered water
    • a couple of ice cubes, or you can place into fridge to cool

    Directions:

    1. Place all ingredients into a Vita-mix or high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
    2. Filter the pulp using a strainer or a nut milk bag (what I like best).

    That’s it. Simple as can be. So when you make your “infused” water, post your comments below and let others know of what combinations you create.

    Note: You can always use the left-over pulp in your cooking, perhaps when making pancakes or muffins for instance.

    Blend your favorite fruits and vegetables together with water and strain. Below is a good combination to try.

    Ingredients
    • 2 celery sticks
    • 1/2 green apple
    • 1/4 cup blue berries
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 2 cups filtered water
    • a couple of ice cubes, or you can place into fridge to cool

    Instructions

    1. Place all ingredients into a Vita-mix or high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
    2. Filter the pulp using a strainer or a nut milk bag (what I like best).

    Notes: You can always use the left-over pulp in your cooking, perhaps when making pancakes or muffins for instance.

    3.2.2708

    Warm Quinoa Asian Salad/Wraps

    I used to blog about every meal/creation that I would prepare, but I have been failing to do so. I always take photos thinking that I will “get to it later”. Well, that hasn’t worked. I just finished eating this mini meal (a meal in between my lunch and dinner), so I figured I better get to it right away.

    I apologize, but just about every measurement listed below is an approximate. But, hey, that’s what cooking is all about right? – making adjustments to suit your own taste buds (well, if you are comfortable with cooking anyway).

    ===============================

    FINALLY, I have added this one “grain” back to my diet. It’s
    quinoa  (pronounced keen-wah) and Wikipedia describes it as an edible seed that’s not a member of a true grass “cereal” family. All I know is that, so far, it’s not causing any symptoms of brain fog and my digestive system is handling it just fine. It’s not a sticky grain like rice. It’s gluten free. It stays separated when cooked. It’s also a nice grain that can be soaked, sprouted and eaten raw.

    Today I wanted to eat quinoa and I wanted to make some wraps. Because, just a few days ago, I ate lettuce wraps at Ruggles Green in River Oaks and they were so yummy and filling that I decided that I would make a recipe of my own. I didn’t try to make the exact recipe…although I will definitely do so in the future. My taste buds had a mind of their own today.

    Ingredients:
    • SaladDressing/Sauce (1 to 2 servings):
    • 1 cup vegetable broth
    • 1 thin slice of onion (about 1/8 cup)
    • 1/2 inch knob fresh ginger
    • 1 to 1/2 tsp fresh garlic
    • green onion tops from 1 green onion
    • 2 TBS fresh cilantro
    • 1/4 cup cashews, soaked and rinsed is best
    • juice of 1 lime wedge and/or 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
    • dash of cayenne pepper
    • salt/pepper to taste
    • Salad/Wraps
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
    • lettuce for salad or wraps
    • Other possible Add-ins:•nori seaweed, dulse, kelp
    • daikon root, Reishi (mushroom), cucumber, cabbage, bell peppers – ALL candida friendly
    • carrots, other mushrooms, chestnuts – NOT Candida friendly
    • Kim-chi (naturally fermented of course)

    Instructions

    1. Add vegetable broth, onion, ginger and garlic to a small saucepan – bring to a boil, then simmer 2 – 3 minutes.
    2. Add broth mixture and remaining dressing/sauce ingredients to a blender or Vitamix. (To prevent it from becoming a green sauce, add the green veggies last and don’t mix fully.)
    3. Assemble salad and place quinoa on top or scoop quinoa plus other ingredients into a large lettuce leaf and cover with the warm sauce.

    Notes:

    This recipe is totally safe for anyone on the Candida “Free” Diet. But, if not following the diet you might use rice vinegar instead and/or add “wheat” free Tamari sauce to your recipe. There are so many possibilities to increase the “Asian” flair of this recipe.

    3.2.2708

    Coleslaw

    Coleslaw is a great salad option. What I like about it mostly is that it won’t get soggy like romaine, green leaf and other softer lettuces. I can season and put dressing on it, store in the fridge and have a tasty salad immediately when I’m ready to eat. It’s very flexible I like to add broccoli, dried fruits,

    apples and you can even add cooked bacon! See the recipe below for other add-in suggestions. Be creative and enjoy your REAL FOOD!

    Ingredients:
    • 3/4 cup broccoli stems
    • 2 medium carrots
    • 1 small red (or green) cabbage (or 1 1/2 – 2 cups)
    • juice of 1 whole lemon (or lime)
    • salt
    • pepper (and/or cayenne pepper)
    • 2 TBS vinegar (apple cider vinegar, preferably)
    • 2 TBS cashew butter (optional, for creamier version)
    • Fruit Add-Ins (I prefer this option in place of adding sugar. Yet, if you can tolerate honey – it would be good too.)
    • 1/2 mango
    • 1/2 green apple
    • 1/4 cup raisins
    • 1/2 cup pineapple
    • Other possible options: sunflower seeds (or other nuts/seeds), cilantro, corn

    Instructions:

    1. Mix all ingredients into a bowl and season with spices to your own tastes.
    2. Makes about 2 – 3 cups.

    3.2.2708

    Zucchini Noodles and Spaghetti Sauce

    I cannot seem to get enough of zucchini noodles. Zucchini Noodles and Spaghetti Sauce for lunch and a Taco Salad for dinner.

    But today I had Zucchini Noodles and sauce.

    Here is the recipe:  I made the sauce in the Vitamix.  I made just a few changes from the “Fresh Tomato Sauce” recipe in the Vitamix Whole Food Recipes Book. This recipe is for one serving.

    Step 1.  Place the following ingredients into the Vitamix:

    • 3 Roma tomatoes, quartered
    • 1/4 small red onion
    • 1/2 small carrot
    • 1 TBS tomato paste
    • 1/2 garlic clove
    • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
    • 1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice
    • 1 tsp RAW honey
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • dash of pepper
    • dash of smoked paprika (to spice it up a bit, optional)
    Step 2.  Process on high speed for about 3 minutes.
    Step 3.  Pour into saucepan ans simmer for 30 – 40 minutes.
    Step 4. When sauce is just about done, use Spiralizer to make noodles using 2 small to medium size zucchinis.
    Step 5.  Pour sauce over noodles and add fresh basil, parsley and Parmesean cheese.

    It was a good serving size.  It looked like a lot, but it tasted so good that I finished the plate and found the serving size to be just right.

    www.realfoodanddrinks.com

    There is always time for a Green Smoothie

    On a busy day like today, it’s difficult to take the time to stop and eat proper nourishment.  Just finished Part 1 of our garage sale and now it’s time to recuperate.  I used some frozen tropical fruit to start, then I added kale (or you can add spinach) and yogurt (or you can add banana) for more creaminess.  On my way to take my daughter to purchase the big item for which she was hoping to make enough money….and she met her goal.


    Click Here for Free Shipping

    Here is a link to the Going Green Smootie at Vitamix where you can search for even more recipes.


    www.realfoodanddrinks.com

    Lactofermented Cucumbers

    (Just one more fermented recipe to add this week.  Hopefully this will give you a variety of fermented foods to try while you are seeking healing.  I originally began writing this article a few months ago. So, now the pickles are gone and I need to make more.  Everyone in my family who likes pickles liked these. Remember, these pickles are good for you.  These pickles lack the yellow #5 and preservatives that are found in store-bought commercial pickles.)

    After 3 weeks of waiting, I finally got to try my lactofermented cucumbers (vinegar-free pickles).  I’m not even a pickle eater, but I will eat these because they are a healthy snack due to the Lactobacilli (live bacteria) benefits they provide.  This food will help heal my digestive system.

    The recipe is from the Internal Bliss Cookbook designed for those following the Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet.  All recipes are grain-free, refined-sugar-free, and lactose-free.

    Ingredients:
    2 1/2 lbs pickling cucumbers, unwaxed (necessary)
    1 medium onion*
    sea salt
    1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
    dill blossoms to taste

    optional: 2-3 cloves garlic*, peeled; 1 tsp coriander seeds; 3 bay leaves, raspberry, currant or grape leaves; 1-2 small hot red peppers (dried is fine); 1 Anaheim or sweet green pepper*, seeded and sliced.

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

    Directions:

    1. Peel and cut the onion in quarters.  If you are using small whole cucumbers, poke a couple of holes in each one with a sharp knife.  Cucumbers should be a consistent size. 
    2. Pack the cucumbers tightly into the jar with your choice of seasonings.
    3. Make a brine of 2TBS sea salt per quart of filtered water. Pour over vegetables.  Make more if necessary to fully cover the cucumbers.
    4. Put the lid on, but not tight.  Put the jar onto a plate or something to catch any liquid that might bubble over.  Put into a dark cabinet for one week.
    5. After the week of fermentation, remove leaves, cap jar and place into the refrigerator for two weeks to mellow.
    Note:  Just like the book warned that there might be a layer of white yeast (kahm yeast)  which shows up – my pickles did have this yeast.  But it was nothing to worry about and it did not affect the pickles in any way.
    They were really good on my “bun-less” grass-fed burger with homemade ketchup.
    Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.4

    www.realfoodanddrinks.com

    Sauerkraut

    Just yesterday I posted an article about how to make homemade yogurt using a homemade yogurt maker. So today I would like to talk about another fermented food that I eat often – sauerkraut.

    I had never eaten (or even tasted) sauerkraut until I started the GAPS Diet.  I’d heard a bit about sauerkraut in my adult life, but not much other than it’s something some people put onto a hot dog. Mostly I’d only seen it in the movies or references to hot dogs in New York.  Well, I’m from the South and the only thing I’d ever put on my hot dog was chili, cheese, onions and mustard.  OK…back to the purpose.

    Sauerkraut made at home, just like a good homemade yogurt, is full of good bacteria (probiotics) to help heal the digestive system. Up to this point, I’ve only made two batches. My first batch included green cabbage, carrots, onions and garlic.  When it was completed…the smell was, well, overwhelming to my senses and everyone else in the house.  Yet, I still ate it because I needed it.  But, for my second batch I decided to keep it simpler and only used red cabbage.  The red cabbage sauerkraut was milder and less “smelly” and very good, might I add.  My husband allows me to put in on his sandwiches. Therefore, this is my desired recipe for a simple sauerkraut.
    Ingredients:  

    1 medium size red cabbage

    1 – 2 TBS of sea salt

    Tools:

    1 quart or 1/2 gallon size mason jar

    A strong set of “clean” hands

    Directions:  
    1. Thinly slice the cabbage with a knife or use the slicing disc of a food processor.  You might want to keep 1 large leaf for step 5.
    2. Put the cabbage into a big bowl that is large enough so that the cabbage doesn’t fill it to the rim.
    3. Add 1 – 2 TBS of sea salt and start kneading with clean hands.
    4. Continue kneading until you produce enough liquid so that when you pack into the jar, you will be able to push the cabbage beneath the liquid.
    5. Pack the mixture into the jar leaving only liquid on top and some space between the liquid and the top of the jar.  If you reserved a leaf, you can place the leaf on top to keep the shredded cabbage from floating to the top.  Hint:  In my last batch I put in a smaller “baby food” jar on top to hold down the cabbage.
    6. Put the top onto the Mason jar, but not tightly.  Just enough so that it will not fall off.  You can then cover with a towel or a coffee filter secured with a rubber band to be sure that gnats or
      smaller bugs do not try to get to it.  Be sure that your sauerkraut can breathe and expand as needed. Although I didn’t have a problem with any bugs trying to get into sauerkraut.
    7. Place inside of a dark cabinet on top of a bowl or plate that can collect any liquid which might escape during the fermentation process.
    8. Ferment for 3 – 7 days.  (I’ve not taken note of this yet, but many say it will stop bubbling when fermentation has completed.)
    9. Place into refrigerator. You can eat immediately. Many agree it tastes best when given a week or two to mellow out before eating, but it can continue to “mellow” even while you are enjoying it. (Just remember to ALWAYS use a clean spoon when serving the sauerkraut.)
    Sauerkraut will last for months as long as it’s refrigerated.  I have usually remove what I will use for the week and put that amount into a smaller jar in order to preserve my larger batch.

    Recipe for a sweeter sauerkraut:

    1 head of purple cabbage

    1 fresh whole pineapple, cored

    1/3 to 1 cup of cilantro

    2 – 3 green onion stalks OR 1/2 cup finely minced sweet onion

    juice of 1 lime

    1 TBS Sea Salt

    Follow same directions as above. You can add the onion, lime juice and cilantro just before packing into jar.

    “Sauerkraut…is commonly consumed in Germany, Russia and Eastern Europe. It is a wonderful healing remedy for the digestive tract full of digestive enzymes, probiotic bacteria, vitamins and minerals.  Eating it with meats will improve digestion as it has a strong ability to stimulate stomach acid production.”  (Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, p 196, United Kingdom: Medinform Publishing, 2011.)

    www.realfoodanddrinks.com

    My Homemade Yogurt Maker

    I was eagerly awaiting my new yogurt maker.  So I boiled the milk and once cooled I added the yogurt starter and was ready to go.  It wasn’t until then that I realized that the yogurt maker was BROKEN.  I would not heat up.

    Although I must say that if it would have worked, I would have been able to use different sizes of glass bowls or jars due to the flexibility of the design.

    Well, I didn’t want to waste all of that organic milk and starter, so I made my own homemade yogurt in my own homemade yogurt maker!
    I got the idea from Breaking the Vicious Cycle’s website. Their directions can be found on this page. (Currently there are no photos at the website, but there once were.)

    Here is what I used:
    1 – Stainless steel pot with a heavy base and lid
    2 – Foil paper
    3 – Heating pad
    4 – Instant read thermometer
    5 – Kitchen towels

    Here is how:

    1. Preheat heating pad to the Low setting.
    2. The only yogurt started I found that was legal based on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet was one by Yogourmet.  Make sure that it doesn’t contain any form of Bifidus (Ellaine makes this recommendation).
    3. I used whole organic milk (2 cups) and organic half-and-half (2 cups).  The purpose of the half-and-half is to keep the yogurt creamy even though the yogurt has to ferment for 24 hours.
    4. After boiling milk mixture to 180 degrees and allowing to cool, remove 1 cup and add starter.  Mix well and then add back to what remains in the pot.
    5. Place pot onto heating pad and cover with foil.
    6. Insert the thermometer so that you will be able to easily read it throughout the process.  The most my thermometer read was 109 degrees.  The suggested maximum is 110 degrees.  
    7. In the beginning, especially if this is your first time to make this apparatus, continue to read the thermometer to test temperature.  I recommend that you start early in the day, so by bedtime, you will feel confident in leaving your yogurt overnight.  The temperature was always stable, unless I made changes to the configuration.
    I know it doesn’t look pretty, but it actually works out really well for me because I can vary the temperature by adding/removing the kitchen towels and the pot lid.  I’ve actually used this setup twice because I’m still contemplating whether or not to purchase a yogurt maker.  I will have to get one that doesn’t turn off automatically because it must ferment 24 hours and most yogurt makers turn off between 8 and 12 hours.  Also, I’m only limited to the amount of yogurt by the size of pan that I use.
    Note:  I also tried this using plain stainless steel bowls and the steady temperature kept at about 104 degrees.  So the heavy bottom of the pan I originally used did heat the yogurt to a higher temperature.  But I was satisfied with the output of both configurations.

    www.realfoodanddrinks.com