Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Raw Kale and Strawberry Salad

Raw Kale and Strawberry SaladI've been eating a lot of kale lately. It's so good for you! I was looking for something different to try and came across this recipe for Raw Kale and Strawberry Salad on Full Circle's blog. I usually cook my kale but this recipe was for raw kale so thought I would give it a try. The recipe calls for red and green kale but I only had one bunch of red on hand so that is what I used and I halved the recipe. It made a few servings so I put the rest in the fridge and took it to work for lunch the next day. The kale seemed fine but the strawberries started to get a little mushy so this salad doesn't work too well for leftovers.

I used my strawberry corer on the strawberries. This isn't a tool I probably would have ever thought about buying but I got it in my swag bag from IFBC (International Food Blogger Conference) last year. I rarely use it, it just seems like it's not worth the trouble for a couple of strawberries but since I had a lot of strawberries to do it saved a lot of time. Below is the recipe I used which is halved from the recipe on Full Circle's blog linked above.

1 bunch red kale
1 large lemon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup ripe strawberries, sliced
¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Wash kale and remove stems and cut into bite sized pieces.

Squeeze the juice of the lemon over the kale, add the salt and, with clean hands, massage the kale until it just begins to break down and become tender, about 2 minutes (this process helps break down the starches in the kale that can be a bit tough and harder to digest).

Add the pepper, olive oil, strawberries and toasted pumpkin seeds. Toss to combine and serve immediately.

Strawberry Corer

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blueberry Buckwheat Muffins

Blueberry Buckwheat MuffinsMore baking was done this weekend even though it was in the 80's. I made blueberry buckwheat muffins from the Allergy and Candida Cooking Made Easy. These muffins are dairy free, egg free, gluten free and oh sugar free too. They don't get any healthier than that.

Some of the other recipes in the cookbook called for eggs but not this one. I was a little worried about the outcome given the ingredients. My first thought was that they would be dense and dry.

I followed the directions exactly with the exception of the oil. It called for safflower oil but I substituted sesame oil since I didn't have any safflower. Some of the other recipes used sesame oil so I hoped that the substitution would be ok. The batter was very dark, almost black.

I put them in the oven on convection and checked them after 20 minutes. I noticed they all cracked a bit on the top but they did rise quite a bit. The cracking made me think they might be over cooked and dry. I let them cool for a few minutes before taking them out of the muffin tin which was no problem. I cut into one while it was still warm and slathered some coconut butter on it and it was actually moist and pretty tasty. I ate another and had to stop myself from eating more.

I made a dozen so I put the rest of them in the freezer. The test would be how they taste after being frozen. I brought a couple of frozen muffins to work and just let them thaw at room temperature. By the time I was ready for a snack they were thawed. I again smothered them with coconut butter and again was surprised they weren't dry. The cookbook recommends thawing in the microwave but I haven't tried that yet. Thawing at room temperature seemed to work pretty well.

Muffin Ingredients
Falling Blueberries
Muffins Ready to Bake Blueberry Buckwheat Muffins

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Amaranth Crackers

Amaranth CrackersI've always wanted to try making crackers so was excited to see several different cracker recipes in the Allergy & Candida Cooking Made Easy cookbook. On the candida diet you are supposed to stay away from white flour so there are a lot of recipes using alternative flours. Some say on the candida diet you shouldn't have any gluten but I have found several recipes that contain kamut and/or spelt which are glutenous. From what I've found, there is quite an array of gluten free flours options: almond, amaranth, arrowroot, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, chestnut, chickpea, coconut, corn, garbanzo bean, guar gum, millet, oat, potato, quinoa, rye, sorghum, soy, tapioca, teff, white rice and xanthan gum.

So far I have purchased amaranth, arrowroot, buckwheat, guar gum, oat and tapioca flours. I haven't used them all yet. I've also purchased whole buckwheat, guar gum, oat, quinoa and teff to make hot cereal for breakfast but I could make flour out of them using a blender and probably will make some eventually. I've also got kamut but I'm not eating that one very often since it is gluten.

For this cracker recipe amaranth and arrowroot flours are used as well as ground up sunflower seeds. I thought my first attempt at making crackers went pretty well. It's the first thing I've baked since going on this diet so I was excited to have something to snack on besides fresh nuts, seeds and vegetables.

The only problem I had with the recipe is rolling out the dough on the baking sheet. My rolling pin has handles that get caught on the sides of the baking sheet so I couldn't use it to roll out the sides. Instead I used a glass jar to get the sides. Next time I think I will roll it out on a Silpat first and then put it on the sheet. I might also roll it out a little thinner next time. I've already got a recipe picked out for next week and I'll be doing some more baking, this time with buckwheat flour and guar gum.

Rolling Pin
Amaranth Cracker Stack
Amaranth Cracker Pile

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Daily Routine

I've made it 2 weeks so far on this candida diet and it's been 7 weeks since I've had wine or any kind of alcohol. I'm not sure how long I'll need to stay on this diet. I have seen some improvements since I eliminated all processed foods and coffee 3 weeks ago. I think though what has made the biggest difference is when I started drinking more water every day. Since then I've started having more energy and waking up in the morning not feeling like a zombie. I'm sure the diet and other things I'm taking have also helped.

I started the Ulitimate Colon Cleanse program this week which also includes a parasite cleanse. It lasts 30 days and looks to be a pretty easy program. I drink a fiber shake in the mornings, take 2 parasite pills, a probiotic which I was already taking and drink some tea before bed. I'm also taking other vitamins and supplements throughout the day. It's so much to remember that I have had to create a schedule so I don't forget to take something.

This is what my day currently looks like and will continue for the next 28 days.
5:00 Antigens + B12
5:05 parasite pills + 8 oz water
5:25 Fiber Shake + enzyme + Vitamin C
7:00 Nystatin
8:00 hot cereal (alternating between brown rice, amaranth, buckwheat, 7 grain, oat) + enzyme + Vitamin D + 2 multivitamins
12:00 Nystatin
5:00 B12
5:30 Nystatin
6:00 Probiotic
6:30 Dinner + enzyme + Multivitamin + Biotin
8:30 Detox Tea
9:30 Sleep

I made an appointment with a mercury free/safe dentist in Bellevue to have my silver fillings removed since it is most likely leaching mercury into my system and could be another cause for candida. There are a couple of other things that are more likely to have caused it like the 15 years I was on birth control or the multiple antibiotics I took for recurring UTI's and all the prescriptions I tried for my dermatitis I'm sure didn't help. After having that removed I'll be doing a heavy metal detox though I'm not sure which it will be. The dentist has one they recommend and my doc wants to see me to discuss his recommendations.

It's been about 3 weeks now since I've used my prescription Protopic for my dermatitis which is pretty impressive considering I used to not be able to go more than 7 days without needing it to reduce the red, flaky itchiness. My dermatitis isn't completely gone but it is doing a bit better. I'm hoping it will be completely gone within the next month or two.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Candida Cookbook Project - Cream of Buckwheat

Cream of Buckwheat CerealI took a little break from my cookbook projects while I deal with some food allergy issues. I went through an elimination diet for 6 weeks, not being able to eat corn, soy, milk, yeast, tomato, potato, egg and rice. After the diet I found that corn tends to make me very tired after eating it but the others didn't seem to have much of an effect on me. So for now, I'll avoid eating corn for a few more weeks and then try it again to see if the reaction continues.

Towards the end of this diet I found out I have candida which is an overgrowth of yeast in my intestines so have started following a candida diet which is to avoid all sugar and yeast to starve the candida. I'm also taking prescription Nystatin. I've purchased 3 cookbooks online and was thinking of doing the project on The Candida Albican's Yeast Free Cookbook or Healthful Eating cookbook. Both cookbooks look pretty similar. I flipped through the pages and wasn't all that impressed with what I saw. Then I looked at the 3rd cookbook I got, Allergy & Candida Cooking Made Easy. It was the cookbook my doc recommended and I can see why. It is full of great information and really concentrates and encourages a rotational diet to avoid food sensitivities. It contains a lot of other helpful information and not just a list of recipes. It's not a very cheap cookbook though. It's currently $63 new on Amazon but I got my copy used for $40. I will go into more detail on some of the other info that's in this cookbook when I do my review after I finish the project.

For the first recipe I chose to do the Buckwheat Cereal II recipe. The recipe is no secret, just a combination of water and buckwheat. However, I added a few more ingredients to it to make it a little more interesting and tasty so I will share that with you all here. The cookbook provides both a stove top recipe as well as a slow cooker recipe. I followed the stove top recipe and doubled it to serve 2. It turned out too runny for my taste and ended up adding an additional tablespoon of buckwheat.

2 1/2 Cups Water
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1/4 tsp sea salt
7 Tbsp Buckwheat (ie. Bob's Red Mill)
1 packet of Stevia
1 scoop of Super Seed
handful of blueberries

  • Bring water, almond milk and salt to a boil. Add buckwheat, stir and reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally towards end of cooking time. Add more water if needed.
  • Stir in Stevia and Super Seed.
  • Serve in a bowl and top with blueberries.

Candida Cookbook
Super Seed
Cream of Buckwheat Cereal