Archives

Grain Free Staples to Keep on Hand…

For years, I’ve heard about the importance of getting enough whole grains in your diet. When I was in school, the food pyramid was all the rage!  I had the metabolism of a teenager at the time, and I could burn off whatever I ate, plus so much more. food pyramid Years later, things changed.  That grain heavy diet lead to a body that no longer fit in my clothes.   I had no intention of keeping the every growing body that I found myself in.  I was engaged to be married so spending a day with 200 people’s eyes on you is a great motivator to drop the carbs and lose weight quickly.  It was 2004, and the South Beach diet was all the rage. I lost 17 pounds and looked amazing on our wedding day. bride I kept the weight off and kept up the diet of whole grains and few white carbs.  Then little by little the weight came back although I didn’t change my eating habits.  I ate all the whole grains and kept the white carbs to a minimum, I was exercising 3-4x per week and I was still gaining weight.  At that point I called in a nutritionist. Her genius idea was to eat more whole grain carbohydrates, whether they were processed or not. She demanded I reduce the amount of homemade jam and  meat that I was eating.  Let me say that although I wasn’t convinced, everything that I tried hadn’t worked and she was after all a certified expert, I decided to try her way.  The result of trusting her methods was that I gained more weight. weight gain photo After I told her that I’d no longer be using her services, it was my NaProTechnology doctor who discovered my grain allergy.  Of course that wasn’t what I was there for, it was just something I brought up and it was a problem which he immediately solved.  I stopped eating grains, and I started losing weight.  The only problem was that every time I turned around, there was another grain hiding somewhere.   There were grains in kielbasa, bouillon, cranberry sauce, pudding, and so many other foods where no sane person would ever expect to find grains! There’s no reason anyone should have to reinvent the wheel here.  If you’re looking to stock your pantry with grain free ingredients, here’s a quick list of the basics that we now keep on hand at all times.  Items marked with an asterisk will be used in the recipes for the Week of Grain Free Meals Challenge.

Coconut flour*

Tapioca Flour*tapioca flourwhite bean flourcoconut flour

White bean flour*

Almond flour

Xanthum gum*

Better Than Bouillon chicken base

Better Than Bouillon beef base

Organic Herbs both fresh and dried*

Honey (Local honey is best, it will boost your immune system and actually ease allergy symptoms!)

Organic Maple Syrup

Dark Chocolate

This short little list of ingredients has made a huge difference in the way we eat.  I’ve deliberately kept the list concise because trying out a grain free lifestyle should not require taking out a second mortgage!  So often I find recipes which call for ingredients ingredients that require me to spend a week’s worth of grocery money on only one recipe!  Not my kind of cooking! Our foods don’t taste grain free and when we have guests they’re often impressed that what we serve them tastes “real”.  For me, that’s the whole goal of all this, eating delicious food that’s good for me and will actually make me a healthier person. Sacrificing taste is not an option! In the past year, I’ve lost 16 pounds thanks to my grain free lifestyle.  I’ve made no other changes.  So are you ready to do this with me?  I promise you a week of grain free meals including roast pork, cheese burger pie, creamy spinach and mushroom bake, sweet potato casserole and much more!

Leave a comment and I’ll respond with a link for $10 coupon for purchasing your grain free staples!

Roast Pork Stroganoff With Grain free Pasta

roast pork

I’m always looking for new recipes.  Since I’ve been cooking with grain free ingredients, I’ve developed my old stand by recipes, chicken cassoulet, meatloaf made with grain free bread crumbs, turkey cutlets wrapped in bacon, and of course there’s always the standard roast chicken or roast pork.  Whenever I make roasted meat, it’s a struggle for what to do with the leftovers.  With only two of us in the house, there are always leftovers, even when we have guests.  Sure there are a few standard options:  chicken salad on grain free bread, but that takes a bit more prep time than I’d like; and that’s a lunch, not a dinner. Truthfully a green salad topped with chicken would make me happier than a chicken salad sandwich.  I decided to do a search for a leftover roast pork.  Much of what I saw wasn’t grain free, and lots of the recipes included soy, which is also not on my list of approved foods.

I did a little more research and started combining recipes and then added my own twist to make the recipe grain free and amazingly delicious!  Sure, it could have turned out a flop, but that’s what happens when you play kitchen chemist.  For every success there is a recipe or three that flops. No matter what, culinary experimentation is usually worth it.   The end result was a delicious stroganoff style sauce over grain free fusilli pasta made with my Roma Tube Pasta Machine.  I’ll be adding this to my collection of standby grain free recipes!IMG_0498[1]

 

 

Ingredients…

2-3 servings of left over roast pork, thinly sliced

1 batch grain free pasta (or pound of pasta of your choice)

1 cup water

1 cup sour cream

½ cup white wine (I used pino grigio, but any white wine would work well)

1 medium onion chopped

2 cans mushrooms

3T snipped fresh parsley

2T butter

1T better than bouillon

Melt 1tablespoon butter over medium heat, sauté onions and mushrooms until browned, then set aside.  Melt remaining butter and add 1tablespoon my grain free flour blend (either a or b will be fine) and stir until a rue forms.  Stir in water gradually allowing rue to thicken as water is added (a nylon whisk is ideal for this) and better than bouillon.  Whisk in sour cream and wine.  Allow mixture to simmer and thicken. When sauce has thickened add roasted pork, mushrooms, and onions.  Simmer for five minutes.  Stir in parsley then serve over pasta.  This is delicious with a side salad of organic baby lettuce.

Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Well, it happened, I turned 29 again.  This year, I’m celebrating the 15 pounds I’ve lost since my last birthday, the improvements in my general health since last year, and all the knowledge I’ve gained in the past year!  I was blessed to celebrate my birthday with my husband, family, and friends this week.  There was great company, excellent food, and most of all there were cookies that I could actually eat!

cookies

If you’re grain free, then you know how the world seems to brighten when you can enjoy grain free treats that don’t taste like they’re grain free at all!  The first batch of cookies was courtesy of my amazing aunt.   After we enjoyed a birthday dinner, she told me she had a treat for me.  While out shopping, she stumbled upon a cookie mix from XO baking Co, and was delighted to find that these cookies were not only gluten free, but also grain free!  We enjoyed the cookies and decided we should absolutely try and find the mix again.

When I tried to locate the mix on line I immediately had sticker shock!  While I will probably order a few packages of the mix to keep on hand for times when I don’t feel like baking cookies from scratch, it’s certainly not a price I want to pay weekly to keep my sweet tooth happy.  So obviously, I’m not going to do without cookies.  I’ll just have to come up with a recipe that I can make from scratch!

Last night we were having guests over, so it was a perfect time to try out a new recipe.  I’ve been working on a new grain free flour blend, one that’s a bit liter than the first.  I’ve used it in baking my bread and it’s worked very well.  To look at this flour, it’s hard to distinguish it from white four at all.  It does have a different taste when it is uncooked, but once heated to boiling temperatures, the taste disappears and you’d swear you’re eating something made with white flour. I decided it was time to try baking some cookies with this new flour.

chcolate chip cookie bars

The result was happy guests who said the cookie bars were pretty much indistinguishable from grain based baked goods.  If the grain lovers go for seconds, I’m pretty sure the recipe’s a keeper.

Wet Ingredients:

2 eggs (or 2T flax seed plus 6T warm water)

1 cup butter or coconut oil

¾ cup white sugar

¾ cup brown sugar

1t vanilla

 

Dry Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup my grain free flour blend (Mix A)

1t baking soda

1t xanthum gum

12 oz chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar using an electric mixer.  Add eggs and vanilla and blend well.  Mix in my grain free flour blend.  When well blended, stir in in xanthum gum and baking soda.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Spoon batter into an 8x 10 inch baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Bars are done when a knife is inserted to center and comes out clean.  Cool until room temperature then slice into 1 inch bars.

Grain Free Peaches n’ Cream Trifle

Desperation becomes inspiration!

Since it’s cookout and barbecue season I’ve been a bit down about all of the foods I can’t eat.  Cookouts and barbecues used to be some of my favorite times to connect with family and try foods that I might not often make at home.  Pasta salad, baked beans, mac’n cheese, meatballs, pastry, tarts, trifles, I could go on forever!

food buffet

Given how in love I am with food, attending gatherings where there are few grain free foods is quite difficult.  People mean well, but it’s hard to understand what it’s like to have such delicious food in front of you and not be able to eat much of it.  Sometimes they even ask if I can’t just “cheat once in a while”.  Here’s the deal: when I eat grains, I get sick.  My stomach gets those nasty cramps that most of us associate with the flu.  They hang around for between two and four days.  It’s not pretty and the same way no one ever looks forward to getting the flu, I do whatever I can to avoid grains.

The good news is that while God may not have given me much in the way of patience, but he made up for that when it came to creativity!  Lately my favorite restaurant can be found right under my own roof!  I’ve been trying to come up with grain free alternatives to picnic food and I’ve been doing pretty well.  A few weekends ago, I came up with a trifle made with grain free cake, homemade whipped cream, and fresh fruit.  Why bother to do all this?  Because when I come up with grain free recipes that I can eat and share, it makes me feel normal.  If they don’t taste grain free all the better.  I’m tired of having to explain why I can’t try someone’s “to die-for” or “signature” dish.

Grain Free Fresh Fruit and Whipped Cream Trifle

Cake- adapted from http://chocolateandcarrots.com/2011/02/secret-ingredient-chocolate-peanut-butter-cake

 

 

 

 

 

1 14.5 oz can cannellini beans

1 stick butter

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

4 eggs

½ c sugar

½ t baking soda

1 t baking powder (I make my own so it’s grain free!)

Cream filling-

1 pint whipping cream

1 t vanilla extract

¼ c sugar

2 cups fresh fruit chopped into half inch pieces

How to make Grain free cake-

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two round (8 inch) cake pans. Rinse and drain beans.  In a blender or food processor puree beans.  In a medium mixing bowl, whip butter until it is light and fluffy ( it will double in size). Although I love my stand mixer, because we’re only using one stick of butter, a hand mixer and

a medium sized bowl seem to work best for whipping the butter.    Add in vanilla, sugar, and eggs one at a time.  Blend until fluffy.  Blend in beans, baking soda, and grain free baking powder.  Pour into greased pans.  Bake for 40-45 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.

Cream filling:

Using a kitchen stand mixer whip cream and sugar in a chilled bowl on high speed, being careful not to whip too much or butter will result.

Assembling the Trifle…

When cake has cooled, remove from pans and slice into one inch cubes.  Place 1/3 of the cubes at the bottom of a deep bowl.  Layer 1/3 of whipped cream filling on top of cake cubes.  Sprinkle 1/3 fruit on top of cream filling.  Repeat layering until bowl is filled with trifle goodness.  (This usually requires layering about 3 times depending on the depth of the bowl.

Enjoy Grain-free Goodness!

Peaches and cream trifle, grain free, and to-die for!

Peaches and cream trifle, grain free, and to-die for!

Making grain free bread without a bread maker…

I’ve been making grain free bread for nearly a year now.  There have been lots of mistakes, or rather many of my loaves of bread were more similar to bricks than to actual bread.  As a result of all this, I now have a recipe that tastes like it’s made from white flour and requires a minimal time commitment from me because it’s made in my bread maker.   Now that I’ve got a recipe that works well in my bread maker, making grain free bread is no longer a challenge; it’s just a part of life.  One which I really couldn’t live without!

IMG_0447[1]

Unfortunately, not everyone has a bread maker.  But, everyone with a grain allergy should be able to make affordable grain free bread regardless of whether or not they have a bread maker.  A blog follower named Liz asked how she could use my recipe but bake her bread the conventional way.  Good question!

After some research through my old high school cook books, some of the bread maker cook books I derived my recipe from, and the manual that accompanies my bread maker, I felt like I was ready to go.

Ingredients:

1 ½ c Milk or Almond milk

¼ c olive oil

4 eggs

1/4c honey

3c of my grain free flour blend *(insert link here)

1 Tablespoon yeast

2 ½ teaspoons xanthum gum

1 teaspoon salt

When making bread using conventional baking techniques patience is necessary, and since most of you know that patience is not my virtue, this was a good opportunity for me to learn some.   Thanks to some help from my kitchen timer and the resources I used, it only took one attempt to get it right!

Here’s what to do:

Heat milk to between 100 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. (I microwaved the milk in a 1 quart glass bowl for 1 minute). Stir in honey.  When honey is dissolved, sprinkle yeast over the top.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Whisk in olive oil and eggs.

Doesn't look like much, but this yeast, oil, milk, and honey mixture is the base of my grain free bread.

Doesn’t look like much, but this yeast, oil, milk, and honey mixture is the base of my grain free bread.

In a separate bowl mix remaining dry ingredients.  Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients ½ cup at a time.  If you have a stand mixer, I highly recommend you use your dough hook on setting two or 3 while doing this.

IMG_0445[1]

After dough is well mixed, knead for 10 minutes on medium/ low speed.  If you don’t have a stand mixer, it may be difficult to knead the dough on a floured board initially.  You may want to continue stirring the dough in the bowl until the xanthum gum gives the mixture a dough like consistency.

Once dough is kneaded, place dough in a greased loaf pan until it doubles in size.  My dough took about 1 hour to rise.

IMG_0446[1]

Bake dough at 300 degrees for 1 hour.  To check for doneness, insert a knife into the center of the bread.  The bread is done when the knife comes out clean.  Slice bread when cool.

IMG_0447[1]

Stuffed Turkey Cutlets Wrapped in Bacon….

 

When I first started cooking without grains, I quickly learned that almost all marinades, sauces, and even some spice mixes contain grains of one form or another.  For me that was a major let down, as I work long hours but enjoy homemade meals.  Not to mention that restaurants use grains of one type or another in their marinades, sauces, gravies, even in their au-jus which is supposed to be just natural juices!  It took a while, but I learned to make my own creative seasoning blends.

no grains

Who knew condiments contained grains? From corn syrup as a sweetener to wheat as a thickener, most condiments contain one grain or another!

Despite my ability to make perfectly fine every day dinners, once in a while I want a “different” type of meal.  If you’re responsible for most of the cooking in your home, then you understand how nice it is to try something different that even you as the “chef” weren’t expecting.

So tonight, when I looked in my fridge, the idea of seasoning turkey cutlets with one dry seasoning blend or other was nearly nauseating.  Although I have found a sauce or two that doesn’t contain grains, I still wasn’t in the mood for something smothered in sauce.  I started to daydream about what I might want to eat if I were out at a restaurant in the days when grains were not off limits.

I immediately thought of stuffing.  It has been so long since I’ve tasted the buttery, savory, grain goodness of stuffing.  I tried to make grain free stuffing a few times, but that didn’t go so well.  ­I decided to give it one more try; if it failed I could cover it in one of those sauces hanging out in my fridge.   I kept thinking along the lines of what I might want if I ordered this in a restaurant.  For a homemade meal, stuffed turkey cutlets would be fine, but I would never order that in a restaurant, I’d want the cutlets covered in some kind of sauce or something else that was packed with taste.   Since I already decided against one sauce or another, I had to come up with something else to add pizazz to the turkey cutlets.  As I thought about what I could cover the cutlets with, the answer hit me: BACON!  Who doesn’t love bacon?  Stuffed turkey cutlets wrapped in bacon; that is something that I would order off a menu!IMG_0441[1]

 

 

 

 

So here’s what I cooked up:

Ingredients:

8 thinly sliced turkey cutlets

1 ½ slices Grain free bread

1 Tablespoon butter (softened works best)

1 cup organic chicken broth

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon Italian seasonings

½ teaspoon thyme

½ teaspoon rosemary

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon garlic powder

8 slices bacon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a small bowl crumble bread slices to make crumbs.  Add softened butter to crumbs and stir in broth.  When breadcrumbs are thoroughly moistened add seasonings.  Let stuffing rest while you rinse and dry turkey cutlets.  Place two tablespoons of stuffing on a turkey cutlet and roll so that cutlet surrounds stuffing.  Wrap stuffed cutlet with bacon.  Repeat for all remaining cutlets.  Bake for 35-40 minutes depending on thickness of cutlets.  Enjoy the amazing grain free goodness!

One bite and my husband, Frank, was sold!  It takes a lot for him to try grain free food.  I hope your family enjoys these as much as mine did! :-)

One bite and my husband, Frank, was sold! It takes a lot for him to try grain free food. I hope your family enjoys these as much as mine did! 🙂

Reflecting on a Year of Infertility Part II

 

(Fair warning, this is one of those posts that’s a bit more medical than others.)

naPro poster

My first appointment with my NaProTechnology doc was in October.  It was so different from other doctor’s appointments!  Dr. C, my NaProTechnology doctor, listed to what was going on with my body, he said that what told him was substantiated by the data on my Creighton Model Fertility chart.  I learned so much about what was happening with my body that day.  I learned more than I had ever learned in an hour (and that includes what I learned in Grad school).  I was diagnosed with endometriosis and a grain allergy during my first visit.  I felt like a deer in headlights when Dr. C said I needed surgery.  How could he know?  How could he be so sure?  He explained that my chart plus my history screamed endometriosis.  Without giving you a life story, here’s what I was dealing with:

  • Long cycles that had consistently gone between 30-50 days.
  • Pain that began two to three weeks before menstruation and steadily increased in intensity until about 12 hours before menstruation.
  • Mood swings that began 2-3 weeks before menstruation and increased in intensity till menstruation.  At times they hung around till I was done bleeding.
  • 7-14 days of red bleeding plus brown bleeding before and after menstruation.
  • Weight gain and bloating that began more than a week before menstruation.
  • Constipation that began a week or two before menstruation and got worse the closer I got to menstruation.
  • Breast pain and increased breast size beginning more than a week before menstruation.  Sometimes it was so painful that it woke me up at night.
  • Extreme fatigue bordering on exhaustion for more than a week before my period.
  • Contracting Mononucleosis.  Apparently that was a sign of how weak my immune system was.
  • All of these symptoms lessened during the 15 years I was on the pill and then returned within 12 months of being off of it.

Dr. C said he didn’t know why other doctors had missed this.  Knowing what I know now, I don’t know either.  All I know is that I went to a NaProTechnology doctor looking for answers and I got some.  I was excited and I was terrified.

I couldn’t say yes to surgery before discussing it with my husband, Frank.  He is my rock, he is my everything.  He has been so supportive on this journey.  He agreed that I needed surgery for my health, never mind that it improved our chances of achieving a pregnancy.

We wanted to have the best experience possible with the procedure, so when we were given a choice of surgeons we explored both options.  The first was the best available surgeon in our area, but he was not a NaProTechnology surgeon.  The second was a NaProTechnology surgeon who was about 4 hours away.  After a visit to the first surgeon’s office and a phone interview with the NaProTechnology surgeon, it was an easy choice.  I chose the NaPro surgeon.  It was an easy choice.  Even though I met with the first surgeon in person, he made me feel like a number, like to him I was just a uterus that happened to have a face attached.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he’s good at what he does, but it felt like I was patient X whom he had treated a thousand times before.  By contrast, the NaProTechnology surgeon listened to me.  He told me what he would do during surgery.  He explained that there were many possibilities of what he might find and then explained what he would do in each situation.  He treated me as if I were a unique person, I felt as though he really wanted to help me, the person, not the uterus with a disease.

Maybe I’m being overly dramatic, but let me just add, that the recovery time with the first surgeon would have been 4-8 weeks, and my NaPro surgeon said his patients typically returned to work within one or two weeks.

It took a while to get a surgery date. Between the phone consult and the day of my surgery my pain increased tenfold. Two days before surgery I was taking 12 advil, and that was barely keeping the pain dull.   We booked a hotel room and drove 4 hours to the Gianna Center, my NaProTechnology Surgeon’s office.  I had an exam and an ultrasound.

I have to stop for a moment and tell you how awesome my surgeon is.  The guy is as close to Luke Skywalker as any human can be.  His office and surgical techniques are state of the art.  First it was an ultrasound, then he wanted to do an exam.  Since we were in the ultrasound room where the lighting wasn’t good he pulled out a speculum.  I’ve seen plenty of speculum before, but this one was different, it had its own light source.  You thought I was kidding when I told you he was Luke Skywalker?

Surgery was scheduled for the following day.  I was nervous and excited.

Click here to read Part III

Sweet Potato Casserole

Wicked Good Sweet Potato Casserole-

Living without grains has plenty of drawbacks.  I miss more foods than I can count.  But whether you’re grain free, gluten free, or a lover of grains, sweet potato casserole is something that few can resist.

 

IMG_0396[1]You’ll need:

3 lbs of sweet potatoes

1 can pumpkin

½ cup chopped dates

½ cup raisins

½ cup chopped walnuts

½ cups chopped pecans

1/4 cup  coconut oil or  ½ stick of butter

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup chia seeds

¼ cup sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Boil sweet potatoes (do not peel or chop, just throw them right into the boiling water) for about 40 minutes.  Drain potatoes.   Blend potatoes and canned pumpkin, I use a hand mixer for this. When potatoes and pumpkin mix is ready, mix in raisins.  Fill casserole with potato and pumpkin.

In a small sauce pan melt butter.  Add brown sugar, nuts, dates, and seeds.  Heat until sugar melts, stirring constantly.  Spread topping over potato pumpkin mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Grain Free Pasta in an Hour!

I’ve been grain free for about seven months now.  I can do without oatmeal, rice, cereal, and almost any other grain based product.  My weaknesses are bread, pasta, and cookies!  I cracked my grain free bread recipe a few months ago and life has been pretty good.  I’ve got a few cookie recipes that I like, so between those and ice cream, desserts are covered.  Pasta- macaroni as my mother would call it- is something I cannot live without!

I tried lots of flour blends. After lots of failures, including one on Holy Saturday when I tried to make grain free lasagna and got as far as dropping the dried noodles in the water and cried as I watched them disintegrate, I’ve got a recipe that is grain free but doesn’t taste like it.  That’s my kind of grain free!

Like anything else, making pasta is a skill and having cooked a meal, or made a dough before does not put you at an advantage.  The first time you make this recipe, you might want to have two sets of hands available, if not you can do it by yourself, it just takes more time and is a bit more awkward.

Here’s what you’ll need

1 ½ cups My grain free flour

2 eggs

1 teaspoon xanthum gum

3-6 tablespoons cold water

Directions:

Mix  first three ingredients in small mixing bowl.  Add water one tablespoon at a time until a dough forms.  IMG_0296[1]

Cut dough into quarters.  On a board floured with my flour mix, roll out each section until it is less than ½ inch thick.IMG_0293[1]

  One section at a time roll each section through your pasta machine on number one.

IMG_0294[1]

Repeat with the number two and three settings.  After number three my sections are usually long enough where I have to cut them in half. When you cut your sections in half, it’s a good idea to re-dust them with flour.  Having enough flour on your pasta dough keeps it from sticking to the rollers.  Continue running each section through your machine until you have reached level 7.  Flour your sections again and run them through the pasta making attachment.  If you have a drying rack, hang up your pasta for a quick dry.  If not, you can lay out your pasta on trays and it will dry by the next morning.

IMG_0388[1]

The quality of your pasta will be the same regardless of which drying method you use.  Once your pasta is dry, cook it in boiling water for about 8 minutes, add your favorite sauce and you’ll hardly be able to tell it’s grain free!

Mangia!

My first Grain free cooking “Power Hour”

One of my biggest challenges is cooking grain free meals in a timely manner.  I still consider myself new to grain free cooking even though I’ve been grain free to five months.  What’s especially difficult is coming home late on a week night, and pulling off a grain free dinner while still having time to grade papers, and take care of all the other little details here at home.

timerLast Saturday I decided to set the timer on the kitchen stove for two hours and see how much grain free food I could make within that period of time.  I didn’t wash any dishes, do any laundry, or anything else.  My only job was to prepare grain fee meals for two hours straight.

An average grain free meal takes me between 45 minutes to 90 minutes from start to finish.  Way too long!  I miss the days when an easy night would be grilled chicken a Cesar salad!  I was hoping that during my power hours, I’d be able to prepare  a few meals for during the week since I had some meetings scheduled.

I began by fixing a salad for the party that I was attending that evening.  Even after the lettuce was broken, washed, dried, and the veggies were diced it had only been 15 minutes.  I grabbed some shredded cheese, tossed it on top and wrapped that baby in saran wrap.  One salad, done!

I set some chicken tenderloins on the stove and cooked them in coconut oil.  While the chicken was

Sweet potato, chicken, and broccoli casserole topped with a butter maple glaze!  YUM!

Sweet potato, chicken, and broccoli casserole topped with a butter maple glaze! YUM!

cooking I diced some sweet potatoes and lots of onions.  Once the chicken was cooked, I cubed the chicken, and began layering the chicken in a casserole dish with the sweet potatoes, chicken, and some steamed broccoli.  When I had filled the casserole, I melted some butter in a sauce pan, added ¼ cup maple syrup, some raisins, craisins, cinnamon, and chia seeds.  I heated this mixture until all had been coated and the raisins started to puff up from the moisture.  I topped the casserole with the delicious maple-butter glaze!

I remembered I had a left over steak from during the week in the fridge.  So I took out my slow cooker, cubed up the steak, and threw it in.  I added some tomatoes, a can of kidney beans, a can of black beans, some fresh cilantro, some of the chopped onion, lots of chili powder, and some cumin.  I set the slow cooker to low and let it cook for about 6 hours.

Earlier I had chopped enough onions for my next recipe, meatloaf.  This whole grain free cooking in quantity thing was working out pretty well!  I mixed some ground beef, eggs, onions, parsley, and crumbled a few slices of my grain free bread into the mixture.  In no time I had grain free meatloaf!

By the time the meatloaf was finished I had about 20 minutes left on the clock.  I had no clue that would have any time left.  So I gave up, and started cleaning!  By the time two hours had passed, I was completely cleaned up and had emptied the dishwasher!

Needless to say, the grain free “power hour” is here to stay!