Tag Archive | low carb

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!

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.

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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.

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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!