Tag Archive | weight loss

The Grain Free Meal Challenge…

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So are you ready?  We’re going grain free for a week.  You can do this!  You’ve already got your grain free staples on hand, it’s time to get started!

 

This week’s meals:

Roast pork with sweet potato casserole and salad

Roast pork stroganoff with roasted carrots

Grain Free Cheeseburger Pie with steamed broccoli

Stuffed Turkey Cutlets Wrapped in Bacon  with salad and sweet potato casserole.

Creamy Spinach Bake with Ground Beef and Mushrooms

Grilled Tuna Melts with steamed veggies and salad

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I’ve chosen six meals, with the idea that you have at least enough leftovers for at least one whole meal.  Depending on your family size, this may vary.  When I cook for the two of us, I usually cook four large grain free meals each week, we have a left over night, with one of our meals being a quick fix like the Grilled Tuna Melts.  We’re realistic in our house!  At least one night each week we can’t really sit down to a full meal, so we make something quick that we can enjoy without guilt!

If you have grain lovers in your home, you might be surprised by how much they like the meals you make this week.  My husband Frank was reluctant to try my recipes at first, but now he’s game for almost anything I cook.  Once in a while, he’ll have a box of mac n’ cheese, but since he doesn’t have a grain allergy where’s the harm in that?

I recommend you start with a grain free cooking power hour or two.  It’s a simple way to get a good start to the week and get a good deal of your prep work done ahead of time.  You spend less time cooking in the long run and it takes much less time to prepare dinner every evening.  The power hour of cooking is especially helpful if you know that Monday or Tuesday will be a busy evening for your family, that way you cook and assemble your meal almost completely and just pop it in the oven when you’re ready.  If you are having a busy evening later in the week, you can always completely prep a meal and freeze it until you’re ready to take it out either the evening before or morning of that day.

I’m going to be cooking along with you all.  I’ve decided that I’ll freeze anything that we won’t eat and that will be added to my stockpile of quick fix meals since there really aren’t many grain free fast food options available.

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.

Scoring Grain Free Recipes on Pinterest!

 

pinterest pic I needed help finding recipes.  I wasn’t looking to buy another cookbook, and I wasn’t even sure if they made cookbooks for folks looking to eat a diet free of grains.  I decided to try pinterest.  Oh my!  I scored great recipes!  I was astounded that other people had the same struggle as I.  Most importantly, other people had already done the work to make everyday foods like bread, pudding, and pie grain free!  Oh, I was overjoyed!

Then reality hit!  I guess it was pretty foolish of me to think that it would be that easy.  Recipes called for ingredients that I had never heard of, others included way too much work, or just sounded weird.  My goal was to find recipes that used grain free ingredients to mimic grain based foods.  I set a goal of making one new recipe each week, that way I wouldn’t go broke and wouldn’t have to change my entire life overnight.

If you’ve ever tried to live grain free then you’re aware of the price difference between grain based and grain free foods.  My husband and I agreed to a one-time $50 expense to stock our pantry with staples such as chia seeds, almond flour, coconut flour, grain free bullion, potato starch, arrowroot starch, white bean flour, and almond butter.  To stretch our funds as far as possible I purchased most of these staples from vitacost.com, a website that offers these items at about 50% off their retail price.  I referred a few friends and had $20 in coupons to add to my purchase.  The end result was about $130 in grain free staples for $50.

I’d really like it if you’d join me in this challenge by posting grain free recipes that you find.  My plan is to devote one blog post each week to a new recipe no matter how right or wrong it goes.  I plan to cook my recipes on the weekend and post recipes and pics on Mondays.  Please post your suggestions in the comment section after this post.

Here a grain, there a grain!

Okay, so corn is a grain and doesn’t agree with me, got it.  Didn’t need to learn that lesson twice– I needed to learn it a thousancorn IId times.  I’d be doing great with my weight loss and then all of a sudden I’d start gaining. After two months, I had successfully weaned myself off grains, or so I thought.   The weight wasn’t coming off!  I was eating spaghetti squash, making my own bread using wheat free & rice free flour.  I’d lose a few pounds and then, boom!  They came right back.

By this time I was familiar with the effects of grains on my body.  When I’d cheat, I’ would notice it immediately!  I’d gain at least a pound just from eating two chocolate chip cookies, not to mention the digestive issues that grains caused.  I did not doubt that grains were my problem, and I started to question if I had eliminated them all.

I started to read labels, and not just the labels of foods with carbohydrates.  I was finding grains in the strangest places!  Who would ever think there would be grains in kielbasa, bullion, and tomato sauce? boullion cubes Certainly not me!  But there they were.  Every time I turned around there was a grain hiding somewhere.   Even the flour that I thought was grain free contained sorghum, a less known grain.  There was no way I would ever swear off bread, pasta, and pastry.  Life wouldn’t have much taste in it if I did that.  I had to find some recipes that wouldn’t use grains but would taste like grain based foods.