Category Archives: recipes

Chicken Noodle Soup (minus the chicken)

I absolutely love soup and I crave the comfort and convenience of a good canned soup when I am feeling under the weather, but I haven’t found any canned soups that fit my allergy restraints that actually taste good.  This is the simplest soup in the world, on purpose, so that I have the energy to make it for myself when I feel sick.  It’s so simple, comforting, and healthy, and I always have the ingredients on hand.

IMG_1062

1/2 cup Tinkyada Organic Rice Pasta – Penne, Elbows, or Shells – whatever you have in your pantry
3 cups Organic Low Sodium Chicken Broth (Use vegetable broth to make this recipe vegan)
2/3 cup Organic Frozen Mixed Veggies (I use peas and carrots but the mix with those veggies plus corn is really good in this too if you can eat corn)
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Thyme
Freshly Ground Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper, to taste

Bring the chicken broth, spices, and some salt and pepper to a boil in a covered saucepan.  Add the mixed veggies and bring to a boil again.  Add the pasta, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes.  Watch the pot the first few minutes, it has a tendency to boil over while cooling from boiling to simmering.  Salt and Pepper to taste when you serve it.  This recipe is for 1 so adjust as necessary for the number of people you are cooking for, you may only need 2 cups of broth per additional person, you only need 3 for the first one to be sure there is enough liquid to cook the pasta and veggies.

IMG_1063

Quinoa Salad

I spent the summer of 2011 living in Tulsa with my brother Thomas and it was regularly 110-120 degrees, truly unbearable.  We ate a lot of this salad that summer, and even took a huge batch with us to Bonnaroo, the cucumber is so refreshing.  My brothers call this the “keenest wa” when they request it.  It has become one of my year round go-to recipes for lunches, I make a big batch and have it for lunch a few days throughout the week.  I will confess that I don’t measure when I make this meal so the amounts on the ingredients list are estimates and can be tweaked to your own taste.

Here are the ingredients:

1 cup quinoa
1 hothouse cucumber, seeded and sliced
3-4 stalks green onions, minced (both green and white parts)
1/3 cup fresh dill
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
sea salt & freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup goat milk feta (optional)

Prepare the quinoa according to directions on the package.  Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and some salt and pepper and pour the mixture over the hot quinoa in a large bowl and stir well.  Let the quinoa cool while you chop your veggies.  Split the cucumber down the middle and scoop out the seeds then slice.

Chop the dill and green onions and, once everything is ready, add it all to the quinoa at the same time and add a little more salt and pepper.  Toss well.  Give the salad a taste and feel free to play around with the ingredients, you may like it with more olive oil, more or less dill or green onions.  This salad ends up a little different every time I make it.

If you can eat goat milk and are not trying to prepare a vegan meal, put in some small chunks of feta to taste and stir carefully.  Let the mixture sit for an hour and come to room temperature, or refrigerate overnight.  I personally think this salad is better the next day after the flavors have really blended.  If you do refrigerate, let it come back to room temperature to serve and taste to be sure the seasonings are balanced.

I hope you enjoy the salad as much as Thomas and I do!

Why this blog exists

At the age of 27, I was sick…really sick, and after MRIs and CT scans and Ultrasounds, no one could figure out what was wrong with me.  Finally my doctor said, “I think the problem is that you’re allergic to everything, so cut different things out of your life until you feel better.”  I didn’t feel like random trial and error was the best approach so I went to a naturopathic doctor and through extensive blood tests found that I was deficient of several key vitamins and allergic to dairy, gluten, corn, eggs, and oats.  To give you some perspective: on the test they performed, a result above a 2 indicated an allergic reaction and my result on dairy was a 67!  One of my ultrasounds also found that the painful lumps in my breasts were fibrocystic tissue that is aggravated by inflammatory foods so I also began consciously cutting caffeine, soy, tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, red meat and lunch meats containing nitrates out of my diet.

My reaction to this news was the same question everyone asks me when I tell them about my food allergies and sensitivities:  “…..so, what am I supposed to eat??  What’s left??”

At first I kept it simple, to test it out I did a lemonade fast for 10 days and then literally lived on raw fruits, raw veggies, and fish for the next month.  The change in my life was so dramatic after just a month that I was blown away.  For the first time in my life, I felt “good” and “normal”.  My whole life I had been dealing with headaches and stomach aches and what I call “foggy brain” and I didn’t really realize that it wasn’t normal!!

After a month or two though, I began to miss foods.  Even though I felt SO much better and the diet I was following was worth it, I missed things about my life before I knew about my allergies.  I LOVE to cook and plan menus and grocery shop and I missed making the things I used to make, I missed the way certain things taste, I missed the process of cooking, I missed being able to create new recipes and plan meals around my experiments.  I also discovered, through my own home testing, that a LOT of gluten-free and dairy-free foods on the market are TERRIBLE!!!  So I set out to create meals that I can eat that taste great, even to people without my diet restrictions.  This blog is where I will post those recipes and lifestyle tips and, because I know firsthand that not everyone in a household has the same strict requirements, I promise to only post recipes that are approved as delicious by both myself and one of my official non-allergy-restricted taste testers (pretty much anyone that I ever cook for since I know very few people with diet restrictions).  I hope you enjoy the recipes!