Friday, December 11, 2009

Still no weekly menu, but a couple of good recipes!

It has been challenging to remain completely grain free.....I have to admit I've fallen off the wagon several times, because we continue to have corn chips and other grain-y snacks around for the kids. But I'm still trying! I think it's really helped my gastrointestinal system, because I was still having some gastro issues after I went gluten free, but now that I'm (mostly) grain free, those issues have disappeared!

I continue to have weird neurological symptoms, plus pain from the lupus-RA-rhupus and fibromyalgia, which keeps me in the wheelchair. But we may be on the track of a new diagnosis that might explain a few things.....I just found out that my blood test for Lyme disease was POSITIVE! I'm no expert on Lyme, but I have the impression that not only can it attack any system in your body, but it can both trigger autoimmune diseases and mimic them!

Wouldn't it be wonderful if I could just take an antibiotic and have some or all of my remaining health issues go into remission?!?!?!! Wow!!!

Well, more on that soon....

Here are the promised recipes; the first one was inspired by a recipe on Stephanie's website:

Crockpot Cranberry-Orange Roast


3-5 lb beef roast (or pork roast or stew chunks)
1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix (yes, it's gluten free!)
3 T gluten-free soy sauce
2/3 of a bag of fresh cranberries
1/2 - 1 C orange juice
1/4 - 1/2 C agave nectar


First make a cranberry sauce using the fresh cranberries, orange juice and agave nectar. Put washed cranberries into a medium saucepan; add orange juice until the level of the juice is about 1/2 inch below the level of the don't want so much juice that it's covering the berries. Add agave nectar; start with 1/4 C and add a bit more if it's not sweet enough (or add a tiny bit of stevia). Place pan on stove over medium high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat. You want it to be higher than a simmer but not a fast boil. Stir often. The cranberries will begin to pop; after most are popped removed from heat.

I have a large (7 qt) Crockpot, and the roast I used was about 4 1/2 lbs, and SOLIDLY frozen. You don't have to use frozen but it works just fine if you do (add a little more time or cook on "High"). Put roast in Crockpot then sprinkle the onion soup mix and soy sauce over. Pour the cranberry-orange-agave sauce over the top. Do not add water. Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours, or on high for 5-6. If you are cooking on high, you may want to break apart the meat into smaller chunks an hour or so before serving so that the juice penetrates more deeply into the meat.

We ate it over mashed potatoes, and with a green salad, per Stephanie's suggestion. What a fabulous meal for a cold night!!

The other meal is the Chicken and Dumplings recipe (also from Stephanie) that I've already published on my Gluten Free Recipe Archive site. The main difference is that I used my Grain-Free Biscuits to make the dumplings and they WORKED! I was really craving some Chicken and Dumplings and was so glad to find out that I can make it grain-free!

Chicken and Dumplings


2 T arrowroot
1 cup almond milk
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp poultry seasoning
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
16 ounces frozen vegetables

Plus one batch of drop biscuits: I used the grain-free biscuits recipe.


In a medium saucepan, mix the milk and broth with the arrowroot powder while whisking constantly, and cook until thickened; stir in the salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. If necessary, add the ThickenThin one teaspoon at a time (whisking well!!) until the sauce is thick enough.

Any Crockpot with a capacity of 4 quarts or more will work. Put the chicken and vegetables into the bottom of the Crockpot. Add the milk-broth mixture. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-5. An hour before serving, shred chicken with two large forks, and mix up the biscuit dough. Drop the dough in large spoonfuls on top of the hot chicken stew and replace the lid.

Cover and cook on high for another 45 minutes - 1 hour. The dumplings are done when you can insert a knife and it comes out clean. They will be spongy but firm to the touch.

Serve in bowls, with a dumpling or two per person.


Lorraine said...

My cousin has Lyme Disease for years.. She's almost 51 years old now. Or should I say had Lyme disease? She did take the antibiotics for months and months. She had it for a long time before it was diagnosed and it attacked her hips where she has arthritis. She also had some blood disease from it.. I forget what.. now she has Guillaume Barr Syndrome. (Excuse spelling)

JoAnn said...

Hi Lorraine,

Yes, I've been reading about Lyme disease and how many people have it for years before diagnosis. And frequently they are diagnosed with MS or lupus first, before the Lyme disease is discovered. Sorry to hear that your cousin has not made a complete recovery. Is the Guillain Barre Syndrome somehow related to chronic Lyme Disease?

I hope that your cousin's health improves with time!