Monday, January 25, 2010

Gluten Free, Grain Light Menu Plan for 25 Jan 2010

My first menu post in quite a while....if you're still patiently sticking with me, thank you!

This past weekend I managed to make a couple of large meals in the Crockpot: a pot of the Obama family chili (pictured above at the beginning of the Crockpot cooking period) and a pot of barbecue beef (about a 5 lb roast) using my homemade gluten free barbecue sauce. The chili leftovers go fast for lunches and I plan to use the leftover barbecue beef for a dinner.

I have not yet been successful at going entirely grain free, but we are definitely eating grain light these days. There are still corn chips and corn tortillas around the house (and I eat them occasionally), as well as Rice Chex. But I have completely stopped using grain-based flours except for the very rare use of small amounts of cornstarch or sweet rice flour for thickening. I have gotten to the point where I rely entirely on almond flour and coconut flour for all of my baking now.

Monday: Barbecue beef sandwiches (homemade sauce) in grain-free flatbread (pictured above), salad

Tuesday: Fish tacos, guacamole, salsa, salad

Wednesday: Garlic chicken, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli

Friday: Grain-free pizza (pictured above - toppings like gluten-free pepperoni, ham, sliced chicken meatballs, bell pepper, mushrooms, olives, etc.), salad

Saturday: leftovers

Sunday: Kay's Parmesan-crusted chicken (using crumbs from grain-free biscuits!), baked potatoes, green beans stir-fried with red bell pepper strips

Clementine-Cranberry Baby Cakes

Here is a recipe that I created based on the Clementine Cake; I did use agave nectar this time as the sweetener and made them in muffin tins. These little cakes have a wonderful fresh fruit taste and fragrance, but are not overly sweet. They're moist, yet firm...not crumbly as many gluten-free, grain-free baked goods can be.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Grain-Free Clementine-Cranberry Baby Cakes


Approximately 1 pound of clementines (for me that was 10 tiny clementines)
1 heaping cup fresh or frozen cranberries
6 eggs
1 C minus 2 T agave syrup (1 scant cup agave nectar)
2 C almond flour
1/3 C coconut flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder


Remove any stem remnant from each clementine if necessary; place whole clementines into a pot with cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low and cover pot, cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Drain the clementines and set aside to cool until you can handle them.

As the clementines cool, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Total bake time is approximately 18 - 22 minutes depending on your oven and how full the muffin cups are.

Grease approximately 20 - 22 muffin cups (if you plan to fill them about 2/3 full).

Coarsely chop the cranberries by hand or in a food processor. Set aside.

When the clementines are cool, cut each one in half and remove the seeds, if any. Squeeze excess water out of each clementine half by hand. Then process them in a food processor until pureed.

Beat the eggs then add the agave nectar. Mix almond flour, and baking powder together in a separate bowl, then add the egg-agave mixture. Mix well, adding the clementine puree after the eggs and agave, and the chopped cranberries last.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans and bake for 18 - 22 minutes, depending on your oven. The top will yield but rebound when done. It's normal for the sides of the baby cakes to be dark golden brown, but the tops should only have a few brown spots.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a rack. These are wonderful right out of the oven, but are even better the next day!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Friday Foodie Fix a couple of days late!

I've posted my Clementine-cranberry "scone" recipe from my Recipe Archive blog on Diane's Friday Foodie Fix (yes, this is Sunday....sorry Diane! ) I hope it's OK to post late.

Please check out Diane's wonderful has so much to offer!

New hope?

I've been on doxycycline (the standard antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease) for less than a week now, yet I woke up this morning with energy! For the first time in many, many, many months.

Should it work this quickly? It's almost frightening....but it's great!

I still have symptoms (vertigo, pain, double vision....) but I am actually feeling like I might accomplish a few things today! Without having to "psych myself up" first!

I even started to make a menu for this coming week....haven't done THAT in a long time!

More soon.....


Monday, January 18, 2010

Margarita Chicken Tonight

I haven't been posting menus for a long time....but here's what's for dinner tonight. It's based on a recipe from Stephanie, of course. I altered it slightly to fit my tastes and what I have in the pantry:

Margarita Chicken


1/4 C Dijon mustard
1/4 C agave nectar
1 tsp celtic sea salt
1 tsp Lawry's seasoned pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
2 T onion flakes
1 T gluten free soy sauce or Tamari sauce
3 T margarita mix (I used Baja Bob's sugar free)
4-5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I actually used frozen breasts)


Put chicken in Crockpot. Mix together all other ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook on low for 7 to 9 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. Cooking frozen chicken may take longer, and it may be advisable to add a little more liquid if you're using breasts instead of thighs (I poured about 1/4 C extra Baja Bob's Margarita Mix over the breasts just to be sure, but you could use white wine or water if you don't want the Margarita flavor to dominate so much). Serve over rice, if desired. If trying to eat grain free, serve with cauliflower "rice". Enjoy!

P.S. This came out great, but I think next time I would double the sauce ingredients if using chicken breasts instead of thighs. These particular frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts were probably about twice the size of the average thigh, so doubling the amount of sauce would make sense.


Sorry for the lack of posts's not that there's nothing to report. There's just TOO much going on in my life, health-wise.

I feel like I've been run over by a truck. Several times. I haven't had the emotional energy to post, but I think it's way past time to do so, so here goes.....

Yes, it's definite now. I have Lyme disease.

The Western Blot tests came back positive, both IgM and IgG. Well, to be precise, they were positive by Igenex standards, not by CDC standards. Igenex is one of the best labs for Lyme disease testing in the country. The CDC standards are considered to be too narrow; in fact, I believe that the CDC says that their standards should NOT be used for diagnostic purposes.

Anyway, Igenex has developed their own set of standards based on years of clinical results. I tested positive in bands (both IgM and IgG) which indicate that I'm forming very specific antibodies against certain surface proteins of the Lyme spirochetes, as well as antibodies against proteins in the flagella of said spirochetes.

The remarkable thing is that I'm still forming all of these different antibodies DESPITE being on prednisone and Imuran, which are supposed to suppress antibody formation. According to my understanding, the IgM results indicate an active infection, and IgG means a long-standing infection. So my results mean that (1) the infection is active, and (2) that I've had Lyme disease for some considerable length of time.

AAACK!!! My head feels like it's going to explode! I've become an expert on autoimmune diseases over the past 2 years, but now I have to start researching LYME DISEASE???!!!??

Lyme disease is one of the most complex and controversial medical issues around. Plenty of political garbage going on in the medical community....AMA-types don't believe in long-term, chronic Lyme, nor do insurance companies. Doctors who treat Lyme disease on a long-term basis have actually been harrassed, so some of them try to remain anonymous, and their patients are referred by word-of-mouth through Lyme disease forums on the Internet.

There is so much that is still not known about Lyme, partially because Lyme disease encompasses several different diseases caused by distinct but genetically related spirochetes. For example, since Lyme is caused by a spirochete, it is suspected that it can be spread via sexual relations, just like the other notorious spirochete, syphilis. This has never been proven in research studies, but doctors do encounter cases of sexual transmission (and transmission from mother to child in the womb) of Lyme disease clinically.

So now my poor hubby has to be tested for Lyme too!?! Oi!

Lyme disease can attack any system in the body, and has been implicated as a trigger of fibromyalgia AND various autoimmune diseases!! Lyme can also mimic AI diseases!

I'm just absolutely overwhelmed right now. I know that I should be happy that I do have Lyme disease because it can be treated with antibiotics and defeating this disease might remarkably improve my overall health, but for some reason, all of these diagnoses in the past two years have just suddenly made me feel......I don't know how to express it. My brain has just reached the state of complete overload.

My new Lyme doctor gave me a prescription for doxycycline, and told me to take a number of supplements as well. I ordered two months worth of supplements online and it came out to about $170! And I still have more stuff to order... :(

On top of the Lyme disease diagnosis, apparently my other recent test results (spinal MRIs and lumbar puncture) have also come back. I got a brief report over the phone from my neurologist's staff that the lumbar puncture results were normal (YAY!!!), but that the spinal MRIs revealed degenerative disk disease (AAACK!!!).

I will be seeing the neurologist tomorrow and will find out what this all means.

More soon....