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Traveling, and an awesome Lemon Vinaigrette

I am just back from an incredible conference in Phoenix for my company! I kept to my eating restrictions really well, and my sweet relatives were super helpful with that!

My aunt and uncle are both great cooks, and they teach their kids to cook well too. I am excited to share with you my aunt’s awesome lemon vinaigrette!! Here it is!!!

Cheers to a Terrific week!!

~ Moira, Savvy Food Mama

 

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Lemon VinaigretteimageG

Ingredients

  • 3 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 4 and 1/2 tsp. lemon zest, finely grated
  • 7 Tbls + 1 and 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • coarse salt to taste (start with 1/2 tsp.)
  • 1 cup + 2Tbl Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sweetener
  1. Mix all ingredients but oil
  2. Add oil 2 Tbl. @ a time – shake well after each addition til thick and incorporated.
  3. Refridgerate. (works best when served at room temp.)

What is this “gluten-free thing”…?? part 2

We’ve talked about the beginning of my gluten-free journey.

Once I knew I needed to be eating gluten-free, I decided to make it work for the whole family. I didn’t want to be making multiple meals for different family members all for the same dinner! So I came up with a working plan -> plan ahead. Not over the top – I like room for spontaneity. So I write down my meal ideas for next week on a sheet of paper. Then I get to pick which ones I make when. I aim to work through the more perishable items 1st. And I try to only make 1 or 2 involved items OR several easy quick items.  That way I spend maybe 45 minutes in the kitchen at dinner time. Sometimes I will do prep in the morning.

Last night for dinner we had leftover Cream of Chicken soup, a spinach salad, and blueberry scones with butter + a glass of milk. I made the salad and the scones, and I reheated the soup. It was fairly quick, and gave me time to do some of the dishes before dinner – that makes a HUGE difference.  When you only have the dishes you used at dinner left to wash, it makes clean-up quick. This gives you more family time, more time with your honey or more wind-down time on your own. Bonus = the scones will last for another 2 meals!! That is how it is easy to incorporate planning ahead, by making extra.

Tonight we will be having pork chops (not sure yet if I am going to cook them on the stove-top or in the oven. Leaning towards stove-top.) I pulled out some homemade apple butter to go on top that I made last fall. I will be making a quick carrot soup. And maybe, if I get to it, steam some peas to go on the side (with lots of butter of course!) If you are lucky, I will remember to take some pictures.

What are you having for dinner???

~ Savvy Food Mama

What is this “gluten-free thing”…?? part 1

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So maybe you are looking at a future of eating gluten-free, and it looks daunting. Or you’ve been on the road of gluten-free already.

Here is the single most important ingredient I’ve found to being successful at this:

Focus on what you are adding in and what you get to do, rather than what you are missing out on.

I was led to eat gluten-free after a year of making homemade bread. It was awesome – for my afternoon snack, I would often have a fresh slice of warm bread with butter. Delicious! Then I learned more about my family history, and I began dealing with some autoimmune issues. It made sense for me to switch to eating without gluten.

The first 2 or 3 months, all I could think about was fresh bread, doughnuts, pasta. Then I caved and thought, “I think I can have it again, right? I’ll be fine.” Symptoms returned though and so it was back to no gluten.

This time around, I focused on making things I loved, yet without using gluten. Chicken and Dumplings, biscuits, chocolate chip cookies, zucchini bread, muffins. I also looked for new recipes to love. This approach made a HUGE difference. Living without gluten no longer seemed like a burden. I noticed that I made healthier choices by default – since I couldn’t have most doughnuts or cookies any longer, if I attended an event with those items, I didn’t eat them. Less weight put on! Score!

So much of life is how we look at it, right? So we get to choose. Try it for a while. What do you GET TO DO because you can’t or won’t eat gluten?!!!

~ Savvy Food Mama

*That is a gluten-free bagel

 

Winner Gluten-free flour recipe

I eat gluten-free. There is a history of celiac disease in my family, so I am playing it safe + working on my knowledge of gut healing. In the meantime, I feed my family gluten-free too. I want to provide the same kinds of scrumptious food I ate growing up, so I searched and experimented with different flours in my cooking.

It is really difficult to mimic the texture and consistency of yeast-based breads. I focused on the quick breads – those that rise with baking soda or baking powder and sometimes with eggs.

This is flour recipe is deemed the winner – I can pretty much swap it into most things: pancakes, zucchini bread, muffins, dumplings.

Just for all of you!

Gluten-free flour blend

Ingredients

  • 5 cups white rice flour (1 bag of Bob’s Red Mill brand)
  • 3 cups potato starch
  • 1 and 1/2 cups coconut (or almond) flour

Instructions

  1. Mix together all the ingredients. Use cup for cup in baking recipes that call for flour.

Sourcing: Coconut Oil & Coconut Flour

A dear client of mine asked me a great question this week. She is a mama to a large family, and would like to know where she can get coconut oil and coconut flour at a reasonable price.

My favorite company for all things coconut is http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/.

It is some of the best quality I’ve seen! However, the art to shopping this company is when they are having deals. Tropical Traditions loves to bless their customers with good sales. Here is today’s deal – 50% off their coconut oil!! http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/vcno/virgin_coconut_oil.htm?utm_source=adcenter&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Coconut%2BOil

Another good option to check out for sourcing is your local health-food store. I find they often carry cheaper versions of products I like.

Here is another good brand of coconut flour: http://www.amazon.com/Coconut-Secret-Flour-Gluten-Canister/dp/B003XB3NNE/ref=sr_1_3?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1389889506&sr=1-3&keywords=coconut+flour

And, when all else fails, check out Amazon. Sometimes, I find things on Amazon @the cheapest price. Not always, but it is definitely worth a peek.

Cheers to a delightful week!!
~ Savvy Food Mama

White Sloppy Joes for dinner

One of our dinners last week. It doubles easily and you can freeze it BEFORE adding yogurt. We like it plain or served on buttered toast.

If you are like me, then you want to know what else we had for dinner that night….For the rest of our dinner, we had butternut squash soup, cold milk and homemade applesauce.  The applesauce was so easy to make! We put quartered and cored apples into our crockpot with 1 cup water. Set to low for 8 hours. I stirred it very occasionally (2 or 3 times?).  Then I put it through a food mill – Ta Da!!

White Sloppy Joes

WhiteSloppyJoes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 pieces of cooked bacon
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tbs. thickener (I used Potato Starch)
  • salt, pepper
  • 2-3 Tbs. plain Yogurt.
  • Optional – 1/2 package of mushrooms, chopped small.

Instructions

*I usually double this recipe and freeze 1/2 for another dinner.

Saute the onion in 1-2 Tbs. butter for 8 minutes. If you are adding mushrooms, saute them here. Add ground beef and brown it. Crumble bacon into pan. Add thickener, 5 pepper cranks, and 1 tsp. salt, stirring well to blend. Add broth slowly (or if it is frozen, it will melt slowly). Continue stirring well.  Turn off heat. If you doubled the recipe or plan to save some of it, this is the point where you remove that amount from your pan. Add yogurt to what is left in the pan and stir well.  Serve by itself or over buttered toast. YUM!

Recipe by Savvy Food Mama


Gluten-Free Resources

Hello All! I know there are many of you who try to feed your families gluten-free, or who just found out you have to eat gluten-free. I know this can feel so overwhelming! But we are not going to let it!!! I am going to share with you some of my favorite gluten-free resources, as well as a basic mix you can sub out for most flours.

Elana’s pantry: http://www.elanaspantry.com/ Elana is an amazing cook, and tries to give her boys a typical growing-up experience. She wants them to have the fun of childhood together with the healthy aspects, rather than settling for the S.A.D. (American) diet with lots of sugar. Please check out her recipes section! My favorite dinner on her site is Perfect Roast Chicken.

Danielle: http://www.againstallgrain.com/  Danielle has a CRAZY health story, and she has made an amazing recovery. She blogs some great recipes and just came out with her very first cookbook.

Our favorite basic go-to swap-out flour! (If you have the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, you can use this for just about everything.)

1cup Almond Flour (you can also use Coconut flour here)

2 cups Potato Starch

1 cup Tapioca Starch

6 cups White Rice Flour (sometimes the package only has about 5 or 5 and 1/2 cups. I make up the rest with Almond or Coconut, whatever I am using.)

Mix all these together. It keeps in the cupboard. Then swap out for your favorite recipes.

Cheers!

~ Savvy Food Mama