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Posts tagged ‘free’

Lately, my son has gotten tired of the same-ol’ beans and cereal day in and day out. I don’t blame him. That’s nearly all he has eaten for 2 solid years. Add to that the fact that he seems moderately allergic to beans, as well as the facts that we are a vegetarian family, and that he is allergic to eggs and dairy and nuts, and, well, you have a problem.

That is, a protein problem. Granted, grains like quinoa and amaranth are complete proteins, as is hemp, which he drinks every day (but not a lot, because it’s expensive). But he doesn’t get quinoa and amaranth every day. And I don’t want to give him the same foods every day, because that will just make him more susceptible to sensitivities to them.

So I’ve been working on new ways to fix his food. Of course, cooking a batch of cream of rice or amaranth or millet cereal in the morning and adding several cubes of pre-cooked and frozen beans is very simple and easy, but I always knew I would eventually have to start actually cooking and baking for him. Well, the time has come.

The first grain to get changed into something other than cereal was Teff. I invented a recipe for teff pancakes. I’m sharing that recipe on my eczema blog.

We also decided, after much deliberation, to add a little meat to his diet. Right now, that looks like chicken once a week added to shredded yuca (cassava). I am also sharing that recipe on my eczema blog.

However, there are several recipes that I have found that he likes. I love the simplicity of some of  them!

This Baked Amaranth Cracker/Flatbread is made from the grain, not amaranth flour, and is very simple to make. I mean, very simple. I added a little basil to the mix, since he can’t have the topping (I’ve never tried pumpkin seeds, but I’m really afraid to). I still need to come up with some kind of topping for them. That is hard, since nuts and avocado are all out, and those make the best creamy vegan sauces. But he will eat these, and he likes them. I served it with some slices of cucumber, and he enjoyed the meal very much.

This GF Biscuit recipe was a real hit. Since he can’t have eggs or egg replacer, I used quarter mashed banana, because I only made a half a recipe. You can use 1/2 a banana plus 1/8 tsp of extra baking powder for egg in baking, but I didn’t think 1/16 of baking powder was really necessary! I wanted to use a little less starch, so I replaced 1/4 of the starch with sorghum flour (doubling the sorghum called for). They turned out better than the last batch did (where I put in too much banana and otherwise followed the recipe, and now have more whole grains in them. I also threw in a scant tablespoon each of chia seeds and hemp protein for extra protein, and he didn’t even notice. Chia seeds are a complete protein and really a powerhouse. Research them sometime. I am very excited to discover that my local WinCo carries them! Manny will eat chia seeds by the spoonful (2 or 3 baby spoonfuls), and they have very little flavor. I think they actually improved the texture as well (since they tend to gel, kind of like flax seeds).

When you can’t have wheat or corn, tortillas become almost impossible. Rice tortillas leave much to be desired, as do most GF tortillas you can buy. But these millet tortillas are so easy, especially if you have a tortilla press. I do, but it’s in storage, so I improvised with a flat-bottomed skillet. It worked almost as well. Unfortunately, Manny only liked the first two, and then he didn’t want more. If there was something I could dip them in or roll inside of them… maybe beans? I’ll have to experiment. But he’s not very good at eating stuff with toppings… he just licks off the topping! We might make them once in a while for ourselves, though, and they are perfect for those who can’t have gluten or corn!

And for dessert, well, this Blueberry Crumb Cake was the bomb! My husband said he couldn’t tell it was gluten free! I used the banana/baking powder trick in place of eggs, and it rose beautifully. I made two batches: one as a cake, and one as muffins (which of course cooked in about half the time as the cake). It’s good with and without the topping. This site also has many GF cooking and baking tips (it’s where I learned about the banana-instead-of-egg idea). I highly recommend browsing it if you are on a GF diet. Many of the recipes are vegan (because the author cannot tolerate casein), though some do include meat (usually with vegetarian variations). She makes GF look so easy! Indeed, this cake was my first attempt at GF baking without a boxed recipe (Betty Crocker has about 3 GF mixes that you can buy at most grocery stores, and I made a couple at a friend’s house once), and I really expected it to flop. Instead, it turned out lovely, and my son had a delicious cake for his birthday, and muffins for dessert once a week since!

Lastly, there are these delicious GF Molasses Cookies. Manny wasn’t terribly fond of them, and I think it was mostly because of the ginger (which he can’t seem to tolerate in the quantity that is in the cookies). They turned out perfectly, though, and I took a dozen to a friend whose son has a lot of allergies. The whole family tried them, and she informed me they are better than store-bought cookies. I totally agree. Granted, they aren’t super healthy. I mean, 3/4 cup of shortening (palm oil, not hydrogenated oils) is quite a bit of fat. Maybe I could cut it down by increasing the applesauce. But I usually like to do a recipe the way it says the first time–especially baked goods. Then experiment later. I think Manny would like them better without the ginger. He loves molasses, after all.

I tried split pea soup on him, but he seemed to react to the peas. I had suspected that he would, being legume and all. But he enjoyed it a lot. I think I could make a veggie soup with quinoa using the same seasonings I used in the pea soup (garlic, sweet basil, marjoram, bay leaf, salt). I’ve been avoiding onions, because touching them and then rubbing his face made him break out. Whether that was an allergic reaction, or simply sensitive skin, I don’t know. But for now, I don’t feed them to him directly. Though he did eat some carrots I had cooked in a stock made of scraps of veggies used to make dinner (I put 3 baby carrots in the stock for variety), and he loved them, as well as the bits of zucchini my husband didn’t eat from his salad. They were cooked with onion, and he seems fine with it. So maybe he is okay. I’m going to play it by ear at this point!

What simple GF recipes do you use? I’d love for you to share them!

Okay, so I know P90X, which I’m going to start next month, is going to be intense. A friend suggested that I warm up to it. I agree. So when I couldn’t go to the gym tonight because my husband was coming home late, I decided to see if there were any free cardio videos online that I could do.

Enter I browsed through the cardio ones to find one that was half an hour long, and I found this one. Wow! What a workout! I had sweat dripping from all over when I finished–and I don’t sweat easily. I wasn’t able to do it perfectly–the last couple of exercises, which had me in push-up position doing things with my legs, were a bit problematic because of 1) my shoes being too wide in the heels and trying to slip off and 2) my abs not being strong enough. But I’m determined to get stronger. No excuses!

What did you do for exercise today, or what do you plan on doing? I’d love to hear it!

Have you ever made a decision that affected your entire life? Of course you have. Probably lots of them.

For me, the decision not to go to college has shaped who I am as a person in a very powerful way now. I don’t have a school debt to pay off. I don’t feel like I wasted my time in college learning stuff I’m not using. That was a big decision for mew and one I’m happy I made.

But there have been other smaller decisions that I have made that also affected the course of my life. Little decisions about actions or thoughts that I made, almost without thinking, have molded who I am as a person in much more subtle ways. Like whether I picked up something I saw laying around; whether I made my bed every morning or not; whether I got upset when things didn’t go my way, or sent up a prayer for grace and smiled instead.

I’ve been watching a seminar lately that has been teaching me a lot about the power of the decisions that I make in my life. And it is having an impact on my daily life. I wish I could summarize it for you, but there is so much that I think you really should just go and experience it for yourself.

The best part is, it’s free! That’s right. You can watch the seminar online for free. And the second-best part is that it is short. That is, each day’s session is short, 15 minutes or so, plus 5 minutes in a workbook afterward. Even the busiest person can find 15-20 minutes a day for self-improvement–and if they can’t, something’s wrong!

He’s not exaggerating. So here is my suggestion. Click on this banner and go sign up for the seminar:

When I got to day 12, I was inspired to try something new on my blog. I have been learning about making decisions, and I wrote down 5 decisions that I want to make in my life. Then I thought, What if I could have a link-up here, so that others could share their decisions, and we could support each other and learn from each other? So that’s what I’m going to do.

Every Monday I am going to share with you how the decision I made the week before affected my life, and then share my new decision for the following week. Then I’m going to have a link-up here so that you can post a link to your blog if you blogged about your decision. If you don’t have a blog, you can just post it in a comment. But please don’t start until you get to day 12–even if you take 4 or 5 hours and do each session one after the other–or you won’t understand what is going on.

My decision for this week that I am sharing is a decision regarding my emotional state. You know, we choose our emotional state; no one can force us to be angry or frustrated or anything. So here is my decision for this week:

I am choosing not to be frustrated by my children. Instead, I will model love, understanding, and patience.

Next Monday I will share how this decision affected my week.

Now it’s your turn. What decision are you making this week?

So… I’ve been working hard to get lots of great content on this blog, scheduling posts ahead of time so there will be something coming out even when I’m in transition moving from one house to another. Now it’s time to get some subscribers. As motivation, I’m going to do a give-away from my online store.

Here’s how it’s going to work: For every 25 visitors I get between now and the first time I get online after we move (which will hopefully happen before the end of the month), I am going to give away one $5-7 item from my store. And if we get 75 subscriptions by Wednesday, May 19, I’ll pick one more name to receive another gift. Most likely items will be mailed out after we move (I’ve already packed up the inventory). I will post the winner’s names (screen name if that’s what you give me), by the end of May, and potholders will go out the first week of June at the latest (baring major delays in moving into our house). You will need to check back to see if you won. Of course, if you’re subscribed, that won’t be a problem, right?

To make an entry, subscribe, either via RSS (at the top of the page) or via email (link in the sidebar at the left). Once you have done this, use the form at the bottom to tell me about it; also include which item from the store you want to win. Then spread the word! The more subscribers we get, the more items will be given away. Do any or all of the following, and send me a separate form message telling me that you did it:

  • Post the link to this post in your Facebook status.
  • Post the same link in your Twitter.
  • Blog about this giveaway (with link)–worth 2 entries.

That is a total of 5 entries per person max. Please be honest!

To enter, fill out the form below. Multiple entries are allowed, just click again for each entry.

Very Important: You must enter your name in the form below. Simply subscribing is not an automatic entry into the contest, because I cannot see who subscribed. I will not share your name with anyone, and will delete the list after the winners have been chosen.