The.Elimination.Diet.3.

Ok.  This is no picnic - and not just because you could NEVER eat the food that one would typically bring on a picnic - but because I am freaking starving!  Seriously if you want to lose weight - check out this diet eek.  I lost 7 pounds this week (since starting the diet). 

The upside - check out this happy happy baby!  His demeanor, comfort, and personality has relaxed and become SO much happier since the start of this diet.  I can't recommend it enough for anyone who thinks their babe is uncomfortable, screamy and miserable and who is breastfeeding.  Just look at those happy smiles!


Since the start of the diet I have added in one... ok two things.  Oats were the first - no effect on baby E.  Still happy as can be... then last night... I had just finished my dinner and I was SHAKING I was so hungry - so I CAVED.  Not for anything good - just for what was on the table.

Organic grape jelly. 

The old me would have NEVER even touched grape jelly.  Not even if it had fair traded sugar in it.  Not even if it had only organic Concord grapes. 

Why? 

Because grape jelly is DISGUSTING.  That's why.

I just couldn't bear the thought of one more plain rice cake - so you guessed it - I spread grape jelly on FOUR rice cakes, after dinner, and ate them for dessert.  They tasted like Heaven.  They were gone in under 5 minutes. I am pitiful.

So with that in mind I had to take drastic action.  And I did - making Elimination Diet Turkey dinner for myself.  It was so much for me that I ate it alone, while my family was outside playing.  Then when they came inside for dinner, I ate it again.  Here is what I made:

Elimination Diet Turkey:
 As usual - very few, very simple ingredients!

1 turkey
1 summer squash
1 pear
1 cup pear juice
1 cup turkey broth
olive oil
salt and pepper

I drizzled the turkey with the olive oil, liberally.  I salted and peppered inside and out.  I then roughly chopped and stuffed it with the pear and squash.  In the roasting pan I put the liquids.  I covered it cooked it at 350... and surprise!  It was done an hour early (hence the eating it without my family)... on to the sides...

Gravy

4 tablespoons of turkey drippings (fat) from the pan
4 tablespoons of rice flour
4 cups of turkey broth (I used the rest of the liquid - without the grease - from the pan as well as the broth I made while the turkey was cooking - just the neck in water simmering)
Lots of salt and pepper

Sprinkle the flour into the turkey drippings in the roasting pan (which should cover two burners on the stove) and whisk briskly.  When flour has been incorporated add broth and whisk until smooth.  Add salt and pepper.  Taste.  Add more.  Switch liquid to smaller pot and simmer until it reaches desired thickness.  Surprisingly this tasted really good with the rice flour.  Either that - or my standards are getting lower.  Think grape jelly.

Smashed Potatoes

4 Yukon gold potatoes
1/2 cup of plain rice milk
salt and pepper

Chop the potatoes (I chopped them up small so they would cook quickly because I couldn't wait).  Boil them until tender, drain, put them back in the same pot.  Add rice milk, salt and pepper and smash away.

Summer Squash and Pears

Turkey roasting pan (after you make the gravy)
2 tbs of turkey fat from the pan
3 summer squashes
1 pear
salt and pepper

Slice up your fruit and veggies and throw them in your turkey pan.  Add salt and pepper and roast until tender and brown.

Sweet Sweet Potatoes

3 sweet potatoes
3 tbs of brown sugar

Skin the sweet potatoes and cook in the microwave for 3 minutes.  When they come out dice them (be careful!) and add brown sugar.  Broil until brown on top.  MMMMM like dessert!

Here's the whole delicious meal:
Doesn't look so bad right?

On a final note - it was particularly hard to pass up this delicious basket of FRESH LOCAL VEGGIES grown at my son's preschool...


The first raffle I ever won... and I can't even eat any of it!!! I did use the summer squash in the recipe above - but other than that it is being devoured by the rest of my family!  YUM! 

Shared at: Petite Hermine, Couponing and Cooking, Homemaker on a Dime, Cooking My Way Through CSA, Gastronomical Sovereignty , Homestead Simple, The Girl Creative, Summo's Sweet Stuff, Frugal Days

Total. Elimination. Diet. 2.

Well this sucks.  I am STARVING.

Even so - I am still trying to create some yummy-ish meals on this elimination diet I am on.

In truthfulness - the baby is a little better.  No more screaming all day - and he is sleeping for longer than 30 minute stretches and definitely NO more screaming from stomach pain - no more back arching - no screaming from gas... so apparently this is worth it :)



The good thing about all of these recipes is that they have very few ingredients, are easy to make, and have no (few) processed elements!

Sweet and White Potato Pancakes
1 Sweet Potato
2 Small or one large White Potato (ours were from the CSA - yum!)
1 cup of "bread crumbs"
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup of olive oil (allowed - I emailed Dr. Sears to ask haha)

Mix all ingredients.  In a hot skillet - pour in half of olive oil and form 5-6 pancakes in the oil.  WAIT.  These have to hold together just on being fried (like hash browns) so don't mess with them.  When one side is brown - flip.  Enjoy with fresh pear sauce (or if you're not on my foolish diet - applesauce)


"Bread" Crumbs
2 cups of puffed rice cereal
4 slices of toasted rice bread (it has few ingredients - none of which were allergenic - no soy, wheat, taste, etc)

Put all ingredients into the food processor.  Process until the ground is to your taste.  For God sakes - if you can - add some flavor.  If not add salt and pepper.  Process again.

Breaded Turkey Cutlets
1 cup of "bread crumbs"
1 turkey breast cut into 5-6 cutlets
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive Oil

Pound out turkey cutlets.  Dredge in breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.  Fry in olive oil.

Pear Sauce
3-4 Fresh peeled pears - from the farmer's market

Steam pears.  Put them into the food processor.  Process adding in some water to reach desired consistency.

It wasn't the worst meal ever :)

Linking to: Frugal Days, Cooking My Way Through CSA, Gastronomical Sovereignty , Homestead Simple

Total. Elimination. Diet.

That's it.

So I have been breastfeeding for 4+ months now since my second son E was born.  About 2 months ago - he got screamy.  Really really screamy.  Like 12+ hours a day screamy.  He is gaining weight fine and is otherwise healthy - but it was clear that he was uncomfortable after eating.  After trying to solve it in other ways, ignoring it, a lot of swaddling and shushing - I decided it was time to step it up.  So I embarked on the Total Elimination Diet - which I have read about through AskDr.Sears.  After a life of cooking with every spice, garlic and onions, tomatoes and every meat you can imagine - my diet for at least two weeks is limited to the list above.  To complicate things - I am at my parents' house.  My parents are not great with dietary restrictions - they love to cook delicious foods and as you will note - everything on the list above is well... not so delicious.  

I can't lie.

I ate a turkey leg for breakfast yesterday.

You can only eat so much rice cereal with no milk and I was starving.

The result of this elimination is hopefully a happier baby and the identification of whatever was making him so miserable.  Since the start of the diet - he has been much better.  After a couple of weeks of just the foods above - you can add foods (one at a time) back into your diet - one every 4 days.

So I am not giving up on yummy food even on the diet - so here is a Total Elimination Shish Kebab recipe - made with homegrown organic zucchini from my garden and local farmers' market pears.



Rice
1 cup of organic brown rice
2 cups of turkey stock - flavored only with turkey drippings and salt and pepper

Prepare according to package instructions.

Zucchini
Cut 1 large zucchini in large thin strips
Season with salt and pepper

Grill until crisp

Shish Kebab
1 lb lamb - our cut was from a leg of lamb - all the fat was removed and it was cut into 1 inch chunks
3 pears cut into cubes
1 cup of organic pear juice

Marinate lamb in salt, pepper, and pear juice.  Put chunks of lamb and pear onto skewers alternating pears and lamb.  Grill to desired doneness. 

It actually was prety good... everyone else was eating pizza - homemade - but other than that... it will do! 


I will upate the success of the diet after I have been on it longer.  Has anyone else had experience with this diet?  Link me to some of your favorite recipes.

Linked up to:  Couponing and Cooking, Mom's Test Kitchen, Live Laugh Rowe, Frugal Days, Cooking My Way Through CSA, Gastronomical Sovereignty , Homestead Simple

Walnut Encrusted Salmon

It probably seems like we eat a lot of salmon.  We do.  I can't help it if it's delicious and every time we pass it in the grocery store my 3 year old asks me for it and I cave... so... for this edition of Salmon:

1 Pound(ish) of wild caught Salmon
1/4 cup (divided) of Sweet and Spicy Peach Sauce
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Dredge the salmon in half of the sauce.  Put it skin side down on a broiler pan (I lined mine with tin foil).  Press the walnuts onto the top of the fish.  Bake the fish for about 15 minutes on 400 and then put the broiler on for a minute or two to brown the nuts.  When you serve, drizzle with the remaining sauce and enjoy!

My three year old LOVED it.  I hope you do too!

Sweet and Spicy Peach Sauce


In a desperate attempt to try and finish up the over ripe peaches we picked last week... I created some delicious sweet and spicy peach sauce.  I used it as a marinade and topping for grilled, boneless, organic, pork chops.  Growing up on a dish like this - we would have had Saucy Susan (sounds like a porn star right?) - but nope - just corn syrup, GMO laden poison sauce... eek.  I actually jut looked up the ingredients (I SWEAR I didn't know what was in it until right now writing this... here they are).

Here's what we made - before you start you need a few hours of reducing time - so this is not a fast recipe - but it is worth it I promise:

*Disclaimer... the measurements are estimated as I was really making it up throughout the day

3 peaches
1/4 cup of organic chopped, candied, ginger
2 cups of water (added as the liquid disappears throughout the day)
1 cup of white wine (I used chardonnay)
1 cup of organic apricot nectar
1/2 tsp of chipotle pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsps of ground flax seed (it thickens the sauce)
2 tsps of organic corn starch (mixed with some of the water you add)
2 tsps of brown sugar (I think honey would work as well)

So I put in all the ingredients except the liquids - then just added enough liquid to cover the rest of the ingredients.  Then brought it to a boil and added a bit more liquid and lowered the temp. After about 2 hours (I forgot about it most of the time - but every time I walked through the kitchen I stirred it up and added more liquid) I got out my handy dandy immersion blender and blended it up and added in the rest of the liquid and brought it back to a hard boil and let it reduce a last time.  I marinaded the pork in it and then topped it with some extra.

It was really good and it probably going on salmon tomorrow... and anything else we make for the rest of the week!!

My husband is responsible for the excellent grill marks :)


Easy Cucumber Salad

So last year I shared the hope that we would have a successful backyard garden this year full of organic veggies and boy do we (look at the header you can see it)!  My husband made me a raised garden bed that's full of squash and cucumbers and lots and lots of green tomatoes.  Next year he promises at least one more bed (I am hoping for 3!).

I don't know a whole lot about gardening but we are learning.  The soil we used came from our own compost - grass clippings, kitchen garbage, leaves, etc.  We used some organic fertilizer and I sprinkle coffee grounds (from our organic fair trade coffee) around the tomatoes... I have no idea what I am doing - but so far - success is coming to our garden. 

I no longer wonder why my grandfather made pickles with the cucumbers he grew - boy do they ripen ALL at the same time.  Many times D and I just eat the cucumbers cut in half with a sprinkle of sea salt - but being bored with that I developed this easy cucumber salad in hopes to eat more of them. 

Quickly.

So here you go!



Ingredients:
2-3 cucumbers (mine are pretty small)
2 Tbs of chopped sweet onion
2 Tbs of red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp of dill (mine is dried - next year it will be in the garden)
1 tsp of sugar

Combine and enjoy!  It is best made in advance, put in the fridge, and served cold.


Peachy Pizza

There was an abundance of fresh peaches at the Farmer's Market this week.  The peaches were doughnut peaches - and they are small, sweet, and delicious!  So... with that in mind... I made pizza.


Ingredients:
1 Batch of Whole Wheat Pizza Dough - I used this one - I incorporated oregano and basil into the dough
3/4 cup of whole milk ricotta cheese
1 ball of fresh mozzarella sliced thin
1/8 cup of goat cheese, crumbled
1 shallot sliced thin
1-3 peaches sliced thin (depending on the size of your peaches)
1 tbs of olive oil
2 tbs of chopped fresh basil
2 tbs of chopped fresh rosemary
sea salt to taste
1 1/2 cups of balsamic vinegar

Pre-heat oven to 400.

Put vinegar in a small saucepan and reduce.  Once it is simmering lower the heat and let it cook down to at least half - it should be much thicker like syrup.  Let cool.

Roll out pizza dough with a floured rolling pin and board/counter.  Press/shape into a non-stick cookie sheet.  Coat with olive oil and sprinkle on sea salt.  Bake on 400 until it is firm and turning a little brown (depending on how crispy you like your pizza).

Take out of the oven and spread on ricotta.  Lay on mozzarella.  Put on peach slices and shallot slices.  Sprinkle on chopped herbs.  Sprinkle on goat cheese.  Put back in the oven until goat cheese is browning.  Slice pizza.  Right before serving drizzle on your balsamic reduction and enjoy!

Shared at: Gastonomical Sovereignty

This post was featured on Cooking My Way Through CSA!

Cheesy Quinoa Bites



I am still a little new to quinoa so I am still trying to figure out how best we like it prepared.  D LOVED this "quinoa tots".  They were cheesy and yummy and packed with good for you stuff!

Here are the ingredients:

4 tbs of ground flax
4 tbs of water (mix with flax and let it sit while you do the rest)

1 cup of quinoa

2 cups of water (or chicken stock)
2 tbs of whole wheat flour
2 tbs of chopped basil
1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
1/2 cup (ok maybe more) of grated pecorino romano cheese - divided
1 tbs of onion powder
1 tbs of garlic powder
1 tbs of olive oil
sea salt to taste

Prepare quinoa according to instructions (usually a 1 to 2 ratio).  When the quinoa is finished mix the rest of the ingredients in a mixing bowl (set aside a bit of the cheese to top each bite).

Put the mixture in a 24 cup, greased, muffin tin and bake for 30 minutes (or until the tops are getting a little brown/the quinoa bites are firm). 

If you are in our house... top with even more cheese and enjoy!
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