Wednesday, February 27, 2013

No Bake Energy Bites

I don't have a picture of these yet, because I  haven't made them in a while, but my friend makes them all the time for her daughters lunch. I got this recipe from my mom, who got it from a friend. (Thanks Stephanie!) :)

Makes 18-20 bites

1 C Oatmeal
1/2 C Nut Butter
1/3 C Honey
1 C  Coconut flakes
1/2 C Ground Flax Seed
1/2 C Chocolate Chips
1 tsp Vanilla

Mix in bowl.
Chill in fridge for 30 mins.
Roll into balls. (may have to get your hands a little wet, the oils in the nut butters should be resistant to the water on your hands...)
Store in air tight container in fridge.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Chicken Noodle Soup

As many of you know the last month has been a bit of a trial for our family. We have been battling some form of the stomach flu (we think the norovirus) for over 4 weeks. I've tried everything I can possibly think of and yet, just two days ago I picked it up again and was really sick. Not to mention the cold I had on top of that. Needless to say we have been giving our kids a very basic diet, and I made this soup the other day (for the second or third time) that turned out quite delicious and so during this lovely flu season I thought I would share yet another soup... :) 

I officially fail at taking pictures of my food, much less good ones. It's usually gone before I realize I forgot to snap a shot!! But here's one I found of the soup (nearly gone, as you can see) and then just some other random pictures of some bone in chicken breasts. Also a picture of  a brand of chicken broth I like if you decide NOT to use the bone in chicken and make your own broth, you can use that and just some boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 Large Bone in Chicken Breasts (these are great because they usually go on sale for 99 cents a pound and the bones are supposed to make excellent broth, not to mention bone marrow is really healing and healthy for your gut.)
2-3 stalks of celery chopped fine (I like to use the inside really leafy ones, I like that flavor better)
1 medium sized onion diced
2-3 carrots peeled and sliced
3 Tablespoons olive oil
5 cups water
2-3 tsp Ms Dash
2 tsp minced garlic, or garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 Tablespoon seasoning salt
1 Tablespoon parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup dry gluten free pasta (I like to use corn pasta because it takes a lot longer to get mushy)

Cook the onion, celery, and garlic in the oil. Once it's cooked through add the water, the chicken and the seasonings. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low for and hour. (two if your chicken started out frozen, like mine usually does)Pull out the chicken and see if it's done.If the chicken doesn't come off the bone easily, put it back in the water for another 30 minutes. De-bone the chicken and remove the skin.  Cut up the chicken into smaller chunks and put back in the soup. Add the carrots. Then about 10 minutes before you are ready to serve, add the pasta, turn up the heat and boil until the pasta is cooked. Taste before serving and don't be afraid to add extra seasonings, sometimes after simmering that long the seasoning get a little bland.

*If you want to make this soup in the morning, follow the instrucions minus the pasta part. Throw it all, except the pasta, in the crock pot on low. Add the pasta about 30 minutes before serving, or cook the pasta (or even rice) separate and add right before serving.

This is the chicken broth I like to use sometimes
This is bone in chicken cooked in the oven.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Being a Glutard Doesn't Have to Break the Bank... or Your Faith

When I first started eating Gluten free I felt like it was so expensive! But as time goes on I'm realizing what is REALLY expensive is feeding glutards AND non glutards. There's a lot of random "food" out there that can be bought, and a lot of that junk, is pretty cheap! But if you, like me, are buying regular glutenous food, as well as gluten free foods it might seem a little overwhelming on your budget as you watch it all add up!

For the last month we have been fighting the lovely norovirus in our house. (one of the reason's I haven't done many posts or much cooking). I think most of the issue is I keep feeding my kids foods that they just aren't ready for yet, and it starts a whole new round of the loose bowels...But throughout this month I've learned quite a few things.

First I've learned that it's much easier to take my kids off of dairy and gluten and sugar. Easy is a relative term. It's hard in the sense that I actually have to think, and I have to say no to them more when they ask for cheese, or crackers or candy, but after a few days they accept it and eat fruit or veggies for snacks. Which proves the first part of my point. I've spent less money on crackers, a box of which can be devoured in my house in less than two days, cheese, yougurt and stuff that doesn't really fill them up but makes them want more. Instead I spent my money on more bananas, apples, carrots and other snacks that are more filling and have more nutrients to keep them pacified longer. Now I'm FAR from perfect and I will probably resort to crackers again in the near future, but I've learned that it is possible to do otherwise, and therefore will try to be better!

Second I've learned that I need to just try to keep the kids on similar diets to mine. I've been making a big batch of granola every other week, and instead of cereal I give them that with some Kefir or almond milk. Plus oatmeal always goes a long way, it doesn't take too much to fill them up and they loved it full of nuts, frozen blueberries, raisins, bananas, and any other fruits I have available. Plus I get to decide what type of sweetener I use! Then add an egg and they are set! Way more filling and way cheaper than cereal. To wean my children off of cereal I put up a little breakfast chart. I haven't been totally faithful to the chart but it's helped stear their minds away from cereal... a little bit anyway. So Monday and Thursday are oatmeal days. Tuesday and Friday are eggs and smoothies. Wednesday and Saturday are Oatmeal and Sunday is Pancakes or Waffles... although I usually don't have time for that before church... haha. But you get the idea. Anyway the point is it's a lot cheaper to just make what I'm making (in most cases) and share that than buying two different things...

Third I've learned that despite long, difficult trials I can stay faithful. I know that having kids with diarrhea for a month or more probably doesn't count as a "big trial." But there are plenty of disgusting stories that I will spare your sweet imaginations from, that have occured this month to make it a hard trial for me. Not to mention the lack of sleep. But I've been much more grateful for my healthy body. Thank goodness I was only sick one day. I also was thinking the other day when I was getting sort of fed up and angry. I was feeling like, I've said SO many prayers for these kids, I've had my husband give them priesthood blessings, I've done all kinds of suppliments, oils and probiotics, and still they suffer. Why isn't Heavenly Father answering my prayers?! But then I realized that the door was open for me to turn and walk away. I could just say, "you know what if He can't even answer these little prayers what's the point?" I could've stopped praying and given up. But I didn't. And I don't want to! Because if nothing else at least I have that companionship, that friendship with someone who understands and knows what I'm going through. And what else could I lean on if not my Savior and my Heavenly Father? I am very grateful for my supportive family as well, but I'm glad I have family and my faith.

So wether you are stuggling with your glutardedness, your sick kids, your marriage, or whatever else, know that Jesus Christ understands better than anyone else, He can take us by the hand as we struggle. Even though sometimes it's hard to stay faithful, (even as I just went to help my child in the bathroom....) remember :

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Clam Chowder

This isn't the best picture but this recipe is really tasty and quite easy! Especially for being gluten and dairy free. It's not quite as creamy as some clam chowders but it's got a great flavor, especially if you use a really good ham with it. I've been meaning to post this recipe since my mom and I created it on christmas eve. It was a big hit with the family. Enjoy!
2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion chopped finely
4 stalks of celery chopped finely
3 cans of clams with juice
4 large potatoes peeled and diced
4 Tablespoons of diced ham or bacon bits
1 cup water
1-2 cups almond milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Saute the onion and celery in the oil. Add the potatoes, clams, ham water and some salt and pepper. Boil on medium heat until the potatoes are cooked through. Add the almond milk and any more salt and pepper you think it needs.
I served it with Pamela's Bread Mix rolls. But you could also make my mini cornbread muffins, or biscuits.
Also if you aren't a huge clam fan you could always use corn. Or just leave out the clams :)