Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Gluten Free Weekend


Thanks for all of your awesome comments on my last WIAW and guest post on A Dessert Diet! I was so excited to share a recipe with other members of the blogging world that I would never be able to reach otherwise. My chocolate cake ball recipe actually ties in with today's post which is all about being gluten free!

No, I am not going gluten free. However, I have still been having stomach issues and I can't get in to see my doctor until March 1. That's over two months now, so obviously I am getting a little anxious. And when I get paranoid I start looking for my own solutions.

First I cut out dairy. Since then I haven't had nearly the stomach pains as I had before. Now whenever I eat greek yogurt (which has only been once) or a sinless cake batter ice cream at Cold Stone (which has been way more than once) I can tell that I get more bloated.

Next I cut out fish. Both times that I had severe stomach pains was after eating tilapia. I also got very nauseous after eating tilapia and that symptom has greatly diminished too. And for those who think it may have been food poisoning, I made the fish myself on two separate occasions from two different packages. With fish I also had to stop eating tuna, but recently I have started adding that back in, and there isn't any noticeable bloating from that thank goodness. I can't survive without my low sodium tuna pouches!

The other thing that I have been limiting myself on is highly acidic food. At one point over the last two months my mom became convinced that I had an ulcer that was caused by some medicine that I had been taking. Hence, no oranges or tomatoes which can agitate ulcers and make the symptoms worse.

Wow, so what have I been eating?

Well, up until this weekend, a lot of carb-filled foods. Since tuna and my whey protein powders (which contain dairy so those were a no-go) were my main sources of protein, I have had to switch my eating habits drastically. That means more whole grains, and less protein, which means me = not happy. I do better on high protein diets where I eat at least 100 to 120 grams of protein a day. I have been trying to stick with 90 to 100 lately but it is getting so difficult and boring. I miss my protein powder which provided chocolate deliciousness while giving me over 20 grams of protein.

Now, based on my title, you probably thought I was going to be talking about going gluten free. And you'd be right (this is a very long post so bear with me).

Then I ate an innocent whole wheat tortilla for lunch one day. Instant bloating. Hmm... That my mind started to wander. I eat wheat all of the time, especially because I bake so much! Maybe I was reacting to wheat... or gluten?

So for three days I completely cut out gluten and wheat products, and I felt so much better! I think that might have been just a coincidence however, so I have gone back to eating wheat products, but in much smaller amounts and I'm feeling much better!

Anywho, tomorrow I go to the gastrinologist to figure out what is wrong with me finally! While there, I'm also getting to visit Whole Foods. Ahhhh!!!!! My favorite store in the universe. Would I rather go shopping for a prom dress (which I still have to do too) or go to Whole Foods?

Whole Foods, all the way.

Another positive thing came out of my gluten-free weekend: Recipes!


Unfortunately my laptop is on the fritz so I will share with you one recipe today. Forgive me for the terrible terrible photo quality.

Buckwheat Waffles/Pancakes

Makes 1 waffle or 3 small pancakes

Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp buckwheat flour
  • 2 tsp coconut flour
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp egg beaters
  • 3 Tbsp almond milk
  • 15 blueberries (for pancakes)
  • Almond butter and jam for topping

Directions:
  1. Preheat pancake griddle to 350 degrees or medium heat (or plug in waffle maker).
  2. Combine dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix until combined. Let set for five minutes to let coconut flour fully absorb the liquids.
  3. Spray your griddle with nonstick cooking spray. Divide batter into 3 pancakes or a waffle maker and spread out with a spoon. Place 5 blueberries on each pancake.
  4. Cook pancakes for 2-3 minutes on each side, flip and repeat. 
  5. Serve topped with almond butter and no-sugar added strawberry jam.

I topped these with strawberries!

Add extra protein with a ground turkey burger patty.
Super dark pancake pic...


 And a teaser picture for a future recipe:

Can you guess what this is?


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Any guesses for my recipe?


Do you find yourself with a lot of computer problems?

What would you buy at Whole Foods? I need more suggestions. So far I have chai seeds, coconut flour, PB2...

Friday, February 17, 2012

MY FIRST GUEST POST


I really get you.
I know your heart.
I read your mind.
I recognise your innermost desires. 
Alright, I lied. I’m no mind reader but I guess that you’re probably sick of my ridiculous sarcasm, limited vocabulary and dry sense of humour. And I apologise, alright? 
I’m sorry. 
So I got someone more interesting than I am to write today’s post. 
Like me, Madison creates healthier versions of classic desserts. And she’s darn good. I mean, who can give you a recipe for healthy Mexican wedding cookies??? You can find it here. Thank her later. Or now. Please welcome her!

What an introduction!

And if the intro is great, then the main event has got to be just as good, if not better, right? RIGHT.

So that's why you need to head over to Qi Ting's A Dessert Diet blog and read the guest post that I wrote for her!

Now before you click over, you may ask yourself: Is it worth it?

The answer to that question is heck yes! Read more about me, my journey to health and see my fabulous new recipe... I probably shouldn't tell you what it is, but I want no second guessing. As soon as I tell you, you'll click the link. Okay?


COUNTERFEIT CHOCOLATE CAKE BALLS.

Now will you click? HERE

Thanks Qi Ting!

-------------------------------------------------

Some notes about this recipe:
  • To make it vegan, you will need to replace the egg beaters with an egg substitute or 1/2 of a small banana.
  • One small banana is around 80 grams and two larger bananas are about 240 grams (total).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Recipe Wednesday!

WIAW full of recipes! Each of my meals today will be a recipe, how great is that?


BREAKFAST:


Banana Berry Pancakes

Adapted from Spoonful of Sugar Free

Servings: 3 (3 small pancakes each)

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup egg beaters
  • 1 banana mashed (100 grams)
  • 1/2 cup water or milk
  • 3/4 cup blueberries (or any other type of berry)

Directions:
  1. Mix all dry ingredients together.
  2. Add wet ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined.
  3. Let mixture sit for 5 minutes so the coconut flour can thicken the batter. (Add more liquid afterwards if still needed.)
  4. Heat a griddle to 350 degrees or a pan over medium heat. Spray with nonstick spray or canola oil in between batches.
  5. Scoop 1 Tbsp of batter and pour onto the hot griddle. Spread out with the back of a spoon.
  6. Cook for one minute and then place 4 or 5 blueberries on the pancake. Let cook for another minute and flip. Cook for a few more minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Top with whatever you want! I like mine plain, with fruit spread, extra berries, peanut butter, or even you could use sugar-free syrup or honey.
With egg beaters for extra protein!

LUNCH:
The return of the bento box! I haven't been using this for the past week because I have been lazy and haven't wanted to clean it everyday. Finally though, I decided it was time to reunite with this beauty today. Sadly, no pictures, but I do have some similar lunch pictures to share.

Right:Ground turkey salad with carrots. Left: Strawberry popcakes (best flavor ever!)



Left: Pb and carrots. Right: Salad with chicken and egg beaters.


SUPPER:




Healthy Pigs in a Blanket

My take on a classic, fattening recipe. About 200 calories for the whole thing!

More vegan cheeze sauce with the pumpkin add-in!
 "Hotdogs"

  • To make the "hotdogs" take 1.5 oz of lean ground turkey and form into a hotdog shape. Repeat. Cook the 2 hotdogs in the microwave until done.


Scones

Yields around 9 scones.

Based on this recipe from Daring Bakers

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup + 3 Tbsp unbleached flour (140 grams)
  • 2 tsp low sodium baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 4 to 6 Tbsp almond milk

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. Cut in the applesauce and oil to form small crumbs.
  3. Add almond milk and stir. (Add only until there is some dry ingredients not combined. Use the remaining dry ingredients for kneading.)
  4. Dump the bowl's contents onto a counter and knead a few times. (Add additional flour if necessary).
  5. Separate into 3 parts and place on top of each other. Flatten and roll out.
  6. Cut into desired amount of pieces.
  7. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until done.

I also made low-fat (but real) pigs in a blanket for my family.

*For pigs in a blanket roll thinner and wrap a small piece of scone around a hotdog. Bake for same amount of time, flipping halfway through.

** I also experimented with wrapping a thin piece of scone around an apple chunk and baking. Delicious!

Would be so good topped with PB! Tastes like apple dumplings...

OTHER THINGS I HAVE BEEN EATING:

Supper tonight was tuna, a microwave sweet potato and pistachios.

Just realized this was missing the actual sweet potato...

Much better with a veggie!

I also experimented with oatmeal earlier this week. Strawberries, oatmeal and... is that a little bit of sugar? Why yes it is.


I was very proud of myself for trying this. While I didn't finish it, it's normally a step up because I don't like ruining something "healthy" like oatmeal and fruit with something "unhealthy" like sugar. Just call me paranoid.


On Superbowl Sunday I also made another chocolate cake in my search for the perfect cake recipe! My mom said it was much too rich, but it was just peachy keen for me and my love of dark chocolate. For the recipe, click here and follow the instructions plus my recommendations at the bottom.



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Let Me Know if You Try Out Any of my Recipes Above!

Do you call it "Supper" or "Dinner?"

Any healthy cake recipes or good dairy free recipes? My only stipulation is no splenda, stevia or other sweeteners. Small amounts of sugar, honey, dates or fruit is fine, but I'm not allowed to use sweeteners!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Cake Adventures: Dairy-Free Chocolate Cake

Last year for my birthday I had two cakes. The first one was a sugar-free jello poke cake to go along with my sugar free commitment for Lent. The other cake was chocolate and decorated to look like a hamburger. (I made the sugar-free cake, but we bought the hamburger cake).

Survivor Birthday Party Poke Cake recipe
Survivor Jello Poke Cake
April Fool's Cheeseburger Cake
 The jello cake turned out amazing, even though I hate jello! Some of my friends actually preferred it to the hamburger cake. Many of them thought that it was strange that I didn't eat the regular cake. This year, I am I want to eat regular cake along with everyone else, but I am not willing to compromise my healthy, low-sugar diet to do so.

Enter in my CAKE ADVENTURES. Over the next few weeks I am going to be experimenting with different cake recipes as well as developing my own. The best recipe will be used for my 18th birthday party.

Most of the recipes that I am going to try will probably be chocolate because that is what most people enjoy, but I really like white/yellow cake, banana cake and strawberry cake as well. Basically any good-tasting cake will pass. My criteria then is not what flavor it is, but the nutrition facts. I want it to be somewhat low in calories, sugar and fat, but my expectations are not going to be unrealistic in those facts. Preferably I want the calories to be under 250, the sugar under 15 grams of added sugar, and the fat to be under 8 grams. That may not sound particularly healthy, but remember, I want my friends to enjoy this cake too!

So, here is my first cake recipe. It is fat-free, low in calories and sugar, and it is dairy-free! This recipe does include 1/4 cup egg beaters, but that can be replaced with 1/4 cup applesauce or egg-replacement to make this recipe vegan. This also includes a low-calorie frosting recipe.

Healthy, Dairy-Free Chocolate Cake

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 5 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup egg beaters
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 355 degrees.
  2. Mix first 5 dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Add the wet ingredients and mix until well combined.
  4. Spray a loaf pan or small round pan (Area of about 40 inches) and evenly distribute the cake batter.
  5. Bake for 22 minutes or until the cake springs back at your touch.
  6. Let cool and frost with chocolate frosting (recipe below).

Low Calorie Chocolate Frosting Recipe:
Combine 5 Tbsp of cocoa powder, 5 Tbsp powdered sugar and 4 Tbsp almond milk. Blend in a food processor for the smoothest texture and best results.

Calories: 75 for cake, 27 for frosting, 102 for entire recipe
Added sugar: 5.5g for cake, 4.5g for frosting, 10g for entire recipe
Fat: 0g for entire recipe




This totally passes the test! It was sweet enough for me, but if I made this for my friends I would probably increase the sugar by 2 Tbsp for the recipe above. Also, I would double the recipe, distribute between two small round pans and layer up the cakes with frostingin between. If divided by 16 servings that would be and extra 11 calories per serving, or if more realistically divided by 10 it would be 180 calories per serving. Not bad at all.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Know any healthy cake recipes? Please share!

What kind of healthy food do you share at parties?

Do your friends support your healthy eating habits?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

WIAW...and WWRD?!

Alright, with a raise of your hand, show me how many of you have been sticking to your resolutions?
If you are raising your hand right now, you suck.

No, just kidding. Actually, I envy you! You see, I have been procrastinating as much as ever lately, and I even missed a deadline for a huge scholarship (by 1.5 hours!!). I haven't been exercising as much as I would have liked, I am not being as social as much as I would have liked, blah blah blah. My new year resolution list is just one big FAIL. And to top it all off, I have been a very very bad blogger. Sure, I have been making tasty recipes in the kitchen, same as before, but I haven't post a single one. I still haven't gotten the "take picture" and "post blog" part down yet. I've only mastered the "bake" and "eat" part.

Oh, well. I'm not perfect and there is nothing that will change that.

Now, what you really wanted to read about was food, right? Yes, yes, I am getting to that part.

But first, let's talk about Richard Simmons.

"What?" For those of you who do not know who Richard Simmons is the title of this blog post has probably left you a little skeptical. I forgive you though, because Richard Simmons would forgive you, and my mantra in life is: What Would Richard Do WWRD? (okay, not really...) In all seriousness, this is Richard Simmons:

 

 
I told you I was being serious.

 
Seriously.

Richard Simmons is the god of the exercise world. He is old, he is kinda wierd, but he is super fit. And he made exercising cool. Okay, so make that another person I am jealous of today, a 63 year-old exercising god....

Alright, alright, now onto today's recipe, courtesy of a Richard Simmons cookbook:

First Recipe for today:

 
Low Calorie Chicken and Dumplings

Adapted from Richard Simmon's coobook

Total: 1519 calories, 174g carbs, 19g fat , 153g protein Per Serving: 217 calories, 25g carbs, 3g fat, 22g protein
 

 Ingredients:
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts*
  • 1 cup carrots chopped
  • 1 cup vidalia/sweet onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery chopped
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms chopped
  • 3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all purpose if you prefer)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp each of garlic powder and onion powder
  • pinch of salt (optional for lower sodium)
  • 1/2 cup skim milk*
Directions:
  1. Put 4 cups of water on high.
  2. Once the water starts to boil, put the chicken breasts in, partially cover, and let simmer on low.
  3. While the chicken cooks (about 15 minutes for chicken breasts), chop the vegetables.
  4. After 15 minutes, remove the chicken and let cool on a plate (doesn't need to be completely cooked as it will be added later)
  5. Measure out 1/4 cup of all purpose flour in small bowl and slowly add the chicken stock to prevent clumps.
  6. Pour out the water from the chicken and add in 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock (remaining amount). Heat on high.
  7. When the chicken stock begins to boil, add the chopped vegetables. Keep on medium heat.
  8. Tear apart the cooled chicken into small strips or chunks.
  9. Stir the flour/broth mixture into the chicken stock and veggies on the stove. (It should start to thicken)
  10. Add the chicken.
  11. In a medium bowl, combine the whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, parsley, onion powder and garlic powder. Stir in the milk just until moistened. Drop by tsp into the simmering broth. (They will puff up a lot while cooking)
  12. Cover the pot tightly and let simmer for 15 minutes.
 *Substitutions:
  • You can also use 8 chicken tenderloins or about 1 pound of any other type of chicken, but the cooking time in step 3 will vary.
  • Vegitarian/vegan substitutions: Replace the chicken with 2 cups chopped mushrooms, meat substitute, roasted tofu, or even falafel would be great.
  • You can also replace the milk with any type of non-dairy milk. I used almond milk today.
This is a very versatile recipe. You can use any type of vegetable you want and it will come our tasty. I have also made this recipe with broccoli and peas with great success.

 
 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Hope you enjoy this made-over recipe! Now with WWRD on my mind, I'm going to go play Just Dance 3!
 
What kind of comfort food makeovers have you created?