Welcome Friends!

Welcome Friends! I am so grateful for all who have shared their stories of food-related hurts and healings. It is an ever-evolving journey for me, and I have relied upon others who have held similar experiences for comfort, empathy, knowledge and support. In this blog, I share some of my personal experiences as well as some of my favorite foods. I am currently on a grain-free diet, very similar to the Paleo diet. Having multiple food sensitivities as well as hypoglycemia, I have taken liberties with the diet, such as using agave nectar instead of honey. I'm aware of the great agave debate, but keeping my blood sugar low takes priority. I use such small quantities, that it is a non-issue for me. In addition, I still use cream in my coffee as well as a few other dairy products sparingly. I have given up so many beloved foods, that I am stubborn when it comes to dairy. Also, when I am really craving a starch, I will eat quinoa, buckwheat, lentils or beans. Again, it isn't very often, and these foods have some very healthful benefits as well. However, I find I feel my best when following most closely to the Paleo diet, eating large quantities of vegetables and animal protein. It isn't a philisophical choice for me, but rather a choice to feed my body what it seems to need for optimum performance-pain free, clear-headed, energetic and balanced. I hope you find something here that looks delicious even though your diet may look quite different than mine. Good food transends across the boundries of "diet." Enjoy!


Spinach, Feta and Sundried Tomato Mini Quiches

We served these at our Valentine's Day Playgroup along with the Chocolate Raspberry Scones. They were tasty, and so much easier without the crust! It's a great way to get a serving of greens! I use Valebreso Feta, which is a Sheep's Feta from France. I used to buy it at Whole Foods and was thrilled to find it at Costco at a third of the cost. What a deal!

5 eggs
3/4 cup cream (cashew cream is doable to keep it free from cow's milk)
1 package of frozen chopped spinach (Cascadian Farms Organic is great), defrosted and squeezed well
1/4 cup finely chopped onion, not minced
1 tbsp safflower oil
2 tbsp finely chopped sundried tomatoes (dehydrated or packed in oil)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dill weed (optional)
1/3-1/2 cup Valbresa Sheep's Feta (the amount depends upon your tastes-use any feta you can eat)
  • Beat eggs until foamy
  • Add cream and blend well
  • Saute onion in oil until soft but not brown
  • Stir onion, spinach, sundried tomatoes, salt, pepper, optional dill, and feta into egg and cream mixture until well incorporated
  • Prepare a 12 muffin pan with paper muffin liners
  • Using a ladel or measuring cup, give a stir as you scoop out the egg mixture
  • Fill each cup 3/4 full and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the eggs are set in the center


Chocolate Raspberry Scones

I have been practicing with scone recipes and finally found one I enjoy. Honestly, my favorite scone still comes from Pamela's Baking Mix, but until I can tolerate her wonderful mix again, I will enjoy these tasty scones. My girls love them with whipped cream. It was a nice Valentine's Day brunch treat.
1 tbsp baking powder (Hain is gluten free and corn free)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp guar gum
10 tbsp cold butter (freeze it for 20 minutes before using if possible-cold Spectrum Shortening can be used)
2 eggs (or egg replacer)
2 tbsp agave
1/2 cup cold milk (cow, nut, hemp or whatever you tolerate)
3/4 cup fresh raspberries or 1/2 cup defrosted raspberries, juice drained
1/3 cup chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand are allergen free)
  • Mix dry ingredients (first 4 ingredients) together
  • Cut butter into small pieces and cut into flour mixture until it forms a course crumble
  • Beat eggs or egg replacer until foamy. Adding lots of air into this portion helps create a lighter texture
  • Add agave and milk and mix
  • Add wet ingredients into dry all at once and stir to incorporate
  • Gently stir in raspberries and chocolate chips
  • Drop by large spoonfuls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet
  • Bake at 375 degrees until set and lightly browned. The time depends upon how large of a spoonful you use. I ended up with large scones that took 18 minutes.

    I have not made these vegan yet, so if you try it please let me know how it worked! We served them with whipped cream.
    1 cup whipping cream
    2 tbsp agave
    1 tsp vanilla
    • Whip the cream on high until very soft peaks form
    • Add agave and vanilla and continue whipping until desired consistency is reached


    Creamy Chicken Salad

    I love chicken salad. I love it on crackers, on toast, on a bed of lettuce or on a spoon! There are so many variations as well: curry, asian, spicy, traditional, with pecans, pistachios, almonds, pine nuts, grapes, apples, oranges, cranberries, pineapple, coconut...endless possibilities!

    This recipe is more of a traditional chicken salad with mayonnaise, grapes and pistachios. I hope you enjoy it!

    4 chicken breasts, poached, chilled and chopped (poaching directions below)
    1/2 to 1 cup mayonnaise (to taste-for salads I add more mayo because it is my dressing as well)
    1/4 cup to 1/2 cup chopped celery
    1/4 cup slivered scallions
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 heaping cup grapes (red add a pretty color) halved or quartered
    1/2 heaping cup pistachios (or any favorite nut) rough chopped

    To Poach Chicken:
      Place chicken in a pan in a single layer
      Cover chicken breasts with water or broth (I prefer 1/2 cup vermouth or white wine, 6 sprigs of fresh thyme, and fill with broth until chicken was covered by 1/2 inch)
      Bring to a boil and immediately turn to low heat
      Partially cover pan and cook for 8-10 minutes, depending how thick the meat is
      Turn the heat off and let chicken sit in the poaching liquid 10 more minutes
      Remove from poaching liquid and cool until ready to use
      Strain and freeze poaching liquid for next use

    For the Salad:
      Cube the cooled poached chicken and add to a bowl
      Stir in mayo, celery, scallions, grapes and nuts
      Serve over lettuce or with crackers or toast


    Soy-Free Mayonnaise

    I admit, I love mayonnaise. Not like eating it straight out of the jar love it, but with sandwiches, in dips, spreads, and salad dressings. It adds creaminess and tang that is just so good. It's nearly impossible to find commercially made mayo that works with my numerous sensitivities, so I make my own and might never use store-bought again!

    If you are concerned about using raw eggs, check out this tip from the Incredible Edible Egg website. I have not tried this method yet and would love to hear from anyone who has.

    2 tbsp red wine vinegar ( Spectrum organic with no sulfites added) or lemon juice
    2 egg yolks
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp agave nectar (more if you prefer a sweeter mayo like Kraft)
    2 cups of light tasting oil like Sunflower or Safflower
    • Unless you have arm stamina like the Hulk, use a food processor or blender for this job. Cuisinart's mini food processor works perfectly! Mix together the vinegar, yolks, salt and agave in the processor or blender bowl
    • Add the oil VERY slowly. The mini food processor has an oil resevoir on top that drips oil a tiny bit at a time which is very helpful. If you pour oil in too quickly it becomes an oily mess rather than a creamy mayo. Use all of the oil
    • If the mayo is too thick, thin with a little bit of water to the desired consistency
    • Store foods with mayonnaise at 40 degrees F or below or at 140 degrees F or higher to prevent growth of bacteria