Sunday, June 26, 2011

Expenses - solutions

Anyone who follows the G/F allergen lifestyle will tell you it's expensive. It is indeed. I hear responses like, "oh but my family's health is worth it." That is a very true statement - however - you STILL have to have the money to pay bills and deal with emergencies so while your family is worth it there are always circumstances which anyone, even die-hard organic G/F folks wish for inexpensive options. I have a few...

Potatoes - very easy to grow, cheap to buy and fantastic for a main course or side - baked, fried, mashed - you name it

Rice - again very plentiful and there are many varieties and many options for cooking from rice balls to risotto to pilaf

Grits - So much fun, expands so nicely - great as a side dish and you can really dress this food up by even going the polenta route.

Quinoa - not as common but getting more and more accessible. You can make it sweet or savory. It comes in flakes too! Make cookies this way :)

Rice Chex - all Rice Chex are G/F (whew) make sure you check the label on most cereals in the breakfast section though before you get too trusting.

Corn tortillas - versatile! Fry them or steam them. Make cinnamon sugar crisps, enchiladas, soft tacos or even huevos rancheros (painfully simple)

Honey - but WATCH the label. Some honey factories add things to their honey!

Veggies - hit the produce section of the store and you'll find a lot of bargains. Heck you can even do farmers markets. It's a lot of fun to try new things this way. I am not a fan of many cooked veggies. So raw is typically the way I like most things. If you don't like something normally, try it raw and it might surprise you.

Eggs, milk and cheese - no two ways about it, most of this is spendy but if you are saving $ elsewhere you can afford a little splurge. Farmers markets can help here.
You can make your own yogurt and cottage cheese (if you want recipes let me know).

There is a local dairy close to where I live and though they are not considered "organic" because if the exceedingly strict regulations of the term "organic" they get their milk from about 6 different dairies and the cows are NOT treated with hormones and they don't feed antibiotics to cows unless they are sick and IF they do. the milk is dumped.

Meats/fish are expensive but I live in Alaska and I always have friends who fish and hunt. I can get stuff that way no problem. However, for the everyday consumer these things present a problem. Stores are now offering more "natural cuts" of meats now which are reported to be fed no hormones or antibiotics.

Make your own jams and jellies - very easy and lasts a year and a half! and you KNOW exactly what went into them. No guessing there

If you have any other ideas, please feel free to let me know!

Corned Beef

What's on the menu? Corned Beef. I am going to boil it, the traditional way but not with the veggies. I believe that boiled veggies are the reason why so many people dislike them. Texture is slimy, taste is gone or worse, they become I coat my veggies in the oven. I rough chop onions and potatoes (with skins) put olive oil on them, sea salt, pepper, some of that lovely kirkland no-salt seasoning and depending on the thickness of the veggies I roast anywhere from 10 - 20 minutes in an 375 oven. Then, when the corned beef is done I put the roasted veggies in a casserole dish and place the beef on top of that to cool.
The BEST part about corned beef is making fresh corned beef hash the next day.

When the beef and veggies are cold from being in the oven the nigh before I chop them together and put handful sized portions in a hot, oiled skillet and fry...MMMM I add a little salt and pepper to this and when I serve, I serve with Franks Hot Sauce!

Problems with my account

Stand by there have been problems with my account for a while and I am sorry about that. I finally fixed the issues *whew* though now it is very late and my brain hurts so more tomorrow...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Another quick supper - modified "Frito Pie"

So you get home from a tiring day and there is not enough energy left in you to actually "cook" anything - here is my solution and I had all the ingredients so I didn't even have to shop

Obviously - I don't make this with Fritos though they are gluten and soy free they are just far too greasy for me

Modified Frito Pie

1 can Amy's Medium Chili (organic, gluten and soy free)
1 small can of organic tomato sauce
1/4 c plain goat milk yogurt
1 bag of Que Pasa Tortilla chips
1 lb of hamburger (or more - it's up to you)
Shredded organic cheese

Put the chili, tomato sauce and yogurt in a medium sauce pan an mix it - heat it to a simmer.
In a frying pan - brown the meat (add whatever seasonings you like, I use garlic powder, onion salt and cracked pepper)
In a small bowl put a handful of chips. Once the browning of the meat and the chili is warm it's ready...
Get a scoopful of chili put it on the chips then add the cooked seasoned ground beef then put a handful of cheese on the top - good to go!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I have been doing a lot of research lately into what was used in ancient times for healing purposes. As I mentioned in my last entry about alternatives, I have become increasingly more aware of the remedies in everyday life. Don't get me wrong, an advil or two really does a number on pain but it always has me thinking about what it was like before such "quick fixes".
Though it is difficult to say on some things if they were actually used, some others are well documented. For example the use of baking soda as a poultice to dry out poisons and as a remedy for bites and stings. It was not a common thing because even though bakers and cooks had access to it for centuries they did not use it often. The question is was it used in remedies? Who knows - but what IS known is that people tried all kinds of things to help and sometimes things worked, sometimes they didn't but it was a largely illiterate society so how well are things documented from the apothecaries to the common midwife?
I have made some interesting discoveries though and though I am not really sure what was used and what was not, I am expanding my knowledge base. I will be making a lot more salves and balms and I am even thinking about selling them.

I have discovered that dandelion is good for deep muscle aches and pains as well as arthritis when applied in a salve form

Willow bark is in essence - aspirin and one of the first home remedies to be tested by pharmacological groups

Onion was used as a poultice

Garlic is an anti fungal

Honey is an antiseptic and it never goes bad - ever

It's a lot of fun to do this and I believe with all the allergies the kids are dealing with this stuff is the safest out there for them to deal with any ailments which come down the pike!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Recently, I was asked to help out people with some alternative therapies/remedies for aliments.
There is so much to cover here but I can say that Homeopathy is the most amazing thing. If the world suddenly goes crazy - I will be one of the first to stockpile the homeopathy and perhaps naturopathy.
There are so many treatments for everything from gout to migraines its unreal. I really don't know why this hasn't "taken off" in the mainstream as much as it could. Though, if it did then western medicine doctors and pharmacists would indeed be given a run for their money.
I have to say that the saving grace in learning about all of this stuff is that western/alternative can work beautifully hand in hand. I have had to resort to alternative methods more than once and they turned out to be the better option with more answers than the western side. However, I have gotten the curled lip response from the western practitioners (this includes the school nurse - who by the way CANNOT administer anything homeopathy to my kids, even if I give it to her with explicit instructions) when I mention that we are trying other options for healing.

Now - true-fully, I cannot speak to everything but I CAN speak to the things that I have tried which have worked like a charm.

If my brain worked like a mathematical genius (like my older brother) I would study herbology, homeopathy, midwifery and alternative medicine but I was not blessed with such a brain.

My 11 year old actually prefers going to the acupuncturist as opposed to a regular doctor...what does THAT tell you?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mmm Cheesy Grits

So I really don't have an exact recipe for this. I am learning how to make grits and honestly, it is a new thing. Anyway - I made cheesy grits with organic cheese and sea salt with a little pat of Irish Butter. It was tasty. Though my family just can't get over the texture. It is the Gluten-Free worlds answer to Ramen. I can see college kids just pounding this stuff because it is really cheap, easy and fast to make.

2 cups of salted water - bring it to a boil
1/2 cup of instant grits
1 pat of butter (I use Irish butter)
1/2 cup cheese (goat, rice, soy - something that melts is ideal)

Boil the salted water, add the grits and stir. Cover and let heat for like 5 - 6 minutes. Add the cheese at about 4 minutes (and butter)

If your fancy strikes you - add a little but of Franks Hot Sauce. Fun, fast, cheap and tasty. It can also serve as a poor man's polenta in a pinch!