Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pumpkin Muffins with chocolate chips - gluten, egg and dairy free

Everyone in the family LOVED these muffins. Well, except for me because I can't have grains.  Sorry if you come here for the low-carb & grain-free recipes - this one is for the kid-lets.

Seriously, there was a lot of oohing and aahing from the girls. And hubby said "I want to try to make this recipe". What. Can you repeat yourself. WHAT DID YOU SAY? You want to bake something.

I think he is realizing that when I go back to work I won't be a cooking and baking machine anymore. And his year long siesta from the kitchen is coming to an end. 

Funny thing is, he doesn't even know how to get my recipes. Sigh. I think he follows my blog. Kinda. Sorta. But he is going to start because the girls requested that HE make a second batch. Yay.

In my daughter's pre-food sensitivity days, I used to make her a wheat, egg and sugar version of this recipe. So I started from there and then adjusted to make it gluten free (replaced the wheat with all purpose Robin Hood GF blend), egg free (Chia gel to the rescue), sugar free (coconut sugar) and dairy free (coconut milk, coconut oil and Enjoy life dairy free chocolate chips). 

I am so happy with how this turned out. And the kids were REALLY happy. A little too happy. They disappeared real quick. 

So if you or your little ones have sensitivities you are avoiding but can handle some grains and carbs then this might be the recipe for you................

(UPDATE - These went so quick I made them again - hubby got out of it again. I doubled the recipe and accidentally left out the Chia gel. They were awesome again. So feel free to skip the Chia if you don't have it. But since it is such an awesome super food leave it in if you can).

Gluten, Egg and Dairy Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins

by MamaChanty
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: bake breakfast snack gluten-free nut-free vegan pumpkin chocolate
Ingredients (12 cupcakes)
    Chia gel
    • 1 Tbsp ground Chia seeds
    • 1/4 cup water
    Dry ingredients
    • 1 1/2 cups all purpose gluten free flour blend (I used Robin Hood brand)
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp guar gum
    • pinch fine sea salt
    • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon if you don't have)
    Wet ingredients
    • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
    • 3/4 cup organic palm coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice)
    • 1/4 cup organic coconut oil, melted
    • 1/2 cup full fat canned coconut milk
    • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup Enjoy life chocolate chips
    Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
    Combine Chia gel and water. Let stand 5 minutes.
    Combine wet and dry ingredients seperately.
    Add Chia gel to wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.
    Add wet ingredients and chocolate chips to dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
    Separate batter into 12 lined muffin tins.
    Bake for 30 or until a knife in the center comes out clean.
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    Sunday, July 28, 2013

    Sunday Week in Review Lite - Vacation, Sun, Childcare and Bugs

    From top left going clockwise - Nitrate-free sausage, roasted purple cabbage and salad, scrambled eggs and nitrate-free turkey, strawberries and banana's with a melted dark chocolate/nut butter dip for the kids, black bean cakes with an egg, repeat for lunch, amazingly delicious shrimp Kabobs with garlic butter. Why such a small snapshot of the food we ate this week? See below.
    We have been on holidays. Visiting family. Enjoying the summer. 

    We actually ate lots of clean and delicious food this week. I just didn't have the energy or time to take as many pictures as I usually do. I was actually busy taking pictures of humans for once.

    My hubby was on holidays this week. It is so nice to have two parents around all day.

    We spent some time with his family in Brandon. It was really awesome. The kids had a blast. We took them swimming at the Y, swimming and boating at the lake and to an indoor play center. The girls got to connect with their cousin. I love that they connected with all of their cousins in July - just wish they lived closer so it wasn't so sporadic.

    I did a lot of cooking when we were away. Its really hard for family and friends to know what we can and can't eat so I travel with a big cooler (okay - two), head to the grocery store as soon as we arrive at our destination and basically take over their kitchen. Most people don't seem to mind.  Luckily, I'm obsessed with cooking so I don't mind either. And it is a chance for me to show others that clean eating doesn't have to be deprivation. I actually found this trip to be the easiest since I went on the Candida diet. I've learned a few things about what to take with me and that its okay to rely on protein shakes if you have to.

    But in our travels, someone actually said to me "I feel sorry for you guys". I was very upset by that comment. Yes - this diet is a lot of work. Yes - it can be inconvenient because we make most food from scratch. But don't feel sorry for me just because I don't eat perogies anymore. They can't see past what we are giving up to what we are gaining. The trade off for having your health and energy to play with your kids is more than worth it. And if you give it a real, honest to goodness try, you will find out for yourself that there is nothing to feel sorry about. You can still eat lots of amazing, tasty food. And you will feel incredible. And you might lose a pound or two (or twenty for my hubby). Okay - I'm sensitive about the issue. Weight and food are emotional topics and I should cut people some slack because I definitely push my views on others at times when I shouldn't. So I can't blame them. But I'm a bit edgy because.....................

    We are STILL in the bloody process of looking for a nanny/home day care for our two youngest kids when I go back to work in September. It has been a brutal process that has been very stressful. A huge investment of time (which I would rather actually be spending with my kids since the summer is fleeting) and lots of dead ends. Wish me luck that we finalize something soon so we can put the search behind us and start focusing on the transition. And enjoying the rest of summer.

    And unfortunately, I got hit really hard by a nasty flu at the end of the week. Really nasty. I haven't been this sick in a very long time. Stomach, head, fever, aches, chills. You name it - I got it. Not a fun way to spend a lovely summer day(s) that should have been spent with the kiddies. But they had Daddy and each-other and didn't really seem to notice I was missing. So I guess that's good.

    So this is a shorter recap (in pictures anyway) than usual. But life is all about balance and healing your adrenals is about slowing down when you need to. So I'm slowing down on my blogging to enjoy my kids, find a daycare and nurse my flu.

    But I did decided to share a few more pictures.........because even when I am sick we still eat pretty good. And hubby pitched in by making a delicious anti-biotic free chicken we got from Super Store - he nailed it. Yum!

    Chia fresca - a friend recommended this to me and I'll tell you its refreshing when you are too sick to eat but want SOMETHING to drink. A new gluten, egg and dairy free pumpkin muffin I whipped up for my kids. Holy Dinnah they loved it. Recipe coming soon. I'm starting to make double batches of things and putting them in freezer bags so we can have a quick slow cooker meal when life picks up the pace in September. Twice baked mashed cauliflower - half with bacon and "real" cheese and half with my daughter's "fake" rice cheese. Turkey chipolte soup. A fresh roaster chicken from Super-Store. Anti-biotic free. It was quite delicious. A little more expensive than a rotisserie chicken but worth it once in a while. Hubby did an amazing job cooking it. He's a keeper. 

    So hope you have a great week. Some great recipes will be coming. And I just wanted to mention that I finally cut the grains back down to NONE. I had been cheating by snacking here and there on my kids cereal, granola, etc. The result - my stomach is SOOOO happy. I don't look 4 months pregnant anymore. Maybe just two. Grains do not agree with me. I know that. And I give you permission to slap me if you ever see me putting them in my mouth. Because they are tempting but not worth the bloat.

    Friday, July 26, 2013

    Candida Diet Friendly Black Bean Cakes with Hemp Hearts & Zucchini

    I served these black bean cakes on a bed of lettuce topped with a basted egg sprinkled with oregano. So delicious!
    As you may know I'm on the Candida diet. Have been for some time.

    Prior to the Candida diet I followed a mostly Paleo, grain free diet that didn't generally include beans, except for green beans.

    But this Candida diet is very restrictive and I'm hungry all the time.  And I'm allowed to eat a modest amount of black beans due to their low net carbohydrates and low glycemic index. So I first dabbled back into beans with my BLOW YOUR MIND BLACK BEAN BROWNIES.

    Those are seriously amazing. And I seemed to handle them okay. Which I can't say for most grains I have tried to dabble back into.

    So I decided to try another stab at a black bean dish. And it was really good.

    These black bean patties are full of fiber and nutrients. They are dairy and wheat free. And they are vegan if you skip the egg on top.

    A very clean and delicious lunch or breakfast. Or breakfast-supper as my girls like to call it when we have pancakes or smoothies for supper.

    I really enjoyed these and will be making them again. And I really like that you can make them ahead of time and just fry them up quickly for a fast meal.

    Black beans are pretty awesome. Who knew............well now I do. And hopefully you will too!

    Candida Diet Friendly Black Bean Veggie Cakes with Zucchini and Hemp Hearts

    by MamaChanty
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Keywords: fry breakfast entree candida-diet friendly gluten-free low-carb sugar-free vegetarian zucchini coconut flour Black beans
    Ingredients (8 - 10 cakes)
    • 1 can (15 oz) organic Black Beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 1/2 cups shredded yellow zucchini (or green)
    • 1 Tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes
    • 1/4 cup finely minced sweet white onion
    • 1 glove garlic, minced
    • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
    • 2 Tbsp raw sunflower seeds
    • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
    • 1/2 tsp paprika
    • 1/8 tsp chipolte powder
    • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh Basil
    • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
    Add all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and then mash until the beans are about 50% mashed.
    Add coconut flour and mix thoroughly
    Let it sit for about 10 minutes until the coconut flour has a chance to absorb some of the liquid.
    Fry over medium heat in a frying pan in a generous amount of organic extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil. Fry each side for about 3 - 4 minutes until crisp.
    Serve with a fried egg, salsa or toppings of your choice.
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    Tuesday, July 23, 2013

    No Bake Gluten and Dairy Free Nutty Quinoa Bites - Not Candida Diet Friendly but Kid Friendly

    I had a recipe request after someone saw my Sunday week in review and thought these looked good. In my Sunday Week in Review,  I often post pictures of food we ate during the week with the caption something along the lines of "recipe to come soon".

    Sorry if you have been holding your breathe for some of those. I just do so much experimenting that I get excited about the next thing (I'm on a gelatin kick right now) and then I never get around to going back and posting old recipes. Or my kids color on my notes and they end up in recycling. Or I intend to write down the recipe and by the time I get around to it my brain has emptied any knowledge of the ratio of ingredients.

    Long story short.......if there is a recipe you really want it would be a good idea to follow up with me right away and ask for it. Like my awesome friend Lori.

    So here you go Lori - now we both have this one in writing............

    I found the quinoa puff cereal at the Bulk Barn. It is unsweetened. You could replace the quinoa with any unsweetened puffed cereal you want but try and stick to the non-glutenous grains. And sorry - but if you are on the Candida diet and come here for ACD recipes - this is not one of them. These were for my kids. Yes - some rolled off the counter and into my mouth by accident. But I paid with a Candida flare up so don't do it.

    This is really just a base recipe. You could replace the almond butter with another nut or seed butter. The honey with another sweetener. The sunflower seeds with another seed or nut.  Use your imagination. Raisins, coconut, cacao nibs - or whatever you have in your pantry.

    These were easy to make (really) and are a great healthy snack for the kids. Much better than processed granola bars that are full of sugar and who knows what else.

    So make these for your kids. Or make them for yourself if you can handle it.

    No Bake Gluten and Dairy Free Nutty Quinoa Bites

    by MamaChanty
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: None
    Keywords: raw dessert snack gluten-free vegan
    Ingredients (15 bites)
    • 1 cup organic quinoa puffs
    • 1/2 cup raw almond butter
    • 2 Tbsp honey
    • 2 Tbsp raw sunflower seeds
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 Tbsp dried unsweetened cranberries (optional)
    • 1 Tbsp 70% dark chocolate chips (optional)
    Combine quinoa puffs, sunflower seeds, cranberries and chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl.
    Combine almond butter, honey and vanilla in a microwave safe bowl.
    Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir.
    Add nut butter mixture to quinoa puff mixture.
    Rolls into balls - about 1 to 2 Tbsp per ball.
    Chill in fridge until ready to serve.
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    Sunday, July 21, 2013

    Sunday Week in Review - Following My Own Advice

    So once in a while when I don't feel like sharing a recipe I blog about helpful healthful tips. Things I have done to cure my leaky gut, adrenal fatigue, detox, whatever.

    I recently did one post on curing insomnia and another one on curing my adrenal fatigue. And then given the time of year, social commitments, etc, etc, excuse, excuse........I broke a bunch of my own rules. I didn't follow my own advice.

    Result - Candida flare up. Fierce. Sugar cravings like crazy. Not sleeping. Moody. Either that or my kids are really very bad and annoying. And I know they aren't. It's me.

    I have not been getting to bed on time. Strike one.

    I have been eating WAY more carbohydrates (in the form of grains usually covered in some type of "natural sugar") than usual. Nothing overt. No "real" cheats. Just bites of cereal, granola or corn chips as I'm filling my kids plates. All gluten-free but not grain free or sugar free. Enough that I was getting way more sugar than I should be given my Candida and grains that I'm not used to. Enough to feed my Candida and slow down my system. Strike two.

    Its actually interesting that my IGG tests don't show that I have a severe sensitivity to grains.  But after you do a detox (for me basically the Candida diet) and reintroduce or try to reintroduce foods, you figure out that although your system might not be having an immune response to something it doesn't mean it likes you eating it. And for me that is grains. I have tried and retried several non-glutenous grains - quinoa, rice, corn and oats to name a few. My system does not like them. It doesn't matter than my IGG tests say they are okay. They are not. I need to accept this and move on. And start having some better willpower when I'm serving them up to my kids. I feel like I give a false impression of how much willpower I have sometimes - trust me - there are LOTS of meals and cheats that don't make my Sunday week in review. I don't take pictures of those.

    So enough beating around the bush. Long story short is that I have decided one of my critical pieces of advice is to SLOW DOWN. And I have not been doing that. I have been going full speed ahead. I always will. That's how I roll.

    But I'm reaching a point where I have lots of things that need to be dealt with before I go back to work. And I want to have lots of fun in the summer with my kids. So I have decided to start blogging one less day a week. I know. You must be devastated. Ha, ha, ha!

    It actually happened accidentally when I missed my Wednesday post and totally didn't realize it until after I posted it Thursday. I completely lost an entire day of my week. I think it was a sign. Time to slow it down.

    So I have decided to share recipes on Tuesdays and Fridays and keep doing my Sunday week in review. I actually do WAY more than two new recipes a week so I might just start posting some directly to my RECIPAGE without a blog post. So make sure you follow me on FACEBOOK (upper left hand side), PINTEREST (upper left hand side) or subscribe to my blog by email (right hand side). That way you won't miss any new recipes even if I don't do a full blog post. I won't be slowing down on the experimenting - just all the writing.

    I wish I had time to post every night. I love it. I find it therapeutic. I have lots to say.

    But my family and my health have to come first. So I'm cutting myself some slack.

    And I actually ate tons of great clean food this week in between cheats.................hope this gives you some ideas for some recipes you can try! Enjoy and have a good, clean, SLOW week.
    Quinoa puffs balls I made for the kids. I'll post the recipe sometime soon. They were good. Too good. One of the grain-full temptations that caused my flare up. They kept falling in my mouth. 

    Sweet onion poppy-seed dressing.  I REALLY enjoyed this. On  everything this week. Yum.

    A salad topped with grilled steak and green beans. Topped with sweet onion dressing of course. 

    How did those get in here again? Maybe as a point that I ate too many. And they are on the banned list as far as Candida goes so I better get control or stop making them. 

    Some of my farmer's market finds. We are loving the kohlrabi. Even the kids like it with Ranch dip. And I made an awesome rhubarb, kohlrabi and cucumber salad. And did you know purple beans turn green. Magic. Mystery. Mom of the year. Kids love that kind of thing. 

    In an attempt to make it through the afternoon without a cheat I made some clean snacks like this. Really good. Clean. Satisfying. Just need to remember this instead of grabbing for the sweet stuff.

    I made an avocado "salsa" with an egg fritata and some nitrate free turkey breakfast sausages. So clean. So good.

    A rotisserie chicken from Costco (oh yeah - a bit of a cheat but I don't eat the skin). Fresh beet tops from a family friends garden. So delicious with a bit of butter, s & p and garlic powder. Who knew.

    I tried to make a black bean zucchini loaf. Flop. It didn't work. So I turned it into french toast. That worked okay. I ate it.

    Beet soup (borscht) without cream. Fresh garden beets. Fresh dill. Hell yeah. 

    Salad. The usual.

    A snack I made for the kiddies. Gluten free chips. Nitrate free ham. Dairy free cheese, Tomatoes. They loved it. Must remember this one.

    Another snack. Turkey and chicken sausage from Costco. Not nitrate free. It is hard to find non-pork and nitrate free at the same time. So I cheated a wee bit. 

    One of my kids lunches. Just to show an example of how I feed my little sensitive one. That's gluten free bread with a bit of melted dairy free cheese. She's getting used to the taste/texture and seems to really enjoy it. Expensive so we try and stretch it out.

    I grilled a ton of veggies on the bbq this week. Why not. This time I did it on a pan with some leftover chicken. Hubby loved it.

    Farmer's market. Yep. That was fun.

    I took every single toy in the whole house and put it in the living room. And sorted, purged, cleaned until they made sense. It was OUT OF CONTROL. I couldn't even clean up anymore because nothing had a place. Now it all has a place. Well, what I kept. And I think that's why I missed my Wednesday post. I was on a cleaning and sorting mission. I'm feeling the need to get the house organized before I go back to work. 

    Turkey burgers with rhubarb salsa. Beet greens on the side. 

    Another treat. Black bean brownies with some chia/almond milk/maple extract/Stevia topping. So yummy. So busted. I literally ate about 6 pieces one day when my Candida was flaring. I was out of control. 
    My rhubarb salsa on turkey burgers (leftovers) with the magic purple beans. Awesome.

    I was getting sick and tired of snacking on plain/raw nuts. So I blended almond, walnut, pecan, sunflower and golden flax with some cocoa, Stevia and coconut oil. Then I roasted it for about 20 minutes at 325. And I topped it with about 12 dark chocolate chips. And some salt. A nice little change.

    Another "treat". I eat lots of icy/blender/smoothie type things. This one topped with toasted coconut.

    Another one of my many "treats". This is some kind of almond milk, cocoa, cacao smoothie. I topped with some of my roasted nut mixture. I'm getting lots of use out of my new Magic Bullet.

    Some zucchini "noodles" with grass fed meat sauce. 

    I made a coconut cream and rhubarb pie. No sugar. It was pretty tart. But hubby topped his with some strawberry/rhubarb/apple jam and sliced strawberries. Looks pretty good if not Candida diet friendly.

    My first attempt at making egg free, gluten free, dairy free pancakes for my girls. I bought some Robin Hood All Purpose Gluten free Flour from London Drugs (FYI - they sell lots of gluten free products at good prices). I used Chia gel instead of eggs. I didn't eat them because they aren't grain free. Verdict from the two girls - they LOVED them. Recipe to come because I need to get this in writing. They each ate four. Success.

    Egg salad. I made this concoction with a little of this and a little of that - never to be recreated. Too bad because it was soooo good. My baby really loved it. Avocado, curry, kohlrabi. Kind of a kitchen sink egg salad. 

    I have been craving pickerel for weeks. Hubby went to the fish market and got me some today. Love. What a great guy. I breaded it with a combination of coconut flour, ground golden flax and almond flour. Even both girls loved it. WHAT. NO. Seriously. Hello - a new family dinner we can all eat. Happy dance.

    Yep. I've been baking again. On the left - my blueberry crumble. That's a good recipe. On the right - blow your mind black bean brownies. I tried making it with Chia gel instead of eggs so my daughter could have some. It didn't work perfectly. I'll have to try it again. Maybe in muffin liners. 

    So there you have it. Another week of some great meals. Not all shown. A Candida flare up but its back under control. Just have to keep working at it and not beat myself up when I slip up. And NO MORE GRAINS.

    Thursday, July 18, 2013

    Fabulous Farmer's Market Finds and a Simple Sugar Free Rhubarb Salsa

    I'm trying to think globally and shop locally when I can........and this is the time to do it. We don't get a lot of opportunity in Winnipeg to get local organic produce during the winter so we have to get to the garden or farmer's market when we can.

    So I very excitedly headed to the St. Norbert farmer's market yesterday. What fun!

    Since I started eating clean, shopping for vegetables has become somewhat of an adventure. In order to keep things interesting and keep myself satisfied I am constantly challenging myself to try something new, different and maybe even a little confusing. 

    I don't always know what to do with things once I get home but that's part of the fun. So yesterday I came home with some basics and some fun new finds. And that means some fun new recipes coming your way.....

    Like the rhubarb salsa I whipped up for lunch. It was nice and crisp - fresh and light. A great basic clean salsa recipe that you can easily modify for what's in your garden, shopping cart or farmer's market. 

    I used mine as a topping for a grilled turkey burger....but it would be good on any protein. Or veggie. 

    I'm still doing the Candida diet so I used Stevia as my sweetener. If you don't have Stevia and can handle it, a tablespoon of honey would probably do the trick. 

    Hope you enjoy this recipe...............and I challenge you to think outside the box. Or the big box stores at least and try to get some fresh produce direct from a local farm. You'll be glad you did! 

    Simple and Sugar Free Rhubarb Salsa

    by MamaChanty
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: none
    Keywords: raw dressing side candida-diet friendly gluten-free low-carb paleo sugar-free wheat belly tomato zucchini rhubarb
    Ingredients (Serves 2 - 3)
      • 1 cup blanched rhubarb, chopped
      • 1/4 cup white sweet onion, finely minced
      • 1/3 cup sweet pepper (yellow or red - grilled or raw)
      • 1/3 cup zucchini (grilled or raw)
      • 1 green onion, chopped
      • 3/4 cup cherry tomato, chopped (I used yellow and red)
      • 1 Tbsp lime juice
      • 6 drops liquid Stevia (or 1 Tbsp honey)
      • 1 Tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
      • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
      • pepper to taste
      • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
      I first blanched the rhubarb by pouring boiling water over it (after they had been chopped) and letting it sit for about 1 minute. Then I drained and rinsed with cold water.
      Drain rhubarb well before combining with remaining ingredients.
      Add remaining vegetables to rhubarb. Mix.
      Mix together dressing ingredients.
      Add to vegetables and mix thoroughly.
      Chill in fridge for at least 1/2 hour before serving. Longer if possible.
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      Monday, July 15, 2013

      Sweet Onion Poppyseed Salad Dressing - Candida Diet Friendly, Paleo, Sugar-free

      If you have been following along my blog and my Sunday week in review, then you know that I eat A LOT OF SALAD. I'm pretty sure most people that eat clean, low-carb, Wheat-Belly, Paleo or Candida diets eat a lot of salad.

      No hardship. I love salad. But the restrictiveness of this Candida diet can make salad dressings pretty limited. And I was getting lazy and making the same coconut vinegar and EVOO blend over and over and over. And it was getting boring. And when I get bored with food I start cheating. And when I cheat I don't feel good. And my Candida starts to win.

      So I decided I better get busy making a new dressing that could make a salad satisfying again. So I'm not just using my salad as fuel and then searching for something else (insert cheat) to keep me satisfied.

      This little recipe did just that. A nice change of pace. Sugar-free. Low-carb. Paleo, Candida-diet friendly. Gluten-free. Dairy-free. And even given all that it is still tasty. Delicious.

      It gets some sweetness from the Stevia and the onions. And some nice creaminess from the oil and pureed onion. I was missing a creamy dressing.

      It actually tasted best when it had a chance to sit overnight so make it in advance if you can.  The flavors blend and develop if you can wait.

      Hope you enjoy it as much as I am and this helps you stay sugar-free and healthy! No matter what kind of clean diet you are trying to follow.

      Candida Diet Friendly Sweet Onion Poppyseed Dressing

      by MamaChanty
      Prep Time: 5 minutes
      Cook Time: 10 minutes
      Keywords: blender dressing candida-diet friendly gluten-free low-carb paleo wheat belly stevia
      Ingredients (1 cup)
      • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
      • 1/2 large sweet onion, finely minced
      • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
      • 8 drops liquid Stevia
      • 1 tsp dry mustard
      • 1 Tbsp coconut vinegar
      • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
      • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
      • 1 tsp dry poppyseeds
      Fry onion over medium heat in coconut oil until just softened.
      Add remaining ingredients except olive oil.
      Pulse in blender until fully pureed. Add olive oil and combine.
      Chill in fridge until cooled and until ready to serve.
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      Sunday, July 14, 2013

      Sunny Sunday week in Review - Lots of Sun and a little too many Sweets

      What a week. Here are the highlights in events:
      • Came back from my brother's rustic vintage wedding last Sunday totally bagged and in Candida flare up mode.
      • Threw a BIG BOY MUSTACHE party for my one-year old big boy on Wednesday. He had a complete blast partying with all of his (our) friends. His egg and gluten free Betty Crocker boxed Mustache cake was a hit with all the kids. 
      • Big Boy slept through the night for the first time ever this week. Well, other than the one time he had a severely high fever. What bliss. I knew it would happen eventually if not consistently.
      • I invented a Candida diet friendly version of Black Bean brownies that I am completely in love with. I made FOUR BATCHES in one week. If that's not love I don't know what is. If that's not a sweet tooth calling for help I don't know what is. 
      • Had an old (crazy and fun) friend from out of town visit. Got together with 4 of my high school besties and we took a photo-shoot together in our wedding dresses. What fun. A bit of a ridiculous site but great fun. I'll share a picture when I get some. We were all able to zip up our dresses but there was a bit of gasping for air and not much bending over to pick things up. I weigh about 10 lbs less than when I got married but could barely get into my dress. A combination of the weight relocating to my belly after three kids (sigh) and my boobs being way bigger than normal (see next point). 
      • I traveled to a little resort town in Manitoba (Clear Lake - also known as my happy place - a wonderful resort gem in Manitoba) for a girls weekend yesterday. I drove 3 hours (each way) and only spent about 8 hours there. Short but it was worth it to see my girlfriends. Why the short trip? I really need to start weaning my one year old. He did fine without me but I should be able to leave him without a panic for the day. He is still fully breastfeeding. Not sure how I think I'm going to go back to work. But I don't really want to give back my boobs to the breastfeeding Gods yet (sigh). 
      • My sister was in for a visit with her little guy from B.C. 
      • I didn't find a nanny for when I go backed to work. I might be screwed. Time to hit panic mode soon.
      So what does all this mean for my diet and health. 

      Well. I am struggling to keep to my Rules.
      Rule #1 - Bed by 10 for my adrenal fatigue and insomnia - broken several times. 
      Rule #2 - No sugar - broken a couple of times as I taste tested recipes and had bites here there and everywhere. 

      So overall I am a bit on the tired side and my Candida is not in a full fledged flare but its definitely not gone. My moods are okay but my sweet tooth - my evil, evil sweet tooth and hunger are back in business. Which makes it hard not to cheat. But I'm trying, really trying to keep at it. 

      I have been at this Candida diet since May 2nd. 10 weeks. 10 weeks of little to no sugar, fruit, pork, vinegar, dairy, high carb veggies, mushrooms. 10 weeks of lots of supplements. This is hard. A hard time of year to be doing this. 

      So I'm enjoying all the visiting. The reconnecting with friends and family. The sunshine. But I'm finding this diet hard to stick to. I'm doing it as best I can. Here are some of the meals I enjoyed this week to help me along the way. Hope you can find some inspiration to keep it clean as you go about your summer sunshine fun. And let me know if you know someone looking to nanny three perfect children for a lovely, clean, and happy family..........................................

      Chicken breast baked in a Candida diet friendly s & s sauce made from Stevia, tomato sauce, coconut amino's, paprika, onion and garlic. Served with steamed beans and roasted cabbage. 

      Grilled chicken breast with leftover cabbage. Served with a salad topped with some roasted sweet potatoes and avocado's. 

      The modifications I did to the Betty Crocker boxed Gluten free cake mix to make it egg free. It turned out amazing. I was very happy my experiment worked as I didn't want to waste a $5 cake mix. Not sure about this nanny/going back to work business so I've suddenly become even more money conscience. And that's scary. 

      I've finally converted over to Green smoothies. I started by adding zucchini to my Vega One Chocolate smoothie. But this week I took it up a notch and actually added a Kale/Turnip Greens blend to my smoothie. I had lots of these. At least one a day. You really can't taste the greens. Really. I resisted this for a while but I think I have become a believer. Green  Smoothies aren't gross. 

      One batch of many - Black bean brownies. Sugar-free, flourless, dairy-free and fabulous. FOUR batches. All gone. 

      Another sweet potato salad with egg and chicken.
      The mustache cake. This was so easy to make. Mother of the year I'm not. But my kids get cute cakes when I'm in the mood.  Simple but cute.

      Some food from the birthday party.

      My friend made me a Candida diet friendly dinner before we tried on our wedding dresses. I didn't get a shot of the food but did get a shot of the napkin. Too cool. I have the heart of a Ukrainian dancer (and used to have the legs before the varicose veins took over) so this spoke to me. 

      Yum. Yum. Yummy. This was so good. Chicken Thighs scewered and grilled. Roasted veggies and steamed fresh green beans. One of those "I dare you to say eating clean is not delicious" meals. Yum.

      I used to worry about what booze and clothes I was taking for a girls weekend. And frankly the only blender being packed would have been for frosty vodka beverages. But times have changed. This was the lunchkit I packed for my girls weekend. I bought a bullet for such occassions. Worked like a charm. I bought that awesome lunch kit that came with three round salad tupperwares this week for $7.50. Score.  Really really awesome. It will be awesome for work should I ever find a nanny or childcare.

      My salad to go. The only way I can stick to this diet on the run. 

      Today's lunch. Grilled shrimp, Zucchini and curried cauliflower. I also made a sweet onion poppyseed dressing for the salad. Recipe to come this week. That was a good clean low carb meal. If I must say so myself. And I am.

      Taking care of your body is A LOT of work. Especially in weeks when routine is out the window and friends come calling. But it can be done. Don't give up. Cheat a bit if you have to. Don't beat yourself up. And start again fresh next week. That's what I'm doing. Wish me luck.