Sunday, February 12, 2017

What I Eat & Drink

I've been asked by a couple of people what whole food do I eat and what is my drink of choice.

First on the table is that I am Celiac. So what I eat will be different than some people and even those with in my own household. I eat whole foods, that is anything that isn’t processed, packaged or boxed as much as humanly possible - fresh  fruits and vegetables, organic/grass fed meats/ wild game, organic eggs( I really, really like my eggs), wild caught fish, gluten free grains/flours - sorghum, brown rice, quinoa, cornmeal (no oats- my digestive system can’t handle them), nut butters, maple syrup and local honey, olive and coconut oils. Everything is made from scratch at home. Once you have experienced the pain of being Celiac for ten years without relief you are not daring not walk down that road again from mislabeled products (most gluten free processed foods have oats in them) or cross contamination from food handlers. Oops, got off track there.  

I have been known to eat an Amy’s gluten free frozen dinner in a pinch when the rest of the family eats out because I don’t. Also I do keep a box of some type of gluten free cereal in the pantry for when I wake up at 3 am feeling peckish or Mary’s Gone Crackers to dip in hummus.  I don’t always buy organic produce because it depends on the quality of the produce and the that weeks budget. Because you can’t buy organic isn’t a reason not to eat healthy, purchasing non-organic is still better than buying processed anything. I purchase organic meat/wild caught salmon when on sale and stock up what I can afford. Wild game comes from a family friend and hubby and the young one keep us in fresh caught fish. In the summer I buy from the farmers market at OSU. I do my shopping at Aldi for their wonderful prices on their organic foods (eggs, milk, canned goods and such) and the rest at Sprouts Farmers Market. I don’t shop at Whole Foods because it is way and beyond my budget.

We are a family of 5 (and sometimes six when my grandson across the street comes over) ranging from 77 years old and I try to keep the budget any where from $125-$150 a week. All breakfasts, lunches and snacks are vegetarian and we eat meat for 3 dinners a week and 3 vegetarian, the 7the meal of the week is usually up for grabs because Friday I clean out the fridge. Always make a menu keeping it as simple as possible and stick to it. Anyway that’s the simple truth of it when it comes to food around here. The bottom line here is eat real food.

My drink of choice and everyone else in the house is filtered water. We have a cabinet filled with herbal teas and I will admit to the morning good old cuppa of PG Tips, with one spoon of sugar and a splash of milk. I can not start my day any other way, also when I’ve had a trying day.

In this hurried world that we live in it can be easy to forget how much we truly are blessed with. Today begin making a gratitude list or even a small journal for this month. Write in it each day at least three things that you are thankful for become aware of how much you have been given in your life. Don't know where to begin, then keep this in mind each day - The things that someone else is praying for you already have in you life. This is a very profound thought because it brings into the focus of your own reality of how truly blessed you are and each and everyday remember to take time, just a minute will do, to thank your God that makes it all possible each day. 

Pork Chop Cassserole

I came into my marriage with one cookbook -old faithful - Betty Crocker. But I didn't have a clue how to cook on our meager budget in 1977 so mom brought me a little green paperback that became my "newlywed's food bible", How I Feed My Family on $16 a Week by Jo Ann York. It had shopping tips, how to make a menu, and recipes - I was in high cotton now! Thirty- nine years and six kids later I still use the recipes in that fallen apart old treasure and the menus that I made from it even if it does cost more than $16 a week. This Pork Chop Casserole recipe to this day is my hubby's favorite.

Pork Chop Casserole

4 pork chops
3-4 potatoes,  peeled and sliced
2 apples, peeled and sliced
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 13"x9" baking pan. Place pork chops in the bottom of the 13"x9" baking pan. ( I always added 1 cup water in the bottom of the pan - it makes some nice pan juices to use on the potatoes. Sometimes use apple juice.) Place the sliced potatoes and apples on top of the pork chops. (Occasionally I line the bottom of the pan with sliced onions.) Sprinkle with the brown sugar, salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Take Time for You Today

Cacao Cinnamon Banana Pancakes

When I make pancake I usually go for Pamela's Gluten Free Baking & Pancake Mix.  I fell in love with this gluten free product five years ago when I found out I had Celiac  after a ten year life of torture but that's another story. Back to Pamela - I have used this not only for pancakes but as a base for,  to die for waffles, chocolate chip cookies and muffins of various types. If you need to follow a gluten free life style then you really need to give this stuff a try. (Okay stepping off the soapbox now) I'm not usually one for eating chocolate even as a child I didn't care for it much - weird kid, huh. Didn't and still don' t care for ice cream either. However,  today I woke up thinking about something chocolaty and creamy for breakfast. I have usually tea, toast and fruit.  Today I was ambitious and went to the kitchen with this flavor and texture in my mind and on my taste-buds. After prowling the pantry, frig and spice cabinet. I cane up with Cacao Cinnamon Banana Pancakes.

1 basic recipe of Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix for pancakes the added the following:
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup wildflower honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Mixed all ingredients until well blended. Then pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto a preheated skillet in avocado oil spray, flip once and cook until done. You will need to cook these on a lower temperature than regular pancakes as the honey causes them to burn at a higher temperature without cooking them through.  Once done just layer them with sliced bananas & whipped cream then topping them with banana slices whipped cream and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.

Just a note here the Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix does contain milk and almonds if you have allergies. If not then your golden.