Transforming food and attitude into something nourishing

Friday, March 30, 2012


"What in the world is a FODMAP?" Yep, my thoughts exactly. It's no secret to anyone that knows me that my digestive system and I don't get along so well most of the time. I've been given that awful and super NON-helpful diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrom (IBS). I recently met with a dietician who told me that many IBS suffers experience great relief when they eliminate or greatly limit their consumption of FODMAPS.
FODMAPs is an acronym referring to Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. FODMAPs are a collection of carbohydrates found in food, that can be poorly absorbed by some people. When the molecules are poorly absorbed in the small intestine of the digestive tract, these molecules then continue along their journey along the digestive tract, arriving at the large intestine, where they act as a food source to the bacteria that live there normally. The bacteria then digest/ferment these FODMAPs and can cause symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Here's a very small example of some of the foods that are to be avoided on the low FODMAP diet. The REAL list is pretty extensive and include a lot of my favorites:(
  • Excess Fructose: Honey, Apples, Mango, Pear, Watermelon, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup Solids
  • Fructans: Artichokes (Globe), Artichokes(Jerusalem), Asparagus, Beetroot, Chicory, Dandelion leaves, Garlic (in large amounts), Leek, Onion (brown, white, Spanish, onion powder), Raddicio lettuce, Spring Onion (white part), Wheat (in large amounts), Rye (in large amounts), Inulin, Fructo-oligosaccharides.
  • Lactose: Milk, ice cream, custard, dairy desserts, condensed and evaporated milk, milk powder, yoghurt, margarine, soft unripened cheeses (eg. ricotta, cottage, cream, marscarpone).
  • Galacto-Oligosaccharides (GOS): Legume beans (eg. baked beans, kidney beans, bortolotti beans), Lentils, Chickpeas
  • Polyols: Apples, Apricots, Avocado, Cherries, Longon, Lychee, Nectarines, Pears , Plums, Prunes, Mushrooms, Sorbitol (420), mannitol (421), xylitol (967), maltitol (965) and Isomalt (953).
I definitely had to revamp my nightly desserts and finally found a treat adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie's recipe (who is also providing the pic for this post) that is FODMAP friendly. It's so yummy that whether or not I choose to stick with this diet, I will definitely be sticking to this dessert!

Banana Cake or Doughnuts
  • 2 cups FODMAP friendly flower (Namaste Perfect Flour Blend)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup rice milk
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 and 1/2 T lemon juice
  • 1 stevia packet (or 1 Tbsp more maple syrup
  • 2 c tightly-packed, mashed banana (measured after mashing)
  • optional: chocolate chips or walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine dry ingredients, and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients and mix into dry. (don’t overmix.) If you have a doughnut pan, grease and pour in batter. If you don’t have a doughnut pan, you can make this recipe into muffins or cake. Cook 30-35 minutes, or less if using a mini doughnut pan. Recipe yields about 14 doughnuts or one 8x8 square pan of "cake".

Friday, March 23, 2012

Protein Princess

A quick post today with a few of my new favorite protein packed recipes...and an extra non-protein recipe just for fun. I've been trying to amp up my protein intake the last few weeks, especially since I will be running my first half marathon in May.

I've swapped my morning apple routine for overnight oats. I mix 1/2 cup gluten free oats, 1 cup of rice milk, 1 scoop of vanilla sunwarrior protein powder, and 1 tsp of chia seeds each night before bed and let it sit in the fridge until breakfast time. In the morning I heat up the oatmeal and add in some blueberries, cinnamon, and stevia. YUM.

1/2 frozen banana
handful frozen strawberries
1 scoop chocolate sunwarrior protein powder
1 cup rice milk
* Blend together for a sweet and filling smoothie

Lunch or Dinner:
A shameless plug for the benefits of the ingredients in this recipe written by blogger Gena from Choosing Raw.
"Let’s talk nutrition! Not only is quinoa one of the higher protein grains, but it is also a complete protein, which simply means that it provides all of the essential amino acids we need from dietary sources in a single place. Nutritional yeast also adds protein (about 16 grams for the whole recipe), and the kelp provides iodine, an essential and oft-overlooked dietary nutrient that supports the thyroid, among other things. Many Americans have grown accustomed to getting iodine only through iodized salt (first created to help treat goiters, a symptom of iodine deficiency, in landlocked regions of the country). We forget that sea vegetables, in addition to being rich in countless vitamins and minerals, also provide rich stores of iodine."

1 cup quinoa, dry
2 1/4 cups + 2-3 tbsp water
1 heaping cup finely chopped kale
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp (or to taste) granulated or finely chopped kelp, dulse, nori, or other sea vegetable
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Rinse your quinoa. Set the quinoa and water in a stovetop to boil, OR add the water and quinoa to a rice cooker to begin cooking.
2) IGNORE STEP 2 IF USING RICE COOKER. When the water boils, reduce to a simmer. Cook at a simmer with a lid on the pot, but slightly ajar, so that some air can escape, for about 20 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated and the quinoa is getting plump and fluffy. Quinoa cooking times can vary, but 15-25 minutes is average. You know it’s done with the quinoa is nice and plump, and little “threads” have come loose in the grain.
3) Stir in the kale, lemon, nutritional yeast, sea vegetables, and the extra 2-3 tbsp water (or more if your quinoa is dry). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm, topped with some avocado slices for healthy fat and creaminess.

*If I don't feel like eating this quinoa plain, I scoop some inside a roasted red or yellow pepper.

Bonus recipe:
 I've really been loving this mojito smoothie lately, especially since we have lots of spinach growing in the garden right now. Enjoy!

1 frozen banana
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup of baby spinach
2 tbsp of water (or more if needed)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp of lime
1 bunch of fresh mint

Directions: Blend until smooth!

On my to-try list this week:
Green Monster Overnight Oats by Oh She Glows

1 large handful fresh spinach or small handful of kale
1 large ripe banana
1.5 tbsp chia seeds (necessary for thickening)
1 cup almond milk
1/3 cup regular, rolled oats

1. In a blender, blend together the spinach, banana, chia seeds, and almond milk until smooth.
2. In a cereal bowl, add the oats and then pour the smoothie on top. Stir well until combined.
3. Place in fridge (uncovered is fine) overnight.  Add desired toppings as you wish such as nut butter, granola, coconut, fruit, etc.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Layered Brownies/Chocolate Chip Cookies Bars

Found this delicious recipe by Brittany @ Real Sustenance

Layered Chocolate Chip/Brownies Bars

Brownie Layer

1 1/2 Cups Blanched Almond Flour
1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder or Carob Powder
1/4 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Cup of Granulated Sugar (any variety should work refined or unrefined)
1 Tbs Vanilla Extract
3 Tbs Nondairy Milk or Water.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer

2 Cups Blanched Almond Flour
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar (or alternative)
2 Tsp. Baking Powder 2 Tbs Oil (or applesauce, melted butter, melted coconut oil etc)
1 Tbs Vanilla Extract
1/8 Tsp Salt
3 Tbs Nondairy Milk or Water
1/2- 3/4 Cup Chocolate Chips

  1. Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees and spray 6x6 inch pan.
  2. Make the Brownie Dough. Combine all the ingredients and use your hands to mix. Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. Using a clean bowl make the Chocolate Chip cookie dough. Combine all the ingredients. Mix together by hand, adding in the chocolate chips last. Press the cookie dough on top of the brownie layer in the pan.
  4. Place in the oven and bake 26-29 minutes. Around the 18 minute mark cover the top of the pan with a sheet of tinfoil.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool before slicing.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chicken and Artichoke Casserole

A shorty but a goody:

Chicken and Artichoke Casserole
Serves 4

5 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (organic, free range), cut in 1" strips
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
2 tablespoons flour
1(14.5-oz.) can low sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet over medium heat, brown chicken lightly in 2 tablespoons butter, add the garlic and mushrooms and keep cooking till chicken mixture is smelling very garlicky.
Transfer browned chicken strips to a baking dish (for your extra casserole, use an aluminum pan that can be tossed after use); arrange artichoke hearts on top.
In the skillet, melt remaining butter and add the flour, whisking to blend (no lumps!). Add broth and cook until thickened then pour over chicken mixture.
Bake the casserole, uncovered, at 350 degrees for about 30 to 45 minutes

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tis the Season for Seafood

The recipes in this post are going to take up quite a bit of room, so I'll try to keep the pre-recipe chitter chatter to a minimum. All I really want to say is that I was floored last week when I asked my meat and potatoes lovin' husband what he would like from the grocery store. You will NEVER guess what he said. Give up? He requested that I pick up some Veganaise. That's right, he wanted me to buy some vegan mayo. What the...!!?? Anyhow, I was more than excited to follow through on that request. My first meal with the vegan mayo was Honey Walnut Shrimp...a spin off of one of my husband's favorite Chinese meals. He gobbled up ever last Veganaise smothered bite. And, while I'm posting one seafood recipe, I figured I might as well post another (see Baked Calamari recipe below the Honey Walnut Shrimp recipe). Enjoy!

Honey Walnut Shrimp

2 1/2 tbsp flour (white, wheat, gluten free, etc)
2 dashes salt
Dash black pepper
8 oz. raw large shrimp, peeled, tails removed, deveined (about 16 shrimp)
2 tbsp. fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
2 tbsp Veganaise or reduced fat mayonnaise
1 tbsp. honey
1 splash lemon juice
Dash chili powder
1 tbsp. chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray and set aside.

In a wide sealable container, combine flour with a dash each salt and pepper. Seal and shake to mix. Set aside.

Make sure shrimp are dry. (Blot well with paper towels.) Place in a bowl with egg substitute, and gently toss to coat.

One at a time, gently shake shrimp to remove excess egg substitute and transfer to the seasoned flour; flip to evenly coat. Place on the baking sheet, evenly spaced.

Lightly mist shrimp with nonstick spray. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Flip shrimp. Bake until cooked through and slightly crispy, about 5 more minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a small microwave-safe bowl, combine mayo, honey, lemon juice, chili powder, and remaining dash salt. Whisk until smooth.

Just before serving, microwave mayo mixture for 20 seconds, or until hot. Stir until smooth. Add to the shrimp bowl and toss to coat. Serve (over steamed sugar snap peas, if you like) and top with walnuts. Enjoy!

Baked Calamari


4 oz. raw calamari rings (not breaded)
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tbsp. fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt
black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour bread crumbs into a plastic container that has an airtight lid (or into a sealable plastic bag). Add panko, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, and salt. Add pepper to taste. Seal and shake to mix thoroughly.

Make sure calamari rings are as dry as possible (Use a paper towel to soak up moisture.) Place them in a dish, and cover with egg substitute. Toss to coat evenly.

Transfer rings to the crumb mixture, and secure lid or seal bag. Shake until rings are thoroughly coated, and then place rings on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray.

Bake calamari in the oven for 15 minutes, flipping them about halfway through, until firm and fully cooked.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Perfect Protein!

First and foremost, ditto THIS post, only with Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane tea (peppermint). I just can't get enough of these Christmas flavored protein shakes!

Okay, now moving on to something equally as delicious. Pumpkin Protein Donuts. If you can't tell, I'm trying to get the most bang out of my buck with my SunWarrior protein powder and with all of the left over cans of pumpkin that I have. If you don't have a donut pan, no biggie. You can make muffins by doubling the recipe and by adding the chocolate chips directly to the batter. If making muffins, you may need to bake them a bit longer than the donuts.

Pumpkin Protein Donuts

Ingredients (6 donuts)

1 cup old fashioned oats, ground into oat flour
1/3/cup protein powder of your choice
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
stevia to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup non-dairy or organic milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 TBSP non-dairy chocolate chips


-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Grind oats into flour and combine into a large bowl with protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and stevia.
- In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin, milk, and vanilla. Stir.
- Add pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients and stir until just combined
- Spoon batter into donut (or muffin) pan that has been coated with cooking spray.
-Bake for 8-10 minutes until donuts are set and starting to brown. Allow donuts to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack
- While donuts are cooling, heat chocolate chips in microwave or double broiler. Drizzle chocolate evenly over cooled donuts. Allow chocolate set before eating.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sugar Cookie in a Cup!

Today I drank a cookie and a darn good one too. Last week I went to Whole Foods and found a deal on Celestial Seasonings holiday teas, so I bought a few seasonal boxes. One of which was called Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride. By golly, it really does taste like a sugar cookie! Just when I thought it couldn't get any better than that, I found this recipe from MamaPea for a Sugar Cookie Smoothie. I tried it this morning and I really thought I was drinking a cookie through a straw...YUM! This recipe is vegan, but can easily be made using real milk products. Try this one. Seriously, it's for your own (guilt-free) good!

Sugar Cookie Smoothie

Makes 1 large smoothie

  • 2 Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Tea Bags*
  • 1 1/2 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk (can also use soy, regular milk, etc), divided
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder**
  • 2 T. old fashioned oats
  • 7-9 ice cubes
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract***
  • 1/2 t. xanthan gum (optional, for thickening)
  • pinch of salt
  • stevia (or sugar)to taste

- Heat 1 cup of milk until nearly boiling and add 2 tea bags. Allow tea to steep for as long as desired. I kept the tea in the fridge overnight.

-When tea is fully steeped, remove tea bags and add tea, additional milk, protein powder, oats, ice, vanilla, xanthan gum (if using), salt and stevia (or sugar) in a blender.

-Blend until smooth, thick, and creamy.

- Serve and enjoy!

*I buy this tea at Whole Foods. If you can’t find it, feel free to substitute vanilla chai tea, eggnog tea or even peppermint tea.

**For info on the protein powder I use, see this site.

**To make an eggnog version of this shake, use 1/2 t. rum extract and add 1/2 t. freshly grated nutmeg.