Monday, June 23, 2014

Broccoli, Cauliflower & BACON Salad

Because everything is better with bacon. Right? And as long as it is called a salad, it's healthy. Right? Well, maybe not. But it's okay to pretend for a minute. After all, vegetables are a food group and....bacon is a food group. Oh hey! Cheese is in the dairy food group. So far I'm doing rather swell. :)

This is my entire family's most requested salad. Weird, actually. But it's okay that they want it because then I get to enjoy it more often as well. This salad is simple to make and the sweet dressing really makes it so tasty! Broccoli and cauliflower are my two least favorite vegetables, but I could eat them in rather large amounts in this salad. I have seen many variations of this salad on the internet and at pot luck dinners.  I like this simple version because...well, we are simple folk around here. The vegetables are still crunchy, the bacon is crisp, and the parmesan cheese just adds that amazing flavor. Now I'm hungry for another bowl!

Whip yourself up a batch. I promise you won't be sorry!

Broccoli, Cauliflower & Bacon Salad
Recipe from my momma

1 head cauliflower, diced
3 to 4 bunches broccoli, diced
1 red onion, diced (I don't add this. My family rebels)
1/2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
12 oz parmesan cheese

1 c mayo
3/4 cup sugar
4 Tbs vinegar

Combine veggies. Prepare dressing by combining the salad dressing, sugar and vinegar.  Just before serving, add the dressing, bacon and cheese.  So very good!

I hope you all enjoy this salad recipe as much as we do. I usually make at least a double recipe since this is the ONE salad recipe my entire family loves!

Happy Cooking

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Is your heart happy?

This flower makes my heart happy....

So rustic. So random. Not a single petal like another. I just love it! Summer and flower gardens are my favorite!


Monday, June 9, 2014

Just because....

I have seen so many people posting on Instagram and Facebook... 100 Days of Happy. I try hard to see the best in each day but I think we all have our bad days. I believe that positive thinking heals the heart and I think it's necessary to be healthy and happy.  There are many things that make me happy, but this time of year, I just love my flowers.  My bleeding hearts are one of my favorites, however, I don't think they love me much. I have 3 plants... 1 wants to die, 1 is indecisive, and the other is hanging in there for now and not doing too bad.  My Grandma Kay always had beautiful bleeding hearts at the front of her house and I always loved them.  I was out taking pictures of flowers the other day. I just love the beauty of nature.

:) Teauna

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Going Gluten Free....

Over the years I have had a myriad of unexplainable health issues. First it was my kidneys, then my pancreas, and then, the dealbreaker... my heart.  Of course through all these illnesses, I've had a million blood tests done, ultrasounds, X-Rays, MRI's, EKG's, and I wore a heart monitor for a couple months.  It's been so frustrating because no matter what the doctors have done, there has never been a clear answer.  Now let me be clear. I'm not blaming my doctors for anything.  I completely understand that I am a mystery. And if I were them, I wouldn't have a clue where to start either. I think at times, it's simply easier to just write out a prescription and hope that it helps. Well... my body has a problem with prescriptions and seems to, for whatever reason, reject them or react to them. The worst side effects and reaction were with my heart meds. Oh my word. Talk about feeling like crap. 
In an effort to put off getting a pacemaker at age 33, I was given a couple different medications as an attempt to regulate my out-of-this-world heartbeat. Well, the doses were tweaked several times over a 3 month period, and still nothing better. There were days I would walk down the stairs and not be able to find the energy or strength to walk back up the stairs for an hour or so.  It got old. A mere eighteen months prior to my heart issues, I was at my lowest weight since high school, I was exercising and running regularly and feeling amazing!  I can tell you that stress is part of the problem.  But, there's an underlying problem. One that no one can seem to explain or figure out.  Pains that feel like my insides are coming out my toes, headaches, freezing body tremors, water retention, kidney pain, massive heartburn, lack of energy, and of course, a heart that races faster than Secretariat.

In an effort to figure it out once and for all, I decided to keep track of my food intake. I kept a food journal for only one week before noticing an obvious pattern. Every single time I ingested any sort of wheat product was when the symptoms would be stronger. My heartburn would bring me tears and I would have to use an electric heating pad to warm up after taking a pure hot water bath.  I'm no doctor, but I figured that it wouldn't hurt to cut wheat out of my diet for a few days and see if I were able to notice a difference.

Honestly... I have never even thought about what foods contain wheat.  I've always just cooked and baked and enjoyed it. Well, my my. How my life has changed. People, let me tell you now. Pretty much everything I enjoy eating contains wheat. Sad. Really sad. 

At this point I started to research more on a gluten free diet.  Now in the past I have researched and even made small attempts at a Paleo lifestyle.  It's too extreme for me.  If I don't have to go that far for health reasons, I won't.  Gluten free is a big enough challenge for me and I need to take this one step at a time.  Of course there is always conflicting information from person to person or better yet... website to website. But for the most part, this is what I've come to the conclusion that a person is allowed when on a gluten free diet.

*Vegetables.... lots of them. Not so much corn, carrots, and potatoes for their high starch content. Any root vegetables contain more starch.  So it's mainly the green stuff such as lettuce, cucumbers, spinach, celery, peppers, zucchini, etc. 
*Fruits... a couple servings a day. Especially if you're wanting to lose weight, keep your fruit intake to just a couple servings a day. Although they're packed with good stuff, they also contain more sugar. This is a touchy subject and it's hard for me to understand. But I'll listen. for now:)
*Meat.. the leaner the better, of course. Chicken, Lean beef, venison, etc. If you eat processed lunch meats, make sure they aren't sweetened, they are just roasted.
*Nuts... raw, the less salt the better. Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts, Cashews, Peanuts... Nut Butters. I can't survive without them.
*Dairy... unless you are lactose intolerant. (as little processing as possible...ex. plain greek yogurt, full fat cheese, etc)
I haven't consumed many dairy products besides cheese for years, as they just tend to give me a nasty bellyache.  I have become accustomed to drinking Almond/Coconut milk.  Of course, I use it on cereal on occasion and drink it in my chai tea, but that's about it.  I was raised on raw cows milk straight from the cow:) I've come to the conclusion, I need to invest in a milk cow. I wish I liked goats milk, as they're cheaper to feed.
*Oils... healthy oils. Coconut oils, Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), Avocado Oil, Grapeseed Oil. I have read that vegetable and canola oils both are much more processed, so to avoid them if at all possible. I, for one, really like coconut oil.  I love that it has so many uses and that it is such a healthy oil. I do use EVOO to cook for my family, as they're not real into the coconut flavor.
*Avocados, olives, and other healthy oils are to be enjoyed in moderation.

When I look at it like this, it seems there is so much more that I can eat, but its certainly an adjustment.  It has been so well worth the challenge tho. I feel so much better for the most part.  As my mom says, you can't expect to feel better overnight as you've taken 34 years to pack all that crap in your body.  I am still learning and I'm reading  labels all the time. It is all about changing your lifestyle.  And after living nearly 35 years eating one way, it's a bit tough to just "switch over". Now, I think the theory that "healthy eating is more expensive" is pretty true. But, oh well.

I need to be clear on one thing.  My family still expects all 'normal' foods on the table. So, no worries, I'll still be sharing recipes that aren't gluten free. I'll continue baking and throwing a couple casseroles in the oven here and there.  I don't know that the convenience of canned condensed soups will ever be completely absent in my pantry.  However, I'm doing my best to not use them unless it's a time emergency.

I ask any of you that are regular Gluten Free Lifestylers, please offer any sort of advice or insight that you may have on this subject. I love to hear how others are coping and what helps them handle the switch....

I'm looking forward to sharing my continuing journey with you all..

Happy Cooking,


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Gluten Free Pizza

I'm still new at this whole gluten free thing. ...I want REAL food.  Is that not normal?  For a girl like me that bakes like a mad woman. .. it feels like my world had been turned upside down.  But I'm trying. ... Hard... just to keep some normalcy in my life.  So today I tried my hand at pizza.  Luckily I like a thinner crust on a pizza anyway.  I thought it had good flavor and surprisingly. .. my kids ate it and loved it! !
*1 c brown rice flour
*1 c white rice flour
*1 c tapioca flour
*1/2 tsp xanthan gum
*1 tsp sea salt
*1/2 tsp baking powder
*1 1/4 cup warm water
*1 Tbsp yeast
*3 Tbsp sugar (I used coconut sugar)
*1 Tbsp olive oil
Let set for a few minutes. Make a well in the dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients to the well and mix with a silicone spatula. Once mixed well, pat out dough on a greased pizza pan. You could also use a cookie sheet. My pizza was 14". Pat out on the pan of your choice until its about 1/4" thick. Bake the crust in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Take out and add your favorite toppings... by the way... it's going to look all cracked. Its okay! :) after adding toppings, bake another 20 minutes. Eat and enjoy!! Loved this pizza!! Gluten free is finally getting easier!:)
♡ p.s. this is posted from my phone so please excuse the photo:)
Happy Cooking!