Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Recipe Round-Up

I think I've mentioned here how we're doing a food experiment, right? We're basically gluten-free but more, with a vegan twist. We're not big meat-eaters--did you just read that vegan thing? so we can't exactly be "Paleo". See, we were vegan for years but something wasn't working. Basically we were lazy and ate too much processed food. I've suspected my husband to have a wheat sensitivity for awhile now, plus I was having some weird inflammation in my joints, so we decided to cut out grains and legumes for awhile. We put processed foods on the Not To Eat list too, in hopes that would help whatever was bugging my system.

So what does that leave? Not much! Basically vegetables and fruit and nuts. I get tired of salad in a big hurry, so I started searching. I read tons of Paleo blogs for ideas and for their side dishes, you know, beside their organic grass-fed pasture-raised beef steaks. But you know what? I found a bunch of amazing meal ideas!

As far as our journey goes, we've been adding back some gluten-free organic, non-GMO grains and trying to eat them minimally. For instance, we'll have rice with one meal one day and oatmeal for breakfast the next. There's also amaranth and barley and teff and so many others! We do eat eggs but try to keep it to every-other day. We will eat home-cooked beans about once a week and eat white potatoes about twice a month.

I want to confess something before I actually tell you our experience with these amazing recipes pictured. I was addicted to pasta. Seriously. Those fast, easy carbs. And we ate tons of bread and faux meat, like textured vegetable protein (tvp). I've learned that all of the above do not work for us! At least not in the regular recipe rotation. At first I really really missed pasta, so we'd have zucchini spirals or organic corn pasta (it's non-GMO) and it would help the craving. But now I can honestly say I don't miss it! The weird swelling is gone and both my husband and I have lost weight without trying much. As in, we're eating regular meals until we're full. I'm not exercising (bad, I know!) and still slowly but surely losing. He is running but has broken through a nearly two-month weight-loss plateau.

Basically, we try to keep our meals as fresh and vegetable-based as possible. We eat lots of salad, but we also eat all of these amazing dishes pictured! They are all tried-and-true by us, and will be regulars in our diet.

The first one--scroll way up for the link, sorry--is Cauliflower Faux-lafels. Seriously delicious! It's on the menu for this evening with tabbouleh and tahini hummus with veggie sticks. 

The next one is Coconut Curry Soup. Amazing! I had green curry paste instead of red and we left out the tofu because we didn't have any. It would be amazing with chicken if you eat it, but we loved it as-is. It's not a cheap recipe as it calls for two cans of coconut milk plus the store-bought paste, but it's satisfying and will feed a large family.

The Butternut Squash Soup above is one that's requested by my in-laws who before "didn't like" butternut squash soup. So glad they've seen the creamy delicious light! (I roast the squash ahead of time--just stick the whole squash with the skin and everything in a 400-degree oven for an hour, let it cool, then skin it and scoop out the seeds. Makes the soup part faster.)

The last one above is Cauliflower Fried Rice. It's amazing what cauliflower can do! This is an easy one-dish meal that we've been eating for supper. The recipe calls for chicken but we leave it out. We use a store-bought medley of veggies from the freezer section to make this super fast. Very yummy!

The Mashed Cauliflower (above) and the Mexican Cauliflower "Rice" below are more examples of the flexibility of cauliflower. Both are great side dishes.

This Wild Rice Dressing is a party in your mouth. Seriously, I loved this recipe!

There's a Sweet Potato Patty inside this yummy-looking burger. We ate the patties with a side or two, not as burgers and they were so good! I remember them taking a little while to cook--several steps involved. I used egg instead of tofu and that made them a little hard to handle, but once cooked they were great!

This Asian Cabbage Salad is another one-dish meal. Super tasty.

I'm not a huge fan of egg salad, but this one was good. It has celery for some crunch and avocado instead of mayo. I left out the onion because I'm allergic a big baby and don't like raw onions.

This Roasted Cabbage was perfect. I thought I'd hate the caraway, but it made the recipe. If you can call it that--cabbage + oil + caraway + salt.

If you're not sticking your cauliflower in the food processor to morph it into "rice" or "potatoes", this is a great way to enjoy it!

While I've been trying to eat more veggies, I'm also trying to eat less fruit. Seems weird, I know, but it's all in the name of blood sugar stability. Fruit can be processed like easy carbs if you over-do it, so I keep it to one or two a day. Seriously.

I've learned though that this oatmeal, almond, banana smoothie for supper, of all things, is super-filling and satisfying. It's really thick and creamy, like a frosty from Wendy's. Love it!

We eat pancakes on Sunday mornings and we're still looking for a good gluten-free pancake. I've tried three or four coconut flour recipes and kind of like them. The ones below are Lemon Blueberry Pancakes. They're probably my favorite, but I find these too egg-y. I'd rather just have fried eggs than add a banana and some coconut flour and call it a pancake. Maybe it's just me.

Gary really liked these Coconut Flour Pancakes below. I ate them but didn't race out to make more.

I might try these Almond Flour Pancakes this week. Or I might try an Oatmeal Nut Pancake recipe that's in a cookbook of mine. We'll see.

Another benefit of eating so healthfully is that my cravings for sweets has really diminished. We'll sometimes have those nut-and-dried-fruit balls when cravings do hit. I also tried these Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies. Actually, I tried the recipe someone got from someone else who got it from this source and they were so so dry and crumbly! Turns out the copied recipe had way less honey than the original calls for. So here's the original.

So there you have it. A round-up of our latest favorite recipes and hopefully some information on WHY we're eating/not eating the way we are. Please let me know in the comments if you're still confused or if you want more information. Either way, we both know you're supposed to be eating more veggies too, so hopefully you can try some of the recipes I mentioned! I'd love to know what you try and how it goes!

Happy cooking!

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