Thursday, March 31, 2011

Soothing Red Lentil Soup

 I found this recipe on The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen, a blog overflowing with gluten free recipes. I highly recommend visiting this blog if you struggle with a wheat intolerance/allergy or Celiac disease. The authors are extremely knowledgeable and have packed it with oodles of information and resources. I also discovered a number of wonderful recipes that fit in with the Candida diet. Others need to be modified somewhat, but the site has definitely inspired me to think outside the box.  Anyway, here is the recipe (please note: my comments are italicized).

Soothing Red Lentil Soup
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed (or more)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons mild curry powder
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 8 cups water or veggie stock (or a mixture of both)
  • 3 to 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cups thinly sliced chard (or kale, spinach, collards)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Herbamare or sea salt
Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot (8-quart). Add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and curry powder and saute a minute or so more.

Add the red lentils and water or stock. I like to prep the carrots at this point. It's just nice to get the lentils cooking first to save time. Then add the carrots, cover the pot, and simmer for about an hour total (start time after adding liquid and lentils).

I recommend using all veggie stock instead of water.  The first time I made this soup I mixed stock and water and it was very bland.  I also used the minimum amount of the spices.  The second time around, I used all veggie stock and the maximum amount of spices.  I also doubled the amount of carrots and found it was much more flavorful.

Turn off heat, add greens, lemon, and salt. Stir it all together and let it rest for about five minutes for the greens to soften.

Be sure to strip the leafy part of the kale off the stalk. I didn't know to do
this the first time and our soup was rather crunchy :)

Dinner is served!!

Breakthrough Buckwheat Breakfast!!

Ok, maybe breakthrough is a bit of an exaggeration, but I have discovered a new breakfast option I’m excited to share. I found this Creamy Buckwheat Cereal at Whole Foods and thought it would be a great alternative to oatmeal.

I fixed it with butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, Stevia and coconut milk. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? Well, it really wasn’t and I was disappointed. I let the cereal sit in the cupboard for a week and thought about what else I could do with it. I had my breakthrough this afternoon as I was making Bri’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The peanut butter smelled sooo good and I did a bad thing…I cheated on my diet. I ate a whole, heaping spoonful of peanut butter (peanuts are not allowed because they usually have mold on them. Not helpful when on an antifungal diet). So then I did another bad thing…I fixed a bowl of creamy buckwheat cereal and mixed in another heaping spoonful of peanut butter and some Stevia. WOW and YUM!!! It tasted like I was eating a peanut butter cookie. So, I figure if I use cashew or almond butter instead of peanut butter, it will still be super yummy and kosher for the diet. Here's what you need:

  • ¼ cup of Creamy Buckwheat Cereal
  • ¾ cup of coconut milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 large spoonful of cashew/almond butter
  • Sprinkle of Stevia
Mix well and enjoy!

Buckwheat Pancakes

Pancakes + butter + warm maple syrup =heaven! I adore carbs. Upon beginning my Candida diet, I mourned the loss of fluffy pancakes drenched in butter and saturated in real maple syrup. Not only did I miss the taste, I missed the satisfying, filling feeling that came over me after having consumed said pancakes. I was HUNGRY!! Meat and veggies just weren’t cutting it. So, I began researching alternate grains which would still permit me to eat carbs/grains without the side effects of traditional wheat and white flour. Enter buckwheat flour! I don’t remember how I discovered it, but I’m so happy I did. Buckwheat flour is gluten free and is an excellent source of nutrients. It yields pancakes which create a nourishing, filling breakfast. It took me awhile to adjust to the taste and texture, but these have become one of my favorite meals.

Buckwheat Pancakes

  • 2/3 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup water or coconut milk (unsweetened)
Mix all ingredients together. Add more or less water to batter to reach desired consistency and cook as you would normal pancakes.

I topped these with maple syrup for Bri and she ate 'em up!

Tip: Since these pancakes are dense and don’t absorb toppings like regular pancakes do, I thin out my batter so my pancakes aren’t very thick. I top mine with butter and serve immediately.

**Those with Candida react to foods differently. These recipes are based upon my reactions to food and should be altered to fit your unique dietary needs.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Minestrone Soup - Candida Style!

I’ve decided to start a blog posting recipes that fit in with my Candida diet. Most people have never heard of Candida, so here is a definition in a nutshell. Anyway, when I first realized I had Candida, it required a complete change in the way I ate. No more starches , processed foods, no sugar in ANY FORM, etc. It is easier to list what I can eat than what I can’t eat. Basically I can consume meat, veggies and some complex carbohydrates like rice and barley. I can also eat grains no one has ever heard of like buckwheat, amaranth, and the like. I was seriously depressed for quite some time because I was hungry and had no idea what to make that I could actually eat. But with the help of my Mom, my sweet friend Carmen, and lots of experimenting, I have a pretty broad range of recipes to choose from. So in case anyone else with Candida ever stumbles across my blog, maybe they can benefit from some of the recipes I’ve collected.

So all that to say, I threw this soup together last week when we all wanted something warm, satisfying and comforting. It turned out delicious! All of the ingredients are Candida friendly except the potatoes. Those can easily be eliminated and the soup is still tasty and, most importantly, FILLING!

  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can Italian diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup rice or barley
  • ½ cup lentils
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 lb. sautéed sausage
  • 2 tsp. thyme
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Simmer all ingredients until veggies, rice and lentils are soft. Enjoy!!