Holidays: celiac, dairy/egg/nut free style!

Happy Thanksgiving!

turkey

My favourite holiday.

Yesterday my mom [dad had to stay home sick], her best friend + family and my best friend + financee joined us for a turkey dinner, making for 10 of us total.

Hosting holiday meals enables me to eat without having to be meticulous/ feasting on only vegetables (If another restaurant offers me salad with oil and vinegar implying that it is a real meal, I will probably loose it on them). I also find cooking cathartic.
[besides the fact that our stupid oven only has one rack]

A delicious turkey dinner really can be prepped in only one hour in the morning, and one hour pre-feast. I would suggest getting up to do all of your prep in the am, then near meal time when you are busy mashing potatoes and making gravy you have little to do.

Our menu this year and how I altered it to be suitable to my dietary needs[everything is approximate as I did not measure]:

Turkey– defrosted two days in advance, I woke around 0730 to prepare the bird for the oven to be ready at 1700. I cleared out it’s guts, and then prepared it’s massage oil: aprox. 1/2 a cup of vegan butter [Costco has a brand containing soy, or earth balance has soy free], about a tbsp of salt, about 1/2 tbsp poultry seasoning, 1 tsp dried parsley, 2 tsp garlic powder, combined.
**Please remember if you are celiac or cooking for a celiac to check the poultry seasoning’s ingredients, all are not the same. The no-name brand at Sobey’s is gluten free. Spices only.**

I threw a chopped up apple (core and all, you won’t be eating it), 4 whole cloves of garlic and a hacked up onion in the cavity of the bird, choosing to cook the stuffing separately for more even cooking [ie; no dry meat-stuffing sucks the moisture out of the meat, and also retains the core temperature low, for longer, causing the outside of the bird to over cook].

Next I sliced a tiny slit to separate the skin from the breast of the bird, and massaged aprox. half of the massage oil into it’s flesh. Then I replaced the skin, and did the same with the entire outside of the bird.

Popped her in the oven at 325 degrees F covered in tin foil, 6 hours and 30 minutes later, all areas were at a perfect 85 degree celsius {I got a fancy new meat thermometer which would beep when approaching perfection- if you don’t have one the correct cooking time for poultry is 15 minutes per pound of fresh or defrosted meat, adding up to 50% the time if frozen. My bird’s core remained slightly frozen still (0 degrees C in the centre, 1 degree near the surface), even 48 hours later taking only 1 extra hour to reach safe eating temperature}. This brought us to 1430 which was too early for dinner so I wrapped the bird in tin foil, and then covered with dish towels to retain the heat-she was still PIPPING hot by dinner time.

bird

I know what you are thinking “Turkeys are so much work! You have to baste, and brine and BLAH BLAH BLAH….”

Nope, I don’t baste. I’ve heard it doesn’t actually make a difference [from food TV and personal experience]. Brining scares me with a 20-something pound bird and keeping correct storage temps so I didn’t do that either. The turkey was moist, and flavourful despite all of this.

Turkey Gravy– A total flop in my opinion. No one complained, but I think they were just being polite. I used the drippings from the bird, and just combined them with a gluten free mix (clubhouse). HUGE mistake.
Traditionally I would use a bit of corn starch, the drippings, garlic, salt, and the good old fashioned bubble until thick method….but I decided not to due to the amount of people at my house and felt I would get distracted from it with visiting and it would be lumpy. Next year, back to old faithful. The mix was gross in my opinion.
** Note: all gluten free gravies will become jello as leftovers due to the corn starch. Just heat it up and it will melt just wonderfully**

Mashed Potatoes– peeling optional (I usually don’t for added vitamin content, but know your audience, I peeled them this time) boil them up until soft, drain, add a huge spoon of vegan butter- I would approximate 1 tbsp for every two potatoes, dried parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper and throw into the kitchen aid mixer until smooth. I made such a huge batch this year I had to do many batches in the mixer-became impatient, and thus some of the taters are lumpy.
Patience. My husband always tells me I have none of that…. whatever that is….

Balsamic Shaved Brussel Sprouts– I bought a few bags of pre shaved brussel sprouts for ease on cooking day, drizzled them in honey garlic balsamic and olive oil and baked at 325F until they were slightly crispy. Meh. I’ll slice my own sprouts next time. These were too fine for baking.

Corn– frozen, boiled, bam!

Roast Carrots– local farm carrots, sliced up (left the skins on, vitamins people!), mixed with EVOO and salt and then spread thinly on an oven tray and baked at 325F for one hour (until the edges are becoming caramelized. Had I not made the turkey so early, I would have thrown these into the turkey pan in the last two hours of roasting for a better flavour.

Stuffing– 1 bag of vegan gluten free bean bread cubes from The Griffin takeaway + 1 half cubed loaf of The Northern Bakehouse bread + aprox. 1/3 cup melted vegan butter, 1 boullion chunk (not all are made equal, Knorr Homestyle Boullion is the only GF one at my grocery store)  +1 cup water, poultry seasoning and garlic to taste, 5 stalks of celery sliced thinly, one apple diced finely, one carrot diced finely and then mixed up with your hands in a big bowl, packed into a pan, covered with tin foil  and baked at 325F for 40 minutes. Next time I would add 1/2 cup more broth water as some bits of bean bread weren’t as soft as I would have liked. Otherwise I think this one was a success.

Cranberries– from a can, good ol’ Ocean’s Spray brand. I was expecting up to 14 guests, and the nostalgia from my childhood makes me prefer these to home made anyways. Maybe one day I’ll make them again… [if you want to: cook up fresh cranberries + white sugar + lemon juice + chia seeds+ only enough water to keep the bottom of the pot wet until it resembles jam. All to taste of course-thanksgiving is about cooking from your soul, not a book. Been there, done that. It tastes good…but nothing beats the gelatinous can-shaped ones. HA!]

Rolls– Gluten-full from the grocery store [which no one ate, so I will just skip next time and be 100% GF], and gluten free from The Northern Bakehouse brand.

Sparkling Juice and Cranberry Gingerale provided by our guests [most of whom don’t drink alcohol]

Vegan Pumpkin Pie and Spiced Whip Topping [ordered from The Griffin Takeaway; an amazing gluten free bakery in Saskatoon, and brought by some of our guests] + Vegan Ice-cream by So Delicious brand (and regular vanilla for non-dairy free guests)

prep

***Take caution, The Griffen Takeaway is NOT nut free, but they take allergies and cross contamination seriously. I have never had any reactions ordering their food. Buy at your own risk…. But also…:) Live a little. ***

Happy Thanksgiving Friends!

I am thankful for: a job which challenges me, a supportive family, my loving husband, the oodles of caring supportive wonderful friends in my life, and you sweet sweet blog readers! 

 

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GF Vegan Blueberry Pancakes

Gluten Free, Vegan Blueberry Pancakes

Have a house guest coming with a ton of allergies? Have allergies yourself? Never fear, brunch is here!

PANCAKES

I don’t know about you, but brunch is my favourite meal. When I learned I could no longer tolerate eggs I was devastated thinking I would never enjoy breakfast or brunch again. Okay, I am perhaps being a little dramatic, but really-I used to eat eggs on a daily basis! It has taken me about 6 months to finally produce the PERFECT fluffy butter-milk-style pancakes which are free of gluten, egg, and dairy. There was MUCH trial and error. I can’t even tell you how many pinterest recipes I tried that were just A BIT off. Finally, I just had to take it into my own hands. These will fool even the most gluteny eaters-ask my husband who thought he hated pancakes before these!

Makes aprox. 8 large pancakes.

2 cups Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour (this is essential-must I tell you my woah’s about gluten free flour trial and error?!)

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup oil (I used half coconut half canola as I was running out of coconut)

1/4 cup icing sugar (I was out of regular, and this ended up being GENIUS)

2 chia eggs (1 tbsp chia seed + 2 tbsp water, let sit for 5 minutes = 1 egg)

1 1/2 cup coconut milk (or any other milk or non-dairy milk)

1 quart fresh blueberries (or chocolate chips, or bananas, really anything, go to town!)

Whisk or blend everything together except the fresh berries. Put a non-stick pan on stove at medium-high heat until hot. A hot pan is essential to golden pancakes. Use whatever oil/butter/etc. you like to grease the pan. I used about 1 tsp canola oil. For each pancake use aprox. 1/3 cup (I used a partially empty 1/2 cup measuring cup to scoop the batter) to pour the batter into the hot pan. I fit two side by side in my pan. Push fresh blueberries into the surface of the pancake which will be starting to get firm around the edges. Once the pancake starts to bubble, flip it over and cook for another 2 minutes. Store in oven at 190 degrees while making the rest of the batch. Eat! If you aren’t going to eat them all, these store beautifully. I pack two to a freezer bag and smack ’em in the freezer for easy microwaving or toasting later! 🙂 Serve with back bacon, sausage, hash browns and fruit for the best darn brunch an allergic kid could ask for!

Race Jitters!

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Well, time is beginning to escape me! ONLY ELEVEN DAYS until the first half marathon of the season. I have one more long run and the a week of rest. My long run last week went exceptionally well thanks to some fantastic friends. I had one friend join me for the first 10km, and the second friend joined in at about 7km for 6km which brought me up to 13km total with friends. I was then on my own to run home after dropping off friend #2 at her car. My watch malfunctioned for about 1.5-2km, so I ended up running somewhere between 17.25 and 17.75 km total. I felt great through the entire run, and I think I have finally mastered fueling! This was an afternoon run, so I was able to sleep in a bit and then I enjoyed some delicious Coach’s Oats- Oh She Glows Cookbook Apple Pie style!=) [I loveeeeee cooked apple dishes since I am allergic to raw ones.] If you haven’t tried Coach’s Oats, DO IT. I found them at costco and they aren’t rolled oats (no gluten)…rather unprocessed oats! Healthier and they cook in just a few more minutes!

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I ate these about 3-4 hours before the run topped with drippy almond butter, maple syrup, shredded coconut and sunflower seeds on top! YUM. I drank 2 litres of water + 1.5 Nuun tablets before the run. As for mid-run fueling, I took a package of watermelon Gu gummies. I also brought some shot blocks just in case but didn’t use them. I drank nuun from the camelback whenever I was thirsty (750ml H20 + 2 Nuun tabs) and started eating gummies at 4.6km. By 15km I had run out of water, but I was close enough to home that it was okay, and I had eaten all my gummies. Zero stomach yuck during or after the run! Sucess! My body felt tired, but no aches or pains. The next couple days I did have some back pain, but I think this is due to my lack of abs and could be easily cured with a massage! Anyways, long winded……I am excited to conquer the first race of the year!

Today I am working a night shift, so I am spending the day making sushi, watching HGTV (the hubbie got suckered into buying cable for 6 months *roll eyes*) and meal planning while waiting for G to get home from his first day at his new job!=)

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I’ve planned our meals for up until race day! Yay!! Trying to plan in some indulgences so that I dont go crazy and eat fast food or something right before the race- healthIER indulgences. 

I go on vacation starting tomorrow morning, so I will be home every day to make food, stretch and do some easy runs. Grocery day is always friday, so I have a ton of freezer stuff to use before then.

Here’s the plan:

Friday- Pad Thai

Saturday- Spaghettie Squash with ground turkey + mushrooms + peppers

Sunday- Marinated Steak (Ive been promising G for weeks) + Strawberry Spinach Salad + Baked Potatoes

Monday- Leftovers + Potato Omelet Breakfast Bites (pinterest) for breakfasts + One Bowl Vegan Chocolate Cake

Tuesday- Vegan Cheesy Alfredo + GF noodles + Zuchinni

Wednesday- Homemade chicken fingers (crushed rice cereal and spices) + Homemade yam fries + corn

Its all on the up and up from here!! I can’t wait to run this race/prepare for this race as well as watch my husband earn his first half-marathon medal + one of my besties, Grey Robin, earns her first full-marathon medal!

 

A Day In My Life: Off Day Eats

One of the questions I am most frequently asked is: What/where do you eat being allergic to so many things?! (Gluten, Dairy, Air-born Peanuts, Shellfish, Raw Peaches, Raw Cherries, Raw Apples, Walnuts)

Well…here you have it folks! A day off- Saturday- which tend to be much less structered than a work day (I will do another on this later). On a ‘good day’, I tend to eat small meals every 3-5 hours rather than 3 large meals, I drink about 3-4 litres of water per day, and I aim to get around 68 grams of protein (0.8g x weight in kg = g of protein to eat per day). Saturdays tend to be a bit more relaxed and I don’t always eat the healthiest….

Wake Up 10am (I slept for 11 hours! I was exhausted!): Juice 2 small grapefruits + 2 carrots + 1 small beet. Out of ginger today. I also take my supplements: B6, multivitamin, rhodiola, a probiotic, and inositol(mixed in my water). Set out some pork chops to defrost for supper.

photo-257

Putz around the house tidying up, checking email, etc.

Hubbie finally wakes up 11:45am: We head to Broadway Cafe, a nearby eatery, for brunch. Love this place. It has a 50’s Diner feel- checkered floors, Elvis everything, classic diner food, etc. Portions are HUGE. While it is risky buisness eating here due to possible cross-contamination and open peanut butter at times, I am comfortable taking the risk. I have never had a problem. I bring my epipen, and keep an eye out for peanut butter near me. My husband and I are always prepared to have our food switched to take out if necessary to avoid peanuts! I ordered a vegetarian omlette with no cheese; which comes with hashbrowns, and they cook in oil instead of butter for me, and a side of bacon with orange juice. I ate half and packed up the other half. 27 g protein for half of this.photo-258

On the way home 12:30pm: We walk down the street from the resturant to pick up a Tall soy vanilla latte at Starbucks. Forgot a picture. I don’t like coffee without milk and the retaurant didn’t have a non-dairy option. It is a bitter -26,C -38C with the windchill, enough to make me decide to do my speed work on the treadmill tonight (-20C is my ‘must go outside’ cutoff).  7g Protein.

Spent the afternoon watching Call The Midwife, chatting with my Mom (who’s in hospital recovering from surgery), ordering some Ugg boots, and generally relaxing. So nice to have a day home with my hubbie after the busy holiday season.

4:30pm: Typically would have another snack or meal by now, but I still feel stuffed from all the protein I ate with breakfast.

5:30pm Run time…husband is quicker than me and hops on….I calculate some training paces. Then it is my turn. Speed work day. 10 minute warm up + 1km at race pace + 2 min jog + 1km at race pace + 10 minute cool down….37 minutes total. Shower and dinner prep after.

7:40pm: Ate about 10 grapes while waiting for the pork chops to bake.

8 pm supper: Starving by this point. So starving I forget a picture of the food. Dinner is a baked pork chop (seasoned with epicure cajun seasoning and salt) + homemade apple sauce from the freezer from the winter (sugar free) + salad + french green beans. I end it with a cup of tea and a few Enjoy Life chocolate chips. (dairy and peanut free) 17 g protein.photo-259

Time to watch Ocean’s 11 with the hubster, then probably a little reading and bed!

Protein total for the day: 52 grams…a little low, but didn’t effect my hunger levels.