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.

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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)

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***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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Gluten/Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Well… after aprox. 8 months living gluten-free, I have finally done what I thought was impossible. I made chocolate chip cookies with utterly PERFECT crispy edges and chewy centers. You’d never know they were gluten free! I think this means I can finally say I have mastered learned to bake on this GF diet! Bad for my waist line….good for my gluten-free soul. =)

I used a combination of a few different recipes I found on pinterest, and compliled this lovely recipe.

These cookies spread out A LOT, I warn you. Don’t bake more than 6 per cookie sheet. Each and every one is about the size of my hand….but that’s the way they should be. Right? =)

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WIth my cookies by my side…and the brutally cold temps outside, I have had a terrible time running. Only 1 run in two weeks. Eep! Back at her on the treadmill tonight; and we all know I will be slower than turtles tromping through peanut butter with my belly FULL of cookies. No self control. =)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Made 22 hand-sized cookies

Based on this recipe: http://recreatinghappiness.com/dessert-recipes/classic-gluten-free-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe/

2 cups Bob Red Mill’s Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp corn starch

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup vegan margarine

3/4 cup cane sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

2 large eggs

1 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chunks (or any chocolate chips you like)

Dump everything in a mixer (except chocolate chips) and blend until fluffy. Add in chocolate chips.

On a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet, drop by tbsp full onto baking sheet.

Bake at 375 for 13 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

Cool for 10 minutes on pan before moving to cooling rack.

Devour.

Wheeze

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This week has been full of highs and lows. Above…I tried to get a picture of the icesicles on our eyelashes at the end of the run today, but it didn’t exactly capture them. It is back to -20ish C….and I could cry. I was on fire with running, and with the weather and going back to my old job this week I didn’t end up getting out for even ONE run until today.

Instead of dwelling on the past…Im just skipping the missed week and carrying on with the half marathon plan. Week 6! 

In other exciting news, I got a spot at the Vancouver Sea Wheeze Half Marathon hosted by lululemon. I am beyond excited as this is supposed to be one of the best races in canada (that says a lot seeing as it is only 3 years old this year!) Unfortunately I don’t have a run buddy going, but my husband will join me as my cheer squad and MAYBE my parents. If they can. The race sold out in 26 minutes this year….all TEN THOUSAND spots. Crazy right? I know I won’t be running alone….I can’t wait! I LOVE Vancouver.

Pray for Grey Robin as she battles though a crappy foot injury this week! She is so far in her full marathon training-this is heart breaking! Reminds me to be extra diligent with foam rolling/stretching….and to get started on some strength training. I know all too well how heart-breaking these injuries can be mid-training. 

Less than 3 months until the Gopher Attack Half Marathon!! (and spring!)

Faux-Spring

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This week has been incredible run-wise. The weather has been A-MA-ZING. As in….it is no longer in the -40C’s. As in… today was +4C. Hallelujah. I am not naiive enough to believe this will last, but I am taking full advantage as long as I possibly can!=) I wore capri’s and Tom’s today to suck in the warmth. I even got a frapp at starbucks rather than a hot beverage! Needless to say, I am quite enjoying my mid-winter weather vacation. 

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Here is what I have to accomplish this week:

35-45 min. easy run

10 min. warm up + 2 x 1km @ half marathon goal pace with 2 min. jog + 10 min. cool down

45 min. easy run

9 km long slow run

Ps. The sunset today was amazing. We really do live in ‘the land of the living skies

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.

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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.

Grey Skies

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Last week, I used the ‘Its my Birthday’ excuse and barely ran. After my fab 7.2 on monday, I only went for one walk and did some stretching. I have been feeling pretty unmotivated this week. I missed the only BEAUTIFUL (-1C) day working….so Ive been stuck with dreary, grey, cold days.

This week I MUST get back on track. I need to be fit a fab to start marathon training on new years day, that will give me a couple extra weeks to allow for any set-backs that may occur before the race in April.

Yesterday I had my car in the shop to have a new window put in (some jerk smashed it in while I worked). Being without transportation for the day ended up being a really good thing as I had to go on foot to do my errands. I walked somewhere around 5km and did some stretching at home.

For runs this week, here is what I have to accomplish by Sunday:

7.2km @ a comfortable pace

4.8km @ race pace (7 minute kilometers)

8km @ a comfortable pace

40-45 easy run (I am going to call my walking day my easy run due to lack of days left in the week)

I will be proud to have these runs accomplished by the end of the week. Its going to be busy: My best friend is in town, my parents/brother are coming to town, and sunday morning we leave to visit the in-laws. Busy busy.

I am BEYOND excited to share that my husband has signed up for his FIRST half marathon!!! YAYYYY!!! I think he was inspired by doing so well at the Santa Shuffle, and his ‘tuxedo’ sweats he recently bought (he tells me they are so nice he could wear them to tuxedo events).

Off to juice, and see my BEST FRIEND for the first time in a month!!!! YAHOOOOOOOO!!! [Did I mention I am off for 11 days? On the up and up!]

 

 

Juice Flurry

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Week one was a great week of runs. With the first week of real COLD weather (one day was -26 C), I was glad to have just finished. The above picture was taken on that really cold day- It is a great reminder of why I run. It was a miserable temperature, but once the adrenaline hit, and I warmed up a bit I was able to just enjoy the gorgeous winter views. Seriously, this city is gorgeous. My runs all had slow paces this week which I blame on the weather and layers of clothes, goal for week two is to get back to my normal pace.

Week Two:

5 min warm up + 4.8 km at a comfortable pace + 5 min cool down

Cross train for 45 minutes

4.8km at 10km race pace

5 min warm up + 5.6km at a comfortable pace + 5 min cool down

35-40 minute easy run

Next race is The Salvation Army’s Santa Shuffle, December 7th. It is just a 5km race, so my plan is to really push myself and try to set a new 5km PR. *Fingers crossed*

 

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Since having a cold float through our home for almost two weeks (2 days for me, a week ish for my hubster), I have been juicing a TON. Grey Robin, one of my best girlfriends suggested juicing when my turn with the cold came around. I followed her advice and juiced grapefruit + beet + carrot + ginger, plus supplemented with echinachea + zinc + oregano oil and felt better by the next day. My hubbie refused, and suffered for a week before trying it…he felt better the next day too! Miracle cure? Since then, I have been attached at the hip to my juicer. For two, almost three weeks now I have been juicing anywhere from 5 times a week to twice daily! LOVE.

 

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Though I have been resisting the Christmas itch around here (can’t get excited until after my birthday, December 12), I was definately excited to find some vegan egg nog today! I seriously LOVE lattes, baking, and breakfasts made with nog instead of milk through the winter months. I can not WAIT to try this!

 

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Loving that cold weather calls for more nights IN with the hubbie, warm scarves, knit blankets and makeup-free days. Off to watch Happy Endings on Netflix-anyone seen it? I have only watched the pilot so far. So far, so good.

Happy Running!