Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Maple Raspberry Overnight Oats Yeast Free!

This week on the blog I am featuring another recipe from The Pretty Dish by Jessica Merchant.  Even if you have tried overnight oats before that were lackluster, I'm here to tell you that the Maple Raspberry Overnight Oats are fabulous!  I only had to make a few changes in the recipe to make them follow the Candida diet, and the flavor was not compromised at all.  The dish itself takes very little time to make the night before.  Then the next morning while your coffee is brewing or with your first cup, you can finish the oats in no time.

First of all, I made them with raspberries, but you can substitute strawberries or blackberries.  I used steel cut oatmeal instead of old-fashioned oats.  I substituted Truvia brown sugar blend for the maple syrup.  (I know that is the sad part.)  I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk for this recipe.


1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (I used Bob's Red Mill Steel Cut Oats.)
1 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1-1/2 tablespoons maple syrup, plus extra for drizzling (I used 3/4 tablespoon of Truvia brown sugar  blend, plus a little extra.)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups fresh raspberries, divided
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds


1.  The night before, in a bowl, stir together the oats, milk, 1/2 tablespoon of Truvia brown sugar blend, the chia seeds, and vanilla until combined.  Put it in the refrigerator until morning.

2.  In the morning, mash the 1-3/4 cups of raspberries with the remaining 1/4 tablespoon of Truvia brown sugar blend.  Be sure to taste the raspberry mixture.  If you feel it needs more brown sugar, feel free to add more. (Note:  Keep a few whole raspberries to place on top.)  Divide the mashed raspberries between two glasses.

3. Next, scoop the overnight oats into both glasses on top of the mashed raspberries.  If you'd like an even creamier consistency, you can add a splash of milk here.  (Note:  I did this because the steel cut oats really soak up the almond milk overnight.)

4.  Add the whole raspberries, some almonds on top, and a little more Truvia brown sugar, if desired.  It is ready to be served!

Maple Raspberry Overnight Oats with Jake Stanley!

Didn't they turn out beautiful?  I loved them.  I had one for breakfast that morning, and put the other in the refrigerator with plastic wrap on top for the next morning.  It was still perfect the next day!!  The steel cut oats lend a granola-type consistency similar to grape nuts.  I really liked it, plus it is so healthy.  They would be a perfect addition to a brunch, too.

You may have noticed a little guy in my picture with the cookbook and the overnight oats.  That is Jake Stanley, also known as Flat Stanley.  Jake Stanley has been visiting me this week from Wisconsin.  He was so helpful in the kitchen when I was making the oats!  Thanks, Jake!  We have gone on other adventures this week in Orlando.  I hope he has enjoyed his time with me, and much as I have with him. The real Jake will be visiting me in July, so it will be a lot of fun to talk about the project then!

I hope you will try the overnight oats. Feel free to send me a photo.


Jake Stanley on a walk with Milo!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Zucchini Bread Pancakes the Yeast Free Way!

I'm continuing my series of recipes from the outstanding cookbook, The Pretty Dish, by Jessica Merchant.  Everything I have made from the cookbook has been delicious, even with the yeast free substitutions.  The zucchini bread pancakes are no exception.  They are scrumptious, even though they contain a vegetable!

Zucchini Bread Pancakes--Complete!

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour)
2 tablespoons brown sugar (I used 1 tablespoon Truvia brown sugar blend)
2 teaspoons baking powder (Be sure it is aluminum-free)
1 teaspoon baking soda (Also aluminum-free)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/4 cups milk (I used 1-1/4 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup freshly grated zucchini
Unsalted butter, for cooking the pancakes (I used Pam Cooking Spray Butter Flavor)
Maple syrup, for serving  (Use Truvia Natural Sweetener or Truvia brown sugar blend)


1.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Whisk together until combined. 
2.  In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and melted butter. 
3.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing until smooth.
4.  Fold in the zucchini.
5.  Heat a large skillet or electric griddle over medium heat.
6.  Add butter or butter spray.
7.  Pour 1/4 cup of batter on the hot skillet.  Repeat, leaving 1" between the pancakes.
8.  Cook for 2 minutes, or until the pancakes bubble on the top and edges.
9.  Turn and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until set. 
10. Repeat with the remaining batter.
11. Top with butter and your choice of Truvia sugars.

I was able to make 12 full-sized pancakes with this amount of batter.  Three pancakes were very filling.  You might want to serve them with berries on the side.  I had blackberries on hand that morning.  I brought a serving of pancakes over to my 95-year-old mother to try.  Luckily, she had not eaten breakfast yet that morning, and she was so happy to have pancakes.  This was her first time trying zucchini bread pancakes, and she loved them! Win-Win!


Of course, I have to let you know the latest with Milo, the puppy!  I bought him a Kong Frisbee.  Oh my goodness!  He wants to play all day!  He definitely keeps me running!

"Come and get it, Mom, because I'm not giving it to you, yet!"

Let me know if you make the zucchini bread pancakes.  I'd like your comments and pictures, too!  Be sure to "Like" my page, if you haven't yet.  Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Korean Beef Bowls the Yeast Free Way!

It is a beautiful day today in Orlando--73 degrees!  I feel for all of you who still have snow and more snow on the way.  That is why my father decided to retire in Florida back in 1968.  I'm so glad he made that decision for our family.  From time to time I miss LaGrange and Brookfield, Illinois where I lived until I was 12.  I have so many great memories growing up there.  Here is a picture of the house I grew up in:

I think it looks wonderful!  My father planted the maple tree that is in the foreground of the picture.  The owners are keeping the home up so nicely.  Thank you to my cousin, Jack Koschka, for the photo.

Last week I made the Korean Beef Bowls found in The Pretty Dish on pages 166-167.  I enjoy making "bowls" for dinner.  This one is simple to make and tasty.  I changed a few of the ingredients to make it yeast free.


1 pound sirloin beef, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour)
2 tablespoons brown sugar (1 tablespoon Truvia brown sugar blend)
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (I used Hokan Fish Sauce)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (I used Sun Luck Pure Sesame Oil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Pinch of crushed red-pepper flakes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used olive oil, which will make your cooking time longer.)
1-1/2 cups cooked jasmine rice
2 large carrots, peeled and spiralized (You can also use a vegetable peeler.)
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

1.  Toss the beef with the flour.
2.  Whisk together in a bowl the Truvia brown sugar blend, fish sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and red-pepper flakes.
*3.  In a large pan or wok, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the beef and cook until it is seared and golden brown.  Turn the beef over, and cook until that side is seared and golden brown.
4.  Pour in the sauce. Cook, constantly tossing, for 1-2  minutes.  Pour the beef and any extra sauce in a bowl.
5.  Bowl Assembly:  Divide the rice and carrots between 2 bowls.  Top with the beef, then add the scallion and the sesame seeds.  You can also add a drizzle of sesame oil on top, if desired.

*I changed the heat temperatures and cooking times for the recipe since olive oil has a lower heat point than vegetable oil.

The next time I make this, I am going to double the sauce.  It is so delicious, and I felt the dish could have used some extra sauce to place on the rice as you are eating.  Also, I could not get my spiralizer to work with the carrots, so I used the vegetable peeler with my bowl.  I watched a YouTube video that explained you need to use very large (wide) carrots to spiralize, so now I know what I did wrong.

Korean Beef Bowl

I also made the dish with boneless skinless chicken breasts.  The sauce worked well with chicken, too.  I cut my chicken into chunks when cooking, and poured the sauce on top of it in the pan.  Again, you will want to adjust your cooking times to be sure the chicken is fully done.

Also, I wanted to let you know that there was an error when I calculated the amount of Truvia brown sugar blend in the Toasted Garlic Tomato Bisque.  The correct amount should be 1-1/2 tablespoons, not 3 tablespoons.  I apologize if you made the soup and it seemed too sweet.  The recipe has been updated in the blog to reflect the correct amount of Truvia brown sugar blend.

I hope you enjoy the Korean Beef Bowls.  Let me know if you make them, and send me a picture in the comments.  Enjoy your week!!


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Toasted Garlic Tomato Bisque the Yeast-Free Way

I hope that everyone enjoyed their Passover or Easter weekend with family and friends!  It was a beautiful day in Orlando.  Milo was dressed up for the day.

Milo is trying to find the Easter bunny!

Some readers have recently asked me how to get started on the yeast-free or Candida diet.  There is a lot of research online.  I started with a diagnosis of a Candida allergy.  From there I was given a pamphlet on foods I should avoid.  The list was long and ominous.  I didn't know how I was going to follow the plan.  But, I chose to be positive about it, and that is how this blog came about.  I thought that there must be other people looking for recipes and substitutions for foods that were no longer healthy for people with Candida.

Since I started the blog five years ago, many foods on the Candida diet are now much easier to find.  Consumers have demanded healthier products. Examples of this are quinoa, unsweetened almond milk, almond milk creamer, olive oil, coconut oil, brown rice, jasmine rice, and brown rice chips.

There are a few basic points to know about starting the Candida diet.  To me, making small changes at first and then adding on more changes makes sense.  I changed everything at once.  I don't recommend that.  You could start with dairy.  Then you could change the grains you eat.  Next you could look at which fruits and vegetables are better than others to eat.  Here is a link to the site "The Candida Diet".  There is a wealth of information in that website to get started.  I also use the Livestrong website.
The main thing is to see a doctor, do some allergy testing, and see if this could be your issue.  I would say I follow the diet 90% of the time.  If I have an occasional sweet, glass of wine, piece of bread, I immediately go right back on the plan 100%.  It is a challenge, but it can be done.

I've done some cooking from The Pretty Dish the last few days!  I'm really enjoying my new cookbook.  Today I'm going to show you how I adapted "Toasted Garlic Tomato Bisque" to make it yeast-free.  The recipe is on pages 126-127 of the cookbook.  The main issue for yeast-free living is the canned tomatoes and tomato paste.  You want to use canned tomatoes and tomato paste without citric acid or calcium carbonate.  Here is a link that lists numerous types of diced tomatoes that you can purchase.  Tomato paste is a little easier to find.  Try Costco for the Kirkland brand, Fresh Market for their brand, and most grocery stores carry the Muir Glen brand.  The main thing is to become a label reader. If you have more time, you could always make your own sauce out of fresh tomatoes.  I want to try that sometime, but I didn't this time. I left off the sherry in the recipe.  Instead of chicken stock, I used College Inn chicken broth.  I substituted Truvia brown sugar for true brown sugar.  I substituted plain almond milk creamer, not vanilla flavored, for half and half.  Silk and Calfia make plain almond milk creamer.  The soup turned out great!!  I would definitely make it again!

Here are the adapted ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 shallots, sliced
1-1/2 tablespoons tomato paste (no citric acid)
1 can (28 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes (no citric acid or calcium carbonate)
2/3 cup sherry (I left that out.)
1/3 cup chicken stock (I used chicken broth.)
3 tablespoons brown sugar (I used 1-1/2 tablespoons Truvia brown sugar)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream (I used plain almond milk creamer, no soy creamer)
Chopped fresh basil and oregano for topping

1.  Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a medium sauce pan.
2.  Add the garlic.  Cook and stir until it is a golden, toasty brown.
3.  Transfer the garlic to a plate.
4.  Add the shallots to the pan and cook.  Stir occasionally for 8-10 minutes.
5.  Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes.
6.  Return the garlic to the pan.
7.  Add the tomatoes, broth, Truvia brown sugar, basil, salt, and pepper.
8.  Bring everything to a boil.
9.  Reduce and simmer for 20 minutes.

Place the soup in a blender and blend until pureed.  Return the soup to the pot on low heat.  Add the almond milk creamer right before serving.  Taste, and add any needed salt or pepper.  Top with the chopped basil and oregano.  The recipe will make 2-4 servings.

I absolutely loved the soup!  It tasted great, and it was made yeast-free with just a few tweaks!  Let me know if you try the soup.


Friday, March 30, 2018

The Pretty Dish Giveaway Winners!!

I'm so excited to announce the winners of the first giveaway on "Loving Life and Living Yeast-Free"!  I feel like Oprah today, because everyone who liked my post/page this week is a winner of The Pretty Dish!  (Except for my sister.) Glenna already ordered a copy of the cookbook before I decided to do the giveaway.  However, she has a big birthday coming up on April 9th, so she will get an extra gift from me!

The winners are Katie Cramer (the newest person to "like" my page), Christine Errico Werlink (who "liked" the post that I had to delete for technical reasons), Jayne Kubitza and Trisha Gay-Paster, both of whom have supported my blog from the very beginning!

Thanks so much, ladies!  Katie and Chris, I will send you a private message to get your address.

I encourage all of you to follow the Facebook and Instagram page of "How Sweet Eats".  Also, there is a closed Facebook group called "The Pretty Dish Book Club!" you can join.  Members are making the recipes in the cookbook and posting pictures, etc.  The recipes for the month of April I will be focusing on from The Pretty Dish are Toasted Garlic Tomato Bisque and Korean Beef Bowls.  "The Pretty Dish Book Club!" will also be featuring those recipes along with Tiramisu Bread Pudding.

I hope you love the cookbook as much as I do.  Thank you for supporting my blog.  I also will be posting pictures to my Instagram account that will be linked to my blog.  Enjoy!!  Happy Easter!!



Monday, March 26, 2018

1st Blog Giveaway--The Pretty Dish by Jessica Merchant

Today is a special day!  It is the start of the first giveaway for my readers.  I will be giving away two hardback copies of the cookbook, The Pretty Dish by Jessica Merchant!  Whoo Hoo!!

I mentioned The Pretty Dish on my last blog entry.  It has already become an Amazon bestseller.  I plan on tweaking some of the recipes on this blog to make them yeast-free, although many follow the Candida diet just the way they are written!

So, how do you enter the giveaway?  Very simple:

1.  "Like" my Facebook page.  (There is a widget at the bottom of the Google+ page that links you directly to Facebook.)

2.  Leave a comment on Facebook that includes your name, where you are from, what you do, and your favorite yeast-free snack.

That's it!!

The winners will be chosen randomly.  The giveaway will end at 3:00 p.m. EST on Friday, March 31st. The winners will be announced on my blog later that day.  You must live in the United States.  The winners will be asked to private message me their address so I can send you the book!

I'm excited for you to get this cookbook.  I hope you will love it as much as I do!  Good luck!  I look forward to reading your comments!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Shopping at Fresh Market and a Beautiful Cookbook!

Now that I'm retired from teaching, I have more time to shop and find delicious yeast-free items to eat or use in recipes.  A few weeks ago, I went to Fresh Market located at 1500 North Mills Avenue in Orlando. I love that store!  There is plenty of parking, beautiful fresh flowers, and so many healthy items on their shelves.  I have taken advantage of $2.99 Chicken and Chuck Tuesdays.  This is the day each week that there is fresh ground chuck, as well as all-natural, 99% fat free chicken breasts for $2.99 a pound.  The chicken breasts also come from chickens that are fed an antibiotic-free, 100% vegetarian diet.  The selections are already wrapped for you and ready to go!  No waiting!  I usually buy enough to stock my freezer.

I also LOVE their salsa.  The ingredients are tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, lime juice, garlic, salt, and cilantro.  Nothing else!  That is about as healthy as you can get in a jar.  And, it is delicious!

Salsa jar

Nutrition Facts and Ingredients

Cute description!

One way I like to use salsa is on a salad.  Because of its moistness, it serves as a salad dressing.  No need for olive oil.  I have to give credit to my sister for that tip! 

This salad is so fast and easy to make.  It contains shredded lettuce, chopped onion, 1/2 cup of black beans, cherry tomatoes (halved), topped with Fresh Market Salsa.  If you are counting Freestyle points on Weight Watchers, this salad is Zero Points! It is a great meal to eat for lunch if you know you are going out for dinner with family or friends.

One thing that I do is read a lot of cooking blogs.  I scan them for recipes that I can use or substitute yeast-free ingredients and still have them taste great.  One of my favorite blogs is by Jessica Merchant.  She is the creator of How Sweet Eats.  I subscribe to her blog and receive an email nearly every day with recipes.  She also has a feature once a week called "Current Crushing On" in which she scans the internet for interesting recipes, organizing tips, advice, etc.  I love all of the inspiration I receive from her blog.  Today is a big day because Jessica's cookbook, The Pretty Dish, finally arrived!  I pre-ordered her cookbook a few weeks ago.  It is even more than what I expected.  Every recipe has a gorgeous picture.  I can hardly wait to read every word!

Isn't the cover beautiful?

I hope you will check out Jessica's blog and her new cookbook.  It is available many places including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

One last thing for today.  I can't resist sharing this cute picture of Milo at the dog park.  He looks so regal, like he owns the place.  Milo makes me laugh all the time.  Well, since he's a puppy, he sometimes makes me cry, too, but mostly laugh!

Have a wonderful week!