Thursday, August 6, 2015

In Memory of Michael Oro

This blog is bittersweet today.  It is written in memory of my nephew, Michael Oro, who recently passed away.  Among Michael's many loves was cooking, especially healthy cooking.  Michael enjoyed cuisine from all over the world.  He especially liked octopus from Galicia in Spain.  Our family also enjoyed going to Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine Restaurant in Winter Park, Florida. We would all normally order the Chicken Adana Kebab dinner.  On that evening, I would usually cheat a bit on my yeast-free lifestyle and have the naan bread.  However, Michael was really proud of the fact that I was sticking to yeast-free living about 90% of the time.  He enjoyed working out at the gym, writing electronic music, and making everyone laugh.  Michael was loved by his family and friends.  So, I am running the post "Michael's Sauce" again as a tribute to him today.  This remains one of my favorite dinners.

Michael Oro


Last night I made one of my favorite yeast-free dinners.  Then I realized that I never shared it on this blog.  I actually got this idea/recipe from my nephew, Michael.  He was making this sauce one day when I was over visiting him.  He works out and eats a healthy diet, so it was normal to see him cooking with ground turkey.  He doesn't know it (I guess he will when the blog is published), but I am naming the recipe "Michael's Sauce".

Here is the recipe:

  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1 bag of fresh spinach
  • 1 cup of spaghetti sauce
  • 2 tsp. of Italian seasoning 
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes (a few)--Optional
Heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the chopped onion and cook until softened.  Add garlic. While the onion is cooking, in a separate pan, brown the ground turkey.  Add the cooked ground turkey to the onion and garlic mixture.  Begin to add the spinach a few handfuls at a time to the turkey mixture until the spinach is wilted.  Add the spaghetti sauce and seasonings. Simmer for 10 minutes or so until the sauce is heated.

Serve over quinoa or brown rice.

There are many variations you can make to this recipe.  Mushrooms can be added if you are not on a yeast-free diet.  Also, green, yellow, or red peppers can be added.  In addition, you could add fresh tomatoes.  Broccoli can be used instead of spinach.  What is nice about this recipe is that you can use leftovers you may have in your refrigerator or pantry to complete the sauce.  I actually had most of a yellow onion and part of a jar of spaghetti sauce leftover which I used for the recipe I made last evening.  All I had to purchase was the bag of fresh spinach.  Everything else I had on hand.  That is why it is one of my "Go-To" recipies now.

I hope you enjoy making "Michael's Sauce" as much as Mike and I do!




 "Michael's Sauce" over brown rice


Michael at St. Augustine Beach

Monday, July 20, 2015

Motivational Monday

We all need a little motivation now and then to get back on track after a weekend of indulging ourselves and not quite following the yeast-free plan. Or maybe you need that extra push into an exercise routine that works for you. If you are like me, this is what I struggle with from time-to-time. So for today, this post is as much for me as it is for you, my readers.


                    

I hope this will help to inspire you to make the change you have been wanting to make starting today. As for me, I'm off to the gym and the treadmill for the 2nd day in a row! Have a Motivational Monday!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summertime Foil-Packets

I have to say that it is hot, hot, hot in Orlando right now.  Sometimes all I want for dinner is something easy, tasty, and that requires very little clean-up.  Foil-Packets seem to meet all of that criteria!

I adapted this recipe from Hungry Girl's Easy Foil-Pack Recipes.  The combinations you can make are endless. This recipe is a Chicken Breast Foil-Packet.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup of sliced sweet onion (Vidalia, if in season)
1/2 lemon, cut into three sections
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced yellow squash
1/2 cup sliced zucchini
1 5-oz. chicken breast
1/2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. chopped garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place a large sheet of heavy-duty foil on a baking sheet and spray with nonstick spray.

Lay veggies in the center of the foil.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Place the chicken on the veggies.  Top the chicken with the garlic and dollop with butter.

Place the lemon wedges to the right and left of the veggies.  Squeeze the remaining lemon wedge over the chicken.  

Chicken Foil-Packet ready for the oven


Cover with another piece of foil.  Fold and seal all four edges of the foil pieces to form a well-sealed packet.

Ready to bake!

Bake for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked and the veggies are tender.  Allow the packet to cool for a few minutes.  Cut the packet to release the steam before opening it entirely.  The steam will be hot.  Makes 1 serving.




Ready to eat!


I made it another time and cut the chicken into pieces.


Hope you enjoy this recipe and the fact that there is virtually no clean-up!  To me, the lemon really adds to the freshness and taste of this recipe.  Pour yourself a glass of ice water and you will have a refreshing summer dinner.




Sunday, March 29, 2015

Yeast Free Bread Mix--Breads from Anna

A few months ago I tried the Yeast Free Bread Mix from Breads from Anna.  The bread was absolutely delicious.  It is the first yeast free bread that I have found that actually tastes and has the texture of "real bread".  The product is gluten, dairy, corn, soy, nut, yeast, rice, and potato free!  How about that list! The owner of the company has celiac, type 1 diabetes, and is also a trained chef.  She has really made a great product.

To make the bread you add 1/4 cup of oil (I used olive oil), 1 1/2 cups of non-dairy drink, including water (I used unsweetened almond milk), 2 tablespoons of preferred sweetener (optional--I used Truvia), and 3 jumbo eggs to the package of Yeast Free Bread Mix.  On the package, it gives tips and variations if you need egg-free bread or use honey or another wet sweetener to sweeten the bread.  The Yeast Free Bread Mix can be used to make pita chips, dinner rolls, hamburger and hot dog buns, herbed olive bread, pancakes, waffles, wraps and flatbread, cinnamon raisin bread and more.

The mix will stay fresh for two years.  It can also be purchased in 25 lb. bulk bags.  The website is Breads from Anna.  I actually e-mailed Anna with a question about whether to use almond milk or water. Her response was swift and she did suggest using almond milk over water in the bread mix.

Here is a photo of the loaf of bread.  You can see from the picture that it does rise quite a bit, just like a normal loaf.

Yeast Free Bread from Breads from Anna
I also made a tuna sandwich using Vegenaise.



Breads from Anna has other yeast free items.  I bought the pie crust mix to try.  I'll tell you how I like it in another blog.  Until then, happy yeast free living!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

I have been hearing about cauliflower crust pizza for a long time.  My sister, Glenna, made a great-looking pizza for the Super Bowl using a cauliflower crust.  Below is a photo of her pizza.  (To make it yeast-free, just leave off the mushrooms).

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Glenna used the recipe from this video from popsugar.com to make the crust.  
Here is the link:
Cauliflower Crust Pizza  
The video is  quite entertaining and informative.  The popsugar website gives Paula Deen credit for this recipe.  Here is the recipe for the cauliflower crust pizza with the substitutions I made to keep it yeast-free.

INGREDIENTS

Nonstick spray
2 1/2 cups cauliflower, grated (about 1/2 a large head)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (I used Daiya mozzarella style shreds)
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (I used Go Veggie! dairy free grated parmesan cheese)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup tomato sauce (I used Pappy Fred's Old Style Pizza Sauce--gluten free, no sugar added)
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Fresh basil leaves, optional

DIRECTIONS

  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (I used a pizza stone), and preheat oven to 425ºF.
  2. Grate the cauliflower using a box grater until you have two cups of cauliflower crumbles. Place in a large bowl and microwave for seven to eight minutes, or until soft. Remove from the microwave and let cool.
  3. Mix in the egg, one cup mozzarella, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. Once combined, pat into a 10-inch round on the prepared pizza pan.  Spray lightly with nonstick spray and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden.  (This step is really important.  The crust must be baked before putting any ingredients on it.  The spray makes it crispy.)
  4. Top the pizza with the sauce, 1/4 cup mozzarella, grape tomatoes, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Bake in the oven until melted and bubbly, another 10 minutes. Top with basil before serving.
Of course, you can add whatever toppings you would like.  My pizza had Daiya mozzarella style shreds, rotisserie chicken, onions, and cherry tomatoes as toppings.  
Cauliflower Crust Pizza
I hope you enjoy making pizzas using a cauliflower crust!

Easy Springtime Yeast-Free Dinner

It is so nice to be on Spring Break!  The weather has been great, I went to the Winter Park Art Festival, and  I've been able to do some needed cleaning. Yesterday my mother and I made a trip to our local Costco.  I put together this simple and tasty meal when I got home.

First I purchased some Kirkland Turkey Burgers.  The ingredients listed are white turkey, kosher salt, rosemary extract, and black pepper.  They can be grilled, broiled, or cooked in oil on the stove. I put some olive oil in a pan and cooked them for six minutes on each side.  Perfect!

Kirkland Turkey Burgers

Then I made some cole slaw.  I took a bag of Publix brand cole slaw and added Vegenaise, Truvia, sea salt, and pepper to taste.  I also bought some delicious cherry tomatoes at Costco.  I cut them, and dressed them with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper.

What a delicious dinner!  I'm now ready for summer!

Turkey burger, cole slaw, and fresh tomato dinner!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Yeast-Free Roasted Cauliflower Soup

To begin the blog today, I have to share something with my readers.  One of my friends and co-workers, Sue Avella, nominated me for the "Healthy Hero" for the month of January in my school district.  This is such an honor since I have tried to inspire and help people with yeast-free living since I found out I had the Candida allergy.  Here is the link to the article:  https://www.ocps.net/es/cr/Orange%20Peal/OrangePeal201501.pdf  Scroll down to page seven and on the right you will see "Healthy Hero".  To my surprise, the school district also had a gift for me.  It was a Fitbit Flex!  I love it!  It tracks my daily number of steps, sleep patterns, and it even converts the steps into Weight Watchers activity points.  If you have any friends who have the Candida allergy or just want to have some healthy recipes, tell them to join my circle on Google+,  "Like" my page on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter at @LaDonne.  You can also receive the blog through e-mail.

Now, back to the Roasted Cauliflower Soup recipe.  I found this recipe at http://www.theroastedroot.net/roasted-cauliflower-soup/  Don't get too excited!  The link mentions a Blendtec blender giveaway, but it is over.  They have a similar recipe on the website called "Easy Cauliflower Soup", but this one is better, in my opinion, because of the roasted cauliflower and garlic.

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees 
  2. Chop the cauliflower into florets, lay it on a baking sheet and drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the cauliflower, or enough to coat the florets.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Cover the whole bulb of garlic (skin on) with foil.  Place on the baking sheet with the cauliflower.
  4. Roast the cauliflower and garlic in the oven for 35 minutes, or until cauliflower has browned slightly and is cooked through
  5. While the cauliflower is roasting, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  6. Saute the onion until browned, about 12 to 15 minutes.
  7. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until completely smooth.  Check soup for flavor and add more salt if necessary
  8. Serve with olive oil drizzled on top and a dollop of plain yogurt, if desired
Cauliflower and Garlic ready for the oven!

Sauteing the Onions

Ready for the Blender! Notice the charred bits of cauliflower and the cloves of garlic!

The finished product!



This soup is so flavorful!  I think it is due to the roasting of the cauliflower and garlic.  That one step, I believe, makes this recipe a keeper.

Enjoy your day and let me know if you made the Roasted Cauliflower Soup!