Blood Orange Tofu and Veggie Smoothie

FINALLY!  I feel like a normal human being this week.  No more symptoms and I’ve been able to do some yoga and running.  I’m so happy to put all of THAT behind me for now!  To celebrate, I took out my Vitamix that has been collecting dust since Christmas and made a healthy fruit and veggie smoothie.  I know that some people with Lyme try to stay away from oranges and other fruits that have a high sugar content…but I’ve decided to reintroduce them to my diet after years of not eating them.

WHAT YOU NEED:

3/4 cup of soft tofu
1/2 blood orange – peeled
1 banana
1/2 an avocado
1/2 cup strawberries
1/4 cup of blueberries
One handful of pea shoots (optional)
One handful of baby spinach
2-3 Kale leaves
1/2 cup of coconut milk

Place all ingredients into your Vitamix or blender and blend until smooth.

I found these in the produce section at Whole Foods.

I found these in the produce section at Whole Foods.

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Smoothie

 

Here’s to a week of feeling strong and healthy again!

Clean Eating and the Paleo Diet

I have been telling myself for several months now that there is NO way I could possibly go on the Paleo diet, even if it means it will help me feel better.  I am STARVING now just thinking about the idea.  I know a few people now that swear by it and believe that it has helped them recover from an various illnesses.  I have spent many days reading through Paleo recipes and unsuccessfully tried to put together a list of meals and a grocery list that would get me through just one week.  I have failed MISERABLY many, many times.  So, Sunday evening, I finally decided to try again.  I gave myself a goal…at least ONE Paleo meal a week.  I’m going to EASE my way into this diet and will eventually (hopefully) become a full-blown “Paleo-ist”…or whatever you might call someone who eats lots of spaghetti squash and sweet potatoes.  If any of you know of any good sites to help me out, feel free to comment below or send an email.  I need help!!

I am so proud to present you with my very first Paleo dish that I found on Pinterest.  Speaking of Pinterest…it’s addictive.  Seriously guys.  I have over 1,000 pins and I think I’ve actually used 4 of them.  I can’t stop PINNING.

This recipe was from the Paleo Pot and was so easy to make.  That’s why they call it the “Stupid, Easy, Paleo Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs”.  My kids even liked it!

Spaghetti

It didn’t photograph well, but it was SO good.  I think next time I’ll make my own spaghetti sauce instead of using the canned sauce.

I also made a healthy, spinach salad with strawberries, avocados, almonds and gorgonzola cheese (cheese is not allowed on the Paleo diet-see I’ve already cheated) served with a poppy seed vinaigrette.  This recipe came from Gimme Some Oven and I found a list of “Paleo Friendly” foods on the Ultimate Paleo Guide blog.

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The salad was amazing!

This was lunch I pulled together for myself and my very sweet friend, Amanda.  Take out the cheese, sushi, crackers and french baguette and you’ll find yourself another Paleo meal.  See why I’m starving??

Amanda2

Amanda

But a gluten free mousse cake is ok, right?

If you are on the Paleo diet and have any advice or resources that might help, PLEASE send them along.  I would love to hear from you!

xo,

Brandi

Gluten Free Endive Caprese Boats

A few weeks ago, I had a meeting at our home with TBDA (Tick-Borne Disease Alliance) and several other Lyme advocates.  James Gilbert (The Boston Lyme Group) has been working hard at getting us together to plan a few Lyme related events in Boston, which I am very excited about.  As always, I prepare way too much food when I have people over…but I love to entertain so it was all worth it.  Knowing that most of our company were probably on the “Lyme Diet” or gluten-free, I went to Pinterest in search of some easy to make gluten-free appetizers and stumbled upon the Mom, What’s For Dinner blog and found these delicious Endive Caprese Boats.  Here’s the recipe:

2 heads of Endive
6 Roma Tomatoes
20 medium FRESH basil leaves
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
2 TBSP fresh minced garlic
2 teaspoons italian seasoning
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
20 Mozzarella Pearls

Core the tomatoes and cut into one inch pieces.  Wash and chop your basil.  Combine your tomatoes, basil, extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, italian seasoning, and sea salt in a large bowl.  Add mozzarella pearls.  Mix well and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Wash your endive and peel each leaf off one at a time.  Fill with Caprese mixture and serve.

Endive

 

Endive2

Gluten Free Beef Stew

First of all, my prayers go out to all of those who were affected by Tropical Storm Sandy.  I was shocked to see the devastation in parts of New Jersey and New York City.  Schools were closed in Boston on Monday, so the kids and I stayed home and watched movies while occasionally peeking out the windows to check on the storm.  We had some high winds and rain, but very little damage around the city.  Things are back to normal today and the kids are looking forward to some Trick-or-Treating tonight.

I’m a little behind on my posts…as this is a recipe I tried a week ago.  I pulled the recipe from the Gluten Free Goddess blog and LOVED it!  You can click HERE for the recipe.

Rylan was my little helper, but not a big fan of stew.  ;-)

This recipe is so easy to make.  Just add all of the ingredients to the crock pot and it’s ready by dinner time.  Enjoy!

Scrambled Eggs with Spinach, Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

I am FINALLY feeling somewhat normal after 11 days of hell.  It was a nice, friendly reminder from my friend Lyme that he’s still here.  I’ve been off the Biaxin and Plaquinil for 11 days now as well and have been taking 200mg of Doxycycline and my supplements since then.  I have a new prescription for Zithromax and another drug (the name has slipped my mind) and I will start taking those on Friday when my husband is home, just in case I get really sick again.  I am so afraid to go back to that place again.  The things that were happening to my body were truly frightening.  I don’t wish this on anyone.  It’s just awful!

You’re emails and comments during that time really helped me get through the worst of it.  So many of you shared your experiences as well and I am so thankful to have you in my life today…even if we have never met in person.  It was so nice of you to reach out when I was feeling so crummy.  THANK YOU!

So, to celebrate my health today, I did two things:  I went shopping…for the boys.

AND

I made this healthy dish for breakfast and NO…it was not dairy – free, but it sure was GOOD.  I sautéed spinach, mushrooms and garlic and added the eggs and goat cheese and served with a few slices of tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.

Summertime Salsa

This is a recipe from my dear friend, Jessica.  We had friends over for a BBQ yesterday, so I thought I’d try it out.  I sent Jessica a text message and within minutes, she replied with the ingredients.  Thank you, Jess!

What you’ll need:

1 Small red onion
5 Avocados
4 Ears of Corn (cook and shave kernels off with a chefs knife)
1 8 oz can of black beans
2 Limes
1 Bunch of cilantro
1 Tablespoon of cumin
1 Teaspoon of hot sauce
Salt to taste

Chop the onion and avocado and cilantro.  Add corn kernels, black beans, cumin, tobacco sauce and salt.  Add the juice of two limes.  Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

Cosmo Mom featured on The Foreign Domestic…

…my Cornmeal Crusted Cod, that is!  Kirsten from The Foreign Domestic featured this dish for her From Your Kitchen to Mine:  100 Recipes 100 Blogs series.  Click HERE to see what she had to say about it!  She has already re-created 70 dishes from 70 different blogs and posted her results.  Impressive!  And, I must say, a lot of them are PERFECT for those of us on the “Lyme Diet”.   I’ve already printed out recipes for the Mango Quinoa Salad and Red Curry, Coconut, and Ginger Infused Steamed Clams!  I’ll share them with all of you as soon as I am able to get back into the kitchen…without the boys!

Thank you, Kirsten for the recognition and for your wonderful blog!

xo,

Brandi

Curried Quinoa and Vegetable Soup

I just tried another great recipe from “Eat to Boost Your Immunity” by Kirsten Hartvig.  It is Gluten and Dairy Free and it was so EASY to make.  I’ve been cooking more and more with quinoa, pronounced (KEEN-wah).  Quinoa is the most nutritious of all of the grains as it’s very high in protein and is a good source of fiber.  It’s also known as an endurance food and may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, colon cancer and breast cancer.  It’s also great in salads, hot cereals and served as a side dish.

What you’ll need:

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped
2 Carrots, diced (which I left out since carrots have a lot of sugar and I’m trying to reduce the amount of sugar in my diet)
2 Red Bell Peppers, halved, seeded, and chopped
1 Handful of Green Beans, chopped
4 Tablespoons of Red Curry Paste
1 Cup of Quinoa, rinsed and soaked in cold water for 15 minutes
1 and 3/4 Cups of Coconut Milk
salt and pepper

Rinse 1 cup of quinoa in a strainer and rinse.  Then place the quinoa in a bowl of cold water for 15 minutes.

Chop the onions, red bell peppers and green beans.


Heat the oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium-low heat.  Saute the  onions, then add the vegetables one at a time.

Add 4 tablespoons of curry paste and a splash of water.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften.

Strain the quinoa that you had set aside in cold water.  Rinse.

Add the quinoa, followed by the coconut milk and 2 1/2 cups of hot water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 10 minutes, until the quinoa is cooked.

Season with salt and pepper and serve with warm corn tortillas or naan bread (if you can eat gluten).

Enjoy!

Tomato, Wild Marjoram and Garlic Salad

My husband and Rylan have been in Texas all weekend for our niece’s baptism so I have had some time in the kitchen to prepare some wonderful meals with Finn playing at my feet.  This is another great dish, covered in garlic.  YUM!  I also LOVE the smell of fresh marjoram leaves.  It’s very calming.  I thought this was a very nice, light dish…better when eaten outside on the deck while taking in some sunshine.  That’s what Finn and I did.

What you’ll need:

4 ripe Tomatoes
1 Garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh wild Marjoram
2-3 tablespoons of Sunflower Oil (or Olive Oil)
1-2 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

Slice the tomatoes and place on a serving tray or plate.

Finely chop the garlic and sprinkle over the tomato slices.

Chop Marjoram and sprinkle over the tomato and garlic.

Drizzle the sunflower oil and balsamic vinegar over the tomatoes and add salt and pepper to taste.

Bon Apetit!

Filled Avocados

This is a great summer recipe from the book, “Eat to Boost Your Immunity” by Kirsten Hartvig.  You can purchase the book HERE.  I’ve found it very useful as it has a section called “Coping with Common Ailments”, which gives you lots of information about healing your body the natural way.  The ailments include:  bacterial, parasitic, and viral infections, candida, stress, fatigue and anxiety, arthritis, heart disease, cancer and many more.

I’m trying to eat more healthy foods that are good for me, but also taste good too!  This was DELICIOUS!!  And HEALTHY!  Avocados are packed with energy and immune-boosting phytochemicals and have strong anti-inflammatory properties.  I also added LOTS of garlic, which is known as the natural antibiotic.  It helps protect the body from bacterial and parasitic infections and also stimulates the production of white blood cells – which as you know, I need.  According to “Eat to Boost your Immunity”, garlic is still regarded by many health care practitioners as a first line treatment for infectious diseases.  GOOD TO KNOW!

What you’ll need:

2 Avocados
2 Ripe Tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 Cucumber, finely chopped
1 Bunch of Chives, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon of Red Wine Vinegar
4 Tablespoons of Sunflower Oil
1 Garlic Clove, crushed
1/2 Teaspoon of Soy Sauce (preferably organic, Tamari brand)
1/2 Teaspoon of Tabasco Sauce (optional)

Cut the avocados in half and take out the stones by using a chef’s knife and twisting the stone out of the avocado.

Chop the cucumber, tomatoes and chives and place in a bowl.

Add one garlic clove, crushed

Add vinegar, sunflower oil, soy sauce and tabasco (optional) to the bowl of tomatoes and cucumbers

Mix all of the ingredients together and spoon onto the avocados.  Sprinkle with chives to garnish and serve.  Doesn’t this look SO GOOD?!