Balancing Blood Sugar!

Sugar Solutions & New Products

I hope you all had a wonderful summer. I don’t know about you, but I ate too many sweets! Balancing Blood sugar is an art! Did you know that sugar is the new villain? Yep! The good news is that there are more alternatives and products available now to help us to satisfy our sweet tooth without getting cavities and many other health problems that come with sugar.

This summer I taught Kids and Teens how to cook without using refined sugar. We discussed how sugar, both natural and processed, requires the body to produce insulin and how the pancreas has to work to keep the body in balance.

They all felt much better during camp while eating sugar-free/sugar-low, gluten-free and dairy-free and they loved the food!

I had one former students realized that sugar was causing warts. She reported that she got rid of warts by cutting sugar out of her diet except for fruit only. Now I say, WOW to a 10 year old having that much insight, dedication and will power!

I’ve seen many of my students and my husbands patients that are children who had many physical problems that affected their ability to perform and concentrate in school to thriving in school after changing their diet! Most of them removed sugar and/or gluten and/or dairy.

These are three big culprits in affecting health especially lack of concentration, brain fog, hyperactivity, fatigue, depression, social challenges, headaches, skin rashes, behavior problems and more.

Most of you know by now that food sensitivities manifest in 4 areas:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Neurological
  • Psychological

I wanted the Kids to see just how much sugar was in a can of soda. So, we took a glass jar the size of a can of soda and poured 1/4 cup of white sugar into it as a way to see how much sugar a can of soda contains! They were all shocked! A Big Gulp is a 1/2 cup!

So, we took naturally flavored stevia, a natural sweetener from a leaf, that has no sugar, but is naturally 300 times sweeter than sugar, and mixed it with sparkling water to make our own delicious soda! Guess what? The kids love it.

I also had them do a tasting panel of the canned Zevia Sodas, and the Black Cherry and Strawberry were the most popular with Cherry Cola being the runner up and the least favorite were the Lemon Lime and Orange, which surprised me! On the last day of camp we had a movie day and watched Super Size Me and enjoyed healthy snacks, Zevia Soda and sugar free lollipops sweetened with Zylitol(natural and good for teeth!).

For desserts we made a lot of things with chocolate chips sweetened with stevia. I love Lilly’s Stevia Chocolate Chips made in Santa Barbara, CA! I found them at the health food store. The favorite desserts of the summer were Soft Serve Ice Cream sweetened with Stevia and  Chocolate Cake Pops! The good news is that one little pop was just as satisfying as a huge piece of cake-AMAZING! I will be teaching you how to make the Soft Serve Ice Cream in the Sugar Solutions Series!

Okay, as adults we know that Diabetes is an epidemic, and statistics report that approximately 1 in 4 people have Diabetes. I am sure even more have pre-diabetes and hypoglycemia.

I use to have terrible hypoglycemia! If I did not eat every 4 hours I would want to eat my arm off and it was a National catastrophic emergency until I ate! I would feel very weak, shaky and voraciously hungry. Oh, and the worst headache.

Fortunately, after cutting out processed sugar and using alternative sweeteners, eating a diet filled with whole foods and lots of veggies, nuts and healthy fats I am pleased to report that I feel much better. And, I don’t scare everyone away when I get hungry! I do still keep a snack in my purse though!!

A once a year fast and detox has really helped me balance my blood sugar too. My husband specializes in running fasting groups in the fall and spring. You can find more info atwww.drbradwest.com

In addition to diabetes, the latest cutting-edge medical findings are being reported that sugar is correlated to most diseases! Sugar is the new villain!

I am teaching a Sugar Solutions 6 week course all about how to cook delicious, nutritious whole foods that will help balance blood sugar and end sugar cravings. Many people have a candida overgrowth and do not even realize it, and the course menu will be Anti-Candida too. This is diabetic friendly. So sorry, but I do not recommend this course to anyone who is vegan this time around. I will try to offer a vegan course in the future.

I only have space for 8 people in this course which is at New Leaf in Santa Cruz from September 13-October 18th on Saturday’s from 11am-1:30pm and it includes Lunch! Sign up fast before it fills up at link below or www.NewLeaf.com and go to Events at the Westside Store
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/sugar-solutions-meal-planning-for-a-sugar-free-diet-tickets-12517930467

For an incredible lecture by Dr. Lustig, The Bittersweet Truth about Sugar, go to the video page on my blogwww.NoWheatNoDairyNoProblem.com

BTW, my Biscotti are sweetened with low glycemic Coconut Palm Sugar and are only 18-28 Glycemic Load! I also use high protein Oat Flour! Try a bag of Cinnamon Raisin,  Double Chocolate Chip or Cardamom! Purchase on my blog.

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Monthly Featured Recipe


Make your own sugar free soda or buy a Zevia!
Stevia Soda

16 oz. sparkling water, chilled
6-8 drops SweetLeaf flavored Stevia(cola, raspberry, orange etc…) available at Health food stores in the nutrition department
I recommend SweetLeaf brand(wwwSweetLeaf.com). Do not use dry, powdered stevia b/c it has other ingredients which are not healthful.
Serve over ice and enjoy without any blood sugar problems or fear of cavities.

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Monthly Upcoming Classes

Cooking Class Schedule

  • COOKING CLASSES ALL INCLUDE EATING WHAT WE MAKE!
  • GLUTEN-FREE(you’ll be surprised at how good is)
  • DAIRY-FREE(you won’t miss it)
  • REFINED SUGAR FREE! (Will still satisfy you)
  • No Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum added!
  • HIGH PROTEIN & FIBER, LOW CARB & affordable
Sugar Solution 6 Week Series, New Leaf Westside
September 13-October 18 Saturdays 11am-1:30pm w/Lunch
Limited to 8 people. If you cannot make all 6 classes you may sign up for individual classes during the 6 weeks.

www.NewLeaf.com and go to Events at the Westside Store
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/sugar-solutions-meal-planning-for-a-sugar-free-diet-tickets-12517930467

Private Chef Service

ALL FOOD IS FARM FRESH, ORGANIC,
 SEASONAL AND LOCAL WHEN POSSIBLE
Specialties: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Low Glycemic, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Raw. My service is completely customized to your desires and dietary needs.

A la Carte Services
  • Skype consultation
  • Shopping trip
  • Pantry Make-Over
  • Deluxe Package

PRODUCTS


No Wheat No Dairy No Problem
Delicious recipes for people with food allergies/sensitivity and everyone who is looking for healthy alternatives. The cookbook I wish I had!

Available in ebook or softcover.

Find out more and purchase here.




BISCOTTI (Skinny Dunkers) 

  • HIGH PROTEIN
  • HIGH FIBER
  • GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE, NUT-FREE, only a tiny bit of soy lecithin in the chocolate chips
  • ALL ORGANIC INGREDIENTS-just not certified yet
  • LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX/LOAD
  • MADE IN A GLUTEN-FREE FACILITY
MADE FOR DIPPING INTO YOUR FAVORITE BEVERAGE
Copyright © 2014 Lauren’s Kitchen, All rights reserved.
New Leaf Market Classes
Our mailing address is:

Lauren’s Kitchen

P.O. Box 1665

Los GatosCA 95031

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Fermented Foods(Saurkraut, Coconut Yogurt, Kombucha)

Fermenting Foods

I have been having so much fun making sauerkraut, kombucha, water keifer, non-dairy coconut  yogurt and brined Bison Brisket for us and private chef clients!
I just had an opening for 2 more private clients, so if you would like a break from cooking, call me! I can work with any budget, diet and customize it all just for you with love.

I am amazed at how easy it is to make fermented food, once you know a few tricks, and how much money you can save! I love customizing my food to my own liking, don’t you? 

The benefits of enjoying fermented foods are that they contain lots of healthy bacteria like you find in probiotics! 

Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics. This can be helpful in improving digestion and overall health. 

Although the fermented foods have probiotics, we are not sure how many survive the acid of the stomach and digestion. So, keep taking a good quality probiotic as well. I also suggest you start slowly to avoid any digestive discomfort. Start with 1 TBSP. of sauerkraut which is a great garnish on top of food or 1/4 cup Kombucha/Keifer/Yogurt, and slowly increase the amount each week until you are eating the amounts that you desire. 

Did you know that 80% of our immune system is in the intestines(gut)? Yep, it’s true. So, keeping the gut healthy is always a perfect place to start  improving overall health as well as digestion. 

I love Naturopathic Medicine because it is really good at healing people’s guts. It also looks at the whole body as a unit and the philosophy is to get to the root cause and heal it, not to block a pathway with drugs and ignore the cause.

 I encourage you to eat fermented foods daily, and to have a good Naturopathic Doctor, who has been to 4 yrs. of medical school, on your team because it is important to have a doctor that is educated and experienced. 

To find a licenced ND in California go to: http://www.CalND.org, and anywhere else in the US go to: http://www.Naturopathic.org or check out the list of the one’s I know and trust at http://www.NoWheatNoDairyNoProblem.com 

Do you want to learn to make your own Fermented Foods; and save money?

 

Fermented Foods Workshop!
If you would like to learn how to make your own, I will be teaching a workshop on many of these items between Los Gatos and Santa Cruz on Saturday August 2nd from 10am-12noon! You will get to take home a big jar of sauerkraut  that you choose from a variety to things to add in! Limited space so Email me now to reserve your place laurenskitchen1@gmail.com

If you don’t like to cook, call me and I’ll make/cook customized meals for you and deliver them!

I wish each one of you beautiful souls, a wonderful, safe summer! May you enjoy sunshine, eating, cooking and being with loved ones without worrying or suffering. I look forward to seeing you soon in a cooking class or my Fermentation and Skin Care Workshops! See all the classes and workshops I am offering this summer below.

Be Well & Thrive into your Dreams, 

Lauren

Alternative to Beef!

Growing up we had Sunday night BBQ Steak, and every week we had BBQ Hamburgers! I loved the smell of them cooking on the grill and was pleasantly surprised to find a delicious steak sandwich in my lunch on Monday mornings, thank you Mom!
I found out as an adult that I have a food sensitivity to Beef, and even it I weren’t I am sure I would not eat it  because of the ways it raised and slaughtered in this country. After learning about “Mad Cow Disease” in Neurobiology class I was done with Beef. I wanted something that tastes like Beef, but was healthier.

Then, I found and fell in love with Bison(AKA Buffalo) on a trip to Montana; and hope you will too. My friends served Bison in many forms-roast, sausages etc.. and they were the most flavorful I had ever tasted without any hormones or additives that I avoid. I was delighted to find it sold at health food stores, specialty butchers and some local grocery meat counters. I have recently been ordering directly from the ranch where they graze on grass in Colorado.

What I learned later was that is has so many nutritional benefits. It is much lower in fat, calories and cholesterol and higher in protein, iron and vitamin B12 than chicken and beef! See chart below.

After my neurobiology class in 2005, I decided to never eat beef again…and I have not missed it to date. I was so excited to find Bison as a healthy alternative and quickly began testing all my favorite recipes that traditionally used beef. To my surprise, they were even better with Bison! My cookbook, No Wheat No Dairy No Problem, has many recipes for buffalo including: Bourguignon, Chili, Meatloaf, Moussaka, Swedish Meatballs and Stroganoff. I also am an animal lover and am concerned about making environmentally friendly and humane choices in my food.

Buffalo/Bison are free range and graze on the green grassy hills.They are native to Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and the Dakotas-and raised in Minnesota too. They were almost extinct, but are making a comeback thanks to ranchers and an increased demand. So, the more we eat the more we will support their proliferation.

I was happy to learn that Billionaire, Ted Turner owns 15 ranches in seven states, covering 1.9 million acres. That’s 3,000 square miles – bigger than Delaware or Rhode Island. They are to make money, to protect the environment and to promote the conservation of native species. The ranches have diverse revenue sources. The most visible is the sale of buffalo meat. Much of it is sold through Ted’s Montana Grill, a fast-growing chain of about 50 casual restaurants, the newest of which just opened in midtown Manhattan. (Turner oversees the restaurants with a partner, George McKerrow.) I will definitely be making a reservation for my next NY trip, how about you?! To learn more about his ranches go to his website or watch a rerun of Martha Stewart who dedicated a whole show to Buffalo/Bison and a visit with Ted Turner on one of his ranches. Read an article by Fortune magazine at

money.cnn.com/2006/10/03/news/economy/pluggedin_gunther_bison.fortune/index.htm

Ted’s Montana Grills now have Gluten free Menus! http://www.tedsmontanagrill.com/menu/download/TMGGlutenFreeMenu.pdf

Buffalo is also called Bison can be used interchangeably with beef in all recipes, so enjoy all your favorite dishes made healthier – buffalo burgers, tacos, buffalo chili, buffalo lasagna, buffalo stew – the list is endless.

Cooking Buffalo: See below along with internet searches with many sites including utube videos with Buffalo/Bison recipes.

Crock Pot Cooking
Very slow, moist heat works especially well with the less tender cuts of meat. The best way is a crock pot or slow cooker. Let this cook all day. With the slow moist cooking you won’t have to worry about drying out the meat with overcooking. Use the low setting on your crock pot.

Grilling
Don’t put bison on the flame! We have found the best grilling technique is the indirect method. If you have a dual control gas grill, heat the one side on high for 5 to 10 minutes, then reduce to medium-high. Place the steak or roast on the cool side. In colder temperatures, you may want to have the heat on low under the meat. For a single control grill cover one side with foil to lock out the direct heat. Use a meat thermometer for roasts and go by appearance when grilling steaks.

Roasts
The best oven temperature is a 275 degree oven. Preheat your oven. To insure the desired doneness, use a meat thermometer. Because bison cooks more quickly you may want to check it sooner than you would beef. Rib steaks, roasts, tenderloin, and sirloin roasts are suitable cuts for roasting.

To order and more information go to: http://www.eagleswingnaturalbison.com

Or go to the Links page on this website for more sources

For more info and scientific studies and more go to:

www.montana.edu/~wwwcbs/

I hope you will give Bison/Buffalo a try and fall in love with it as I did. You can order my cookbook on this site along with my Gluten-free Biscotti. See bison nutritional chart below. Be Well & Thrive into you Dreams, Lauren

NUTRITIONAL COMPARISON
Per 100 GRAM SERVING – COOKED MEAT

SPECIES FATGRAMS CALORIESKCAL CHOLESTEROLMG IRONMG VITAMIN B-12MCG
Bison: 2.42 143 82 3.42 2.86
Beef (choice): 10.15 219 86 2.99 2.65
Beef (Select): 8.09 201 86 2.99 2.64
Pork: 9.66 212 86 1.1 0.75
Chicken (Skinless): 7.41 190 89 1.21 0.33
Sockeye Salmon: 10.97 216 87 0.55

Alternative Milk Made from Nuts or Seeds

When I got diagnosed with a dairy sensitivity 15 years ago, I had no problem giving up milk. At first the alternatives had a thinner, watery texture to me, but I got use to them. I did not mind the taste of most of them. Well, alternative milks have come a long way in 15 years, and there are a lot more to choose from now. I also love coconut milk and sometimes I add an organic can or homemade coconut milk from a Thai coconut to my nut or seed milk to thicken it, but not every week.

That said, have you read the ingredients on the labels of these milks? First of all, nuts are heavily sprayed with pesticide if they are not organic. I go to great lengths to eat organic so I don’t want to drink hidden pesticides or possible GMO’s that are not labeled. I certainly do not like the added oils either. The only oils I choose to eat are coconut, olive, grapeseed and avocado. Oils to avoid because they cause damage in our bodies for various reasons are: canola, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed. I could write an article on each one of these oils, but you just need to know that they are either toxic or cause health problems or do not have the necessary ratio of omega for our bodies optimal health! To learn more you can go to hear Dr. Tel-Oren at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUS5j39cnFE

Finally, I don’t like the added vitamins(don’t know quality or quantity needed), and many people are sensitive to the thickeners such as carageenan and xanthan gum.

So, what do we do? Make or own and control what you want to consume! Mine only contains raw nuts or seeds and good quality water, then you choose what else to add such as: sweetener of your choice, gluten-free vanilla, Himalayan sea salt etc…

You can find many youtube videos on how to make nut or seed milk. It is important to buy organic raw nuts because once nuts are heated the oils go rancid quickly and become a free radical(correlated with causing cancer). You can buy them online at http://www.organicfruitsandnuts.com or at your local health food store where they sell them often. Check the expiration dates and if they smell funny they are rancid, return them and find another source.

Finally, we must rotate our food and that includes nuts and seeds. If we eat the same kind of food, in this case nuts and seeds, everyday we can become sensitive and not be able to eat them without causing health problems! Do you know where 70% of your immune system is in your body? Answer: the intestines/your gut! So, we need to take care to not create food sensitivities, especially people who have a leaky gut and many people do! The main cause of a leaky gut is antibiotics and gluten, but that is another post. The solution is a rotation diet and eating seasonally(don’t buy it if it is not in season, just because you can).

Here is what I do, I make a pitcher of alternative milk each week and keep it in a glass or ceramic pitcher in the refrigerator. Each week of the month I use a different seed or nut for example, week 1 almond, week 2 sunflower, week 3 cashew, week for pumpkin seed. I also make sesame, hemp, hazelnut, brazil nut and this is what I use for anything I would use regular milk for, smoothies, in tea or coffee, over gluten-free cereal/GF oatmeal, in my dessert and savory recipes that call for milk. Every other week I will add coconut milk to my nut or seed milk to thicken it up. You can buy organic canned w/out preservatives such as sodium benzoate or ideally, make your own from a fresh Thai coconut, see you tube for videos. They also have coconut milk powder now which is convenient especially for traveling, but nothing is better than fresh Thai coconut. See my article on this blog about the health properties of coconut. Hint: It cannot build up as plaque in our arteries because it’s a medium chain fatty acid and it convert directly into energy when we eat it. There are many other health benefits and it tastes great!

In my cookbook, No Wheat No Dairy No Problem, I make a white sauce to replace milk in Bechamel with nut or seed milk which is used in other recipes including: creamed tuna, pot pies, macaroni and cheeze, stroganoff. I also use nut or seed milk in cakes, cookies, puddings and much more. For the recipe to make nut or seed milk go to http://nowheatnodairynoproblem.com/recipes/

Let us know by commenting below what nut and seed milk you make and love. Feel free to ask questions too!

Gluten-free Quinoa Vodka!

quinoa vodka

Quinoa Vodka

Apparently this vodka has been around since 2009, but I’ve never seen it or heard about it until now! I’m really looking forward to having an alternative to regular vodka that can be made from wheat or potatoes. I like the potato vodka, but have not tried the quinoa yet. Here is what I found out about Fair Spirit Quinoa Vodka:

Fair Spirits great taste comes from our high quality quinoa with a special production process – the result of a two-year joint research project between French distillers and Bolivian farmers.

Quinoa is the mother of all grains and is an ancient power food used by Incan warriors 5000 years ago. Quinoa is gluten free.

We source our quinoa from the Andean mountains of Bolivia. The Altiplano plateau is over 3000m above sea level where the quinoa grows in fertile soil on volcanic rock.

JUDGE’S TASTING NOTES

“Very smooth, fruity, spicy vodka that will shine with a nice chill or in martinis”

AWARDS

2012 DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL
50 BEST IMPORTS
2011 SILVER MEDAL
SF WORLD SPIRITS COMPETITION
2009 GOLD MEDAL
BEVERAGE TESTING INSTITUTE
2009 BEST OF CATEGORY
NYSA
93 Points / Gold Medal – Chicago Beverage Tasting Institute
Silver Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2011
FAIR. Vodka is certainly setting an example for the spirits community. Not only is it the first vodka to be created using Quinoa, but it is also the first to be produced with Fair Trade certified™ ingredients. Cultivated by the Incas since the 13th century in the Andes mountain range, Quinoa has recently become popular in the western world for it’s exceptional nutritional values. The Quinoa used to produce this vodka is cultivated by over 1,200 small producers in the Bolivian Altiplano, gathered within the Anapqui cooperative, the main association of farming producers in the country. The grains are then transported to the Cognac region of France, where they are expertly brewed and distilled to create the finest fair trade spirit possible. Delicate and smooth, this unique vodka displays soft, natural notes of fruit and spice that complement a variety of cocktails.
Fair Spirits also makes Rum from fair trade sugarcane that is aged in French Oak barrels.

New Page!

Hi Everyone! Check out my new page on this blog where I can personally assist you on your journey to better health and happiness. I’m now offering new services for people who live afar via Skype and those who live in the SF/SJ Bay area! Please feel free to share. This is a great gift too.

http://nowheatnodairynoproblem.com/menu-options-chef-service/

I have a new 6 week cooking series in January at New Leaf in Santa Cruz! Check it out and sign up at

http://www.eventbrite.com/o/new-leaf-community-markets-westside-2725205834

Let’s all have a Happy, Healthy 2014!

Be Well and Thrive, Chef Lauren

Thanksgiving Leftover Recipe Ideas!

Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving that was Gluten-free of course!;)

Breakfast: First things first, I eat pie for breakfast the day after! You can also make Turkey Hash with small diced cooked or raw potatoes and/or  yams, diced onions and parsley, poultry seasoning in a big cast iron pan. Top with fried eggs.

Eggs Benedict withTurkey or ham if you had that-see Hollandaise Sauce recipe in my cookbook.

What can I make with leftover Turkey from Thanksgiving? Tired of eating plain turkey the same old way? Here are some ideas and recipe referrals from my cookbook, No Wheat No Dairy No Problem:

Creamed Turkey(see “cream” sauce and creamed Tuna/Vegetable recipes)-make cream sauce and add diced Turkey, green peas, poultry seasoning and serve over rice, quinoa or rice pasta.

Turkey Pot Pie-use Chicken Pot Pie recipe and substitute Turkey for Chicken! Yum!

BBQ Turkey Sandwich-shred Turkey and pour your favorite GF BBQ Sauce over it(I like Organicville BBQ Sauce . Many BBQ sauces have gluten from adding soy sauce which contains wheat! Heat in a pot over low-medium heat, until it is simmering. Any tomato product will burn easily especially if it contains any kind of sweetener. Toast your GF bun(I love Schar baugettes or rolls  made in Italy sold at the Beehive in San Jose, CA). Slice the bun in half and pour the BBQ Turkey over it, roll up those sleeves and have lots of paper towels and maybe a gluten-free beer or sparkling soda sweetened with agave or stevia!

You can make your own healthier soda with flavored stevia and sparkling water-kids love it! SSShhhh, this may be the once in a blue moon you’ll catch me with a Coke made in Mexico b/c it is made with real sugar and not corn syrup. Forget the diet, the sweeteners are very unhealthy. Aspartame is made from ant poison which is  a neurotoxin! Yes it is true.

Turkey Salad/Sandwich: add organic mayonnaise(we love Grapeseed Veganaise) to diced Turkey, chopped pecans or walnuts, diced celery, diced organic apple, chiffonade(finely sliced) fresh basil, dried cranberries. Serve on a bed of lettuce or use romaine lettuce and make a wrap or gluten free/wheat free bread with mayonnaise and cranberry sauce.

Turkey Burritos: Fill GMO-free organic corn tortillas with Turkey and refried or black beans-top with guacamole and fresh/refrigerated salsa. Add Daiya cheese alternative and be sure to heat until it is melted.

Turkey Tacos: Fill organic corn tortillas, that have been heated in a pan with a little oil, with diced or shredded Turkey,  organic baby tomatoes halved, baby greens: arugula, mache, micro-greens. Top with guacamole and fresh/refrigerated salsa.

Ultimate Turkey Sandwich: Gluten-free Schar or Udi’s bread, cranberry sauce, Toffuti(soy cream cheese) or organic mayonnaise. This was served in a Victorian House Restaurant I worked at as a teenager-originally with regular cream cheese on Brioche bread! Yummy!

Brad’s favorite Turkey Sandwich: Gluten-free Foccacia(Canyon Bakehouse) heated at 400 degrees for 5 minutes, cool and slice into squares and cut in half with a serrated knife. Add homemade pesto to your favorite mayonnaise, add avocado and lettuce or arugala, fresh pepper and turkey.

The classic Hot Turkey Sandwich: Gluten-free  bread(toasted), hot mashed potatoes, hot sliced Turkey, hot Gravy and cold cranberry sauce! Now that is what I call comfort food!

Thai Curry: Red Curry Paste, coconut milk, turkey, thai basil, broccoli florets or veggie of choice-serve over brown rice. I like Mae Ploy brand curry paste-no preservatives. Quick, easy, flavorful and delicious. Beware not to use more than 1 Tablespoon of Mae Ploy curry paste-it is very spicy!

Turkey Stock: Put Turkey carcass into a large stock pot, add celery hearts/stalks, carrots, onion, bouquet garni(thyme, parsley, peppercorns) tied in cheesecloth or loose. Bring to a boil, scoop  foam off the top with laddle. Turn down to a simmer and cook uncovered for 1 hour. Or if you can put it in a crockpot, with 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar, on low and simmer for 2 days for the maximum health benefits! Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Strain and store stock in mason jars in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze(leave 1/2 inch of room at top to expand). Use  fresh within one day to make Turkey Soup. Scrape off all meat for Turkey soup or at least feed to  the dog and discard all bones(do not feed to the dog) and vegetables and bouquet garni.

Turkey Soup: Bring stock to a boil and add sliced carrots and any vegetables you like(cooking times will vary-softer vegetables cook faster). Turn down to a simmer and cook until vegetables are fork tender, not mushy, about 5-10 minutes. Add Turkey, top with fresh chopped parley or herbs and serve immediately. You can also add cooked rice or cooked quinoa/rice pasta such as penne or fussilli. Do not attempt to cook the rice or pasta in the stock as it will be too starchy.

Variations on Soup:

Mexican-add tortilla chips, avocado chunks, diced jalapeno, chopped cilantro instead of parsley

Asian- add Gluten-free Tamari(wheat free soy sauce), rice noodles, cilantro, grated ginger, sliced scallions and a Thai chile or chili sauce/flakes for heat if desired.

Cranberry Sauce is a sweet-tart topping over the Vanilla Ice Cream or Pumpkin Ice Cream in my cookbook, No Wheat No Dairy No Problem, which is on this blog for sale.

Gobble, Gobble, who knew there were so many things you can do with Turkey? Hope you love these ideas and have fun with them. Many thanks to all of you who continue to support me and read my blog…please pass the word. Remember my cookbook is available on my blog which makes a great holiday gift.

 

I am so grateful for all of you who have been loyal followers and supporters, many heartfelt thanks. I wish you all much health and happiness always with plenty of good food and loved ones.

Many Blessings with Love, Lauren

Gluten-free, Delicious Thanksgiving Recipes and Menu Planning Guide

Have family or friends or maybe yourself who are coming for Thanksgiving who are on a special diet or have health issues and concerns and you don’t know how to manage? Whether you just want to eat healthy and delicious food or have a food/health issue…you don’t have to spend the whole day cooking and cleaning in the kitchen this Thanksgiving! Below I’ll give you a week long planning guide along with recipes to make a deliciously healthful Thanksgiving that everyone can eat.

Everyone that has eaten my Thanksgiving recipes all said they are as good or better than traditional gluten recipes, and they did not miss the gluten, dairy or refined sugar! Wow, this is so wonderful and many heartfelt thanks!

Here is an easy guide to help you prepare things ahead of time you so you can enjoy your holiday and guests. Trust me after 20 years of doing this…it is so much easier than trying to be the Superhero on Thanksgiving…especially if something goes wrong-very embarrassing. Don’t be afraid to send the recipe to one of your guests/relatives and ask them to make it and bring it-delegate and gratefully accept the help. I know it is not easy, especially for people who like to be in control/charge! Remember, we allow others to grow and feel needed and be blessed by their contribution too. This is what helped me to realize micro-managing was stunting the growth of my employees! Let go, ah, it feels so good! There is still plenty for you to do.

I am listing all the goodies you can prepare ahead of time by day from my cookbook, No Wheat No Dairy No Problem-order it now on this site!

Up to one week ahead: Pie Crust (see Recipe of the Week-15 minutes), dairy-free and Gluten Free, Cranberry Sauce(refined sugar free and way better than anything that is store bought-15 minutes)

Up to three days ahead: Candied Yams( adapted from Paul Prudhomme)-40 minutes, Mashed Potatoes 30 minutes, Sweet Potatoe Pie Filling 10 minutes

Up to two days ahead: Brine 5 minutes and soak/refrigerate Turkey(fresh or frozen)-will be the juiciest ever! See my directions for thawing turkey according to weight-must be done in the refrigerator. You can now buy a Brined or Kosher Turkey and skip this step. clean your house or have it cleaned, do laundry etc..!;)

The day before:  make salad dressing/vinaigrette, chill wine, cook Turkey neck in broth and chill or gravy, Pecan Pie Filling, Cornbread for stuffing, chop vegetables(onion, celery etc…), Assemble and bake pie-Sweet Potato Pecan, Pecan, Pumpkin. I highly recommend the Sweet Potato Pecan-it’s a sure winner! See my utube video for rolling pie crust and dicing an onion at http://www.youtube.com search under LaurenHooverAuthor and laugh out loud!;) You try being videotaped and then laugh at yourself…I did! Take a hot bath and get a good night sleep, you’ll need it. Spend quality time with those you love, play a game together, go for a walk etc… because Thanksgiving is so busy that you may not get a quality conversation in that day. It so important to remember to be thankful and tell our loved one’s how grateful we are for them-especially children…they really are not mind readers!;)

Go to the grocery store for anything you still need.

Thanksgiving day: Eat Breakfast so you are not ravenous all day and then get a stomach ache from not eating for hours-you will be so much happier and your family will be very thankful. This is a lovely time to have quality time with whomever is in your home before all the rest of the guests arrive.

Begin with a Clean Kitchen-which will keep you organized and calm. Set out ingredients, measure them out and follow the recipes. Have fun! I like relaxing or upbeat music playing while I cook.

Get the kids/husband/family/friends to set the table, build a fire,  decorate-it will keep them busy and out of your kitchen-unless they like to cook! Kids love to make the name tags for the place settings-great project to keep them entertained.

Prepare stuffing(cornbread or regular or Gluten Free) and chop herbs, Stuff Turkey and bake (see my recipe that was even good enough for a US Senator)! The secret…cooking it at a very high temperature will create  crispy skin and juicy meat- not to mention-save time and energy! Yum! Reheat Mashed Potatoes, Candied Yams in a double boiler(or glass bowl above boiling water)  or the oven or microwave if absolutely necessary, cook and chop vegetables and wash/spin salad greens-toss at the table. Teenagers who like to cook will love to make salad or this is a good item to ask some else to bring. Pour wine and enjoy!

I do not put out a lot of snacks…just a few to tide people’s appetite, but not spoil it for a huge dinner. Choose 2: bowl of nuts,   hummus(put in a bowl of ice to keep cold) & raw vegetables, olives, deviled eggs all of which can be made the day ahead or store bought(of course I make them myself)!

Important tips: See Professional Secrets and Tips section of my cookbook-it will help to ensure YOUR success.

Use  oven and digital read thermometers-temperature is key. See my guide for cooking times according to the weight of the Turkey. Enlist help, people love to help.

Clean(with hot water and soap) all surfaces, sinks, counters, cutting boards, utensils and hands that touch raw Turkey to prevent spreading salmonella-food poisioning.

Keep Turkey refrigerated at 38 degrees until ready to stuff and bake.

Stuff the Turkey just before baking so bacteria will not grow.

Do NOT and I repeat, DO NOT leave food out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. It is best to put out smaller batches. Optimal Bacteria growth temperatures are between 40-140 degrees…yep, room temperature! It grows extremely rapidly by the hour after four hours throw it out. I hate waste…so I put out smaller portions or serve everything at once and put it away or send it home with guests just after eating. Only follow this advice if you want to avoid food poisoning or a big tummy ache-really you will be so much happier and healthier.

Final Tip/Preference: To baste or not to baste? I like to soak a large piece of cheesecloth in grapeseed oil, fold it in half and in half again to fit over the Turkey. Cover the Turkey with it and I do not baste if you  like a crispy skin. The high temperature will crisp the skin and seal in the juices. Resting the Turkey for 20-30 minutes is the ONLY way to have the juice stay in the meat. If you cut into the Turkey right away or before 20 minutes, watch all the juice run away and there is nothing to get it back into the meat…it will be dry, I promise. While Turkey is resting, make gravy.

Let someone else, especially the teenagers, do the dishes!

BTW, I did all of this in a cooking class last week in 3 1/2 hours – I slept very well that night!  So, You can do it too. Just follow my recipes carefully-read them first. I like to read them the night before I make them. and again just before making them. Buy my cookbook even if you only use the Thanksgiving recipes!

Take a deep breath, have a glass of  organic wine, relax and have a very Happy Thanksgiving. From my heart to yours…may you have much to be grateful for this year. I am so grateful for many things/people  including everyone who have been so supportive of my mission in helping you change your life  with delicious, healthy food. Thank you.

FOR ALL RECIPES GO TO THE RECIPES PAGE ON THIS BLOG.

Be Well and Thrive with Blessings,

Happy Thanksgiving, Chef Lauren Hoover-West

Gluten-free Summit-FREE Webinar!

Many of my teachers are world reknowned gluten experts are speaking for the next week on gluten! You will learn so much. I’ve already learned some interesting things today.

Did you know that some Japanese restaurants are starting to add wheat/white flour to sushi rice? Yep!!

Did you know that some gluten-free Beer that begins with gluten(barley, wheat, rye, spelt, oats) and they add enzymes to eat the gluten in the middle of the process to “remove” the gluten, may still contain gluten and not be safe!

Here are just two examples of really valuable nuggets of knowledge you will gain by listening.

If you have family or friends or co-workers that just don’t understand….here is your opportunity to let them hear it from someone else…The Experts!

Be Well & Thrive, Lauren

P.S. I’m going to post Thanksgiving Menu/Party Planning with Recipes this week for you to have a healthy, gluten-free, safe holiday.

LINK FOR FREE GLUTEN-FREE SUMMIT:http://theglutensummit.com