Friday, March 6, 2009

Lamb & Millet day!

In keeping with making this a manageable task for me, I just going to write down what we're eating when it seems interesting, posting actual recipes as appropriate.

Menu for Thursday 3/5

Breakfast: Blackberry millet scones

Lunch: Potatoes, turnips, parsnips, leeks, beet greens & mushrooms, stewed in lamb stock = instant stew.

Dinner: Braised "BBQ" lamb ribs, kale & leeks, millet & flax flatbread.

Millet Scones

1 1/4 C millet flour
1/4 C potato flour
1/2 C tapioca starch
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 C succanat or brown sugar
1/4 C shortening
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg equivalent (we used Ener-G egg replacer)
3/4 C water (or milk)
1/2 cup blackberries

Preheat Oven to 400*F.

Cream shortening & sugar. Add vanilla. Add egg equiv.

In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients. Stir dry ingredients into shortening mixture.

Add water. Gently mix in berries.

Knead and press into an 8in round flat shape on a greased baking pan.

Cut into 8 pieces, but don't separate.

Bake 20 or 25 minutes.

Millet & Flax Flatbread

1 C millet, fresh ground
2 T flaxseed, fresh ground
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Mix dry ingredients. Pour in water until you get a thick gruel. Cook stovetop in small batches like little pancakes.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

An update on us and a website re-imagining

Our stint on FAILSAFE proved two things to us:

1. Lily's eczema can clear with dietary modification, thus our issues ARE food related (or at the very least, food-adjacent);

2. Our issues are not necessarily IgX allergies or intolerances (even though we do know Lily for certain has an IgE allergy to dairy).

After some research and investigation, collaboratively with some awesome ladies online, we're exploring the concept of inefficient detoxification of naturally occurring food and environmental chemicals, in conjunction with exposure to toxins (IN OUR CASE, use of antibiotics in birth and early post-partum, and the front-loading of childhood vaccinations - 13 injections by 6m, yikes!)

My new approach is to no longer try to keep her skin pristine by avoidance. I know that her body is having a hard time processing things and I wish to support her body in its natural process. We've realized that we've need to move forward and support the body's functioning, not avoid it's malfunctioning.

Therefore, we went to a four-day rotational diet. We started reintroducing foods one at a time into the rotation, watching for build-up reactions. Corn and peanut butter seemed okay, but seemed to build up. We aren't strictly avoiding them anymore, but aren't purposefully eating them as staples in the rotation.

Finally, on to the re-imagining of this website. I think I'm just going to post what we're eating everyday (recipes as appropriate - mostly sauces and baked goods), and maybe a commentary on possibly "reactions" and what that might mean for our various detox pathways and vitamin & mineral needs at the moment.

As always, feedback is welcome.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pumpkin Pie

This pie is so good, even my non-allergic extended family enjoyed it.

1 1/4 c GF flour(s) - I used 1/2 sorghum; 1/2 rice*
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 T sugar (optional)
1/2 c shortening - I used palm oil from spectrum
1/4 c ice water

1. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! Refrigerate the flour(s) & shortening. I did it overnight so I could make the crust first thing in the morning, but I'm sure a few hours would suffice.

2. In a food processor or similar, Mix the flour(s), salt & sugar. Add the shortening broken into small chunks. Mix until crumbly. Pour in water as the mixer is running. The dough will thicken and might ball up.

3. I just used my hands and pressed the dough into two pie pans. Next time (this afternoon, in fact) I will try rolling the dough out between two pieces of wax paper.

4. Prick the crust all over and set aside.

2 c fresh pumpkin puree (I actually used butternut squash from my garden)
1/2 c boiled tapioca pearls or pureed, boiled tapioca root **
1/2 cup brown sugar***
3 T gelatin (4 packets of knox gelatin) + 9 T boiling water (~1/2 cup water)****
1/2 tsp sea salt
dash of pumpkin pie spice: cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice

1. Roast or boil pumpkin/squash. puree in food processor or blender.

2. Prepare tapioca pearls or yuca root.

3. In a food processor, blend squash & tapioca. While running, add gelatin mixture.

4. Add sugar, salt & spices.

5. Pour into pie shells.

6. Bake at 350 for 90+ minutes. Set your timer to an hour and then check in 15 minute intervals. I knew it was ready when the outside edge of the filling was browning and the middle felt set to the touch.


* i imagine millet and potato flours would work well here too. or just all sorghum
** also known as cassava or yuca. I got mine at Tom's. I get my small pearl tapioca at Oryana. I think if you used the small pearl tapioca, you'd want to make it a 1:1 ratio, like 1/4 cup tapioca to a 1/4 cup water, instead of the directions for "pudding" on the box. i used this in place of cream.
*** i was out, so i used 1/2 c white sugar + 1 T molasses; i bet honey or maple syrup would taste great here, too
**** pour boiling water over the powdered gelatin, stirring until dissolved. throw into the freezer for 5 or so minutes, to cool. mix until frothy after you take it out. i used this in place of eggs.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

FAILSAFE resources

Here is another page that outlines the salicylate and amine content in various foods. I was surprised to find that fruit & veggie staples of our diet (plus some we're avoiding due to a potential reaction) were all high to very high in both amines and salicylates. Hmmm. 

Yesterday (day three), we had some potato chips fried in canola oil - ostensibly FAILSAFE. However, within a few hours (two and a half, to be exact) Lily threw a MONSTER fit. She was just raging and raging at me, sobbing, rolling around on the floor and itching every square inch of her body. It lasted around 20-30 minutes and then she settled down, asked to nurse and then we read a ton of books. It was surreal. I realized after I'd already given us a big bowl of the chips that they had the peel on them. Potato peels are moderate in salicylates. After being fully free of salicylates for almost 72 hrs, she had a clear reaction to those chips (which she'd had before with seemingly no obvious correlated reaction).

We will see how things progress. I am hopeful that we are just sensitive to salicylates and not amines as well. I want chocolate and bananas!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Buckwheat Pancakes - FAILSAFE

My kids are eating food! A lot of it and they're not complaining. Lily is going to sleep like a dream. There is less itching and her rash is going away. She is not whining and yelling constantly. She woke up happy and took herself to the bathroom this morning. I need to send a personal thank you note to those researchers in Australia if this keeps up. 

I think we are seeing results so quickly (only day 3 here) because we have been preservative and dye/coloring free for nearly a year. We've also been dairy free for 17m and wheat and soy free for nearly a year. I think the fact that our bodies don't have to detox all of that junk helps. So really, we just need to get the salicylates, amines and glutamates out. If we're not too terribly sensitive, that could take not very long at all, given the lack of other confounding factors. I've heard days 4 & 5 are the worst because that's the last of the detox reaction, so we'll see how I'm feeling in the coming days. 

Yesterday for breakfast we had fluffy buckwheat pancakes with pear puree. 
  • 2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp arrowroot starch/flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil - safflower or organic canola
  • 1 cup or so water or rice milk
Mix dry ingredients. Gentrly stir in oil & water. Add as much water as you need to get a thin batter consistency. Pour batter a bit at a time onto a LIGHTLY oiled (non-stick) skillet. Cook as you would a regular pancake. 

Pear puree: peel and core two soft, ripe pears. Cube and put in a sauce pan, cover with water. Boil until most water is absorbed. Blend in food processor. 

Spoon pear puree over pancakes. Or on top of pancakes like jam on toast. So good!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chicken Noodle Stew & rutabaga fries - FAILSAFE

While FAILSAFE is proving to be boring, my experience with alternative and limited cooking is serving us well. 

Chicken Noodle Stew
  • 1 lb chicken, boneless (save bones for broth)
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 3-5 green onions
  • several tablespoons parsley
  • 2 cups chopped brussel sprouts
  • 1 pint chicken bone broth (homemade)
  • 2 tsps arrowroot powder
  • 1lb bag rice noodles (we like fusili or penne)
  • sea salt
  • 1-2T organic canola or safflower oil (or rendered chicken fat)
While boiling water for noodles, saute parsley, green onions & celery in oil. Add chopped up brussel sprout and chicken stock and sea salt. When soft and bright green, spoon into food processor. Fry chicken with a little bit of chicken stock. When cooked, place on cutting board to rest. Heat remaining chicken stock and whisk the arrowroot into it. Cook on low, stiring, until it starts to thicken. Pour into food processor with veggies and blend. When noodles have been cooked and rinsed, pour over noodles. You can pour the veggies over the noodles in a casserole dish and bake for 10-20 minutes for that gooey casserole feeling. 

Rutabaga Fries
  • sea salt
  • rutabaga
  • canola or safflower oil
Preheat oven to 400*F. Peel rutabaga and cut into shoe-string sized fries. Coat two cookie sheets with oil. Spread fries evenly over pan in a single layer. Bake at 400*F for 15-20 minutes. Flip and cook at a lower temperature (325/350) for another 5-10 minutes until soft. These weren't crispy like I wanted - I think I used too much oil. Food for thought. The kids loved them, however.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Chicken, potato & brussel sprouts - for breakfast

We find that breakfast is one of the hardest meals of the day for us. Lily would prefer to just eat grains all morning long and Aevryn would prefer to chew things up and spit them out. I would prefer to not feel starving 45 minutes after I eat.

Dave suggested that we should start eating more protein with breakfast. This snowballed into my idea of lunch for breakfast. So this morning, I made up a pretty tasty hash.

  • 1/2 pound chicken thighs
  • whole shallot
  • two stalks of celery
  • couple tablespoons of chopped, fresh parsley
  • 2 medium potatoes, thickly peeleda
  • two-handed scoop full of brussel sprouts (I literally scooped up brussel sprouts out of a bowl, bringing my two hands together like a bowl)
  • drizzle of organic canola oil (I'd prefer safflower, but canola was all the store I was at had)
  • sea salt
I warmed the oil in a skillet and added the shallots, parsley and celery, letting them saute for a few minutes. Then I added the chicken thighs whole and let them brown on each side a few minutes. While they were browning, I cut up the potatoes into small cubes. I took the chicken out and let it rest on the cutting board while I fried the potatoes and chopped the brussel sprouts. After the potatoes had been frying for a few minutes, I added the chicken, chopped into small pieces, mixing them with the potatoes. I added the brussel sprouts on top and put the lid on for a few minutes to steam them. I opened the lid, stirred in some sea salt and simmered on low with the lid back on for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Aevryn and I loved it. Lily has been throwing random tantrums all day and has told me both that she likes and and that it tastes awful. She is holding out for grains.

Friday, October 17, 2008


After much research and reflection, we have decided to embark on the FAILSAFE diet that is seeing great results in families in Australia. It was created by researchers at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Australia.

The basic gist is that modern food is chock full of colors, dyes, and artificial preservatives. In minute amounts, our bodies are probably okay with processing them, but in the deluge of "modern" and "convenient" foods, we are getting way too much. On top of these artificial chemicals, food naturally has various chemicals - salicylates and amines in particular. Salicylates are compounds similar to what's found in aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid). Individuals can react to high levels of salicylates in their food just as they might to asprin. Additionally, there are chemicals known collectively as amines - for example histamine. There are foods that are naturally higher in histamines than others, than can mimic allergic response.

So, we are going to set out to detox from these food chemicals. It's a 2-4 week initial program, that assuming positive progress, you can start to add in other foods and isolate whether you are sensitive to salicylates, amines or both, and to what degree (i.e. what is your threshhold). People report their chronic headaches, rashes, sleep and concentration problems are greatly reduced or disappear all together once they are no longer ingesting high levels of these food chemicals.

Here is a good site explaining how to do the elimination diet.

Wish us luck.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie*

Best. Ever. So, so, so good. 

*Ammendment: I have been informed that Chicken Pot Pie has a crust. What I have outlined here is in fact "Shepherd's Pie." Regardless: insanely good. I have eaten it for three meals in a row now. 

  • 1lb organic, free-range chicken thighs
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 medium turnip
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 head broccoli florets
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 pint chicken bone broth
  1. Saute salted & peppered chicken thighs, remove from pan
  2. Saute onions & mushrooms in the same pan as chicken, return chicken thighs and add some stock to cover, simmer with lid on
  3. Boil peeled and cubed carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes and broccoli florets
  4. Strain veggies and reserve water
  5. Peel and cube potatoes, boil in reserved veggie water (add stock to cover potatoes). 
  6. Puree potatoes and their water in a food processor (add salt as it's running)
  7. Layer ingredients in a large casserole pan (I used a 9x13 pan) as follows: chicken cut into bite-sized pieces; onions, mushrooms & stock; broccoli, carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes; pureed potatoes
  8. Bake at 350*F for 20-30 minutes (until bubbling around edges)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Squash Brownies

No really, they're fabulous.

1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup palm oil shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar (or honey or maple syrup, etc)
1/2 cup pureed squash/pumpkin
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp tapioca starch
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 tsp sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350*F
2. Melt shortening
3. Stir in cocoa until well mixed
4. Stir in sugar/sweetener
5. Stir in squash & vanilla
6. In a separate dish, mix rice flour, tapioca starch and sea salt
7. Add flour mixture to cocoa mixture, stirring just until all dry ingredients are wet
8. Pour batter into a greased 8x8 glass pan
9. Bake for 30 or so minutes at 350*F (you will know it's done when a knife or toothpick poked into the center comes out clean)
10. Enjoy